Category Archives: Emperor Edition

Post Kotei 2013 analysis from 5 Kotei’s so far

Hi all,

I’m back again with a short writeup as requested by Inzen based on the 5 Kotei’s so far. Let’s do a quick check on the results so far :

1) Feeding Hills – Lion wins against Phoenix, Zlkyt takes Asako Kojiro hostage
2) Atlanta – Phoenix wins against Mantis, Agasha Kodo kills the sexy bitch Yoritomo Kanahashi
3) Pasadena – Lion wins against Phoenix, Ikoma Shizuka kills Shiba Sanesuke
4) Highland – Crab wins against Phoenix, Kaiu Genji takes Asako Jirou hostage
5) Burnaby – Phoenix wins against Dragon, Asako Karachu honourably spares Tamori Tomoko

That makes it 2 wins for Lion, 1 for Crab and 2 for Phoenix which resulted in 2 Deaths, 2 Hostages and 1 Honourably spared.

The decklists for at least 3 of the winners are in the following links as i write this:

1) Highland – Crab Berzerkers
2) Atlanta – Phoenix Honor
3) Burnaby – Phoenix Blitz

All clans (including ronin) were represented and the things to note from reading the reports for those not willing to go through everything, let me summarize for you the most important points. Note that these may or may not apply to your gaming environment but it’s always good to be prepared:

1) Blitz – You better believe it, it’s still in fashion even with the amount of meta printed for it. All kinds of blitz from different clans are still viable and if you’re not prepared to stop a t1/t2 attack you might be in for a very fast knockout. Overpower (or insert favourite anti-blitz card) will win you games vs blitz decks like none other will.

2) Honor – It’s still winning Kotei’s so don’t be so hasty to knock off anti-honor meta off your decks. On and Alter History are still the choice cards for those of us who need more time to fight against honour decks. You can pack in more at your discretion though.

3) Phoenix – WTF guys, i know ToP is good but seriously?! In one tournament, all 10 Phoenix Players were playing Temple of Purity. Speaks a lot about one stronghold overshadowing almost every other because -4F that can’t be negated is godly. If you’re a blitz player, consider playing Interference seriously.

4) Mantis – For those playing against Kalani’s Landing, be prepared to have NPE (Negative Play Experiences) thanks to Kill-Everything-In-Play + Sudden Blockade strategies.

5) The fashionable duck Hato-gurama has been seen in many decks for the sheer purpose of thinning your deck where it counts. If your deck relies on drawing specific cards this may help especially with the prevalent use of Border Keep xp (aside from cantrips).

6) A lot of decks seem to rely on having double actions (usually military) such as Grappling the Snake and so on. A good meta to add in your decks is Effortless Counterattack if you are looking for something generic.

7) Attachments – The difference between having an attachment and none is the equivalent of life and death in L5R as there are few actions that can bypass attachments completely (like Ring of Fire). The strongest ‘safe’ attachment is still Gift Armor but anything helps (as long as you can afford it). Nakanu Technique, Natural Aviary and the sort will help you if you can find space in your deck for it.

8) Events and Celestials – There are a couple of not-so-commonly-used ones you might want to consider : The Wall is Breached, Dark Experiments, Disgrace, Harsh Choices/Hachiman’s Prowess, The Moon’s Imperative, The Sun’s Aspiration. These are extreme/specific cards and can push a deck to victory or defeat easily.

9) Consider your environment carefully – There is no point packing heavy meta for any specific strategy unless you can read minds. Simply playtest what you consider best for your deck/environment and adjust accordingly.

10) And most importantly, your skill/experience counts in games. Netdecking is pointless without the skill/experience in deck making. And you’ll learn far more by experimenting/testing your own decks to suit your playstyle/environment.

Have a good Kotei 2013 and remember to murder, death, kill!!! decide the fate of the losing clan 🙂


How NOT to build a deck for Kotei

Tried and true mistakes that people will do anyway even if they know it.

1.  Net deck a recent Kotei champion deck without practice.

2. Adding 1 card that you think will help, but haven’t practiced with it being in the deck.

3. Buy a card that you need online 3 days before Kotei (unless you took FedEx, it’s cool).

4. Selling a card that you’ll need later. Usually you’ll realise this the day before Kotei.

And last but not least….

5. Test deck for several months…. make a new one the night before Kotei.

Have fun people 🙂 And good luck for your respective Koteis!

