Another week and another set of cards. 6 by 6 is almost over and I am preparing to hear complaints about how “stale” the meta has gotten ever since cards are not added to the pool on a weekly basis anymore. On the other hand it might give Jigoku time to catch up so we can actually play with the new cards there. GET TO WORK SIDESHOW! (i kid. I appreciate the Jigoku team). On to the cards!
Massing at Twilight 3/5
There are two clans that can use this Scorpion and Unicorn. Scorpion is already perfectly happy with their set of provinces so I cannot see them making any changes to
Unicorn on the other hand would have to give up Shameful. This is difficult as the Shinjo and Utaku themed cards actually have relatively high honor. More importantly they have balanced stats while Massing rewards characters with unbalanced ones by counting everything the same. On the other hand Unicorn does have some unbalanced Moto characters and the Utaku Infantry would effectively be getting a +2 bonus per
A quick note on Massing. The conflict still retains its type. Cards like Moto Horde still cannot participate in Political conflicts. Cards like Cavalry Reserves cannot be played as
well. In fact it encourages clans like Lion to just attack your Stronghold politically to turn off your best cards.
If this card was available for Crab I would rate it a 5/5 as your house ability would give you an effective +2 to all of your defenders. As it stands I’m not sure it makes the cut over
Waning Hostilities 3/5
When I first played Magic way back in the day I loved the card Howling Mine. I just didn’t want to pay for it nor did I want my opponent to benefit. I have the same feeling with Waning Hostilities.
On the one hand it may slow clans like Dragon who rely on a single character entering multiple conflicts. On the other hand I have to pay for it both in fate and cards. This card
requires a lot more testing but I think clans like Lion which can maintain their board state thru For Greater Glory and cards like Steadfast Samurai. It definetly has some potential and requires more play time.
Seppun Ishikawa 3/5
There will be an imperial deck in the future and Ishikawa will be a central part of it but we are not there yet. I think that imperial deck will be run out of the Unicorn house as Ishikawa lacks the capacity to enter multiple conflicts a turn and Gaijin Customs takes care of that.
Imperial cards tend to cost low as you already have six 1 cost characters available for play so there is potential for a massive Ishikawa. Characters are not going to be his most
important source of bonuses. I think the best indicator that Ishikawa will be very good in the future is Before the Throne. This early we already have an Air province with the imperial keyword. It is not a stretch to think that there will be more for other elements in the future. Just by existing this already provide a benefit to Ishikawa and with use of the
Talisman you can force your opponent to reveal them all providing you with a base 6/6 beater.
Young Harrier 1/5
I don’t really know what this character wants to do. He dishonors himself so that other characters cannot get dishonored. Yet the Steward already does that. In fact the inability to get dishonored is widely seen as a negative as it leads to For Shame! directly bowing your character. It also does not prevent Honor tokens from being lost which would be
the thing Crane cares about the most.
As a 1/1 conflict character for 1 cost it should have some intrinsic value but again it is in the same faction that Steward is in so he already fills that slot.
I guess you could run him in a Shinobi themed scorpion or Scout themed deck but his ability would suggest he does not want to be splashed.
Origami Master 2/5
A 1/4 character with Pride that moves Honor tokens around. He is obviously meant to move all his Honor tokens as he is only one glory and has some synergy with Savvy Politician.
His main problem is that he is a 4 cost character that helps other characters but really does nothing by himself. Unlike other enablers like Honored General or Guest of Honor for example he does nothing to help you win the current conflict but rather does something after the conflict is over.
I don’t see any Crane running him in a serious deck and would have no idea what they would cut if they did.
Test of Skill 2/5
For all intents and purposes the text says pay 1 to draw 2 cards. Of course you are using one card so the net gain is only one. On the plus side you get the best 2 out of 4 cards. On the negative side your opponent knows what cards you got. It is also unnecessary risk as it can lead to a situation where you can get 1 card for your effort or in the case of
catastrophic failure get none.
