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Regarding Asparagus' ability, I think the idea is to use Fallen in Battle to discard whatever chud they defend with and then activate her ability to discard someone at home that would otherwise be in the next conflict.

The fact that Captive Audience converts a conflict to military means +5 is much more reasonable and you could potentially catch someone in a conflict that they normally would not partake in (A Hotaru in a military conflict, perhaps?)

Or, it could alternatively create the problem of never wanting to defend against Asparagus for fear that she can trigger the Fallen in Battle, allowing her to just take a province for free and discard a character.

I am not sure how I'd rate her compared to the other champions, but I do think her ability is being underrated, at least in the OP.

Edited by Joe From Cincinnati

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1 minute ago, Joe From Cincinnati said:

The fact that Captive Audience converts a conflict to military means +5 is much more reasonable and you could potentially catch someone in a conflict that they normally would not partake in (A Hotaru in a military conflict, perhaps?)

Or you can send home characters with -- Military. Also a handy option when the province reveal turns up that +5 to Political conflicts province.

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11 minutes ago, Joe From Cincinnati said:

Regarding Asparagus' ability

Ok, now you're reaching.

11 minutes ago, Joe From Cincinnati said:

I think the idea is to use Fallen in Battle to discard whatever chud they defend with and then activate her ability to discard someone at home that would otherwise be in the next conflict.

Having her combo well with one conflict card that has been marginal at best in my games isn't a ringing endorsement.  The other champs have far more consistent and less conditional abilities.

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9 minutes ago, Joe From Cincinnati said:

Regarding Asparagus' ability, I think the idea is to use Fallen in Battle to discard whatever chud they defend with and then activate her ability to discard someone at home that would otherwise be in the next conflict.

The fact that Captive Audience converts a conflict to military means +5 is much more reasonable and you could potentially catch someone in a conflict that they normally would not partake in (A Hotaru in a military conflict, perhaps?)

Or, it could alternatively create the problem of never wanting to defend against Asparagus for fear that she can trigger the Fallen in Battle, allowing her to just take a province for free and discard a character.

I am not sure how I'd rate her compared to the other champions, but I do think her ability is being underrated, at least in the OP.

I think this is another one of those things where we say the same thing differently.  I don't think the Unicorn Champ is bad, but her ability is tied more to what cards you have to make her ability work.  All the other Champs with exception to Yokuni don't need anything else in play to be effective.  And against a swarm deck *cough* Lion, the ability may as well be blank.

If you have the cards to make her ability work then she will put out some amazing results, but, that means more things have to be working for her to get anything significant out of her ability.  This will end up being somewhat inconsistent and leaving you unable to rely on that effect from her when you need it.  Her celing is high for sure, but, her floor is also lower than the rest.

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I think she plays right into the clan's strength which is blitz.  The god pull would her turn 1 with 2 fate, crack province with military remove one of your opponents guys, breakthrough, I am ready, attack with politics, switch to military remove your opponents other guy. 

Start turn 2 with your opponent having no board, 2 provinces down, and you with your champ

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1 minute ago, JRosen9 said:

I think she plays right into the clan's strength which is blitz.  The god pull would her turn 1 with 2 fate, crack province with military remove one of your opponents guys, breakthrough, I am ready, attack with politics, switch to military remove your opponents other guy. 

Start turn 2 with your opponent having no board, 2 provinces down, and you with your champ

Can you declare a second conflict with breakthrough if you have no attackers?

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4 minutes ago, JRosen9 said:

I think she plays right into the clan's strength which is blitz.  The god pull would her turn 1 with 2 fate, crack province with military remove one of your opponents guys, breakthrough, I am ready, attack with politics, switch to military remove your opponents other guy. 

Start turn 2 with your opponent having no board, 2 provinces down, and you with your champ

I think she cannot trigger her reaction twice a round... Not to mention that there are several ways to break that chain of events. 

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Just now, Wintersong said:

It's not blank. It reduces the swarm in one. How could I complain about that? One guy less to defend or attack in the other conflicts of the turn.

