WTR Draft Advice and Resources for Saying Farewell

Thousands of Flesh and Blood players will be participating in Farewell to Welcome to Rathe draft events this weekend. Like most players, I never got to experience Flesh and Blood when WTR was the only set to speak of. Having played sealed and draft formats with the set now, I can’t recommend giving the experience a go. The four original heroes play to their core fundamentals in such a beautiful way.

Watch this draft guide on the Flesh and Bloodbrothers YouTube channel to see cartoon-me going through a lot of this information. This article is not a script for that video, so there will be some different points brought up in the video. About halfway through the video, I also do a simulated draft example. Check it out below:

Let’s get into it.

In this article, I’ll be giving a brief overview of strategies and pick orders to help prepare you for your Farewell events. At the end, I’ll also share several resources that other FAB creators have made to prepare for WTR draft events.

Not shown in the image above is the token slot. Every 15-card WTR booster pack has an additional two-sided token card that, in draft, is shared amongst everyone drafting in your pod, so you don’t need to worry about drafting the hero cards themselves or their weapons.

It is common in drafts for the person passing you the remains of a pack to randomize the order of it, so only the packs you open will be in order. When you’re passed a pack, you’ll need to analyze how many generics are left, how many class cards, how many rares, and if there’s still a piece of equipment. Being able to quickly parse out this information will help you make the best selection for your deck. You can practice WTR draft on fleshandbloodonline.com.

I can’t recommend enough utilizing fleshandbloodonline.com or fabdb.net’s draft practice tool to get some reps analyzing remaining cards. There are some wonderful generics in WTR that can bolster your deck’s main strategy or even just give you an off-beat attack to end the combat chain with—and don’t forget about all those gorgeous potions!

The common rarity-line of Generic attacks and attack reactions typically enhance a Go Tall or Go Wide strategy. There are several attacks at cost 2 or 3 that cards like Pummel and Sloggism sync with if you want a large attack to swing at your opponent. Using high-cost attacks is extremely efficient in a WTR-limited environment. You are likely to cycle through your deck throughout the course of most of your match-ups, so spending two cards for one attack (e.g. pitching a blue Last Ditch Effort to play a red Raging Onslaught) keeps more cards in your deck for the long game than playing two zero-cost attacks (e.g. Scar for a Scar followed up by a Wounding Blow).

Going wide or going tall are both ways to create what LSS originally called “overlap” and what Arsenal Pass calls “evasion”. Both terms really just come down to leaking damage through your opponent’s blocks.

Going wide probably has more options with cards like Flock of the Feather Walkers and Razor Reflex. It does, typically, require more resources as well.

Some Generic Attacks that every deck should take a peek at are red Wounding Blow and red or yellow Snatch. These zero-cost attacks can really come in handy at the end of the chain to push some damage or put your opponent in a position to lower their offensive output by baiting blocks out of their hand. With that tactic in mind, let’s talk basic draft strategy.

Most draft guides start with the advice to stay open early by drafting Generics and or Equipment cards. More times than not, this is solid advice and should be followed. However, staking your claim on a hero early could be very advantageous for you. Doing so sends signals down the draft line that being downwind of you means a player isn’t going to see as many cards from a certain class.

For example, I recently ran a draft simulation on fleshandbloodonline.com in which Singing Steelblade was in the first pack. To me, this was a prime example of when to tether yourself to a hero. I snagged the Super Rare and started carving out a solid Dorinthea list.

While the first pack is making its way around the table, savvy players will notice that a specific hero’s cards are missing—sometimes the value gained from being an early adopter is too good to pass up.

If you are remaining open early, take a long look at the red Generics that you see during pack 1. Yellow and blues are going to be more likely to survive the first pass around the table, but a red Scar for a Scar is going to be a lot of players’ pack 1 pick 1.

Whenever you do start taking class cards, keep in mind that you only need to have a 30-card deck, so if you need to switch classes based off of the signals you’re receiving from other players, then go for it! Let’s look at some cards that could bait you into committing early.

Obviously, seeing one of these heroes’ Legendary Equipment piece is more than likely going to be the 1st pick for you. More possible than that would be seeing one of their Majestics or Super Rares. Some of those options are better than others. For example, Steelblade Supremacy is an incredible card, but not something that I would take above a powerful Generic or even another Warrior staple like Warrior’s Valor or Driving Blade. Singing Steelblade, as I noted earlier, would be a card that would cause me to invest in Dorinthea, though.

