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 PlaidHatGames.com Ashes store, as well as the online Ashes deckbuilder.
Welcome back to this week's edition of Advanced Ashes. In this article I would like to share some thoughts on my two current favorite conjurations. These two have "soared" above many other conjurations I have included in custom decks, leaving my opponents "scared" and hopeless in pursuit of victory. One might even say they can "drain" your opponents' options; leaving them in a fit of "rage". Okay…I’ll stop now.
Those who have followed the tournament scene at Gen Con this year are already aware of the popularity Three-Eyed Owl has garnered and how it can be used in a championship winning deck. For anyone that did not keep up with those results, I'm just going to leave this right here...
Many thanks to Christian Pratt for sharing this mic-drop of an image on Ashes Online.
Seriously though—for many players, Three-Eyed Owl's value cannot be understated. While it is cost-effective to field when needing a defender, its true beauty lies in the Memory Drain ability. Selecting your First Five cards to get the engine of your deck going is so crucial, and having the ability to make your opponent discard one of those can be devastating. Before the time of Leo and his perfect abs, I enjoyed pairing Three-Eyed Owl with Dimona; using her Order ability to give me an extra opportunity to force a card out of my opponent's hand. Purge, Enchanted Violinist, Leech Warrior and Illusion Dice coupled with Leo's Memory Theft and Anguish are some of my current favorites in an exhaustion/mill deck.
While the up-side to Three-Eyed Owl is very high, you’ll need to be on the lookout for cards that can cripple its usefulness. Ice Trap and Choke are the two most prominent, so if Ceremonial or Nature dice are across from you, be prepared to deal with those two reaction spells. Aradel is a problematic Phoenixborn to play against when using Three-Eyed Owl, as her Water Blast ability can remove an owl from the battlefield before taking a main action to attack. Do I even need to mention Blue Jaguar?
I recently attended the Kingmakers Ashes Tournament during Origins in Columbus, Ohio. It was a great deal of fun! I’ve posted my custom deck from that day, which finished 7th, here. It was a reckless idea, betting that I could do more damage faster than my opponent, all the while knowing I would take lots of damage myself. Dread Wraith was my only true defender; a nightmare wall that forced my opponents units to reconsider attacking me.
A life value of 6 and the promise of a potential 6 attack with the Rage ability are both best in the game at this moment. It pairs well with ready spells like Blood Transfer, Cut The Strings and Small Sacrifice, and makes great use of the abilities Lulu and Maeoni offer to increase Dread Wraith's attack. Six exhaustion tokens on an opponents unit is possible with Blood Chains. Lately I have been toying with the idea of using this monster in a Rin deck, taking advantage of the Ice Buff ability and stacking on additional alterations like Root Armor, Crystal Shield, or Spiked Armor. That is a lot of life and potential damage...could I Amplify that?!
With all of the fear Dread Wraith can instill, there are a few cards that might scare it away. Of those cards, most notably Nightshade Swallow and To Shadows can do the job. Both cards create the situation that if one damage is dealt to Dread Wraith, it is gone. And while Dread Wraith can handle the damage dealt by most spells, Shadow Counter is the devastating exception, dealing all six damage needed to destroy it. Also, watch out for Fade Away, which can destroy Dread Wraith at the end of the round, and adorable Regress which I've talked about previously.
Those are my thoughts on Three-Eyed Owl and Dread Wraith; I'm honored you took the time to read this article. I'm on Twitter @jwolfe279, Facebook, or on the Plaid Hat forums as proudestmonkeyman if you'd like to get in touch with me. Hopefully my words will help "conjure" up some new ideas for you to try out. Yeah…I can't stop with the dad-like puns.
Time to place an exhaustion token on me for this round.
Next week: ???
Previous Advanced Ashes Articles
Week 1: Blood Chains and Butterfly Monk
Week 2: Frost Bite and Ice Trap
Week 3: Anchornaut and Summon Sleeping Widows
Week 4: To Shadows and Body Inversion
Week 5: Regress and Poison
Week 6: Abundance and Summon Orchid Dove
Week 7: Jessa and Chant of Revenge
Week 8: Amplify and Blood Archer