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kpsmith

Dueling

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If you are a Crane player such as myself, a Dragon player or enjoy the theme of personal combat between samurai, I am sure that dueling has a special place in your heart. Dueling - to me - is an integral part of the setting. On the field of battle two samurai seek out opponents in individual combat to prove their strength for honor and glory. Disagreements are settled in trials of one on one combat, sometimes resulting in death and dishonor. In court a duel can leverage a political agenda, causing ripples that affect the entire Empire. Dueling is not just an agenda pushed by Crane and Dragon in previous years of design, but it is entrenched in samurai culture. With the relaunch of Legend of the Five Rings as a Living Card Game, I hope we see dueling redesigned so that it is accessible by all factions: Crab, Crane, Dragon, Lion, Mantis, Phoenix, Scorpion, Spider and Unicorn. I hope players don't groan when they see a deck that has some form of dueling mechanic and that it resonates with everyone as it should. No longer should we see dueling as solely the domain of the practitioners of iaijutsu, but every samurai who carries a sword.

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I'd really love a dueling mechanic that can be accessed by everyone, maybe as a built in aspect of the game.  Some clans should be great at it, and some should be poor, but that should be a risk vs reward decision you take when you pick a clan.

 

Two of my favorite gaming moments came from duels.  

 

I had Bayushi Kwanchai (a 0/1) assigned to a province with the intention of using tricks to pump and take the province.  He somehow got Yasuki Hachi against me and issued a duel.  I managed to out focus Hachi head to head because I was playing a silly deck that had only 3s, 4s, and 5s with the tactician trait, and he underestimated me.

 

The other game was in Jade playing a goofy combo deck.  I was ninja against naga, and he'd already used blackened sky to wipe my board the turn before.  I had a ninja duelist I'd given the ability to attach two weapons with a bloodsword and nunchaku - he got bigger every time he won a duel, and he got a free action after each duel he won.  My opponent brought a giant army of naga against me.  He tried to sneak/ranged attack, but I cancelled it.  I played Come One at a Time and started eating his naga one by one.  He asked if I was going to do that until his army was gone, and when I said yes, I got a faceful of cards.  (He'd apparently never heard of irony, since blackened sky was just as bad, but with arrows).  It was a fun moment though, and we all had a good laugh afterwards.

 

Dueling can be a super fun part of L5R.  I hope it's part of the game, and we're given tools to make it fun.   

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Amen.

 

That they tried to do that with Twenty Festivals, by giving Lion, Scorpion and Spider explicit dueling themes. I even heard a rumor about a Crab dueling deck that did OK at a kotei (though with the low-ish Chi of the typical Crab personality, I'm still puzzled)

There were at least a few times in the game's history when Crab had viable strategies that included duels based on force.  I can think of a few times that I saw Crab dueling decks, some fun, some competitive.

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I firmly agree. The first powerful deck I ever made was Crane dueling and it has a special place in my heart. It takes a lot of thought and design to properly hone one, and I'd love to see that extend to every clan (if possible). You could even have different kinds of duels that different clans focus on, or something like that. 

 

Beating a cavalry deck with my dueling deck didn't feel "amazing". The first time I truly felt like I had arrived in L5R was when my Crane dueling deck went to a kotei and defeated another Crane dueling deck. That. Was. Intense! But I knew I'd only face 1 or 2 opponents like that, and I always knew what clan they'd be. If anyone could bring that to the table, or if it was more feasible to do in a "non-duel" deck, that would be fantastic. 

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Here is how I felt about duel-spamming when I am not playing a Dueling Deck and what I did to remedy it: Kharma's First Form + Kharmic Strike + (3) Enslaved Djinn + Daigotsu Endo + Forward Encampment

 

As it feels like a lose/lose situation most of the time if your not playing a dueling deck. If you accept the challenge, your most likely going to lose the duel by virtue of duelist keyword and that your opponent built their deck with high focus cards. If you refuse the challenge, those challenges tend to have nasty side effects as well.

 

As it puts you in the spot of "If you can't beat them, join them." mentality or you do what I did and develop a strategy that specifically punishes dueling but is only half-decent against other playstyles.

 

 

Crab didn't have a way to access duels of Force at the time, which is what made it odd.

 

Crab has access to several 3-5 chi personalities.

Spiked Tetsubo is a thing.

Edited by OneThatFishes

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My first Kotei I took Fallen dueling out of Scorpion.

 

Takashi, 4 chi and fallen.

 

Magistrate falls says: Your target unbowed Personality challenges a target Personality. The challenge may be refused unless exactly one of the targets is Fallen or The Dark Naga. Destroy the duel's loser.

 

Ontop of that, I used 4 sudden movements and 3 insights in one fight versus a Lion. Used insight on me, used insight on him. Did some movement jank, and then used insight AGAIN on him to use his HIS sudden movement so I could win the fight.

 

3 insights, 4 sudden movements and 1 a magistrate falls in one battle - not counting on board actions. He was unhappy with me.

Edited by BayushiCroy

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If they make dueling less of an obnoxious time-waster of a mechanic, and don't make it utterly pointless for anyone to other trying to win against a Crane duel deck I might manage to not hate it.

That is exactly what I want to see. Getting rid of milling your Fate deck, all or nothing cards, Focus Values, mechanics that change every arc... We have potential to do something new, fun and intuitive.

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Yeah Dueling was one of those things that really made L5R special. Come to think about it after reading this thread, I will be pretty miffed if it's removed from the new game or mutilated to the point we cant enjoy it like old.

 

And lets be honest, the best duels, and the duels we all remember are when you beat some kakita personality or stronghold with a nobody like Toku, a Ratling, ETC.

 

When you won a duel with Crane it helped you win the game but winning the duel usually meant jack to you and left you with very little nostalgia as you expect to win before you started the game.

 

And no, not a Crane-Hater. I like them all.

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I hope that duels stay in the game in some way. And that the Crane will keep superiority in them (it's a part of the clan as much as cavalry superiority is for Unicorn) :D .

Crane? Duel? Superior? Is this still l5r forum? (e;

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I love duelling, but always felt bad playing it because I knew how annoying it could be for non-duelling decks to have to say "sigh, strike I guess..." after every other action, or worse, focus and then stare blankly at a half dozen nasty focus effects. Crane and Dragon definitely need to keep an advantage in duelling but I'd love to see other Clans get a chance to use duelling themselves or at least stand up to the Kakita Death Squad in some way that didn't involve just throwing in a some meta cards.

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On the other hand, a duel should never be started lightly.

Sometimes I wonder if people get a bit of duel-overconfidence ;)

 

This is a good point - maybe it'd be interesting to see dueling become a rule book effect that anyone can do given certain prerequisites, and the punishment for starting a duel and losing are stiffer then being challanged and losing. 

 

Try to making starting a duel a big thing rather then tossing out a card. 

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I agree duels should remain a part of the game, and the duel love should be spread to more clans. But I would be too surprised to see yet another re-worked duel mechanic, since no matter what, it seems always to be not very smooth. I want the duels to be faster, especially when they would become a rulebook effect that everybody can use.

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