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

    Aug 24, 2020 PDT

    You might be right on that. It definitely suffers from coming out and not being fully explored once the game ended. I'm remembering now that it was one of the cards I was most excited about.

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

    Aug 24, 2020 PDT

    I probably did not play enough with Mounts.
    But Sun Sister seems to need the mounts to have that effect. Shepard fits in every deck. So in that Sense Sun Sister is more defining, but that also comes a lot from the mounts.
    Shepard Dying is also not undesirable. With Chant of the Dead and Grave Knight you actually want her to die. Its a strong combination as well.

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

    Aug 24, 2020 PDT

    I would probably rate Seeds of Aggression in the top 5 of charm cards in terms of strength, but I tried to choose cards that drive the direction that a deck is going. I don't think seeds does that as much, though it is pretty solid.

    I mean there are Decks that are driven by mostly Unit stats and only very little by text. They are boring but they are not bad enough to be ignored.
    I think you ingored that archetyp of decks somewhat in your analysis.

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

    Aug 24, 2020 PDT

    Thanks for reading this. Happy to hear your comments.

    I definitely agree with Shepard being much stronger than Sun Sister in 1.5, but I think in 1.0, Sun Sister was actually pretty hard to kill. You would have to kill the mount and then Sun Sister on the same turn or she could just mount again and trigger her ability again. Personally, I would run both of them in mount decks, but I feel like I saw Sun Sister used more frequently and to a stronger effect in the games that I played.

    100% agree on Holy Knight. I fully hope (and expect?) it will be significantly changed in 1.5.

    I don't really disagree on Emperor Lion. I went back and forth on putting it on the list. Again - I would say anything from 2-6 was essentially equal to me. Eventually, I put Holy Knight ahead of it because it enabled some specific decks. I felt like Emperor Lion was a bit more replaceable.

  • Theshufflebus#80v! published a deck!

    Aug 24, 2020 PDT

    Aradel Empowered by Dread

    Aradel Summergaard

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

    Aug 24, 2020 PDT

    Thanks for reading and the responses!

    I disagree on Open Memories. Just running it with Butterfly Monk or Shadow Spirits sets you up to be in a really strong spot on the board. In the first round, it might put you a tiny bit behind (4 dice for 4 life), but every round after that you can spam two 2 health units for a single die. Beyond that, it lets you double down on whatever your best conjuration is for that matchup. It's also something that you only get to do in Charm, so it gets points for being unique. If you're saying that Redirect and Sympathy Pain are stronger, I probably don't really disagree with that.

    I would probably rate Seeds of Aggression in the top 5 of charm cards in terms of strength, but I tried to choose cards that drive the direction that a deck is going. I don't think seeds does that as much, though it is pretty solid.

    Majestic Titan is a good suggestion that I overlooked. I don't remember seeing it in any top decks (though to be fair, [[charm:power]] dice were almost never in top decks), but I can see it as being a very strong conjuration. My leaving it off probably has more to do with the fact that I did not play enough with the last couple expansions to see it in full effect.

    I think Sympathy Pain was able to be avoided by attacking charm dice with [[illusion:power]]. Now, obviously, if you are running Sympathy Pain, you should include ways to trigger it yourself, but I think the fact that it required 2 charm made it significantly harder to use versus Redirect. But, I can definitely see the argument that Sympathy Pain could just win you the game outside of your turn, so I don't disagree too strongly. I just think it was hard to pull off effectively.

    I agree that owls are knocked down a tier by all those cards. But, they are still a strong First Five threat and I view them as enabling just about every charm-heavy deck. I don't think I've seen a deck run 4+ charm that doesn't run owls with the exception of Holy Knight + Amplify + Hypnotize stuff. And even that deck is helped by the threat of owls potentially being in the First Five.

  • Cronos Genesis#9i6t commented on the post Some Thoughts On Dice Recursion:

    Aug 23, 2020 PDT

    I have been with the game since launch and i have played my fair share of card based duel games.

    Mana Cheating and Dice Recursion in this game are mostly analogous but not quite.
    There is a Concept in Mathematical Game Theory called 'Mass Arguments' which are simple size based arguments for which player is more likely to win without looking at details.
    For Example in Magic you know a player is at an advantage if he has spend more mana by turn 4 than his opponent.
    The most common Mass Argument in Card games is the relevant Action Count.
    What a relevant Action is depends on the Game.
    In Magic essentially playing a non-land Card that does something other than just drawing is a relevant action. (Probably not 'Opt' but you know what i mean.)
    And it turns out that you are favored to win if you performed more actions in a Game of Magic than your opponent. This is true regardless of Mana Colors or other specific information. You might not be favored by a lot, but you are favored.
    And this makes sense too, since cards are supposed to be somewhat equal in power, so if you play more than the opponent you are supposed to have more things going for you.

