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  • How to Use : Crystal Shield 6

    Hello everyone, as with my last post i would like to hear about your ideas for using a specific card, this time Crystal Shield
    The first thing that comes to my mind is the Combo with Dread Wraith as the damage becomes an advantage.
    Leech Warrior or FrostBack Bear with Crystal Shield can also discourage the opponent from attacking.
    But putting this on big units is also a huge dice investment and defines a clear target for the opponents exhaust spells, which is why i usually do not end up putting it in my decks.

    What are your favorite use cases for this card ? Are they good enough for competitive play ? Do you know any interesting interactions with other cards ?

  • Next Phoenixborn Cardnames 6

    Pretty sure a lot of people know about this already, but for those who don't know it yet you can see the names for the upcoming cards in the plaidhat shop already.
    The last times they also wrote the card types but not this time.

    Names are as follows :

    Rimea Careworn
    Ancestral Army x 3
    Hollow x 3
    Battle Seer x 3
    Dark Presence x 3
    Summon Ghostly Mount x 3
    Summon Ancestor Spirit x 3
    Resonance x 3
    Augury x 3
    Hex Bane x 3
    Shared Sorrow x 3
    Ancestor Spirit Conjuration x 5
    Pale Steed Mount Conjuration x 2
    Nightmare Mount Conjuration x 2
    Spectral Charger Mount Conjuration x 2

    and

    Xander Heartsblood
    Earthquake x 3
    Summon Cerasaurus Mount x 3
    Summon Archasaurus Mount x 3
    Law of Domination x 3
    Sacred Ground x 3
    Raptor Herder x 3
    Pain Shaman x 3
    Summon Shining Hydra x 3
    Nature’s Wrath x 3
    Mass Heal x 3
    Cerasaurus Mount Conjuration x 3
    Raptor Hatchling Conjuration x 3
    Shining Hydra Conjuration x 3
    Archasaurus Mount Conjuration x 1
    Shining Hydra Head Conjuration x 7

  • New Ashes FAQ available 6

    Plaid Hat has published a new update to their FAQ (version 3.0), and it includes a bunch of updates (mostly dealing with recent cards, but also a really nice long section explicitly defining costs that will be helpful for a lot of folks):

    https://www.plaidhatgames.com/images/games/ashes/faq3.pdf

    I will update my Ashes Rules Reference to reflect the changes in the FAQ soon!

  • Do Vampire Bats make To Shadows worth using? 23

    Okay, but for real, Vampire Bat Swarm with To Shadows is actually kinda horrendous.

    If you make the opponent's creature an Illusion for a [[side]], than perform an "Attack a Unit" [[main]] targeting the Illusion creature, there's no good outcome.
    - Unit takes the hit and is destroyed due to Illusion ability.
    - Phoenixborn guards for unit, triggers "Swarm 2", deals 1 damage to unit which is destroyed by Illusion ability (since it's the result of an attack)

    I'm currently working on a decklist for this right now that uses Harold Westraven since Harvest Soul becomes super easy to fulfill and Hunter's Mark addresses the Unit Guard issue, but I'm curious to know what other people think of this cool combo.

  • Draft Report #4 3

    Latest game. We actually played one game before this one but both picked reallt bad Phoenixborn (Saria and Dimona). We re-jigged our decks and played again. I won both games (at last, a win). The first game was closer - I was able to better sculpt my deck for game two and countered my oppoent's strategy pretty well. Fear is a really strong card in draft when we are often forced to play allies that are less cost effective.

    My Deck:
    https://ashes.live/decks/view/2246/

    Her Deck:
    https://ashes.live/decks/view/2248/

    The Good:
    She built a really fun deck with a solid theme and win condition - build big Dread Wraiths and Hypno in for large damage spikes. Her goal was to drop Massive growth on a Wraith then use Blood Transfer to heal the PB while further boosting attack.

    Without reliable ping damage in my opponent's deck, Flash Archer was the MVP for me. They could threaten the PB with a high attack, and easily remove her Glow Finch and Iron Worker units to keep my board advantage.

