Ashes Preview: Challenging the Mind
New Ideas, Nightsong Cricket and Cognitive Dissonance!
Welcome back, Ashes players!
Today we continue our look at the new cards from the Protector of Argaia expansion. Last week, we showed off the Phoenixborn, Fiona Mercywind, and her unique card Mind Maze. Today, we will look at some cards that make the most out of Fiona’s Ingenuity ability!
New Ideas is a simple but effective action spell that serves only to draw cards. Sympathy magic has lots of built in synergy with card draw with offensive abilities like Opportunist, as well as deck manipulation through the sympathy dice power. New Ideas can easily weave into your turns as a main or side action to draw two cards for just 1 Sympathy Class die. If you don’t have the dice to use to draw 2 with New Ideas, the between realms effect can let you mitigate the card disadvantage of discard costs and abilities by drawing a card and cycling further into your draw pile. Overall, New Ideas is one of the cheapest ways to get the ready spells you want to focus, or to dig for just the right threat or answer at a moment’s notice.
Fiona’s first conjuration is the Nightsong Cricket. There is a lot to unpack with this conjuration so get ready! Looking at the summon spell first, we have a Between Realms effect that allows you to discard this book from costs and abilities, and immediately snap it onto your spellboard for 1 basic! Fiona’s ability has a discard cost on a side action, so using Ingenuity to discard a Cricket book can allow you to get it into play and immediately use your main action to summon a cricket! This isn’t the only way to quickly get your Nightsong Crickets into play; the focus 1 ability on this spell allows you to discard from your hand when activating the spell, to exhaust another Cricket book and summon a second conjuration.
The Nightsong Cricket itself captures much of what sympathy magic excels at. The Polyphony ability allows you to manipulate any player’s die upon destruction of this unit, giving you the advantage when it comes to meditation and dice fixing. Renewed Harmony is an exceptionally quirky effect that has you and your opponent searching through each other’s discard piles to return a card to them! Rest assured, any time a cricket is destroyed, both players’ options for the round are going to shift dynamically!
Last for today, we have the reaction spell Cognitive Dissonance. This reaction triggers off of your opponent drawing cards or placing cards into their hand. This could be from any old draw effect, ally recursion effect, or you can force their hand with Abundance and Nightsong Cricket’s Renewed Harmony ability! When cast, this spell is going to discard 3 cards from your opponent’s deck, quickly bringing them much closer to fatigue damage. Additionally, you can weaken any future attempts at recursion for your opponent by removing from the game 3 spells in each player’s discard pile. Cognitive Dissonance has some exceptional synergy with Nightsong Cricket because by curating your own discard pile, you can force your opponent to return higher quality cards when Renewed Harmony activates!
That’s all for today’s preview! I hope these new charm and sympathy cards inspire some clever deck building for you all! There is much more to be seen in Fiona’s deck, but stay tuned this week for when we return to James’ deck and watch the dead return before our very eyes…
Until next time!