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  • Kailephelps#180e commented on the post Top 5 Defining Nature Cards:

    Sep 06, 2020 PDT

    Oh man, I never realized the potential of mind fog + hypno. That sounds like a really cool deck

  • angus#5nar commented on the post Top 5 Defining Nature Cards:

    Sep 06, 2020 PDT

    Massive Growth was never particularly strong outside of cheeky "Grow Finch" decks.

    rude

  • Top 5 Defining Nature Cards 7

    Intro

    Hi, all. I am going through a series that will go through all the different dice types in an attempt to rank the top 5 most defining cards of that dice type. These are cards that, I think, are the most important to be aware of when playing against someone who has that dice type in their deck. This is not necessarily the most commonly played cards, but rather, the cards that really drive the direction a deck could go.

    Note: I am counting only cards with a cost that can be paid with that dice type. Cards with basic costs are excluded; cards that have multiple dice type costs are excluded; phoenixborn and uniques are excluded; cards with parallel costs are included in BOTH dice types sections. All cards are being thought of with respect to their 1.0 state.

    Previous Installments

    Top 5 Defining Nature Cards

    #5

    Raptor Herder Raptor Hatchling

    Perhaps somewhat ironically, I included an ally in the most defining nature cards. As Summon Fallen has proven, getting 2 bodies for 1 die is a really good deal, regardless of what the bodies are. Being able to put up 2 blockers after getting your board wiped is really strong. The Raptor Hatchling is also no slouch if your opponent lets you fill up your board. Raptor Herder was also very strong as a mount. It didn't have the biggest impact to the state of the game, but it was a flexible card that needed to be respected.

    #4

    Summon Butterfly Monk Butterfly Monk

    Butterfly Monks are the nature friends of Shadow Spirits, which I labeled as the best conjuration in the game. The reason Butterfly Monks are a peg lower is that they were not a win condition in themselves. They were, however, one of the best two defensive units in the game (with Turtle Guard). They were the perfect card to clog up the board in Coal Roarkwin decks (before breaking through with One-Hundred Blades. They were blockers and healers in burn decks. Meditating your spellboard to kill you Butterfly Monks and heal was a huge late game play to survive. Altogether, they made it extremely difficult for your opponent to punch through your line (assuming that you drew your second copy of the book).

    #3

    Ice Trap

    This card definitely fell off a bit as decks gravitated to letting units sit exhausted on the field, rather than killing them. However, I think this remains as a defining card not just for the nature magic type, but really for all of the game. Any power unit that had less than 2 life had to live under the fear of being Ice Trapped. This made running Biters, Blue Jaguars, and Winged Lionesses a challenge. It made it so that cards like Flash Archer or Blackcloud Ninja never really get off the ground. It also was a solid option to use as a tempo play to swing in early against an opponent's Phoenixborn.

    #2

    Summon Frostback Bear Frostback Bear

    When this card dropped, it completely redefined the standard for a strong conjuration. Coming out of the core set, there really was no strong mid-tier unit. Iron Rhinos were too expensive and the good 1 die summons were all 1 attack Three-Eyed Owl, Gilder, Butterfly Monk. Every conjuration moving forward was held to the Frostback Bear standard. Overtime, it became less dominant as other strong conjurations were released and punching attack damage became harder. I would say it is still close to the most efficient unit for its impact on the battlefield. Forcing an opponent to suffer either Spite or Freeze was a really solid ability along with great stats for the cost.

    #1

    Molten Gold

    Maybe this isn't the best card in nature, but it certainly has closed out the most games. Molten Gold has long been the most reliable and consistent closer in the game (with the only counter being Vanish). It gets around Chant of Protection, Redirect and Sympathy Pain and can go straight to the Phoenixborn's face. It is a big reason why most burn decks could turn to nature, despite nature having only one other card that did damage directly to the Phoenixborn (Frostbite). It was also one of the best spells to remove big units from the game. Especially as most of the dangerous allies in the game have exactly 3 life. It sometimes made things hard to play as most nature dice would be spent on conjuring units, but it when it did get played, it almost always had a huge impact. This card made it incredibly dangerous to be at anything under 4 life.

    Summary

    Somewhat surprisingly, the nature dice color is not super deep. There are a lot of really strong, power cards listed out in this top five, but it gets pretty mediocre after that. A lot of that is due to positive alterations never finding a good home. Massive Growth was never particularly strong outside of cheeky "Grow Finch" decks. Frostbite has seen some use and popularity, though it typically is outshined by Chang of Revenge. Nature's Wrath is really the only other card that I considered for this top 5. It definitely has its uses and gives access to a really nice board sweep outside of Mist Typhoon.

