Calling: Antwerp Live Blog

19th May 2023 Alex Kivitz


Sunday - A Champion Is Crowned

After a gruelling two day battle, Pablo Pintor has been crowned the victor! In a climactic duel between Uzuri and Oldhim, the guardian hunkered down, rolled with the hits, and swung back hard. Quite literally pulverizing the Uzuri at one stage. Just when it seemed Uzuri was down for the count, a sudden surge of attacks left the guardian on the defensive. At the end, Oldhim showed the world just why he is the strongest man in Rathe. A dominating final victory for Oldhim as he ascends to Living Legend status.

Pablo Pintor

Sunday - The Battle Hardened Top 8

Battle Hardened Final

The Battle Hardened event Swiss rounds have ended and the top 8 players will now fight it out in an Outsiders draft for the coveted PTI, gold cold foil, and GLORY! Your Battle Hardened top 8 are Nicolas Scandalis, Szymon Wrzesień-Kwiatkowski, Kevin Pennec, Francesco Giorgio, Pierre Canali, Jonas Benzarti, Lucas Dutailly, Xiaoliang Yang.

Battle Hardened Top 8

Sunday - The Calling Antwerp Top 8

Calling Finals

After 13 arduous rounds, the Swiss portion of the Calling Antwerp is over. Players sit and wait, exhausted and spent, yet eager to see if their efforts were enough. Day 2 of the competition saw a very diverse range of heroes, and those who came out on top had to have the versatility and skill to play into any hero.

At the end of day, two players ended with 12 wins. Piotr Krzempek and Sebastian Kleiner. Four with 11 wins. Gabe Sher, George Melissakis, Olli Saarinen, and Stefano Meoni. And finally, two players got in with 10 wins. Glenn Van Roey and Pablo Pintor.


Over the course of the weekend we saw the playing field shift heavily. Lexi on day one saw 133 players, representing 20% of the field, she saw a good turnover into day 2 representing 27% of the field. Oldhim overtook Dromai as the second most represented hero, with an even 25% of the field. We are in for a very icy Day 2. For all of us Brute fans, Rhinar made it into day two with two players and even into the top 8!


Sunday - Ultimate Pit Fight

While the Calling and the Battle Hardened are going on, we have a special event for the more chaotic individuals. Ultimate Pit Fight tests players' game play skills as well as their communication and brokering skills. In a no holds barred free for all of Rathe's mightiest heroes, we have merchants bribing their opponents, shape shifters copying their foes, and adjudicators laying down the law. Alliances will be made and trust will be broken.

The Calling Antwerp Ultimate Pit Fight

Five heroes enter in one of the many arenas. Rhinar enters to assert leadership and intimidate his foes. Kayo comes to challenge him in an attempt to become pack leader. Two Yojis enter, one to protect, and one to attack. In the far corner of the arena, a lone Viserai studies the runes.

Rocks are flying and hammers are crashing. The protective Yoji hands out gifts, makes deals and survives by protecting and making alliances. Kayo charges headlong into Rhinar in an endless onslaught... until he trips over his shoes and comes to a halt. From another arena, wizards are heard chanting and chains of lightning are seen descending from the skies. The cries of multiple fighters ring out. Finally after an arduous fight Viserai unleashes a storm of lightning and magic. 33 runes circle around him as he brings down his blade, disintegrating two contenders immediately. However, one cannot win a pit fight on their own, and the other fighters survive and attack back. In the end, Yoji the protector emerged victorious from this round as good deeds truly do not go unnoticed.

Sunday - The Battle Hardened

As the Calling day two begins and the 84 qualifiers begin their matches, hundreds of contestants line up for the Battle Hardened. The demand was so high that the event sold out with all 224 spots filled. This edition of the Battle Hardened sees the players fight through 8 rounds of Outsiders sealed followed by a top cut. All across the venue the sound of packs being ripped open and cards being flicked through reverberate across the walls. As the decks are being constructed, lets see what exactly Outsiders has in store for us.

Outsiders is the first set to offer us dual class cards. Cards like Bloodrot Trap, and Codex of Frailty are able to be played in both the assassin and ranger classes. With three distinct classes with unique playstyles, along with two discrete heroes per class, there are numerous ways to go about preparing ones deck.

The Calling Antwerp Battle Hardened

The assassin's each come with unique way of harnessing their stealth capabilities to sneak in damage. Arakni utilizes stealth as a way to attack multiple times and applying devastating on-hit effects. Uzuri on the contrary uses stealth as a way to switch attacks on the combat chain to surprise attacks in hand.

