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E: Welcome back to your favorite articles, The Collection of Ashes!

H: We got some exciting stuff today folks.

E: We're going to be taking a look at Deckbuilding with promos, including the recently spoiled Orrick Gilstream!

H: We are also implementing a new system. The articles will be now shorter, and the different sections will be spread between separate articles. This will allow us to provide more content in a more reader-friendly manner.

E: Apparently, it was too long before. whistle


E: Welcome back! It's exciting to be on episode two!

H: Yeah!

H: Woot Woot!

E: So I just wanted to clear some things up. These are not really meant to be traditional reference articles. Instead they are more Ashes Entertainment, if you get what I mean. Leave the traditional stuff to tested tourney players. But that's not to say that these are devoid of anything useful. There's some good stuff to be found, don't you worry. It's just presented in a more entertaining manner.

E: We have also moved onto a new setup in order to provide more, smaller articles. Articles will now be split between three types. Strategy/Deckbuilding, Spoilers, and Grab Bag. They will go up every Monday, barring any issue. (I'll submit them to BGG every Saturday, and hopefully they will be up by Monday). Today is a Deckbuilding article. Next week, we'll take a look at Victoria some more in a spoiler article. The week after, we'll look at Leo. So on and so forth.

H: Okay, sounds cool.

E: So let's get started!

H: ...

E: Umm...

H: Ohh... That's me. whistle

H: So a few weeks ago, the third promo Phoenixborn was spoiled. His name? Orrick Gilstream. He adds yet another interesting ability to the bunch of promos, so we thought we'd take a look at how to deckbuild with them.

E: So we're starting at the beginning, with good ol' Dimona.

H: Dimona is quite simple, as her ability is pretty generic, and her unit is one insignificant ability away from a generic unit.

E: But it is her simplicity that makes her interesting. You have quite a bit of freedom, but at the same time, she doesn't do anything by herself.

H: Yeah, unlike with Aradel or Rin, you can't just throw them in a deck and call it good. Promos require a little thought put in.

E: I think that it is most common amongst us Ashesers, no Phoenixborns, no Ashesi, wait, okay we need a cool name like Netrunners to call our community. Anyway, it is definitely the best way to build a deck... You know what let's start at the beginning.

H: Oh boy!

E: The best method of building decks for most games, especially 40k Conquest is to take a character, and build around it. With Ashes, there is more of a long process.

H: Can I help?

E: Sure.

H: See, since there are first fives, and small decks, you will get the cards that you need. So you can't just bring a goodstuff deck and expect to win. Your deck has to do something special. You have to have some sort of win condition.

E: So step 1, find win condition.

E: Step 2, build some cards to support said win condition.

H: Then... Step 3. Choose Phoenixborn. Pick a PB whose ability complements your strategy.

E: This is why Coal and Noah aren't picked much, especially Noah, because they don't complement strategies. They more just do their own thing.

H: Then, Step 4. Add in cards to fill out your deck. These are the meta hate cards, the cards that shore up weaknesses, and the cards that combo with cards already in your deck.

E: Okay, so now you get the basic outline. However, when building decks with Brennan, Promos, and to a lesser degree Noah, move step 3 up to the top. These PBs require specific deck builds, built around their ability.

H: So anyway, Dimona!

E: There are a lot of ways you could interpret her deck type...

H: But the most common is the Hypno Knight deck. This deck revolves around using a buffed up Hammer Knight to deal massive hypnotize damage to their PB. You then ready the Knight using Dimona, so as to prevent it from being vulnerable, and to allow it to strike again.

E: These decks are really, really, high variance.

H: Yeah, with three dice for the Hammer Knight, two for Hypno, and two for order, plus any buffs or reuses of Hypno, this is definitely an expensive deck. So you are left with little to work with.

E: Gilders and Monks are generally run alongside of the Knights, as they provide the most protection.

H: Thoughts on this deck?

