Ashes: Aradel 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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Aradel has made her home in the Evermist Valley, guarding the denizens of the mists from the outside world. Those creatures answer her call en masse, knowing when she calls that their safety is at risk. Interlopers and despoilers beware, for under Aradels guidance the mists themselves take on life, swirling and concealing and lashing Aradel's foes. You can see Aradel and her loyal feline friend the Blue Jaguar in yesterday’s article, but today we examine the other creatures found within the mists, how Aradel uses those mists to reveal truths unknown to others, and how she calls upon the mists to protect her friends.
Can you imagine seeing one of these little guys? Surely no one would think them dangerous. Heck, I might even try to pet it should I come across one. Then another appears, and another. Soon You’re surrounded by little blue Mist Spirits. And then you notice the antlers! And what’s that bit of blue above their heads? Is that blue flame?
They have cut off all escape, and suddenly you hear the cry of a jaguar coming from out of the mists. You feel the vibrations and hear the low rumble of something immense coming towards you, but you can’t get away!
Mist Spirits form the backbone of your army. For 1 you get a 1 attack value, 1 life value unit, nothing special. But for that same action main action you can spend an additional 1 to place a second Mist Spirit. That’s 2 units for 1 action! Once you focus this spell, you can make 4 units for 2 actions! That’s twice as many units as your opponent could summon or call to their aid during that time!
By itself, this will allow you to get past the defenses of your opponent, yet Aradel doesn’t stop there! Later today we’ll see how Aradel uses those units to gain even more battlefield superiority, and tomorrow we’ll see how Aradel makes even the tiniest, most innocuous of her friends behemoths of devastation!
The Butterfly Monk proves great things come in small packages! This little conjuration brings a ton of utility to Aradel’s toolbox. As a Unit Guard it helps protect those really cool jaguars, which in turn protects Aradel's life total. And since the Butterfly Monk has a life value that increases as you place more Summon Butterfly Monk spells on your spellboard, it only gets better at its guard duty as the game goes on.
Its second ability, Last Blessing 1, also helps keep those jaguars kicking, and brings Aradel back from the brink when needed as well. And since Last Blessing is inexhaustible, it doesn’t matter when this crafty conjuration meets its end; it still heals someone on your team! AND it has a recovery value of 1 to boot, healing itself every round. This is rare among conjurations!
At 1, why wouldn’t you include Butterfly Monks in every deck that runs natural magic dice?
You can’t decide which unit you need to get rid of most? Want to get rid of them all? Well, Mist Typhoon is the card for you! Use a main action, spend 1 1 and 1, play this card, and all your unit worries fade to mist! In three easy steps, threaten to destroy all your opponents' units!
But that’s not all. When you play Mist Typhoon, you get to draw a card to replace it! It’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s a card you can’t do without!
Really, this card is amazing. In one fell swoop you make blocking your attackers very dangerous, or perhaps you open up your units to get through to damage your opponent's Phoenixborn. I should mention that it damages all opponents’ units, which is plural so it works against all units except yours in multiplayer!
Ok, so this card costs 2 power symbols to play. Why is its cost so difficult to pay? Just like all the other cards that cost as many power symbols as Out of the Mists, this card is very powerful! As a side action--I repeat, A SIDE ACTION--this card deals damage to a unit equal to the number of units you control. This can be up to 8 damage in Aradel’s deck! And just like Mist Typhoon, this card replaces itself when you play it!
I want to go back to the side action thing. Since this only costs a side action, and you can use your side action before you take a main action, you can clear out a huge blocker with Out of the Mists, and then attack with your main action. Aradel sure knows how to make her units threatening! Just hide them in the mists, make them ambush the biggest foe without fear of reprisal, and then have those same units swarm all over the opposing Phoenixborn!
I hope by this point you are as excited by this card as I am! After all, this spell is easy to play in The Mist Guardian because of…
Here’s the last dice manipulation card found in the initial release of Ashes. And it’s a doozy! After paying 1 to place this spell, every round you can use a side action to get 2 power symbols of your choice. Sure, you can meditate to achieve the same goal, but this does not require you to reduce the size of your deck to get the symbols you need.
Because of the Butterfly Monks and Out of the Mists, Aradel’s deck requires a lot of power symbols, not to mention the dice power symbols that synergize so well with Aradel’s deck. (Check out the illusion and natural dice powers in Isaac's article from last week.) With Shifting Mists, these symbols will be easy to come by and relatively painless to aquire.
It has been very difficult waiting so long to talk to you guys and gals about this awesome deck and the exciting cards found in it. I seriously think Isaac made the line up to torture me! But it’s finally here and we’re already half way through The Mist Guardian. Come back tomorrow to see the final four cards found in the base game of Ashes. They all make your units awesome or make your opponents units not so awesome!
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
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