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Draft Box Rundown – Arcane Rising 

Draft is an incredible format in Flesh and Blood. With most of the design in the game being heavily considered for draft, each draft set in Flesh and Blood has been a cultivated experience which you shouldn’t miss. As a love letter to the format, I’ll be continuing a miniseries going through each draft set in the game, highlighting what makes that set unique in it’s gameplay alongside key cards to look for when drafting. Hopefully this will serve as a great kickstart guide to those who are looking to choose which box to draft on their next Friday night get together, as well as a primer on how to do well when drafting it. With that in mind, start with Arcane Rising

 

 

Header - "The Ugly Duckling"

I won’t lie, Arcane Rising is my least favorite draft format in Flesh and Blood. However, it still brings many interesting things to the table once the first round of packs is cracked. Personally, I think this set suffers a lot from being right after the masterpiece which is Welcome to Rathe Limited. With both draft formats essentially being the same, in the sense that they stylistically contain four heroes and generics to support, a lot of weight falls upon the viability of the heroes in draft and the flexibility of the generics in Arcane Rising to hold up against their predecessor. Our four heroes in Arcane Rising are: 

  1. Kano, Dracai of Aether 
  2. Azalea, Ace in the Hole 
  3. Viserai, Rune Blood
  4. Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire 

With the introduction of arcane damage and the expansion of more complex deckbuilding and hero mechanics, Arcane Rising becomes a substantially more complex gameplay experience for newer players. 

In terms of the gameplay experience itself, each of these heroes almost needs to live within an archetype, which means it can punish poor drafting skills and staying open heavily. The most flexible of the bunch here is Dash, who can play a slower item-based plan or a fast boost-based aggro. Kano can be flexible but really wants a good amount of his class cards to really leverage his hero ability. Generics will usually round out his offensive package. Azalea requires more than anything a good number of arrows to function at all. Her lack of a solid weapon means a lack of arrows will end your games quickly, with you the loser. Drafting solid generics and strong arrows however can easily lead you to having the strongest draft deck in the format with easy access to dominate. Lastly, Viserai is a solid draft pick here who can play the “pile” archetype the easiest. With access to solid block and the ability to play the widest variety of cards, Viserai can simply deck you out, or play a solid midrange game with a few burst turns here and there. 

It’s difficult to give much gameplay advice for Arcane Rising since the heroes are so archetype focused or simply can only play in one manner only. If any, I would say the lack of high offense in Arcane Rising means it can be a slower format and setting up a few solid turns through the game while using the plethora of defensive generics can be a useful strategy to employ. Otherwise, try to have an idea of two heroes you want to draft early, and force either one or the other depending on your generics and class cards you pull. Compared to WTR, the generics in Arcane Rising are significantly narrower in their scope, so drafting the good ones early can leave other players with a lot of chaff in their deck later. 

 

Header - Top 3 Generics

1. Fate Foreseen (Red)

Fate Foreseen (Red) (Regular)

It’s easy to see this one coming. There are few universally strong generics in this set, with Fate Foreseen being one of them. The ability to opt in Arcane Rising is relevant to almost every hero, and you can be guaranteed the cards will be snatched quickly. In addition, both Viserai and Dash present many breakpoints of four, and alongside Azalea presenting dominate, it can be useful to have one of the few defense reactions available stuck in your Arsenal for that key pivot.

As a I said above, Arcane Rising can be a slower format in which its important to have big burst turns. Stopping your opponent’s burst turn or being defensively ready for it is a premium that Fate Foreseen (Red) can only present. Grab it early in your next Arcane Rising draft!

2. Life for A Life (Red)

Life for a Life (Red) (Regular)

An incredibly solid on-hit effect alongside go-again? Sign me Up! Life for a Life (Red) is a great draft card that allows you those bigger offensive turns and a premium in life gain should your opponent allow its damage to leak through. Since it rewards you for being at lower life, it also is a great card to stick in Arsenal for a pivot turn in the middle of the match after you’ve personally soaked some damage. I would personally stay away from the reds and yellows, but the ability of this generic to be fantastic in all of Azalea, Viserai and Kano means it’s a strong pick in your early draft should you not be decided on your hero, and a great generic to pick up late to force your opponents to use the rest of the chaff in the pack. 

3. Come to Fight (Red & Blue)

Come to Fight (Red) (Regular)Come to Fight (Blue) (Regular)

Don’t sleep on Come to Fight! As one of the few three-block generics in the set, Come to Fight is a great pump that easily flexes into many of the heroes available, as well as being a non-attack action for the purposes of Kano and Viserai should they want more of these in their builds. More than that however, it’s the simplicity and flexibility Come to Fight (Red and Blue) offers that it such a great early pick. Since many attacks in this set are costed at two, the ability to play out this buff into one of your attacks off a three-card hand is a great tempo play that any deck will love to have. In addition, Arcane Rising is a format that is demanding upon your Arsenal, so having a flex card like this that is good in Arsenal but doesn’t necessarily need to take that spot unlike some other cards allows you have a more flexible hand in gameplay as well. 

One of the my favorite buffs for its simplicity and effectiveness, I’m surely picking Come to Fight early if it allows me to stay open. 

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