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Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Custom Deck List using Saria rss

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Mark Bridge
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Deck: In Due Time
Phoenix Born: Saria Guideman

Overview:

Disclaimer: My first custom deck and a rough draft at that. The purpose of this deck is to go for the long game. We want to mill our opponent out but we want to make sure we stay alive in the process. Using a variety of ready spells and allies (as well as Saria’s inherent ability) we will chip away at our opponent’s draw pile and hand, slowly turning the game in our favor and hopefully milling their whole deck by the end. To help prolong the game and to also keep ourselves alive, there are a few other cards from Ready Spells to Allies that will keep the board nice and clean for Saria to do her thing.

Not the Overview: Primarily, deck is designed to mill the opponent, both from their draw pile and from their hand. This is done primarily through Purge and Three-Eyed Owl. As the game progresses and we gain control of the board, then Abundance can be brought in to accelerate the card draw and bring our opponent one step closer to running out of cards.

Secondarily, this deck will be stopping our opponent as often as we can using cards such as Rose Fire Dancer and Fade Away to deal with opposing units that threaten our strategy. Seal moves away from combat and can handle not only Ready Spells that summon Conjurations (an indirect combat control) but can also keep our opponent’s engine at bay should they have dice altering ready spells. On that end we have our own Hidden Power that we can use to ramp up our resources on a vital turn. There’s also Golden Veil included in the deck as a last ditch effort to save one of our units. It’s not terribly expensive, and if our opponent has spent a lot of dice as a result, then we at least get a small edge in the economy of the game.

It always helps to have at least one big dumb creature to stay on the board and influence how things shape up. For that we have the Seaside Raven that will hopefully not only deal the occasional damage to our opponent’s Phoenix Born but can also act as a nice target for our opponent’s spells, leaving our other units free to continue milling and controlling the board.


First Five:

Purge- We want to start milling our opponent as soon as possible. Getting this card out quickly is essential to not only our main strategy but potentially messing with the Tempo of the game to buy us more time.

Summon Three-Eyed Owl- We get our first five and so does our opponent. Milling them early isn’t always the best considering the five cards in their hand are the ones they want most so the Three-Eyed Owl comes in to pluck away some of their favored cards. After some plucking, we can preferably start milling them.

Summon Seaside Raven- We need a body. And this might be the deck’s biggest weakness as a lot of our creatures are not going to be involved in combat. The Seaside Raven will fill this role and at the very least makes for nice (albeit expensive for us) fodder for our opponent. The conjuration this spell creates will have to be addressed and will buy an extra turn or two for our other allies and conjurations.

Open Memories- This is the “wild card” of the opening hand. If we want to focus more on our milling than we can use this to grab extra copies of Purge or Summon Three-Eyed Owl. If our opponent plays a unit that we can’t handle quite yet then this card can go fetch some of our board control cards. This card allows us to remain balanced in our opening plays and able to shift accordingly to how the first round shapes up.

Rose Fire Dancer- This is our initial crowd control card. As I said in some of the other first five summaries, we may have a hard time handling units. Though there are certainly cards in our deck to address this, the Rose Fire Dancer provides a nice cheap way to keep a threatening unit at bay in the early turns before we get our more powerful control cards.

Dice Pool:
4x Illusion Magic
5x Charm Magic
1x Nature Magic

Ready Spell (12):
3x Purge
3x Summon Three-Eyed Owl
3x Summon Seaside Raven
3x Abundance

Action Spell (7):
2x Open Memories
3x Hidden Power
2x Seal

Reaction Spell(2):
2x Golden Veil

Alteration Spell(3):
3x Fade Away

Ally Unit(6):
3x Rose Fire Dancer
3x Enchanted Violinist

Conjurations(7):
5x Three-Eyed Owl
2x Seaside Raven

Final Note: I like how milling works in this game. I don’t know if it will be a viable strategy but I appreciate the effort to make what could be a crummy way to lose not feel so crummy (after all our opponent is going to get a lot of card draw from us before we start dealing damage from milling them out).


 
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Mr Deltaz
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Did you end up trying this deck?

I want to make a milling deck as well, but I am not sure what I would go about changing in the core deck. I was thinking of using yours as a starting point.
 
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Rochelle
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Garner
North Carolina
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Murph. You have to talk to me, Murph. I have to fix this, before I go.
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I played this deck today against this one and lost pretty handily. This was our first time trying out constructed decks, so my fiancé and I both found versions of decks we like - he loves doing direct damage, and I enjoy playing mill decks. Ultimately, he was able to do enough direct damage that I wasn't able to get to the point where he was losing health due to failed card draws.

I should point out that I haven't won a game of Ashes since the very first time I played, so I don't know whether the flaw was in the deck or simply with me. For next time I play this matchup, I think I want to take out 3x Fade Away and replace them with the third Seal card and two Sympathy Pains, but I'm not sure how much that will help.
 
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Michael Pittman
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The problem is that burn is very good and mill is a bit short of viable at this point ... it's a 'bring a knife to a gun fight' kind of thing.

