You are joining the fight at a great time. With eight main Classic Constructed heroes, you have plenty of options from the get-go. In my last article, we looked at the original four Welcome to Rathe heroes. This time, I will introduce you to the four heroes that made their debut in Arcane Rising.
Arcane Rising added a whole new dynamic to the game: arcane damage. Many other playstyles are now catered for and even more great games are possible!
Today will be a follow on from my last piece, discussing which MTG playstyles transition to the Arcane Rising heroes in Flesh and Blood.
Dash – Mechanologist (Jund, Splinter Twin)
Dash, in all her glory, is the class I have personally had the most success with. She has a very consistent play style and punishes people that give her room to maneuver. With her gun and trusty induction chamber, you will never run out of things to spend resources on.
Dash likes to set things up and be as efficient as possible with her resources. Much like Jund, you are wanting to do a bit of everything: stop your opponent’s threats, threaten a little bit yourself and progress the board state. Dash has the unique ability of being able to charge her items and effectively save resources for a later attack.
The opponent needs to be careful too, because letting your guard down against Dash could result in a sudden full clip of bullets heading your way (similar to playing against Splinter Twin). Dash usually wants to sit with a Tome of Fyendal or High Octane in the arsenal while it waits to draw the other piece, or wait for the opponent to have an off turn. Then she will send a fury of attacks and can push through more then enough damage to seal the deal!
The skilled Dash player wants to spend the early game setting up. Dealing damage to your opponent is not of great importance, so do not look to trade damage often. Just set up items and charge them while blocking and preserving your life total. Later in the game, when you are all set up, you will want to turn the tide by taking a bunch of damage from the opponent (to keep your hand), then turn around and shoot them for as much as you can, whilst also finishing with some counters on items ready to do it again next turn.
If you choose to align with Dash, look no further then this 13W-0L Nationals list played by a smart cookie:
Class: Mechanologist Hero: Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire Weapons: Teklo Plasma Pistol Equipment: Achilles Accelerator, Arcanite Skullcap, Gambler's Gloves, Goliath Gauntlet, Ironrot Gauntlet, Teklo Foundry Heart (3) Command and Conquer (red) (2) Fate Foreseen (red) (3) High Octane (red) (3) High Speed Impact (red) (3) Induction Chamber (red) (3) Plasma Purifier (red) (2) Sink Below (red) (3) Unmovable (red) (3) Zero to Sixty (red) (3) Zipper Hit (red) (3) Spark of Genius (yellow) (3) Tome of Fyendal (yellow) (2) Unmovable (yellow) (3) Zipper Hit (yellow) (3) Combustible Courier (blue) (3) High Speed Impact (blue) (3) Locked and Loaded (blue) (3) Meganetic Shockwave (blue) (3) Over Loop (blue) (3) Overblast (blue) (3) Pedal to the Metal (blue) (3) Pour the Mould (blue) (1) Teklo Core (blue) (3) Throttle (blue) (3) Zero to Sixty (blue) (3) Zipper Hit (blue) fabdb.net
Viserai – Runeblade (Valakut Titan, Modern Eldrazi)
Viserai is a fun and explosive hero to play and certainly one I enjoy in testing. If you like ramp-style decks or building up to big turns then I recommend embracing the challenge of Viserai and becoming the Arknight.
Viserai is all about setting up Runechant tokens. These forward your game plan by building up a big stack of damage and reduce the cost of the bigger attacks that you will play when you are ready to unleash. The interesting part of playing Viserai is that you do not follow the normal pace of a game, much like in Magic, when you play a bunch of ramp spells and leave your opponent feeling silly with Doom Blades in hand, only to later laugh when you play your Primeval Titan and couldn’t care less if they Doom Blade it. The Runechant damage just from casting the threat is a lot to take on and then they also often have to block the threat as well.
Viserai can adept well in many situations to counter how your opponent is trying to win. If they are not putting on much pressure and looking to just block and control you, you can sit there making Runechants all game, preparing for a massive 60 damage one-turn-kill at the end. If they are not blocking your Runechants, you can aggressively damage them with non-attack actions followed by your weapon. The damage efficiency should be hard to match if they are not blocking. Good luck surviving a bunch of hasty Eldrazi if you leave nothing back to block.
Patience is needed to play this class. You don’t want to pop your Runechants too early and not be able to finish them off. At the same time, you also don’t want to wait too long, as after your big turn you may not have the life left that you will need to build up another game ending fireworks display. Think hard about how many big turns it will take to kill them and how big each turn needs to be. Figure out what you give up in order to build them and when you have finished calculating pie to 67 decimals, you will have the formula to put them from 40 to 0 in a few fell swoops.
If the Arknight himself (in all the beauty Steve Argyle designed him with) is your style, I recommend starting here:
Class: Runeblade Hero: Viserai, Rune Blood Weapons: Nebula Blade, Reaping Blade Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Bloodsheath Skeleta, Grasp of the Arknight, Mage Master Boots, Nullrune Boots (3) Arknight Ascendancy (red) (3) Come to Fight (red) (3) Enchanting Melody (red) (3) Mordred Tide (red) (3) Oath of the Arknight (red) (3) Plunder Run (red) (2) Pummel (red) (2) Rattle Bones (red) (3) Read the Runes (red) (3) Reduce to Runechant (red) (3) Sink Below (red) (2) Sloggism (red) (3) Unmovable (red) (2) Ninth Blade of the Blood Oath (yellow) (3) Read the Runes (yellow) (1) Reduce to Runechant (yellow) (1) Remembrance (yellow) (1) Tome of Fyendal (yellow) (2) Unmovable (yellow) (1) Arknight Shard (blue) (3) Become the Arknight (blue) (3) Drawn to the Dark Dimension (blue) (3) Dread Triptych (blue) (3) Energy Potion (blue) (1) Heart of Fyendal (blue) (1) Lunging Press (blue) (3) Oath of the Arknight (blue) (1) Sloggism (blue) (3) Spellblade Assault (blue) (2) Spellblade Strike (blue) (2) Unmovable (blue) (1) Gorganian Tome (undefined) fabdb.net
Kano – Wizard (Legacy Storm, Death’s Shadow)
Big brain Kano, the complex mastermind that allows you to prove you are the smartest kid in school. If you like to live life on the edge, letting your life total to drop to 1 whilst dealing exactly enough damage to put your opponent to 0, play Kano and enjoy working and earning every win!
