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Previous Game Overview Previews (pre-order information on these articles is out of date): Phases of Play, Attacking/Defending, Placement, Card Types, Dice Powers, Multiplayer and Drafting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!
Ashes: The Protector of Argaia Expansion
High atop the tree-city of Birdsnest, Fiona Mercywind schemes to end the war that has disturbed the natural balance of her homeland. She avoids conflict as much as possible, but when interlopers invade the vast realm she has sworn to protect, they leave with less of themselves than expected.$14.95
Ashes: The Grave King Expansion
From the disease-ravaged city of Marrowden, comes the stench of death, and the staggering shapes of fallen warriors. James Endersight would lay claim to the ultimate prize, and there is no price too foul for him to pay. This talented sociopath wields his power, stripping the living of their flesh, and raising their bones to do his bidding.$14.95
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 King of Titans Expansion
In Aenda Woodrass, the denizens of the desert oasis have struck a delicate accord with the laws of Nature. Xander Heartsblood rises to defend that accord to the death. Calling upon the ancient ways of the nomadic shamans as well as the terrifying power of his dinosaur conjurations, Xander channels the raw magic of Nature to bear down on those who would invade the sacred ground he now calls home. Balance the power of Nature and Divine magic to unleash the titans of the desert on unsuspecting prey.$14.95
Ashes: The Ghost Guardian Expansion
Death has given Rimea Careworn sight beyond sight. Her eyes now burn forever with visions of the Spirit World, where the souls of the dead test the boundaries of eternity, hungering to be free. Rimea has returned to the world of the living, and she now leads an army of lost souls to reclaim the city of Shadowreck. She will not stop until those responsible pay for their crimes, for only then will her ancestors’ spirits be at peace. Unleash powerful Illusion and Sympathy magic to raise ancient warriors from beyond and cast out the enemies of the Spirit World.$14.95
Ashes: The Spirits of Memoria Expansion
From the silent catacombs of Memoria, the City of Spirits, comes Sembali Grimtongue. Sworn to defend the graves of those lost in the fight against the chimera, Sembali is gifted with divine magic capable of dissolving the servants of her enemies. A ready to play deck for Ashes using divine and illusion dice, contains an all new Phoenixborn and 30 new cards for customization.$14.95
Ashes: The Demons of Darmas Expansion
Something sinister lurks in the shadows of Darmas, the City of Perpetual Darkness. Under the full-moon light, Harold Westraven and his bestial minions stalk their prey. A ready to play clan deck for Ashes using ceremonial and sympathy dice, contains an all new Phoenixborn and 30 new cards for customization.$14.95
Ashes: The Song of Soaksend Deluxe Expansion
The Song of Soaksend deck, Featuring new Phoenixborn Namine Hymntide, is a full, ready-to-play Ashes expansion deck, including 10 sympathy dice AND a premium dedkbox to hold sleeved cards, 10 dice and tokens.$24.95
Ashes: The Laws of Lions Deluxe Expansion
The Laws of Lions deck, Featuring new Phoenixborn Odette Diamondcrest, is a full, ready-to-play Ashes expansion deck, including 10 divine dice AND a premium dedkbox to hold sleeved cards, 10 dice and tokens.$24.95
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: 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 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
Ashes: The Masters of Gravity Expansion
Enter the vortex of Hemlock and tame the forces of Gravity. Echo Greystorm has mastered power beyond the grasp of others, and he intends to bring it to bear on the enemies of Hemlock. The Masters of Gravity deck, Featuring new Phoenixborn Echo Greystorm, is a full, ready-to-play Ashes expansion deck including 2 conjurations. Echo requires 5 Sympathy (teal) dice and 5 Divine (white) dice to play, which are included in the Laws of Lions and Song of Soaksend Deluxe Expansions.$14.95
Ashes: The Path of Assassins Expansion
Albyon marches to war, and Jericho leads the way. She is the Queen of Assassins, trained to kill any who stand in her path. She is more than just a Phoenixborn. To the people of Albyon, she is a living weapon. The Path of Assassins deck, Featuring new Phoenixborn Jericho Kill, is a full, ready-to-play Ashes expansion deck including 2 conjurations. Jericho requires 10 of any dice to play, which are included in the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn base set or the Laws of Lions and Song of Soaksend Deluxe Expansions.$14.95
Ashes: The Goddess of Ishra Expansion
Enlightenment awaits for those who devote their lives to Astrea, the Goddess of Ishra. She is holiness incarnate, and her will carries with it the might of divinity. Kneel before her or fall. The Goddess of Ishra deck, Featuring new Phoenixborn Astrea, is a full, ready-to-play Ashes expansion deck including 4 conjurations. Astrea requires 5 Charm (pink) dice and 5 Divine (white) dice to play, which are included in the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn base set and the Laws of Lions Deluxe Expansions.$14.95
Ashes: The Boy Among Wolves Expansion
Wild in spirit, Koji Wolfcub is the feral defender of the Spiral Jungle and those who call it home. Koji communes with the animals and elders of the Spiral Jungle alike, and both have come to respect the untamed power that drives him. The Boy Among Wolves deck, Featuring new Phoenixborn Koji Wolfcub, is a full, ready-to-play Ashes expansion deck including 5 conjurations. Koji requires 5 Sympathy (teal) dice and 5 Nature (blue) dice to play, which are included in the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn base set and the Song of Soaksend Deluxe Expansion.$14.95
Dimona Odinstar Exclusive Phoenixborn
Dimona Odinstar is a Phoenixborn Phoenixborn for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. Dimona comes with 3 copies of her exclusive card, the Rayward Knight. The rest of her deck must be built from other cards.$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
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 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
Orrick Gilstream Exclusive Phoenixborn
Orrick Gilstream is a Phoenixborn for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. Orrick comes with 3 copies of his exclusive card, the Gobi Sunshield. The rest of his deck must be built from other cards.$4.95
Lulu Firststone Exclusive Phoenixborn
Lulu Firststone is a Phoenixborn for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. Lulu comes with 3 copies of her exclusive card, Phoenix Barrage. The rest of her deck must be built from other cards.$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.