    This is why Card advantage is so vital in Magic. You can not have more relevant Actions if you run out of Cards. Despite the many ways you can play that game, this principle underlies almost every match to a certain degree.
    And of course the Notion of Tempo and therefore mana cheating are relevant for this too.
    If you can perform many relevant actions early on, as aggro decks tend to do, you are favored early.

    These Notions do not transfer to Ashes 1:1 because you draw up to 5 cards every round and get 10 mana every round.
    In this Game Drawing Cards Costs Mana which resembles a direct loss of relevant Actions.
    You just cant afford to play Sleight of Hand instead of playing the corresponding Unit value which is about a 2/2 with a minor ability.
    Only Dice neutral Card Draw like Hand Tricks was even playable.

    In Mtg Mana Cheating is kind of an End Game mechanic that pushes Games to their conclusion. It deliberatly breakes the standard Conversion Rate of Mana to Stats.
    This is only doable because at later stages of the Game players can have more mana than they can spend. This why Token spawners in Magic, the equivalent to summoning spells in Ashes, sometimes ask for 7 mana to produce a 2/2.
    To keep the bottleneck of Card draw relevant and to enforce the standard Conversion Rate of Mana to Unit stats at least early on.

    In Ashes you do not have the problem of having too much mana at your disposal.
    In fact there is at least the Dice Power which you can use should you have a Power Side.
    And yes, Ready Spells, most prominently Summoning Spells give you a mana sink. They kind of replace the function of Card draw in Mtg in this sense.
    They are also a core part of the Games design and changing them drastically alters the structure of the standard deck players can realistically build.

    For example you could limit the times you can use a Summon Spell.
    That means that bigger Conjurations suddenly get a lot more value while smaller summons just might run out of fodder. Something that gets relevant in late game stale mates. It also adds a lot of book keeping which is probably why it is not a thing.

    To get to the point : Ashes is heavily balanced around you gaining the equivalent of 10 Dice per turn in terms of Unit Power, which is about 10/10/5 in stats with some abilities. If you were to gain 2 Dice during a round and convert them into stats, you have achieved action advantage like in magic.
    The same is true if you have a 2/2 Unit carry over from one round to the next, while your opponent does not.
    Gates Thrown Open did not changes this at all. The Reason Gates Thrown open was not overpowered is because it taxed a very precious stat : you Spell Board Slots, which is a limit to how many conjurations you can have.
    Spell Board Slot management is fundamental to winning. Your average deck needs 2 summons and a support spell.
    Otherwise you - on average - lose to most decks. Because they have - on average - more relevant actions.
    Forcing you to use mana in special places reduces useability but you can often work around that. For example you could use mana on Gates Thrown Open to Summon a Battle Mage which in turn gives you a basic or even 2 with Magic Purity. In the End it only matters if you can pay for your Hand in total in some order of play.

    Dice Recursion that uses Ready Spell slots is probably the only form that there can be in Ashes without blowing the Dice to Unit stats Ratio out of proportion.
    In Magic you can ignore the Ratio because player gain more lands over time, meaning that some cards can only be played late.
    In Ashes every Round gives you guaranteed 10 mana and 5 cards and every card can be played on turn one.
    The only semi good clock for game progression that ashes has is focus on ready spells. You cant even count cards in the discard piles to judge the game progression as players can meditate their entire deck into it on turn one (which is a flaw in my opinion.)

    Short : So why is Dice Recursion bad ? It breaks the standard Ratio, which you need to have for cards to be balanced as every card can be played turn one.
    And all of this is irrelevant if you change summoning spells in a systematic fashion.
    And yes, Hidden Power was a no brainer in decks that could play it and probably limited design space in many ways.

    Is it okay for a Phoenixborn to have a similar card as their special ?
    No. There needs to be some relevant side effect to Recurring dice.
    I posted a community update for a lot of cards in the past on this site. Our Version of Hidden Power exhausted your Phoenixborn and could only be played if your PB was not exhausted and Victorias Illusionary Cycle would cost 1[[Main]] 1[[Discard]] - with those changes these cards are still very good.
    1.0 Victoria is overpowered by my metric. It does not come through as extreme because the standard tournament game of ashes only lasts 3 rounds and in round 1 having cycle is not as good as you do not have ready spells from the previous round, so there is little time for the advantage to manifest. This makes it seem like the dice power is the problem, but it is not the only problem.
    There are plenty of details i left unmentioned.

