It isn’t all just about the legendries, fabled and majestic rare cards when it comes to building Constructed decks. Importantly in Flesh and Blood, there’s support for an enjoyable level of play, showcasing the full range of game play and mechanics for each and every player. From those who wish to enjoy causal games with friends to those who enjoy playing in their local weekly LGS events to the full competitive side, there’s something for everyone. Players are able to get in at any budget and still get that cardboard thrill!
Flesh and Blood does a great job of balancing power level of cards across the rarity spectrum and ensure that, to have a good time playing this game, you don’t have to own each and every premium card. Even the hero system allows you to buy into just one or two heroes or classes and really commit narrowly if you wish and still have long-term highly competitive decks. You can always play on a budget and there are some great options of card choice for your decks with out the big upfront outlay.
Today I’m sharing a couple of budget-oriented deck builds for both Classic Constructed and Blitz that I really like and think can still be competitive at the kitchen table, causal play and Armory events at your locals. All of these builds are great entry points you can get started with and, as you get into the game more and grow your collection, easily upgrade parts to evolve these builds. I have also included a list of optimal upgrades and ranked them in the order of impact I believe they can have for improving the hero and deck build, with the idea of a somewhat preferable order to obtain if you do wish to look for some upgrades.
I am defining budget lists with two main criteria…
- No legendry or fabled cards in these lists
- Limited number of majestic rare cards – maximum nine for constructed and six for Blitz (with some lists below having even less)
Class: Guardian Hero: Bravo, Showstopper Weapons: Sledge of Anvilheim Equipment: Crater Fist, Heartened Cross Strap, Helm of Isen's Peak, Ironrot Legs, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Nullrune Robe (3) Come to Fight (red) (3) Crippling Crush (red) (3) Debilitate (red) (3) Disable (red) (3) Emerging Power (red) (3) Fate Foreseen (red) (3) Pummel (red) (3) Sink Below (red) (2) Spinal Crush (red) (3) Staunch Response (red) (1) Towering Titan (red) (1) Remembrance (yellow) (3) Buckling Blow (blue) (3) Cartilage Crush (blue) (3) Chokeslam (blue) (3) Crush the Weak (blue) (3) Debilitate (blue) (3) Disable (blue) (2) Energy Potion (blue) (2) Potion of Strength (blue) (3) Pummel (blue) (3) Show Time! (blue) (3) Staunch Response (blue) (3) Stonewall Confidence (blue) (3) Towering Titan (blue) (3) Unmovable (blue) See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/EvjGDXEM/
Building on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t go big! With just six majestic rares and four supers, this deck packs a punch for a fairly low investment. This Bravo build is able to set up consistently large turns to take, or maintain the tempo with on-hit Crush effects that can hamper your opponent’s game plan. Equally this deck is able to control the game, soak up pressure and use Sledge of Anvilheim in conjunction with a card like Pummel (Red) that’s still valuable even when not allowing something like a Debilitate (Red) to Crush over. The general game plan with this particular Bravo build is a bit more offensive than many of the traditional control style builds, and that comes down to some really strong options being available at the rare or lower level in Come to Fight (Red), Emerging Power (Red), Pummel (Red) and attack actions such as Debilitate (Red) and Disable (Red).
For upgrading this list beyond the budget build above, the first card that will help elevate the deck would be the legendary Tectonic Plating. Tectonic really isn’t necessary for the deck to function well but it does allow the deck to be a bit more efficient and gives you the option to play Anothos as the primary weapon in the deck. Mangle and Stamp Authority are also great cards for Bravo and fit well in this type of build.
Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire
Class: Mechanologist Hero: Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire Weapons: Plasma Barrel Shot Equipment: Achilles Accelerator, Goliath Gauntlet, Nullrune Gloves, Vest of the First Fist, Viziertronic Model i (2) Combustible Courier (red) (3) High Speed Impact (red) (2) Hyper Driver (red) (3) Maximum Velocity (red) (3) Over Loop (red) (1) Overblast (red) (3) Pedal to the Metal (red) (3) Plunder Run (red) (3) Throttle (red) (3) Zero to Sixty (red) (3) Zipper Hit (red) (3) High Speed Impact (yellow) (2) Over Loop (yellow) (3) Pedal to the Metal (yellow) (3) Spark of Genius (yellow) (3) Throttle (yellow) (3) Zero to Sixty (yellow) (3) Zipper Hit (yellow) (3) Combustible Courier (blue) (3) High Speed Impact (blue) (3) Over Loop (blue) (1) Overblast (blue) (3) Pedal to the Metal (blue) (3) Teklo Core (blue) (3) Throttle (blue) (3) Zero to Sixty (blue) (3) Zipper Hit (blue) See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/EMpoveBW/
This deck list is a build for Classic Constructed based on a Blitz list I shared back in November, which you can find here. This deck is a fun, aggressive style of Mechanologist that wants to boost, boost and boost some more! You have the capability to set up some massive turns involving three or four boosted attack actions into a Maximum Velocity or into a swing from a pre-loaded Plasma Barrel Shot (it’s always best to have this setup with a steam counter from the prior turn due to resource constraints on big turns). Top tip: you can setup a massive damage turn by using Achilles Accelerator to attack with a Maximum Velocity after the weapon attack on the boost chain. Just remember to activate the boots before the chain closes. Additionally, any non-attack actions like Heartened Cross Strap and Plunder Run (Red) need to be activated/played before you start the chain of attacks or your Plasma Barrel Shot won’t get the extra damage (the X damage is 1+ cards boosted this chain, not turn).
