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All the Champs are up so :P

When considering my personal rankings I'm taking into account both raw and potential stats, strength of ability, and importance to clan.  If you use any other criteria for your rankings, please explain it in your posts. On to the rankings

 

1.  Kisada

The ability is just so over the top that I can overlook the fact that Toturi and Yokuni have the potential to reach a higher military skill, with their gloy bonus, than Kisada.  Kisada's ability works on both offense and defense which means that, AT THE VERY LEAST, you are going to either get a free 'Sneak Attack' when you're the first player, or you're going to double up on defensive actions. If you keep winning conflicts then he keeps going, all but ensuring you dominate the conflict phase.  Kisada's ability being conditionally constant prevents you from having to use up an action and prevents Yokuni from copying it.  His low political skill might be his only downside.  Glory being 0 is pretty much a wash since it can go either way.  Just having Kisada in play helps you win conflicts which is something no other Champ can do, yet.......we still have to see what Shoju is capable of.

2. Shoju

And it's a very close 2nd! Much like Toturi and Hotaru are the opposite sides of the same coin, so are Kisada and Shoju when it comes to their main conflict stat. Both have a base 7 stat.  Where Kisada simply has no glory and will never see his star change from being dishonored, Shoju can back his main stat up with his ability to offset a glory penalty should he be dishonored.  That as the very worst.  At his best Shoju is killing two people in a political battle and that is obviously strong.

 

3. Yokuni

Only a few weeks back, Yokuni would have gotten my vote for top Champ.  His ability allows you to adapt to the ever changing game state.  His stats are bonkers good at base and with a glory boost they are even more insane.  Heck, even when dishonored, neither stat is zeroed out and he can still be a threat with just a 2 skill value because of the Dragon Clan's ability to power up via attachments.  The clan's strength, ironically, ends up being the only knock on Yokuni. While he is aguably the best Dragon character to load up attachments on and go rampaging with, the Dragon have a couple other characters that are good enough to use as replacements.  This means that it is not critical for Dragon to see Yokuni and partially why I bumped him down to #3. The other reason, being that Kisada and Shoju are both crazy good, and Yokuni can only copy one of them.  I would normally give Yokuni the edge when comparing him to a Champ that he can copy because his stat line is so good, however, in a political showdown, Shoju is just too good.  Shoju can kill a dishonored Yokuni, but Yokuni cannot kill a dishonored Shoju, when comparing just stats and the ability.

 

4. Tskune

Winning and resolving Ring effects have much more of an impact than i had once anticipated.  As such, Tskune takes the top spot amongst the Champs that have interactions with Rings.  Doubling up on a particular ring effect with Hotaru/Toturi can be very good, but resolving two ring effects for free, while having the Phoenix Clan's support of ring manipulation just leads to so much ring value.  All to often, Tskune can turn her ability into "I resolve the best 3-4 ring effect and you get what left mmmm-kay?"

 

5. Hotaru / 5a. Toturi

I have these as pretty much equal which should come as no shock to anyone since they are essentially the opposite sides of the same coin.  I would place Hotaru slightly ahead of Toturi for a couple reasons.  Crane does not have any characters with more than 3 base military skill.   Crane's ability to honor their characters makes her their biggest military character by a lot.  Additionally, we have seen some successful Lion lists that are pushing Toturi out, further reducing his impact rating within his clan.  Make no mistake, each of these Champs are solid and when their glory boosts make them viable threats to win either conflict.  Their ability limitations to political or military conflicts are something to take into consideration as it does limit their effectiveness.  The Lion clan stronghold blatantly supporting swarm tactics brings into question of Toturi's inclusion does more harm than good, but, it's still way to early to count him out until we know if swarm will be the ONLY viable archtype for Lion.  

 

6.  Shinjo Altansanai

Her stats are balanced, but, average.  The saving grace here is that her clan has lots of tricks that should allow you to make use of those balanced stats. You can threaten a political conflict and force a defense, then switch it to military mid stream.  Unicorn look to be the "tricksy" military clan and I think she plays a major role in that due to her statline.  I think she may be one of the more important Champs for her clan...However, I just can't get on board with that ability quite yet.  It will certainly pose some problems for some clans that rely on fewer people? But it's much more of an ability based on the threat of Unicorn potentially being able to do something tricky.  If your opponent is prepared and/or you lack the cards to follow through on the threat.....you don't really get much out of her ability.

