Just last month, Legend Story Studios announced the new pathway for Flesh and Blood Organized Play. If you aren’t familiar with Flesh and Blood, it’s a TCG where you battle other players, and it’s a ton of fun. You have a hero, you make attacks and blocks, and it’s got a ton of depth and emergent gameplay. I’ve done a bunch of FAB content, so check it out if you haven’t yet.
This Flesh and Blood Organized Play announcement is exciting to me as a player, and it’s motivating me to get better at Flesh and Blood. Let’s take a look at what I find interesting, as I feel I represent the competitive segment of players quite well (a segment of players that may soon find themselves with less of an outlet in Magic, sadly).
One of the most important parts of any OP system is how aspirational it is. As I said many times on stream, it was one of the biggest failings of the MPL system that WotC rolled out, as there weren’t any dreams that felt attainable for the aspiring player. This system provides those dreams, and I’m excited to see that. You have open events like Calling and Pro Quest tournaments, which let you build up points and qualify for Nationals and Pro Tours. If you do well there, you may even make it to Worlds, which is the crown jewel of any OP system.
There are a couple key pieces here:
- Store-level events that matter. Having events that get people into organized play at the store level is critical, and this is where the MPL really failed. By removing PTQ-type events entirely, it cut off local players from feeling connected to the OP scene, and I’m glad to see that FAB isn’t going that direction.
- Open events that you can join without any prior qualifications or pro levels. Having premiere-level events that let players hop in without prerequisites is huge, and helps anyone feel that they can join in, even late in the season or after picking up the game.
- Large invite-only events. It’s key that these events are both invite-only but also fairly sizable (in the hundreds of players). Invite-only events are important because getting there’s an accomplishment, and even when you do poorly you know you earned your spot at an exclusive event. Them being large matters because you don’t want them to be too exclusive. You want it to feel (and be) realistic that a dedicated player could make it to these events with a lot of effort and a little luck, which something like a 16-player event doesn’t promise.
- Prestigious small-field events. This is your World Championship, which rightfully should be extremely hard to get to. This is the reward for your most dedicated and skilled players, and is the pinnacle of OP. Having Worlds lets you create a class of players who devote themselves fully to the game, and is huge for participation and promotion both.
Overall, I’m really optimistic about where this is going. It has all the right ingredients for success, and the game itself is proving to be a smash hit. Now is the perfect time to start getting into FAB and satisfying that competitive urge – I know I’ll be ready myself.