Welcome back to our three-part First Impressions series! With the conclusion of Uprising preview season and our World Premiere events, players around the world have watched, played, and theorised about their first glimpse at the upcoming set. Ahead of its worldwide release on June 24th, we decided to talk to members of the Flesh and Blood community, and ask for their first impressions of our latest heroes.
For our first article, we're discussing Dromai, Ash Artist. Prism became the first Illusionist in Flesh and Blood with the release of Monarch, showcasing the Light talent, and stepped into the spotlight this year with her presence in the Classic Constructed meta. Dromai will be our second Illusionist hero to date, this time featuring the brand new Draconic talent - where Prism breathed life into the tales of the Heralds, Dromai invokes the legends of Volcor's dragons, searing their names into living memory.
After competing at the Spanish National Championship last year, Sergio went on to win Battle Hardened: Madrid with Prism, Sculptor of Light. Over the weekend, he won the Team Blitz Calling event at the World Premiere in Madrid, taking the trophy with his Sunflower Samurai teammates, Pablo Pintor and Daniel Correas.
"Since we started to speculate that an Illusionist with dragons would come out, I've been waiting to see how it would be. The truth is that just like Prism, Dromai has a unique way of playing, it is super interesting that it is based on creating illusions of draconic allies and that there are so many options within them; obviously the ones that created the most hype were the ones that represented each of the premiere events, Dominia, Tomeltai and Optimai.
Dromai arrives to the Flesh and Blood meta and she is going to give war. I haven't been able to test it directly because, unfortunately, I didn't get enough cards to use it in the sealed of the Uprising premiere, but one of my teammates got a really nice Dromai deck and it was really cool to see how she filled the table with Aether Ashwings while she summoned the major dragons. I think that she will have options to dominate the meta in Classic Constructed by creating hordes of Aether Ashwings that will wear her opponents down by saturation, as if you were attacked each turn with infinite kodachis, while the major dragons will be in charge of creating pressure with their unique effects."
OK&Y Podcast - Oliver Phi, Kenny Michael-Otton & Yichin Liu
The three members of the OK&Y podcast have long been involved in the Flesh and Blood community individually, and have run a podcast together since April 2021. Oliver Phi recently made the finals of the Calling: New Jersey with Prism after a strong competitive showing at Calling events in 2021; Kenny Michael-Otton made the Top 8 of the Calling: Sydney in 2019 (as Kenny Nguyen), and has previously written content for ChannelFireball; Yichin Liu is a Level 1 judge who loves writing articles and creating guides for new players.
"It's safe to say that Dromai is not a replacement for Prism. She doesn't have the tempo-oriented tools in the form of instant speed Spectra and people playing against her won't have to adapt as much since go again and on hits will resolve against her dragons unlike against Prism's auras. The way phantasm was worked into Dromai's dragons was a pretty flavor win and back to being a real drawback for Illusionist again. As a result, I believe Dromai will be less oppressive towards heroes that Prism is highly favored into such as Dorinthea, Bravo, and Kano but also struggle against the same tough matchups such as Viserai, Briar, Katsu, etc. Just an observation for once Prism is gone. Nonetheless, the cool thing is though that I could be wrong and we can see two flavors or more of Dromai emerge to be competitively viable, namely a control-oriented build focusing on dragons or an aggro go-wide draconic playstyle utilizing the new Rupture mechanic. Overall, Dromai is going to exciting to explore and figuring out a deck I'm comfortable with is going to be a fun challenge.
On a side note, the marvel dragons are absolutely fantastic. After helping judge the Las Vegas premiere and seeing all the marvels pulled and being the bling collector that I am, I want it all. Goodbye, winnings, hello shiny cardboard. "
"It's great to see the flavour of Illusionist so clearly present, yet realised so differently in Dromai as compared to Prism. However, whereas Prism synergises nicely with a few of the standard Illusionist cards, I see Dromai as really struggling to do so. Miraging Metamorph, Shimmers of Silver, and Haze Bending are are effectively blank cards for Dromai, which I think will really limit the variability of her deck. Matchups for Dromai will also be quite polarising, I suspect; she has the potential to snowball far more rapidly than Prism against decks that can't pop her Illusions, but against decks that can, she appears to have little to no fallback plan. I suspect that Dromai will be extremely popular due to just how beautiful those extended art Dragon tokens are, and the fact that you're summoning Dragons to beat on your opponent is definitely super appealing."
"It’s been interesting to see the edges of the design space for Illusionist develop compared to Prism. Gameplay as and against her looks to be fun and involved as the push and pull of both controlling her ashlings and committing phantasm poppers will involve lots of mind games from both sides. The flavor, art, and design of the dragons is completely wild, and the sandshaping flavor of Dromai is both unique and cool as hell. Stoked to see how her builds evolve over time and will be interesting to see what people come up with when building her! "
Known for FABwithFreyja and her monthly articles at the Rathe Times, Ada's passion for 'weird content' has led her to writing about everything from card artwork and flavour text, to set design and FAB finance, to character design and narrative themes in the lore of Flesh and Blood.
"From a narrative perspective, one of the interesting things about FAB in the post-talent era has been seeing how the same class gets interpreted through different talents while still maintaining its core identity. We got our first glimpse of this with Chane and Briar. Chane built out the same aesthetics that Viserai established –biomechanical fusions of weapon and flesh, often in grotesque ways. Briar functioned as an interesting spin on this, harmoniously blending flesh and foliage in a way that was often beautiful. The hybrid, melded nature of the class carries across both Heroes, but the way that gets interpreted through talents leads to very thematically different characters. With Uprising’s release, we get to do another side-by-side, this time with Prism and Dromai.
Prism’s love of stories and Solana’s culture led her to create illusions that center the virtues of the Heralds, and she uses light as a medium for her creations. Prism’s whole vibe is centered on these sort of storybook ideals –all of the Heralds are presented as unambiguously good. Dromai, by contrast, works with ash. There’s something immediately evocative about that. In much the way that Solana is a city of light, Volcor is ruled by flame. The strong tie between the material used as the basis of the illusions, the feel of the Heroes’ respective homelands, and the legendary nature of their subject matter creates an obvious parallel. However, Dromai’s dragons have a very different tone than Prism’s Heralds. Whereas the Heralds all represented virtues and were all strongly tied to Solana, the draconic lore that Dromai draws on features dragons from across Rathe, and they vary a great deal from one to another. From Kyloria, the dragon of Greed, whose lair lies beneath the Pits, to Ouvia, Aria’s dragon of fertility, the dragons cover both a wide geographical range and an equally wide range of domains (Cromai’s purview is engineering, for instance). This wide range of characteristics, both positive and negative, suggests that Dromai has a more complicated morality than Prism’s clear-cut goodness. Given all of that, it’ll be interesting to see where her story takes her."