With the latest Flesh and Blood Outsiders trading card game (TCG) expansion out in the market, the dust has settled on which classes have received major upgrades in the metagame. As it turns out, the new pre-constructed and ready-to-play Outsiders Blitz decks are a home run, and Legendary Story Studios has actually put together an excellent package for anyone looking to buy their first physical product to get started (if you’re totally new, our beginner’s guide is a good place to kick start the hobby).
There’s just one key caveat, though – the Blitz format, with its smaller deck sizes and lower player life totals, is easy to get into, but it’s the well, fleshed out Classic Constructed format, with twice the deck size (and life totals), that offer the full Flesh and Blood experience.
And the game is, in no way, easy to teach as well. It will take players quite a bit of time to get a good sense of the nuances, especially if this is their first TCG. For those in the scene, these Flesh and Blood Outsiders preconstructed Blitz decks cater to a variety of play styles, and it’s actually worth getting all six decks, so your playgroup is able to get a sense of how each class plays.
Oddly enough, Flesh and Blood is the only TCG where it’s beneficial for novice players to have a variety of choices available from the beginning. This allows them to explore different heroes, each with their unique characteristics, and immediately grasp the intended gameplay mechanics.
The Flesh and Blood Outsiders box set comes with two Rangers, two Assassins, and two Ninja classes right out of the box, each with varied play styles – even if they are the same archetype.
Rangers adopt a methodical and gradual approach, prioritising a steady pace in their gameplay. However, their strategy revolves around utilising an arsenal that can (usually) accommodate only one card at a time. Unlike other classes, their weapon does not directly initiate attacks. Instead, it allows them to add an arrow card to their arsenal for later attachment. This distinct mechanic sets them apart, as other classes typically permit card placement in the arsenal only at the end of a turn. Rangers demand some initial setup and incorporate on-hit effects as well.
Ninjas, meanwhile, are characterized as combo-oriented decks. Although their individual attacks may be relatively low in damage, they compensate by playing multiple cards per turn. Additionally, they possess cards that gain significant boosts if a specific card has been played prior.
As one of the newer classes to Flesh and Blood, Assassins have a somewhat unique nature. They exhibit a blend of combo-based gameplay (similar to Ninjas) and on-hit effects, adding an element of versatility to their style. Additionally, they possess manipulative qualities, allowing them to influence the game state in various ways.
Now, with plenty of context, let’s go into detail about which hero and class from the Flesh and Blood Outsiders Blitz box might be ideal for you –
Hereos and Classes of Flesh and Blood Outsiders
Azalea – Ranger Class
Azalea specialises in delivering a single powerful shot, aiming to inflict maximum damage and create a menacing on-hit effect. The general strategy with Azalea involves predicting an arrow card on top of the deck and utilizing the Dominate ability to ensure the damage goes through, as opponents can only block with a single card from their hand.
In the current game meta with Flesh and Blood Outsiders, Azalea has become rather strong among all the heroes, benefitting well from the new cards added to the game. Once you’re ready to graduate from the Blitz format and acquire new cards, Azalea in Classic Constructed will be quite the formidable foe to play as and against.
Riptide – Ranger Class
Riptide is proficient in executing efficient and high-value attacks, surpassing the typical power-to-cost ratio. Many of his attacks come with irritating on-hit effects, making him an annoyance for the opponent. Riptide also possesses the ability to load the arsenal whenever a card is played from his hand, bypassing the challenging aspect of managing the ranger’s arsenal. With his hero ability serving as a victory tool when the enemy’s health is low, he’s capable of bringing a significant impact with that additional one damage in Flesh and Blood Outsiders.
Additionally, Riptide occasionally surprises opponents with unexpected effects. Overall, Riptide provides an enjoyable gameplay experience and becomes particularly menacing in the end game, instilling fear in the opponent.
But when it comes to Classic Constructed, Riptide doesn’t seem to enjoy the same level of success enjoyed by the other rangers at the moment. He’s a great character for flavour, but some consideration needs to be put in depending on how competitive your playgroup or game community is.