The point is that Lion is likely going to contest a military battle. Of you somehow win and break the province, they will most certainly have a defending unit that would bow in resolution and would have been discarded during the fate phase anyways.

Again, under the right circumstances she is good, but you have to create that situation for her.....whereas the other Champs can swing the game on their own.

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8 minutes ago, JRosen9 said:

I think she plays right into the clan's strength which is blitz.  The god pull would her turn 1 with 2 fate, crack province with military remove one of your opponents guys, breakthrough, I am ready, attack with politics, switch to military remove your opponents other guy. 

Start turn 2 with your opponent having no board, 2 provinces down, and you with your champ

This is exactly what I'm speaking about.  You're looking for a bunch of other cards that will allow her to pull this off.....most of which don't win battles.  So now you are in a pickle of needing enough to win the battle and still have the combo cards that let you just go off.  

It can happen and when it does it will likely result in a blowout....but it's not something you can count on.  While the effect is strong, it's much more difficult to get it to happen the way you want it to.

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19 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

This is exactly what I'm speaking about.  You're looking for a bunch of other cards that will allow her to pull this off.....most of which don't win battles.  So now you are in a pickle of needing enough to win the battle and still have the combo cards that let you just go off.  

It can happen and when it does it will likely result in a blowout....but it's not something you can count on.  While the effect is strong, it's much more difficult to get it to happen the way you want it to.

I did say it was a god scenario.  I could probably design an equivalent one for each other champion.  I'd argue with what we've seen from Unicorn today, if they haven't won the game quickly, they've probably lost.  She helps you win the game quickly by removing possible defenders.  Either from this battle or future battles.  There's plenty of ways  you can boost her ability to get someone worth while.  Assassination, Fallen in Battle, etc.  Your argument against her can be used doubly so against Yokuni as on his own he does nothing. Actually, thinking on it now, Kisada is the ONLY champion that helps you win the current battle.  Toturi and Hotaru are both win more effects while Tsukune works outside the conflict phase.

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55 minutes ago, Casanunda said:

Ok, now you're reaching.

Having her combo well with one conflict card that has been marginal at best in my games isn't a ringing endorsement.  The other champs have far more consistent and less conditional abilities.

I dunno. I like Asparagus. Rolls off the tongue way better than Altansarnai, which is a hilariously clunky name.

 

I agree that Fallen in Battle is a bad card. But I do like the idea of a clan that is all in on the military conflict being able to leverage it properly.

It may not be in your hand but, if you have 1 fate, your opponent has to play as if it is in your hand. So, if you're attacking with Big Al and they have 4 characters, let's say a 1, 2, 3 and 4 coster with various amounts of fate on them, you may ordinarily just be inclined to throw the 1 cost character in front of her just to not lose the honor, with the intention of discarding that character to her ability.

Well, the existence of Fallen in Battle means that you may be walking into the trap of losing that character, and then having Al's ability hit your 2 coster. Or, hey, you may assassinate the 2 coster as well, meaning they have to discard the 3 coster :P.

 

57 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

I think this is another one of those things where we say the same thing differently.  I don't think the Unicorn Champ is bad, but her ability is tied more to what cards you have to make her ability work.  All the other Champs with exception to Yokuni don't need anything else in play to be effective.  And against a swarm deck *cough* Lion, the ability may as well be blank.

If you have the cards to make her ability work then she will put out some amazing results, but, that means more things have to be working for her to get anything significant out of her ability.  This will end up being somewhat inconsistent and leaving you unable to rely on that effect from her when you need it.  Her celing is high for sure, but, her floor is also lower than the rest.

 

That's very true. She will likely require combos that may not be readily available. But, from my time playing Crab, I've learned how valuable that Assassination + Way of the Crab combo is, so I'm not as quick to throw potentially game changing combos out the window just because it takes 2 cards in 2 different decks (one of which you can up to 5 cards from if needed) to really unlock the true potential of it.

If Thrones has taught me one thing, it's that the threat of activation of certain cards can really impact the mindset of the people you're playing against.

I don't think Al is the best clan champ or even ahead of any of the other clan champs, per se. I just think you ought not trifle with her ability :D.