    The Bad
    Not really bad, but she needed an extra card or so not availabe in this draft to make her deck pop. If it had had a little removal e.g. Freezing Blast, she would have been better able to control my board. Her card combinations were also really susceptible to Illusion dice exhaustion (Dread Wraith is expensive!). Expand Energy would have helped protect against this.

    The Learnt
    Fear is good, really good; especially against decks that focus on building singular big units. The Glow Finch provided some protection, but Flash Archer was able to neutralise this.

    Our sideboard between matches included the ability to change dice, PB's and for any cards from our original draft. The decision to re-jig our decks for game two (including both of us switching Phoenixborn) benefited me much more than her as I was able to switch to Jessa.
    It is probably not advisable to make switching PB part of the allowable sideboarding between matches.

  • Draft Report #3 5

    Hopefully these posts are of some interest. I am enjoying documenting the process of improving my drafting skills.

    The drafting setup (for two players) is 3 pyramids of 10 cards each in a 4,3,2,1 triangle alternating face up and face down rows. At the start of the draft, 12 cards are available to choose from and 18 of the 30 cards are visible (rows 4 and 2 on each triangle).

    Early picks tend to be based purely on value, with minimum thought for compatibility/dice types.

    As the second rows become visible, the overall card pool becomes more apparent and card picks start to focus around a particular deck/win condition.

    The late picks can sometimes be a little pointless, but occasionally the last (single) face-down card in one of the pyramids is awesome, and we have to re-evaluate our plans.

    I've noticed this format lends itself to 3 colour decks; it is hard to draft 30 good cards in two colours.

    The decks in this matchup were Lulu (me) vs Noah (her).

    Noah won. But it was a close game. Towards the end, it became a collaborative puzzle as to whether her battlefield would close out victory before my burn would win so I'm not too salty about the loss. I'd like to think my coaching on attack timing led to her win.

    The combination of Living Doll and Nightshade Swallow meant she wasn't able to swing in with Hammer Knight and Leech Warrior easily. Massive Growth on the Living Doll made for a significant battlefield threat that could not be easily ignored. Drawing into an extra copy of Refresh would have probably swung the game in my favour.

    The Masked Wolf was the MVP for Noah. It could be summoned for a [[side]] to trade with a Nightshade Swallow. Bolstering with Empower during the attack punished any attempt to guard with the Phoenixborn. The tempo of the Wolf meant Small Sacrifice and Fire Archer don't have a window within which to ping the Wolf down before it attacked.

    Any time Summon Masked Wolf finds a niche, I feel a little happier inside. Even if those insides are being torn out by said Wolf.

  • How Good Is Card Draw? 16

    If anyone comes from a Magic/Hearthstone background, card draw is a really important resource. I believe this is because each player only draws one card a turn. In Ashes however, at the start of a round we are able to draw up to five cards in hand. My inclusion of card draw in decks has (up to this point) felt rather ineffective.

    It seems that in an Ashes round a player is more limited by their number of dice than their cards.

    Unused cards left at the end of a round mean you draw less in the next round. Since the prepare phase draw is free, drawing cards you won't use is paying resources to not take full advantage of free draw.

    I am left with the conclusion that card draw doesn't provide you with more options overall. It does provides more options in a short window (before the round end) but you also have consummately less resources to make use of those increased options.

    If searching for a specific card, Open Memories is a better choice.

    When do you include draw in your decks?
    What dice value should we place on draw in the current meta?
    What draw cards have worked for you?

  • Draft Report #2 8

    And once again into the breach. I'm discovering that limited drafting in Ashes allows for the creation of some really fun decks, and provides a space for less used cards to find a niche outside of constructed.

    I would absolutely recommend these two decks for a two player matchup (if you are sick of the pre-cons and don't want to draft yourselves). We got to see Living Doll, Blood Archer, Strengthen and Shadow Hound take important roles in the game.

    I covered our drafting method before here (https://ashes.live/posts/11/). This second attempt, also used cards from the base set + the first 4 Phoenixborn released.

    My Deck:
    https://ashes.live/decks/view/2166/

    Her Deck:
    https://ashes.live/decks/view/2164/

    This was one of the most enjoyable, close matchups of Ashes I have ever played.

