Cash In with Kassai

by Kieran, Mark Chamberlain 23rd June 2021 7 : 28
This article is narrated by Mark Chamberlain, and is available only to subscribers. Subscriptions are currently managed via the FaB DB Patreon page. You must purchase Supporter+, Majestic+ or Legendary+ to get access to The Rathe Times' Pro Series content.

Among the three warriors of Rathe, Kassai is often overlooked in favor of her compatriots- which is a damn shame, as she’s my all-time favorite hero! Between her excellent passive ability and potential to blow opponents out with overwhelming card advantage, Kassai is an extremely exciting and flexible hero to pilot.

Getting Acquainted

Kassai comes with the familiar stats most young heroes receive: a base 20 health and 4 intelligence. Much like Benji, however, she has two passives tacked on.

Your second sword attack each turn costs one resource less.

With her weapons of choice, the Cintari Sabers, this essentially means that your second sword attack each turn is free! I’ll go in-depth explaining just how great this ability is a little further down.

Her second passive is a little more convoluted.

At the beginning of your end phase, if you have attacked 2 or more times with weapons this turn, create a Copper token for each weapon attack that hit.

You're pretty much never going to use the effect on the Copper; paying 4 resources to draw a card is a terrible exchange rate. Instead, you’ll be saving them up until you can use Cash In, a powerful card that turns 4 Copper into a Draw 2. This nets you +1 cards in hand.

With these two abilities, Kassai is able to play an excellent value game, accruing card advantage through her free sword swings, eventually leading up to a turn where you can Cash In your well-earned Coppers for an even deadlier offense!

It's Free Sword Estate

Just how much of an impact does a free second sword swing make? In short, it's huge. Cards that aren’t typically considered great for Dorinthea in Blitz, such as red Driving Blade, make your first weapon swing comparable to Enlightened Strike, as long as you have the blue to pitch for it. And classic Warrior cards like Warrior’s Valor and Out for Blood become even deadlier in Kassai’s arsenal. With a single blue pitch, she can buff the attack with Warrior’s Valor on it, and still attack afterwards because her 2nd sword is free!

Even if you can't realize a buffed combo turn, because her Cintari Sabers only cost a single resource, all that's needed is a cheap source of Go Again and Kassai can hit for a solid 4 damage across her two swings. Worries of quad-red hands are now a thing of the past! This can also be incredibly potent in the late game, where she’s able to mount an incredibly threatening offense with perhaps a resource from Fyendal’s Spring Tunic or by cracking a Courage of Bladehold.

Pro Tip: While the Sabers might only have a base of 2 attack, they gain +1 when blocked by an attack action; which is going to happen a ton.

Refraction Bolters become much more meaningful in a Kassai deck, because that first attack can lead to so much more, throwing off your opponent’s meticulous calculations. And due to Cintari Saber’s passive, Braceforge Bracers (or a +1 from another source, like Out for Blood's Reprise trigger) makes your second swing extremely awkward to block!

And of course, we can't neglect to mention the most potent card in your arsenal: Spoils of War. If Kassai had a specialization card, this would be it! A flexible card that gives you everything you’d possibly want: go again on a weapon attack, a buff to the Sabres for that magical number of 4, and 2 Coppers for every weapon attack that turn.

Hit and Run

All that value might’ve seemed great and all, but what truly pushes Kassai over the top is her ability to elevate Hit and Run to a completely different level. It could certainly be used to tack ‘go again’ onto her first attack. However, if it’s used on her second, her saber gets a nice Sharpen Steel-esque buff to go along with it! And now with that ‘go again’, Kassai has the option to send a third attack flying at the opponent.

0-cost attack action cards fill this niche nicely. Cards like Snatch and Coax a Commotion give very nice benefits on-hit, and are a pain to block as they hit for 4 damage as well. This gives you potential turns like red Driving Blade, Hit and Run, and one of the aforementioned attack actions, you can string together a hit sequence of 5 > 5 > 4, a total of 14 damage delivered in hard-to-block fashion! Heck, with enough cards in hand, you could even finish with an Enlightened Strike for 7!

Three Cintari Paths

One of my favorite things about Kassai is the incredible versatility she offers with her deceptively simple abilities. And that’s why today, I’m not offering one deck list, but three!

A La Mode

This decklist seeks to utilize the excellent value engine Kassai offers with weapon attacks, and can afford to lean heavily into reds thanks to the single-resource lines we discussed earlier. Leaning heavily into value reds also means that Cash In’s ceiling runs incredibly high. 

With the ability to mount a frightening offense regardless of the number of cards in her hand, you can block and set up as you’d like, while still being able to keep pressure on. Once the time is right, Cash In and swing the tempo strongly in your favor!

Aggressive cards like Scar for a Scar and Ironsong Response (Red) give the deck the edge it needs by pushing damage wherever possible. Razor Reflex works excellently with your other attack actions as well.

