Katsu, the Wanderer is one of the first heroes introduced to the game in Flesh and Blood’s first set, Welcome to Rathe. Swift as the wind, Katsu’s agility makes him a superb fighter. As a ninja, Katsu has access to a flurry of attacks, being able to continuously strike opponents down. Using Kodachis as his weapons helps him chip down his enemies, causing a death of a thousand cuts. Katsu’s hero ability allows him to chain powerful combos, a signature mechanic of the ninja class.
“Calm and level-headed, some might underestimate Katsu, mistaking his practical nature for an aversion to violence. However, underneath his peaceful demeanour is a sharp intelligence, capable of becoming a deadly force of nature when provoked. In the heat of battle, Katsu can call upon the power of the wind, striking down his opponents with the speed of a hurricane.”
Katsu’s hero ability gives his blows a powerful on-hit effect that allows you to significantly ease assembling combos. Each time you threaten that first hit, your opponent will think twice of letting the attack through, especially if you’re attacking with one of the combo starters:
All of these combo starters have natural go again, making it easy to continue to chain attacks at the opposing hero. This is quite unique to the Ninja class, as many other classes just aren’t swift enough to match Ninja’s speed. By attacking with many small attacks, you keep your opponent guessing on what is coming next, making it hard for them to evaluate whether to defend or take the damage.
Surging Strike Combo Line
This is Katsu’s signature combo line. Assemble these attacks in the correct order and your opponent can start packing up, because it’s incredibly explosive. This is especially true if the attacks hit. Whelming Gustwave fuels your cards in hand, Mugenshi: RELEASE finds the Lords of Wind and Lord of Wind blasts huge chunks of damage at your opponent, while refueling your deck with threats.
Leg Tap Combo Line
This line is extremely cost efficient. Leg Tap, Rising Knee and Blackout Kick only costs two resources in total for a total of 16 damage. That is some great value if you manage to pull it off. Hurricane Technique, on the other hand, can threaten even more blows from a single card. Blow your opponents away with efficient strikes that are bound to have them sweating.
Head Jab Combo Line
With a zero-cost starter, this line has the lowest investment to get going. Open the Center is a huge follow up attack that allows you to push damage through with dominate, while both Flurry of Fists and Pounding Gale are both great damage amplifying combo finishers.
On the surface level, Kodachis seem very tame as weapons. Only one point of damage does not seem very threatening, but when doubled and combined with other go again attacks, the damage starts to stack up. The deadliest thing about these daggers is the difficulty for your opponent to stop the damage. No one wants to give up a whole card to stop one point of damage. This is why they are great at finishing your opponent off once they get low on life. That Kodachi is a lot more punishing when they’re at five life than 35 life.
While Katsu is a signature aggressive deck, there are many ways to build a Katsu deck. He is a Ninja who is just as swift on the defense as offense, as seen in the incredibly strong defense reaction Flic Flak. This gives our Ninja tools to create a powerful control type deck, where you simply defend opponents’ hits and slowly chip away at them with Harmonized Kodachis. Cards like Torrent of Tempo and Soulbead Strike are two more combo starters, giving Katsu more deck construction flexibility.
There is also the option of making a midrange deck – a deck that can adapt between an aggressive game plan and control game plan depending on what the opposing deck is trying to do. For example, you might have a Flic Flak, but your opponent is not attacking much. If you do not want to play defensive, you can simply discard the defense reaction to Katsu’s hero ability and continue the offence.
Just as Katsu himself wanders around the world of Rathe, I hope you too can wander in the many different ways to play this solemn Ninja. There are a number of intricacies playing the hero – structuring turns, knowing when to defend and when to go for an all out attack, all finding ways to assemble the combo pieces. Each piece of the puzzle will make you a better Katsu player and find new ways to overcome your opponent.