    She went into the final round with 1 life left, I had 6. Her battlefiled was more dominant as her Blood Archers had been running rampant.

    If I had drawn my last copy of Stormwind Sniper, it would have been game over. I didn't.
    I was pretty certain I couldn't stabilise my battlefield for another round so I used a Ceremonial Power to bring a Sniper back from the graveyard (took two damage). The following turn I would be able to meditate to the Ceremonial Class I needed and win the game.
    In the interim, she was able to Small Sacrifice on her Living Doll and Pain Link to deal an extra damage to my PB (I was now down to 3 life).
    Thinking I had won, I played the Sniper ... before remembering she had drafted Sympathy Pain ... and I hadn't seen her play any SP's so far ... but there were two Charm dice sitting in her active pool ... and she didn't seem upset at her imminent defeat ...

    She is still undefeated at draft. I am yet to win.

    But the game was great.

  • Draft Report #1 0

    First attempt at drafting 2 player, used a variant of the 7 wonders duel format discussed in the rules reference.

    • Step 1: One copy of each card in all pre-divine/sympathy sets was shuffled into a deck (90 cards). Cards were dealt into 3 overlapping pyramids; each a 4,3,2,1 pattern, alternating face up and face down rows with the base row of the pyramid showing 4 face up cards.
    • Step 2: Randomly choose a first player and take turns selecting cards from any of the pyramids.
    • Step 3: Choose Phoenixborn. Build a 30 card deck from the 15 drafted + PB unique options. Select dice.

    My Deck:
    https://ashes.live/decks/view/2156/
    General strategy was to wall up behind Gobi Sunshileds and False Demons while I drew into my extra copies of Summon Iron Rhino. Four cost Rhinos with Orrick's mana advantage would close out the day.

    Her Deck:
    https://ashes.live/decks/view/2155/
    Lots of direct damage and a big board threat in the Hammer Knight.

    In this matchup, I totally failed to anticipate my opponent's strategy (direct damage, not attacking) and as such died before anything could get off the ground.
    I built a solid wall of unit defense, which my opponent promptly ignored while blowing me up with Molten Gold, Spirit Burn, Final Cry and Fire Archer. My deck never made it out of the third round.

    0 for 2 in my first draft in this format.

    Lesson learnt:

    • Don't pick your dice types too early.

    Some early picks in Illusion, Charm and Natural meant I discounted Ceremonial cards in the draft. This let my opponent get too many strong cards (Fire Archer, Hammer Knight, Final Cry) that I ignored. Staying open to splashing Ceremonial, or at the very least a little hate drafting may have weakened the strength of her deck.

    • Abundance cuts both ways.

    I lost game 1 in round 2 because I allowed my opponent to draw an extra Molten Gold while I dug for Rhinos. In a more limited format, options are key and giving more options to your opponent may offset any benefits of your own draws.

    • Give up on Iron Rhinos

    The magic cost is just too darn high and the focus effects take too long to come into play.

    What lessons have others learnt in drafting? Any tips for me?
    Name one or two cards would you swap in those draft decks to make them more effective?

  • Meta-Defining Decks, A History. 4

    Here is a list of decks that have, in my opinion, had a big impact on the game of Ashes, over the years. This can be used for players to see where the meta has been, and to read about decks and their strategies that are considered great decks, at least in their time.

    I'll provide links from the original creators, where possible. The descriptions in the links of some of these decks are pretty informative about how to construct and play a great deck.

    All of the below decks have existed is slight variations, so I'll just try to post as close to possible to the original decklist, as I can.

    BDR: Ashes Weekend Winner Credit: Erik Rodriguez

    Bear and Hammer Knight has been a strong and aggressive game opener since this deck first appeared, and it has spawned many copycats. BDR stands for Big Damage Rin, and this deck could put out some great ground damage.
    https://play.plaidhatgames.com/ashes/deck/bdr

    Rin Northfell

    2 Illusion
    4 Ceremonial
    4 Nature

    3x Frostback Bear

    1x Enchanted Violinist
    3x Hammer Knight
    3x Stormwind Sniper
    3x Crimson bomber

    3x Rin's Fury
    3x HIdden Power
    3x Molten Gold
    3x Out of the Mist
    3x Blood Chains

