Kolat’s new TST – SS?
L5R Emperor Edition release is around the corner, this weekend in fact. There has been many delays with the set’s release. From the date of November 2011 to Dec 2011 to Jan 2012 and now in almost Feb 2012, i presume related to their manufacturer issues that delays the release of the cards.
However, with the Kotei season starting off as early as last week of Feb 2012, AEG has no choice but to release Kolat edition. This kolat edition is basically AEG’s way of allowing people to play L5R with proxy. (only for Emperor Edition, the previous expansions, you have to play with the proper physical actual cards). This is to ensure that the player will not suffer badly due to the delay of product release and they needed to fill the void that the players are feeling. (There are people who are almost quitting l5r due to boredom, most just ran away and play board games)
I would say that the release of Kolat Edition is somewhat successfully implemented, so to speak. All around the world, the inclusion of kolat edition pdf and the rough deck that has been published by AEG is met by L5R players around the world with a certain joy and enthusiasm, playtesting for their chance to ensure that they can go into Kotei running.
Unfortunately, there are some players who are simply too lazy to proxy (cut/print/paste/slip) so they didn’t bother to playtest but they will probably do so once the actual physical cards come in. Meaning that they would start actively playing in Feb onwards.. which is not bad considering the local Kotei is in April, so there’s still one-and-a-half months of playtest.
This time around, unlike my usual routine of testing honor decks, then military, then enlightened. I decided to go military with Shiro Shiba first, trying to see how the transition from Twin Soul Temple (CE) to Shiro Shiba (EE) fares.
Stronghold to stronghold action, it balances out. TST is stronger when your samurai is higher force, but is weak with your low force samurais, although mitigated by having a shugenja with high chi. SS provides better kill, you can do a melee 6 (Provided you have a shugenja in play) with your puny 2 Force samurai. In terms of kill, SS has better mileage since you can perform with any samurai. Both suffer the weakness of having to kill follower first before personality, since melee action suffers the same restriction as ranged attack. With a lot of low force followers of free ones such as Kyuden Hida XP, you have to get rid of the followers first, before doing anything else.
The samurais for Phoenix clan is weaker this time around. No direct PK ability and random abilities all over. The only shining personality of the bunch is Shiba Sawaken from Forgotten Legacy set. 4F/3C for 7g with 3Ph, samurai / duelist. Decent stats, but what makes him shines is the fact he can perform an action in battle which gives a personality or follower -5F. This is a huge force swing for the army and with the Shiro Shiba, any 7F and beyond fatty will now be very much in range.
Deck construction wise, with the absurd amount of PK, you need to stack the deck with a lot of decent pk such as wyrmbone katana, Champion of thunder, siege volley and the deck can get going, especially if you place cannon fodders in the deck such as the holding Recruitment Officer.
An imperial herald promo, Recruitment officer has a reaction ability that generates a random samurai/ronin personality with 2F/2C/2PH at the same battlefield where you assigned and you dont need to be opposed to use it. This ability is what makes it solid. You can take a province mostly unopposed, since having even two of this holding will give you 4F addition. You can send home my actual printed dude, then my ronin ‘token’ will just use Stronghold melee ability to kill you off.
Basically Shiro Shiba is a deck that has a lot of attrition as long as you couple with Recruitment officer.
I’m still testing this deck further but we will see how it goes. So far though, Shiro Shiba duelling (which was the alpha version that i build) prove to be weaker due to the low chi of phoenix samurai duelist. 3C is just too low and you require too much combo with Falling Rain Dojo and / or Bend like a reed.
Other clans are also having their powerhouse decks, basically each clan will have one or two good tier 1 decks. But the first few kotei and further testing is needed to see which deck gains the most out of the EE starting line.