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Fandeath

The Importance of Banish

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Banish early and banish often.

 

The number one tip that helped my Ascension game was to learn how important it is to banish. Banishing gets rid of your bad cards (Militia are the worst) and lets you draw hands full of good cards. I am convinced that it is the most important basic strategy in the game. There are many excellent cards that can banish, the best ones let you banish and replace the banished card in your hand with a better card.

 

I will always beat a player who skips on picking up banish cards early in the game, because I pick them up instead. Banish cards are strongest in the early game, and eventually become somewhat worthless once you've banished all your starting cards. You don't need to flood your deck with banish cards, but pick up at least a couple as early as possible.

 

This simple strategy will have you winning a lot more games. Try it out if you don't use it already!

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greetings and salutations --

 

thanks for the post, Fandeath...  i had come across this advice elsewhere, and incorporated it into my play [i'm new, been playing maybe 2 weeks, i have about 50 games under my belt, mostly losses], and it does seem to help a lot...

 

i have a question for you though...  you wrote that "Militia are the worst..."  i'm reading this to mean that you're banishing them first...  i had been looking at it in the opposite fashion, so my question is, assuming my interpretation of your statement is correct, "why...?"

 

the way i've been looking at it, since i have 5 times as many Apprentices in my starting deck, i ought to banish them first and the Militia last...  this, while usually buying Heavy Infantry first, my thinking being that if i get 1 Heavy Infantry in hand, that Militia still being around can put me up to killing off one of the many 3-power monsters in the CotG/RotF/Promos[1,2,3,4] portal deck, some of which offer little bonuses [draw a card, gain a rune, banish a card from the center row & what-not]...  i only have a 1-in-5 chance of that happening prior to starting to thin the deck out, and that probability improves if i start removing the Apprentices first...  meanwhile, i have an 80% chance of getting extra rune action prior to the Banish actions, so i'm less likely to feel pinched by eliminating Apprentices first...

 

so, where is the fault in my thought process here...?  i'm not being contentious, my question is genuine...  if i've interpreted you correctly, you're getting the Militia out of there first, and you probably know what you're doing better than i do, at this point in my climb up the learning curve:  what do you know that i don't know...?  i've always been the type of person who benefits as much from knowing "why" as much as, if not more than, knowing "what..."

 

i'll look forward to your thoughts on the matter...

 

peace --

 

khs

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Militia are the worst because they often get in the way of a useful buy option and offer little in return.  Countless times during play, one militia card will ruin a buy opportunity where I was just missing one rune.  In the early game, a race to get a critical card can make all the difference.  I always banish the Militia first when given the chance.  That said, there are times when I need the extra power to kill a monster.  However, that rarely happens in the early game.

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Honestly, banishing the weaker cards (i.e., militias and apprentices) is a key strategy for most of the games you will play and there are few instances where you should consider grabbing another card if it is an option.  Although, there are also times when you have a banish card that you need to reconsider banishing as it will inhibit your options when buying/defeating. 

 

The decision on which cards to start banishing first entirely depends on the board layout and your opponent's choices; just as the decision to buy Heavys vs. Mystics is dependant on the board and your opponent's choices.  In most instances, you should generally target the militia for exactly the reason smyrin stated.

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hello --

 

thanks for the additional input, smyrin & FortuitousOne...  it all gets added to the cauldron, and it'll eventually bubble over...  i'm sure i'll get the swing of this, at some point...

 

peace --

 

-- khs

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Another reason to banish militias first is that it accomplishes something -- by banishing one militia, your chances of being disappointed when one pops into your hand go way down. You have to banish two or three apprentices before you even start to notice a difference in your draws.

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Removing weak cards from your deck is the basic key to victory for any deck-building game. It lets you draw better cards based on your preferences, trying to avoid the ones that don't serve you well for your purpose. Like Ascension rulebook tells, "a good deck will draw its best cards as often as possible", and the only way to achieve this goal is acquiring banishing Void cards. And Enlightned ones, sometimes.

The banish operation is a critical point for Ascension, since 20~30 turns are usually taken to complete a game, and the long-term strategies are strongly felt, as the game proceeds.

I found myself banishing my few Heavy Infantries and/or Mystics often, too, becacuse of the better cards I acquired during the game and the final build I had in mind.

