Age of Ascension Set Review: Sanctum CotA Reprints 5 of 7

Age of Ascension Set Review: Sanctum CotA Reprints 5 of 7

SPOILER ALERT!!!

We have four houses behind us as we start the week, if you haven’t seen Brobnar, Dis, Logos and Mars house reviews you should check them out. For those that have already seen the first four and are ready for new content today, I’m reviewing house Sanctum, tomorrow we will have Shadows, and I’ll finish up Wednesday with Untamed. Sanctum was about middle of the pack in CotA. They got a huge uptick at the very beginning with the Four Horseman hype but that has cooled off some as of late, and Sanctum has slid out of favor. Let’s check out what they have returning and see if they can capture enough aember to reclaim the title of best house.

Commons

Blinding Light – Great tempo card. Hasn’t done as well in CotA as I think it will in AoA. Mostly because the set looks more geared to board control decks then rush or combo decks like CotA produced. Top Tier common and it’s a good one to see back. It’s even better when you don’t share houses with your opponent because you stun all creatures of a certain house. Sealed 3.5, Archon 3

Protect the Weak – Like most upgrades it’s a bit underwhelming. It gives you an aember and gives the attached creature taunt and +1 armor. It can help in games where you have a static ability you want to protect but a lot of times your static creatures will just die to direct damage (Pawn Sacrafice), kill spells (Bouncing Deathquark), or bounce effects (Nature’s Call) making this card fairly weak protection. Sealed 2, Archon .5

Shield of Justice – This card can combo really well for a fighting card, since it prevents your creatures from taking damage for a turn. One Stood Against Many with this card is strong. Add a creature like Overload Greking and you have a combat based combo deck. Shield also nets an Amber which is never upsetting. Sealed 3, Archon 2.5

Take Hostages – Not my favorite common capture effect for Sanctum. I preferred Terms of Redress as you get to reap still with your creatures or can use it even if your only creatures are off house. I would have rather seen that one but Take Hostages isn’t terrible. Sealed 2.5, Archon 2

Uncommons

Doorstep to Heaven – Arguable on par with Bait and Switch. Problem is it’s an uncommon so there are less decks with it on average. Doorstep is a great key way to prevent an opponent from forging as it reduces both players aember to five. Shadows was a better house in CotA so the statistics don’t always show that, but to me if you switch houses on Doorstep to Heaven with Bait and Switch the same people complaining about Bait and Switch would be complaining about this. As a raw card it would be a five but since it has to be in context of the rest of the cards in the set and which house it’s in, it loses a little bit. Sealed 4.5, Archon 4

Gatekeeper – Very close to Doorstep in application and can be better at times. If your opponent has seven or more aember, Gatekeeper captures all but five of it. Having a Too Much to Protect or other ways you can steal the aember later combos quite well with this guy. Sealed 4, Archon 3.5

Gorm of Omm – Top Tier Artifact removal. For a while I passed on decks with Gorm of Omm in them. At first glance it felt too situational but as the meta has progressed I would rather have a dead card against an opponent who doesn’t have an artifact than not have an answer against one. Sealed 3, Archon 3

Potion of invulnerability – It gives an aember… Yeah I had to think hard about good uses for this card and they are also situational. Basically the artifact equivalent of Shield of Justice. It’s good for an aember so at least it’s not a dead card. I really don’t ever want to see the card in my deck. Sealed 1, Archon 1

Radiant Truth – Toss up for me between this and Blinding Light. I think I prefer Blinding Light the majority of the time. Though this can hit a wider range of creatures in the late game. Either one can be better depending on game state so I’m gonna rank them the same. Sealed 3.5, Archon 3

Sigil of Brotherhood – Quality artifact. I really like the versatility that Omni allows. Being able to do more things during a turn is great and when they are off house it’s even better. The higher your Sanctum creature count the better this card is going to be. Sealed 2.5, Archon 2

The Harder They Come – There is a bunch of good creatures with five or more power Mother, Four Horseman, and Shadow Self just to name a few that I really like being able to purge. Sealed 4, Archon 3.5

The Spirit’s Way – Doesn’t combo with Sanctum’s creatures at all. What it does combo with is the smaller untamed and shadows creatures that can survive since it destroys all creatures with power three or higher. Then some of your Sanctum creatures on the board afterwards to create a huge tempo swing. In decks with Dis or Brobnar, however, this card is gonna be a lot worse. Sealed 2-3.5 Archon 2-4

