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  • Second pair of fan expansions released!

    Devlin Longbow and Plutarch Eastgate's expansions are released and available for download and PnP!

  • Project Phoenix cards available in deckbuilder!

    The cards for Jill Traversack and Tolliver I are now available in the Ashes.live deckbuilder!


  • Great War Format 0

    I do not play game often but i`m still big fan of it. And i thaught of format where both both players come up with six decks ( you can go with 4 or five if you don`t have necessary expansion ). The catch is if you use a card or dice in one deck you cannot do this in other decks ( this doesn`t limit conjuration pile though ). So if you bring one mono-nature deck you cannot use nature dice in any other of those decks. To win whole match you must win once with every of your decks. What do you think about this?

  • Blood Puppet 4

    If I use the Blood Puppet my opponent gives me to attack, it would deal no damage, but become exhausted anyway, right? So, at the end of the round, it deals 0 damage to me, cause it is exhausted and the curse is not an inexhaustible effect, and the exhaust token is removed after that, in the prepare phase. Is this correct? Am I bypassing the damage this way?

  • Want to get into it... 2

    A few years ago, I collected a complete set of ASHES: Rise of the Phoenixborn (with all the expansions and everything). At that time, my wife and I played it just a few times with pre-constructed decks before she decided that she doesn't enjoy PvP games, and she doesn't want to play it any more.

    To call me a newbie to ASHES is no exaggeration. But I'd like to get into it. There is no local support (northern Cincinnati suburbs) that I can find.

    How best to proceed? Does anyone here want to take me under their wing and show me the ropes? TTS?

    -drew

  • Marf of the Goddess and Indiglow Creeper 3

    My opponent is playing Indiglow Creeper (he has, of course, the summon books, the conjurations in his conjuration deck, etc). And I play Mark of the Goddess on his Indiglow Creeper. Now, I don't have the books in my deck, neither have I the Indiglow nor the Luminous Seedling in my conjuration deck. The question is, when the Indiglow under my control dies, do I still get to summon the Seedling under my control (meaning, getting the card borrowed directly from HIS conjuration deck)?

  • Can't view some decks 1

    Hello! I noticed that many decks give a 500 error when you try to view them. Something wrong with deck database?

  • Second pair of fan expansions released! 10

    I'm happy to say that the second two Project Phoenix expansions are available for print and play (PnP)!

    Devlin Longbow: The Scoundrels of the Sea

    (Read part 1 and part 2 of Devlin's card spoilers, too!)

    Plutarch Eastgate: The Mad Doctor

    (Read part 1 and part 2 of Plutarch's card spoilers, too!)

    The ZIP files above provide 300 dpi images, suitable for printing at 63x88mm (the size of the Ashes cards) or 2.5"x3.5" (slightly larger than an Ashes card, but still supported by the images above). The card sheets are provided for easier printing on standard printer paper if you wish to layer the cards above existing cards in opaque sleeves or similar.

    I do not have MakePlayingCards-compatible files for these images this time around. I hope to create them (because I really like the MPC printing process), but it's an insane amount of work to create full bleed versions of the cards and I don't have the bandwidth right now, unfortunately.

    I hope you enjoy Devlin and Plutarch! Voting for the final three Time expansions will open in the near future, and once those are released we will figure out where Project Phoenix will go from there!

  • Devlin Previews Part 2: Dangerous Waters make a Dangerous Crew 2

    Devlin might lead the mightiest man-o-war in the ocean, but it takes a tight crew to run a tight ship. Welcome back to the last set of previews for Devlin and Plutarch, and we're gonna hit the ground sprinting with an especially strong shipmate that has mastered the art of hit and run:

    Shipside Assassin joins the pantheon of incredibly strong 3-cost allies with an identical statline to Hammer Knight, and an ability that makes it an absolute pain to answer. Shipside Assassin is a tricky unit to answer, and can surprise you in terrible ways. You can freely attack weaker/exhausted units with SA without having to worry about repercussions, and once exhausted she's only immune to your opponent's effects, meaning you can still target her with spells and abilities. Shipside Assassin uniquely attracts a few unique strategies to her as well; she's one of the only units for which you may be encouraged to attach alterations AFTER attacking, and when combined with Devlin's Trial by Fire it's easy to force enormously harsh trades without losing much.

    Shipside Assassin becomes an especially deadly power player when combined with certain alterations, like Power Through, Deteriorating Armor, and this amazing new tool:

    Pearl Conch Venom might be one of the deadliest alterations ever made. Battle Advantage and Deathstrike combined enable any unit to successfully kill basically any other unit in the game. What's incredible about this alteration is that it tends be effective both on small units, allowing even a Mist Spirit to defeat a Sleeping Bear, and on select large units, enabling Seaside Assassin to attack large units without suffering any damage (or forcing the opponent to take a whopping 4). However, Pearl Conch Venom really hits its apex when attached to units with the Stalk or Bypass ability. Nothing kills your star players like a venomous Winged Lioness or Reaper Mount, or even adding some extra possibilities for Hypnotize. This could also produce some interesting combinations with Relic Broker, perhaps even with Chimera Smasher if you're feeling particularly spicy.

    Of course, being a Natural/Time deck, two of the biggest colors for alteration spells, it'd be strange if we only had one to show off. This second one, however, won't be like any alteration you've seen before.

    Shriveling marks the first alteration in the game that attaches to a Phoenixborn (well, other than Dark Transformation, but that's kind of a special case). This is a bizarre spell, causing your opponent to lose life just for removing exhaustion from their Phoenixborn, and also forcing them to exhaust leftover dice at the end of the round, potentially discarding much wanted Power dice. I say sir, you're looking a bit tired, do you want a lie down?

