Enter the Pit Fight with Benji!

Benji, Piercing Wind

Greetings and salutations my fabulous FAB folks! As you probably know, I’m Donnie K, aka some random #fabdad, and you’ve found another brew in our Ultimate Pit Fight series! As a lover of Ninja shenanigans, I’ve been putting off writing about the class for a while. But now, I’m finally ready to give it a shot.¬†Fair warning, I think we’re looking at a potential war crime of a deck today. What do I mean? Today, we’re brewing up a Benji, the Piercing Wind list!

Wandering With Purpose

There are several different ways to go about putting a Benji list together. However, the main philosophies boil down to two primary plans. You can go for a full Crouching Tiger build, or ignore the kitties completely. Long-time readers will know that I like to lean towards what sounds like the most fun in my brews. (Feels weird to think that I might have long-time readers at this point, but hey, it’s possible.) To me, that means our opponents might have to learn to deal with random cat noises every time I play a card.

For this build, we’re focusing on the synergy between Benji’s hero power and the low-to-the-ground nature of James White’s imaginary kittens. Since our low-power attacks are harder for our opponents to block and Benji provides a handy buff to the next attack afterwards, the plan is to create a Tiger every turn. That is, until we’re ready to go nuclear, anyway. But hey, we’ll get to that in a moment.

What is Benji Wearing to the Party?

The deck list is pretty tight, so I’m only including the bare minimum for equipment. Therefore, we have no Nullrune gear and no Arcane Barrier in the board. If we happen to sit next to a Wizard with this list, our mission will be to take them out first (assuming we’re trying to win quickly, that is). Tiger Taming Khakkara is our weapon of choice and we’re using a couple of legendaries in the other slots. For the Chest and Arms, Tiger Stripe Shuko and Fyendal’s Spring Tunic are probably best in slot for consistency, but if you want budget options, go for Blossom of Spring or a potential war crime instead.

For the head and feet, we could use the Ninja staple pieces and feel fine. Mask of Momentum is a strong include with this list and is possibly the better call over Mask of the Pouncing Lynx. But I’m looking for a fun-filled nuclear turn at some point, so Lynx gets the nod from me.

Pouncing Paws isn’t as good as Stride of Reprisal either. I’d love to use Stride instead, but regardless of how talented Benji is, he’s missing the relevant Talent to play it. That makes Pouncing Paws the best we have available for this plan.

Ok, So What Kinds of Attacks Do We Want?

Let’s start with the basics. Part the Mistveil provided some great new toys for Tiger builds. So we’ll be borrowing some things from Zen and a little from Round the Table‘s Ira, Crimson Haze deck. The plan is to mostly play yellow and blue attacks that work with Benji’s hero power. Our red attacks will either buff/create cats or have strong synergy on our nuke turn. Aspect of Tiger: Soul and Aspect of Tiger: Mind are auto-includes, but I left the red version out because of its three attack points. We’re only using the yellow Growl for the same reason.

A big goal of the deck is to play out as many attacks per combat chain as we can in order to take advantage of Benji’s ridiculous specialization card, Spring Tidings. Benji’s other specialization, Wander with Purpose, will also help us find our red cards with combo. Chase the Tail, Mauling Qi, and Tiger Swipe are our big bombs that Wander can pull.

That Sounds Neat, but Get to the War Crimes Already!

Alright, alright. One of the coolest things about UPF is the general lack of bans in the format. Cards that were too powerful for Classic Constructed and/or Blitz are perfectly okay to play in multiplayer. Belittle and Plunder Run are amazing cards, and they serve as powerful fuel for keeping the Tigers roaring. We’re pairing the yellow Belittles with two blue Minnowism to ensure we’ve got resources to fuel our big turn when it comes. Plunder Run is just gross in this deck, and with Mischievous Meeps there’s serious explosive potential. Please note, I’m only including the yellow and blue versions for now, but there’s a good possibility that we want to be running all six. Even so, we have to be careful with our buff effects since our hero power doesn’t just read our card’s base attack.

Sweet! What Else Do We Want for Benji?

It should be noted that we’re not necessarily trying to create multiple Tigers per turn. Usually, one or two is fine. That means that non-attack cards like Predatory Streak and Roar of the Tiger are a bit off center of what we’re trying to do. That being said, if either of them were to make the cut, I would want Roar more. Honestly, I just feel like there are other things that I want more than a buff on the one or two Crouching Tigers I’m playing. The synergy it has with Art of War is real though, so if you try it out, let me know what works better for you.

We’re including a few finishers for the non-bomb turns too. Salt the Wound and Take the Tempo serve the same purpose in that regard, but Take the Tempo has the potential to set us up with an even bigger hand next turn. Finally, I’ve included a Tenacity in the inventory just in case our Benji is seated next to a hero that likes to block a lot.

What Else Is in the Inventory?

Well, that’s kind of up to you. I’ve included a few defensive options in the final list, but to be honest, they’re all flex slots. I’m going with Sink Below and That All You Got? to go in in different situations. Sink can be useful against go tall decks where That All You Got? is good against other decks that like to go wide. Tiger Eye Reflex should be paired with That All You Got? to keep card economy higher than what our go-wide opponent will probably have.

The Final List for Benji in UPF

Put it all together and here’s the final product-

Final Thoughts

Part the Mistveil‘s Mystic Assassin may have claimed my heart, but the Ninja class still feels like home to me. Benji is a super fun hero to tinker with and I think the variability in this list will make for some wild stories when it’s played at a UPF table. When it goes off, IT GOES OFF. Use this as a starting point and let me know what kind of obscene turns you’re able to string together!

Would you have gone the non-Tiger route with the list? What cards should I have included but didn’t? Or did include and shouldn’t have? Want to listen to my buddies and I talk about this amazing game every week? Find me in the Cult of Nuu discord or on Twitter as Dracohominis87 to let me know!

Further Reading:

Multiplayer Card Design in Flesh and Blood

Ultimate Pit Fight – Multiplayer Flesh and Blood

How to Play Melody in Ultimate Pit Fight

Donnie is an enthusiastic nerd and family man who grew up playing TCGs, starting when Pokemon cards were the hottest thing on the playground. After playing Yu-gi-oh and then Magic the Gathering for years, he found Flesh and Blood in December of '22, sold all of his other pretty cardboard rectangles, and dived into FAB head first where he discovered a deep love for go-wide strategies involving the use of Ninja cards. Be Like Water is his current favorite card, because he gets to do a terrible Bruce Lee impression every time it's played. (Much to the annoyance of his brother who hears it a lot.) Donnie has been married to his lovely wife since Halloween 2008 and has two beautiful daughters that he couldn't be more proud of.