Age of Ascension Set Review: Brobnar AoA 1 of 7

Age of Ascension Set Review: Brobnar AoA 1 of 7

The Age of Ascension (AoA) is upon us! Today I’ll be reviewing brand new Brobnar cards that only appear in AoA. I did my best to avoid all spoilers prior to the set coming out, as there’s something exciting about opening a deck and seeing a brand new card for the first time. Because of my approach, it’s possible that I might miss something, but I tend to stay on the more casual side of things and there were a decent amount of cards that I read for the first time specifically for this article. Remember, this is my personal opinion (and super early impressions) on the new set, so feel free to discuss down below what you think about the cards. Now on to the review!

1-2 Punch

This cards gives you an Aember and stuns a creature. It even has an added bonus of of being able to destroy a previously stunned creature! I think the card is well balanced, but I personally would prefer to see a Tremor in it’s place simply because I love the ability to stun multiple creatures among multiple houses, which is a powerful way to slow down your opponent. If your opponent has 1 problematic creature, 1-2 Punch can definitely help stall a turn while you look for a more permanent answer. Sealed 2. Archon 1.5 (up to 2.5 if you have stun effects across your other houses to possibly turn this card into removal)

Bingle Bangbang

A 2 power creature with a powerful before the fight effect. Dealing 5 damage to the neighbors of the creature that Bangbang fights can take out some really good threats your opponent might have on their board. He’s best when he can attack into an elusive creature so he can continue to pose a threat for a future turn. Most opponents will recognize the huge swing this can create and will be willing to attack with their own 2 power creature, even if itself has a powerful effect, into Bangbang just to stop his shenanigans. Sealed 2.5 Archon .5

Brammo

So far, this is one of my favorite creatures I have played with in sealed. His play effect catches many players off guard, normally taking out at least 1 creature each time you play him. He’s even crazier if you pair him with another common in the set, Drummernaut. This combo can allow you to deal 4 damage a turn to your opponents flank creatures and can completely turn a game around. I’m surprised that a 4 power, 1 armor creature got such an amazing effect, and I welcome it. Sealed 4.5 Archon 3-5 (combo dependent)

Cowfyne

An inverse to Mr. Bangbang up above, yet he feels so much weaker. Cowfyne has 5 power and before the fight deals 2 damage to the neighbor of each creature he fights. He has the perk of being more likely to survive till your next turn, but unless your opponent is playing nothing but 2 power creatures he just doesn’t have the same effect on the game, as I would much rather just kill my opponents creatures. Dealing 2 damage to bigger guys rarely helps, and in some cases can trigger beneficial effects for your opponent. Helping turn on your opponent’s Healing Waves, Vigors, Healing Blast, and similiar effects can be downright annoying. Sealed 1.5 Archon 1

Drummernaut

FFG… Really? Drummernaut might possibly be the new Bait and Switch for sealed. No, not because it has the same impact on the game that BnS had, it’s more because every time someone opens a deck and sees Brobnar it’s the first card to look for. Oh, you got 1? Now let’s see what crazy combos you can pull off with this beast of a card. Lollop/Groggins? Sweet let’s kill some of your dudes and heal them up. Brammo? See above. Ganger Chieftain? Don’t even get me started! You know what makes this card even better? All those other cards I mentioned with it are COMMONS, let that sink in. Sealed 5 Archon 4.5

First Blood

I am really digging this card. It has Alpha in an effort to reduce it’s glorious effect but when you are talking Brobnar, there is one thing Brobnar does better than any other house.. survive till your next turn. And that’s a good thing because this card can do some damage, like actual damage. First take an Aember (you deserve it) then deal 2 damage for each friendly Brobnar creature and divide that however you see fit. With so many tiny creatures running around in this set, don’t be surprised if you take out several creatures with just 2 or 3 Brobnar creatures on your side of the board. Poor Groggins has no one to fight now, luckily I trained mine to REAPOUT! Sealed 3.5 Archon 3

