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Advanced Ashes: Common vs Niche

A closer look at Gilders and Cut the Strings

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.

Hey everyone! This week we are looking at a couple of Ready Spells that give you control in more ways than one.

Summon GilderGilder

Let’s start with Summon Gilder. This is easily one of the most efficient summon spells in the game, providing a laundry list of utility functions that any deck would appreciate. The most challenging part of using the Gilder is its two-class requirement, but any deck that is devoted to Natural and even just a bit of Charm will almost certainly benefit from the Gilder.

The spell itself deals one point of damage when you pay its cost. This effect is used well by plenty of Phoenixborn, whether it is combined with Aradel’s Water Blast to threaten your opponent any time they want to summon a Hammer Knight or Frostback Bear, or with Jessa to slowly chip away at their units and trigger Screams to bring the game closer to the end.

It is important to remember that you can activate this spell even if you have a full battlefield! Getting a point of damage onto a unit for your main action might be exactly what you need, whether it is clearing away an opposing unit or destroying your own unit to activate the Final Cry that you just meditated for!

The Gilder unit itself continues to be packed with value. A 1/2/0 with Unit Guard is tremendously valuable in any deck vying for board control. Unit Guard is one of the most essential abilities in Ashes, allowing you to always have the final say in battle. If you are Maeoni, you can slow your opponent’s attacks to a screeching halt by threatening a Strike with your guarding Gilder.

Lastly, the Gilder has one more trick up its sleeve in Inheritance 1. While there may not be loads of uses for your status tokens just yet, the Gilder is sure to only increase in value as more and more cards are added to the game that utilize the strength of status tokens. For the time being, you can enjoy pumping up the attack of your Silver Snakes and Strange Copies, or bank some extra side actions on your Iron Worker.

All in all, there isn’t really anything to dislike about this unit. It is here to serve and does a little bit of everything at a very efficient rate. If your deck has any desire to destroy units and control the pace of battle, Gilder is the unit for you.

Cut the Strings

Now let’s move onto a card that is much less likely to fit into any old deck, but has some incredible niche potential to turn a tough matchup to your favor.

Cut the Strings is a Ready Spell with a steep cost, both in dice and unit sacrifice. In most cases, this cost is too preventative to include in traditional deck builds, but a deeper understanding of your Ashes metagame might call for Cut the Strings as just the right tech card against particular opponents.

An prime example of where Cut the Strings can be just the right card to combat a tough matchup is going against Gen Con 2016’s winning deck list: The Southern Dandy. This deck uses two very powerful cards in Regress and Blood Puppet to lock down the opponent’s battlefield and slowly grind down their life total. In many cases, a Regress on a large unit is permanent. Followed up with Blood Puppets, you might quickly find yourself filled with a battlefield of useless attackers, draining you of life, dice, and offensive capabilities.

This is just where Cut the Strings comes into play. Suddenly, the cost of Cut the Strings seems like a bargain! For the two dice that you were going to use Self Inflicting the Blood Puppet, you can now clear away that Blood Puppet in one turn AND remove that Regress from your Hammer Knight! Not only does this efficiently swing the board state back into your favor, it also has the continuous threat of nullifying all future Regresses your opponent draws. Not bad for a single card in your 30-card deck!

It is clear that Cut the Strings has its place in the right metagame. It may not always be the right choice, but when it is, the value is obvious. You never know when a card that seems weak at first will have its time to shine in exactly the right situation. Be sure to always reevaluate your neglected cards as new decks and strategies develop in your Ashes metagame!

Thanks for reading,
Nick Conley

Visit the Ashes store, as well as the online Ashes deckbuilder.

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
Week 9: Dread Wraith and Three-Eyed Owl
Week 10: Iron Worker and Coal Roarkwin
Week 11: Seal and Reflections in the Water
Week 12: Blood Puppet and Root Armor
Week 13: Massive Growth and Dispel