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Equipment 101: How to Choose and Use Equipment in Flesh and Blood

Equipment is a new and unique aspect in Flesh and Blood for many TCG fans and newcomers alike. The idea that you start with these equipment and your weapon in play when the game begins ensures both heroes start full and ready to battle from turn one. This leads to some very common choices, such as choosing which equipment to use and how to best use your equipment. Today, I’ll share some tricks on how you should go about selecting your equipment as well as how to best utilize equipment in Flesh and Blood.

A great place to start is with considerations for working out what equipment should be part of your 80-card deck in Classic Constructed or what 11 equipment and weapon loadout you should use for Blitz.

Equipment Options

Each piece of equipment in Flesh and Blood has a role, whether it be additional defensive capabilities, enhancing your attacks or giving you resources. A number of equipment may even have multiple roles. Some equipment, like Legendary equipment, might be more than just a role player and can even be the focal point of your deck. For example, in an aggressive go-wide Ninja build, one of the first cards on your list very likely will be Mask of Momentum and you may even build the deck entirely around the idea of hitting three attacks in a row to get an extra card.

Mask of MomentumTectonic PlatingBloodsheath SkeletaVest of the First Fist

So let’s understand exactly what your options are when it comes to equipment  and what roles these equipment can play. Below I have broken equipment down into four roles for ease of evaluating what they can provide: offensive, defensive, utility and hybrid.

Defensive Equipment

Ironrot GauntletNullrune RobeArcanite Skullcap

The first thing that likely comes to mind when you think of equipment is something that will protect your hero. The defensive-based equipment have the primary job of helping you defend against incoming attacks. Cards like Ironrot Helm and Ironrot Legs have just one single purpose: to stop a crucial point of combat damage from opposing attack actions or weapons. Likewise, Nullrune Gloves and Nullrune Robe are used to prevent arcane damage being flung at your face.

Offensive Equipment

Snapdragon ScalersVest of the First FistGoliath GauntletBracers of BeliefHeartened Cross Strap

Offensive equipment provides almost exclusively a bonus or creating synergy with your hero on your turn, usually for attacks. Goliath Gauntlets, Bracers of Belief, Snapdragon Scalers and Heartened Cross Strap all fall into this category. They are equipment that can only be used on your turn in order to improve your attacking output, to help further your game plan.

Utility Equipment

Hope Merchant's HoodGambler's GloveTalismanic Lens

Utility equipment can be used to help either offensively or defensively, smooth out draws, manipulate the deck and all around provide support for your hero and game plan. Equipment like Hope Merchant’s Hood, Gambler’s Gloves and Talismanic Lens all allow you to get an effect that will help in a multitude of situations. Take Gambler’s Gloves for example, you might use this card offensively in your Brute deck to reroll Scabskin Leathers action. You could also use it defensively to reroll an opposing brutes dice, such as Kayo, Berserker Runt’s ability.

Hybrid Equipment

Refraction BoltersSkullhornCrown of DichotomyTeklo Foundry Heart

Hybrid equipment can be used both defensively and offensively and don’t just provide one or the other across the course of the game like you would have with utility equipment. A great example of this is Braveforge Bracers, which can defend once for two, and a second time for one. However, you can also, at any point in the game, use the card offensively to supplement your second weapon attack on your turn. The majority of hybrid cards you will notice are class specific, and this makes a lot of sense due to the power of these equipment. I would consider Barkbone Strapping, Bloodsheath Skeleta, Storm Striders and Skullbone Crosswrap all as hybrid options.

Mask of MomentumCourage of Bladehold

Many of these hybrid-type equipment generate the core of their power through utility with both offensive and defensive functions. However, many of these items are often at their best for just a single aspect. Take Mask of Momentum for example. Due to Blade Break, once this equipment blocks, it’s destroyed, so the utility defensively is pretty weighed down by the fact you will no longer get the card effect after you defend with it. It will generally be more important to a Ninja deck to keep the ongoing threat of the ability. The opposite however might be said for Courage of Bladehold. Often, it’ll only defend twice and not be used for its offensive ability. You will quickly notice that each hybrid equipment may well be more useful to your deck for one role primarily, and it’s great to keep this in mind when building your full equipment suite out.

Which Equipment Should You Play?

So now that we know what equipment we have at our disposal and their roles, how do you select an equipment, based on the roles and your needs for any given deck? By understanding exactly what your game plan or game plans are, you’re going to have a better idea of which equipment is the best fit. Perhaps your equipment will aid key turns, complement the turn-to-turn strategy of the deck or simply just be one and done defensive help.

DashMaximum VelocityZero to Sixty (Red)Vest of the First Fist

For example, let’s say you just built an aggressive Boost-oriented Dash deck in Blitz, with the key focus of getting off a big turn that ends in Maximum Velocity. You have a strategy and a goal, but what equipment might best serve your game plan? I would say either Heartened Cross Strap, Vest of the First Fist or Teklo Foundry Heart would be your starting point as the considerations at the chest slot. In order to execute your plan you are going to need a lot of resources and at least four other cards including three with Boost and Maximum Velocity  –  The role you are wanting your chest slot to fill here is offensive in nature, to enable your key turn in the game, and these equipment cards can all fill that slot.

