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Greetings, Ashes players!

It’s preview season once again! Today we will be finishing up the pairings sympathy and divine magic with the release of The Protector of Argaia and The Grave King. To begin our previews, we will examine the Protector or Argaia deck, which uses Sympathy and Charm magic. Allow me to introduce you to Fiona Mercywind, Phoenixborn of Birdsnest.

Fiona Phoenixborn Card

Fiona Mercywind

Fiona comes with a respectable 6 battlefield and a wide spellboard of 5, but only 15 life. Don’t let Fiona’s low life turn you away though, as we’ve seen Coal Roarkwin pull some serious results in the past with this exact same statline! Another similarity to Coal is Fiona’s Ingenuity ability centering around a discard cost. But instead of dealing damage like Slash, Fiona can opt to cycle through her deck at an alarming rate, or use cards in hand as a resource to unexhaust her wide range of ready spells! The sky's the limit with the opportunities that Ingenuity provides. There are plenty of summon spells like Frostback Bear and Three-Eyed Owl that are well worth unexhausting for another use to apply serious early game pressure. And resource-flexible spells like Changing Winds and Expand Energy can help adapt your gameplan. However you choose to build your spellboard with Fiona, look forward to using her ability to quickly ramp up and double dip on your best ready spells!

Mind Maze

Mind Maze

Beyond spellboard mastery, Fiona is also adept at locking the battlefield through the use of Mind Maze! This cheap alteration spell does it all! Mind Maze can stop offensive threats, nullify sturdy blockers, and ignore brave unit guards. Additionally, Mind Maze threatens to remove any unit that a Phoenixborn isn’t willing to pay magic to keep around. This can effectively function as very cheap removal or a way to stymie your opponent’s dice spending. Even Polarity Mage isn’t able to pull off a Mind Maze without this extra resource tax. You could think of Mind Maze as a rough combination of Regress, Hypnotize, and Fade Away, all in one!

Thanks for reading the first of many preview articles for the next two Ashes decks! Stay tuned for next week as we introduce the Grave King himself!

Until next time,

-Nick Conley