    Now, obviously your opponent can simply play around this effect by simply not using their Phoenixborn ability, but when your opponent decides not to use one of their best tools, that usually just means you're winning. I mean, wow, you didn't just stop your opponent from using their abilities, you managed to convince them that it was their idea as well. But what if you end up with an opponent that doesn't mind taking a little damage? Well, good news: Shriveling stacks. The number of wounds you place is 1 PER Shriveling on the opponent, so if you can stack these early it could easily force a very harsh game, especially against certain PB's that heavily rely on their abilities.

    That being said, this card might have some consistency issues; you never can tell just how effective it will be in any given match (especially when playing against a PB with no exhaustible abilities like Odette Diamondcrest or Jessa Na Ni), but the value cannot be understated and there might be a few tricks to make it work a little harder (Flashback, and Namine Hymntide might work). And, in the off chance you toss it while meditating or making Sirens, Devlin's got you covered:

    Not to be confused as a budget Relic Broker, Bone Sea Privateer offers a few unique advantages, starting with its color. There are numerous useful alterations to be found in [[Time:power]] magic, but [[Natural:power]] has always been loaded with powerful tools of war like Massive Growth, Crystal Shield, Spiked Armor and the brand new Pearl Conch Venom. The other big difference is that the alterations fetched go into your hand rather than attached to the unit itself, meaning you have the freedom to attach your findings to other targets instead.

    Bone Sea Privateer also comes equipped with Inheritance 1, which not only helps provide coverage and resources for many of Devlin's other cards, but also adds some extra fire to fetch options like Explosive Growth and Mark of the Red Flower.

    Alright, we have our crew, we have our tools, but we can't forget the most powerful force available to our sailors: the ocean itself!

    Whirlpool is a vicious and often cruel card, completely taking control of the battlefield at a low cost. What's most devastating about this spell is that it not only stacks multiplicatively with each Focus, but it can be triggered on either player's turn AFTER all blockers have been declared. This is the spell that will put fear into your opponents, especially if either of you likes to swing often.

    While this card cannot be used to lower attack before a Trial by Fire, being able to dictate the flow of the round just by having a Whirlpool at the ready is incredibly invaluable. You can even use multiple copies against the same target; with two Whirlpools, you can lower Elephant Rider's attack value from 6 to 2! If you really want to make listed attack values meaningless, try combining this with Empower to just completely dictate every fight for the rest of the game. With all these amazing options of flexibility and dominance of combat, Devlin proves why he's the only one keeping the flags flying out on the high seas.

    And that's all we got for previews cause...well, that's all we got for cards. Thank you so much for all your support, and Project Phoenix will see you all next time...with 3 decks instead of 2. But that's still a ways off.

  • Plutarch Previews Part 2: Dealing in Death 0

    If this article didn't make it out on time, it's because I'm working Black Friday at a retail job, which means right now maybe death doesn't seem quite so bad. Well, our science buddy Plutarch might have just the panacea you need for this terrible disease we call living.

    Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, after all. Mounts were a concept originally introduced in The Ghost Guardian and The King of Titans, and it comes back now as powerful as ever. Everyone that's played with the vicious Winged Lioness or the equally vicious Hunters Mark knows just how powerful ignoring guards can be, and the jump from 2 attack to 3 with Reaper Mounts suddenly makes this concept even deadlier. The majority of units in the game have 3 or fewer health, meaning Reaper Mounts can drop almost anything. Not to mention, if the target does somehow have 4 Life, you can always use Plutarch's ability to slap on Imbued Vigor for that one-shot kill. This is one of the more important units in Plutarch's deck, giving you the ability to activate Dark Procurement and Extend Animation, and with pinpoint accuracy. And, as is often the case with most mounts, it's incredibly cost efficient later in the game. In a lot of ways, Reaper Mount is fairly comparable to Cerasaurus Mount, with the Overwhelm replaced with Stalk (depending on the goals of your deck, one may be better than the other).

    Now, obviously the big trick with mounts is that they need riders. So far, we've seen the Nihilist and the Alchemist, and those are both decent riders, but I think we can do better:

    Every mount has at least one top notch rider. Summon Ghostly Mount has toolbox cards like Battle Seer and Hollow, Summon Cerasaurus Mount has the eminent Sun Sister, and for Summon Reaper Mount we have the Soul Augur. In most cases, a good rider is categorized as a unit that has at least 2 Life and some kind of "leaves play" effect, and not only does Soul Augur fill that criteria but she does so with aplomb. She makes for an excellent defensive unit as the opponent really doesn't want to empower you with a free Open Memories for allies, and she'll even give you a chance to figure out what sort of ally would best suit the opponent you're playing against. Maybe a wide board demands a Crimson Bomber or Raptor Herder, while an especially large threat might do better with a Grave Knight or even a Sleeping Bear. And of course, you can always opt to go for broke with Elephant Rider. Soul Augur is also quite powerful with Summon Necromantic Abomination, as the allies you feed to it can be either from under your PB OR in your hand.

