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  • Second fan expansions available in deck builder!

    The cards for Devlin Longbow and Plutarch Eastgate are now available in the Ashes.live deckbuilder!


  • Elliot Reviews Ashes – Echo Greystorm (Part 2) - A Reposting 0

    On the 17/02/2020, the website strangecopy.com will be/was taken down. Many thanks to Brandon Miller for hosting it up until now. However, there are a few articles that i believe are worth keeping a hold of, so i will be creating a series of posts that is literally a copy/paste of the original articles. I didn't write any of them, full credit to all those who put in their time and effort into writing these. In addition to that, I have edited it as little as possible, mostly just formatting.

    Elliot Kramer November 20, 2017 0

    It’s spoiler season! As part of the celebration, I’m going to be posting my own personal thoughts and reviews of all the cards officially previewed. Where many people may give a grade system from A-F, or 1.0 – 5.0, I’m instead going to be summing up each review with a prediction of where I think the Ashes 500 costs will eventually land. This gives a meaningful metric for how good I think the card is now, as well as provides a personal retrospective grade down the line to see how close I was to how powerful the card truly was in the meta. You can read more about and see the current 500 prices here.

    Please keep in mind that I am looking at things from a competitive meta perspective

    Light Swordsman
    This is the first non-unique unit of any type that can come out as a side [[side]] action and attack. Unfortunately, two class dice and a side action for a 1-time surprise hit for 1 isn’t super great.

    There are a few ways to make that better; but most of them are mediocre at best because of how clunky they are (e.g. Empower, Secret Door). The most likely to be worth playing, in my view, is Polarity Mage in combination with offensive alterations (like Power Through).

    I have serious doubts, though, about the viability of a 2-class dice ½ battle advantage, despite its ability to grow its attack value. Opportunist 1 means that it will rarely be greater than a ½, and almost always the unit will be exceptionally weak on defense. Requiring other clunky cards to make it useful is never a good thing; which makes me have to think that this card is just bad. The flexibility of a side or main just doesn’t have that much benefit when it’s attached to a base ½.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    1/1/1

    Sonic Swordsman
    Now this is what I’m talking about. Three drop allies immediately draw comparison to Hammer Knight; and this is the first one that really can shine in a similar spot. On a raw power level, I think Hammer Knight is the better card; but they are different colors and will fit in different decks. Sonic Swordsman has a very strong case for inclusion in any divine & sympathy deck.

    Compared to the Hammer Knight, the Swordsman is a better unit against armies of X/2s. When attacking with the swordsman, you can always walk-away with at least one killed unit on any attack. Against X/3’s, when combo’d with nature [[natural]] or anchornauts, you can ping pre-combat and force an awkward particle shield less their unit face certain death.

    Sonic is a superior unit when it comes to battlefield control; especially combined with its increased survivability. With Rhythmic Healing, Knuckles is better than a 2-recover unit; it will almost always heal 2 before the beginning of the next round, and in cases where you need to force a heal early you can do so through a variety of means (Hand Tricks, Sympathy [[sympathy]] Dice, Changing Winds, etc.)

    Where Sonic fails in comparison to the Hammer Knight is the Hammer Knights ability to throw raw pressure on the opposing Phoenixborn itself.

    Hammer Knights win games by hitting Phoenixborn; each connect is a massive blow to their total health. With Sonic Swordsman, people can feel much more comfortable taking a hit to the face. That being said, you almost never will be faced with the decision of playing one of these allies over the other. Unless you are playing four or more colors, the two units can’t be in the same deck. If you are doing that, you still might just want to play both. Alas, Hammer Knight’s threat to the life total makes it a first-five drop that people have to worry about. Without that, Sonic Swordsman is a little easier to avoid as a threat.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    33/33/33

    Polarity Mage
    I absolutely adore this card; it’s a really cool design fit into about an aggressive cost as you could place on it. This is how I want to see synergistic cards; they require a lot of work to make work, and If you are able to do that it should be viable.

    There are a lot of cool tricks the Polarity Mage can pull off, and I’ve got a lot of pro’s in my list:
    [[side]]She fits in either [[Sympathy]] or [[Divine]] decks; if you are in both then she is extremely flexible to cast.
    [[side]]With Massive Growth, Polarity Mage can not only turn all of your new durdles into deathbringers, but he can save your Massive Growth for subsequent rounds.
    [[side]]With Body Inversion, Polarity Mage can reduce the cost of all your illusion units by 1; even turning one of your basic [[basic]] dice into a wolf [[illusion]] as a result. Free Shadow Spirits? I’ll take 1.
    [[side]]With Power Through, Polarity Mage can slot into an already existing deck and provide a new vector of threat for an already good Power Through.
    [[side]]Versus Regress, Polarity Mage offers another counter besides Dispel that can affordably handle multiple negative alterations.
    [[side]]Polarity Mage can be returned with ceremonial [[ceremonial]] dice for 0 damge.

    1 dice for 2 toughness means that it will never trade evenly for a dice power; your opponent will either need to use a card or exhaust a reasonable unit in order to try to remove the Polarity Mage.