Moving onto the arm slot, you’ll need to decide if we want the equipment here to play a defensive or offensive role. There isn’t any class specific equipment here that can serve a hybrid role., so offensively a great option could be Goliath Gauntlet to enable a key attack like Pedal to the Metal (Red) to increase the damage threat. Defensively you could be looking at Ironrot Gauntlet to help against key attacks from the Ninja or Warrior opponents or Nullrune Gloves against Wizard and possibly Runeblade opponents.

You’re not limited to just one equipment for each slot, so you could opt to have all three of these equipment in the total deck and play the one that serves each matchup best. One of the interesting decision points in Flesh and Blood is that you can have more than just the bare minimum equipment and change accordingly and try to strike the best balance. In Blitz you have 11 equipment and weapon spots to play with, and in Classic Constructed you can include a few extra options in the 80, as long as it allows you to still have a 60-card deck to present each game. Personally, I would recommend no more than seven equipment cards in Classic Constructed right now.

Finally when looking at your equipment suite, ask yourself these basic questions to check if you’re suiting up in the right gear:

  • Do I need any arcane barrier and how much does my current equipment provide? Is it enough?
  • What are the core plans of my deck? Do at least some of my equipment support these plans?
  • Do I have any particular weaknesses that my equipment could help strengthen?
  • Do I need more of my equipment to be focused on defense, utility or offense?

Getting the Most Out of Your Equipment

KatsuScabskin LeathersArcanite Skullcap

My number one tip when it comes to using your equipment to the fullest is to leave your defensive equipment for as long as possible. You might be tempted to use your Arcanite Skullcap early to ensure you get that value of 2 defense, or even ensure you get a point of damage prevented with Breaking Scales in anticipation of eventually using it to push a Combo attack over the top.

While there is some good logic here, what you’re missing out on by using these early will almost always outweigh these small upsides. The fact is the longer you have defensive equipment up, the more difficult your opponents decision will be as they must continually factor in your ability to defend with more than just the cards in your hand. Say you are on Rhinar playing versus Katsu, you have Scabskin Leathers and Ironrot Gauntlet as defensive equipment. The Ninja player is trying to set up scenarios they can go wide enough or present enough damage on a key turn to ensure you can’t block favorably and thus stop Mask of Momentum and/or Katsu’s ability triggering.

For each attack the Ninja makes, they have to keep considering how you can block or might block, including with your equipment. The upside isn’t just in how it impacts the way your opponent plays, it also gives you an advantage to use the defensive value of the equipment later in the game. It can enable setting up your big turn by not needing to block a certain attack with cards from your hand or giving you maneuverability against late game on-hit triggers that can be game winning out of Warrior, Guardian, Ninja or Runeblade. Hold these equipment up and ensure you aren’t just throwing them away to simply prevent non-critical damage that has no added value for the opponent.

Talismanic LensSonic BoomIronrot GauntletCrippling Crush

Secondly, understand the value of your equipment in any given game. With each matchup you play and even from game-to-game, the value of each one of your equipment will change. Each one holds a different value for you based on the game states that unfold and how they interact with yours and your opponents tactics.

Take the earlier example against a Ninja opponent. When you finally commit your Scabskin Leather along with a 3 defense card to block an active Whelming Gustwave (Red), the value of your equipment isn’t just preventing a possible 2 damage. The Scabskin Leathers is also now preventing a card draw and possibly an attack counting towards Mask of Momentum or the attack that triggers Katsu’s ability and finds your opponent the rest of their combo.

However, the added value you can extract isn’t just on defense. Let’s take Talismanic Lens for a Boomnother example. You could simply use this equipment to fix your draw for one turn by activating and destroying it on your turn before drawing up at the end of turn. In that case, the value of the equipment is a possible improvement to your draw for one turn. However, if you leave the Talismanic Lens until you are ready to play something like Sonic Boom and launch into a big Arcane damage turn, the value of your equipment can be so much higher representing possibly four, five or more damage and a partial improvement to your draw. Each equipment has a ceiling and a floor as to what can be gotten out of it.

The best advice I can give on how to understand and get the best value from each piece of equipment is by envisioning the best scenario and highest value you could get out of each one, then work backwards to find a situation as close as possible to that ceiling. In some games, the value you get out of your equipment won’t be very high, but in other games your Ironrot Gauntlet might be the difference between Crippling Crush connecting for three versus four damage and discarding two cards and losing all your momentum. Understanding how your equipment can be used like this and by ensuring you don’t throw them away, especially early on, puts you in the best position to extract full value from each equipment slot.

There you have it, some insight on the real power that equipment hold in Flesh and Blood. You should continually keep in mind the roles they can fulfill in your decks to ensure you are getting the most out of each one. You can give yourself a significant edge over your opponent in a game by more strategically using your equipment, particularly if the other side of the table is unplanned and frivolously using their own.

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