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An Introduction to Briar, Warden of Thorns

Rosetta are an order of powerful spell weavers, using both physical and arcane attacks in combat. As a thorny member of the Rosetta, Briar is imbued with the powers of Earth and Lightning. The elemental powers granted to her by the Flow are at the core of what make her an impressive fighter.

Towards the end of the Third Age, the Rosetta suffered heavy casualties at the hands of the Old Ones. When all hope seemed lost, their Queen cast a reckless spell that turned the tide of battle, igniting the essence of Davnir to preserve their fading spirits. As the dust settled, the Queen woke from her slumber and gathered up the spirits of her people, planting them as seeds so that they may begin their life anew. While her brothers and sisters were seeded in friendly pastures, Briar landed amongst the bramble and thorns at the furthest edges of Candlehold. Despite these inhospitable conditions, she stood strong and resilient, and in time she bloomed into a powerful Warden.

 

 

Header - The Duality of a Runeblade

While most Runeblades evoke the grim feelings of dark magic, Briar puts a bright and positive spin on the class. Her powers of Earth and Lightning give her a unique application of arcane powers, just as powerful as the Runeblades specializing in corrupt runes. 

Briar, Warden of Thorns // Briar (Regular)Blossoming Spellblade (Regular)Force of Nature (Regular)Rosetta Thorn

As most Runeblades, Briar benefits from playing a combination of attack action cards and non-attack action cards as is reflected in her hero ability. By striking her opponents, Briar can generate an Embodiment of Earth, making her non-attack actions more defensive. Alternatively, playing two non-attack action cards allows her to create an Embodiment of Lightning, which gives her first attack action card go again. A common play pattern for Briar is to play out two non-attack action cards, create an embodiment of Lightning, then swing with a big attack followed by Rosetta Thorn – Briar’s signature weapon. 

Many of Briar’s attack action cards deal arcane damage, while granting extra abilities when fused. This allows her to chip away at opponent’s life totals from both angles. Lightning fusion tends to either “zap” the opponent, or allow Briar to play more cards at lightning speed.

Vela Flash (Red) (Regular)Rites of Lightning (Red) (Regular)Arcanic Shockwave (Red) (Regular)

On the other hand, Earth gives her access to some of the most cost-effective attacks and power ups in the game and access to graveyard recursion.

Stir the Wildwood (Red) (Regular)Bramble Spark (Red) (Regular)Rites of Replenishment (Red) (Regular)

When combined, the big Earth-fused attacks and the speedy Lightning-fused attacks make Briar a force to be reckoned with. It also makes her flexible in her game plan. She can either hone in on the lightning side and play a very aggressive game, or lean more into the Earth side and play a slower, control-type game.

 

Header - Embodying Lightning

The first and foremost advantage of playing Lightning cards in Briar is the access to constant go again. Cards like Amulet of Lightning, Weave Lightning and Lightning Surge are just some of the many ways that allow Briar to go wide and fire off multiple attacks on a single turn.

Amulet of Lightning (Regular)Weave Lightning (Red) (Regular)Lightning Surge (Red) (Regular)

 

Header - Embodying Earth

While Lightning allows Briar to go wide, Earth cards help the Runeblade hero to go tall. Cards like Amulet of Earth, Channel Mount Heroic and Burgeoning showcase the raw, physical power that Briar can unleash.

Amulet of Earth (Regular)Channel Mount Heroic (Regular)Burgeoning (Red) (Regular)

 

Header - Combining the Elements

One thing that Briar can do arguably better than any other Elemental hero is to combine the two elements. The speed of Lightning and raw power of Earth give Briar the tools to create some of the biggest, most explosive turns in Flesh and Blood. Cards like Blossoming Spellblade, Fulminate and Force of Nature can create snowball effects that wipe opponents out completely if not defended correctly. 

Blossoming Spellblade (Regular)Fulminate (Regular)Force of Nature (Regular)Plume of Evergrowth (Regular)Pulse of Candlehold (Regular)

Many of these cards have such high power ceilings because of how hard they are to fuse. While it might be hard to pull off a fused Blossoming Spellblade and fused Fulminate on the same turn, cards like Plume of Evergrowth combined with Pulse of Candlehold can make it quite doable. When a Force of Nature joins the fray, it is very possible to create scenarios where all your attacks gain an additional three power, go again and draw a card on hit thanks to the cards mentioned above. The ceiling of Briar’s cards are only as big as your imagination and is the reason why she is one of my favorite heroes in the game.

Say goodbye to the dark side and pick up Briar as your Runeblade of choice. Her access to powerful attack action cards, non-attack action cards and two different elements make her extremely versatile in deckbuilding and adaptable within a game as well. Try out explosive Lightning cards that will help you shoot out many attacks on the same turn, while also shooting bits of arcane damage on the opponent. Or, if you’re feeling brawny, lean into her Earth cards and relax with one big attack, while you replenish your card supply with Earth’s access to recursion. For those of you who want a challenge, I suggest you lock in both and try out to find the ultimate middle ground between lightning and earth in the form of dual fuse Briar. It’s not the easiest path, but finding those combos can be some of the most rewarding Flesh and Blood out there. 

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