On the Cheap – Crab Scouts

By popular demand (well, by request of a reader), today’s On the Cheap will cover Crab Scouts.  Specifically, a Hiruma-based “bushi league” deck – no rares, no promos, and only fixed cards if they appear in a starter deck for that Clan. Crab Scouts have a strong box, and a lot of solid guys available at the common and uncommon slots. What they lack, we’ll see in this deck, is offensive Battle actions other than Ranged 4 Attack.

Starting Cards: With Scouts we will, of course, be using Kyuden Hida xp – not that it requires a Scout, but there are a lot of Scout Battle actions that need Recon to be worthwhile. Because the box itself does not require Scouts, and there are only a few Scout-specific Strategies, we won’t be limited

Kyuden Hida (experienced)
Border Keep
Bamboo Harvesters

Personalities: This is where we’ll really see the bushi league nature of the deck come out. A tournament level Kyuden Hida deck may well have tons of non-Scout guys in it (starting with Hiruma Nikaru), but this deck is going to end up with more actual Scouts (which works out OK, since the poster who requested this specifically liked this theme). We’ll load up on RA4s with Hiruma Nitani, Hiruma Tensin, and Shikaro, plus Nijugun’s send-home. We’ll toss in a few singletons – Hida Kisada, Hida Osote (brutal trait against control decks), and Hiruma Akio xp (although you do have to go back and buy a Before the Dawn Crab starter deck for her). After that, there’s some room to choose between Scouts with decent traits vs. non-Scouts with decent Battle abilities. I’ll skew this deck towards Scouts with Jahan for Terrain meta, Toritaka Shishido to boost the many Ranged Attacks in the deck, and Kaiu Esumi for a good Battle ability that’s yet another Ranged Attack. Other options might be to add Sakti or another Berserker for big Force and a Battle action, Kuni Shinoda as a cheapy with a decent ability, or Kaiu Tojikana for good Force and a decent ability (if a bit pricy). Using Esumi and Tojikana might also let us pack a couple of Control the Board to play off of their Tactician keyword.

3x Nijugun
3x Hiruma Nitani
3x Hiruma Tensin
3x Shikaro
3x Jahan
3x Kaiu Esumi
3x Toritaka Shishido
1x Hida Osote
1x Hiruma Akio (experienced)
1x Hida Kisada

Holdings: If you’ve been reading the On the Cheap articles, the Holding selection is going to start looking pretty boring from deck to deck, because it’s one of the areas that is most impacted by the loss of promos and rares. This start with the lack of Colonial Harbor, which Kyuden Hida xp desperately wants to run so that it can have Recon on defense – with no Colonial Harbor and no big units to move in/Retribute with, this deck is not going to have great D. It will instead get the same 9x Holdings I’ve been handing out almost everywhere – Prosperous Village, clan holding, Rugashi Bazaar. For 2G Holdings, all the Ranged Attacks in this deck make Archery Range an obvious conclusion. Thirteen holdings sounds better than 12 for this, so one more Akodo’s Grave will round it out (this could also be Indomitable Home).

3x Prosperous Village
3x Iron Mine
3x Archery Range
3x Rugashi Bazaar
1x Akodo’s Grave

Events/Regions/Celestials: Again, there’s little to do against honor here, so dishonor will get some meta in the form of Formal Apology. The Clan Celestial is worth playing, so we’ll slot that in too. Finally, I’m going to steal some tech from some real Crab Scout decks and put Wisdom Gained in to go with all of the Rings we were going to put in anyway, and also Deception Revealed to try and shore up our lack of aggressive actions beyong RA4.