Foozle

A 5 power creature with an awesome reap effect that honestly could’ve been on a smaller creature and still been awesome. Brobnar excels at controlling your opponent’s creatures, so having this effect on a creature that is harder to remove in a single attack is a gift, especially considering most of your Brobnar turns will include fighting with at least 1 creature anyways. Sealed 3.5 Archon 2.5

Groggins

Groggins, like Troll before him, has 8 power, but in Age of Ascension it seems FFG decided we needed a downside to all that raw power. Only being able to attack a flank creature with what is most likely to be your biggest creature can sometimes feel awkward, but luckily for us there seems to be plenty of ways in this set to control your opponents board however you see fit. And honestly, if all it took was swapping a better 8 power creature for a lesser one to allow us to have new cards like Might Makes Right and The Flex, I’m ok with that. Sealed 3 Archon 2 (Hey, he’s still a big creature)

Groke

Like Bumpsy, but instead of your opponent losing Aember when he’s played, it’s only lost if he survives a fight. Really only abusable against elusive creatures, not to mention slower, which is a big downside. Huge respect to FFG for putting this guy in place of Bumpsy simply because Drummernaut now exists. How absurd would it be to constantly bounce Bumpsy and screw with your opponents Aember for several turns? Speaking of which, if anyone opens a legacy Bumpsy with Drummernaut in AoA, feel free to send it to me. Thanks in advance. Sealed 1.5 Archon .5

Into the Fray

This card is a shining example of what makes Keyforge a great game. Sometimes it goes nuts, you wipe an opponents board, and sometimes it just provides and extra fight or two, along with a reap from the creature should it survive. This cards value has an extremely wide range thanks to the unique nature of the game, and I look forward to seeing more cards like this in the future. I personally used it in conjunction with Lollop in a sealed event to wipe out an opponents board with 3 elusive creatures (he had Lamindra which I killed first otherwise the rule of 6 would’ve stopped me) and was still able to get an Aember out of Lollop to reap myself into check with 10 damage on the poor fellow. Sealed 3-5 Archon 2.5-4

Lollop the Titanic

First off, let’s give some love to the first creature that’s a Location, that’s plain awesome. I look forward to seeing how he plays when they inevitably add cards that involve locations. Lollop is an extremely well balanced card for being an 11 power giant and I absolutely adore the flavor of him not noticing when others are attacking him. Expect to see this guy comboing with a decent amount of cards, some of which are huge effects, later in this review. Sealed 4 Archon 3.5

Pound

If this card would have been released in Call of the Archons I would’ve looked at it, thanked it for the Aember and been on my merry way. But inside of AoA it is a welcome addition. Some of the most powerful effects in this set are attached to 1 and 2 power creatures so this card will always find value. Whether it’s taking out Ambassadors, Gamgee, Aember Imp, Tezmal, the key imps, or even Professor Sutterkin, you’ll be very happy that your deck had one of these cards to defend against some of the most powerful effects that were included in this set. Sealed 4 Archon 2-3.5 (depending on which set your opponent’s deck is from).

Culf the Quiet

A 6 power elusive creature!? Holy! Culf is an interesting card because he’s one of the best guys you’ll get to reap with inside house Brobnar and if your opponent really wants to take care of him, unlike other elusive creatures, he’ll most likely kill the attacker. This is great because not only did your opponent have to waste 2 attacks, s/he also lost a creature, and 2 reaps! What a cool card. Sealed 3.5 Archon 2.5

Flamethrower

This is a tricky card for me. It can do a lot of work if your opponent likes to fight their creatures down to 1 health. It’s obviously great against 1 Power creatures, and it’s reusability is a plus. The problem with the card in my opinion is this; unless it is paired with some of the other damage cards in Brobnar (ie First Blood and Pound) it really doesn’t do too much because of how Brobnar the house itself plays. Typically, if you call house Brobnar, you are fighting with creatures that eliminate the opposing creatures, rarely getting a use out of Flamethrower. It also falls into the catergory that Cowfyne did where it might “turn on” some of your opponents cards. Sure there will be situations where Flamethrower was an All-Star and I recommend you play the Smash Mouth song anytime it happens, but those situations will be far and few between. Sealed 1 Archon .5