    Now, within Plutarch's deck, there are many good options for Soul Augur to fetch. Alchemist helps you fix dice better, Nihilist is great for triggering your Dark Procurements, and if you need something extra difficult than maybe fetch one of these:

    If you really don't want your opponent to swing at you again, bring out the Plague Doctor, aka discount Gobi Sunshield. Unlike the Nightshade Swallow (aka the last unit with Deathstrike), Plague Doctor is more likely to survive an attack, and because of the Alert ability he won't even get exhausted for doing it. This unit presents quite a conundrum for attackers; he can kill small units without exhausting, but he can also kill big units regardless of life value. Now, on the one hand, there are a few ways to skirt around the Doctor, but there's also ample solutions to cover those contingencies. Because of his 1 attack power, you can declare multiple attackers and he'll only be able to kill one at a time, but if he gains any attack boost at all (say, from a Bloodstained Dagger), that option starts looking a lot worse. Alright, well you can always opt to attack units that aren't the Plague Doctor since he only attacks for 1 anyways, but that can get really tough if you're opponent is running around with Hastened Response. Finally, since Deathstrike only triggers on attacks and counters, you can always kill it through direct damage through Devlin's Trial by Fire or big damage sources like Earthquake or Phoenix Barrage, but that 4 Life can be difficult to chunk through. No matter the circumstances, Plague Doctor always seems to have the tools to be effective.

    Alright, we've talked about the many effective ways in which Plutarch can just kill all your units, but he also has a few techniques that stop you from killing his units as well...because he's gonna get to it first.

    Alright, let me break this one down for you. Basically, if your opponent tries to do anything to your unit, you can use Reaper's Rescue to just kill the unit instead. What a bargain!

    In all seriousness though, this card can be a surprising turn around against a host of unusual effects. Opponent tries to Phoenix Barrage your unit for 4 and also deal 2 damage to you? Just kill the unit, which in turn cancels the rest of the spell and effectively saves you 2 damage. Harold tries to Mark Prey targeting your unit and setup a Harvest Soul? Just kill it, and since your opponent didn't kill the unit they don't get to harvest either. Opponent attempts to Blood Chains you down for about 4 exhaustion? You know what to do. As icing on the cake, Reaper's Rescue also covers nasty alterations, providing "protection" from such nasty effects as Regress, Deep Freeze, and the dreaded Mark of the Goddess. Best of all, because Reaper's Rescue kills the unit, it can also trigger death effects from cards like Dark Procurement and Chant of Revenge.

    To finish off our previews, if Reaper's Rescue is the card you use to manipulate death, this is the card you use to prevent it...but only in a literal sense:

    Cheat Death is a bit bizarre because it can actually stop a whole variety of different acts from taking place. We've already mentioned Chant of Revenge, but Cheat Death can also prevent things like Chant of Sacrifice and Brennen Blackcloud's main ability. Using Cheat Death on a unit can also make it an invalid target for Harvest Soul. Similar to Reaper's Rescue, using Cheat Death doesn't slow you down too much as the card replaces itself, either with the ally you just saved or by simply drawing a card in the case of a conjuration. Between this and Reaper's Rescue, there's a bunch of new counterplay application that opens up for dealing with many staple deck constructions, but in the case of Cheat Death I think it may also help open deckbuilding for an often underlooked PB: Sembali Grimtongue. Being able to return allies back to your hand even when they die makes it even easier to trigger Ban Manifestation and Chained Creations, and the fact that it fills your hand in the process makes her awkward costs a little more palatable. Maybe give her a try with Cheat Death, you might be surprised.

    That's all we have for Plutarch, but come back tomorrow for the rest of Devlin. Now I'm going to sleep, I have another long shift tomorrow :(

  • Devlin Previews Part 1: Plunder on the High Seas 0

    Welcome to the second day of previews. In case you missed yesterday's previews with Plutarch, here's a link.

    Yesterday we focused on the twisted machinations of Mr. Eastgate, but today's focus will be on the terror of Argaia's waters, one Captain Devlin Longbow:

    The Bone Sea is a vast and unforgiving pool of some of nature's most vicious creatures, though none are more dangerous than the captain of The Eternity himself. Any who enter his turf should be ready to face a Trial by Fire, a crucible by which only the strongest survive. And of course, to the victors go the spoils.

    Devlin Longbow is our Time and Natural deck ([[Time:power]] and [[natural:power]]) and you'll have to be careful playing your weaker units against him, as Trial by Fire is basically Seeds of Aggression as a Phoenixborn ability. When playing against Devlin, probably best to assume he'll break out a few larger units. One of our favorites was Majestic Titan, but I think the status gain also has some room to be explored with Master Vampire. The ability can also be used to clear your board of dead weight, like units affected by Regress. That being said, Trial by Fire can be avoided up to a point, as both units involved must be unexhausted, so if you have a way to use your units early (Anchornaut and Flash Archer come to mind) you might be able to avoid it for a while.

    Of course, you're probably thinking, what's the point of building up random status tokens? Well, obviously there's a few units that like having them, but wearing the pirate's mark means you've gained the captain's trust, which might stop you from getting swept away:

    Even if you avoid the Trial by Fire, you might find yourself in the clutches of The Perfect Storm. Worst case, this is effectively a Meteor for 2 [[basic]], but with a some clever setup and Trials, this card gains razor precision. Dealing 2 damage to all of your opponent's creatures, while sparing your most crucial ones, can be absolutely devastating. Devlin's ability and special card in tandem create this really interesting puzzle for players to solve. How best will you master the battlefield? Maybe you'll bring all your units already immune to TPS, using things like Summon Mirror Spirit and Iron Worker, or maybe you'll play around the Inheritance ability of things like Jungle Warrior and Gilder. Or just ignore it, knowing that your creatures are big enough to win fights and earn status with Trial by Fire. Heck, if you don't care about your units surviving, you can also just play a Summon Fallen deck. The sea remains full of undiscovered mystery, after all.

