Ivory Edition Kotei Non-Military Deck Analysis

A few weeks ago, I did an analysis of all of the T2 decks from the Ivory Edition part of Kotei season. At that time, I said that the followup would be an analysis of the whole field, with maybe a non-military analysis to come (I also thought that followup was going to come in a few days). But after putting the non-military decks in, I realize that pretty much anything new to be said about the overall environment was just “and then the non-military decks added these.” So, instead, I’m just jumping straight to the non-military analysis.

This is a small sample size than the last one, with only 24 decks to analyze, instead of 78. It’s also a narrower array of deck types – 22 of the decks are Scorpion or Crane. On the one hand, this means that the analysis is more of a “courtier-based honor and dishonor decks” thing than an “all non-military decks thing.” On the other hand, for tournament purposes, nothing else really existed, so who cares?

And, of course, there’s the fact that we’ve got a dozen The Coming Storm legal tournaments under our belt at this point. But I can turn my attention to that in a moment, and I think that the lessons of the Ivory environment are still a helpful jumping off point.

Cards That Most Good Non-Military Decks Played

71 Jade Pearl Inn (24)
23 Counting House (23)
A Game of Dice (20)
54 Block Supply Lines (19)
Bamboo Harvesters Experienced (18)
Ring of Earth (18)
49 Inexplicable Challenge (17)
44 Strategic Withdrawal (16)
44 Brilliant Cascade Inn (15)
42 Tactical Setback (15)
42 Exquisite Silk Works (14)
42 Bayushi Shizuka (14)
42 Ramifications (14)
Bayushi Kachiko Experienced CoM (14)
38 Oppression (13)
37 Encircled Terrain (13)
35 Small-time Bully (13)
34 Flashy Technique (13)

As with last time, there are two numbers for most cards. The number on the left is how many total copies were played. The number on the right is how many different decks played the card. For Unique cards that’s the same thing, so there’s just the number on the right. With 24 decks, any card that appears at least 13 times was in more than half of decks, thus the section title.

You can almost tell just from this how many were honor decks and how many were dishonor decks. 15 decks with Brilliant Cascade Inn = 15 dishonor decks, right? Pretty close. I think it was 12 Scorpion dishonor, 2 Crane dishonor, one Crane switch, and 7 Crane honor. Oh, and a Phoenix and a Lion deck. You can see a lot of these specific overlaps here – 14 straight dishonor decks, 14 decks with Exquisite Silk Works, 14 decks with Bayushi Shizuka, 14 decks with Ramifications, etc.

Ultimately, there is not a lot to be gleaned at this tier. JPI is good. Card draw is good. Obviously good defensive cards (Block Supply Lines, Encircled Terrain) are good. Dishonor has some specific Holdings that it really, really wants (most of the Scorpion dishonor decks did not even play with Geisha House). Strategy cards that say “Battle: Do something relevant. Make me gain 2 honor or make my opponent lose 2 honor” are still handy. You know how every non-Scorpion player thought that Bayushi Shizuka was overpowered? Well, guess what?

The most noteworthy thing here might be how much more common Strategic Withdrawal was than Discretionary Valor, since in a vacuum there are arguments for either card.

Too Big To Fail/Systematically Important

Ring of the Void (12)
35 Bayushi Akane (12)
27 Favors (12)
33 Delicate Gamble (11)
32 Thoughtless Sacrifice (11)
30 Shosuro Takazaki (10)
Bayushi Nitoshi Experienced (10)
29 Yogo Takashi (10)
30 Daidoji Soken (10)
28 Mercantile Conflict (10)
27 Doji Soeka (10)
25 Kamalakar’s Harem (10)

Last time I broke these down as cards that appeared in 30+ or 20+ decks, respectively. Obviously I can’t use those cutoffs, but even looking at those proportionally isn’t too helpful. If I list every card that showed up in at least 6 decks I’ll be listing almost everything. So these are the cards that showed up in at least 10 decks, which has the virtue of being a nice round number and being something like showing up in 30 decks in the last bit of analysis. Given the deck breakdown, that makes this list mostly cards that showed up in every single Crane deck or almost every single Scorpion deck (although some were split between certain Crane and certain Scorpion decks).

