Welcome back, Ashes players! I hope you’ve been enjoying the preview articles thus far. Last week, we introduced James Endersight, who is a Phoenixborn that is willing to sacrifice any life to achieve his goals. Today, we will take a look at some of the rewards James can acquire from making these dark sacrifices.
Allies enlisted by James do not end their service upon death. The Summon Fallen ready spell gives James a unique way to use allies as additional resources to summon cheap units to the battlefield. One basic gives you the opportunity to discard, or remove from your discard pile, up to 2 allies and summon a 1/1/1 Fallen conjuration for each. This can be a great way to reload the battlefield after being cleared out by a Meteor or a big battle. Note that activating this book does not cause it to exhaust, so as long as you have allies at your disposal, you can keep the horde of Fallen coming. James makes exceptional use out of the Fallen with his use of Vengeance. Sacrificing small units to grant Overkill and Spite to stronger units, is sure to lead to some massive offensive pushes! Lastly, this ready spell has a focus effect to help represent the longevity of an endless horde. Exhausting a focused Fallen book allows you to prevent damage dealt to a Fallen you control. This is a great way to keep a wide board around until you are ready to unleash your Vengeance!
Here we have one of the quintessential allies for James, and ceremonial magic in general. The Rising Horde is an extension of the Fallen conjurations found above, because when the Rising Horde ally is destroyed, two more Fallen come to fill the ranks! This is the first time in Ashes history where two different cards are able to produce the same conjuration, and what better place to use this than with zombies! The Rising Horde’s stats have some great implications for James and ceremonial magic. One attack and one life make it easy to search or recur with James’ ability or the ceremonial power die. These stats give it an unassuming presence alone, but by providing a boost in board presence upon destruction, opponents may be hesitant to preemptively destroy the Rising Horde. All the better for you, because any time your units are staying around as James, the threat of Vengeance grows…
Chant of Sacrifice
Our last piece to reveal is Chant of Sacrifice. We all know that there are games of Ashes where you simply don’t have the right card at the right time. This can certainly be the case with James’ Vengeance spell, so he has come prepared with a ready spell to fill in the gaps between uses of Vengeance. Chant of Sacrifice is yet another way to destroy your own units to gain a benefit. In this spell’s case, you can give an attacking unit +2 attack, Battle Advantage, or Armored 2 in the heat of battle! The best part is that this sacrifice occurs after a player has declared blockers, giving you all the information you need to orchestrate a perfect attack. Did you have a small unit get blocked by a heavy defender like Turtle Guard? Simply sacrifice it to give an unblocked attacker +2 attack. How about having your Hammer Knight collide with a defending Seaside Raven? Simply grant your Knight Armored 2 to survive the hit, and retaliate past the Raven’s Battle Advantage! The possibilities are endless with this spell and they favor aggressive attacking, so always be on the lookout for ways to get in some extra powerful attacks!
Thanks for reading today’s preview! We will be back next week as we return to Fiona’s deck to witness the Titan of Birdsnest… Until next time!