Besides playing TCGs, I also love playing League of Legends. I remember that when I started playing and reading the lore, there was a region of Runeterra that I fell in love with right away: Piltover and Zaun. Art, the steampunk theme, the idea of progress and science are themes that really catch my attention.
When the Arcane series first came out, I watched the episodes on opening day and each one of them gave me goosebumps. When entering Flesh and Blood and studying the classes and heroes, one of them jumped out at me. If I was already in love with Caitlyn, Seraphine and Jinx, it was obvious that I would fall in love with Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire.
About Dash and Boost
Released in Arcane Rising, Dash is part of one of the first heroes released in the game and along with the Mechanologists and the Boost mechanic.
Speaking briefly about the class, its main feature, in addition to its steampunk theme, are items. Items are cards that are permanent on the field (just like artifacts are in Magic: The Gathering) until something sends them to the graveyard. The class is full of items, and they dictate the strategy of the deck and what it wants to do.
To represent all the steam power and intensity that technology and science can provide, the class is full of cards with the ability to Boost. From the rulebook:
Boost means: As an additional cost to play 'card name', you may banish 1 card from the top of your deck. If this is a Mechanologist-type card, 'card name' gains go again.
In practice this means that at the beginning we have a lot of firepower with a high rate of attacks with go again, but if the game goes on too long, we can run out of gas — which is a great parallel that we put fuel in our machines, but one hour this fuel will run out. Therefore, for Blitz, the deck will be extremely aggressive, and your objective will be to close the game as quickly as possible.
In addition to Dash, we have another Mechanologist: Data Doll MKII, who is much more item focused. Unfortunately, Data Doll is one of the weakest heroes in the game as a whole, but here she is quoted for knowledge purposes.
Decklist and Gameplan
This is the deck I've been using in games, and it's not that different from the other lists you find in tournaments out there. In addition to it, there are still two different versions of playing with Dash: Dash Control (not very efficient in Blitz) and Dash Exodia (which has been proving to be a viable option in the format). This list is called Dash Boost (or Dash Aggro).
Its objective is simple: deal as much damage as possible in the turn with powerful attacks and end the game before your opponent puts any kind of pressure on you.
With a brief look through the list, it is possible to notice two things: most of the cards have the Boost ability and 100% of the cards are Mechanologist type. As a boost provides the go again for the attack, it is essential that it do not fail, and to guarantee that all are Mechanologist-type, we give up cards like Command and Conquer, Art of War or any other generic.
Here I will mention the action cards and the items.
The class has several items: Induction Chamber, Signal Jammer, Dissolution Sphere among others, and Dash can start the game with any of them on the field, but in blitz only three are competitively viable : Teklo Pounder, Teklo Core and Hyper Driver (1).
Note that in this list, we do not use Hyper Driver (1). This item is good both for a Budget version of the deck (which we call Hyper Dash) and for Dash Exodia, but for our game plan the item does not add the value we want, so we have two items left: Teklo Core and Teklo Pounder.
Teklo Pounder will always be our go-to item to start the game. Adding two power in the first Boost of the turn puts a lot of pressure on the opponent, especially in a format where plays are decided in the first turns. See that, for the buff to work, it is necessary to pay the Boost of the card. Otherwise, it will not receive the effect.
Teklo Core is an item that costs zero and generates two resources for two turns, allowing you to play cards “for free” from your hand — since our cards don't cost more than two resources. This item is on the list for being able to "ramp" for the next two turns, whether playing cards, reloading our weapons or paying taxes that an Iyslander demands, without having to delay your game plan.
Spark of Genius is the deck's item tutor, and if you have boosted this turn, it replaces itself with a draw. We usually play this tutor at the end of the turn to put the drawn card in the arsenal. Two important observations about this card: the first is that the cost is XX, so to tutor Teklo Pounder you must pay four resources, and the second is that X can be zero, so you can tutor Teklo Core and immediately put it on the field.
High Octane is a card that divides opinions due to its usefulness in the deck, but it allows the weapon Teklo Plasma Pistol to attack several times in the same turn, in addition to replacing itself (the combo will be explained in the weapons). If you don't want to use it, it can be replaced by cards that increase your attacks even more (either Bios Update or Rotary Ram (1)).
We'll divide attack cards into two categories: boosted attacks and finishing attacks.
