With the current business model of Flesh and Blood, First Edition product commands a heavy premium – and results in cold foil-only legendary equipment cards. For Oldhim alone, his three new legendaries, which I would consider best-in-slot for the builds I’ve already spent over 50 hours developing and testing, demand a $710 price tag at the time of writing with Rampart of Ram’s Head being the worst offender of them all. Unlimited will drop that figure down to something easier to stomach. For now though, we’ll have to make due with Oldhim without the legendaries.
I’ve been enjoying my shiny new cold-foil cards like Winter’s Wail, Pulse of Isenloft, Crown of Seeds, Heart of Ice and Rampart of the Ram’s Head, but my wallet certainly hasn’t. Today’s article is geared toward players who want to enjoy Oldhim and the shiny new Guardian without all the shiny new toys. This one goes out to all the Guardian players who want to enjoy Oldhim but hold out on the new legendaries until Tales of Aria Unlimited. Pick up the core shell of the full list, use some of your existing Guardian card pool and be ready to pick up the non-cold-foil legendaries when Unlimited drops.
I’m not going to recommend running Winter’s Wail in this version of Oldhim, though you’ll certainly want to have it on hand for later. The core gameplay loops of getting the most value out of Rampart requires Crown of Seeds for every turn that you’re not playing Staunch Response (Blue). Rotted Old Buckler is not compelling enough on its own, nor is running two copies of Winter’s Wail when the only reliable sources of go-again or setting up a two-hammer attack turn are Timesnap Potion, Time Skippers and Flock of the Feather Walkers.
This version of Oldhim uses Anothos, and in many ways, plays in a similar function to Bravo. With his full set of legendaries, Oldhim doesn’t care as much about the pitch as Bravo, but this version specifically does prioritize three-cost cards to empower Anothos, Blessing of Deliverance and Stamp Authority.
Class: Guardian Hero: Oldhim Weapons: Anothos, Sledge of Anvilheim Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Goliath Gauntlet, Ironrot Legs, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Nullrune Robe, Tectonic Plating, Time Skippers (2) Blessing of Deliverance (red) (2) Embolden (red) (2) Emerging Avalanche (red) (2) Endless Winter (red) (1) Glacial Footsteps (red) (2) Ice Quake (red) (1) Oaken Old (red) (2) Thump (red) (1) Remembrance (yellow) (2) Awakening (blue) (2) Blessing of Deliverance (blue) (2) Disable (blue) (2) Embolden (blue) (2) Glacial Footsteps (blue) (2) Ice Quake (blue) (2) Mulch (blue) (2) Polar Blast (blue) (1) Pulse of Isenloft (blue) (2) Stamp Authority (blue) (2) Tear Asunder (blue) (2) Winter's Bite (blue) (2) Winter's Grasp (blue)
Similar to my full day-one Oldhim Blitz deck, this shell leverages the Awakening tutor package and a variety of red attacks that can be fetched on demand to either end the game or flip the tempo in your favor for good. We also leverage a strong aura count designed to enable turns where we can combo off and chain together Blessing of Deliverance and Embolden followed by an additional play or putting the attack we want to power up next turn into Arsenal.
Because we do care more about three-cost cards for many of our cards and effects, there is not as much availability for fuse. We prioritize a very conservative fuse package that prioritizes simply fusing Endless Winter when it is available. This can be setup by putting Awakening into Arsenal and waiting to play it and leverage a four-life deficit until you have an ice card in hand to fuse with. The same goes with trying to pull Oaken Old with this combo and waiting until you draw the singleton copy of Pulse of Isenloft.
Core equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Tectonic Plating, Goliath Gauntlet, Ironrot Legs
No Arcanite Skullcap? No problem. Use Helm of Isen’s Peak instead and save the ability toward the end game when life totals are low and an extra card will do wonders to keep you alive and able to pressure your opponent on the next turn.
- Remembrance will serve to pull back either life-gain through Blessing of Deliverance (Red), or additional threat density usually from the devastating and powerful Endless Winter. This deck relies on pushing heavy damage through Embolden (Red and Blue) and Emerging Avalanche (Red).
- Polar Blast is a powerful piece of utility. Try to play this from Arsenal to draw a card and either force an extra card out of your opponent’s hand or give your next attack (including Anothos) dominate. This line is easy to set up if you are able to use Polar Blast to fuse your Endless Winter.
- Emerging Avalanche is filler with some upside. If you can fuse it and play this on a Blessing of Deliverance/Embolden turn, it can provide a lot of value. On its own, it is a lower-value card and one that I am not sad to block with in a pinch.
- Save your Goliath Gauntlet for your Thump turn, ideally after setting up a seismic surge token from Tectonic Plating to reduce its cost to a single blue pitch. This is a powerful and on-demand combo that can help you reclaim or press the tempo to your advantage. Embolden and Emerging Avalanche will empower Thump on their own, do not use Goliath Gauntlet if the additional text of Thump is already active unless you are confident you can secure the win.
- Chain together your auras. You can draw and play a ridiculous amount of cards with Embolden and Blessing of Deliverance provided you have enough blues (and still swing with Anothos for six after the fact). Start the combo by putting either an Embolden or Blessing of Deliverance into Arsenal then play out as many copies as you draw, ending the turn with either a Stamp Authority or swing of Anothos. On your next turn, your goal is simply to leverage the Emboldens and Emerging Avalanche bonus power on your next attack action card. Note, these only empower attack action cards not Anothos, so make sure you plan your next turn and blocks accordingly.
- Block with lower-value cards and swing Anothos while you are setting up and looking for combo potential in your turns. Oldhim is still plenty defensive even with this tempo-oriented shell.
- Pitch Tear Asunder early and often. This card is great at closing out games once you approach fatigue as it can target Anothos and create an attack for seven with dominate that will cause your opponent to discard two cards on-hit. Without armor density remaining, this is extremely likely to hit and completely ruin your opponent’s next turn.
- Use Ice Quake to put extreme pressure on your opponent and threaten disruption with a frost-bite on hit. Pitch a three-cost card to get a seismic surge token from Tectonic Plating, play Ice Quake and pitch another three-cost card to swing Anothos for nine. It’s as cost-efficient as it is devastating for your opponent.
While certainly not as flashy or thematic as the legendary-laden version of Oldhim, this build does provide a compelling and fun way of experiencing some of what Oldhim has to offer. I’m in my element when playing tempo-oriented shells like this in card games, and I am excited to explore what Tempo Guardian can bring to the table in the Blitz format in both casual and competitive play.
Have any questions about this Oldhim shell or how to pilot it? Curious about what cards to change if you are fortunate enough to open some of Oldhim’s new legendaries in your Tales of Aria packs? Get involved with the conversation in the comments section below!