Welcome back everyone! Hopefully we’ve all made it past the hiatus from Redemption that typically happens after Nats. 2018 has begun and with it many of us are trying to start the New Year with various resolutions or other New Beginnings. With that in mind (if you didn’t guess already) I thought I could discuss an (in)famous archetype for Type 2– A New Beginning Reset.
This archetype is really based around one very powerful, often errataed card — A New Beginning.
A New Beginning is straightforward as to what it does as the name is self-explanatory. In short, it causes A New Beginning to the game. Now, since the card has been Errataed so many times I’ll just post the current Errata per the ORCID.
Errata: If making a rescue attempt, banish this card to shuffle all cards in play, hands and set-aside areas. If no Heroes are in battle, end the battle, each player must draw 8, and end your turn. If you do, you may begin a new turn.
Now, this card can often be a double-edged sword for players and so it does require caution and good timing to make the best use of the effect. This has primarily been used in Type 2 Multi since its all-encompassing effect really shines in multiplayer. It resets the board state and gives you a good chance to have a solid rescue attempt since opponents are likely to draw some lost souls and have less defensive options than what they had before A New Beginning. Granted, this card is a bit luck based, but it is a great way to change the game state in multiplayer when things aren’t quite going your way. In 2 player formats it has less upside as there are fewer players affected, but still can be strong if you build around it.
Well, how do you build around it?
A New Beginning is more or less built around play first abilities and/or initiative to play it. Since A New Beginning is Green, Prophets are a common way to play it. Hidden Treasures has a play first ability that allows for more consistency in playing A New Beginning. Because of how A New Beginning seems to reset the game, the following rescue attempt will often be like the first few turns of a game with little defense or shenanigans present. Because of this, rescues can often be made here that normally would struggle a bit more. Therefore, in deck building you must take this into account and decide if A New Beginning will be the primary focus of the deck or if it will be a supplement to another theme. It is difficult to have 2 primary focuses in a deck, so you end up having to find a few specialties or themes that you like that play well with A New Beginning. That sounds more complicated than it really is since Green is a very splashable color for many themes. Because of this there are quite a few approaches to deck building. A common theme among all of them is trying to find a way to use A New Beginning consistently. This is accomplished by effects that let you dig through your deck faster via drawing and searching. With that out of the way, let’s get into themes that have been, or in theory could be, good with A New Beginning as a central part of a Type 2 deck strategy.
Clay – Clay is a very strong brigade right now, no question about it. There are plenty of speedy and strong options in general. There are quite a few Clay/Green Prophets with Agabus, Paul, Philip’s Daughters, and Barnabas being the most notable. Themes that are very searchable are likely to be the best due to wanting consistency with strong rescues and speed options. Martyrs, Philippi, and Colossae heroes are very viable strong options to pair as well. Enhancement wise, Nunc Dimittis can be quite strong with enough heroes that can utilize it, but it really comes down to preferred options for rescues with the theme you are using when not playing A New Beginning. Two Bears is a card that is usable by just about all of the themes due to the normal presence of prophets regardless of what color you wish to pair with green. FBTN is strong on empty boards, so Clement could fill a very useful role if building around Philippi heroes.
White – Martyrs is a theme that appears in both Clay and White and has options that pair well with A New Beginning. John the Revelator and The Two Witnesses are such options. The speed and consistency of Martyrs is also great with A New Beginning since it should be easier for you to get out strong rescue options after A New Beginning. The Woman with Child is an amazing hero and offers another NT Prophet for Nunc Dimittis if you choose to run it. Daniel heroes are interesting as Daniel is quite good and The Watchman can search him out. It can offer some strong rescues for sure, but you need to be careful since this pairing seems very dependent on The Watchman and Daniel to use A New Beginning. David The Psalmist is also a great on color hero that can offer this color pairing some strong options. Enhancements largely depend on the theme you are playing. Martyrs have Clay and White options while Daniel heroes are more limited to White. Since Daniel negates NT enhancements you have to be cautious when picking enhancements. Words of Encouragement and Word of Their Testimony are very strong. Another interesting option is playing Transfiguration heavily in the deck and relying on Moses FBTN options.
Teal – Teal is a bit weird here. It isn’t really known for speed, but the biggest boon of playing Teal is Ezekiel, which makes The Watchman even better, and provides some speed and consistency to the deck by allowing for some strong DAEs to be played in Drawn Sword and Forest Fire. Zechariah, Jeremiah, and Aaron are also notable Teal/green Prophets and 2 of them are also searchable by The Watchman. Playing High Priests makes Urim and Thummim seem like a natural addition, but due to A New Beginning shuffling it away, it might not be mandatory. There are other Green Ezekiel enhancements like Repentance and Wheel Within a Wheel that are good and even better with Ezekiel being a main hero in this archetype. Because of Aaron, Moses becomes a good option as well, and the DAEs work on him so that’s cool. In my mind, one of the best reasons to play Teal is because of Priests of Christ and its interaction with A New Beginning. Assuming you get one, or a way to get one immediately after A New Beginning resolves, then your opponent will have to likely choose between giving you a free soul or letting you search for a Dominant, since they will have to block from hand. Teal might not be super fast, but it is very strong and with this color pairing has decent speed options. Also, playing Teal makes Every Tribe even better, so speed might not be as much of an issue as it may initially appear. Enhancement and hero balance between the two colors will be up to personal preference, but Ezekiel will likely be at the forefront of this version.
