Age of Ascension Set Review: Dis

Age of Ascension Set Review: Dis

Age of Ascension Set Review: Dis

Welcome back my 2nd installment on Age of Ascension’s brand new cards. Today we are going over house Dis. With some pretty unique effects on some of the new cards, this looks like it’ll be a fun one. Quite a few people’s initial reactions to Dis was that it seemed a bit weaker in this set. Dis in Age of Ascension reminds me a little bit of how Mars was in CotA. Not because the cards themselves are under-powered, but rather because your Dis cards will need to find strong synergy among themselves or with one of your other houses to make it truly powerful.

Aember Imp

2 Power, Elusive, and after a creature reaps, stun it. There seems to be several different cards across the houses in this set that affect reaping in some way. Stun is a very powerful effect when creatures matter, so your opponent won’t want this guy hanging around for very long, especially if their deck relies on reap effects. The beauty of these type of cards is that they look symmetrical on the surface. But in reality, you get to play them after you have used every reap effect you want to use on your turn, hence the first player that will feel the hurt is your opponent. And, if your opponent lets Aember Imp live, you always have the choice to call Dis, fight with it, then freely reapout with zero reprucussions. Sealed 2 Archon 2.5

Banish

This card, in most cases, is worse than just returning a creature to your opponents hand. Instead of clogging up a spot in their hand for turns as they call different houses, the creature freely sits in their archive as they wait to find the perfect opportunity to unleash the beast again. That being said, Banish is still a good card. It nets you an Aember, and can temporarily take your opponent’s biggest threat off the board. It can also be used to force your Mars opponent to make a difficult decision. Do they return their best creature from their archives after their Collector Worm archived 3 of your creatures, or do they just let all 4 creatures sit in their archives? Sealed 3 Archon 3

Binding Irons

This card on the surface looks so bland and innocent, but I assure you it is not. If you have never played chainbound events with decks that have chains vs. decks that are unchained this card’s effect on the game might surprise you when an opponent plays it. Only drawing up to 5 cards for 3 turns can be brutal, especially in the Archon format. You now have less options, less opportunities to play 3-4 of the same house on a turn, and can’t dig as far into your deck if you are searching for an answer. I’m very happy they didn’t give this card a raw Aember, because it could’ve become the best card in the set if it did. Hell, as it stands right now it’s most likely in the top 10. Sealed 4 Archon 4.5

Cull the Weak

Soooo good. Especially against other AoA decks because the smaller power creatures in this set have some of the biggest effects in the game. This is an excellent play if you are going second because it takes out any creature your opponent might have played going first, essentially negating their first turn. The Aember is just icing on a cake that already had the cherry placed on top… Mmmmm iced cherries.. is that a thing!? Sealed 4.5 Archon 4

Exhume

Wow! I still haven’t seen the whole set (I’m seeing more of it every day!) and I just have to assume that this card is top 5 in the set, might even be safe to say top 3! Remember the best creature you played this game, or how about the best creature for this exact situation you are in right now? Let’s play that card, get whatever effects come with said creature, and also get an Aember.. If that doesn’t sell you on this card, nothing will. Sealed 4 Archon 5

Gub

I see a lot of people play Gub surrounded by weaklings, one spot away from the flank (sometimes unavoidable because you don’t have many Dis creatures in hand that turn). I’ve also killed many Gubs with a simple throwing stars or pound thanks to this fact. It’s sad watching your opponent kill a creature with some measly effect, and now you have the lowest power taunt the game has to offer. Gub is one of those cards that looks much better than how it actually plays and am scoring it accordingly. Sealed 1.5 Archon 1

Misery Exploit

So far, in my own personal experiences with AoA, its very rare for creatures to sit around with damage. They seem to either be full and well, or they are just dead (makes me wonder if the average power of AoA creatures went down this set). That being said, there are plenty of cards you can combine with this one to make huge Aember turns. A few cards that come to mind are Whistling Darts, Plague Rats, They’re Everywhere!, and The Common Cold. Be sure to look for combos in your deck when you get this card as they are plentiful. Sealed 1.5 Archon 2

Not Finished With You

This card gives me mixed feelings. I love playing creatures, so don’t get me wrong, but clogging your deck up again with creatures isn’t always a good thing and I’ve seen players just pull every creature out of their discard and happily shuffle the deck up. I think you should be selective with which ones you bring back, focusing only on creatures with play effects and/or the hardest creatures for your opponent to kill, if you play it like this, you should do fine. Sealed 2.5 Archon 2.5