    The only real con I have for the card is that a lot of the effective uses are fragile or require playing with otherwise bad cards (or both, really). I think the Polarity Mage is cheap enough, though, to find a useful spot in decks – and I’ll be very happy if it does.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    6/6/6

    Enlightenment
    Removing exhaustion has been a historically overcosted ability – every flexible version of the effect costs 2 dice, has some other uses, and is entirely unplayed. Enlightenment adds a new bonus, but I’m not sure that it’s the best variant we’ve seen yet.

    A lot of people will immediately jump to Enlightenments ability to remove an exhaust off of a Phoenixborn. I don’t think this will ever be good, however – I feel confident that it will never be good being your plan A. All of the best Phoenixborn effects are just not cost-effective to use again for 2 dice and a card. Dealing an additional 2 dice to a unit in Aradel with 3 dice and a card is bad. 2 more to a Phoenixborn in Brennen for 3 dice a card and a unit is worse. It’s just not an effective option. On top of unexhausting units being shown to be a weak effect, this portion of the card just is not really a selling point for me.

    The most likely place where we will see Enlightenment is in it’s ability to remove exhaustion from a spellboard card. However, I don’t think anything exists right now that makes this portion worth it. In particular, Open Memories often seems like a better choice; or spending 2 dice to use again just seems bad. We may in the future, however, see some ready spells that can make this card shine.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    1/1/1

    Holy Relics
    The Holy Relics aren’t very exciting. They are the first alteration we’ve seen like this – a straightforward cost for a straightforward bonus; but despite being a first the effect is quite plain.

    Because of that, I don’t have a ton to say about the card. Alterations will lead to you being 2-for-1’d, and ones that don’t have respark will do so even more. As a result, alterations that can only be used once should be quite powerful in order to be worth playing. This one, however, is not. For 2 divine dice, I’d rather just have Power Through.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    1/1/1

    Law of Fear
    Law of Fear has so far been a surprisingly untalked about card since its spoiling. It’s effect is very powerful; and it fits into some existing deck archetypes very well. I’ll say it right out of the bat – I think this card pushes Meteor Victoria into outright broken.

    When combined with an effective offensive deck that can strip you of dice, Law of Fear can result in an absurd amount of guaranteed damage. Imagine having out 4 Shadow Spirits and an Orchid Dove after stripping your opponent of dice; regardless of what your opponent has out, when you play Law of Fear you are guaranteeing 10 damage by the end of the round. Attack one at a time, and they take 2 regardless – the only choice they have is if they are going to try to trade a unit while doing so.

    Outside of Victoria, Law of Fear makes a very effective tool for offensive decks. It’s the Orchid Dove of beating face. Like Victoria, I think it will usually find it’s most effective situations in separating your attacks into separate rounds. The card tricks you into wanting to attack with groups due to it’s “enter play” effect, but that is oftentimes the wrong decision. Law of Fear will be a constant threat to worry about in the upcoming meta; and not to be punny but it is a card that should always be feared against divine [[divine]] decks.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    25/25/25 (50/50/50 in Victoria)

    That’s all for today, I’ll try to have the wrap-up for Jericho before Thanksgiving (but don’t hold me to that).

  • Dolph#9b=g commented on the deck VickyTest:

    May 22, 2020 PDT

    To be honest it is just a deck I put together that I thought my brother might like.

  • I honestly haven't done that much (note the disclaimer at the top), but I'm glad that you are finding it useful. that is exactly why I have saved all the articles and am getting them back up.

  • Thanks for all what are you doing ... It's really usefull for me

  • angus#5nar commented on the deck The Masters of Gravity:

    May 20, 2020 PDT

    a useful guide to this deck can be found here

  • this is the first of a 2 parter. i will add a link to the seond part here when i get it up

  • Elliot Reviews Ashes – Echo Greystorm (Part 1) - a Reposting 3

    On the 17/02/2020, the website strangecopy.com will be/was taken down. Many thanks to Brandon Miller for hosting it up until now. However, there are a few articles that i believe are worth keeping a hold of, so i will be creating a series of posts that is literally a copy/paste of the original articles. I didn't write any of them, full credit to all those who put in their time and effort into writing these. In addition to that, I have edited it as little as possible, mostly just formatting.

    Elliot Kramer November 13, 2017

    It’s spoiler season! As part of the celebration, I’m going to be posting my own personal thoughts and reviews of all the cards officially previewed. Where many people may give a grade system from A-F, or 1.0 – 5.0, I’m instead going to be summing up each review with a prediction of where I think the Ashes 500 costs will eventually land. This gives a meaningful metric for how good I think the card is now, as well as provides a personal retrospective grade down the line to see how close I was to how powerful the card truly was in the meta. You can read more about and see the current 500 prices here.

    Please keep in mind that I am looking at things from a competitive meta perspective.

    Echo Greystorm
    As always, let’s look at the stats. A 6/17/4 Phoenixborn, Echo joins the good company of Rin and Namine. A hair easier to kill, but slightly more resilient to clogged battlefields. Since Echo will himself be clogging battlefields, this is definitely good. I think 6 battlefield is the bare minimum for something like Shield Mage to potentially see play; and Echo has a decent case to try her.

