Deck Tech series from zero to hero : Bravo

Deck Tech series from zero to hero.

Bravo, Guardian, Blitz

 

In this series, we will look at how to start playing a particular champion with a minimum investment and by adding cards, how this initial deck can reach very competitive levels. This series is mainly for Blitz but a CC list will be mentioned as well as cost and competitiveness in CC. So you can decide if it is worth investing more in this deck or not.

This series will also cover the tech between those decks at each stage (entrance, intermediate, expert) as well as give you some ideas of how complicate, expensive playing with this particular champion is. 

For this first article, we will look at the hero guardian : Bravo in blitz.

The target of this series is to learn how to play champion to the competitive level starting from scratch. So let's look at a competitive Bravo list.

This list is a proven very competitive list based on list played by excellent player such as Cayle McCreath, one of the best Bravo player in the world. 

Guardian Blitz v3

Class: Guardian
Hero: Bravo
Weapons: Anothos, Sledge of Anvilheim
Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Crater Fist, Ironrot Legs, Time Skippers, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Nullrune Robe, Tectonic Plating

(2) Blessing of Deliverance (red)
(2) Crippling Crush (red)
(2) Pummel (red)
(2) Sigil of Solace (red)
(1) Remembrance (yellow)
(2) Righteous Cleansing (yellow)
(1) Blessing of Deliverance (blue)
(2) Buckling Blow (blue)
(2) Cartilage Crush (blue)
(2) Chokeslam (blue)
(2) Cranial Crush (blue)
(2) Crush Confidence (blue)
(2) Crush the Weak (blue)
(2) Debilitate (blue)
(2) Disable (blue)
(2) Last Ditch Effort (blue)
(2) Show Time! (blue)
(2) Stamp Authority (blue)
(2) Staunch Response (blue)
(2) Towering Titan (blue)
(2) Unmovable (blue)

See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/RwWaNYrw/

Costs: 500 - 600 CAD

We could cut the expensive equipment and cards and replace them to make a entry level deck but that could break the deck completely. So before looking at a budget friendly version of this deck we need to review the fundamentals of this build of Bravo, which to my opinion is the most competitive one.

Fundamental of Bravo in Blitz

What are the key cards of the deck and what makes it works.

 You can call me crazy but talk to any high level Bravo player and they will tell you the same thing. The best card in Bravo in Anothos.

It attacks for 4 by default. Except some defense reaction, cards defend for a max of 3 so it means that as long as you have a blue, you will trade one card for one card plus one damage.

Anothos text says: If you have 2 of more cards in your pitch zone with cost 3 or greater. Anothos gains +2 Att. Wow we are talking 6 damage weapon now, that is insane. So how can we enable it?

Anothos Enabler:

1) Pummel : Pitch a blue with cost 3 or greater to attack with Anothos. They block for 3 or no block. And in response you pitch another blue with cost 3 or greater to play red pummel. Now you have 2 cards who costs 3 or greater in your pitch zone so Anothos attacks for 6. Add the 4 damage from Pummel and you have a nice 10. 

This is the core of Bravo deck. You dont even need to play pummel, you just need to represent it. Good player will know about it and will overblock, then you don t need to pummel or can just bluff. Less experienced player will not play around it but after you deals them 10 damage, they will be worried if you do it again and therefore play accordingly. So you can bluff during the whole game. I recommend keeping a card in your arsenal just to be able to bluff having a pummel.

2) Blessing of deliverance.  Second way to swing for 6 with Anothos. You play Blessing of deliverance pitching a card that cost 3 or more, draw a card and then pitch it to attack with Anothos. If the second card pitched costs 3 or more, your 2 cards hand allow you to play blessing and attack for 6. Amazing play against aggressive deck

3) Bravo or Tectonic Plating ability. This is much less appealing because you are more or less just wasting resources but you can always pitch to Bravo ability or to Tectonic Plating and then pitch to attack with Anothos. Note than pitching to Plating let you 2 floating so you can represent Pummel which makes Plating a very good card to have

Anothos or attack with a blue card:

It is still most of the time better to do that than to pitch a blue to attack with a card from your hand. Because if you pitch to play a card in your hand, it will be 6 damage (no cost 3 cards does more damage in the deck) and your attack card will be in the discard pile. If you attack with Anothos, same 6 damage but you will have one more card in your deck and therefore fatigue less.

 The Blues:

 To enable Anothos, pop Blessing of deliverance for more life, and to play for your high cost cards, you need a lot of blues. And you need blues with a cost of 3 or higher to trigger Anothos and Blessing. I would say you need 29 or 30 blues and if possible they need to costs 3 or more. Even better if they block for 3. A blue that costs 3 or more and block for 3 is perfect for this role.

 The rest:

If you have 29 blues, 2 red pummel. 2 red blessing of deliverance, it leaves you with 7 card slot for spices. 

Because this is not an aggro deck, you need to gain life. So red Sigil of Solace is very important. So let's say 2 red sigil

You might fatigue yourself before the opponent and you might have to block with your high impact attack card so you need at least 1 remembrance

Ok, you have 4 spots where you can put whatever you want but most likely you want something that does a lot of damage and big impact. 

