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Numbers Game – Getting the Right Ratios in Flesh and Blood

While the resource mechanic in Flesh and Blood means you can often play your hand out without getting “screwed,” there’s often times when you draw the wrong mix of red, yellow and blue cards. This poses some interesting challenges for would-be deck builders, as often you want to ensure you have the right combination of cards so you can do what you want on as many turns as possible.

In this article, I’ll be giving a brief summary to help you analyze your decks and also look at some of the ratios successful decks have utilized and my thoughts on other options which could be considered, but are currently underutilized. If you’re interested in the math behind these numbers, I suggesting taking a look at my previous article on the subject.

Since you draw four cards every turn, the odds that you draw a certain hand can be easily determined using a simple hyper-geometric distribution. As you add more of a particular type to your deck (be it red, yellow or blue), your odds of drawing one or more of that card increase, but your odds of drawing a specific number of that type of card will peak at a certain number. The peaks always occur at the same positions but the odds are different depending on the specific hand you are after:

  • Probably of drawing one card in a four card hand – 44.4% peaks at 15 cards out of 60 (or 10 out of 40 for Blitz)
  • Probably of drawing two cards in a four card hand – 39.5% peaks at 30 cards out of 60 (or 20 out of 40 for Blitz)
  • Probably of drawing three cards in a four card hand – 44.4% peaks at 45 cards out of 60 (or 30 out of 40 for Blitz)

 

Header - Finding the Balance

More important that hitting a particular peak is what sides of the peaks the deck’s built around. We can classify decks as being Lean (<15), Low (15<30), High (30<45) or Saturated (>45) of a particular type of card based on how many of each type have been included. As an example, let’s take a look at Jacob Pearson’s winning Ira deck from The Calling Auckland:

 

 

Ira - Jacob Pearson - The Calling Auckland

Class: Ninja
Hero: Ira, Crimson Haze
Weapons: Harmonized Kodachi, Zephyr Needle
Equipment: Breaking Scales, Fyendal's Spring Tunic, Mask of Momentum, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Nullrune Robe, Snapdragon Scalers

(2) Command and Conquer (red)
(2) Drone of Brutality (red)
(2) Enlightened Strike (red)
(2) Flic Flak (red)
(2) Flying Kick (red)
(2) Life for a Life (red)
(2) Pounding Gale (red)
(1) Razor Reflex (red)
(2) Sigil of Solace (red)
(1) Soulbead Strike (red)
(2) Torrent of Tempo (red)
(2) Flic Flak (yellow)
(1) Sigil of Solace (yellow)
(2) Crane Dance (blue)
(2) Find Center (blue)
(2) Flic Flak (blue)
(2) Fluster Fist (blue)
(2) Rising Knee Thrust (blue)
(2) Rushing River (blue)
(2) Soulbead Strike (blue)
(2) Whelming Gustwave (blue)
(1) Wounding Blow (blue)

See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/ZXoAvEkR/

 

  • Red – 20 (Perfect two Ratio)
  • Yellow – 3 (Lean)
  • Blue – 17 (Low)
  • Go again/instants/reactions –  12 (Low)
  • Block four+ – 2 (Lean)
  • Block three – 30 (Perfect three)
  • Block two – 5 (Lean)
  • Block zero – 3 (Lean)

Based on these ratios, the deck has the highest possible chance to draw two red cards (39.5%) while still maintaining a good density of blue cards. There should be at least one go again or instant effect in every hand, allowing you to play out most hands on attack while the high quantity of block three cards also allows the deck to defend well.

