Help / feedback

Meta and tips

New player here. Just wanna know what is the favourite meta for constructed decks. I dont like the idea of certain cards being the hot favourite due to their meta tactics.

I like the idea of Ashes 500, as it's supposed to give penalty points for cheap OP combinations, but my friend went and construct this deck.

Lulu Firststone 499/500 with 27 cards
5 [[ceremonial]] 5 [[illusion]]

Phoenix Barrage
Shifting Mist
Stormwind Sniper
Bound Soul
Hidden Power
Final Cry
Expand Energy
Fire Archer

Plainly direct damage to Phoenixborn.

Is this considered OP? How would i counter this with low HP Phoenixborn? Very curious on the community response.


  • First of all deck must have 30 cards in it there is no option to have less.
    Second it looks like having problem with defending against Phoenixborn with high battlefield.

  • too Short Answer :
    Elephantriders + unexhaust spells + dice recursion
    He also does nothing against blood puppets or admonisher which could easily cost him.

    Long Answer :
    So there are many basic issues with this.

    Lulu Firststone 499/500 with 27 cards

    You are forced to put exactly 30 cards in your deck. In Ashes 500 you are additionally obligated to have less than 500 points worth of cards.

    I like the idea of Ashes 500, as it's supposed to give penalty points for cheap OP combinations, but my friend went and construct this deck.

    Ashes 500 is not perfect by any means. Values had to be readjusted in the past and might need to be adjusted in the future. Even with all cards known the values might never be fix.

    How would i counter this with low HP Phoenixborn ?

    You don't. Why should you be able to do that ?
    I don't say that the 15 HP squad is useless but having low HP means that you die easily against hyper aggressive decks. If that were not the case probably nobody would even call it "low" HP.
    Ashes is a really good game but sometimes you just need to pick a card where the numbers are big enough. That is also part of the Game.
    However i will give you a list of cards that should consider further below to maximize your chances.

    On the deck list that you posted

    The decklist you posted is what I call 'a deck without surprises'.
    It does not interrupt the opponent in the slightest and it leaves the doors quite open.
    There are two main ways to figth this :
    Delaying and beating them faster than they beat you.
    The second is the reason i recommended Elephant rider and unexhaust spells. There are lots of other ways to do it.
    But you are probably not here to ask how you can beat him faster so here are the basics on staying alive longer :

    Delaying the opponent comes in 3 forms :
    More Life points, Ressource Manipulation and Counterspells

    Life points are all things health related.
    Heal and Chant of protection are the most obvious ones - they have it in the text.
    Redirect and Vanish are slightly more subtle, because they can save you life but its not in the text.
    Law of Sight and Protect also qualify because they can save you life points over the course of the game in the relevant time frame which is ultimately the only important thing.

    Ressource Manipulation keeps you healthy as it keeps the game slower and reduces the number of actions in a round, which ultimately gives you card draw at the start of a round.
    The main offender here is the [[illusion]] dice power and everything that allows you to do more of it but there is also Magic Syphon, Imperial Ninja and the Three eyed owl.

    Counterspells increase your health as they prevent damage done.
    They are at their best if the countered source can also only be used once but usually are still great otherwise since they generate tempo.
    The typically relevant ones are Choke and to some extent Vanish/Veil of Reversal. In this case both seem relevant.

    Since the opponent seems to go all in from the start you should try to mix all of the above into a deck. But not too much or you will still lose as you are not able to go for the kill yourself.
    You essentially can never put more than 50% of your deck into defense.

    Law of Repentance already does many things you want :
    Punish dice recursion, gives extra life points
    Since Heal is in the same color it seems good as well.
    Turtle guards are the bread and butter of reducing early aggression - even if they don't counter they essentially represent 5 life points and sometimes more with heal.
    Since there is no exhaustion coming from the opponent you could also use living doll to punish attacks, but that is quite costly on the dice side.
    Actually Enchanted Violinist is a cheap defender early and activates LoR.
    Pain Shaman or Sonic Swordsman work wonders against swarms of small units.
    Redirect would usually give you 2 life points with this starting hand.
    Ignore Blood Transfer it is to slow to help against aggression.
    Phoenixborn choices are a bit limited. You could go for Maeoni, but getting [[Natural]] into the dice pool for Snakes might be tricky.
    Harold is a no brainer, because of all the health.
    Sembali would be good enough just because of Veil, but her other ability is mostly useless then.
    If you really want low HP take Jericho, she has a heal with Prepare.

    I might build a deck around those ideas.
    If i did you will find it here : Some Deck.

  • Ahhh. I always thought we can put less than 30 to accept faster deckout. Learned something today.

    Will read the rest at a later time. Thanks!

  • If that was the case you should probably play Namine with Encore,Molten Gold and Gates Thrown open.
    You would draw up to 5 cards at the start of the game and could often just play 18 direct damage.
    You could possibly build something that deals the full 25 damage needed to kill any Phoenixborn.

    Not a good idea.

  • I dont like the idea of certain cards being the hot favourite due to their meta tactics.
    I have been seeing a lot of Molten Gold, and that is an example of hot favourite.

    Does that mean Ashes is basically not that balanced, contrary to what most have said? As there are always those few cards that most decks would use, you could likely be in disadvantage without it?

  • Great questions Hitsukid, to start with Id say that your friends has more than a few weaknesses. Id personally start looking at butterfly monks, they prevent the archers and snipers from swinging face, heal your PB and put you in the nature die pool which means you can ping those low HP allies. And since you're in the nature pool, frost back bears would give you some solid battlefield threat since his board is mostly ambush units. shadow spirits would work too, basically anything that can do a lot of damage once you own the board.
    On the shadow spirit topic, illusion is a favourite of mine to limit the opponents options, not only do you get amazing die reccur (Hidden power and Gates thrown open) but you can also wolf their ceremonial die and the majority of the cards in that deck require black dice.

    As for balance, it is definitely there but currently, illusion, nature and ceremonial dice are the big meta players.

  • Comment deleted by moderator
  • Does that mean Ashes is basically not that balanced, contrary to what most have said?

    No, not at all.
    Humans tend to seek for universal solutions that are easy to use and easy to verify as effective.
    Molten Gold does all that. It kills Units and Phoenixborn. You know when it made you win, there are no conditions on it and it is easily comparable to other cards.
    Take a card like prepare.
    It is much harder to see if that card made you win a game.
    You don't know how much damage, exhaustion or dice it was worth but it has some value because your card draw becomes more consistent.
    I assure you that most players just do not care enough to test it after their first few tries.
    Molten Gold is just popular.
    Also Phoenixborn damage is kind of the name of the game - you gotta have some of it by design.

    I dont like the idea of certain cards being the hot favourite due to their meta tactics.

    Because of the above molten Gold will always be a go to card for many players, even if a better but harder to use card were to be released.
    It happened in other card games.
    But in Addition any game just needs cards that do well on average - simply because you can never be sure to draw 2 synergistic cards and some sets of cards need to be better than others for deck building to matter.

    This is essentially the game theoretical extreme of Stone-Paper-Scissors, where your decisions don't matter and you cant even try to lose if you play correctly.

    The reason i personally say that Ashes is reasonably close to perfect balance is that we have lots of decks with win rates pretty close to optimized decks, that do not obey the typical laws of optimization at all (like hoarding dice recursion, direct damage etc).
    Also Player experience is much more important for your win percentage than optimization of the deck.
    A property that only games have that are mostly balanced.

    There are other games that are much worse at this.