Recap: Road to Nationals 2023, Week 4

8th Jun 2023 Kasharn Rao

And that's all she wrote, folks!

This season has been like no other before it, with several heroes making it onto the board for the first time, others reaching the golden goose award of Living Legend (while others came agonizingly close), and no hero left without any points to their name.

The meta has been incredibly diverse, and our Nationals list is looking spicier than ever. We've got some truly brilliant players stacked up for Championships worldwide, and I for one look forward to seeing what they deliver!

For now, let's take a look at some highlights from the final week...

millennium card games

Millennium Card Games - Brazil

"It was a long road! For many players, they had to travel to our store as it's located a little far from the capital. However, that did not prevent the players from joining us and enjoying an incredible experience! We offered a coffee break between matches, and also gave a Welcome Kit for every player. Players were happy to receive a random booster packs, a counter dice, and other accessories for daily "card game life" usage. In the end, we even had an Armory event - an Outsiders booster draft! All the top 4 winners of the R2N received a special t-shirt as an additional reward, as well as in-store credits for the top 16 players. We appreciate the opportunity of hosting such event and expect to enhance the community even more! Thanks a bunch!"

1st: Gabriel Singh Bruno - Lexi, Livewire

2nd: Eduardo Melo - Fai, Rising Rebellion

Event Photos

the end games

The End Games - United States

"We had a blast hosting our first R2N event here at The End Games with 27 players battling it out! We had a star studded top 8 including recent Calling Champion Merrick Kemp and Pro Tour Finalist Mara Faris, but it was local hero Noah Biros doing his part to try to send Briar to Living Legend status winning the day!"

1st: Noah Biros - Briar, Warden of Thorns

2nd: Mara Faris - Dromai, Ash Artist

Event Photos


AM Cards & Collectibles - Malaysia

"Jun Kheng went first, using daggers and stealth cards to try and deter Song into blocks. Song on the other hand, was happy to receive the dagger pokes, choosing to allow Uzuri's menacing daggers to constantly threaten possibly big damage turns. But once Song had the right hand, he opted with his Skullbone Crosswrap constantly to prepare for his big damage arrows. Forcing three back-to-back dominated 11+ damage arrows onto Jun Kheng, Song had got into such a performance with how he loaded each arrow on his Azalea. With luck and skillful decisions, Azalea was surely sending Uzuri into a limping shudder. As the final 6 damage dominated arrow left the bow, Uzuri blocked with a sink below hoping for an Oasis Respite to prevent the remaining 2, but to Jun Kheng's unfortunate sight, it was her demise."

1st: Lih Song Tan - Azalea, Ace in the Hole

2nd: Jun Kheng Ong - Uzuri, Switchblade

Event Photos

red goblin

Red Goblin - Romania

"The day of the Road To Nationals gathered 25 brave players in the Flesh and Blood at Red Goblin for a tournament full of action. All heroes prepared for epic battles: Rangers, Brutes, Illusionists, Ninjas and Warriors, from which the Rangers came out on top. Azalea took the win after 5 swiss rounds and 3 rounds in the Top 8, battling another Ranger, Lexi, in the final matchup. It was a great day for everybody involved, players and judges. Thank you all!"

1st: Suciu Andrei - Azalea, Ace in the Hole

2nd: David Chirulescu - Lexi, Livewire

Event Photos

Iron Knight Gaming

Iron Knight Gaming - New Zealand

"Iron Knight Gaming’s first Tier 2 event saw many hungry players travel out from Christchurch and also two carloads make the winding trek down from Nelson. With 24 competitors pushing for the qualification, we saw a fairly wide spread of heroes, and the Top 8 had a solid representation of the travelling Nelsonians versus local Christchurch players. At the end it was the heavily aggressive Uzuri deck ably piloted by Ben Dodd that saw him take home the shiny Jubeel, Spellbane."

1st: Ben Dodd - Uzuri, Switchblade

2nd: Finn Johnston - Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire

Event Photos

goin gaming

Goin' Gaming - United States

"At the Goin' Gaming Road to Nationals we saw every hero represented amongst the 44 players involved. It was a smooth six rounds of Classic Constructed played out by some of the best players in Oregon, minus a mishap with some spilled peanuts... We nevertheless persevered. The Top 8 was as diverse as any could be with an Oldhim, a Rhinar, a Fai, a Katsu, a Viserai, an Azalea, a Lexi, and a Dorinthea. But in the end it was Dorinthea, piloted by local Dori-master Davis Purcell, that took the event and the Cold Foil Jubeel in a short and savage exchange against Lexi, piloted by Archer Taylor, that saw each hero pushed to a 1 to 1 life total, but it was Nourishing Emptiness in arsenal off the opponent's Codex of Frailty that saw the warrior win this day."

