Throwback Thursday is a common theme on sites and blogs where you hearken back to something interesting or random from the past. On Land of Redemption, our current Throwback Thursday trend is re-posts of preview articles from years and sets past.

We now continue with the Thesaurus ex Preteritus preview articles. Enjoy!

In recent Redemption expansions it is common to find a card that increases the playability of a handful of older cards – cards that have not been included in top decks in years, if ever.  Hidden Treasures propels prophets like Agabus out of obscurity into the light of playability.  Deborah and Othniel and Samuel were rarely seen in decks until Judge’s Seat sat on tables.  Simeon’s special ability brought Sarah and Rebekah out of binders and card boxes (though the new reprint of Leah will be an even better choice).

Thesaurus ex Preteritus introduces a few more cards that encourage you to excavate your box of  extra cards to find some relics from the past that might now be treasures.  While most of these new cards only boost the playability of a few oldies, High Places helps over fifty!  Suddenly, evil enhancements that were too difficult to play become, basically, territory-class enhancements.

I seriously considered listing all 55 or so enhancements here in this article, and pointing out the amazing things you could do with a dozen of them, but I think that would spoil the fun.  Instead, I will highlight a few below, and let you examine the other possibilities.

Design:
When we discussed adding Territory-class enhancements to Redemption, we looked back at some of the older enhancements, thinking it might be nice to reprint some of them as territory class enhancements.  Wedding Party was discussed, and maybe a few others.  But when the set was limited to 60 cards, it didn’t seem right to do nothing to a card but add a territory class symbol to it.  Players wanted something new.  So, we decided they should all be brand new, or else heavily-changed reprints.  But what should we do about all the evil enhancements we wish could be territory class?  For now, our best answer is High Places.

Obviously the name “High Places” is a play on words with the special ability, but there is more to it than that.  In the real world, some of the worst work the enemy does is not during direct conflict with a hero.  Rather, it is in deeds done in darkness.  It is when pride creeps in to a person unaware.  It is when people practice sorcery, lust, or idolatry.  High places in the Bible were places, usually on higher ground such as a hill, where idols and altars would be built to worship false gods.  Idolatry didn’t usually involve conflict between a hero and an evil character, yet its influence was real, and really evil.  So, High Places seemed an appropriate title for this type of out-of-battle card.

It was noticed that many of the older capture enhancements contain the word “place” in the special ability.  To prevent the abuse of cards like “Dungeon of Malchiah” outside of battle, particularly in Type 2, it was decided to add the last sentence to the special ability.  So, you can still use the Dungeon of Malchiah outside of battle once per copy of High Places, but that limit will keep that tactic in check.

Testing:

While other players tested High Places in decks of various evil brigades (especially brown, since they get the newly reprinted evil character that searches the deck for High Places), I tested this card heavily in just a couple of decks.  One was a pale green magicians and demons deck.  Telling you about that deck would spoil too many fun new cards.  Instead, I’ll tell you about the other deck, my Greek/Luke deck.

My Greeks are scholars and philosophers, not fighters.  My defense is primarily sites.  High Places turns my weak Greeks into super-stealthy subversive citizens, doing a few of their deceptive deeds on my turn, when my opponent can’t do anything about it.  I play Danites Attack to steal an opponent’s access site and “place” it in my territory (once using it for access on that very same turn).  I place Reckless Endangerment on an opponent’s hero with site access ability, to lock him out of my sites.  New Greek philosophy: Blocking is overrated.

But the main point of High Places in my deck is to play Abomination of Desolation earlier, and without fear of it being negated right away.  This prepares the way for the gold heroes that make my opponent draw cards (The Generous Widow, Martha).  Zaccheus helps get High Places out of my deck faster, and can use the two gold enhancements that make my opponent draw (Repentance and Restitution, Meeting the Messiah).  On the evil side, Mayhem also makes my opponent draw, melding more mayhem to an already massively maddening card!

In short, High Places makes Abomination Greeks decks playable, and fun!

Impact:

This is a pretty big deal.  Being able to play evil enhancements on your own turn was previously possible only during side battles.  Now, though the selection is limited by the “place” requirement, you can do some decent damage on your turn, without exposing your evil characters to a battle.  It certainly isn’t enough to win most games without ever blocking, but it can provide many more options when designing a defense, and allows you to consider including evil enhancements that for years have been bottom-dwellers in your box of loose cards.  I’m excited to see what new defenses will emerge because of what High Places allows: lowdown dirty tricks.

 

To buy singles, sealed product, and other gaming supplies mentioned, please visit Three Lions Gaming!

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