Relentless Aggression: Terrorizing Blitz with Levia (Part 1)
Levia is a hero that is rewarding to practice, and one that provides many paths to victory. My focus from the start when building Levia has been to improve the consistency of the deck in order to reliably set off desired effects and meet Levia’s requirements each and every turn, once we light the deck’s fuse. What I landed on is a deck that favors relentless aggression to keep our opponents off balance and unable to effectively strike back.
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The Central Concept
In the simplest terms, the goal of the deck is to go wide and hit for 12+ damage every turn while finding a way to banish at least one 6+ power card to satisfy Levia and stave off the blood debt.
Despite the ridiculous efficiency of our cards, we still have to manage our graveyard as a resource in a way that no other class/talent in the game has to in order to keep the lights on. You’ll notice that this deck lacks a lot of defense. The only defense reactions we opt to run are two copies of Reckless Swing (which also serve to push unblockable damage back to our opponent.) Everything else in the deck is centered around offense.
Levia has to manage her graveyard as a resource in a way that no other class/talent in the game has to.
The complexity of Levia is an order of magnitude above Rhinar. You will need to practice to learn the lines of play, and understand what it takes to mitigate your blood debt- and when it is and isn’t worth doing. Managing a graveyard, setting up multiple attacks per turn, and meeting Levia’s requirement can be a balancing act, but one that rewards the time you put in to learn it.
The final list lands at 11 non-6 power attack cards. This means that 72.5% of the list meets the criteria for Levia and many of the other additional bonus effects in this list.
In a perfect world, we will throw so much pressure on our opponent that they simply won’t be able to catch a breath and put any counter-pressure on us. But this is far from a perfect world. Fortunately, we have a number of tools to protect against big pushes of tall or wide damage from our opponent while protecting the cards in our hand. Levia can be kitted out in many different ways depending on the matchup and what you expect to be playing against.
We use Ravenous Meataxe for our weapon. Swinging in early and often with this card is a powerful way to fill the graveyard, and often presents 5 damage that our opponent has to block. Plus, it only takes a single yellow pitch to come in with the axe, making it a very cost-effective weapon for its damage class. (As an aside, Hexagore is a fantastic choice for Levia in Classic Constructed when the games go longer, but it can’t match the utility and early-game pressure Meataxe can generate in Blitz.)
Carrion Husk may be one of the best cards ever printed for Blitz, and I don’t say that lightly. Having the ability to defend for 6 with one piece of equipment means that we can easily carry a hand of four into an attack round and flip lost tempo back in our favor. It’s also especially potent in Levia, as we have many ways to not take damage from blood debt (unlike Chane).
Ebon Fold serves as a combo enabler and a safety valve to prevent us from taking blood debt damage in the case that we cannot banish a 6+ power card otherwise during one of our turns. It’s nice to have, and can be used both defensively or offensively for some combos that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Skullhorn is fantastic tech against Wizard. Arcane Barrier 5 is no joke for them to play against, and our pitch ratio is decent enough to support it and swing back. I typically favor this over Ebon Fold in this match, especially against very good Wizard players that can seemingly conjure lethal from thin air. I always like to respect the power of Kano—you’ll regret going up against a good Wizard player and not having all the nullrune you need.
Arcanite Skullcap is great in those matches where we want some extra protection from chip damage and to be able to hold cards in our hand. Because of the aggression and power of our deck (and lack of a lot of defensive capability from the cards in our deck) we won’t be able to use Skullcap to its full potential of blocking three. Usually, this piece of armor represents two blocks of one, but block for two when you have the chance or save Skullcap for those crucial turns where you need to keep cards in hand and not lose too much life.
Goliath Gauntlet is pure aggression. Use it to power up a Dominated hit and push even more damage through, or save it until the end when you need to score those last couple points of health. Either way, it’s a fantastic addition to the deck. The gauntlet is also great to use when you suspect your opponent is trying to set up a big turn (IE, they choose not to block your first 6+ power attack with go again and take the damage. Use gauntlet to punish them and try to force out a block.
As you learn the different matchups and what your deck can do, you will get better at learning the best times to use this equipment to enhance your strategy.
