Welcome to the Flesh and Blood Classic Constructed Power Rankings, a bi-weekly update brought to you as we traverse the Road to Nationals season globally. Find out what decks are rising and what decks are falling in the metagame, keeping your finger on the pulse.
The 2021 Road to Nationals season is officially over! It’s been six weeks of thousands of players battling in over 150 events across Asia, Europe, North America and the Pacific. We have seen shifts in the meta through the season, with the second and third slots in our power rankings seeing multiple shake-ups across our ranking updates. Today, we take a look at what the power rankings look like just days out from The Calling.
WEEK FOUR RANKING: 1st – No Change
Mr. Consistent has been Chane, Bound by Shadow’s nickname this season, week after week putting up the results and finishing the season with a total of 59 event wins (38 percent of total Road to Nationals). The last two weeks in particular have shown Chane isn’t slowing up and is certainly the hero with a big juicy target on it’s back heading into Vegas with a 42 percent win share in the final two weeks of events.
Flock of the Feather Walker builds have become increasingly popular since week three, however we are still seeing more traditional builds opting to use cards like Meat and Greet (Red) and heavier blood debt counts by way of Rip Through Reality (Red), six or more Rift Bind and even Mutated Mass. Can Chane be taken down this weekend? Or will the Shadow Runeblade closeout the Monarch Classic Constructed format on top?
Lucas NG, 1st place Infinity Cards and Collectibles Road to Nationals, August 28th
1 Chane, Bound by Shadow 1 Aether Ironweave 1 Arcanite Skullcap 1 Carrion Husk 1 Ebon Fold 1 Grasp of the Arknight 1 Nebula Blade 1 Snapdragon Scalers 3 Bounding Demigon (Red) 3 Command and Conquer 3 Enlightened Strike 3 Flock of the Feather Walkers (Red) 3 Ghostly Visit (Red) 3 Howl from Beyond (Red) 3 Plunder Run (Red) 3 Rift Bind (Red) 2 Rip Through Reality (Red) 3 Seeds of Agony (Red) 1 Soul Reaping 3 Unhallowed Rites (Red) 3 Art of War 3 Rift Bind (Yellow) 3 Seeds of Agony (Yellow) 1 Seeping Shadows (Yellow) 3 Consuming Volition (Blue) 1 Eclipse Existence 1 Energy Potion 3 Flock of the Feather Walkers (Blue) 2 Invert Existence 3 Mauvrion Skies (Blue) 3 Seeds of Agony (Blue) 3 Shadow of Ursur 2 Timesnap Potion 3 Unhallowed Rites (Blue) 3 Vexing Malice (Blue)
WEEK ONE RANKING: 4th – Up Two Spots
The Light Warrior Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn continues to climb up our power rankings. Closing out the season with an impressive 17 wins (11 percent share). In the last two weeks Boltyn has also had the best conversion rate of top eight showings into wins at 18 percent, along with the third most wins in that period, seeing Boltyn grab second spot.
Cintari Saber builds have been putting up some big results across Europe and parts of North America since week four, and while Raydn, Duskbane builds are still seeing play it feels like we have seen a changing of the guard. The big question now becomes will the combo-centric Saber builds have what it takes to outrace and overpower Chane at the top tables this weekend?
Anthony Nguyen – 1st place, Highlander Games Road to Nationals, August 28th
1 Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn 1 Arcanite Skullcap 1 Braveforge Bracers 2 Cintari Saber 1 Courage of Bladehold 1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic 1 Gallantry Gold 1 Snapdragon Scalers 3 Bolt of Courage (Red) 3 Command and Conquer 3 Engulfing Light (Red) 3 Enlightened Strike 3 Express Lightning (Red) 3 Fate Foreseen (Red) 3 Sink Below (Red) 3 Take Flight (Red) 2 Valiant Thrust (Red) 3 Beacon of Victory 3 Bolt of Courage (Yellow) 2 Bolting Blade 3 Celestial Cataclysm 3 Engulfing Light (Yellow) 3 Express Lightning (Yellow) 3 Lumina Ascension 1 Remembrance 3 Soul Shield 3 Take Flight (Yellow) 3 V of the Vanguard 1 Valiant Thrust (Yellow) 3 Bolt of Courage (Blue) 2 Energy Potion 3 Engulfing Light (Blue) 2 Impenetrable Belief (Blue) 3 Take Flight (Blue)
WEEK FOUR RANKING: 2nd – Down One Spot
Ninja has been on the decline since week one, which I guess is the only way you can go when you start in top spot! However, it really has been a tougher close to the Road to Nationals season for the Kodachi-wielding Katsu, the Wanderer. Across the last two weeks of the season, Katsu has not dropped in popularity, but conversion on wins has certainly, with the sixth worst conversion rate in top eight to wins.
