Closing Time: An Early Valda Deck Guide

by Drew Cordell 11th February 2022 5 : 05

Valda- the brawler of Everfest's Might n' Mead tavern- joins the mix and is ready for her next bar brawl. It’s time for beer, an aggressive build, and a hero designed to build an engine of value to outperform her opponents. I’m thrilled to bring a build that is not only extremely fun and unique to Valda, but also strong in its own right.

Take a seat and grab a tankard. Let’s jump right in!

The Core

The core of this Valda build is an aggressive shell propped up by a value-centered engine. Using this engine, Valda can exert aggressive pressure on the opponent with fewer cards. Freeing up those resources via Seismic Surge generation can, in turn, allow us to defend more heavily from hand.

Keep this in mind as you pilot Valda: three surge = one card from hand you’re not pitching for resources toward your Guardian attacks. With this method of accounting, you can put your cards to other uses- blocking, or putting them into arsenal, instead.

I’ll get it out of the way early on. Valda is more than just an Ultimate Pit Fight hero- but Valda also doesn’t have specialization cards right now, so she’s forced to go with a more aggressive shell to get value from her hero ability and Earthlore Bounty. Fortunately, Valda will generate a mountain of Seismic Surge tokens on her own. Cards your opponents end up drawing during an action phase are just icing on the cake.

Logistical Tip: It’s helpful to have more than one Seismic Surge token card and to track the count with dice. You will have many turns where you are breaking Surges, but also generating new ones which will stay in play. Keep your cards tidy, as Valda can build up quite the board state with her auras.

The most important thing to do as Valda is to protect Earthlore Bounty as long as possible. It is crucial to the synergy and value of your core game plan. Lose it too early, and you’ll be forced to rely more on cards from your hand to pay the resource costs of your attacks. Strike a healthy middle ground between aggression and defense.

Pro Tip: When you play Imposing Visage, Nerves of Steel can be used to top off your block on Earthlore Bounty and give you another free defend for two.

Pulverize, Mangle, and Spinal Crush make up our main attacks. Tear Asunder can help push you over the edge once you have depleted your opponent’s armor. If you put Pulverize into your arsenal with the new keyword Heave, you need to be sure to play it the next turn if at all possible; if it gets stuck there, you could get into trouble.

In many instances, the contents of your hand- and your ability to generate Seismic Surge tokens- will dictate the pacing of the game. Roll with it, and try to capture as much value from each and every hand as you can. There will be turns where you simply chain Blessing of Deliverance into Embolden in hopes of setting up some powerful turns later in the game. This is perfectly fine and all part of the plan. With all the card draw, you’ll constantly be discovering new lines of play that open up on a turn-by-turn basis.

Value City

Valda has the highest base health pool available to any Blitz hero in Flesh and Blood. She’s also a Guardian, which means she has high armor density. Valda’s hero power allows us to empower our Crush attacks, and generate an endless stream of Seismic Surge tokens that we can use to play our cards more efficiently.

Valda is uniquely positioned to get the best value from This Round's on Me, gaining a valuable 2 Seismic Surge tokens and -1 to all opponent's attacks next turn in exchange for a card. This, paired with another source of card draw, will enable Valda's hero ability and make it easier to gain Dominate on your next attack. It’s extremely thematic that Valda, of all heroes, can get such good use out of This Round’s on Me.

Pro Tip: Against Kano players, Valda will create a lot of seismic surge tokens. Use this to your advantage to pitch toward your Arcane Barrier 5 while still having the gas you need to pay for your attacks.

Embolden, Blessing of Deliverance, Gorganian Tome, and Tome of Fyendal provide extra card draw and resource generation. Embolden, in particular, is an investment that we can capture great returns on by drawing a card from its effect as well as ensuring we can play a Guardian attack action card on our next turn. When you put an Embolden out into play, do everything you can to take full advantage of its effect. It can be helpful to have a Guardian attack action card into arsenal for Embolden, so that you are not dependent on drawing an eligible attack in your next hand of four.

When you have Nerves of Steel up, get aggressive and attack as much as possible to prevent your opponent from breaking through your advantage. With Imposing Visage, we want to pull either Nerves of Steel or Stamp Authority in most situations.

Mind the Triggers! You’ll be making a lot of Seismic Surge tokens. They add up. It will take time to build the muscle memory to consistently make your surges off your draws with Earthlore Bounty. If you or your opponent draws a card outside the end phase, double-check to make sure you’re making a surge if you can.

Slightly under 75% of our deck is 3+ cost cards. That means that, in general, we’ll have plenty of cards to fuel the additional effects of Anothos, Stamp Authority, and Blessing of Deliverance that care about the magic number 3 in resource costs.

Equipment Tips: Mage Master Boots should almost always be used to combo with Tome of Fyendal. And don’t forget about the text on Crater Fist! While this card is seldom used for anything more than 3 armor, but if you have enough surge tokens, you can pay the cost to empower your next crush attack. This can be especially potent if you were able to give the attack dominate with Valda’s hero ability.

Last Call

Unfortunately, Valda's near-term competitiveness in the meta is hindered by her lack of specialization cards. Without more powerful Guardian attacks outside of Pulverize and Spinal Crush, Valda is pushed more toward an aggressive kit, with more reds and a more aggressive pitch curve thanks to her ability. Still, Valda will be a hero that I will be more than happy to bring to local Armories. Maybe as I test more Blitz ahead of Skirmish season one, I’ll become more convinced to pick up Valda over some of the other established options. I wouldn't be quick to count her out yet!

For now, have fun crushing some skulls! This is a fun way to play Guardian.

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Drew Cordell

Drew Cordell has been casually competing at high levels of Magic: the Gathering for over a decade before discovering Flesh and Blood and playing obsessively. While he specializes in Guardian, Drew also writes about a wide range of Flesh and Blood concepts and classes across all skill levels. You can get full access to ALL of Drew’s decks, one-to-one mentoring designed to take your play to the next level, and much more at: https://www.patreon.com/DrewJCordell

Discussion (7)

Drew Cordell
CONTRIBUTOR
4 months ago

No Grandeur of Valahai? No problem! Swap in Thump (Blue) or Heart of Fyendal instead.

Tommy Mains
CONTRIBUTOR
4 months ago

Nice list! Thanks for sharing.

cardsurge
READER
4 months ago

Might just be me, but playing this deck list against a go-wide Ice Lexi was tough. Constant Frostbite, Almost no drawing except for “3 of a Kind”, and very rarely being able to draw on my turn meant a serious shortage of Seismic Surge tokens.

Alex Truell
ADMIN
4 months ago

That sounds accurate. Ice Lexi can really mess up a heavy-cost deck like this- and you're not defensive like Oldhim.

Andre Maldonado
READER
4 months ago

Can you explain this in a Kano match in reference to your pro tip on how you create the surges from them

Drew Cordell
CONTRIBUTOR
3 months ago

Hey @Andre, Kano will draw multiple cards through the effect of his action cards (Tomes, etc) so you'll be able to create Seismic surge each time that happens!

Jason Parks
READER
3 months ago

The decklist at the top of the article doesn't seen to include stamp authority, nerves of steel or imposing visage. Has the deck been updated or is the list incorrect?

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