Welcome back to part two of my dive into Classic Constructed! If you missed it, you can read part one at the link below, and today I’ll be wrapping it up with some other options for potential or current Flesh and Blood players, based on your play preference.
As with last time, you’ll notice some decks and heroes are listed a few times below, and that’s because I describe playstyles or reasons why the deck and hero may fit you best. If there isn’t one that you identify with, no stress – Tales of Aria will be here in a month’s time, bringing us three new heroes!
Not only is Aggro Katsu a great choice in the current meta game, but if you’re a traditional aggro player in other TCGs then you’re going to love what Katsu can do. Ninja attacks generally have very good offensive rates and inbuilt go again, be that conditional or unconditional. The ability to take the front foot from turn one and end the game before other decks can take over will be appealing if you like going fast. Your life is one of your greatest resources when playing an aggro Katsu deck, and you should be happy to trade life for outgoing damage, combo card activations and on-hit effects like Whelming Gustwave (Red), Mask of Momentum and even generics such as Snatch (Red).
Peter Buddenesiek – Katsu, 1st Place Road to Nationals Mythos Games
1 Katsu, the Wanderer 1 Breaking Scales 1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic 2 Harmonized Kodachi 1 Heartened Cross Strap 1 Mask of Momentum 1 Nullrune Gloves 1 Snapdragon Scalers 3 Ancestral Empowerment 3 Belittle (Red) 3 Command and Conquer 3 Enlightened Strike 3 Flic Flak (Red) 1 Fluster Fist (Red) 3 Leg Tap (Red) 3 Plunder Run (Red) 3 Razor Reflex (Red) 3 Rising Knee Thrust (Red) 3 Scar for a Scar (Red) 3 Snatch (Red) 3 Surging Strike (Red) 2 Torrent of Tempo (Red) 1 Unmovable (Red) 3 Whelming Gustwave (Red) 3 Art of War 1 Hurricane Technique 3 Mugenshi: RELEASE 3 Surging Strike (Yellow) 2 Crane Dance (Blue) 2 Find Center 3 Lord of Wind 3 Minnowism (Blue) 3 Rising Knee Thrust (Blue) 2 Snag 3 Whelming Gustwave (Blue)
The reprise keyword that is the hallmark of Warrior attack reaction cards, especially those in Welcome to Rathe, are what give Dorinthea Ironsong and her Dawnblade the ability to be a formidable aggro or tempo deck in Flesh and Blood. Dorinthea is best at punishing decks who don’t want to defend much, defend at all or can only defend inefficiently. She can be built in a very flexible manner to keep her aggressive edge but play well into either decks that do want to defend or decks that never want to defend. This is because while reprise is a great mechanic and on a number of cards that have powerful effects like Singing Steelblade, Dorinthea also has access to a number of non-attack actions that mean not defending gives her a lot of value. Warrior’s Valor, Steelblade Supremacy, Nature’s Path Pilgrimage and Spoils of War all punish decks for not wanting to defend. Dorinthea’s hero ability naturally enables aggressive playstyles thanks to the ability to swing your weapon twice in a turn when the first hits, provided you have an action point of course.