The season started with more midrange and control-focused builds that looked to fatigue out the boogeyman of the format Chane, with tools such as Snag and Flic Flak (Red). After a week three and four dip in performance, we have started to see some shifts to more aggressive builds that race Chane and Boltyn players with a real focus on the Lord of Wind combo line. It will be interesting to see what builds of Katsu show up in Vegas, and what if any builds do well. My pick would still be the more aggressive versions, or a midrange version that can pressure Chane with ability to pivot if needed with the best defensive cards.
Hayden Dale – Katsu, the Wanderer
1 Katsu, the Wanderer 2 Harmonized Kodachi 1 Breaking Scales 1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic 1 Heartened Cross Strap 1 Mask of Momentum 1 Nullrune Gloves 1 Snapdragon Scalers 3 Ancestral Empowerment 1 Blackout Kick (Red) 3 Command and Conquer 3 Enlightened Strike 3 Flic Flak (Red) 1 Fluster Fist (Red) 3 Head Jab (Red) 3 Leg Tap (Red) 3 Plunder Run (Red) 3 Razor Reflex (Red) 3 Rising Knee Thrust (Red) 3 Scar for a Scar (Red) 3 Snatch (Red) 3 Surging Strike (Red) 3 Torrent of Tempo (Red) 3 Unmovable (Red) 3 Whelming Gustwave (Red) 3 Art of War 1 Hurricane Technique 3 Mugenshi: RELEASE 1 Remembrance 2 Surging Strike (Yellow) 3 Crane Dance (Blue) 3 Find Center 3 Lord of Wind 1 Plunder Run (Blue) 2 Rising Knee Thrust (Blue) 3 Whelming Gustwave (Blue)
Derek Watring, 1st place Baseline Inc Road to Nationals, August 21st
1 Katsu, the Wanderer 1 Breaking Scales 1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic 2 Harmonized Kodachi 1 Heartened Cross Strap 1 Mask of Momentum 1 Snapdragon Scalers 3 Ancestral Empowerment 1 Blackout Kick (Red) 3 Command and Conquer 1 Crane Dance (Red) 3 Enlightened Strike 3 Flic Flak (Red) 1 Fluster Fist (Red) 3 Leg Tap (Red) 3 Plunder Run (Red) 3 Razor Reflex (Red) 3 Rising Knee Thrust (Red) 3 Scar for a Scar (Red) 3 Sink Below (Red) 3 Snatch (Red) 3 Soulbead Strike (Red) 3 Surging Strike (Red) 2 Torrent of Tempo (Red) 1 Unmovable (Red) 3 Whelming Gustwave (Red) 3 Art of War 1 Hurricane Technique 1 Leg Tap (Yellow) 3 Mugenshi: RELEASE 3 Surging Strike (Yellow) 2 Crane Dance (Blue) 2 Find Center 3 Lord of Wind 2 Lunging Press 2 Rising Knee Thrust (Blue) 3 Whelming Gustwave (Blue)
WEEK FOUR RANKING: Outside the Top Five
Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire makes a first appearance in our Classic Constructed Power Rankings. Results have left me fairly surprised as we saw an uptick in Dash players post week two, but the results have really come in the last two weeks of the season for our Mechanologist players! Dash has had the second best top eight to conversion in the final weeks of the season and fourth equal win share with our fifth hero in the power rankings at five (Bravo, Showstopper in comparison has only had two wins in the same period!).