1st: Davis Purcell - Dorinthea Ironsong

2nd: Archer Taylor - Lexi, Livewire

Event Photos

Mr Bills

Mr Bill's - United States

"A clash of epic proportions took place during the last weekend of Road to Nationals competition at Mr. Bill's Collectible World! 37 competitors displayed their most experienced heroes for the opportunity to journey to Las Vegas this summer, invite in hand, for their claim to the crown. By land and sea they arrived to sacrifice what was necessary to survive, clawing their way to the top 8! With 13 different heroes represented this diverse field left nobody without a challenging matchup. Shout out to Dylan for his victory. He has been playing competitively since the beginning and has numerous Top 8 appearances at our events and various locations throughout the Pacific Northwest. Nice to see his dedication to the game paying off with a Road to Nationals victory. Thanks again Dylan for the pride you bring to the game! The greatest thanks to all who attended and the volunteers who helped keep the shop running smoothly while the judge staff attended to our event. Also a special thanks to Philip "Drake" Plew with Arthouse Syndicate for the display of available artist proofs and custom artist playmats. Such an amazing array of gems that help support the great artists of Flesh and Blood."

1st: Dylan Mangini - Lexi, Livewire

2nd: Vinh Vien - Dromai, Ash Artist

Event Photos

sit and play 3

Sit and Play - Thailand

"Everyone was excited for Rhinar to make it to the final round, but unfortunately he just couldn't quite get there. We had many Lexi as expected, and a large variety of other heroes as well!"

1st: Pathomtarn (Tony) Arsaithamkul - Oldhim, Grandfather of Eternity

2nd: Dachkone Vasonchuenchochai - Rhinar, Reckless Rampage

Event Photos

Dice Destiny

Dice and Destiny - United Kingdom

"As this was our first Road to Nationals we were a bit nervous but honoured to have been invited nonetheless. All the players who participated were kind and friendly, as we've come to expect from not just our locals but also players who travel to play. We are also incredibly proud of our four locals (Daniel White, Nicholas Blower, Aidan Tighe, and Thomas McCormick) who made it into the top 8!"

1st: Shahmir Samee - Uzuri, Switchblade

2nd: Matthew Tuck - Lexi, Livewire

Event Photos

the portal

The Portal Comics and Gaming - United States

"The ever-growing Flesh and Blood community at the Portal was thrilled for the store to receive our first Road to Nationals event and it did not disappoint. A combination of local players, players from across the state, players from Maryland, and one person who stopped in halfway through a wedding coastal trip made up the 27 player field. A big surprise however was Oldhim's face on the side of a milk carton as the hero breakdown ended up with 5 Lexi, 3 Dash, 3 Dromai, 3 Rhinar, 3 Uzuri, 2 Bravo, 2 Dorinthea, 2 Riptide, 1 Briar, 1 Fai, 1 Iyslander, and 1 Viserai. After the dust settled on 5 rounds of Swiss with a short pizza break, the remaining heroes for Top 8 were 2 Lexi, 2 Riptide, 2 Uzuri, 1 Dromai, and 1 Iyslander. A grueling Top 8 battle ensued which included a Dromai vs fatigue Uzuri matchup that lasted over an hour. The finals saw Lexi take home the coveted Cold Foil Jubeel."

1st: Cody Williams - Lexi, Livewire

2nd: Mark Sipics - Uzuri, Switchblade

Event Photos

great canadian

Great Canadian Games - Canada

"Great Canadian Games had a great turnout for our Road to Nationals. We had a very diverse meta, and in the end during the finals Kano did what only Kano can do - draw and pitch countless cards for the win."

1st: Ryan Leveiller - Kano, Dracai of Aether

2nd: Justin Fex - Bravo, Showstopper

Event Photos

the nest

Nest - Vietnam

"It was a great day in the brand new Nest board game coffee shop. Khoi piloted Oldhim from being 8th after Top 8 cut all the way to victory!!!"

1st: Khoi Dinh - Oldhim, Grandfather of Eternity

2nd: Quang Duong - Dorinthea Ironsong

Event Photos

And so concludes our Road to Nationals 2023 season. With Calling: Singapore only days away, the meta could be anyone's game. Every hero has had a chance to make it to the Top 8 and in some cases, even further beyond!

Lexi, Livewire has clearly emerged the biggest winner this season, but she's not short of enemies. Don't let those arrows scare you, there's always a chance to break through the ice. Speaking of, we'll be saying goodbye to the Old Man soon enough, while a notorious Elemental Runeblade escapes to fight another day (again!). Let's be honest, Briar should probably take up dodgeball at this point. Maybe we'll see her finally go out with a bang at the Calling, or Battle Hardened.

Rhinar also finally romped his way to victory fair and square, letting us know who's still the Alpha Brute! Meanwhile, Boltyn and Levia didn't quite manage to snag the bag, but they performed admirably, each placing more than once in top cuts. But who knows what lurks on the horizon in Dusk till Dawn?

Fond memories have been made over the past few weeks, as hundreds of well-earned Cold Foil Jubeel, Spellbane cards were taken home by old and new players alike. Congratulations to all who secured an invite, you've fought hard, and now it's time to prepare for an even bigger war. Bring on Nationals!