Rhinar is a brute, purely driven by instinct. In his home, the Savage Lands, he intimidates his prey with savage bellows and sheer strength. Rhinar is a hero with a very short temper. When he enters a fight, he goes into an unstoppable frenzy, stopping only once he’s butchered everything in his path. Being one of the first heroes to appear in Flesh and Blood, in the first set of the game – Welcome to Rathe – means his presence has been firmly established in the fabric of the game.
“In the depths of the Savage Lands, a lone brute has carved out his territory in blood and bone. Abandoned to the mercy of the jungle as a cub, he fought to survive, fending off vicious beasts and scavengers. Yet this struggle has forged an alpha predator, relentless and unflinching, tearing through anything that gets in his way.”
Rhinar instils fear in his opponents. It’s his primary ammo. By intimidating his prey, he leaves them vulnerable to his savage swings. Intimidation grows with heightened levels of fury – the more six-power attacks you discard, the scarier Rhinar gets. Intimidate is a great way of messing with your opponent’s blocks. Each time you pull off an intimidate, you’re removing options from your opponent. This either forces them to block with cards they wouldn’t have liked to block with or forces them to take damage.
A powerful way for Rhinar to win games is setting up a lethal attack where the majority of your opponent’s hand becomes intimidated. This is where Barraging Beatdown and Rhinar’s hero ability shine. The strength of the ability comes from stacking multiple intimidates, removing blocks from your opponent to the point they are completely defenseless and coming in with an unblockable Barraging Beatdown-powered swing.
While other heroes take a more sophisticated path in fights, with on-hit effects that force blocks from their opponents, Rhinar and other Brutes rely purely on brute force – straight damage to the face. Simple. This power hinges on the self discard mechanic. A lot of Rhinar’s tools force you to discard cards from your hand at random. This synergizes well with his hero ability and his other cards, such as the Romping Club. It also means his attacks are significantly cheaper than attacks of other heroes.
While the self discard mechanic looks very random at first, there is a lot of control in what cards you leave in your hand. Take Savage Swing for example. You pitch a blue card, play Savage Swing with only one card left in hand – a six (or more) power card. Now you get a free intimidate trigger from Rhinar’s hero ability and are attacking for seven, paying only one resource point and with the help of something like Snapdragon Scalers, you can follow that up with a Romping Club for five. 12 damage and an intimidate from three cards is very powerful and makes sequencing plays with Rhinar quite intricate and complex. Not bad for a Brute.
All of Rhinar’s cards that can defend, defend for three. This means as a Rhinar player, you have a lot of room to decide between playing defensively and aggressively. Some hands just don’t line up and that’s fine. You can defend with most of it, arsenal a key piece of a powerful play, such as a Breakneck Battery or a Primeval Bellow, swing with a Romping Club for some chip damage and wait to draw into something truly savage.
Playing defensively has its advantages. By protecting your life total and saving a pitch card to attack with Romping Club, you’re hacking away at your opponent’s life total while protecting yours. Doing a huge multiple intimidate into a big attack turn is significantly stronger when your opponent is low than when they have a lot of life. This is because you want to threaten lethal damage or they will get all those intimidated cards back into their hand and freely swing back at you. Timing your pounce is everything. A poorly timed attack can push through damage, but can mean you will be taking a big hit the following turn and losing tempo.
Rhinar is an extremely versatile hero, being able to focus on aggression with cards like Pulping, combo plays with tools like Energy Potion and play a very defensive game with cards like Bone Head Barrier. Each one of these options gives a unique direction to how you construct your Rhinar deck. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but by experimenting with these different pathways, you will be able to explore what kind of Rhinar player you are and match up these cards to your own play style. Do you want to defend lots and poke your opponent with the Romping Club to death? Do you want to unleash the fury and put constant aggression in your opponent’s direction? Or maybe set up one powerful turn that will wipe out your foes’ lights in a single blow? Rhinar can do all these things and more, but he does require skill to do so.
Rhinar is a force to be reckoned with. The ease in which he intimidates his opponents as he goes into a fighting fury is a perfect way to push through some damage. This skill makes him exceptionally strong against those foes that like to defend a lot. Intimidate really limits their defensive options and can leave them with lackluster options for the offense as well. Despite being a simple Brute with a club, there is a lot of skill to playing Rhinar. Knowing how to pitch to discard the cards you want to, knowing when to defend up and when to deliver a deadly blow are what really make playing him so challenging and fun.