Dash has seemingly moved to more aggressive builds, moving away from control/fatigue builds and trying to take advantage of big go-wide Boost turns with attacks like Zipper Hit (Red), Zero to Sixty (Red) and Throttle (Red) in conjunction with High Octane and even Tome of Fyendal for the big combo turns. These turns allowing Dash to utilize Plasma Purifier and attack multiple times with the Teklo Plasma Pistol for three or more with the extra actions.
Chris Ray, 1st place Kitchen Table Games Road to Nationals, August 14th
1 Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire 1 Achilles Accelerator 1 Arcanite Skullcap 1 Goliath Gauntlet 2 Teklo Foundry Heart 1 Viziertronic Model i 2 Command and Conquer 3 Fate Foreseen (Red) 3 High Octane 3 High Speed Impact (Red) 2 Induction Chamber 2 Maximum Velocity 2 Plasma Purifier 3 Sink Below (Red) 3 Throttle (Red) 3 Unmovable (Red) 3 Zero to Sixty (Red) 3 Zipper Hit (Red) 2 Art of War 3 Spark of Genius 3 Throttle (Yellow) 3 Tome of Fyendal 3 Zero to Sixty (Yellow) 3 Zipper Hit (Yellow) 3 Combustible Courier (Blue) 3 High Speed Impact (Blue) 3 Locked and Loaded (Blue) 3 Over Loop (Blue) 3 Pedal to the Metal (Blue) 1 Teklo Core 3 Throttle (Blue) 3 Zero to Sixty (Blue) 3 Zipper Hit (Blue)
WEEK FOUR RANKING: Outside the Top Five
Dorinthea Ironsong rounds out our Power Rankings this week after a quietly solid Road to Nationals season, with an equal fourth win share over the last two weeks and the fourth best conversion rate on top eight to wins propelling Dorinthea into the rankings. Our Welcome to Rathe Warrior finished the season in a good spot after looking long forgotten post Monarch’s release.
Big turns with powerful on-hit effects is one of the best ways to attack the current format, and thanks to Steelblade Supremacy, Warrior’s Valor (Red) and even Nature’s Path Pilgrimage (Red) and the power of reprise from Singing Steelblade, Dorinthea is definitely able to do this right now.
Matthew W, 1st place Star City Games Road to Nationals, August 28th
1 Dorinthea Ironsong 1 Arcanite Skullcap 1 Braveforge Bracers 1 Courage of Bladehold 1 Dawnblade 1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic 1 Refraction Bolters 3 Command and Conquer 3 Ironsong Response (Blue) 1 Nourishing Emptiness 3 Out for Blood (Red) 2 Overpower (Red) 3 Plow Through (Red) 3 Razor Reflex (Red) 3 Rout 3 Scar for a Scar (Red) 3 Sharpen Steel (Red) 3 Sink Below (Red) 3 Spoils of War 3 Steelblade Shunt (Red) 3 Steelblade Supremacy 3 Stroke of Foresight (Red) 3 Warrior's Valor (Red) 2 Hit and Run (Yellow) 2 Ironsong Determination 3 Singing Steelblade 1 Steelblade Shunt (Yellow) 2 Twinning Blade 3 Warrior's Valor (Yellow) 2 Energy Potion 3 Glint the Quicksilver 3 Hit and Run (Blue) 2 Ironsong Response (Blue) 3 Out for Blood (Blue) 3 Overpower (Blue) 3 Warrior's Valor (Blue)
Falling out of the top five: Bravo, Showstopper & Rhinar, Reckless Rampage
Good luck to all those competing in Vegas this weekend. I’m interested to see what the last week of Monarch Classic Constructed has for us. Will we see a new deck emerge and take out the event, or will it be a known commodity?
I want to give a special thanks to Davis “TowerNumberNine” Kingsley from the FAB Discord who has been putting together a summary of the Road to Nationals results, thus allowing me to present a lot of these numbers in the Classic Constructed Power Rankings.