The Fountain of Youth: Benji

Benji, Piercing Wind
(Benji, the Piercing Wind | Art by Sam Yang)

The Fountain of Youth is a series of articles that will focus on the young heroes of Flesh and Blood. A good number of these heroes don’t see the kind of appreciation that they deserve. They have some of the most unique and interesting textboxes in the game (except Ira). That being said, it’s time to shine a light on the youth of Flesh and Blood.

Who is Bento?

Bento, Banjo, or just Benji, no matter what you call him, Benji, the Piercing Wind is one of my favorite heroes. His textbox makes for gameplay that’s different than any other. The little guy puts the game on a timer, and it’s wonderful.

His ability gets in the way of a lot of strategies and is potent when leveraged correctly. Control decks lose the efficient blocks that they’re built around, while aggressive decks are likely to let on-hits through that swing tempo in Benji’s direction.

The other side of Benji’s textbox is both a tool and a burden. While it can make attacks blockable from hand when you would rather they weren’t, it’s a great tool to try and get your opponent to block. Another important thing about the buff is that it can be cleared by Kodachis. This is extremely helpful when you need to send an on-hit but want it to be hard to block.

The Types of Banjo

In a list of most interesting decks to build, Benji is close to the top. He has many archetypes that you can play, but there are three that are the most common.

Keeping It on the Down Low

This build is where everyone’s head goes the first time they see Benji, all ones and twos. It’s a very simple strategy that has distinct advantages and disadvantages, and can be picked up quickly. This is also the build that is all in on making Spring Tidings hit.

Some of the downsides include: a lot of two blocks, more trouble getting through heroes that have a lot of equipment, and having the opponent play full hands into you every turn. Notorious for using 20 cards in a turn, if it goes off, this approach can be one of the most fun for those that like drawing cards. This is the highest risk build of Benji and that makes it well suited for those that like to live life on the edge.

Lions, Tigers, and More Tigers

Using the goofiest tricks, the Tiger deck is the most explosive strategy at Benji’s disposal. It’s the widest build of Benji, and it uses key cards like Art of War, Roar of the Tiger, and Head Leads the Tail to make Crouching Tigers into small attacks that fall under Benji’s unblockable ability.

The deck spends the first few turns blocking and trying to whittle the opponent’s life a little while trying to draw into pieces to combo off. This makes the deck more resilient to aggro. Blocking is already in the game plan. It does have it’s awkward times though. There are things like Predatory Streak that are weird to draw when you don’t need them. This makes this the clunkiest variant of the deck.

This deck is for people that like to take game actions. The damage may not be the highest per attack, but there are so many attacks, it doesn’t really matter.

Plink… Plink… BONK!!!

Don’t let the silly way of referring to it fool you; this is the most versatile and strongest build of Benji. This is where people usually end up once they figure out they don’t like the opponent being on full hands all game. This strategy uses mostly small attacks for Benji, but it also looks to have a blockable attack that presents efficient damage or an on-hit each turn as well. This can incentivize blocking from hand, and if you choose breakpoint numbers it makes using equips tempting.

Another notable point is that the deck has a higher overall damage output for when you just need to push damage. Though the blockable attacks bring advantages, they also bring some disadvantages. These attacks can cause a deck to miss lethal by letting the opponent block when you really need to push damage. There is also the occasional hand that draws multiples of them together.

Benji’s Toolbox

Benji leverages some cards in ways that only he can.

Spring Tidings

This is the marquee card for Benji; it’s always a two-of in the deck. It’s the main way to break equips or swing tempo in your favor, and is the reason people hold their equips into Benji. It has some of the biggest boogeyman vibes of any of the cards in Blitz. If this card hits after a few attacks, you probably win. Your buffs are best used to push this over the opponent’s blocks.


Pox is one of the ways Benji ends games. On a turn where the opponent hasn’t been able to get a card out of hand, this is worth five damage on its own. Being a good on-hit, this is another card that convinces the opponent to block with equips. This is probably priority number two for buffs. It also has the advantage of being one damage, meaning that it clears the Benji buff well without being blockable from hand.

Mischievous Meeps

Meeps is Benji’s big pickup from Dusk Till Dawn. It’s under Benji’s condition, has go again, and on-hit draw. While not interesting, it does everything Benji wants. It also takes equip blocks into Dash, which seems pretty good.

Stab Wound

This card shares most of the upsides of Vipox, but with a few extra hoops. Stab Wound combines perfectly with Flick Knives to get extra damage from its on-hit. I mostly view these as Pox three and four.

Double Strike

This is about having more chain links for Mask of Momentum. With Benji, it’s just three damage that’s hard to block. Double Strike is just generally efficient for what Benji does.

Give and Take

This is one of the best cards for decks running blockable attacks. Give and Take discourages blocking with it’s recursion effect on blocking with an action card. Having go again makes this a prime attack to absorb the buff. It can also loop with another copy of itself to help with decks that are trying to wait out Benji.

Take the Tempo

This is one of the first cards I saw people successfully build the blockable lists with. Take the Tempo is aptly named. In Benji, it’s typically flipping a playable card. The opponents know this and it usually gets two card blocks. If the opponent doesn’t block, it sets up an explosive next turn, or if you can give it go again, it extends the turn.

Looking for a Scrap

This card is seen less often, but if you play one-power attacks, it can be a surprising big attack in the middle of the combat chain. This one is just about efficiency since the condition is often easy for a Benji deck to meet.

Gore Belching

This is the big bonk. If you play one blockable attack in your list, this is likely it. Most often this translates as a zero for five or six damage. Never run this as more than a one-of.

Zooming away

Benji is an often overlooked hero that relies on risk assessment and a unique toolkit to find his openings and tick away at the opponent’s life. With some practice and patience, Benji can be a great deck to take to a local Armory. He’s even picked up the occasional Skirmish win.

Jo (they/them) is an avid Flesh and Blood player, judge and, writer. They are one of the blitz specialists here at FABREC. Jo has played a lot of classes and heroes but, they have an affinity for two heroes in particular, Dash and Valda. When not playing FaB, Jo is typically filling their free time playing guitar, playing Apex Legends, or building their next Rube Goldberg machine of a deck.