GIven that you can always just bid 5 if needed and Crane probably runs Fertile Fields as well I don’t see the need for this card.
Itinerant Philosopher 3/5
On its own it looks decent. Bow effects are always good and make for nice anti-Dragon tech which is always necessary in our current meta. On the other hand it forces Dragon to give up the favor which they need for Sumiko. Remember you can always attach something to your opponent to enable the bow effect. You get back Daisho and Method anyway.
I don’t see this getting much play but Dragon definitely has the room for him in their deck if they wanted to include him.
The Stone of Sorrows 3/5
While the Dragon dynasty deck does leave you some room to work with the Dragon conflict deck is jam packed. MOre importantly it is jam packed with conflict cards that mostly cost 1 fate to play. The Stone of Sorrows is essentially an economy card allowing you to gain all the fate from the rings. This is very useful for Dragon as some of their best effects ask you to put fate on rings and Written in the Stars allows you to place fate on them as well.
The main issue with this card is that it may be too slow for the current Dragon deck. The current Dragon deck uses characters that can engage in multiple conflicts per turn to end the game by turn 3-4. Having to pay 2 fate for the stone and make sure a character is ready to activate it would slow this down greatly. The character used would most likely need to be 3 cost or greater to prevent Assassination as well.
Seal of the Lion 2/5
Another Seal another 2. Honestly I don’t ever see a good use for these. There might be some exceptions like the Crab one but unless other clans get insane effects like Crisis Breaker these won’t be used much.
Miwaku Kabe Guard 4/5
This is one of the cards I am most excited about. It does require some more testing but I am very optimistic about it. First off your opponents don’t really want to defend against
Lion military conflicts. This character forces them to do it or give you a 3/2 for the next turn. Gunso forces the same choice onto your opponent but he costs 2 and this only costs
1. If everything goes poorly and the opponent defends against them then first they have invested one of their characters into defending against your one cost and second you have a 0/0 potato to grab the favor next turn.
To take advantage of Pride you almost always want to put 1 fate on this character. This makes him a prime candidate for Legion of One.
A Fate Worse Than Death 2/5
This is actually not that great. Scorpion players are wild about this card but lets unpack it before we get too excited.
For all intents and purposes it is a 4 cost card that is meant to screw your opponents best character. When you’re playing against Lion they have most likely cheated that character in so you are paying 4 fate for something they paid 0-1 fate for. The Spirit Caller will not be anywhere near combat and they are your primary targets for this. Dragon relies on items so you have to wait until all the items are out and hope that none of them are Finger of Jade. Crane and Mirror Scorpion both carry cancels which make any high cost cards a risky proposition. Phoenix have recently been carrying Censure as well so they have a more predictable cancel. Crab do not care about being dishonored and have multiple ways to keep a character on the board without fate. This leaves us with Unicorn. Poor Unicorn.
There is a need to deal with high value characters but this card is not the best way to go about it. Cloud the Mind already exists and is a better option.
Cunning Magistrate 2/5
The one saving grace of this character is that he comes from the conflict deck. Passing early and running Drop Bear style seems to be the Scorpion theme from now on.
The main problem of this card is that Scorpion dishonors itself at a far greater rate than they do enemy characters so they have a much greater chance of blanking themselves. The other magistrates like Haughty and Implacable both work unless your opponent does something like increasing his glory or honoring his characters. Cunning does not work unless you dishonor your opponent. He is reactive as opposed to active.
With all their choices Scorpion is pushing close to the 10 conflict character limit. I have difficulty seeing any room for this card.
Ride Them Down 1/5
One fate and one card to reduce a province strength to one. Not only that you have to give up the favor too. There are new provinces with high province strength. The only problem is very few people run them.
The primary target for this will be Pilgrimage and only Scorpion and maybe Crab reliably run it.
