Tweaking Ascension: Part 1 (Lifebound)

There’s been some discussion recently about making custom Ascension center row decks.

Why?  Partially because it’s fun, and kind of like building CCG decks, picking your favorite cards.  But also because smaller decks are more reliable, and while getting to play with all sets shuffled together is fun, it’s pretty random.  It also allows you to put a personal touch on the game- different people can play with different custom decks.

So, I’m starting with Lifebound, which is a personal favorite of mine.

Lifebound: 45 Cards

Commons (3 of each)

Initiate of Aiyana

Wolf Shaman

Lunar Stag


Wolf Shaman and Lunar Stag are just plain good cards.  Starchild surprised me to see in the common slot, but there are three copies in Storm of Souls, and a cantripping Initiate is good.  It was a tough choice choosing between Initiate of Aiyana and Lifebound Initiate for the 1-cost slot, because they are both strong cards, but I think Initiate of Aiyana is a bit more interesting.

Uncommon (2 of each)


Snake Shaman

Honey Siren

Dandelion Witch


Yggsdrasil Staff


Stone Circle

Granger replaces Runic Lycanthrope.  Snapdragon and Yggsdrasil Staff are both solid constructs.  Lionheart and Dandelion Witch beat out Flytrap Witch by right of being more interesting.  Stone Circle stays in for the interesting fate effect, and the fact that it’s more interesting than Druids of the Stone Circle.

Rares (1 each)

Avatar of Aiyana

Nairi, Henge Queen

Ogo Rising


Syril, Runic Alpha

Most of these are obvious good Lifebound cards.  Nairi gets in because Tim likes to play her.

What didn’t make it in?  Here’s the list of rejected lifebound cards, and some notes on why they didn’t make the cut.

Lifebound Initiate: Strong, but a little boring.

Great Omen Raven: Too swingy.  Often a must buy, this card can result in a lot of gained points early on, for lucky guessers, for card counters, or for Stone Circle strategies (which is probably the most interesting use of it.)

Leprechaun:  Another swingy card.  It can be fun, but if someone gets it early (or worse, two early), they can score a lot of points.

Everbloom: Because it’s just boring.

Runic Lycanthrope: One of my favorites, but often weak, and it shows its age in comparison to the new, better worded Unite ability.  It loses its slot to the similar Granger, which is not always a strictly-better Mystic.

Druids of the Stone Circle:  Stone Circle and Honey Siren are more interesting for being able to put any card on top.

Landcaller: A good card, but Syril is more interesting.

Serpentcall: A really good card, too good in fact.

Cetra Weaver of Stars: A card I’d like to keep in, but so far I think there’s only room for 5 uniques in each suit.  (I’d rather have Cetra than Nairi, but Tim seems to really like Nairi, so she stays for now.)



6 thoughts on “Tweaking Ascension: Part 1 (Lifebound)

  1. Abram says:

    Are these rarity runs based off of the latest expansion?

    I’m surprised events take up a rare slot. Are you going to include all the events that aren’t in a ‘suit’?

  2. Willow says:

    That’s a good point. They were one per deck, so I had them in the rare column. I’ll have to look at the card percentages in Storm of Souls.

  3. Shari Corey says:

    An interesting choice. I look forward to trying the mix. As for the event deck, as I recall there is one event per suit and the rise of the cult. I think I would include them all, and get a different rare for each suit.

  4. Willow says:

    I’m going to track events seperately, so Cetra is back in.
    However, when doing Mechana, I found that 45 cards is way too much. So I cut it down to 40 per suit. Which means Initiate of Aiyana (usually way too good) and Stone Circle (redundant with Honey Siren) are out.

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