Noticeably, the deck runs a fair amount of cards that only block for 2. We use Steelblade Shunt, Sigil of Solace and Enlightened Strike to make up for this weakness, as well as enabling the deck to play for a longer game if Kassai is waiting for a Cash In she pitched early on.

Push Forward (Blue) acts as a flex slot in the deck, and you're welcome to choose a different one to fill that slot. While Push Forward is great for a late game dominate, a blue Dauntless could work in local metas with a lot of defense reactions, or even a Stroke of Foresight. For something ultra spicy, Ravenous Rabble (Red) is an aggressive card that works well with the deck, due to the high red card count!

Kassai takes advantage of the Warrior’s extensive array of equipment. No other hero procs Valiant Dynamo as easily as she does. Kassai can also flex Courage of Bladehold and Fyendal’s Spring Tunic depending on the matchup; she utilizes both incredibly effectively.

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Combo Meal

Did you know that Hit and Run can also buff non-weapon attacks? Kassai can also use the newly released Second Swing to buff a Command and Conquer to 10 damage following a sword swing. Out for Blood’s Reprise is also equal opportunity; you can use it to buff an attack action. Oh, and Push Forward can be used to dominate these attacks too. Essentially, Kassai can leverage her weapon to buff generic attacks, making her much more unpredictable.

As long as Kassai is able to get ‘go again’ on her first attack for free, with a Hit and Run you could possibly be looking at a line of 2 > 5 > 6 off a single blue - with the last attack being one they’d definitely want to block.

In a Magical Christmas Wonderland? How does 5 > 5 > 10 sound to you? That would be red Driving Blade on a Cintari Saber, followed by a red Hit and Run on your second Saber, into a Second Swing with Nourishing Emptiness. With a Cash In and Kassai's ability to efficiently lay on offensive pressure, Christmas might be closer than you’d think!

We also run blue Pummel, just because nobody is going to see it coming and the look on people’s faces when they get pummeled by a warrior is hilarious. (The Pummel is, of course, a flex spot.)

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Extra Spicy Aggro

Of course, I've saved the spiciest brew for last...

Do you enjoy blocking?

Do you seek out a competitive gameplay experience completely free from the shackles of RNG?

Do you aspire to play Flesh and Blood by conventional wisdom?

If your answer to all of the above questions was “Hell no!”, then boy do I have the deck for you!

Ultra Aggro Kassai seeks to play a two/three turn game with the opponent, running them over with absolutely ludicrous amounts of damage starting from the very first turn of the game.

By chaining together cards like Flock of the Featherwalkers and Coax a Commotion with the aid of ‘go again’ from Snapdragon Scalers, Captain’s Call, and Razor Reflex, Kassai is able to output upwards of 20 damage easily- if she continues to draw into more gas with things like Snatch and Plunder Run.

Pro Tip: Plunder Run is applied to every attack action card you play until one hits!

Kassai also runs all the regular good generics with 0 cost and ‘go again’, like Scar for a Scar, Ravenous Rabble, and Enlightened Strike.

Combined with Kassai’s naturally efficient weapon swings and her ability to operate off a single resource, the list can hit high damage totals very consistently- all while running cute little lines like Overload + Nimblism for a dominated attack for 6 that gets ‘go again’ on hit!

(Here’s a line I pulled on someone recently at an Armoury event:

Ravenous Rabble >
Sharpen Steel + Cintari Saber + Glint the Quicksilver
>
Coax a Commotion + Snapdragon Scalers
>
Snatch + Quicken Token
>
Flock of the Featherwalkers + Razor Reflex
>
Cintari Saber + Braceforge Bracers

for a grand total of 21 damage with no prior setup!)

The drawback, of course, is significant: half the cards in the deck block for 2, and a single mistake could cost you the entire game! It’s also not outside the realm of possibility to brick on your turn and be forced to pass offensive pressure to the opponent. And of course, you're unlikely to be able to block that out.

It is, however, extremely fun to play!

The Cintari Sales Pitch

I hope this article served as a good introduction to Kassai, and has gotten you excited to play her! If more people are interested, I’d be happy to break down Kassai in a more competitive setting as well, since this article was made to serve as a general introduction to her possible playstyles. She’s certainly a hero that’s worth every Copper! I'm dedicated to this hero- as evidenced by the poster in my room- so I'll happily return to give you more tips!

Kieran

Kieran first fell into the deep hole of Flesh and Blood addiction when he saw a copy of Kassai in a trade binder. Ever since, he's been an avid brewer of the jankiest of decks; and when he hits a deck that somehow functions decently well, he's more than happy to spread the jank around!

Mark Chamberlain

Our narrator, Mark Chamberlain, is a long-time card game player-- but they're all sitting on the shelf while he practices Guardian in Flesh and Blood. Mark is based out of Colorado Springs, USA.