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  • Potential new player 6

    Hi to all !

    I had heard about Ashes quite a while back but it looked pretty dead at the time but now it looks like PHG is really supporting the game (at least making expansions). As a former CCG player who now mostly plays online (Eternal, Gwent...) I remain intrigued by Ashes, because the art is great, I like using dice as long as it does not introduce too much randomness and the deckbuilding possibilities look good.

    So here are a few of my questions :

    1. Is what I said correct about the game ?
    2. Are the usual aggro/control/combo/mid-range archetypes present in Ashes. I think I read that combos were hard to pull off but I am mainly a control player. Are creatures (invocations here I think)-less decks possible ? I guess not
    3. How is multiplayer ? I would probabaly try to play it with my 2 gaming buddies but I am a bit wary of these kind of multiplayer games where people mostly have incentives to turtle and games can last forever. I am thinking of trying a prey-predator game whereby you can only attack the player to your left...are there good multiplayer rules otherwise ?
    4. Has anyone tried to play "solo", i.e., 2-handed ? Is the level of hidden information high, in the sense that, for instance, there are interrupts to be played in another player's turn ?
    5. How is the community, above all in Europe ? The game does not seem very well supported there right ?

    Ok, I think that's all for now !

  • Countering Chained Creations 3

    If i activate a Copy of chained Creations that gets countered by the opponent, do i still have to discard it ?

    The Thing here is that Costs has to be from the 5 types in the Rulebook which only lists discarding in the sense of discarding from your hand.
    But the Card is in play meaning it is not discarded in the sense of a cost.
    This would imply the discarding is part of the effect and would not happen as the effect gets countered.

    But it also precedes the phrase 'if you do' which indicates that the discarding is a cost, which i would still have to pay even if the effect is countered.

    Which one is it ?

  • Face Down Cards and leaving play 4

    Hi everyone,

    is just re-read the Rules to find out that you can only use respark during a players turn on cards that are discarded from play.
    Now a face down Card is explicitly not in play, so you could not use respark to get it back from under a polarity mage.

    But the question is : Does the card 'leave play' then the polarity mage uses 'take' and makes it therefore possible to use respark ? (As it goes from being in play to not being in play)

    This may not be the case because some cards like the panther spirit get discarded without being destroyed. In a similar way it might be possible for a card to not 'leave play' but use another unnamed transition and then be 'not in play'.

    Suggestions ?

  • What magic has the best mono-colour offerings? 0

    I am interested in people's thoughts as to what magic type is strongest as a mono-colour?

    I've added a few thoughts myself. As a self imposed rule, not two sets can have the same score:

    Beast Tamer
    Imperial Ninja
    Three Eyed Owl
    Nightshade Swallow
    Orchid Dove
    Weeping Spirit
    Undying Heart
    Ready Spells
    Memory Theft
    Royal Charm
    Reaction Spells
    Sympathy Pain
    Call to Action
    Action Spells
    Open Memories
    Change Psyche
    Mind Probe
    A lot of great construction staples in Charm. Not quite sure they can be combined on their own to be anything good.
    Score: 1/6

    Rose Fire Dancer
    Flash Archer
    Shadow Guard
    Mist Spirit
    False Demon
    Shadow Hound
    Shadow Spirit
    Reflections in the Water
    Fade Away
    Body Inversion
    Ready Spells
    Shifting Mist
    Secret Door
    To Shadows
    Gates Thrown Open
    Reaction Spells
    Shadow Counter
    Figures in the Fog
    Angelic Rescue
    Action Spells
    Steady Gaze
    Sleight of Hand
    Hidden Power
    Strange Copy
    Summon Spectral Assassin
    Use a combination of card draw, dice recursion and dice exhaustion to grind out the opponent. Is lacking great unit options ... Shadow Spirits are ok, but not game winning on their own. Has lots of 'Nope' cards, but those have never really seen much play for me. Probably quite fun to play with, not so much against.
    Score: 2/6

    Sleeping Bear
    Butterfly Monk
    Iron Rhino
    Frostback Bear
    Ice Golem
    Massive Growth
    Root Armour
    Spiked Armour
    Crystal Shield
    Frozen Crown
    Deep Freeze
    Mark of the Red Flower
    Ready Spells
    Reaction Spells
    Golden Veil
    Ice Trap
    Action Spells
    Molten Gold
    Freezing Blast
    Pure Natural magic wins the prize for having the most alterations that no-one wants to use. On the positive side, it has some pretty great conjurations and unit removal options. Molten Gold and Frostbite are well suited to break deadlocks with direct damage. Aradel would be my pick of PB's; you need that extra damage!
    Score: 3/6

