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Cost-Efficient Classes: Choosing a High-End Deck with Money in Mind

One of the main aspects that originally drew me into Flesh and Blood was its reversal of the industry standard of rarity and power going hand-in-hand. In fact, many times the commons and rares you’ll find in booster packs will be the centerpieces of your decks. Nevertheless, there are some classes which step into this world of commons and rares in stride and pack big punches at low costs of entry. On the other hand, there are also some classes which really do miss their Super Rare, Majestic and Legendary pieces. 

For any newer player in the game or to TCG in general, it’s important to feel comfortable monetarily when building your first competitive deck, and knowing which classes heavily rely on their Super-Rares and above to be competitive can be a boon to avoid an unintentionally large hit to your wallet. Nevertheless, building your first deck is a fantastic experience and I encourage every player to try to build at least one competitive-level deck.

To help with this process, today I’ve broken down each class into various cards that frequent the top performing decks associated with each hero/class. Now, for this article alone, I’ll be focusing on Super-Rares and above, as most of the “big money” in any decks will be concentrated in those cards.

I do want to emphasize however that this article in no way says that you absolutely need these cards to be successful and have a solid deck for your hero. Rather, I’m simply compiling the major high rarity staples that you probably want and need to gain the extra edge in high-level tournament play for your respective hero. These cards, accompanied by their prices, hopefully will give new and older players alike a starting point for which hero they not only enjoy and want to deck build with, but which hero to pursue that’ll not be as large of a financial burden. 

As a quick side note before I commence, I’ll be talking about these prices from the perspective of Classic Constructed and reference that format specifically. In addition, all prices quoted below are from ChannelFireball’s Flesh and Blood Singles List and may differ from retailer to retailer, although the gist of the prices should be the same. 

 

Header - Warrior

Dorinthea Ironsong

 

When I first got into the game, one of my good pals would play a Warrior Pauper deck and absolutely crush the decks that I’d spent so much time crafting. Now this may speak to me originally still learning the game, but it also speaks to how much chaos Dorinthea can create with even a little bit of investment. Nevertheless, highly competitive Warrior players make a good thing great, and you’ll usually find the following in most of their decks: 

    1. Glint the Quicksilver – $46.82/card 
    2. Spoils of War – $56.36/card 
    3. Steelblade Supremacy – $29.99/card 
    4. Singing Steelblade – $10.19/card
    5. Ironsong Determination – $5.74/card 
    6. Rout – $8.14/card*
    7. Courage of Bladehold – $84.99/card
    8. Braveforge Bracers – $127.49/card

Dorinthea relies heavily on her strong Rares and Commons such as Warrior’s Valor, Hit and Run, Ironsong Response and so on, but the few upgrades above really transform her into an entirely different beast. Her cards are worth the highest per card out of any of the classes here, so I recommend upgrading incrementally and finding deals where you can.

Start with playsets of Spoils of War, Glint the Quicksilver and Ironsong Determination. All three are consistent staples in any strong Dorinthea deck and can help swing games in her favor. High end Warrior have some of the highest per card prices in the game cards but they give back what you put in. For the ones above, they’re entirely worth the investment if Dorinthea is going to be your partner in crime.

 

Total Cost for Full Playsets of all cards in Classic Constructed: $684.20

 

Header - Brute

Rhinar, Reckless Rampage

 

The first class I properly built a deck for, Brute upgrades usually involve cards that allow for multiple intimidates in a turn, redrawing or replenishing your hand size and cards that allow for stronger and more consistent spurts of damage. Let’s look at the staple Brute upgrades and what the class would cost out to be:

    1. Alpha Rampage – $14.39/card 
    2. Massacre – $11.04/card
    3. Beast Within – $18.99/card 
    4. Bloodrush Bellow – $17.99/card 
    5. Reckless Swing – $1.19/card 
    6. Sand Sketched Plan – $1.19/card
    7. Bone Head Barrier – $1.19/card
    8. Scabskin Leathers – $81.59/card
    9. Skullhorn – $56.09/card
    10. Gambler’s Gloves – $66.29/card

Before buying any of these cards, any player intending to play Brute competitively almost positively needs their full playset of Barraging Beatdowns in all pitch colors, so start there. After that, Massacre, Alpha Rampage and Bloodrush Bellow are strong bets to increase damage output and ability to intimidate. Beast Within and Reckless Swing boost your defensive and offensive capabilities.

