For many TCG players, limited formats are their primary; or even only, way to play the game. Flesh and Blood is no exception to this rule. However, it can be difficult to find guides providing general strategy advice for limited, as it’s quite different from most TCGs.
Flesh and Blood provides a very balanced and curated limited environment for both of its premiere limited formats- draft and sealed. Today, we’ll be exploring how these formats function in Flesh and Blood, as well as some general strategy advice.
Booster Draft In Flesh And Blood
In case you’ve ever drafted a card game like Magic, there isn’t much of a difference between the basics of how the draft format works. If you haven’t had any experiences with draft previously, don’t worry. The format is very easy to pick up:
- You play with 8 other players (sometimes a different number may be chosen depending on how many players are present.)
- Each player gets 3 booster packs, and picks out a card from among them
- The remaining cards are passed to the next player clockwise, and they do the same
- Once a pack has 0 cards remaining, you repeat this process, reversing the direction you pass in.
- You make a 30-card deck with your chosen hero
What Does A Booster Pack Contain?
To get started with drafting, you’ll need to know what each pack contains first. Every booster pack of a main-line Flesh and Blood set is made with limited in mind. Each pack contains the following:
- 4 generic common cards that can go into any deck
- 7 Class common cards mixed between different classes
- 1 Equipment card
- 1 Rare card
- 1 Card of a rarity above Rare
- 1 Foil of any rarity that can be class or generic
This is very worthwhile to keep in mind, as it will help you track what your opponents are building. For example, if you see a Warrior rare class card missing when the pack passes back to you, one of your opponents is likely to be playing Warrior.
Building A Draft Deck
At the end of a draft, you’ll have 45 cards available and need to build a deck of at least 30. This 30-card deck doesn’t include the equipment, hero, or weapon cards. You can pick a single young Hero to play from a pool of hero and weapon tokens provided by the shop you’re playing at. Keep in mind that the 3-card limit enforced in constructed doesn’t affect draft.
In case you don’t have 30 cards that you can legally fit into a single deck, you have to add a number of Cracked Baubles equal to the difference.
That’s all you need to do in order to construct an eligible deck, however, there’s a lot of strategy that goes into creating that crucial 30-card pile.
Building A Sealed Deck In Flesh And Blood
If you’ve played sealed in another game, sealed in Flesh and Blood is quite similar. Each player will get access to 6 pack’s worth of cards. Much like draft, you can only have generic cards and cards with the same class as your hero. Keep in mind that the 3-card limit enforced in constructed doesn’t affect sealed.
Once again, you have to make a 30-card deck, and will need to add cracked baubles until you can if you aren’t able to make one.
The strategy for the actual deckbuilding process is quite similar to draft. You’ll still be prioritizing making a playable deck first so that you can minimize the number of cracked baubles in your deck.
Flesh And Blood Draft Deckbuilding Strategy
Concentrate On Having Enough Playables
With only 45 cards available to create a 30-card deck, you need to focus on getting as many playable cards as you can. Although you can technically get away with having just 30 cards that you can play in one deck, you’ll want some equipment as well, so realistically you’ll be looking to have at most 10-5 unplayable cards in your pool.
Because of this, it’s generally a bad idea to draft cards for many different classes at once. This can lead to you getting stuck between a few classes that you have a decent amount of playables for, while not having 30 for any single one.
An example of this is picking 2 Warrior cards in pack 1,and then picking 3 Ninja cards in pack 2 with 2 Brute cards in pack 3. This will lead to you already having at least 5 unplayable cards in your pool by itself. Because of this, it’s often a good idea to decide upon a class toward the end of the first pack.
There are some exceptions to this rule. Sometimes you’ll want to switch classes(and have enough generics to do so) when you see a lot of strong cards for a class popping up in the later packs.
Pick Up Generics First
As a beginner in Flesh and Blood draft, you want to start drafting generics as early as possible. This is one of the fundamentals of draft which you’ll occasionally be breaking as you grow in skill level, but it’s a great rule of thumb to keep in mind.
The reason we do this is because that keeps you open to more classes for as long as possible. This allows you to see more of the pool before “locking in” on a class. Being able to lock in on a class that nobody else is drafting can be an amazing book to your deck.
You’re also more likely to end up playing generics in your deck than mid-power class cards. Since you need to take care to draft as many playables as possible, you want to maximize the value of generics. Sure, some generics work better for some classes, such as Pummel for Brute, but usually you’ll be a lot more open picking up generics.
General Limited Strategy
When making your deck, you should be considering how many cards you’re playing of each color. Usually, you’re going to be going for a number that fits the playstyle you’re going for. An aggressive deck is going to go for more red cards, while a more late-game deck will go for more blues.
Usually, you’ll want to look for at least 7 blues, capping out at around 15. Playing a hero like Bravo will want you to sit towards the higher part of this bell curve, while someone like Rhinar will want to look for yellow cards to help them use Romping Club and the like.
Generally, you’ll want ~⅓ of your deck to be red cards. However, sometimes when playing a very aggressive deck, such as many Ninja decks, you might want to lean more towards half of your deck being reds.
Value Strategy Above Individual Cards
Simply taking the best card available isn’t a good strategy for Flesh and Blood limited. As you can already see from the previous tips, there’s a lot of strategy that goes into crafting your draft deck. When making a pick, you should consider what kind of deck you’re making. Once your deck already has a cohesive theme on the horizon, you should be asking yourself:
- What does this card contribute to my gameplan?
- Does this card skew my color ratio in a way I don’t like?
- Is there a more situational card available that fits my gameplan better?
