My FaB Journey: A Look Back

by Alex Truell 14th June 2021 3 : 24

I Did Three Big Things This Month

The first was the result of my consistent lack of luck pulling a Fabled. I've opened 22 boxes across 4 sets (no small quantity, for sure, but critically not high enough that the odds should favor me) and have not opened a Fabled card. And mostly, I'd been fine with that. But with Monarch, it was different.

Monarch debuted a brand-new type of card: a Landmark. Which was exciting in and of itself. But the Landmark was an architectural beauty (I love visiting incredible architecture), and a library to boot (my wife is an avid reader). From the moment the image leaked, I had my first must-have Fabled.

So when my 7 boxes failed to yield that incredible chase card, I was faced with a difficult decision. I am not the type to spend hundreds of dollars on a card, let alone thousands; so I could sell other collectibles to build up enough to purchase a Cold Foil Fabled (a collection-decimating proposition, to be sure), or I could set aside my desire for prestige in this, my intended collection centerpiece, and trade for an Unlimited copy in Rainbow Foil.

It was in this state of desperation that I noticed a Library listing on Facebook that had recently been re-posted. For sale or trade, with the details unspecified. It was a Hail Mary, but I reached out.

The details aren't important, and the result I'm sure is easy to predict: we reached a deal, and a few days later my crowning jewel arrived by mail.

I can't describe to you the excitement of acquiring a rare card, but I probably don't have to; many of you have experienced something similar, with different cards or collectibles, at different price points, and in different ways. We all have our own bars set for what we expect is 'obtainable', and when we surpass those, we feel like we've really accomplished something. And if you haven't yet, it's definitely something to look forward to.

In my excitement, I had spent the days of postal transit thinking about how I wanted to display this card. It struck me that perhaps the artist was producing prints of the Library. I tracked down his information and reached out- which quickly transitioned into an interview for the Rathe Times (watch for this coming soon!) Unexpectedly, I'd now reached my second milestone of the week: I'd connected with the creative development of the game, someone responsible for iconic elements we all enjoy and recognize.

The third was not of my own doing. At least, it didn't start that way. A game store had recently opened 30 minutes from my rural home- cutting the distance to my nearest game store in half. I'd told them I played Flesh and Blood and asked them to inform me if they ever decided to stock it. That was a few months ago; now, Alexandria Games was reaching out to me saying they had picked up FaB, and they wanted me to teach them the game.

Did you know?

cardtech

Alex is the editor for the Rathe Times, and became so by first writing articles for FaB DB.

The ensuing demo was incredibly successful. As you all know, Flesh and Blood makes a fantastic case for itself with gameplay. I left the shop owner excited about the game, both as a personal interest and a professional possibility. We've planned a Learn to Play event using Joey Senart's tools, and with a week to go before the event, we've filled all 10 of our new player slots! It felt impossible only 2 weeks ago, but we are on the cusp of creating a FaB community in smalltown Wisconsin!

Why Am I Telling You All Of This?

I started this game in the spring of 2020 as a new hobby to keep myself busy with something novel while we all rode out the pandemic. It was something to collect and solitaire until I could see people again. If I liked it enough, I'd pitch it to a friend or two, see if maybe we could add it to the rotation of casual games we played when we got together.

A year later, this game has become a passion. My collection of cards brings me joy and supports whatever strategies I'd like to pursue. My thoughts and opinions have contributed to the growth of the game locally and across the internet. Flesh and Blood has served to connect me with people across the world I'd never have met otherwise.

I picked up FaB expecting a solitary pasttime to help me through the most isolating year our world has ever faced. And somehow I've come out the other end of it feeling deeply connected to a worldwide community. A community that will help me achieve and surpass my dreams. A community that will gladly share its time and its thoughts with me. A community that I can give back to in a meaningful way.

That's the power of a great game.

Alex Truell

Alex Truell is the editor for the Rathe Times. Alex is a casually competitive player overseeing the growth of a Flesh and Blood scene in Ripon, WI. Alex is a player who cares about the competitive environment, but doesn't have to live in it; an optimist who loves the game, but can take a step back to critique it; and a deckbuilder who revels in novelty.

Discussion (30)

CinCityGames
MEMBER
11 months ago

Love hearing people's stories of their love for the game. I haven't found a love for a fabled yet but was able to pull one in Crucible with the shard (pulled a tunic in the same box!). Also glad to hear that not only is their a LGS closer to you but that you got them interested in the game, only way to grow it!

Justin Mathews
READER
11 months ago

Pulling packs is a ton of fun and lightens up my day. When I pulled my Great Library, it was an awesome moment! This game has become a passion for me as well!

