On the Cheap – Scorpion Paragons

We’re going whole hog on the “cheap” part this time around, bringing you a “bushi league” deck. Not everyone uses this term the same way, so here’s what I mean by it: no rares, no promos, no Forgotten Legacy. The deck has to be made out of commons, uncommons (excluding Know No Fear), and fixed cards from that Clan’s starter deck(s). It’s not technically legal for another week, but Embers of War is included in here.

Bushi decks are tough to make. The usually don’t permit a straightforward thematic deck (although the one today is) – many themes can only scrape together four Personalities out of commons and uncommons. The lack of Personalities for a mono-theme deck isn’t that big a deal anyway, it turns out, since when you exclude the rares it’s hard to put together enough thematic fate cards to make it matter.

When you’re talking military decks then, don’t feel obliged to start with something more than “all of my best Personalities along with a Stronghold that doesn’t care what they are.” If your clan has that option, anyway.

Anyway, for today’s deck we have Scorpion Paragons. They have a lot of good common Personalities. There are still a couple of playable Paragon actions (although, yes, all of the ridiculous ones are in Forgotten Legacy). The box has built-in meta, which could be handy because the bushi league format gives you no dedicated anti-honor meta to work with (there’s still anti-defense meta like Ancient Feud and The Snow Has Teeth) – no Colonial Harbor to make it really sing though. And we haven’t done a Scorpion deck yet.

Starting cards: No choices but Shiro Chugo and basic BK and BH.

Personalities: Pretty straightforward here too. There are four strong non-rare Scorpion Paragons (Ritoru, Suwabe, Tenzan, and Waru) and we want all of them.  Even in bushi league we don’t want to play with the 3F/3G Paragon. That’s how bad those guys are.

A Scorpion Paragon deck wants Courtiers too, and this part starts off with some obvious picks as well with Tanzaki and the new Bayushi Nomen. I like the Scorpion Sensei from Embers of War, and he’s best out of Paragons, so in goes one copy of him. The Clan Champion makes an appearance (because he’s fixed in the EE starter deck).  That makes 8, and this deck wants at least 9 Courtiers, so with the favor-grabbing Courtier unavailable we’ll fill out the remainder with Shosuro Kameyoi.

And Bayushi Irezu, of course.

3x Bayushi Suwabe
3x Bayushi Tenzan
3x Bayushi Waru
3x Shosuro Ritoru
3x Bayushi Nomen
3x Shosuro Tanzaki
1x Bayushi Kazutoshi
1x Shosuro Kameyoi
1x Bayushi Nitoshi
3x Bayushi Irezu

Holdings: This is a rough spot, because the selection of common and uncommon Holdings is pretty threadbare. Unless you want to run Temple of the Elements just to force a semblance of the the 6-for-5 Holding scheme, I think you’re pretty much inking in Geisha House and Prosperous Village, and then grimacing at the rest. My default is to look for one more 2G Holding and one more 3-4G Holding. Like when I did the Dragon Kensai deck recently, Rugashi Bazaar is the only thing going for 4G. Extra Force actually does matter against dishonor decks, and they’re popular now with Den of Iniquity in the environment, so we’ll settle for those. On the 2G front, I think the options come down to Akodo’s Grave and Indomitable Home. And, because that’s how I roll, I round it off with Small Farms (others might have you drop that and go up to 14 “real” Holdings, possibly adding another Courtier in).

3x Geisha House
3x Prosperous Village
3x Rugashi Bazaar
3x Indomitable Home
3x Small Farm

Everything Else In the Dynasty Deck: Oh, there’s really nothing here. Bayushi’s Guidance is the only Celestial, and he’s not worth it for this deck. Regions give you Low Market, and nothing else. Low Market would be a consideration if you build the deck with more attachments, but I’ve only got a few in here, so it won’t make the grade. Most of the available events are for dishonor, so let’s go ahead and play with the one card that’s anti-dishonor:

1x Formal Apology

Rings: The Rings are great, and we’ll play with all of them except for Air, since that’s basically a weaker version of Cycle of Vengeance.

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

Attachments: Attachments are really good protection right now, even if you don’t have access to the very best in bushi league. There are decent Weapons (Sankaku-Yari, Satoshi’s Dual Warfans, Tsuruchi Daikyu) and decent Followers (Khol Regulars, Vigilant Riders, Village Raider, Village Guardian, plus Ashigaru Recruits). Scorpion Paragons is usually an attachment-card-free deck, relying on Nakanu Technique and Grateful Reward for protection. We get Nakanu, but Grateful is gone, so let’s replace it with Ashigaru Recruits (sadly, not nearly as good). We’ll stick to the traditional attachment-light build, but I will add in extra card draw in the form of Village Guardian. Feel free to mess around with more attachments if you make the deck!