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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#1 Shoju - he isn't revealed yet, and that makes him the scariest thing in the game.  What you don't know yet is that his reveal will be a blank card!  There is no Shoju, by not being in the game he can't lose - so he always wins.

#2 Kyoso no Oni - Can't beat a 7 force character with a ranged 10 that doesn't bow.  Wasp would be proud.  10/10 will play 5 copies per deck.

Edited by shosuko

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*fixed*

Sorry, you're right - it's 5/5 with ranged 7 or exp version with 7/7 and ranged 10 that doesn't bow.  I got the numbers confused, it's been a LONG time since I played with her. (idk if Kyoso is a female or not, but she always felt like one so I refer to her as she)

Edited by shosuko

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There are only 4 Champs and 2 are mirrors of each other. And Kisada hasn't even been tested by people yet. Also, since all of the cards arn't released yet we have no idea how they operate in a fully optimized deck.

 

But hell, I like theory crafting as much as the next guy.

 

1. Hotaru - Simply because she is critical to getting an honor victory. If she wins a political air battle the game state changes DRASTICALLY. 

2. Yokuni - Well balanced with an ability that's useful in any fight he's in.

3. Kisada - Raw force but no glory limits his potential and his ability is easily played around

4. Toturi - Simply too expensive for his own deck. He's doesn't get nearly as much gas out of that ability as Hotaru

 

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What I've just found intensely interesting is that Kisada is so thematically portrayed from fiction to card.  Also others had speculated that the Crab can't win without Kisada.  Is this how Kisada also saw things in the fiction?  Did he fear for the future of his clan without him to lead?  

But now, even more interesting is Toturi's dismissal by his own players, not unlike how he was dismissed by his clan members in the fiction.  "What will you do?" Lion Clan player?  Run Toturi or not?  Will you wait for the Matsu Tsuko card to release in the dynasty packs before you run an Alpha unique? 

Is this life imitating art imitating life? 

The designers designed their champions so well that they knew how the players would react to them before they even wrote the fictions!

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16 minutes ago, Kakita Onimaru said:

3. Kisada - Raw force but no glory limits his potential and his ability is easily played around

 

How would you easily play around his ability? Even if you use a throw away action as your first move it is still delaying your first impact to the battle, like a built in sneak attack or going twice as defender.  Is there something I'm not seeing here? (I mean this as a legitimate question - not meant to come off as snarky at all :))

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My rankings:

1. Kisada

In this game, actions are power. The point at which  you run out of actions is typically when you lose a conflict. Having to find a "throw away" action for at least the first conflict (and possibly more if Kisada's owner keeps winning) to waste on Kisada's ability may be hard to come across because...how many throw away actions do you include in your decks? And if it's a lot...why? Build better decks. Aside from that, I really like the 0 glory. It limits his potential, but Crab doesn't seem like a clan that will prioritize the Ring of Fire, so he may end up dishonored relatively often. The fact that he can still crack a province even when dishonored is a good thing, not a weakness. Add to that the fact that Crab already have ready cards (Witch Hunter and the Mountain does not Fall). Pair him with the Hiruma Scout that also takes away a printed action when he enters play and/or The Watch Commander, who costs your opponent an honor for each conflict card played and you got some surprisingly potent control. He just seems to work perfectly with his clan, their theme and is also just a powerful card in general.

EDIT: Also, your opponent WILL forget about this. I guarantee you they will. They can take it back in casual games, but in tournament games they may have just wasted a clutch ability. In Game of Thrones there was a card that made the first challenge initiated fizzle. And people forgot about it all the time and just wasted their entire turns. This isn't quite that big, but wasting a Lion's Pride Brawler or other equivalent bow effect will flip some games.

2. Yokuni

Balanced stats and can copy abilities. Your opponent is lacking in attachments? Copy Niten Adept and bow a bunch of people. Need him to be in multiple conflicts? Niten Master and ready him a few times. Wanna duel some fools? Copy your duelist. Or, just copy what your opponent has. What's scariest about this guy is his seemingly endless potential based on what other cards come out. On the other hand, he does rely on there being characters on the board with abilities worth copying. That's not really a common scenario, but still possible.

