Light It Up with Lexi

18th Aug 2022 Rylie Groff

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 as our final guest writer for the Skirmish season, showing you how to deal death with Lexi!

Rylie also wanted to thank Alberto Muñoz of Owl Central Games for his help with this article.


Descended from the floating village of Volthaven, Lexi brings with her the unique attributes of the Ice and Lightning Essences. Armed with her signature weapon, Voltaire, Strike Twice, Lexi is known for lighting up the skies of Enion as she rides across the Aurora. One day, with her head in the clouds, Lexi unknowingly rode the Aurora further than ever before. Startled out of her daydream, she found herself plummeting from the skies. With no time to react, she could do little to navigate the fall and found herself crashing through the roof of a building. As she gradually regained her consciousness, Lexi was able to make out the words of a sign in the corner: Blackjack Tavern. So begins the story of how Lexi came into possession of the Death Dealer, just in time for Skirmish Season 5.

One of my absolute favorite decks in Flesh and Blood is Death Dealer Lexi (DDL). Equipped with the original bow from Arcane Rising, players are able to quickly draw through their deck and unleash a barrage of elemental arrows with this unique and engaging Lexi archetype. DDL is particularly rewarding to play because it requires meticulous sequencing, a robust knowledge of card interactions, and provides a challenging and fun deck building experience. This strategy requires careful attention be given to the number of arrow cards, lightning cards, and other support cards in order to unlock a ratio that allows the deck to strike effortlessly. You know, kind of like lightning.


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The Game Plan

The prominent feature of this deck is the namesake weapon, Death Dealer. Unlike other bows, Death Dealer allows the player to draw a card whenever they successfully resolve itss activated ability to arsenal an arrow card from their hand. Unlike the instant-speed bows released alongside Lexi, activating Death Dealer requires the use of the player’s action point, but will provide another action point after the ability resolves. Activate your bow, load an arrow, draw a card, gain an action point: This is the fundamental loop that the deck aims to replicate. Oh, and don’t spend too much time ruminating on that pesky “Once per Turn” text on Death Dealer. Allow me to show you why.

Death Dealer
Snap Shot (1)
Tri-shot
Bolt'n' Shot (1)

In order to use Death Dealer as many times as possible, a significant portion of the deck must allow that “Once per Turn” text to be circumvented. Enter, Snap Shot. If Death Dealer is the engine of the deck, Snap Shot is the fuel that keeps it firing. Meeting the Lightning Fusion requirement on Snap Shot will allow the player to activate Death Dealer an additional time that turn at instant-speed. This interaction is particularly powerful because it will not only allow the player to load another arrow and draw a card, but will reward the player with another action point when Death Dealer’s activated ability resolves.

Another card that helps promote multiple Death Dealer activations is Tri-shot. Tri-shot will let the Lexi player activate Death Dealer two additional times the turn it is played. The DRAWBACK (sorry, I just had to fit that joke in here) of Tri-shot is that the additional bow activations retain their original activation speed. In the case of Death Dealer, all additional activations will require an action point. This means that the attacking arrows will either need to have, or gain, Go Again on the turn Tri-shot is played to use the card to the fullest (with the exception of Snap Shot). We’ll go over some of these Go Again options shortly. Additionally, Death Dealer’s ability requires the player’s arsenal to be completely empty. There is no getting around this complication with New Horizon’s extra arsenal zone.

The Tools

Speaking of arrows, DDL has a wide variety of the requisite Ranger attacks at her disposal. Snap Shot will almost always see inclusion at the maximum allotment, but another arrow that warrants utmost utilization is Bolt ‘n Shot. This arrow may seem innocuous by itself but has staggering payoff potential when used in combination with the power boosting cards found throughout the deck. Boosting the power to give Bolt ‘n Shot Go Again will really make your Tri-shots shine.