    Lastly, Body Inversion or Resonance do not count as Dice Recursion in my book. Im sure most players would not list it as such for the simple reason that they do not give more than they cost.
    This kind of cost can make sense.
    Some cards want to check if you have a minimum of colored dice to play them but their effect is not strong enough to cost multiple dice.

    Ashes has histrorically not asked you to count dice in your pool. Instead it askes you to pay 2 [[illusion:class]] and gives you back part of the cost.
    It is a limit to deck construction. Imagine a Card that costs 7 [[Illusion:class]] that gives you back 5 of your dice. It effectivly costs 2 but you need 7 illusion Dice to play it.
    There are other ways to do this, but this is how ashes does it.
    Those Cards are not relevant to the whole Dice Recursion Problem.

    What do i hope for in terms of dice recursion / Dice Economy ?

    • Real Dice Recursion only with some downside that is mana neutral or bound to later turns by some elegant mechanic yet to be discovered.
    • Maybe a big Ally that produces status tokens that can be used to pay for 1 [[Basic]] in a Reaction Spell. That might be okay because it can be killed and is restrictive in card type AND timing. Might be okay with other card types as well.
    • Have more Royal Charm like effects that allow you to recurre dice only for the dice power, but on Action Spells or Allies.
    • No Strange Time Cards that allow you to pay with Dice from the Future.
    • Better Pricing on some overcosted cards like shatter pulse, Flash Archer
    • Some interesting additional effect for Shifting Mist and Magic Syphon
    • slightly bigger units with alternative costs, like 4/4 demons for 2 [[ceremonial]] which need a sacrifice.
  • Some Thoughts On Dice Recursion 1

    It was rumored that Ashes 1.5 will diminish or even completely remove the concept of dice recursion, and thus I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss what makes dice recursion so powerful, in my opinion, and how the different card designs affected the imbalance of mechanic.

    This post is based on my assumptions and predictions, and I apologize in advance if some of these are wrong/inaccurate. My intention is to analyze and incentivize a discussion, and not point fingers at anyone.

    WHY IS DICE RECURSION SO GOOD?
    Dice recursion could be considered very similar to Mana Cheating, a concept that could be found in other cost-per-card-based card games, such as Magic or Hearthstone. Even though Mana Cheating is not a prominent mechanic, the fact that players can mentally "reduce" the cost only for certain cards makes it more manageable. For example, if a card says, "your <BLUE> cards costs 2 less", it is both easy to track without changing anything physically in the game and it is restrictive, in the sense that only <BLUE> cards (whatever that may be) benefit from this effect.

    This is NOT the case, in Ashes, however. Since the "Mana" in this game is represented by actual physical dice, it is almost impossible to track down a die for a specific use. In fact, only one card in Ashes 1.0 takes this approach of tracking down recurred dice (or, cheated mana), Gates Thrown Open.

    Since you are unable to track down the dice, you are gaining "Mana" that is available to all cards and effects, and this could be utilized in unintended ways. Specifically, I think what makes this effect so dangerous is the Summon X Spells in your Spellboard.

    THE PROBLEM WITH SUMMON SPELLS
    Summon Spells are a core identity of Ashes 1.0 (and I hope Ashes 1.5, too). These stay-in-play Spells allow to keep summoning and re-summoning your Conjurations without end as long as you have the dice to do so.

    Aha! So we can immediately see the problem that rises with dice recursion. You can keep paying the cost for your Summon Spells, and do so effectively more times than you would be normally allowed. Other Ready Spells can be also exploited, but the Summon Spells provide the means to actually fight for the Battlefield and win the game, which makes them more dangerous from that perspective.

    Moreover, while later designs increased the cost of Conjuration and incorporated requirements other than dice to call upon the powers of these creatures, early designs only required you to spend dice and a Main Action (or, rarely, a Side Action) to summon some of the fiercest creatures in Ashes 1.0, like Frostback Bear or Emperor Lion. Two extra Nature dice or three extra Divine dice meant another one of these creatures was available for you. It it less of an issue during the first round, but as you begin to Focus your Summoning Spells, those extra dice become really impactful, since you would have more Summoning effects to utilize in those rounds using the extra dice.

    IS THERE A HEALTHY DICE RECURSION EFFECT?
    Now THAT is a good question, because everybody loves "extra" stuff! I think that dice recursion effects may still have a negative impact if combined with cheap-costed, highly-impactful Conjurations (and we already know Ashes 1.5 will try to mitigate dice recursion effects, if not remove them completely), but I think some dice recursion effects are still valid.