    Well, there are a few things we do know about. Among them is the brutal hammerhead shark:

    So, there's a bit to unpack here. Yes, this spell costs a whopping 5 dice to cast, a significantly heavy price to be sure, but then it lets you make a shark every turn for free? This is definitely bizarre by Ashes standards, but Time Magic is full of unusual twists and turns. Setting this thing up will absolutely sunder your first round, but the returns are pretty insane. After all, a 3/4 for 5 dice is terrible, but two 3/4's for 5 dice is actually good, and once you hit three the value is just absurd. Devlin doesn't mind playing the long game, after all.

    Sharks come with the Consume ability, something we haven't seen since Silver Snake, but unlike the Snakes these units don't scale with status quite as well. Instead, what they lose in scaling, they gain in proliferation, becoming harder to get rid of through effects like Chained Creations or Harvest Soul, which is pretty important since the conjuration limit is only 2! It does take a whopping 3 status to get to that point, but even a single Trial by Fire will already get you up to two status.

    Sharks aren't the only unit that can take advantage of your status gains, and they certainly aren't the only unit with a bizarre cost:

    Ladies and gentlemen, here comes a free cost that will torture you every time. Riptide Siren is extremely efficient, giving you a 2/2 for only 1 die, but each summon requires you to grind out your own deck a little more. If you aren't able to focus the spell, you might just deck yourself out on accident. Of course, the Siren does have the ability to help refill your deck if you can give it status tokens, but earning them through Trial by Fire is going to be a little harder since it's not that big.

    All that being said, Riptide Siren is amazingly versatile as units go. She can play fast, but isn't that bad going slow. She can recycle your deck with some help, or even remove problematic cards from your opponent's discard pile to hinder Nightsong Cricket or Namine Hymntide. Aggressively, she can fill your discard up with allies for reanimation strategies. And with a conjuration limit of 4, she's fairly reliable.

    Now, maybe you're not in the mood to spend status on these effects, so here's one more alternative for you:

    Loot the Future doesn't quite have the sheer power potential of Heal, or the efficiency of Mass Heal, but it does make up for it with flexibility. When playing with Sharks it's pretty easy to end up with an excess of status tokens, and playing with Devlin means your units will often end up a little battered. For one die, you could potentially full heal your entire battlefield, and the fact that it's a heal outside of [[divine:power]] gives it some inherent value as an alternate option. It might also have application with cards in future sets...

    Finally, to finish off our previews for today, there's only one thing better than fighting with Devlin, and that's fighting twice:

    This demands an equal exchange from each player, but things are rarely equal when fighting Devlin. Chances are, you're units are hitting harder, and Trial by Fire is likely a stronger ability than whatever you're opponent is running around with. This card has tons of potential, especially when combined with PB's with hyper efficient abilities like Rin Northfell, Victoria Glassfire and Orrick Gilstream, or PB's with abilities that apply tons of pressure like Aradel Summergaard and Harold Westraven. This spell holds an ocean of creative application; as an example, you can use it in a deck full of 3 power units to forcibly set your opponent to a health value divisible by 3. We can't wait to see what you do with it.

    That's all for today. Happy Thanksgiving, and we'll hopefully see you tomorrow with the rest of Plutarch's deck.

  • Plutarch Previews Part 1: No need to hide the body 0

    It's the most wonderful time of the year, and you know what that means.
    Yup, it's time for the next set of previews from Project Phoenix.

    These previews will be a little different from the normal ones: instead of 3 cards, we'll be showing off 5 cards AND the Phoenixborn today. Plus, we'll be doing previews EVERY DAY this week, all ramping up to the release date on 11/30.

    And what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving week with a Phoenixborn that would've made way more sense on Halloween.

    They say that Dredgemeadow is a no casket village. If you die, your remains either get buried deep where no one knows, or they end up in the scientist's lab. Plutarch is Project Phoenix's Time and Ceremonial deck ([[time:power]] & [[ceremonial:power]]), and is centered heavily around the cycle of death and rebirth, whether natural or otherwise. His ability, Gather Specimens, is where the majority of his interaction comes from, allowing him to tuck ally cards from any player's discard pile underneath him facedown. He can then spend those cards to place Imbued Vigor on his units, creating exceptionally awkward turns for his opponents. The Dauntless keyword enables you to perform attacks that are almost always bad for your opponent, or hold one turn of defense that no one wants to deal with.

    The facedown mechanic isn't new to Plutarch, having first been explored by Jericho Kill, and because of that he can benefit from a few of the same cards as she, including Prepare. Being able to tuck ally cards from your discard and Prepare them back to your hand can be quite difficult to deal with. Plus, there's other ways to tuck allies underneath Plutarch, like Dark Procurement.

    If Prepare let's you tuck cards from your draw pile, Dark Procurement let's you do the same straight from the battlefield, allowing you to store cards under your PB lightning fast. Since Plutarch's Extract Essence doesn't exhaust him, every ally card you tuck is yet another weapon to further your goal. Additionally, Dark Procurement has the added bonus of being able to snag allies your opponents own, potentially cutting off supplies to other discard-based strategies like Summon Fallen, Bound Soul, Sun Sister, and even the [[Ceremonial:power]] dice power itself.

    Of course, if your opponents are more keen to using conjurations over allies, you can always trigger DP on your own allies. You can always use Anchornaut to hit itself, but if you're looking for something more substantial, we've got you covered:

    In the tradition of most Ceremonial precons, Plutarch's deck has a whopping four. Nihilist may not seem like the most impressive unit on the surface, and its Entombed ability makes it a little more difficult to interact with since it can't be revived with the [[Ceremonial:power]] dice power, but don't be fooled. This ally is a value machine. 2 Life for 1 die is already pretty thick, but more impressive is that it places 2 wound tokens for just one die, and can even target the opponent's PB directly, all without triggering damage effects. It's also going to be one of your most tucked allies; after all, nothing is wasted on Plutarch.