Genesis – This is the version I think I have seen played the most. Genesis has probably the best Prophet for making sure A New Beginning gets played in Joseph. The low initiative, CBN options, and being easily searchable via cards like Rachel, Faith of Sarah, and Noah, make it consistent. Also, Noah himself has Green so he can play A New Beginning. There are some other Green/Genesis Prophets like Jacob (CoW) and Enoch, but Noah and Joseph will likely be the primary heroes you use for A New Beginning. Faith of Isaac offers a great way to dig for A New Beginning or other rescue options in general. Genesis Hero Strategies like CBN Enhancements via Joseph or Benjamin, Choose the Blocker, Flood Survivor Band, Abraham Banding, and Jacob to Captain of the Host banding are commonplace. Pick your favorite and make sure to include ways to dig through your deck to provide a more consistent experience for yourself.
Judges – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this pairing to be honest, but in theory it should be quite doable. The problem resides in that the only Green/Gold Judges aren’t innately great for A New Beginning. Moses negates it (although a 4/5 enhancement is still fair) and Samuel stops play abilities like Hidden Treasures. That doesn’t mean that A New Beginning is bad in the deck though. Honestly, judges have some of the best ways to create strong rescues following A New Beginning and have great speed options. AUTO and Angel with the Secret Name are obvious for speed and consistency. Samuel himself offers some speed and the great thing is David the Psalmist can play A New Beginning and is searched out by Samuel. So it’s not like you will just lack heroes that can play A New Beginning, you just have to build a little differently. This pairing will mostly play out like a judges or BoM deck with A New Beginning just being another good option you can use that many won’t expect. You might consider running a few more Green prophets like Aaron to allow a few more options for playing A New Beginning. Judges have many strong options and ways to play, but for this pairing you will want emphasis on speed and utilizing Samuel.
Prophets – There are plenty of Prophets to choose from, so you really don’t have to focus on other ideas if you don’t want to. The Watchman offers a lot more consistency and speed to this archetype if you play Ezekiel, which is a pretty good option even if he negates play abilities. Most of the heroes discussed already can be used in some capacity in a Prophets deck because they are Prophets. Hidden Treasures becomes very consistent at providing a play first option for A New Beginning. N.T. Prophets is something that hasn’t been fully mentioned yet, but has some strong rescues and Nunc Dimittis. The problem is, there aren’t as many speed options as with other themes, so you will have to build around the ones it does have, namely, Paul. Isaiah is a great Prophet theme here as well and has good speed and consistency with recursion that can be very valuable with A New Beginning. Overall, Prophets is solid and has options for speed but requires you to build around those speed options more than others.
Hur Shenanigans – I wouldn’t really say that this is a full offense, but more of a concept that fits well into A New Beginning decks and is very powerful. The hero Hur is very strong at generating souls and messing with opponents’ hands, but is a veritable powerhouse when built around. A good example is playing Gifts of the Magi with Hur. A rescue attempt with Hur and Gifts up gives you a draw 7. That’s speed for ya! And it can help you get to A New Beginning, which Hur can play. Since he’s a 4/4, initiative is pretty good. He’s not a Prophet though, so you can’t use Hidden Treasures, but that’s okay. The really crippling part of Hur is when he is paired with a defense that plays Hypocrisy. Since Hypocrisy is TC you can return a player’s heroes to their hand, go for a rescue with Hur against them, and now their offense is mostly shuffled away into their deck. This can drastically change the game state and is hard to play around for most decks.
Final thoughts from Joe
A New Beginning has been a Type 2 Archetype for a very long time and continues to be a veritable threat in any game. While mostly seen in multiplayer, it can be played in 2 Player with success as well. The adaptability and ability to change the game state is one of the main draws to play the deck. However, it can easily lead to timeouts. It takes skill to play A New Beginning effectively as timing can change the outcomes of games and finishing a game requires that players not overthink about what to do. I’m not saying it is hard to play necessarily, but rather I’m saying you must plan more than other decks and understand how your deck works with however you’ve built it. Wasted time really hurts this deck’s chances of winning, and any deck playing against it. There are many great options for playing A New Beginning, but you must also be able to convert playing it to rescued souls. If you play and build with that in mind, A New Beginning will be a great deck to play, full of more shenanigans than a Vikings/Saints playoff game, and it will offer a very interesting play experience that no other deck can provide.
Thoughts from Justin
There may be some people who would be surprised to learn that I’ve never actually used the ANB reset deck in a tournament. For many years, my philosophy has been that the more I get set up, the better position I will be in. I believe I have an edge over most players because of my experience in T2, and therefore cards like ANB, which have such an element of randomness (the redraw), can negate that edge since I cannot control the random factor. However, I am intrigued by the thought of incorporating ANB into some T2 decks (when I have Green Heroes of course) by using the Reserve. While I usually will not want to reset the game, there may be times when I fall behind in terms of set up and I need a fresh start to try and catch up with my opponent. By having the ANBs in the Reserve, I can pull them out if and when needed, and not have them taking up space in the main deck.