Collectible card games

Redemption - card game

Players 2-5
Age range 7+
Playing time < 45 minutes
Random chance Some
Skill(s) required Reading
Card playing
Adding & Subtracting
1 Some rules allow more players.

Redemption is a collectible card game based on the Bible. It involves Biblical characters, places, objects, and ideas. The object of the game is for a players Heroes (good characters) to rescue Lost Souls by defeating an opponent's Evil Characters. The first player to rescue 5 Lost Souls wins the game. Redemption was first published in 1995 by Cactus Game Design and its creator, Rob Anderson, continues to develop and produce the game and is the final authority on rulings.

Game play

The object of the game is to rescue five Lost Souls before the opponent. To rescue a Lost Soul, a player must initiate a rescue attempt by placing a Hero into battle. The opponent then places an Evil Character in battle to block the rescue attempt. Based on strength and defense numbers of the characters, players take turns playing Enhancement Cards to make their characters stronger. Eventually, one character wins the battle. If the Evil Character is defeated (by being discarded, converted, captured, ignored, removed from the game, etc.), the Hero rescues the Lost Soul. In general the game play of Redemption is very different from its counterparts. Unlike popular trading card games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon, and Magic: The Gathering, Redemption has no built in cost system. That is, players are not required to meet any prerequisite functions in order to place cards into the field of play. Instead restrictions or penalties are placed on the special abilities of the cards themselves in order to balance game play.

Card types

Card color

Redemption divides the Characters and Enhancements (and other types of cards) into brigades. A certain color Enhancement may only be played with that color Character. The Heroes and corresponding good Enhancements are divided into Blue, Clay, Gold, Green, Purple, Teal, Red, Silver, and White brigades. The Evil Characters and their evil Enhancements are divided into Black, Brown, Crimson, Gray, Orange, Pale Green, and Gold brigades.


The first release of Redemption was in 1995 as a set of 2 starter decks (50-card decks A and B, now out of print) and a set of Limited Edition cards, followed by an Unlimited Edition reprinting. The game was developed by releasing expansion sets and other starter decks, including, in order of release:

1995 - Originals (Limited and Unlimited Printings) and 1st Edition Starter Decks (A&B) *
1996 - Prophets Expansion
1997 - Women Expansion *
1999 - Warriors Expansion *
2000 - 2nd Edition Starter Decks (C&D) *
2001 - Apostles Expansion
2002 - Patriarchs Expansion
2003 - Kings Expansion
2004 - 3rd Edition Starter Decks (E&F)
2004 - Angel Wars Expansion
2005 - 10th Anniversary Starter Decks (G&H)
2006 - Priests Expansion
2007 - Faith of Our Fathers Expansion
2008 - Rock of Ages Expansion
2009 - Thesaurus Ex Preteritus Box Expansion
2010 - Disciples Box Expansion
2011 - Faith of Our Fathers Extended
2011 - Rock of Ages Extended
2013 - 4th Edition Starter Decks (I&J) 2013 - Rock of Ages Collectors Tin #26
2014 - The Early Church
2015 - The Persecuted Church
(*=Out of Print Cards)


Much care has been put into choosing artwork for Redemption. Some well-known artists have contributed, including: Mike Bennett, Jeff Haynie, Michael Carroll and Mark Poole. Other artwork has been taken from other Christian products and from classical artwork. Former art Director Doug Gray also made many of the images for the cards himself.

Future Sets

As of April 2013, the people at Cactus Game Design announced a new starter deck to be released in July and Used at the National tournament in New York on August 8 - 10. This Deck will be the I and J decks and will have angels (silver) and Demons (orange). Also releasing at that same time is a Rock of Ages tin (#26) with 10 new cards including another special ability lost soul.

History and Popularity

Soon after Magic: The Gathering introduced the idea of a Collectible Card Game, Rob Anderson realized that the Bible would be a "wonderful source for this type of game". Redemption was soon designed and has since grown to be the top selling Christian Trading Card Game. Additionally, recent final releases of several long-running trading card games, including Lord of the Rings and Star Trek, makes Redemption the oldest trading card game in consistent production, aside from Magic: The Gathering.

Contributing to the continued popularity of the game is the ability - especially earlier on - to easily collect the cards due to the more common distribution and the smaller set size (although as of 2006 there were over 1,800 unique cards). Also, compared to many of the Collectible Card Games, Redemption has continued to be easier to collect due to the lack of super-rare chase cards and the slower release of sets every 1-2 years.

One unique aspect that sets Redemption apart from other Collectible Card Games is that while each deck contains both good characters (Heroes of the Bible) and evil characters, the game is only won by using good characters. The evil characters do not have a chance to win the game (though they can prevent the opponent from winning).

Over the years, a rulebook has been developed and gives a reference for understanding the interactions between the card types and the cards. The most up-to-date rulebook is the 10th anniversary rulebook. An exegetical guide is also available for more seasoned players.


Rob Anderson has maintained that "Redemption Tournaments exist to foster fun and fellowship."

The nature of the game allows for and has resulted in a National Tournament structure (within the U.S.). Tournament levels range from Local to District to State to Regional to the National tournament. The National tournament is held once a year and is held in a different location each year. For official tournaments, prizes are provided by Cactus Game Design and they generally include Redemption booster packs and Tournament Promotional Cards. Redemption Nationals is open to all player; there are no prerequisites for entrance.