Regarding equipment, Brute almost needs Gambler’s Gloves to mitigate some of the bad luck rolls you’ll encounter. Scabskin is a very solid defensive option which also has a strong back pocket effect that can win you games if played with the right hand. Skullhorn is an interesting headpiece, but the Arcane Barrier 2 it provides, along with a nice back pocket effect, makes it worth it for a class without any other strong Arcane protection. It’s probably the least necessary card here, but let’s be real – if you bought the other two, you’re probably buying Skullhorn too. 

 

Total Cost for Full Playsets of all cards in Classic Constructed: $401.91

 

Header - Ninja

Katsu, the Wanderer

 

Arguably the strongest out of the original four starter decks, Ninja is a class that’s not only been the starter class for many Flesh and Blood players, but also the bane of many an opponent learning the game. For Ninja, most upgrades revolve around feeding the go-wide strategy of the class, allowing for further card draw and more punishing on hit effects than before. 

  1. Lord of Wind – $11.99/card 
  2. Mugenshi: RELEASE– $1.49/card 
  3. Pounding Gale – $6.69/card
  4. Hurricane Technique – $4.29/card
  5. Heron’s Flight – $8.49/card 
  6. Find Center – $11.89/card
  7. Flood of Force – $11.49/card 
  8. Ancestral Empowerment – $17.99/card
  9. Mask of Momentum – $254.99/card
  10. Fyendal’s Spring Tunic – $203.99/card

Ninja is an interesting class with this list, as you shouldn’t be running every combo line in your deck or it’ll quickly become too bloated. In addition, although sporting the most expensive Legendary equipment, Ninja doesn’t require its Majestic footwear, Breeze Rider Boots, to be effective in play. Rather many competitive players run Snapdragon Scalers in its place as a strong alternative.

Therefore, when calculating the total cost of a Ninja Classic deck, it’s best to choose your favorite two combo lines and then add on the Ancestral Empowerment and the two big equipment chest and equipment slots. I do recommend these to anyone playing Ninja, but I do encourage those who are on the path of buying the Tunic and Mask that they try to close a good deal when they can, as these cards are both skyrocketing in price.

 

Total Cost for Full Playsets of all cards in Classic Constructed: $681.94

 

Header - Guardian

Bravo, Showstopper

 

Crush is a fun mechanic. Hampering your opponent’s next turn and game state along with pushing through damage is a fun way to control the game alongside chipping through your opponent’s life total. Guardian upgrades usually capitalize on the strength of this mechanic, coming through with bigger attack totals and allowing the flow of your attacks to become more consistent. Let’s take a look at the main upgrades:

    1. Crippling Crush – $17.99/card 
    2. Mangle – $11.99/card 
    3. Righteous Cleansing – $12.74/card
    4. Show Time! – $2.39/card 
    5. Cranial Crush – $7.19/card
    6. Spinal Crush – $11.99/card 
    7. Stamp Authority – $12.74/card
    8. Forged for War – $0.94/card
    9. Tectonic Plating – $80.74/card
    10. Crater Fist – $49.99/card

Tectonic Plating is a must if you can find it. Once you’ve smoothed out the cost of those Guardian cards from seven to six, or four to three, its impossible to go back. Add in 2 defense and you’ve got one solid chest piece.

Alongside the equipment, Crippling Crush for Bravo, alongside Show Time! are serious upgrades that add a ton of extra pop to your deck. Once you’ve got the three cards above, try to continue adding to your arsenal of big attacks with strong crush effects such as Mangle, Righteous Cleansing, Spinal Crush and so forth. Stamp Authority and Cranial Crush are also solid cards, but more situational in their play. Many times, they’re only used for their blue pitch value.

 

Total Cost for Full Playsets of all cards in Classic Constructed: $364.64

 

Header - Runeblade

Viserai, Rune Blood

 

Other than OTK Viserai slowly making a breakthrough in Blitz now, Runeblade has had a tough go of it in the Classic format. I attribute a lot of this to two things, one being the newness of the class relative to the WTR heroes and the fact that most of the must-have Runeblade cards come with a price tag attached, warding off newer players from entering the class. Nevertheless, the class has some sweet cards attached to it, and when fully upgraded, it can net you some of the most fulfilling gameplay in the game. 

