I thought I would do something different this week and put my money where my mouth is. Below you will find the exact 80 cards I plan to register for the upcoming ProQuest in my local area. Keep reading and you will find the exact guide that I will use myself to try and grab a coveted Pro Tour invite!
At the start of writing this article, the results of SCG CON Philadelphia Battle Harden event are trickling in. Unsurprisingly, the newest Bravo was the star of the show, taking 5 out of 8 slots!
But I’m not here to talk about the Star of the Show. I’m here to talk about the menace who infamously cast a long shadow over the Flesh and Blood 2021 summer metagame, Chane, Bound by Shadow. Of all the decks hyped to be the next big thing coming out of Everfest, Chane, Bound by Shadow was on the top of no one’s list. This surprised me and I immediately started working on a list. At first, Chane was used as a list I would play my other top contenders against as a proof of concept, but as it started winning over and over again I began to take notice of the deck’s incredible power level. I could go on for pages about the sheer power level of Chane, but thanks to the results of SCG CON Philadelphia, I do not have to emphasize the point much further.
But before we get to that, I have a special guest whose input and work on the archetype deserves a very bright spotlight – Alex Keeler. If his name sounds familiar that’s because Alex finished in the Top 8 of SCG CON Philadelphia this past weekend and has been a mainstay of the competitive circuit in North America over the past year. Along with his Top 8 this past weekend, Alex finished second place at ProQuest Cincinnati also piloting Chane along with a whopping seven RTN top 8’s all on the back of the powerful hero.
Tariq: The first thing that strikes me about your list is that it’s drastically different from the other Chane lists in the current metagame. Can you speak a little bit on what makes your deck unique and the logic behind these changes?
Alex: Unlike many of the Chane lists floating around, my deck forgoes the interactive pieces like Belittle/Minnowism in favor of aggressive attack inclusions like Tremor of iArathael, Flock of the Feather Walkers, Enlightened Strike and Command and Conquer. With this current list, as it stands from SCG Con Philly, your goal is to line up turns to pressure the speed of Viscerai and Starvo. It’s built with the intention of seeing 1 blue and 3 reds per hand and being able to put up high damage turns without reliance on banishes. Careful consideration of using banished playables and sacrificing current turn damage to consider the odds of getting one of those 20+ damage turns next hand is a key piece to understanding the flow of the deck.
Tariq: That’s a very interesting take on the deck and it seems like it’s serving you well. If you had to pinpoint any card that was underwhelming or that constantly underperformed over the weekend what would it be?
Alex: Based on the current metagame that card would be Unhallowed Rites. It often gets stuck in the banish zone accumulating blood debt, and rarely gets slotted into the main 60. Its primary role is against control where it serves as additional ammo from banished to extend attack lines. But given how the metagame is shaking out with guardian decks favoring more aggressive strategies (Starvo), we aren’t currently seeing much of the hard fatigue control lists, like ice-Oldhim.
Tariq: Flipping the script, what would say where the overperformers of the deck?
Alex: “Revel in Runeblood” – Any debate over this card’s inclusion has been put to rest, it is easily new-Chane’s MVP.
Tariq: Can’t argue with that. Revel in Runeblood is one hell of a card and with the sellout of the first edition of Everfest, people should definitely grab their copies while they can! Where do you see Chane’s place in the metagame headed into the rest of the ProQuest season and into the Calling Indianapolis?
Alex: Coming off a recent top 8, I have to continue to preach that Chane is an extremely strong hero. If you’re considering piloting any variation of Chane, I would definitely suggest getting more than a handful of games against each of the prominent decks in the current metagame. The sequences can vary greatly, and although I believe in the strength of the deck, it has a very tight window for errors to perform well, especially against the more linear metagame decks.
Tariq: Very good advice. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Are there any last shouts you want to give?
Alex: I would like to give a shout out to “The EXG Network” – a competitive gaming sponsor, network and organization. We are currently looking to support active and competitive-focused Flesh and Blood Teams. If this sounds appealing please head over to www.Exgnetwork.com to learn more.
Tariq: Thank you again for taking the time to grace us with your prowess of the archetype! You can find Alex’s top 8 deck list here.
While I certainly appreciate Alex’s wisdom and opinions on the deck, I have decided to go a slightly different direction. Both ways have their merit and I implore the reader to find which version suits them best. Here is the 80-card deck that I will be registering at my upcoming local ProQuest this weekend!