    Increase Gravity
    This ability is awesome. Adding an exhaustion token for a single dice is definitely an aggressive cost for the ability, beating out any comparable cards (e.g. Change Psyche) in the cost of an exhaustion token. I do think that the cost of adding/removing an exhaustion is closer to 1.5 or 1 than it’s current 2 placement, but Echo’s ability still fits within or under that window.

    This ability is going to be brutal against any small battlefield PBs (5 or smaller) and certainly strong against others just for the effect it has on key units. Just because of this ability, Echo will be much more resilient to double-attacks (an attack at the end of the round after clearing followed by an attack with the first player token) than other Phoenixborn.

    Increase Gravity, though, is really hard to judge. My gut wants to place it in a stalling control-deck; something like Southern Dandy. But the ability is more flexible than that and can also help you make more favorable attacks by just giving you increased board control over the course of turns. In fact, putting him into a dandy like shell just seems like it would be worse than Leo in most situations.

    Chaos Gravity
    The new parallel-cost mechanic is really lovely. I love how it allows Echo to be a host for either a Sympathy or Divine (or, of course, both). I hope we see more Phoenixborn with this kind of flexibility in the future – to me it is much more interesting than purely basic Phoenixborn or Phoenixborn tied to a single dice type (or worse, a pair).

    I’ve seen some people comment that this card is essentially 6 dice of effects (2x Change Psyche + Transfer) for 2 dice. This is hardly true — the named cards themselves aren’t really worth the two dice they ask. Chaos Gravity’s pieces also aren’t perfect replicas of of these cards but rather lightly restricted variants. Even if they were, the difficulty of lining up a useful situation for all 3 effects should also be considered a heavy tax. Each of the effects on Chaos Gravity is probably more appropriately costed between 1 and 1.5 dice; bringing it around 1-2 dice below curve (which is about appropriate for a Unique card).

    The good thing about Chaos Gravity is that you can pretty much always find a good situation for one of it’s abilities (in which case it’s fine), usually find a use for two of them (where it’s good), and occasionally find a strongly effective use for all three (when this happens, it can be insane). In order for Echo to crack the upper echelon of Phoenixborn, however, he’s going to need to have Chaos Gravity be insane as often as possible.

    The key to turning Echo into a powerhouse is to effectively be able to use the ‘transfer’ portion of Chaos Gravity. Being able to exhaust 1-2 of your opponent’s powerful units and unexhaust 1-2 of your own can be a massive tempo swing. Doing this on your side of the board is probably the easiest way to do this; all you need is a low value unit to move an exhaustion to (like a Squire or Shield Mage) and two beaters (or otherwise effective units, like an Owl). Transferring onto Shield Mage has the potential to be great; but do note that it means you have to play Shield Mage. Due to Echo’s tendency to give his guys multiple attacks, however, the extra life from Shield Mage may make him worth playing. On your opponent’s side of the board, it will be slightly trickier to arrange a truly sweet transfer effect. The opportunities will come along, however, and simply having that option will be useful.

    Overall
    Echo has some powerful potential due to a well-costed power, a large battlefield, and a high-ceiling unique. However, he will require a lot of work to make work well and the ‘trickiness’ of his play will make him easier than others to disrupt. I expect him to be a mid-tier Phoenixborn, capable of performing well at tournaments with the right player but not dominating any metas anytime soon.

    Predicted Ashes 500 cost:
    Echo – 25
    Change Gravity – 25/25/25

    Gravity Training
    Spellboard slots are always hard to dedicate board slots too; the cards have to be good. A spellboard slot is capable of providing you some huge value, either by being a continuous source of good units or some other advantage (like damage from Chant of Revenge). Gravity Training asks a fair amount of you in order for it to provide enough advantage.

    What I like about Gravity Training:
    [[side]]The cost to activate it is flexible
    [[side]]It’s free to put down
    [[side]]1 dice for +1/+1 is a relatively fair cost
    [[side]]It counters Blood Chains

    What I dislike about Gravity Training:
    [[side]]It feels very mediocre
    [[side]]It’s “bonus” doesn’t come into play until the turn after you activate it, each turn (putting you perpetually behind a turn in value)

    What I hate about Gravity Training:
    [[side]]There are only 3 Enhanced Strengths. Ugh.

    Overall, the delayed gratitude of the effect and the limited ceiling (with only 3 conjurations) make me very low on the card. In the future, if we see more effects that allow us to double-exhaust our dudes to great benefit become more prevalent (e.g. attacking with River Skald and exhausting him mid-combat for his effect with Secret Door, dealing out 4 wounds and connecting for another 4), then the stock for this card goes up. As it is, it’s too hard to really make gains from the card for me to love it.

    Predicted Ashes 500 cost:
    2/0/0 (WIth only 3 conjurations, excess copies can very easily have no value).

