Ready yourself for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, the breathtaking first release in our newest expandable game system from acclaimed designer Isaac Vega.
Featuring visionary art by Fernanda Suarez, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn introduces the world of Argaia, where powerful Phoenixborn have saved humanity and now face off against each other to claim ultimate godhood.
Choose from six Phoenixborn in this set, using imaginative cards and custom dice to summon faithful allies, combine powerful spells, and outwit your opponents in a fast-paced back and forth barrage of well-crafted magic and strategic skill.
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn brings a pile of unique twists to the customizable card game genre, putting the control of the powerful Phoenixborn into the hands of the players. Here are a few stand-outs:
- Choose your first hand! The First Five mechanic allows players to start the game with five cards of their choice giving them a solid footing in the direction they intend their deck to work.
- Use dice as resources! The Dice Pool mechanic gives players the resources that they need to bring out powerful spells and creatures moments after the game begins, while still offering an interesting array of powers on their own.
- Unique back and forth gameplay! The Player Turns system allows players to choose their targets carefully and consistently plan their strategy around their opponent’s upcoming actions. Turns consist of short actions that keep players engaged and allow for adjustments in play as the round progresses.
Previous Game Overview Previews (pre-order information on these articles is out of date): Phases of Play, Attacking/Defending, Placement, Card Types, Dice Powers, Multiplayer and Drafting
Maeoni Previews: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Coal Previews: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Saria Previews: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Noah Previews: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Jessa Previews: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Aradel Previews: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Ashes also offers 3 exciting ways to play, giving players endless variety inside 1 box:
- Choose a deck and jump right in! 6 Phoenixborn included, each with a pre-built deck and assigned dice, lets you start playing quickly.
- Build your own deck! With 247 cards and 40 custom dice included, this box alone contains billions of build options.
- Draft a deck! A group of players can build customized decks together in minutes with the deck drafting rules.
Plaid Hat Games is thrilled to publish Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, which will provide hundreds of hours of fun and engaging gameplay to gamers everywhere. You can get in on the action now by ordering Ashes immediately!
2015 Dog and Thimble Game of the Year
2015 Dog and Thimble Best Card Game (reader's choice)
2015 Dog and Thimble Best Art Design (reader's choice)
How to Play Ashes
How to Build a Custom Deck
Choose your Phoenixborn and focus your spells for battle. These six magic-wielders each harness a unique combination of the four types of magic emphasized in this set: natural, charm, illusion, and ceremonial. Their base decks specialize as follows:
- Aradel Summergaard: Natural & Illusion
- Saria Guideman: Charm & Illusion
- Jessa Na Ni: Charm & Ceremonial
- Noah Redmoon: Illusion and Ceremonial
- Maeoni Viper: Charm & Natural
- Coal Roarkwin: Ceremonial & Natural
Each Phoenixborn has a unique ability, a small set of cards available only to them, and a suggested base deck. Beyond that, customizing your 30-card deck is limited only by your own imagination and the balance of the four magic types represented by the dice you choose to fuel your power for that game.
Ready spells, reaction spells, conjurations, allies, and more join you on the battlefield to protect your life and destroy the life of opposing Phoenixborns. Strategy, synergy, and surprise must all be balanced against each other to achieve victory.
Order Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn from PlaidHatGames.com and get the promo card Dimona Odinstar, Phoenixborn of Rayward, plus 3 copies of her exclusive ally unit, the Rayward Knight!
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Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is the breathtaking first release in our newest expandable game system. Choose from six Pheonixborn, using imaginative cards and custom dice to summon faithful allies, combine powerful spells, and outwit your opponents in a fast-paced back and forth barrage of well-crafted magic and strategic skill. Choose your first hand, build your custom dice pool, customize your deck, and gather the ashes of your enemies.$49.95
Ashes: The Duchess of Deception
The Duchess of Deception deck, Featuring new Phoenixborn Victoria Glassfire, is a full, ready-to-play Ashes expansion deck including 2 conjurations. Victoria requires 10 Illusion (purple) dice to play, which are included in the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn base set.$14.95
Ashes: The Roaring Rose
The Roaring Rose deck, Featuring new Phoenixborn Leo Sunshadow, is a full, ready-to-play Ashes expansion deck including 3 conjurations. Leo requires 10 Charms (pink) dice to play, which are included in the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn base set.$14.95
Orrick Gilstream Exclusive Phoenixborn
Orrick Gilstream is a Phoenixborn EXCLUSIVE to PlaidHatGames.com. Orrick comes with 3 copies of his exclusive card, the Gobi Sunshield. The rest of his deck must be built from other cards. Orrick can come for free with Ashes sets bought from PlaidHatGames.com, but he is also available to buy separately.$4.95