    Polarity Mage
    Jungle Warrior
    Temple Elder
    Beast Mage
    Beast Warrior
    Flute Mage
    River Skald
    String Mage
    Mirror Spirit
    Salamander Monk
    Squall Stallion
    Mark of the Red Flower
    Ready Spells
    Changing Winds
    Gravity Training
    Join the Hunt
    Drain Vitality
    Guilt Link
    Magic Syphon
    Reaction Spells
    Shatter Pulse
    Action Spells
    Transmute Magic
    The synergy is real! Quality allies, backed by Squall Stallions and Crescendo.
    Score: 4/6

    Leech Warrior
    Crimson Bomber
    Fire Archer
    Psychic Vampire
    Blood Puppet
    Dread Wraith
    Bring Forth
    Ready Spells
    Chant of Revenge
    Expand Energy
    Cut the Strings
    Small Sacrifice
    Chant of the Dead
    Drain Vitality
    Reaction Spells
    Final Cry
    Summon Sleeping Widows
    Adrenaline Rush
    Action Spells
    Bound Soul
    Blood Chains
    Dark Reaping
    Just build a Brennan clone. Chant of Revenge is one of the best cards ever invented so probably include that. Ceremonial also benefits from some of the best reaction spells in the game.
    Score: 5/6

    Polarity Mage
    Sun Sister
    Celestial Knight
    Shepherd of Lost Souls
    Holy Knight
    Shield Mage
    Light Bringer
    Winged Lioness
    Emperor Lion
    Holy Relics
    Power Through
    Ready Spells
    Gravity Training
    Royal Charm
    Law of Fear
    Law of Banishment
    Law of Assurance
    Law of Sight
    Reaction Spells
    Action Spells
    Gotta love that power curve. Divine and Sympathy definitely benefited from having more releases later on in the sets. Big allies, big conjurations, smash face.
    Score: 6/6

  • Cardprediction Xander 3

    I thought a lot of what we can already say about the Decks of Xander and Rimea.
    I will try to use the implicite design philosophy of the magic types, the names of the Cards and what actions the Meta game already includes and is unlikely to get more of to predict the Cards of Xander, King of Titans.

    Cardnames can be read here :

    We already know Xanders Stats : Battlefield 6, Life 20, Spellboard 3 from the preview on

    Things we can guess from Cardnames only :
    The easiest thing to observe is which cards are probably Allies and which are spells.
    There are 2 Cards that are clearly Humanoids, Raptor Herder and Pain Shaman and all the others are likely spells.
    In all likelyhood Summon Cerasaurus Mount, Summon Archasaurus Mount, Summon Shining Hydra and Law of Domination are ready spells due to the naming.
    It is possible that Nature's Wraith is some kind of elemental warrior or that Sacred Ground is actually placed on the battlefield similar to Strange Copy.
    The only reason i even consider this because of the preview Text
    "Xander channels the raw magic of Nature to bear down on those who would invade the sacred ground he now calls home"
    and the fact that we already have 4 candidates for Ready Spells.

    Also Summon Archasaurus Mount is the most likely to not be a readyspell as there is only 1 actual Archasaurus Conjuration.
    There are also 10 Conjuration with the word hydra in the name so this spell is the most likely to be a ready spell. Of course it could be that the Shining Hydra Head is created by combat rather than summoning but it then it is still just as likely to be ready spell as all the others.

    We also know from the preview that Earthquake is an Action Spell. Not Surprising but it tells us more about the structure of the deck and that is not a ready spell.

    There are 3 Raptor Hetchling Conjurations and no Summon Raptor Hetchling Cards in the deck so chances are that the Raptor Herder is summoning them with an ability.

    Also some Names are unlikely Attachements :
    Mass Heal, Sacred Ground - Healing might produce an attachement but there is none of suitable name, so it probably does not and sacred ground doesn't need to be hold by a Unit to be there.
    Natures Wrath would need to be very similar to Mark of the Red Flower to make sense as an attachment.

    All the Cards produces by the 'Summon X Mount' are likely to be either Units or attachments with combat stats. This makes Shining Hydra less likely to be an attachment as we would barely have characters then.