    Specifically, dice recursion is very interesting to me as an identity for a Phoenixborn. Having a Phoenixborn ability or unique card being able to recur dice is fine, as long as the effect itself is balanced. Let's take Victoria Glassfire as an example. Victoria's ability, combined with Illusionary Cycle, only nets you 2 dice in a round. The issues start when you consider that: (1) Illusionary Cycle shuffles itself into the deck, so the extra 2 dice are actually granted more than 3 times per game (2) the original Illusion dice ability (which you are using if you use Victoria) is so suppressive that you sometimes do not need the follow-up cards to capitalize on those extra dice.

    Other than identity-related cards, I think the other "dice recursion" cards really suffered from the existence of Hidden Power in the Core Set. Not only does this card gives you access to the Illusion dice ability, but it recurs dice for basically free. Most other cards either had to limit the dice to certain types or sides (like, Lucky Rabbit), or had to shut-down your Spellboard (Law of Assurance or Expand Energy), just to make sure these effects do not go out-of-hand.

    I think the design for Law of Assurance is actually the best when it comes to dice recursion, because the Bound mechanic limits the potential to "over-Book" (exploiting extra dice for multiple Book Summons). It is worth noting that Bound does not completely solve the problem, because Books can still be focused for catastrophecial results.

    WHAT DO I HOPE TO SEE FOR ASHES 1.5?
    A closer look at certain cards in Ashes 1.0 shows some of them had "dice recursion" for no reason. Body Inversion or Resonance come to mind. I can only guess why these cards were designed that way, but I hope that this sort of "dice recursion" is either replaced by a lower cost for the cost or a more powerful effect for the original cost.

    In addition, I do hope some dice recursion is kept to serve as an identity of a Phoenixborn. I would prefer seeing more Law of Assurance-like dice recursion, and less Hidden Power-like. I truly believe the mechanic, while potentially quite powerful due to Ashes's design, has some valid space in the metagame, without being too oppressive.

    Thanks for reading this analysis, I would to hear your opinion and thoughts about this topic.

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

    Aug 23, 2020 PDT

    I like the lists too by the way. I only disagree with some points because that is the easiest comment on such a list.

  • AtaiPea#6kjo commented on the post Top 5 Defining Divine Cards:

    Aug 22, 2020 PDT

    This list is going to be really helpful to me, as I recently ordered the divine and sympathy deluxe expansions to add to my collection, so this will be my first taste as to what these cards/dice power synergies can really do.

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

    Aug 22, 2020 PDT

    I would say Meteor and Power Through belong into the list pretty much no matter what - that is true.
    I think Shepard of Lost Souls was so much easier to get going than Sun Sister that is actually the better Card of the two. Mounts are really the deciding Factor here, and in the 1.0 Version of the Game i could understand giving both Units a tie.
    You will however not be able to dismount at will anymore and the Unit will go back into your Hand (Source is Team Covenant Podcast) which really makes the Shepard better.

    Lioness at Place 3 i agree with. Its a simple ability but dictates a lot of the games dynamic.
    Holy Knight i always thought of having bad Design. It is slightly too immune to everything. The Dice cost is reflective of that but still it is not fun for the opponent.
    That being said, a lot of players put it into their decks for just this reason. It is uninteractable most of the time and they can essentially play solitaire.
    Game Theory wise that is very desireable. Game Design wise it is a desaster.
    So is it a Defining Card ? Yeah, sadly. But i would give it place 6.

    Emperor Lion should probably on this List because it can be such a strong centerpiece of your strategy. Just like Frost Back Bears earlier, it has good stats for the cost and is just difficult to deal with every round.
    But the Game turned out to end around Round 3 so that never really came into play too much as more cards got printed.

    What i think is funny that not a single Law made your List. They are supposed to be defining for the Dice Type by Design.
    Which Laws did i use the most ?
    Law of Assurance and Law of Banishment
    Both for First Five in Kitchen Table Power Level and only one Copy.
    Assurance only for the Dice fixing and Banishment only for the Exhaustion.
    The Best Law is probably Law of Courtesy in terms of playability and that one is not even from Plaidhat.
    Laws were not even that much fun because you did not always get to know if they did anything. They feel like Walls in digital Strategy Games : Clear Purpose that you never use because of the too defensive nature.
    There is a really big Reason for why Defenses do not make sense in Games but in real life : Defenses you can build in times of peace - they are cheap and discourage conflict. Ashes starts with the conflict and both players have the same ressources otherwise.

