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Budget Blitz Beatdown

Blitz is an amazing way to try out and learn new classes in Flesh and Blood without going through the grind of playing three to four games of 40+ minutes each just to get the basics down. Each player has a 52-card deck and starts on 20 life (with a few exceptions such as Benji, Kano and Kayo). This is broken down into a 40-card “main deck”, 11 weapon/equipment slots, and one hero. The rounds are 30 minutes long, perfect for getting through an Armory even in under two hours!

The advantage of this format is that you can jump into a new class and get through a bunch of games relatively quickly, picking up experience and strategies that often crossover to Classic Constructed. Building your deck still requires many of the same skills, but the absence of “sideboard” cards allows you to streamline the process and really focus on the core strategy of what your Hero wants to do.

Another cool thing about Blitz is that while the premium cards are nice to have, it’s easier to build a competitive deck without them than in Classic Constructed. I often found while building decks that cutting a few of the expensive Majestics would still leave the core of a solid deck intact.

With that in mind, let’s look at two budget options for Blitz from opposite sides of the strategy spectrum that will give you a shot at taking down your next local event!

Budget Katsu

Deck List via fabdb.net ~$50

Class: Ninja
Hero: Katsu
Weapons: Harmonized Kodachi
Equipment: Breaking Scales, Hope Merchant's Hood, Ironrot Helm, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Snapdragon Scalers, Vest of the First Fist

(2) Ancestral Empowerment (red)
(2) Blackout Kick (red)
(2) Fluster Fist (red)
(1) Flying Kick (red)
(2) Head Jab (red)
(1) Heron's Flight (red)
(2) Leg Tap (red)
(2) Plunder Run (red)
(2) Ravenous Rabble (red)
(2) Razor Reflex (red)
(2) Rising Knee Thrust (red)
(2) Scar for a Scar (red)
(2) Snatch (red)
(2) Soulbead Strike (red)
(2) Torrent of Tempo (red)
(2) Leg Tap (yellow)
(2) Crane Dance (blue)
(2) Energy Potion (blue)
(2) Find Center (blue)
(2) Rising Knee Thrust (blue)
(2) Soulbead Strike (blue)

fabdb.net

Most of this deck is made up of commons and rares. Ideally you might already have a decent chunk of them around from cracking boxes, but if not, you should be able to pick up everything listed (excluding Majestics) for around $10.

This deck runs a total of five Majestics which you should be able to pick up for around $40 total. Why are you spending 80% of the deck cost on 12.5% of the cards in a budget deck you might (reasonably) ask? The answer lies in the unique role these cards play.

Ancestral Empowerment in an absolute powerhouse in Katsu to the point where it’s basically irreplaceable. It ticks off multiple boxes regarding your core strategy. Firstly, it is by far the best Attack Reaction for Katsu. Being able to give an attack +1 and draw a card for free puts your opponent in a difficult position when blocking. Attacks for 3 such as Head Jab and Leg Tap (yellow) will often be blocked with a single card for 3, allowing you to pump for an extra damage to trigger Katsu’s ability as well as draw a card to use it! Other red-line attacks like Leg Tap (red) and Soulbead Strike are conventional targets for 4-block Defense Reactions such as Fate Foreseen (red), Sink Below (red), or Springboard Somersault (from Arsenal). The ability to get around these and trigger on-hit effects like Katsu, or go-again from Soulbead Strike, are critical for keeping up pressure and maintaining tempo.

Ancestral Empowerment

Bonus: It is also a zero-cost card which means you can pitch it to Kodachi (enabling go again) or discard it to Katsu to search up a combo piece if you absolutely have to.

Find Center and Heron’s Flight could potentially be cut if finances are tight, but they are very useful for sneaking through damage to help close out a game. The idea behind these is to take advantage of the evasion built into the combo effect on both cards. Using Snapdragon Scalers, you can “shortcut” the combo line by activating Scalers when you play a Crane Dance (also conveniently a resource card), allowing you to get a guaranteed combo off with Find Center or Heron’s Flight. Find Center has the advantage of being a blue “triple-threat” card in Katsu. It is a zero-cost card that pitches and blocks for 3, giving it the advantages mentioned above for Ancestral Empowerment (with the bonus of being a resource card).

For Find Center, this sequence will often go something like: Kodachi, Kodachi, Crane Dance (using Snapdragon), Find Center – meaning your opponent can’t block with any card (including equipment) that costs 3 or less, netting you some damage and Zen State token. With Heron’s Flight, all you need is Crane Dance and Snapdragon Scalers to get off an often unblockable 5 damage hit!

