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Type: Event Faction: Shub-Niggurath
Cost: 0
Game Text:
Action: Play a character card with cost 3 or lower from your hand. If that character is still in play at the end of the phase, sacrifice it.
Flavor Text: "The cautious seldom error."

Special Attribute: Steadfast - Shub-Niggurath x3
Set: DotU
Number: 51
Illustrator: JB Casacop


Why can I use Ambush to play characters outside of the Operations Phase and why doesn't it work with Corrupted Midwife?

It let's you play characters outside of Operations because the card specifically says so.


However, the reason it doesn't work with Midwife is she is making you play them as you next action, whereas Ambush is a different action other than playing them, which is why it can't be combined.

Ah, I understand. Thanks a lot for explaining.

I don't understand the point of this?

I don't understand the point of this?


My son uses it all the time to good effect. It allows him to drop a surprise character into a story, and then can bring it back later with Dark Rebirth.

what does the sacrifice mean, is it gone forever or is it the same as being killed, you can't come back from that? I'm still a bit unsure about the discard pile? some cards you can bring back but some cards have a cause that removes it from the game completely is that right? I still don't know why you would want to play card that means you have to discard another later on? 

Sorry for being think!

Sacrifice is one of a ways that a character in play can be made to leave play. Mainly it is some cards trigger off being destroyed versus sacrificed.


Here is a quote of the distinct from p14 of the rule book:


Destroy and Sacrifice

When a card is destroyed (this includes a character that has taken a fatal number of wounds), it is placed into the discard pile.
A character that is sacrificed is also placed in the discard pile. A player can only sacrifice cards that he controls, that is, a player can never sacrifice an opponent’s card. Also note that “sacrifice” and “destroy” are not interchangeable terms: A card that is destroyed is not sacrificed, and vice versa.


As KingMob says, you can use to have a character turn up from hand that your opponent wasn't expecting, which could have a strong ability that triggers on entering play, or even used to help support a story so your other characters don't go insane/wounded. Having the Ambushed character chosen for a combat struggle is a solid option, as they were getting discarded anyway.

You can only sacrifice your own cards (sacrifice is often used to pay a cost or to force your opponent to kill someone but he gets to choose who it is).  Also, it's not the same as destroying a card, so this can matter for various triggers that go off when something is destroyed, etc...  The character still goes to the discard pile as normal so anything that can bring a card/character back from discard will still work.


There are some "remove from the game" effects, but very very few.

great thank you guys

Correct me if I'm wrong here... I have Arthur Todd on the table and the newest version of Shub-Niggurath in my hand. During my opponent's story phase, I sacrifice Todd and then play Ambush in order to play Shub as a surprise blocker for the turn. Any reason why this wouldn't be a legal play?
Jan 03 2016 06:31 AM

Sorry Track8, its a nice idea, but my first instinct is that it doesn't works.


From the FAQ, action window in detail, the play of a card goes like this:

1) Action initiated

1a) Determine (initial) costs.

1b) Check restrictions

1c) Apply cost penalties

1d) Apply cost reducers.  <- Arthur Todd effect applies here.

1e) Pay costs.


So Todd is letting you play a card you might be otherwise be unable to afford, but it doesn't change the cost of any card until that card is already being played.


That means that when Ambush checks the price of Shub Niggurath, it finds it is greater than 3, and wont enable you to even try to play the card.

If Ambush said something more like: "Play a card that would cost 3 or less to play", then that could work, since it would let you look at effective cost rather than printed cost.


I am pretty sure I have seen a similar question come up before with the core version of Yog Sothoth (who routinely costs less to play than his printed cost), and imagine the new Hastur also has this issue.

Hmm, that definitely makes Ambush less appealing then. Thanks for the insight.

Reading the Database staff reviews of this card, it seems like there's some serious uncertainty about how this card works.  One review suggested you still have to pay for the character, but I side with a different review that said the character is played for free.  Ambush doesn't say "you may play your next character any time you could trigger an Action."  It says "play a character card," so the paying of the character's cost seems to be skipped.  


I hesitated to comment on this as this card has already gotten a lot of attention here (including from me), but I felt like this was worth opening to potential discussion in case anyone disagrees with me.  Sorry if I'm just stating the obvious, but when even the vets' interpretations disagree, you know noobs like me might have trouble.

The verb phrase "play ... from your hand" indicates that the regular costs are still in effect. If it were a freebie, it would say "put into play."

I hope you're wrong, Carthoris!  If you're right, that would mean Ambush is super-narrow, and the card disadvantage would be harsh.


I interpreted Ambush as essentially putting a character in play, except it still allowed a character like Ol' Lazy Eyes to work.  I concede that my interpretation might be wrong though.

At 0-cost, even with triple-steadfast, that sounds absurdly overpowered to me.

Aug 28 2016 05:29 AM

I am a little torn on this one, I always assumed you got to play the card for free, but I am not certain that is correct.

I note that if you play a card as an Action, then the action window in detail says step 1f of that, after all the costs are paid, involves "play the card", and given the imperative form used in this card's text, I assumed it basically meant that.

As such, it was like saying "put the card into play as if you have played it from hand", rather than just enabling a play action at a time when it wouldn't normally be legal.

Even with this favourable interpretation, the card seems always seemed pretty weak to me, you lose two cards, and rarely take out more than one opponent card for your trouble.

    • Track8 likes this

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