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Advanced Ashes: There's Something Inside

A closer look at Anchornaut and Sleeping Widows

Advanced Ashes

Advanced Ashes is a weekly series covering advanced Ashes strategies. Each week, a different Ashes player will showcase two cards, exploring their strengths and synergies. Visit the Ashes store, as well as the online Ashes deckbuilder.

Hi everyone, this is Eugene (glenn3e) and I’m here today writing up on two synergical cards in Ashes that we all love or hate.



Anchornauts are the bread and butter of many Ceremonial decks. They help to lower the dice type cost of the deck since they only cost 1 basic, which is somewhat essential for a Phoenixborn like Brennen whose base deck cards requires many class dice.

There’s also a lot of tricks you can perform with them such as clearing a clogged Battlefield on your side, budget sacrificing them with Blood Chains, and repeatedly recurring them with Ceremonial dice. Generally, you can get good value with them by just summoning one and pinging something with it, because then your opponent has to spend a Natural Power or something equivalent to get rid of them or they will ping something again next round.

There are a few advanced deck tricks you can do with them as well. One is by building an Anchornaut and a Summon Sleeping Widows spell into your First Five with Lulu. Then, on your first turn, play an Anchornaut and pass. If your opponent pings it, proceed with Sleeping Widows. If not, use it to ping itself on turn 2 and Summon Sleeping Widows. Either way, combined with Lulu’s Phoenixborn ability, you can get a quick 6 damage early for only 4 dice worth of cost. And your opponent still has to get rid of the exhausted Widows. Speaking of Widows…

Sleeping Widows

Summon Sleeping WidowsSleeping Widow

I love Sleeping Widows. They are a somewhat unique conjuration that don’t require a Spellboard to play and will net you some sneaky hits if your opponent isn’t paying attention. In constructed decks, they are a nice surprise to spring on your opponent. Just make sure you keep them well hidden at the bottom of your Conjuration pile where they won’t accidentally peek at it while you retrieve some other conjuration.

In constructed, be careful about battlefield limits, as they can’t be summoned out if you have a clogged Battlefield. Say you have Battlefield 5 and 5 units out. You lose a unit and try to play Widows. You will not get any Widows due to the timing window triggering before your unit leaves the battlefield. Be careful!

There is one Phoenixborn who loves Widows a LOT, and I don’t mean Noah. This leads me to a constructed decklist for…. Brennen. I love Brennen so much that I use this constructed deck as a controlled test for my other constructed decks. They will have to beat or at least have a close game versus Brennen or I will consider that deck still needing work. To Brennen!

Brennan’s Rush

3x Anchornaut
3x Sleeping Widows
3x Fire Archer
3x Chant of Revenge
3x Chant of the Dead
3x Choke
2x Blood Chains
2x Poison
2x Hammer Knight
1x Blackcloud Ninja
1x Crimson Bomber
2x Chant of Protection
1x Regress
1x Final Cry
8 Ceremonial Dice, 2 Natural Dice.


So how does this deck work? I just concentrate on hitting the other Phoenixborn’s face before Brennen runs out of steam. Also, take out key enemy units if it will give you the advantage next round. My First Five picks vary but generally I go for:

Fire Archer
Sleeping Widows
Hammer Knight/Blackcloud Ninja
Chant of Revenge
Choke/Chant of the Dead

Notice there’s no Anchornaut in the starting hand? That’s because I’m stingy and hope that my superior meditating skills bring them into my discard pile early for recurring. Else, I’ll just have to settle for that single overworked Fire Archer. Fire Archer into Sleeping Widows is a nice turn one surprise to get the ball rolling. Then Hammer Knight comes out and you sacrifice one of the Widows with Brennan’s ability to clear the Battlefield so Brennen can hit face. Ideally.

Chants of Revenge pay for themselves manifold so its pretty much a must in the First Five. You can always activate them by suiciding your Anchornaut in a pinch. Blackcloud Ninja is there instead of Hammer Knight if you want to try to deny early Frostback Bears and make your opponent have surplus dice on the first round. Choke is there against Phoenixborns like Orrick and Victoria who stand to lose a lot of dice by denying them their Phoenixborn ability. Otherwise, its time to start collecting Status tokens for your Chant of the Dead.

As the rounds go on, try to get a surprise Widows here and there to get damage on the opponent’s Phoenixborn. Anchornaut suicide if they refuse to attack. (I’m looking at you, Leo!) Fire Archers recur if you can take the damage to pile damage and use the Chants of Protect by discarding Anchornauts only to retrieve them again.

Next week: The shadows aren't always what they seem...

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Previous Advanced Ashes Articles
Week 1: Blood Chains and Butterfly Monk
Week 2: Frost Bite and Ice Trap