I’ve been playing a lot of Flesh and Blood lately and it’s been a ton of fun. It’s a very tactical game, and each Hero has distinct playstyles, which is what I’m going to talk about today. First, take a look at my intro to Flesh and Blood if you want to get up to speed on how the game works.
I’m going to take a look at a couple of different playstyles and give examples of Heroes that fit each one, alongside examples of the kinds of sweet plays they make. If you see yourself in any of these playstyles, the corresponding Heroes may a great place to start (if you haven’t played much FAB) or try (if you have).
Rhinar is one of the most aggressive heroes, which makes sense for a brute. His hero ability makes defending very difficult, which further pushes Rhinar decks into the aggressive role.
Rhinar typically makes one huge attack per turn, though every now and then he sends in a club attack as well. The fact that most of his attacks require random discard means it’s very hard to get enough resources and cards in hand to use two attacks, so you better make the one attack count.
Sequencing is critical in every game of Flesh and Blood and with every hero, but Rhinar in particular really punishes you for not planning out your turn well. The trick about random discard is that it doesn’t actually have to be random. Take Bloodrush Bellow, for example.
If you play this and fail to discard a six attack card, well, that rush ends quickly. You probably wasted your turn and multiple cards, which likely will cost you the game. Yet, people play this card, and it’s not for no reason. With any card that really needs you to discard something specific, you should do your best to make sure you can’t miss. In the case of Bellow or Sand Sketched Plan, that means playing out Barraging Beatdown and pitching the right cards to cast your Bellow, ensuring that all you have left are cards that have six-plus attack.
Every now and then, you’ll run into hands where you have to just play something and hope the random discard breaks your way, but a wily brute will be able to avoid that happening very often.
Speaking of randomness, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a pair of these, it’s dice-rolling time. Scabskin Leathers are extremely powerful, but sometimes you roll a one and basically skip your turn, which is a cost worth paying (yet painful when it happens).
You Should Play Rhinar If…
You enjoy aggressive decks that sacrifice resources for more potent attacks (and don’t mind rolling some dice while you’re at it). Decks like Burn fit the bill nicely here.
Bravo is another hero that plays one giant attack most turns, but he does it in a way that’s very different from Rhinar. The best comparison I can make to Magic is that he plays in a style that’s akin to mana ramp, where you spend a turn deploying resources that make your follow-up plays more powerful.
Bravo uses Auras to good effect, and just about all of them set you up for next turn rather than doing much the turn you play them. By giving up a turn of attacks, you set the stage for a truly devastating attack on the following turn. The biggest reason this works is that your opponent is limited to four cards in hand and one card in arsenal max, so doubling (or more) an attack means that they won’t be equipped to defend it (whereas two turns of attacks gives them access to two turns of defense).
Bravo also pays you off if your attacks deal enough damage to the opponent, which further rewards you for doubling up. When you start triggering your crush abilities, it’s not long until your opponent is appropriately crushed.
You Should Play Bravo If…
You enjoy ramping into huge plays, with decks like, well, Ramp.
In a shocking twist, Kano is my favorite hero. I love his ability to play at instant speed and to transition seamlessly from defense to offense (though he plays more as combo than control overall). His hero power is unique in that it lets you play the game on the opponent’s turn, which is huge.
By using Kano’s hero power, you get to play all these as instants, and you can often string together three or four cards on the opponent’s turn. That not only gets around normal timing rules, but also gives Kano a ton of (virtual) action points, as he doesn’t often get gated by actions.
That also lets you dictate when and where you want to go for the kill, and almost buys you an extra half-turn when you finally do try and finish things.
See, near the end of close FAB games, you enter this tense phase where both players are forced to defend most attacks or die (say both players are at four or less health each). You then have Player A unloading on their opponent, and forcing them to discard almost their entire hand to live. After that, Player B can’t attack on their turn, so they draw up to four and maybe arsenal something or make a weak weapon attack.
This goes back and forth until someone breaks the symmetry and usually wins as a result. However, Kano breaks this mold, and gets to make that big attack, then redraw and make another turn’s worth of attacks on the opponent’s turn, thanks to his hero power. That means you’re always threatening an extra turn of attacks, which is why Kano starts at basically a turn less of health.
I love playing Kano, and one of my favorite plays is to take a ton of damage by not blocking, then spend two full turns going after the opponent, especially when they just spent their whole turn attacking me.
You Should Play Kano If…
You love playing at instant speed, and responding to what the opponent is doing, all with an aggressive bent. Decks like Delver are a good analogy, and if you like them (which I do), you may like Kano (which I also do).
Dash is another hero that plays in a unique fashion. Her hero power is to start with an item in play, which lets you plan your entire game plan around having it.
I’ve liked starting with this, which makes your Teklo Plasma Pistol into a potent threat. Ultimately, you want to assemble a Plasma Purifier as well, so you can get in two shots at three attack each (only costing you one action).
Dash really brings the combo aspect to life with Spark of Genius, which often goes for Teklo Core. This combo gives you access to a lot of resource points, though on a short timeline. You then can assemble whatever contraption you want, such as the pistol combo I mentioned above, though there are some dashing moves you can make as well.
Boost is another aspect here, where you can get free go-again tacked on to most of your attacks. The cost you pay is that you need to play all Mechanologist cards, no generics, but that’s a small cost to make all your attacks really pop off.
Dash has this wild feel where you’re ripping through your deck, banishing tons of cards but getting lots of action points and resources in return. It’s got a frenetic feel, which is exactly the flavor you’d expect.
You Should Play Dash If…
You like all-in combo, like Storm.
I hope this look at a few of the Heroes I’ve enjoyed most gives you a little direction when it comes to FAB, as I truly think there is something for everyone here. There are a ton more play patterns I haven’t covered yet, and I’ll be getting to them in due time – if you don’t see a Hero that speaks to you here, have no fear.
I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring FAB, and you can find me casting some Aether Spindles if you need me.