Seeing an early Majestic is a great opportunity. Even if you take something like an Alpha Rampage early, but end up switching to Ninja, then at least when you play against Rhinar, you can be more confident about not seeing that powerful attack. If you did want to stick it out with Rhinar or plan to play the big guy, what should you be looking for?

Any attack for 6 or greater power is going to be a viable target for your Rhinar draft list. Stripping cards out of your opponent’s hand with Intimidate triggers will be a primary vehicle for pinning damage on your opponent.

Most heroes are going to prioritize red cards for use and blue cards for pitch. Rhinar really loves to gobble up those yellow cards. With so many of his effects leading to discarding cards from his own hand, he relies on yellow pitch cards to stick around in his hand to pay for attack costs or to swing with the Romping Club.

Brute’s non-attack actions should be seen as a premium in most Rhinar-limited archetypes. Barraging Beatdown and Primeval Bellow even buff your weapon attack if you don’t have the cards or resources to come in with an attack action card.

Rhinar’s club is very efficient. Pitching one of your yellows to put 4-5 damage on the combat chain shouldn’t be overlooked. That play only costs you 1 card in most instances and would cost your opponent more than 1 if they want to cover up all of the damage. With this in mind, Rhinar can spend most of the game blocking with three cards and swinging with the club until a hand presents itself to present lethal damage to the opponent.

Every hero has defensive strategies to consider, but Bravo might just be the best at protecting his health.

Similar to Rhinar’s club strategy, a lot of Bravo builds are going to put Anothos to work. Most of the time with Bravo, you’re going to want to accumulate a lot of blue-pitch cards to pay for the high costs of his attacks. With a blue in hand, you can swing your weapon for 4 damage, just like Rhinar. However, if you have 2 or more cards in your pitch zone with cost {r} {r} {r} or more, then Anothos becomes a 6-power attack instead.

Presupposing that your deck will have 15 or more blues, Bravo really wants to gobble up copies of pummel during the draft (as well as some other auras and pumps from WTR).

With combinations like this (a 4-cost attack and a pummel in hand) you can pitch 2 blue cards to either play the attack and then pummel it, or you could activate Bravo’s ability ahead of time before using the 4-cost attack to come in with dominate. With the former, you’re looking to bait blocks out of the opponent’s hand and then have the pummel deal overlap damage and discard one of their remaining cards from their hand. With the latter, you’re looking to maximize the damage dealt with the attack—likely to finish out the game.

Still working with the idea of having 2 blue pitch cards in hand, this line of play is also quite attractive. The previous card combination above has a max damage output of 12 with the addition of a remaining card discarded from the opponent’s hand on hit. This combination has a max output of 13, but it will put all your cards on the table—literally. Your opponent knows that you’re not hiding a pummel or any other possible threat this turn.

If you start to lean Bravo, keeping these kinds of lines in mind will be important when you’re deciding between 3-cost and 4-cost attacks.

Emerging Power and Blessing of Deliverance are also some aura cards that can be very powerful in the limited environment.

Now, let’s wander over to the combo man himself—Katsu.

Most players by now surely understand the power of the Kodachis. Pitching a 0-cost card should be available in most Ninja hands and those harmonized blades are so deadly towards the end of the game when an opponent is forced to waste cards out of their hand to block a base 1 attack.

Typically, Katsu wants to attack once or twice with his weapons to test out his opponent and get some links on the chain. Then, he can begin one of his Combo lines or top off the turn with a generic attack or Ninja strike that doesn’t have Go Again.

I won’t go too far into card calculation in this post, but it’s important to note some of these heroes we’ve talked about have keywords on their class cards that are conditional effects that do not add to a card’s overall calculation.

For example, let’s look at Fluster Fist and Wounding Blow.

In their red versions, these cards look pretty similar. Wounding Blow, famously, is the quintessential attack action in Flesh and Blood. Following this formula, defense value + attack value + pitch – cost, Wounding Blow comes in at the standard 8. We can see the value of 8 again in another quintessential card, Raging Onslaught, which adds 3 to its cost and 3 to its attack power (compared to Wounding Blow).

Fluster Fist is otherwise identical to Wounding blow, but it has a significant added benefit if Open the Center was played before it. Typically, this is only possible if Head Jab was played prior to Open the Center or if you did some set up by creating a quicken token or pounding a Timesnap Potion.

