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Flesh and Blood Classic Constructed Power Rankings – 8/4/21

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.

Week one of one of the six weeks of Road to Nationals is complete! We saw players out in force battling for their Nationals invites across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific in the first of the 175 Roads events. Let’s dive in and examine the landscape of the Classic Constructed metagame as shaped by these past weekend’s events!

 

 

Katsu, the WandererHarmonized KodachiHarmonized Kodachi

 

From the data available over the first weekend of events, Katsu took the most wins at Road to Nationals events with five of 17 tracked events won by Katsu players. He’s a very popular choice for Week One across a lot of the events globally, and getting the results to match. Katsu also put the second-highest number of players in Top 8s, with 31 players across those 17 events.

We saw a few variations in these Classic Constructed Ninja strategies in week one. Some players opted for the more controlling builds focused on a mix of defense reactions and Kodachi pressure, combined with efficient red line attacks such as Enlightened Strike, Pounding Gale and Command and Conquer. It wasn’t all control though, and we saw more aggressive midrange builds that focused in on the combo lines like Surging Strike (Red) and Leg Tap (Red). There were even some more low-to-the-ground, aggro builds with the Belittle (Red) and Minnowism (Blue) package, aiming to really force through those Mask of Momentum hit triggers and go as wide as possible.

Overall, it was a great weekend for Katsu, and with the ability to attack the metagame in a variety of ways, expect Ninja to remain near the top of the pack all season. With the ability to flex and adapt to different local metagames and heroes rising and falling, it’s almost certainly a great choice again this weekend, and the control versions tend to line up well into other control decks thanks to the Kodachis.

 

Ash Singh 5th-8th Cerberus Games Road to Nationals July 31st

Class: Ninja
Hero: Katsu, the Wanderer
Weapons: Harmonized Kodachi
Equipment: Breaking Scales, Fyendal's Spring Tunic, Mask of Momentum, Snapdragon Scalers

(3) Ancestral Empowerment (red)
(3) Command and Conquer (red)
(3) Enlightened Strike (red)
(3) Flic Flak (red)
(2) Fluster Fist (red)
(3) Head Jab (red)
(3) Leg Tap (red)
(3) Plunder Run (red)
(2) Raging Onslaught (red)
(3) Razor Reflex (red)
(2) Rising Knee Thrust (red)
(2) Scar for a Scar (red)
(2) Snatch (red)
(3) Surging Strike (red)
(2) Torrent of Tempo (red)
(2) Unmovable (red)
(3) Whelming Gustwave (red)
(2) Art of War (yellow)
(2) Hurricane Technique (yellow)
(1) Leg Tap (yellow)
(3) Mugenshi: RELEASE (yellow)
(1) Open the Center (yellow)
(2) Raging Onslaught (yellow)
(1) Remembrance (yellow)
(3) Surging Strike (yellow)
(1) Whelming Gustwave (yellow)
(1) Energy Potion (blue)
(3) Fluster Fist (blue)
(3) Lord of Wind (blue)
(3) Rising Knee Thrust (blue)
(1) Timesnap Potion (blue)
(3) Whelming Gustwave (blue)

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Max Thomas 1st place Total Access Games Road to Nationals July 31st

Class: Ninja
Hero: Katsu, the Wanderer
Weapons: Harmonized Kodachi
Equipment: Breaking Scales, Breeze Rider Boots, Fyendal's Spring Tunic, Mask of Momentum, Nullrune Gloves

(1) Ancestral Empowerment (red)
(3) Command and Conquer (red)
(3) Enlightened Strike (red)
(3) Fate Foreseen (red)
(3) Flic Flak (red)
(3) Fluster Fist (red)
(3) Leg Tap (red)
(2) Nourishing Emptiness (red)
(2) Plunder Run (red)
(2) Pounding Gale (red)
(2) Razor Reflex (red)
(2) Rising Knee Thrust (red)
(3) Sigil of Solace (red)
(3) Sink Below (red)
(3) Surging Strike (red)
(2) Torrent of Tempo (red)
(3) Unmovable (red)
(2) Whelming Gustwave (red)
(3) Flic Flak (yellow)
(2) Hurricane Technique (yellow)
(2) Mugenshi: RELEASE (yellow)
(2) Find Center (blue)
(3) Flic Flak (blue)
(3) Fluster Fist (blue)
(3) Lord of Wind (blue)
(3) Rising Knee Thrust (blue)
(2) Snag (blue)
(1) Soulbead Strike (blue)
(1) Timesnap Potion (blue)
(3) Whelming Gustwave (blue)

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Header - 2. Chane, Bound by Shadow

Chane, Bound by ShadowNebula BladeArt of War

 

Chane continues to be very prevalent in this Monarch Classic Constructed meta, this weekend putting the most players in to the Top 8s with 35 in total. Adding to that, Chane also grabbed a hold of the second highest equal victories, that being three. No real surprises from the Chane lists, with very aggressive builds cantered around key cards Art of War, Rift Bind (Red), Seeds of Agony and the now default weapon it seems, Nebula Blade.

Chane appeared to find it much tougher this weekend though with a number of control decks ending a large number of Chane players’ Top 8 runs. We saw big numbers of the aforementioned Katsu control, as well as Bravo control and even Dash control making a reappearance and causing issues for some Chanes. While Chane was the most represented deck in Top 8s, it had one of the worst conversion rates on wins with three out of the 35. Only Prism struggled more in this regard.

 

Oliver Berry 1st place Cerberus Games Road to Nationals July 31st

Class: Shadow
Hero: Chane, Bound by Shadow
Weapons: Nebula Blade
Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Carrion Husk, Ebon Fold, Grasp of the Arknight, Snapdragon Scalers

(3) Bounding Demigon (red)
(3) Command and Conquer (red)
(3) Consuming Volition (red)
(3) Howl from Beyond (red)
(3) Plunder Run (red)
(2) Razor Reflex (red)
(3) Rift Bind (red)
(3) Rip Through Reality (red)
(3) Seeds of Agony (red)
(3) Shadow Puppetry (red)
(3) Snatch (red)
(1) Soul Reaping (red)
(3) Unhallowed Rites (red)
(3) Art of War (yellow)
(3) Ninth Blade of the Blood Oath (yellow)
(2) Rift Bind (yellow)
(3) Seeds of Agony (yellow)
(1) Seeping Shadows (yellow)
(3) Bounding Demigon (blue)
(1) Eclipse (blue)
(1) Eye of Ophidia (blue)
(2) Invert Existence (blue)
(3) Mauvrion Skies (blue)
(3) Plunder Run (blue)
(3) Seeds of Agony (blue)
(1) Seeping Shadows (blue)
(3) Shadow of Ursur (blue)
(2) Timesnap Potion (blue)
(3) Vexing Malice (blue)
(1) Gorganian Tome (undefined)

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Brendan Patrick 1st place Conroe Cards & Comics Road to Nationals August 1st

Class: Shadow
Hero: Chane, Bound by Shadow
Weapons: Nebula Blade
Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Carrion Husk, Crown of Dichotomy, Grasp of the Arknight, Snapdragon Scalers

(3) Bounding Demigon (red)
(3) Command and Conquer (red)
(3) Enlightened Strike (red)
(3) Ghostly Visit (red)
(3) Howl from Beyond (red)
(3) Plunder Run (red)
(3) Rift Bind (red)
(3) Rip Through Reality (red)
(3) Seeds of Agony (red)
(3) Shadow Puppetry (red)
(1) Soul Reaping (red)
(2) Tome of Torment (red)
(3) Unhallowed Rites (red)
(3) Art of War (yellow)
(3) Ninth Blade of the Blood Oath (yellow)
(3) Rift Bind (yellow)
(3) Seeds of Agony (yellow)
(2) Seeping Shadows (yellow)
(1) Eclipse (blue)
(2) Invert Existence (blue)
(3) Mauvrion Skies (blue)
(3) Meat and Greet (blue)
(3) Plunder Run (blue)
(3) Seeds of Agony (blue)
(3) Shadow of Ursur (blue)
(3) Unhallowed Rites (blue)
(3) Vexing Malice (blue)

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Header - 3. Bravo, Showstopper

Bravo, ShowstopperAnothosSpinal Crush

 

If Chane was the aggro deck of choice, then Bravo certainly seemed to be contender for the “control” deck of choice this past weekend along with Katsu. Bravo put 18 players into Top 8s across the 17 recorded events, with three of those players going on to get themselves a nice Rainbow Foil extended art Fyendal’s Spring Tunic for first place. A good conversion rate for the hulking Guardian hero.

The Bravo decks we are seeing right now seem to be focused primarily on taking out their Chane opponents via fatigue, with players even opting to include cards such as Snag, Sigil of Solace (Red) and the more efficient Staunch Response (Red) as one of the primary defense reactions in their decks. Cards like Zealous Belting (Yellow), Zealous Belting (Red), Out Muscle (Red) and Rouse the Ancients have also been popular inclusions as sideboard options to help enable a change up game plan that is more proactive against heroes such as Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light and Dorinthea, Ironsong.

 

Cayle McCreath 5th-8th Calico Keep Road to Nationals August 1st

Class: Guardian
Hero: Bravo, Showstopper
Weapons: Anothos
Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Crater Fist, Mage Master Boots, Nullrune Boots, Tectonic Plating, Time Skippers

(3) Crippling Crush (red)
(3) Fate Foreseen (red)
(3) Pummel (red)
(3) Sigil of Solace (red)
(3) Sink Below (red)
(3) Spinal Crush (red)
(3) Zealous Belting (red)
(3) Disable (yellow)
(1) Remembrance (yellow)
(3) Righteous Cleansing (yellow)
(1) Tome of Fyendal (yellow)
(3) Buckling Blow (blue)
(3) Chokeslam (blue)
(3) Cranial Crush (blue)
(3) Crush the Weak (blue)
(3) Debilitate (blue)
(3) Disable (blue)
(3) Last Ditch Effort (blue)
(3) Pummel (blue)
(3) Rouse the Ancients (blue)
(3) Show Time! (blue)
(2) Snag (blue)
(3) Stamp Authority (blue)
(3) Staunch Response (blue)
(3) Towering Titan (blue)
(3) Unmovable (blue)

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Header - 4. Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light

Prism, Sculptor of Arc LightLuminarisArc Light Sentinel

 

The newest class in Flesh and Blood has certainly been popular through week one. With 18 Top 8s across the 17 events, anecdotally a lot of Prism was showing up at many of these events, so there’s a real question mark over the conversion rates on the Light Illusionist. There were no wins to speak of this weekend for Prism, but no doubt she’ll continue to be a key meta player over the coming weeks due to popularity and the big hitting power of Heralds.

We did see back-to-back Top 8s from Auckland Calling Top 8 competitor Henry Moore this past weekend at Roads events on Saturday and Sunday. I really like Henry’s list and would expect to see it more widely played going forward. This could very well be the standard Prism build for the coming Road to Nationals through August.

 

Henry Moore 2nd Cerberus Games Road to Nationals July 31st

Class: Light
Hero: Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light
Weapons: Luminaris
Equipment: Dream Weavers, Goliath Gauntlet, Halo of Illumination, Phantasmal Footsteps, Vestige of Sol

(1) Command and Conquer (red)
(3) Herald of Protection (red)
(2) Herald of Rebirth (red)
(3) Herald of Triumph (red)
(3) Prismatic Shield (red)
(3) Wartune Herald (red)
(3) Arc Light Sentinel (yellow)
(3) Celestial Cataclysm (yellow)
(3) Genesis (yellow)
(3) Herald of Erudition (yellow)
(3) Herald of Judgment (yellow)
(3) Herald of Protection (yellow)
(3) Herald of Triumph (yellow)
(3) Merciful Retribution (yellow)
(3) Ode to Wrath (yellow)
(3) Soul Shield (yellow)
(3) Tome of Divinity (yellow)
(3) Tome of Fyendal (yellow)
(1) Unmovable (yellow)
(3) Wartune Herald (yellow)
(3) Herald of Protection (blue)
(3) Herald of Ravages (blue)
(3) Herald of Rebirth (blue)
(3) Herald of Tenacity (blue)
(3) Herald of Triumph (blue)
(3) Wartune Herald (blue)
(1) Great Library of Solana (undefined)

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Header - 5. Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn

Ser Boltyn, Breaker of DawnRaydn, DuskbaneCintari Saber

 

A real breakout weekend for our other Monarch Light hero, Ser Boltyn. The Light Warrior might not have been the most played deck or even in the top five most played heroes in the majority of Roads events this past weekend, but Boltyn put eight players into top cut and even secured three wins from the eight, which is a really good conversion rate. Of course, we’re in the early days of Road to Nationals events, but Boltyn appears to be much more of a contender than many had thought.

We saw a mix of Raydn, Duskbane builds that had been the standard up to this point, but we did also see Cintari Saber builds come out and do fairly well too, with Saber builds looking to almost one-turn-kill the opponent with a combo of two Lumina Ascensions plus Courage of Bladehold to swing in with each Sabre three times for six buffed attacks! We also saw some hybrid builds swapping between Raydn and Sabers, which I expect to see more and personally would be how I would choose to pick up the deck if I wanted to play Boltyn in a Road to Nationals event.

 

Martin Hechtberger 2nd FUNtainment Germany Road to Nationals July 31st

Class: Light
Hero: Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn
Weapons: Cintari Saber
Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Courage of Bladehold, Gallantry Gold, Refraction Bolters, Snapdragon Scalers

(3) Bolt of Courage (red)
(3) Command and Conquer (red)
(3) Courageous Steelhand (red)
(3) Engulfing Light (red)
(3) Fate Foreseen (red)
(3) Illuminate (red)
(3) Invigorating Light (red)
(3) Sink Below (red)
(3) Take Flight (red)
(3) Valiant Thrust (red)
(3) Beacon of Victory (yellow)
(3) Bolting Blade (yellow)
(3) Celestial Cataclysm (yellow)
(3) Courageous Steelhand (yellow)
(3) Engulfing Light (yellow)
(3) Express Lightning (yellow)
(3) Lumina Ascension (yellow)
(1) Remembrance (yellow)
(3) Sink Below (yellow)
(3) Soul Shield (yellow)
(3) Take Flight (yellow)
(3) V of the Vanguard (yellow)
(3) Engulfing Light (blue)
(3) Take Flight (blue)
(3) Timesnap Potion (blue)

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Header - Wrapping Up

Week One of six is complete, and there’s a really interesting metagame starting to emerge. The expected dominance of Chane has only been partially seen, with the control decks really taking over this first week. I’ll be following closely to see what happens into the next two weeks and expect some subtle shifts to begin.

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 week one power rankings.

If you’re off to a Road to Nationals event this weekend, best of luck and battle hard!

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