    1. Mordred Tide – $16.79/card
    2. Arknight Ascendancy – $15.09/card 
    3. Become the Arknight – $5.84/card
    4. Dread Triptych – $10.19/card
    5. Ninth Blade of the Blood Oath – $6.69/card 
    6. Rattle Bones – $12.74/card
    7. Runeblood Barrier – $11.04/card 
    8. Grasp of the Arknight – $239.99/card
    9. Bloodsheath Skeleta – $79.99/card

Bloodsheath Skeleta might be the best Majestic equipment in the game, and a necessary pickup for any committed Runeblade player. After that, Mordred Tide and Arknight Ascendancy are other must-haves for the class and should be another strong buy.

As stated above, Viserai’s efficiency really shines when he has access to playsets of all the cards above. Therefore, it’s difficult for me to say that you wouldn’t need certain cards as much as others. If I had to make a cut, then Runeblood Barrier would go for me, but that’s due to the fact that I’m referencing Classic Constructed as my format here, and for OTK Viserai decks in Blitz, the card is almost a must-have.

 

Total Cost for Full Playsets of all cards in Classic Constructed: $555.12

 

Header - Mechanologist

Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire

 

Mechanologist is similar to Warrior in most cases, meaning that you can run an effective deck with little cost. With Commons and Rares like Throttle, Zero to Sixty, Zipper Hit, Hyper Driver and so on, you can apply a bunch of pressure without breaking the bank. However, just like Dorinthea, its all about making a good thing great, and here’s a few of the cards that regularly do so: 

    1. Teklo Core – $15.09/card 
    2. Plasma Purifier – $69.99/card
    3. Induction Chamber – $5.09/card
    4. Spark of Genius – $12.59/card 
    5. High Octane – $10.69/card
    6. Maximum Velocity – $4.19/card
    7. Absorption Dome – $11.49/card
    8. Teklo Foundry Heart – $152.99/card
    9. Viziertronic Model I – $52.69/card 

Mechanologist is blessed with strong equipment slots that should be filled if possible. Whether you run a boost deck or a slower pistol-based deck, extra pitch from Teklo Foundry Heart is a valuable asset, and for Viziertronic Model I, the Arcane Barrier 2 is always welcome regardless if you use it or not.

Now for Mechanologist, you many times won’t need all of these cards, as it’ll depend on the type of deck you intend to build. If you intend to run a pistol-based deck, then playsets of Plasma Purifier and Induction Chamber are almost a must, whereas you can do without cards like Maximum Velocity, although they’re nice to have. This works vice versa as well if you intend to run a boost-based deck, where Maximum Velocity, High Octane and Teklo Core will take the light away from the pistol support cards.

 

Total Cost for Full Playsets of all cards in Classic Constructed: $593.07

 

Header - Wizard

Kano, Dracai of Aether

 

Many new players don’t understand Wizard, and for good reason – the class demands some of the most technical and deep gameplay in the game. In doing so, Wizard is also the most difficult class to jump into out of the box as the Commons and Rares for the class don’t prop the hero up very well on their own. Pair those with playsets of the cards below through and you’ll be burning up the battlefield in no time:

    1. Gaze the Ages – $19.99/card
    2. Blazing Aether – $12.59/card
    3. Forked Lightning – $4.19/card
    4. Chain Lightning – $12.74/card
    5. Lesson in Lava – $8.39/card
    6. Tome of Aetherwind – $5.04/card 
    7. Sonic Boom – $16.79/card
    8. Aetherize – $12.99/card
    9. Storm Striders – $203.99/card
    10. Metacarpus Node – $72.99/card

I like to think of Wizard decks as a playbook of sorts that you can flip through as much as you like and play as you go. Adding these cards in just makes the flipping through experience so much smoother and deadlier simultaneously. They each play off each other for wonderfully technical gameplay that’s as much a joy to watch as it is to play. If you intend to play Wizard competitively, then I suggest picking up the full group of cards here and then start burning away.

