Welcome to my first Flesh and Blood Deep Dive! With events heating up, now’s the perfect time to delve into a deck that could be your ticket to the Pro Tour!
Today I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the Dash list that the esteemed Matt Rogers used to win a Road to Nationals event just a few days ago. I’ve done a couple pieces on Dash before (this and this, for example), and enjoy the way she plays, so I was intrigued when I saw Matt’s latest list.
Matt did a fantastic deck tech of his previous Dash list here, and it’s definitely worth checking. The list he used to take down the tournament was a bit different, and that’s the one we will be focusing on today. There’s a good chance he ends up making content about his tournament-winning list as well, and I look forward to seeing that if he does – for now I’ll share my thoughts on it.
Let’s get to it!
Dash Classic Constructed by Matt Rogers
1 Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire 1 Arcanite Skullcap 1 Teklo Foundry Heart 1 Goliath Gauntlet 1 Achilles Accelerator 1 Teklo Plasma Pistol 2 Induction Chamber 2 Plasma Purifier 3 Sink Below (Red) 3 Fate Foreseen (Red) 3 Maximum Velocity 3 Command and Conquer 3 Unmovable (Red) 3 Sigil of Solace (Red) 3 Zipper Hit (Red) 3 Zero to Sixty (Red) 3 Throttle (Red) 3 High Octane 2 High Speed Impact (Red) 3 Zipper Hit (Yellow) 3 Zero to Sixty (Yellow) 3 Spark of Genius 2 Tome of Fyendal 3 Zipper Hit (Blue) 3 Zero to Sixty (Blue) 3 Throttle (Blue) 3 Over Loop (Blue) 3 Combustible Courier (Blue) 3 Pedal to the Metal (Blue) 3 High Speed Impact (Blue) 3 Locked and Loaded (Blue) 2 Teklo Core 2 Snag
In Classic Constructed, you register 80 cards (which includes your weapons and equipment), and present a 60-card deck plus your chosen gear after you learn which hero you are facing. As such, your deck doesn’t just have one game plan when you make it, but a variety, based on which heroes you expect to face. Let’s go over Dash’s primary equipment and primary game plan before talking about the flex slots.
This deck goes lean on equipment, instead keeping as much flexibility as possible when it comes to card choices. That’s an intentional decision, and comes at the expense of luxuries such as extra arcane defense, but with Kano on the downswing, that’s a good gambit to take.
If you’re concerned about arcane damage, it’s not unreasonable to include some more Nullrune items, but I agree with Matt’s stance here, and wouldn’t at the moment.
The Teklo Foundry Heart is absurdly powerful. Not only does it block for three points of damage total, it sticks around even afterwards, making it a heavy duty armor to begin with. The ability is awesome as well, giving you an extra resource point each turn you boost (assuming you don’t flip one of the few non-Mechanologist cards in the deck). At some point, it becomes costly to banish cards, but you can get plenty of uses out of this before that comes up.
Your boots don’t provide physical defense, but some Arcane Barrier is wise to have, and being able to cash these in for an extra action point on a big turn helps set up something like Maximum Velocity. Ideally you don’t use these until you can go really big, but if you have to pop them early, so be it.
The Arcanite Skullcap isn’t Dash-specific, but it’s a monster on rate. As long as you manage your life total well, you can get a ton of value from this, as it provides two points of defense and a huge Arcane Barrier. This is a card that rewards you for blocking early, and against decks without a lot of on-hit effects, I’d basically always use it when you can get a two-point block in.
The Gauntlet isn’t the most exciting, but it does its job. This pushes through some extra damage, and can come up clutch as a result.
This weapon is mandatory, and makes Dash’s hero power quite strong. More on this below.
These are the cards you almost always start with. The core consists of a ton of attacks and almost all Mechanologist cards, critical in ensuring that your boosts are successful. While this core slants towards offense, the cards you use in your flex spots can certainly give the deck a controlling aspect instead.