Ryan Youngquist – Dorinthea, 1st Place Road to Nationals, The Printed Meeple
1 Dorinthea Ironsong 1 Arcanite Skullcap 1 Braveforge Bracers 1 Courage of Bladehold 1 Dawnblade 1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic 1 Nullrune Hood 1 Refraction Bolters 1 Chains of Eminence 3 Command and Conquer 3 Ironsong Response (Red) 2 Nourishing Emptiness 3 Out for Blood (Red) 1 Overpower (Red) 2 Plow Through (Red) 2 Rout 2 Sharpen Steel (Red) 3 Sink Below (Red) 3 Spoils of War 3 Steelblade Shunt (Red) 3 Steelblade Supremacy 3 Stroke of Foresight (Red) 3 Warrior's Valor (Red) 1 Cash In 2 Hit and Run (Yellow) 1 Remembrance 3 Singing Steelblade 1 Twinning Blade 3 Warrior's Valor (Yellow) 2 Dauntless (Blue) 1 Energy Potion 3 Glint the Quicksilver 3 Hit and Run (Blue) 2 Ironsong Response (Blue) 1 Out for Blood (Blue) 3 Overpower (Blue) 3 Steelblade Shunt (Blue) 1 Timesnap Potion 3 Warrior's Valor (Blue)
If Dorinthea is the aggro warrior based around tricks like attack reactions and non-attack actions that enhance the effectiveness of your weapon, then Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn fills the spot of the go-wide style deck that can really snowball some big turns. Boltyn is in some ways a cross between Dorinthea and Katsu in Classic Constructed, with Light attack actions of which many have on-hit effects or ways to buff the offensive output of your overall turn. Rather than go tall on one single weapon and try to hold tempo with counters on Dawnblade, Boltyn uses cards like Take Flight, V of the Vanguard, Lumina Ascension and his hero ability to combine attack actions and his weapon(s) for maximum damage that isn’t easy to block. In fact, defending with attack actions is actively unfavorable for the opponent thanks to Boltyn’s hero ability.
Boltyn is a great deck for those that love a mix between aggressive play and trading off to build some resources early game, in this case building your Soul which becomes fuel for your later big damage turns. Having a healthy Soul allows you to go wider by activating Boltyn’s attack reaction ability on a number of your best attack actions like Valiant Thrust (Red) and also for paying the additional cost on Beacon of Victory.
William Bradshaw – Boltyn, 1st Place Road to Nationals, Showcase Games
1 Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn 1 Arcanite Skullcap 1 Braveforge Bracers 1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic 1 Nullrune Gloves 1 Nullrune Hood 1 Raydn, Duskbane 1 Snapdragon Scalers 3 Battlefield Blitz (Red) 3 Bolt of Courage (Red) 1 Chains of Eminence 2 Command and Conquer 3 Courageous Steelhand (Red) 2 Dauntless (Red) 3 Engulfing Light (Red) 3 Express Lightning (Red) 2 Illuminate (Red) 2 Plunder Run (Red) 3 Sigil of Solace (Red) 2 Sink Below (Red) 2 Steelblade Shunt (Red) 3 Take Flight (Red) 3 Valiant Thrust (Red) 2 Battlefield Blitz (Yellow) 3 Beacon of Victory 3 Bolt of Courage (Yellow) 2 Bolting Blade 2 Celestial Cataclysm 1 Courageous Steelhand (Yellow) 3 Engulfing Light (Yellow) 3 Lumina Ascension 2 Soul Shield 3 Take Flight (Yellow) 3 V of the Vanguard 1 Energy Potion 2 Impenetrable Belief (Blue) 1 Take Flight (Blue) 2 Timesnap Potion
The Light Illusionist from Monarch is perfect for players who like undercosted attacks, as Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light is certainly not in shortage of these in the form of the Heralds. Most of the Heralds not only offer a great rate on cost versus. damage but most have two on-hit effects to boot! Herald of Protection (Red) for example is 7-attack card for just two resources that on-hit gives you a Spectral Shield token and fuels your soul with the Herald being placed into it. Most lists run a high number of these Heralds and can do some serious big hitting thanks to one of Prism’s weapon options in Luminaris. Pair that with the Illusionist legendary equipment Phantasmal Footsteps and you have insurance incase the opponent can trigger the phantasm effect on your attack actions.
Prism not only offers an enticing strategy for players who like big hitters that are above rate for their cost, Prism also has access to cards that give board presence in Auras. Permanents outside of your starting equipment and weapon aren’t very common in Flesh and Blood, but with Merciful Retribution, Genesis and a number of others, Prism has these cards at her disposal. For this reason, Prism could well be the hero for you if you like amassing board presence and overwhelming the opponent with pseudo “card advantage.”
