Welcome back, Ashes players! We are halfway through the previews of the upcoming Ashes Expansion Decks; the Demons of Darmas and the Spirits of Memoria! We have seen two dangerous new Phoenixborn in Harold and Sembali, a vicious pack of werewolves, and some sneaky, ethereal beings. Today, we will take a look at the vampiric powers that come in Harold’s base deck. Let’s begin!
Harold has access to a very flexible ready spell in Drain Vitality. This spell can be played to the spellboard for a Main or a Side action, and similarly, has a separate activation for each. Using Ceremonial magic to activate Drain Vitality allows you to damage a unit and heal another unit, helping you establish dominance on the battlefield. This activation can pair up well with Harold’s side action ability, Mark Prey, to deal 2 damage to whatever threat you need to! If you are looking for a more nuanced way of manipulating the board, you can also use Sympathy magic to steal a status token from one unit and place it on a different unit. Players looking to grow their Silver Snakes and Luminous Seedlings will have to take extra caution when facing this spell. As for units that want to take advantage of these extra status tokens, look no further than the Master Vampire!
This is one big ally! A steep cost of either a Ceremonial or Sympathy power die, along with one of each class will get you a massive statline of 3/4/1, paired up with some unique new abilities! Blood Drain 1 encourages you to use your Master Vampire on the offensive. Every time you destroy a unit with her attack, she will gain a status token for future use. With an attack value of 3, it should be easy enough to take down most defending units with ease. If it isn’t enough to take down, say, a Turtle Guard, simply use Harold’s Mark Prey ability to land 6 wounds on the Turtle and gain your status token. Once the Master Vampire is ready to go with a status token, you can then begin using Mesmerize to prevent blocking units from being able to counterattack! This ally is truly a force to be reckoned with. It’s high life value and potential to snowball its power will demand a quick and decisive answer to this threat.
Lastly, we have the Psychic Vampire! Instead of hunting units in play like the Master Vampire, this guy is looking to drain force right from your opponent! Lobotomize 1 will definitely make your opponent think twice about quickly answering you Psychic Vampire with an Ice Trap or small ping damage, as doing so too quickly will result in them having to discard a card from their hand! This ally hits the table for cheap, presenting a solid offensive threat of 2 attack for 1 die. Lobotomize is also a threat when you declare this unit as an attacker, as any countering blockers or guarders will beat his life value of 1, triggering Lobotomize before Psychic Vampire is exhausted from attacking! As a result, it is not uncommon at all for this unit to attack right to the Phoenixborn, or pick up multiple uncontested attacks against units. There is no getting around it; the Psychic Vampire will always present your opponent with a difficult choice to make.
Thanks for reading! The cards shown today are some of my absolute favorites from the next two expansions, and I hope you look forward to seeing them in action! Stay tuned later this week for our next preview from the Spirits of Memoria, where we will see some truly divine forces in action!
Until next time!