Greetings, Ashes players! It is preview season again! We have recently announced the next two Ashes Expansion Decks and I am here to kick off the previews with an introduction to The Demons of Darmas expansion! This deck features Harold Westraven, the Phoenixborn of Darmas. Harold uses a combination of Ceremonial and Sympathy magic to summon dark, twisted creatures and augment the features of these minions and even himself! On their surface, these folks are a charismatic bunch, but underneath lies plenty of sinister secrets waiting to be uncovered! Let's take a look at what Harold can do.
HAROLD WESTRAVEN AND HUNTER'S MARK
Harold starts off at a very unassuming statline of 5/21/2. This is one of the most restricting statlines in the game, but we will get to that in a moment. Let us instead focus on Harold's ability, Mark Prey! Hunter's Mark is a deadly alteration spell that Harold can attach to a unit to ensure a quick and clean assassination. Hunter's Mark essentially doubles the number of wounds a unit receives from damage, whether it is from battle, abilities, or spells! During an Attack a Unit action, it also prevents Phoenixborn and units with Unit Guard from guarding to ensure that your marked prey will have nowhere to hide when you choose to attack it! Harold can make quick work of bulky units like Turtle Guard and can also use damage abilities like the Fire Archer's Ambush to increase the amount of surprise damage done! All in all, this technique gives Harold incredible control over the battlefield by being able to pick the exact target to remove, and do so very efficiently.
HARVEST SOUL AND DARK TRANSFORMATION
Harold has another dark secret up his sleeve: Harvest Soul! This Phoenixborn unique reaction spell is free to play and provides a massive array of boosts to Harold! When you destroy a unit, you can use Harvest Soul to permanently remove it from the game! Permanently removing conjurations with low counjuration counts, or allies your opponent was planning on recurring with ceremonial magic, can have a devastating effect on your opponent's strategy. Harvest Soul will also draw you a card to refill your hand and attach a Dark Transformation alteration spell onto your Phoenixborn! This exclusive spell increases the Life, Battlefield, and Spellboard values of Harold by 1 and allows you to reuse a die from your exhausted pool! Harvest Soul really packs some value!
As the battle rages on, Harold has the capability to use Harvest Soul up to three times, putting him at a dauting 8 Battlefield, 5 Spellboard, and 24 Life; arguably the biggest, baddest Phoenixborn available! There are so many exciting decks to try with a Phoenixborn that huge, so I hope you look forward to evolving your gameplan as Harold transforms throughout the game.
Thanks for checking out the first of many preview articles for the next two Ashes Expansion Decks! We have plenty more awesome cards to show you so be sure to check back soon when we take a closer look at Sembali Goldweaver, Phoenixborn of Memoria...
Until next time!