This set of ratios is very common, particularly in Blitz where most players have opted to choose consistency over power. One deck in particular tends to be built quite differently though:

 

 

Rhinar - Leigh Fletcher - Dan Solo Comics Skirmish

Class: Brute
Hero: Rhinar
Weapons: Mandible Claw, Romping Club
Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Barkbone Strapping, Gambler's Gloves, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Scabskin Leathers, Skullhorn, Snapdragon Scalers

(2) Alpha Rampage (red)
(2) Barraging Beatdown (red)
(2) Massacre (red)
(2) Pack Hunt (red)
(2) Savage Feast (red)
(2) Barraging Beatdown (yellow)
(2) Barraging Big Horn (yellow)
(2) Beast Within (yellow)
(2) Bloodrush Bellow (yellow)
(2) Riled Up (yellow)
(2) Savage Swing (yellow)
(2) Smash Instinct (yellow)
(2) Wrecker Romp (yellow)
(2) Barraging Beatdown (blue)
(2) Energy Potion (blue)
(2) Primeval Bellow (blue)
(2) Reckless Swing (blue)
(2) Sand Sketched Plan (blue)
(2) Savage Feast (blue)
(2) Wrecker Romp (blue)

See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/ByXGRdGv/

 

  • Red – 10 (Perfect one Ratio)
  • Yellow – 16 (Low)
  • Blue – 14 (Low)
  • Go again/instants/reactions –  14 (Low)
  • Block four+ – 2 (Lean)
  • Block three – 32 (Saturated)
  • Block two – 6 (Lean)
  • Block zero – 2 (Lean)
  • Six attack – 22 (High)

In Leigh’s deck, most of the red cards in this deck have been replaced with yellow cards that give you a higher chance to draw cards with higher pitch values on your Bloodrush Bellow turns. The number of cards with six attack is also high, helping to ensure there are always enough around to trigger intimidates on all your discard effects.

Without Kano decks floating around, Classic Constructed tends to pull decks in quite different directions. As you have access to a sideboard, it can be harder to work out exactly what the configurations are, but generally speaking, there are matchups where you want more defense reactions and ones where you want less:

 

 

Dorinthea Ironsong - John Jaurigue - Classic Constructed

Class: Warrior
Hero: Dorinthea Ironsong
Weapons: Dawnblade
Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Braveforge Bracers, Fyendal's Spring Tunic, Nullrune Hood, Refraction Bolters

(3) Command and Conquer (red)
(3) Enlightened Strike (red)
(3) Flock of the Feather Walkers (red)
(3) Hit and Run (red)
(3) Ironsong Response (red)
(3) Out for Blood (red)
(3) Razor Reflex (red)
(1) Rout (red)
(3) Scar for a Scar (red)
(3) Sink Below (red)
(3) Snatch (red)
(3) Spoils of War (red)
(3) Steelblade Shunt (red)
(3) Steelblade Supremacy (red)
(3) Warrior's Valor (red)
(3) Hit and Run (yellow)
(3) Ironsong Determination (yellow)
(2) Singing Steelblade (yellow)
(3) Steelblade Shunt (yellow)
(3) Warrior's Valor (yellow)
(3) Glint the Quicksilver (blue)
(3) Hit and Run (blue)
(2) Nature's Path Pilgrimage (blue)
(3) Overpower (blue)
(3) Steelblade Shunt (blue)
(3) Warrior's Valor (blue)

See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/MeRpLlbZ/

 

Minimal Defense Reactions:

  • Red – 36 (High)
  • Yellow – 11 (Lean)
  • Blue – 13 (Lean)
  • Go again/instants/reactions –  52 (Saturated)
  • Block four+ – 0 (Lean)
  • Block three – 49 (Saturated)
  • Block two – 11 (Lean)
  • Block zero – 0 (Lean)

Without defense reactions, John’s deck is almost completely saturated with go again cards, allowing him to play every hand out on offense. With a Lean amount of blue and yellow cards in the deck, those turns will often offer a significant amount of damage, allowing you to continually keep pressure up against your opponent. Conversely, the deck can be configured in a more defensive setup:

Maximum defense reactions:

  • Red – 30 (Perfect two ratio)
  • Yellow – 12 (Lean)
  • Blue – 18 (Low)
  • Go again/instants/reactions –  45 (Perfect 3 Ratio)
  • Block four+ – 12 (Lean)
  • Block three – 39 (High)
  • Block two – 9 (Lean)
  • Block zero – 0 (Lean)

