War of Honor – A Look Back at Samurai Arc (Part 12)

This is the twelfth in a series of posts about Samurai arc cards that might find a place in War of Honor decks – or maybe that would just be amusing in War of Honor decks (Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 11).

Well, the funny man is gone, and you’re stuck with boring old Chris again. We’re running out of time in which I can even pretend that these articles are being helpful for GenCon (cursed podcast editing took up all my free time this week). So this one will be a double-shot: the Scorpion and the Nonhumans. The “Scorpion” card pool is relatively small because much of the Scorpion-only material in Samurai is dishonor-related, a space that is now inhabited by multiple clans. The Nonhumans, on the other hand, just have relatively few cards (and many of them are from the tail end of Lotus, when Ratlings were still supported) – plus that whole “no real tiles for you” problem.

Bayushi Tsimaru xp
Strength in Shadow Style

Bayushi Hisato
Loyalty, Unto Death
Sun Doru

Tsimaru is great. He’s also has nothing whatsoever to do with dishonoring people or causing honor losses. I hear the Scorpion tiles are rather focused on that sort of thing. Indeed, that will be the theme of this mini-list – military cards that you probably don’t care about because you’re playing a dishonor deck.

Strength in Shadow Style has seen better days. In samurai, its fantastic focus effect was coupled with a decent battle action. Now, its focus effect is coupled with a lousy battle action. The times, they are a changin’

Hisato and Loyalty, Unto Death show that Scorpion movement tricks aren’t limited to Ninja. Loyalty Unto Death isn’t worth it. Hisato is, if you’re playing big attachments.

Shosuro Aroru xp
The House of False Hope
Shosuro Nikai
Soshi Iaike

Of course, the ultimate master of movement tricks is Aroru. One of the flat-out annoying cards of SE (although the deck he inhabited fell out of favor), Aroru’s movement is as good as it ever was and his redirection is even better. He can redirect Open actions, which often don’t specify an “enemy” Personality, back to their controller or onto whatever the annoying Personality on the table is right now. Plus, if you have allies, when you use his redirect in battle to send almost any action onto them (since they’re still “enemy” or “opposing” personalities to the person who played the effect).

House of False Hope is just a better Hidden Moon Dojo. Use it if you want to play Ninja despite the tile discrepancy.

Shosuro Nikai is a walking Ambush. He was solid in samurai, and gets even better in War of Honor with the increased importance of being able to take out problem Personalities who don’t show up in battle.

Soshi Tishi xp
The Blasted Lands

Tishi is some pretty handy honor meta, if you’re willing to devote a Personality to it. Since he can work on everyone’s turns, he could be worth it. The Blasted Lands serves two different roles – Region meta, and a minor support for a chi-death effort. Neither makes it worth playing.

The Scorpion’s Strength

Look, a dishonor card that survived until the Scorpion section! But I don’t think it will matter. The Scorpion’s Strength does nothing unless there’s already a dishonored guy opposite you, and then it neither kills him nor causes an honor loss.

The Maw’s Grave

When you look this up on l5rsearch it will say “Shadowlands Horde” for the faction, but that doesn’t exist anymore so, like Forgotten Temple, this one has to play out of the Ronin tiles. The +1F you get out of this probably makes it better than FT – especially if you’re rocking goblins.

Shattered Peaks
Fight Another Day

Frenzied Charge
Surprise Attack

No, not that Shattered Peaks. This one gives you yet another “clan holding” for Nonhumans (Shadowlands ones, anyway). Combined with Ageless Shrine and (for Oni) Spider Cultist, your gold can get up there pretty quickly.

Fight Another Day is pretty amazing abort, but it’s just abort. It was a decent card, but I’d say it’s too narrow given the deep card pool.

Frenzied Charge is card cycle for your non-Goblins (the cost restriction is on there because at the end of Lotus they were trying to make Ratlings play like a normal clan, instead of a blitz machine of doom), or flat-out card draw if you were going to drain your hand down. Definitely worth looking into.

Surprise Attack (even bereft of the combos it had at the end of Lotus) is still handy as another way to kill guys in the enemy leader’s home.

Sentei no Oni xp
Kyoso no Oni xp3
Shikibu no Oni xp
Nairu no Oni xp

It’s Oni, so biggest wins, and at 16F Sentei goes first. He’s tremendously expensive. Your opponent really doesn’t want to kill him. But, like some other Samurai arc cards, isn’t quite as impressive. Straight-up bow is a lot more common, so blowing some bow to knock 8F off of Sentei doesn’t seem too bad. There’s still plenty of send-home. And lone Crane dueling puds will have no qualms about sacrificing themselves to kill this monster.

Kyoso xp3 got play as a foil to enlightenment and Ring Honor. She no longer makes an enlightenment deck auto-lose, since War of Honor only looks at Rings coming into play, not whether they stay in play, but she has some boosts. First, her trait is still handy, since you will need to kill guys at home (although you may wince at killing your own guy to do it, since that just helps everyone else). Second, her ability doesn’t require you to target your Shadowlands guys – with an increased chance of Rings and random Shadowlands Personalities being around (due to lack of the -20 losing), there’s an increased chance that her ability won’t have any cost at all. Well, other than the 13G you paid for Kyoso in the first place.

Shikibu xp’s big combo is with Seiden Sanzo – his trait negates the destruction, but the “destroy your other guy” part of the text is timed for when the action resolves, and Seiden Sanzo kills long after the action resolved.

Yes, Nairu xp is a boxable 4F Oni. But movement that can be used unopposed or for two guys (but not both) is pretty handy. I think he’s a solid play, if you think that boxable meta isn’t going to be all over the place (me, I’m still hesitant about the boxables).


It’s a couple of cheap goblins. I’m not too big on anything blitz in War of Honor, but if you want some more cheap sneaky gits, here they are.


For the Ratling fans, there are more than these two hanging over from the last Lotus expansions, but a deck made entirely out of them would be pretty lousy, and they don’t have a lot of synergy with the other, meaner Nonhumans. I-m’jek was known as the Naval Rat, and his function in War of Honor will be the same as it ever was – pick a guy with an awesome ability, smash face sneakily. Ok’kantich probably won’t come up, but there’s a Scout subtheme in the Goblins, and Ok’kantich could help a bit, in addition to his anti-Cavalry function.

Not a lot to say about what these decks will be doing. Scorpion are strongly pushed into dishonor. I’m sure there will be some brave souls who will force military (if only for the rush of getting that +1F from House of False Hope back), but they will be few. Nonhumans may have a goblin punch in 1-on-1, but I’d be hesitant to run them out in War of Honor. I’d guess Nonhuman decks will lean Oni, although the lack of tiles will dissuade all but the dedicated and/or really curious from trying them out.

Are we there yet? No! Still to come – Crane and Spider!

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