1x Formal Apology
1x Wisdom Gained
1x Hida’s Guidance (experienced)

Strategies: Broken cards first, even if they’re less broken with a bunch of 4F Scouts – Duty of the Crab is in. Disrupting Communication is also pretty ridiculous out of Kyuden Hida (random discard? on an L5R card? madness!). Surrounded is the other card that needs Scouts, and this deck has tons of RAs, so in it goes. We’ll continue shoring up the Ranged Attacks with Sniping (to get Weapon-loaded units) and No Hiding Place (to pick off Courtiers cowering at home). Reckless Rush is in again, and we have The Height of Courage for both negation and that little extra Force boost (don’t be afraid to blow Height for +2F when you need it). The deck still wants more offensive actions, so we’ll bring in Gold and Steel despite our low Gold Cost Personalities – so long as you control a 7G Personality at the battlefield you’ll probably be able to play it. Costly Opportunity can let us have some advtanage from those low-cost Personalities – it’s a narrow sort of effect, but can insta-win battles when an enemy charges in with one super-unit. Some anti-Province strenght boosting meta, plus even more ranged attacks should finished the Strategies off. Other options include trying more resistance with The Cycle of Vengeance or Fall Back! I passed on Nakanu technique because the box already generates free Followers, but there’s worse things than more free protection.

3x Duty of the Crab
3x Disrupting Communication
3x Reckless Rush
3x Surrounded
3x Sniping
3x No Hiding Place
3x Deception Revealed
3x The Height of Courage
3x Gold and Steel
2x Costly Opportunity
2x Ancient Feud
2x Brothers in Battle

Rings: Same four as the last time, and they’re all still really good. Don’t forget that you can shoot the air to put out Water.

1x Ring of Earth
1x Ring of Fire
1x Ring of Water
1x Ring of the Void

Attachments: And, again, same thing – card draw is good.

3x Village Guardian

Decklist

Kyuden Hida (experienced)
Border Keep
Bamboo Harvesters

Dynasty:

1x Formal Apology
1x Hida’s Guidance xp
1x Wisdom Gained

3x Prosperous Village
3x Iron Mine
3x Archery Range
3x Rugashi Bazaar
1x Akodo’s Grave

3x Nijugun
3x Hiruma Nitani
3x Hiruma Tensin
3x Shikaro
3x Jahan
3x Kaiu Esumi
3x Toritaka Shishido
1x Hida Osote
1x Hiruma Akio
1x Hida Kisada

Fate:

3x Duty of the Crab
3x Disrupting Communication
3x Reckless Rush
3x Surrounded
3x Sniping
3x No Hiding Place
3x Deception Revealed
3x The Height of Courage
3x Gold and Steel
2x Costly Opportunity
2x Ancient Feud
2x Brothers in Battle

1x Ring of Earth
1x Ring of Fire
1x Ring of the Void
1x Ring of Water

3x Village Guardian

9 thoughts on “On the Cheap – Crab Scouts

  1. thanks a lot for really writing the article that I asked for! I will use the list as a starting point and we’ll see where I end up… any comments about future purchases for the deck would be appreciated, but you don’t have to bother with this though.

    1. Forgotten Legacy is really all you need for a competitive version of this deck.
      Ryoahuns guidiance, Seeking the truth, sundering strike, Nikaru, Chokichi, Fubatsu, ageless shrine, and colonial harbor easily bring this up to snuff. Past that your looking at getting some of the new EoW rares (inexorable and scouting the pass are good) and War of honor has 2 nice staples (temple of the seeker and game of sincerity). From experience, it’s a powerful deck that basically runs itself after you get some play experience.

    2. Yeah, I know I sound like a broken record, but buying Forgotten Legacy is always the best way to improve a deck, assuming you have the option of dropping that much at once. That is definitely true here where, as Rob mentions, you not only get specific needs like Colonial Harbor and Crab-specific stuff like Fubatsu and Nikaru, but also just random good Holdings and Strategies to shore up the gaps.

    1. Sigh, how did I miss that one? I blame EoW for starting to just put Gaijin in common slots. Yeah, he’s not only a promo, but he was part of the summer con pack from last year. I’ll leave the article as is, and suggest substituting one of the other Personalities mentioned – Kuni Shinoda, Sakti, or Kaiu Tojikana.

      1. Shinoda would be best since he’s cheap and at least has a mildly useful ability. Sakti isn’t great for scouts since you can’t use duty to sleeze him in.
        I’d probably do 3xakodo’s grave without jahan and just run 2x archery range.

  2. This is a neat series. It is hard to look through the bazillion cards in Oracle to find what I need for a deck, and then find it cheap. I’d be interested in seeing a Battle Maidens entry, if that can be done cheaply.

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