    1x Choke
    1x Ice Trap

    Brennen 4 A New Hope: Consistent strong showing at many tournaments Credit: Kian Jones

    There are many, many versions of this deck. The idea is to stick as much direct Phoenixborn damage in Brennen as you can, and rush burn. Brennen decks of this fashion can very often do enough direct player damage to win in Round 3 of the game. This burn style is good to keep in mind, as well, when constructing for tournaments.
    https://play.plaidhatgames.com/ashes/deck/brennen-4-new-hope

    Brennen Blackcloud

    2 Ceremonial
    3 Charm
    5 Nature

    3x Chant of Revenge
    3x Summon Butterfly Monk
    2x Gilder

    3x Enchanted Violinist

    1x Open Memories
    3x Molten Gold

    3x Choke
    3x Ice Trap
    3x Final Cry
    3x Sympathy Pain
    3x Redirect

    The Southern Dandy: Gencon 2016 winner Credit: Matt Bauers

    This deck championed a major tournament has inspired basically every Leo and Owl deck since Leo's release.
    https://play.plaidhatgames.com/ashes/deck/southern-dandy

    Leo Sunshadow

    5 Ceremonial
    5 Charm

    3x Summon Three-Eyed Owl
    3x Summon Orchid Dove
    1x Summon Dread Wraith
    3x Summon Blood Puppet

    2x Fire Archer

    1x Open Memories

    3x Sympathy Pain
    3x Final Cry
    3x Redirect
    3x Blood Chains

    3x Regress
    2x Poison

    Luck 14: Gencon 2016 3rd place Credit: Elliot Kramer

    A competitive Coal list. Some variation of this is what I think of, when I think of how Coal can win.
    https://play.plaidhatgames.com/ashes/deck/luck-14-0

    Coal Roarkwin

    2 Ceremonial
    4 Illusion
    4 Nature

    3x Chant of Protection
    3x Chant of Revenge
    3x Summon Butterfly Monk
    1x Summon Frostback Bear
    3x Summon Shadow Spirit

    2x Anchornaut
    2x Hammer Knight

    2x Blood Chains
    3x Hidden Power
    3x Mist Typhoon
    1x Molten Gold
    3x One Hundred Blades

    1x Choke

    Fear the Bear: A top tier deck for years Credit: Nick Conley and Daf

    Jessa is one of the more aggressive Phoenixborn, dealing with Fear and big units has proven to be a lot to deal with in Round 1.
    (I was unsure of who to credit here, as so many versions of this deck have existed. While Nick had the oldest version that I could find, Daf's version is more after the Enchanted Violinist nerf.)
    https://play.plaidhatgames.com/ashes/deck/so-long-theres-blood-vol2

    Jessa Na Ni

    3 Illusion
    3 Ceremonial
    4 Nature

    1x Summon Frostback Bear
    3x Summon Butterfly Monk
    3x Chant of Revenge

    1x Fire Archer
    2x Hammer Knight
    2x Stormwind Sniper

    3x Blood Chains
    3x Fear
    2x Hidden Power
    2x Molten Gold

    1x Choke
    3x Final Cry
    3x Ice Trap

    1x Regress

    Vicky Meteor: Ashes International League 1st place (season 1) and Gencon 2017 Top 8 Credit: Matt Bauers and Christian Pratt

    Since the deck doesn't have much description in the link, I'll speak to this, a bit. The deck currently exists in MANY variations, but I think that this version, with Butterfly Monks was when it was at its peek. Using Illusionary Cycle and Abundance, Vicky takes all of your dice, then plays a crippling Meteor near the end of a round, then she summons her own units and attacks, trying to finish the game by attacking on her first turn of the next round.
    "Vicky Meteor" is a generic term for any deck that wants to win with this style. If you plan in playing in any major tournament, you have to keep this deck in mind.
    https://play.plaidhatgames.com/ashes/deck/doomsday-vicky-2

    Victoria Glassfire

    3 Divine
    3 Nature
    4 Illusion

    3x Summon Butterfly Monk
    3x Abundance
    2x Shifting Mist
    3x Summon Shadow Spirit
    1x Summon Emperor Lion