Here we see the honor loss/gain cards that don’t have an additional battle effect (Favors, Delicate Gamble, Mercantile Conflict). And, of course, lots of Personalities.

Top Scorpion Personalities

42 Bayushi Shizuka (14)
Bayushi Kachiko Experienced CoM (14)
35 Bayushi Akane (12)
30 Shosuro Takazaki (10)
Bayushi Nitoshi Experienced (10)
29 Yogo Takashi (10)
24 Shosuro Hotaka (8)
Shosuro Kameyoi Experienced (7)

That’s all of the Scorpion Personalities who appeared in most Scorpion decks (in addition to the obvious out-of-clan appearances by Shizuka and Kachiko, Nitoshi’s numbers include a couple of Crane decks). With 18 cards appearing here (counting non-Uniques as 3), that means a tremendous amount of overlap between the Scorpion dishonor decks. That doesn’t mean there was only one build, but definitely a lot in common. The selection of Personalities is noteworthy for being incredibly cheap, and sporting an awful lot of card draw (from Destined and Expendable).

Top Crane Personalities

30 Daidoji Soken (10)
27 Doji Soeka (10)
Doji Makoto, the Smiling Blade Experienced (9)

The Crane Personality base was much more fragmented, especially since this data set included honor and dishonor decks, and decks from before and after the Crane errata.

Cards There Weren’t As Many Of As One Might Have Thought

9 Come One at a Time (3)

Come One at a Time exemplifies how little dueling appeared here – even Crane honor (a total of 8 decks) usually eschewed dueling.

The Adjustment to Ivory

I’ll just skip over a lot of the sections that were included in the military analysis because they just aren’t applicable here – no events got noteworthy play, there’s no Weapons v. Followers throwdown, and Ring of Earth continues to dominate the Ring standings. But (especially with the Second Chance event at GenCon being Strict legality) I do think it could be handy to know how many of the top cards for these sorts of decks are pre-Ivory and will, therefore, rotate out and are not Strict legal.

Most Decks Played These – Elevent out of eighteen from Ivory Edition.
Too Big Too Fail (not counting Personalities) – Two out of six from Ivory Edition.
Top Scorpion Personalities – Three out of eight from Ivory Edition.
Top Crane Personalities – Two out of three from Ivory Edition.

The losses from the very top cards are somewhat selective. Of most note is that the two bonkers dishonor Holdings aren’t available (Exquisite Silk Works) or easily available (Brilliant Cascade Inn). Two of the more popular presenceless or presence-removing cards (Strategic Withdrawal, Tactical Setback) also depart. But a lot of good generic defensive cards will remain, as well as strong Ivory reprints like Oppression, Ramifications, and Inexplicable Challenge (plus the Small-Time Bully to activate them). The second tier sees more damage done.

Having lost its most important Holdings, Scorpion dishonor loses a lot of Personalities as well. However, it does retain its most potent non-Uniques – Bayushi Shizuka and Bayushi Akane. While it is unlikely to be able to generate the level of Desitned/Expendable card draw it has now, some sort of adequate replacement for cheap Courtiers seems likely.

The Crane lose Soken, which is no small matter.

The Big List

Here’s the list of all of the cards played in these 24 decks.

