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I'm looking for a 1v1 "MTG-like" card game in a box, and narrowed the choices down to Ashes and Allegiance. They're both compared to Magic a lot, but play quite differently and I was wondering if anyone has played both. Which one do you prefer?
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Keeping in mind I am not very experienced with Ashes and have only played Allegiance once, my comments on my game ratings are:

Ashes (rated 8):
Quote:
Rating based on 2 players.

Still very much a newbie at this, and I doubt I will ever be proficient at it, but I like this game quite a bit. Despite my general dislike of card games with constantly changing rules, I'm okay with it here because there are only two sets of cards to keep track of (and once you become familiar with the cards it would be even easier, though I'm not at that point yet), and cards often stick round for quite a while. In addition, your goals remain the same, even if how you can get there changes. But I digress...

The importance of timing your attacks and actions gives this game an interesting back-and-forth, where success/failure can depend just as much on when you do something as what you do in the first place. The use of dice gives the game a "gaaah if only I had enough for another action!" feeling, yet also lets you summon strong cards right from the get-go. The duplication of ready spells gives a good sense of escalation as well, as conjurations become more and more powerful.

I enjoy the individuality of the art of the phoenixborn decks and how each plays differently (I haven't played with customized decks, and am not particularly interested in that aspect). Also, while female representation isn't a dealbreaker for me personally, I appreciate it when companies do have it and Ashes' got it in spades.



Allegiance (rated 6):
Quote:
Rating based on 2 players.

I liked aspects of this, the special abilities unique to each hero--and the cooldown periods after using one--were good, and the game presentation overall is very nice. However, I'm not a fan of sharing the same draw deck as it muddies the flavour of each character, each round felt kind of the same re: timing of attacks/defense, and the game lasts a bit too long. Certainly not a bad game, but I prefer strongly individualized decks (like in Ashes) when I'm playing a dueling card game.
 
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Dave Kudzma
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Ashes is going to shine when you deck build; or at the very least customize. While you do not have do, and could use preconstructed decks, you still have unique decks between players in the game.

Allegiance has unique player powers, which you purchase over the course of each game, and while there are a smattering of unique cards for each side, basically every card comes from a shared pool.

Edit:

Lest I forget, Allegiance uses an ever increasing pool of money as a resource, while Ashes uses dice. This is also a stark difference between the two games, especially given that the dice, or your manipulation thereof, drive your tactics round to round.

Overall, the games are quite different.
 
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