Advanced Ashes

Advanced Ashes is a weekly series covering advanced Ashes strategies. Each week, a different Ashes player will showcase two cards, exploring their strengths and synergies. Visit the PlaidHatGames.com Ashes store, as well as the online Ashes deckbuilder.

Welcome to another installment of Advanced Ashes!  Today we are going to look at a card that benefits both you and your opponent, and a card that forces your opponent to spend dice to attack.  Those cards are Abundance and Summon Orchid Dove.
Abundance

Abundance

Saria Guideman showed us how Abundance can be used in conjunction with deck milling. If you can discard a player's deck, they will take up to 6 damage per round in the late game. But Abundance is so much more than a milling deck's win condition. Any time you have a deck where you will have more dice than your opponent, consider bringing Abundance. You can mitigate the benefit of their extra cards by exhausting their dice with Illusion power dice and Leech Warriors. You could also try to make use of your extra cards with Expand Energy or Hidden Power. Also, the extra card drawing can help you get any crucial ready spell focus abilities onto your spellboard ASAP.

If you have other spells or abilities that mess with your enemy's hand, Abundance can be a great tool.  Consider adding Abundance if your deck has Anguish, Three Eyed Owls, or Memory Theft to ensure that your opponent has cards in their hand.

Summon Orchid DoveOrchid Dove

Orchid Dove

There is a lot to say about this card.  First of all, it's cheap, especially with its Focus 1 ability. Potentially just one basic die can bring a body onto your battlefield. No other ready spell does that! The basic die cost also means that this card can go into any deck regardless of dice types or Phoenixborn.

Now, you'll probably want to have some kind of extra card drawing potential in your deck if you aren't going to bring a lot of Charm dice.  You could also bring just a couple of Charm dice and Open Memories so that you can get the Focus 1 ability in round one.

This bird forces your opponent to play the game your way.  Your opponent won't want to take pot shots at you since it costs them a die every time they attack.  They will want to swing with big damage.  You can capitalize on that by bringing Redirect or Beast Tamers to mitigate the resulting damage.

As a cherry on top, this card can deal direct damage to a Phoenixborn if their draw pile is empty.  That probably isn't the reason why you bring this card, but it is certainly a nice bonus if the game is dragging out (and these doves can certainly make the game drag out).

Working Together

These cards work quite well together.  First off, Abundance obviously helps you focus your Summon Orchid Dove spells so that you can remove the Charm class cost ASAP.  Not only will it not force you to bring Charm dice, but it will allow you to spam doves to make sure you are always forcing your opponent to spend a die to attack.

Remember when I mentioned that Abundance is good when your opponent is having dice problems?  If you are already exhausting their dice to maximize the use of Abundance, you might even be preventing them from attacking you altogether if they run out of dice!

But what if your opponent can somehow get around your dice exhaustion and actually gets to benefit from all of those extra cards they are drawing from Abundance?  That means that they will be depleting their deck quickly.  If you can survive until they deck out, you can pile on the Phoenixborn damage with both of these great Ready Spells.
 
Here's a deck that tries to use these two spells for maximum effect.  You'll have plenty of dice with Shadow Spring, Illusionary Cycle, and Hidden Power while also exhausting dice for your opponent with Orchid Doves and Illusion power dice.  Abundance will also get your Summon Shadow Hounds focused for some extra damage and Summon Shadow Spirits focused for the extra life.  What's not to love?!

Next week: Getting the most out of death...

Visit the PlaidHatGames.com Ashes store, as well as the online Ashes deckbuilder.

Previous Advanced Ashes Articles
Week 1: Blood Chains and Butterfly Monk
Week 2: Frost Bite and Ice Trap
Week 3: Anchornaut and Summon Sleeping Widows
Week 4: To Shadows and Body Inversion
Week 5: Regress and Poison

Written by Jon Robert Merkle
Jon Robert Merkle is an Ashes playtester.


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