Manly Neighbours

At first I thought that a Crane deck with Crab sub is going to be a mismatch. However, after playing around with the idea a bit, it’s actually a pretty solid pairing.

cranecommander

While Watch Commander is the star, the key ingredient to this deck is actually Hiruma Ambusher. Being able to shut off an ability for 2 Fate is really strong, especially when you’re facing a decked out Mirumoto Raitsugu that can eat up your skinny blue shirt guys alive.

On the Crane side, I reduced some of the 3-off staples. Main offenders:

Noble Sacrifice
Voice of Honor
Duelist Training
Assassination
Outwit

They’re either too expensive (yes, 1 Fate can be expensive when you didn’t pass first) or too situational. Voice of Honor and Noble Sacrifice isn’t as easy to play as I initially thought. And Crane don’t make good duelists. There, I said it. In the New5R, Dragons and Crabs are the top duelists of the land. Until we see a Political duel, Military duels are often losing propositions unless you pick on the little guys. But Kaezin is pretty ok I left a couple of copies of him in.

The deck has a lot more singletons than I would like, they’re often cards that can provide an unexpected bonus when you have it in your hand.

If you’re playing in https://mahois.fun , look me up (almond55). I often set up games with “open game” as the title in casual so we can try out wonky decks together and practice.

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No Blades

For a Crane deck with a Dragon sub, the deck title just seems so wrong. But here we are!

noblades

The first rendition of this deck was a primordial soup. I wanted the snazzy monk-tachments coupled with Let Go for the bad bad attachments that will inadvertently find itself stuck to my peeps at the wrong time.

That was a disaster. Sure, Covert was cool. But the return swing was painful as that sit out character was filled with pent up rage waiting to break  my province. Yikes! Mirumoto’s Fury was a better pick. Since a majority of the Glory is 2, bringing out 2 peeps with Fate is usually enough to threaten a counter swing.

Political Rival ended up being the unexpected lynch pin of the deck. by being a 6 on Political defense and a Glory of 0, Dishonor shenanigans don’t usually work on him to bring down his score. It was a pleasant surprise.

I cut down on the staple Voice of Honor and Noble Sacrifice because honoring your peeps, while easier for Crane, wasn’t easy nor reliable at all. No Assassination either because the deck’s honour play quite frankly sucks. The deck relies heavily on your hand so more often than not you’ll find yourself bleeding Honor every turn.

Not much issue with Military bumps. Though it only has Banzai! to handle that area. More emphasis has been given on bumping the political because cards like Outwit! and Kakita Asami relies on them.

Pure Crane

While I don’t think pure clan decks (save for Unicorn) can be string enough on its own for now, even when you’re building pure Crane, there’s still some decision that needs to be made. This deck is skewed to be heavily political, and we’re trying to get most of our Conflict deck down to 0 as much as we can.

purecrane

Some not so obvious inclusions:

Pilgrimage instead of Shameful Display: While not really playing to Crane’s strengths, this change makes the deck more resilient which is something that you want when you’re building a single dimensional deck.

Single Duelist Training: Might max it up but it really depends. At time this card is awesome while others… not so much. Since this deck doesn’t have much Military boost, leaving it to 1 seems to be adequate. On the other hand, going for deliberate duel lost for honour might be beneficial in some really extreme cases.

Height of Fashion: Not really my first choice, but a big boost in Political when you’re screaming for slots is a good compromise. Plus it gives a chance for your more Military based peeps to be a bit more versatile at the cost of telegraphing to your opponent.

The Perfect Gift: I’m still torn about including this at all. But it’s free and it does give a better card advantage to yourself. The advantage to your opponent really depends on the luck of the draw. Might drop this to 1 and take a single Noble Sacrifice. But the fact that Noble Sacrifice has a cost of 1 Fate still makes me favour this card. Will need more testing to figure it out.

The Angry Bird of L5R?

I managed to finally get my 3x core set. I got only one during the launch event, so now that I have 3, time to build competitive decks.

Although 3x core gives a good spread, I do find as usual, only core set is lacking in certain versatility per clan. So you can get at most 1-2 good decks per clan. Unless you’re tier 1 clan, so you may have 2-3 options.