Zero to Sixty (1), Zipper Hit (1) and Throttle (1) are the soul and heart of the deck, so we use it in all its colors. Note that these cards do not have any abilities other than Boost; however, they are the ones with the greatest power in their respective colors and costs, making them desirable in their red versions to be aggressive without leaving the other colors far from the objective.
The other boost cards have lesser powers compared to the other three main ones, but they are still very aggressive and have some good abilities for our strategy.
High Speed Impact (1) (the only one we also use its blue version, the others will only be red) has a low cost and if it hits the opponent it gives it to the next attack with boost Dominate. It's a good strategy to start your Combat Chain with this card (remember it will have a higher attack thanks to Teklo Pounder) and, if the damage passes, you can continue with Throttle (1) with Dominate, for example.
T-Bone (1) It's another free attack that forces the opponent to block with equipment (if you Boost with it, the ability is already activated). This is a good effect, especially against classes that have plenty of blocks with equipment, forcing them and even breaking those with Blade break, for example.
Pulsewave Harpoon and Scramble Pulse (1) are the new cards from Dynasty brought to the deck. While Scramble Pulse (1) lowers equipment defense by one in this Combat chain (important to note that succeeding defenses will also be reduced), Pulsewave Harpoon brings a new tool to the class: hand disruption.
Making Pulsewave the third attack in the Combat chain guarantees you, in most cases, to take a card from your opponent's hand and force a defense — weakening their next turn. These cards have already proven to be staples of the class, but if you still haven't managed to secure some copies, you can use Over loop (1) and Combustible Courier (1) in these slots.
With the amount of Boost there are two excellent cards for finishing a combat chain: Overblast (1) and Payload (1).
Payload (1) has an easy setup to gain Dominate, just one attack with Boost in this combat chain to fulfill it and Overblast (1) grows for each card with the Boost paid in this Combat chain, making your attacking five easily turns into a six or a seven, even an eight in perfect scenarios.
Note that both cards do not have Boost, so their turn ends soon after (unless they have attack points given by High Octane or the equipment Achilles Accelerator), so play these cards to end the turn.
Equipment and Weapons
Here, the equipment is pretty standard for any Mechanologist deck (be it any version of Dash or Data Doll MKII ).
On the head, Crown of Providence is used in any non-Wizard deck. Despite having a blade break, it defends two and its ability can either change a card from your hand that is bad for the moment or even protect a card from Command and Conquer.
It can still be used instead of Arcanite Skullcap which is not due to the Arcane Barrier it provides, but due to the possibility of blocking three (two and, in another combat chain, one), but it requires a life setup to make the most of it. Regardless of your choice, both equipment are strong and any of them are good for the strategy.
The other helmet we will be using will be Viziertronic Model i as a sideboard for Wizards. As it has Arcane Barrier 2 attached to the boot Achilles Accelerator totals three Arcane Barrier, which can be paid by pitching a blue card from the hand.
Its ability also allows that until the end of the turn every time a card gives Boost, you draw a card and return one to the top, allowing you to have a better card in your hand, return to the top another card and exile the top with Boost. Despite being a very useful skill, it will rarely be used — since this equipment is sideboarded exclusively for its Arcane Barrier 2, play its ability in emergency cases.
Chest equipment will always be Teklo Foundry Heart. The equipment, in addition to being able to block three without breaking, allows two resources to be generated by paying only one by exiling two Mechanologist cards from the deck (as the deck is composed 100% of Mechanologist cards, there is no possibility of it generating less resources) .
Teklo Foundry Heart is the Fyendal's Spring Tunic of the Mechanologist. Another equipment option is Vest of the First Fist which generates two resources when hitting the opponent, and can be well-used mainly in matches where some of your damage will pass, such as against Warriors or Wizards.
In the hands, we will use Goliath Gauntlet to further increase our attacks (note that only the next attack costing two or more is strengthened), but other options are also viable. We can use Nullrune Gloves to add more Arcane Barrier, Ironrot Gauntlet in matches where there may be strong aggression from the opponent's side (Guardians or Brutes) and Gambler's Gloves exclusively against Brutes where we can make them roll the dice again.
On the feet, we will always use Achilles Accelerator. In addition to Arcane Barrier 1, which is great against Wizards, it provides the possibility of gaining one more action point in the turn - thus allowing to finish the Combat chain with a weapon attack after using a finisher that doesn't have boost.