Pro Tip: When using Heron’s Flight against Wizard always name Attack Action as they run a grand total of 0 of these. Against Katsu or Ira, name non-Attack Action as they’re the opposite and have 0 non-attacks!

Strategy

Like Classic Constructed, Blitz Katsu wants to push the pace early and often. You want to employ a “go-wide” strategy of throwing out 3+ attacks each turn to force out multiple card blocks and push through damage. The key combo chain you focus on here is the Leg Tap line as it can threaten up to 16 damage (Leg Tap + Rising Knee Thrust + Blackout Kick) for only 2 resources.

You want to play a hyper-aggressive strategy, so don’t be afraid to take a big hit of damage if you feel your hand is strong enough to force some blocks, push through damage and regain the tempo. Just keep in mind your opponent’s available equipment blocks and Arsenal when calculating your damage output, there’s nothing worse than getting your turn shut down by 3-4 armor worth of blocks or a sneaky Springboard Somersault from Arsenal!

You want to utilize your Kodachis to get through chip damage wherever possible. Because you aren’t running Mask of Momentum, however, you don’t necessarily need to start off your turn with a classic 2x Kodachi hit. Often it may be better to start with other attacks first as your opponent will be forced to consider more potential lines of play the more resources you have available.

Cards like Scar for a Scar and Ravenous Rabble are good openers as they (usually) attack for 4 with go again, forcing a Defense Reaction or card + equipment block. If your opponent lets them through, you can use Katsu’s ability to fetch up a combo piece to set up your turn. Keep in mind that Fluster Fist has combo, so if you don’t have a Leg Tap to set up Rising Knee Thrust this can be a good option to fetch up as a final attack for the turn. If your opponent is on low life, remember you can search up Crane Dance/Find Center/Heron’s Flight to get off your combo with Snapdragon Scalers.

This deck allows you to set up big turns with cards like Plunder Run and Energy Potion. Getting a Plunder Run in to Arsenal is often your best shot at breaking through your opponent’s defenses. Remember that while the +3 attack only applies to your first attack, the on-hit draw trigger applies to all your attacks for the turn! Your opponent might be able to block your Ravenous Rabble for 7 and Leg Tap for 4 but run out of options for the follow up Rising Knee Thrust for 5, netting you a card and letting you continue your turn.

Harmonized Kodachi

Maximizing the value from your equipment is critical to winning games on Katsu. Don’t be afraid to crack your Vest of the First Fist early on if you need the resources and can utilize them for extra damage. Snapdragon Scalers can be used for the combo if necessary, but it’s also great to punish opponents for overblocking things like Torrent of Tempo, Enlightened Strike, and Snatch. If you notice them running low on cards and still have gas in your hand, use Snapdragon to go in for the kill! Breaking Scales is good to initially block on a turn where you need to maintain tempo. Use it to push through damage when you need to but bear in mind that your opponent must play around the +1 damage for as long as you have it in play. If you crack it too early and can’t take advantage, then it makes blocking for the rest of the game that much easier for them.

Hope Merchant’s Hood is good against slower decks with fewer on-hit triggers as it allows you to throw away pieces of an average hand (three blues and a Snatch for example) or dig for a combo piece to finish off the game. Ironrot Helm is useful against decks with on-hit triggers such as Warrior and Ninja (both Ira and Katsu).

Optional Extras

If you happen to have some of the more expensive cards (or the ability to buy/trade for them), it’s very easy to upgrade this into a “full power” deck with the following changes:

The top upgrade is Mask of Momentum as it allows you to threaten an additional on-hit trigger and adds another layer of complexity for your opponent when blocking. If there’s a lot of Defense Reaction-heavy decks in your meta (Ira, Dash Control, Runeblade Control, etc.) you could also potentially cut a second Fluster Fist and add one Command and Conquer but it isn’t strictly necessary.

