Hello, so after seeing a recent article posted about deck staples, I thought it would be nice to have a resource out there that covers the rest of the basic themes in Redemption to help beginner players know what themes are out there and what cards work well with other cards. As most things of this nature go, this is only my opinion and is not meant to be a definitive list of what works and what doesn’t, but just a jumping off point for newer players or for people who have never used a theme before and want to know where to start. This is all pre-Prophecies of Christ and will be updated once that meta has been established. Enjoy!
Judges are usually best mixed with other things, such as using Samuel in a Throne deck, added to a Ruth offense, or adding in some Tabernacle Priests. However, with the new Shamgar that came out in Fall of Man, you have more of a reason to run them on their own. Judges have some of the best “fight by the numbers” (FBTN) characters in the game with Moses, Joshua son of Nun banded to Captain of the Host, and Shamgar (just make sure you can make his Unity work), as well as having great initiative characters in Othniel son of Kenaz, Jair, and Gideon.
A lot of what makes judges great is Angel under the Oak, with his cannot be negated draw 2, exchanging with a judge basically anywhere, and cannot be negated protection of Gideon. Angel with the Secret Name gives you another exchange and cannot be negated on your Judges’ cards. Rounding out Judges, we have Jephthah with Jephthah’s Daughter and Ehud for some choose the blocker shenanigans.
As for enhancements, the only super notable one is Samuel’s Edict, one of the best negate and kill cards in the game. Other top enhancements include Ehud’s Dagger, Deborah’s Directive, Eli’s Sound Advice (when used with tabernacle priests), Daughters Grief, and Faith of Gideon. The only real support card for Judges is Judge’s Seat, which is great for picking off your opponent’s defense, especially in slower Judges builds. You could try using Coliseum to help your FBTN heroes, but you will be losing out on using a few of your best enhancements. Judges pairs well with a Canaanite defense, as that defense tends to give your opponent Evil Characters that you can use your choose the blocker abilities on, but other than that it can work with most anything.
The other theme for Gold is New Testament (NT) Gold, which has had a hard time of it over the years. In many sets they would get a few cards that would kind of help them, but never enough to make them a top tier deck. The whole idea of NT Gold is to force your opponent to go through their entire deck by forcing them to draw cards and/or discarding their deck, and them walking through with Watchful Servant at the end. Most NT Gold cards force your opponents to draw cards. This is a risky strategy, as you are helping your opponent in the short term by letting them draw. Using Gifts of the Magi can help mitigate this however, along with Burial Shroud to give you 2 turns to set up and let them draw down their deck. NT Gold is also known for their powerful convert abilities, such as Meeting the Messiah and Repentance and Restitution. Most of these decks will pair with either a Greek defense, as they also force your opponent to draw and benefit from it, or an Egyptian deck discard defense, to discard down their deck. Either way, the defense will need to be large to survive running down your opponent’s deck, and if Watchful Servant dies, it can be very had to win. The correct build could possibly be viable, but not close to top tier and only effective because no one would see it coming.
Banding is the name of the game for red brigade. No other brigade can band like red. Between Asahel, Abishai, Heldai, Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, Caleb, and Joab, you can easily get 20+/20+ numbers into every battle. At the end of the chain you can add on Benaiah or Adino holding a spear, or with a little work any of the Warriors set fight by the numbers heroes. There is also a good assortment of weapons for your heroes to hold, such as Foreign Sword, Warrior’s Spear, and Joshua’s Spear.
You could build a Tabernacle deck with Phinehas son of Eleazar, Ahimaaz, and Trumpet and Sword, but that’s about all the support red can lend to a Tabernacle deck. Red also famously pairs extremely well with purple in a Throne deck. David the Shepherd can pull out The Throne of David and your Red heroes, and King Jehu lets you exchange them into battle while taking out your opponent’s Royalty. But of course the heart of this kind of deck revolves around Ahimelek the Hittite and banding him as a cannot be negated battle winner using the many banding enhancements between Red and Purple. Other notable cards for red would include Jael for her choose the blocker ability, The Mighty Warrior for toss and drawing, A Soldier’s Prayer for searching out enhancements and recursion, and Bravery of David, Counsel of Abigail, and Gibeonite Treaty for interrupt battle winners. You can put Red with just about any defense, but there is some synergy with Philistines and Canaanites, as both Gibeonite Treaty and Foreign Sword are also black.
