I picked up these 2 base/starter sets for this Deck Building Game:
As well as this expansion and promo:
...for about $40 in a Boxing Day Sale.
Admittedly, I'm not that big of a card game fan with the exception of the 2 Asian games Gang of Four and Tichu. I've got my fingers bloodied in the past with a few constructor deck games like Magic tG and Yu-gi-oh, but the power creep and PtW aspect of those was a turn off. I really enjoy the added strategy of a DBG game, but Dominion just didn't gel with my gaming group. Rune Age faired a bit better with them, but I don't get it off the shelf often. I'd sat down to the Coldest War a while back and really enjoyed it, but that group sort of evaporated and the player with the game moved away.Then I noticed one of my FLG's offered a 66% discount of the series in a Boxing Day sale and I immediately jumped on it.
Man oh man are my gaming group and I are loving it. It's got a really nice card chaining mechanic, a lot of meat to it and some very nice artwork. The chaining is challenging and cool, because it resolves in reverse order to how the cards were played, so what was a good idea at the start or middle, may end up in being a pain in the butt in the end. The Dark Rages expansion added an avatar feature, which allows you to be something like a Vampire overlord or Lycanthrope warlord and get perks while playing cards along their lines of affinity while getting penalties by playing oppositional cards. This game is much more aggressive than other DBG's in that any card you play in a chain must be used to attack opponents when it's your turn. Needless to say social interaction is pretty damn important in this game. I could see the more aggressive nature of it possibly turning off the Dominion crowd who are used to a tamer game, but it really works for my group who tend to be more wargamers.
[Edit] Doh! - I just found Bullwinkle's post with its detailed review of this from a few years ago. Oh well...that thread was from 2011 so maybe it was better to not raise it from the dead, despite that being a very appropriate theme for this game. :P