Budget Dash Control

Deck List via fabdb.net ~$30-35

Class: Mechanologist
Hero: Dash
Weapons: Teklo Plasma Pistol
Equipment: Achilles Accelerator, Goliath Gauntlet, Ironrot Gauntlet, Ironrot Helm, Ironrot Legs, Ironrot Plate, Mage Master Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Nullrune Robe

(1) Drone of Brutality (red)
(2) Fate Foreseen (red)
(2) Induction Chamber (red)
(2) Sigil of Solace (red)
(2) Sink Below (red)
(2) Sun Kiss (red)
(2) Zero to Sixty (red)
(2) Zipper Hit (red)
(1) Fate Foreseen (yellow)
(2) Sink Below (yellow)
(2) Spark of Genius (yellow)
(2) Springboard Somersault (yellow)
(2) Brutal Assault (blue)
(2) Drone of Brutality (blue)
(2) High Speed Impact (blue)
(2) Last Ditch Effort (blue)
(2) Raging Onslaught (blue)
(2) Throttle (blue)
(2) Unmovable (blue)
(2) Zero to Sixty (blue)
(2) Zipper Hit (blue)

fabdb.net

The only slightly expensive cards in this deck are two Spark of Genius and two Induction Chamber, which will set you back around $25 or so in total. Spark of Genius and Induction Chamber are critical to the game plan as you rely pretty much exclusively on Teklo Plasma Pistol hits for damage. The good news is that these cards are pretty much integral to Classic Constructed Dash so they’re good cards to have on hand.

Strategy

Gotta go fast? I DON’T THINK SO! The strategy for this deck can largely be summed up in five words: “Shoot for 2, go again.” Your goal is to get out your second Induction Chamber as quickly as possible and spend the rest of the game slowly grinding your opponent down. The boost mechanic is a foreign concept to Dash Control purists.

This deck is strangely both very simple and surprisingly complex to play. The simple part of the game is your turn, where you just want to channel all your resources into placing counters on your Teklo Pistol and Induction Chambers. The hard part comes in staying alive long enough to run your opponent out of threats. If you feel like you need to practice your blocking skills, then this is the deck for you!

The key weakness of this deck is its inability to force your opponent to block. Due to your limited damage output each turn, your opponent can pick and choose their spots to go on the offensive. This allows them a ton of time to set up huge turns that often require a fair amount of skill to block correctly. Luckily for you you have a big bag of Defense Reactions to help you navigate these dangerous waters.

Teklo Plasma Pistol

As a rule of thumb, you want to prioritize keeping a Defense Reaction in Arsenal if possible, using cards in hand to block instead even if it makes your next hand a little bit worse. Cards like Sigil of Solace and Sun Kiss are in there to give the deck some wiggle room for when things start to get a bit dicey in the mid to late game.

You want to minimize the amount of damage you take to give yourself a life buffer for the big turns that can’t be blocked. In saying that, if you need to take damage to play a Spark of Genius or Induction Chamber on the next turn then by all means do so. This is also context dependent. If you’re ahead by 7-8 life and feel like you can afford to take damage in order to shoot three times with Teklo Pistol and fully load up your Induction Chambers, then this will often be the right play. Always try to keep in mind how many resources you can use during your next turn when deciding on when to block. It’s not worth taking 3 damage if you end up using the blue card you saved to only put one counter on an Induction Chamber while the other two resources go to waste.

When it comes to dealing damage, your options are limited. One thing to keep in mind is that your opponent will often have Defense Reactions that they want to use on your small number of attack cards. If your opponent has a card in Arsenal, consider pitching away cards like Zero to Sixty (red) and Zipper Hit (red) to save for later. you want to limit the value the other player can get out of their Defense Reactions as much as possible.

A lot of the blue cards in the card can also double as additional damage dealers in a pinch. Cards like Brutal Assault, Drone of Brutality, Throttle, and Raging Onslaught can occasionally come in useful to force out blocks late game if you find yourself with spare resources after exhausting your Teklo Pistol hits and loading up your Induction Chambers. Last Ditch Effort can sometimes win you the game if you and your opponent are nearing fatigue. If you can place one in Arsenal and draw up your final four cards (one Last Ditch effort, three Drone of Brutality), you can throw down a final turn of 18 damage to either deal lethal or fatigue your opponent.

Optional Extras

Note: Don’t be put off by the large number of expensive cards the “full power” version runs! The deck is still strong and consistent without them. The biggest upgrade is the equipment + Command and Conquers, as the equipment gives you an additional life buffer while the CnCs give the deck the ability to force out blocks.

Final Thoughts

I hope all of you out there either playing on a budget or wanting to try something new without breaking the bank, found this helpful. If you’re playing on a limited budget, I honestly believe both decks are solid choices. On a final note, if there are other decks out there that you’d like to see budget versions of, let me know, and I’ll see what I can do!

DashKatsu
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