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First Look – Ascension: Gift of the Elements

Hello Ascension fans! I am very excited to announce the upcoming release of our newest Ascension set, Gift of the Elements, on March 20th! And, if you’d like to receive an exclusive promo card, preorder here!

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In Gift of the Elements, an old power is reawakened on the world of New Vigil.  Mighty elementals, previously made dormant by the presence of the Old Gods, have awoken again.  Players can become empowered by these elements, but face new dangers along the way.  Today, I am going to talk about the new mechanics for the set, as well as kick off two weeks of exciting previews!

It is hard to believe that seven years have passed since the release of the very first Ascension set and we continue to build upon that success with the January release of our Year 3 Collector’s Edition product! The support of Ascension fans has been amazing and with Gift of the Elements, we’re happy to bring back two of our most requested game mechanics.

An Eventful Era

One of the great things about having a game with this much history is that we can dig through beloved mechanics and find new ways to bring them back to life.  In all the time I’ve been designing Ascension, one mechanic has been requested to return more than any other.  Now, after almost five years, it is time to bring back Events.

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First introduced in Storm of Souls, Events have an immediate impact on all players as soon as they are revealed from the center row.  Just like in Storm of Souls, Gift of the Elements includes 5 Events, one associated with each faction and one associated with Monsters.  Since any revealed Events replace the active one, you never know when a new Event can impact the game for all players.

My design goal in Gift of the Elements was to make Events even more impactful and exciting than in Storm of Souls.  As you can see from Cetra’s Trial (above), we did that by not just making more powerful effects, but also by adding another beloved mechanic: Transform.

During gameplay, events are not considered to be in the center row, so the only way to acquire them is by paying the transform cost. This action removes the event from play and allows you to acquire the god-like card made mortal:

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Cetra Celestial Body can bring games to an abrupt end, putting pressure on all of your opponents to earn honor fast or face defeat.

Each of the Events transform into a powerful incarnation. Stay tuned for more previews to see how each one can influence the game!

A New Infestation

While Transforming Events may be the most exciting hybrid mechanic we’ve ever done, Gift of the Elements also includes two *brand new* mechanics!  Both mechanics were designed with the other in mind. One provides a new way to make problems for your opponents and the other gives you a solution to those problems.

First, let’s show you one of the new troublemakers:

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For the first time in a full set of Ascension, you can “infest” to your opponent’s deck, forcing them to draw useless, annoying Monsters instead of powerful Heroes and Constructs.  This exciting mechanic is a great tactic to use if one player appears to be running away with the game, as a dead draw can slow them down and give other players a chance to catch up.  These cards can be pretty frustrating, but don’t worry!  We’ve also provided you with some tools to help:

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Temple of Heroes is a great tool for a Lifebound deck, but it also helps you get a bonus from those pesky Infest cards!  Look for a card in each faction to help turn trash into treasure.

Feel Empowered

Beyond a few cards that work well with Monsters, we’ve also introduced a brand new mechanic to help you get Monsters (and other sub-par cards) out of your deck for good.  That mechanic is Empower:

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All Empower cards allow you to banish a *played* card when you acquire them.  This is the first time we’ve ever allowed players to banish from this zone and it has big ramifications.  The most important ramification is that you can get the effect of the card before you banish it.

Unlike other forms of banishing, Empower ensures that you won’t lose any resources on your quest to building a fine-tuned deck filled with only the best cards.

Plenty of Empowered cards give players a lot of opportunity to banish and improve their deck, and we will continue to preview more Empowered cards here, via our Facebook page, and on fan favorite sites.

In addition to the new mechanics, there are many exciting individual cards, including:

  • A card with the text “You win the game” on it.
  • A card that lets you banish four cards immediately
  • A cycle of cards that grant you a bonus when they are banished from ANYWHERE!
  • A Hero that allows you to acquire ALL constructs in the center row
  • The text “Draw 4 cards” on a Hero
  • And much more!

 
I hope you are as excited as we are to play the new set!  Stay tuned for more previews and news about pre-release events.  Also, don’t forget to check out Ascension VR and the Ascension app, which both released the War of Shadows expansion (iOS and Android coming soon)!

-Justin Gary

San Diego SBE Meet Up

Hi everyone,

The design team from SBE will be hanging out tomorrow night at Game Empire to game and show off some upcoming projects. We will be there from 6pm to 9pm and look forward to meeting some of the Ascension community.

Check out Game Empire’s website, http://gameempire.com/ for more details about the event.

Hope to see many of you there!

Official Stone Blade Ascension League! Sign Up NOW!

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Hello Ascension Players,

Us at Stoneblade have recently decided we would like to get involved in an awesome thing that has been going on through our forums for a while now. What we’re referring to is the Ascension League run by one of our most dedicated members of the Ascension community. Glover Parker (though, most of you know him as gpxxxtreme). A while ago, Glover took it upon himself to start this league to give people a much needed place to play Ascension in a more organized and competitive fashion. He has even used his own money to send out prizes to people in the past. After hearing all the details, many of us at SBE decided that we would love to support this league in a more official capacity.

THE WAY IT WORKS

Each month around the 25th you will see a new forum post from gpxxtreme asking for signups for the league starting at the start of the next calendar month. Kind of like this one.

This forum post will be shared here on our main page as well as on the Ascension FaceBook page which is here. So if you don’t like the page already you should now so you don’t miss out on new tournament information.

The games are played through the Ascension app which is available on iOS, Android, and PC (through steam).

The pairings are done through a website called Challonge, you must make an account on this website (it’s free) to be entered into the tournament.

Then you respond to the Forum thread with your username for the Ascension app as well as your username for Challonge. They don’t have to be the same but it is convenient if it is.

And here’s the best part……IT”S 100% FREE!

Here is what you can win:

1st – $20 store credit to our web store.
2nd – $10 Store credit to our web store.
3rd – 8th – $5 Store credit to our web store.
$1 Store credit to our web store for just entering and finishing all the rounds

Those are the basics that are true for almost every month. However some things change from month to month such as which Ascension sets will be used in each tournament (sometimes it is even a different mixture of sets each round!).

This month it is a rotating format which uses all of the sets (No promo packs needed) so make sure you have all the sets unlocked. Even the newest one to the app, Dreamscape.

f you want to sign up for October’s league you can do so HERE.

Have Fun!

-The team at SBE

P.S. We just want to reiterate how amazed and lucky we feel to have such an incredible member of this community in Glover. It is people like him who turn games like Ascension into something special for everyone. Thanks, Glover!

 

Ascension VR

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Bringing the tabletop world into the digital sphere by connecting players from all over the world into one virtual space, Ascension VR uses 3D fully animated avatars and showcases social elements including spatialized voice chat, avatar lip sync and avatar animation triggered by real time player movement.  Players can battle for supremacy regardless of what platform they’re on, whether mobile or PC and from a variety of VR headsets, including Gear, Vive, and Rift.  

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Available for $9.99 via Steam and the Oculus Store August 1, 2016.  

Sign up for the Beta here!