The print run of Flesh & Blood's Welcome to Rathe (Alpha)

by Kirk Bushell 27th March 2021 1 : 29

It's of no surprise to many in the community that the fabled cards of Flesh & Blood (the rarest) are also the most coveted and valuable, despite their debatable in-game potential. As a result, we have been trying to figure out how many there are, and how rare they are - since day 1, however - we may not have been too accurate (though we certainly gave it a shot).

Today, LSS let us know exactly how big the print run was for WTR Alpha. According to them, there have been exactly 400,000 booster packs. Based on this new nugget of knowledge, we can update our presumptions about hearts and what it may mean.

Before I go further, I want to highlight the information we do know, before speculating further. Many in the community appear to be ignoring these facts altogether, leaning into a purely speculative position, which does no one any good. So what do we actually know?

We know, based on musings from James White, that Alpha hearts are at least twice as rare as Alpha MTG Black Lotuses. We also know, that there were 1100 alpha black lotuses printed. This means that we're looking at a maximum of 550 Heart of Fyendals.

Did you know?

lore

Legend Story Studios (LSS) launched the now much-beloved Flesh & Blood TCG in October of 2019, before the global pandemic struck. Despite seriously challenging conditions, the game has gone from strength to strength, boasting approximately 200,000 players world-wide.

So with that knowledge in hand, how can we update our previous assumptions to get us closer to the truth? (Until such time as LSS give us actual figures!). Let's take a look.

400,000 booster packs, with 24 packs per box, nets us approximately 16,667 boxes (an odd number, to be sure!)

If we're looking at 550 hearts as part of the total print run, that means that 16,667 / 550 = 30.3 boxes, or about 31 boxes, rounding up. So 1 heart every 31 boxes. Considering our original estimates as a community is 1 in 40, that wasn't far off!

Now obviously, this is part-factual, part-speculation, and not in any way conclusive. It still makes a number of assumptions. However, it does provide a better opportunity for valuing these cards, as it is very likely they are more common than we originally thought (albeit, marginally so!)

What do you think? What has LSS latest update done for you in regards to your views of the Fabled rarity?

Kirk Bushell

Kirk is the sole developer of both FaB DB and The Rathe Times, proving an obsession with the game of Flesh & Blood and supporting its communities. Additionally, he loves writing articles, the game, and the general hobby of collecting cards.

Discussion (27)

Justin Mathews
READER
11 months ago

A friend of mine pulled a heart (from unlimited) and thought it was one of the worst cards in the game. I do think other fabled cards are better, but wonders…those first Ed ones will be worth a lot one day!

David Christensen
READER
11 months ago

It seemed that when Monarch was released that I saw more fabled pulls than I was expecting. I don't know if that's just more people posting their pulls online, or if the print run was much larger. Either way, it's always exciting to see a fabled get opened

Jacob McAdams
READER
11 months ago

Having sought-after cards such as alpha foils will attract a good amount of attention to the game - good and bad. Though I think the more eyes on it the better, time will weed out the pure "collectors" and the ones who truly love and value the game will stick around and see it blossom!

kyle m
READER
11 months ago

The game thrived due to its mechanics other games didnt have, having a dead hand, having curbing turn resources and cost were all problems for other card games. If you get a bad hand then pitch use a card or two and maybe swing with weapon and arsenal then get a completely new hand. No card is useless from attacking to defending and due to this mechanics in the game it kept a person to person card game during a pedemic alive. That and the artwork and lore are amazing

corey ellis
READER
11 months ago

Giving us actual print run numbers was a smart move from LSS.; it'll be interesting to see how much 1Ed is printed as the game grows.

Ales
READER
11 months ago

This information is really interesting for creating value for fabled cards in alpha edition print run. It would be really interesting to know how much of the fabled cards are available in the unlimited print runs and how big those print runs are.

Xeniaton
READER
11 months ago

I've been printing proxies of these to try and build decks with friends. I hope someday they are more accessible, mostly the Arknight Shard as it goes well with a OTK Viserai build I like to play.

Jake Smith
MEMBER
11 months ago

This is great info. If you want to invest in this game, it gives you a lot to think about it. I think trying to get this card is already costing a pretty penny (I think I saw $25,000 on Ebay) and is on track to be WAY more valuable than Black Lotus. I hope Flesh and Blood can continue to grow and achieve something like this.

Daxter
READER
11 months ago

@justin I'd much rather have these unique, exquisite cards be very narrow in use rather than format staples - can you imagine the price if all meta decks were to use it?

Tommy Mains
CONTRIBUTOR
11 months ago

I'll never forget listening to Team Covenant first cover FAB. At the time, I had been slowly constructing my own card game that I was calling "Overlord." IMO, the games are very similar. I'll write something about that one day, but, needless to say, LSS did it better. If only I would have followed my gut and started buying product that day.

Paul Smith
READER
11 months ago

I love the collector aspect t and inclusion of fabled cards. Very cool comparison on numbers to black lotuses.

