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Ashes Preview: Ancients of the Forest

Biter, Temple Elder and Sleeping Bear

Koji Astrea BannerWelcome back, Ashes players! Today concludes our preview series of the Boy Among Wolves expansion deck. Over the past few weeks we have seen Koji Wolfcub and all of his interesting approaches to summoning units an utilizing status tokens for various purposes. For today, we will conclude with the final 3 units you will find in this expansion deck. Let’s begin with a new summon spell; Summon Biter.

Summon BiterBiter

Summon Biter

The newest Natural conjuration has a little bit of everything we’ve seen in previous Natural summons. Unit Guard is a fundamental ability in Ashes that has always been prevalent in this magic type, but for the first time in Ashes, we have Unit Guard on a 3 attack unit! Historically, Unit Guard has been on 1 attack units like, Gilder, Butterfly Monk, False Demon, and Turtle Guard. These units get the job done when it comes to saving your other units or your Phoenixborn from big attacks, but the Biter has the stats to retaliate hard! With Biters on your battlefield, opposing Hammer Knights, Sonic Swordsmen, and Frostback Bears had better watch out, as the Biter will efficiently trade with these offensive powerhouses. The Rooted ability will keep the Biter from being able to attack, making it a strictly defensive unit, unless you attach a Reflections in the Water to it in order to squeeze in an emergency attack! All in all, the Biter is a powerful choice for any Phoenixborn who can afford the spellboard slot for a defensive utility unit.

Temple Elder

Temple Elder 

Next up, we have the Temple Elder ally. With a stat line and ability that harkens back to the Iron Worker, the Temple Elder should feel familiar enough. The difference is in the way the Temple Elder uses its status tokens. Wisdom 1 allows you to convert status tokens and Sympathy magic into card draw! Card draw on a side action has always been valuable, allowing you to immediately play what you draw with your main action, or for triggering effects like Opportunist and Harsh Melody right before attacking. The Resourceful 1 ability keeps your Temple Elder stocked with status tokens as the rounds go by, so a Mark of the Red Flower on a Temple Elder can give you a cheap enough way to threaten some actionless fire-breathing damage!

Sleeping Bear

Sleeping Bear 

For our last preview of Koji’s deck, we have the wonderful Sleeping Bear! 2 class dice for a 4/4/2 stat line is unprecedented! There is so much to love with this ally, between its impressive stat line and photorealistic honeycomb art, that it is almost too easy to ignore the drawback of the Sleeping Bear’s Slumbering 1 ability. This lazy guy is coming into play with an exhaustion token, so you won’t be getting any immediate gains from him unless you put in some effort with Lick Wounds or the like. Following the first round of napping, this ally will be ready to cause some damage! 4 life and 2 recover can go a long way for ensuring your Sleeping Bear gets multiple rounds of smashing things with 4 attack! You may even consider giving him a lesson in Gravity Training on the round he enters play to make the following rounds that much scarier!

That’s all for this expansion deck! I’d like to give a big thank you to Robert Klotz for his incredible work in designing this deck, as well as the Goddess of Ishra expansion deck. It has been my pleasure being able to show off this deck over the past few weeks, and I wish you many thrilling games with these great new additions to Ashes. I’ll be back later this week for our final preview for the season as we wrap up Astrea’s deck.

Until next time!

Art by Fernanda Suarez