    Summon Raccoon Doge Mirror Spirit (summon mirror spirit
    It’s hard to talk about Mirror Spirit without talking about the art. It’s really a fantastic advancement of technology that Plaid Hat Games is showing off here. What they’ve done is put a real-world mirror into your actual soul. Many of us are good bois, and thus see good little doggies when we look at the card. Others, however, are more sinister. I’ll let you ask your friends to find what other creatures they see when they take a look within.

    As to the actual mechanics of the card, they are one of the more interesting designs we’ve seen on a conjuration. Oddly enough, they remind me of Silver Snakes… on one hand, they can perform the role of a finisher; threatening large attack power to deal massive blows to the opponent. On the other hand, they can slow down your opponent’s own progression (in this case, by exhausting their units as opposed to presenting a large health/recovery blocker).

    My highest hopes for Galaxy Camels come as some sort of surprise finisher for decks. Any deck with sympathy can threaten these out of hand and make your opponent wary of making a large unit like a 5/2 for only 2 dice if they don’t watch what they are doing. During the early game (e.g. as part of the first five), I think these guys are way too slow to be worth playing. But sneaking in at the end? That’s where I can see them earning a spot in a deck. The biggest downside here, though, is that your opponent will always know they could be coming due to the odd effect on your conjuration count.

    There’s a lot that I wish was slightly changed about the Donut pups, though. Two dice for 2 toughness rarely feels good. 3 conjurations is highly limiting. The focus ability inherently clogs your battlefield. With some minor changes, I feel like you could really see them shine. As is, I think they will fall a hair too short.

    Some things that I think are worth trying with the card:
    [[side]]Use Odette to force your opponent to kill off your ‘drained’ mirror spirits (or face retribution)
    [[side]]Combine String Mage and Gilder to stock up status tokens on a large spirit
    [[side]]Use them as a 1-2 of to be drawn into to threaten large damage in the late game.

    Predicted Ashes 500 cost
    3/3/3

    Changing Winds
    I really love this card; it’s a powerful effect that warrants its spot on the spellboard but it is also a unique enough effect that not every deck will want it. In the right decks, this card will be a game changer – and yet not every sympathy deck will want this.

    On the round it comes out, Changing Winds will allow you to see as many cards as Sleight of Hand does. For decks that have considered Sleight of Hand in the past (often Focus book decks), this will often seem like a huge upgrade. Not only do you see 3 cards the first turn, but you continue to see extra cards each turn after that.

    On top of that, you are getting a free meditation each turn. Considering that the most powerful focus book cards (Butterfly Monk and Shadow Spirit) are both power hungry, the inherent synergy is just delicious. We will see Victoria and Namine decks Changing the shit out of some winds in the coming months. The card will likely replace Shifting Mist/Magic Syphon in focus book lists, while also filling the role of Abundance in some others.

    Predicted Ashes 500 cost
    50/25/25 with same penalties as Shifting Mist

  • OneFabric#4nto published a deck!

    May 20, 2020 PDT

    Ready to Strike v0.01

    Maeoni Viper

  • spe00105#148a commented on the post New In Game:

    May 20, 2020 PDT

    sure, agreed with Angus, Welcome to the our family

  • Elliot Reviews Ashes – Jericho Kill (Part 2) - A Reposting 0

    On the 17/02/2020, the website strangecopy.com will be/was taken down. Many thanks to Brandon Miller for hosting it up until now. However, there are a few articles that i believe are worth keeping a hold of, so i will be creating a series of posts that is literally a copy/paste of the original articles. I didn't write any of them, full credit to all those who put in their time and effort into writing these. In addition to that, I have edited it as little as possible, mostly just formatting.

    Elliot Kramer November 20, 2017 0
    It’s spoiler season! As part of the celebration, I’m going to be posting my own personal thoughts and reviews of all the cards officially previewed. Where many people may give a grade system from A-F, or 1.0 – 5.0, I’m instead going to be summing up each review with a prediction of where I think the Ashes 500 costs will eventually land. This gives a meaningful metric for how good I think the card is now, as well as provides a personal retrospective grade down the line to see how close I was to how powerful the card truly was in the meta. You can read more about and see the current 500 prices here.

    Please keep in mind that I am looking at things from a competitive meta perspective.

    Battle Mage
    Battle mage brings with it the third gimmicky viable but not really explosive kill deck, in the vain of Grow Finch (Glow Finch + alterations) and One Punch Man. I call the deck, “Oops, all Refreshes”. The general idea goes like this:
    Turn One, you start a First Five with something rather innocuous looking like Summon Three Eyed Owl, Summon Gilder, Summon Butterfly Monk, Battle Mage, and… Amplify. You threaten their hand a little, try to kill some dudes, and just prepare for the next round with an Amplified Battle Mage.
    Round 2, you draw an average of 3-4 Refresh effects and start beating face over and over with your 6-10 attack Battle Mage. With Battle Mage, Refresh/Transfer/Change Psyche/Enlightenment/Chaos Gravity/Flute Mage/Sword of Virtue/Order (dimona odinstar) all cost an effective single dice. And you can easily include 12-15 copies of them. With Amplify, your Battle Mage has a huge recovery to survive to the next round and do it all over again. The deck is fragile as all hell, but man is it fun when it works. Works in Dimona, Odette, or Echo.