3. Hotaru

I feel Hotaru is distinctly better than Toturi. Why? Because she actually matches her clan's theme. Toturi just does not fit into the Lion clan at all, outside of being recalled by the spirit caller. Hotaru, on the other hand is a 3/6 that can very easily become a 6/9 with their Way of the Crane card. She can easily overwhelm any opponent in political and will be a stalwart in that clan for a good while.

4. Toturi

As I mentioned, he doesn't fit the clan's theme. With so many cards based around several small characters attacking to gain skill and the like, I've found he just isn't worth a turn's worth of fate to play. He does have the ability to be played by the spirit caller, which is legitimately great but that has more to do with how great the spirit caller is than how great Toturi is. I think the designers were so determined to make Toturi and Hotaru exact mirrors that they forgot to design a character that matches the theme of Lion coming out of the core set. Maybe, in the future, there will be less spammy Lions that Toturi works well with. Until then, he's my lowest rated Clan Champ and I expect him to stay there for the rest of the core set spoilers. Also Pacifism exists and will ruin Toturi (and his owner's) day.

Edited by Joe From Cincinnati

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47 minutes ago, YasukiKaito said:

How would you easily play around his ability? Even if you use a throw away action as your first move it is still delaying your first impact to the battle, like a built in sneak attack or going twice as defender.  Is there something I'm not seeing here? (I mean this as a legitimate question - not meant to come off as snarky at all :))

Yeah - I get that they can pick what ability is wasted, but they still need to waste an ability.  If they don't go first, or don't win their first attack, this is a LOT of wasted abilities... and I don't know how reliable it is that a person will have 2-3 completely frivolous abilities to use to pop and re-pop The Great Bear's cancel.  If they don't win the first conflict they are going to dry up, regardless of how many cards they have in hand because they don't have anything to waste.

Edited by shosuko

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43 minutes ago, YasukiKaito said:

How would you easily play around his ability? Even if you use a throw away action as your first move it is still delaying your first impact to the battle, like a built in sneak attack or going twice as defender.  Is there something I'm not seeing here? (I mean this as a legitimate question - not meant to come off as snarky at all :))

Since there aren't many kill or send-home effects and bowing cards doesn't prevent using abilities, the tempo his trait provides is nowhere near as valuable as it would be in the old game. 

Most clans can eat his trait up using their strongholds and very little value is lost.  Heck, I'm pretty sure Lion can use Staging Ground to eat it up.  All it takes is one throw away action and then winning the battle and he's done for the turn, and everybody always has their stronghold.

Since he only prevents action abilities from cards, he has no impact if the opponent is gaining skill by playing attachments and conflict guys.

The 0 glory is nice against dishonor, but it's going to be a nightmare against Mirumoto's Fury and Strength in Numbers. 

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46 minutes ago, Joe From Cincinnati said:

He just seems to work perfectly with his clan, their theme and is also just a powerful card in general.

I actually think he clashes with the clan mechanics a little.  Like any champ, he's going to eat up most if not all of your fate for a turn, so he's really only going to be out there with guys left over from the previous turn, barring an Eager Scout.  Leftover guys like the Stoic Gunso or Vengeful Berserker, who are not all that valuable with Kisada out.   Crab seems to want a lot of guys out even more than Lion, otherwise their guys spend a lot of time blank.

Edited by williamobrien
swapped out "flavor" for "mechanics"

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56 minutes ago, williamobrien said:

Since there aren't many kill or send-home effects and bowing cards doesn't prevent using abilities, the tempo his trait provides is nowhere near as valuable as it would be in the old game. 

Most clans can eat his trait up using their strongholds and very little value is lost.  Heck, I'm pretty sure Lion can use Staging Ground to eat it up.  All it takes is one throw away action and then winning the battle and he's done for the turn, and everybody always has their stronghold.

Since he only prevents action abilities from cards, he has no impact if the opponent is gaining skill by playing attachments and conflict guys.

The 0 glory is nice against dishonor, but it's going to be a nightmare against Mirumoto's Fury and Strength in Numbers. 

Sure people can play attachments or even work in actions during the pre conflict action windows....but that is essentially turning the game into a straight up raw stats slugfest and I don't think that is where you want to be when facing the Crab.  It's important to remember that characters don't stay in play forever, so the number of actions you have available to you are more limited than the old game.

