Competitive player and strategy writer Rylie Groff runs his local community Facebook group and Discord server, with a competitive background that includes Oldhim and Iyslander. We're pleased to welcome him back to the website to discuss the release of Dynasty, and how you can upgrade your Blitz deck for the new year of events!
The Emperor may be dead, but Blitz is not! The advent of Dynasty has brought with it hundreds of new cards that supplement existing decks and spur new play styles within the format. Throughout this article I will be looking at a couple of cards for each of the different traditional classes in Flesh and Blood. I have put an emphasis on selecting cards from different rarities in an effort to highlight interesting and powerful cards that all players may have access to. So please, join me as I browse the vast vaults of Volcor for treasures and weapons to beef up your Blitz decks.
The Brute class was gifted many mighty Majestic cards with the release of Dynasty. Berserk, Skullcrack, and the unrivaled Rok are all welcomed additions to the Brute arsenal. However, the Brute card that I am the most excited about is Savage Beatdown. Although a bit tricky to play, Savage Beatdown can reward players with a towering twelve damage. Eat your heart out, Crippling Crush.
Savage Beatdown pairs well with many of the existing cards already played in Brute decks. Chief among them would be Bloodrush Bellow. Bloodrush Bellow helps facilitate Savage Beatdown by discarding a card (hopefully with 6 or more power) and drawing into more fuel to pay for the resource cost and additional cost of Savage Beatdown. Brute attacks that discard and gain Go Again, like Pulping and Wild Ride, also work well as a potential propulsion into Savage Beatdown.
Another card that helps facilitate Savage Beatdown are the new Beaten Trackers. Coming in at Rare, Beaten Trackers can give you a once-per-game bonus action point with none of the unpredictability of rolling six-sided dice. All that is required to acquire another action point with Beaten Trackers is to discard a card with 6 or more power. Savage Beatdown also requires the player to have discarded a card with 6 or more power before it can be played. Coincidence? Brute no think so.
Dynasty has put a stronger emphasis on the defensive qualities of the Guardian class, specifically supporting and incentivizing the use of Guardian off-hands. Shield Bash is one of the most interesting cards given to Guardians from Dynasty. Reminiscent of the Welcome to Rathe cards, Reckless Swing and Steelblade Shunt, Shield Bash provides an untraditional win condition previously inaccessible to Guardians. Whether you are a new or veteran player, you have likely experienced one of those matches that comes down to both players barely surviving at one life each; going blow for blow, struggling to take the upper hand. Shield Bash may be the edge that the stalwart Guardian class needs to leverage their ardent defenses into a clever closer.
Perhaps shields are not your style. Perhaps you’d prefer a card that reinforces your Anothos assailing approach. Enter Buckle. Comparable to Tear Asunder, Buckle checks all the boxes for a staple Guardian card: Blue? Check. Cost 3 or more? Check. 3 Defense? Check. Buckle can empower your Anothos into a 7 power, armor destroying threat with dominate when paired with 2 other 3 cost blue cards for resources. Dismantling your opponent’s armor may provide you with the opportunity to close out the game with one of those gargantuan Guardian attacks the class is known for.
Have you ever felt lost in the Ninja versus Ninja matchup? Unsure of what equipment to use, what you should be blocking, or how to gain an advantage? Allow me to introduce to you the Blazen Yoroi. This new Majestic Ninja Chest Equipment will see you blocking damage in a way that contends with Carrion Husk. Because Blitz is a format that utilizes 11 inventory slots, I suspect that Blazen Yoroi may easily find its way into the inventories of Ninja Blitz decks as a useful tool in the Ninja mirror-match. Blazen Yoroi is particularly useful against other Ninjas due to Ninja attacks rewarding accumulated chain-links through cards like Mask of Momentum and Salt the Wound. Be careful when using the Blazen Yoroi against other classes that like to send multiple attacks. They may choose to close the chain and prevent you from taking advantage of that staggering +4 defense.
The remaining majority of Ninja cards from Dynasty all focus on Crouching Tiger, a new ninja-exclusive Ephemeral attack. Discussing the Crouching Tiger cards would require its own full-length article. Just know that there are cats. Lots and lots of cats.
