Lately, Talents have been at the top of my mind. With the recent lore release detailing the continuation of the battle of light and shadow in the land of Rathe, alongside the announcement of Uprising coming out in June, I’ve been wondering how new heroes could use talents in the future. For those who don’t know, a class is generally an overarching group of design philosophies/mechanics that complete the distinct feeling that class brings with it when you pick up a hero of that class. Talents, on the other hand, are specific mechanics, and help bring fresh takes on old classes.
In the case of light and shadow, the former brings in the Soul mechanic to their classes, allowing heroes to build card advantage on the board by building up cards in Soul. For the latter, Shadow heroes unlock the ability to play cards out of banished zone. Once they get them there through one manner of another, they have a permanent card advantage on the board until they play the card out. However, they must pay Blood Debt at the end of their turns for each card that sits there in the banished zone this way. Let’s look at a two classes that could potentially leverage these talents incredibly well.
Boost feels like the perfect mechanic to supplement the Shadow talent’s ability to play cards out of banished zone. Since boost itself relies on banishing cards off the top of your deck, you introduce an inherent way to put cards into banished without having to add any new effects. In addition to this, the mechanism is inherently self-balancing as well. Since Shadow cards on their own don’t trigger boost, the card “boosting” wouldn’t be gaining go-again from the effect. The Shadow Mechanologist would have to pay the blood debt price to allow for them to utilize the card advantage on a later turn. Thematically as well, a dark machinist is a great piece for Flesh and Blood. Spawning special Shadow Mechanologist items out of the banished zone is a fantastic thematic integration with gameplay and allows for Shadow Mech players to consistently build their board state even with few cards in hand.
One of the most interesting equipment pieces with a Shadow Mechanologist would be the currently shunned Viziertronic Model i, which only sees play currently in some Dash boost builds in Blitz. In Shadow Mech however, the ability to filter out a large boost hand and make sure you banish the cards you want throughout the turn could be huge. Banishing cards that are simultaneously playable could be the perfect combination for ultra-wide turns that absolutely blow people off the board.
Currently, the headpiece is just used as a hand-filter during wide turns, but it always feels like it has more to give. Allowing for Shadow Mechanologist cards to be set on top of the deck from hand, then banished, and then played after all of this would be an incredible integration of a headpiece that certainly should be doing more than it currently is in the meta.
The current card pool for Mech as well support Shadow quite well. Cards such as Optekal Monocle, High Octane, Achilles Accelerator and more are all great in decks that aren’t fully constructed of Mechonologist cards. Integration of High Octane in particular, with cards such as Tome of Torment and Ghostly Visit is great way to keep fueling a mid-range/aggro Shadow Mechanologist.
Of all the equipment, how can we forget Teklo Foundry Heart, which reads almost as if it’s made for a deck like this? The chest piece allows Mech players to build their banished zone in a jiffy, alongside possibly gaining some pitch along the way. The ability of this card is fantastic here since it doesn’t have as huge a risk as missing a Boost trigger. Should you miss on the Heart triggers here, you most likely have built your playable cards in banished zone anyways, allowing for other ways to attack the field.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit to you, this is a personal dream of mine, but hear me out here. Light Wizard presents some of the most interesting gameplay interactions available with the current Light card pool. First and foremost is the powerful Vestige of Sol, which would immensely help the Wizard classes’ resource issues. Currently, we only see the power of Vestige in Prism due to her ability to have instant speed resource sinks in her aura generation. If you don’t have those sorts of resource sinks, it’s difficult to leverage Vestige – just ask Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn. This combination makes Wizard a fantastic class for this equipment piece, with an initial deposit into Soul, Wizard can now easily fund large scope turns at instant speed, gaining those extra points of pitch that the number crunching Wizard players are always praying for.
With one of the pillars of the Wizard class being them able transform non-attack actions into instants, it would be interesting to see how they can bring cards like Soul Food into the meta. That card has a high ceiling if it can be played out at the correct time, the biggest knock against it always being sheer tempo loss of only playing Soul Food on your turn and doing nothing else. However, in the world of Wizard, which can be flexible as to when non-attack actions are played, timely Soul Foods could be a catalyst to fuel major further damage in that character.
Similarly, Wizards love their Tomes, with both Tome of Fyendal and Tome of Aetherwind being staples in the class. Adding in Tome of Divinity into the class would make for an extremely interesting draw engine between these three cards, allowing Wizard to truly leverage their Opt effects even further. For a class that loves to pitch stack and set up larger scale plays, Opt and Draw are both dear friends.
Lastly, I want to speak to the famous Fabled from Monarch, the Great Library of Solana. Originally finding some love in Prism, the Library of light has now faded into the background recently as more pure aura variations on Prism take hold in the class. However, the power of Library is still unparalleled in FAB as the only current way to consistently gain an intellect turn after turn, as it represents one of the most clear-cut board state advantages in the game. In a class that has many resource sinks such as Wizard, satisfying the conditional effect of Library is an easy one, and could lead to an interesting new archetype in Wizard which runs many yellow pitch cards. For a card-hungry class like this, keeping Library on the board to consistently draw an extra card turn after turn could be a marriage made in heaven.
Even though I started playing FAB much before Monarch, the set remains my all-time favorite theme-wise. The battle between light and shadow is an all-time classic story for good reason, and seeing it expanded within Flesh and Blood soon would provide great leaps not only thematically, but for gameplay as well. Do you have any more classes you’d like to see expanded with the Light and Shadow talents? Let me know in the comments down below or on twitter @a_dedanwala.