Welcome back everyone to another unique article. In this piece, I’ll be looking forward to 2021 and pondering what I would like to see happen in the world of Flesh and Blood. 2020 has certainly been a most unusual year and Legend Story Studios have done a fantastic job in navigating the difficulties of the year to come out on the other side with one of the strongest games in the market.
This list simply shows what I would love to see happen in the game (or sometimes what I would like not to see). Some of the parts of the list are about the game itself, while other aspects will be more “meta”-based. Rather than explaining them all, it’ll be much easier to simply get straight into it and show you what I’m talking about!
#1: An Expansion Focusing on Furthering Existing Classes
Flesh and Blood is the type of game that lends itself well to class loyalty. Because each of the characters and classes have a very specific identity, players are likely to identify with them and dedicate themselves to playing that particular class/character. This is a similar phenomenon to games like Legend of the Five Rings, A Game of Thrones and World of Warcraft. Compare this to Magic: The Gathering, where the “colors” are much more abstracted and it’s easy to see how a player could become loyal to a specific character in Flesh and Blood. For me, that character (and class) is Azalea and Ranger and I’d love to see more content released to support her (and the other core classes) in the future.
For me personally, rather than seeing Flesh and Blood continue to expand “horizontally” (that is, continue to introduce new classes), I’d rather see them really buckle down on a core number of classes and give them more depth (vertical expansions). This feels like a much more sustainable path to take – imagine if there were 20 classes; how long would it take each of them to get new content? If there’s even more classes to obtain that’ll make me feel they are just a way to get more money out of me. In fact, if Ranger didn’t receive much new content at all in the next year, I’d honestly be much less interested in continuing to play. That’s how important classes and characters are for me and I’m certain there are others out there who would be disappointed if in a year’s time we saw no new combo lines for Ninja, no new Attack Reactions for Warrior and no new ways to crush foes as Bravo.
#2: The Official First World Championships (and OP in General)
When I made the Top 8 at The Calling: Sydney, one of the things I was most looking forward to doing with my placing was participating in the World Championships! Of course, then a certain pandemic occurred and of course the changes of everyone around the world changed dramatically. Flesh and Blood and many collectible games, have managed to survive and even thrive in the market despite the shadow cast upon them by COVID-19 and it will be great to see the first World Championship hopefully take place in 2021.
I think that the lack of high-level competitive play now has been a bit of a damper on the scene; sure, the National Championships in various places were still able to occur, so we got a view of the meta in a few different countries, but for other countries (including Australia), we’ve been stuck with local play only. And while local play is the heart of gaming and is fantastic fun, I personally really enjoy seeing the highs and lows of the most competitive players in the world. One of the other things that will be great to see is much more coverage of events in general; more events means more opportunities for content creation, like commentary, game analysis and more!
I look forward to snatching that first-place prize with everyone’s favorite underdog when Worlds does take place.
#3: More Heroes for Existing Classes
I know this kind of ties into my first one, but this stands on its own given how important I consider it. Right now, Dorinthea is nearly synonymous with Warrior, Katsu with Ninja and so on (at least in Classic Constructed). When Crucible of War gave us our first taste of new heroes for each class, I couldn’t help but froth at the mouth; new heroes and new weapons, are game-defining in how they can affect your deck building and play and even bringing in one new hero for each class that has a unique ability will be enough to create an incredibly fresh experience with player’s favorite classes. I love what we’ve seen so far with Data Doll MKII (my favorite card from Crucible of War), Benji and Kayo and I look forward to seeing what LSS has in store for the other classes (but especially Ranger).
#4: A Crucible of War Reprint
Now, I didn’t expect that this was going to be on my list and this is not something I would really benefit from (I’ve got everything I need from Crucible). However, I will admit that when LSS announced that they were not sure about whether a Crucible reprint was going to happen, I was disappointed. I understand that there is much more going on with the decision than I am privy too, but I’m simply of the mind that allowing players to have access to cards would be healthy for the game in the longer term. If some cards from Crucible of War become extremely difficult to access due to a lack of product it’s going to be problematic.
I would love to see more people be able to access the product of this wonderful game; as such, it’s my simple hope that Crucible of War will indeed end up being reprinted.
#5: Fewer Legendaries That Are Competitively Necessary
On the same topic of accessibility from the above, I would love to see LSS take on a less “necessary” role in the game. One of the reasons why I only play a single class is because the cost of equipment to play a secondary class is so high. For example, if I wanted to play Runeblade, I’d have to invest upwards of $200 or so to even think about playing him – that’s for a single card in the deck! For many, I’m worried that this will be a huge turn off for competitive play; some people just can’t afford to drop $200 on being able to have the right to compete with a class. I think that cards like Bloodsheath Skeleta are a step in the right direction, as they lower the need for expensive cards like Fyendal’s Spring Tunic. More alternatives for equipment that allow for players to compete even without buckets of money will be a great thing to see in 2021.
#6: A Restricted List
Whenever I build a deck right now, my first three cards are Enlightened Strike. I know that Karol had some thoughts on it in his own article, but the fact of the matter is that I believe Enlightened Strike is the single most effective card in the game. The ubiquity of cards like Command and Conquer and Fyendal’s Spring Tunic are also concerning to me and once again, given their rarity and cost, they serve to price players out of the competitive realm.
I think that opening up a restricted list (not necessarily with the cards I stated above, although Enlightened Strike would certainly be one of my first targets) where you are only able to play one of the cards on the list (to be clear, you can play three copies of the card, but no copies of any other card on the restricted list). This will be great for the competitive sphere in the long run, as it will ironically open up choices in deckbuilding by eliminating obvious auto-includes.
And that brings this article to an end. What would you like to see coming up in 2021? Do you agree or disagree with anything that I’ve said in this article? Let me know in the comments and let’s keep the conversation going! Until then, have a happy holiday season with loved ones – play some games if you can!