Jessa: Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Ashes: Jessa 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!

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!


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!


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


tristak commented:

It's looking like Jessa is going to be my favorite Phoenixborn. And now I can't wait for tomorrow!

Posted on 2015-05-27.

killercactus commented:

Jessa is the Black deck it seems, and I like it

Posted on 2015-05-27.

dkartzinel commented:

Dang, and I thought Noah was going to be my favorite. Jessa is my new favorite now.

And also, living doll plus spiked armor could be really fun. He he he he.

Posted on 2015-05-27.

Klaxas commented:

nice nice. this game is going to be so awesome.

Posted on 2015-05-27.

Maniacalraven commented:

So if a unit defends and counters a Blood Archer, and the Blood Archer's attack destroys the defending unit, it is destroyed before it deals damage for a counter attack?
Possibly makes countering this unit useless?
And vice versa... Blood archer counters, kills with counter damage before attacker gets to inflict damage?

Posted on 2015-05-27.

Phuzzworthy commented:

That's correct maniacalraven. It's worth its cost!

Posted on 2015-05-28.

vernon commented:

Can living doll do damage if it dies in an attack? I would guess not, but it's strangely worded on the card.

Posted on 2015-05-28.

Phuzzworthy commented:

The living doll can do damage back even if the damage it takes destroys it as long as the living doll is unexhausted. The reason is that the living doll took damage so it's ability triggers and resolves even if it is no longer in play because of being destroyed from the damage that triggered pain link.

Posted on 2015-05-28.

vernon commented:

But then it has a life amount of zero or less, doing zero damage in the process. I'm pretty sure it's the post-attack life value what counts, not pre-attack. Is this right?

Posted on 2015-05-28.

Phuzzworthy commented:

Life value is a constant, it does not change when wound tokens are placed on a unit. A unit is destroyed when it has a number of wound tokens equal to its life value. Note that spells and abilities can modify life value, but wound tokens do not.

Posted on 2015-05-28.

vernon commented:

Oh I see. Okay, it's clear now.

Posted on 2015-05-28.

Balard commented:

It's looking like she is going to easily be my favorite Phoenix Born.

Posted on 2015-06-23.

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