This build is one of my personal favorite decks to play at local Armories and casual events; it’s a load of fun and you get to do some crazy stuff on those big turns (30+ damage anyone?!). At just four majestics and six supers, this list is a very cheap entry point for a relatively high-power deck. The first card I would prioritize getting to upgrade this build from the base would be Teklo Foundry Heart as it’s great for match ups like Warrior and Ninja for the defense value, but also for the activated ability (bear in mind this will break the chain and impact the added damage you get on the Plasma Barrel Shot). The great thing about this deck is that it’s a very cheap deck to construct even to a competitive level, but you can go one step further picking up an Arcanite Skullcap. In the aggressive match ups, this piece of equipment can be crucial as you can’t afford to play defense reactions in this build due to how much you will be boosting.
Class: Ninja Hero: Katsu Weapons: Harmonized Kodachi Equipment: Breaking Scales, Hope Merchant's Hood, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Nullrune Robe, Snapdragon Scalers, Vest of the First Fist (1) Blackout Kick (red) (2) Head Jab (red) (2) Leg Tap (red) (1) Open the Center (red) (2) Plunder Run (red) (2) Razor Reflex (red) (2) Rising Knee Thrust (red) (2) Scar for a Scar (red) (2) Snatch (red) (2) Soulbead Strike (red) (2) Surging Strike (red) (1) Torrent of Tempo (red) (2) Whelming Gustwave (red) (2) Art of War (yellow) (2) Mugenshi: RELEASE (yellow) (2) Energy Potion (blue) (2) Head Jab (blue) (2) Lord of Wind (blue) (1) Lunging Press (blue) (2) Plunder Run (blue) (2) Rising Knee Thrust (blue) (2) Whelming Gustwave (blue) See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/YRZZavjK/
This is a very aggressive Katsu list, focused on the resource-efficient Ninja combo lines Leg Tap (Red), Head Jab (Red) alongside Torrent of Tempo (Red) and Soulbead Strike (Red) as standalone attack actions. This is a deck that really wants to take the initiative and apply pressure to the opponent, always threatening to trigger Katsu’s ability and go and find the next piece in a combo line for maximum damage. You also have a strong suite of generics that can increase the output on your turns in the form of Art of War, Plunder Run (Red) and Plunder Run (Blue), Razor Reflex (Red) and Energy Potion. Energy Potion is an all-star on the big go-wide turns where you can almost always guarantee to push damage through, with the Potion acting as the main resource card for the turn. The deck also has cards like Scar for a Scar (Red) and Snatch (Red) that supplement the Ninja and combo-based attack action package, both with great effects for how this deck wishes to play.
This build plays just four majestics and two supers, making it again very accessible. The card that’s going to give a big upgrade immediately is Mask of Momentum. Not only does it naturally fit the exact strategy this deck wishes to play, but just the threat of activation alone forces your opponent to defend in ways that are very difficult for them to do so efficiently. Mask also makes it necessary for your opponent to block once per turn or face potential blowouts on turns where you are able to utilize a full hand on offense. Ancestral Empowerment and Fyendal’s Spring Tunic are other good options for this deck but not essential by any means.
Class: Wizard Hero: Kano Weapons: Crucible of Aetherweave Equipment: Bracers of Belief, Ironrot Gauntlet, Ironrot Legs, Ironrot Plate, Mage Master Boots, Metacarpus Node, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Hood, Robe of Rapture, Talismanic Lens (2) Aether Flare (red) (2) Aether Spindle (red) (1) Blazing Aether (red) (2) Cindering Foresight (red) (2) Forked Lightning (red) (2) Reverberate (red) (2) Snapback (red) (2) Stir the Aetherwinds (red) (2) Tome of Aetherwind (red) (2) Voltic Bolt (red) (2) Lesson in Lava (yellow) (2) Sonic Boom (yellow) (1) Stir the Aetherwinds (yellow) (1) Voltic Bolt (yellow) (2) Aether Spindle (blue) (2) Energy Potion (blue) (2) Reverberate (blue) (2) Rousing Aether (blue) (2) Scalding Rain (blue) (2) Snapback (blue) (1) Timesnap Potion (blue) (2) Voltic Bolt (blue) See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/bMekxZrD/
For those that wish to inflict some non-combat related beatdowns, this Kano build focuses on raw output of Arcane damage ideally buffing up big non-attack actions like Forked Lightning, Sonic Boom, Aether Spindle (Red) and Reverberate (Red) with Stir the Aetherwinds (Red), Stir the Aetherwinds (Yellow), Cindering Foresight (Red) and Aether Flare (Red) as the enablers. Blazing Aether is a fantastic card to combo on the back of two of these cards. There are a number of different combinations and lines to discover and work out as you master the Aether and find those big turns to unleash bolts at the opponent’s face.
