Tutoring has always been one of the strongest effects in all TCG’s. For those new to the concept, a tutor is a label applied to cards which can seek out and manipulate other cards in your deck, usually one card which is the choice of the player. This makes them inherently powerful in TCG’s as the eliminate the randomness involved with drawing. When used effectively, your decks tutor can be the catalyst for a massive turn, and resultingly, the designers at LSS given them to classes sparingly, mostly in the form of hero specialization cards.
Depending on the hero, the tutor is paired with other effects, damage output or deck interactions that synergize with the overall playstyle of that class/hero. These usually once-per-class cards are extremely unique and powerful, however not much has been said about them other than a general understanding that they are auto includes into most Flesh and Blood decks. Today, we’re breaking down some of the best tutors in the game currently, how tutoring can/should be used effectively and speak about the nature of tutors interacting with different card types. With that in mind, let’s get right into it!
As we just spoke of, tutors are extremely powerful cards, but they are also extremely flexible, making them great candidates to place in Arsenal. Since they can effectively allow you to access almost any card in your deck, a tutor in Arsenal allows you to adapt to the game state rather than the other way around, As always, some tutors will be stronger in this effect then vice versa, a Nock the Deathwhistle in Arsenal played out with a two-card hand is much more effective than a Sand Sketched Plan with the same hand count. We’ll get into this more later when we break down the extra effects tutors can give us.
The flexibility of tutors however allows them to function as great instigators for pivot turns. Let’s take Become the Arknight for example. Since Viserai is usually able to stack up many Runechants, it isn’t out of question for him to be at six or nine on a given turn when playing a back and forth turn cycle. Off a two-card hand, playing Arknight Ascendancy and discarding a non-attack action can allow you to find powerful cards such as Ninth Blade of the Blood Oath or Arknight Ascendancy, which you can then play out for free depending on the number of Runechants you have available to you. In the case of Ninth Blade, you’d be able to present at least nine arcane and nine physical for 18 damage off a two-card hand!
Now the former is a very offensive minded turn, however the same can be said for a defensive play. Sand Sketched Plan, for example, can be effectively used to destroy a multitude of auras Prism may have built up on the board. The card is the only card in the game which provides two action points on demand, provide you can discard a six-more after its tutor (which shouldn’t be too hard for Rhinar). The action points can help you attack an important aura like Genesis or Merciful Retribution, and still have time to attack Prism and pop her pesky Spectral Shields.
To give one more example, we can look at Spark of Genius. For a slighter higher cost, you can essentially bring out any item in your deck and put it into play. This helps reduce the randomness of you banishing your key items through boost or simply not drawing them at the time you need them. For item-based builds in Dash, getting the right items out on time is key to winning the value game in the long run and can be one of the most effective defensive pivots out there.
So, we’ve broken down how tutors can be used as defensive and offensive pivots, however there is something to be said about the timing of their play as well. Depending on the nature of your tutor, they can be a crucial part of your turn cycles through the match.
For example, Nock the Deathwhistle is incredible for Azalea early game, where she can struggle to gain tempo since the key arrows in her deck are one of many. Nock allows you to find the right arrow for the right time and bind up the game with Azalea’s on-hit effects. In the same vein, Show Time! is amazing for Guardian players early game if they need to swing tempo. Since players may not always get the chance to set the bottom of their deck well or simply the game may be moving too fast to even reach the second cycle, tutors like Show Time! are great to help speed this up and stop bleeding on the Guardian players’ side.
However, as the game goes on, the shuffling of decks becomes more and more a nuisance, as your pitch tracking and endgame set up is erased once you’ve tutored. Unless you’re purposefully shuffling your deck since your endgame set up wasn’t very potent anyways, tutoring late game should be given a second thought as you could be ruining a good chunk of the rest of your game if the benefit isn’t high enough. As we’re just going to see however, some tutors can get around this negative effect as well.
Tutors which deal damage, such as Shadow of Blasmophet and Lesson in Lava, are in my view some of the most powerful in the game. Lesson in Lava allows Kano incredible flexibility and dynamism with the next card decides to set at the top of his deck. He could set a blue for next turn to draw into, or continue pushing big damage with cards such as Sonic Boom, Blazing Aether, Voltic Bolt and so on. The damage presented by these tutors means that they always present some sort of value in the deck, and can be forgiven for being played late game since their output is so large between the search and damage.
The best tutor in the format from my point of view, Shadow of Blasmophet does everything Levia wants, if you can manage to give it go-again or multiple actions. However, in a class with Scabskin Leathers and Art of War, this isn’t too much of an issue. Shadow usually will discard a card with six or more attack, allowing you to banish a specific card from your deck. This banish can easily activate Levia’s ability in the turn and save you from blood debt loss or be something like a Tome of Torment or Mutated Mass, which you can play later in the chain. It also turns on the Mandible Claw go-again so you can attack with both after the Shadow of Blasmophet. Add in that it qualifies for interactions with and hits for six attack is amazing value for money. Damage-based tutors mean that they’re almost always powerful in all cycles of the game, and if you’re class has access to them, then leaning on them to guide your deck through the match is quite wise.
As the meta continues to find new tutors with powerful new effects, along with powerful card combinations increasing as the card pool expands, the power of class-based tutors will grow infinitely. I truly think these cards are key to pivot turns in almost any match and showcase their power through every format in the game. Protecting and wisely using your tutor cards is paramount to success in Flesh and Blood and I hope we can see many more off you taking advantage of this going forward!