    Nature dice have always been a very popular "dominant" (4+) dice type in the game. Nature decks tend to be very efficient on board state with solid conjurations and unit guard to back them up. This, combined with the [[nature:power]] ability give you a lot of control of the battlefield. Having access to Molten Gold means that even if a deck is struggling to push damage through the front lines, there is a backup option to burn out the last bit of life from your opponent. It is rarely a good splash magic type, but if you are willing to commit, you can get a lot of strong cards.

  • NMohlman#4fv9 published a deck!

    Sep 03, 2020 PDT

    Ramp

    Victoria Glassfire

  • Cronos Genesis#9i6t commented on the post Top 5 Defining Illusion Cards:

    Sep 01, 2020 PDT

    That is legitimate too.

  • Kailephelps#180e commented on the post Top 5 Defining Illusion Cards:

    Aug 31, 2020 PDT

    I'm aiming for a few things:

    • Frequently used
    • High Impact or requires opponent to play around it

    - This criteria is why I left off Fire Archer. It doesn't really swing very many games despite being super useful.

    • Either enables or drives a deck's direction

    - This criteria is why I left off Emperor Lion versus Holy Knight and Sun Sister. I probably am over-crediting the latter two because they have unique deck types that you can build, versus Emperor Lion, which, as you mentioned in the other posts, is more just a "good stats" deck.

  • Cronos Genesis#9i6t commented on the post Top 5 Defining Illusion Cards:

    Aug 31, 2020 PDT

    If a player uses Illusion they are very likely to have included at least one of the cards from this list. That kind of definition mostly works for your existing lists too.
    They are essentially 'the reason' to use the dice type in question.

  • Kailephelps#180e commented on the post Top 5 Defining Illusion Cards:

    Aug 31, 2020 PDT

    Agree with pretty much all in your list. Illusion cards have some strong use cases, but can be dead cards just as often.

    It's true that Hidden Power is kind of undefining in that sense since it was such an auto-include. But, it's the card you have to play around when your are playing against illusion more so than any other. These types of questions make me realize that I don't really have a great working definition for defining.

  • kapitan#4=pg commented on the post Extract from the AMA on Reddit:

    Aug 31, 2020 PDT

    Thanks for the very nice summary! I am quite excited about 1.5.

  • Cronos Genesis#9i6t commented on the post Top 5 Defining Illusion Cards:

    Aug 29, 2020 PDT

    Its really strange that Refelections in the Water is not a good card.
    In this Game you play a lot of your units for the text. Some texts it does not delete but it negates a lot of strong effects. But then again it is a worse effect than just exhausting.
    Same goes for Strange Copy which would have been really good against Elephant Rider + Mark of the Goddess but wasn't.

    A lot of the Power Cards in Illusion come from Victorias Deck, with Hidden Power being the obvious exception.
    And ... lot of the worst cards in Ashes come from Victorias deck. 'Worst' as in not even good enough for casual play most of the time.
    Jungle Warrior you can reasonably play. Its not super great but Flash Archer , to Shadows, Body Inversion, Figures in the Fog.
    No other deck has had that many duds. I looked.
    The Phoenixborn is really the glue that held that deck together.

    There are only 2 Decks with illusion dice after Victoria in the timeline. Sembali and Rimea.
    Sembali gave us essentially Shadow Guard and Summon Spectral Assassin, which i would count as honorable mentions, because both play with Turn-tempo (meaningfully) which is very untypical in ashes. Most cards play with round-tempo.
    I always found that to be good design for illusion magic because it is a good fit for the theme of misleading the opponent and not too overpowered.
    The actual illusion keyword was not misleading at all - you know they are illusions and what happens if you attack them.

    Rimea gives only 2 cards for the purposes of this list : Summon Ancestor Spirit and Hollow.
    Hollow is probably an aggro card but replaced in a lot of deck with Beast Warrior or Raptor Herder.
    You can plan around Hollow as a defensive action in your discard pile but i never saw anyone do that to great success.
    I think people also just forget about that option a lot.
    Ancestor Spirit would be a very defining card if players didn't hate the front loaded costs so much. For a reason i might add.
    I also always disliked that you essentially never want 3 copies of that card in your deck because it kills the use case entirely. (Playing 2/3 copies does not give you greate value - its just expansive. Discarding the second copy makes it a blank card for most evaluations, but if it were a different card you could discard it still or ... play it if that is a better option)

    So is there anything mention worthy in the core game ?
    I think people forget about Mist Spirits because they are boring, but its not unimaginable that your opponents cant take that many actions every round to clear out the mist spirits.
    Its not a power card because they get hard countered by natures wrath and some other popular cards but it is not weak sauce either.
    Try killing them with mostly [[natural]] - its expansive. They are also more fun to use then you would think.