    Outside of that gimmick, Battle Mage is actually a really solid ally. An effective 2 dice for a 2/3/1 that can potentially gain you more dice in subsequent rounds is really great value. The card is an auto-include in any decks trying to gain advantage with Lucky Rabbits or Magic Purity, but it’s also totally viable in general. In decks making reasonable use of cards like Chaos Gravity or Sword of Virtue, the ‘one dice refresh’ effect is still a useful trick. Battle Mage is nothing crazy, but it is efficient.

    If your opponent kills the Battle Mage before you attack with it, you generally aren’t super upset. The best thing they can really do is Molten Gold your Battle Mage, which is a trade that isn’t the worst thing in the world for your 3 basics [[basic]]. If they try to Regress it, the Battle Mage still acts as a pseudo-expand energy for you to make use of. In combination with its gimmick potential, Battle Mage is one of my favorite cards in the new releases.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    12/12/12

    Elephant Rider
    Now, this is one sneaky assassin. I had doubts of Jericho’s assassinating abilities, but the Elephant Rider is as sleuthy as they get. I mean, just look at her! You can barely tell she’s even there, what with the elephant blocking your view!

    7 dice is a lot of dice. It’s a whole lot of dice. It’s the kind of dice you spend, feel really satisfied with your awesome threat, and then start to feel really depressed as you watch your opponent do all sorts of things with their seven dice. I think Elephant Rider is a really powerful threat for the dice you put into it; but it’s largest problem lies in how easy it is to stop souped-up voltrons.

    It’s hard to justify First Fiving a card that costs so much and can easily be countered by a Regress or Fade Away, and I don’t think there will be great strategies that do so. Elephant Rider will probably best succeed in decks with small Battlefields (like Maeoni or Lulu) that are trying to put powerful threats in each slot. Drawing into an Elephant Rider in such a deck in the later rounds may prove to be occasionally useful, especially if the meta is such that there aren’t great answers for the card.

    Outside of ‘fair’ uses of the card, the most likely place that I foresee Elephant Rider seeing play is as a combo with Redirect and Living Doll. After pumping up your Living Doll’s toughness with something like Ice Buff + Root Armor, you can send a massive 6 damage to your opponent’s dome by recurring an Elephant Rider and redirecting it to your living doll and on through your opponent’s skull. I’ve had moderate success doing similar with Hammer Knights in the past, but really this sort of strategy is probably relegated to mediocre at best. I’d feel a lot better if the Elephant Rider cost 6.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    2/2/2

    Magical Purity
    I’m really not a fan of this card, and in particular I’m not happy with how a lot of people talk about this card. This card is comparable to Expand Energy – it does not ‘reduce the cost’ of your 3 dice colorless cards. Instead, it’s just a conditional Expand Energy that can only bring back dice (but won’t guarantee to do so). A discount would apply to each copy made in a turn.

    There’s two ways to play this:
    - With a ‘reliable’ conjuration (Seaside Raven or Turtle Guard) that you can make each turn

    - With a large amount of triggering cards you draw into, like Battle Mage or Rayward Knight.

    Let’s start by looking at the second way: I don’t think it’s reliable enough. In particular, in order to reliably trigger this card, you need to include so many 3 drops that your deck becomes unreliable as a result; having clunky draws that you can’t consistently play. A deck looking to benefit from Magical Purity is either going to be bad, or Expand Energy (an already middling card) is going to be better.

    So that leaves us with one viable way of playing Purity: Saria or Turtle Guards (Rhino’s? I’ve never heard of them). In such a deck Purity will act as a pseudo-HP/EE hybrid – bringing you an ‘extra’ dice the turn it comes out in addition to each round after that. The biggest issue, however, is that these dice will often require meditations. The decks that truly benefit from EE like effects, though, want to go long – and meditations are not good for a deck trying to outlast.
    I do think we will see people try to bring Purity into the meta, but it’s gonna take some creative minds to truly make it work.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    0/0/0 (2/2/2 with Seaside Raven or Summon Turtle Guard)

    Spear Master
    This card is pretty pricey for what it does, which is unfortunate. Where I would really want to use a 3 power battle advantage ally is to counter Hammer Knights, Lions, and Bears (oh my) in first fives. Unfortunately, the discard cost makes this a highly deeply unattractive first five option for me. You can pay 4 dice with a Hand Tricks first five, but that is now in the realm of too expensive and less consistent (with the random draw you are now getting).

    However, a discard is definitely cheaper than a dice – discard costs are one of the reasons I was so high on Crescendo. Because of that, Spear Master may be a viable card to draw into after the first five. The problem is that the barrier for a 3+ drop is pretty high, and I’m not sure that Spear Master quite meets that. We haven’t had a super-playable battle advantage unit quite yet; and I don’t think this card is that. Their biggest problem is that after they attack they are as vulnerable as ever.

    The meta and card pool just isn’t ready for this card, and I don’t know if it ever will be.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    1/1/1

    Squire
    The Squire is pretty elegant; I really like mechanically how it works. Rather than costing any extra dice, you de-meditate to gain a benefit.