Katsu – Ninja Class
Katsu reigns as the supreme master of combos. Upon his initial successful hit, he offers the option to discard a card in order to access the next link in the combo chain. If the preceding card played is correct, the combo will be activated with a bonus effect added to the attack. This gameplay mechanic evokes the nostalgic feel of executing precise button combinations in games like Marvel vs Capcom to get into an infinite combo in Flesh and Blood Outsiders.
While Katsu’s playstyle shares similarities with Benji (more on him next), he inflicts considerably higher damage, as his wide array of combo options makes it challenging for opponents to completely block his attacks.
Like Azalea, Katsu has seen renewed interest in the Classic Constructed format as well and has been performing well overall as a hero.
Benji, the Piercing Wind – Ninja Class
Benji employs a strategy of launching numerous swift and precise attacks, making it incredibly difficult for opponents to successfully block them. This is because any attack action cards dealing two or less damage can only be blocked with equipment or defensive reactions from the arsenal. The only attacks from Benji that can be reliably intercepted are his weapon attacks. As a countermeasure, players often aim to conclude the combat chain with a powerful finishing blow in Flesh and Blood Outsiders.
Benji can be powerful in the Blitz format due to the lower life totals, but this hero does not have a Classic Constructed equivalent. So, if you’re planning to invest plenty of time into Benji, do note of his format limitations.
Arakni, Solitary Confinement – Assassin Class
Arakni, Solitary Confinement is a new variant of the existing Arakni, Huntsman hero. This might be confusing, and while each of them plays roughly the same, their passive abilities vary a little. In addition, Arakni, Solitary Confinement can only be played in the Blitz format.
Arakni, Solitary Confinement weakens his opponents by swinging daggers into that chink in the armour. The hero rewards smart plays and generally threatens annoyances on the battlefield. There’s a bit of mind games here, since you have to make opponents question whether they care about this on-hit effect and the next, or if there’s even another card coming.
Despite his increased proficiency in combo-chaining, Arakni, Solitary Confinement still needs some work to become truly competitive in Flesh and Blood Outsiders.
Uzuri – Assassin Class
By leveraging her hero ability to transform an initially inconspicuous card into a more substantial and impactful attack, Uzuri’s gameplay can be likened to a game of poker.
The nature of her moves keeps opponents guessing, as there is no way to predict whether the played card will result in a modest attack with an on-hit effect, or a potentially devastating attack with uncertain on-hit implications. Uzuri’s unpredictability adds an element of suspense and strategic decision-making for both the player and her adversaries in a game of Flesh and Blood Outsiders.
As one of the newest heroes in Flesh and Blood Outsiders, Uzuri is able to hold her own and has also seen good success in the Classic Constructed format.
With all the heroes and their playstyles out of the way, there’s more thought for players to consider if they are looking to play past the Blitz format. While these Flesh and Blood Outsiders decks are a good start, players won’t want to spend too much time on a hero, which has limited potential.
Here’s our take on the strongest heroes in the current format based on the general game meta from strongest to weakest:
- Azalea – can be played in Classic Constructed; the hero has gotten a buff
- Katsu – can be played in Classic Constructed; hits hard and fast
- Uzuri – can be played in Classic Constructed; requires patient gameplay and a strong understanding of opponent’s cards
- Benji – can only be played in Blitz
- Riptide – can be played in Classic Constructed, but lacks impact and threat
- Arakini, Solitary Confinement – can only be played in Blitz
Now that all of the classes and their standing against one another have been detailed, the ultimate question would be: Which Flesh and Blood Outsiders Blitz deck should you buy right out of the door?
The easiest answer would be to still grab all of them and play something different each time, with an entire set going for about US$58 or about S$70, as per prices online. Under normal circumstances, we would rarely make such recommendations, but this package is priced well and comes to about the same price as a board game.
If you’re still figuring out if Flesh and Blood is the game for you, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide, and hit up your local game store to see if there are events for new players to get into the scene!
Gerald currently straddles between his love of video games and board gaming. There’s nothing that interests him more than trying out the newest and fanciest gadget in town as well. He dreams of publishing a board game sometime in the future!