Ten Things I Think I Think #1

In this first installment of what may become a repeat feature, I lay out ten L5R and gaming thoughts. They are generally intended as semi-random and, hopefully, semi-interesting notes or conversation starters – do not expect lists of 100% brilliant insights.

1) Have you noticed how few of the top spells are ones that come in free off of Library of Rebirth (and are meaningful in that way)? Bo of Water and Katana of Fire are great, but their abilities are Limited. Strength of the Tsunami still costs cash (although the box itself is enough to pay for the rest). Scouring Flood is great, but after that you’re looking at kind of limited stuff like Conflagration, Pearl of Rage, and Tempest of Flame. Not that Phoenix spell military needs more help.

2) Mirumoto Katagi just gets worse every time I look at him. A lot of Dragon players thought he was awful when he came out, but I thought he deserved more of a look. But, after more of a look, I’m more down on him. His bare stats are worth about 6.5 Gold (you have to pay 7G for a 4F/4C, but it’s a weak Personality) – but he effectively costs 11G. So the first time you play a Weapon on him and get the 4G discount, you still haven’t really made back the extra you paid for him up front (and you’re spending extra Gold before you get the benefit, which is worse). So, if you aren’t buying the guy and immediately dropping two Weapons on him, he’s basically doing nothing.

3) If you assume that Border Keep basic and Border Keep Experienced are supposed to be vaguely even in power level, then you should be disappointed. The ability to look at a third set of Dynasty cards on turn one is a huge, huge factor in how many Holdings you need to put in a deck. Border Keep has to give up its once-per-game ability to get that third look. Border Keep Experienced doesn’t. It’s a bigger deal than you might think.

4) I remember there being some real griping about how lousy and/or ill-suited the Mantis Personalities in Forgotten Legacy were. Not griping anymore, eh?

5) You can cut your Holding count down to 8-9 by just running 6-for-5 Holdings. Is it the lost flexibility of the bigger Holdings worth getting 5 Dynasty slots back? I do not know.

6) Don’t forget Tsuruchi Daikyu in all the excitement about the 8G Weapons. It’s still a beast.

7) I’m not usually much of one for Kickstarter games, but I do like deckbuilding and combining that mechanic for other things, which has made me wonder about this Briefcase game from some Greek designers that is supposed to come out later this year.

8 ) Non-Samurai really, really wish they could play Know No Fear.

9) I’m one of those folks who doesn’t want to send in anything for the Emperor Edition “Experience a Personality” mailing because I don’t want to give up my one copy of any of the bio cards.

10) After listening to Eric Summerer on The Dice Tower talk about Merchant of Venus so often, I really want to see what comes of the upcoming remake (which, from the information available, will be the Fantasy Flight Games version).

9 thoughts on “Ten Things I Think I Think #1

  1. For the gold scheme with nothing but 6-for-5 holding, you’d better have a good way to draw cards, because Traveling Peddler is obviously super-painful with that gold scheme. Reasonable card-draw engines which are always in play include:

    1. Bamboo Harvester XP (only reasonable for clans which almost always go second)
    2. Steel Soul Dojo (Hmm, maybe Spider really should try this out)
    3. The Khan’s Estate (but Unicorn have less reason to run this gold scheme)
    4. Eternal Victory Dojo (but you’d never do this as a Lion player)

  2. Well, there’s also a couple other options available in the card draw side for that type of deck:

    1. Modifications. 7 gc attachments fit into that schema much nicer than 8gc ones do.
    2. If it’s an attachment deck – Thunder or Elemental Destruction both work well with the gold scheme from my testing, for instance – then Temples of Gisei Toshi probably has a slot. So does Glory of the Shogun.
    3. Figure that you’re aiming for the game to be over by turn 4 anyway (5 if you stall out) and run without anything to compensate for Peddler – if you get it in, it means your deck was running slower than you’d like, and you probably can’t use it more than once in this timeframe anyway. Twice at the outside.

    Most of the Mantis personality complaining was that 1) the personalities didn’t really help the decks of the time (and CE did go on with FL legal for what, 7 months?) and 2) the unique wasn’t a match for the other uniques, being for a deck that didn’t exist at the time and cheaper/less powerful than the others. Especially with the new spell rules, Sasako is incredible, and now that scouts are actually playable the scout is ridiculous. (I don’t really think that highly of Nobukatsu, but he’s alright – the problem is just that you can’t really plan around the gold off his ability, so you’re paying for that part of it and it all too often can’t be used)

  3. Well, my current deck that’s running all the 6-for-5 holdings is Scoprion Paragons with no attachments (aside from the one million attachments which come from Grateful Reward and Nakanu Technique), so I have to take card draw where I can get it. Modifications is definitely a good option with that gold scheme.

    I don’t think it’s a gold scheme that necessarily lends itself to blitz, but at least in the naked Scorpion deck it definitely just wants to churn out two guys a turn, every turn.

    And I personally think Trevor is crazy.

  4. 1. Yes. I noticed. I don’t think Spell Military is anywhere near as good as you give it credit for. Speaking as a player who adored spell military last arc, I honestly think it’s Phoenix’s weakest deck this go round. While Scouring Flood and Strength of the Tsunami are good, every other military deck is running Know No Fear. Effortless Counterattack is also everywhere lately.

    6. And it works perfectly with a 6/6 gold scheme.

    7. Indeed!

    1. I suppose because of either habit, Effortless, or just needing the force guaranteed and not having Glory out I wind up attaching my spells during limited like four out of five times anyway, more if you ignore the reaction-speed Stormless Fury attachments.

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