Jessa: Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Ashes: Jessa 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.

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!

With the Bloodwoods Queen deck, you choose the outcome of conflicts. Sure your opponent gets to choose how to attack, but the ultimate outcome of these battles is your choice! Each card in The Bloodwoods Queen works to take choices away from your opponent, and give control of the battlefield situation to you. Yesterday we talked about the synergy found in The Bloodwoods Queen. Today we’ll look at the wound economy found in Jessa’s pre-built deck, and start unraveling how all the pieces fit together. We start off with the most expensive card found in the bases game, and it’s worth its cost!

Blood Archer

Blood Oath 2 gives this guy an attack Value of 5, scary by itself! But when combined with Battle Advantage, almost no unit, augmented or not, can battle profitably with this guy. To activate Blood Oath you must place 2 wound markers on the Blood Archer, but his recovery value of 2 will allow you to do this every round!

Of course, Jessa may find a use for those wounds before the round is over!

Blood Transfer

For a side action and 2 magic, Blood Transfer allows you to choose where the wounds your units receive end up, and you can even use this card to heal your Phoenixborn!

Those 2 wounds you just placed on your Blood archer to activate Blood Oath can be transferred to a different unit, allowing you to keep it alive longer.

Living Doll

And because of Pain Link, you have a good place to transfer the wounds you took off of Blood Archer! For 1Basic you can deal damage to another target, unit or Phoenixborn, equal to the damage Living Doll just took, up to its current life value.

By itself, this unit discourages attacks from your opponent, but with Blood Transfer, your opponent doesn’t even have to attack for you to start sharing the pain!

Undying Heart

The one drawback of the Living Doll is that it only recovers 1 wound during the recovery phase. With undying heart, you increase the amount of damage a Living Doll can take and increase its recovery value so it can do this round after round.

Oh yeah, this sweet card also increases the amount of damage you can deal back with the Living Doll's ability, Pain Link because it increases its current life value!

That’s a ton of value for just 1Charm Class and 1Basic, and that’s just when it alters the Living Doll. If you alter the Blood Archer, and find a way to unexhaust it, you could activate Blood Oath for 2 attacks that round!

The best part of Undying Heart is that it also resparks. Your units are just harder to deal with. Even when your opponent manages to kill one of your units, you can bring undying heart back to your hand to make the next unit just as tough!

Redirect

So your units are exhausted, your defenses are down and your opponent can finally get damage on Jessa. Well, for 1Charm Class you can show your opponent that you have absolute control over where their attacks will go!

Even if they choose to attack a specific unit, Jessa can guard that unit, then put the wounds from that attack on whatever unit she chooses. (Probably that Living Doll over there so that you can deal damage back to another target with Pain Link!)

Final Cry

Ha ha ha, your opponent finally managed to kill off your unit, but what they didn’t know was that you wanted that unit to die, so you could play Final Cry! As a reaction, for 1Ceremonial Power you can deal 2 damage to any target, including your opponent's Phoenixborn!

Man, your opponent just can’t win. Everything they do, you reciprocate. When they attack, you deal damage back. When they don’t attack, you just move wounds around and deal damage to them anyway. Your opponent waits until your units are exhausted? You still choose where the attack goes! They can’t even get rid of your units because you punish them for doing that as well. And guess what, it gets even worse tomorrow!

Hey, wait, I just covered 6 cards today. That’s more than I usually go over in an article isn’t it? Yes, yes it is. You see, tomorrow I wanted a little extra space to do something cool! Come back tomorrow to see the rest of Jessa’s deck and to see the nifty thing I have in mind.

Thanks for reading!

Bob

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