    At this point, it's pretty clear that Plutarch's deck has many ways to stuff the underside of your PB with a plump supply of allies, but how does that help you win? Well, with a little dark science, we can use those allies to create the ultimate force of nature:

    It's alive! What has science done!?
    Well, in this case, science gave us arguably one of the strongest conjurations in all of Argaia. Necromantic Abomination is a pitiful 1/1/0 for 2 different colored dice, but even adding just a few choice body parts can ratchet this mutation into a truly threatening beast. With 3 allies, it's a 4/4/0 for 2 dice that can effectively reduce any instance of damage it takes down to 1. To take down the abomination, it's going to take lots of small hits, not big ones, but even small units will have a hard time dealing with its Terrifying 1 ability.

    The Necromantic Abomination takes a lot of setup though, and doesn't really take off until you're able to stuff at least a few allies under your PB. Also, if the conjuration dies, all the allies go back to their discard piles, meaning you need to start all over again. To help mitigate these issues, and to really bring this unit to abominable heights, you really want to focus the summon spell. At Focus 1, it becomes easier to accelerate the growth, but at Focus 2 you can start recycling the allies you've invested and create a dangerous death loop.

    Since the SNA ready spells are crucial to winning with this precon, you may be a little hesitant to meditate often. Luckily, with this ally, you might not have to:

    Alchemist is a stout little ally that gives you the ability to convert your basic symbols into class symbols. Since a majority of Plutarch's deck can function only on class symbols, Alchemist is hugely important for keeping your draw pile intact without having to slow down. Effectively, having an Alchemist around lets you perform "soft meditates" without spending any resources. He might be able to help open up decks that use larger color pools that have a harder time with dice fixing as well, like 4-color Orrick Gilstream decks. Watch out though, if this unit is destroyed while dice are still attached to him, the dice will fall into your exhausted pool.

    To finish off our previews today, we're going to show you Plutarch's special card, which you may find especially diabolical:

    In Dredgemeadow, death is not guided by the reaper's hand but by Plutarch's allowance. This is a devilishly powerful spell, not only allowing you to bestow a second life onto a unit but even enabling you to reanimate an opponent's unit onto your side! With Extend Animation on the other side of the table, the fates of your Hammer Knights and Flying Monkeys gets a lot less certain, possibly even dangerous for you. That being said, Plutarch's methods aren't perfect, and the subject ends up in an Unnatural state, losing all their abilities and heavily stifling any chance of recovery. Still, sometimes a big body is just a big body, like with Iron Rhino.

    If you manage to get up to Focus 2, Plutarch will have perfected the process and may start bringing back units without being Unnatural. Not only will this improve some revived units significantly like Majestic Titan or Leech Warrior, but it can also open some new avenues of play with things like Nihilist or Crimson Bomber.

    That's all we have for today, but come back tomorrow for the start of Devlin and his dangerous crew.

  • Which Ready Spells are not worth playing and why? 6

    So me and my play group did a bit of analysis on the games balance/diversity and specifically looked at ready Spells.
    Noteably that you almost always want 2 summons in your deck and this alone leaves very little room for non Summoning Ready Spells.
    We came up with 6 Categories (list below) that say a lot about how likely a ready spell is to be put in a deck.
    Those Categories were :

    • Direct Damage (that is repeatable Phoenixborn damage that can not be prevented without Vanish etc.)
    • Bypassing (again unpreventable damage but in the form of a Unit attack)
    • Life (something that effectively increases your own life)
    • Ressource Gain (Gives you extra dice, saves you Dice, saves Meditation,draws Cards etc)
    • Unit only Stats/Effects
    • Silver Bullets/Slow Effects (Specific Counter Cards or Cards that have most of their effect in the next round)

    Below is a list with all official ready spells in those categories

    Most of our actually good decks contained Cards in the first 4 categories while
    the last two were mostly considered to be not worth it in general.
    From a creative standpoint this is somewhat sad to me and i have 2 questions for you :
    1) Do you agree with our categories,
    and
    2) is it by general design of the game that the last 2 categories seem to underperform ? are they just bad ?

    The 'silver Bullet' category in my opinion are in big parts bad cards. Not all of them but for example cut the strings just is not really neseccary or useful for anything.

    Unit Stats however seem useful on paper. But in reality i have never really found 'Strengthen' or 'Protect' to be Cards that give my opponent a though time.
    Small Sacrifice can be good but mostly with String Mage, where it is even better then Drain Vitality which should be better effect wise (at least on average).

    What would need to change for these spells to actually see play ?
    Is it that we have too few Ready Spell slots ? (Would you play Strengthen if it also had the effect of protect or a summon on the same card ?)
    Are the numbers too small or the costs to expansive ? (would you play a mono colored version of Strengthen, or at the normal costs but when it gives even more attack or maybe even healing ?)
    Is the kind of effect just never really good ?