Flamewake Shaman

A 4 power creature that deals 2 damage to an enemy creature, they really turned up the power level on Brobnar creatures this set, didn’t they? I prefer Brammo all day every day, but just how good are these effects? Flamewake Shaman will be revered by players once they realize he’s able to take out annoying creatures immediately, then on later turns, take down another one or two. Sadly, he isn’t a giant which would have been amazing with Drummernaut. Sealed 3 Archon 2

Gargantes Scrapper

Ugh. I understand why they put Alpha on this guy, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. If you haven’t figured it out why they added Alpha to him, I suggest reading all the new Brobnar cards in this set that start with the letter D (scroll up, I’ll wait for you here). I’ve played with him a few times, and surprisingly, I have pulled off his damage every time. However, I feel like I got pretty lucky, and I don’t expect that to be the norm. The 3 damage doesn’t necessarily make it much better than just having a Flamewake Shaman in his place because the condition for the damage won’t always be fulfilled. I also don’t see many situations where you will purposefully be willing to hold onto Scrapper just for his play effect on a later turn. Also, the fact that he has Alpha might mean he gets discarded should you have to choose between playing this card or First Blood, kicking him down another notch. Sealed 1.5 Archon .5

Grump Buggy

Ok, I like this card. It looks like a “fair” card, but in reality you are choosing to play a deck with this card in archon because you love unfair things. “Yeah, my triple Lollop, triple Groggins deck is pretty nice.”, you tell your opponents, but deep down you know the truth.. every key your opponent forges this game will cause them pain, and it’s your guilty pleasure. In sealed, you gleefully look at your opponents Archon as you notice they are lacking both Sanctum and Brobnar. You can sometimes be downright disgusting, but I won’t tell anyone… Huh?! Don’t look at me that way! I’d never have those sort of thoughts (Did I mention it also gives you an Aember? Now I feel REALLY dirty). Sealed 3 Archon 4

Little Rapscal

2 power, elusive and a unique ability. This guy has one job. Force your opponent to attack him twice, miss out on two reaps that turn, and carry on. Bonus points if you put him next to a Taunt. Be aware if you are already ahead you will not be able to push your lead if this guy is on the table and your opponent dropped some creatures, so fight with him first to kill him. Sealed 2 Archon 1

Ogopogo

6 Power, with an effect that deals 2 damage only if he both fights and destroy a creature. Most games you will get this off once and I think that makes this a respectable card. Plus as I’ve mentioned earlier, 2 damage is pretty good in this game against a lot of different decks. Brobnar got some neat effects in this set that help them deal with small elusive creatures, and I hope we continue to see these effects in future sets. Sealed 3.5 Archon 2

The Flex

This card in most cases is 2 Aember, and I feel that’s worst case scenario. Any card that can generate 2 Aember reliably is a strong card, but this one essentially costs you a fight or a reap to get it, so is it really that good? Thanks to the amount of Brobnar creatures that have 6 or more power, yes, yes it is. Be sure to look for other cards in your deck that can help boost Brobnar creature’s power like “Lion” Bautrem and Grovekeeper. Don’t even get me started on Lollops and several Blood of Titans, that’s plain nasty. There are few situations were you are unhappy opening a deck that has this card. Sealed 4 Archon 4

Bellowing Patrizate

An interesting take on Pingle who annoys, Patrizate hits all creatures for one after they enter play, if he’s ready. Just make sure that if you call house Brobnar you go ahead and fight or reap with him first to avoid taking damage on creatures you play that turn. Hopefully your deck with have Sanctum with plenty of armor, so it only hurts one of your houses. This guy at least stops Plague Rats plans to wipe your board. Sealed 3.5 Archon 3

Cybergiant Rig

This card is a fantastic play after you fight with a creature and leave it with 1 health remaining. A 6 power creature suddenly becomes an 11 power (that hits 10 power at the end of your turn) and you even got an Aember for your efforts. I expect some pretty busted plays involving this card and The Flex. Sealed 4.5 Archon 3.5

