Earthlore Starvo Is About To Be The Star Of The Show

Note: this article is designed for experienced Flesh and Blood players. At some point I’ll write my version of “An Introduction to Flesh and Blood for Magic Players,” but this isn’t it.

At the release of Everfest, all of my focus was on Bravo, Star of the Show, but not for the reasons you might expect

I had Earthlore Bounty pegged as the best card in Everfest, and despite it seeing almost no tournament success thus far, nothing has really changed my assessment. The resource output from a maximized Earthlore Bounty is so absurd in comparison to every other piece of equipment in the game. Fyendal’s Spring Tunic, arguably the most revered equipment in Flesh and Blood, offers you a single block and a single resource every third turn. While Earthlore Bounty comes with a heavy set of restrictions, it is easy for its average resource output to exceed one per turn, and it’s doing that over a backdrop three points of defense.

I was so convinced that Earthlore Bounty was the truth that my early efforts to build Bravo, Star of the Show decks didn’t even care about hitting the hero ability. I simply saw Star of a Show as a tool to get Tome of Harvests, powerful Guardian attacks like Crippling Crush, and Earthlore Bounty into the same deck. “Just maximize Earthlore Bounty and the rest will take care of itself,” I thought. Then early results showed me the potential of a Bravo, Star of the Show that did lean into its hero ability, and I realized that the output was again too high to ignore. I became obsessed with the idea of making both plans work, to the extent that I actually took the time to teach my boomer-self conditional formatting in Microsoft Excel so I could get my ratios correct for every matchup.

I’m not trying to claim I have the best version of Bravo, Star of the Show… at least not yet. What I do have is a meticulously constructed deck, designed to execute specific gameplans in every matchup. The variance is probably a little higher here since we are reliant on hitting a Guardian Attack when it comes time to cash in our Seismic Surges, and keeping good elemental ratios means that there just isn’t a ton of room for those attacks. We’re also giving up the extremely powerful play of leveraging a Fyendal’s Spring Tunic plus Crown of Seeds activation into a five-card hand. There’s no doubt that we’ve increased the ceiling of our deck though, and when Earthlore Starvo goes off, it feels like the most powerful thing I’ve ever done in Flesh and Blood.

Here is the decklist and my sideboarding plans for every matchup. Note that Crown of Seeds, Winter’s Wail, and Earthlore Bounty are constants, so we just choose our Gloves, Boots, and Off-hand for every matchup. Then in our maindeck, we are looking to cut 10 cards every time to get down to a svelte 60. I almost never would play more than 60 cards, even in fatigue matchups, but that’s an article for another time.

Deck build – via https://fabdb.net :

Earthlore Starvo

Class: Guardian
Hero: Bravo, Star of the Show
Weapons: Winter’s Wail
Equipment: Crater Fist, Crown of Seeds, Earthlore Bounty, Mage Master Boots, Nullrune Boots, Nullrune Gloves, Rampart of the Ram’s Head, Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft, Time Skippers

(3) Autumn’s Touch (red)
(3) Break Ground (red)
(3) Crippling Crush (red)
(3) Lightning Surge (red)
(3) Oaken Old (red)
(1) Pulse of Volthaven (red)
(2) Pulverize (red)
(2) Spinal Crush (red)
(3) Turn Timber (red)
(2) Autumn’s Touch (yellow)
(1) Pulse of Candlehold (yellow)
(2) Tome of Fyendal (yellow)
(3) Autumn’s Touch (blue)
(3) Awakening (blue)
(3) Blink (blue)
(2) Blizzard (blue)
(2) Break Ground (blue)
(3) Channel Lake Frigid (blue)
(1) Electrify (blue)
(3) Flash (blue)
(3) Heaven’s Claws (blue)
(3) Icy Encounter (blue)
(3) Lightning Surge (blue)
(3) Polar Blast (blue)
(1) Pulse of Isenloft (blue)
(3) Tome of Harvests (blue)
(3) Winter’s Bite (blue)
(3) Winter’s Grasp (blue)

See the full deck at: https://fabdb.net/decks/nYAQgkLw/

Vs. Prism

Nullrune Gloves; Time Skippers; Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-1 Pulverize, -3 Turn Timber, -2 Tome of Fyendal, -3 Awakening, -1 Polar Blast

Vs. Dash

Crater Fist; Mage Master Boots; Rampart of the Ram’s Head
-1 Lightning Surge (red), -1 Pulverize, -3 Turn Timber, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -3 Awakening, -1 Polar Blast