    Also that one Divine Bird from Astreas Deck ? Remember that ? It looked so great in the reveal and i never saw a deck that made me want to play it. Its not even to expansive in Dice. Its that other cards just give unblockable attacks way more easily.

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

    Aug 22, 2020 PDT

    I think Open Memories, while fun to use, is not really that great of a Card.
    Not because the effect is bad because you have to pay 2 Dice for it.
    If it were to Cost only 1 Dice and had maybe a bad Sideeffect it would be absurdly better, but with it costing 2 Dice you can never really say you cheated the system.

    And for a competetively good Card that is usually something you should have going.
    In Ashes cheating costs was never a big thing, like MTG where you can revive Creatures onto the Battlefield, but slight overefficiency is present. Like in Hammer Knight (1.0).

    Notably Seeds of Aggression and Majestic Titan are individually just good cards.
    Seeds of Aggression because it ignores Exhaustion and Majestic Titan often effectively attacks twice and can take a lot of hits.

    As far as i am aware the timing Rule on who wins first if both players were to die to Sympathy Pain was used quite often in Tournaments, meaning that it often was a deciding factor to have that card in your deck in order to win.
    That is a Property of a Tier 1 Card. I would have put into the first slot of this List.
    I know its a boring choice but dealing 3 damage outside of your turn is that good in this game. Especially given the Fact that you can not play around it entirely because PB damage is the main Metric of the Game.

    Owls had the same Property a long time but with Overkill on some Cards and Meteor they are not as reliable anymore and i think that they should be second place.

  • Top 5 Defining Divine 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 Divine Cards

    #5

    Holy Knight

    No big surprises here as we start with one of the strongest units in the game (at least when unexhausted). Holy Knight was the lynchpin in many, many “One Punch” decks that tried to kill your opponent with Amplify and Hypnotize. While never being a top deck due to having many hard counters, it was a threat that needed to be guarded against. Holy Knight and Hypnotize by themselves worked as a decent closer in games with stalled out battlefields. But, more often than not, it was just a really powerful ally to drop in the first round and hit your opponent’s Phoenixborn with 5 attack. Combined in Jessa Na Ni, it could make for very quick games.

    #4

    Sun Sister

    In this slot, I went with another divine unit that grew to being one of the strongest allies towards the end of 1.0’s cycle. It was really the unit that best synergized with mounts. Usually mount decks can have big problems if you do not draw enough allies to ride the mounts. Sun Sister let you get a recurring chain of allies and made those decks far more consistent. There’s not really much else in terms of the card’s interaction. It was a very sparingly used card when first dropped, but became almost essential in order to run these really powerful mount-conjurations.

    #3

    Power Through

    The introduction of overkill gave an interesting way of doing damage through an opponent’s battlefield without having to go over the top or through milling. Power Through was really the first offensive alteration to become pretty widespread. It worked very well with the [[divine:power]] dice power; it had a reasonable respark cost and really was the best divine card at closing out games. Stacking overkill on an Elephant Rider was also an effective way to just run over chump blockers. Power Through didn’t necessarily dominate any meta, but it did enable a new way to push through the damage in inevitably stalled out board states.

    #2

    Summon Winged Lioness Winged Lioness

    At the #2 spot, I list one of the two popular divine summons. I think that both Winged Lioness and Emperor Lion are pretty similar in their strength. However, Winged Lioness is something that had to be played around more. The Emperor Lion was really just a unit with strong stats; a better Ice Golem and a tougher Frostback Bear. Winged Lioness were an immediate threat to any unit you would throw down. They worked really well with Power Through and were able to trade evenly with just about any unit. Usually, the defender would have final say for what stays and what goes within the battlefield by block or guarding with units and/or their phoenixborn. The Winged Lioness flipped that and gave that control back to the aggressor.

    #1

    Meteor

    Finally, we have the easiest choice and probably the most impactful card in the game. Originally, I had no idea how strong this type of a board wipe would be. Spending two power dice seemed like a steep cost. However, I was very clearly wrong. This card, combined with dice pressure, would allow you to exhaust out your opponents big units and kill their small units. Meteor also was a huge part in Elephant Rider decks, as it didn’t actually affect the elephant. Additionally, it was very strong in mill and burn decks as just a way to make your opponent pay for being ahead on board state. Meteor completely flipped how everyone needed to think about summoning and using units on the battlefield.