    In the right decks (decks with large or disposable battlefields), this is my favorite new answer to Three Eyed Owl. Rather than pay a power dice to recur an anchornaut, or pay a basic for a hand tricks, you can de-meditate that power dice to get a 1/1 and ‘discard’ the top card of your deck. If your deck isn’t upset about a Mist Spirit on it’s board, this is slightly better than some already viable anti-owl strategies.

    Outside of Three Eyed Owl, Squire can be useful in focusing books or finding high-impact cards while adding a small point of damage onto the board. The decks that will be trying to do all of the above, though, won’t be all. I foresee this card having the most impact in Jericho, Coal, or Brennen. Outside of that, the 1/1 actually just usually isn’t worth the battlefield slot.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    1/1/1 (9/9/9 in Jericho, Coal, Brennen)

    Hand Tricks
    Here it is, the most ubiquitously great card since Enchanted Violinist. This card should be a 3-of in 95%+ of decks, and I’m here to tell you why!

    The first mistake that people make when looking at Hand Tricks is to start by analyzing it in the context of Return 1. “But you have to mill to return it!” they say. Ignore that part of the card. It is purely gravy. The top card of the card makes it worth playing without ever returning it once.

    In Ashes, like any other card game, there is going to be a difference between the best and worst card in your deck. Games aren’t perfectly balanced, and even if they somehow were, the synergy between cards still makes you want some cards more than others. As a result, it’s almost always better to run the minimum cards possible in a deck, increasing your median card power and increasing your chances of drawing your most impactful cards. Hand Tricks lets you play with 27 cards; and that is almost always a good thing.

    But that’s not it; Hand Tricks doesn’t just let you draw a card for essentially free, it does it for better than free. Hand Tricks lets you do something I call ‘dice shifting’ – changing one color of dice for another. Illusion [[illusion]] is an extremely powerful boogeyman in the meta right now, and being able to gain an extra dice of a type an illusion player is pressuring can be invaluable. If you have 4 Nature [[natural]] dice, being able to spend one of your charm [[charm]] to get back a nature basic [[basic]] (that can later be meditated into a useful nature [[natural]] type) can be critical on turns that you are being pressured. This flexibility is good in pretty much every deck against a dice type that will be in > 50% of matchups you face.

    So Hand Tricks is already amazing, and we haven’t even gotten to the second part of the card. In normal decks, Return 1 is if nothing else an option always available to you. Have an extra dice and trying to hit a win-or-lose card? Return hand tricks and draw a card. Really need to get an extra nature [[natural]] dice, and even willing to spend some non-nature to do it? Return Hand Tricks and convert. Trying to mitigate the damage of a Three-Eyed Owl? Return and protect the cards in your hand that you know are good. But what happens when you put Hand Tricks into a shell that actually has synergy with the amazing card?

    Hand tricks = coal is an unkillable pre-nerf EV

    On top of being an auto-include already, Hand Tricks turns into a gatling gun that can even hit players in Coal. In Jericho, it provides extra magic ammo and is a great first-five card to store face down. In Namine, milling 1 to draw a card is just fine when Encore can return the milled card anyway.

    Overall, I’m happy with the card. Despite being a near auto-include; it’s not oppressive. Nobody ever feels bad because their opponent plays Hand Tricks against them. It simply streamlines decks and in doing so weakens the power of the oppressive wolf dice. So… to wrap it up…Play Hand Tricks. Just play it.

    Predicted Ashes 500 Cost:
    33/33/33 (50/50/50 in Coal or Jericho)

    While this card is an auto-include, it’s power is really revolved around the cards around it. In a cost-based deck building situation, Hand Tricks alone isn’t always worth spending your points on. If costs were based purely on power level, Hand Tricks would be at least 50.

  • angus#5nar commented on the deck VickyTest:

    May 18, 2020 PDT

    what is the wincon?

  • angus#5nar commented on the post New In Game:

    May 18, 2020 PDT

    welcome to ashes!

    as a new player, i would highly recommend you check out the slack channel. there arent many local metas since the game was discontinued, but slack is still the best place (outside of friends/gf) to get a game in.

  • New In Game 2

    Hi guys, I'm a spanish player who is starting in the game.
    First, I'm getting all the cards that are printed (I only need 6 decks: James Endersight, Fiona Mercywind, Xander Heartsblood, Echo Greystorm,Jericho Kill and Koji Wolfcub) if someone want to sell them just let me know ... ;)
    I have played Magic TCG, L5R, VS System and many other games but I found this game fresh and something diferent (I love it).
    Now, I´m playing with my gf because here (in Spain) there is not organiced game and I trying to guide my friends to the game.
    I've seen the fan expansions and they look great, well done and very balanced.
    I hope read you here

  • Dolph#9b=g published a deck!