With the maximum amount of defense reactions in, the deck makeup looks very similar to the many of the Blitz decks, offering a good balance between defensive and offensive cards, allowing you to attack or defend effectively depending on the situation. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Bravo goes about his business in a completely different fashion:

 

 

Bravo, Showstopper - Cayle McCreath - Classic Constructed

Class: Guardian
Hero: Bravo, Showstopper
Weapons: Anothos
Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Crater Fist, Ironrot Legs, Nullrune Boots, Tectonic Plating

(3) Command and Conquer (red)
(3) Crippling Crush (red)
(3) Fate Foreseen (red)
(2) Mangle (red)
(3) Pummel (red)
(3) Sigil of Solace (red)
(3) Sink Below (red)
(3) Spinal Crush (red)
(3) Staunch Response (red)
(2) Disable (yellow)
(1) Pummel (yellow)
(2) Remembrance (yellow)
(3) Righteous Cleansing (yellow)
(3) Blessing of Deliverance (blue)
(3) Buckling Blow (blue)
(3) Chokeslam (blue)
(3) Cranial Crush (blue)
(3) Crush the Weak (blue)
(3) Disable (blue)
(3) Emerging Dominance (blue)
(1) Energy Potion (blue)
(3) Last Ditch Effort (blue)
(3) Pummel (blue)
(3) Show Time! (blue)
(3) Stamp Authority (blue)
(3) Towering Titan (blue)
(3) Unmovable (blue)

See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/GQdwKMgZ/

 

Minimal Defense Reactions:

  • Red – 14 (Lean)
  • Yellow – 8 (Lean)
  • Blue – 38 (High)
  • Go again/instants/reactions – 6 (Lean)
  • Block four+ – 3 (Lean)
  • Block three – 47 (High)
  • Block two – 7 (Lean)
  • Block zero – 3 (Lean)

As most of Bravo’s attacks require a significant amount of blue cards to play, the lack of go again effects makes sense, as does the almost-perfect one ratio of red cards. With a high amount of blue cards, there should always be enough pitch laying around to play you big attacks.

Maximum Defense Reactions:

  • Red – 21 (Low)
  • Yellow – 3 (Lean)
  • Blue – 36 (High)
  • Go Again/Instants/Reactions – 0 (Lean)
  • Block four+ – 12 (Lean)
  • Block three – 45 (High)
  • Block two – 0 (Lean)
  • Block zero – 3 (Lean)

Again, you can take a more balanced approach with the deck, sacrificing some of the offensive consistency for defensive utility.

 

Header - Expanding Horizons

Generally speaking, the most successful decks to date have been balanced control or midrange style decks, allowing players to adapt their strategy based on their opponent. While these strategies will probably always have a place, I expect that the overall make up will change significantly as more powerful cards are released and players refine and streamline strategies. True aggressive decks, like those you see in Magic, don’t really exist in large numbers at the moment because there aren’t great options. For instance, consider this list and how it would perform against the current card pool we have available:

 

 

1 Katsu, the Wanderer
1 Mask of Momentum
1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic
1 Snapdragon Scalers
1 Breaking Scales
2 Harmonized Kodachi
3 Snatch (Red)
54 Ravenous Rabble (Red)
3 Art of War

 

 

  • Red – 57 (Saturated)
  • Yellow – 3 (Lean)
  • Blue – 0 (High)
  • Go again/instants/reactions – 57 (Saturated)
  • Block four+ – 0 (Lean)
  • Block three – 0 (Lean)
  • Block two – 57 (Saturated)
  • Block zero – 3 (Lean)

 

Ravenous Rabble (Red)

 

While this is a pretty extreme example, it illustrates how far deck building limits can be pushed from where they are now. I personally can’t wait to see what Legend Story Studios has in store for the game come Monarch!

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