Ashes: Rise of the PhoenixbornAshes: Coal Week at continues! Each week, all week long, we’ll take a look at a different Phoenixborn and their suggested deck build. The goal of these articles is to introduce you to the cards found in the base game, and to give you a basic understanding of the strategy of each of the pre-built decks.

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!

Can you feel it? That’s the thunder of a stampede. It’s the ringing of smiths' hammers. It’s the rhythm of the crew on a galley working as one. Do you feel the power of unified purpose rattling in your chest, swelling to a crescendo of unstoppable force? Become caught up in it, unable to stop the momentum! At its head, Coal Roarkwin (you can see him here if you missed yesterday’s article). These are the men and woman worthy of being called The Iron Men!


At the cost of 1Basic, you’ll be hard pressed to find a unit that’s easier to play than this little guy, but your opponent will want to deal with him right away. Why? Because with Throw 1 he can damage any unit just by exhausting. You don’t spend a main action, nor do you spend a side action, just exhaust your Anchornaut and boom, 1 damage.

Combine this with Coals ability, Slash, and you’ve dealt 2 damage using no magic and only your side action! You’ll still have a main action on your turn to use. For attacking, perhaps?

Iron Worker

Resourceful 1 places a status token on this ally when he comes into play, and at the beginning of every round. With these tokens he puts in a little Overtime to give Coal one extra side actions per token removed from the Iron Worker in a turn. Let me tell you, Coal loves his side actions!

The best part is that the Iron Worker will put in the overtime to give Coal the actions he needs even if he’s exhausted since both of his abilities are inexhaustible.

Oh yeah, that 2 damage I was talking about with the Anchonaut and Coals ability? We can increase that to 3 or more damage when the Iron worker pitches in with his Overtime ability. That’s 3 damage, no magic spent, and a main action left to use, all in one turn!

Hammer Knight

Talk about a strong female character! I doubt any two of us could pick up that hammer! But seriously, this woman has a lot more impact on the game than her 4 attack value would imply (and it already implies a lot).

Aftershock 1 allows you to place 1 wound token on a unit after the Hammer Knight has already dealt 4 damage with an attack or counter.  That’s 5 wounds that you can split up between 2 units, and you can target a unit that your opponent has been carefully protecting!

Not to keep harping on the same point, but you know that chain of events I brought up in the Iron Worker? Well, if you use your main action to attack with the Hammer Knight, that’s 4 damage from the Hammer Knights attack, and 4 damage dealt 1 at a time to whatever unit or units you want to target when you use the Anchornauts Throw ability, Coals Slash ability (a couple times because of the Iron Worker's Overtime ability), and the Hammer Knight's Aftershock ability. That seems like a pretty efficient turn to me!

Summon Iron RhinoIron Rhino

This guy is BIG! At 5 attack, he has the highest base attack in the game. At 4 life, he has the highest life value in the game. When you need to make a statement about battlefield dominance, this is the conjuration you want!

At 1Natural Class to put this ready spell onto your spellboard, and 6Basic to put the Iron Rhino conjuration onto your battlefield, the aforementioned statement does require a bit of a commitment from your magic resources. Fear not, because the focus ability on this ready spell allows you to put a BIG ol’ Rhino on to the battlefield cheaper and cheaper as the game goes on.

Expand Energy

And this is how you use all three Summon Iron Rhinos in one round! It does cost 1Ceremonial Power to put this ready spell onto your spellboard, but the magic cost is replaced by activating the spell the very round you play it. Each round thereafter, you’ll have an extra magic at your disposal above and beyond what your opponent will have to use in the round! With two Expand Energies on your spellboard, that’s 12 magic to use in one round. With three Expand Energy’s… I think you get it, right?

Something very subtle about this spell is that it takes a main action to activate it, so if you need a particular magic symbol, you can use your side action to meditate and turn whatever symbol you just rolled into the magic symbol you actually need. Or you could just Slash again with Coal!

What a lineup! Coal certainly brings some amazing units to battle! Tomorrow we’ll take a look at Coal's other spells, and how he uses them to exert his dominance!

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.


joepinion commented:

So grateful to Bob for writing these articles day after day. The articles show the care taken in each base deck with a ton of synergy and purpose in each card.

I love that each Phoenixborn seems to have magic manipulation that has been created especially for them. Re-roll a used die for Coal who spends a ton of dice, improve 3 dice for Maeoni who doesn't like basic symbols very much.

Posted on 2015-05-06.

dkartzinel commented:

Wow, you really have to be careful not to let him "grow" those Iron Workers, you could conceivably take 5 damage in a turn...just from the slash ability (assuming he discards his entire hand). Anyone else thinking Summoner Gilder could be SUPER annoying in this deck? It can guard your iron workers AND give them an extra status when it dies. Plus when you summon it you have another direct unit damage source.

Posted on 2015-05-06.

joepinion commented:

Yeah it'll be interesting to see the full range of cards to see the ultimate Iron Workers deck.. throw in S.Gilder, and as many cool side action cards as possible, as well as cards that let you draw cards... It's a matter of trying to kill off the enemy Phoenixborn before your empty draw pile kills yourself.

Posted on 2015-05-06.

jsmkd commented:

Why dose Anchornaut have a Recover 1? He only has 1 life.

Posted on 2015-05-06.

joepinion commented:

I believe tomorrow's preview will have an answer to that question.

Posted on 2015-05-06.

Phuzzworthy commented:

Yep, yep, spot on Joepinion

Posted on 2015-05-06.

XDarkAngelX commented:

OK seriously, this game is going to be great because of this:

Last week I had a look at the Snakes deck and was like "wow, clearly that gal is going to be my Phoenixborn, she's so cool no other could possibly be as cool".

This week I'm like "ok, this guy is cool too, I guess I have two mains now... oh wait, that's 2 out of 2, so conceivably all the coming previews I will be as excited to play OMG".

Posted on 2015-05-06.

dkartzinel commented:

That's pretty much been my reaction too! That's actually what's setting this above 40k Conquest for me right now, so far I want to play all of these guys, whereas with Conquest only one or two factions really get me excited.

I'm wishing I could get a definite date on my copy, totally want to run a prerelease event at my FLGS.

Posted on 2015-05-06.

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