Ashes: Noah Week at PlaidHatGames.com 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.
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Noah Redmoon desires nothing less than to be the figure of destiny. A prophecy foretold the conflict of the Phoenixborn, and a collection of ashes, the remains of the Phoenixborn who fall in that conflict. The victorious Phoenixborn collects these ashes, absorbing the power of their fallen foes and inheriting a newborn world. Noah knows this is his fate!
Other, weaker souls resist the reunification, which only proves Noah’s right to the power! By striking down his weaker brethren before they even know they are in peril, Noah saves them from the pain of anticipating their doom. To see the various methods Noah employs to this end you can look to yesterday’s article. Some realize their fate before the end comes. You can see Noah and his Masked Wolves like those unfortunate few in Noah’s first preview article.
Even fewer are those fully aware of Noah’s quest, who resist him and try to deny his fate. Today we see the fiends he brings forth to combat the fools. But fear not, Noah is merciful. The loved ones of the fallen need not feel the pain of loss, for in the end, opposition simply fades away, ceasing to have ever been.
When you place Fade Away on your opponent's unit, it is not long for this world. This can deal with whatever unit is causing you trouble. It just takes a moment. And if that unit is an ally, it is dealt with permanently!
Go ahead, try on that villainous laugh. Enjoy the moment, knowing that you have dealt with your opponents’ biggest threat for a single . Heck, your opponent didn’t even get to use his or her scariest unit before you sealed its fate (see below)!
For 1 you can deal 1 damage to a unit your opponent controls, every round! Sure, you have to deal damage to a unit you control to use this effect, but that minion had already served its purpose anyway.
By using Small Sacrifice, you can finish of an opponent's unit, and then clear out an already exhausted unit on your battlefield to make way for a fresh ready-to-use unit. Oh yeah, since a unit you controlled was destroyed, why not play Summon Sleeping Widows as a reaction, on your own turn?
Oh, you can’t finish off one of your opponents' units with one damage? It’s too big? No problem, just focus Small Sacrifice and you can exhaust one of your smaller, cheaper units to exhaust your opponents’ biggest threat instead!
This conjuration really does some heavy lifting in The Shadows of Viros deck! Because of Unit Guard, the False Demon can protect your other more aggressive units from direct attacks by opposing units. Illusion does mean that the demon will be destroyed if it takes damage from an attacking unit, but it has already done its job by then.
The False Demon's life value of 4 means that the opponent will have a tough time getting rid of the demon before it has performed its guard duty and the extra life means this card combos exceptionally well with Small Sacrifice, absorbing 3 activations of the previously seen ready spell and yet living to guard one last time.
At 1 and 1 this guy is already worth the cost, but Noah has more insidious plans for this fiend from the shadow realm! Check out Bring Forth!
What kind of shadow master would Noah be if he couldn’t turn nightmares into reality! Let’s break down what Bring Forth does. It makes your opponent weep tears of futility. THE END.
But seriously, for 2 Bring Forth gives the attached unit gains 2 attack value (bringing the False Demon up to 3), gives it 1 life value (a beefy 5 when attached to a False Demon), and removes the False Demon's Illusion ability. Yep, that ability is now completely gone, allowing your False Demon to guard your units until the opponent can actually deal damage equal to the demons life value.
On top of all this, Bring Forth has the respark ability. What this means is that even after your opponent manages to destroy the demon, you can pay the respark cost of 2 to put Bring Forth back into your hand instead of placing it in your discard pile, all ready to be placed on the next False Demon you summon. A never ending stream of nightmares made real!
Now we will take a look at the recommended First Five for The Shadows of Viros and briefly discuss how these 5 cards build Noah’s strategy for achieving his ultimate destiny.
Small Sacrifice: The focus ability on Small Sacrifice grants you the options you need to adapt to whatever situation the opponent presents you with. Starting with one copy in your first five will make focusing this spell easier. In addition, Noah has very cheap units that pack quite a punch, and Small sacrifice will allow you to clear away units that have already dealt their damage to make way for new units ready for attacking
Summon Masked Wolf: Noah’s unique spell has an activation like no other ready spell that summons conjurations: the ability to activate it as a side action! Getting these on the spellboard quickly will allow you to strike your opponent at a moment’s notice whenever they leave a small opening to exploit. Reducing the magic cost by half when you focus this spell is huge, so getting this spell focused right away should be a priority.
Summon False Demon: This ready spell combos with Small Sacrifice and Bring Forth, both included in your first five, so of course you want to start with all your combo pieces. Plus, protecting your squishy units until after they have dealt their damage is very important as well, and that’s what this guy does!
Sleight of Hand: Having an extra 2 cards in your first five makes focusing those ready spells far easier, and provides you with extra options regardless of what you draw.
Bring Forth: Let the terror begin! This alteration makes an efficient unit downright terrifying, and also allows you to make full use of the False Demon's stats. Don’t forget that you can respark this to make every False Demon you summon a thorn in your opponent's side.
The Shadows of Viros is more subtle than the other decks included in Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. Knowing when to attack, when to guard, and when to let Noah take a hit himself can be a bit tricky. That said, it is a very rewarding and enjoyable deck to play once you get the hang of it!
Perhaps you want to hear more about Noah? I know I do. Back on schedule, another tale crafted by Mr. Bistro should post tomorrow. We can only hope Noah doesn’t get word of the telling, else it may end poorly for our brave storyteller. Next week I get to share with you a Phoenixborn that will make your opponent terrified to take any action!
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