This deck has a few more necessary rares than some of the other builds and it’s tough to run it any leaner and reliably find explosive turns. In total, four majestics and six supers are in this build, which I feel is about the minimum to be a credible threat against semi to full-powered decks. To elevate this deck and take it to the next level, I highly recommend a second Blazing Aether. Storm Striders is also an important upgrade; the Wizard legendary boots from Arcane Rising are very powerful and allow you to deal a lot of damage at instant speed, often killing your opponent with them having a lethal attack starring down at you. Gaze the Ages is a great majestic resource card and can often be a free Opt 2. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have picked up Eye of Ophidia, it fits perfectly into Wizard, allowing you to set the top of your deck for Kano.
Dorinthea – Commons and rares only!
Class: Warrior Hero: Dorinthea Weapons: Dawnblade Equipment: Hope Merchant's Hood, Ironrot Gauntlet, Ironrot Helm, Ironrot Plate, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Nullrune Robe, Refraction Bolters, Snapdragon Scalers (1) Driving Blade (red) (2) Flock of the Feather Walkers (red) (2) Hit and Run (red) (2) Ironsong Response (red) (2) Nature's Path Pilgrimage (red) (2) Out for Blood (red) (1) Overpower (red) (2) Razor Reflex (red) (2) Scar for a Scar (red) (2) Sharpen Steel (red) (2) Sigil of Solace (red) (2) Stroke of Foresight (red) (2) Warrior's Valor (red) (2) Warrior's Valor (yellow) (2) Driving Blade (blue) (2) Energy Potion (blue) (2) Hit and Run (blue) (2) Ironsong Response (blue) (2) Overpower (blue) (2) Steelblade Shunt (blue) (2) Warrior's Valor (blue) See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/EybXGyQr/
Last but certainly not least I bring you a cheap yet powerful deck, one that can hold its own in local Blitz events, against friends and in casual play, all with zero majestics, zero supers and zero legendries! This Dorinthea list is focused on Dawnblade, with just two attack actions in Scar for a Scar (Red). The core strategy is to play a non-attack action each turn, like any of the Warrior’s Valors, Driving Blade (Blue) or Nature’s Path Pilgrimage (Red) and try and get it over the line with attack reactions. You also have some great setup cards like Flock of the Feather Walkers (Red) and Energy Potion which you can drop down off a go again to utilize on big turns where your hand is resource hungry.
If you’re looking to upgrade this deck, you have a lot of options to move up to. Glint the Quicksilver is a blue resource card that has great functionality to give go again and often draw you more gas. Singing Steelblade is one of the strongest attack reactions as it acts in a “toolbox’” fashion, allowing you to get the right attack reaction for the situation. Rout is a great card to get off of Singing and I like playing one in Warrior. Spoils of War from Crucible is a fantastic attack action that unconditionally gives you go again and even if your weapon doesn’t connect for damage, you can play out an Energy Potion, a Flock of the Feather Walkers or even a Scar for a Scar (Red) with the go again. I would then look to Ironsong Determination and the equipment Braveforge Bracers and Courage of Bladehold.
Playing on a budget and the value of legendries
Hopefully some of these lists provide a starting point for anyone looking to get into the game, perhaps with a modest investment at first or for anyone solely looking to play budget friendly. Flesh and Blood is a game that can be played without every available majestic and legendary piled in to your deck. It’s true that these cards are often powerful and strict upgrades in a lot of decks, but you’ll find it isn’t an unbeatable edge. At the common and rare level, there are a lot of cards that can fill similar roles to the majestics and allow your deck to operate reliably without dropping too much power.
Legendries are an interesting part of the game, and while these are often integral to playing certain strategies at a competitive level (take Mask of Momentum in Ninja), it doesn’t mean all decks get an equal boost from them. Let’s use the Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire Classic Constructed list from earlier for example. While Teklo Foundry Heart is helpful in many instances, it isn’t a huge upgrade at all. In fact, many times you’ll simply want the two resources from Heartened Cross Strap unconditionally to end the game early on a big turn.
My suggestion for if you’re getting into Flesh and Blood and want to play at a competitive level or simply maxing out on the power level of your decks is to choose one or two heroes initially and go after the cards you need for them. Playing a narrow base of heroes is a great way that Flesh and Blood supports playing at full strength without breaking the bank. All the heroes from Welcome to Rathe and Arcane Rising are pretty competitive in Classic Constructed, and likewise with the young heroes in Crucible of War for Blitz.
It doesn’t cost the world to have fun and hang some W’s in Flesh and Blood. Find a class or build that works for you and if you can and want to, then certainly jump in and invest in the cards/classes that you want to play the most!