Streke

Yes, giving Succubus elusive is awesome. Giving succubus a condition to turn on her effect? Kinda sucks. Also having 1 less power makes cards like Poison Wave and Sucker Punch really good against it, whereas Succubus could survive those effects. It feels bad in card games to see an “updated” version of a card get worse. Pretty sure most people will prefer the old version more, but we work with what we got in this game. Sealed 2 Archon 1

Tezmal

Restringuntus’s brother. Tezmal is a card that needs to be answered immediately, especially if you see it in multiples. This card can lock you out of the game, and if you are given the choice to destroy this creature or any other, I highly recommend this one be your choice. Sealed 2.5 Archon 2 (if your opponent is nice and never touches your board, this guy jumps to a 5 until they figure it out)

Unlocked Gateway

Ah, our new take on Gateway to Dis. You get to destroy all creatures, but instead of gaining 3 chains it has Omega which ends the step you are on. 99%+ of the steps this card will end is the Play, Discard, and Use Cards of the Chosen House step, and we will assess this card under the assumption that that is how it is being played. Sometimes resetting a board is completely necessary, but not being able to be the first player to play onto the empty board is a huge downside. I personally feel like Gateway to Dis was perfectly balanced as it was and really would have liked to see it come back as one of the reprints in this set instead of Unlocked Gateway. Sealed 3 Archon 1.5

Yurk

This is one of the most underrated cards in the set. But does that mean this card is absolutely bonkers? Nope. Anytime I run into a local player and this card comes up they loathe it’s existence. Yurk cycles really well. Sure, we all want to play every card in our deck because we love them. But it’s time to face the truth, you don’t love all your children the same. Some of your children are Mindworms while others are Collector Worms. One of those cards I want to play as often as possible and the other could simply not be in the deck and I wouldn’t care. Use Yurk to discard the Mindworms in your deck. Sealed 3 Archon 2.5

Angwish

6 power and an awesome ability that just screams Dis! Don’t try and over play him and every game simply ramp him up to 5 damage. Too many cards your opponent can play will finish him off. I prefer to just let Angwish take 1-2 damage and then happily reap with him the rest of the game . If you can’t get ahead of your opponent when most of their keys cost 1-2 more, then maybe rethink the deck or how you are playing it. Even though I believe this is the better way to play him, obviously certain situations will arise where you need this guy to take some damage to keep your opponent from forging their 3rd key, so use him accordingly. Sealed 3.5 Archon 3

Bloodshard Imp

In the same category as the first card of this review, Aember Imp, Bloodshard Imp is another way AoA tries to screw with everyone’s favorite use for creatures. The sacrifice part is a huge upgrade, but comes at the expense of losing the elusive ability making him much easier to kill. Look to place him next to a Taunt whenever possible so your opponent can’t just take him out with any old creature. Even after factoring how much better the sacrifice effect is, I think elusive is too important for a 2 power creature and in most cases I would prefer to see Aember Imp in it’s place. Sealed 2 Archon 2

Bronze Key Imp

Wow, what an interesting cycle of cards these Key Imps are! I will argue that this is the weakest of the 3. There will be plenty of games where you will draw Bronze after your opponent has already forged their first key turning him into just a 2 power elusive. This guy does make me wish Key Hammer would have been reprinted in the weirdest way possible. I do like that if you get him early and you are already behind in Aember, this could be a fantastic way to try and catch up. Wait for your opponent to kill him on their turn after Aember pools have been piled high, meaning you will be the first player to forge a key, and possibly lead you to victory if your opponent doesn’t have a key cheat. Sealed 2.5 Archon 1.5

Gold Key Imp

It’s a shame I have to talk about the imp that prevents the 3rd key before we talk about the one that prevents the 2nd. You will not play this card in some situations when you are already ahead in the game. Having to call Dis to kill your own creature should you play him early and outracing your opponent’s Aember might remind some players of how The Sting operates. I think that makes Gold Key Imp a weaker card because it might just be discard fodder in more powerful decks. With Bronze you don’t care if he gets played late game because he’s at least another elusive reaper, helping you to win the game. But, if you are the slower deck, Gold Key Imp could actually be your most powerful ally. Realizing whether you are the faster or slower deck in each matchup can sometimes be a challenge, especially in sealed, but figuring that out and playing Gold Key Imp accordingly can make all the difference. Sealed 2.5-3.5 Archon .5-3.5 (These types of cards can vary wildly in every matchup)

