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Welcome to Rathe – Draft Box Rundown

Draft is an incredible format in Flesh and Blood. With most of the design in the game being heavily considered for draft, each draft set in Flesh and Blood has been a cultivated experience which you shouldn’t miss. As a love letter to the format, I’ve been writing a miniseries going through each draft set in the game, highlighting what makes that set unique in it’s gameplay alongside key cards to look for when drafting. Hopefully this will serve as a great kickstart guide to those who are looking to choose which box to draft on their next Friday night get together, as well as a primer on how to do well when drafting it. With that in mind, let’s begin with the one that started it all, Welcome to Rathe

 

 

Header - "The Simple Set"

Many times, branded by the above name, Welcome to Rathe draft is surprisingly poignant and thought out for a format, containing the least overall mechanics or any of the talent system in the game. The set has four heroes from four different classes:

  1. Rhinar, Reckless Rampage – Brute Hero 
  2. Dorinthea Ironsong – Warrior Hero 
  3. Bravo, Showstopper – Guardian Hero
  4. Katsu, The Wanderer – Ninja Hero 

Although there are four classes here with substantially different design pillars, what ties Welcome to Rathe draft all together isn’t as much the powerful class cards but rather the extremely flexible generics which can be used in almost every hero. 

As a result, WTR draft can allow you to stay open for the longest period compared to almost any other set in FAB. The generics are not only strong, but the generally strong block value they present mean you aren’t sacrificing on the defensive side for picking them either. Aside from the generics, the draft format also includes specific archetypes like a control Anothos-focused build in Bravo, and Primeval Bellow and Romping Club-focused build in Rhinar, and low to the ground aggro builds in Katsu. Whether you’re looking to draft the best deck possible, or looking to build a certain hero in around specific cards, the set is ripe for it.

Aside from the draft itself as well, gameplay wise WTR draft is one of the slower, grindier formats available in draft. If you like gameplay group likes midrange back and forth gameplay, with a premium on defense and attack reactions, as well as the ability to reward good bluffing and value generation, this is the draft set for you. Many Welcome to Rathe draft games end with similar life totals rather than blowouts, and can come down to good pitch stacking, and solid fundamentals in terms of your blocking and ability to sense when to pivot into your opponent. 

 

Header - Top 3 Generics

Between the Commons and Rares, there are definitely some cards than are universally strong in the draft meta, and some generics are ones you should be strongly considering each pack. Let’s look at the top three generics available in WTR draft.

Sink Below (Red)

Sink Below (Red) (Regular)

You can’t talk WTR draft without talking about Sink Below, the powerful reaction provides immense value as a defense reaction in a format where attack reactions are plentiful. Between Katsu’s odd breakpoints, powerful attack reactions from Dorinthea, Bravo’s dominate and Rhinar’s intimidate, having Sink Below in Arsenal is your trump card in basically every match. If you’re lucky enough to have multiples of these in your deck, don’t use them willy-nilly. Rather, sticking them in Arsenal and choosing your moment to stop an opponent’s big turn or pivot with this defense reaction is the better way to go. Due to its filtering ability, Sink also provides a perfect way to adjust your hand so you can push back subsequently to your opponent’s offensive turn. In all cases, Sink Below is a perfect pack 1 pick 1 card should you happen to see it early. 

Scar for a Scar (Red)

Scar for a Scar (Red) (Regular)

Due to the midrange style of WTR draft games, trading the lead in life totals is a common occurrence. Scar for a Scar as a result almost always get’s its conditional ability turned on. As I was saying above, sometimes in these grindy games the player who can eek out the most value out of their hands does the best, and Scar for a Scar presents incredible rates all around to do so when coming in for 4 with go-again. In Ninja, it represents even more value giving the class another way to trigger Katsu’s combo ability. In Brute, Guardian and Warrior, it simply presents extra damage for wider turns or just efficient two-card hands with Scar for a Scar followed up by their weapon swings. A flexible and dangerous pick all around that you should be looking for early draft. 

Sigil of Solace (Red)

Sigil of Solace (Red) (Regular)

One of the best cards to bluff with, Sigil of Solace is an incredible card to hold back in hand or Arsenal to surprise your opponent when you’re on offense or defense. On the former, you can leave your opponent thinking that you’ll be attacking again or playing an attack reaction and force odd blocking patterns out of them, while then playing the Sigil of Solace after and seeing their eyes sink as they realize they’ve been bluffed out.

Similarly, Sigil is an incredible offensive tool to help fool Guardian, Warriors and Brute to go all-in and as they think they have the kill, while you know that your Sigil in Arsenal means you have a free three extra life to play with. Against Katsu in particular, having Sigil in deck allows you to play against the Kodachis more freely by taking the damage. Since blocking them out is so regularly inefficient, Katsu can quickly close out games by chipping away each turn when them. Having Sigil is a great answer to these weapons and can help tremendously to shore up that matchup should you feel your deck is weak against it. 

 

Header - Wrapping Up

That about wraps up my overview of drafting in Welcome to Rathe. For those looking to pick it up at their next draft session, you’ll be able to browse through the set with arguably some of the strongest generics ever printed, as well as enjoy a midrange, grindy style that is unique very much to WTR draft. If you have any more questions about WTR drafting or the archetypes within to play, feel free to reach out to me on twitter @a_dedanwala. 

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