David Christensen
READER
11 months ago

I was so excited when my son opened a copy of Great Library in one of our few boxes of first edition Monarch. It is now the crowning jewel in my limited collection. What started out as a fun game to open packs has quickly become one of my favorite games and I'm so excited for new cards to come out. Both to play with and collect.

kyle m
READER
11 months ago

Alex seems to be a great writer and loves the game of fab and is partly responsible for the games success. Written articles and word of mouth is very important to tcgs in order for it to be popular. The more the word is spread the more stores start stocking flesh and blood products, when they do more and more customers see it and buy it creating a bigger community for the game. Collecting and playing is what this game is about and im glad he is enjoying what he does.

corey ellis
READER
11 months ago

Alex really going the extra mile, here. We appreciate all you've brought us through The Rathe Times. There's a few places online to obtain some FAB art prints, definitely recommended!

Muhamad Fachrul
READER
11 months ago

Thanks for sharing Alex, lots of points I really resonate with. FaB is my first 'serious' TCG, and the thought of spending $200 for a piece of shiny cardboard just seemed wild to me. Playing Prism without Footsteps really hurt, and it took me a while to finally pull the trigger and understand that like any hobby, you need a certain level of commitment to reap the most benefit. Also really relate to your last paragraph; I picked up the game with the main intent of just finding something fun and got pleasantly surprised to find such an awesome community. This game and the people I've met along the way have really helped me get through this seemingly neverending lockdown, and I'm really grateful for both.

Xeniaton
READER
11 months ago

This article inspired me in one thing: I need to reach out to my LGS and ask them to get into FaB. I'm only playing with a couple of friends and I would love to face new opponents and meet other players.

Jake Smith
MEMBER
11 months ago

I only recently got into Fab (about 2 weeks) and the way this game was designed I think was really great. They have cards such as Library that make you want to collect and you feel great when you get one but can still play a competitive, balanced game without having to go track one of these cards down (not that they don't strengthen your deck)!

Alex Truell
ADMIN
11 months ago

This is as good a time as any to give an update. First, thanks for all the wonderful compliments. It means a lot to me to be participating in driving this game- and its amazing community- forward. Second, FaB at Alexandria Games in Ripon is still going strong! The shop took serious storm damage a few months ago, and was closed until yesterday. We kept our FaB group going in a meeting room at the public library. We've now taught over 20 players, get 4-6 regularly, and have another 6ish I'd call 'irregulars'. Incredible growth for a small town! Unfortunately, we still don't have Armory designation, but that will come...

Andrew Van
READER
11 months ago

Honestly being part of a LGS community, being able to support the store while enjoying a fantastic game with amazing prize support has made FaB the most rewarding TCG I've been involved in. Thanks for the write-up Alex, enjoyed it immensely.

Byron Bonilla
MEMBER
11 months ago

This is a fantastic game. What pulled me into the game was being able to reach out to so many players through the FaB Discord. I am able to get crushed by players who are playing across the ocean. The fact that there is a sub community with each archetype is pretty cool as well. You also have a selling and buying section allowing you to reach out to a wider market. All in all I love this game.

Tommy Mains
CONTRIBUTOR
11 months ago

Rathe Times is a marvelous resource. I'm trying to get my own content off the ground with Collision Point. I'd love to write some guest pieces sometime!

Tim Bunn
READER
11 months ago

I was lucky enough to pull two Eye of Ophidia's in my ARC boxes. But the LIbrary has eluded me thus far. I keep adding one to my cart but still haven't pulled the trigger. Luckily, I don't think it's a * must-have* card for my prism deck, but I'm looking forward to the day that I get mine. Love the content keep it up!

Paul Smith
READER
11 months ago

I opened up an Eye of Ophidia on my first Fab box. Very exciting to find such a rare card. I have come to really enjoy becoming a part of the fab community.

Edgar Leroy de Pedro
MEMBER
11 months ago

Love this article and thanks for the share. I'm a late starter and picked up the game only end of April as someone gifted me a demo deck and other stuff. Had my daughter choose which Hero to get without knowing the skillsets of each one and she immediately chose Ira as she looked like someone from Naruto πŸ˜‚. I moved a portion of my MTG to fund this hobby (to ensure my wife allows me to go home 😁) and have no regrets. I remember telling my wife that depending on what I pull on my 1st Monarch 1st Ed box, that will be the meter on how many boxes or cases I will get. The very first pack I opened had a CF Phantasmal Footsteps. Converted that to around 1.1k USD during the release week and the rest was history. :)

Christopher Yee
MEMBER
11 months ago

Thanks for sharing Alex, there's alot in there that resonates strongly with me. I personally got into this game just before the release of MON Unlimited with a small group of friends (and thus missed the opportunity to get into any of the prior 1st ed releases). I really liked the decision that LSS made to support a limited 1st ed print run followed by unlimited print runs to cater to both collectors as well as people who just want to play the game. I've also really liked their decision to keep the power level of Fabled cards relatively low such that they are "nice-to-haves" rather than "must-haves". I will say though that the artwork for Library is one of my favourites in the game right now. I loved the artwork so much that I not only went out to buy a copy of the card for my own collection but also tracked down the artist (thanks to another great article on this site) and bought a signed art print from him.