The Shadowed Estate of the Scorpion (12)
The Exquisite Palace of the Crane (10)
The Honorable Garrison of the Lion (1)
The Eternal Temple of the Phoenix (1)

Akagi Sensei (3)
Jutsushi Sensei (2)
Satoru Sensei (1)

6 Ashigaru Fort (2)
44 Brilliant Cascade Inn (15)
1 Coastal Pearl Bed (1)
3 Copper Mine (1)
23 Counting House (23)
6 Deep Harbor (4)
42 Exquisite Silk Works (14)
1 Family Library (1)
15 Famous Bazaar (5)
6 Farmer’s Market (2)
9 Geisha House (3)
1 House of Exotic Goods (1)
1 House of Prophecy (1)
1 Imperial Explorer’s Dojo (1)
71 Jade Pearl Inn (24)
4 Jiramu’s Court (3)
24 Kabuki Theater Troupe (8)
26 Marketplace (9)
19 Nexus of Lies (7)
12 Productive Mine (4)
1 Secluded Shrine (1)
3 Silver Mine (1)
2 Slanderer (2)
35 Small-time Bully (13)
3 Suana Dojo (1)
3 Traveling Market (1)
6 Vast Paddy Fields (2)
11 Yuikihime’s Hot Springs (7)
Temple of Tengen (1)
The Ivory Dojo (8)
The Turquoise Court (4)

19 Poorly Placed Gardens (7)
Bamboo Harvesters Experienced (18)
Oracle of the Void Experienced (9)

13 A Fever in the Blood (5)
4 Political Standoff (2)
2 Rampant Paranoia (1)
Changing the Game (5)
Dark Audience (1)
Frost Dragon Festival (3)

5 Yasuki Jiro (2)

12 Daidoji Gensai (4)
12 Daidoji Kinta (4)
30 Daidoji Soken (10)
9 Daidoji Ujirou (3)
17 Doji Dainagon (6)
6 Doji Etsuki (2)
10 Doji Katata (4)
8 Doji Kurohime (3)
2 Doji Razan (1)
27 Doji Soeka (10)
12 Doji Shirarou (4)
7 Kakita Amiki (3)
2 Doji Razan (1)
Asahina Kitiaru Experienced (3)
Asahina Shigemitsu Experienced (3)
Daidoji Tametaka Experienced (1)
Doji Hakuseki Experienced 3 (4)
Doji Makoto, the Smiling Blade Experienced (9)
Doji Hoturi Inexperienced (2)
Doji Tatsuki Experienced (5)
Kakita Hideo, the Fallen Keeper (1)
Kakita Ichigiku Experienced (1)
Suzume Shindo, the Final Blade (4)

Kitsuki Kinaro – Experienced (1)

3 Akodo Daiken (1)
3 Matsu Tayuko (1)
3 Matsu Ryohei (1)
3 Matsu Miura (1)
3 Ikoma Ichimoko (1)
2 Matsu Choiko (1)
2 Kitsu Miro (1)
2 Akodo Kenaro (1)
Ikoma Natsu Experienced (1)
Akodo Dairuko, the Steel Lion Experienced (1)

Yoritomo Yashinko Experienced (4)

3 Isawa Amihiko (1)
3 Isawa Kamiko (1)
2 Shiba Tsurao (1)
2 Shiba Michiki (1)
2 Isawa Koizumi (1)
2 Shiba Tsukimi, the Blind Phoenix (1)
Isawa Shunryu, the Infinite Eye (1)
Tonbo Inuyama, the Eye of Tomorrow (1)

35 Bayushi Akane (12)
2 Bayushi Dakatsu (1)
12 Bayushi Jin-e (4)
5 Bayushi Meiko (2)
42 Bayushi Shizuka (14)
3 Bayushi Toshimo (1)
24 Shosuro Hotaka (8)
30 Shosuro Takazaki (10)
6 Yogo Honami (2)
6 Yogo Nobukai (2)
29 Yogo Takashi (10)
Bayushi Kachiko Experienced CoM (14)
Bayushi Kahoku Experienced 2 (3)
Bayushi Nitoshi Experienced (10)
Bayushi Nitoshi, the Poison Mask Experienced 2 (6)
Shosuro Kameyoi Experienced (7)
The Sorrow Experienced (2)