Rares

Armageddon Cloak – I’m almost ready to just post “upgrade,” a score, and move on. In all seriousness this card isn’t on my radar and I pass on a lot of decks with this in it. Another upgrade that gives you an aember, gives the attached creature hazardous two, and the ability to sacrifice the upgrade instead of destroying the creature. That seems to be a theme of rares, most of them actually bust decks and make them unplayable. Sealed 1, Archon .5

Begone! – One of the better house specific cards since Dis has a bunch of static creatures that are good to hit all at once (Succubus, Ember Imp, Snudge). Dis is also one of the more competitive houses so this card destroying all dis creatures can be useful. The problem comes when they have Arise! and just bring all of them back anyways. Or it nets an amber in matchups without Dis, so it’s never a dead card. Sealed 3, Archon 3

Duma the Martyr – Isn’t the best draw two card effect in the game (see Time Traveler) but who doesn’t like drawing two cards? I never mind having this in my deck and it’s great when you’re against a board control deck as it allows you to refill after the wipe. It can combo well with Brobnar creatures as they often fight and take damage allowing them to all heal while taking out say a Succubus. Sealed 4, Archon 3.5

Epic Quest – When paired with Logos archiving this card can be really good. Without Logos, it’s an Epic Fail. I’m not sure how else to describe this card. There are very limited times where it is good to archive your knights when you’re not playing to the Quest. Sealed .5-3, Archon .5-3.5

Lord Golgotha – One of the best fighters in the game. At five power and two armor, his before fight ability deals three damage to the neighboring creatures Lord Golgotha fights. So if your opponent has some pesky creatures hiding behind taunt Lord Golgotha is your answer. His large frame helps him to stick around after most fights as well. Never disappointed to see him in my Sanctum decks, however, as I mentioned before when you’re fighting you’re not reaping, and reaping is what leads to victories. Sealed 3.5, Archon 3

Mighty Lance – Top Tier removal spell. Wish I could get an aember off it but being able to take out two creatures with one card is a good play. Also when it’s in your deck, your opponents will have to take note and play around it. I suspect this to be a great card against the smaller deploy creatures coming in AoA. Sealed 4, Archon 3.5

Oath of Poverty – I have looked and looked for good Oath of Poverty decks. One has not yet crossed my path but I’ll still hope for one in AoA. If you can get two of these and a consistent draw deck it can create very powerful aember swings. The problem comes when you only have one and your deck is to reliant on it. As a single card it’s not that amazing but in the right deck it could be super powerful. Sealed .5-4, Archon 1-4

One Stood Against Many – Isn’t amazing on its own, but if you combo it with Shield of Justice or have other ways to prevent damage to your creatures this card can get pretty good. Most of the time your own creature will die before he reaches the third fight, which is why preventing the damage is important. It’s better in decks with skirmish or the Brobnar house as well, as they have bigger bodies. Sealed 3, Archon 2.5

Sanctum Guardian – He’s the beta version of deploy creature before deploy existed. It makes him a great flavor choice for the set to keep around. I know deploy is on the play and not on Fight/Reap abilities but he does a similar thing moving up and down the battle-line where he is most needed. Sealed 3, Archon 3

The Vaultkeeper – One of the better ways to stop Shadows from stealing. If it wasn’t a rare, I think we would talk about it quite a bit more. Finding a good deck with two of these could be a super strong play, especially if the rest of the deck is well balanced. Sealed 4, Archon 4

Veemos Lightbringer – Great way to sweep elusive creatures, but can be a dead card if you have a bunch of them yourself. At six power, most of the time I’m happy to see this in my decks. Although, it can really scale down quite a bit in decks the more elusive creatures you have. Sealed 3.5, Archon 2-3.5

So after seeing what is coming back, I think the Sanctum have a good start. We don’t see the four Horseman but one could always cross their fingers to get one as a legacy card. They have solid creatures, good key control, and solid pin point removal. It’s hard to say without knowing all the cards but it seems house Sanctum will have the tools to compete. Hopefully for aember shards at Vault Tours, Chainbounds, and Store Championships if we ever find out what that means! See you back tomorrow, Archons! REAPOUT!

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