The Warrior class was given some compensatory cards with the release of Dynasty. One of Warrior’s historic weaknesses has been combating opponents with an excessive ensemble of equipment. Armor has been the foil for the fundamental nature of the Reprise mechanic, which needs to see opponents block with cards from hand. One of the hardest things about playing against Warriors is navigating the defending phase with consideration for Reprise; now defenders will have to factor Piercing into their blocking equation. With help from the new Piercing keyword, Puncture serves as the counterplay to classes who are quick to throw their armor in front of the Warrior weapons. When played onto a chain-link where the opponent has defended with equipment, Puncture provides an above-rate +4 power for 1 resource in the reaction step. Defending against the Dawnblade just got harder than a job interview with Teklo Industries.
Did I mention that blocking the Dawnblade is hard? That would likely be because preventing the Dawnblade wielder from getting a +1 power counter on their sword is the “game within the game.” Stopping the Dawnblade from growing requires precision-perfect blocking and keen knowledge of interacting in the reaction step. But what if there was a card that allowed a Warrior to (effectively) trigger the +1 power counter of Dawnblade, at instant speed, without having to hit twice with the sword? Oh, that card was printed in Dynasty? And it’s called Ironsong Pride? This card could have been named “Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start” because it is a cheat code. Ironsong Pride works with the other swords in the game too. I am excited to see what ambitious deck builders are going to do with this new Majestic.
Dynasty brought with it a new wave of powerful Mechanologist cards, specifically a Pulsewave. Pulsewave Harpoon is a crucial addition to the Mechanologist game plan because it provides something that the class was previously lacking: disruption. The disruptive capability of Pulsewave Harpoon adds an additional layer of interaction to boosting in Mechanologist. The more you boost in a chain the more disruptive Pulsewave Harpoon becomes. Forcing your opponent to block with their resource generating blue card or their pivotal red card may prove timely enough to flip their next turn upside down. Keep in mind that only action cards can be added to the chain through the effect of Pulsewave Harpoon, which may decrease its merit in certain matchups like Warrior, who play many different reaction cards.
The next Mechanologist card I want to discuss for upgrading your Blitz decks is actually a collection of cards. What I am going to refer to as the “Hyper Driver Package” is a group of new cards that support a deck type focused around the item Hyper Driver. Hyper Driver itself was released in Arcane Rising but originally only in the color red. Dynasty has given us a reprinting of Hyper Driver, but this time with the new addition of yellow and blue permutations. Hyper Drivers are supported by new cards Jump Start and Crankshaft. Both are boosting attack actions that have a payoff for having a Hyper Driver in the arena. Jumpstart will cost one less resource if you control a Hyper Driver, while banishing a Crankshaft through boost will extend the life of your Hyper Driver by adding a steam counter to it. The Hyper Driver Package may further push mastermind Mechanologist players into doing the research required to Construct Nitro Mechanoid; a fascinating new addition to the game that creates a potential win condition for putting in the work required to assemble the pieces. Don’t forget to equip your Galvanic Benders, you can not pilot the Mechanoid without them!
Arrows. A Ranger needs arrows. Fortunately, there is no shortage of new arrows in Dynasty for Flesh and Blood’s Rangers to fill their quivers with. Heat Seeker immediately caught my eye as an arrow that provides an inherent card advantage. Landing a shot with the Heat Seeker allows you to get an additional card into your arsenal. Also note that the wording on Heat Seeker means that it plays nicely with New Horizon, potentially giving you 2 arsenal cards to work with. I can not stress enough how crucial having access to extra cards can be to winning games.
Another asset that aids in victory is access to armor. In a format where armor feels like it goes further due to the lower starting life totals, Drill Shot arrives to even the odds. The lightly-armored Rangers have historically had less defensive equipment than their adversaries. Prolific use of Drill Shot will have Rangers on equal footing with the more heavily armored classes of Flesh and Blood, potentially destroying their armor outright with a well placed hit. Putting an Aim counter on Drill Shot with the help of Sandscour Greatbow, Blessing of Focus, or Point the Tip will help ensure that Drill Shot finds your target.
Runeblade has the privilege of being the one class for whom I will be discussing a Legendary card from Dynasty. Crown of Dominion is an alluring new Generic Head Equipment that, when adorned with, will give your hero the “Royal” talent and allow you to start the game with a Gold token in play. Other than making you inherently wealthy, the Gold token can be utilized to hasten the Runeblade gameplan. The various currencies in Flesh and Blood have novel interaction with some of the other Non-Attack Actions in the game, such as Cash In and Cash Out.