Old Yurk

Like Yurk, except bigger. Discarding 2 cards will really erk the players that already hated discarding the 1 card plain ‘ol Yurk made them get rid of before. Heck, sometimes I feel like 2 cards might be too much to give up, but you put this guy in a combo deck and I’ll always be pleased. There are some decks who’s only desire is to put together a string of cards and create a situation that is sometimes too hard for it’s opponents to deal with (BRIG, Drummer/Chief, and MGKA come to mind) and seeing those situations come up more often can be the difference between an easy win and a super tight game that you just barely lost. Should you build up a big Dis turn and have 5 Dis cards in your hand, you can play him last and only have to discard your last remaining card, which isn’t too bad at all. I personally think this card overall is very powerful in the right hands/decks. Sealed 3.5 Archon 4

Pain Reaction

Most will recognize that Pain Reaction is a good card. I’m here to tell you it’s better than you think it is. 2 Damage is really good in AoA as many creatures have 2 or less power, even houses like Brobnar and Sanctum have more lower power creatures compared to the last set. Typically, cards with conditions can be hard to pull off most games (Healing Blast, I’m looking at you), but Pain Reaction’s will be met almost every SINGLE TURN. Because of this, the card essentially reads, get an Aember, kill a creature, and kill one to two of it’s neighbors. If it doesn’t outright kill the neighbors, they will now have 2 damage on them, making it that much easier to destroy them on a future turn. Sealed 4 Archon 4

Silver Key Imp

I think this might be the best of the three Key Imps. I like to imagine you have great odds of drawing this card before you opponent has forged their second key most games, so if you need it’s effect to slow an opponent down, it will be there for you. I also like that if you can keep this guy on the board and an opponent finally gets to both kill it and use a key cheat, you aren’t out of the game unless they find a way to cheat 2 keys in the same turn. I think it’s important to have a chance to forge your second key first and also have an opportunity to respond to whatever your opponent’s game plan might be after this creature was able to hang on the board for a period of time. The prevent the 3rd key imp doesn’t necessarily afford you these options. Sealed 2.5 Archon 2.5-4

Skullion

7 power with 2 Armor is kinda crazy in Keyforge, hence they gave Skullion a (big?) downside. Sacrificing a creature can be a be a huge cost, but anytime you open this guy be on the lookout for ways to negate his downside. First thing that comes to mind are cards like Bad Penny, Brend the Fanatic, and Dust Imp. Honestly, most cards with destroyed effects should be a fine combo with this guy, and it’s sometimes a cool way to get a destroyed effect from a creature in a different house without having to call that house just to ram it into an opponents creature to kill it. Let Skullion do it when you want to call Dis anyways to use an effect like Lash of Broken Dreams or Library of the Damned. Sealed 2.5 Archon 2

Soulkeeper

Basically a delayed form of removal that comes with an Aember, I would prefer to see a lot of other cards in this one’s place. That being said.. there is a very odd combo that does exist with this card, but not many decks will have it because it involves a rare from Sanctum. Put both this and Armageddon Cloak onto a creature, fight to destroy your own creature, stack Soulkeeper’s effect so it first kills your opponents most powerful creature, then the Cloak will be destroyed thanks to it’s own effect.. meaning your creature will still be alive with Soulkeeper still on it, ready to take out your opponent’s new most powerful creature the next time it would be destroyed. Sealed 1.5 Archon .5

Spyyyder

I like that this card can kill any flank creature it damages while attacking and not die (unless hazardous gets involved) but if your opponent can deal with him first, he basically had zero impact on the game. I would have liked to see one of two things on Spyyder.

  1. Don’t make his poison conditional, just let him have the ability outright.
  2. Give him elusive (which might have made him TOO good).

I would honestly rather see any other Dis uncommon in his place, because he’s rarely even situationally good. Sealed 1 Archon .5

Ancient Yurk

I love both Yurk and Old Yurk thanks to the cycling nature they add to any deck. There is no such thing as too much of a good thing.. wait Ancient Yurk discards 3 cards!? Ok now you’ve gone to far! Most decks have 1-2 cards they don’t mind discarding every game. I made the argument with both the other Yurks that it’s still worth discarding decent cards to find specific cards, but Ancient is just too much. There will be too many times where playing this guy will discard cards that are necessary to win most games, or will make you lose a combo piece, turning himself into discard fodder on Dis turns. You do not want to see a rare being the worst card in your deck, and sadly Ancient Yurk can be just that. May you never open one. Sealed 1 Archon .5 (sure he could be higher in extreme situations.. but I’m not ranking based on rare occurences)

