I hope you’ve been enjoying the Flesh and Blood content we’ve been rolling out on ChannelFireball. We are excited about the game, and learning more about it has been a blast. In this video, I cracked some packs and gave my thoughts on a preliminary sealed build, but don’t worry – we brought in an expert to review my work. Hayden here just won The Calling, a big tournament in Sydney, and took home $5000 dollars and a trophy for his trouble. I hope he doesn’t grade me too harshly – take a look at his comments after you watch the video.
The sight of LSV cracking packs of Flesh and Blood puts nothing but a big smile on my face. Not only am I out of my mind excited that ChannelFireball is picking up the Flesh and Blood TCG, I am just as excited that one of my first pieces of content here on ChannelFireball.com is me giving my thoughts about LSV’s first sealed pool. While breaking down this sealed video I will also be sharing some of my knowledge of the Welcome to Rathe Limited format, with a few tips on how to approach reviewing your pool of cards and deckbuilding.
Limited formats in TCGs are undoubtedly my favorite formats to play, they test your skill in deckbuilding, card evaluation, ability to create strategies on the fly, your prowess to adjust, and most importantly – they are fun and accessible! Limited in Flesh and Blood is no different – in fact the limited format in this game is one of the best I have experienced. I was fortunate enough to pick this game up early and play a lot of Welcome to Rathe (set one of Flesh and Blood) sealed. I even had the opportunity to play in one of the first premier events for Flesh and Blood, The Calling event, in Sydney, Australia where I eventually took home the trophy.
Immediately what stands out is that Luis begins separating the cards into six piles. A pile for generic cards, one pile for each hero, and one for equipment. This is certainly the best way to sort the sealed pool to start with. You can only select one hero and their class specific cards to play to combine with your generics in creating a minimum 30 card deck. So, it is really important to sort by class to review – LSV showing the years of limited TCG experience here already!
A quick note, Luis also pulls out the tokens from the packs and sorts into a pile. These being the hero and weapon tokens. In Flesh and Blood Limited you have access to any of the sets four young heroes and any of the sets four unique weapons (with Katsu being able to hold two Kodachi as they are one-handed weapons). These all come as tokens and can be pooled by you and the players around you. You are not limited by the tokens that you open so if you are short, or don’t have certain weapons or young heroes feel, free to grab them from packs you’ve already cracked!
Luis quickly identifies that generic cards are going to make a big difference when deciding the direction you will go in Flesh and Blood sealed. This is absolutely correct. It is likely you will end up with around 14 cards of each class, so generics are more often than not going to make up the majority of your sealed decks. Generics are also going to play a big role in what class will have the best synergies as well as the overall strength of your deck. Your generics need to support your class game plan. It’s no good opening a handful of the best class cards in Bravo, for instance, yet have very little generic cards that can support that class build. For this reason I believe the generics to be the most important group of cards and where I will start my sealed deck building process.
As the video continues, the next thing that stands out is Luis speaking about resource cards. Specifically, you want to have a mix of blue cards that will provide you with resources by pitching for three, cards that are cheap to cast, cards that have high defense and cards with high attack. I like this statement as it is pretty fundamental to sealed deck construction in Flesh and Blood. You are going to need a mix of cards that can win you the game, such as powerful red attack actions. You will also need cards that can pitch to provide you resources to pay for these cards and cards that will allow you to defend against your opponent’s attacks. Any cards that can provide more than one of these things are going to be some of the stronger and more important cards in your deck due to their utility.
Once all the cards are opened and sorted into the necessary piles to review, Luis turns to the generics first, the approach I would also take. The next step I suggest taking above what Luis has done is to sort your cards into pitch order (red-yellow-blue). This will allow you to review each group, the red line cards that will help you win the game and be the focal point of your turns, the blue line primary resource cards and the hybrid yellow cards. After sorting by pitch value, I would then start pulling out the cards that are exciting me the most. Unlike some other TCGs you won’t have bomb cards that can win the game singlehandedly, but there are still powerful cards and cards that will allow you to create strong game plans. These tend to be red line cards or cards that can give you an additional advantage in the game, such as go again. I will also separate out the attack actions and non-attack actions. This allows me to see what attack actions I have to potentially deal damage to my opponent versus cards that may support that or even allow me to defend more optimally, like defense reactions.
While reviewing the generics Luis explains that you are looking to mostly fill your deck with the extremes. So, the red line cards for power and the blue line cards for resources. This is often correct, but as Luis mentions yellow line cards have their place too. Yellows balance between the extra power of reds and additional resources of blues, and while it is true that yellows will often be the least represented pitch value in your deck, they can be just as crucial as red or blue cards in certain strategies. It is important to understand how resource hungry your turns are going to be. If I have a lot of three cost attack actions for instance, then I will want a higher density of cards that pitch for three to pay for these. However, maybe I am playing the brute hero Rhinar and have decided to fill my deck with a lot of zero, one or two cost attack actions. I therefore don’t need as many blue pitch cards to pay for big attacks. Perhaps my plan is to utilize my weapon, Romping Club as my primary attack on the majority of my turns and use the rest of my cards early to defend with until I find the combination of cards I need to create a big damage turn. Because it costs two resources to attack with Romping Club, I can play a higher density of yellow cards which late game are going to be more impactful than blues. I will also be getting the upside of having slightly higher power level cards as my resources for turns where I may use multiple actions and want to play one.