Knowing the Combo usually brings a card to above-rate status, let’s look at the two popular lines in this set.

In the punching Combo line, it’s easy to run out of resources on just the 2nd piece. Open the Center’s dominate is particularly pertinent to Katsu’s ability to finish off the game. Being able to top off Open the Center with a Fluster Fist or Pounding Game can be a game-changing turn and help the Lord of Wind maintain tempo.

Let’s assume that we have a four-card hand that includes a blue card, red Head Jab, red Open the Center, and either red Fluster First or Pounding Gale. For the Fluster Fist, you can afford to send one Kodachi at the beginning of the chain (1 damage). Next, you come in bobbing and weaving for a quick jab to their face (4 total damage). Open the Center eats up the rest of your floating resources, gains +1 attack, dominate, and go again (10 total damage). Finally, you unleash a flurry of blows with Fluster Fist for 4-8 damage, bringing the total damage output to 14-18 points of damage from a 4-card hand. The on-rate average of a 4-card hand would yield 12 “points” of value, so pulling off a rare multi-combo turn yields extra value.

With the same set up, but finishing with Pounding Gale, things would look a little different. You wouldn’t have the resources to start with a Kodachi attack, so the line would be: Headjab (3), Open the Center (9), Pounding Gale without blocks (19).

When fists just aren’t enough, there are your mighty thunder thighs to employ. This line also has two possible finishers, so let’s run the numbers again assuming that we have a blue in hand and 3 of these pieces.

Kodachi (1), Leg Tap (5), Rising Knee Thrust (10), Blackout Kick (17).

Kodachi (1), Leg Tap (5), Rising Knee Thrust (10), Hurricane Kick (15).

Leg Tap (4), Knee Thrust (9), Hurricane Kick (14), Hurricane Kick (19).

Then, of course, there’s the more popular constructed line with Surging Strike and Whelming Gustwave that is still lovely in draft, but usually ends after those two steps. While the math of the above lines looks incredible, it is hard to craft these hands in the middle of a game, so Katsu needs to consider when to arsenal a card like Rising Knee Thrust to hold for a potential combo turn instead of tossing it in at the end of a chain. There’s also Katsu’s ability to fetch one of these combo pieces into hand, at the cost of discarding a card.

If combos aren’t your thing, then maybe the Warrior class’s ability to outmaneuver the opponent is more for you.

Dorinthea’s game plan almost solely relies on her ability to outclass her opponent using superior swordsmanship with the Dawnblade.

One resource for a 3-power attack isn’t bad for a weapon, but without built-in go again or the conditional ability to buff the attack’s power like the other heroes, Dorienthea utilizes non-attack actions and attack reactions to supplement her sword’s innate power.

In a draft format, Dorinthea players are often also going to need some generic attacks to have on hand when they have go again with the Dawnblade without the ability to swing it again or to use before slashing with their weapon.

The Reprise mechanic is Warrior’s way of bringing their cards above-rate. Dorinetha’s opponent will know the WTR card pool enough by now to not be surprised by this mechanic, but it can still punish the opponent when they under or over block.

Personally, I think Dorinthea’s ability to win a limited match goes up exponentially with the more Driving Blades she drafts. It’s expensive as a 2-cost non-attack action, but buffs Dawnblade’s first attack and gives it a non-conditional go again. On hit, Dorinthea’s ability allows her to swing her weapon a second time in hopes of adding a +1 power counter to the Dawnblade. However, she could also use her 2nd action point to use a generic attack action.

Securing an Overpower in any pitch color is a great tactic as well. As the most costly attach reaction in the set, its primary use would be to finish off the game. Your opponent has to respect this card throughout the game. If you’re holding 2 cards while the opponent is trying to figure out how to block your Dawnblade, then considering whether or not you could tack on an additional 2-6 power to the attack is nothing to scoff at.

Dorinthea players are also going to really focus on drafting equipment. Keeping her cards in hand on defense by blocking out pesky effects or damage with some ironrot allows her to try to steal some offensive tempo with some bluff and heavy swings.

Other Resources

The FAB content community is really wonderful. Here are some helpful pieces of media I’ve listened to while preparing for a Farewell event this weekend.

• Arsenal Pass playlist on WTR draft:

Instant Speed podcast episode with guest Red Zone Rogue

• Draft practice on Fleshandbloodonline.com


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