    Things we can guess from currenct card and Meta game philosophy :
    (Here Meta Game means what the Designers would like to be the case rather than what players actually do)

    • Nature and Divine Magic both have little to no reaction spells in their color. And the effects correspond strongly with their typical effects. Ice Trap effectively deals 2 Damage, which is very close to the Dice Power and Divine Intervention only uses Divine Dice to place the Immunity alteration which is a lot like othe Divine effects. Both Cards have strong Conditions and a limited effect. Ice Trap is strictly worse than dealing 2 damage for example.
    • Also Both Divine and Nature have a History of introducing Buffing Alterations in their color, whith most of them affecting Raw Combat Stats or having an equivalent effect. They only have 'interesting' text related to exhaustion.

    This would lead one to believe that Xander wont have Reactionsspells or at least very specific ones and that the deck would be oozing with Attachements.

    With what i mention in the Card name seciton these rules would need to apply to the following cards :

    Sacred Ground, Natures Wrath, Mass Heal, Shining Hydra, Shining Hydra Head.

    Mass Heal and Sacred Ground were ruled out as attachments earlier.
    Shining Hydra was said to be unlikely.
    I already mentioned earlier that Natures Wrath would need to be very similar to Mark of the Red Flower to make sense as an attachment and that both colors do not usually have interesting text on attachment so it would be exhaustion related or more likely not be an attachment.

    Also Shining Hydra Head is now even more likely to be an attachment as otherwise there would not be any.

    As for Reactionsspells the only clue i got is what kind of spells are already available and which kind of spells have not been printed yet.
    Let me explain.
    The Entitys of the game are :

    • Cards (Units, Spells ...)
    • Tokens (Damage, Status, Exhaustion)
    • Dice (Nature, Illusion ...)
    • Players, Phoenixborn
    • Positions (Battlefields, Spell boards, active dice pool, an a Unit, Under a card ...)
    • Starting Player Marker
    • Time steps (turns, rounds and Phases of Play)
    • Events (A Unit dies, A Cost is paid, You receive Damage )
    • Choices (Target of ..., the attacked Unit .., all units )

    Every Rule in the Game can be expressed as a Relation between these objects (or their subtypes) and Cards and Effects connect these objects with a canonical operation :

    • placing (increase)
    • moving (modify)
    • removing (decrease)

    There is a Card that places Exhaustion Tokens on Units, and there is a card that removes Exhaustion Tokens from any Card.
    There is card or an effect to ...
    deal(place) damage, remove damage, move damage, turn own dice, turn opponents dice, discard dice, return dice, etc. etc.

    Many relations have been done and some have not. Here are some relations that have not been done yet that are strong contenders for Cards in these Dice colors :
    Reaction spell to ...
    a spell that does not target a Unit
    an attachment being removed
    an attachment being attached
    a cost being paid that includes a power symbol
    a cost being paid that includes 3 or more dice

    Why are these strong contenders ?
    First : It's subjective
    Second : Attachments are not exactly part of what plays use a lot so this could be the attempt to make them viable. This would shake up the meta game and be consisted with the theme of both dice colors even though there do not seem to be attachments in the deck in the usual sense.
    Also we do not have a reaction to Spells with Massive effects and Mass Heal might just be a Reaction Spell that heals all your Units. Again : It would be on theme and solve some meta game issues and is restrictive similar to other reaction spells in the given dice colors. Mass heal probably wont do anything with exhaustion as Meteor has a built in counter for the exhaustion part and Kneel can already be partially countered.
    The 'Cost being Paid' thing is there because Nature Cards often cost [[nature:class]] and some [[basic]] but usually not [[nature:power]], but they do have some reroll effects.
    Nature does not have dice manipulation like the other colors so this is their way to compensate.
    Divine Cards also don't exactly come cheap. Holy Knight costs 3 Divine-colored dice and Meteor costs 2 [[Divine:Power]]. Their way to compensate is a bit more drastic. They have some finite-use dice fixer and they have discarding as a cost so you can actually pay with cards you couldn't afford because of the other stuff you paid for.
    These two do not go well together because Nature would suggest an 2/3 Allies is maybe costed like this
    while Divine might pay for it like this

    and a preconstructed Deck is meant to have a playable cost structure.
    If you want to play 5 cards on average per turn the average cost per card have to be 2, not 3 Basic Dice and not 2 Power Symbols.

    The only Card we know the costs of is Earthquake at 2[[basic]] while Xanders ability costs 1[[Divine:Class]].
    Allies will probably be more costly and the Summon Raptor Hetchling might as well cost 1 [[natural:class]] every time so having a reaction spell that gives back dice and reacts to absurd costs being paid would make some sense.