Class: Runeblade Hero: Chane, Bound by Shadow Weapons: Rosetta Thorn Equipment: Aether Ironweave, Arcanite Skullcap, Carrion Husk, Crown of Dichotomy, Grasp of the Arknight, Nullrune Robe, Spellbound Creepers, Vexing Quillhand (3) Belittle (red) (3) Bounding Demigon (red) (3) Command and Conquer (red) (3) Flock of the Feather Walkers (red) (3) Ghostly Visit (red) (3) Howl from Beyond (red) (2) Minnowism (red) (3) Revel in Runeblood (red) (3) Rift Bind (red) (3) Shadow Puppetry (red) (1) Soul Reaping (red) (3) Swarming Gloomveil (red) (3) Unhallowed Rites (red) (3) Art of War (yellow) (1) Bounding Demigon (yellow) (3) Captain's Call (yellow) (1) Seeping Shadows (yellow) (3) Bounding Demigon (blue) (1) Captain's Call (blue) (1) Eclipse (blue) (2) Flock of the Feather Walkers (blue) (2) Invert Existence (blue) (3) Mauvrion Skies (blue) (3) Minnowism (blue) (3) Shadow of Ursur (blue) (3) Shrill of Skullform (blue) (2) Timesnap Potion (blue) (3) Vexing Malice (blue) (1) Gorganian Tome (undefined)
The standard equipment suite going into the majority of matchups is Arcanite Skullcap, Carrion Husk, Grasp of the Arknight and Spellbound Creepers. Carrion Husk requires no introduction, as it is arguably probably the single best equipment in the game. At a whopping six block, this fridge comes with a guaranteed pivot turn, allowing Chane to reign supreme as the king of aggro mirrors.
Spellbound Creepers is probably the most important piece of equipment in the deck. Together with a Mauvrion Skies or Captain’s Call, it allows Chane to output 16 or more damage! Throw in an Art of War, pump spell or Shadow of Ursur and you’re looking at back to back turns of over 20 damage. The ability to utilize Spellbound Creepers properly will often mean the difference between winning and losing. The trick is to pick your spot. One activation is fine, two is optimal, three is the dream. Once you’ve activated Creepers, keep in mind that it checks to self destruct at the end of each of your turns, so if your opponent is coming back at you and you’re forced to block, consider gobbling up that precious one life that Creepers offers you if you can not guarantee arcane damage the following turn.
While 3x arcane barrier seems like a lot, and it probably is, I have always been one to play it safe into an open and unknown meta. The threat of Kano is always in the back of my mind and not something that I want to get burned by, While Aether Wildfire is a bomb of a card, having the access to arcane barrier x3 makes the matchup a walk in the park. Aether Ironweave comes in against full fatigue style decks such as Oldhim.
Pitch 1s are the bread and butter of Chane. They are what give the deck the explosive potential. Not too much to dive into here. Belittle is an excellent way to both gain more resources on the fly by searching for a blue Minnowism or bolster a future attack by getting a red. Flock of the Feather Walkers can both be used in an aggressive way by being played at the start of a very long combat chain, or in a more set up fashion by playing it as the last card of the turn.
Command and Conquer surprisingly sits in the side board more often than not for me. In a vacuum, it’s a fantastic card, but unlike Alex, I approach the deck as more of a combo deck with an aggro element than a straight-up aggro deck. The matchups that Command and Conquer come in is usually Prism and aggro matchups where the turn cycle usually involves blocking with two cards and attacking back with your remaining two cards.
Areas for consideration is possibly swapping the red Howl from Beyonds to yellow ones, as the real reason to play Howl from Beyond is to enable your Bounding Demigons and Unhallowed Rites to be played from banished. Although it represents one less damage, it is somewhat mitigated by how wide the deck goes. It also makes the very detrimental four-of red card hands much less likely.
Art of War is self explanatory, and anyone who has played Chane knows that it is easily the MVP of the deck. Captain’s Call (Yellow) is an innovation first see by USA Nationals runner up Michael Feng and his team. Like Mauvrion Skies, Captain’s Call provides the much needed additional action points, which tends to be the bottleneck of this decks turn cycle. But in an aggro matchup where you’re consistently trading off cards, its alternative mode of providing a +2 boost comes in handy to push through extra damage. Seeping Shadows is exclusively a card I bring in for fatigue. At face value, it’s clunky and slow, and a card you never want to see in hand or exile in a matchup where trading life becomes a priority.
For the most part, the pitch threes are fixtures of the deck. Eclipse, Invert Existence and Timesnap Potion all sit in the sideboard for the fatigue matchups. Shrill of Skullform at blue is a nice upgrade, representing a massive five damage in the form of a blue card!
If I had to pick one area of the deck to work on, it would be my ratios of blue to the rest of the deck. Ill be honest, building a deck with Belittle and Minnowism is tricky. At face value, the deck is short roughly two blues, however the instances of Belittle being able to search up a blue Minnowism somewhat fixes the resources of the deck. It is still a work in progress and a number that I have arrived at more through testing than theory.
Versus Decks That Want to Race You
Versus Decks That Want to Fatigue You
I hope you enjoyed this week’s article. Please let me know if you enjoy these kind of articles that give you a sneak peak into what I plan on actually using at upcoming events. Feel free to leave your thoughts, ideas and suggestions in the comments. You can also feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @TariqPatel10.
Stay happy and healthy!