Tim Bunn
READER
11 months ago

Fabled cards are one of the things that drew me into this game. It's truly a delicate balance. If they ever print a fabled that is "required" in a deck would be a big bummer. Having a really rare chase card is super interesting though.. I think they're living in a very good spot currently.

Travis Barton
READER
11 months ago

This is my first time seeing this card. I didn't even know there were fabled cards outside the library. Seems pretty easy to build into any deck for utility but not sure if it would be worth it in highly competitive decks. The scarcity of the card will always make it a cool card for any collectors to pick up.

CinCityGames
MEMBER
11 months ago

I'm not a big investor in cards, I just like playing competitive and casually. But do you see Heart passing the worth of Lotus in a decade or so?

Kirk Bushell
ADMIN
11 months ago

@CINCITY - I do, personally. I've already sold one for a sizable chunk, something I never thought I'd be able to do. The market is certainly cooling, and will be cooling for some time, but in 1-2 decades alpha hearts may very well eclipse the black lotus, or at least be very close. Remember that alpha lotuses have 20 years already on hearts, so they'll also be much more expensive.

Edgar Leroy de Pedro
MEMBER
11 months ago

I picked up FAB just late April just a month after they published the print runs. Prior to that, Heart prices on eBay were still "decent", however by April that ballooned up to around 40 to 50k I think. I was trying to complete my WTR Alpha Foil set but after seeing the prices (all time high in April and May), I decided to stick it out with Unlimited. I was fortunate enough however to trade for Cold Foils of Mask of Momentum and Fyendal's Spring Tunic for a number of Magic Modern Foil cards. If you ask me, At that time I felt it was a gamble trading my MTG cards away but now I have no regrets. I've played a ton of TCGs since 1993 and have seen games come and go. I believe in FABs staying power. I can't wait for them to announce the Monarch 1st Ed print runs. I think Library is not getting the "love" as much as the other Fables. If you ask me, Library is the better one. :)

Christopher Yee
MEMBER
11 months ago

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. Currently just basking in all these Tales of Aria reveals in the lead up to the 1st ed coming out later this month :)

Victor Marques
MEMBER
11 months ago

After having pulled a fabled myself (an unlimited Eye of Ophidia haha) I can confirm that it's a very cool sensation to see one of those coming out of the pack. My only concern is if LSS mistakenly prints a must-have fabled for gameplay, then things could go awry. But so far so good apparently.

Felix W Chung
READER
11 months ago

That number (400,000) sounds so large, but when you think about the audience... then suddenly it seems like nothing. Great insight about the community estimating the pull rate of the Hearts! Hard to imagine anything exceeding the value of the MTG original cards though...

Betim Begolli
READER
11 months ago

I don't think Fableds will be something to be compared with Black Lotuses in the future. Black Lotus is so valuable because of how rare it was.. on top of how broken it was, no? Don't see that happening with FAB's fabled cards if FAB blows up, don't think anyone can really know for sure what would end up being strongly sought after in any given set - except Maybe generic Ls/Ms in wtr/arc

SamZ
READER
11 months ago

@BETIM BEGOLLI I agree. Black Lotus is valuable because it was highly sought after for its power AND its rarity. Even thought the Heart is twice as rare, because it does not see competitive play, I don't think it's going to be as desired as say the Fyendal's Spring Tunic. Tunic has seen much competitive play and it is a Legendary card (less rare, but still very rare given the # of alpha boxes). On top of that, the Gold version of the Tunic is the highest competitive prize you can get! If the Black Lotus is compared to anything in FAB, it should be the Tunic.

Ryan Baker
MEMBER
11 months ago

Curious to see what the trend for 1st and UNL printing will be moving forward. It seemed like the market was flooded with MON UNL, in particular, which has lead to a majority of the cards not being worth much. Overall good for players buying singles, but definitely hurts the incentive to buy and crack boxes outside of limited play

Ryan Rich
READER
11 months ago

I am glad a lot of these fabled cards only see fringe play. If every deck needed one at a rate 1:31 boxes the cost of entry would be way higher.

Karol
MEMBER
11 months ago

We had an opportunity to get to the FaB quite early - a friend got a few boxes of WtR and Arc 1st. I still remember opening a CF Arcanite Skullcap in my first box, and then trading it for something like $350 or so :D Yet we had no luck, and there were none Hearts or Eyes in our lot...

Jeannette
READER
11 months ago

Interesting to hear the print run of Alpha WTR.

jacalope
READER
11 months ago

The fact that FaB has survived through a pandemic and continued to grow makes me excited to see where it goes in the next year as we begin to pull out of the pandemic.

Nathan Taylor
READER
11 months ago

These types of posts around the print scale and economics of the game are always pretty fascinating. I was pulled into FAB through Team Convenant (podcast, YT channel, etc.) and its helped me develop an appreciation for this aspect of the game (i.e. game as a TCG business)

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