Moto Juro 5/5
The card Unicorn has been waiting for. Inborn Synergy with Ide Trader and Spyglass. The ability to affect combat math in both Military and Political conflicts. The ability to go home in case a trap province is revealed. Everything a Unicorn player would want in a card is there. You could theoretically have Watch Commander on all 4 conflicts just with Juro alone.
I would just like to caution Unicorn players on it. One card does not make a clan. Much less a unique card in a clan that does not regularly run any attachment control for Cloud the Mind.
I would seriously consider splashing Lion instead of Crab in Unicorn decks now. Juro does not like getting bowed so ready for battle is a must and Sashimono would prevent him from being bowed during resolution as well.
Fair Accord 1/5
This doesn’t really generate two fate for you. It generates 2 fate for you and lets your opponent pass first generating 1 fate for them. Over and above that it costs you the favor.
Crab were not doing much with the favor in the first place but it is still nice to have just to keep it away from your opponent.
I feel that FFG dropped the ball here. What this should have said is play before either player has declared a conflict and you would have functionally the same card without letting your opponent pass first. It would not be a dead card for an entire round when you first draw it either.
Yasuki Taka 3/5
Crab always has fate problems as most of their good attachments require you to pay 1 and their characters have high costs to begin with. There is a stable of good low-cost
characters but they do not do the heavy lifting in Crab.
With that Taka should be a good inclusion in any Crab deck. The problem is he costs 5 himself and pretty much requires that the entire deck be built around him. Taka can certainly be cheated in via Charge and kept around with Reprieve and Vanguard Warrior. Warrior even provides you with one fate for your trouble, but wouldn’t you rather do all this with Kisada?
In Lion both Ujiaki and Toturi provide equally backbreaking effects. In Crab Kisada is clearly better.
Crisis Breaker 5/5
As strong as Moto Juro is he may not even be the best character in this pack. That distinction belongs to Crisis Breaker. Not only is he not unique. He only costs 3 as well.
While Crisis Breaker is perfectly fine by itself and functions as a free Banzai every turn he is on the table when comboed with Seal of the Crab he can have Kisada pop in to every conflict.
With 2 Breakers on the board it may not even be worth it to initiate military conflicts against Crab.
Consumed by Five Fires 3/5
I continue to remain optimistic about this card. For all intents and purposes it is a one sided board wipe. The only clan I see running it is Crane. Yoshi can give them a 3 fate
discount on any cards which is perfect for a card like this. They have innate counters with Voice of Honor to protect the card. Crane also happen to be Seeker of Air which is the best role at stockpiling fate.
When people look at Five Fires they are intimidated by five fate. Crane can get around that easily. I continue to think this will be the sleeper card of the pack. I expect I will be
running a Crane deck for the next discord league to try out this card.
Master of Gisei Toshi 2/5
The problem with Phoenix is their top slots are already packed. A card would have to be exceptional to get in. Master is essentially a Guest of Honor that works for one conflict.
Guest of Honor offers some flexibility. You can Favorable Ground her into multiple conflicts and she does not restrict you from playing anything. She only restricts your opponent. Master does not have this flexibility. I doubt this will see play.
Heishin Disciple 3/5
Phoenix does have slots available for midrange characters. Right now Shiba Yojimbo is the only one that regularly sees play. Those privy to the leaks of the next pack know that
being a scholar is relevant due to the free honor effect.
Heishin will not fit in the current high cost tempo Phoenix deck. The dishonor version of Phoenix would have room for him. He will be 4 stat on the conflict he wants to be in. Combine that with honored status and the house and you have a potential 8 stat attacker on either conflict. Dishonor Phoenix would also have more incentive to hit earth and air than tempo Phoenix does.
Well there you have it. The fifth pack. Tell me what you think about the review. I have recently received a request for a rundown on the type of provinces one might expect when facing certain clans so stay tuned for that and of course part 3 of
the Lion masterclass focusing on clan splash.