Other equipment can also be used like Ironrot Legs but only in very specific matches, in general, always use Achilles Accelerator
As a weapon we have four options: Teklo Plasma Pistol, Plasma Barrel Shot, Talishar, the Lost Prince and Hanabi Blaster.
In my opinion, the best one for Dash is Teklo Plasma Pistol, as long as you use High Octane in the deck. With the non-attack action, we can enable a kind of combo where we can hit with the pistol several times (see that it has Action without the Once per Turn clause) in the same turn — once you manage to recharge it and attack while you have action points for this.
If you don't want to use High Octane on the deck, take out the pistol and use Talishar, the Lost Prince. Despite this being destroyed with three counters, the game rarely extends to this point.
As a sideboard, use Plasma Barrel Shot only if you are on the play and your opponent has a high defense (against Guardians for example). Hanabi Blaster only performs better in builds focused on giving more attacks with cheaper cards and with other finishers — which is not the case on this list, hence the choice of the other weapon.
Tips for Dash on Blitz
Some helpful tips for playing with this list:
— Several actions make it necessary to end the Combat chain (Activate Teklo Foundry Heart, for example), so pay attention to the sequence of actions you will perform on your turn.
— You are not required to Boost a card, so you don't exile the top card if, for some reason, you need it.
— Some cards require Boost to be paid for the effect to occur;
— If you started the game, don't try to be aggressive because the opponent will block all your attacks and replenish their hands.
— You can reload Teklo Plasma Pistol as many times as you like in the same turn, but only one counter will remain on it. Doing this is very useful when we are starting the game and want to take some cards from our hand without necessarily playing them.
— A bad hand involves having no attacks and too many items. An excellent hand involves several boost attacks plus a card that is a blue pitch plus a finisher. Know how to recognize these hands to understand the potential for damage on the turn.
— Try not to rush into blocks and miss attacks in the next turns.
Strengths and Weaknesses
As stated throughout this article, Dash presents attacks with high damage and great cadence, thus making its great strength: finishing games quickly and being one of the best aggro decks in the format.
However, all this consistency brings a weakness: as the Boost ability makes you exile the top of the deck, there is a risk of you running out of deck if the game goes on too long — bringing you a certain defeat.
As we only use Viziertronic Model i and Plasma Barrel Shot as sideboards, the build will generally be the same in all matches, except for the matchups I mentioned earlier, so what changes will be your game posture in front of the matches.
Dash generally does very well against other Aggro. In these matchups, try to be more aggressive than your opponent to establish pressure on your side. In Control matches, look to drop the second Teklo Pounder to set up attacks so strong your opponent will have to block and, most importantly, don't let the opponent fatigue you.
Here are some heroes where different stances will be needed:
Dromai: You can ignore some dragons like Aether Ashwing and Azvolai, but some are extremely dangerous, most notably Kyloria. Use the High Octane combo with Teklo Plasma Pistol or minor attacks to get rid of smaller dragons.
Kano and Iyslander: Although these strategies are different, always try to spend your turn with at least one blue card in your hand - being able to pitch and prevent three arcane damage. Here also look for Teklo Core for extra resources.
Prism: Due to Phantasm attacks, blocking with red Throttle (1) causes the go again to be lost, but don't be scared by the high attacks and try to break the auras with Teklo Plasma Pistol.
Budget Version: Hyper Dash
To finish this article, here's a cheaper Dash list, with a great base for further upgrades:
In this list, the strategy is the same, but with some different cards.
With the absence of Teklo Core and Teklo Pounder we used Hyper Driver (1) as an item, with that, we also removed Spark of Genius and put in its place some cards that take advantage of the item like Jump Start (1) and Crankshaft (1).
As in this version we managed to give more Boost in the same turn, Hanabi Blaster makes much more sense and Maximum Velocity ends up becoming a better finisher.
Without the legendary equipment, we put in place some others who can play the same role. Ironrot Helm to hold some damage and Vest of the First Fist for resource generation.
Dash is one of the best heroes in Flesh and Blood. Despite having a smaller pool compared to other classes, its amount of different equipment allows for a range of different builds, which makes it extremely versatile — especially in Classic Constructed.
Here I brought the Blitz list with a more aggressive focus, but it does not mean that it is the only way to mount Dash in the format. With Dynasty, a megazord version has been appearing (with the card Construct Nitro Mechanoid), making Dash even more interesting to build.
Thanks for reading, and until next time!
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