 

Like it already has been said, Militia are the worst starting cards compared to Apprentices, since you usually won't ramp more than 3 to 5 Power each turn, until you buy powerful Power gaining Heroes and Constructs unless you're going full-attack (strongly unsuggested) buying only Heavy Infantries, meaning you can't kill all the Monsters you want any time, while, instead, you can usually ramp 3 to 5 Runes on first turn and 3 to 7 according to Heroes and Constructs you've acquired. Always remember : 75% Main Deck is composed by Constructs and Heroes (and Events and Treasures xD)!

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Removing weak cards from your deck is the basic key to victory for any deck-building game. It lets you draw better cards based on your preferences, trying to avoid the ones that don't serve you well for your purpose. Like Ascension rulebook tells, "a good deck will draw its best cards as often as possible", and the only way to achieve this goal is acquiring banishing Void cards. And Enlightned ones, sometimes.

The banish operation is a critical point for Ascension, since 20~30 turns are usually taken to complete a game, and the long-term strategies are strongly felt, as the game proceeds.

I found myself banishing my few Heavy Infantries and/or Mystics often, too, becacuse of the better cards I acquired during the game and the final build I had in mind.

 

Like it already has been said, Militia are the worst starting cards compared to Apprentices, since you usually won't ramp more than 3 to 5 Power each turn, until you buy powerful Power gaining Heroes and Constructs unless you're going full-attack (strongly unsuggested) buying only Heavy Infantries, meaning you can't kill all the Monsters you want any time, while, instead, you can usually ramp 3 to 5 Runes on first turn and 3 to 7 according to Heroes and Constructs you've acquired. Always remember : 75% Main Deck is composed by Constructs and Heroes (and Events and Treasures xD)!

 

This post is full of incorrect information. I would urge new players to disregard it. For one, you don't need to banish any cards that have point value, as points on cards are added up at the end of the game. Don't banish void or enlightened cards from your hand. Don't banish Mystics and Heavy Infantry. They all add points to your score at the end of the game. Secondly, a game of Ascension barely lasts more than 15 turns, not 30 like this post suggests. Remember that you are only going to play 15 hands at the most in most games. The third and most harmful piece of misinformation here is that 75% of the center deck is cards that cost runes. This is simply untrue. It depends on the expansion, but generally about 40% of the deck is monsters. Buying attack is only marginally worse than buying runes, and you absolutely should buy attack if there are a lot of monsters.

 

I have over 400 wins online, and it is absolutely crucial to know when to buy attack or runes. You will barely ever banish cards from your hand that have point value. Only do it if it is seriously going to clog your hand for multiple turns!

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This post is full of incorrect information. I would urge new players to disregard it. For one, you don't need to banish any cards that have point value, as points on cards are added up at the end of the game. Don't banish void or enlightened cards from your hand. Don't banish Mystics and Heavy Infantry. They all add points to your score at the end of the game. Secondly, a game of Ascension barely lasts more than 15 turns, not 30 like this post suggests. Remember that you are only going to play 15 hands at the most in most games. The third and most harmful piece of misinformation here is that 75% of the center deck is cards that cost runes. This is simply untrue. It depends on the expansion, but generally about 40% of the deck is monsters. Buying attack is only marginally worse than buying runes, and you absolutely should buy attack if there are a lot of monsters.

 

I have over 400 wins online, and it is absolutely crucial to know when to buy attack or runes. You will barely ever banish cards from your hand that have point value. Only do it if it is seriously going to clog your hand for multiple turns!

 

Wow, how mean.

 

By the way, first of all, I don't really care if I had 2, 3 or 4 Honor Points less in my deck (of course, 5+ HPs are getting a little too many, though), at end of game. I'd rather prefer to avoid useless cards to draw (do you really want to draw a Void Initiate (yes, I'm not linking you cards since you already know them by heart, looking at your online wins you go proud of), a Prodigal, an Arbiter of the Lost and so on, at turn 13-14? I don't really think so) to improve my play turns and buy better cards and defeat stronger Monsters.

I'm not stupid. If I see the Honor Points Pool has ~20% starting value, I stop banishing cards and buy anything with a decent or good Cost-Honor Points value ratio. It would be idiot to banish them at the end of game.

 

EDIT : I just understood what you meant with "don't banish void or enlightned cards from your hand", and there's a misunderstanding. In my previous post, acquiring was the main verb, while banishing was an adjective. I didn't mean to say "always banish Void and Enlightned cards".

