Flesh and Blood


Flesh and Blood - July 8th Banlist Review

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In today's article, we'll review the new list of banned and restricted cards, which brought changes to Classic Constructed, Blitz, and Living Legend.

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translated by Joey Sticks

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This Monday, July 8th, 2024, LSS released another list of banned and restricted cards, which brought changes to Classic Constructed, Living Legend, and Blitz.

The following cards were banned:

Classic Constructed:

Bonds of Ancestry (2) and Bonds of Ancestry (3) are banned;


Crown of Seeds is banned;

Aether Wildfire (1) is banned;

Aether Flare (1) is banned;

The following cards are no longer restricted in Living Legend:

Channel Lake Frigid (3).

Zen and the Overall Meta


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Even though the community largely ignored Zen, Tamer of Purpose when Part the Mistveil was released, he quickly became the most popular deck in Classic Constructed, as well as the best aggro deck around.

There were two main ways to play Zen: one focused on Crouching Tiger, and one focused on his combo ability. However, LSS only thoroughly tested the Crouching Tiger version when they developed this hero - which turned out too average after his actual release. His combo ability, popular with Katsu, the Wanderer, originated a consistent deck that plays big turns with Descendent Gustwave (1), Bonds of Ancestry (1), Art of War (2), and Ancestral Harmony (3). It was quite literally impossible to deal with the damage it deals.

Even though Nuu, Alluring Desire is perfect to deal with Katsu, the fact he could set up a single turn to deal massive amounts of damage made his opponents feel like there was "nothing they could do". It was clear LSS had to do something, even more after Nationals, when Katsu won the most games across the board.

They could have decided to ban many cards, but neither of them gave this deck the same consistency and explosive turns as Bonds of Ancestry. Playing another tutor alongside Descendent Gustwave (1) and the hero's tutor ability was what let you create this long combat chain, and the current format doesn't have any ways to stop you from doing that. Even though this deck isn't invincible, this strategy made matches feel less like Flesh and Blood and more like another game altogether.

However, notice that they only banned yellow and blue Bonds of Ancestry. So, the red Bonds is still legal - but why?

When we take a look at Outsiderslink outside website, the set this card was released in, it's clear that the goal was to inspire players to build a viable Katsu, the Wanderer list (which, so far, was one of the worst heroes in the game). Its strategy was also incredibly weak, particularly his specializations, Mugenshi: RELEASE (2) and Lord of Wind (3). Bonds of Ancestry (1) turned this hero into a decent competitive strategy: a non-linear aggro deck that required a good grasp of mathematics to deal the damage you needed each turn. If LSS banned red Bonds as well, they would throw Katsu back into where he was before Outsiders came along.

As a result, LSS decided to ban only yellow and blue Bonds, and keep the red Bonds around, an unusual decision. This means Katsu will still be viable even after the ban, and Zen, the hero that forced them to ban Bonds in the first place, will still have good turns, so the Descendent/Bonds combo strategy isn't entirely lost. This balance decision will also probably prepare the community for Pro Tour: Amsterdam, scheduled for the end of July.


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Blaze, Firemind came to Blitz when Kano had already left, so she had access to many cards that increase her damage. However, these cards don't really fit a format with less life points.


As most of the decks only have twenty life, cards that increase the next amount of arcane damage you deal (namely Aether Wildfire (1) and Aether Flare (1)) enabled OTK turns very early in the game.

Furthermore, Rosetta is already on the horizon. It will bring support for this class of heroes, and also works really well around the Amp ability. These two cards, which increase the damage you deal, already make it really easy to kill your opponent, so, to welcome the new set without breaking the format in two, LSS banned them.

The decision to ban Crown of Seeds was already explained in the last banned and restricted list, but, to sum up: LSS felt they had to ban it in Classic Constructed and now in Blitz because of the new set, which will be themed around the Earth talent. Allowing it in these formats made designing new cards harder, and that's why they decided it was best to ban this equipment.

Living Legend

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The last change in this format was really successful, as Bravo, Star of the Show decks were significantly less powerful afterward. This opened space for other decks to see play in this format, like Chane, Bound by Shadow and Lexi, Livewire, which became excellent aggro decks, for instance. Furthermore, even more aggro heroes are coming to Living Legend, like Zen, Tamer of Purpose, and other incredibly powerful decks that use Savage Sash. Considering these decks are incredibly popular right now and many control cards are restricted as well, Living Legend would simply be too open for these types of decks, and end up dominated by them.

To put a stop to these aggro lists, they decided to remove Channel Lake Frigid from the restricted list. This will not only put more decks like Iyslander, Stormbind in the meta, but also return a little bit of power to Starvo, who was severely affected by the last banned and restricted announcement.

Final Thoughts

Let's quickly review these changes and see how each format will be like from now on.

Zen is Still An Excellent Aggro Deck

After these bans, Zen, Tamer of Purpose will no longer set up explosive turns consistently, but that doesn't mean he won't be good. This deck now gets more payoff from Crouching Tiger, and has more "respectable" ways to declare damage. As a result, other aggro decks, like Kayo, Armed and Dangerous, might return to the meta to answer Zen and, in return, Warriors and Guardians may also come back to answer these aggro lists.

Now that the meta has less damage and less sequenced plays, Illusionists may also rise to another tier in the power rankings. This may deal with a possible Nuu, Alluring Desire dominance and balance out her disruption strategy.

The only hero that truly got weaker unnecessarily was Katsu, the Wanderer. He was performing well and was fair, but, undoubtedly, without the extra copies of Bonds, he is now worse. We'll probably get another card for him in the next set, but, for now, unfortunately, he'll be cast away into the shadows of the meta.


Blitz Prep

The card pool available for Blaze, Firemind would, undoubtedly, make her one of the best decks in the format. She could set up turns like Kano did when he was legal in a short amount of time - and the next set will also bring lots of support for her class.

Banning these cards not only prepares us for the next set, but also prepares for the next Skirmish season, as it creates a fairer meta for it. Nonetheless, incredibly strong heroes like Rhinar, Victor Goldmane, and Zen don't have a deck that wins games that fast, which is already great for this format.

Aggro Decks Remain Strong

It is a good decision to bring more control tools into the Living Legend meta, particularly as it also has a Skirmish season. Even though Warmonger's Diplomacy (3) and Hypothermia (3) are still restricted, Iyslander, Stormbind is basically back to her golden days with Channel Lake Frigid (3) and Amulet of Ice (3), which will be a true challenge for the meta. Having more copies of these cards lets us stop Stubby Hammerers or Savage Sash turns, besides many others, which means we'll also be able to stop these decks from spiraling out of control.

The meta will still have many strong aggro decks, but, after this banned and restricted list, we'll be able to stop them with our Ice heroes, and prevent them from completely dominating the highest-ranking tournament tables.

So, what did you think of these bans? Will Zen still be strong? Is Blitz balanced now?

Thank you for reading, and see you next time!