    1x Holy Knight

    1x Molten Gold
    3x Hidden Power
    3x Illusionary Cycle
    1x Steady Gaze
    3x Heal
    3x Meteor

    2x Particle Shield
    1x Ice Trap

    Duck and Cover: The first of a prominent strategy Credit: Adam Tarr

    There have been a lot of decks, since the release, that have relied on Elephants. They are largely used for their immunities. This is one of the first of many decks that focused on using the Elephants' immunities to counter the drawbacks of your own cards, in Kneel and Meteor. Both of those cards being run next to Elephants has been a common siting. Both Elephants and Turtles have spent a lot of time on top, and these high life units are good enough to plan strategies around.
    https://ashes.live/decks/view/970/

    Victoria Glassfire

    5 Illusion
    3 Divine
    2 Charm

    3× Abundance
    3× Magic Purity
    3× Summon Shadow Spirit
    1× Summon Turtle Guard

    3× Elephant Rider
    1× Polarity Mage

    3× Hand Tricks
    3× Hidden Power
    3× Illusionary Cycle
    3× Kneel
    3× Meteor

    1× Call To Action

    Astrea: Ashes International League 1st place (season 2) Credit: Jason Pere

    This deck shows off the power of Astrea and Hypnotize at the same time. Astrea's Beguile works really well with Orchid Doves (and watch out for the upcoming Admonishers!) and her Mark of the Goddess does not have any strong counters. Outside of that, Elephants and Holy Knights are both very strong units, when combined with Hypnotize. Both units are next to invulnerable, in the right situations, so getting those big hits through is very big, and has been a reason for the recent increase of Redirect in the current meta. Both pieces of this deck (Astrea's kit and Hypnotize/Elephants) work separately, and this deck does a great job of showcasing both.
    https://ashes.live/decks/view/1382/

    Astrea

    1 Ceremonial
    4 Charm
    5 Divine

    1× Hypnotize
    1× Summon Emperor Lion
    3× Summon Orchid Dove
    1× Summon Three-Eyed Owl
    1× Summon Winged Lioness

    1× Elephant Rider
    1× Holy Knight
    1× Imperial Ninja
    1× Polarity Mage

    3× Blood Chains
    2× Heal
    3× Kneel

    3× Redirect

    3× Devotion
    3× Mark Of The Goddess
    2× Power Through

    Magnitude 11: Ashes International League Top 8 and Slam Jam winner Credit: Carl

    This is another aggressive deck. It puts out a mess of aggressive units in Round 1 to try and gain an advantage, then keeps the pressure on.

    Orrick Gilstream

    1 Sympathy
    1 Ceremonial
    2 Illusion
    3 Nature
    3 Divine

    1× Cut The Strings
    3× Frost Bite
    1× Gravity Training
    2× Law Of Assurance
    1× Summon Frostback Bear
    1× Summon Winged Lioness

    3× Hammer Knight
    1× Holy Knight
    1× Sleeping Bear
    3× Sonic Swordsman

    3× Blood Chains
    2× Enlightenment
    3× Hidden Power
    1× Molten Gold

    3× Crescendo
    1× Ice Trap

    I hope that the above is helpful to many of you new and existing players! Feel free to discuss and ask questions below. I will attempt to update this list as the game continues to grow.

    It is important to note that not all of these decks are in their current best form, due to meta shifting and new cards.

    Not all of the links seem to be working right. You can just copy and paste the whole link, and that should work. There is useful information in many of those links.

  • Vicky Meteor 2

    What kinds of lists are good for Vicky Meteor these days? Looking for something without [[ceremonial:power]] to be specific, though I'd imagine they're not running it anyways.

  • On Conjuration Removal and overall Balance 3

    Hi everyone,
    i read and heard a lot of people talking about conjuration removal and that is not what the game needed right now in terms of the meta game and how it is also unfun to play against.

    I would agree that conjuration removal is not something i would have asked for. The whole point of conjurations is to be reusable.
    I was also very confused to see Ally recursion in [[Divine:Power]] on such a crazy level. To me it felt like Allies supposed to be limited ressources with a stronger short term effect. Obviously there is [[Ceremonial:Power]] but you cant just keep resummoning the same holy knight with that.