I notice your fiance's deck runs most of the best cards available right now - Bears, H Knights, Golds and Lulu's unique Phoenix Barrage.

To make a fist of mill, I think you need to be very defensively focused (wall up) and try to use units and effects that are very efficient because Purging is expensive. Saria can afford Chant of Protection better than any other Phoenixborn ... maybe try that. I also think you need Regress and Blood Chains to have much hope with mill. Ceremonial will also allow you to recur Violinists after they die (or are lost to meditation).

There's a theory that mill could work out of Rin, where you just focus on stalling and exhausting their dice with Illusion power (which makes them meditate frequently). I haven't played around with that idea yet.

My 'mad scientist' idea for mill at the moment is trying to use Maeoni. It's probably a bad idea (almost certainly). Here is the link if you're curious - http://www.plaidhatgames.com/play/ashes/deck/maeoni-mill



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Luke Ariel
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interessovat wrote:
I played this deck today against this one and lost pretty handily. This was our first time trying out constructed decks, so my fiancé and I both found versions of decks we like - he loves doing direct damage, and I enjoy playing mill decks. Ultimately, he was able to do enough direct damage that I wasn't able to get to the point where he was losing health due to failed card draws.

I should point out that I haven't won a game of Ashes since the very first time I played, so I don't know whether the flaw was in the deck or simply with me. For next time I play this matchup, I think I want to take out 3x Fade Away and replace them with the third Seal card and two Sympathy Pains, but I'm not sure how much that will help.


Milling is definitely not the easiest to pull off with the current state of the meta. you're basically confined to 3 cards from Saria's deck(Abundance, Purge, Owls) to make them discard heavily enough, and everything else you do needs to indirectly promote milling. I anticipate that the Charm mono deck set to be released this summer will help make mill decks viable.

That said, I, like everyone else, have (like everyone else, mostly unsuccessfully) attempted to build a mill deck that would do work.

If anyone here is interested, said deck can be found here: http://www.plaidhatgames.com/play/ashes/deck/false-nourishme...

I haven't played the most recent iteration of this deck yet, but the earlier, more rudimentary version did much better (while still losing) than I thought it would. I'll point out what I think makes my deck tick, though it's undoubtedly not all that original. It may be instructive when looking to refine your deck structure.

First, it's a Saria mill deck, so Purge, Owls, and Abundance are auto-include. No surprise there.

Second, note that I generally include Purge and Owls in my F5, but not Abundance. I hope, when playing this deck, to play Abundance toward the mid-late game, where the draws are going to cause real damage. Meanwhile, hitting your opponent's F5 with the Owl's ability will cause them a serious tempo hiccup. Compound that with Purge, and you should be able to muscle them out of a few extra cards right in the first round. Hitting the first five and then purging is the single most important way to open the game. They've picked those cards and are counting on them to get the game off on the right foot. You cripple that, and that's a point in your favor. Even better if the cards you purge are more copies of what you were looking for.

Third- yes, I have more ready spells than spellboard slots. There are 3 (Owls, Chant of the Dead, and Purge) which I want out on the board at all times, but being able to transition between Blood Transfer and Abundance through the course of the game gives me tangible flexibility which I really appreciate. Plus, having a card in play you know you're willing to meditate at a moment's notice is a great advantage.

Fourth, there are a few subthemes in the deck which I think complement this strategy. The most important is dice recursion. Purge can be expensive to pull off. But if you keep Chant of the Dead out in your spellboard and a variety of cheap allies on your battlefield, you're fueling Chant when they die and will have a consistent flow of dice to keep you going. Hidden Power helps even more. Meanwhile, the Leech Warrior's ability, Blood Chains, and Poison work to seriously limit your opponent's options- draining their dice and plugging their battlefield with units that can be exhausted for several rounds, or killing units altogether. The two other themes are nasty reactions and staying alive. Final Cry and Summon Sleeping Widows work with Chant of the Dead to keep you benefiting from dying defenders. Redirect and Blood Transfer make it harder to make wounds stick.


I think the weakness of the deck should be pretty obvious, though. It's staying alive long enough to make your opponent suffer. You can come very, very close, but without a ton of skill, I don't see this deck winning much. Of course, regularly taking away as many options as you can will help a bunch, but you really need ways to avoid damage and heal back up. For those reasons you might consider building a deck with more copies of Redirect, with Summon Butterfly Monk in there, but that may make it a challenge to keep other cards that are doing real work in their slots.

Edit: As a final postscript, I have played with this deck and against this deck. (I was playing against one of the playtest PBs and we had to both play both sides, just for the sake of logging balance), and I'm proud to say that when I ran against my mill deck, it did hurt to lose cards, especially when you know there's a card you need and Saria purges it off the top of your draw pile. So it's not to say it's not a fun deck archetype to play, you just might not see a whole lot of victories.
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lhurgoyf lhurgoyf
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"I was playing against one of the playtest PBs"

Can they be found somewhere online? Have you got a link?
 
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