Hail and well met! We are the Figures in the Fog and today we’ll be reviewing the new cards for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, added in The King of Titans. This is the third entry in this series, check out the previous one here. Now that everyone’s caught up, let’s jump into the three new cards for today!
First off is a powerful new Action Spell, Summon Archasaurus Mount. The Mounts we’ve already seen are certainly going to shake things up in the Ashes world, and the Archasaurus is no different. For a Main and a Side action, Divine Class, Nature Class, basic symbol, and one of your unexhausted allies, the Archasaurus comes stomping in as a 4/5/0. Additionally, it boasts a new ability, Gigantic 2, that stops any unit with 2 or less life from blocking it. As a Mount it also has the other regular Mount abilities, which if you’ve forgotten them already, I suggest referring back to our previous articles.
So let’s talk cost first, it’s going to take your whole turn to get this guy out, and a part of a previous turn to get the ally in preparation. For that price however, you’re getting an immense threat for relatively minimal cost. Against a board of small units an Archasaurus will run rampant, tearing into the opponent’s life. 5 life means it’s out of range of most enemy unit attacks. Finally, though you most likely don’t want to lose the Archasaurus, if you do the Mount mechanic means you can still maintain a board presence.
X: The biggest drawback on this card is the tempo cost of playing the card. Unlike the other Mount spells, this card requires both a Main and a Side action to activate, losing a lot of the value of mounting an Ally and swinging in the same turn. The other major concern, since the introduction of removing Conjurations from the game is that there is only 1. So when Harold manages to kill it, and harvest it, it’s gone. It looks great, and is going to be amazing in some match ups, but may be more or less a dead card in others.
N: I gotta say, I’m a big fan. A 4/5/0 is great for 3 dice and Gigantic is sweet. It trades evenly with Hammer Knight, but if we’re talking stuff that’s even with Hammer Knight, I’m ok with it. I would suggest not Mounting an ally that you plan to use, it feels kind of bad to Blood Chains or Dark Reaping this guy, Fire Archer or perhaps Sun Sister would be my preference.
Next up, we’ve got a new Law, the Law of Domination. Costing a Divine Class, this ready spell forces a unit of your choice that you control and a unit of your opponent’s choice that they control to deal their attack value in damage to each other. Then, and for the rest of the round, damage from attacking and countering cannot be prevented.
An extra attack out of a high power unit like Holy Knight or Hammer Knight, whether exhausted or not, is great, if a bit limited as your opponent chooses the receiving unit. This point can become moot, however, if you play the spell when your opponent only has one unit in play. In regards to its “Law” effect, cancelling all damage prevention cuts through both player’s defensive cards like Particle Shield, Protection, Chant of Protection, and even Celestial Knight’s Armor 1. It won’t however, stop Redirect, which doesn’t prevent the damage, but instead changes its end place. It’s hard to see an obvious place for an effect like this as it’s been a while since Particle Shield has been extremely prevalent in the meta. It is seeing a bit of a resurgence as a counter to Harold, so might find a place in decks looking to battle through on board no matter what.
X: This card seems good, especially with some of the new Units. In other card games, this type of card is required for big monster decks to force trades with opponent’s with more smaller monsters. I don’t see this being that large a problem in Ashes, though, due to the limitations on Battlefield. As a result, I’m not certain, exactly where this card fits.
N: I feel like this card is in a slightly weird spot, as Harold is probably the one that wants to use it most, but also is the least likely to have the Spellboard for it. Still an interesting card, and I could see it cropping up in Jessa decks or similar.
Finally, we’ll round off this article another new Ready Spell, Sacred Ground. For a Divine Power die Sacred Ground gives you two different effects. The first allows you to discard Sacred Ground to cancel the effects of a spell that affects all units, or all unexhausted units. The second part allows you to exhaust the spell (and thereby sacrificing the possibility of using the first ability for the rest of the round) to grant all units the Armored 1 ability.
Well for starters, yes, this is a direct counter to Meteor and Kneel, and a counter at a dice advantage as well. However, it also gives your opponent ample opportunities to play round, perhaps waiting until they have two such cards in their hand. The Divine dice type means it fits into many swing decks, the most notable exceptions being decks utilizing either Creepers or Stallions. The option to grant every unit Armored 1 is interesting for wider, swarm style decks, who have also historically had a problem with Meteor and Kneel. Just be careful not to use it when Law of Domination is on the field!
X: So I heard you needed some counterplay for Kneel and Meteor? This card looks awesome. I especially like the added flexibility to defend Units or to simply counter a global spell. My biggest concern with it, is the magic type, I wish it was in anything other than Divine. Kneel and Meteor, the two strongest globals in the game both require Divine magic to play. So I wish their only counter wasn’t also in Divine.
N: I’m glad for this card. It means I can go back to running my favourite crazy Orrick decks without the fear of a Kneel ruining my day. It’s going to be interesting to see where this card ends up, as figuring out how many to include will be a fairly difficult question.
That’s all the cards we have for today. Stay tuned for a look at the final cards from The King of Titans, but until then, let us know below which of these cards will you be playing. Are dinosaurs the only true deck now? Are you going to stop playing Kneel and Meteor? We would like to spend more time discussing these things with you, but as the sun disappears from the sky and the mists rise from their hidden shelters, we must Fade Away. But don’t worry, the Figures in the Fog will soon return with more Ashes content!