Crippling Crush is the best Bravo attack card. It costs 7, which means you can play it with 2 blue and a seismic token (if you have a tectonic plating). Or you can also play it with 3 blue and spent 2 on Bravo ability to dominate. 

You need to think when you cast it. Dont cast it turn 1 when you play 1st because the opponent will just redraw their card. Wasting a Crippling for just squeezing 8 damage will win you the game only if it is lethal or if you have a follow up next turn. So treat it as a precious card. And bring them back with remembrance late game.

For the other 2 cards, It is really up to you. You can play 1 blue and another big attack. I like playing yellow disable or righteous cleansing. Righteous cleansing is always good because 10 attack and you can be lucky and remove a key card from your opponent deck. You also know what they will draw so it help you plan your turn. 

Entry deck Bravo level 1:

Alright, you like to block, you like to swing a hammer for 6 and you like to attack for 15 damage with Crippling Crush and Pummel.

But you don't want to invest too much in this deck.

Let's see if we can make a budget version of this deck that keep the same strategy and key cards. Remember, the key cards are Anothos, Pummel, Blessing and Blue cards that costs 3 or more. Nothing expensive in there.

Cards highlighted in yellow are the one over 10$ (legendary or Majestic)

Cards circled in red are the cards important for the deck.

Well, the only card important for the deck and over 10$ is Crippling Crush. Moreover, it is very good but it is by no mean the glue of the deck. 

In this series, we will fix ourself a budget of 30$ for deck at the level 0. Let's see what we can do for 35$ by replacing those expensive cards highlighted in yellow.

Guardian Blitz v1

Class: Guardian
Hero: Bravo
Weapons: Anothos
Equipment: Arcanite Skullcap, Crater Fist, Ironrot Legs, Mage Master Boots, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Nullrune Robe, Tectonic Plating

(2) Blessing of Deliverance (red)
(1) Crippling Crush (red)
(2) Pummel (red)
(2) Sigil of Solace (red)
(1) Remembrance (yellow)
(1) Righteous Cleansing (yellow)
(1) Blessing of Deliverance (blue)
(2) Buckling Blow (blue)
(2) Cartilage Crush (blue)
(2) Chokeslam (blue)
(2) Cranial Crush (blue)
(2) Crush Confidence (blue)
(2) Crush the Weak (blue)
(2) Debilitate (blue)
(2) Disable (blue)
(2) Last Ditch Effort (blue)
(2) Show Time! (blue)
(1) Stamp Authority (blue)
(2) Staunch Response (blue)
(2) Towering Titan (blue)
(2) Unmovable (blue)

Total cost < 35$ using Infinity price. 


See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/kRyLZPwe/

Changes:

1 Crippling Crush -> 1 Red Disable. Not as good but not that far

2 Righteous Cleansing -> 2 Yellow Disable. About the same level

2 Stamped Authority -> Raging Onslaught. just a blue cost 3. Stamped Authority is good only turn 1. Not a big difference

Arcane Skullcap, Tectonic Plating, Crate, Crater Fist-> Ironhide Helm, Plate and Gauntlet.

3 Ironhide and a blue card block for 6, aka the fridge so this is very good. You are losing a bit of defense here obviously. Tectonic Plating is the real card missing here because, it allow a lot of play (see Anothos paragraph), and also because the sesmic token helps a lot with the math when you use one of your attack.

Sledge is only against Kano so if you dont have one, dont worry about it and wait for CRU UNL.

 Intermediate Bravo deck lvl 2:

Ok, you bought or made the entry level deck, you spent 35$ and you want to spend more. What is the next level



Guardian Blitz v2

Class: Guardian
Hero: Bravo
Weapons: Anothos, Sledge of Anvilheim
Equipment: Ironhide Gauntlet, Ironhide Helm, Ironhide Legs, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Nullrune Hood, Nullrune Robe, Tectonic Plating, Time Skippers

(2) Blessing of Deliverance (red)
(2) Crippling Crush (red)
(2) Pummel (red)
(2) Sigil of Solace (red)
(2) Disable (yellow)
(1) Remembrance (yellow)
(1) Blessing of Deliverance (blue)
(2) Buckling Blow (blue)
(2) Cartilage Crush (blue)
(2) Chokeslam (blue)
(2) Cranial Crush (blue)
(2) Crush Confidence (blue)
(2) Crush the Weak (blue)
(2) Debilitate (blue)
(2) Disable (blue)
(2) Last Ditch Effort (blue)
(2) Raging Onslaught (blue)
(2) Show Time! (blue)
(2) Staunch Response (blue)
(2) Towering Titan (blue)
(2) Unmovable (blue)

See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/pEZAAMqw/

Cost to upgrade from Entry level to Intermediate level: 

1 Tectonic Plating  $115

1 Crippling Crush $13 

Total: +128$ to upgrade to intermediate level.

Tectonic Plating really helps the deck. The second Crippling Crush is also a huge boost for the deck.