Throwing away your stronghold ability is not a good idea, imo.  First of all, you don't always have it. Lion only get it when attacking and Crane only get it during political.  Secondly eating up the ability with the stronghold ability has a real cost.  The design seems to put that about 2 skill although Lion has the potential to go much higher.  I can't remember thinking "I can waste 2 skill in this battle" at any point during the two games where Kiramode was kicking my teeth in. He might have had a couple opportunities to do that but had something like Kisada been in play that would have drastically changed the game.

As Joe mentioned, good players are not going to run a bunch of throwaway actions in their decks.  Even doing something like using Staging Ground during a conflict has an impact as that is potentially 2 dynasty cards you didn't see that turn.  That could weaken your board position before yo even get to the conflict phase, to the point that you don't even have a good attack to make.  Skipping attacks is not something you generally want to be doing certainly not as Lion and especially not as Lion facing Crab.

As far as cards like Miramoto's Fury and Strength in Numbers, etc.  That's exactly what Kisada protests himself against.  This notion that Kisada is "easily" played around rings false to me.

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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I know this opinions likely won't be popular but, I actually think Kisada is near the bottom and Yokuni is still at the top. 

Yokuni's is versatile. It doesn't even require you be in a conflict. It will only get better with time. Aside from each that, he has no direct weakness and can participate in nearly any conflict effectively. He also allows for you to play cloud the mind.

Kisada's ability is strong but the sheer existence of the covert trait allows you to play around him and he will likely never be involved in a political conflict so he could be limited to exactly one per turn and not even the specialty of the crab which is defending. Because of that, I put him below even Toturi who can have the ability to compete at least.

Edited by Strange1

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9 minutes ago, Strange1 said:

I know this opinions likely won't be popular but, I actually think Kisada is near the bottom and Yokuni is still at the top. 

Yokuni's is versatile. It doesn't even require you be in a conflict. It will only get better with time. Aside from each that, he has no direct weakness and can participate in nearly any conflict effectively. He also allows for you to play cloud the mind.

Kisada's ability is strong but the sheer existence of the covert trait allows you to play around him and he will likely never be involved in a political conflict so he could be limited to exactly one per turn and not even the specialty of the crab which is defending. Because of that, I put him below even Toturi who can have the ability to compete at least.

Kisada doesn't need to be in the conflict for his ability to be in effect.

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You are correct, I stand corrected but it is conditional as it is only relevant if you haven't lost a conflict so. Realistically someone should do a political conflict against Crab first to shut him down except for the body.

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4 minutes ago, Strange1 said:

You are correct, I stand corrected but it is conditional as it is only relevant if you haven't lost a conflict so. Realistically someone should do a political conflict against Crab first to shut him down except for the body.

Or possibly target him with Cloud the Mind to blank his ability, preferably during one of the action windows outside of conflict. Then Kisada's player is the one who has to waste an action/card if they want to use that ability. 

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At least they were smart enough not to make it a reaction. Then Yokuni could copy it.

 

...and besides I don't think they would make a clan that would utilize such things as the covert trait and possibly be able to focus on political conflicts... ?

Edited by Strange1

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Given the way Dragon/Crab were kinda sorta tied together for the reveal, I wouldn't be all that surprised if Yokuni was a key reason why they decided to NOT make it a reaction or other triggered ability type. Speaking of reactions though, I noticed Kisada's text specifically says it cancels effects of "action abilities", so I would assume it has no effect on other ability types, such as reactions. I asked for clarification in the #L5RLive thread though, just to be sure. 

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22 minutes ago, Strange1 said:

You are correct, I stand corrected but it is conditional as it is only relevant if you haven't lost a conflict so. Realistically someone should do a political conflict against Crab first to shut him down except for the body.

Well, Crab aren't exactly weak in political. You'd still have to dedicate some significant resources to ensure winning that conflict. And in that conflict your first action is still canceled.

I'm not saying he's the perfect clan champ, but I think it's much better than the reaction I've seen a few times already that it's easily circumvented with political conflicts and wasting a "bad ability" first. Cancelling actions is legitimately and undeniably powerful. And if Crab is first, they can reliably get that cancel in at least 2 conflicts.

Edited by Joe From Cincinnati

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27 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

It's important to remember that characters don't stay in play forever, so the number of actions you have available to you are more limited than the old game.

Except you can draw up to 5 cards a turn plus other effects, so wasting actions isn't as much of a cost.  It does give Crab a possible dishonor approach along with some of their other cards, but who knows how well that will work?  Maybe it's a thing.