    Shadow Counter also you would expect to be good after some number of releases but it amazingly was not great against pretty much anything - maybe against turtle guard or Majestic Titan.
    In most cases it only really deals 3 damage to a Unit which is not terrible but - because of the triggering condition - also not great.

    Turns out a lot of the tempo based cards in Illusion are slightly overcosted which is why they archetype never really evolved.
    There is no deck that uses Rose Fire Dancer and Steady Gaze to create a Swing turn and there should be.
    Rose Fire Dancer would be a lot better with Flute Mages stats of 1/2.

    As it is, this is mostly a list of cards that cheat the cost metric one way or another.
    Its a very defining theme for the dice type. And a little bit sad.
    Abundance was clearly intended as a mill card. It deserves the fifth place because of the Victoria combo, but that was a quite abusive interaction. Not fun at all.

    And yeah, Hidden Power was the one overpowered card in the dice type. But does that not make it kind of undefining ? It essentially says nothing about the structure of your deck.

  • Top 5 Defining Illusion Cards 5

    Intro

    Hi, all. I am going through a series that will go through all the different dice types in an attempt to rank the top 5 most defining cards of that dice type. These are cards that, I think, are the most important to be aware of when playing against someone who has that dice type in their deck. This is not necessarily the most commonly played cards, but rather, the cards that really drive the direction a deck could go.

    Note: I am counting only cards with a cost that can be paid with that dice type. Cards with basic costs are excluded; cards that have multiple dice type costs are excluded; phoenixborn and uniques are excluded; cards with parallel costs are included in BOTH dice types sections. All cards are being thought of with respect to their 1.0 state.

    Previous Installments

    Top 5 Defining Illusion Cards

    #5

    Abundance

    I went back and forth on this card, as it really has only found a home in Victoria Glassfire decks. However, this card played a huge role in enabling these heavy illusion decks to take over the meta. The main role it played was letting you draw into Illusionary Cycle over and over again. Vicky decks tended to rely on stripping opponents dice. To do that, you need dice recursion, card draw, and the illusion dice power. Abundance provided the key ingredient of card draw. It also gave Victoria Glassfire a way to close games if she was unable to break through opponents' boards. It didn't find much use in other decks as most PB's couldn't use extra cards or they couldn't guarantee getting their opponent to run out of cards, but it was key in some of the most dominant decks in the game.

    #4

    Gates Thrown Open

    Gates Thrown Open was yet another illusion dice recursion card. I was initially pretty surprised that it was printed. Getting a net of 2 extra dice per round seemed crazy. However, it did have significant drawbacks. It required you to use a spellboard slot. But, perhaps more importantly, it was just awkward to use. You had to have use enough dice to recur. You would have also needed to have cards that could use the extra dice. It was great for big ally decks or for expensive action spells. Being able to slot it into your First Five also meant that you could calculate ahead of time exactly what you want to spend the dice on. If you were able to use the extra dice effectively, you could set yourself up for some very strong starts.

    #3

    Angelic Rescue Angel's Embrace

    This card could technically be thought of as a dual cost, but I'm going to slot it in here because the primary effect as a reaction is really the important effect. This card was the counter to the many destruction spells that target your big unit. The main effect this had on the game was creating a counter to Fear. This let you run big units that were not Elephant Riders or Holy Knights without worrying about instant destruction. It was crippling to Earthquake, Phoenix Barrage and Sword of Virtue. Usually, decks running big allies and conjurations would tend to be [[nature:power]], [[ceremonial:power]], and [[divine:power]]. This gave a solid reason to switch over to illusion.

    #2

    Summon Shadow Spirit Shadow Spirit

    The top 2 should really not be a surprise for anyone. This card would rate as my #1 conjuration. Every deck that would run more than a couple illusion dice would run this. For much (if not all) of the game, this was the only illusion unit worth playing. This card worked well both offensively and defensively. It worked well other illusion cards that gave you extra [[illusion:power]]. It worked well as a unit to wall up with if you drew at least a second book. It gave you flexibility to meditate away if you needed the extra battlefield slots. It was the cheapest way to fill your board with units with 2 attack value. They traded well with just about any unit and forced Phoenixborns to guard and take a lot more hits than they may want to.

    #1

    Hidden Power

    This has been pretty consistently regarded as the strongest card in the game. Just using it for nothing but dice powers would have made it a top tier card. You could use it as 2 [[nature:power]] pings, or you could use it for the [[illusion:power]] to strip away an opponent's resource. You could use it to grab two [[divine:power]] for Meteor or to summon another powerful ally or conjuration. Having Hidden Power in your deck meant that you could threaten to play just about any card in the game as long as you were showing a single [[illusion:class]]. It is the only card that I can say was truly an auto-include in any illusion deck, regardless of the number of dice and regardless of the goal of the deck. There was never a reason to not include it. It really could be said that this is the most defining card of the entirety of Ashes 1.0.