    Summary

    The main two honorable mentions for this week are Summon Emperor Lion and Devotion. The Emperor Lion was a unit almost if not more popular than the Winged Lioness. It was a part of most decks that tried to accelerate the game and punch some attacking damage in round 1. However, at the end of the day, it was mostly just a body with big stats; like an Ice Golem without the hoops of needing to add an alteration. It didn’t really open up new styles of play. Devotion was a powerful counter to Meteor, Kneel and other exhaustion effects. It was the first alteration that was successful at actually keeping units alive. With these divine cards, I could really re-order any of #2-#7 without too much dissent on my end.

    Divine, at the time of release, was immediately one of the strongest dice pools. As I have been making these lists, its more and more clear why. In Odette Diamondcrest’s deck alone, there are 4 of my top 5 defining divine cards. In fact, all of the cards I listed above are from her and Astrea’s decks. It really didn’t need much help from any other future expansions. A little bit sad to me is that none of the Laws really made it into contention for this list. While I’ve seen interesting use cases for a few of them, they never really took off as giving up that spellboard slot has always been just a little too much. Divine has one of the strongest themes and feels more unique and distinctive than most dice types.

  • scottmacd#9m1q published a deck!

    Aug 21, 2020 PDT

    Vicky

    Victoria Glassfire

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

    Aug 19, 2020 PDT

    Final Cry is definitely something that I considered, but decided that it usually isn't the card enabling burn strategies (I would say almost always that is Chant of Revenge).

    Nick mentioned that reactions will take more power symbols. I really like reactions that either require a double class or single power, since those give players a chance to read your opponents' dice pool or bluff for cards that you don't have in hand. So, I'm excited for that change.

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

    Aug 19, 2020 PDT

    If you go for singular Cards i would pretty much leave the list as is.

    I would like to add something regarding your honorable mentions, but its a bit more text:
    Final Cry is strong Card in Ceremonial, but noteably i think that card has pretty much exactly the right cost to be on par.
    I say that because it is the card that made me realize that aggro strategies should probably cost more power symbols than control strategies. You meditate them anyway and it gives opportunity for control to outlast you. Also there is some minor counter play in dice manipulation.

    Sadly i dont see ashes really employ this kind of reasoning in many cards.
    Most newer Phoenixborn Abilities cost no specific color, while Aradel needs 1 [[natural:class]] for her Water Blast, which is clearly a control ability.

    Now, look at the Fire Archer and Brennen Blackcloud Combo.
    Individually the Cards might be fine. Together they forge a powerfull action :
    You can deal 3 Damage to any Target, 1 Damage to yourself, for the cost of
    1[[Main]], 1[[Side]], 1[[ceremonial]] , 1[[ceremonial:class]], 1 [[Basic]] and exhausting your Phoenixborn.

    Because it needs 2 Cards to be in your Deck it should be good, but it compares too good to Molten Gold or Sympathy Pain in my opinion.
    So the individual Cards do not make the List, but if you were to List Forged Actions like this it should be on the list 100%.

  • Cronos Genesis#9i6t commented on the post Extract from the AMA on Reddit:

    Aug 19, 2020 PDT

    Update : I got an Email from Plaidhat that says Enchanted Violinist will be included in Reborn.

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

    Aug 18, 2020 PDT

    Thanks for taking the time to read this. I agree with most of what you are saying. I would say Choke is perfectly fine for the game. In terms of it being Ceremonial, I guess I agree that it doesn't really seem like it needs to be that die type, but I think it's fine. You probably want to spread out cancel spells across all the different magic types anyway.

    It sounds like dice recursion is going away. So, Dark Reaping is going to get a change. As you said, Chant of Revenge is switching its use, though it's not a huge nerf, but I don't think CoR was too limiting. In many ways, it actually helped out games that were stalled out on the board and pushed those games to conclusion.

    I would expect Summon Fallen to get a change. The whole non-exhaustible spellboard and meditating + throwing cards out from your discard definitely felt like a whole different game.

    I wouldn't mind a change to Blood Chains, but I'm not sure it's necessary. I think now with cards like Seeds of Aggression, there is some interesting counterplay, outside of just using other ceremonial sacrifice effects. Also, with the rules changes geared to forcing more unit-to-unit combat, I think that full battlefields that need to be cleared is going to become a much rarer thing.

    Anything on this list you feel like should be added or changed?

  • Top 5 Defining Charm Cards 4

    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 payed 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.

    I am also moving these articles over to the "General" section, rather than "Strategy."

    Previous Installments

    Top 5 Defining Charm Cards

    #5

    Imperial Ninja

    The Imperial Ninja was a card that became one of the biggest threats to your opponent's first five. Given that experienced players could make pretty confident guesses as to what would be in an opponent's first five, it was terrifying to play against. Even later on, it was a unit that you would be scared to block with a Phoenixborn because they could call out any cards that could counter or mess with what they were doing. The Imperial Ninja played a big role in bringing charm back briefly into the meta.

