Jericho Preview #1
The First Time Magic Phoenixborn
Welcome back, Ashes players! Today starts the preview of The Breaker of Fate expansion! I wanted to begin by diving into the history of Jericho’s development, from both a story and gameplay perspective. But first, an update on Ashes Reborn distribution:
The evil chimera, COVID-19, has once again assaulted our timeline for the delivery of Ashes Reborn. We were just notified of yet another shipping delay, putting our current estimate at late March. This stinks, but unfortunately such is our current reality in a global pandemic. We appreciate your patience and your eagerness to get your hands on the new Ashes goodness. If any updates arrive, for better or worse, we will let you know right away.
When it was announced that Ashes 1.0 would meet its conclusion in 2019, Plaid Hat Games hosted a farewell tournament in Dallas, TX. The event was an awesome celebration of everything Ashes is as both a game and a community. This historic event brought in some of the most dedicated players of the game, making for an all-star event! Some lucky players even got to sit down with Ashes designer, Isaac Vega, for an exclusive duel against his never-before-seen Phoenixborn, Tristan Darkwater! This tournament was also special in that it came with an additional prize; the winner got to declare which Phoenixborn would take the throne of the Phoenix, bringing the War of Ashes to its conclusion. The tournament was won by none other than Ashes playtester and guest writer, Brian B, who declared Jericho as the sole surviving Phoenixborn!
At the time, the full implications of this choice were not known, and it wouldn’t be until the early days of Reborn development. As I was selecting which cards to update for Reborn, it was apparent that many of Jericho’s cards from her ‘basic magic only’ deck were going to need a change. I wasn’t confident that these cards would be healthy for Reborn, even if they were updated. So instead of revising Jericho’s original deck, we decided to retire that deck completely and lean into real Ashes lore to debut Jericho once again as the first Phoenixborn of Time magic!
Here’s the back of box summary of Jericho’s story:
Once she was known as Jericho Kill. Warlord. Assassin. Monster. But upon ascending the throne of God, Jericho was crushed with a feeling altogether alien to her - guilt. Reeling from the horrors she had caused, Jericho wielded her new power and tore asunder the heart of the Phoenix. Time has been broken and reset, and Jericho cast from the realms beyond. Can she change all that she previously wrought, or will she succumb to madness once more?
Behold, the Phoenixborn of the Forfeited Throne, Jericho, Reborn! As the first Time Phoenixborn, it was important to me that we gave players a good reason to try out time magic and Jericho together. This was done by tying her ability to time magic, and it is truly an ability worth the cost. Jericho’s Prepare ability gives players the ability to move any card in their deck to the top, ensuring they can get the tool they need the next time they draw a card. There is no shortage of application for this, whether it is to focus some ready spells, set up for next round, or to get an immediate answer if paired with a card draw effect.
Jericho comes equipped with an incredibly potent unique spell, Blink. Similarly to Prepare, Blink has an extraordinary amount of applications. Blink can be used to quickly remove a blocker before launching an attack, to fully refresh a unit with wound or exhaustion tokens on it, or to trigger once again any abilities a unit has when it enters play! Jericho is quite dynamic and flexible with the combination of her ability and unique spell, truly deserving of the title she earned in Ashes history!
That’s all for this week! Stay tuned for more previews of The Breaker of Fate!