    May 17, 2020 PDT

    VickyTest

    Victoria Glassfire

  • lidjan1#40jr commented on the post Recurring widows:

    May 15, 2020 PDT

    I think that the biggest adventage of slepping widows is just threat of having them. This element of surprise may give you big swing if your opponent doesn`t respect the fact that you could have summon slepping widows in your hand. On the other hand careful opponent may play more defensively beacouse he can fear that you would use this card. If opponent is sure that you have this card it looses much of it`s potential I would say

  • angus#5nar commented on the deck The Scoundrels of the Sea:

    May 14, 2020 PDT

    exactly. in play testing, the sharks were really vulnerable to RFG effects since there was only 2 of them. we added this ability to try and add some defensive counter play for them.

  • CthulhuTino#2tzu commented on the deck The Scoundrels of the Sea:

    May 14, 2020 PDT

    Ah okay, its a defensive ability, got it. Thanks!

  • angus#5nar commented on the deck The Path of Assassins:

    May 14, 2020 PDT

    an introduction to this deck can be found here

  • angus#5nar commented on the post Elliot Reviews - Jericho Kill (part 1) - a reposting:

    May 14, 2020 PDT

    there are more parts on the way, and I will had links here when they arrive.

  • Elliot Reviews - Jericho Kill (part 1) - a reposting 1

    On the 17/02/2020, the website strangecopy.com will be/was taken down. Many thanks to Brandon Miller for hosting it up until now. However, there are a few articles that i believe are worth keeping a hold of, so i will be creating a series of posts that is literally a copy/paste of the original articles. I didn't write any of them, full credit to all those who put in their time and effort into writing these. In addition to that, I have edited it as little as possible, mostly just formatting.

    Elliot Kramer November 14, 2017

    It’s spoiler season! As part of the celebration, I’m going to be posting my own personal thoughts and reviews of all the cards officially previewed. Where many people may give a grade system from A-F, or 1.0 – 5.0, I’m instead going to be summing up each review with a prediction of where I think the Ashes 500 costs will eventually land. This gives a meaningful metric for how good I think the card is now, as well as provides a personal retrospective grade down the line to see how close I was to how powerful the card truly was in the meta. You can read more about and see the current 500 prices here.

    Please keep in mind that I am looking at things from a competitive meta perspective.

    Jericho Kill
    Stats! Jericho comes in as a 9/15/4, which immediately brings comparison to Coal. This will not be the first comparison we will see to the defender of Rustwatch.

    I’m of the mind that 15 health is much more defensible than people make it out to be; especially if you’re able to put out a lot of pressure yourself. In combination with Jericho’s ability, I think we will find she is very survivable.

    9 Battlefield is the largest that we’ve seen yet; and if Aradel is any indication it’s practically infinite. Jericho has the room to ignore most effects that would otherwise be concerning for ‘clogging battlefields’ and the power to overwhelm those with smaller battlefields. It’s a very real strength, and an extremely large battlefield is one of the reasons Aradel has herself remained relevant today.

    Build Magic & Re-tool Magic

    Let’s talk in plain terms about how Jericho works, roughly. At her base, she can ‘discard’ up to 1 card per round to deal 1 to a unit or heal herself for 1 at some point during the round. She can do this with 1 additional card for each copy of Prepare on her spellboard. In general, this model usually means less explosive turns than what Coal would see – if you want to deal 3-4 damage a round, you’re going to have to prepare ahead for it (which is tough). It’s also worth pointing out that you can’t ever hit Phoenixborn with this; which could occasionally spell a few extra points of damage when playing Coal.

    On the flipside, her ability to heal with the card means that she can stay out of reach of burn much easier than Coal did. With prepare, she can likely gain tons of health over time. I’m not sure how great this is, though. Coal, for instance, could run Chant of Protection – and with his 5 spellboard do so at little opportunity cost. Jericho can’t as easily do so; as she not only has a smaller Spellboard but an additional slot locked up due to her reliance on Prepare. Chant would give Coal 3 health for 2 cards, and my gut tells me it’s probably about as easy to protect Coal as it is Jericho. Jericho doesn’t need to draw Chant; but Coal doesn’t need to draw Prepare.

    There’s one last little bonus to Jerico’s ability. A popular trick for some players is to discard a First Five Anchornaut (or other ally) in order to draw another card and have a chance to focus some books. Jericho is able to do so and still use that card to deal damage. I’m not a huge fan of the original strategy; but Jericho can essentially FF a card that costs 0 and says “Deal 1 damage to a unit, draw a card.” That’s a pretty good card, and one I’d be happy to play in many circumstances.

    Double Edge

    This is the largest difference between Jericho and Coal so far. Double Edge is a totally different card than OneHundred Blades, and given the importance of One Hundred Blades to Coal’s play style, this is important.

    To start, Double Edge is the best card draw spell in the game, by far. The largest problem with most card draw spells is that they cost dice. Changing Winds, Sleight of Hand, even Abundance – they all cost precious dice. Dice that you really need to make use of all the cards you are drawing. Double Edge can help you focus your books, and when you draw non-book spells (like perhaps Hammer Knight), you can still have the dice left-over to afford them.

    But that’s not it; Double Edge is also flexible – it’s also one of the best burn spells in the game. Capable of dealing 2 unblockable wounds for an astonishing 0 dice to either units or Phoenixborn, the card that can help you set up your board can also help you end your opponent. With Double Edge, you can afford more reach than almost any Phoenixborn on a lethal turn.

