War of Honor – A Look Back at Samurai Arc (Part 11)

This is the eleventh in a series of posts about Samurai arc cards that might find a place in War of Honor decks – or maybe that would just be amusing in War of Honor decks (Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10).

Now we get into the Fire Chickens, the best clan. Since Chris had a nasty attack of the real life I’ll be filling in today, so send your hate mail to jay@strangeassembly.com so it can be properly ignored.

Now the Phoenix are one of the more versatile clans in general, and certainly in War of Honor, potentially going for all four victory conditions, possibly at once. Further, with overlapping themes in samurai/shugenja synergy and just being awesome at spells, there’s a nice amount of double dipping to play from (remember, those fate cards with a blue border are phoenix cards. Use them!) So, jumping into the cards:

Let’s start with those boring ol’ samurai. Sadly they’ll most likely just be doing military, though the Phoenix limited tile is one of the stronger military options if used strategically, and the open tile (combined with 3 and 4 personal honor) lets you easily jump a few pips up the honor track for tie breakers, not to mention enough shugenja to play for enlightenment if you really want to. Firstly, you’ll need some shugenja to help your poor dumb samurai, which is where Shiba Erena, Isawa Tokiko and Shiba Ningen xp2 earn their money, getting you both samurai and shugenja fairly easily. Next is the champ, Shiba Tsukimi xp2. While xp3’s force boost is certainly larger (assuming you have *some* shugenja) xp2 can kill things. Who doesn’t like killing things? Next, if you’re tag teaming, Temple of Unity nets you an extra clan holding for your people, always handy when most of our samurai seem to cost 7. Next, if you want to keep your shugenja around, Shiba Daizan can do that job, even if he gets picked on. Next up is the man, Shiba Yoma. He has a better home in the honor deck, keeping your shugenja up for open hijinks, but he is technically a samurai. Finally on the samurai theme is one of our strongest samurai, happy fun boy himself: Shiba Aikune xp3. Not only is he a beat stick by himself, but he can have fun killing your allies to kill your enemies. Just be careful not to annoy your erstwhile friends.

Next let’s cover fire and earth: the shugenja who will burninate on your behalf, and wreck province face. Let’s start with the big daddy, our very own Dragon, Fire Dragon XP2: he’s big, he’s bad, he has cav, and he eats several people, through attachments so long as he can swallow them. Isawa Sawao xp2 can take out some of the attachments that are running around, and while he can’t handle the bigger attachments, if you see a lot of little ones he can easily strip a whole lot of protection. Isawa Idomu on the other hand can easily handle the bigger attachments, and potentially take something else out at the same time. Of course if you absolutely, positively want to nuke someone, the Fires that Cleanse will take someone out with no restrictions, just for the low low cost of some pud shugenja. And then Tempered Resurrection can use them to fuel faster buys later on. Of course to lead those attacks no one beats Isawa Eitoku, who can attack or defend every turn once he gets some shiny toys. And to help get those spells Isawa Chinatsu pays every turn to really help afford them. Lastly, Heaven’s Fire, a worthless card before, is now hilarious since you don’t care about your honor. Either you kill a 3 chi guy, or tile plus guy for full lets you advance honor.

And let’s finish with Air/temple/honor decks. Cause that’s what you should probably be playing (though cav based fire attack with ring drops sounds like fun too. We even have three options on fire thanks to Ochiai). First, the box: while losing city of tears makes it really hard to play battle spells, if you never plan on showing up to battle anyway Kyuden Asako can be amazing, letting you easily rocket up in honor on other players turns – a must for War of Honor honor decks. Also, while limited to limited, Agasha Tamaki lets you use those temples for honor and gold on your turn, plus use her for any bowing costs (like favor monkey or box) of course if you do want to show at the battles, Asako Juro and his elder self are both good for gaining some honor while nuking your enemies. And as monks, they can be combined with our new monk stuff, plus Asako Keiki, for a hilarious monk honor deck. Y’now, in case you just want to confuse people 😀 Of course if you do want to show in the battle there are a few cards that can give good advantage, including their potential honor boosts. Flame of Truth gives you a little honor and a little range attack. The Mountain’s Feet keeps big meanies off your provinces and gives them some strength against the three players who are likely attacking you. Tadaka’s Mirror keeps your spud alive long enough to kill something, and gains you some honor. And if for some reason you decide you do want to play – hopefully to nuke a few attackers – don’t forget the clan armor, Koutetsu Kyuui, which will give you another quarter of the turn’s honor gains, plus help pay for your nukes. But even if you won’t show up, Seeking the Way is good in any honor deck as it lets you escape and gain some honor. If you want to stall your enemies before they show up at your house, Isawa Miniko can stall anyone’s attack, plus giving you some honor, and Isawa Ochiai xp can stall them out better, though without the honor gain. Isawa Zao can combo for some extra honor, whether or not she shows up to battle, or get bigger if you’ve already hit the cap for the turn. Reverence for Chikushudo is great for not only netting you some honor but also fishing out one of your honor spells, though you do have to worry about matching keywords. Finally, air loves to straighten, and if you don’t care about stats Isawa Uhiko keeps getting himself up every turn. Then again, why bother with straighten when Tamori Nakamuro means you don’t even have to bother bowing. And the last new toy I want to leave you with is, appropriately, The End is Near. It’s hard to pull off, expensive, and hurts you as well, but a well timed board wipe means you can win without having to worry about all of those mean military decks trying to wreck your face.

So go forth, my fiery brethren, and burninate your enemies! With fire and such! Or show how honorable you are, cause we certainly are. We had the shogun before, let’s put him in orange again!

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