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Sure people can play attachments or even work in actions during the pre conflict action windows....but that is essentially turning the game into a straight up raw stats slugfest and I don't think that is where you want to be when facing the Crab

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Throwing away your stronghold ability is not a good idea, imo.  First of all, you don't always have it. Lion only get it when attacking and Crane only get it during political.  Secondly eating up the ability with the stronghold ability has a real cost.  The design seems to put that about 2 skill although Lion has the potential to go much higher.  I can't remember thinking "I can waste 2 skill in this battle" at any point during the two games where Kiramode was kicking my teeth in. He might have had a couple opportunities to do that but had something like Kisada been in play that would have drastically changed the game.

Raw stats slugfest actually seems like a fine position against Crab.  Crab gets value from sac'ing their bowed guys for MIL skill and/or cards.  They don't really have great printed stats for the most part.  If you're just dropping attachments on your guys rather than bowing theirs, they aren't getting maximum value out of sac'ing anyone but Eager Scout.  This line of play seems pretty good, and makes me think Dragon in particular might be pretty rough for Crab to deal with.  Kisada himself is hard to out raw in MIL, but that's what POL is for.

Using your stronghold to eat up Kisada means you made Kisada's ability worth about 2 skill.  That seems like a lower value than the other champ abilities.  It only starts adding up to more over multiple conflicts, but Crab doesn't really seem like they are actually all that much better than other clans at defending (especially in POL) so Kisada's trait is probably only active in multiple conflicts if Crab went first, which puts him in a similar boat as the Crane/Lion champs.

For example, Lion with a Venerable Historian can attack POL, use the box, use the Historian, and Crab is going to have a hard time winning that conflict with a similar investment of resources. Yeah, the Lion has X amount of skill less for their later MIL conflict, but that's pretty well balanced by getting their selected ring and turning off Kisada.  Kisada has very little value in such a turn.

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As Joe mentioned, good players are not going to run a bunch of throwaway actions in their decks.  Even doing something like using Staging Ground during a conflict has an impact as that is potentially 2 dynasty cards you didn't see that turn.  That could weaken your board position before yo even get to the conflict phase, to the point that you don't even have a good attack to make.  Skipping attacks is not something you generally want to be doing certainly not as Lion and especially not as Lion facing Crab.

Staging Ground has plenty of turns where you don't need to use it, so it then becomes available to throw away.  Same with stuff like Nerishma or City of Lies.   You don't do it if the flip is more valuable than the action you use to eat up Kisada.   It's just an option you sometimes have.  I don't have the option to occasionally nullify Yokuni or Hotaru by doing nothing.  I do against Kisada.

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As far as cards like Miramoto's Fury and Strength in Numbers, etc.  That's exactly what Kisada protests himself against.  

Kisada does little to stop these.  If you have the card, you use your box and then play the event.  You wasted around 2 skill to remove 7, an option that is available less often against the other champions. 

 

 

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#7 Shiba Tsukune - Because I played under AEG too long and now I just assume our champ will always be meh. Also I have doubts that her ability will be good enough to make up for her having less raw stats than all the other champions we've seen so far (Yokuni 10, Hotaru/Toturi/Kisada 9, Tsukune 8.) Though I'll still play her in all my decks out of a sense of clan/character loyalty.

Of course, the spoiler we've seen of Tsukune could be wrong, and she might not even be champ, and FFG might pleasantly surprise me, so I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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I'm not saying he's bad by any rights. And I especially feel they have captured the feel of the crab with a lot of what I have seen. I just wish he'd have been something like your characters can't be targeted by actions on cards in play while in a conflict with him. It would achieve the 'I don't care' attitude and deny attachments and character actions but there would be work arounds through card effects. It would then perhaps make it even more about the big body, which I agree, is very crab. 

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@williamobrien so did you want to rank the Champs and give your reasoning behind it, or did you just come in here to piss in my cornflakes?

It's clear that nobody is going to change your opinion of Kisada, no matter how misguided it may be.  But simply saying he's easy to beat 'because' doesn't make it so.   If you're going to assume you will always have 5 cards to waste and an excess of actions to choose from there is no way to have a serious discussion about it.  Good luck to you.

Since its clear you have Kisada on the bottom, care to come back to the topic with your rankings on the other Champs and why?  

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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