Chenaniah (ken-a-ni'-a)

Some names in Redemption are spelled in a way that makes it tricky to pronounce correctly.  For some, the spelling varies depending on which translation you read.  Chenaniah is one of those names.  Though his name starts with a “C” followed by an “h,” his name does not start with “ch” as in chicken.  Rather, it starts with “ch” (k) as in choir.

In the NIV and NET translations, his name is spelled Kenaniah, which makes a correct pronunciation much easier.  Since Redemption uses the King James Version on the cards, he has the “Ch” start to his name.  But please, don’t pronounce it “Chen…,” his name begins “Ken…”

Now that you know his name, and how to pronounce the first couple letters, let’s find out more about him.

Chenaniah was a Levite.  The Levites were a tribe of Israel who were descendants of Levi, a son of Jacob.  Aaron, Miriam, and Moses were from the tribe of Levi.  Aaron and his descendants became priests, while the other male descendants of Levi (those not descended from Aaron) were given various other responsibilities pertaining to the Tabernacle. 

During the time of King David, some of the Levites were also musicians.  Chenaniah was one of those musicians.  He was in taught and led the singers, because he was skillful in singing. 

In the Priests expansion set, a few Levite musicians were introduced to Redemption.  Heman, Asaph and Ethan are a fun little trio of cymbal players.  But they needed someone on the harp and someone on vocals.  In Rock of Ages, they get both.  The harpist is named Jeiel, and he gives the white brigade its first 1/1 hero.  Chenaniah is the lead singer:


11/7 White Brigade Hero

IDENTIFIERS: Levite, Musician, Israelite

SPECIAL ABILITY: Protect your Musicians from the special ability on the next evil Enhancement played this battle. May band to a Musician.

SCRIPTURE:   And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.  I Chronicles 15:22


Illus. © Jeff Preston/

I like the fact that musicians in Redemption are often part of a band.  Chenaniah can band to Heman, who bands to Asaph and/or Ethan.  That gives you a decent quartet of heroes.  Or, you could band to Jeiel, who, if all your heroes are Old Testament heroes, protects your musicians from capture.  Or, you could band to any version of David, including King David, who was quite a musician himself.

While this singer might be helpful in bringing the band together, the protect ability is perhaps even more useful. 

A top defense over the last couple years is based on blocking with a character with initiative and playing a single battle-winning enhancement that cannot be negated.  Since most evil brigades don’t have more than one or two such combinations of cards, players who use this strategy often include several evil brigades in their decks.  For example, two of the top three Type 1 decks at nationals in 2007 used these three enhancements as part of combos that cannot be negated: Dungeon of Malchiah, Evil Spirit (Kings), and Slave Trade.  One of the decks also used Haman's Plot, which likewise cannot be negated.  All four of those enhancements would be useless against Chenaniah and your musicians, unless your opponent plays another evil enhancement first.  If your opponent has too many evil brigades, then he will likely not have enough evil enhancements to play in order to harm your musicians.

Chenaniah is not without his weaknesses.  If your opponent is playing only one evil brigade, then your opponent will likely have a couple evil enhancements, the second of which can harm your musicians.  In fact, your opponent might not want to target your musician with the first enhancement anyway.  For example, your opponent might want to play a card that targets your hand or deck or site or fortress or artifact, etc.  And once your opponent has targeted one of those other things, your opponent may likely retain initiative, due to Chenaniah’s high stats.

Also, Chenaniah does not protect against evil characters that can win a battle without playing an enhancement.  These evil characters include the suicide kings (King Zimri and Emperor Otho), Egyptian Warden, and Antiochus IV Epiphanes.  The latter two evil characters only target one hero, so the band ability on Chenaniah does still help.  Plus, banding to Jeiel protects your musicians from Egyptian Warden. 

In addition to auto-blockers, Chenaiah is also vulnerable to evil enhancements that interrupt the battle and remove that cards in battle from the game.  Thankfully, Rock of Ages brings the musicians get some help against these enhancements and against auto-blocking evil characters in the form of a versatile enhancement.  Plus, under the right conditions, they can use Protection of Angels, David’s Music, Bow and Arrow, and perhaps other helpful good enhancements.

Chenaniah and the musicians sound good so far.  In time, they just might play their way into the top 20 decks.  While you wait for their hit tin to release (expect it to debut at #16), take a listen to an oldie in Christian rock: the song "Kenaniah" by Petra.  After hearing that song a time or two, you'll never mispronounce his name.

Next week we’ll look at one of the nine new Lost Soul cards in Rock of Ages.