    There is still things left unsaid though :
    Nature's Wrath will most likely not be a straight up damage to a Unit/Phoenixborn spell. Those are already in the game. The only thing that would make sense would be a two-colored version of Freezing Blast with more damage that can only target units or a reaction spell to some Unit Combat that does the the same but with even more damage.

    Remaing cards :

    Law of Domination : Lots of possibilities, but none more likely than any other.
    If i am wrong on any of the other effects it could instead be that the law of dominance has that effect instead or something completely different.

    Pain Shaman : Given the name it will probably have an interaction with damage tokens. Maybe he reacts to damage dealt to units. Maybe he deals damage to units as some kind of walking [[Natural:Power]] die. Maybe he is the Dice generator the Deck needs. I do not know.

    Earthquake will probably deal damage but how much and what else in addition is a mystery. The Art suggest a single Target.

    I will present some possible Values for Unit Combat Stats and/or Dice Cost in the future. I already got some Math done and there are not that many Dice/Stat Distribution possibilities that make a working deck considering the card types.

    Everything here is just a 'most likely' type statement

    • Earthquake Actionspell (Damage to a single Target)
    • Summon Cerasaurus Mount (Action Spell or less likely Read Spell - conjured alteration with huge stats)
    • Summon Archasaurus Mount (Ready Spell - conjured alteration with medium stats)
    • Law of Domination (Read Spell - no clues)
    • Ratpor Herder (Ally that summons small conjurations with his ability)
    • Pain Shaman (Ally that redirects damage dealt)
    • Summon Shining Hydra (Ready Spell - conjuration likely to grow from damage)

    One of the following 3 is probably a reaction spell, probably sacred ground, the others are then Actionspells

    • Natures Wraith or Sacred Ground (Spell - might be placed on the battle field, the other is spell that deals damage to either only Units or only Phoenixborn)
    • Mass Heal (spell that removes damage)


  • Interesting Combos 11

    Keen on seeing what interesting/fun card interactions I may have missed.

    For example:
    String Mage and Small Sacrifice.
    [[Main]] - [[Exhaust]] - [[ceremonial:class]]: Damage the String Mage and an opponent's unit.
    [[side]]: Move the wound token from the String Mage onto an opponent's unit.

    Two damage for one [[ceremonial:class]]

  • New 3


    I'm new to Ashes. I was thinking of getting into the game. I played Netrunner and there is a site ( to play Netrunner online. Is there anything like this for Ashes?

  • Draft Report #5 3

    It's been awhile, but was able to get another draft match in this weekend.

    We widened the card pool to include everything pre-Harold/Sembali. To give a bit more flexibility to account for all 6 magic types being available, we increased the draft to 4 pyramids of 10. This gave each person 20 cards + their chosen PB unique to work with.

    My deck was an Illusion heavy deck. It included a few dud drafts; Prepare and Bring Forth. I included these as I was relying on Illusion pretty heavily and didn't have a strong reason to splash into a third magic type.

    Her deck was a really cool Ceremonial, Natural, Sympathy deck that tried to find synergy between Salamander Monks, Strengthen and Iron Worker.

    My deck won at the start of Round 4 with 4 life remaining on Noah.

    Interesting points.
    Strengthen was double focused. This meant Salamander Monk Spirits could be boosted to 4 attack; forcing me to trade my units with them instead of guarding with my PB.

    My Flash Archers were able to do great work keeping my opponent's board clear of Salamander Monks. Without Double Shot, I would have been overwhelmed.

  • Why Thunder number ? 3

    I understand what people mean then they say "Thunder Number" but there is no thunder involved and its actually more like a Vector, why do people use this as a name for it ?
    Seems so arbitrary to me.

  • WIDOWMAKER Gencon Friday Champion Report 3

    If you want to use an assassin, you've got to play like an assassin.

    Here's my tournament report for Friday of Gencon, and my road to 5-0. A lot of my games came down to precise moves and quick strikes. It felt very on-theme for Jericho. I had A LOT of fun, and I'm pretty sure that my opponents did, too.
    The decklist can be found here:

    Match 1 was vs a Brennen player with nature and ceremonial. I was a little nervous about playing another aggressive deck with a 5 life disadvantage. I believe that my FF was Winds, Stallions, Spirits, Hand Tricks for build magic, and either Anchornaut or Archer. Brennen was forced to direct some damage to the board, to keep my units from completely overwhelming her more fragile. Re-Tool Magic and some ping was able to keep Brennan's board low. In the end, she was 2 damage short of finishing me off, before a got the killing swing in on the second turn (my first) of Round 3.