Hooves of the Shadowbeast provides some defense and one very powerful turn a game. Use this to give a powerful card like Endless Maw or Boneyard Marauder go again, and swing 2-3 times in the turn for big damage. Pair it with Goliath Gauntlet for even more devastating effect. Hooves helps fill the graveyard in a way that Scabskin Leathers can’t, and also gives us one extra guaranteed source of go again where we don’t have to worry about bricking on our Scabskins and losing our turn.
Scabskin Leathers is probably the preferred choice in match ups where we want some more defense against chip damage. Even with no defense from our head or arms, Scabskin Leathers + Carrion Husk gives us a staggering nine points of defense from our equipment—nothing to scoff at.
Many cards in our deck serve to dump more cards into the graveyard toward the start of the game, and help us sustain the graveyard to pay costs and continually banish a 6+ power card once the blood debt engine is rolling. This deck is very much designed to get value off of going first, however, and there are many attacks that don’t require banishing cards as an additional cost.
Pulping, Deadwood Rumbler, Reckless Swing, Wrecker Romp, and Ravenous Meataxe all serve as great ways to fill the graveyard in the early game. If you are playing second, block and dump your hand aggressively so that you can rapidly ramp up going into your turn.
Go Again Beaters
Pulping, Shadow Puppetry, and Dread Screamer all serve as means to give us more than one attack in the same turn, along with our equipment. It is extremely powerful and effective to hit with something big, banish a 6+ power card (activating Hooves), then come in with a Graveling Growl. Because many of our cards are relatively cheap, we can usually follow up one of these go again attacks with a second hit, or at least a swing from the Meataxe.
Go again is essential in this deck, as we don’t have a lot of defensive capabilities. The harder we can hit our opponent, the more damage they will take or the less cards they will have in hand going into their turn. We lean into high-damage go again attacks to strip cards from our opponent’s hand or force them to take a lot of damage. There’s no need for Intimidate or Dominate on every attack when we are consistently coming in for 12+ damage every turn.
Pulping, Convulsions from the Bellows of Hell, Tear Limb from Limb, and basically every attack in the deck can serve as a means to close out the game. Use Convulsions to dominate a big attack, or go wide with the go again beaters and simply present more damage than your opponent can block out. Constant aggression and the efficient use of your graveyard as a resource is key for piloting Levia.
Doomsday gives us a way to close out the game, swing for 6+ power, and have plenty of cards left to block our opponent. At the very least, they need to spend a turn taking down the ally token and give us a chance to hit back with 4+ cards to close things out. Though it doesn’t block, Doomsday also pitches for three early in the game to fuel the resource-hungry needs of this deck.
Endless Maw + Goliath Gauntlet is an easy way to swing for 11 power in a single attack, if you can cover the three resource cost. At low life, this will force a full block from your opponent.
Utility and Defense
Our hard-hitting, cost-effective cards like Pulping and Deadwood Rumbler can’t defend. Primarily, we lean on Carrion Husk for its incredible defense, alongside our sheer aggression, to keep our opponents from doing a lot on their turn. Once you get the engine running, there will be several times when you hit your opponent so hard you force a full block from their hand and still push some damage through. They will draw up then pass it back to you so you can do it all over again.
Reckless Swing can often be enough to push the last couple of points of damage through, or fully block out our opponent’s attack and punch them back with some chip damage that can’t be defended through all but a few specific circumstances.
Art of War is single-handedly the best card in the deck. Usually, our chosen modes are 'give the next attack action card go again' and 'banish an attack from hand to draw two cards'. Banishing a 6+ power attack triggers Levia, and drawing two cards gives us the gas to do some very powerful things on our turn with the go again.
Shadow Puppetry gives our next attack +1 and go again for zero resources, and gives an outlet to banish a card on hit. Fantastic addition to this deck, as it enables more consistency in attacking 2+ times on our turn. Try not to depend on the on-hit effect here for Levia’s trigger, as your opponent will go out of their way to fully block this attack if they suspect it means you take a bunch of damage from blood debt.
