Flesh and Blood is a hero-focused game, and for many players, that means almost exclusively playing with their main hero for every possible game. For players just starting out, this is a great recommendation; TCGs are no doubt expensive, and sticking with one class lets you keep the price down and master the inner lines and plays unique to that class. Even for competitive play, being the jack of all trades is much worse then being a master at one of the Flesh and Blood classes.
In the following article, I want to convince you of the opposite. As much as Flesh and Blood puts the spotlight on mastering one hero, playing and learning other classes will be a fantastic boon to growing as a Flesh and Blood player and more deeply mastering the class you already play.
For hardcore competitive players, this may be redundant, but knowing the card pool almost by heart is a massive boon to any deckbuilder out there. Through extensive play and deckbuilding, you’ll automatically absorb it for the most part, but still, playing and building other classes gives a large exposé and possibly refresher to all the cards that class can mess around with.
As new sets continuously come out, its helpful to simply learn by building and playing, and the broader and deeper knowledge of the card pool and text each class uses in tournament play will help you properly understand how to counter the cards. Additionally, it’ll also help you understand the nitty-gritty stuff like timing and priority windows that are available to that class. These details can make all the difference as you can catch your opponent’s errors and understand what timing windows you have in between to possibly counter their cards and so forth.
With that out of the way, let’s now get into the more high-level stuff.
Like many TCG’s, each design space and hero associated with it appeals to different players. Those who like big swingy attacks may tend toward Guardians and Brutes, whereas those who like to endlessly attack in long chains may lean into Mechaologists or Ninjas.
The weakness of this sort of polarizing design space however is that you can becomes fantastic at certain skills which pertain to your class and horridly weak at those that do not, all while never noticing it occur. For example, a masterful Ira player used to consistent damage sources from their Kodachis every turn may take a try at Brute and throw away the deck in frustration as they struggle to find the damage output and tempo needed to win games. The same goes vice versa, where pilots of a Guardian deck may struggle effectively managing to string together pressuring turns one after another in Chane or Dash.
This struggle though is extremely important to understand though. As much as competitive players like ourselves love to endlessly analyze our own decks and playstyles, it’s vital to do the same from an outside standpoint. Learning the struggles of other classes will help you understand where your deck can better attack them in matchups. This strategic insight is something that others won’t be having and will cause games to tilt in your favor as you more deeply understand your opponent’s deck functions before the game compared to their understanding of yours.
For example, if I notice playing Chane that I almost always win games with one to three life remaining, then the next time I play that opponent, I’ll certainly have a Reckless Swing, Steelblade Shunt (Red) or even a Sink Below (Red) in Arsenal to finish off the game with damage from my defense reaction or simply neuter their big turn and let them fatigue out of the game entirely. These are insights which you can gain from either playing against the same variant of a deck 20-plus times, or simply by trying another class for yourself.
Let me give one more example on the offensive side. If you’re struggling against Ira, playing her will help you realize that the longer the game goes, the more she has the advantage with her weapons and attacks. Overall, however, she lacks a strong damage source early game outside of a few select lines. This is a key idea in basing strategy against her. For other go-wide classes or even Brutes who want to win with big turns, it means being much more aggressive then usual, abandoning defense to be as aggressive as possible and forcing the big blocks from Ira that she doesn’t want to give up. Once again, you can understand this weakness in her deck by playing against her 20-plus times, or simply playing as her and understanding where the kinks in the armor are in her playstyle.
Abbas, are you trying to tell me to play my Guardian with hundreds of go-again cards like a Ninja?
Well, no, not exactly, but what I do want to tell you in this section is how the strengths you learn playing one class can integrate and blossom when returning to your old deck. Aggressive Warrior players for example may feel their head pound when learning all the timing windows accessible to Wizard, but the skills acquired such as pitch tracking, slow deliberate turn planning, and so forth will be a great addition to the Warrior player’s arsenal. Going from pitching any blue to pay for Dawnblade to specifically pitching a combination of Glint the Quicksilver and Twinning Blade together for late game? Now that’s high-level play, and that’s play that comes from building a skill which your class generally doesn’t ask of you until the very highest levels of mastery of that hero.
Adding one more example into the play, aggressive classes such as Shadow Runeblade, Ninja or Mechanologist can learn a lot from playing defensive Brute or Guardians. With many of the former classes almost never blocking, you may never truly develop that side of the game to the level that Brute’s or Guardian’s will, who will make every defensive card count as much as possible and hard stop turns with timely defensive reactions instead of ones that are played immediately when drawn.
For aggressive players playing other aggressive players, as much as good card draw helps decide those games, many times the player who understands where to concede some tempo and block whilst still having a strong turn is going to be the one who wins that game. These small integrations of skills and traits are everywhere in Flesh and Blood. I can go on endlessly describing them from class to class, but I thought the following list of my personal top two classes to learn different traits in Flesh and Blood is just as good:
|I want to learn…||Play:|
|Resource Management||Shadow Runeblade, Wizard|
|Pitch Management||Wizard, Illusionist|
|Card Interaction/Priority Windows||Illusionist, Wizard|
|Aggression||Mechanoloigst (Boost), Shadow Runeblade|
|Turn Building||Brute, Guardian|
|Control||Mechanologist (Pistol), Guardian|
|Tempo Play||Ninja, Warrior|
As you can see, playing other Flesh and Blood classes is a must for any top player. Don’t let anyone tell you that simply sticking to one class every single game is the way to go. Messing around with other classes helps you in so many ways, of which I’ve only described a few above.
Aside from all of this through, playing other classes is refreshing, fun and lets you get a break from your hero that, although you love, has seen a bit too much playtime recently. Taking a break at a fun local Armory event and playing other classes then isn’t only good for your strategic presence in the game, but also helps feed that love we all have for Flesh and Blood in the first place.