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.
Top 5 Defining Ceremonial Cards
Choke is a very flexible cancel. In most cases, it is saved for preventing a Phoenixborn's ability (Glow Finch, Aradel Summergaard's waterblast, Orrick Gilstream's bounty). However, the card pool continues to grow with units that have stronger abilities, which makes this a more and more important card. It can stop Unit Guard, Terrifying, Overkill, etc. It's strength is really dependent on what the opponent is playing, but it is something that requires the opponent to respect and play around.
The Fallen drive the most unique style of play/deck in the game. A never-exhausting summon spell means that you can spam out a full board of Fallen without really breaking a sweat in round 1. This means that there is a potential Round 2, turn 1 victory. It does have some very hard counters (Seal, Noah Redmoon), so it's definitely not unstoppable, but it also does not have a lot of counters. However, it is something that you want to be able to give yourself a chance against.
I would probably say that Dark Reaping is the strongest ceremonial card. I was kind of disappointed when it came out because it gave even more ways to clear out your own board if you were running ceremonial. Given the popularity of ceremonial, there really was never going to be a way to clog up your opponent's board with Blood Puppets and the like. Dice recursion is always something that you need to keep in mind. If you have a unit available to destroy and 2 [[ceremonial:class]], then you can summon or play just about anything. So, dice recursion is always something that you need to keep an eye on. There really is no good counter for this outside of doing your best to wipe your opponents board or stealing the ceremonial dice with a [[illusion:power]].
Blood Chains has been a staple in most ceremonial decks ever since it came out. It is incredibly flexible and can be used in mill, burn or attacking decks. It is the best card in the game when it comes to locking down your opponent's board. It is also the best counter to itself. When going against ceremonial, you have to know that you can't get away with filling up their board with exhausted or Regressed units. You also need a way to clear out your own units, because otherwise you will be playing the whole game down a battlefield slot. It's weaker against swarm and can't be used if there are no available units to destroy, but for most of the meta that has relied on 2-3 health units, it has always been a defining card.
Finally, at the top spot, I am leaving here the card that drives pretty much every burn deck that has ever been around. This card has always been a perfect match for Brennen Blackcloud's ability. It also just has so much built-in synergy with the rest of the [[ceremonial:power]] cards that destroy units. It is the most efficient way to do damage to an opponent's Phoenixborn and a great way to clear the opponent's board. It has always been the defining card in the dice types most striking strength.
There are a few honorable mentions that I had that do not make the cut. Fire Archer is a really strong card, but it usually doesn't drive a deck's strategy. It is another very flexible card that works as a blocker, burn, or anti-mill (by recurring with the die power). Regress is a very strong card against decks running big units and absolutely needs to be respected. Blood Puppets, Dread Wraiths and Sleeping Widows are all unique units that require different play styles to counter. However, none of them are really used too frequently to really crack into this list.
Ceremonial has basically always been a good splash in just about any deck. You can go through the list of top decks in any archetype, and ceremonial is usually included and can work in any of them. It has some of the best dice recursion, the best burn and has many ways to slow your opponent's board down. I would go so far as to say that ceremonial has the strongest card pool of all. The biggest downside is that the conjuration options are very limited. So, it is not always the strongest "dominant" (4+) dice type, but it is almost always a solid choice for at least 2-3.