Also fitting the theme of being sneaky, the ninjas bring unique ways of dishing out damage as well. Benji likes to fly under the radar and give his attacks the ability to not be blocked. Truly the epitome of hiding until the last moment. Katsu can swing with an unsuspecting attack and then surprise opponents by getting devastating follow-ups from deck.

Rounding out the trio of classes are the rangers. Azalea, a fan favourite since her release in Arcane Rising pulls hidden cards from the top of her deck and fires dominating arrows, with crippling on hit effects. And the newest of the ranger line up is Riptide, setting traps and dishing out the pain on those foolish enough to stumble into them.

The Calling Antwerp Sealed

Saturday - The Cosplay Competition

Some players' love for the game transcends from playing, and leads into fully embodying their favourite characters. A now mainstay event, the Flesh and Blood Cosplay Competition had competitors show up in style! Arc and Erika of the all star casting team along with Roman of L'oeil d'ophidia as the master of ceremonies hosted the wonderful ceremony. The costumes and outfits were designed with such passion and it would be an injustice to not show the absolutely outstanding performances.

The Cast of the Show

After a fabulous catwalk, a showcase of their costumes, and crowds cheering and applauding, we had to crown a winner. Eser Unger and his Young Riptide took the competition hook, line, and sinker. The craftsmanship, the likeness, the sheer characterisation definitely earned him the coveted first place award, the Taylor promo.


Saturday - World Guide Commoner Tournament

While the main event continues to run, many prospective historians duel it out for another World Guide in the official World Guide commoner event. Commoner as a format is an amazing entry point for newer players. The cards are easily accessible, decks can be thrown together, and its a format where anyone can play with a base knowledge of the game. We had over 30 competitors join in this battle for the lore book.

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Ira was the most popular hero with 8 entries. Her consistent pressure and card efficiency let her get incremental value across the game. Along side her was Dash, who's high power burst potential can lead to games ending in as few as three turns for the unprepared. Don't let the restriction of only common cards fool you. this format can be just as deadly as any other. If you're looking to test your deck building capabilities with a limited card pool, this is a wonderful format to play.

Saturday - Artist's Alley

Dromai and Iyslander players got another chance to add a personal touch to their cards. Illusionists especially, we know they love their shiny cards. Mateusz Wisniewski is here at the Calling Antwerp, and participants now have the chance see the artist behind some of the most stunning artwork Flesh and Blood has to offer. Some of the best playmats posters, and proofs were available to bling out everyone's collections, and of course, many a marvel to be signed.

Mateusz Wisniewski

Serene posters of Oasis Respite are seen being sported by players across the Calling. Vynserakai fiery visage empowering dromai players across the hall. The wizards especially, are sporting playmats of Coldsnap and Emeritus Scolding. Mateusz's classical art style with a 90's high fantasy twist really brings his pieces to life.

Saturday - The Calling Hero Breakdown

The energy in the air that has been building up since yesterday finally erupts into cheers and applause. The player count has just been announced, over 660 players, the largest European calling yet. Hundreds of potential champions lined the halls and filled the arena to battle it out, all to see who would emerge as the best of the best.


As the players begin the tournament, lets take a look at the heroes that were represented this event.

133 Lexi, Livewires unleashed an endless volley of arrows, flooding the field as the most played hero of the event.

91 Dromai, Ash Artists were raking in the embers and the wins. Shielding themselves with an army of ashwings.

63 Oldhim, Grandfather of Eternity players, raising their shields against a darkened sky of arrows and dragons, standing fast and crushing opponents with powerful attacks.

40 Katsu, the Wanderers, striking their opponents with waves of damage, throwing daggers, and bringing dishonour to their opponents.

40 Azalea, Ace in the Holes, shuffling their arrows and utilizing dominating firepower to infect, break, and slow their opponents into submission.

39 Dash, Inventor Extraordinaires, running and gunning through the field at maximum velocity, chambers locked and loaded.

37 Briar, Warden of Thorns continues to split the field with her split damage. Channelling the power of heroes past to crush foes underfoot.

36 Uzuri, Switchblades, Knives out, shaking down their opponents, infiltrating their way to the top.

35 Bravo, Showstoppers, Breaking backs and waving hammers hammers, because no swings like Bravo.

35 Viserai, Runebloods, Darkening the playing field, ascending to their final form, and crashing down with the strength of nine blades.

