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Frost and Taxes – Ice Midrange Lexi Blitz

This article explores a skill-intensive Lexi Blitz variant designed to tax and disrupt your opponent, forcing massive damage through with dominate and making your opponent’s life miserable with seemingly endless frostbite tokens and a wide variety of strong tax effects generated through on-hit triggers.

 

Frost and Taxes

Bailey's Frost and Taxes
Class: Ranger
Hero: Lexi
Weapons: Shiver
Equipment: Fyendal's Spring Tunic, Heart of Ice, Mark of Lightning, New Horizon, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Perch Grapplers, Shock Charmers, Snapdragon Scalers

(2) Blizzard Bolt (red)
(2) Chill to the Bone (red)
(2) Chilling Icevein (red)
(2) Hamstring Shot (red)
(2) Head Shot (red)
(2) Ice Quake (red)
(2) Over Flex (red)
(1) Pulse of Volthaven (red)
(2) Remorseless (red)
(2) Seek and Destroy (red)
(2) Sleep Dart (red)
(2) Blizzard Bolt (yellow)
(2) Chilling Icevein (yellow)
(1) Ice Quake (yellow)
(2) Amulet of Ice (blue)
(2) Channel Lake Frigid (blue)
(2) Chill to the Bone (blue)
(2) Frost Lock (blue)
(2) Ice Quake (blue)
(2) Polar Blast (blue)
(2) Winter's Bite (blue)

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With Tales of Aria release in full-swing and the wake of the Chane bans behind us, it’s exciting to see all the cool things players are doing as the new meta begins to emerge. In today’s article, I’ll share a disruptive icy Shiver Blitz build of Lexi designed to freeze and tax your opponents every turn of the game.

This deck started as a fun design project for me – trying to build a deck for my wife who really enjoyed playing Death and Taxes and Red/White Prison in Magic: the Gathering’s Modern format. While the exact playstyle doesn’t translate one-to-one in Flesh and Blood, the strategy is similar. Play out your cards in a way that prevents your opponent from doing anything meaningful on their turn.

Between Azalea and Lexi, Azalea is more known for the go-tall approach, but when equipped with Shiver, Lexi has some powerful tools to follow in her footsteps. Since this is a Shiver/Ice build, the deck focuses on sending a single empowered arrow across the turn with either dominate, or plus one if that pushes the attack over to a breakpoint threshold. This is a very tempo-oriented deck and relies on the correct activation of Snapdragon Scalers to put a ton of pressure on the opponent on one crucial turn, and to build on the momentum of that turn for the rest of the game. Setting up powerful five or six-card hands with New Horizon can do wonders to boost this deck’s mileage.

 

 

Header - Equipment

 

The main equipment set for this list is New Horizon, Heart of Ice, Shock Charmers and Snapdragon Scalers. For players who want a budget option outside of the newest legendaries, look to leverage Coat of Frost and Mark of Lightning in their respective slots. Against classes that are not prone to running defense reactions or playing on your turn, consider running Fyendal’s Spring Tunic in the chest slot for added resource generation. Against Viserai/Chane/Briar, consider swapping out the chest/ gloves slot with Nullrune. For Kano, look to socket in two pieces of Nullrune equipment and your Heart of Ice and keep New Horizon in play.

Shock Charmers can be used without a true target to filter cards from hand and draw up at the end of turn if any card is “stuck” in your hand. This little bit of utility can help with any awkward hands you may draw, and can also be used to dig for specific cards in instances where you have two cards left over in hand after an attacking turn.

Against decks like Katsu/Ira, Kano, Prism, Bravo/Oldhim and others who favor interacting with you on your turn or playing defense reactions, look to use your Heart of Ice each and every turn if you have the resources to support the rest of the turn. This interaction will make it extremely difficult and expensive for opponents to defend efficiently and interact with us with these types of cards. Heart of Ice is a powerful card in these circumstances, and is a very incentivizing reason to play Frost and Taxes.

Look to keep your Heart of Ice/Fyendal’s Spring Tunic and New Horizon blocks until the end of the game. Our equipment is extremely important to the strategy of this deck, and should only be used to block in a last resort to preserve tempo, stay alive and close out the game, or prevent an on-hit effect that would all-but end the game for us.

 

Header - Core Strategy

In every turn, you want to focus on maximizing the disruptive factor of our turn, landing on-hit triggered abilities, and pushing damage through dominate. Minimize how much you block, which requires putting lots of pressure on the opponent from the start. Typically, we want to go second so we can just block out our opponent on turn one, then draw a full hand of cards for the crack back. If your opponent goes first and tries to just set up an arsenal, be sure to use Shiver to load an arrow into your own Arsenal before drawing back up. If you’re on the play, try to either push a big attack with dominate, or work to set up two cards in arsenal with Shiver and New Horizon to come back with a five or six card hand next turn.

 

This deck contains 18 arrows, 15 of which are red or yellow. We try to minimize the rare but unfortunate draws that don’t contain a single arrow or, at the very least, Channel Lake Frigid. Detrimental and taxing abilities are present on many of our cards. Attacks like Blizzard Bolt and Chilling Icevein will create plenty of fuse effects that will make our opponent’s life miserable, especially if they can’t defend the dominated attacks and we can pump extra resources into Shock Charmers to generate additional instances of damage and effects.

 

Snapdragon ScalersHead Shot (Red)

Snapdragon Scalers should be used to fire off two powerful arrows in one turn. Though it can only be done one time during the game, this is a powerful interaction that can easily swing the tempo of the game back in our favor. The single copy of Head Shot (Red), loaded with Shiver for +1 attack will come in for a staggering seven damage for one resource. Note, this can also be a fantastic card to save for later to close out the game when your opponent is at low-life.

Fuse is a mechanic that makes it very easy to create incremental value throughout the game. All of our fuse targets have go again and are ice cards. Whenever you fuse the prior turn, look to set up these ice cards in your Arsenal then flip them for Lexi’s effect on your next turn, creating an additional frostbite for your opponent before you go about setting up the rest of your turn.

 

Use Over Flex (Red), Seek and Destroy, Pulse of Volthaven and Ice Quake to buff your attacks, and either force the opponent to block and still take damage, or dominate the attack for guaranteed damage. While the offensive power of the deck is there, this deck does lack strong defenses and a ‘traditional’ weapon that can attack on its own.

Because of that, we want to minimize how often we block with arrow cards as they are our only path to victory with this kind of offensive shell. Don’t be afraid to put cards that buff attacks into Arsenal, but try to make good use of Lexi’s hero ability to keep your opponent under the effects of your Frostbite. One thing to note is that outside of a Snapdragon Scalers turn, the reload from Over Flex is often not worth it unless you don’t have the resources needed to load your arrow with Shiver’s ability for either +1 attack or dominate.

Chill to the Bone (Red) will serve to punish your opponent on strong dominated arrows. This card can absolutely ruin your opponent’s next turn if they don’t have a blue-heavy hand. Flipping Chill to the Bone from Arsenal then coming in with a dominated arrow when you have worked to break down your opponent’s armor will do wonders in helping you maintain tempo and prevent your opponent from coming back with a strong counter-attack.

This deck will take practice to learn the interactions, how and when to pressure opponents, and how to sustain tempo. It will reward general game knowledge, and familiarity with other classes and what they are trying to accomplish. With a proactive and balanced game plan that isn’t dependent on any one combo in the deck, it is a fantastic choice going into the early Blitz meta and offers a good answer against some format contenders like Kano, Ira, Bravo and their pre-Tales of Aria deck lists. Good luck, and enjoy freezing the competition!

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