 

Secondly, the time varies from match to match. If you play a Darkness Unleashed-only game, it surely will last fewer turns, because of the Dark Shards that accelerate game alot. I personally tested it.

It also depends by luck, by the number of players and by the Honor Points Pool you set. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if a match lasted 25+ turns if no banishing cards popped out during it.

Your reference to a maximum of 15 turns is kind of illusorial, unless you're playing with the minimum Honor Points pool setting. I usually run the maximum one. That's why some of my games lasted 25+ turns as well, while many lasted 20-, too. But the average turns duration is 20 to 30.

 

Thirdly, my percentage was an assumption, but thinking of the expansions all togheter, it gets closer to that percentage, and not to 60%-40%.

And, honestly speaking, I couldn't care less if I didn't defeat a Monster from the Center Row to get a Construct or a Hero. Of course, unless we're talking about Avatar of the Fallen, Samael the Fallen, kythis, Rebel Godling and so on. They surely impact the game a lot. But Monsters like Fettered Soul, Corrosive Widow and so on are just lame to defeat.

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CotG: 28 monsters/100 cards in the portal deck: 28%

RotF: 17/65: ~26%

Sos: 24/101: ~24% (not counting the monster event)

IH: 16/69: ~23% (ditto)

RoV: 28/100: 28% (not counting Treasure cards, which don't take up a spot in the center row)

DU: 21/65: ~32% (ditto)

 

Fandeath, you may be good at Ascension, but you're wrong about how many monsters are in the game. Also, there's no need to be unpleasant when disagreeing with someone. And moreover, there are certainly times in the late game when banishing a Mystic or Heavy is the correct play when the other cards you've acquired are superior -- you give up one honor to clear your deck of inferior cards.

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Now I remember why I can't stand internet message boards. Forget it, you'll never see another post from me. I don't have the time in my life to put up with whiners. If a mod could delete this account I would be grateful, because I can't figure out how to delete it from the control panel.

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greetings and salutations --

 

all right, settle down now...

 

okay, there's a lot of information floating around this thread and a few of the others i have been following, but my efforts to implement it all into an effective strategy haven't yielded the kinds of results i was hoping for...

 

maybe i'm coming at it from the wrong direction...  maybe i need to reverse-engineer my deck-building, in order to get a better handle on how all this stuff comes together...

 

so, who can give me ideas on what effective, winning decks look like *at the end of the game* so i can try to work toward that end...?  i realize that there are probably any number of strategies, and any number of ways to get there -- AND THAT SOME PEOPLE WILL VIEW STRATEGIES THAT ARE AT ODDS WITH THEIR OWN AS "WRONG..."  but, let's keep it friendly, this is a game and it's meant to be fun, as is the community built to support it...  i have to remind myself of that, sometimes, so i'll leave it posted here for my own reference -- anyone else wants to use it, feel free...

 

:-)

 

so, maybe i'll start a new thread on that topic, but for the time being, what do the best decks for each strategic category look like when the game is done...?  templates, outlines, specific detail lists -- it's all welcome...

 

peace --

 

-- khs

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The more you play, the more flexible your strategies should be.  The center row should dictate your initial strategy, middle game strategy, and end strategy.  Those strategies can varie in the course of the game.

Banish cards are usually good buys, but you can't solely rely on that.  For example, if you have a good amount of 'draw X' cards, you can cycle through your deck quicker than someone who's taking taking turns thinning their deck while you are playing bought cards quicker.  You can also use cards like 'Great-Omen Raven' early and 'Askara of Fate' early, keep all your Apprentices and try to drain the Honor pool and buy more 'Draw X' cards while your opponent is taking turns building their deck.  If you get Stone Circle, it makes it even easier!  It doesn't always work, but it's a fun strategy.

That said, strategies always change depending on many factors.  Banishing is generally a good idea, but is not always the best idea.

 

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hey --

 

i just wanted to post a quick "thank you" to everyone who has offered up their experience an insights on Ascension strategy & tactics in the forums here...  as a result, my game has come quite a ways toward being better, although i'm still just not really very good at Ascension, despite putting a lot of work into it...  the fault there lies with me, given the treasure trove of information you have all been so forthcoming with...  just because i stink at it doesn't mean i don't enjoy it, though...  really, thanks, all...

 

peace --

 

-- khs

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