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Pummel in the Pits: An Uzuri Strategy Guide

4 months ago

3:52

There are many things in life that are always a delight to see. The beauty of the sunlight breaking through the clouds. A friend you've not seen in many years. And the look on your opponent's face as you Pummel the Surgical Extraction.

Card image of Surgical Extraction (Blue)
Card image of Pummel (Red)

I find deck primers in Flesh and Blood difficult to write and sometimes of limited use, because if you want to change just a few cards, that can throw off a balance in a deck that you didn’t even know was there. But just keeping the same list every week doesn’t work either - as the meta evolves, you’ll need your deck to evolve too. If you just want the current decklist and sideboard guide, they’re both available here; but the notes below should help you to understand what your goal is with the deck and why the cards are there.

With that in mind, this is more of a guideline towards how to build your list, with the key components that make up the deck, some explanations towards the choices I currently have, and some ideas on what can be changed. Changing cards is a crucial part of both your own enjoyment of the game and ensuring that you’re competitive in varied metagames; never shy away from it, but always understand what you’re changing and why.

Strengths:

  • Powerful against unprepared opponents
  • Adaptable
  • Good against a wide range of the meta
  • A good choice into Kano, Guardians, or Ninjas
  • Can take advantage of decks that are looking to block

Weaknesses:

  • Dromai is close to unwinnable, and Prism isn't much better
  • Requires an understanding of what the opponent is doing more than most decks
  • Will have a harder time if people have decided blocking isn't for them

Our blue stealth cards enable Looking for a Scrap after being used for a block. They're required for resource-hungry turns involving Pummel or dagger attacks. Of course, as stealth attacks, they can be used for the bluff: attacking with a blue Back Stab and a card in hand can invite a block for 6, which simply sets us up with a free arsenal.

The power of Isolate is critical to make the deck work, as it's the most reliable way to get your on-hits, a key part of the strategy. Although it doesn't look like much, it can be an excellent arsenal.

Infect helps to punish the aggro decks that aren't looking to block, and when used with Blacktek Whisperers, can help push some damage alongside disruption.

Your selection of red and yellow stealth cards can be tweaked depending upon how aggressive a metagame you’re tuning the list for. The more you’re expecting the opponents to block, the better the dominated stealth attacks will be.

Card image of Back Stab (Blue)
Card image of Isolate (Red)
Card image of Infect (Red)

Of course, the payoffs for our stealth attacks are what the deck is all about.

Command and Conquer is obviously important and a powerful threat, but if your opponent knows what is going on they’ll respond to the switch ability with a defense reaction. One way to get around this is to be more willing to proactively play it with resources, and with a tunic counter this can also work as a 2-card hand alongside a dagger attack.

Card image of Command and Conquer (Red)
Card image of Shake Down (Red)

Shake Down requires some practice to understand what you’ll be taking from the opponent.

  • Against classes like Guardian or Brute, choosing blue can disrupt the hand they were planning to keep.
  • Against decks with a cheaper cost curve, red is usually the right pick.
  • Of course, pick yellow when facing a Light hero.

Your default choice will be the Bloodrot token for Death Touch, but constantly evaluate and be willing to change off the default if necessary. For example, Inertia can be very good against Wizard.

Already Dead has some nice tricks to consider, but one of the best is banishing Valiant Dynamo against Kassai if they block and you have the reaction to go over the top.

Card image of Death Touch (Red)
Card image of Already Dead (Red)

As reactions go, Pummel is your key disruption to interact against an opponent who isn't looking to block. Tunic can be used to help play for an attack and a Pummel off a blue.

Spreading Plague is rarely cast, but very good when it is. It’ll usually come up on either the first attack when you have the extra cards, or the last when they’re forced to overblock.

Shred has an excellent rate - don't get too hung up on keeping it for value in arsenal. Against temper equipment, it will break them on the first block.

Card image of Spreading Plague (Yellow)
Card image of Shred (Red)

Codex of Frailty earns its own section. The obvious play pattern with Codex is to play it empty-handed as a 1-card hand that represents excellent value with Leave No Witnesses to threaten the arsenal that they’ve kept. But with a dagger attack before the codex, you'll often make it harder for the opponent to block, so the attack that you bring back causes them more issues; and a Codex after a Blacktek-aided attack can lead to a huge swing.

Card image of Codex of Frailty (Yellow)
Card image of Leave No Witnesses (Red)

Flick Knives works with Nerve Scalpel against defense reactions - if you respond before the defense reaction resolves, the debuffing affect will apply to the blocking reaction. Graven Call is there against decks that are either only going to block with one type of card (think 'attacks' for Brute) or where the ability to Flick it multiple times may be really helpful in a pinch, such as against Prism. Don't rely on it too much, however; this deck doesn't work to trigger contract cards.

Card image of Flick Knives
Card image of Nerve Scalpel
Card image of Graven Call

Sideboarding

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