After the generics, Luis moves on to looking at the class specific cards. Spending some time on the Ninja class cards noting you need specific combinations to make it work. Yes 100% spot on here, what you really want to look for and pull out when you grab your ninja pile is the combo starter cards (in Welcome to Rathe these are the common cards, Surging Strike, Leg Tap and Head Jab). Then look to see what combo cards you have that work off those starters. Ideally you want to have more starters than combo cards that play off them as the starters have natural go again and will allow you to set up a “go-wide” set of attacks which negate the low base attack of many of your cards. Also great to note that Luis identifies that there is only one Surging Strike so it will be difficult to play that combo line. In addition, I would point out that the Surging Strike in this pool is a blue, meaning it is primarily a resource card and doesn’t have that power on attack that the red version does. Luis also identifies that with Katsu’s ability you can go and find your next pieces of the combo from the deck to play, illustrating the importance of having more starters and that a lower density of the combo pieces is okay.
LSV moves on to ogling his shiny foil Show Time!, a Bravo specialization card. It is worth noting that in WTR sealed, Bravo is the only Guardian hero. Unlike other games, the specialization or super rares, and majestic rares are not the traditional bomb cards that you may expect. These aren’t your one card win conditions that cause blowouts like you might find in other TCG limited formats. One of my favorite things about Flesh and Blood is that there are no real bombs, which is one of the many reasons why the limited format feels rather skill-based, it rewards understanding of the cards and practice. That’s not to say if you master the game and format you will win all of your games, but it helps a lot! Cards are so close in power because of their versatility, with almost all cards able to be used defensively. No one card will ever mean you just immediately lose or win a game of Flesh and Blood. Instead, crafting a game plan, setting up strong turns and combining your cards together to deal impactful damage and then eventually a lethal blow is what will do that.
Initial Sealed Learnings
So, what should you take away from watching Luis crack his first sealed pool and this overview?
- First of all, remember you are not limited by the young hero and weapon tokens that you open – I will forgive Luis for this as it is his first ever Flesh and Blood sealed experience!
- Start by sorting your cards into six piles, generics, the four classes and equipment (weapon tokens are not equipment), and then sort these piles by pitch value.
- Look to your generics as an indication for where you can support the strong class specific cards you have opened.
- Review how resource hungry your deck and an average turn will be, this will help guide the breakdown of reds, yellows, and blues that you should play.
- Identify the synergies between cards and start to pair cards that will formulate the base of a game plan.
- Look to the cards that can do more than one thing well, it is hard to go wrong with a yellow card that defends for three and can also be a threat.
How I Would Build This Pool
Without going through and laying out the entire sealed pool, I want to end with a few brief callouts from this sealed pool in the hope that it might highlight some of the stronger limited cards and give some specific examples of the ideas that I have shared above.
Starting with the generics, the cards that immediately grab my attention are the two blue Drone of Brutality, the two red Razor Reflex, red Unmovable, the two red Sink Below, and the two yellow Pummel. I would also take note that there are some really good yellow cards that can double as threats and utility for blocking and/or pitching. These are Raging Onslaught, Pummel, Flock of the Feather Walkers, Scar for a Scar, Wounding Blow, and Sloggism. The blue cards, or the traditional resource cards, are a bit weak in this pool with almost all of them defending for just two and having low utility in that they are pretty poor part-time threats.
Class wise, I would be most drawn to Rhinar with this sealed pool. I would be looking at leveraging the most powerful cards from the sealed pool in the defence reactions, the Pummels and the Drones to build a deck focused on a game plan that looks to grind my opponent down. I would be fairly confident I could fatigue my opponent (which is where they run out of cards in deck), or even get in chip damage with my weapon and finish with a pummel onto the Romping Club or an attack action card like yellow Smash Instinct. Having two drones is really powerful in that even if you are forced onto the back foot and block a lot of your opponents turns out, you have these two cards that will continually cycle back in. You also have some solid class cards that all defend for three and can force through damage or get cards out of the opponent’s hand. Lastly the defense reactions represent some coverage against big attacks from Bravo or Dorinthea.
Katsu and the Ninja class would be the next closest class for me; however I would be concerned that there aren’t enough of the right combo pieces, you are especially lacking in some red starters. For Bravo unfortunately you are short on blue cards, and more specifically quality blues which are so vital because of the high cost of the class attacks and for Anothos which costs three resources to attack with. Dorinthea, as Luis correctly identifies is pretty thin, and you are missing enough red non-attack actions or attack reactions to build a strong warrior deck here. However, keep in mind as mentioned earlier that in Flesh and Blood sealed you have access to every young hero and weapon token from the set. Luis could have opted for this class if he wished, but rightly opted for a much stronger class with the given pool.
I hope that I have been able to be a helpful guide in reviewing this sealed video. Best of luck if you plan to get stuck into some Welcome to Rathe sealed with unlimited releasing. Go forth and enjoy this fantastic game!