L5R – Card Spotlight : Ninube Tsukau

This is the ultimate in carbon-copy-ninja-clones as far as Emperor Edition is concerned. Many at times i wonder what in the name of Fu Leng marvel at the wonders of personality creation in L5R. Let’s have a closer look at him/her/it/shit (not a she, not a he, not an it hence shit. Well… it’s definitely human for sure since it has no nonhuman trait):

Gold cost to play
For a low, low cost of 7g (except Spider of course), you get to copy any non-Unique human personality in play in terms of Force (not base force but current force), 1 Keyword and 1 Base ability that doesn’t copy. Of course let’s not forget the honour loss of 3 when you recruit it so it’s usually out of reach of honourable clans or players who are gonna win via honour. Let’s look at the clans who might employ him outside of Spider. Crab/Mantis/Scorpion are the usual suspects of course. Let’s just see a short list of personalities most players already love (or dread) seeing 3 possible copies of, let alone 6 thanks to Ninube Tsukau:

Hiruma Nikaru – May the Kami have mercy on you if you see more than 3 ‘copies’ of Nikaru without the proper counters like Incense Mill etc
Yasuki Ikke –  You wish to fondle target my Merchants in battle? That’d be a waste of time or lose 2 honour please.
Yoritomo Kanaye – More bow/destruction (with proper payment of course) plus magistrate/naval keywords to bank on
Ninube Onchi – Turning your opponent’s army to pure force and chi bodies may lay waste to your opponent’s entire attack/defense plans if they rely on their personalities’ abilities. Being on a lovely shadow pony helps too.
Yamazaki – More gold or want to use the ability on your holdings? It never hurts to have more of either.
Soshi Shinoko – If your opponent is attacking, giving you even more cards for your dishonour engine to roll over him isn’t going to look pretty. Not to mention cavalry if you don’t need the courtier trait.

Opportunity cost to play
Obviously Ninube Tsukau sucks monkey balls is just a glorified blank mimic if you don’t have any good personalities to copy in play. Meaning Tsukau enhances your army, but alone it’s not going to work. If you’re up against an opponent who has a different win condition from you, (usually) you won’t be able to make use of his personalities for your own ends. So he’s only an option unless you need warm bodies in play for some reason. Also note that since Tsukau copies the current force of the personality it’s targeting, you can potentially have solo province destroyers with some force pumps (permanent or temporary). Say Tsukau targets a Ninube Onchi with a Cursed Relic, you can potentially take out the majority of provinces out there with a base province strength of 7. It can get ugly real fast for your opponent from there.

Circumvention/Counters to this card
Having an ability like this means you’re likely to be hit on like a slut nobody’s business. Anti-shadowlands cards affect you or if you die/get bowed before you manage to use your ability the first time, you’re outta luck. Nothing too hard to handle though even if you can’t stop the first use of his ability. If your opponent is playing dishonour you might also not feel inclined to bring Tsukau out due to the honour loss (depending on circumstances).

Game Impact
As I said earlier, alone it’s not going to work but once you get your clones to sleep with copy the right personalities… Your opponents are not going to be happy. Much cursing has been heard over some lucky player who manages to get all 3 copies of Hiruma Nikaru in play, so let’s not even talk about seeing more than 3. Still, the potential for this card is huge as to a certain extent, your dynasty has 3 more copies of any non-unique human in your deck.

Design team made this card pretty balanced with the fact that the restrictions placed on it do not make it broken an auto include (except decks that require multiple copies of one particular personality) and the honour loss it gives in decks. Still, they just made their job harder now since now they have to be very careful when creating non Unique human personalities with traits/abilities that do not break the game in multiple copies. If i were them, i wouldn’t want to make my job harder than it already is when it comes to card creation/game balance. Unless banning/errataing cards is one of your favourite pastimes.

Rating : 8/10 (A great support card in the right deck)

L5R – Card Spotlight : Sudden Blockade

A card that has gathered much shouts of gayness attention from players, it has been the subject of much controversy. Let’s breakdown this card’s strengths and weaknesses:

Gold cost to play
With the exception of Kalani’s Landing players, 3g usually means the difference between buying an extra holding/personality unless you screwed somewhere. Blocking an opponent’s key personality from entering play (assuming it has no abilities that can be used while out of play) for 3g for 1 turn will mean a difference to most military decks which hate being screwed by prefer not meet opposition. Defensive decks may use this card but i’ve noted that players would rather hasten towards their victory condition rather than stall.

Opportunity cost to play
It’s played on either player’s open phase barring the restriction on the card. If you play it on your opponent’s turn with personalities in play, chances are good that you’re going to pillage and rape attack his province on the next one for military decks. If you play it on yours… there had better be some damn good reason to.

