Ascension: Return of the Fallen: pardon me

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Gorph. Sorry about that. I just took a big gulp of coke.

It’s feeding time after the jump

One of the new mechanics added in the Return of the Fallen expansion for Ascension is fate. When you play Ascension, a row of six cards is put out on the table. This is the pool of cards available for purchase. You and your opponent take turns buying from that row and putting the cards into your deck. Then when you draw the cards from your deck into your hand, you can use their powers. But while the cards are in that row, on the buying block, they’re essentially inert.

Fate changes that. Some cards have fate power that have an effect when they appear in the center row. Above is the Ravenous Gorph. When he shows up, his fate power is to eat the cards on either side of him, banishing them into a communal discard pool called the Void. Oh, you wanted that Watchmaker’s Altar or that Lifebound Initiate? Too bad. The Ravenous Gorph just ate them. Gorph.

Another new twist in the Return of the Fallen add-on is that when something is banished to the Void — say it was eaten by a Ravenous Gorph — there are machines that let you reach into the Void to buy cards as if they were in the center row. With an artifact called the Serpentcall or a machine called the Reclamax, you can pluck that Watchmaker’s Altar or Lifebound Initiate out of the Void at your leisure. The Ravenous Gorph didn’t eat them; he was keeping them safe!

The Ravenous Gorph, a monster, isn’t a card you add to your deck. Instead, you fight monsters, sending them to the Void and earning victory points in the process. When you beat a Gorph, you can knock another adjacent card into the Void. The Gorph gets in one last bite before you run him off. Oh, your opponent wanted that Serpentcaller? Too bad. The Ravenous Gorph just ate it.

I love the picture of that guy, and how you can see the people in his stomach, waiting to be Serpentcalled out or Reclamaxed. They don’t look very comfortable in there. The Gorph is a bit like a frog, or a cat, or a dog that’s been rebuked for chewing a slipper, crossed with an obese goblin. If Garfield were a sloth demon instead of a cartoon cat, he would look like a Ravenous Gorph. But I think my favorite thing about the Gorph is his name, which is surely an onomatopoeia. Gorph.

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