lex;;gaz the dungeonmaster;;ansems;;card game;;Ashes Rise of the Phoenixborn;;deck building;;dice;;plaid hat Lex "Gaz the Dungeonmaster" Ansems


By Lex "Gaz the Dungeonmaster" Ansems on April 20, 2016

Well, my brilliant plan to set-up a new lair in a far-off country didn’t exactly go as planned. Even though the weather was better and the monsters and food were definitely more exotic, there is nothing better than the awesome monster-infested lair where I was raised.

After unpacking my swords, axes, evil spells, highly toxic potions and other household items, the first thing I did was visit my local game day, where I played a really awesome looking and awesome playing game, called Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn (henceforth known as Ashes because of laziness on my part...)

Ashes is a card game were you prebuild your own deck, get some dice and fight each other to the death in order to decide who is going to be the one and only Phoenixborn. No, I can already hear some of you saying: “Dice in a deck-building card game? What a weird combo!” And while I was under the same impression at first, this combination works really, really, REALLY well.

The game takes place round-by-round, with each player going back and forth taking just one main action and possibly a side action per turn, until both players pass, triggering the end of that round and the start of a new one. Instead of playing mana (like in another very famous card game) or gaining mana every turn (like in ANOTHER very famous cardgame), the dice represent your resources. At the beginning of your turn you roll special dice, and the markings on the dice decide their power.

A player’s main actions can be: summoning conjurations or spawning allies. These awesome dudes and dudedets will fight for you and help you vanquish your enemy. You can play ‘ready’ spells, which let you summon your conjurations, buff your dudes or do other cool stuff. Apart from these spells, you van also use normal action-reaction spells that, well, do stuff.

Now we get to the best part of this game in my humble (but very important) opinion; its art. The reason I wanted to mention this is because the ART of the game is absolutely AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING! And not like “hmm, that’s a pretty picture”-amazing, but more like “here, take all my money, my house, wife and child”-amazing. It just SCREAMS high quality; every card is unique and fits a certain theme.

So there you have it; my first review, written from my own lair of Darkness in a long, long time. I can honestly say that Ashes: rise of the Phoenixborn is a game, well worth playing. You build your own decks, you can experiment to your heart’s content, it even has special draft rules if that floats your boat. And no matter what you build or which mode you play, you will have fun! And you’ll have to agree with me that the art is really beautiful! Now I’ll have to stop my drooling and start getting my affairs in order. A prolonged stay in a warm country is fine, but world domination is still better! So, until next time, puny humans. Be afraid, be very afraid; Gaz the Dungeonmaster is back in town!

Plaid Hat Games
Published: 2012
A game by Isaac Vega
Artist: Fernanda Suarez
Players: 2 - 4 players, ages 14 & up
Playtime: approx. 15-30 minutes per player