One of the best things about Tales of Aria is the draft. It is by far one of the most enjoyable formats so far in Flesh and Blood and today in this article I will be showcasing how I would draft Oldhim. Oldhim is a very strong hero with multiple strategies that you can choose from. Focusing purely on Earth or Ice talents can make for a streamlined drafting process while, going for a hybrid of Earth and Ice can be a little more difficult in drafting. I will also showcase one of my favourite versions of Oldhim to draft, which is the Mono Earth Thump Deck! I will be including what I would be looking for picks 1 - 5, which are my Tier 1 Picks and picks 5 - 10, which are my Tier 2 Picks.
Earth Based Thump Deck
The plan of this deck is very simple, you want to either be attacking with Titan's Fist or using Oldhim’s powerful hero ability to prevent damage and keep your deck count nice and healthy. On bigger turns, you want to enable your Thumps which are extremely powerful with dominate and have a strong on-hit ability. A strong play is playing a powerful pump such as Earthlore Surge followed up by a Thump to cripple your opponent with a large amount of damage and a devastating on-hit effect. You also want to play high quality Earth cards that you can fuse then put into the arsenal that are easy to play out, such Earthlore Surge. There are also powerful cards such as Mulch which is a huge attack with an impactful hit effect. Don't forget this deck plays like a typical Guardian deck, you want a lot of blues in your deck to make those powerful pitch 6 plays!
Later on the draft I would be looking for blue Earth cards and blue Guardian cards.
Ice Based Deck
The plan of Ice Oldhim is to utilize Oldhim’s Ice hero ability to disrupt your opponent as much as possible while creating Frostbite tokens for them. Once again, you want a high blue count in your deck to enable Titan's Fist and Oldhim’s hero ability, as the majority of the time you will be attacking with Titan's Fist for 4 damage each turn. You want to keep cards such as Winter’s Bite and Chill to the Bone to disrupt your opponent as much as possible. On bigger turns, you should be aiming to play out Glacial Footsteps and Snow Under to pressure damage and disrupt your opponent with Frostbite tokens. Ice attacks such as Frost Fang and Icy Encounter are also cards to look for as they either disrupt your opponent if they hit or your opponent commits two cards from their hand to defend. Lastly, Ice Quake works incredibly well with Titan's Fist, being able to pump the attack of your weapon as well as giving it an on-hit ability. The Ice Oldhim deck is a control deck, so remember to keep your life total high so you can set up for a big Glacial Footsteps turn to push out ridiculous damage!
Later on the draft I would be looking for either Ice cards that are blue or red Ice/Guardian Attacks.
Ice and Earth Hybrid Deck
The Hybrid Oldhim deck is powerful but difficult to draft as you are looking for 8 to 10 Earth cards and 5 to 8 Ice cards, which is quite hard to obtain however, this deck is a powerhouse if all the pieces come together. This deck should be mainly blue pitch cards so you can attack with Titan's Fist easily as well as being able to pay for powerful attacks such as Glacial Footsteps and Entwine Earth. It is important to draft powerful red attacks, as they are the cards that help you regain tempo and finish the game. Don’t be afraid to utilize both of Oldhim’s effects in one turn by pitching an Ice and an Earth card. You are trying to defend your opponent's powerful turns to keep your life total high and in the late game, pressure them with Titan's Fist and attack actions that you have pitched previously. Cards such as Evergreen and Rejuvenate are key cards to utilize in this strategy as they are cards that heavily benefit you. Rejuvenate gains life so you are able to defend with 3 cards from hand and play it out on your turn to boost your life total even higher and Evergreen is amazing as it is a threat that goes to the bottom of your deck so you can use it later in the game. In the end game you want to finish off your opponent with Glacial Footsteps which attacks for 10 and has dominate. This is easy to set up as you are pitching multiple cards each turn. Keeping track of your pitch is very important in this deck as you need to know when your powerful turns are coming up!
The overall game plan of Oldhim is to play it like a typical Guardian deck, attacking with Titan’s Fist as much as possible and heavily defending your opponent's powerful turns. The deck count you should be aiming for is 37 to 40 cards- the more the better. Most Guardian cards defend for 3 making it easier to keep one card in your hand to attack with Titan's Fist. The ratios I would be looking for are 8 to 12 Earth or Ice Cards and 4 to 6 of the other talent. You want to have a minimum of 7 to 10 red attack actions as they are the cards that pressure your opponent and help you close out games. Don’t be afraid to play out cards such as Entwine Earth or Glacial Footsteps even though you can’t fuse them as they are still threatening a lot of damage. Blue pitch cards are a must in an Oldhim deck, so make sure that you draft them! You are looking for about 15 to 20 blue pitch cards. The more drafts you do of Tales of Aria will see you become more familiar with what ratios you are looking for in an Oldhim deck and what your goal is.
Don’t overthink too much at the start. Keep it simple early and look for more advanced strategies later on. Above all else, don’t forget to Hammer your way to Victory!
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