This is the 13th 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 Part 12).
This time we’ll tackle Spider, which was kind of a mess until the end of Samurai, at which point it suddenly got good. Will those improvements help add onto the already formidable Spider CE decks?
Strongholds are always a good place to start. The Spider’s Lair was the workhorse box for Spider in Samurai. But in War of Honor, you are only one of three targets for each attacking opponent – will you get attacked enough? I think that’s a political sort of question that doesn’t have an easy answer. But, Spider’s Lair is the sort of card that kicks in when you need help – you don’t have to worry about getting “eliminated” quickly by being dropped down to one province. Indeed, the fact that you don’t lose production from losing a province can be an incentive to go hit someone else.
On the other hand, Black Silk Castle is just good. It kills things – no matter what sort of attachments they have. It works when bowed (a big deal in War of Honor). Its restriction can actually open up a little, as it lets you look for a dead Personality in anyone’s discard pile. Don’t forget that it works on any Personality, not just a Spider one, and its performed – so splashing a little Naval Oni is quite handy. Fields of the Dead is really solid, but it’s hard to argue with the potency of BSC.
Yes, Breeder was a Samurai arc theme too. Yes, Fatina is as good as she looks. Yes, she gets even better when you can use her up to four times per turn cycle. If you’re breeding, just play her.
Probably Chuda Jinsei too. That’s a lot of extra Force – he’s certainly a better option than a random Master Saleh.
Fields of the Dead is solid. A Shugenja who has that ability stapled on him isn’t exactly bad. A little bit of a downer for Mishime xp, however, is that there are an increased number of power cards for the breeder archetype in Celestial that want unbowed Shugenja around.
Force pump cards are generally stronger in Celestial than Samurai. The Saga of Taki is an exception. Breeder decks often play with Border Ambush, and The Saga of Taki is strictly superior for that deck (SoT doesn’t give bonuses to Followers, but breeder doesn’t play with them anyway).
Not everything can be killed by Hunger of the Dead, and Pack Tactics is here to pick up the slack – just remember to use Flanked first.
If you’re playing Spider Shugenja, then Tadaka no Oni can distribute a lot of Force. Except if you’re playing Spider Shugenja, you’re playing breeder, and your Shugenja don’t want to show up at battles anyway. Curses!
In my discussion of the Crab, I noted how good Shattered Peaks Castle and Kuon xp5 were. The SE Daigotsu has the same “straighten two of your guys” ability, but he tends to apply massive Force penalties (especially against those high-PH switch decks that we think will do well). Just remember that he’s not a Samurai.
Yoritomo Hotako and her classic Argyle artwork are back in War of Honor. With solid stats, Naval, and an OK ability she should be in any non-thematic Spider military deck – especially Black Silk Castle. Bonus points if you use her to bow out a Spider breeder army.
Daigotsu Kaikou could be vexing in SE, where attachments weren’t all that hot. In CE, attachments are everywhere. Stealing Wyrmbone Katana is a great ability, and in Kaikou it comes with a 1:1 F:G ratio. If you’re going to a non-thematic Spider military, Kaikou probably belongs in your deck.
Daigtosu Rekai never managed to live up to her promise. She’s got such great abilities – two RA5s, stealing dead Followers, Cavalry – but I guess the 5F on an (effectively) 13G Personality just kept her down. It probably still will.
Despite his appearances as Daigotsu’s cell phone, I still have a soft spot for Katsu. Buying dead guys in battle, however, is much more flexible than buying them in Limited. I don’t think that War of Honor games will drag on long enough to justify his inclusion.
You aren’t misreading things, Tale of Tsukuro lets you move in your entire board unopposed. Just ink it onto your decklist.
Dawn of the Spider could potentially be up with the Breeder cards, but the send-home prevention is more useful for bigger-unit decks. Events are random, and it’s tough to fit them in, but Dawn of the Spider is a lot of Force.
Attachments are becoming increasingly important, and House of the Dead (which didn’t see much use in SE) delivers them very cheaply. Why bow a Holding to add a +1F created attachment to your guy, when you can get it thrown in when you buy him?
OK, you aren’t going to play Spider honor. But if you do, here’s a good place to start. Daigotsu Masisha wants to be the same thing for dishonor, but dinging for 1 as a Limited doesn’t get the job done in War of Honor. Without the guidance of themes, Spider was kind of all over the place at the start of Samurai, and haphazard cards like this are the result.
SE Spider cards basically come in two groups – breeder cards, and non-thematic military cards. If you’re specifically looking for Sohei or Paragons you’re out of luck. So I think there will be three standard Spider options for War of Honor – breeder, military conglomerate (probably out of Black Silk), and Sohei with some SE Kensai cards. I would guess that the first two will do better.