    In my eyes it is an odd design decision to just make [[Divine:Power]] better at reviving Allies then [[Ceremonial:Power]].

    Now i'm interested in the opinion of other players :
    Do you think Conjuration removal is a fun mechanic (for the opponent) ? Does it even degenerate the game ?
    Do you think that all the magic types are mostly balanced right now ? Which ones do you think are strongest / weakest ? What do you think about Divine Dice in the sembali meta ?

  • How to Use : Shieldmage 16

    There are some Cards in Ashes that i don't see used in a lot of decks.
    Since many people interested in deck building seem to visit this site i would like to ask, over a series of posts, if you could come up with some use cases or cute interactions for specific cards.

    The first Card i want to ask about is "Shield Mage".
    It also only has 2 life so that the unit effectively represents a walking Divine Die. It often seems to me be the same to just use a divine die at a critical moment instead of playing the Card. The recovery value also seems hard to use.

    What does a Deck look like that uses Shieldmages and are there any (no matter how stupid) Interactions with other Cards ?

  • Drafting for non-tournament play 4

    What does everyone do in terms of drafting when not playing with a specific preconstructed deck or custom deck for tournament play?

    My brothers and I typically play casually and we tend to perform the drafting indicated in the book. I was trying to see if others have a variant if your playing with others and only one person has Ashes that allows a bit more control of creating your deck.

  • Strange Copy and Elephant Rider/Holy Knight 2

    Im not the biggest Tournament player but it came to my attention that a lot of people play Elephant Rider or Holy Knight with Hypnotize on turn 1.

    So in my search for counter plays i came across Strange Copy and the fact it is a lot cheaper than those units and immune to attachments by default.

    The Idea would obviously be to have a unit of the same strength as your opponent but also have enough dice to build up some conjuration spells or allies.
    If you want to you can even play hypnotize yourself.

    Do people do this or is it for some reason not viable ?

  • Event: Seattle tournament June 7, 2018 with new OP kit 4

    Bit of short notice, but Gameporium in West Seattle is holding an Ashes tournament on Thursday June 7, 2018 at 6pm with prizes from the new OP kits (including alt art cards, errata-ed Enchanted Violinist, and translucent dice!):

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1850000845038791/

    If you're in the neighborhood, come on down! And even if you can't make it, it looks like they will be holding weekly LCG events at this time (and the new OP kits support something like 4 tournaments per kit, so I suspect they'll be doing more events in future weeks).

  • Calling all Ashes 500 decks 0

    Ever wished that you could use those cards in your box that aren't Elephant Rider or Holy Knight? Or that you could shake up your local meta without needing to wait on Plaid Hat releasing new cards?

    Well now you can, with Ashes 500! When building an Ashes 500 deck, all Ashes cards are assigned point values and the total value of your deck must be 500 or less (while following all normal deck construction rules).

    Ashes 500 has been around for a while now (it was originally conceived by Elliot Kramer, and recently was resurrected by the community), but you had to build your deck using a custom spreadsheet. UNTIL NOW!

    Ashes 500 is now supported here on Ashes.live!

    Please note that I have also rewritten how the deckbuilder and card browser load and filter card listings. This is experimental, and I would love to hear if the card browser is behaving better or worse for you (theoretically, it should perform about the same on normal browsers, and much better on mobile or other lower-spec devices).

  • Face down cards 3

    I can't find a place, both in the official material and the rules reference, that explains exactly what happens to face down cards when the card where they're "hosted" on leaves the game.

  • What's new with the site: posts! 0

    Hola, Ashes players! As part of my continued push to implement better social features on Ashes.live, I am very happy to announce the latest and greatest: posts! This is basically Ashes.live's very own "forum-lite", and offers a way to communicate with other Ashes.live users outside of deck and card comments (but with inline card previews and similar niceties).

    There are currently three sections where you can submit new posts:

    As of this post, all of them are empty, so get cracking! [[charm:class]]

    Lastly, if you have a news announcement, event info, or similar that you would like pinned to the top of the homepage for better exposure, please contact me with the link and I'll give it a gander.