Online Tournaments Redemption tournaments are also held online through Redemption Table Simulator (RTS. Redemption Table Simulator (RTS for short) is the game utility that allows players of Redemption CCG to play across the Internet or a network as though they were playing across the table. RTS lays everything out in front of you as it would be on a game table. Online tournaments can be found through the Cactus website and function in the same way as face to face tournaments.

Categories of Play
At each tournament, one might play Sealed Deck, Booster Draft (instead of multi-player Sealed Deck), Type 1, or Type 2. These categories have different deck building rules. Also, each category (except for Booster Draft) may be divided into two tournaments; a 2-player tournament and a multi-player.

Ranking System
Redemption has also implemented a Redemption National Ranking System (RNRS) allowing players who cannot make it to the National Tournament to be recognized. Points are awarded for placing in each level of tournament.

  2-player Sealed Deck Multi-player Sealed Deck/Booster Draft 2-player Type 1 Multi-player Type 1 2-player Type 2 Multi-player Type 2 TEAMS
Nationals RNRS Nationals RNRS Nationals RNRS Nationals RNRS Nationals RNRS Nationals RNRS Nationals RNRS
2013 Justin Alstad Bill Voigt Matt Townsend Bill Voigt Josiah Beers Josiah Beers Tim Maly Tim Maly Justin Alstad Gabe Isbell Tyler Stevens Jayden Alstad Martin Miller & Chris Ericson Martin Miller
2012 Ian Kratzer Noel Mendoza Alex Olijar Jordan Alstad Martin Miller Martin Miller Chris Ericson Chris Ericson Josiah Beers Kurt Hake/Jordan Alstad Jonathan Greeson Jonathan Greeson John Earley & James Roepke John Earley
2011 Rebeccah Collins Noel Mendoza Eric Wolfe - Matt Townsend - Tim Maly - Nathan Voigt Nathan Voigt Jordan Alstad Jordan Alstad Gabe Isbell & Kevin Shride Nathan Voigt
2010 Brandon Abbott Mike Mendicino Tyler Stevens Shawn Capron Jonathan Greeson Jonathan Greeson Nathan Voigt Nathan Voigt & Matthew Archibald Gabe Isbell Gabe Isbell John Earley John Earley Gabe Isbell & Kevin Shride Ben Michaliszyn
2009 Sam Nurge Josh Randolf Sam Nurge Josh Randolf Gabe Isbell Gabe Isbell Brandon West T.J. Stamp Gabe Isbell Gabe Isbell Ron Sias Josh Randolph - -
2008 Michael Huerter Leeza Wolfe Jacob Fountain Gabe Isbell Tim Mierzejewski Eric Wolfe and Gabe Isbell Daniel Whitten Daniel Whitten Tim Maly Kurt Hake Steve Kamke Steve Kamke - -
2007 Chad Soderstrom Chad Soderstrom Brad Coverdale Ben Shadrick Gabe Isbell Tim Maly Daniel Whitten Daniel Whitten Justin Alstad Justin Alstad Nathan Voigt Nathan Voigt N/A N/A
2006 Claude Fong Claude Fong Sarah Harris Ben Shadrick Chandler Soderstrom Tim Maly Justin Alstad Josh Pearson Ross Lang Ross Lang Justin Alstad Justin Alstad N/A N/A
2005 Seth Mick Ben Schadrick John Nesfeder Emmanuel Echavarria Justin Sangillo Justin Sangillo David Ebert Ben Arp Kevin Shride Michael Garland Adam Erickson Justin Alstad N/A N/A
2004 Michael Bell Michael Bell Ken Shartle Adam Erickson Tim Maly Roy Cannaday Justin Alstad Justin Sangillo Joshua Hey Joshua Hey Joshua Hey Joshua Hey N/A N/A
2003 Brad Dembo Brad Dembo Joshua Meneely Brad Dembo Kyle Hostutler Kyle Hostutler Evan Sauer Eric Berkenpas Eric Largent Chris Bany Joshua Hey Joshua Hey N/A N/A
2002 Roy Cannaday Roy Cannaday Josiah Fiscus Christian De Los Rios Keith Bartram Jesse Pfeister Joshua Slinkard Eric Beise Bryon Hake Chris Bany Eric Kimmons Chris Bany N/A N/A
2001 Dave Daugherty Christopher Ramsey Brandon Knick Brandon Knick Keith Bartram Miguel Arriaga Ron Sias Juan Arriaga Bryon Hake Bryon Hake Eric Kimmons Art Middlekauff N/A N/A
2000 Nicholas Campbell - Aaron Torres - Tim Maly - Kevin Dulin - Eric Kimmons and Ron Sias - Daniel Goodner - N/A N/A
1999 Daniel Horton - Ron Sias - Keith Bartram - Lana F. - Eric Kimmons - Patrick Nolan - N/A N/A
1998 Ron Sias - Ron Sias -  ? - Ron Sias -  ? -  ? - N/A N/A
1997  ? -  ? -  ? -  ? -  ? -  ? - N/A N/A
1996  ? -  ? -  ? -  ? -  ? -  ? - N/A N/A

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