Tear Limb from Limb can be a frustrating card to play- as well as play against- but it serves to pitch for a lot of resources when we need them, and give us the chance to push some truly massive damage through on turns when we can’t gain go again. Of course, this card does have a chance to backfire and sap our resources. Look to use this card when you don’t have any other non-6+ power attacks in hand. I would almost classify this as a ‘win more’ card in this deck, but it also serves the purpose of filling the graveyard so it has its merits on the rare circumstances it misfires, when played correctly.
Mark of the Beast gives a way to generate a banish for Levia, even on turns where we don’t want to deplete our graveyard. It’s also a yellow pitch block three (note it will banish if you use it to block, and this won’t trigger Levia.)
Beast Within has taken the place of 2x blue Dread Screamer. While it’s great to have a blue pitch that can swing in for four with go again, Beast Within gives some additional utility and helps us set up a card in arsenal even on turns when we are going to play out our hand. Of course, this card will damage you (and could even cost you the game), but the value it lends exceeds the cost/risk of running it. Including this in the blue dread screamer slot slightly reduces the average pitch value of our cards, but boosts the 6+ attack to non-6+ attack ratio of our deck from 67.5% to 72.5% which will matter over the long run. If you need a budget choice for this slot until CRU Unlimited is widely available, consider running the 2x blue Dread Screamer or 2x yellow Smash Instinct.
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Lines of Play
Start the turn by pitching a blue non-attack card when playing cards that draw and discard a random card.
Look to put Graveling Growl in the arsenal whenever possible. It is one of the most cost-efficient and punishing cards in the deck. Being able to swing in for 6-7 damage for a SINGLE resource point with no additional cost other than meeting Levia’s criteria is unheard of. Activating the Growl after a big go again attack is exactly what we are trying to do with this deck. When played from arsenal, there will be turns that you can set up with Graveling Growl as your finisher that swing in for 20+ damage.
Attack with Mark of the Beast on turns where you need to stave off blood debt. Because you are the turn player, you can order Levia’s ability to trigger before you have to pay your blood debt (meaning you won’t take damage from blood debt) if all you do on a bad turn is attack with this card.
Track the number of 6+ cards in your graveyard at all times. Know the odds that you will hit what you need for Levia at any given moment before playing a card.
Swing in with a massive 11+ power Endless Maw powered up with go again from Art of War and follow it up with another hit.
Go again intrinsically serves to fill the graveyard. More of your cards are being played in a single turn instead of pitched for resources. Be aggressive knowing that you can put 3+ cards in your graveyard in a single turn when attacking.
If you are running Barkbone Strapping and Hooves of the Shadowbeast, block early with them so you have them at your disposal when you’re ready to pop them for a huge turn.
Look for opportunities to close the combat chain between actions when it means you will have more 6+ power cards in the graveyard for your next banish effect. This requires a high-level of class and game mastery to incorporate well, but it will elevate your game to the next level in those tough matches against great opponents.
Lean on your equipment, get aggressive, and practice with the deck. The better you learn the lines of play and how this deck functions, the better you can control (and use to your advantage) its variance. Levia is a powerful deck in Blitz, and I’m excited to brew with her in Classic Constructed as well. Stay tuned for more content and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!
For specifics regarding Equipment Choices and Strategic Considerations based on specific matchups, continue to "Relentless Aggression: Terrorizing Blitz with Levia (Matchups)", linked below.
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
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.
Why not run bloodrush bellow? It does lower the 6 pool but i use it to enable my wide turns and have been able to push games with the damage provided.
it's fairly low impact believe it or not - at least in CC. its a random banish which leads to higher variance for what is likely only +4 power across a whole turn if your not running claws. which might as well have just been a barraging beatdown which basically forces a double block anyways. The card seems at its best in Classic Constructed and fairly clunky in Blitz where you deck needs to be as optimized towards a specific game plan as possible
My Latest variant does include Bloodrush Bellow instead of the 2x Convulsions from the Bellows of Hell (Blue). The pitching/resourcing can be a bit wonky, but it does a lot to power up Go Again turns with at least two attacks. Like many others, I'm heavily playing CC right now but I look forward to continuing to experiment with Levia for the next Skirmish season.
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