One of the coolest features of Flesh and Blood is equipment. Starting each game with a weapon and a full set of gear adds a lot to both gameplay and deckbuilding, as well as being a flavorful and intuitive aspect of the game. Today, I want to take a look at some of the better equipment and offer some tips and tricks on how to use it best. Getting maximum value from your equipment is key, and there are play patterns that these pieces of gear fall into. Let’s take a look at the finest equipment has to offer.
The Skullcap is an extremely powerful defensive option. It’s generic, so anyone can use it, and it offers a ton of protection from both Arcane and normal damage. The key with Skullcap is making sure you manage your life total and get while the getting’s good. I frequently find myself blocking with it aggressively, because you never know when you’re going to get a solid hit in, and all of a sudden the Skullcap turns off due to your lead in the race.
In particular, if you need the Arcane Barrier aspect to be on in order to survive (say, against Kano or Viserai, who deal a ton of damage out of nowhere), you should consider pulling punches and not being too aggressive with attacks. I’ve won games with Kano where I intentionally drop to a low life total in order to turn off an opposing Skullcap.
The Lens isn’t the most intrinsically powerful equipment. It offers no inherent defense and gives you a one-shot effect that isn’t the strongest. Still, it’s the perfect card for decks that are trying to set up specific combos, as Opt 2 gives you good digging power and can help stack the top of your deck. I wouldn’t play this unless I had a good way to take advantage of the effect, such as a hero power like Kano’s.
The Nullrune collection isn’t the sexiest, but it gets the job done. I recommend always having access to the full complement here, as they give you game against Arcane heroes that would otherwise sidestep all your defenses. The key here is knowing which number you need – against Viserai, one piece does the trick, as Runechants all trigger separately, but against Kano, you’ll often want to hit two or three Arcane Barrier to have the best chance.
Try and be efficient with these. Plan out your turns and pitch values such that you aren’t wasting resources – it’s often worth taking a hit rather than pitching a blue card to stop one or two damage, for example.
This is another combo-oriented piece of equipment, as you obviously can’t just toss the Gloves in any old deck. The natural place to play these is with powerful effects like Scabskin Leathers, as you need to get a lot of value in order to give up your arm slot for a one-shot effect.
There’s a reason this is worth the big bucks. Getting an extra resource point every three turns is a big game, and this even offers a point of defense to boot. The biggest thing to keep in mind when playing the Tunic is that you never want it to sit there with three counters on it. Once it hits three, it stops accumulating counters, so you lose value every time you fail to use it once you get to three. I would go out of my way to use that resource point immediately, as I hate wasting value.
The other thing to keep in mind is when to block with it. Keep an eye on how the game is progressing, as what will often happen is you’ll generate a resource point on turn three, then the game ends before you’d get the second. In that case, there’s no reason to keep the Tunic around if you’re never getting a second bite at the apple.
At first blush, this looks like a worse version of Fyendal’s Spring Tunic, but there are valid reasons to run the Cross Strap. If your deck is looking to end games quickly and has expensive attacks, this can give you the one-shot burst you need to get across the finish line. When you play this, look for opportunities to use it to really stack up a devastating play, like an attack plus an attack reaction or two big attacks all in the same turn.
From the same visionary fashion guru that brought you the Nullrune Collection, here’s the latest repertoire that’s taking the catwalk by storm. The Ironrot package is also not the flashiest, but they give you some rock-solid defense. The main key here is that you don’t need to reach for the stars with your equipment, and getting a couple points of good armor out of the deal is often good enough for a controlling deck.
The Heart is an incredibly powerful resource engine for Mechanologists, and you should rarely pump the brakes on it. You’re playing a deck that rips through its cards for benefit, and as a result you really can’t afford to be scared to use this just about every turn. Pedal to the metal, baby!
Grasp is a powerful way for Viserai to get things started, and you should almost always be looking to take advantage of that before making Runechants from any other source. A good sequence to get used to is to use Grasp, then proceed with the rest of your plan, as paying two for Runechant is a good deal.
I really like Storm Striders, as they help Kano pop off when you see the right cards. The best way to use these is to set up a massive Forked Lightning, then you use Kano’s hero power and hit something like Cindering Foresight. Now, your next damaging action gets a bonus, and you have Forked Lightning in hand. You can’t play it because you’re out of action points or it’s your opponent’s turn, and that’s where Storm Striders come in.
That’s the majority of the use cases, though you can obviously do more with the Striders if need be. It’s just such a big payoff to hit with a powered-up Lightning, and it’s worth playing these just to enable that.
This is a nice defensive option that can occasionally lead to big turns, though it’s high on the list of equipment I never sacrifice over the course of the game. If you want the Arcane Barrier, you often just want to leave this in play and only use it if you really need to spike to have a great turn.
Bloodsheath Skeleta may be one of the most powerful equipments in the entire game. It often gives you five or more resource points which is absurd, even if you have to set it up to use it. The best use of this is with Rattle Bones into a huge attack, though using it to play Ninth Blade of the Blood Oath is already plenty good. The best Viserai turns usually involve this, and it’s a card that guarantees you a devastating attack every game.
The Node is a funny card. It’s basically a one-shot version of Crucible of Aetherweave, but a key difference is that you can use the Node multiple times on the turn you use it. Granted, you just have that one turn before it blows up, but on that turn you can amplify multiple attacks. That can lead to a really explosive turn, so keep that option in mind.
Scabskin Leathers has my vote for the swingiest equipment in the game. When you pick up that dice, you’re getting a range of possibilities, from skipping the rest of your turn to taking two extra actions. In general, I’d recommend using this if you have multiple plays, as rolling a one won’t happen all that often, and you put this card in your deck for a reason. That said, if you’re in a spot where rolling a one just kills you, maybe play a little more conservatively (not that I ever have).
The Plating is a great reason to play Guardian, as it provides you with a lot of defense and a powerful ability. One thing that I find comes up is that you use the Plating, then next turn have an extra resource thanks to the Surge and use the Plating again. That’s totally fine, as you’re just floating a resource point from turn to turn until you hit the turn where you really need it to make something big happen.
Mastering equipment is a huge part of Flesh and Blood and hopefully today’s article gave you a little more insight. I didn’t cover every equipment in the game, but I touched on the ones I’ve played most, and these tips should help you get maximum value out of your gear. Good luck!