    Here is the list :

    ++Direct Damage++

    • Chant of Revenge
    • Dark Presence
    • Frost Bite

    ++Bypassing++

    • Hypnotize
    • Chant of Sacrifice (could also be viewed as saving ressources, depending on usage)
    • Law of Fear (only in special situations)
    • Confusion Spores (only in special situations)

    ++Life++

    • Chant of Protection
    • Law of Repentance (damage part is often avoidable)

    ++Ressource Gain++
    +Dice+

    • Expand Energy
    • Gates Thrown Open
    • Magic Purity
    • Chant of the Dead

    +Card Draw and Meditation reduction+

    • Abudance
    • Chainging Winds
    • Law of Assurance
    • Magic Syphon
    • Secret Door
    • Shifting Mists
    • Law of Sight
    • Prepare
    • Augury

    ++Unit only Stats/Statuses++
    (What would need to change for these spells to see (more) play ? )

    • Chained Creations
    • Drain Vitality
    • Empower
    • Gravity Training
    • Guilt Link (damage is preventable)
    • Join the Hunt
    • Protect
    • Royal Charm
    • Sacred Ground
    • Small Sacrifice
    • Strengthen
    • To Shadows (can be viewed as bypassing, but it never forces lethal attacks)
    • Law of Domination (the permanent effect could count as bypassing against Chant of Protection, but you almost never end up killing someone while they have Chant still up)

    ++Silver Bullets/very slow effects++

    • Blood Transfer (can be viewed as expansive life gain)
    • Cut the Strings
    • Hex Bane (damage part is avoidable)
    • Law of Banishment (the exhaustion part does not fit other categories)
    • Purge
    • Memory Theft (damage is often preventable)

    Summons
    All the Spells with 'summon' in their name.

  • Project Phoenix cards available in deckbuilder! 0

    Fan-made cards for Project Phoenix are now available in the card browser and deckbuilder!

    Additionally, you can now choose the exact sets you own and filter the cards in the deckbuilder to only show those sets (and while filtering cards by "mine", cards you don't own in the current deck will show up in orange).

    This has been a while in coming, so I'm happy to finally get it out the door! Now that the groundwork for Time decks and collection filtering is in place, future fan-made cards will be a lot easier to get into the site, at least.

    Enjoy, and as always please let me know if you run across any bugs or inaccuracies!

  • Balance of Raven Rules? 1

    Hi,

    I am getting back into Ashes following a brief hiatus somewhere around the time when Rimea and Xander came out. Since then, I note that a lot of community-based content has come out, which I think is really cool. In particular, I love the work that has been done for the Raven Rules.

    My question is simple but probably hard to answer: was there any sort of analysis done when making Raven Rules to determine the impact the revised rules have on game/card balance?

    In particular, I am curious about the immediate resolution of effects that can now "interrupt" card effects rather than resolving a card in its entirety. I think this approach is great and way more intuitive, but it does change the value proposition of cards with several printed effects, such as Meteor or Dark Sacrifice.

    In my opinion, most of the changes brought by Raven Rules are more QOL and just enable smoother rule interaction/interpretation, but the card "interruption" is a big one.

    Any thoughts on how impactful this is on balance?

    Thanks and great job on everything the community is doing.

  • New players. 3

    Hello everyone.
    I started to play the last week with some friends.
    I have buy the starter set and the other expasions which print in italian and soon I’ll take the remaining in English.
    We love this game, it’s very beautiful and balanced.
    But the game is ended right?
    I mean, cards and dices will no longer be printed?
    I’m sad about that because it’s one of that game which you say: wow!
    In this way, the tournament part too it’s ended...

  • First two fan expansions released! 7

    I'm very pleased to share that the print and play (PnP) files for the first two Ashes fan expansions are now available for download!

    The ZIP files above provide 300 dpi images, suitable for printing at 63x88mm (the size of the Ashes cards) or 2.5"x3.5" (slightly larger than an Ashes card, but still supported by the images above). There are also card sheets if you wish to print things yourself.

    I have ordered a set from MakePlayingCards.com, and will post updates and pictures once I have the physical cards in hand (probably around the end of September). If you're an adventuresome type, you can do the same (download full-size images explicitly sized for MakePlayingCards' 63x88mm poker cards). If the quality is high, I will post them as a ready-to-order project (although note this will be a little more expensive than doing it yourself, because the lowest markup MPC allows is 10%).

    I hope you enjoy Jill and Tolliver, and the next two expansions are already in the works!

  • The dog ate my homework! 0

    Hello again Ashes fans! It's time for a preview of the final three cards from Jill’s deck.

    The first card up for today is Loyal Hound. This gives Jill a second summon conjuration book, alongside the Flying Monkeys. Loyal Hound costs 3 basic dice to bring each unit into play. While this is on the expensive side (same cost as Turtle Guard), the Loyal Hound provides a versatile mix of stats and abilities. It enters play with 4 life and 0 attack, but for each wound token placed on the hound its attack increases by 2 (Rage 2). So, if a hound has 2 wound tokens, it would a 4-attack unit with 2 life remaining.

    So far, this may just sound like a modified version of the Dread Wraith. However, the Loyal Hound’s other ability – Fetch – is what really distinguishes it. Fetch is an exhaustible ability that triggers whenever a hound does damage to an opposing Phoenixborn. When triggered it does two things. First, it lets the controlling player remove a card from the opponent’s discard pile. This could be used to prevent units from being recurred / converted into Fallen soldiers or it could be used to reduce the benefit that an opponent could get from other forms of card recursion (e.g. Essence Druid, Nightsong Cricket, Encore, Hand Tricks, etc.). Probably more valuable, Fetch also lets the controlling player shuffle a card from her own discard pile back into the deck. So, powerful cards like Hidden Power or even unique cards like Fear can be recycled back into play. The trick is finding a way to ensure that a Loyal Hound can damage the opponent Phoenixborn. Cards like Hypnotize and Time Stop provide one option via the Bypass ability. I look forward to seeing other ways that players make use of Fetch.