Victor Marques
MEMBER
11 months ago

Your point about the game making a strong case for itself through gameplay is so true! After the first couple blitz games everyone I showed the game played and they all were saying the same thing: "Oh wow, this system is so tight and round!".

William Cooper
READER
11 months ago

Ive been trying at my lgs to get them to carry FAB, we have a few regulars in there playing now so Im hoping we can get the owner to try it out. But my first Fabled was pulled from Mon and was such a good feeling seeing that pretty card.

Kevin Raaijmakers
MEMBER
11 months ago

My very first learning event, closing in on 2 months ago now, had me open up an Eye of Ophidia in the 6 unlimited sealed Arcane Rising boosters. At that point I did not even realize what I had pulled, only the screams of the person watching me open the boosters and helping me build my sealed deck gave away that I had pulled something big. It was just a 'valuable card' that I put off to the side during the event as I did not dare playing it. (First timer, no sleeves!) Little did I know that the card would become the spark that set off the direction of my entire FAB adventure (So far.), I started playing Kano because someone told me that the eye was good in his deck and I have yet to look back on that decision, It is absolutely amazing to see the surprise (And sometimes panic, if they forgot their nullrune. ("You can't do 28 damage in one turn." - Katsu player who left his nullrune at home.)) in players faces when I reveal him in CC, it has been an absolute pleasure to get my head around his playstyle - the complexity has kept me hooked on the game without a doubt, and forced me to learn pacing, resolving and sequencing of the cards I played to the detail with his instant and follow-up buffing mechanics, the 'underdog' factor only strengthened my desire to play him, for every player that called Kano 'not a good choice' my motivation increased. Playing Kano jumpstarted my understanding of the game and made me feel l can brawl with the best of them with confidence, which has made the game even more fun - and even allowed me to start making the game more fun for other new players by helping them in their understanding on the game. And all of this because I pulled the Eye of Ophidia during a sealed event that I nearly said 'no' to, While 'chase cards' can be frustrating if you are hunting, but cannot find one - (Hello, Storm Striders!) But the positives they bring to the game without a doubt blows away the negative side they bring ten-fold, just remember to keep an eye on your own urges and finances. And never forget that the chase-cards are optional, not a must have in order to play!

Felix W Chung
READER
11 months ago

Your story about chasing that one card hits home for me! I'm glad that you got your hands on the card you've been coveting one way or another, and you're right, there's something so breathtakingly beautiful about the full-art landmarks that stand out in the play area.

Karol
MEMBER
11 months ago

I assume that many of us wandered into this game as you did - to find some way to connect with others during the pandemics. And the adrenaline rush that you get when cracking the boxes - will it be fable? Legendary? Nah, just 2 rares and foil common ;)

jacalope
READER
11 months ago

I am happy there is a place in this game for collectors. Although I don't really have an interest in collecting the game currently, I am happy that the game can cater to many audiences.

Jessie Quinn
MEMBER
11 months ago

I love that the outcome of this card chase was being able to find it through the community on FB etc. It's super cool when you can connect with someone directly and negotiate a little vs just having to shell out the crazy sticker price. Local FBs and discords have been really good to me and people often want to hook you up when they can. The first edition prints of every set is seriously tickling my collector brain. Curious, are other people planning to get 1sts of every set when they come out? Are you also keeping any product sealed for that purpose too? I have a hard time leaving anything unopened....

Nathan Taylor
READER
11 months ago

22 boxes over 4 sets is an sizable/impressive number. I still need to think about what I would do if I found myself in the position of seeking out that collection cornerstone card.

Jacob Irby
READER
11 months ago

I think this time in the game is very special most people even pros have only played for a few months. Nothing is set in stone and its really a game that anyone can hop in and make a mark. Ive never played a game were the distance between the top players and newbies seemed so small. I'm excited to see were things go.

Kevin
READER
11 months ago

Amazing game and great community, I like how the creative development aspects of the game are reached out to. It’s really enjoyable and interesting to learn more about them.

MajorMayday
MEMBER
11 months ago

Love the story. Love the passion.

Otty
READER
11 months ago

This is something that many people can relate too I guess. Doesnt matter if it was the first time actually spending money for a single card (starting with low values) or searching for this special version you heard existed. somewhere. This is why I love to collect. Thanks for sharing the story and good luck with you local LGS spreading the love.

Keelan Yowell
READER
11 months ago

Love hearing first experience with the game. Plus TCG are so addicting wit the hunt!

Antonio Ferreiro
READER
11 months ago

I think everybody should open boxes. Every opened box means more stuff available for everyone. I think the secondary market has big prices right now because people is used to buy singles. And that means less singles available. Command and Conquer is a Majestic and it's so expensive right now. Too many people playing it but not so many people opening boxes.

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