Flesh and Blood


Flesh and Blood Analysis: Banned and Suspended Announcement (November 6th)

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A new update of banned and suspended cards is among us. Let's see how it impacted the meta for Worlds and a new change to the Living Legends system!

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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On November 6th, a new announcement of banned and suspended cards was released, bringing very important changes to the meta, the Living Legends system, and, most of all, a great question mark for Worlds.

The following changes were announced:

  • Classic Constructed:

    - Lexi, Livewire (and her signature weapon, Voltaire, Strike Twice) hits Living Legends status and is no longer legal in the format.

    - Bull's Eye Bracers is no longer suspended and is legal again.

  • Blitz:


    - Soul Reaping is suspended until Chane hits Living Legend status.

    The Winds of Change Are Here

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    Finally, after a long meta post-Outsiderslink outside website (followed by Dusk Till Dawn, and, currently, Bright Lights) dominated by this archer, Lexi, Livewire can finally hang up her bow in this format - leaving a legacy that the community won't miss one bit.

    Before this set, this archer had a reasonable deck, but extremely dependent on the meta - considering she could be in a deck focused on Ice and control her opponent, or one focused on Lightning and bring a high cadence of attacks. However, the set that brought support to Rangers brought an insane number of new cards and other tools.

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    Falcon Wing (1), Infecting Shot (1), Withering Shot (1), the polemic Codex of Frailty alongside many old cards, like Drill Shot (1) and Heat Seeker, the cadence of Voltaire, Strike Twice and the Three of a Kind turns with Rain Razors hoisted up this hero from a forgotten deck to the best aggressive deck in the format. As if that weren't enough already, she could also use Ice cards if she needed to tax the opponent in any way, using, for instance, Arctic Incarceration (1) (applying almost the same effects as an extra turn against a few decks).

    After that, Lexi, Livewire never left the top rankings in tournaments. Even though Bull's Eye Bracers was suspended, the deck was still very strong and pushed to the side any other aggressive strategy that tried competing with its damage output.

    Unlike her other "brothers in the set", Lexi's deck suddenly got a lot better and was the living proof that a hero can become competitive with the right support, but, unlike Azalea, Ace in the Hole, she went over the healthy limits.

    And speaking of "brothers in the set"...

    Tales of Aria: An Outlier

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    With this archer hitting Living Legend status, we have a historical mark in the game. Tales of Arialink outside website becomes the first draftable set to have all its heroes hit Living Legend status in Classic Constructed, like so leaving behind a whole set of Elemental, Ice, Earth, and Lightning cards available in the format with no hero that can use them (apart from Iyslander, Stormbind for a few Ice cards). That also brings up whether this set was balanced or not.

    The set itself and its heightened power creep would need an article of their own, but this mark shows how much a poorly balanced set can affect the game as a whole.

    Preparing for Skirmish

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    Soul Reaping's suspension was a surprise to the entire community. With Chane as the best aggressive Blitz deck currently, his specialization allowed several extremely strong turns whose damage output was impossible to handle. The possibility of playing the Attack Action for free (benefitting from the banned card), with go again (be it with the hero's ability or Shadow Puppetry) and gaining resources made this card a key card for gigantic turns.


    The idea behind this ban isn't to remove Chane from his current position, but make turns more balanced and, with him reaching Living Legend status soon, to not accelerate his climb there so exponentially. This card's departure doesn't make this deck any less offensive, but rather avoids these more "unfair" turns.

    An Important Update to the Living Legends System

    Still alongside this banned announcement, another article was published with changes to the Living Legend system. From today onward, two relevant changes occur:

    - Tournaments like Worlds, Battle Hardeneds, Nationals with less than 96 players, PTIs and Skirmishes now give out more points to the heroes;

    - The status check will happen weekly (every Monday), and, if any hero hits the LL status, they'll no longer be valid from Friday that same week onward.

    These changes aim at speeding up a hero's Living Legend process to try balancing the number of decks in Classic Constructed and Blitz, based on a schedule of releasing more than 15 new heroes next year. This change enables formats to always cycle in new metas.

    An Uncertain Worlds

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    With Worlds just a few weeks away without Lexi, Livewire, players have just a few weeks to make a meta read. Dromai, Ash Artist is the obvious call, but other decks become relevant without Lexi in the meta, such as Fai, Rising Rebellion, Katsu, the Wanderer, Dash, Inventor Extraordinaire and other aggressive decks, which makes Worlds' meta extremely uncertain.

    A Blitz Rotation

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    With the increase in Living Legends points and a rotation in between seasons, the next Skirmish season will be extremely unstable. With so many heroes close to hitting LL status, many of them could leave the format in the middle of the season, bringing an entirely new and refreshed meta next year.

    We can list as heroes that might leave the format this season: Kassai, Cintari Sellsword, Chane, Ira, Crimson Haze, Kano and even some further way, like Dash and Dorinthea. But, with all these heroes going away, some others will grow to occupy their spots, such as Fai, Rhinar, Bravo and Prism.

    Final Words

    Today's list was short, but it brought significant changes to the next competitive tournaments.

    What about you? What did you think of the changes? Did you think the banned announcements were too moderate? Will the changes to the Living Legend system harm the game?

    Thank you for reading this far, and see you next time!