Adventuring Party | Six Constructed Ashes Decks From One Collection
U P D A T E : May 2022
I can’t say enough thanks for all the support this series of articles has gotten. I’ve gone through and updated these lists and First Fives to tune these decks a little better. Be sure to check out Adventuring Party 2 and Adventuring Party 3 as well!
My first forays into webcam games of Ashes revealed something to me that I’d known but not really internalized: my deckbuilding process has been thoroughly spoiled by playing card games digitally as opposed to using my actual product. Not having unlimited copies of each card is a real challenge for those of us who would love to have multiple interesting decks sleeved up at once.
While prepping to go on a vacation where I’d be spending a week with a friend who played Ashes 1.0, I came across a pressing need to actually get my collection up to shape and get more physical decks built. After all, if we were gonna jam out games of Ashes I wanted as much deck variety as possible, and I didn’t want to pack any more than I could fit in my travel case. I set out to make decks that would provide a variety of play experiences for us with no real overlap.
I was surprised at the results- while a couple of these decks feature the same summon books and therefore will need to share conjurations, I ended up with six full decks built. Moreover, I think these decks all provide the full constructed Ashes experience- they have solid units, varied removal options, and a defined gameplan. I was so pleased with what I ended up with that I felt like other players might get value from the lists.
Before I share the decks, a few things-
2. I make no promises to the deck’s power levels- obviously they lose some consistency from having to share a single set, and while I do think these decks can more than hold their own in full constructed play, I’m not positive that they’re balanced against each other perfectly. Comment with your observations!
3. Thanks most to my ever-vigilant best pal and Ashes brainstorm buddy ChaosTheory, who generously looked over these lists and made some great suggestions that particularly helped the Brennen and Harold builds.
Without further rambling, meet our adventuring party!
Deck Link: https://ashes.live/decks/25446/
Suggested First Five: Summon Winged Lioness, Summon Cerasaurus Mount, Summon Frostback Bear, Fire Archer, Anchornaut
Xander’s ally recursion has such natural synergy with the dinosaur mounts that come in his own deck that it made a lot of sense to keep him paired with them! It’s no secret that Xander is my favorite Phoenixborn, but I rarely actually play him with the Dinos and it proved to be so much fun. Strategically use your little guys aggressively to and set up big Earthquakes. Following up the Earthquake with a Fester can remove two huge units for three dice across two turns, one of this deck’s defining power plays. Cerasaurus is my favorite Power Through target, and if you land an Archasaurus for the win, I tip my hat to you.
Play big units, kill the enemy board, and then chomp on their Phoenixborn. The Warrior is as straightforward as it gets and a blast to play.
Deck Link: https://ashes.live/decks/25438/
Suggested First Five: Summon Frostback Bear, Summon Mind Fog Owl, Summon Salamander Monk, Summon Three Eyed Owl, Mind Maze, Sympathy Power Die, [FLEX: Ingenuity -> Three Eyed Owl, Salamander Monk]
4-Book builds are often ran out of Aradel, but I’ve opted for Fiona here because of how awesome the Polarity Mage/Mind Maze synergy is. The beauty of having all these potent summons is that you’re able to consistently outvalue your opponent round over round. Three Eyed Owl and Mind Maze provide outstanding hand pressure for cheap, and the Sympathy power side is great for drawing an extra card to use Ingenuity on. Exhortation + Massive Growth with the Bears and Mind Fog Owls can win games on it’s own, so watch for your opponent to leave themselves open for a big hit.
Be wary of large AOEs, especially Meteor- if you can avoid getting blown out by those, the books will do the work of maintaining your board and you can finish them off with a big Crescendo push. The Summoner’s squad of summons and flexible lines of play can and will prove insurmountable.
