The dawn of a new age is close at hand, as we creep ever closer to the official release date of Monarch!
Over the weekend, local game stores around the globe were hosting pre-release events, allowing players to get a sneak peek at the upcoming set, and play with the cards for the very first time. Over 4,500 players participated worldwide in events both in-person and online, joining the epic battle of Light vs. Shadow.
We took the opportunity to get in contact with your LGS to see how the events played out!
Champions of Light and Shadow
Red Riot Games
Steven Jennings, who ran the event for Red Riot Games, wrote to us and had this to say:
"While not winning the event for the pre release, I had a blast opening packs, i recorded my own pack openings and getting the Fabeled [sic] in a room full of friends who were both shocked and excited for my was hart warming. I was happy to be able to host the pre release, but even happier to play with friends who not only share the same love as me but the same excitement over this games new set and the possibilities of future sets to come.
Sitting at a table and trying to figure out the healthy number of blood-debt and damage was challenging. I elected to play prism and quickly realised the difficulty curve she had. No matter happy to be up to such a challenge!"
During the event, Steven streamed his pack openings, and captured the moment he pulled the Great Library of Solana! You can see the video here.
The two finalists of Red Riot Games' pre-release event, Dante and Dimos, also wrote in:
" I just played in the Red Riot Games Monarch pre-release and I had a blast! When opening my packs I pulled my first Legendary rarity card in cold foil, Valiant Dynamo. Before this, I had never pulled a Legendary from a pack, I only purchased them as singles.
The finals of the tournament ended up being against Dimos, an amazing player and close friend of mine. He was playing Levia, the new shadow brute hero. I knew this would be a difficult matchup because Dimos would be able to easily trigger the "phantasm" text on my illusionist cards because of all the strong 6+ attack actions he had in his deck.
At some point, I had to change my strategy from being the aggressor in the matchup to playing very defensively. Dimos was able to break my spectral shield tokens, and could easily block my powerful phantasm attacks with only one 6+ attack card from his hand. I knew that he would be able to keep the pressure up until he ran out of cards to banish from his graveyard, and when he did, he would end up dying to blood debt.
Dimos played very well and found clever ways to cancel the blood debt damage each turn with Levia's ability, but eventually, he ran out of cards to banish, and I was able to win on his turn when he took 10+ blood debt damage.
Overall, the Red Riot Games pre-release was a lot of fun! I've never played in a pre-release for any card game before so this was a new experience and one that I won't be forgetting."
"After opening my sealed packs, and finding no real standouts (my only majestic was a Hexagore), I was stuck on what to play. To my excitement, I was distracted by two of my fellow players pulling cold foil Legendaries and another one pulling the Fabled!
In the grand finals, I lost to Dante, and really felt that lack of action points in the deck to overcome his hands. After he generated two Shields, I knew I had to put on some aggression, as I could not keep taking chip damage from them, and my Axe was coming in for 3 instead of 5, so my own pressure was lacking. Eventually, even with creative uses of non-attack actions and destroying equipment (often only to get them into the graveyard), my graveyard ran out and I took 10 blood debt damage to seal the game.
I think Monarch sealed was an excellent experience and cannot wait to play with the new cards more fulsomely in the coming months."
Good Games Joondalup (Australia)
"After four 45-minute rounds, our Top Four players were Simon E, Jordan K, Gavin C, and Adam P. We decided to give 2 extra packs to 1st overall and 1 extra pack to 2nd overall. The winners of the Celestial Cataclysm and Doomsday Playmats also received an extra Ray of Hope Cold Foil Promo or Eclipse Existence Cold Foil Promo respectively. 3 extra packs were door prized at the end of the event - the lucky winners of these packs were Paul D, Max C and Lee C!
Good Games Joondalup would also like to say a big thank you to Adam Parker and Julian Cavenoni for stepping up to be our Judges today, we had a few confusing rules situations where their expertise and understanding of the game was very much appreciated!"
Forest City Coins
"In the Great White North of Canada a summons was sent for 16 hero’s too appear in the Flesh and Blood TCG – Canada Community hub (Discord) for battles unlike any other the had experienced before.
Each hero was promised fantastic rewards and presented with 6 sealed chests of new strategies, weapons, & mythical spells to employ in epic battles too the death.