Forgemaster Og

Brobnar’s answer to rush decks. If you are playing archon and see fast aember on the opposing players archon card, this may be worth holding onto for a few turns to stop them from having a whole ‘nother key ready even after they forged one on their turn. As much as I love this effect, I wish he was a 5 or 6 power creature because a vanilla 4 power creature once its on the board is pretty underwhelming. Get’s a bump in Archon thanks to nerfs that should help out Aember Rush decks at the Vault Tour level. Sealed 1.5 Archon 2

Grumpus Trainer

Anything that thins your deck is awesome. This is a body that finds another body which is even better. War Grumpus is only 3 power and struggles to get a use most games. Luckily, for War Grumpus, his trainer puts a big ‘ol X on his own back which is sometimes enough for War Grumpus to do it’s job. And if your opponent somehow let’s the trainer survive they are going to be in a world of hurt. Sealed 4.5 Archon 3.5 (I’m assuming he always comes with a War Grumpus)

Might Makes Right

The ultimate Timmie card. This may not make sense to you, but I used to know a guy named Timmie and he was always passionate about cards that had a crazy requirement, but if you met those requirements,  you would get a huge payoff. The most enjoyable aspects of any game to Timmie always involved some element of this. Even if Timmie lost the game it didn’t matter to him, all that mattered was pulling off some crazy combo that others told him was impossible. And when he would pull it off (inevitable because he refused to play anything else until it happened) Timmie won the game and our hearts. Story aside, this is a very interesting card to me. It’s a key cheat that doesn’t care if the creatures are exhausted (thank god cause we need that Aember from reaping) but you need to sacrifice at least 25 power. In AoA, it’s really hard to get to 25 power. It’s only hard because so many creatures in AoA demand to be dealt with immediately and your opponent will be forced to either kill them, or allow some effect to incrementally knock them out of the game. This means creature control by means of fighting or removal happens the majority of turns in sealed, and you can bet your sweet Macis Asp that if your opponent sees Might Makes Right in Archon, they will do their best to prevent you from a free key. All that being said, you get an Aember when you play it, as well as a chance to forge a key. Without extreme circumstances, I suggest always playing it at your first opportunity, and just be happy with your newly acquired Aember. And don’t look back.. unless your name is Timmie. Sealed 2 Archon 1.5

Shard of Strength

I have not played with any shards yet. I can’t even tell you what all of them do (spoiler free baby!) but giving any creature a +1 power counter is pretty nice. Especially if you have multiple shards. Anyone that has played against banner of battle can tell you what a 1 power increase to a creature can do. Sure this one is slower since it can only help one creature at a time.. but imagine two or three shards out and pumping a creature’s power by 2 or 3 each turn you call Brobnar. Sounds insane. Sealed 3.5 Archon 2-4 (depending on how many shards you have)

Signal Fire

Ever wanted a turn to control your opponents creatures while advancing your Aember or board with another house? Signal Fire has you covered. You get an Aember when you play it, and thanks to an Omni action you can fight with all your Brobnar creatures on the same turn you need to control your opponents Aember with something like a Ronnie Wristclocks or Charette. If your opponent has this card in play, don’t make the mistake of overlooking this one! Sealed 4 Archon 3

War Grumpus

A 3 power creature with a fight/reap effect that closely resembles Ganger Chieftains. The key difference is that Ganger can make a creature from any house fight immediately whilst War Gumpus can only make Giants fight which is reusable, but typically takes a turn of surviving to get to use. I feel like War Grumpus really needs his Trainer to have a big impact on the game. Most lower power creatures without elusive have a hard time staying on the board in AoA sealed, and in Archon how often do you see Witch of the eye survive one to get even one use? If your opponent lets War Grumpus live it was most likely because they aren’t worried about his effect at that point in time, and the moment they care, he will be dealt with. Sealed 2.5 Archon 1 (assuming no Trainer)

Well there’s my initial thoughts on the new Brobnar cards in Age of Ascension! What do you think? Let me know in the comments down below and be sure to come back next week when I review the new cards in house Dis!

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