With a robust Organized Play plan, Flesh and Blood is poised to be the next big TCG. I wrote a short piece about my hopes for OP, but today I want to do a rundown of the different formats of Flesh and Blood you can play. There are a lot of options as to how to play, and each has their own appeal.
Blitz is the format I’ve played the most of, and I really like the pacing. You play it with a Young Hero and a 40-card deck (plus 11 Inventory cards) and typically start at 20 life. Some Heroes, like Young Kano up there, start at less, but 20 is by far the most common starting life total.
There is a two-of limit for cards, though it’s important to note that different pitch values does mean a different card. For example, you can play all three versions of Savage Feast, for six copies total.
Matches are typically played Best-of-One, though they can be Best-of-Three as well.
Notes About Blitz
- The games are fast – 20 life goes quickly once you start landing big hits. It’s possible for some heroes to one-shot the opponent, which shows how brutal some Blitz games can be.
- On the flip side, a relatively small deck means that control decks can go through almost the whole deck if they can keep themselves alive (this play pattern is why Drone of Brutality got banned).
- This is the format I’d use to introduce someone to FAB. The games are of a good length, and 40 cards with two copies max is plenty when it comes to building interesting and synergistic decks.
In Classic, you play the adult version of your chosen Hero (I’m not sure if the young versions are even legal, but they are just worse than the adult versions anyways). You start at a higher life total, usually 40, and the deckbuilding rules are quite a bit different.
Classic Constructed requires an 80-card deck, which includes your Hero, your Equipment and your deck. You then present a 60-card minimum deck, again counting everything together, and that’s what you’ll play your match with. You can present a different 60 card deck each round, as long as they all come from the same initial pool you registered.
The card limit changes from two-of to three-of, with different pitch costs still counting as different cards.
These games are quite a bit longer, as both players have more life and more cards to work with, making them take up to an hour in some cases. Like Blitz, this is typically played Best-of-One.
Notes About Classic Constructed
- Because you get to choose the 60 that you want to present, you should be well-versed in your configuration against each Hero. You do get to see the opponent’s Hero before choosing your 60, which means you should know which ones require defense against arcane damage, which ones you want each weapon against, and so on.
- Be prepared for taxing games. Longer games require more mental resources, and Classic games can go pretty deep. So much of FAB is anticipating the opponent’s actions and countering them, and in Classic, you have the life total to take hits for better positioning later in the game.
- If you’re serious about FAB, you definitely want to practice playing Classic. It’s a rewarding format, and many of the best organized play opportunities will test your Classic skills.
I can’t say that I’ve played this format myself, but I’m not surprised that it’s emerged as a fun way to play. In Ultimate Pit Fight (UPF), you’re playing multiplayer with as many people as you want. In fact, the rules are more suggestions, as it’s meant to be a casual format.
Like Classic, you end up playing with 60 cards of your 80-card pool, but you typically will use Young Heroes instead of adult ones (though again, you can alter that if your playgroup desires).
In UPF, you can only attack or target heroes to your immediate left or right, and only defend yourself. The goal is to be the last hero standing, which will take a combination of skill, wit and potentially backstabbing…
FAB was designed with robust Limited play in mind, and as such, both Draft and Sealed are supported. In both cases, you play with a 30-card deck (not counting weapons/equipment), though there are some special rules in order to make deckbuilding work.
- For both formats, players may add young hero and weapon cards of their choice. Knowing you have access to any hero and weapon is important during drafting, and helps avoid the situation where players draft a hero’s cards but don’t actually have the hero.
- For Sealed, you construct your deck out of six packs. For draft, you start with three packs and draft by taking a card from your first pack and passing it to the player on your left. Everyone does the same until the first pack is done, after which you open your second and pass to the right. The last pack is again to the left, and everyone ends up with the same amount of cards.
- Normal deck construction rules apply when it comes to class cards. You still can’t play Warrior cards in a Ninja deck, and the hero you choose will dictate which cards are legal in your deck.
- If you don’t have enough cards to present a 30-card deck (say you started by drafting Ninjas but then switched into Runeblade), you get the privilege of playing with Cracked Baubles. You can add any number into your deck, though the optimal number is zero.
I’m looking forward to getting to do a FAB draft soon here (perhaps at a live event…), but I’ve built some Sealed decks. FAB works well for Limited play, and these are formats I definitely want to play more of.
Ultimately, this depends on your goals. All of these formats are fun, from the casual Ultimate Pit Fight to the robust Classic Constructed. FAB is a rewarding and deep game, so all of these formats have tons of decision points, which means you shouldn’t worry about getting a challenge no matter which you play. I’d point most people towards Blitz to start, as I found it to be the best mix of length and strategy, but you should figure out which calls to you most. I myself am going to start drilling in on Classic Constructed, Draft and Sealed, since those are formats supported by OP, but I encourage you to start with whatever sounds like the most fun.