- Is it good for the class I’m looking to play? Hero? If not, is it worth changing my strategy around?
Learn The Pool
Each draft limited format has a limited set of cards within. Knowing what cards are in the set can help you anticipate your opponent’s plays and bluff your own.
This applies for both draft and sealed equally. You need to know what cards your opponents are likely to have in order to properly play around them. This is more true in Flesh and Blood than it is in other games, as the game rewards format knowledge and skillful play quite a bit.
In draft, this will also help you expect what cards you might be able to pull from later packs and what the odds are for pulling some key pieces. The rarities in FaB are distributed as:
- 1 Rare is guaranteed in each pack
- Super Rares are in 1 every 6 packs
- Majestic Rares are in 1 every 12 packs
- Legendary cards are in 1 of every 96 packs
This means that relying on a Legendary or Majestic rare is extremely risky, while you should avoid relying on Super rares unless you’re in a desperate situation.
Prioritize Taking Equipment
This is the 2nd most important tip for beginners to keep in mind. You want to be looking to draft equipment early so you can fill your equipment slots the best you can. Having a full suite of equipment will give you a massive edge over opponents that didn’t prioritize it. Even an Ironrot Gauntlet can mean the difference between keeping a crucial card in hand or having to throw the game away defending with it.
This is even more important once you’ve got a hero in mind. Any equipment surrounding that hero becomes a much better pickup. Oftentimes, the equipment you’re able to snag will be a crucial part of deciding upon your hero.
General First, Specific Second
Sometimes, you’ll be able to pick, or have in your pool a card that performs very well in certain matchups, but is nigh-useless otherwise. You always want to go for the cards that will give you the most return on investment in an average match, without accounting for specific situations.
If you’re playing sealed and have some of those cards in your pool, keep them in mind, and switch them in case you’re playing a matchup where they overperform.
Don’t Stick To Tips Too Strictly As You Improve
All of the tips we’ve talked about today are general. This means that they won’t always be the correct decision to take. As you improve, you’ll get a lot better at evaluating cards and situations, which will let you find situations where the tips we’ve discussed lead to suboptimal decisions.
These strategies will lead to you making good draft decks, but to make an optimal deck, you’ll need to develop the soft skills involved in the format.
Draft Tips & Tricks
Tracking Signals In Draft
Now, looking at signals in a draft environment isn’t something you need to think about if you’re brand new. However, when you’ve got a solid grip on most beginner-level strategies, it’s time to start learning about signals- the most important soft skill to have.
Signals are essentially information that you send and receive/send from the picks you and your opponents make. One kind of signal is when one of your opponents is picking up all Warrior class cards, they’re quite likely to be playing Warrior. On the other hand, they might be purposefully passing all Ninja cards to the player next to them, trying to get them to play Ninja and leave open the classes they’re deciding between.
Reading signals is the opposite of this. It’s when you try to understand the context in which cards are being passed to you. For example, if you don’t see any Brute cards in the later packs, it’s quite likely someone to your right is playing the class.
So, how do you use signals? Signals can help you find a class that your opponents are undervaluing. Then, while they’re competing for cards fit for the remaining classes, you can draft a very strong deck of the remaining class. Alternatively, you might know that one of your opponents is forcing Warrior, if you see a Steelblade Supremacy, you might want to pick it up just to deny them the opportunity.
Don’t Hyperfocus Too Early
When new players realize that it’s very important to draft a functional, 30-card deck, they sometimes decide on a class before the draft even starts. This isn’t something you should be doing.
When you decide on a class or hero before you start drafting, you limit your options. The whole point of drafting generics early is to keep your options open as long as possible. Maintaining flexibility in a draft environment ensures that you get to go with the hero and class combo that fits your draft pile the most.
Because of this, you should always think about whether it’s worth switching to a different hero or class altogether. Sometimes, a successful draft might have you switching your class well into pack 5 or 6.
Don’t Be Blinded By “Contested” Picks
Sometimes you’ll figure out someone else is playing the same class you are- and that’s okay! The first mistake many beginners make when they learn to read signals is playing too cautiously.
Just because a player is playing your class doesn’t mean you necessarily need to pick a different one. Most classes will comfortably be able to support 2-3 players at once depending on the pool.
Knowing When To “Greed”
“Greeding” refers to the practice of taking a card or opting for a strategy which has a relatively low chance of success. An example of this is betting on a specific rare or above card to show up in your next packs so that you can have a great deck instead of an okay one.
Greeding is generally a bad idea, as you’ll often be left without what you were looking for. Beginners have a tendency to look at the best case scenario for a card or draft pool. This can often leave you in a precarious position when those events don’t go quite as planned.
However, sometimes luck is simply not on your side, and your pool is just generally underwhelming. If you’ve read signals correctly, you’ll sometimes be able to anticipate if your opponent’s decks are above the power curve of your average draft deck.
In these situations, the correct play can be to “greed” and go for a risky pivot into another class, or gamble that a specific card shows up for you that can take your deck to the next level.
Knowing how to approximate and time these decisions is part of what separates a good limited player from an amazing one.
Limited is a great way to experience Flesh and Blood, and even primarily constructed players might find something enjoyable within the two formats.
Above all else- have fun. If you’re playing casually, sometimes you might want to make a suboptimal, or “greedy” play. Unless you’re playing at a competitive event, you can afford to make some mistakes intentionally.
If you’re looking to begin your sealed journey, the Welcome to Rathe set provides a great starting point for beginners, while fans of greater complexity might find themselves to be more at home with sets like Monarch.
Written by Ilija Miljkovac
Check out our other Flesh and Blood articles below: