Awhile back, some influential members of the community got together with me about a plan I had. A plan to change the world for the better. A plan…to review cards!
Alright, fine, maybe the world won’t be changed. But hopefully we will be able to change some card-based opinions in the first ever Ashes Community Card Reviews!
For every card, I have selected usually two community members to write a little paragraph about each card.
and me, Everett
Due to the strange nature of this wonderful game, with small decks and First Fives, we decided to ditch the idea of rating each card on a scale, instead letting you wonderful viewers make the decisions for yourself! These articles are designed to help newer players better understand each card. So without further ado, I give you…
THE ROARING ROSE
“Leo has tons of potential at fielding an impressive offensive or defensive battlefield thanks to Glow Finch. Whether the Finch is protecting your beaters from Molten Gold/Fear, Unit Guarding from dangerous attackers, or making your army of Three-Eyed Owls safe, Leo is sure to have a very formidable battlefield. Leo’s spellboard of 3 limits his ability to include all of the milling/card denial ready spells (Purge, Abundance, Nightshade Swallow, Memory Theft, Three-Eyed Owl), but can certainly make do with just 3 choices.”-Nick
Battlefield 6, 19 life, one of the most powerful PB abilities (Finch). Spellboard 3 can be tight but the Finch is like having a 4th spellboard slot. – Erik
“A solid First Five choice, Anguish has potential to be some of the cheapest direct damage in Ashes. While it does often deal 2, sometimes 4, wounds in the first round, it can put you behind in tempo in that crucial first round.”-Nick
Anguish is a very solid first five card. It has unrivaled damage output, matched by some nasty effects. Few players plan on having two less dice, and losing a card from the first five is devastating. But the best way to use this is to wait until all of your opponents dice and cards are spent. The less options they have, the better. -Everett
This card is arguably most efficient conjuration in the game, even more so than the Shadow Spirits. All it takes is triggering the ability once and you’ve both spent the same number of dice, but you got a 1/1 out of it. Not too shabby. Not to mention the “phantom presence” of the spell sitting on your spellboard, forcing aggressive opponents to hold on to dice in case of a summon later in the round, and the decent focus abilities are great too. -Everett
This card is ok with only one copy out but really shines once it gets the Focus 1 ability. Having access to a minimum of two units a round for one basic mana each is very good. Their 1 life makes them fragile but their ability forces your opponent to either spend dice to attack or spend dice to kill the doves. This practically transforms your basic dice into Power Illusion dice. -Erik
Focused, Nightshade Swallow can provide you incremental advantage ala Purge while also making attacking extremely difficult for your opponent. Unfocused, it puts out a blocker that excels against big hard to deal with units like Hammer Knight or Gobi Sunshield. In general, if you’re trying to play the Swallows, you put yourself in a better position if your deck is aiming to focus them ASAP (e.g. by using Open Memories). Be wary of the double charm cost, the lack of basic dice usage can accidentally force you to meditate for just as much as you are milling then. -Elliot
Nightshade Swallow is a hard unit to play. Without Unit Guard, it can’t block for other units. By itself, it doesn’t do enough to warrant using 2 Charm dice to place them out. As said before, their focus abilities really add to their usefulness; Focus 1 gives you Purge and a ½ unit. I find the fact that it requires one to have fewer active dice than an opponent comical, considering how much it costs. I like the Swallow, it’s a unique unit and has interesting potential (I don’t know if I would bother slapping a Crystal Shield on it though). -Shi
Seeing your opponent’s hand can be a powerful thing in Ashes, more so than other card games, due to the act-react nature of the game. Memory Theft is at its best when you can capitalise on the information you glean; e.g. when you are running illusion dice and can eliminate options from your opponent by picking apart exactly the right dice. Alternatively, if you there are problematic cards for you like Ice Trap (that you have the ability to play around some how), Theft can let you play a round perfectly. Theft can be risky in the first-five due to its lack of impact on the board, if you are going to play it there make sure your other 4 cards can hold the ground for you. -Elliot
A great unit, and probably the best beefy unit to come out thus far without a ceremonial dice attached to its cost. He can trade with Hammer Knights, giving you a fairly reliable way to trade dice and card for a common threat. He can reduce wide battlefields of 1 and 2 powered units to almost useless levels. Combines well with the Orchid Dove, as one of the strategies to get around his power-reducing ability is to attack one at a time – forcing the Beast Tamer player to spend their dice; Orchid Dove shuts down that strategy. The tough puzzle for the Beast Tamer is how to make use of him offensively; attacking or countering with him makes you lose DIminish (which is likely a key reason you are playing him). -Elliot
Easily the best ally to come out this year, the Beast Tamer is not limited as with the Swallow to passive decks, for even though it shines there, in general attack reduction is very strong. -Everett
The worst part about Mind Probe is that your opponent gets to see what cards they are drawing next round. While this can benefit you, the symmetry of the visibility dampens the overall utility of the card. Mind Probe’s best played when there are particularly (unique) problematic cards that can cripple your game plan. Trying to Hypnotise your Ravens to victory? Mind Probe can get rid of the Redirects that would otherwise waste an entire round of buildup. Making an army of 2/1 wolves or Shadow Spirits? Mind Probe can pick out that Mist Typhoon that would give your opponent an unprecedented tempo swing next round. Saria enjoys playing with Mind Probe as it allows you to pseudo-remove an additional card with Hearts Pull. -Elliot
Mind probe is really a meta call. If you worry about extra copies of Monks or Shadow Spirits, or other important key parts of some decks, bring it. But it depends heavily on specific cards being in the opposing deck, which always sends you into dangerous waters in a deckbuilder. -Everett
There are a few problems with Remorse. 1) It requires the opponent to attack. If they don’t want to, it’s a dead card. 2) With so many choices of reaction spells, it is hard to choose what to play. Example: The opponent attacks, would one: take the damage and Sympathy Pain, block with a unit and have it die to Final Cry, or Remorse? Granted, Remorse is ‘cheaper’ than either Final Cry or Sympathy Pain so a deck that can only afford Remorse should go ahead and use it. 3) This ties into point 2: Remorse or Sympathy Pain? Remorse will do 2 damage and mill two cards until the opponent’s library runs out. Then it does 3 (on par with SymPain). Remorse is perhaps most suited in stall decks, however point 1 makes it hard to include. -Shi
While this card is somewhat limited in use, there are some very fun combos that can be made with it. Hypnotize is the most obvious use, as you can buff a Hammer Knight to 10+ attack for only a total of 4 dice. But it could also be interesting for units like the glow finch or Gobi. The respark is also very nice, and makes it far more reliable. Overall, Amplify is a flexible way to make the charms die power a little more usable as a primary strategy. -Everett
Dispel is a card whose strength is almost entirely in its flexibility. It’s most powerful use is probably removing a Fade Away, Regress, or Poison on a critical unit; but its ability to do any of those, deal “2 damage” to a Chant of Protection, recycle your own “used” (i.e. you attacked) Massive Growth is where it can shine. A very meta-dependent card, and is best played when there is a card that is particularly crippling (and popular) against your deck that Dispel can help answer. -Elliot
And there you have it! Don’t look now, but some Duchess of Deception reviews are headed your way next Monday! See you then!