Today we have a special article from Reth, a Redemption player in Germany!

Maybe you sometimes wonder why and how your opponent always has an answer to your action. The key and answer to this question simply is: Access.

Getting to your cards when you need them is essential in the current meta and game-play. To achieve this goal, the present card pool provides a growing variety of options! Basically, these access options can be separated into Selective and Random variants. This first article will look at Selective access.

Selective access allows you to directly and immediately get your hands on specific individual cards, whereas Random Access allows you to get to your cards more quickly/earlier than normal, yet is more indirect as to the timing when you get them. Both variants have in common that you can use cards with special abilities which act on their own when played like Imitating Evil or which trigger on opponent’s activities like the famous “Dull” Lost Soul. Also, within variants giving you selective access to your cards, there are some obvious ones which act immediately, but also some perhaps not so obvious ones which provide delayed effects. Let’s begin with the ones acting immediately.

Search/Take abilities are obviously the most effective to directly get the required cards when you need them. With such kind of abilities, immediate selective access is granted to your cards. Common examples are The Amalekites’ Slave, Nebuchadnezzar, Search, Isaiah’s Call, and I am Creator. Also there are Wordly Wisdom, Seventh Seal, Testing of Job, Gleaning the Fields, Faith, Idol Worship, and Eternal Covenant. To be noted is that Add can also be used to provide such an effect, although only Covenant of Prayer is the only example that comes to my mind here.

Exchange requires you to give something away on the one hand, but lets you choose something currently needful on the other hand. Exchange can also be used to cascade special abilities like with The Watchman, and sometimes exchange can even be used to band another character into battle e.g. with Sing with Stringed Instruments. The ordinary exchange lets you just grab another card for the one currently used. Common examples are Philistine Armor Bearer, Great Faith, The Tabernacle, or Marketplace.

Resurrect is more or less a special case of Search/Take but it always refers to your discard pile. Some of its examples are Resurrection of Martyrs and Everlasting Beings.

Copy can also be seen as a direct kind of access to some cards, although its range and scope is often quite limited. Book of Jashar or Eye for an Eye can be named here. But copy can also provide you access to special abilities of cards which might have been deactivated (e.g. by negates played against them) – Innumerable is such an example. There are only very few cards currently available which provide copy special abilities.

The following methods of selective/direct access only provide deferred access to your cards, since they will just put them into your deck (or hand sometimes) – either generally or at certain deck locations:

Topdeck/Underdeck (re)places cards to the top/bottom of your deck. This can either be cards from your Reserve when, for example, using Out of Bethlehem or Betrayal. Or, it can target cards from your discard pile e.g. by playing Authority of Peter, The Coming Prince, Gathering Angel, or “Exiles” Lost Soul. Topdeck/underdeck works by just adding a random access ability afterwards like draw/reveal/look etc.

Return is also used to bring back certain cards into your deck or to your hand which have been already played and would go to discard then (e.g. enhancements) or which are already in discard pile. One famous representative is the old version of Chariot of Fire, but there are more like Covenant with Adam, I am Redemption, Overcome!, as well as Dust and Ashes. Since Return brings back cards to your hand at the earliest after the current battle or just brings them back into your deck, it can also be considered as a deferred effect. But there are also some rare scenarios where return brings back characters to your territory. If this can be used before you attack or block, this can even be considered as direct access.

Look out for the second part of this article, in which we’ll discuss random/indirect access variants and some general aspects regarding the access topic.

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