E: You know, I really don't like this deck that much. It tries to create a broken combo, but ends up just kind of falling short of decent. It can be piloted well, but is difficult and quite frankly, is not making good use of Dimona. You know all that that we said about specific Deckbuilding for promos? That holds true, but sometimes I just like trying different decks out of Dimona. Because any deck that has beefy units can work out of Dimona.

H: So you're going against the rule then already?

E: It's not a solid rule. Just a guideline. And until someone can truly solve Dimona, I'm not sticking to any rules with her.

H: You always break rules. Mom said that would get you in trouble, and look at where you are now!

E: Hey, at least I never was mean to the dog! Besides, you're just jealous cause I'm the favorite!

H: And look what being favorite made you! You make terrible Dimona decks!

E: I never said it would be good! See, the thing that distinguishes a top-tier deck from a mediocre one is whether or not the deck does something. In order for a deck to truly be good, there has to be some combo, some engine to make it work. Especially in this game you can't just cobble goodstuff together and expect it to work. That's why I put italics around "can". It won't be a good deck, but it is okay. Dimona is kind of hard to use, just like the other two. But she is a bit more flexible.

H: So how viable is she?

E: I mean, as more cards come out, I expect her to be better, but right now she is a solid Tier 2. You can make her work, but it is hard.

H: So now Lulu.

E: Uugh.


E: I really don't like Lulu.

H: Why?

E: Alright, first off, she is kind of generic.

H: Fair enough.

E: Second, four battlefield on a global boost ability.

H: But that's for balance!

E: Would lower HP and a 5 field have made her any less balanced?

H: Yes it would have.

E: Third, clunky. You can't use any other side actions on the turn you Bolster.

H: Fine...

E: And finally, she promotes sloppy play. There is no other word to describe it. Sloppy. Attacking with all of your units at once, unless you have both unit and health advantage, is sloppy. Especially early game. You leave yourself prone to tricks, spite damage from the ever-present Bears, and Sleeping Widow shenanigans. And with a four battlefield, the majority of the time, you will be at a unit disadvantage compared to other meta PBs like Rin and Aradel.

H: All good points. She has some potential, but I feel like you'd be hard-pressed to justify a Lulu deck.

E: Very hard-pressed. Tier 3 indeed. Tier 3 means that once in awhile, someone will create a successful deck, but it will be hard to pilot, and not quite up there with other builds.

H: Her ability is so uninspiring. Like you originally go to a swarm build, but you can't, cause 4 battlefield. Then you think beefy units, but one attack doesn't really help those.

E: Really the best stuff to use is mid-range, tough units like Bears and Shadow Hounds.

H: The only card that I really can see some cool potential with is Sleeping Widows.

E: Yeah, it's nice to see a lesser-used card getting some attention. Having Sleeping Widows in hand makes you less prone after a big Bolster attack.

H: A definite include for Lulu.

E: Let's see, how about this list:

3 Sleeping Widow
3 Frostback Bear (FF)
3 Ice Golem (FF)
3 Root Armor (FF)
2 Crimson Bomber
3 Shadow Spirit (FF)
3 Expand Energy (FF)
2 Iron Worker
3 Hammer Knight
3 Phoenix Barrage
2 Shadow Counter

4 Natural
3 Ceremonial
3 Illusion

H: Geez, talk about a high cost curve.

E: It's just a rough draft. The Ice Golems probably aren't that good for this deck, but I couldn't think of a good replacement. But Shadow Sprits... surprise

H: Woah... Yeah, shadow spirits are crazy good in this deck. They are like the perfect unit for Lulu. Cheap, squishy, decent attack power, whats not to like?

E: Shadow Sprits really are a huge deal. I'm surprised by the lack of hype about them. They are just insane! One die for two attack? Incredible. Who cares if they are weak, they are so cheap it doesn't matter!