Pitch 1 (Red)
- 2 Induction Chamber
- 3 Maximum Velocity
- 3 Sigil of Solace
- 3 Zipper Hit
- 3 Zero to Sixty
- 3 High Octane
- 2 High Speed Impact
Pitch 2 (Yellow)
Pitch 3 (Blue)
- 3 Zipper Hit
- 3 Zero to Sixty
- 3 Throttle
- 3 Over Loop
- 3 Combustible Courier
- 3 Pedal to the Metal
- 3 High Speed Impact
- 3 Locked and Loaded
- 1 Teklo Core
Let’s go over some of the fundamental aspects of how Dash plays. You start out by grabbing an Induction Chamber with her hero power, which means that you have a powerful and consistent source of damage the entire game.
With the Chamber, you can fire your Pistol without using up an action point, at the low cost of a resource point. That translates into two extra damage a turn, which adds up quickly.
Another big part of Dash’s arsenal is Teklo Core + Spark of Genius. Teklo Core is a strong card in its own right, but once you add Spark to the mix, you get a ton of value. You can cast Spark for X=0 and get the Core, giving you two extra resource points for the next two turns and drawing a card (as long as you set up a boost beforehand, which is trivial). That’s a lot of extra resources, both figuratively and literally, and gives Dash a strong boost (as it were) regardless of whether you’re on offense or defense. In a pinch, you can cast Spark for more, but that doesn’t come up nearly as often.
This is your finisher. Maximum Velocity hits for an incredible 10 damage, but only if you’ve done the work and gotten three boosts off. Zero to Sixty is the easiest way to accomplish that, though Zipper Hit is often in the mix as well. This also usually requires your Teklo Foundry Heart to happen, so don’t get too low on cards in deck if you haven’t assembled a good Max Velocity turn.
The sickest Dash turns all come from High Octane, where you rack up a ton of action points and unload your hand. This also cycles for just one resource point if needed, which isn’t the worst.
These are your bread-and-butter attacks, all of which are relatively cheap and fill out the deck. Of note, Over Loop can help you get across the finish line if you’ve gone through a ton of cards, as it gives you a recursive threat (it’s no Drone of Brutality, but what is).
The only non-Mechanologist cards in the deck both offer a lot of late game power. Sigil of Solace gains you some much-needed life, while Tome of Fyendal gains life and draws cards (assuming you have the time to arsenal it). Tome using up your action means you want to try and land it on a High Octane turn, since otherwise you’re slowing yourself down considerably.
These are the cards that supplement your core game plan, though you can present whatever configuration you think is best each round, so you’re not locked into anything. Still, these are the ones I think are the most matchup-specific, as they aren’t going to be part of your main game plan as often as the core cards above.
- 3 Sink Below
- 3 Unmovable
- 3 Fate Foreseen
- 3 Command and Conquer
- 3 Throttle
- 2 Plasma Purifier
- 2 Snag
- 1 Teklo Core
Chane is the hero to beat right now, and it makes sense to have dedicated cards for the matchup. In particular, Snag is quite strong, as it reduces the power of Rift Bind significantly, as well as any other attack-boosting cards. If you can use Snag to counter one of Chane’s big turns, your constant attacks and pistol shots can usually wear them down.
Vs Katsu / Bravo / Warrior
Against aggressive Katsu, Bravo or Warrior decks (or something like Azalea if she shows up), you have a nice defensive package available. Adding a bunch of defense reactions lets you take play the control role, as your hero power gives you a constant source of damage at a low cost. When you want this package in, you should cut some of the more aggressive cards, with Maximum Velocity losing luster as your boosts are less reliable (since all of these defense reactions are generic).
When you become a more controlling deck, Command and Conquer becomes much more appealing. It’s got a ton of raw power, and against Katsu specifically it can punish them for trying to set up combos via their Arsenal. It’s rarely bad to bring this in if you expect long games, especially against heroes that frequently utilize their Arsenal.
Throttle is a funny card to see as a meta call, but it’s here because it pops Prism’s Illusions. Yup, you’re playing it solely because it’s a Mechanologist attack that naturally has six power, and as such can really mess up Prism’s plans.
Vs Control / Attrition Matchups
These two equipment come in whenever you expect grindy games. Purifier in particular is for when you expect to settle in and chip shot the opponent to death, as it adds another element to the Induction Chamber + Pistol plan. One of the sweet things about FAB is how you can build vastly different decks within the same class, so knowing when your opponent has a more controlling build is critical. If you think they’re aiming for the long game with any hero, Teklo Core and Plasma Purifier can come in handy.
