Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn “Let death find the liars that called me brother.” – Coal Roarkwin

It’s Coal week here at Plaid Hat, and that means I get to share thoughts and strategies about him and his pre-built deck, The Iron Men. Coal’s deck and The Snakes in Silver (Maeoni Viper’s pre-built deck) are the two decks recommended for your first play of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. You can check out what Maeoni has going on in last week's previews, but this week is all about Coal Roarkwin, a Phoemixborn not to be trifled with!

Ashes is available for pre-order at the store. Pre-order today from our site and get $15 off the retail price! Order from and get a free Dimona Odinstar promo Phoenixborn, along with her exclusive Rayward Knight ally!

Coal Roarkwin

What You Need To Know About Coal

The Stats:

Like all Phoenixborn, Coal has unique stats that encourage certain styles of play. These stats will help guide you in which cards to play and how to play them. Let's take a look his statline and how those stats impact this fearsome Phoenixborn.

Life Value 15: Overall, Coal has an amazing statline. You’ll hardly even notice his life value being 15. As you’ll see, Coal can usually maintain more units than his opponent can muster. Just remember to protect him with those units and his many spells, since he has the lowest life value among Phoenixborn found in the base game.

Battlefield Value 6: A battlefield value of 6 is above average. This will allow you more options for attacking than your opponent in many cases, and it will allow you to play some units that support your strategy without having to attack or block.

Spellboard Value 5: As far as spellboards go, no Phoenixborn has a higher value than Coal in Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. 5 spellboard slots give you ample room for your main strategy and plenty of space for a few contingency plans to boot!

Ability: Slash

Each Phoenixborn comes equipped with a unique ability, and Coal’s is special indeed! It’s called Slash and it allows you to deal 1 damage to a unit. Or, if the player controls no units, you may deal 1 damage to that player's Phoenixborn instead.

But what does that symbol in the cost mean? 1Discard symbol means that in order to use this ability, you must discard one card from your hand. So to activate Slash, you only need to discard 1 card and use a side action. That’s it; there is no magic cost, and you don’t even exhaust the ability! As long as you have cards in your hand and a side action to use, you can use this ability over and over!

Slash has many use cases, including responding to an opponent playing a unit after you have already used up all of your magic dice, or taking action when you don't have the dice you need to play the cards in your hand. You can even turn a card that is not ideal versus a particular opponent into damage. This means that for Coal, as long as you have cards in your hand, they will always be useful!

What’s With All Those Weapons?

One Hundred BladesOne of the most interesting features of each Phoenixborn is the unique card that can only be included in decks featuring that Phoenixborn. Coal's unique card is One Hundred Blades. What’s with all those weapons? Well, Coal needs them to slash his foes. All of them… at once!

One Hundred Blades deals damage directly to a Phoenixborn, an effect that’s pretty special on its own, but hardly unique. Good thing that’s not all it does. I want to call out something in the second sentence: “Deal 1 damage to all opponents’ units.” That’s a plural "opponents’," so it hits all units that you don’t control, even in a game with 3 or more players!

One Hundred Blades doesn’t stop there. I mean, what kind of Phoenixborn unique card would it be if it didn’t give its Phoenixborn everything that he or she desired? So of course it replaces itself, making sure that Coal can follow up the havoc caused by 100 flying blades with at least one more Slash! This time with Coal himself, up close and personal!

The best part of this spell is that at 2Basic, you can use whatever magic you want to unleash this destruction upon your foes!

The Strategy of The Iron Men

The Iron Men is a relentless assault. Each play you make is a threat or a support of your threats. Even the smallest ally in your deck is a unit the opponent must deal with. Applying constant pressure, backing up the threat with powerful protection spells, and getting vengeance for every strike against you is the path this deck takes to victory!

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the units found in Coal’s pre-built deck The Iron Men, plus a little trick Coal learned to make playing all his powerful spells and units a little easier.

Thanks for reading!


Game Overview Previews: 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

Click here to pre-order Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn and get a $15 pre-order discount as well as the Dimona Odinstar Promo Pack.


glenn3e commented:

Awesome. I keep thinking of Greyjoy from Game of Thrones when I see him.

Posted on 2015-05-05.

lildrummahboi34 commented:

I really don't understand the wording of Coal's ability. I get what it does, but how would you target a unit if they have no units in play? There must be a reason for such unusual wording right?

Posted on 2015-05-05.

glenn3e commented:

It just means you can target the Phoenixborn if he has no Units. Also, unlike SW, Phoenixborn are not units.

Posted on 2015-05-05.

Hilgendwarf commented:

Lildrummahboi, A Phoenixborn is not considered a Unit. Therefore, your opponent must have an empty battlefield in order to target their Phoenixborn with Slash.

Posted on 2015-05-05.

Setharillius commented:

Still, the wording is wrong.
"Deal one damage to a target unit. If the target unit's controller has no units in play...."

Posted on 2015-05-05.

thenightsshadow commented:

He's commenting on the wording that "if the target unit's controller has no units in play..."

Posted on 2015-05-05.

-Sarge- commented:

Hmm. Enter the paradox.

Posted on 2015-05-05.

glenn3e commented:

Huh, nice catch LOL.

Posted on 2015-05-05.

nyphot commented:

Oops. I helped with QA and was very proud of the work I did (small in the context of everyone else), but this one totally slipped by me. The wording (IMHO) is so obvious as to the intent of the card that I totally missed the illogic of targeting the unit of a player with no units.

OTOH, I might commend the human brain for being able to take a completely nonsensical statement and instantly understand the meaning behind it. I liken it to figuring out that you can carry "tea" and "no tea" in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy computer game.

Oh, and Coal is a beast and I'm looking forward to the rest of his preview! I had a lot of fun playing him, perhaps because I too am a crotchety old man...

Posted on 2015-05-05.

dkartzinel commented:

That's funny, I totally knew what it meant, but I can definitely see some rules lawyer trying to get around it. FAQs are our friends. :-P

Posted on 2015-05-05.

AvatarLoki commented:

It seems like a relatively simple fix; just change the wording to something like, "Deal 1 damage to one of target player's units. If target player has no units, you may deal 1 damage to their Phoenixborn instead." Granted, it may be too late to fix this for the initial print run (I'm not sure how far along the process is at this point), but it sounds like most of us were able to pick up on the intending meaning pretty easily.

Posted on 2015-05-06.

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