Henry Moore – Prism, 5th Place Road to Nationals, Calico Keep
1 Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light 1 Luminaris 1 Dream Weavers 1 Halo of Illumination 1 Nullrune Gloves 1 Phantasmal Footsteps 1 Vestige of Sol 3 Prismatic Shield (Red) 3 Herald of Protection (Red) 3 Herald of Triumph (Red) 3 Wartune Herald (Red) 2 Herald of Rebirth (Red) 1 Command and Conquer 3 Arc Light Sentinel 3 Genesis 3 Merciful Retribution 3 Ode to Wrath 3 Tome of Divinity 3 Celestial Cataclysm 3 Herald of Erudition 3 Herald of Judgment 3 Herald of Protection (Yellow) 3 Wartune Herald (Yellow) 2 Tome of Fyendal 3 Soul Shield 1 Pummel (Yellow) 1 Parable of Humility 3 Herald of Protection (Blue) 3 Herald of Ravages (Blue) 3 Herald of Rebirth (Blue) 3 Herald of Triumph (Blue) 3 Wartune Herald (Blue) 3 Herald of Tenacity (Blue) 1 Great Library of Solana
Not only is Chane, Bound by Shadow one of the top meta decks right now, but thanks to Rift Bind, Seeping Shadows, Tome of Torment and the ability to hold cards in banish, Chane is a hero that can unleash massive turns of 30+ damage! The ability to play from banish is just raw power, and you won’t find the ability to play 10 or more cards in a turn come easier than with Chane. If you want some examples of just how Chane can do this, check out the Dev-astation series final from the game developers themselves showing this off here.
Taylor Morrow – Chane, 1st Place Road to Nationals, Game Kastle Sacramento
1 Chane, Bound by Shadow 1 Aether Ironweave 1 Arcanite Skullcap 1 Carrion Husk 1 Crown of Dichotomy 1 Grasp of the Arknight 1 Nebula Blade 1 Snapdragon Scalers 1 Time Skippers 3 Bounding Demigon (Red) 3 Enlightened Strike 3 Ghostly Visit (Red) 3 Howl from Beyond (Red) 3 Meat and Greet (Red) 3 Plunder Run (Red) 3 Rift Bind (Red) 3 Rip Through Reality (Red) 3 Seeds of Agony (Red) 3 Shadow Puppetry 1 Soul Reaping 2 Tome of Torment 3 Unhallowed Rites (Red) 3 Art of War 3 Ninth Blade of the Blood Oath 3 Seeds of Agony (Yellow) 2 Seeping Shadows (Yellow) 1 Eclipse 2 Invert Existence 3 Mauvrion Skies (Blue) 3 Meat and Greet (Blue) 2 Rift Bind (Blue) 3 Seeds of Agony (Blue) 3 Shadow of Ursur 2 Unhallowed Rites (Blue) 3 Vexing Malice (Blue) 3 Whisper of the Oracle (Blue)
You can read above why Kano, Dracai of Aether might be the hero for you if you are into setup turns and complicated lines of play. But Kano may very well appeal to you if you just like raw power. Arcane damage is hard to interact with and Kano has the ability to do some ridiculous stuff with Forked Lightning, Sonic Boom, Tome of the Aetherwind and Blazing Aether.
Karol Ruszkiewicz – Kano, LSS Dev-astation Series
1 Kano, Dracai of Aether 1 Crucible of Aetherweave 1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic 1 Metacarpus Node 1 Storm Striders 1 Talismanic Lens 3 Aether Flare (Red) 3 Aether Spindle (Red) 3 Blazing Aether 3 Chains of Eminence 3 Forked Lightning 1 Nourishing Emptiness 3 Reverberate (Red) 3 Snapback (Red) 3 Stir the Aetherwinds (Red) 3 Tome of Aetherwind 3 Voltic Bolt (Red) 3 Chain Lightning 3 Lesson in Lava 3 Sonic Boom 3 Tome of Fyendal 3 Aether Spindle (Blue) 3 Cindering Foresight (Blue) 3 Energy Potion 1 Eye of Ophidia 3 Gaze the Ages 3 Reverberate (Blue) 3 Rousing Aether (Blue) 3 Scalding Rain (Blue) 1 Timesnap Potion 3 Unmovable (Blue) 3 Voltic Bolt (Blue) 3 Whisper of the Oracle (Blue)
Bravo, Showstopper has been a go-to control deck since the release of Flesh and Blood. Early in my previous article, I spoke about the ease of the deck for new players thanks to Anothos and the decks heavy hitters. Anothos is also a great weapon for a control deck. The effectiveness comes from simply loading up the deck with blue cards, defense reactions and a handful of heavy hitters that you can deploy once you whittle down your opponent’s life and run through their best cards by defending them out. Staunch Response is a super-efficient defense reaction, while you can easily incorporate the likes of Unmovable (Red) thanks to your high blue card count. Bravo can really play a long grindy game plan eventually either fatiguing your opponent, or running them out of decent threats and finishing them off with dominated Crippling Crush or even Disable (Yellow) and Mangle. If all else fails, just keep swinging the hammer!