    Overall

    Jericho compares directly to Coal, and unlike any pair of Phoenixborn we’ve seen in the past they should often be compared as such.

    Coal’s biggest strength, though, is his ability to devastate an entire board with One Hundred Blades + Mist Typhoon and swing in big as a result. Jericho isn’t going to be able to do that. On the other hand, she will be able to get a little more reach with double edge. She’ll also never succumb to a clogged board; one of the reasons I lost at Gencon 2016 with Coal was because Regress and Blood Chains made it too hard to build a substantial enough board to threaten Leo. Jericho can almost always fit in more beef.

    I like Coal more. But they are close, and they have different strengths where the other has weaknesses. I think Coal will perform slightly better than Jericho at the moment but that doesn’t mean Jericho isn’t a force to be reckoned with. Being comparable to Coal is a huge compliment; Coal is the only Phoenixborn to top 4 both Gencon 2016 and Gencon 2017.

    Predicted Ashes 500 cost:
    Jericho – 12
    Double Edge – 25/25/25

    Prepare

    Prepare is nearly unplayable outside of Jericho. I don’t think it’s the absolute worst card in the game outside of her; it draws half a card a turn and it can hide cards from Three-Eyed Owl… but it’s pretty bad. You almost certainly shouldn’t play it outside of Jericho.

    Inside of Jericho, though, it’s almost a necessity. If you aren’t playing Prepare, I just don’t know that Jericho has enough advantages to be worth playing instead of Coal. Prepare offers something that Coal cannot do – Slash from the top of your deck. This is a huge advantage over Coal, and one that Jericho needs to use in order to succeed.

    Prepare also allows for a couple of neat tricks. I don’t think these will be used every game, but they are options that are available to you, and flexibility is good:
    You can store a First Five card and pull it out later with Prepare.
    You can store bad early-game draws for later

    You can pitch an extra card from hand with Prepare to make sure you draw a full hand next round.

    You can draw the cards ‘slashed’ from the top of your deck.

    Predicted Ashes 500 cost:
    0/0/0 (12/12/12 in Jericho – It’s an auto-include, but it’s also part of her identity.)

    Summon Turtle Guard

    Let’s get one thing out of the way. “Battle”, as is currently defined by the rules, requires countering. “If the blocking unit counters, both units are now considered to be in battle.” So if Turtle Guard doesn’t counter, it doesn’t get an extra exhaust. This means the card is a little better than it appears on first glance. Being able to block multiple durdles is significant, and for the time being the Turtle Guard can do that.

    Another thing – I don’t think this guys a turtle. He doesn’t actually have his own shell. He’s just a lumpy green dude who probably killed a turtle. This is Summon Lumpy Green Dude.

    Because this unit can guard without blocking indefinitely, it actually makes for a pretty strong wall. It can continue to block weenies from your opponent, and then save its counter for a strike that would kill it. This thing is probably better at guarding than Dread Wraith.

    People will tell you it’s a good Blood Chains target. But 4 dice is a lot of dice to spend to remove a unit from the battlefield, no matter what color you are. Occasionally this will be the right move, but I wouldn’t want this to be my plan A.
    Overall, I think Turtle Guards are worth trying out.

    Predicted Ashes 500 cost:
    6/6/6

    Summon Lucky Rabbit

    I really want to like this card. It’s cute as hell, when focused it’s got a great cost. It’s one of the few cards in the game that can actually allow you to get back multiple dice per round. A lot of people advertise cards like Expand Energy or Magic Purity as being magical wonder-cards that make your Rayward Knights cost 2 and your Iron Rhinos 1 cheaper as well. These people are liars! A Rayward Knight that costs 2 the first time a round and 3 the second is not a discounted Knight at all. It’s an extra dice, simple as that.

    Lucky Rabbits, however, can discount your cards. It’s possible for every Lion, every Hammer Knight, every 3+ cost card you make in a round to be discounted. That’s some real advantage that we haven’t really seen before. The problem, though, lies in three places.

    First – the math. With one Rabbit, you’re getting back 0.42 dice per 3-drop. With two, you’re making back .67 dice. If you’re keeping the Rabbits alive, that’s a fifth more than a single dice if you’re able to cast two 3-drops a round. That’s fairly good; but with the variance included – I’m just not sure if it’s good enough to warrant the battlefield slots, spellboard slots, and overall deck design.
    Second – the non-focus cost. These little buns are nothing but trash rabbits until they are focused. At 2 dice, you are paying an exorbitant cost for a ½ that might discount your future cards. You simply have to get the book focused.

    Finally, the battlefield slots. In order for these Rabbits to pull your crops, they’ve got to have a place to sit. These things don’t work on any battlefield size, and that has to be considered.

    But when focused, the Rabbits are great. Not only do they effectively cost 1, but they also color-shift for you, letting you make use of more dice of a color than you’d otherwise be able to (though you’ll have to meditate them, guaranteed). Overall, though, these things are probably just too much of a gimmick to make work in a real environment right now. They are close though, so I hope I’m wrong.

    Predicted Ashes 500 cost:
    3/3/3