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Flesh and Blood on a Budget – Tsunami Katsu

Everfest gave us a number of interesting budget options for deckbuilding. One of these is Mask of the Pouncing Lynx. While on the surface it looks like a one-off use Mask of Momentum, it drastically shifts the game plan and play patterns of our Katsu deck. In this deck overview article, I will showcase the power of Mask of the Pouncing Lynx as a toolbox equipment and outline the power of adjusting your whole game plan towards one big turn. 

Mask of the Pouncing Lynx (Regular)Katsu, the Wanderer (Regular)

One of the inherent challenges of playing a Katsu deck is assembling a full combo line, as it’s where most of the damage and threat come from. Katsu’s hero ability can help us in that regard, as we can search for one missing piece of the combo, but the ability is not enough to assemble three pieces at once. With a combo starter like Leg Tap or Surging Strike, we can search for the second piece with our hero ability, but it is still up to us to piece the third and sometimes fourth combo piece on our own.

Mask of Momentum is great from a raw card advantage perspective. Threatening a card draw often means dealing a bit of extra damage, depending on the draw. Our opponents are often put in a tricky position where they’re encouraged to defend our second Kodachi or third attack to stop the Mask of Momentum trigger. The threat of it forces unfavorable play patterns throughout the game for our opponents.

Mask of the Pouncing Lynx, however, drastically changes that approach. First, it triggers off any attack action card that hits. This means that each attack can be a threatening on-hit, as long as the Mask is in play. It also gives us a whole different approach to deckbuilding, by focusing on combo pieces that have two or less power. Also, it allows us to run one-of copies of non-combo cards that could be useful in certain game states, like a Salt the Wound

Rising Knee Thrust (Yellow) (Regular)Rushing River (Yellow) (Regular)Salt the Wound (Regular)

 

 

Tsunami Katsu

Class: Ninja
Hero: Katsu, the Wanderer
Weapons:
Equipment: Breaking Scales, Breeze Rider Boots, Mask of the Pouncing Lynx, Vest of the First Fist

(3) Ancestral Empowerment (red)
(1) Blackout Kick (red)
(3) Even Bigger Than That! (red)
(2) Fluster Fist (red)
(3) Hundred Winds (red)
(3) Leg Tap (red)
(3) Razor Reflex (red)
(3) Rising Knee Thrust (red)
(3) Rushing River (red)
(3) Snatch (red)
(3) Torrent of Tempo (red)
(3) Break Tide (yellow)
(3) Flood of Force (yellow)
(1) Hundred Winds (yellow)
(3) Hurricane Technique (yellow)
(1) Rising Knee Thrust (yellow)
(1) Rushing River (yellow)
(1) Salt the Wound (yellow)
(3) Torrent of Tempo (yellow)
(3) Fluster Fist (blue)
(3) Hundred Winds (blue)
(2) Rising Knee Thrust (blue)
(3) Rushing River (blue)
(3) Winds of Eternity (blue)

See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/yvZmdBBO/

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The biggest strength of Mask of the Pouncing Lynx is the ease with which we can assemble a full combo line, when combined with Katsu’s hero ability. With a single red Leg Tap hit, we can pop the mask, search for a yellow Rising Knee Thrust and also use Katsu’s hero ability to search for Hurricane Technique or a Blackout Kick. Similarly, with the Flood of Force line, Mask of the Pouncing Lynx allows us to search for any combo piece we are missing: yellow Rushing River, Flood of Force and Break Tide. While the Leg Tap combo line gives us efficient damage output, the Break Tide combo line is at the heart of how this deck wins, hence the name, Tsunami Katsu!

Torrent of Tempo (Yellow) (Regular)Rushing River (Yellow) (Regular)Flood of Force (Regular)Break Tide (Regular)

The Flood of Force combo line offers significant card advantage when things align. Flood of Force and Break Tide offer abilities that replace themselves, which allows us to have a very big turn that wins us the game.

 

Header - Playing for the Big Turn

While incremental advantage over the course of the game can be effective enough to win a game of Flesh and Blood, often there is one pivotal turn that can turn the tide of battle. It can be getting the crush effect of a Crippling Crush to hit or doing a big Bloodrush Bellow or Steelblade Supremacy turn in other classes, but for the Tsunami Katsu, it’s a big Flood of Force combo turn. But how do we set a turn like this up? With a finely tuned set of cards:

Breeze Rider Boots (Regular)Even Bigger Than That! (Red) (Regular)Torrent of Tempo (Red) (Regular)Vest of the First Fist (Regular)

Let’s start with the equipment. We already covered Mask of the Pouncing Lynx. It acts as a sixth card (four in hand, one in Arsenal and one from Mask) in our big turn. But, what is better than one on-hit equipment? Two more! Both Breeze Rider Boots and Vest of the First Fist both give us significant boost to our big turn and present threatening on-hits to our opponent on our off-turns. Breeze Rider Boots allows us to continue spitting out attacks we draw from Flood of Force and Break Tide. The deck runs many combo finishers, without natural go again. Vest of the First fist helps us pay for the extra attacks we pump out on the big turn. 