Deck Link: https://ashes.live/decks/25439/
Suggested First Five: Summon Salamander Monk, Summon Vampire Bat Swarm, Master Vampire, Raptor Herder, Summon Sleeping Widows
Brennen Burn is a thoroughly explored concept, and my take on it mitigates her small Battlefield with potent units and plenty of ways to get value out of your own units biting the dust. This is a burn deck through and through, but surviving long enough to finish the fire will require careful unit management and clever targeting with Master Vampire. Your summons provide great fuel for Spirit Burn without losing board, and optimal use of that ability is the name of the game here. Don’t be afraid to take big swings with Grave Knight and some friends to push damage if you think you can afford the hits from the counter swing. And the traditional Raptor Herder open, using Sleeping Widows off Spirit Burn to swing for tons of damage turn 2, is super potent here.
For a fun variant, you could try swapping this deck over to Jessa,- just take out the Sleeping Widows and a Choke and throw in 3x Fear. It’ll be a little trickier to pilot, but Fear is just so good that the deck might be stronger out of Jessa. Whoever you choose, the Necromancer wields death as their weapon, and can close the game with violent speed if their dark rituals go as planned.
Deck Link: https://ashes.live/decks/25442/
Suggested First Five: Summon Gilder, Summon Squall Stallion, Summon Wishing Wing, Hunt Master, Blink
Some of the coolest units in the game are fueled by status tokens, and The Druid is ready to grow them. Built around the core combo of Blink + Hunt Master, the goal is to manage the enemy board and then time your Explosive Growths and Squall Stallions to push big damage. Access to Gilder will help keep your important creatures on the board, while your removal options use high attack units to get enemies off of it. Seeds of Aggression with an exhausted Wishing Wing does work- combine it with a Hunt Master token for extra juice.
The Druid protects their realm, grows huge threats, and then overwhelms the enemy with the fury of nature.
Deck Link: https://ashes.live/decks/25440/
Suggested First Five: Summon Ancestor Spirit, Summon Light Bringer, Sonic Swordsman, [FLEX: Battle Seer/Summon False Demon, Gates Thrown Open/Summon Shadow Spirit]
Harold’s Hunter’s Mark is outstanding at getting huge threats off the board, and this deck seeks to use that advantage to control the enemy and grind them down. Sonic Swordsman abusing Mark to consistently trigger Sonic Pulse is the money combo here, and we have great ways to support that plan. 2 attack summons are huge threats when combined with Mark, so we’re packing 3x Particle Shield to keep ours alive long enough to hit their targets. You also have a Gates Thrown Open, which can function as an alternate open that really swarms the board. Utility pieces like Steady Gaze, To Shadows, and Chained Creations reinforce this deck’s very heavy removal suite, and you’re aiming to win by just annihilating the opponent’s board with hard removal round over round.
Careful usage of each of these tools will keep the enemy’s guard down and enable the killing blows- the Rogue aims to strike with precision and reap the blood-soaked rewards.
Deck Link: https://ashes.live/decks/25441/
Suggested First Five: Summon Butterfly Monk, Summon Light Bringer, Holy Knight, Celestial Knight, [FLEX:Root Armor, Frost Bite, Sword of Virtue]
Listen, I got my face kicked in by a deck kind of like this a few weeks ago and have been obsessed with the Armored/Meteor combo ever since. My take on it is really straightforward- Odette wants to heal herself with Butterfly Monk and, uh, Heal (“The most annoying card in Ashes” -ChaosTheory, local Heal victim), and then smite the board with Meteor. Whatever Meteor didn’t purge, Sword of Virtue will. Starting the game off with Root Armor + Holy Knight and Celestial Knight in your First Five lets you keep your board after Meteor and those units will prove exceptionally hard to kill if you’re careful.
The Paladin’s holy, Meteoric fire will cleanse all in the flames of righteousness, leaving only your own virtuous crusaders behind.
UNLEASH YOUR COLLECTION
My hope is that by giving you a starting strategy for playing constructed decks against each other at your table or over webcam, you’ll feel empowered to continue diving deeper into Ashes: Reborn as it was meant to be experienced- with the depth, power, and balance of the entire cardpool on full display. Build these decks, test them against each other, tweak them.
But most importantly, after you’ve played some games with these, I encourage you to pull them apart. Hopefully your play experiences will have given you more knowledge about how solid Ashes decks are made and played…and then, as others have done before you, you’ll make your own deck.
And it will be awesome.