Legend Story Studios (LSS) moved up the Flesh and Blood Banned and Suspended announcement to today — a week earlier than expected — and it contains huge changes to both the Classic Constructed and Blitz formats.
For Classic Constructed, Awakening was banned and Autumn’s Touch and Bloodsheath Skeleta were suspended. Autumn’s Touch will come off the suspended list when Bravo, Star of the Show hits Living Legend, while Bloodsheath Skeleta will return following Visera, Rune Blood’s ascension to Living Legend status. Seeds of Agony was moved from banned to suspended and will become legal when Chane, Bound By Shadow becomes a Living Legend.
In Blitz, Awakening and Heartened Cross Strap were banned, Viserai and Nebula Blade reached Living Legend status, and Snap Back, Sonata Arcanix, and Stir the Aetherwinds were all suspended until the conclusion of Skirmish Season 5. Seeds of Agony was moved to suspended similar to in Classic Constructed, and Stubby Hammers will be banned on June 24 with the release of Uprising. All bans and suspensions other than Stubby Hammerers goes into effect on May 2. Players participating in events at SCG CON Pittsburgh this weekend will not have to worry about changing decks or replacing cards. The timing of the May 2 date was to present a fresh new meta for players for the first Pro Tour on May 13-15 in New Jersey.
LSS originally planned a B&S update for May 2 with the hopes that Bravo, Star of the Show would reach Living Legend status before that date and keep the design team from taking action against the Elemental Guardian from Everfest. But after this past weekend’s Calling and Battle Hardened events, Bravo came up short of the 1,000 Living Legend points needed to retire the hero, leaving LSS in a spot where it had to target something. LSS banned Awakening and suspended Autumn’s Touch to leave the hero playable, but weaken its stranglehold on the Classic Constructed meta.
Awakening was banned outright due to its power in swinging games and turns for such a low investment, often enabling free attacks from cards like Pulverize, Crippling Crush, or Spinal Crush. The utility and low cost of Awakening made it hard for decks to race Bravo, Star of the Show so it is being banned, despite the collateral damage it deals to Oldhim, Grandfather of Eternity. Autumn’s Touch is being suspended to lower the consistency of Bravo, Star of the Show’s ability. The deck will need to run more Earth cards and attack action cards with cost three or more to use the hero ability for big swings.
The other big change for Classic Constructed is the suspension of Bloodsheath Skeleta. The decision to remove the powerful piece of equipment was made to prevent Viserai, Rune Blood from dominating the meta following the weakening of Bravo, Star of the Show. While Viserai was soft to Bravo, he preyed on pretty much every other deck in the format so action was taken to keep the Runeblade hero in check. The shift from banned to suspended won’t impact the current Classic Constructed format, but when Chane, Bound By Shadow reaches Living Legend, the card will return to the format.
The Blitz changes are a bit wider in scope, starting with Viserai reaching Living Legend status resulting in the removal of him and his weapon, Nebula Blade, from the format. Awakening was banned in the format for similar reasons to its axing from Classic Constructed, even though Bravo, Star of the Show isn’t legal in the format. Oldhim was the big offender for abusing Awakening in Blitz as the Guardian proved to be the strongest hero in the current format. Heartened Cross Strap was also banned because it enables too many one-turn kills, and LSS’ goal is to make Blitz games last longer than a few turns.
Sonata Arcanix, Snap Back, and Stir the Aetherwinds are all being suspended until the end of Skirmish Season 5 for balance reasons and to give LSS more time and data to analyze with regards to the Blitz format. Seeds of Agony is moving to suspended over banned similar to Classic Constructed with the plan of returning to the format when Chane reaches Living Legend.
Lastly, Stubby Hammerers is being banned on June 24 due to its interaction with cards coming in Uprising. LSS is getting out ahead of any problems by taking preventative action now.
Read the original announcement from LSS.