3x Ashigaru Recruits
3x Village Guardian

Strategies: We are making a thematic deck, so I’ll start with the three thematic cards that are actually worth playing – Strength in Terror (hooray!), Exploited Advantage, and Murderous Intent. Then it’s mostly 2x the decent cards that are available in this format – Gold and Steel, Nakanu Tech, Hidden Defenses, clan virtue, Fall Back!, Reckless Rush, and Brothers in Battle. After that more reactive cards are probably the way to go, as the proactive things get slim – there’s movement negation (Height of Courage), straighten/force penalty negation (Tireless Efforts), Battle/Open straighten (Cycle of Vengeance), and more straightforward meta (Ancient Feud, Snow Has Teeth, Games of Will, etc.). The exact blend will depend on your environment, and whether you’re playing against other bushi league decks or more tuned builds. With Fall Back and Reckless already providing some sort of bow meta, I’ll add in Height of Courage for anti-send-home, Ancient Feud for random defensive deck meta, and Cycle of Vengeance to supplement Hidden Defenses to help me be able to swing in and still defend.

3x Exploited Advantage
3x Murderous Intent
3x Strength in Terror
3x Gold and Steel
3x Nakanu Technique
2x Hidden Defenses
2x The Loyalty of the Scorpion
2x Reckless Rush
2x The Cycle of Vengeance
2x Brothers in Battle
2x The Height of Courage
2x Ancient Feud
1x Fall Back!

Stronghold: Shiro Chugo
Border Keep
Bamboo Harvesters

Events/Regions/Celestials
1x Formal Apology

Personalities
3x Bayushi Irezu
3x Bayushi Nomen
3x Bayushi Suwabe
3x Bayushi Tenzan
3x Bayushi Waru
3x Shosuro Ritoru
3x Shosuro Tanzaki
1x Bayushi Kazutoshi
1x Bayushi Nitoshi
1x Shosuro Kameyoi

Holdings
3x Geisha House
3x Prosperous Village
3x Rugashi Bazaar
3x Indomitable Home
3x Small Farm

Strategies
3x Exploited Advantage
3x Gold and Steel
3x Murderous Intent
3x Nakanu Technique
3x Strength in Terror
2x Ancient Feud
2x Brothers in Battle
2x Hidden Defenses
2x Reckless Rush
2x The Cycle of Vengeance
2x The Height of Courage
2x The Loyalty of the Scorpion
1x Fall Back!

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

Attachments
3x Village Guardian
3x Ashigaru Recruits

Other considerations for bushi league: Crab. You can almost field a full rack of Berserkers and there are multiple good non-rare Berserker cards. You can also already overflow a deck with Scouts, given the unaligned guys. And your clan virtue is still ridiculous.

9 thoughts on “On the Cheap – Scorpion Paragons

  1. SC Parajimbos are the cheapest deck that you could make competitively.
    Seriously.
    I’m a poverty gamer myself (wife and baby on the way) and all you need is just FL which will include

    BK xp BH xp
    Second City
    Ryoshun’s Guidance
    Colonial Harbor
    Scorpion dude
    Boxable courtier 2x
    Cast Aside
    Grateful
    Game of Dice
    Creating Order
    Yojimbo’s duty
    Sundering
    Broken Alliance
    Perfect Moment (Retribution will suffice though)

    then the EE Scorpion starter for the:
    House
    Loyalty of the Scorpion

    then just fill it up with Parajimbos, Tangen (decks clan champion IMO), Kameyoi and Courtier +4f. Fate pretty much is Murderous Intent, Nakanu Tech, and the solid battle actions like Gold and Steel.

    Maybe will have a hard time Merchant. Atoll and Know No fear, but not really necessary unless you’re really serious to shell out some cash for those two. I’d really recommend getting FL for this one as it definitely is well worth it. Don’t even need a peddler for this type of deck.

  2. great write-up, thanks. Any chance you could post an article about a bushi-league version of crab scouts? I am thinking about getting into the game, Hiruma scouts is what I was thinking about playing and I am quite short on money at the moment.

  3. This deck list has been a great inspiration for mine! Keep up the great work!
    Hoping to see one Yasuki Dishonor on the Cheap (if that is possible).

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