Tier 1 for now? I would say it’s

  • Lion
  • Crane
  • Scorpion

In that order. Why so? Crane and Scorpion has the cancel/negate cards while Lion has damn good synergy and they bring back peeps from discard pile. That act alone allows them to retain the numbers. And lion have that action card when they break a province, all bushi in that battlefield will gain a fate token. That swings the army by a huge sum.

That makes lion fearsome for now.

The other worrisome news was that Cycle 1 of chapter packs, instead of monthly release, they release all one shot over 6 weeks, 1 chapter packs per week. I honestly like the idea of getting 120 cards in playset in a go. The only issue is how far in-between cycles do we have the downtime.

Anything below 3 months is too short… while near 6 months is too long if the metagame goes stale. They will need to balance it.

Anyway, I’m tinkering for decklist but being a Phoenix Clan Loyalist like me. Only Phoenix decks will do. Although I may post other clan decks that I find have interesting concepts but that will probably start cycle 2 onwards when we have more card diversity.

Well, I build a phoenix deck first… and we see how it goes few more games down the line.
Fenix / Crab

Pretty birds with big sticks

Another stab at Crane/Unicorn. This time it’s more Unicorn and less of a Crane. Since Crane already has a high political prowess, this deck focuses more on buffing up the military, coupled with Unicorn movement shenanigans. The biggest decision making is when to move into a conflict.

craneuni

Not sure if this will work

I’ll most likely only post Crane decks when it comes to L5R content, you have been warned.

So for the record I haven’t gotten my cores yet. But that doesn’t stop me from building decks and theorizing on what could be the next best thing. For Crane, the popular votes seem to go to Scorpion influence with their “can’t touch this” decks. Another polarizing view is pairing with Phoenix which can be surprisingly manipulative, more so that the Scorpion.

So I went with something simple: pair it with Unicorn.

crane01

The idea is ridiculously simple: Get your guys in there no matter what. You might want to get in there to blow up his stuff, or blank the 2 more turns Champion, whatever. This deck has ample movement. Iuchi Wayfinder is awesome at finding out what to send and which conflict to go to for the second conflict. But being a Crane deck, your goal should always flush for the top 3 cards (Kaezin comes close, but not quite on that list).

Back to the Future: Rokugan Edition

Yup. L5R has returned and we’re going back in time to the Clan Wars, where everything began. No mention of the taint, your sexy tainted heroines are still pure and clan champions die in fictions. Glorious.

GenCon was won by the Crane, who is the only hatamoto of the clan. High number of hatamotos come from the Crab and Dragon.

So what can we expect in the future? Uncertain, though Crab and Dragon does seem pretty strong at the moment. The first event featured only 1 core and reliance over a single clan’s strategy is yet untested since the combos are all one shots. With cores, I expect the Unicorn to be quite potent since most of their personality abilities will begin to work more reliably.

I myself will just start from a single core and pad up with upcoming chapter packs and deluxe expansions. I’ll know for sure in October when the product hits Malaysian shores.

After hiatus… L5R is returning

FFG L5R is approaching… the reviews have been kind of interesting so far. And I think that most AEG L5R players are keeping an eye on it simply coz they love the game.. .and being LCG, it would be cheaper on a player’s wallet.. which is a major point these days. So far we have seen some basic cards and somewhat preview of the crane and lion… just have to wait for the rest. Expected to have a release of sorts at Gencon. We will get more reviews then I suppose.

I’ll probably grab 3x core (For complete playset), but anymore will depend on the playerbase locally. More people means I can get invested in to the game while if less players… well… I’ll just keep the 3x core for nostalgia’s sake. Check out the current preview at L5R at FB, or go to FFG website for more details.

On a sidenote… these are the ccg/lcg games I play on daily basis.

Shadowverse – Daily login for rewards and buy a pack for the every 100g. (Time spent is 5 minutes at most)
Hearthstone – Complete the dailies. Get more gold and buy latest expansion. Dust the spares (Depends on nature quest, between 15 to 30 minutes, if the quest is too annoying, i will reroll or try again tomorrow to reroll. )
Mabinogi – Login for gem reward.. buy packs. fight a friend to get more gems for quest. (I spend more time here to get gems.. so 30 to an hour a day)

So looking at it, it seems I’m less of player these days.. but more to looking forward to crack packs only. For free!