Circumvention/Counters to this card
Hard counters come only one form: Bad Kharma. The odds of your opponent countering this card is requires your opponent to fulfill 2 conditions, 1)Dishonour centric deck 2)Make you lose honour below 0 fast enough for him to use it. I’d take my odds with meeting non-dishonour decks to be high enough to not worry about Bad Kharma. Circumvention is possible though with the easiest one to be any one of the moronic not-so-efficient ways such as discarding the card in the affected province using say Unsettling Doubts + Duty of the Crab but i’m sure you get my point. In order words, you’ll need to perform a min of 2-card combos usually to circumvent if you’re hit by Sudden Blockade.

Game Impact
I’m sure there are times where Death Lady Luck decides to have fun with you and give you a single personality out of so many dynasty flips in those key turns. And coincidentally your opponent has Sudden Blockade too! The impact of not being able to bring out key personalities can mean a very fast scoop. Especially if he decides to recycle it via Jurojin’s Blessing etc. 3G for 1 less personality to defend/attack/perform seems cheap in comparison suddenly, depending on the number of provinces you have left and personalities you have in play.

This is a card that playtesters must have smoked weed while riding Unicorns probably did not do much playtesting before releasing it. True, not everyone will be playing it due to lack of spare slots in the Fate side and/or gold but when a card has only one hard counter, i’d be rushing to plug 3 in my deck if it were possible unless suddenly Faceless decks comes back in fashion.

Rating : 9/10 (due to gold cost of 3)

Imperial Governess

I was intrigued. When I saw Journey End’s Keep xp previewed, I was inspired for sure. For one, I’ve that Imperial Stronghold was going to be printed, but i didn’t realise it will be this soon. And the other, that a once Unicorn stronghold, which by the way is still legal in the current arc, is now being printed as Imperial.

I’m pro-empress in the governess/empress war, but I still find it funny to build a Imperial deck. This will probably be played against the Ronin deck for a new noobish deck.

The deck listed below is a first cut. Very definitely will be tweaked later to speed up/funnies.

Journey End’s Keep xp
Border Keep xp
Bamboo Harvesters XP

3x Silk Works
3x Recruiting Officer
3x Governor’s Court
3x Temple Fortress
2x Luxurious Silk
2x Charter of the legion of two thousand
1x Travelling Peddler

1x Hotei’s Contentment
1x Benefices of the Emperor
1x Willing Spirit
1x Imperial Gift
1x Naoharu’s Gift

3x Otomo Demiyah
3x Doji Dainagon
1x Doji Dainagon xp
3x Seppun Ichigo
1x Otomo Suikihime
1x Seppun Ritisharu
3x Seppun Washi
3x Tamori Shosei
3x Utaku Mai
1x Miya Masatsuko

3x Accidental Confession
3x Armor of Heavens
3x Chrysanthemum Blossom
3x Tell the tale
3x Wall of Honor
2x Heavily Engaged
1x Fruitless Search
1x The Heir’s Wrath
1x Peace

2x Fair Warning
2x Forging Destiny
2x Brotherhood Schism
3x Black Marketeering
3x Pure Intent
3x Dismissing the Cur
3x Inexplicable Challenge
1x Game of Dice
1x Ring of the Void
1x Ring of Earth

Seems funny at first glance… I’m not sure of the speed, but should be decent.

What’s Up with EE? Pt 1: Themes

Hey folks. I’ve promised Inzen-san that I’d do an article, it took a while but I’m bored enough at work now to do this, so here goes!

Torn Asunder coming up and we’ve come to the second half of the Age of Conquest arc i.e. Emperor Edition.

Emperor Edition started out with a hiccup then a bang but for some seems to be trailing off to a whimper. Is this opinion justified? My tl;dr answer is NO, but that would be paying scant regard to a host of very real issues to do with the state of the game right now- issues that have led to several moans and rants that don’t go the way of L5R tradition, which had always been about clan balance for the most part.

You’ve seen all the forum threads and blog posts, I’m just going to tackle the issues one by one in no particular order. I’ll start with a fairly safe topic, if not exactly an easy one to tackle: EE Themes

Read the rest of this entry

Playtest grinded to a halt

Yup, while in the midst of kotei playtest, it seems like the release of Torn Asunder, (new L5R expansion) is a go. But instead of releasing it at the end of feb as per early speculation, its released mid feb.

And as per the blurb on the product page at aeg website, its meant to be legal starting 9th March, meaning yes, its kotei legal.

That also means any playtest now is rendered semi-useless. Testing needs to commence upon release of previews starting this coming thursday.

I wonder how much metagame cards are released this set to anti the current decks. We will see soon.

