Outsiders: Gore Belching Benji

Gore Belching
(Gore Belching | Art by Nikolay Moskvin)

Hello and welcome back to another installment of Outsiders, a FABREC series where we take a look at less commonly played cards and try to find uses for them.

Thankfully Flesh and Blood‘s release schedule hasn’t yet developed to a point where we can use every edition of this series as a way to showcase the latest release (unlike other TCGs I could mention. I’m not bitter, honest!) So we’re checking out another card from FAB‘s latest set, Outsiders!

Specifically, the card we’re looking at today is (drum roll) Gore Belching!

Befuddled Brutes

First impressions of this card were a bit weird. On first brush, it looked like a card meant for Brute, what with its horrific artwork, lack of a block value, and high power that comes with a drawback. But it’s about as non-synergistic with a Brute deck as a card can possibly be, since it requires us to run only low-power cards to make the most out of its stat line.

And while high rolling with a serendipitous Rouse the Ancients can be hilarious, consistency is king.

Which is why, of the 0.4% of decks that opt to include this funky majestic, Warrior heroes like Kassai, Cintari Sellsword make up the bulk of decks that run it (66%!) And that makes sense. Warriors can forego attack action cards entirely, and include a single Gore Belching, enabled by a sole Rouse the Ancients that’s otherwise strictly utilized as a pitch card, thus allowing them to unlock its full seven points of value every time. No questions asked.

But what if we wanted to maximize the amount of belching that we’re gonna do? Well for one we would open ourselves up to the whiff of revealing our other copy of The Belch to the one we’re currently playing. But, let’s be honest, this series has never been about optimization. So if we’re running two copies of Gore Belching, we’ll also need to include a high density of low-powered cards.

That’s why we’re going with the hero that consistently gets away with running the most of those: Benji, the Piercing Wind!

Beautiful Belching Benji

First, let’s examine what Gore Belching does for Benji. The smol protégé of Katsu, the Wanderer generally wants to run many lower powered yellows and blues to evade enemy blocks and thereby consistently trigger his on-hit ability. And in a deck that runs few to no cards with a power greater than two, Gore Belching will be guaranteed to come in for at least five points of damage. However, even with a two-card hand (say, a Head Jab and a Gore Belching), Benji’s on-hit ability will trigger and allow our Gore Belching to come in for a clean six points of value for just a single card, getting us close to the value that Warriors can unlock with the card.

Second, cards like Gore Belching can solve some of Benji’s issues. He can struggle in racing scenarios for two reasons: His life total is lower and his ability all but guarantees that our opponent will always have a full grip to return threats with – which are almost certainly going to threaten more damage than our lower powered cards can muster.

This is where Gore Belching comes in. While Benji games can sometimes get into a weird state of both players declaring no blocks and just aiming to maim each other as quickly as possible, high damage chain-enders like Gore Belching don’t just speed up our clock. They can also take cards out of our opponents’ hands, mitigating the blowback!

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The Belching Brew

This list runs two more cards from Outsiders that excite my Ninja-loving self to no end: The new Head Jab follow-up combo cards, Recoil and One-Two Punch. While One-Two Punch is a simple zero-cost card that, when combo’d, allows us to threaten four points of unblockable damage, Recoil not only usually leaks two points of damage, it still takes away a card from our opponent’s hand when it inevitably connects!

We run two copies of Be Like Water and two copies of Benji’s new specialization, Wander With Purpose, to more consistently combo these cards as well as our other main combo sequence, the Twin Twisters line! Twin Twisters gives us a second version of Benji’s on-hit ability, allowing just about any card that follows to threaten at least four points of damage.

Meanwhile, the follow-up Back Heel Kick yellow and Back Heel Kick blue synergize with the on-hit effects of Benji and Twin Twisters as well as our two copies of Razor Reflex! And since the effect of Back Heel Kick doesn’t just apply once, but EVERY time its power gets buffed, a successful Twin Twisters hit turns a yellow Back Heel Kick into a six for zero!

Another fun synergy is between Hurl and Stab Wound, which gives us the ability to threaten up to six points of unblockable damage at the very real but equally thrilling risk of losing both of our weapons.

Bellicose Brawling

So what does this all add up to? Simply put, a catch-22 for our opponents. We quickly chip away at their armor if they want to stop the on-hits from Benji’s ability, our Twin Twisters, or our combo’d Head Jab follow-ups. And once they’re out, they’re going to leak damage from our low-power cards while we threaten them enough with high-powered chain-enders (Gore Belching, Vipox, Stab Wound, and Salt the Wound) to deny them a full grip to return the favor!

They’ll quickly find themselves low enough on life that a combination of our weapon attacks and our low-powered cards will finish them off. This is a pretty standard gameplan for Benji, but what Gore Belching brings to the table is the ability to load up on more synergistic threats (note how Gore Belching provides redundancy for chain-enders that also synergize with it, like Vipox and Stab Wound) to either dissuade our opponents from racing us or making the race that much harder for them.

While there are certainly decks that can race the output of our Gore Belching Benji, I for one haven’t had this much fun playing Blitz in a long while. And the idea of a child Ninja doing whatever the name and artwork of Gore Belching is depicting (I have not yet dared to fully work out a concrete mental image of that) is only a part of the fun. The main attraction is watching our opponent agonize over how to profitably interact with our cards, knowing full-well that no matter what they choose to do, a well-timed Gore Belching and/or Vipox is waiting to punish them for either course of action.

Further reading:

The Fountain of Youth: Benji

Legends, Stories, and Immersive Gameplay

The Commoner Club: Charging Onward with Boltyn

Raised on a steady diet of fantasy storys and video games, Jonah discovered trading card games at the impressionable age of 12 and has since spent over half his life and about the same percentage of each monthly salary on card games. If he's not brewing new decks or catching up on the latest FaB news, he's probably dead - or painting a new Warhammer mini.