Getting rid of crutches
I had my ass whupped yesterday as I was trying out the new control deck. It ended in a disaster, losing really well against the decks that it was meant to crush easily, which is military. I looked at my list and looked back again at the original list on which the deck was constructed. Then it hit me. The other deck relied on a personality that I didn’t have: Doji Shikishi. It relied on her so much that odd bits of artisan and courtier can fit so well without causing conflict, which was what my deck had in spades.
A similar thing happened during Samurai Edition with the introduction of Kyuden Kyotei. It was so prominent that it affected the way the deck’s economy was built. So much so that building a deck with other Strongholds became really really hard. Doji Shikishi and Kyuden Kyotei are labeled by many as “staples”. But I call them crutches.
So why are they crutches? They’re so good that they become the integral idea in building decks with that particular clan. Take it out and you crumble or find it very difficult to play anything else. That’s what I call a crutch. Unfortunately, identifying and substituting a crutch isn’t enough. You would often have to redesign a huge portion of your deck to accommodate the changes. Sometimes, this isn’t such a bad thing.
Take my previous deck for example. The disparity between artisans and courtiers are so staggering that I find my hand being conflicted at the best of times. I looked at the other decks and noticed that Doji Shikishi fit her dual role perfectly. It became apparent to me that I had to trim down an entire deck strategy to cover up for Shikishi’s absence, thus making me unable to net deck and modify currently. I suppose it can be a good thing as well, since limitations breeds creativity and that breeds janky decks :p
But like I said, if you’re too used to something you’re going to find it very hard to mix in something else. You either reject the new deck strategy or chuck out your old ones. For me, I decided on the latter. So yeah, no dueling, no dishonour control. It’s going to be tough but the decision to cut those two elements down improved my deck significantly. I guess that just leaves practice then.