Flesh and Blood


FaB Analysis: Effects of the Banned and Restricted Announcement - December 18th

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In today's article, we'll analyze the effects of December's banned and restricted update, which promises to bring several changes to Blitz, Living Legend and Commoner.

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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The Banlist

As published by LSS, this will be this year's last banlist, and this update promises to bring several changes to almost all formats.

The following formats were altered:


- Aether Wildfire is unbanned;

- Stir the Aetherwinds (1) is unbanned;

- Cintari Saber is valid again.

Living Legend:

- Awakening is restricted;

- Channel Lake Frigid is restricted;

- Crippling Crush is restricted;

- Hypothermia is restricted;

- Oaken Old is restricted;

- Star Struck is restricted;


- Warmonger's Diplomacy is restricted.


- Amulet of Ice (3) is banned;

- Stubby Hammerers is banned.

A Tribute to Living Legends

With the recent changes made to how Living Legends reach their status, heroes no longer rotate in banlists and instead rotate as soon as possible.

I'd like to use this space to comment on the metagame changes and speculate on the future of these formats.

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Loved by some and hated by others, Iyslander, Stormbind can finally rest after an excellent journey in the game. Champion of Worlds 2022 and a finalist in 2023, this ice Wizard has always been present in the metagame and has always been a relevant hero.

Even though her Ice mechanic was able to lock down several strategies, this Wizard was one of the greatest examples of how to play Flesh and Blood. Thanks to her, Michael Hamilton's value theory came to be, and we watched how we could best take advantage of each card in our hand with her. Her build, which mixed physical and arcane damage (known as Bull Lander), was innovative at the time, and, after it, Flesh and Blood was analyzed in an entirely different way.

Her departure from Classic Constructed brings some marks to the game. This hero is the third hero to reach this status both in Blitz and Classic Constructed, there are no more Elemental heroes in the format (this means Elemental type cards, Ice, Earth and Lightning can't be used by anyone) and, according to the game creator, James White, she was the last problematic hero from FaB 1.0's design.

It's also important to note that, with her departure, her Signature Weapon, Kraken's Aethervein is gone too, and the suspended cards Amulet of Ice (3) and Hypothermia are once again valid in this format.

From now on, Classic Constructed will no longer be the same.

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After the Skirmish season is finished, Blitz will go through one of the most profound changes in its history. With four heroes reaching Living Legend status, this format now sees itself in an entirely open meta, in which all heroes are fighting for their own space.

Chane was the best aggressive deck in this format. The Rune Gate mechanic added in Dusk Till Dawn boosted this hero and allowed explosive turns. Seeds of Agony (1) and Soul Reaping (1) being suspended wasn't enough to contain this Runeblade, making him the second hero to reach this status both in Blitz and Classic Constructed.

Kassai, Cintari Sellsword and Ira, Crimson Haze were the strongest tempo decks in this format. Kassai, Cintari Sellsword could be both defensive (considering the number of blocks available with equipment) and offensive (considering the number of Attack Reactions), and could finish with Blood on Her Hands. Ira, Crimson Haze, on the other side, was a good stuff deck, with several cards that were just good on their own and always tormenting opponents with Harmonized Kodachi or transforming an attack into a breaking point thanks to this hero's ability.


Kano was a combo deck that was hated by several players. This wizard could win at Instant speed and demanded respect from its opponents. In a format with less health points, in which his combo was more threatening, the number of decks that just couldn't take all this arcane damage was huge, and they were just preyed on.

It is also important to stress that several weapons leave this format now, and some cards are once again valid:

- Edge of Autumn, Galaxxi Black and Crucible of Aetherweave are no longer valid in the format (we'll comment on Cintari Saber soon);

- Seeds of Agony (1) and Soul Reaping (1) are once again valid in the format.

Let's now analyze the actual banlist:


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Considering Kano is leaving this format, some cards that were banned because they were too dangerous for this hero now come back. Aether Wildfire and Stir the Aetherwinds (1) are good Wizard cards, but they were problematic in this Wizard's combo-centric strategy.

Considering Emperor, Dracai of Aesir is currently the only playable Wizard, and considering you can no longer play so many non-attack cards at Instant speed, these cards are no longer problems.

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Cintari Saber is Kassai, Cintari Sellsword's Signature Weapon, and was no longer valid when this hero hit Living Legend status. However, the next set, Heavy Hitters, will bring a "2.0" version of this hero (like Prism, Advent of Thrones and Dash, Database) just named Kassai, and also her adult version, Kassai of the Golden Sand. Cintari Saber will be these new heroes' Signature Weapon. So, how should we solve this weapon's crisis in Blitz?