Jacob Pearson – Bravo, LSS Dev-astation Series
1 Bravo, Showstopper 1 Anothos 1 Crater Fist 1 Helm of Isen's Peak 1 Mage Master Boots 1 Nullrune Boots 1 Tectonic Plating 3 Chokeslam (Red) 3 Crippling Crush 1 Disable (Red) 3 Fate Foreseen (Red) 1 Mangle 3 Pummel (Red) 3 Sink Below (Red) 3 Spinal Crush 3 Staunch Response (Red) 3 Stonewall Confidence (Red) 3 Unmovable (Red) 1 Remembrance 1 Tome of Fyendal 3 Buckling Blow (Blue) 3 Cartilage Crush (Blue) 3 Chokeslam (Blue) 3 Cranial Crush 3 Crush Confidence (Blue) 3 Debilitate (Blue) 3 Disable (Blue) 1 Energy Potion 3 Last Ditch Effort 3 Pummel (Blue) 3 Show Time! 3 Stamp Authority 3 Stonewall Confidence (Blue) 3 Towering Titan (Blue) 3 Unmovable (Blue)
Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire can be played a number of ways thanks to the hero ability that allows you to start with an item in play. The control versions of Dash opt to start with Induction Chamber in play, setting up more Chambers and Plasma Purifiers over the course of the game while defending almost everything the opponent does. Not only is it a fairly straightforward and beginner-friendly strategy, it’s super effective and seeing a resurgence in the current meta. Probably the strongest control deck available to play in this Monarch Classic meta
Keegan Walls – Dash Control, 4th Place Road to Nationals, Calico Keep
1 Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire 1 Teklo Plasma Pistol 1 Arcanite Skullcap 1 Viziertronic Model i 1 Ironrot Gauntlet 1 Gambler's Glove 1 Fyendal's Spring Tunic 1 Mage Master Boots 1 Achilles Accelerator 3 Induction Chamber 2 Plasma Purifier 3 Sigil of Solace (Red) 1 Maximum Velocity 1 Command and Conquer 1 Nourishing Emptiness 1 Sink Below (Red) 1 Fate Foreseen (Red) 1 Unmovable (Red) 3 Raging Onslaught (Yellow) 3 Spark of Genius 3 Come to Fight (Yellow) 2 Tome of Fyendal 3 Sink Below (Yellow) 2 Fate Foreseen (Yellow) 2 Springboard Somersault 2 Unmovable (Yellow) 2 Remembrance 3 Last Ditch Effort 3 Throttle (Blue) 1 Meganetic Shockwave 3 Come to Fight (Blue) 3 Whisper of the Oracle (Blue) 3 Pour the Mold (Blue) 3 Teklovossen's Workshop (Blue) 3 Locked and Loaded (Blue) 3 Snag
No matter what style of play you like, or where you might want to start with Classic Constructed (or maybe even move on to if you aren’t new to the format), there’s something in this format across the 12 heroes for you! Me personally, I like a large number of these heroes in this format and prefer to bounce around with a few. However, I think I’ll be setting my sights on one of the most underappreciated heroes next, Levia, Shadowborn Abomination!