Crane Nega Duel: Bushi version

Only starter fixed are included as ‘rares’. The rest are commons and uncommons:

The Aerie
Border Keep
Bamboo Harvester

Doji Makoto x1
Doji Shigenobu x3
Doji Genshin x3
Kakita Kenta x3
Kakita Yusugi x3
Takayuki x3
Doji Mitsuru x3
Asahina Keigo x3
Kakita Yasunori x3

Marketplace x3
Prosperous Village x3
Small Farm x3
Tranquil Garden x2

Megumi’s Guidance x1
Akuma’s Power x1

Formal Apology x1
Wisdom Gained x1
The Courtesy of the Crane x3
An Insult Answered x2
Steel on Steel x3
Spirit of the Duelist x2
The Cycle of Vengeance x2
String of Victories x2
Of One Instant x3
Indecision x2
Know no Fear x2
Superior Opponent x2
Shameful Injury x2

Shamsir x3
A Simple Yari x2
Unparalled Sword x2
Reserve Weapon x2

Asahina House Guard x1

Ring of Earth x1
Ring of Water x1
Ring of the Void x1
Ring of Fire x1
Ring of Air x1

Now this does seem like a deck that I want to build and play 🙂 Similar play to the original Nega duel, but with a huge dent on card draw, I’m curious how this deck will play out. Should be interesting.

Brewing decks for kotei

L5R Malaysian Kotei is only around 2 months plus away. The new set, Torn Asunder will not be legal for this kotei since the release date is late Feb 2013 (within a month of legality, too tight for people to get cards). With no new set over the horizon, it’s obvious we have to test with the remaining card pool.

Being loyal to Phoenix, it unfortunately limits my deck choices. Fortunately for me, Phoenix is not in a bad position, there are few deck archetype for Phoenix, so I’m testing all the available choices.

While testing, we got a few random interested players and I realized that none of the players here have any newbie friendly decks. We are used to building efficient decks that when we have a few new recruits, we realize its hard to ‘teach’ new players due to the intricate decks we build.

So I set out to build a ronin deck. I don’t exactly have the decklist with me, but roughly this is what I build.

Holding runs on farm scheme.

The only non-farm in there is 1 incense mill, 2 travelling peddler and 3 charter of legion of 2k.

Personality, all-ronins that’s within the boxable range, shakiko and the heavy hitter is naka mahatsu xp, chikaru xp & kuronada xp.

Event runs Never Enough Soldiers to recur all the destroyed followers. I considered running Aviary, but realise that its too slow and being a promo, not easy for newbies to get. (I know I’m being hypocrite on Charter of 2k, but hey, its ronin… so its in theme)

Fateside, mostly military oriented battle actions. No items and mostly the cheap ashigaru followers, ashigaru elites and ronin ambushers.

It didn’t do too well in the first test run mainly since I still have some actions in the other decks so I ran substitutes instead, depowering the deck somewhat. Example is Sundering Strike slot I replaced with Incapacitated. Brawl with Sinkhole. No siege volley and a few more. I was trying to keep the count of promo and rares low.

But it was refreshing, it runs via swarm and I enjoyed it…. Until I need to tweak it….immediately….

The Nega-dueling Deck

Remember Nega-Scott from Scott Pilgrim? Well, same thing with this deck. Kinda. It’s a deck where Killing Intent won’t matter and negating the effects of a duel will likely not happen at times.

Nega Scott

The Aerie

Border Keep xp
Bamboo Harvester xp

Doji Mitsuru x3
Kakita Kazan x3
Doji Shigenobu x3
Doji Yoshitada x3
Asahina Keigo x3
Kakita Saki x3
Doji Makoto
Doji Hakuseki xp
Kakita Tadanobu xp
Chikara xp2
Kuronada xp2

Jurojin’s Blessing
Alter History
Benefices of the Emperor
Wisdom Gained

The Second City

Tranquil Garden x2
Marketplace x3
Prosperous Village x3
Small Farm x3
Traveling Peddler x1

Reckless Duel x3
Duel of Haiku x3
Awed Witness x2(should really be Duel to First Blood)
Cycle the Vengeance x3
Shadow Tactics x3
Focus x3
Heart of Darkness x3
String of Victories x3
The Courtesy of the Crane x3
Creating Order

Shamsir x3
A Simple Yari x3
Patchwork Armor x2

Ring of Fire
Ring of Water
Ring of Air
Ring of the Void
Ring of Earth

The actual deck that I play is not exactly this one, but it’s more or less the same. The thing to remember is to always check what you focus. You don’t really win every duel, but you don’t really want to lose every duel either.  Control your focusing and don’t be afraid to call strike early. In case you screw up, there are a bunch of cards that’ll let you get back on your feet, don’t worry about it.