Strange Assembly is happy to bring you two Embers of War previews today: Perplexing Guests and Temple to the Elements. Both have unique effects that may not be simple to evaluate.
Both cards share a Monk theme, including Dragon Monk-related artwork, so I’m guessing that’s why they’re grouped together. So let’s see whether they’ll help rescue non-Spider Monks from the binder . . .
Reaction: After another player’s action targets your Personality: Discard him.
Battle: Create a 1F/1C/1PH Monk Personality on your side at the current battlefield. Remove him from the game when the turn ends.
“He has not moved in three days! I hope our northern guests will not make our home familiar grounds.”
First, I’ve got to note the shout-out to Togashi Akagi, who spent much longer than three days camped out on a Crane rooftop. Second, I wonder if maybe the Crane should welcome northern guests. Two of the Crane’s traditional enemies (the Crab and Scorpion) are now best buddies, and the seem to be losing an economic war to the Mantis. Maybe looking north to the relatively healthy and strong Unicorn/Dragon/Phoenix northern wing of the Empire wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
The card itself? Definitely a perplexing one. The Reaction is certainly unique. Obvious, if narrow, use of discarding your dishonorable Personality before he would die, or if you want to bring the Personality back with Duty of the Crab or A Yojimbo’s Duty. But you’ll probably need more to get a card in a deck, and the Battle action itself is also unique. The first thing that comes to mind is creating a random dude to shove your Henshin on top of, but I don’t think that works at all because (I think) the “remove from the game at EOT” effect will still apply. Also, because the Rule of Presence was fixed, you can use this to create presence – it probably won’t last, but you can try. Ultimately, there’s a reason why most of the Personality/Follower creation cards have been successful when (1) they are Reactions; (2) they create multiple guys; or (3) they grant an additional action. None of these are present with Perplexing Guests.
Temple to the Elements
Bow this card: Produce 5 Gold.
Open: Choose your performing Monk or Shugenja: Give him Air, Earth, Fire, or Water.
Each time the monk looked at the garden, the pebbles formed a different pattern.
Nevermind the obvious Monk uses that come to mind from the artwork – this Holding’s biggest fan is Asahina Munefusa. Straightening Holdings is good. Straightening Holdings that produce 5G is amazing (just ask all those Prosperous Villagers that Yamazaki has threatened already this Kotei season). As a bonus, that’s one more Temple for Words of Consecration. Temple to the Elements being a Temple also helps a few random things from other decks like Steadfast Defense.
What about the ability? Gaining elemental keywords would seem to have the most application in decks that need to mix keywords – it’s possible to use it to help splash more non-thematic Shugenja in some decks, but you’ve probably got enough on-keyword guys for that not to matter. The problem Temple to the Elements will run into here is the strength of the existing 6-for-5 Holdings. Certainly, tossing Fire on your random Dragon Monks will improve your ability to use the solid Fire-themed Kiho, but that’s really an improvement around the edges. No Pillars of Virtue deck is going to run that over Colonial Harbor. Merchant Atoll probably provides a more consistent benefit to. And Prosperous Village can’t be knocked. Can you justify removing one of those (even if you’re going the full 6G Holding scheme) for Temple to the Elements? If you include TttE, can that really justify including something like Thoughts of Wind?
From what I’ve seen of EE, the main decks that might randomly be running cards that care about Elemental keywords are Shugenja decks, which could be sporting cards like Strength of the Tsunami, Bo of Water, Erosion, Katana of Fire, Channeling the Fallen, or Ember’s Final Fire. Phoenix Elemental Destruction, for example, could use Temple to the Elements to make sure that whoever is available to attach that Strength of the Tsunami is going to be Water this turn.