3 Ninube Shiho (1)

7 Iuchi Wattu (7)

9 Armed Rice Farmer (3)
7 Otomo Demiyah (3)

2 Absolution (1)
8 Advance Warning (4)
3 Allied Efforts (1)
2 Back to the Front (1)
54 Block Supply Lines (19)
22 Breaking the Rhythm (9)
3 Chaos of Battle (1)
9 Come One at a Time (3)
2 Contentious Terrain (1)
3 Defensive Formation (1)
2 Defensive Grill (1)
9 Deliberations (3)
33 Delicate Gamble (11)
3 Demonstrating Technique (1)
20 Discretionary Valor (7)
6 Dying Remonstration (3)
37 Encircled Terrain (13)
31 Entrenched Position (11)
4 Expensive Achievement (2)
4 Faint Praise (2)
27 Favors (12)
34 Flashy Technique (13)
4 Final Sacrifice (2)
3 For the Fallen (1)
6 Honor Replaces Rage (2)
2 Iaijutsu Dojo (1)
17 Imperial Summons (6)
49 Inexplicable Challenge (17)
5 Ivory Magistrate Outpost (2)
4 Lakeside Retreat (2)
28 Mercantile Conflict (10)
6 Merchant Patronage (3)
3 Marshal Your Strength (1)
2 My Lord’s Favor (1)
2 Open Emotion (1)
38 Oppression (13)
20 Planted Evidence (8)
42 Ramifications (14)
8 Return to Action (3)
3 Sanctioned Duel (1)
2 Sleight of Hand (1)
9 Soul’s Sacrifice (3)
44 Strategic Withdrawal (16)
5 Sudden Movement (2)
11 Suffer the Consequences (4)
42 Tactical Setback (15)
11 The Company You Keep (4)
4 The Crystal Tears (2)
4 The False Route (2)
4 The Greater Threat (2)
4 The Legions’ Might (2)
5 The Turtle’s Shell (2)
32 Thoughtless Sacrifice (11)
3 Treachery and Deceit (1)
2 Two Steady Breaths (1)
2 Unassailable Defense (1)
13 Uncertainty (5)
21 Unholy Strike (7)
10 Unseemly Alliance (4)
2 Unsettling Gathering (1)
4 Unpleasant Truths (2)
2 Versatile Army (1)
3 Vigilant Eyes (1)
2 Weakness Exposed (1)
8 Wheels Within Wheels (3)
A Game of Dice (20)
Creating Order (7)
Overwhelming Chaos (1)

3 Bounty Hunter (1)
3 Court Scribe (1)
3 Disciples of Ganesh (1)
25 Kamalakar’s Harem (10)
9 Sparrow Clan Aide (3)

3 Blessed Sword (1)
3 Family Sword (1)
6 Justice of the Crane (2)

1 Map of the Northern Colonies (1)
Ancestral Armor of the Crane Clan Experienced (2)
Ancestral Armor of the Phoenix Clan Experienced(1)
Ancestral Armor of the Scorpion Clan Experienced (7)
Blood of the Preserver Experienced (5)
Heart of Fudo Experienced 2 (3)
The Egg of P’an Ku Experienced (2)

3 Seeking the Way (1)
2 Ward of Air (1)
2 Words of Consecration (1)
2 Touch of Death(1)

Ring of Air (6)
Ring of Earth (18)
Ring of the Void (12)
Ring of Fire (3)
False Ring of Water (1)

4 thoughts on “Ivory Edition Kotei Non-Military Deck Analysis

    1. The set cycling is done on an annual basis. By far the most common format is Arc, which means two years’ worth of cards (so Ivory Edition itself will be legal for all of 2014 and all of 2015). Strict is just cards from one year. Extended is cards from three years (Extended mostly doesn’t exist right now because it would include all of Emperor Edition, which is way overpowered compared to Ivory Edition).

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