The difference between this build and the maxed out build is not big at all. And most likely, you will not notice it until you start to get very used to Bravo. So I think this is an excellent deck

Pro deck Bravo level 3:

I think the intermediate level is 95% as good as the Pro version of the deck. 

But if you really want to max out everything. Here is the list of the cards missing for the max built:

1 Arcane Skullcap $270. Extra armor. Good with most deck. Worth buying when you can but will not change the deck.

1 Crater Fist $75. Most of the time, you will use only the 1 armor but there will always be one game where you can use the attack boost. Wait for CRU UNL

1 Gamblers gloves $110. Only against Kayo. Wait for CRU UNL

2 Righteous Cleansing $35. Not always better than yellow disable. Wait for CRU UNL

2 Stamp Authority $40. Just another Blue. Good for turn 1. That's all. Wait for CRU UNL

 Advanced tips on playing Bravo in Blitz:

  • To dominate or not:

    Representing pummel is often better than to dominate. Remember you prefer to take cards out of the opponent hand than dealing extra damage. Dominate if: 1) you kill your opponent or 2) The crush effect is important (i.e. crippling crush)

    •  To pummel or not:

    Kind of the same as for dominate. Don't waste a pummel to do 3 or 4 damage! (except if it is lethal). Remember that once you played both red pummel, it is harder to bluff, unless your opponent is not paying attention

    • What to remembrance for:

    Crippling Crush / Disable / Righteous Cleansing 

    Red Blessing of deliverance against aggro deck for extra life

    • When to block with your equipments:

    For on hit effects or to survive. Skullcap can be used early because you get have so much life gain that it doesn’t always block for 2.

    •  Play Fast. You will most likely go through your deck so practice and play fast

    • Setting up big turns. 

    Most of the time, it is better to block more than attack more. The only exceptions are when you can set up a dominated Crippling Crush (even better with Pummel) because your opponent will have no card in hands and you will be far ahead. The second case is when you go for the Last Ditch Effort kill combo (see bellow)

    • Last Ditch Effort (LDE)

     

    This takes a bit of practice but it will be a very good win condition against deck like Ira. If possible dont block with your LDE and use them to pitch to keep them into your deck. But dont worry you have remembrance to bring them back if you need to block.

    Once you start having less than 10 cards in your deck, try to setup do that your two LDE are in the last 4 cards. You also need to keep 2 blue in those 4 cards but that should not be too hard.

    You draw your 2 LDE and 2 Blue cards. Ideally you have enough health to not block anything or block with your armor.

    And then you play LDE for 8 go again and a second one.16 damages.

    One better setup is to keep one LDE in your arsenal but be careful if they command and conquer you and you don't have enough armor to block it. 

    With a LDE in your arsenal and 3 blue. You can pitch blue to LDE, pitch blue to LDE, pitch blue to swing Anothos, nice 22 damage. Instead of using Anothos, you can also pitch to Bravo to give both your LDE dominate so you do 8 dominated then 8 dominated. They should be dead in both case.

    One issue, especially against Ira is that you might have to block during the turn before you LDE.

    In that case, block with one card. You have 2 blues and one LDE in hand and one in arsenal.

    Pitch a blue to Bravo to give your attack action dominate, Pitch LDE to play the LDE in your arsenal and then blue for Anothos. total 14 damage. End of turn your 3 pitch card go to your library and you draw them, 2 blue and 1 LDE. And next turn, pitch a blue to LDE then pitch a blue to Anothos. another 14 damage. They should be dead.

    • Show Time! target

    Except very very rare case, crippling crush. Be very careful though. Show Time! doesnt have go again so except during your turn 1, you much be sure of what you are doing if you take one turn off for that.

    • Play First.

     There are many good turn one play (Towering Titan, Show Time, Stamped Authority, Blessing) that playing first is always better.

     

    Match Ups:

    Ira: reasonable. It is a long grind. Focus on the life gain. If you can pummel a crippling crush, go for it. They will have trouble coming back. Otherwise go for LDE + Hammer then LDE+ Hammer combo

    Dorinthea: good match up once you are very experienced but difficult at the beginning. Overblock. 1 blue is enought ot attack for 4 so you can block with 3 cards. During their big turns (Glint, Ironsong...), it is ok to block with all your cards. Save your defense reaction for those crazy turn. Remember they need to get go again and they dont have that many high impact cards so you need make them play them, then you can finish then easily

    Wizard: 4 Nullrode and a lot of blues so this is a good match up. Use the Sledge, pitch 2 blue to attack and you have 2 blue floating

    Dash: Just block, get life and they will fatigue. Not even worth doing much

    Viserai OTK: Just set up crippling and beat them to a pulp. Very easy MU.

    Prism: You can break their attack easily. Just be careful of footsteps. Kill the Aura on site

    Brute: Be aggressive, they need cards to combo off. If you give them time, it is bad for you

    Chane: Wait until they fatigue. Prioratize life gain. Hammer is your best friend.

     

    Summary:

     

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