Under the banner of their god, these knights in shining armor ride forth to vanquish the hated enemies of the Celestial Imperium.
After the cataclysm, most of humanity migrated to a single kingdom called Cor Mollion, now called the Celestial Imperium, to escape the deleterious effects of the flux. They built an enormous wall around themselves and have remained cloistered there ever since, until a recent shift in the political winds made it part of the Empire’s agenda to not only defend itself but to seek out, to conquer and even to colonize the Wilds. Under the banner of their god, Xosa, knights errant have begun to ride the trails of the unknown world once more.
With uniquely human efficiency, the Celestial Imperium fields large numbers of well-trained soldiers, and the siege weapons that have repelled intruders to their walled kingdom for so long now serve them in an offensive capacity as well. The Imperium has a little of every strategy available to it; infantry, cavalry and archers are backed by healers, priests and psychics. For all its forthrightness, the Imperium employs a fair few tricks as well, and with divine magic on their side, they are quite formidable, even far from the fortress that they call home.
Celestial Imperium is designed to unleash it's power at high domains, but it also relies on the powerful synchronization of the Psions, which are almost completely unique to them. Clever CI players will even find other strategies to utilize, which are based around the ability to buff creatures through tokens and the unusual methods of gaining glory. Trade Routes is a powerful card that can get players to the third domain in 1 or 2 turns. Royal Guard is a creature that gets stronger with every domain played, making a potential danger late game but also a good opening creature to play. Verdic Messenger can swap out for a Psion that needs to be saved, while Battle Linkr can simply stay put and power up it's fellow allies. Tilting Grounds, Verdic Benevolent, Lost Oasis and Elderly Swordsmaster are all based around the tokens strategy, allowing even the weakest Pilgrim to augment themselves into a colossal champion given enough time. Rune of Speed and Properly Scribed Circle can keep an assault going by continuously sending creatures over to the site of battle. Mos'k Psychic and Observatory can provide some much-needed vision and combo with cards like Avenging Angel and Brimstone Powder to damage "unreachable areas". Guardian Seraph can act as a shield, and basically makes all creatures invincible with proper backup. Cards like Peasant Army, Arcen Moatworks, Trebuchet Emplacement, and Consecrated Land may seem defense oriented, but with quick border expansion, you can put these cards to offensive use. Transcendence, Exalted One, Xosan Crusader, and Resurrection are only some of the few cards that can save a creature from death. Vow of Peace, Cathedral of Xosa, and Benefits of a Clear Mind all focus on the Glory-gaining strategy. One last thing that you may note while using CI is that while most of the weenies are VERY cheap (often costing 0-1 flux), they also start very weak, meaning that you will need more expensive creatures to back them up or buff them with tokens.
Early Game, if you have Trade Routes in your hand, skip right to Mid Game whenever you play it. Otherwise, keep reading. As stated above, CI has many cheap weenies, and this is very good for a rush, although you might find yourself lacking in the speed department a bit. Use Tilting Ground's token gaining ability to compensate for slowness with strength, and Rune of Speed to make a truly efficient rush.
Mid Game is best used as a launching pad to Late Game. You do have access to Psion cards like Verdic Messenger and Battle Linkr, as well as the extremely powerful Renevant Bishop, but other than that, you basically have many more cheap weenies and your opponent will most likely have an extra domain if you got here using Trade Routes. Anti-Magic Shell is good, but it's a waste at this point considering what you can play late game. Homestead is good for snagging a flux well though, and a CI player stuck in mid game should be able to put up a decent fight considering the amount of creatures on the board. Shield Generator is another good choice here, as it protects your buildings. If you have the skills, use the mid game to build up and prepare for what's coming out in the late game, but otherwise, try to get to the late game quickly unless you're rushing.
Late game is where CI rules. Powerful cards like Paladin of Xosa, Trebuchet Emplacement, and Guardian Seraph come out here and can turn the battle into a slaughter, especially with Anti-Magic Shell cast on them. Battlefield Preacher is extremely dangerous, because it can stop an opponent from attacking while you own creatures beat the "Preaching" creature into submission. Exalted One and Mindherd are where Psions truly shine, the former turning it's target Psion into a raging powerhouse and the latter able to provide HUGE amounts of control areas if you can keep the land safe. Cathedral of Xosa can put you one step closer to victory each turn providing Glory even if you're tied with your opponent in flux wells. Shield of Faith is a "quick shield" that can be used to protect vital creatures from dying while Resurrection can bring back any such creatures that died. Overall, strike fast and strike VERY HARD, or aim to chug glory very quickly at this stage and finish the game.
Disenchant those Trade Routes! Unless it is a CI vs. CI match, those darned things are better off replaced with your own domain levels. You can try to use cards like Possession, Charm, and Mind Transplant to steal vital creatures from CI and turn them in your favor instead. Snooping Goblin is another good counter to Trade Routes, as you can actually use opponent's cards against them. Get rid of token giving cards like Elderly Swordsmaster. Be wary when placing Enchantments: Anti-Magic Shell and Renevant Bishop might mean you've wasted flux on that Enchantment. Don't assume something that died or is at zero health is "dead" until every sign of it has been removed from the board, because CI players have many revival, transformation, and healing cards at their disposal. At three domain, don't let CI players stay there too long or you'll be overwhelmed by Holy Juggernauts that could make the other three domain creatures wet their pants. And beware if your opponent plays a card that benefits you in some way as well : chances are the card he played outweighs the benefits you got.