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Cards of the Week – Command, Azalea and Timesnap

Another week of Flesh and Blood has wrapped up and that means another addition to the Cards of the Week series is here! Without further ado, let’s get right into it. 

 

 

Header - On the Rise - Command and Conquer

Command and Conquer

If there’s one card that I never expected to be here, it was Command and Conquer. Let me explain – even before the Monarch meta emerged, C&C was widely regarded as one of the best cards in the game. For it to be on the rise again goes to show not only its versatility but its uniqueness as one of the few cards in Flesh and Blood that can make any deck better simply by its inclusion. So, what has made Flesh and Blood’s most famous card even more so? A combination of two things:

  1. The emergence of Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
  2. C&C’s emergence as a primary alternate/bluff play

Let’s talk about point number one first as it has the most overt but apparent effect on the meta. For those classes who previously ran no 6 attack action cards (commonly go-wide and/or weapon-based classes), Prism’s overtured attacks have been a pain to handle. Her attack actions, frequently costing one or two for 7 attack, represent some of the most highly curved in terms of damage output in the game.

This, however, is counteracted by Phantasm. An attack with the new keyword in Monarch completely “pops” before it resolves if the attack is blocked by a 6-attack action card. This means that Brutes and Guardians generally have a merry time against Prism, but classes that used to never even think about 6-attack actions such as Ninja or Warrior now need to consider how to play around this new hero. This means that classes who previously ran Command and Conquer naturally due to it’s overall synergies with their class, such as Brute, Guardian and Runeblade are still running it, along with now multiple newer classes including it as a viable 6-attack defensive card as insurance against Prism. 

Outside of Prism though, C&C was already making headway in some of these more go-wide decks. Due to it’s absolutely devastating on-hit effect, and the fact that defense reactions can’t be played in response to it, C&C was a fantastic “mix-up”/’bluff card for classes that usually go wide.

Let’s take Ira for example, who instead of playing a big turn, would use C&C as her second attack to attack with seven damage (+1 from Ira’s hero ability). 7-attack means the opponent would have to usually block with either three cards or two and equipment to prevent a loss of Arsenal. Since losing Arsenal is a huge tempo loss, you usually get a big block coming down out of it.

Warrior on the other hand, recently has started using C&C as a play after Dawnblade. After giving Dawnblade go-again, opponents would block for nine or more generally as a response to prevent Dorinthea from gaining her hero ability. However, this overblock would become costly for many as C&C would come out next with 6 attack and destroy their Arsenal. Again, this is a huge tempo loss and brings massive benefit as a “bluff”-based play in go-wide or weapon-based decks. 

 

Alternatives

Since even Unlimited C&C is now valued at over $80 a card, I thought a few alternatives are in good measure. Although there are very few cards that can do everything C&C does in one package, but there are a few which pack a solid punch nevertheless if you can find the elusive Majestic.

  1. Nourishing Emptiness: Great defensive card that blocks for 3 and pops Phantasm attacks. Can be devastating if you run few attack actions or draw it on first turn. 
  2. Pursuit of Knowledge: The on-hit effect is great as an alternative bluff play after a Dawnblade swing or a big go-again turn with Chane.
  3. Exude Confidence: Use it in Ira and Boltyn as an offensively minded finisher preventing D-reacts and Instants.

 

Header - On the Fall - Azalea, Ace in the Hole

Azalea, Ace in the Hole

Man, has this character has had it rough recently. Azalea was trickling out of the meta already from whatever players she had left piloting her. The emergence of stronger go-wide classes such as Boltyn and Chane, along with Prism’s massive attacks and auras, have caused devastation for her utility as a hero.

There are now a variety of go-wide classes which handily outclass Azalea’s ability to do the same, forcing her to really lean into her dominate arrow coming off the top of the deck. As you can imagine though, this isn’t always a great strategy and runs into a lot of issues due to the relatively low damage output of her arrows without any additional support from non-attack actions or reactions.

Prism as well is very difficult for Azalea to get around. Running almost no 6-attack cards and relying very heavily on go-again, Prism goes into this matchup with a walloping advantage, further adding to the list of poor matchups for Azalea. Even though Monarch seemed to have a few solid cards helping her out, Azalea has firmly plummeted now to the bottom of the hero tier list, and it’s not close. 

 

Header - On the Lookout - Timesnap Potion

Timesnap Potion

 

With the inclusion of Spectra in Prism, the need for action points has never been greater. For Prism herself, running Timesnap Potion is many times a good alternative outside of her boots to counter the destruction of her attack actions by 6-attack action cards. Against her, it allows players to have an answer against powerful auras with Spectra.

As a result, Timesnap has become less of a luxury and more of a defensive piece once on the field. Strategies without access to action points on the ready will be significantly handcuffed by Spectra and Timesnap provides a solid option piece for these classes. Decks such as Dorinthea, Ira, Boltyn and possibly even Chane could benefit heavily from Timesnap then as not only synchronize with their offensive game plan, but they have the time (no pun intended) to play it at the end of their go-again chains in response to a big block from their opponent. 

 

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