Precon Progression – Zen Blitz Deck

Zen Blitz Deck Upgrade

Finally, the time has come for Zen‘s turn under the Precon Progression spotlight! The Mystic Ninja from Flesh and Blood‘s Part the Mistveil has been on a tear in the Classic Constructed format, with several people from the community calling for some card restrictions during the now-published Banned and Restricted announcement.

What’s in the Zen Blitz Precon Deck?

Zen loves to unleash long combos, extending the combat chain with Crouching Tiger. Thus, the deck focuses on ways to generate more Crouching Tiger cards, and ways to capitalize on these.

Let’s look at the deck list first:

Granted, the deck looks solid as-is, but a lot of cheap upgrades will bring the deck to the next level. Thus, we will be keeping only a few cards from the core.

Power Cards

Now, let’s take a look at the standout cards of the deck. Again, we will be keeping only a few of them, but feel free to adjust and retain some other synergy cards if you don’t have access to the other upgrades listed — they will work fine.

Stride of Reprisal is a crazy busted card, even as a common. It defends and sets us up for the following turn, guaranteeing a Crouching Tiger. This card may even be restricted in Classic Constructed!

We usually don’t talk about the precon weapons, but Tiger Taming Khakkara is an efficient card, which doesn’t require an on hit to buff the Crouching Tiger.

Harmony of the Hunt red and blue are great keeps, as they let us plan out what card we need to pitch and build the turn around that.

Biting Breeze red and blue are also cheap go again attacks which just extends the combat chain.

These are the only cards we’ll keep, aside from all of the Transcend ones.

Initial Upgrades for Zen

We’re only keeping a small amount of cards from the base deck because Zen’s core combo (pun not intended) are low rarity ones.

Bonds of Ancestry rainbow and Descendent Gustwave rainbow chain into each other and are the bread and butter of the upgraded deck. From these two cards, we can build a huge and threatening flurry of attacks. We don’t need to run Surging Strike — Gustwave is just a combo starter here.

Hundred Winds rainbow and Spinning Wheel Kick are also efficient go again attacks, which just need the other copy to combo together, but are totally not required, specially for the latter. Compare this with, say, Torrent of Tempo, which needs an on hit for go again.

Aspect of Tiger: Body will find its way even into the most optimized version, as we will be primarily just be attacking with red cards. A Drop in the Ocean is the only other Transcend card we’re adding, as it’s a neat combat trick which could get us over the line. Meanwhile, Salt the Wound is just a classic Ninja finisher. A Flesh and Blood rite of initiation is just getting hit by a huge Salt the Wound.

Two Zephyr Needles are a sideboard card in matchups where aggression is the key. Should they defend, they lose tempo, while we lose one weapon — which we probably won’t need again — specially since Blitz is just a 20-life format.

Consider Breed Anger if there seems to be a lack of Crouching Tiger payoff.

This is what the deck looks like after the initial upgrades:

Mid-Term Upgrades

This is where it gets exciting. These upgrades are where we fully unlock the power of our Crouching Tiger attacks, and overall bolster general deck power.

Our Crouching Tiger synergy develops even further with Chase the Tail, Tiger Swipe, and Mauling Qi. After acquiring these three, the deck should be all set on the offensive front.

However, Ancestral Harmony is another busted card which some players claim is the source of Zen’s powerful yet problematic nature in the meta. It allows us an extra oomph from most of our attacks, all while also serving as a Hail Mary when push comes to shove.

Sacred Art: Jade Tiger Domain is just an auto-include. Meanwhile, Levels of Enlightenment should be ran in all Mystic decks — it does everything we want.

Defensive options include This Round’s on Me and Warmonger’s Diplomacy — but may not be needed at all in Blitz. However, if you plan to transition to Classic Constructed, these are always great to have.

Long-Term Upgrades

The finishing touches come from the long-term upgrades.

The triumvirate of Command and Conquer, Art of War, and Enlightened Strike will forever be core to most offensive decks, so they are always worth picking up.

Tiger Stripe Shuko is the only arm piece we need, as it serves as a consistent way to threaten buffed-up Crouching Tigers and more.

Twelve Petal Kasaya is a cheeky chest piece with limited uses, but can generate a Zen State token for opponents who wish to go wide.

Traverse the Universe is just a great way to set up your following turn. However, since Blitz games may not reach even a single deck cycle, this should be last on the buylist.

Zen has far and away emerged as the strongest Classic Constructed hero from Part the Mitsveil, while there have not been major Blitz tourneys (as far as I am aware) for results comparison. He remains a formidable threat even in the 20-life format, especially since he is definitely the most aggressive Mystic.

This concludes our Part the Mistvel Precon coverage. Next installment, we’re looking at one of the best ways to get into Classic Constructed: the Armory Deck Precons!

Further Reading:

What to Expect at a Flesh and Blood Skirmish

Playing Flesh and Blood on a Budget

The Competitive Edge of Specialists in Flesh and Blood

Kenny is a non-binary Flesh and Blood player of Philippine and Japanese descent. A two-time A Game of Thrones: The Living Card Game National Champion, they started playing Magic: The Gathering during the Zendikar Block and eventually switched to harder stuff, like Legacy and Modern. When not asleep, they are probably compulsively building new decks, working on their design brand, thrifting for pretty clothes, bringing their kpop photocards everywhere, touching grass or malding over Teamfight Tactics.