Meditations on the Ephemeral Review


Last set is finally out and most of us have had a week or so to test it Jigoku. Congratulations to the Jigoku team for finally getting all the kinks worked out. Looks like the next batch of cards will be released late January or early February so this will be the last review for a while. That is a good thing to as it gives us time to play with all the new cards. On to the review!

Along The River of Gold 3/5

Finally a water province that has a reusable action. For the next year the one clan that can use this is Phoenix. It is a valid option for them but I think Phoenix players will make their way back to Rally or Elemental Fury. While River of GOld may complicate some
attack, Rally to the Cause can completely ruin one. Remember River cannot switch – stats while Rally will send them home.

Even the advantage of having a reusable action is mitigated by Phoenix players using Talisman of the Sun to move the conflict to Shameful Display.

Mono No Aware 4/5

When Five Fires was first revealed people were saying that it was too big and that a Five Fire version that removed 3 fate for 3 cost would be borderline OP. Now we have this. Not only does it strip fate but it also replaces itself. There hasn’t been much testing with
this card as it can’t just be added on to the deck. It requires that the deck be built to take advantage of it.

This is going to be a sleeper power card. It’s just a matter of time. On a side note players should note that FFG is actively punishing putting too much fate on characters so the metagame will most likely shift.

Miya Satoshi 4/5

Everyone is excited about this card and there is some merit to it. His main use is to put stuff in your discard pile. There are several uses for this based on clan. Almost everyone wants their keeper initiates live. Lion and Unicorn want more stuff to recur. Phoenix don’t really care about the discard pile beyond keepers but want Kanjo District live as early as possible.

Crab and the seeker clans will most likely not be interested in the card. Lion, Unicorn, and Phoenix will. The problem is he costs 4 and that is a pretty heavy investment.

Seal of the Unicorn 1/5

Normally I don’t really rate seals but I make an exception for this one. We already have plenty of cards that reward you for being cavalry so we know how valuable it is.

The main issue for this card is that Favored Mount exists. For one more cost you get the same Cavalry trait and the synergy with Ide Trader. Being a Unicorn does have some value with Gaijin Customs but all you need is for a card not a character so the item itself
would fulfill the requirements. In that case we are back to why not just use Favored Mount. I don’t see this card ever seeing much play.

Talisman of the Sun 5/5

This will be a key card in some decks. Lion and Unicorn may not take the extra effort to switch conflicts around but Crab and Phoenix would. Both clans also have characters who regularly get multiple activations in a turn and benefit greatly from Spyglass.

Shinjo Scout 5/5

If you have read my write-up on Unicorn you would know that they are built to pass first. With Way of the Unicorn they always get to bring out their character first leaving your opponent with the choice of passing with no characters out or potentially letting you pass first with extra fate to boot.

Another point in Scouts favor is Unicorn generally does not have many good character cards so he gets slotted in almost by default.

Beastmaster Matriarch 1/5

Sigh. Another card in the whole lose to win suite of Lion cards. It is not a coincidence that almost none of them see play.

Some players compare this to Brawler or Spiritcaller and come to the conclusion that it is a bad card but that is not really fair. Anything compared to those two would be considered bad. The best comparison for this would be Honored General. At the start of the conflict phase Matriarch is strictly worse than the general. 3 force to 5. If your opponent gets one ring then he is at equal force to the General but the General still has
his global boost. At 2 rings lost he would be 7 to the 5 of the General but again the global boost is still there. To be truly better than the general you would need to lose 3 rings. At that point I think your opponent will just give you the last ring out of pity.

A Legion of One 5/5

I have sometimes considered replacing Banzai with this card. Thats how good it is. Of course you can just run it alongside Banzai and have two excellent military buffs.

The first thing we need to mention with this card is Keeper Initiates. Lion get recurring one cost character with fate on it to burn for Legion. Beonia also falls in this category. Second Lion have Charge, Spiritcaller, and Ujiaki. They have plenty of ways for
the conflict to start with one character playing Legion and then adding more as needed. Even without the fate buff Legion is still +3 while Banzai is +4 while costing you an honor.

The real secret to Legion is that it is defensive in nature. Lion would still rather mob you on attack to make the best use of their Stronghold. Legion allows you to defend your stronghold with just one character and survive against an army.

Illustrious Plagiarist 2/5

The concept is interesting but I think it will not make the cut in current Scorpion decks. Take a look at their current line up for 4 costs. Hiroue and Yunako. Under normal circumstances they are not meant to be played. They are meant to be charged in to ruin an attack and then to potentially be a Water ring target. While Plagarist can be strong he is nowhere near consistent enough to find a slot in most Scorpion decks.

