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!


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.


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:


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:


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:


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:


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


  1. whovian223 on said:

    So if you are combining this set with the base set and you manage to defeat Samael, your opponent may decide not to infest your deck with the monsters in this set, right? Since he actually makes monsters in your deck useful?

    • Justin Gary on said:

      Infest is optional. You can also put infest monsters into your own deck if you want. There are a few cards in the set that give you a bonus for playing monster similar to Samael.

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