Much like Legacy Storm, Kano requires very careful calculation and being able to piece together a combo finish through the opponents disruption. Just throwing spells and hoping your opponent can’t block them all is not going to get you very far when they pitch a blue and null prevent all 3 from your key “if this deals damage” spell. You will need to carefully decide how much and how often you take damage. Similar to Death’s Shadow, your life total is a very specific resource and you will want to utilize every bit of it to perfectly edge out the opponent before you die.
Kano is all about planning and perfect precision, crafting your game plan and feeling amazing when you pull it off. Every game is an escape room and you get to have the time of your life solving them.
If smashing creatures together was never your jam in MTG and you preferred powerful spells and intricate combos, I highly recommend Kano as the Wizard for you.
Alright Potter, if you are going to Hogwarts you will need some text books, this is the list I would look to start with:
Class: Wizard Hero: Kano, Dracai of Aether Weapons: Crucible of Aetherweave Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Fyendal's Spring Tunic, Metacarpus Node, Storm Striders, Talismanic Lens (1) Aether Flare (red) (3) Aether Spindle (red) (3) Blazing Aether (red) (3) Cindering Foresight (red) (3) Fate Foreseen (red) (3) Forked Lightning (red) (2) Reverberate (red) (3) Snapback (red) (3) Stir the Aetherwinds (red) (3) Tome of Aetherwind (red) (3) Voltic Bolt (red) (3) Chain Lightning (yellow) (2) Cindering Foresight (yellow) (3) Lesson in Lava (yellow) (3) Sonic Boom (yellow) (3) Springboard Somersault (yellow) (3) Tome of Fyendal (yellow) (3) Aether Flare (blue) (3) Aether Spindle (blue) (1) Aetherize (blue) (3) Energy Potion (blue) (1) Eye of Ophidia (blue) (3) Gaze the Ages (blue) (3) Reverberate (blue) (3) Scalding Rain (blue) (3) Snapback (blue) (1) Timesnap Potion (blue) (3) Voltic Bolt (blue) fabdb.net
Azalea – Ranger (Hatebears, Rogue Deck)
Azalea is the hero for those that refuse to be sheep. If you do not follow the pack, want to attack the meta and get through on your own merits, this underdog hero of Flesh and Blood will be ready and waiting for you to take her to glory!
This is my personal challenge to anyone that thinks they have what it takes to earn Azalea a name at the top: the first person to win a Road to Nationals, Nationals, or Calling event with Azalea will be named and immortalized in an upcoming CFB article. Please get in touch with me and I will make it happen – unless I beat you to it.
Much like Hatebears in MTG, Azalea wants to be a nuisance and tax your opponent for what they are trying to achieve. She is a “glass cannon” herself, but if you are able to consistently hit your opponent with key arrows, they will feel like they are fighting back with one arm tied behind their back.
The hardest part about Azalea is having to play with a weapon that does not deal damage itself, so every card in your deck increases in importance. Be careful to not waste big threats, as once you have run out of them there is no way to finish them off with a weapon. I find most games I lose with Azalea is because my opponent is able to block enough that I run completely dry on threats. I have found the most success when setting up large dominated attacks that limit their block options and force through damage.
If you are choosing Azalea, you are clearly no sheep. You probably don’t want my list, but here it is anyway:
Class: Ranger Hero: Azalea, Ace in the Hole Weapons: Death Dealer Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Bull's Eye Bracers, Fyendal's Spring Tunic, Perch Grapplers, Skullbone Crosswrap, Snapdragon Scalers (3) Coax a Commotion (red) (3) Endless Arrow (red) (3) Enlightened Strike (red) (3) Flock of the Featherwalkers (red) (3) Life for a Life (red) (3) Nimblism (red) (3) Plunder Run (red) (3) Ravenous Rabble (red) (3) Razor Reflex (red) (3) Red in the Ledger (red) (3) Remorseless (red) (3) Scar for a Scar (red) (3) Sic ‘Em Shot (red) (3) Sigil of Solace (red) (3) Sleep Dart (red) (3) Take Aim (red) (3) Take Cover (red) (3) Art of War (yellow) (2) Feign Death (yellow) (3) Pitfall Trap (yellow) (2) Remembrance (yellow) (3) Sic ‘Em Shot (yellow) (3) Nock the Deathwhistle (blue) (3) Plunder Run (blue) (3) Sic ‘Em Shot (blue) fabdb.net
With these eight heroes, everyone will be able to play their favorite style in Flesh and Blood. Arcane Rising adds new dimensions into the mix and allows for some serious fun and interesting gameplay. If you have started with a Rathe hero and are getting the hang of it, the next step is to pick up one of the above and experience some new and exciting gameplay!
Please let me know how you get on in the comments below and feel free to ask anything I missed or didn’t quite cover for you. I love talking FAB and happy to elaborate on the above. Most importantly though, arm up your hero and play some great games!
P.S. Go break Azalea!