Neffru

I love how two cards can have the same effect, but depending on what card type the effect is on can affect just how good it is. Soul Snatcher always felt like a huge gamble to me because there’s always the chance that your opponent could get more use out the card than you yourself could. Neffru on the other hand is more my style, simply because you can try and control how long he’s on the board, thanks to his creature status. There are still plenty of games where you want to discard and forget about him, but I feel like he has a greater chance to help the player that ACTUALLY played him when compared to Soul Snatcher. Still not a big fan of the card though. Sealed 1.5 Archon 1.5

Onyx Knight

I really enjoy effects like this. It’s a silly condition for destroying creatures, but this effect adds a fun element to the game. No opponent should be playing around this guy’s effect, so I can’t say holding onto him in most situations will create a huge advantage. While playing archon, if you notice your opponent has a lot of odd powered creatures or a powerful one and this happens to be your only way to deal with those situations, it could be worth holding Onyx as an answer, but most games just play him anytime it hurts your opponent more than it would hurt you. Sealed 2.5 Archon 2.5

Orb of Invidius

Please let me open a deck with 1-2 of these and with somewhere around 25 Aember generation! I don’t even care much about the rest of the deck (unless you want to give us some Yurks to show off their power), just that these conditions are met . AoA cares more about reaping and fighting than CotA ever did, and a deck with a set up like I just described should perform very well in AoA sealed. Good luck on opening a deck that has this card and creatures that primarily focus on both fight and action abilities while your opponent sits on the other side of the table, feeling like their entire game plan has slowed to a crawl. Sealed 3 Archon 2.5

Ortannu the Chained/Ortannu’s Binding

What an interesting set of cards! Binding on it’s own is a pretty high cost for a single Aember, but if you really need to race at least its there to use (or if you have an empty board play it with zero repercussions). Ortannu with 2 or 3 Bindings is absolutely insane to think about. Even if you never use Bindings for the Aember, you can still discard 2 early whenever you call Dis to set up a ridiculous effect for later in the game. Reap with Orannu, return two bindings, deal 4 damage to a creature and it’s neighbors, and if the cost of 2 damage to your own creatures is too high, just immediately discard the bindings again so they don’t clog your hand for the next turn. Rinse and repeat every single turn until your opponent finds an answer to Ortannu himself. But, if your opponent can easily answer Ortannu, and you can’t afford to take 2 damage from your own bindings, your deck will suffer greatly because 2 dead cards can sometimes destroy an otherwise competitive deck. Sealed 4 Archon 3.5

Shadow of Dis

Do any of your opponents play with creatures that have annoying effects? Cards like Professor Sutterkin, Hunting Witch, Witch of the Eye, Duskwitch, or Sanctum’s Ambassadors giving you problems? Shadow of Dis is gonna provide an Aember and stop every annoying effect for 1 turn to help give you the time to find that answer you need to permanently remove those annoying creatures. There’s nothing else like it in the game right now and it’s a really cool and fun effect. Sealed 2 Archon 2.5

Shard of Pain

As much as I liked the first shard we reviewed, Shard of Strength, I’m not super impressed with this one. Strength provided health to keep some creatures alive and the ability to have smaller creatures take out opposing bigger ones. This shard feels like a worse Cannon. Yes, it can get bigger than a Cannon, but it possibly starting out only doing 1 damage is a bad trade off (plus I really think 2 is the magic number you want right now, and Cannon hits for 2 from turn 1, no questions asked). Shard of Pain does have decent value if you have a 3 shard deck though, because it will be buffing the other 2 you have, and late game when you happen to call Dis and get 2-3 damage out of it, you’ll be happy you have one. Shards are harder to evaluate because they can easily go from “Meh” to “Sweet Holy Mother of Love!” based on how many are in your deck. Sealed .5 -3.5 Archon 0-3 (both based on amount of shards in deck)

Wretched Doll

Reusable removal is always nice, but being able to kill one creature once every two turns (best case scenario) is kinda bad. How many games do you need an immediate answer to something? I personally feel like it happens several turns of a game. I really dislike how you might call Dis, put a counter on a creature and by the time you call Dis again that creature might not even be in play, so you have to start the process all over again. Obviously if Wretched Doll had Omni it’d be incredibly good, but would it be completely busted? Probably, but the fact that I have to pose that question makes me think almost any other card in Dis would be better in place of this one. Sealed 1 Archon .5

Those are my early impressions on the new Dis cards that Age of Ascension brought into the world. I think there are some really powerful and unique effects that people will love discovering as they get more and more AoA decks. What has been your favorite AoA Dis card so far? Anything surprise you after you got to play it? Let me know in the comments down below.

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