22 Fai, Rising Rebellion, Igniting the fires of resistance, unleashing a flurry of phoenixes, and blazing a trail to victory.

17 Dorinthea, Ironsongs, slashing through hoards of fire and ice. Their ironsong determination steeling their courage and giving them the strength to overpower their foes.

15 Kano, Dracai of Aethers, pondering their tomes to teach their opponents a lesson of what happens when they play with fire, or lava.

14 Iyslander, Stormbinds, freezing heroes in their tracks. Showing Lexi what a real ice queen can do, the cold never bothered her anyway.

8 Rhinar, Reckless Rampages, swinging big or going home. Victory cries bellowing across the hall.

8 Ser Botyn, Breaker of Dawns, Charging into the heat of battle, they may be few but they are the vanguard.

5 Riptide, Lurker of the Deeps, lying in wait for the unexpected, springing traps on the unfortunate few to face them.

3 Levia, Shadowborn Abominations, harnessing the power Blasmophet to devour souls and unleashing a tirade of abominations,

3 Arakni, Huntsmen, plundering the poor and robbing the rich, they've got contracts to fulfil and they're here to collect.

The Calling Antwerp Hero Breakdown

Friday - The Warmup

While the team and the players gear up for the competitive main event tomorrow, I really want to take some time to talk about the many other ways that Flesh and Blood can be played. There are so many ways for new and competitive players alike to come together and play Flesh and Blood.

This Friday offered exactly that. We started off the day with the Welcome to Rathe Sealed event. Classic Constructed was available to play for those who wanted the last minute chance to test their decks into the playing field. The most popular event today, however, was the Blitz Super Armory. We saw an astounding turnout of over 200 players. So many players wanted to play that a second simultaneous event had to be opened.

The Calling Antwerp: Blitz

Rhinar bellowed his way to the being one of the most played heroes. Alongside him were popular mainstays Dash, Prism, Chane and Kano. Kassai showed to be the most popular hero with 33 players. This event however was also for the underdogs. Kayo was ready to roll, Shiyana shape shifted into the field, and even the Emperor had to lay down the law in some of the wackiest games you could ever witness.

The Calling Antwerp: The Emperor

At the end of today, players were able to see the venue, get a feel for their decks, and play friendly games. The perfect warmup before the main event. We'll see you tomorrow for when we cover the main event, the Calling: Antwerp.

Friday - Welcome to Rathe Sealed

The set that started it all, Welcome to Rathe. There could not be a more fitting way to begin the weekend. Players rushed to register for the event, to relive the opening of the first set. Contenders built their decks, slamming down Rhinar with a primeval bellow. The Bravos may have crushed some people confidence. The Ninjas among the crowd unleashing Katsu and a thousand Kodachis. And against the sea of Ninjas, Guardians, and Brutes, there were three visible Dorinthea players, standing fast with determination.

The Calling Antwerp: Welcome to Rathe Sealed

Players delighted in the jank and unconventional decks they and their opponents built from their six packs. The cheers that erupted when Katsu pummelled a Surging Strike. The Bravo dominating Crush Confidence after a Sloggism for 13, a pulverize at home if you will. The games here really set the tone for the weekend to come. Welcome to Rathe showed to be the perfect way to give tomorrows challengers a warmup in gameplay and a reprieve from their sure to be arduous testing.

Friday - The Calling Is Here

The gates have opened and The Calling: Antwerp has begun. Players from across the globe gather for the first European Calling of the year, bursting through the doors eager to jam games, make trades, and catchup with distant friends they've not seen for months.

The moment registration began, lines extended until outside the venue. Players are eager to get inside, to join side events, to test their deck lists, and to prepare for tomorrow's main event.

Antwerp Entrance Line

Banners line the hall showcasing many of Rathe's all star hero line up. Art pieces and posters from Mateusz Wisniewski hang at his stand near the front, chilling imagery from Cold Snap to the fiery evocations of Vynserakai. All across the event you can find masterpieces of art, paintings, prints and posters, even stellar cosplay and costumes.

Tables extend far down the sides of the arena opening up for a large social gathering area in the center of the room. Vendors with every card and collectible imaginable set up stands catering to every collector's needs.

It's difficult to describe the energy filling the hall. Players who've not seen each other in months since their last outing of events, strangers meeting for the first time, and rivals eager to battle it out. All these people coming together to share their love for great games, in the flesh and blood.

Calling Antwerp

Welcome to the Calling: Antwerp Live Blog!

Stay tuned for exciting snapshots across the whole weekend...