Flesh and Blood

Deck Guide

Blitz Deck Tech: Bravo - Guardian

, Comment regular icon0 comments

In today's article, we'll dissect Bravo, one of the most popular heroes among new players and those who are trying to start their competitive journey. Let's analyze him from his pre-con deck up to his most competitive list, and discover his greatest advantages.

Writer image

translated by Joey Sticks

Writer image

revised by Tabata Marques

Edit Article


When we imagine Blitz decks, we can separate them, in a certain way, based on their identical traits. We have a few very aggressive decks (Fai, Dash, Chane), and a few that are really defensive (the long-gone Oldhim, Yoji, Royal Protector). But what about a deck that plays on a middle ground between these two strategies?

Today, we'll go back to the very beginning of the game and talk about Bravo: one of the first heroes to be released, who got better as new sets came out.


The Guardian Class

Loading icon

Bravo is one of game's original eight heroes, and was released in its first set: Welcome to Rathelink outside website. In a simpler time in the game's history, Bravo represented this apparent simplicity well with direct attacks, and clear intentions.

Though a few other Guardians have already hit Living Legend status (Oldhim in both formats and Bravo, Star of the Show in Classic Constructed), Bravo has a game style which is a bit more balanced with its weapon, cards that block for three and powerful attacks. Even if this hero's ability seems "unfair" as it only allows the opponent to block with one card in their hand, its requisite of keeping more cards in hand to build this setup (considering your attacks cost you numerous resources) makes him an interesting hero to learn one of the most essential and complex concepts in the game: when to block and when to attack.

So, let's analyze his preconstructed deck, and all its other versions until his most competitive version.

The Precon

His preconstructed deck came a bit late compared to when this hero was released, which is why it has a few cards beyond the Welcome to Rathe set.

Loading icon

Understanding this deck isn't a complex process. As this deck doesn't have an attack cadence, the idea is to use one or two cards to block, and on your turn attack with another card. Another possible line is to block with three cards, and, on our turn, use Anothos with four power, which is reasonably acceptable.


The Crush ability triggers disruptive effects when an attack with this ability deals four or more damage to the opponent. To guarantee this happens, this hero's ability is relevant.

Loading icon

So, our main attacks have Crush, and each one of the effects presents a different type of disruption: taxing your opponent's next card, erasing their text box or lowering the power of their next attack. These aren't the best this class can offer, but they certainly help.

Loading icon

But this deck doesn't only bring attacks with Crush. Macho Grande (3) is already excellent on its own as it has Dominate without you needing your hero, and Thunder Quake (3) is excellent as it creates three Seismic Surges, decreasing its cost on the next turn or decreasing the cost of another attack which is more interesting at that moment.

Defensive and Offensive Reactions

Loading icon

This preconstructed deck does an excellent job at offering you excellent reactions. Sink Below (1) is one of the best defensive reactions in the entire game, alongside Unmovable (3), which, despite being blue, is excellent for this deck's goal, which demands these costs.

Pummel (3), despite being blue, is a great choice. Besides being able to guarantee a Crush effect, its effect forces your opponent to discard a card. Furthermore, we can use it on Anothos to guarantee more damage.



Equipment came with a different setting in the History Pack 1 set. Because of Kano and Viserai, decks came with Nullrunes. This isn't bad, but they will obviously be placed on the sideboard and will open up space for equipment which can defend physical damage.

Anothos is Bravo's signature weapon, and it is the best available weapon. In the worst-case scenario, it attacks with four power (which is quite okay), but the possibility of attacking for six and still being able to benefit from the hero's ability makes it quite good.

Helm of Isen's Peak is an excellent budget head equipment. Besides defending for one without breaking, its ability enables a very strong late game in which it is possible to have a good number of cards both for defense or offense.

Goliath Gauntlet is a staple in the format. It isn't bad, but Bravo is better as a defensive tool, so it will be removed from future versions, even though it is a decent equipment piece.

First Version

Just like all other lists, this one doesn't escape its issues. We can list a few of them:

- Crush effects aren't that relevant;

- Yellow cards don't match this deck's strategy;

- Some cards feel lost in the deck and don't match the strategy;

- Some cards are okay, but there are better options.

So, we got to the following list as a first upgrade.

Loading icon

Loading icon

The first thing we needed to fix involved removing the yellow cards and adding better Crush attacks, and we'll do that at the same time.

Besides adding Chokeslam (1)'s red versions, we'll add Spinal Crush, Crush the Weak (1) and Buckling Blow (3). All these attacks are at least decent in some matches and particularly good in others. Spinal Crush can end any aggressive deck's turn, Crush the Weak (1) ruins the plans of decks that use low-cost cards and so on and so forth.

Loading icon

Bravo's specialization, Crippling Crush, is essential on any list. Even though it is expensive, the idea is to use three blue cards to activate the hero ability and play this attack, this way bringing forth the famous play "Crippling Crush with Dominate", and its Crush effect is overwhelming.

This attack will always tax your opponent's cards - be it blocking or discarding, like so becoming a mandatory card in this list.