You may be wondering why this combination of generic cards is being suggested by me for the Runeblades and not another class. This is because the Runeblade class incentivizes the playing of Non-Attack Action cards to stimulate their strategy. Several of the Runeblade weapons, like Rosetta Thorn and Nebula Blade are enhanced through the play of the aforementioned cards. Revel in Runeblood and Rift Bind are just a few examples of Runeblade cards that stand to benefit from Non-Attack Actions getting played on the same turn that they are. Did I mention that you can play Cash In at instant-speed with Spellbound Creepers? Yeah, you can play Cash In at instant-speed with Spellbound Creepers.
Now that I think of it, it sure is fitting that the helmet that makes you Royal would come with the privilege of being suggested for one class. Even more fitting that the Runeblade Royal privilege might catch the ire of an Assassin for hire. You better hope to Cash Out that ornate helmet before you are staring at a Regicide on the other side of the combat chain.
There has never been a card in Flesh and Blood that got my brain considering the possibilities quite like Brainstorm. Brainstorm is an inventive new Wizard Majestic that seems to have a ceiling as high as the deck-builder’s creativity. Hope Merchant’s Hood and Potion of Luck were some of the first Brainstorm payoffs that came to my mind, but I am convinced that a wise Wizard whiz could identify many other clever inclusions that I was unable to think of. Building a Wizard deck around the idea of an explosive Brainstorm turn may require an extensive knowledge of the game, but should reward you with a one-of-a-kind deck that is sure to impress.
If you are looking for a Wizard card that requires a little less brain-power, Aether Quickening is just a solid new inclusion. Aether Quickening is a very unique card in the Wizard’s book of spells because of the conditional Go Again that it can provide. The new Surge mechanic pairs well with arcane amplifiers such as the Crucible of Aetherweave and the Surgent Aethertide, as they can provide your spells with the boost they need to get bonus effects. The Go Again provided from Aether Quickening could be used to sling more spells, catch your opponent off guard with an attack, or even set up for a future turn by playing one of those potions I mentioned earlier. Maybe Aether Quickening is more complex than I originally gave it credit for.
The final class getting spotlighted with the release of Dynasty is the clever conjuring class, Illusionist. One of the core mechanics of Illusionists is the Phantasm keyword. Phantasm is given to Illusionist attacks as an innate drawback to their powerful techniques. Phantasmal Symbiosis, a Majestic from Dynasty, serves to circumvent the downside of Phantasm through game knowledge. By naming a specific card, the named card will be made Illusionist until the end of the turn. This is important because Illusionist cards do not interact with Phantasm the same way that non-Illusionist cards do. The named card will effectively be unable to trigger Phantasm, resulting in the player who has an acute awareness of their opponent’s class and what card to name standing to benefit greatly.
Rounding out the Blitz upgrades is the final Illusionist card, Wave of Reality. The new Illusionist Arm Equipment is a captivating card, and not exclusively due to its artwork. Offering Ward 1, Wave of Reality will protect its wearer from the first point of damage from the first source of damage received. Arcane damage? Prevent 1. Hit by an attack? Prevent 1. Uncategorized damage from a Red Hot or Searing Touch? Prevent 1! Wave of Reality will continue to protect you even after it's destroyed. The parting gift from Wave of Reality is a Spectral Shield token; a handy little illusion that can be used as a weapon, as protection, or as an enabler for some of the other new attacks like Spectral Prowler and Spectral Rider. Try not to let the illusions fool you, a keen eye can spot the power hidden in these new Illusionist cards.
The release of Dynasty has provided Blitz with a much appreciated injection of freshness and fun. The vaults of Volcor were overflowing with new cards and new strategies to be explored and further optimized. I am personally excited to play with the new Mechanologist and Brute cards. I am even more excited to see how the resourceful deck builders of Flesh and Blood are able to apply the new set’s contents to both existing and new strategies. I wish you luck in your deck building endeavors, and I hope that you fare better than the Emperor.
Oh and one last thing.
Rylie Groff is a competitive Flesh and Blood player and author of content relating to gameplay and strategy. The opinions expressed in the above article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Legend Story Studios.