Welcome back, Ashes players! We are back again with another preview from the upcoming expansion deck, The Goddess of Ishra! When we debuted Astrea, we saw how her ability and exclusive Alteration spell gives her strong command over the flow of battle through targeted unit exhaustion and even taking control of enemy units! Today, we will be taking a look at ways for Astrea to capitalize on these advantages, and show off even more additions to this core strategy. Let’s begin with one of Astrea’s key allies; the Imperial Ninja.
The Imperial Ninja is an incredibly dangerous ally. Getting 3 attack for 2 dice is already respectable, but this ally further poses an offensive threat through the Interrogate ability. By landing a hit on a Phoenxiborn, you have the opportunity to remove key cards right from their hand! There are many ways that this ability can be supported in Charm magic. Hypnotize can help assure you land an Interrogation, and Memory Theft can give you the information you need to make the right calls and surgically remove your opponent’s best cards. Astrea’s ability, Beguile, can exhaust an early blocker put out by your opponent, helping you to make sure your Imperial Ninja can get through to the opposing Phoenixborn. This ally can devastate an opponent’s opening plan if they aren’t prepared to answer it immediately. Decks that run many ready spells may not have the time to get out a blocker in time to stop the Imperial Ninja from attacking, so it will always be important to respect Charm magic in the first round of a game when your First Five is especially vulnerable.
Summon Weaping Spirit
Next up is a new summon for Charm; the Weeping Spirit! Fans of Blood Puppets rejoice! This is another conjuration that can be summoned onto any battlefield, adding more ways for controlling players to disrupt their opponent’s battlefield development. And instead of paying magic to remove this unit, Quell requires the discarding of a card to remove the Weeping Spirit, which is exactly what Charm players are looking to do! When paired with Three-Eyed Owls, players will quickly find themselves running out of cards to discard to regain control of their own battlefield! The Weeping Spirit has another significant distinction from the Blood Puppet in that the Fearful ability prevents it from blocking. Giving your opponent free blockers has always been a potential downside of Blood Puppets, but with the Weeping Spirit, the utility given to the opponent is even less! Weeping Spirits also generously make way for any incoming Imperial Ninjas, giving you yet another avenue for executing this strategy. Lastly, we have a Focus 1 ability on the Ready Spell that can remove cards in a discard pile from the game. If recurring Hand Tricks or cheap allies like Anchornaut are giving your Owls and Weeping Spirits problems, catch them with those cards in the discard pile with a well-timed activation of this spell to keep the hand pressure going!
Summon Light Bringer
And lastly for today, we have the Light Bringer; Divine magic’s first single-class die summon. The Light Bringer is a fairly unassuming 1/2/0 unit, but it offers unique utility in attaching Infatuated alterations on to enemy units when it enters play. Let's take a closer look at the Infatuated conjured alteration spell.
The Infatuated conjured alteration spell fits perfectly into the theme of this deck by providing yet another restriction to defending. If you choose to attack with a Light Bringer and an Imperial Ninja, the opposing Infatuated unit has no choice but to block the Light Bringer instead of the Ninja! This ability can also work well with Divine’s Emperor Lion, whose Spite 1 ability rewards you for dealing combat damage to Phoenixborn. It is easy to see how quickly the various control elements of Astrea’s deck can combine to create devastating constraints on what your opponent’s can do on the battlefield. I hope you look forward to these exciting new options for Charm and Divine magic! We are still early in this preview cycle and there is much more still to come for these decks. Check back on Tuesday for a deeper look at status tokens in the Spiral Jungle…
Until next time!
Art by Fernanda Suarez