There are three main card types in Ascension:Heroes, the people that make up your army. Each time you draw and play a hero from your hand, it provides a specified effect such as adding to your resources, banishing other cards, or even adding directly to your honor total. Most heroes belong to one of four factions.
Constructs, tools that once played stay on the board, providing their effect continuously or periodically. Because you don't have to wait for them to cycle through your deck every time you want to use them, constructs can be very powerful.
Monsters, the demonic enemy you are trying to defeat. Each time you banish a monster, you receive a reward of honor points as well as an additional effect that adds to your resources or otherwise helps you win.
Later expansions introduced additional card types:
Events are continuously-active modifications to the way the game works that, once drawn, usually stay in effect until they are replaced by another event. Events might allow a player to banish cards from their hand, acquire cards for free, or even change a hero's faction. Events appeared in the Storm of Souls and Immortal Heroes expansions.
Soul Gems, from the Immortal Heroes expansion, are random single-use copies of heroes that are drawn directly into a player's hand as a result of certain effects. If they are not used the turn they appear, they are banished.
Treasure cards are cards that can become attached to any hero, monster, or construct in the center row. When that card is acquired or defeated by a player, that player also acquires all its associated treasure cards for no additional cost. At this writing, the only treasure cards are Energy Shards and Dark Energy Shards, both of which provide a player with a third resource, Energy, which appears in the Rise of Vigil and Darkness Unleashed expansions.