Heavy Hitters Blitz Deck Review – Kayo & Rhinar

Heavy Hitters Blitz Deck Review - Brute

The Deathmatch Arena has many competitors from all around Rathe. There are dark and brooding Warriors with tragic pasts and a thirst for bloodshed. There are boastful Guardians who can beat you in the arena, at the card tables, or at the bar. However, there are none more brutal, none more feared than the denizens of the Savage Lands. Heavy Hitters is launching with six new preconstructed decks, with two of them focusing on the Brute class.

Kayo is reintroduced with new powerful hero abilities that completely change Brute deck construction, and the classic Rhinar from the inaugural Welcome to Rathe set is back and badder than ever with the new beat chest mechanic. This article is a chunky double-feature!

The Kayo Precon

The new Kayo may only have one arm, but his ability to generate a Might token the first time he discards a 6+ power attack each turn offsets the downside of only being able to use a single one-handed weapon. Furthermore, his ability to boost the attack value of all cards in his deck not on the combat chain means his deck can suddenly have access to dozens of new base-five power cards. Here’s what you get in the new Kayo preconstructed deck:

The deck also comes with a rainbow foil young Kayo and two of each color extended art Agile Windup, making this a possible attractive buy even if you’re just collecting.

How to Play Kayo

When playing the new Kayo precon your goal is to extract as much value from your hero power as possible by consistently generating Might tokens. Try to discard a 6+ attack every turn using cards like Wild Ride, Bare Fangs, and Mini Meataxe to continually generate a small boost to the first attack next turn. These tokens may seem marginal at first, but over the course of the game it can accrue to 7+ points of value, which is like getting an extra free attack each game.

Kayo doesn’t mind going first or second. If you go first, apply pressure immediately if you can and get your Might token engine going. If you go second, then you get the aggressive advantage. Make sure you use the instant-speed discard ability of Agile Windup or Mighty Windup if you’re lucky enough to draw them to give you even more advantage going second. Your core loop is either a wide 4-5 card hand kicked off by a Wild Ride or Agility token or a tight three-card hand using buffs like Lead with Speed and Lead With Power into any of your two-cost attacks like Bare Fangs, Rising Power or Mini Meataxe.

Use your equipment aggressively! Don’t be afraid to break your Flat Trackers on your first turn if you can guarantee a 2+ attack the next turn. Look for opportunities to create both a Might and Agility token so you can block with your excellent Temper 2 chest, Raw Meat. Kayo’s specialization helmet, Knucklehead might seem dumb at first, but it also blocks for three total, and if you’re feeling lucky you can try to turn the game around with a risky dice roll. Finally, Gauntlet of Might is an incredibly versatile arms equipment that lets you bolster your defense or apply a critical breakpoint to a future attack.

Kayo’s cards do not block well, so use them instead to relentlessly attack your opponent. If you do need to block there are a few three-block cards, including Pack Call, Down But Not Out and Run into Trouble. However, try to save Down But Not Out for an explosive comeback that rewards you for taking hits and burning your equipment early. Also try to get full value from Run into Trouble! If you control an Agility token when you block with it you can instantly ping your opponent for one damage, extracting more value and sometimes even winning the game. Don’t forget you can sneakily discard an Agile Windup to activate that condition even on your opponent’s turn.

Winning with Kayo often involves just presenting numbers the opponent can’t block. It’s very possible to put out as much as 17+ damage just with a Lead with Power into a Wild Ride followed by a Bare Fangs from arsenal. However, be aware if your opponent is trying to fatigue you, considering your draw and discard effects put you at a deck size disadvantage. Don’t be afraid to pitch reds to get more value later or even throw your Agile Windups or Pack Calls as just solid attacks that don’t take extra cards out of your deck. Unfortunately, with this list unmodified you’ll always be a bit vulnerable to fatigue, especially against more refined Blitz decks and especially with a weapon like Mini Meataxe. The next section will go into some possible upgrades to improve the deck, and make you even more explosive to beat those pesky fatigue strategies.

Upgrading The Kayo Precon

This section will stick mainly to low-cost upgrades that you can make to the Kayo precon immediately using the entire Brute playset. I will mention a few additions at the end of each subsection that are much more expensive, but can turn Kayo into a potentially powerful Armory or Skirmish stomper.

The absolute number one improvement to be made to the Kayo deck is a weapon change. Both Mandible Claw and Ball Breaker offer distinct advantages over the Mini Meataxe. Mandible Claw can be combined with discarding Agile Windup or Mighty Windup to enable the go again on the spot. Ball Breaker ekes just a little bit more value from discarding during your turn where sometimes the go again effect on Mandible Claw will be wasted. Try both of them out, as they both offer their own distinct play lines. The rest of the equipment suite is actually quite good, though you could consider tracking down a pair of Beaten Trackers. There are some fantastic legendary pieces, but they are expensive. Keep an eye out for Scabskin Leathers, Scowling Flesh Bag, and Apex Bonebreaker. Funny enough, in the Blitz format, Kayo’s best chest armor slot might actually be the common generic Vest of the First Fist.

Next we get rid of some of the clunky or weak attacks to give Kayo a wider spread each turn and more access to discard effects. Pulping can be an absolute all star as it gives Kayo access to dominate and wide turns, but it has the downside of being a non-block and vulnerable to defense reactions in the arsenal. These are definitely a mainstay in the deck, replacing Rising Power for both red pitch and yellow pitch. Consider having a side board plan, though, if you know your opponent is running a lot of defense reactions.

