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How to Use : Shieldmage

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

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

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


  • I'm not a master by any means, but in my opinion, the Shield mage is only as good as her ability is in the context of a given deck.

    Her statline is evidently nothing impressive given her cost of a power die, which is a good indicator that her value is not in being just another nondescript unit on the board.

    While I haven't played with her a significant amount, the times that I have found to be really successful are when her ability can be leveraged to take 1-health units out of the plinking zone. I used her in a defensive mill deck a few times, and it was very helpful (and frustrating for the opponent) that Orchid Doves were no longer as easily killed off with plinking damage.

    In terms of interactions, it's important to remember that the Shield Mage likes to be exhausted. It's fun to pair that with cards that ask you to exhaust your own units in exchange for a helpful ability elsewhere (Astrea's Beguile, Small Sacrifice, Call the Hunt) or using something like Transfer to move an exhaustion token off a more useful unit onto the Shield Mage, which means that you're getting maximum benefit by exhausting her in exchange for the other effect.

  • Shieldmage has, I think, potential. The issue being it's really only viable in 6+ battlefield sizes, anything smaller and you're shooting yourself in the foot. Since most of the top PB these days are 5 battlefield, she doesn't see a lot of play.

    Back in the days of 3x Ice Trap everywhere, she was really good for protecting Three Eyed Owl and Winged Lioness, but I don't see much Ice Trap anymore. Still good for the same reasons against Meteor, however.
    Edit: As was pointed out below, unless you have some way to keep her alive through the Meteor she doesn't really help with it.

    She's altogether a solid unit, just hard to justify in a deck with so many other good cards kicking around, especially in Divine.

  • The problem with Shield Mage (as with so many of the lesser-used cards in Ashes) is that she's combo-y, very easy to kill, and useless if you draw her on her own (or worse, draw more than 1 in a turn).

    That said, I think she does have niche applications depending on the deck. As mentioned, she does work in decks with lots of 1 or 2 life units, or decks where you want to exhaust your own units to pay for stuff. She might also pair well with Ceremonial + Divine decks (she's a freebie to pull out of the discard, and can make things like Winged Lioness a lot more annoying to deal with).

  • @Leonard03
    I dont really understand the meteor play. If someone uses meteor on a battlefield with an unbuffed shieldmage, doesnt she just die without any effect ? All units recieve 2 damage and when the shieldmage dies all units go back to their original life values.

  • @Cronos

    This is kinda looked at in the Rules Reference:

    When resolving effects, perform the following actions:

    • When multiple effects are printed on a card, those effects are resolved in order, from top to bottom.
    • If a card deals damage and includes other effects, all immediate effects must resolve prior to the damage and destruction resolution process resolving.
    • All effects on a card must resolve in their entirety before effects that would trigger as a result of those effects’ resolution can resolve (including damage and destruction resolution, if a card both deals damage and includes other effects).

    So exhaustion is placed prior to damage and destruction resolution so the bonus health is already awarded. Note this affects Leech Warrior and Living Doll in the reverse - their effects would not be able to trigger.

  • I meant something differently. Look at the following scenario :

    You have the following units on your battlefield :
    1 Mistspirit, 1 Shieldmage, 1 Enchanted Violinist, 1 Spearmaster

    What really matters in this example is the life they have.
    I assume no damage on any Units and with what you wrote previously it does not really matter if the shieldmage is already exhausted but i am going to assume he is for simplicity.

    You or even your opponent now casts meteor.
    Mistspirit gets 2 damage tokens and will die once damage resolution comes around.
    Shieldmage will also get 2 damage and will die since it is not affacted by its own aura, violinist gets 2 damage and will survive as longe as the aura is active and Spearmaster will survive in all cases as they have 3 Life at least.

    After damage resolution the shield mage dies and the aura vanishes. The Violinist now has equal or more damage than its life and dies.
    So Units with Life 1 will die, Units with life 2 will and Units with life 3 will take 2 damage.
    But the same is going to happen if there is no shieldmage.
    Having a Shieldmage or not - outcome is the same except you have more units that die. So i don't see how 1 Shieldmage is supposed to be helpful.

  • ... and will die since it is not affected by its own aura ...

    Don't know why I thought it affected itself ...

  • maybe one boosted shieldmage would be helpful? Or preventing a damage with particule shield?

  • Uhhh... right. Definitely kind of useless against Meteor, unless you have some way to keep it alive like Particle Shield you're getting really specific at that point however.

  • Royal Charm + Shield Mage + Meteor => Shield Mage does work!

    But you've got a three card combo on your hands, and your opponent has probably already won...