Today, I have the pleasure to introduce to you a new Hero from the upcoming Flesh and Blood expansion, Monarch. I got to tease the existence of this Hero in my preview article from earlier this week, and today we get to answer many of the questions that look at Eclipse gave us.
First things first – let’s take a look at Chane, Bound by Shadow and Chane:
There’s a ton going on here, and Chane is an extremely exciting Hero as a result. The first thing to note has nothing to do with what Chane does, and instead what Chane is. See, Hero types matter a lot in FAB – they dictate what cards you can play in your deck, and greatly shape what your deck looks like as a result.
Chane is one of the cards introducing a new twist on that, as Chane has a talent in addition to his class. He’s a Runeblade, but one touched by Shadow, which means that Chane decks can include Runeblade cards and Shadow cards, opening the door for a ton of customization. To read more about what talents add to the game, check out this article by James White, the creator of Flesh and Blood himself.
Now, besides an expanded arsenal of cards to choose from, Chane offers a ton of power in his own right. His ability is quite strong – and comes with a correlated amount of risk. Giving an action every turn go again is huge, as Chane breaks one of the fundamental restrictions of the game. You get a free extra action per turn, something most Heroes jump through great hoops to obtain. No longer do you have to spend a whole card or use up an equipment to get that extra action – Chane gives that to you for free*, every turn.
Getting to take an extra action every turn will let you overwhelm your opponent easily, as your attacks will hit harder and be more plentiful. Given that Chane is a Runeblade, this could also lead to casting cards like Read the Runes and making an attack in the same turn, which a Runeblade like Viserai typically doesn’t get to do. It’s a huge win, and Chane decks will surely be able to take great advantage of it.
Now, what’s with the cost I mentioned earlier?
You generate a Soul Shackle every time you use Chane’s power, and these don’t go away on their own. For every Soul Shackle, you banish the top card of your deck each turn, which opens a whole other can of worms. First of all, in a long enough game, you run the risk of emptying your deck and not having enough action left to close things out. That may seem far-fetched, but once you have three or four of these, you’re under a real clock to end things before they grind you to dust.
The other aspect of Soul Shackle is how Shadow cards play with the banished zone. We’ve already gotten a glimpse of blood debt, an ability which keys off cards being banished, and Soul Shackle feeds into blood debt cards nicely.
By exiling massive amounts of cards in your deck, you open the door to losing a lot of health to blood debt, but that’s not all downside. As you can see with Tome and Ghostly Visit, blood debt cards give you access to more action, but if you fail to play them in a timely manner, you pay for it.
So, what does that all mean?
My conclusion is that Chane is great, and that as always, greatness comes at a cost (some say any cost). Chane gives you extra actions, extra cards thanks to blood debt and eats your deck and health total rapidly to pay for those benefits. That’s the kind of resource management that made me fall in love with card games, and I’m greatly looking forward to playing with Chane. The fact that he gets to play with an expanded selection of cards is the cherry on top, and I don’t think it’s ambitious for me to call this one of the most explosive additions to the game that we’ve ever seen.
Monarch is coming soon, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us.