    The second card on the slate for today is Missing Page. This is a reaction spell that costs a time class die and can be played when any unit (yours or your opponents) is destroyed. The effect of Missing Page is to place an exhaustion token on a summon conjuration ready spell that can summon the unit that was destroyed. This is not as powerful as Seal because Missing Page only places an exhaustion token on a single book rather than on every copy. But missing page can be a nice way to shut down Summon Fallen for a round, and it only requires a single dice type. In this respect, Noah’s Shadow Target ability may be a better comparison than Seal.

    The final card in Jill’s deck is Hastened Response. This is a ready spell that costs a single time class die to play and gives Unit Guard to one of your units till the end of the turn. You can wait till after your opponent declares attackers before deciding which unit gets the unit guard ability, but you can only use the ability once per round because it requires you to place an exhaustion token on the spell. Devoting a spellboard slot to Hastened Response is probably its biggest weakness. But depending on a deck’s dice type or tempo it may be difficult to include one of the small number of summon unit guard conjurations. Also, Hastened Response can be a nice way to get full value out of some defensive units. For example, Clockwork Frog, Celestial Knight, Majestic Titan, Essence Druid, Indiglow Creepers and even Leech Warriors could all greatly benefit from having access to the unit guard ability.

    As noted previously, the images above are placeholders until we can replace them with original artwork. We hope you enjoy the new cards. If you have any questions please post below.

  • Wind the frog 2

    Hello again Ashes fans! It's time for another preview of Tolliver's deck!

    Time Stop is a powerful action spell variant of Hypnotize. Like Hypnotize, it grants the Bypass ability, allowing direct hits to the PB with no possible blocker, or an unguardable hit to a key unit. While it is a one-time use as an action spell instead of a ready spell means you get less repeat use, it has several advantages. One is the surprise factor, because your opponent does not know it is in your hand. Another is the lower cost; Time Stop is just a single class die instead of two. However, these advantages come at a great cost. The Reality Fracture ability means that after the turn, the targeted unit will be removed from the game. This makes Time Stop a powerful finishing spell, but playing it on a big unit is a hit to your board presence going forward. Note that Time Stop targets units you own, so Astrea cannot use it on a unit she acquires with Mark of the Goddess.

    Summon Clockwork Frog is a powerful new defensive conjuration that gives unique way to control the battlefield. The Armored 1 power makes it difficult to kill a Frog using most forms of direct damage, forcing players to push units into conflict with the Frogs. And while the frogs don’t have the ability to deliver normal counter damage, their Spiked Skin 2 means they deliver a pretty nasty blow. With a low cost of a class die to summon, opponents can expect to see multiple copies of these hardy conjurations come to play each round. When combined with alterations (try Crystal Shield!) they can be particularly tough to deal with.

    Tolliver’s deck also delivers a new answer to battlefield clogging, with the Unwavering Loyalty alteration. This alteration allows a unit to take up 1 fewer space on the battlefield, allowing for all PBs to expand their battlefield and put more units into play. Furthermore, units with this alteration gain the powerful Decoy ability we’ve only seen before on the Glow Finch. Of course, players will be reluctant to use Decoy to destroy the unit carrying this valuable alteration, but the presence of this ability creates an interesting dynamic between the players. Unwavering Loyalty is particularly useful for restricted battlefield PBs… most notably, Maeoni.

    Art is not final as these are just place holders. If any of you are interested in participating in this project such as design or playtesting please contact me.

  • Dagger, Armor and a Broker 1

    Hello everyone. I took a pause from posting these as I was on vacation. I will make the zip files public once I finished previewing these cards. I will also look into posting these on a printing site given that we make zero profit from these. Lastly, I am still working on getting affordable artist together. If you are interested in doing any art please let me know. As for today we go into the last two alterations that Jill’s deck brings and a unit that works very well with alterations.

    Deteriorating Armor is among the best defensive alterations in the game, granting life and the Armored ability. This does come at a price. This is the slowest alteration there is costing both a side and main action. It also comes with a new ability that will be unique to time magic. The countdown ability represents the fleeting nature of Time’s most powerful cards. In this case, Deteriorating Armor will only last two rounds.

    Next is one of the most versatile alterations. The conceal ability will allow you to get an extra point of damage after having the knowledge of how your opponents set up their blockers. Be careful using this, you will need something in your discard to hide the blade in or else it won’t trigger. The throw ability won’t be used as much as the conceal ability but it is still useful on units you won’t exhausted anyways. Use it on Shield Mage or Immortal Commander instead of using Exert.

    Last for today is the Relic Broker. This unit is reliant on the alterations in your deck. It has just enough life to get it in play without being destroyed immediately, you are basically building your own unit with two alterations. Want something offensive with Power Through and Frozen Crown, defensive with Crystal Shield and Spiked Armor or a perfect mix between. With Relic Broker costing just 3 dice and most alteration combinations costing 3-5 dice, you are really making out a strong discount. Though it does come with a downside. It is tough to play round 1 unless you meditate a lot. It will also be tough to play late game since your deck may run thin of alterations. All that said, it has been one of my favorite cards to test and I hope you find as much enjoyment in it as I do.

  • You DO come back 7

    We're a little behind the spoilers on Facebook, so let's catch up before the new expansions are officially available here on Ashes.live!

    I am sorry for the delayed previews. Many of us have gotten busy the last couple weeks. The previews will be coming much faster in the coming weeks. As for today, we will preview the premier alteration holder, an interesting new reaction and Jill’s unique.

    When we first previewed Jill she has been given comparisons to both Orrick and Victoria. Both of which have easier restrictions on their dice recursion abilities and Jill was thought of as a weaker version of those two. The unique is where she really shines. Orrick typically builds his deck without a unique and Victoria builds her deck in fear of meditating away her unique. Neither of those cases apply to Jill’s unique Trusted Boomerang.

