It’s week three of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, and this week is a little different. We’ve seen a woman forced to defend her besieged city of Silverwood.Coal Roarkwin defends Rustwatch with all his might, yet the battle continues to ravage the city. Battle rages across Argaia (the world of Ashes), yet one place remains a beacon of civility and culture: Lighthouse Bay, the home of Saria Guidman, patron of the arts.
Ashes is available for pre-order at the PlaidHatGames.com store. Pre-order today from our site and get $15 off the retail price! Order from PlaidHatGames.com and get a free Dimona Odinstar promo Phoenixborn, along with her exclusive Rayward Knight ally!
This week is Saria’s week, and we’ll take a look at Argaia’s high society and the lengths Saria will go to to protect it!
What You Need To Know About Saria
The first thing that differentiates the Phoenixborn from one another is their unique stat line. These stats will help you determine what kinds of cards and strategies to use with that Phoenixborn. Below we’ll take a look at the stats found on Saria’s card, and how they allow her to use almost any strategy.
Life Value 20: Saria’s life value is above average at 20. She can guard her units when it’s important, and in general, Saria has a cushion that allows her to set up almost any strategy you wish to employ.
Battlefield Value 5: With a battlefield value of 5, Saria can maintain large enough battlefield that opponents won’t have more attacking options than her often. Her battlefield value is average among Phoenixborn found in the base game.
Spellboard Value 4: A spellboard value of 4 is also average among Phoenixborn, giving Saria plenty of options to set up the her deck's strategy.
Ability: Heart’s Pull
Heart’s Pull, Saria’s unique ability, is one of the most exciting Phoenixborn abilities. In Ashes, each player draws cards at the beginning of the round until they have 5 cards in-hand. This means that each turn, all players start with an equal amount of card options. Saria breaks this rule! For 1, Heart’s Pull lets you draw an extra card, gaining 20% more options in-hand over and above your opponent.
Heart’s Pull doesn’t stop there! While you’re drawing a card, your opponent must, if you choose, discard a card from the top of their draw pile. The discarded card could be a spell the opponent was hoping to focus, or could be a card the opponent needed in order to deal with your strategy.
What’s even better is that if your opponents’ strategies can’t finish you off quickly, you have an advantage at the end of the game too! In Ashes, if you can’t draw up to 5 at the beginning of the turn becuase your draw pile runs out, you take 1 damage for each card you could not draw. And by you, I mean Saria’s opponent, because Saria is reducing the amount of cards in the opponent's draw pile every turn!
It’s important to remember that cards in the draw pile can be used to change your magic dice to the side of your choosing, allowing you to play the cards in your hand regardless of your roll. Saria’s ability will eventually remove this option from your opponent as well!
What all this adds up to is that Heart’s Pull adds options to your strategy while denying your opponent options. Pretty devious huh?
Guardians of Lighthouse Bay
With all the late game advantages Saria’s ability generates, she needs the game to go long to secure her inevitable victory. The best way to do this is to play resilient units that discourage attacking and threaten the opponents life if they leave themselves open for even a moment. Enter the Seaside Raven!
With Battle Advantage, you deal the Seaside Raven's damage before your opponent's unit. 3 damage destroys most units before they have a chance to strike back, making attacking an unexhausted Raven undesirable at best. If 3 damage isn’t enough to discourage your opponent from attacking, remember that the dice ability can increase the attack and life value of a unit!
In addition, your opponent can’t even cast spells to deal with the raven because of Magic Guard. This even works after the Raven has become exhausted because Magic Guard in inexhuastable! What’s not to like?
The Strategy of The Cloudsea Siren
Saria enjoys company. She loves to be around people, and The Cloudsea Siren deck embodies the personality of its featured Phoenixborn. In The Cloudsea Siren deck, you’ll discourage actions against you and deny aggressive strategies. Your path to victory lies in making your opponents do what you want, and giving them more than what is good for them. Of course, if they insist on bringing war to your doorstep, you’ll make them regret playing that game too!
Tomorrow we get to take a peek at the plots and schemes contained within The Cloudsea Siren, and how they advance Saria’s agenda!
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.
Written by Bob Klotz.
Bob Klotz is the lead playtester for Ashes