Loading icon

But we have more than just Guardian attacks in this list. Zealous Belting (1) is the closest way we have to give this list some cadence, and Wreck Havoc (1) will be our Command and Conquer which will go around defensive reactions (very common cards against Bravo) and possibly destroy their arsenal.

Loading icon

Show Time!, just like Spark of Genius in Dash lists, will be this list's tutor, with Crippling Crush as our main target, but it is versatile enough to tutor other cards which are more necessary for certain moments in the match. Its great advantage is how it refills itself when we can bring a turn with five or six cards - besides being a blue card with three defense.


Loading icon

We'll also add Sigil of Solace (1) to gain more life and take on more damage in matches that demand us to be more control-focused, and the red Pummel (1) with the advantages that were already mentioned. Another advantage of using its red version is that, if your opponent blocks a Crush attack in exact numbers, Pummel (1) guarantees the Crush effect and even forces your opponent to discard something.

Loading icon

For equipment, we'll remove Nullrunes and add in more defensive options. Ironhide's set with an Ironrot piece is the best we can have with a small budget. Their goal is short and simple: to be more defensive whenever necessary.

To accommodate these changes, many cards will be removed from the deck:

- Cartilage Crush (2), Crush Confidence (2) and Debilitate (2) as they are yellow;

- Some copies of Cartilage Crush (3), Crush Confidence (1), Debilitate (1) and Thump (1) to add in better attacks;

- Emerging Dominance (3) to use Show Time!;

- Rally the Rearguard (3) and Sloggism (3) as they are very lost in this list;

- The Nullrune set and Goliath Gauntlet.

Competitive Version

Now, we'll move on to a list that uses the best cards available for this hero.

Loading icon

Even though many of these cards enhance this deck tremendously, the most important upgrade is in equipment pieces, so we'll start with those.

Loading icon

Crater Fist has a cool effect to make a Crush attack damage hit, but its true potential is in being able to defend up to three because of the Temper ability. The same logic applies to Tectonic Plating, but its ability is extremely relevant. Its importance is so great that it should be the first equipment to be considered whenever you think about upgrading this list.

Creating a Seismic Surge allows four-cost attacks to be played with the cost of a single blue card (once they cost one less), allowing you to create value for the other cards you'll save.

Crown of Providence is still one of the beast had equipment pieces in the game. The possibility of filtering our hand or using it to remove a Thunder Quake (3) that is stuck in the arsenal makes it an extremely strong equipment piece. However, if you want to be more defensive, Arcanite Skullcap is the best option.

Loading icon

Command and Conquer is an extremely strong attack, particularly here. Even though it doesn't get Dominate through the hero ability, its combination with Pummel (1) can be devastating for the opponent, considering they'll lose their arsenal and a card in their hand.

Loading icon

Two excellent Guardian attacks are in this list with devastating Crush effects.

Star Struck is the new star for this hero, released in Dusk Till Dawn. Its effect locks down any aggressive deck's turn completely. It also locks down their respective weapons, besides its Unity ability, which makes it an excellent defensive option whenever you need.


Cranial Crush prevents your opponent from drawing cards and makes several cards, such as Snatch (1) and Invoke Kyloria, less threatening.

Loading icon

Some actions come in here to help the deck's strategy, both as they bring attacks which are scarier, and as they are control tools.

Tear Asunder is a staple in Bravo decks as it grants the next Guardian attack a combination of the hero ability with Crippling Crush - besides adding an extra 1 power, which can make this attack reach break point status.

Imposing Visage has the exclusive role of tutoring Show Time!. It might seem like a misplaced role in the deck, but, in practice, it can serve as another tutor for attacks, and the same advantages apply to the specialization. If its cost still prevents you from playing it at a certain game state, it is still a blue card that blocks for three.

Warmonger's Diplomacy is the newest game staple. Its options can completely lock down strategies which swap between actions and non-actions, such as Chane, Briar and Azalea.

To accommodate these changes, we'll remove the following cards:

- Chokeslam (1), Crush the Weak (1), Cartilage Crush (1) and Wreck Havoc (1) copies to add better attacks;

- Pummel (3) to add a blue card that is more relevant;

- The Ironhide set and Helm of Isen's Peak to add better equipment pieces.

Something New for Matchups

A new experience for Blitz is that we can now swap cards in our deck depending on our match (so far, it was only possible to do that with weapons and equipment). That makes it possible for us to adopt different strategies, depending on the match, against all decks, and we'll do this here too.

Loading icon

Besides the Nullrune set (totaling Three Arcane Barrier against Kano), we'll use Titan's Fist and Steelbraid Buckler for matches in which exhausting your opponent is better than competing for damage, such as Dash and Chane.

For that same strategy, we'll use two more Fate Foreseen (1) (replacing Zealous Belting (1)) to highlight the fatigue strategy, but another viable option for this slot is using Oasis Respite (1), if you want to enhance your strategy against Kano.

Final Words

Bravo is one of the simplest (in terms of mechanics) decks in the game. Its goal is quite clear, and it presents a strong attack on your turn, but it doesn't get scared when it needs to play defensively and only attack with Anothos.

This Guardian is excellent for those who are just starting out and want to understand its mechanics, but this hero has possibilities in the competitive scene, both in Blitz and in Classic Constructed.

Thank you for reading and see you next time!