Next up is Savage Feast. This can replace the cute, but very conditional, Down But Not Out. Savage Feast is one of the best uses of Agility because it turns your weapon text on and you can swing it immediately afterwards with just a blue pitch! If you’re just getting into the game, though, and don’t have access to some of the older Brute rares, then some great honorable mentions are Wage Agility red, Assault and Battery red and blue, and Mighty Windup yellow. If you don’t have a budget, scoop up some powerful majestics like Cast Bones, Swing Big, Beast Within, Berserk, Send Packing, and the iconic Bloodrush Bellow.

And that’s it for Kayo. Don’t even think this spunky, bloodthirsty Brute is anywhere near solved! Exploit your Might and have fun with a brand new type of Brute deck-building. Next up is the granddaddy Brute, Rhinar!

The Rhinar Precon

Rhinar may be an oldie, hailing from the very first Flesh and Blood set, Welcome to Rathe, but he’s still a goodie. Instead of extracting value through Might tokens, Rhinar seeks to end the game abruptly by limiting your opponent’s blocking options using the intimidate keyword. Intimidate temporarily banishes a random card from your opponent’s hand and Rhinar’s hero power intimidates for every 6+ power you discard during your action phase!

Here’s what you get in the new precon:

The deck also comes with a rainbow foil young Rhinar and two of each color extended art Bonebreaker Bellow red, making this a possible attractive buy even if you’re just collecting.

How to Play Rhinar

Rhinar is a complicated guy. He wants to unga AND bunga, but he is also a very effective mid-range hero. The precon definitely wants you to create value with smart blocks and utilizing three-card hands. The new keyword beat chest is a very versatile form of the standard Brute formula. Beat chest lets you choose to discard and choose what you discard to get an additional benefit from the card. Not only that, further cards with beat chest you play later in the turn get the full benefit! This is most notable in combos like Bonebreaker Bellow into Rawhide Rumble which allows you to do a four-card 11-attack that also intimidates two of your opponent’s cards. If your opponent doesn’t have a response, these kinds of plays can end the game on the spot since a standard two-card hand can only block for six. Even if you don’t have that fourth card, Bonebreaker Bellow into Ball Breaker can be a nasty nine damage that still intimidates a card and limits your opponent’s blocking choices.

Rhinar doesn’t have a strong preference for first or second. He can be aggressive immediately, but setup is also key to great Rhinar plays. Because of that you will often want to block, play a small hand, and arsenal if possible. Don’t feel pressured if your turn is only a Mandible Claw for three damage followed by an arsenal. Take full advantage of your cards that block three and work your way through the game going off and on arsenal, conserving life for your explosive intimidate and double buff turns. Blue cards like Lead with Power and Smashback Alehorn are there for pitch and for utility since Rhinar can’t use five-power blue pitch cards like Kayo. If you draw blue-heavy, feel free to use one to make your next turn even more spectacular.

Following the opportunistic playstyle, try to use your equipment to block critical on hits or protect you when you have a great hand to close out the game. Smashback Alehorn really shines here because it sets up for a devastating turn while also fully activating your Raw Meat chest piece. Monstrous Veil is a built-in free intimidate, even on an empty hand. You can use this to close out games by extracting another card from your opponent when they don’t expect it. Just make sure you block with it first to get your one point of value! Finally, there’s a notable combat trick with Beast Mode. You can wait until the reaction step to discard a card like Agile Windup to possibly surprise your opponent with a sudden +2 damage and an intimidate trigger.

Upgrading the Rhinar Precon

This section will stick mainly to low-cost upgrades that you can make to the Rhinar precon immediately using the entire Brute playset. I will mention a few additions at the end of each subsection that are much more expensive, but can turn Rhinar into a potentially powerful Armory or Skirmish stomper.

The equipment upgrades for Rhinar are exactly what you expect from an older hero: legendaries! Fyendal’s Spring Tunic is especially potent if you want to make games run with a defense Rhinar. You can even consider running Pummel to smack onto your two-cost attacks if you have access to Tunic. Barkbone Strapping is a lower cost, but perfectly acceptable alternative. You can fully invest into that trick too by running Goliath Gauntlet, but I think the legendary Apex Bonebreaker fits the same strategy and still nets you +2 attack just over the course of two blocks. Monstrous Veil can stay, but clearly legendary head pieces like Scowling Flesh Bag will give you more of an edge. Finally, the weapon of choice depends on whether you want to tweak your deck to run Bloodrush Bellow. If you do, you’ll want double Mandibles, but the deck will play great with his signature Romping Club paired with those new Bonebreaker Bellows.

The first card you can add to the actual deck is Wrecker Romp. This is the only blue six in Flesh and Blood that Rhinar currently has access to, and it is absolutely essential. I would suggest either cutting any of the blues or Mighty Windup red just to improve the consistency in having plenty of pitch. Rhinar should also borrow Wild Ride from Kayo and replace the red Agile Windup. The argument here is that Wild Ride does most of what Agile Windup red will do, but it allows better aggression on smaller hands as well. Definitely consider replacing Beast Mode with a better finisher like Predatory Assault. This card synergizes incredibly well with your buff cards to lock out the game. Finally, if you’re ready to pay those release weekend prices, Show No Mercy makes your deck incredibly deadly even against very defensive opponents.

Welcome to the Deathmatch Arena! Welcome to the savage Brute life! The Brute class is an incredibly exciting archetype in Flesh and Blood that mixes heads-up luck factors like dice rolling and plenty of skill expression through deck tweaks and block choices. Thanks for reading, and I will see you at the bar after the dust of the Arena settles!

More Heavy Hitters Reviews:

Heavy Hitters Set Review – Brute

Heavy Hitters Set Review – Warrior

Heavy Hitters Set Review – Guardian

Heavy Hitters Blitz Deck Review – Kassai and Olympia