I know Gwent beta is out… but I’m just too lazy to play it on a pc and would rather just wait for the mobile version.

I should start to try to get HearthStone to top spot legend one of these days…

Finally the Mabinogi. Sorry Hearthstone.

Mabinogi_Duel_604x423

Don’t get me wrong, I love Hearthstone. But then Inzen, who introduced me to that game introduced me to Mabinogi Duel… and I forgot that I ever played Hearthstone while I was playing this game.

Where to start? The game has cheesy fan-servicy artwork as you would expect from Asian originated card games. Yet the biggest draw of the game is that your deck is 12 cards. And you start the game with every card in your hand. Resource generation is 1 per type per turn but you can charge by spending an action to get more.

While Haerthstone’s minion arena is 7 spaces wide, Mabinogi is 5. The other difference is that creatures in Mabinogi only attack the space directly across them, where in Hearthstone you can dictate who you want to attack.

But with only 12 cards, wouldn’t that diminish your option quickly? Not really, but in a way, yes. One of the actions you can take is Revive, where you take back all the cards in your graveyard back into your hand and take 1 damage for each card returned. On top of that, cards that went to the graveyard costs 1 more extra resource to play. So the more you rely on one card, the more expensive it will be to play it later.

But the main draw of the game is that there are a lot more play options for you to explore. Want a story based game with okay dialogues and character development? Play the guide comics. There’s also phantom based matches where you play against another player’s deck played by the AI, or an actual pvp match where you really duke it out against another player live.

If that doesn’t stop you, you can also open up your own card store, selling cards to other players for gold (the standard currency of the game). And opening a personal store is free too.

But don’t take my word for it. Just go ahead and play it. Let’s see if you forgot about Hearthstone too like I did.

Quest Rogue: Not so eww…

So the meta has fixed itself, more people have good plays against Quest Rogue that it no longer seems as cheesy as it had been a couple of days ago. This is good. Good enough for me to write more on it and post a deck up.

Before we go on further, let’s see why Quest Rogue is no longer a big threat now (well, it still is, but not as it was before):

The board is cleared up early. No longer targeting the face, every effort is spent targeting the weenie minions on the board instead to render the Crystal Core useless even if it hits the table.

Aggro face like no tomorrow. Rogues in general are very poor in the defense department. Even more so in Quest Rogue.

Dirty Rat is back. Sure, it sucks against Jade when it was prevalent, but against Quest Rogues it wrecks the game plan more often than not.

People are packing fatties. This is to trade for the weenie minions that plague the Rogue’s table prior to completing the quest.

Now let’s see the deck’s main problems:

It’s too draw dependant. Seriously, an opening hand without 1 of your key cards and you can literally see the writing on the wall.

The deck relies heavily on completing the quest to win. Quite often, there are no secondary win conditions.

The second problem is the biggest flaw in current Quest Rogue decks so far. Without the Crystal Core, your Violet Teacher and Imp Master aren’t scaring anyone if they’re only spewing 1/1 at best. Quite often the fancy win cards are locked until the Crystal Core comes online. So until the quest is completed, the deck is pretty much vulnerable to anything.

It hit me after losing a lot successively that the deck was too transparent. So, like the class implies, winning with the quest now requires more guile and concealment of your motives than every before. I came across 2 play styles that work surprisingly well of late:

  1. Don’t play The Caverns Below on your first turn. This will ensure you Igneous Elemental won’t be top targets of Silence, turned into toads and sheeps the moment they hit the table. Drop it when you’re about to score it.
  2. Don’t make a deck relying on the Crystal Core to win. Treat the Crystal Core as a secondary win condition while concentrating on winning by another mean. You don’t need to complete the quest to win, though it’d be nice if it did. This should be your mentality as your opponent gets confused on why you used Shadowstep on another minion and not on the one you just cast.
  3. Play like classic Rogue. The old doctrine of controlling the board and dropping your own threats should still be maintained and not be thrown to the wind for the sake of dropping your 4 same name minions ASAP.

Here’s the deck I’m playing right now. It could use more work, but it’s making me feel fun playing a quest deck for once:

questrogue

There is no straight way on how to play this deck, but you can vary your approach depending on which class you’re facing.