    Match 2 was vs Jason Pete. He used a modified version of his Astrea deck that he used to win the Ashes International League. My FF was Winds, Stallions, Spirits, Hand Trick for build magic, and Hidden Power. He started Lion, Lioness, Admonisher, Psychic Vampire, and Hypno. His Vampire was tough to deal with. I got some Round 1 damage through because Astrea had to Guard for Lion with Jericho prepped to finish it off if it takes 2 wounds. I prepped an Illusion to deny his Hypno, so Jason used his Charm to buff up his units, letting Vampire survive to Round 2. Later in the game, Jason marked my Shadow Guard after a Kneel and my only means of survival was to Ceremonial recur my Anchornaut from discard and place it as a blocker to buy me some turns. The Anchornaut eventually killed my own units to trigger Chants and to bring out some Widows. It was a close, game and, after two big blunders that cancelled each other out, the game came down to whether or not Jason drew a second heal. The game ended in the first turn off Round 3.

    Match 3 was vs another Astrea and a very similar build, piloted by Skylar. The biggest moment came when Skylar played Imperial Ninja to start the game, and my I killed it with Anchornaut/Re-Tool Magic before he got Devotion on it. It went down hill for Astrea from there, and the match ended with another big swing on my first turn off Round 3.

    Match 4 was a hilarious match vs Brian Broughman. He played a Jericho with a similar core as mine. Even our FF was the same (I think). I started Winds, Stallions, Spirits, Hand Tricks for build magic, and Hidden Power. The main differences between our decks was that he had more Sympathy dice to include River Skald to remove big units, where my deck just swings wide. Ultimately, Skald was ineffective vs my swarm, which gave me an edge, and the match didn't last very far into Round 2.

    Match 5 was not as exciting as I had hoped. I played vs the legendary Matt Bauers and his Harold deck, which uses Bear, Butterfly Monks, and Shadow Spirits with Nature/Illusion/Ceremonial. My FF was Winds, Stallions, Spirits, Hand Tricks (or Anchornaut?), and Hidden Power. Round 1I tried to deny him Nature dice with my Illusion. I got pretty lucky and drew 2 Fire Archers. He lead off with Battle Mage and then Mark > attacked my Stallions. Stallion counter and 2 Archers took out the Mage R1, and Matt's Battlefield never Stabilized. Him not focusing his Monks or Spirits made the game a lot easier for meme. He played defense all match, and couldn't attack. He was trying to outlast my deck, and it almost worked, as I took 3 draw damage before the game ended with a big attack in Round 4, followed by a finishing attack at the start of Round 5 with the units that survived his Nature dice slaughter.

    I want to add that I ran out of my draw pile in 4 out of 5 games, which made every game ending very intense and fun!
    I'm really excited to have gotten so far, and with my favorite deck! I love the game and players and had a lot of fun. I may add/edit this report as I'm sure that some important details have been left out. I hope you enjoyed the report!

  • Damage Mitigation 2

    I had a draft game recently where my opponent and I both walled up behind units. It became a slow grind - one of his units had Power Through, I had 3 Frost Bite and Summon Butterfly Monk. I could grind out 3 damage a turn, he could power through for one. Healing/damage prevention tipped the game in his favour. It got me thinking ...

    How healthy can a Phoenixborn be? How much damage can you realistically mitigate/heal in a game? Is it worth it?

    [[Divine:Class]] - [[side]] for 2 wounds; 3 copies; 6 total

    Chant of Protection
    [[basic]] - [[discard]] for 3 damage; 3 copies; 9 total

    Butterfly Monk Last Blessing
    1 wound per [[natural]] summon; 1 to 3 per turn

    Blood Transfer
    [[side]] - [[exhaust]] - [[charm:class]] - [[ceremonial:class]] for 1 wound; 1 to 3 per turn

    As a direct comparison, Blood Transfer seems the worst option. However, Heal, Chant of Protection and Butterfly Monk could all fit into a Divine/Natural deck. Assuming a 5 round game, you could see in excess of 20 damage mitigated/healed. Has anyone tried this? Or does the dice cost result in too much of a disadvantage on the battlefield? None of the cards seem that expensive ...

  • 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


    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):

    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:

    Her Deck:

    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 ( This second attempt, also used cards from the base set + the first 4 Phoenixborn released.

    My Deck:

    Her Deck:

    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:
    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:
    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?