 

Total Cost for Full Playsets of all cards in Classic Constructed: $555.14

 

Header - Ranger

Azalea, Ace in the Hole

 

I stand by Azalea as a solid hero. She may get laughed at, and she definitely doesn’t seem to do so well in tournaments, but I do think the potential is there for a very solid class. People seem to still be figuring out what’s the right balance for her in terms of defense and offense, as well as arrows and generics, but that’s part of the beauty of playing the class. Nevertheless, there are some cards that have arisen as staples for her already, and should be added to any Azalea deck searching for those perfect arrows: 

  1. Red in the Ledger – $14.24/card
  2. Remorseless – $27.99/card
  3. Endless Arrow – $4.19/card
  4. Rapid Fire – $5.69/card
  5. Poison the Tips – $8.99/card
  6. Nock the Deathwhistle – $10.19/card
  7. Feign Death – $11.99/card
  8. Three of a Kind – $12.59/card
  9. Skullbone Crosswrap – $174.99/card
  10. Fyendal’s Spring Tunic – $203.99/card

Similar to Wizard, Ranger, although not as extreme of a case, is still very dependent on it’s high-end cards. Arrows such as Red in the Ledger, Remorseless and Endless Arrow are weapons almost any Ranger player wants to be able to control their opponents blocking and damage output better. In addition, Ranger also heavily benefits from Skullbone Crosswrap and Fyendal’s Spring Tunic, as having a consistent Opt allows Azalea to pull off her Dominate consistently. Tunic gives her the pitch to bring back and create momentum at times where she wouldn’t be able to.

Although pricey, both her main equipment slots are needed upgrades if you want to go far with Ranger in tournament play. Once you have got those cards down, finish off the list with the variety of Reload cards such as Nock the Deathwhistle, Rapid Fire and so on. These cards allow you to add a little extra string to your arrows and bother your opponent in ways that otherwise would be impossible with just single arrows coming out of your Arsenal.

 

Total Cost for Full Playsets of all cards in Classic Constructed: $666.59

 

Header - Generics

Although not technically their own class, Generics play an important part in almost every deck out there, and for many decks, some of the below generics are just as important as any other of their mainstay pieces. In saying that, not every generic below is going to suit each deck, and therefore I’ve kept them as their entirely own section. Nevertheless, keep in mind when adding these generics in that they’re usually the priciest cards in the game. Let’s look at the most highly recurring generics of high rarity in competitive play:

    1. Art of War – $21.39/card
    2. Tome of Fyendal – $35.99/card
    3. Enlightened Strike – $121.60/card*
    4. Command and Conquer – $97.50/card*
    5. Coax a Commotion – $47.99/card 
    6. Last Ditch Effort – $1.49/card 
    7. Arcanite Skullcap – $287.99/card
    8. Fyendal’s Spring Tunic – $203.99/card

The prices here may cause you to gulp a little, as adding a full play set of Command and Conquer or Enlightened Strike to you deck can cost you as much as three whole booster boxes! Nevertheless, these generics are valued as such for good reason, and many times are staple cards within each deck that cause big momentum swings within games. If you can manage to add to them your decks, I assure the value is there.

 

Total cost to buy full playsets of all Generics above: $1469.86

 

Header - Wrapping Up

Alright, let’s finally zoom out and take a comparative look at these classes and their average prices, from cheapest to most expensive:

  1. Guardian – $364.64
  2. Brute – $401.91
  3. Runeblade – $555.12 
  4. Wizard – $555.14
  5. Mechanologist – $593.07
  6. Ranger – $666.59
  7. Ninja – $681.94
  8. Warrior – $684.20

Any surprises? I think we should all say bravo to Bravo for keeping the prices down on our wallets. Keep in mind that these prices are simply summations of the current market prices for the high-value cards in most decks. Bevertheless, since these cards represent most of the monetary value in most competitive decks, I would say the estimates are fairly accurate.

The price of each deck will fluctuate depending on how many rares/commons you buy as well to complete your playsets, along with possible additional includes of less popular Majestics and such that I haven’t included here. Lastly, adding any sort of generic playset to your deck will greatly up its cost by at least $100 or so, and while they’re strong, versatile cards, it’s important to choose carefully which generics will best up the competitive level of your deck for the money they’re worth. 

Overall, doing this exercise reveals some interesting things about what drives up the price of classes, and possibly gives some insight into what classes to choose when building your next deck. Hence when choosing your class to build with, keep in mind the following question if you are working within a budget: 

  1. How dependent is my class on Crucible of War? Cards from this set currently cost more than average. 
  2. What is the price of my legendary equipment? 
  3. How many rare equipment pieces does this class need? 
  4. How many high-end generics am I looking to add within my deck? 
  5. Does my class require almost every single high card printed for it? (Wizard and Ranger for example)

All in all, I hope this article gives newer players looking to build their first competitive-level deck more insight into choosing which hero to go with. Although going with your favorite class is fantastic, it’s important to also keep in mind the budget each class generally demands, so Flesh and Blood can remain a fun game without causing strain on your wallet. 

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