At the appointed date and time (8pm EST May the 1st) 13 hero’s arrived on the fields of battle. After a few moments of mourning for the 3 missing hero’s who surly must had encountered great perils that had prevented their attendance the battles ensued.
There were many coy smiles, bitter frowns, and confused looks on everyone’s faces as the battles raged. It was truly an awesome exhibition of power and skill but in the end those that survived told great tales of their epic battles and conversed fondly about the new treasures they received.
Thank You LSS and Forest City Coins for the incredible event this weekend from; Charabaruk, Keith - Chiem, Jackie - Chu, Jordan - Chun, James - Delfico, Dante - DeWeerd, Paul - DeWeerd, Tyler- Frasto, Dino - Jennings, Steven - Mercer, Adam - Parker, Jonathan - Rodrigue, Dominick - Slager, Samuel"
GG Lounge, Portugal
"One of the most exciting evening in our store's history... We had people travel to us with a 3-4 hour drive time. Pretty amazing that people go to such lengths to join us :-) "
Infinity Cards and Collectibles, Canada
Oliver Chen wrote into us following Infinity's pre-release event, and had this to say:
"It was only after Dillon [store owner] appeared and really helped grow the scene by running weekly events with a focus on attracting local players. Honestly, without Dillon, I do not know if I would have still been able to keep playing FAB after things are back to normal in Canada since we just never had much of a player base here. I was only able to play FAB because of online events held on the other side of Canada.
Thank you for creating this amazing game and providing an outlet for us to gather when we are all confined to home."
Oliver wrote his own coverage piece of the event, which you can find on his website.
Next Level Games Ormond, Australia
"David Spencer piloting Chane took down the event, defeating Luke Fletcher on Prism in a closely fought match with Dread Scythe being the MVP for David, putting pressure via Arcane Damage.
Although no Fable was pulled, there were 2 Legendary equipment pulled! Valiant Dynamo and Phantasmal Footsteps!"
Hobbymaster Auckland, New Zealand
"We had an absolute blast with our sealed Monarch Premiere event. With 48 players in attendance for the sunny Saturday morning event at Hobby Master in Auckland, New Zealand. Full of coffee thanks to legendary FAB player Iain Kenderine's coffee truck, our players were alert and ready for action as they filed in.
Packs and the gorgeous promo cards are distributed and the crowd can barely wait for event judge, Newsun's command to open them – months of hype leading to this moment – the command is given and the room quiets down to the rustle of packets being opened and new unknown cards are perused. Suddenly, a shout! Tom has pulled a fabled: the Great Library of Solana! A round of applause and back pats, and the game is on!"
Gaming DNA, New Zealand
"We had a full house for our pre-release, going for four rounds of Swiss. James Read (pictured on left of winner's photo) came out 1st place in Swiss, while playing Illusionist, and winning the Light mat. Michael Day (picture on the right of the winner's photo) ended up being the highest placing Dark Hero player, coming in at 4th overall, while playing Runeblade.
The event was a huge success, and now we are all waiting for the official release of Monarch with baited breath!"
Elandrial Games, Australia
"Only one was lucky enough to pull a Legendary; Phantasmal Footsteps! Calin was the lucky player, and used them to climb high up the rankings. Another noteworthy pull was a rainbow foil Celestial Cataclysm by our youngest, Kalden!
In the end, Troy took the top spot with Prism guiding him to his win 3-0. Being the top Light player, he received the awesome Celestial Cataclysm playmat. Our top Shadow player was myself (Kale) running Levia, but since I already had an Eclipse mat for being a preview partner during spoiler season, I passed on the mat down to the next best and fellow Runeblade main Sharyn, who happened to be playing Chane.
Still having some leftover goodies from the previous armory kits we had received, we gave out some spare copies of the extended art cold foil Crazy Brew. In the spirit of the brew, we decided a random dice roll would be the best way to decide who would be blessed with the brew's power! Sharyn, Kalden, and Travis all walked away with the shiny potion. In the end, all players walked away with some awesome new cards from Monarch, and good memories to go along with them!"
Brendan Patrick, who played at the Nerdhalla Games pre-release event in Texas, USA, sent in a photo of his undefeated Levia sealed deck for us to include as part of this article.
"Sometimes we need to take the path less trodden... and embrace brute life. Here’s a Levia deck that smashed 4 Prism’s and went 5-0 during pre-release."