E: Shadow Spirits are a new meta card, and they are best out of Lulu and Victoria. Does that mean Lulu is viable? Likely not.

H: But you are forgetting her greatest strength! Her insane unique! Phoenix Barrage!

E: Okay, get off the hype train already. Phoenix Barrage is strong, but doesn't justify her. Sure it is nice removal with two damage, but in order to pick a PB solely for the unique, it needs to be more specific. Once again--

H: Goodstuff decks don't win Ashes we get it already.

E: But they don't! That is the most important thing to remember, and why the meta will never quite be destroyed like that of Netrunner.

H: You know, Lulu does have great potential, but we need more conjurations!

E: I know! Perhaps the divine and sympathy decks will have some help?

H: Maybe, but we really need some unit meant for her. Like a bypass Conjuration. Or something like that.

E: Yeah, but also, the biggest issue with her is how direct damage focused the meta is right now. Everything is Jessa, Chant of Revenge, and Molten Gold. Lulu focuses on the battlefield. That's the biggest issue. A meta shift would change everything.

H: Yeah, it would likely bump her up to a Tier 2. Of course-

E: Indeed.

H: Okay, I've given it some thought, and well, isn't she superior to Aradel?

E: surprise

H: No hear me out on this. Her ability can potentially boost four units. That's four extra damage for one die!

E: Dummy, most of the time that attack is wasted.

H: But is it really? The meta is so focused on 3 life units. How many units do you run with 3+ attack?

E: Dread Wraiths


H: The attack boost actually is hugely useful. It means extra damage if they try to block.

E: I see where you are going with this.

H: Combine that with a strong unique, and you have a decent deck.

E: I suppose you have a point there. But what about her encouraging sloppy play?

H: Sure, I'll admit she is hard to pilot, but a strong player will be able to anticipate when her ability should be used.

E: Fine we'll compromise. So you admit that she is difficult to use? I'll admit that she has great potential, and can be piloted successfully. However, I feel like she is that Phoenixborn who will never quite make the personal cut, and thus never appear at tourneys.

H: Fair enough. So tier 2 then?

E: Yeah, I guess.

E: So now onto the spoiler section. I REPEAT! SPOILER ALERT!

H: Yay, Orrick!

E: Why you so excited?

H: Orrick is my favorite PB in the game.

E: Really? He's so...

H: Janky?

E: Yeah. Orrick decks are so jank.

H: I'll take it from here.

E: Hhmph.

H: Orrick Gilstream does something that no other PB can quite match. He rewards you for playing four-sphere decks. Now, it is basically proven that four-sphere decks are worse than three-sphere ones 90% of the time, but Orrick changes that. His ability allows you to spend two basics to roll four dice, so long as the dice are different types. Hugely powerful. That's 12 dice per round!

E: Not to mention you are turning basic symbols into better ones by using Bounty.

H: He is quite the strong PB---

E: But only on the surface. Four sphere decks are hard to run. He is definitely fun, but an uninspiring unit plus needing four spheres makes him a little weak.

H: Though Crystal Gobis are so fun...

E: But they don't do much.

H: I feel comfortable putting him at tier 2, because he has raw potential.

E: I suppose I'll allow it. He does enable some cool combos with all of those dice.

H: Of the three, we really talk the least about him, because unlike the others, he is so obvious. Four sphere!

E: He is a little generic. That's okay and all, but just saying, he is a little generic.

H: I really won't be building with him much until we get the divine and sympathy spheres.

E: Agreed. Once he can choose his spheres, he could get really interesting. Definitely a card that gets stronger over time.

H: Indeed.

E: Questions, comments, suggestions? Leave them in the comments below!

H: We hope you enjoyed our shorter article.

E: Didn't end up as short as I would have liked.

H: Oh well. See you next time in a spoiler edition of The Collection of Ashes!
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Big Tom Casual
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CasualToast wrote:
I would like to point out that it is shorter than most articles for lcgs.
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