I usually have a preference for grindy, control decks, so right now I'm doing the opposite and playing Chane to try to expand my horizons. I like how proactive the damage is and how much it rewards the player for good deck building and metagaming as well as correct decision-making in-game.
(Also, I think Carrion Husk is the most powerful card in Monarch.)
Alongside a large portion of the FaB community, I’ve taken a deep dive into Classic Constructed with the goal of getting as many reps in as possible with Bravo prior to the two local Road to Nationals events near me. The competition will be tough, and I want to give myself plenty of time to gear up and prepare as much as I’m able for whatever I may be facing on the other side of the table.
I’ve been playing a ‘toolbox’ variant of Guardian, finding success with Exude Confidence as a powerful tool to push damage through, negate my opponents from playing defense reactions, and forcing suboptimal blocks so long as I’m holding up a hand of cards and threatening a large pump of damage.
Righteous Cleansing (and sometimes Mangle) provide an ‘extra’ powerful source of dominated damage to close out games beyond the three staple copies of Crippling Crush. Chaining Blessing of Deliverance, threatening the illusion of a Pummel with Anothos, and biding my time in the majority of matchups continues to be a winning strategy for Guardian.
Stay tuned for a Pro Series article for the Rathe Times that breaks down my Guardian Classic Constructed list that I will be bringing on the Road to Nationals!
I'm going to take this opportunity to share some unusual decks, rather than what I'm necessarily playing.
First up is a control deck based around Kavdaen's ability and Nourishing Emptiness. Control decks in Flesh and Blood have not been in the spotlight much since Monarch, but Kavdaen has always interested me. His ability really flows well with a control game plan, allowing you to defend and drain your opponent of life without even attacking.
With the release of Nourishing Emptiness, I got quite excited to build a deck around it. The strategy is to set up a Sloggism + Nourishing Emptiness as soon as you can. While waiting and digging for that combo, defend just enough to stay at least 1 HP below your opponent and have a blue available on your turn to use Kavdaen's ability.
After the first Nourishing Emptiness, you will have a big hand and taken the momentum; ideally you'd follow up with a Remembrance or Memorial Ground to get the Nourishing Emptiness out of your discard pile and set up your finisher. Depending on what your opponent has and their equipment loadout, your finisher and the required life total will vary. Typical finisher set up is as follows:
- Nourishing Emptiness, Red Sloggism, or Red Pummel in Arsenal.
- Two Blues, Red Sloggism/Red Pummel, Free Defense Reaction in Hand.
- Use Defense Reaction to survive the turn.
- Goliath Gauntlets + Red Sloggism/Red Pummel x2 + Heartened Crosswrap + Nourishing Emptiness with Dominate = 16-20 Damage.
Now you may ask, "Why not just play Bravo?" Two main reasons: I love playing off meta choices and deck brewing, and I'm speculating Merchant will get new cards in Tales of Aria and want to be ahead of the game!
The best part about playing Shiyana is the interesting interactions that you would never see otherwise. This deck focuses on the midrange power hit strategy, setting up resources for powerful attacks and being able to have tools for most match ups. This deck feels like a hybrid between Rhinar and Bravo, setting up big Crippling Crush and Alpha Rampage attacks, but also having the ability to use Herald of Judgment versus Chane and Enlightened Strike (or even Soul Reaping) into a Crippling Crush or Alpha Rampage from Arsenal. I have alot of fun with this deck, and it can be surprisingly powerful!
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
Kiki Labad is a longtime TCG enthusiast who picked up Flesh and Blood in its infancy. With a Finals appearance in Road to Nationals and a Finals appearance in The Calling June 2021, they've now got their eye on reaching the top of the mountain.
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