When I buy a hero and put it into my discard deck, then shuffle it and draw it in my hand in a later round, do I always have to / get to play the hero's ability?

For example, each time I draw Seer of the Forked Path, do I get to draw an additional card from my deck?

Seer of the Forked Path

  • 1
    Can you clarify what other option you think there would be for how the cards work? If you couldn't play it; you wouldn't buy it...
    – GendoIkari
    Feb 18, 2018 at 18:35

3 Answers 3


In Ascension you only ever use a hero's ability when you play the card. So in your case when you draw the Seer of the Forked Path nothing happens. However on your turn if you play that card you will draw an additional card and get the choice of banishing a card in the center row. The fact that the ability only happens when you chose to play the card is important because there are times when you do not want to activate a hero's ability because it has a drawback that you don't want to encounter.

If you look at the rules it describes what every area of the card does and for the area where the ability is it says:

What the hero does when you play it

It should be noted that constructs unlike heroes stay in play and the effect happens every turn (though some of the abilities you have to chose to activate).

As a side note cards with the ability to draw other cards are generally pretty powerful and are good ones to look to acquire.


Every turn consists of playing whatever cards from your hand that you want. There is no limit to how many cards you can play; and you never have to play a card if you don't want to. So if it is in your hand, you can choose to play it.

  • This doesn't really answer the question about activating the ability. Would be helpful to include a reference to the rules and what it mentions for playing cards.
    – Joe W
    Feb 19, 2018 at 0:17
  • @JoeW; fair enough; I hadn't even considered the idea that he may not understand that the text on the card is the things you do when you play the card.
    – GendoIkari
    Feb 19, 2018 at 0:40

You seem to believe this effect happens when you acquire the hero, and are asking if it happens when you play it. It's the other way around, a hero's effect triggers when it is played, not when it is acquired.

Monster effects are triggered when you defeat the monster, they happen once and the monster goes to the void.

Hero effects are triggered when the hero is played. Very few hero abilities happen when you acquire them, for example Rally occurs when you acquire a hero.

Constructs specify when their effects trigger, usually once per round, or when you play specific faction cards (like another mechana construct).

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