    Trusted Boomerang is the second card that features the unique parallel cost between a class die and a main action that is only in time magic. The damage it deals depends on how many units it destroys. It combos very well with Aftershock, Winged Lioness, Gilder and other cards to ping down an opponent's board while letting Boomerang deal the finishing blow. Fallen decks best hope they don’t run into this card. In addition to dealing its damage, Boomerang will net you a draw as long as the damage wasn’t prevented by cards such as Particle Shield. Lastly, this can return back to your hand with its callback ability. If you believe you have received enough extra dice you can place an exhaustion token on Jill to draw a timely card and deal at least 1 additional damage. Trusted Boomerang is the first card we are previewing with unique art. The rest of the cards today will be using placeholder art.

    The first summon spell we will preview is Summon Flying Monkey. This ready spell has a lot to unpack. In addition to placing a Flying Monkey onto your battlefield, this activation allows you to place 1 status token on an alteration or a unit with an alteration attached to it. This leads to some fun combos with Explosive Growth, Mark of the Red Flower, Deep Freeze and an alteration yet to be previewed. If that wasn’t enough the focus 1 ability allows you to get double use out of your alterations. It may not seem like much, but trust me using Power Through or Holy Relics twice a round is incredibly strong. The Monkey itself is a straightforward 3/1/0 unit with no abilities. The 1 life for 2 dice can be worrisome so make sure you make good use of the focus 1 ability to keep it around.

    Flying Monkey is now the fifth unit with no abilities and it will be the fourth unit that can be affected by the reaction Paradox Clone.

    I am very excited to see all the Iron Rhinos running around and making good use of this card. For the low cost of 1 Time Power, you can summon a second Mist Spirit, Masked Wolf, Iron Rhino or Flying Monkey without the need of a ready spell. In the case of Iron Rhino and Flying Monkey you are also getting a discount on that unit. Though this type of magic does have a drawback. When the conjuration leaves play it is removed from the game. Interestingly, Jill gets to re-roll a die when Paradox Clone attaches a Broken Timeline alteration to a unit.

  • Gigantic, Massive, and a little Exotic 5

    We're a little behind the spoilers on Facebook, so let's catch up before the new expansions are officially available here on Ashes.live!

    Hello Ashes Players! Today we have another preview of some of the cards from Tolliver's Charm/Time deck. Previously, we've seen Tolliver's Renewal ability and the Forever in the Moment unique spell, which give him unique control over the flow of the game. Now, we will see some of the spells he uses to take advantage of that control.

    Like all other Laws, Law of Courtesy creates a persistent effect that lasts until the spell is discarded at the end of the round. The effect is much the same as the effect given by an Orchid Dove. Unlike an Orchid Dove, though, this spell can't be destroyed by damage, making it a bit harder for your opponent to avoid paying the "attack tax". However, also unlike Orchid Doves, the effect also works on you, so if you're not careful you may end up finding LoC gets in the way of your own attacks.

    The play effect is a powerful one by itself, giving you a refresh-type effect for the cost of only 1 die. It can't be used on big hitters like Nightmares or Elephants (or the Gorillas below), but it can be used to refresh key utility units like Owls, as well as some more dangerous units like Frostback Bears, Majestic Titans, and Sonic Swordsman.

    The Exotic Gorilla is the big hitter of Tolliver's deck, without a doubt, and what a beast it is. With a stat-line of 3 attack and 4 life, and a cost (after the initial time power play cost) of only 2 dice to summon (a time class and [[basic]]), the Exotic Gorilla trades favorably with nearly every other big unit in the game. Of course, most opponents would prefer to block the Gorilla with a smaller unit, but like Xander's mighty Archasaurus Mount, Gigantic 2 prevents inexpensive smaller units from blocking or guarding against a Gorilla's attack.

    Balancing out these advantages are two big disadvantages. First, the Gorilla's low conjuration count of 2 means it is vulnerable to remove from game effects as well as being marginalized by Regress or exhaustion. Secondly, the Exotic Gorilla introduces a new mechanic, with its inexhaustible negative ability Massive 2. Occupying two slots on the battlefield is a significant restriction, limiting you in one of the more important resources in the game.

    You may have noticed how the Gorilla doesn't seem to work well with the previously mentioned Law of Courtesy, since the Gorilla likes to attack and Law of Courtesy makes you pay a die to do so. However, the Focus ability of the Summon Exotic Gorilla effect neatly solves this problem. You can play Law of Courtesy early in a round to buy yourself some time, then later in the round summon an Exotic Gorilla, then use the focus ability to clear out your Law, while also drawing a card and milling your opponent's deck! The focus ability further reinforces Tolliver's ability to force his opponent to play the game on Tolliver's terms. In addition to the interaction with Law of Courtesy, the focus effect can also be used to clear out other Laws, or a copy of Gates Thrown Open that no longer holds any dice.

    Tolliver would often prefer to swing those Gorillas directly at the PB for 3 damage. To this end, it's good to have a way to avoid getting blocked by strong defensive units like Turtle Guards or Pale Steed Mounts. Flicker provides Tolliver with just that - a devilish little negative alteration that grants Transparent (previously seen on the Salamander Monk Spirit) to a unit, preventing it from working as a blocker. Because this spell can be played as a side action, you can play the spell to temporarily sideline a big unit, then swing in before your opponent has a chance to react! If your opponent wishes to clear the Flicker alteration from their unit, they can use the Disenchant ability at the cost of a discarded card from hand. However, the card's owner can respark it with a charm die, allowing you to deploy flicker again when the time to strike is right.