    #4

    Sympathy Pain

    As always, ironically, Sympathy Pain has consistently been a strong charm reaction. Charm had a few reactions that triggered with similar timing windows, but this was a brutal closer. It was also something that could be triggered by yourself through recurring allies, taking damage from abundance, etc. It was instrumental in charm burn decks as well as being a secondary finisher in many mill decks.

    #3

    Redirect

    As mentioned before, charm has several strong reactions with similar timing windows. Here is the other one in this list. Redirect was always easier to use since it only needed a single charm die. However, you did need a unit to stick around. I think Redirect was usually a more important card to play around. Redirect always needed to be on your mind when choosing the order of resolving Phoenixborn attacks. Redirect always needed to be considered when trying to close out the game (whether with burn or attacks). While it wasn't necessarily a card to build a strategy around, it was a card that you had to be aware of when playing against.

    #2

    Open Memories

    Coming in at the #2 spot is a card that opened up such a huge realm of possibilities. For the majority of the game's 1.0 cycle, it was the only way to really guarantee getting a focus or focus-like effect from your spellboard (not counting the meditate for a book + Encore option). This card was obviously great with Summon Indiglow Creeper which needs to be focused. It was good with Summon Silver Snake. It provided options with double-downing on a single die summon like Three Eyed Owls, Butterfly Monks, or Shadow Spirits. Beyond that, it had occasional uses just for its flexibility. If you drew into it, you could use it to find a Hypnotize or Meteor or some other card that would help you close or stall out the game.

    #1

    Summon Three Eyed Owl Three Eyed Owl

    In the top spot, I had to go with the one charm card/unit that is a win condition all by itself. This was a staple in just about any deck that included a lot of charm dice. It was a threat that needed an answer from your First Five. It was an excellent unit at the end of the game to actually force discards from hand to get your opponent to take damage from being decked. And it was always just a value body and blocker that could be thrown into any deck. Three Eyed Owls were not just cards included in charm-mill decks, but were featured in Orrick Gilstream's Gilder, Bear, Owl decks. They were included in some Brennen Blackcloud burn decks. As the game progressed, there become more and more answers for the Three Eyed Owls, so they fell off, but for much of the game, they were a linchpin in every charm deck.

    Summary

    Honorable mentions this time are pretty varied. Cognitive Dissonance was a solid mill card that entered the game late. I think it was likely going to be a necessary mill card, but I'm not sure that that archetype was fully explored. Orchid Doves were a solid summon and actually locked opponents units down when paired with [[illusion:power]]. But, it usually wasn't a card that was built around. I think that Mind Probe could have had a greater and greater impact as a way to seek out hard counters or just know what cards were coming next. Finally, we have the [[charm:power]] theme of refreshing and buffing units. Most of these cards were underpowered, but every once in a while, some of them would become relevant. The top ones would be Call to Action, Hypnotize and Refresh. Specifically Hypnotize was always a fun card to build around, but it was too rarely used by the top decks, so I left it out of the top 5.

    After mentioning last week that Ceremonial has probably the strongest card pool, I would say that Charm probably has the weakest cards. A lot of the strong cards are reactions, which usually give your opponents ways to play around. The lack of dice recursion made playing mill an uphill battle as you were giving up resources to play charm and giving up board presence to mill from deck. I also think that charm dice were needed to heavily early in the game, but became much less useful late since there were no strong charm action spells. However, Summon Gilder, Summon Orchid Dove and Open Memories tried to push you to having lots of early charm. It has always been a tricky magic type to splash, but it has had solid uses as a main dice type (4+ dice).

  • Extract from the AMA on Reddit 2

    There was a AMA on Reddit yesterday where some details about Ashes Reborn have been unveiled. Not too much ,but some card details, some mechanics changes.
    Source is this :
    https://www.reddit.com/r/AshesGame/comments/i9x5lc/ama_with_ashes_reborn_lead_developer_nick_conley/

    This is my, as short as possible, summary:

    Specific Texts on Cards :

    • Jessas interactions with Fear and Blood Puppet are something they want to have in the game. New Text : Once per turn, after a unit is destroyed, you may spend 1B to deal 1 damage to a target Phoenixborn.
    • Fears new Text : 1 [[Basic]] :Destroy a unit you control. If you do, remove wound tokens from your Phoenixborn equal to the destroyed unit's recover value and discard a target unit an opponent controls.
    • Triggers on damage have been changed a lot, Example is Living Doll : Now can transfer 1 Wound to a Phoenixborn with a Sideaction
    • Time Dice Current Concept Dice Power is to place or remove 1 status Token on/from a Card. This is apparently not final Design.
    • Iron Rhino is getting a buff. Probably become limited to 1 Conjuration, 7/4/0 stats with abilities along the lines of Gigantic 1 and Overkill 2, but nothing is final. Costs will not be changed however.
    • Body Inversion : It is now a ready spell with the following activation : Side, Exhaust, 1 Illusion Class: Swap a target unit's printed attack value with their printed life value for the remainder of the turn.
    • Noahs ability will not be tied to ceremonial anymore and wolfs will be cheaper
    • Sympathy Pain will have a parallel costs between Charm and you guessed it ... sympathy. (Was about time)

    New General Rules :

    • Rules Change : Phoenixborn can only Guard once per Round. You will need to turn your PB 90° once it has Guarded for the Round. This is referred to as 'having your Guard down'™.
    • While Guarding or Blocking, countering will be mandatory. Attacked Units do not have to counter still. (Wow ...)
    • Alteration Spells will be defined to be targeting and it was specifically said that golden veil will be able to counter them.

    Design Decisions :

    • As with Living Doll above, they converted many triggered abilities into side actions.
    • Triggers on damage have been changed a lot. It was said to be one of the big red flags they looked out for.
    • Sembali is planned to be reworked. They think the Conjuration Removal did not take off. It will be completly removed. Ironic. She will be more about Angels and giving Wings now.
    • They Consider Harold to be broken and will rework him as well, but his ability Mark Prey and his general feel are going to Stay.
    • The Main Focus of the Remake is to bring the Dice Economy in Check again so that it matches the Action Economy more closely.
    • A subgoal of the Rework is to lower the overall Powerlevel of Cards
    • It was stated repeatedly that they want the game to be interactive. (Remeber it was already said on the Team Covenant Stream, that the Illusions Dice power is going to change to no longer discard your dice, but turn 2 of them downwards one level.)
    • There will be more tools for mill strategies but they are cautious to not let it become a dominant strategy. Nick is very aware of the danger.
    • Laws are getting reworked. Also Emperor Lions will have some kind of core Interaction with Laws.
    • Removal Spells to come will be mostly conditional to make for more interesting gameplay.
    • Some of the mechanics that were introduced later like parallel costs are going into the updated base set : Sympathy Pain will have a parallel costs between Charm and you guessed it ... sympathy. (Was about time)
    • Noahs ability will not be tied to ceremonial anymore and wolfs will be cheaper
    • Dice Recursion has been changed overall. No specifics but it is suggested that it has been dialed down.
    • All Cards in Path of the Assassins are somewhat considered 'of the past'. They did not say they were 'banned' or what that would even mean, but i would be surprised if those were allowed in tournaments. However some of those Cards will reappear in one way or another as part of Time magic.

    Future Plans :

    • Currently there are no plans for an 8th Dice Type
    • Lulu is planned to be reused as the Time/Natural Phoenixborn.
    • All Promos are going to be reworked into Time Phoenixborn.
    • The long ago spoiled Phoenixborn Tristan Darkwater is probably gonna become the Sympathy/Time Phoenixborn later in Development.
    • Starting this (or next) week preview articles will be coming on the plaidhat website.
    • There are plans to continue Ashes after Time Dice are done if demand is high enough. No Plans for how exactly. 3-Color Decks have been mentioned. They could just go for a theme - like the chimera. They are open for feedback.
    • Given the current Situation, without any guarantees, quarterly tournaments in major events (PAX) are planned, but look it up yourself.

    Other Information :

    • Caterina Kalymniou is the artist who drew Jericho for the Breaker of Fate.
    • There are sadly some (very few) cards they did want to rework but could not find a solution for. No Names were mentioned. But some boarderline unplayable cards have apparently been moved to other decks and are now somehow doing very well because the overall powerlevel is lower.
    • The (few) cards they had problems redesigning were a) underpowered (cough Cut the Strings) and b) had no issues because of complexity (cough cough).
    • Almost Every Deck has some Cards changed. Many Cards have new functionality or been reworked but as many have just new wording.
    • Nick hopes that a theme of time dice will be more combo-based gameplay. (But he does know that the players ultimately decide if this is true or not)
    • Since LCG's are a difficult market to get into their main hope is the current distrubition model being awesome, so get those subscriptions.
    • Glow Finch will have more Art than Text in the new iteration.
    • No Words on wether Enchanted Violinist will be in the Upgrade Pack or not.

    Thats all.

    Glow Finch