Now that Flesh and Blood has a wide variety of heroes, it’s easy to miss some of the ones that should be making more a splash at big and small events. With the way most metas form, people tend to only pick and play the best deck available, even if it’s considered the best by only the slimmest of margins. This leads to many otherwise good picks for heroes being left at home. However, many times, picking up these left-field heroes can be the smartest decision you can make, creating havoc for those unsure how to handle them and showcasing power levels people never thought were there. In Flesh and Blood, every hero has a chance to win, especially some criminally underplayed heroes.
I absolutely know the Oldhim fans are out there, so don’t leave me hanging here. Oldhim is an extremely powerful Guardian with a vast array of disruption tools, defensive capabilities and strong attack actions available to him. His signature weapon is by far one of the most threatening in the game and he has an incredible ability to play every game at his pace.
This latter point is so valuable in an aggressive meta like todays. Very few heroes control the pace of the match like Oldhim does. His ability to slow things down and allow turns to pass by or quickly slam on the gas pedal with cards like Oaken Old, Spinal Crush, Glacial Footsteps and Awakening is incredible. There’s also the extremely powerful Crown of Seeds, which provides some of the best hand fixing and damage mitigation ability in the game. Add that into his already strong defensive suite of equipment and you have me bamboozled as to why people aren’t trying their luck with the old man as of late.
Some have argued that he has a difficult time closing games. This to me seems more like an early deckbuilding issue then anything. E-Strike, more dominate and/or Zealous Belting have all proven to be solid choices to allow Oldhim more finishing ability. With aggro decks dominating as of now, Oldhim is all set to ironically enter the meta at full speed, and consequently slow it down to a halt. Oldhim players, it’s time to come out to play!
I know, I know – more Runeblades again. But give Viserai a break, unlike Chane and Briar, the dude hasn’t really had his chance to shine. The original Runeblade keeps things simpler and steadier, having strong defensive hands and the ability to wait out offense is going to prove valuable as the meta settles down into a more midrange game.
In addition, Viserai’s Runechant generation can many times mean that arcane damage is going to come in spades, leaving the room for plenty of Spellbound Creepers activations through a match. With all the non-go again attack actions the Arknight has, I personally think he has the most to gain from this leg piece, as he can dish out the large sums of Arcane to keep the boots on the field, all while playing immensely powerful cards like Runeblood Barrier, Read the Runes and more at instant speed.
Viserai has always has great flexibility in his game style and offers dynamic gameplay to his pilot. However, with the new toys introduced in both Monarch and Tales of Aria, notably Sonata Arcanix, Rosetta Thorn and Spellbound Creepers,, Viserai now has the explosive power to back up his dynamic gameplay. For those able to revisit his competitive deck lists, he is more than able to attack to current meta with success.
There is more that the Wizard can give! With the little amount of arcane barrier running around the currently, Kano is allowed to have a field day with his devastating “on-damage” effects. Cards such as Aether Flare (Red) are especially devastating against low arcane barrier decks, allowing for the extra firepower needed for the Wizard to close the large life total gap he starts with. In the possibility that the meta manages to stay leaning towards ultra-aggro decks, the Kano build is extra effective, allowing for these arcane damage spells to be targeted into opponents chock full of red pitch hands.
However, there are some big hurdles for the Kano players to hop skip and jump over. The wide ranging meta as of now means Kano players must have extremely flexible decks, perhaps including some attack actions to support the class as well against various matchups. Life gain has also been a potential out for the Kano players, with cards such as Tome of Fyendal and Sun Kiss being some reasonable options, with fair synergies in their card draw and life gain effects as non-attack actions.
Another, more obvious hurdle deals with complexity. There’s perhaps no more dynamic gameplay in Flesh and Blood then Kano. The ability to read off your opponent, smell blood in the water and effectively strike at the correct times is crucial to Kano’s ability to win games in Constructed. I could go on and on about all the different facets of Flesh and Blood mastery required to be an ace piloting the Dracai of Aether in Constructed.
This extremely high floor means that Kano players are asked so much more then others just to be competitive round to round in CC, making the deck difficult to justify bringing to long events where fatigue is an issue. However, sound meta calls and a disciplined pilot can do well with the deck, as we saw with a few Kano players in the recent Nationals events.