01 May 2019
Ashes to ashes
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is bringing an end to the expandable two-player card game with the announcement of two new – and final – expansion decks.
The Grave King and Protector of Argaia decks are the 15th and 16th deluxe expansions to come to Isaac Vega’s mash-up of dice-chucking and card-battling, introducing characters James Endersight and Fiona Mercywind – both of whom combine dice from all six forms of magic in the game.
Ashes was first released back in 2015, and found a passionate following among fans for its use of fixed decks – as opposed to the randomised nature of collectible card game boosters – and ability to be played out of the box without the need for additional sets.
The game overcame a tricky period in 2016, during which the game became hard to find in shops (particularly in Europe), expansions were delayed and competitive play was under-supported, to return in strength, releasing refined rules for organised play and two long-awaited decks.
Announcing the release of The Grave King and The Protector of Argaia through its online store and their upcoming availability in shops, publisher Plaid Hat confirmed that the two decks would mark the final releases for Ashes.
“We have always prided ourselves in our ability to create compelling, creative, and competitive expansions to our card games, and it has been our pleasure to expand the world of Ashes these past years,” it wrote. “But as with Summoner Wars, so too do we take pride in knowing when the time is right to declare a work complete. For no matter how good the tale, all stories must end.
“We feel these two final decks make excellent last chapters, and will provide fans with a legendary collection of cards that will entertain for years to come.”
As well as releasing the new decks, Plaid Hat said that it had reprinted the Ashes core set and several expansions to help players complete their collection before the game becomes completely unavailable.
It will also be holding a final 32-player tournament for the game in Dallas, Texas this June, crowning “the official, final Phoenixborn in the War of Ashes”.
Ashes is the third major card game to be brought to some sort of end in recent weeks, following the uncertain future of Plaid Hat’s 2018 squad-based card-battler Guardians and the issues faced by last year’s Munchkin Collectible Card Game.