The Dreamscape portal has broken open again and delirium is taking over the world of New Vigil. As threats rise, new heroes have embraced the Dreamscape energy, using it to their advantage in an attempt to bring peace back to the world.
As one of the heroes looking to free New Vigil from the Dreamscape madness, you’ll recruit Dreamborn heroes to defeat these powerful monsters. Will you be hailed as New Vigil’s savior?
Ascension: Deliverance is a standalone expansion to the popular deck-building game series, Ascension. It’s the conclusion to the Dreamscape trilogy, which introduced Insight and other mechanisms to the base game.
Like other deck-builders, each player begins with a set of starting cards and plays five per turn. Cards with runes are used to recruit heroes from the center row while cards with power are used to defeat monsters in the center row. As heroes are added to your starting deck, you’ll have increased powers and additional abilities, allowing you to recruit better heroes and crush more powerful monsters. Be the first to collect the set number of Honor tokens and you’ll trigger the game end. Players add up their tokens and the Honor listed on the cards in their decks and the most Honor wins.
As you battle to save New Vigil you’ll have to manage the Dreamscape portal. What powers will it unleash and will you be able to harness those powers to help you in your quest? The Dreamborn cards are back from the previous expansions in this trilogy (Dreamscape and Delirium) as well as the Insight tokens which you’ll use as a second currency to gain runes and power.
While the game-changing Events from Dreamscape aren’t here, neither are the clunky Fate auctions of Delirium. Players in Deliverance can use the Phantasm ability (via spending Insight tokens) to “fast-play” certain cards in the center row without adding them to their decks. Some monsters may now be added to players’ decks by paying a Dreambind cost (Insight tokens) after defeating them. There are also Transform cards available that allow players to pay Insight to change cards into much more powerful versions of themselves. Finally, the Great Pasytheak, the protector of the Dreamscape, can be recruited by the first player to earn 16 Insight.
With the all-powerful Pasythea card there’s a race element to Deliverance that contributes to its quick feel. The player who adds Pasythea to their deck gets to draw a card, gain two runes, two power, and two honor tokens every time they play Pasythea. It’s a big advantage, but there are ways to mitigate its power, such as using the Transform ability of certain cards to power up your deck. For example, players can pay Insight to transform the Psyonic Apprentice into the Psyonic Paladin and gain the ability to defeat any monster without paying the power cost.
Ascension: Deliverance is a fine end to the Dreamscape trilogy. With its ever-changing center row of heroes and monsters, the same straight-forward game play of Ascension remains intact, but the game remains fresh and maintains its quick pace. Fans of the Ascension series will find plenty to like here, while newcomers can easily dive into deck-building in the world of New Vigil.
What are your favorite deck-building games? Tell us in the comments!
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Image Credits: Ruel Gaviola
Ruel Gaviola loves board games, books, food, travel, Star Wars, and date nights with his wife. He writes about games for iSlaytheDragon, podcasts about games for The Five By, and his name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog here.