Blue is all about Genesis (and Job). There are 4 basic cores to Blue brigade. The first one we will talk about is Flood Survivors. It centers around using Noah to get out all of your Flood Survivors and blitz your opponents with banding and negates, and maybe even a few kill cards if you can ever get initiative. If your opponent finds a way to stop you, you play A New Beginning to start it all over again. This deck relies heavily on getting out early and fast and can be very powerful when played correctly. It pairs well with Animals and Antediluvians, as they share many enhancements.
The next core is the Abraham core. This uses Abraham and Angel at Shur to search out your heroes, Lot for drawing, and Faith of Abraham for initiative. Like Flood Survivors, it can be very powerful and fast, but relies heavily on Abraham.
The next core is the Jacob and Sons core. This uses Rachael to get out Joseph and Benjamin to play cannot be negated kill cards, as well as having her band to Jacob (FooF) to play pre-battle enhancements and band to Captain of the Host. This is a much more Enhancement-reliant offense than the other cores, but it packs a lot more direct power because of it. I mean, you have 1/1 and 2/2 heroes that can play cannot be negated enhancements, what’s not to love? 🙂 Both the Abraham and Jacob and Sons cores work with most defenses, but share many enhancements with Egyptians, can easily run a hand-control strategy to pair with Romans, or just can easily be mixed and matched to make the deck you want.
The final core is Job, the only non-Genesis core in Blue. Job is super powerful and nearly impossible to kill with Dust and Ashes up. The whole idea is to outlast your opponent. Job’s Faith and Unthwarted are your main enhancements, and Job’s ability lets you get them back over and over. You can also run Coliseum and toss Job’s Faith and Leviathan to great effect. This is always run with a brown Job defense. This is about the slowest deck out there, but almost always catches your opponent off guard. Notable other cards that can work across most of these decks include: Abraham’s Servant to Ur, I Am Holy, Answer to Prayer, Numerous as the Stars, Reuben’s Torn Clothes, Seven Years of Plenty, Seven Years of Famine, Stone Pillar at Bethel, Abraham’s Descendant, Peace, Faith Among Corruption, Obedience of Noah, Forgiveness of Joseph, Joseph Before Pharaoh, and Deceit and Vengeance.
Green brigade is about the prophets. Pre-Prophecies of Christ, it’s very rare to see a Green offense; rather, you will see part-Green heroes in other decks. There are only 2 Green-centric decks out there today. The first is an Isaiah deck, using the 4 Isaiah angels, King Hezekiah, and Mighty Warrior on the offense, along with an Assyrian defense. Using Wheel within a Wheel and Isaiah’s Call to get out your main Heroes then abusing Live Coal, Siegeworks, and Razor with Isaiah’s drawing and recursion. This can work in T1 but works better in T2 where you can have out more Angels.
The other Green offense is an Ezekiel deck using Ezekiel, Drawn Sword, Forest Fire, Iron Pan, and a Babylonian defense. These cards are very powerful, but due to lack of support, they are only really used in Type Half. Although you won’t see Green as the main part of most offenses, you will still see it all over the place. Common Green cards you will see will be Joseph (CoW) and Jacob (Israel) in Genesis, Samuel, David the Psalmist and Moses in Judges and Throne builds, Daniel in a Daniel deck, and Paul in Clay. If you can find a place to fit them in, Simeon, Joel, and Hosea are some other very good pure Green heroes. You can also see Gifts of the Magi used well with Green brigade, as Hur, Feast of Trumpets, and Phillip’s Daughters all force your opponents to draw many cards, allowing you to do so as well. Green also has Search, Two Bears, Word of their Testimony, Blood of the Lamb, Provisions, Spiritual Warfare, A New Beginning, and Faith of Samuel for powerful enhancements, and Obadiah’s Cave and Hidden Treasures for protection and deck discard/playing before battle. With the Minor Prophets theme and buffs to Isaiah and Moses in Prophecies of Christ, I would expect to see a lot more mono-green out there soon.