As a result, Cintari Saber, even though it is Kassai, Cintari Sellsword's Signature Weapon, will return to this format. It is the first time we'll see a weapon become valid again after it hits Living Legends alongside its hero counterpart, and they made it clear that this could happen again in the future if it is deemed necessary.

Living Legend

The Living Legend format has been among us for a few months now, and, after the first competitive event featuring this format (a parallel event at Worlds), it is already possible to see the existing problems and try to balance it.

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The most glaring problem in this format is Bravo, Star of the Show (aka, Starvo). At the Worlds parallel event, Starvo was easily the most represented deck and top 8 exclusively featured this Guardian. Clearly something should be made regarding this hero.

Many players have speculated what sorts of measures should be taken. However, the Living Legend format is meant to not have any banned cards, and, because of this reason, this format will use a restricted list, in which only one copy of a restricted card can be added to decks.

All restricted cards that were announced are intended to lower Starvo's power level: Awakening, as one of the most efficient cards in the game; Oaken Old, Crippling Crush and Star Struck, as the best disruptive cards for this hero; Channel Lake Frigid, Hypothermia and Warmonger's Diplomacy as extremely "anti-fun" cards.


With these changes, it is possible we'll have a wider variety in the meta, which will make some classes more playable, such as Runeblade and Illusionist.


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After the parallel Commoner event at Worlds, LSS may have heard some feedback regarding the format and decided to ban Amulet of Ice (3) and Stubby Hammerers.

This equipment has already shown it was problematic in Blitz and Classic Constructed, and, in Commoner, even though it has a reduced power level, it has shown to be too strong - mostly with Fai and Chane. Meanwhile, Amulet of Ice (3) with Iyslander and Aether Icevein (3) (or in a smaller proportion with any card with Ice Fuse) could end your opponent's hand.

With these bans, we may have a slower deck, with more control strategies.

The Future

With all these changes, let's analyze what we can expect from now on.

A New Classic Constructed

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Classic Constructed is in a new phase. Without Iyslander, Stormbind, more aggressive decks can now finally find their space, and, with this space, Dromai, Ash Artist (considered by many the best deck in this format) can face new predators ahead, such as Fai, Rising Rebellion. Besides this, decks such as Bravo, Showstopper and Azalea, Ace in the Hole seem to be the new trend in this format, and are becoming new threats.

Many other decks will become part of the meta as well: Ser Boltyn, Breaker of Dawn, Uzuri, Switchblade, Dash I/O and Kano, Dracai of Aether were more unpopular decks, but they are now finding their footing in the meta.

An extremely diverse meta is on the horizon, making this format extremely healthy and fun to play.

A New Blitz Era

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With this format's main four heroes hitting Living Legend status, we'll have a revolution, and a meta we have never seen before. Even though Dash and Briar are competing for the title of best aggressive deck and are unbeatable against a few heroes, many other contenders have already come out of the shadows and shown everyone what they can do.

Bravo started being more present; the two heroes, Prism and Prism, Advent of Thrones, occupy spaces as answers to slower decks; Emperor, Dracai of Aesir is an excellent combo-aggressive deck that was significantly enhanced by Tome of Imperial Flame. Rhinar is an extremely solid Midrange, among other decks.

We've reached a new era in Blitz, in which we'll witness more diversity and new decks coming along. This is one of the best moments to play this format.

A Lot of Work to Do in Living Legend

Living Legend is still a new format and is far from being balanced. Even though there are several cards being restricted, they affect heroes that no longer shine at this format's first moment. By trying to contain Starvo, Oldhim, Grandfather of Eternity, Iyslander, Stormbind and Bravo, Showstopper lose valuable tools in their decks. Besides this, it is impossible to know if these restrictions will indeed contain this Guardian, and, in case they do, we'll have to worry about Prism, Sculptor of Arc Light becoming unbeatable.


Living Legend still needs to mature, but to accomplish this, we need to give it time - for now, it will be unbalanced.

A Slight Balance Change to Commoner

Commoner's two bans were slight adjustments that tried to hit some specific decks. Even though it pulled them down a bit, these bans don't change these decks' strategies entirely, and they remain strong. The meta won't be changed significantly by this update and Ira, Crimson Haze and Dash are still the best decks.

With this list, the game closes out its 2023, and the next banlist is scheduled for March 25th.

Thanks for reading so far, and see you next time!