Not all decks in Flesh and Blood need legendary, fabled, or majestic rare cards to be playable. Sure, at the highest level of play, you’ll encounter these rarities and therefore the price of your deck will jump up a bit. However, you can still make a powerful deck to compete with at your LGS without breaking the bank.
Flesh and Blood generally does a good job at balancing cards regardless of their rarity. Because of this, a lot of powerful decks feature few, or even no expensive cards. For more on this check out our general Flesh and Blood deckbuilding guide.
If you’re looking to get into Flesh and Blood, you probably don’t want to spend $300-400 on a competitive deck. Instead, a cheaper budget option would fit you much better.
Today, we’ll be going over the best budget builds that offer a lot of competitiveness compared to their price. We’ve given attention that all of the decks can be upgraded easily into more competitive versions with cards like Command and Conquer and the like.
Let's Define A Budget Deck
What entails a “budget” deck is different for everyone. For some people, it might mean a deck under $30, while for others, that might just be a deck that doesn’t feature all of the $30+ cards. Because of this, defining a true budget deck can be quite difficult.
We won’t be sticking to one definition of budget, instead, we’ll attach a FABDB link to each of the decks in this article. This way, you can know whether a deck fits your definition of budget or not.
With that being said, there are some factors that we’ll be keeping in mind:
- The deck must have a minimal number of legendaries, majestics, and supers
- The deck must be able to compete with stronger casual decks at minimum
- The deck needs to have room to be upgraded into a more competitive version
- A cohesive, synergistic playstyle must be maintained
We want to provide you with decks that can compete at the local LGS level at the very least. Some of these decks are stronger than that, and might even be able to win a smaller tournament.
Budget Alternatives For Competitive Picks
In this section, we’ll be going over individual more expensive cards that can be replaced by cards that are usually 10 times less expensive than they are.
Teklo Foundry Heart
Teklo Foundry Heart is a $90 card. Most Mechanologist decks will want a copy, after all, it provides you with a bunch of resources quickly, in addition to being amazing in Ninja and Warrior matchups. A good alternative to it is the Heartened Cross Strap.
Heartened Cross Strap generally provides a larger amount of resources in one fell swoop, although it's worse in some matchups, it can give you some explosiveness that your opponents didn’t expect in others.
Fyendal’s Spring Tunic
While our budget alternative, Bloodsheath Skeleta, is both Runeblade-exclusive and $50, that’s 4 times less expensive than the tunic’s $200. The reason Fyendal’s Spring Tunic is so expensive is because it’s a generic equipment that provides you with resources every three turns. Cards like Heartened Cross Strap can give an approximate replacement for more aggressive decks as well.
Despite its $72 price tag, Valiant Dynamo doesn’t provide all that much of a boost to Warrior decks. Using Refraction Bolters/Snapdragon Scalers provides a lot more, especially in an aggressive meta like we’ve been experiencing lately.
Both Refraction Bolters and Snapdragon Scalers are incredibly cheap, especially when compared to the Dynamo, so this should be one of the last cards upgraded in your Warrior decks.
Classic Constructed Budget Decks
Classic constructed is FaB’s premier format, with a larger deck size and adult heroes, it can sometimes seem like there’s no way to go for budget builds in Classic Constructed. Truth be told, Classic Constructed is indeed less suited for budget play than Blitz.
WIth that being said, it’s by no means impossible, all that means is that we have to think a bit more about our choices.
Bravo is the quintessential budget Hero for Classic Constructed. This deck uses 6 majestics and 4 supers to make for an interesting and competitive experience. Although the deck is quite cheap, it can easily keep pace with some of the format’s stronger decks.
In this deck, we’re looking to set up large turns or keep up the tempo using Crush-like effects. We can also take a more controlling approach when up against an aggressive deck and control the game using cards like Sledge of Anvilheim.
Although most Bravo decks tend towards a control playstyle, we’re taking a more aggressive route in this deck. This is because some of Bravo’s best aggressive cards like Pummel (Red), Come to Fight (Red) and others appear at rare or below.
The biggest upgrade to this list would be Tectonic Plating, which is cheap when compared to most other heroes. Furthermore, it isn’t necessary for the deck to function at a high level.
Upgrading this deck is also quite simple, once you start accruing more expensive cards, it won’t be hard to find a place for them. All in all, Bravo is the closest you can get to an optimal competitive build on a budget.
Dash is a very interesting Hero to play. Especially with her tendency to produce massive damage out of seemingly nowhere. This deck leverages the Boost mechanic to get the most out of some really explosive turns.
Budget decks generally prefer a more aggressive playstyle, and Dash Boosts is no exception. It is an outlier, however, in that sometimes the deck can play as almost a combo deck with Maximum Velocity. Swings of 30+ damage are something not many decks can hope to survive against.