Torrent of Tempo and Even Bigger Than That! are at the core of creating our dream turn. Arsenal one or the other and wait to draw the missing one to pop off.

Torrent of Tempo (Red) (Regular)Even Bigger Than That! (Red) (Regular)

 

Header - Dream Turn Structure

For our dream big turn, ideally we have either the Torrent of Tempo or Even Bigger Than That! in Arsenal and the other one in hand. Most of our turns consist of a Kodachi attack, followed by a combo starter. It’s no different for our big turn. Kodachi into Even Bigger Than That! sets up a quicken token for our Torrent of Tempo and allows us to see what’s on top of our deck for the rest of the chain and potentially pick out a decent combo card. When the Torrent of Tempo comes down, our opponent has a tricky choice. Do they defend out an attack that already has go again? If they don’t, we unleash all four of our on-hit triggers – Mask, Vest, Boots and Katsu’s hero ability. If they do, we just forced a double-block on an attack that already has go again and can continue a standard turn, setting up for the big turn later. 

Rushing River (Red) (Regular)Breaking Scales (Regular)Break Tide (Regular)

Flood of Force is amazing if our Rushing River hits. We have full control of the top of our deck and can gain significant card advantage using this. However, Break Tide offers a less risky card advantage engine and I do recommend getting this combo piece with either Mask of the Pouncing Lynx or Katsu’s ability over Flood of Force, just in case the Rushing River does not hit.

Breaking Scales is a potent on-board combat trick that can help either the Rushing River or Break Tide to hit. As these combo pieces start aligning, the utility from Breeze Rider Boots and Vest of the First Fist should start putting in the work. Extra resources and guaranteed go again on most of our cards, should let us overwhelm our opponent with six or more attacks, as we continue to press the issue. This turn alone should be enough to gain back tempo and push through enough damage, that makes Kodachi attacks and constantly threatening on-hits enough to close out the game. 

 

Header - Alternative Plans

We all have a plan, until someone punches us in the face. Similarly in Flesh and Blood, we need to be able to pivot if things aren’t aligning with our primary strategy. This is where the toolbox quality of Mask of the Pouncing Lynx shines. We have numerous one-off cards that help us assemble our combos. We have Breeze Rider Boots and Even Bigger Than That!, that let us short cut combos and a lot of quality attacks that hit hard, even without their corresponding combo pieces. Razor Reflex is a great tool against decks that don’t run too many defense reactions to push through our combos. Kodachi on its own, is still a quality source of constant damage, while cards like Snatch help us to close out our combat chain and regain some tempo. 

Harmonized Kodachi // Seismic Surge (Regular)Razor Reflex (Red) (Regular)Snatch (Red) (Regular)

 

Header - Pre-Board Considerations

The current list is streamlined to focus on our core game plan, but the deck list itself is very flexible to accommodate options for different matchups. Red Flic Flak is a powerful tool if we want to play a more midrange game against other aggro decks. We could run Timesnap Potions and six-power attacks to combat Prism or red Unmovables even if Bravo, Star of the Show remains a problem. With so many three defense cards, it’s quite easy for the list to pivot to a more midrange or even control build, while maintaining the core “one big turn” game plan. 

Unmovable (Red) (Regular)Flic Flak (Red) (Regular)Raging Onslaught (Red) (Regular)Timesnap Potion (Regular)

 

Header - Budget Matters

There is also room to reduce the cost of this list. Breeze Rider Boots can easily be replaced by Snapdragon Scalers. Winds of Eternity are nice to have, but a blue Soulbead Strike fulfils the role just as well. Similarly, there are cards that can be added as we gain access to a bigger card pool. Enlightened Strike and Art of War are both great options to increase the consistency of our deck, as well as, build on the potency of our big turn. 

This list illustrates that there are alternative ways of building Flesh and Blood decks that don’t necessarily rely on the flashiest cards. An inherent synergy can be a lot more powerful than a grouping of expensive cards that are strong on their own. Synergy and a clearly defined game plan can put up results. What I love about this list is how it flips the decision making for our opponents compared to a more standardized Katsu list. Having a surprise factor like this increases the chances our opponent simply misplays at certain times and helps us unleash the power of Tsunami. 

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