Vs. Starvo

Crater Fist; Time Skippers; Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-1 Break Ground (red), -2 Lightning Surge (red), -2 Spinal Crush, -2 Tome of Fyendal, -2 Blizzard, -1 Polar Blast

Vs. Bravo

Crater Fist; Time Skippers; Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-2 Lightning Surge (red), -2 Spinal Crush, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -2 Tome of Fyendal, -2 Blizzard, -1 Polar Blast

Vs. Oldhim

Crater Fist; Time Skippers; Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-1 Lightning Surge (red), -1 Spinal Crush, -2 Turn Timber, -2 Tome of Fyendal, -2 Awakening, -2 Blizzard

Vs. Dori

Crater Fist; Time Skippers; Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-1 Lightning Surge (red), -2 Spinal Crush, -2 Tome of Fyendal, -3 Awakening, -1 Blizzard, -1 Polar Blast

Vs. Azalea

Crater Fist; Mage Master Boots; Rampart of the Ram’s Head
-1 Lightning Surge (red), -3 Turn Timber, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -1 Tome of Fyendal, -3 Awakening, -1 Blizzard

Vs Lexi

Crater Fist; Mage Master Boots; Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-1 Lightning Surge (red), -3 Turn Timber, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -1 Tome of Fyendal, -3 Awakening, -1 Polar Blast

Vs. Katsu

Crater Fist; Mage Master Boots; Rampart of the Ram’s Head
-1 Crippling Crush, -1 LIghtning Surge (red), -1 Pulverize, -3 Turn Timber, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -1 Awakening, -2 Polar Blast

Vs. Boltyn

Crater Fist; Mage Master Boots; Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-1 Lightning Surge (red), -1 Pulverize, -3 Turn Timber, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -2 Awakening, -2 Polar Blast

Vs. Vis (OTK)

Nullrune Gloves; Mage Master Boots, Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-1 Lightning Surge (red), -1 Pulverize, -3 Turn Timber, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -3 Awakening, -1 Polar Blast

Vs. Vis (Aggro)

Nullrune Gloves; Mage Master Boots, Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-1 Lightning Surge (red), -3 Turn Timber, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -3 Awakening, -2 Polar Blast

Vs. Briar

Nullrune Gloves; Time Skippers, Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-1 Lightning Surge (red), -1 Pulverize, -3 Turn Timber, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -2 Tome of Fyendal, -1 Awakening, -1 Blizzard,

Vs. Chane

Nullrune Gloves; Mage Master Boots, Rampart of the Ram’s Head
-1 Lightning Surge (red), – 1 Pulverize, -3 Turn Timber, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -2 Awakening, -1 Blizzard, -1 Polar Blast

Vs. Kano

Nullrune Gloves; Nullrune Boots; Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-2 Crippling Crush, -1 Lightning Surge (red), -1 Pulverize, -2 Spinal Crush, -3 Turn Timber, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow)

Vs. Levia

Crater Fist; Mage Master Boots; Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-2 Lightning Surge (red), -1 Spinal Crush, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -3 Awakening, -2 Blizzard, -1 Polar Blast

Vs. Rhinar

Crater Fist; Mage Master Boots; Stalagmite, Bastion of Isenloft
-2 Lightning Surge (red), -1 Spinal Crush, -1 Autumn’s Touch (yellow), -3 Awakening, -2 Blizzard, -1 Polar Blast

I could go more into specifics here, but so often these sideboarding decisions revolve around subtlety shifting your game plan while taking care to preserve your ratios, both elemental and pitch. Your deck is linearly powerful, and you don’t have to completely rebuild in every matchup to account for what your opponent is doing. The onus is on them to account for your plan. This is why I play Crippling Crush in every matchup, where many others have advocated using them mostly as part of your Awakening package. And speaking of Awakening, it’s a powerful card and an important sideboard tool, but don’t over rely on it. It’s neither an elemental card or Guardian attack, and you have to be extremely selective about when to play cards that don’t meet either of those criteria in this particular build.

I hope some of you will be inspired to either pick up this list or work on your own Earthlore Starvo builds for the remainder of this ProQuest season and beyond. Flesh and Blood deckbuilding still has so many possibilities, and the idea that the post Everfest-metagame is anywhere near solved is laughable. People aren’t even playing the best card in the set yet!



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