Safe House Confidant 2/5

2 fate for 1/1 with a pol boost ability. There might be a Shinobi deck for this in the future but as of right now Scorpion is the last clan that needs a boost in Pol and in any case there are not enough Shinobi to go around. Reliably getting the favor without using
Fawning Diplomat is an issue as well.

Oni Mask 1/5

When you come down to it the card essentially says pay 1 fate to blank an opposing character for that turn. Character abilities are generally powerful so anything that can turn that off should be good. Oh wait there’s already another effect that can turn it off
permanently? For the same cost as well?

Even Let Go is not a valid justification for this card as the Let Go can be used on this item as well before you can use it.

Asako Tsuki 5/5

Tsuki actually has quite a few targets. Solemn Scholar is a staple in Phoenix decks and it is hard seeing a deck without her. Naive Student is another one drop staple as well. There is Tsuki herself and Heishin if you are using him.

There is a danger here that I want to warn Phoenix players about. Take the Water ring in moderation. If you challenge for it every turn it never gets a chance to build up fate and your opponent will be collecting two fate to your one every turn. Know the World maybe a viable solution to this but who has the deck space nowadays?

Kanjo District 5/5

Bow would have been good. Send home would have been good. Bow and Send home? In any conflict in any province? On a Stronghold that gives +2 glory and has access to Keeper Initiates? Sold!

Satoshi may be the most viable in Phoenix as their Dynasty tends to move slow due to all their holdings which like to stay in play.

Written in the Stars 3/5

There is a combo here with the Stone of Sorrows in order to generate massive fate for you and no fate for your opponent. With how packed the conflict decks of Dragon players are I don’t see them making the space for it.

Maybe in a Dragon Monk build where you don’t need too many weapons though that would most likely require a different Stronghold.

Togashi Mendicant 1/5

It’s a monk so maybe a deck will be desperate enough for monks to use it in the future but Togashi Initiate is already there. Lets take a look at the ability though. It is used in the Fate phase. When all your conflicts are already done. It then allows you to look at the top
three cards of your Dynasty deck and rearrange them. You were most likely going to draw those cards anyway.

Remember he is in the Dynasty deck as well so buying him can mean the difference between passing first or not.

Seal of the Dragon 2/5

Another seal another 2/5. I doubt this will even make it into monk decks as there would be enough actual monks to play with.

Pillow Book 4/5

With the proper type of deck this card essentially says “draw a card”. Granted there are plenty of restrictions. You don’t actually draw the card and you only have one conflict to play it in and it must be played but once you get around all that it says draw a card.

It doesn’t get a 5 since you have to warp your deck to play it. Note that the card you see does not need to be used in the conflict. You just have to play it while the conflict is going on. Think about this. Crane deck with 3 Katana, 3 Fan, 3 Steward, 3 Way of Crane, 3
Pillow Books, 3 Pathfinders Blade, 3 Reprieve, 3 Hiruma Skirmisher, and 3 Kakita Blades. That’s 2/3rds of your deck that you can “draw”. This is over and above conflict relevant cards like Court Games, For Shame, and Banzai.

Silver Tongued Magistrate 1/5

A magistrate which punishes your opponent for not putting fate on characters. I would rather my opponent get rewarded for doing inefficient things rather than get punished for it to encourage him to do it more. I don’t see this card making the cut in most Crane decks.

Iron Mine 5/5

As if Crab did not have enough survival effects we add 3 more. In truth we are actually adding 6 as this can be rebuilt. It’s hard to state how good this is. There is some anti synergy with Yasuki Taka but what will usually end up happening if you go that route is the Iron Mine will be exclusively used to keep Taka going turn after turn.

Kuni Ritsuko 2/5

4 mil 2 pol shugenja that acts like a Void ring whenever it wins a conflict as a defender. Crab have been getting a lot of cards which reward them for winning on defense but they all have a fatal flaw that prevent them from seeing much play. Crab Mom has a dash
in pol which ruins her flexibility and Ritsuko costs 4. The other 4 cost options in Crab are Steadfast which readies herself and Suichi which farms fate.

Crab already like splashing Unicorn so what will most likely happen is they will skip Ritsuko and just Talisman the conflict to Meditations or Defend the Wall whichever one is needed.

That rounds out all the reviews. I hope you enjoyed it. I always enjoy reading comments. In the pipeline I have the third part of Masterclass Lion and a Masterclass Phoenix in the works as well as a State of the Game article after 6×6.


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