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The Final Days of Road to Nationals

Road to Nationals is coming to a close, with the final days just on the horizon. Here in Colorado Springs, we enjoyed a double header weekend with Classic Constructed at Petries Family Games and a Heavy Hitters draft at The Iron Lion… but you know who really enjoyed it? Brodie Spurlock brought home two gold foil prize cards on his world tour of friendly domination - first winning with Azalea, and then stealing the show with Kassai. If you haven't had the opportunity to play a game with him just yet, don't worry, he's probably going to be taking down an event near you soon!

As the Road to Nationals season approaches its end, we turn our eyes to the Deathmatch Leaderboard. Players who compete and win at Heavy Hitters draft during the season put tally marks up on the leaderboard; at the end of it all, players who contributed to the winning hero qualify to receive a special card… and if James White is to be believed, that card is gonna be a Command and Conquer with new art! (So not the art pictured here.)

Card image of Command and Conquer (Red)

The prize card won't be coming until the latter half of this year, but waiting is no price to pay for something so amazing! So, if Rhinar wins the most Road to Nationals Drafts, all the players who won with him get the prize… apparently including multiple copies for those who put their bloody tally on the board multiple times.

And let us see this leaderboa–

oh god...

Well, Rhinar has put two solid claw marks next to his name, and with that all of the eligible heroes have made it on to the board. Victor and Olympia are enjoying a friendly rivalry, while Betsy has gotten out ahead of them comfortably. Kayo is sitting high up with 36 - nearly twice Betsy's score. But Kassai is running away with the purse at 45 wins.

Let us also turn our eyes to the Living Legend leaderboard so that we can see how Classic Constructed is bearing out.

The new Kayo, he who is (technically) Armed and (definitely) Dangerous, is putting the work in! He's gotten in to the triple digits with 148 Living Legend points to his name, all earned in CC events these past three weeks. Behind him is Dromai, who's also found her way to triple digits in the HH season.

Kano, Victor, and Bravo are the next in line. The original showstopper and the ash artist are in unique positions here as they're starting to near the peak and climbing fast. Will these next few months be their last? For Bravo, a hero that launched with the very game itself, a fighter who has had some four-plus years in the arena already, perhaps it is time that he gets to rest..?

The pack gets pretty tight from there, with a limited roster of heroes who have yet to make their mark this season: Arakni, Dash I/O, Riptide, Betsy, and Teklovossen.

Card image of Arakni, Huntsman
Card image of Betsy, Skin in the Game
Card image of Dash I/O
Card image of Riptide, Lurker of the Deep
Card image of Teklovossen, Esteemed Magnate

In my neck of the woods, there are a few teams that gather to play in the field of battle at the local game store. One, however, has started to go a little further and stretch above and beyond. If you haven't checked out Protect Ya Deck, the bi-weekly podcast from the Bloodrush Fellows, you are categorically missing out on a lot of positive energy that is being fed back into our global community. Every other Wednesday morning the Fellows are talking tactics and making informative interviews, casting the testing knowledge and opinions of the Colorado Killers out into the world, and I couldn't be happier for them: check them out!

Speaking of news from the podcast world, Bryan Gottlieb was recently hosted on the Living Legends Podcast, and as always he had a lot to give. For those who might not know, Mr. Gottlieb is one of the lead designers for Flesh and Blood, and is directly responsible for the 18 blitz decks that have come out between History Pack 1, Outsiders, and Heavy Hitters. If you like hearing stories about the development of the game that we love, ranging from lessons learned to victories won, this is one interview that you just do not want to miss.

I love to hear about the various ways that the LSS Dev team works to ensure a good game, and I especially love to hear the humility. You don't have to go far too see examples of card game development teams simply not listening to their players, not working to keep a fun environment, not staying agile in the 2020’s landscape. Not so with Flesh and Blood!

Groups of people from all over Rathe gather. We come together as friends and battlefield foes, as sparring partners and rivals; some form up into teams, some make broadcasts, and we here at the Rathe Times write. We all give to our global community, from the collectors to the folks who never miss an Armory to the people who never miss a Calling or a Pro Tour.

Everything we do tends to lead back to supporting the game and the community. Even when I can only do one Armory a month, I'm sharpening the blades and tempering the steel of my fellow players. We all give to, and give back to, the world of Rathe.

There are a lot of sources for news out there, from the mothership to sundry creators of the Internet; some on large platforms, and some on bespoke website experiences. We are always glad to have you here at the Rathe Times. Be sure to check back often, as we have big things coming soon, articles coming always, and news recaps like this one whenever they make sense.

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