Let’s talk tactics. While Dash is one of the more straightforward heroes (“I’m going to boost and shoot with my pistol” is a fairly common line), there are still plenty of things to discuss.
When you go first, you’re in an interesting spot. Normally, you want to line up good attacks and go from there, but on the first turn of the game, the player going second gets to redraw up to four at the end of the turn. That means when you’re the first player, attacking doesn’t accomplish all that much. They can just use their entire hand to block, and refill it immediately before taking their turn.
As a result, here are the best ways to utilize being on the play:
- Arsenal a card. You almost always want to slot something into your Arsenal when going first.
- Take productive non-attack actions. Here, that means casting Spark of Genius or some other equipment. By putting material into play without attacking the opponent, you’re getting value from your first turn and denying them redraw value because they probably can’t use any of their cards.
- Charging up Teklo Plasma Pistol or Induction Chamber, but not attacking. Again, all attacking does is let them block for free (and it might even be beneficial, as they can use their weakest cards to block and redraw better ones).
The Big Turn
This is where you try and land a Maximum Velocity, and is the coup de grace of the deck. Most of the Max Velocity turns involve the following setup:
- Teklo Core. It’s hard to play four attacks in the same turn without sufficient resources, and Teklo Core delivers. When you cast Spark of Genius, anticipate going for it in the next two turns.
- A card in your Arsenal. While you really don’t want to arsenal Maximum Velocity itself, because of the risk of it being stuck there (I can verify that based on experience), starting the turn with five cards is a great way to make sure you have the juice you need.
- No blocks on the prior turn. In order to have a full hand, you often need to take a pummeling on your opponent’s turn. No risk, no reward, right?
- High Octane, Achilles Accelerator and Teklo Foundry Heart all give you extra resources and action points, and are key in making sure you get up to cruising speed.
You don’t have to go for Maximum Velocity every game, as the deck can certainly win without it, but knowing how to set up your most powerful attack is certainly important.
Another play pattern to get acquainted with is the chip game with Teklo Plasma Pistol. Because it doesn’t cost you an action point, you should almost always be firing away with it. You’ll also basically always have Induction Chamber in play, thanks to your hero power, so two shots a turn is the most likely number. It’s hard to beat the efficiency of four damage for two resource points and zero actions, so try and plan your turns such that you use this consistently.
Playing the Control Game
Another aspect to the deck is knowing when to play defensively. This most often comes up when you’re in the control configuration, with a deck full of defense reactions, Command and Conquer and lighter on the boost/Maximum Velocity package. You also may be forced into a defensive role when you’re behind on life, even if that’s not the ideal scenario. Here are some things to keep in mind when playing defense:
- Your Pistol is your best path to victory, because as discussed earlier, it’s very resource-light. It’s easy to spend three cards a turn blocking and pitch the last card to take a couple shots.
- Plasma Purifier helps with the Pistol plan as well, adding extra damage each turn for just one extra resource point. Note that you really want to fire twice on the turn you use the Purifier for max value.
- You not only want to boost less because your deck has non-Mech cards in it, you also want to boost less because the game might last a bunch of extra turns. When playing control, be more cautious with your deck size than you would otherwise. Over Loop comes in handy here as well, as it gives you extra material to work with.
- Your focus each turn should be to minimize damage taken, not maximize damage dealt. Defense reactions are obviously great at this, and you shouldn’t hesitate to use most or all of your hand to block each turn. A turn where you spend two or three cards to block and then just Arsenal or fire a Pistol on your turn isn’t a wasted one, assuming they also spent their hand on attacks.
As Matt demonstrated, this deck has what it takes to win (though it’s not clear that he needs much help from his deck for that, given his resume), and I’ve had a blast playing Dash. Good luck achieving whatever goals you’ve set for yourself with Flesh and Blood, whether that’s dominating organized play or having a great time battling your buddies. For more resources about the current metagame, I highly recommend checking out articles and videos by Matt himself or Hayden Dale, both of whom are excellent content creators!