Ashes: The Children of Blackcloud
At the top of the world sits Blackcloud – a bleak and venerable city. There rules Brennen, a fifteen year old wielding merciless blood magic, seeking to restore his family and city to the terrifying glory of their ancient heritage. The Children of Blackcloud deck, Featuring new Phoenixborn Brennen Blackcloud, is a full, ready-to-play Ashes expansion deck including 1 conjuration. Brennen requires 10 Ceremonial (black) dice to play, which are included in the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn base set.$14.95
Ashes: The Frostdale Giants
Rin Northfell is a jovial Phoenixborn whose lust for life and battle flares up like a beacon in his frigid homeland. Rin shuns the subtlety of complexmagic, preferring spells and monsters as robust and as considerable as his spirit. The Frostdale Giants deck, featuring new Phoenixborn Rin Northfell, is a full, ready-to-play Ashes expansion deck with all-new card including 2 conjurations and a conjured alteration spell. Rin requires 10 Natural (blue) dice to play, which are included in the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn base set.$14.95
Ashes Ceremonial Dice 5-Pack
Includes 5 standard Ceremonial Ashes dice, identical to the dice that come with the Rise of the Phoenixborn base set.$4.95
Ashes Charm Dice 5-Pack
Includes 5 standard Charms Ashes dice, identical to the dice that come with the Rise of the Phoenixborn base set.$4.95
Ashes Illusion Dice 5-Pack
Includes 5 standard Illusion Ashes dice, identical to the dice that come with the Rise of the Phoenixborn base set.$4.95
Ashes Natural Dice 5-Pack
Includes 5 standard Natural Ashes dice, identical to the dice that come with the Rise of the Phoenixborn base set.$4.95
Dimona Odinstar Exclusive Phoenixborn
Dimona Odinstar is a Phoenixborn EXCLUSIVE to PlaidHatGames.com. Dimona comes with 3 copies of her exclusive card, the Rayward Knight. The rest of her deck must be built from other cards. Dimona can come for free with Ashes sets bought from PlaidHatGames.com, but she is also available to buy separately.$4.95
Lulu Firststone Exclusive Phoenixborn
Lulu Firststone is a Phoenixborn EXCLUSIVE to PlaidHatGames.com. Lulu comes with 3 copies of her exclusive card, Phoenix Barrage. The rest of her deck must be built from other cards. Lulu can come for free with Ashes sets bought from PlaidHatGames.com, but she is also available to buy separately.$4.95
Check out our rulebook, linked to on the right, to see how the game works in complete detail!
Each player controls a Phoenixborn and a 30-card deck of spells and units, plus 10 dice that serve as magical resources and have powers of their own. Each Phoenixborn can be wounded and has a certain number of life points, and a player wins by being the last Phoenixborn standing.
The game takes place round-by-round, with each player going back and forth taking just one main action and possibly a side action per turn, until both players pass, triggering the end of that round and the start of a new one.
At the beginning of a round, each player can keep or get rid of unused cards from their hand and dice from the previous round before drawing up to 5 cards and re-rolling dice so that they have a fully-equipped 10-die pool.
Each turn, players get one main action. That action can be used to play certain cards, to activate certain cards already in their play area, or to attack an opposing unit or Phoenixborn with their units.
When a player attacks, they choose a single target and push forward a set of unexhausted units already in their battlefield to attack with. If the target is a Phoenixborn, the defender can either take the damage or block with any number of their own unexhausted units. Blocking units may either simply take the damage and remain unexhausted for future turns, or counter, dealing damage themselves but becoming exhausted.
If the target is a unit, the defender may either simply have the unit take that damage and perhaps be destroyed, counter-attack with that unit, or block with their Phoenixborn, taking the damage onto themselves.
Cards have costs to play (often including your Main Action, spending dice, or placing an exhaustion token on that card), and have various effects depending on their type:
- Ready Spells: These go into your spellboard and have effects that can be activated again and again as long as they remain on your spell board. Some summon conjurations onto your battlefield, and some can also be focused with additional copies of the spell to lessen their cost or enhance their effect.
- Action Spells: These have an effect (after you pay the action/dice cost) and then go to the discard pile.
- Reaction Spells: These spells do not cost a main or side action, but do usually cost dice, and must be played at the time designated on the card to trigger their effect. They then go to the discard pile.
- Ally Units: These are cards which go onto your battlefield to attack or have other effects this turn and future turns, as long as they remain on the battlefield.
- Alteration Spells: These cards are often attached to other cards already played by you or even by your opponents, having effect for good or ill.
Side actions can be used to play or trigger certain cards as well, to improve your dice, or to spend dice for actions inherent to certain die results.
Once all players pass in a round, usually due to being low on dice, cards, and unexhausted resources, units who can recover do so, exhausted cards have one exhaustion token removed, and the next round begins with a fresh hand of 5 cards and 10 dice rolled and ready to go.
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The Ashes rulebook is available for download here at PlaidHatGames.com. Click here (or right-click and choose "save link/target as..." for the 20-page, full color download.