Welcome back, Ashes players! We are moving right along through previewing cards from the upcoming Ashes expansion decks! If you missed the preview earlier this week where we looked at the vampires from Harold’s deck, check it out here! Today, we return to Sembali’s deck to see the new ways she uses divine magic to influence the game. Let’s get right to it!
Law of Banishment
Conjurations beware, for this new law is certain to devastate early pressure from summoning conjurations. When facing divine magic, players will have to carefully choose the order in which they play down their ready spells, for the first one they play is at risk of immediate exhaustion from Law of Banishment’s ‘enter play’ effect. By threatening to exhaust an opponent’s Summon Frostback Bear or similar spell, you are free to apply the pressure with strong allies or develop your own spellboard appropriately.
Furthermore, this spell punishes conjurations leaving play. Any conjuration that would leave play will be removed from the game unless its controller discards an unexhausted ready spell they control! Neither price is particularly cheap to pay, pressuring decks that prioritize their conjurations to advance their gameplan in other ways, such as with action spells and allies. As with all laws, their influence is fleeting, meaning they will be discarded at the end of the round. Be on the lookout for this dangerous ready spell any time divine dice are in the mix!
Divine magic now has access to a new 1-class conjuration summon - the Admonisher! These little characters function similarly as a reverse Blood Puppet; at the end of the round they will deal 1 damage to a target Phoenixborn! Affording the battlefield space for a 0/2/0 unit can be tricky, but left ignored their impact can really add up! This unit is a great exhaustion target for Astrea’s Beguile ability or decks utilizing Kneel, since their ability only is in effect after they recover from exhaustion at the end of the round.
Looking at the focus 1 ability on the ready spell, we see another opportunity to inflict some damage to the opposing Phoenixborn. When activating the book, if you cannot place an Admonisher onto your battlefield, you can turn that 1 divine class into 1 direct damage! Not being able to place an Admonisher can trigger from activating the book when you have a full battlefield, when all your Admonishers are already in play, or if all of them have been removed from the game from a variety of conjuration removal effects. All in all, there are a number of situations where the Admonisher can help advance a control-based win condition, so I hope you look forward to seeing how they play out!
Our last reveal for the week is none other than the Celestial Knight! This is one of the toughest allies we’ve seen yet, and it has the steep cost of 1 divine power and 2 divine class to prove it. For this cost, you receive a very solid statline of 3/3/2, making the Celestial Knight both a solid offensive and defensive threat. These stats are fairly expected for a 3-dice ally, but they are further enhanced by two strong damage-based abilities. Spike Skin 2 is a familiar effect from the Spiked Armor alteration spell, allowing this unit to deal extra damage to units while attacking, or even deal some damage as a blocker who isn’t countering! On top of that, the Celestial Knight introduced the Armored ability, which reduces the amount of damage she receives. Functional immunity to instances of 1 damage is incredible in a world of 1 attack blockers and ping damage like the natural dice power and the Fire Archer. Suddenly the 3/3/2 statline is much more than it seems when paired up with these abilities! This ally can be incredibly hard to take down, so be sure to try and find a clean answer to one should you face a divine-heavy opponent.
As always, thanks for checking out today’s preview! Next week, we will wrap up previews for these two exciting Ashes expansion decks! Stay tuned for more of Harold’s devious plans…
Until next time!