    Summary

    Usually, I have a lot of thoughts for honorable mentions. However, for illusion, I was actually struggling to come up with 5. Shadow Spirits and Hidden Power are just head and shoulders above all other illusion cards. Every other illusion card seems very situational. Fade Away, Steady Gaze, and Reflections in the Water all have specific purposes, but their importance in the meta has always been shifting. Shifting Mist is a popular card, but I've never thought it really was worth the spellboard slot (unless going up against a mill deck).

    Illusion has universally been thought of as the strongest dice pool just for the combination of Hidden Power and the [[illusion:power]] power action. It's hard to disagree with that stance given that almost every top deck in the history of the game has run illusion. However, the card pool also has the widest variance in the strength of cards. Illusion units tended to be way overcosted. Other illusion cards are very situational, but then it also includes arguably the top two cards in the game. It is the dice pool that is going to have the biggest change with dice recursion being removed and the dice power being changed significantly. We will see if the [[illusion:power]] dominance can overcome all of these changes.

  • Sapper_D#41-e published a deck!

    Aug 27, 2020 PDT

    Drawn to the Darkside

    Odette Diamondcrest

  • KingOfOdonata#3*td published a deck!

    Aug 27, 2020 PDT

    Protectors of the Sun

    Orrick Gilstream

  • KingOfOdonata#3*td published a deck!

    Aug 27, 2020 PDT

    Frost Burn

    Brennen Blackcloud

  • Skaak#1st! commented on the post New Dice Powers:

    Aug 26, 2020 PDT

    The full text of the new dice powers, as posted by Nick Conley in the Discord server:

    [[side]] - 1 [[ceremonial:power]]: Search your discard pile for an ally and place it into your hand. Deal 1 damage to your Phoenixborn.

    [[side]] - 1 [[charm:power]]: Place this die on a target unit an opponent controls without a charm die on it. While this die in on that unit, its attack value is reduced by 1. Place this die in your exhausted pool at the end of the round.

    [[side]] - 1 [[illusion:power]]: Choose up to 2 dice in a target opponent’s active pool. Lower each die one level (power to class, class to basic).

    [[side]] - 1 [[divine:power]]: Place this die on a target unit you control without a divine die on it. While this die is on that unit, its attack value is increased by 1. Place this die in your exhausted pool at the end of the round.

    [[side]] - 1 [[sympathy:power]]: Draw 1 card. You may choose 1 card in your hand and place it on the top or bottom of your draw pile.

  • ShiningAquas#5683 commented on the post New Dice Powers:

    Aug 26, 2020 PDT

    I am part of that group, but all those things are public knowledge. Nick went into the Discord group to confirm the Ceremonial mixup

  • Cronos Genesis#9i6t commented on the post New Dice Powers:

    Aug 26, 2020 PDT

    1 Damage is a lot better than 0 but still a drastic change.
    I thought about the Frogs not having changed.

    Am i right to assume you are part of the playtesting group ?

  • ShiningAquas#5683 commented on the post New Dice Powers:

    Aug 26, 2020 PDT

    Just a couple clarifications:

    [[Ceremonial]]: "Search your discard pile for an ally, place it in your hand, and deal 1 damage to your Phoenixborn. (This is the correct version, apparently an early one was updated on accident according to Nick).

    [[Sympathy]]: The tuck is indeed optional now, and the original power was not optional.

    [[Natural]]: Actually, the reason this one isn't shown is because it didn't change at all.

  • New Dice Powers 4

    Update : The Picture on the Website has been updated to show more accurate information.

    Source is this header Image from the plaidhat Website : https://media.plaidhatgames.com/filer_public_thumbnails/filer_public/7c/05/7c05910c-6ec0-4afc-8044-f39b04176b28/ashes-reborn-header-dice.jpg__1281x503_q85_subsampling-2.jpg

    So the new Dicepowers got leaked as whole, not just Illusion.
    Im sure nobody looked at the Cards, so here is the visible text in case the image gets replaced :

    • Ceremonial : Search your Discard Pile for an ally and place it into your Hand. (No more damage ? - this hints at an intensive rework for Xander and likely fire archer)
    • Sympathy : Draw 1 Card. You may ( was it always a may ?) choose 1 card in your Hand and place it on the op or bottom of your draw pile.
    • Charm : While this Die in (typo) on that unit, its attack value is reduced by 1. Place this die in your exhausted pool at the end of the round.
    • Divine : While this ... on that Unit, its attack ... is increased by 1. Place ... die in your exhausted ... at the end of the Round.
    • Natural : Not shown
    • Illusion : You know
  • NMohlman#4fv9 published a deck!

    Aug 24, 2020 PDT

    Sembali 1.0

    Sembali Grimtongue