Sitting at just 4 majestic rares and 6 super rares, this is a great deck to play for a budget player looking to enter Classic Constructed. It provides a surprising amount of power, being able to compete with some of the format’s best decks.
Another great thing about this list is that it’s very easy to upgrade once you can get your hands on those Arcanite Skullcaps, Teklo Foundry Hearts etc.
Blitz Budget Decks
Blitz is a great format for budget brewing. The lower life totals and deck size make it so that it’s much easier to get away with suboptimal picks. This is because grindy games where every bit of value matters happen more rarely.
This Dorinthea deck is made up entirely of rares and commons. It costs less than 2 Monarch Blitz decks will cost you at most retailers!
Don’t be fooled, however, as the deck can hold its own against even some competitive decks. This is because Dorinthea has most of her power stocked in her rares. In this deck, we’re focusing on Dawnblade, using just Scar for a Scar (Red) as our attack action.
We’ll be trying to get down a non-attack action every turn in an attempt to line up enough attack reactions to damage our opponent. You’ll be playing a mostly aggressive strategy, trying to push in as much damage as possible each turn.
If you’re looking to start out playing Blitz, there’s no way you can go wrong with this Dorinthea deck. There’s a variety of upgrade paths as well, so that you can decide on the right playstyle for you after you’ve already purchased it.
This Dash deck is focused on aggressive play and boosting to make a massive turn to hit with Maximum Velocity. Unlike most combo decks, this deck maintains an aggressive playstyle and can easily eke out a win even without its primary combo.
Part of what makes this deck so good at its price point is that we’re getting a lot out of our weapon-Teklo Plasma Pistol. This weapon is great, especially if you can get the Induction Chamber on turn one, you can start swinging for 2 damage twice immediately.
With that being said, the deck does have its weaknesses. The first lies within the Boost mechanic itself. Boosting a lot can end up with you decking out completely. Furthermore, we can lose to simply missing out on our combo.
Getting a Maximum Velocity off is crucial for winning, because of this, the deck is filled with cards that provide Boost. Usually, we want to be able to get off a few Zipper Hits and such to get ourselves in a good position.
The deck doesn’t play defensive reactions, because of this, you’re weak to any gameplan that can out-aggro you, which, on a good draw, shouldn’t be many.
This Levia build seeks to use its titular hero to get out of paying for Blood Debt as often as possible. Keep in mind, however, that Levia’s ability can lead to you dying to your own Blood Debt cards, so be careful!
You’re looking to tempo out the early game and focus on getting your graveyard engine online. This is a fairly complex deck to play, however, it’s also quite rewarding.
Focus on keeping your graveyard at around 5-10 cards at all times. You don’t want to run out of cards to banish at a crucial turn! Generally, you’re looking to get your opponent to a low life total in the early-mid game, only to wrap it up with a large attack.
The deck is fairly complex though, so it can take quite a bit of practice until you’re used to its most common play patterns. This is a great budget deck for experienced players, or newbies that would like a taste of more complex strategy.
Upgrading Budget Decks
When it comes to upgrading budget decks, many players make the mistake of trying to approach it too incrementally. Upgrading a cheap card with a different, a bit more expensive card, rather than the best option in-slot. This just leads to you wasting more and more money on suboptimal picks.
Rather than replacing a $2 card with a $15 card, replace it with the $40 best-in-slot option when you can.
Another mistake is thinking that upgrading many cards is always better than upgrading a few key ones. Rather than making minimal upgrades to a large chunk of your deck, you should be looking to upgrade crucial pieces first. This applies especially to equipment, which you can rely on every game.
Finally, one issue I see new budget players make is thinking every class and Hero is equally competitive on a budget. Ninja, for example, relies on Mask of Momentum- a $100 card in order to be competitive, as well as Lord of Wind as the payoff for most of its combos. This makes Ninja a suboptimal class to go for if you’re trying to be competitive on a budget.
A good idea when it comes to upgrading budget decks is waiting for the Unlimited edition of your chosen set. While buying the newest upgrades as soon as the set comes out might seem tempting, it’s usually a better idea to wait for the Unlimited edition so that you can get the cards at a lower price point.
There are a lot of things to think about when building a deck on a budget. You’ll need to consider your format, class, your Hero, and even ponder upon individual choices more carefully than you would if you were building without a budget in mind.
With that being said, budget deckbuilding has its own charm. The need to optimize for every dollar spent can provide a unique deckbuilding challenge. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself using cards that would otherwise be considered suboptimal purely due to the synergy with your key budget pieces.
So, is it possible to play Flesh and Blood on a budget? Absolutely, the Blitz format is filled with amazing budget decks for almost every class, while Classic Constructed has a few extremely potent decks that can easily be built to take on any local meta.
Written by Ilija Miljkovac
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