This year at Gen Con Gary Games released their newest expansion for the deck building game Ascension. The new expansion is called Immortal Heroes, and while it’s not that large it adds plenty of new playability to the game. I was able to pick up a copy and now that I’ve finally had time to sit down with the game, I wanted to give some insight into its new features in a review!
Kythis, the rebel godling, seeks to repay his creators for millennia of meaningless servitude. He’s become corrupt with contempt for the other gods and their constant bickering. He’s suffered for eons the lamentations of the damned and the hymns of the heroic as a ferryman bound to the service of lesser beings. He’s grown tired of his progenitors wasting away planes and peoples with petty wars and conflict.
Now that Samael is dead the throne sits empty. Kythis seeks to ascend the throne and take revenge upon the gods and mortals alike who fall within his grasp. This is the godling’s chance at divine retribution, and he will make sure to annihilate anything in his path to achieve it.
Immortal Heroes comes in a smaller box, even smaller than the previous expansion. Inside you’ll find the tiny rulebook, a ziplock bag of honor tokens, and all the new cards. There’s not really anything too surprising within the packaging, save for the rulebook. You see, Immortal Heroes is an expansion for Ascension: Storm of Souls, but it’s also playable as a standalone game for two players. The rulebook explains the new features and different modes of play that can be accomplished with the new cards, but it doesn’t give a summary of the whole game. New players who pick up Immortal Heroes won’t know how the overall game is played because the general rules are missing.
I know that Gary Games probably meant for this as Immortal Heroes is marketed as an expansion, but it was just a thought. Aside from this the packaging is great. There’s plenty of room for each type of card, including slots for the new types of cards introduced into the set.
The main new feature in Immortal Heroes is the addition of Soul Gems. Soul Gems are cards that resemble fallen heroes who can be communicated with and called upon for aid in the fight against the godling. Certain cards in the new set will allow players to acquire a Soul Gem, and each card carries a special ability. When a player obtains a Soul Gem it is placed in front of them like a Trophy Monster or Construct. The Soul Gem is drawn from a deck made explicitly of these types of cards which is set to the side of the playing area.
Like I mentioned, each Soul Gem carries with it a special ability. Some have immediate abilities, such as “Gain 1 Honor” while others have abilities that trigger when the Soul Gem is banished. These cards are made to be one offs, as each Soul Gem you acquire leaves play at the end of your turn. So basically they’re like one-time abilities that help when you acquire them. Once they are banished or leave play they enter a Soul Gem discard pile that’s shuffled and reused once the Soul Gem deck becomes depleted.
The second new feature in Immortal Heroes is the addition of “New Event” cards. These cards have been added at the request of players, as many wanted to be able to start the game with an Event card in play. Event cards were introduced in Storm of Souls and players really enjoyed them. With these New Event cards gameplay changes a bit, only if you choose to play this way.
Instead of shuffling the Event cards into the deck like you normally would, instead you put them all into a deck of their own and choose one to put in play at random when the game begins. You’ll shuffle the New Event cards into the main deck and whenever one is drawn the Event in play changes out. It’s that simple, and it makes the game much more fun, as you’ll automatically have an Event in play this way.
Ascension: Immortal Heroes is a great expansion. I’ve played it standalone and it performs perfectly as its own game. The addition of the Soul Gems offers new strategies for players and takes the game in a new direction. I really like the New Event cards as well, and I almost never play a game without an Event in play now. If you’re looking to supplement your Ascension experience, Immortal Heroes is the way to do it. Priced at around $40 it’s definitely worth the cost.