Light it Up
Fyendal's Spring Tunic
Blossom of Spring

I would be remiss to not discuss one of the highest damage output arrows in the deck - Lexi’s specialization: Light it Up. When successfully fused, this arrow becomes a must-block threat for any hero fitted with Battleworn and non-blocking equipment. Light it Up is exceptionally lethal against heavily armored heroes due to the damage ability stacking off of the victim’s equipment. And do not forget about Light it Up’s ability to short-circuit the opponent’s equipment for a turn when it does connect. The opponent is going to have to block if they want to use their gear.

The remainder of the deck is made up of powerful ancillary cards that will help enable DDL’s game plan. Rain Razors and Three of a Kind are in contention for being the most efficient cards in the deck. At a cost of zero resources, Rain Razors will often represent an additional four to six power when played and can even be played in the Reaction Step as a game-ending surprise. Three of a Kind will allow the Lexi player to quickly dig deep into the deck and find those essential Snap Shots. When forced onto the defensive, Three of a Kind can also make for a powerful one-card hand in combination with Fyendal’s Spring Tunic or Blossom of Spring.

The Sequence

When playing this deck for the first time, or even the first handful of times, you may notice that there are lines of play that seem off-limits due to self-imposed restrictions within the cards. For example, I previously mentioned that Death Dealer requires the arsenal to be clear to utilize the activated ability. The same is true for cards like Bullseye Bracers and the various reload effects at the Ranger’s disposal. Three of a Kind also generates a unique sequencing puzzle as it forbids you from playing cards from hand once it resolves. Preemptively playing cards like Rain Razors and Lightning Press from hand before playing Three of a Kind might feel unnatural, but are a key piece to solving the sequencing puzzle.

Bull's Eye Bracers
Rain Razors
Three of a Kind

One of the most difficult things to sequence in the deck may actually be Lexi’s hero ability. Once per turn, the Lexi player can flip up a face down arsenal card and gain an effect whether the flipped card is Ice, Lightning, or both. This deck primarily focuses on flipping up Lightning cards to give the next attack action card played Go Again. When using Honing Hood instead of New Horizon the player has to be extremely selective about what cards are put into the arsenal at the end of a turn or with Reload. If your only arsenal zone happens to be occupied by a Lightning Press, then your Death Dealer may end up being turned off for the rest of the game.

So what does the ideal DDL turn look like? The typical turn might play out something like this:

  1. Use Lexi’s ability to turn a Lightning card in the arsenal face up (ideally a non-attack action).
  2. Play the aforementioned Lightning card. If your arsenal still has a card in it, play it out to clear the arsenal zones so that Death Dealer can be activated.
  3. Activate Death Dealer to arsenal an arrow and draw a card. I believe using Death Dealer first to draw that card is important for gaining information prior to the next step.
  4. At this point there is a variety of decisions to be made based on:
    1. what arrow has been put into the arsenal.
    2. if the arrow will be given Go Again from Lexi’s ability.
    3. if other sequence-demanding cards such as Art of War, Three of a Kind, Tri-shot, or Pulse of Volthaven need to be played.
    4. A variety of other game-state factors including life totals, equipment, etc…
  5. Once the possibilities and all the appropriate ancillary cards have been played, start firing arrows at the opponent.
    1. As more arrows are loaded with Death Dealer, you may draw a new card that changes your decisions or lines of play.
    2. Be open to the idea of changing your play mid-turn if the drawn card allows for a more potent play.
  6. If possible, try to end the turn with a Lightning non-attack action to place in the arsenal to set up the following turn.

Conclusion

Death Dealer Lexi may be a challenging deck to pilot but it provides an exciting experience with many decision points and sequencing opportunities. Draw through your deck at breakneck speed. Knock your bow with a variety of unique and devastating arrows. Strike fast and strike often. If you are the type of player who wants to put your own skills to the test in Skirmish Season 5, I would encourage you to give this distinct deck archetype a try. See you in the arena, Ranger.


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.