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Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn» Forums » General

Subject: Building a Deck... rss

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Kevin Farrell
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So I am trying to get into Ashes to play casually with my friends...they both play magic and other ccgs/lcgs and are good at building decks. I do plan on asking them for help, but this week I want to show up with something I made myself.

I dont necesarilly want specific cards, Im just looking for help as far as when I am putting a deck together, what should I look for?

Also looking to build around Brennen
 
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Michael Pittman
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Have you checked out the Play Plaid website? There are some interesting decks to draw inspiration from there.

There is a lot of buzz around this Brennan deck designed by Tony Stellato - http://www.plaidhatgames.com/play/ashes/deck/tonystellatos-b...

In terms of general advice, Brennan has a great ability (Spirit Burn) and really good life and battlefield stats. He (she) has a small spellboard, but that isn't much of a drawback.

The big drawback, however, is that to use Spirit Burn, you have to sacrifice board state, which makes you vulnerable to attack. So you have to build to mitigate that risk. Generally that means 'walling up' with defensive units and since you can't have too many Summon spells, that means allies.

I've seen some decks run Butterfly Monks, which I like for unit guard and Last Blessing. Tony's deck favours Frostback Bears, which is totally justifiable.

I hope this helps. Good luck.
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Joshua Davis
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While the blackcloud ninja can be useful, I do not include it in all of my Brennan decks. When I build around her, I try to build around her innate ability.

So I like being able to pump out units with her be it a summon (I've been loving Shadow Spirits lately, but Butterfly monks are great; even mist spirits can work), or low attack allies (anchornaut or fire archer). You don't necessarily need to swarm, but you need to consistently get something out for board state and her ability.

Because she will need to recur allies, most likely, she will likely need ceremony (I would be impressed to see a no ceremony Brennan, but don't think it's too viable right now without changing her play style drastically).

I personally like using cards that punish the opponent for your units leaving play (chant of revenge, final, sleeping widows), because you can choose when theft triggers.

The most important thing with Brennan, I think, is to keep a forward momentum. At the same time, you have to be careful with her ability. You do not want to sacrifice your board state completely.

I think that the hardest match up is Jessa. While the unit you kill is a good trade, Jessa's ability can stack up. So you likely need something sturdy (the above deck uses bears, I love leech warriors personally).
 
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Luke Ariel
Canada
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I second the sentiment about checking the Play Plaid deck builder. Playing somebody else's design may help you see what makes a deck work, and where it can get tripped up.

I don't tend to construct tier 1 decks (because I like to fool around with less popular strategies and cards), but you're welcome to check out a couple of my decks-

Jessa- probably the closest I have to a competitive deck

Saria Mill- not the best pre-Leo cards, but maybe more viable come that release

Noah- this is a goofy sort of Noah control deck. If you wanted to play well, you'd probably end up trading out the demons and bring forth for something stronger.

As for the tenets of deck construction, I'd start by thinking about these things:

1- Overarching deck strategy: Are you going to try to mill out their cards? Swing in with big units? Hide your phoenixborn behind a wall of chump blockers? Deal direct damage with stormwind snipers, sympathy pain, fire archers, molten gold? Shut down their battlefield with exhaustion tokens? Think about the broad strategy that your deck will shoot for, and then start isolating cards that will promote it.

2- Dice schools, and efficiency: How many dice types are you going to run (keep in mind that to one extent or another dice schools will also have an impact on general strategy)? Are you going to be able to play the cards you want to on a given turn, especially your First Five hand? (The number of dice required to play out your full First Five hand is known in the Ashes community as your Thunder Number).

3- A variety of miscellaneous points: Choosing your phoenixborn is also an important and difficult choice; pay attention to their life value (if you have a low-life pb, how will you compensate for it? If a high-life pb, how will you capitalize on it?), their battlefield size (will it be too small? or too big? what is your ideal battlefield size?), their spellboard (are you going to have the spellboard slots you need to play your essential ready spells?), their unique cards (will you even include them? or are they essential?), and their pb ability (will this influence your play at all?). Then check your deck composition- are you going to play a really low-variance deck, basically playing 10 cards with 3 copies of each? Or something a little more varied and versatile? Which cards will you pick for your First Five plays? It's often a fine decision to have a couple cards you only play x1 in your deck, and throw them in your F5 to make sure you have them in play. Will you include answers/buffers to common threats- hypnotize, hammer knights, frostback bears, blood chains, etc.?

That's a few thoughts for you to think about at least. Hope it helps a little.

PS: I know none of this specifically addresses building Bren decks, but I thought I'd keep my post a little more general.
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Iain Mabbott
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Dorset
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Luke, that's a very interesting take, using Blood Puppets and Mist Spirits. I'll have to give that a go, thanks for sharing!

I'm just about to look at creating my own deck and having never done anything like that before it's a bit daunting, some interesting ideas here, thanks everyone.
 
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Luke Ariel
Canada
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Thanks! When I play that deck, I like to throw the Puppets into my opponent's battlefield, undying heart them if I can, and then exhaust them with a rose fire dancer to keep them from chump blocking, and then roll through with the spirits.
 
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Everett
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Presque Isle
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Brennan's male you guys.
 
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Luke Ariel
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If you watch the Brennen unboxing from Team Covenant, Isaac explains that Brennen is a biologically female heir to the Blackcloud throne raised as a male in the traditionally patriarchal Blackcloud society. /lore
 
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Everett
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LukeAriel wrote:
If you watch the Brennen unboxing from Team Covenant, Isaac explains that Brennen is a biologically female heir to the Blackcloud throne raised as a male in the traditionally patriarchal Blackcloud society. /lore



Check out this quote from the About Us page for Ashes.

Quote:



Issac VegaIsaac Vega (isaac@plaidhatgames.com) is a strong, proud, independent woman that don't need no man. He has an unhealthy addiction to Anime and has been black listed by Square-Enix due to his obsessive fascination with Final Fantasy. After being introduced to Plaid Hat Games, by his overly intrusive mother back in 2010, Colby has taken this budding designer under his wing and propelled Isaac into the wonderful world of board games. Although he still considers himself somewhat of a noob, Isaac just can't stop designing prototypes. With two games already well on their way to be released and a plethora of others in development, Isaac Vega is truly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

 
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Michael Pittman
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Haha. Nutty.

I'm never quite sure how to refer to Brennan because of the back story.

I run with 'he' based on the gender he seemingly identifies with, but then again maybe 'she' is forced into this by the patriarchal nature of Blackcloud culture.

Sigh, it's all too hard.
 
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Luke Ariel
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I usually use 'he' because that is what was on the back of the expack when picked it up.
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