Ashes Reborn Preview: Getting into the expansion updates!
Rin, Brennen, Leo and Victoria Decks
Welcome back Ashes players!
Today we will be looking at some of the cards from the first four Ashes expansions, featuring the Phoenixborn that specialize in a single class of the original four magic types. Note that these articles do not show every card that is being changed in each expansion deck, but serve to highlight the philosophy of changes being made. Be sure to follow Team Covenant for more Ashes Reborn previews!
Now, let’s get to it!
The Frostdale Giants
Rin has always had one of the simpler decks in Ashes. As the Natural-only Phoenixborn, he is all about the straightforward gameplay of removal spells, summoning huge conjurations, and protecting his friends. Rin’s Fury is a new exclusive reaction spell that lets Rin do just that!
Two of Rin’s units also have received an update. The Frostback Bear was a staple unit of Ashes 1.0, and continues to be a strong choice in the Reborn environment. Terrifying 1 adds a new avenue for Natural users to get damage past blockers, especially with a Massive Growth attached! The Frost Fang was always an underplayed card, but comes to Reborn as a trusty ally with strong offensive and defensive presence. You can expect these units to provide a solid backbone for any battlefield.
The Children of Blackcloud
Brennen is one of the premier aggressive Phoenixborn, forgoing a strong battlefield presence like Rin in exchange for plenty of direct burn damage to Phoenixborn. Brennen has been reduced in power to respect the new power level standards of Ashes Reborn.
However, the Blackcloud Ninja receives a boost to its relevance by being a cost effective ally that can pressure the opponent’s spellboard, or just be used for a quick Spirit Burn!
The Fire Archer is a staple ally for Ceremonial users. Ambush has received an update similar to Brennen’s Spirit Burn ability, cementing Ceremonial’s identity as strong in direct damage, but weaker in controlling the battlefield. Make no mistake though, Fire Archer is still here to stay!
Ceremonial is one of the classes of magic specializing in battlefield clogging as a form of control. Both Blood Chains and Regress ended up being some of the most powerful and ubiquitous inclusions in many Ashes decks. In Reborn, they receive some balance adjustments, while still maintaining their classic control identity.
The Roaring Rose
Leo Sunshadow’s deck is one of the most supportive collections of cards for ‘mill’ archetypes interested in removing all of the cards from their opponent’s deck to initiate fatigue damage. For this to work, a mix of mill effects and survival tools are needed. This can be seen in his signature conjuration, the Glow Finch. What was formerly a very complex protection tool is now a simple but effective unit that blocks attackers and erodes your opponent’s deck at the same time.
Nightshade Swallow is another unit used to stave off aggression through the use of the Pacify ability. Being able to exhaust key offensive units will help Leo to buy more time to let fatigue damage set in. For every round that Leo survives, more damage can be dealt from an empty deck!
The Beast Tamer returns to Ashes Reborn as a staple Charm magic defensive ally. A combination of high life, Tame 1, and Alert allows this unit to stick around as a defender and minimize the effectiveness of repeated enemy attacks.
The Duchess of Deception
Victoria and her corresponding deck has received some of the most dramatic changes in Ashes Reborn. Her former strategy consisted of repeated leveraging of the 1.0 Illusion dice power paired with recursion of even more Illusion dice! Victoria was home to some of the most backbreaking dice control strategies possible.
In Ashes Reborn, Victoria turns to her chaotic nature to keep things as out of control as possible! Her ‘Surprise!’ ability can help prevent your opponent from pre-meditating for their card effects, and may even fix your own dice if you’re lucky! Copycat is Victoria’s new unique reaction spell, allowing her to replicate the effects of incoming action spells and Phoenixborn abilities. These are some of the more powerful effects in Ashes, so being able to resolve a copy of them as a reaction can really throw a wrench into your opponent’s plan!
Victoria has a few other tricks up her sleeve! The new Shadow Spirit carries on the theme of the new Illusion dice power, allowing you to disrupt your opponent’s dice during a critical timing window. Secret Door is a new ready spell win condition for Illusion, allowing your smallest, concealed units to sneak past any blockers for finishing damage!
Lastly for this article, we have To Shadows. This is one of my favorite pieces of art in all of Ashes, so I wanted to make sure it was something special. To Shadows boasts the parallel cost of the upcoming Time magic, on top of a very efficient removal spell to match the theme of Illusion and Time magic. We kept the text as minimal as possible to highlight this extraordinary art piece!
I hope you enjoyed this week's preview of Ashes Reborn. Next week we'll continue our look at more Reborn expansions!