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28 minutes ago, JRosen9 said:

I did say it was a god scenario.  I could probably design an equivalent one for each other champion.  I'd argue with what we've seen from Unicorn today, if they haven't won the game quickly, they've probably lost.  She helps you win the game quickly by removing possible defenders.  Either from this battle or future battles.  There's plenty of ways  you can boost her ability to get someone worth while.  Assassination, Fallen in Battle, etc.  Your argument against her can be used doubly so against Yokuni as on his own he does nothing. Actually, thinking on it now, Kisada is the ONLY champion that helps you win the current battle.  Toturi and Hotaru are both win more effects while Tsukune works outside the conflict phase.

I actually mentioned Yokuni and specifically pointed out that Kisada is the only Champ so far to help you win conflicts.  You'll get no disagreement on this from me.

I think the comboriffic Unicorn rush deck will certainly be a thing and it will likely have some success when it runs hot.  Ultimately I think the problem that unicorn faces when doing this is that they lack the raw stats of Lion.  So while Unicorn can pull dream scenarios where they unbow, move, change a conflict to military,etc. and are able to threaten 2 provinces with military each turn and potentially win in turn two, you'll find that those decks also have a high fizzle rate since the characters don't have the raw stats to break provinces alone. 

You need a lot of cards to pull it off and if you're drawing lots of cards and using Assination and other lose honor effects you're going to be liking at dishonor as a real threat.

I think Unicorn is best suited to playing a more midrange game and waiting on the right moment to steal initiative and push for the win after they have a little time to set up.  Even then, their Champ may or may not be all that useful.  Of the stars align and you can live the dream, go for it, but remember that even combo decks will have to interact and you could see all that get blown up by your opponent's well times event, or just good play on their part

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30 minutes ago, Joe From Cincinnati said:

I dunno. I like Asparagus. Rolls off the tongue way better than Altansarnai, which is a hilariously clunky name.

 

I agree that Fallen in Battle is a bad card. But I do like the idea of a clan that is all in on the military conflict being able to leverage it properly.

It may not be in your hand but, if you have 1 fate, your opponent has to play as if it is in your hand. So, if you're attacking with Big Al and they have 4 characters, let's say a 1, 2, 3 and 4 coster with various amounts of fate on them, you may ordinarily just be inclined to throw the 1 cost character in front of her just to not lose the honor, with the intention of discarding that character to her ability.

Well, the existence of Fallen in Battle means that you may be walking into the trap of losing that character, and then having Al's ability hit your 2 coster. Or, hey, you may assassinate the 2 coster as well, meaning they have to discard the 3 coster :P.

 

 

That's very true. She will likely require combos that may not be readily available. But, from my time playing Crab, I've learned how valuable that Assassination + Way of the Crab combo is, so I'm not as quick to throw potentially game changing combos out the window just because it takes 2 cards in 2 different decks (one of which you can up to 5 cards from if needed) to really unlock the true potential of it.

If Thrones has taught me one thing, it's that the threat of activation of certain cards can really impact the mindset of the people you're playing against.

I don't think Al is the best clan champ or even ahead of any of the other clan champs, per se. I just think you ought not trifle with her ability :D.

Oh definitely.  I think her ability will be a game changer under the right conditions.  Personally I think that if Unicorn just focused on winning battles like normal, waiting for the best opportunity to use her, she and the Unicorn will do some amazing things.  While you always have to be wary of the combo potential.....I suspect those all in style decks will fade in and out periodically but never be consistent enough to warp the meta.  There is too much inherently built into the mechanics of the game that limts true combo decks from being a threat.

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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Alright - all champs have been spoiled and here is my analysts / ranking.  Note - My analysis is focused on the champ, but does consider their clan / neutral card pool.  Not all cards are spoiled, so this list is subject to change but I feel it won't change much in the core set.  Feel free to throw any critique at me, I'd love to hear other insights now that we know them all.

Top Tier Most direct, easy to use, and up front powerful: Kisada and Shoju.

These champions are my top tier because they do not need any combo.  There is no better card than an all in 1 package.  Their raw stats right as they enter play are sheer dominance, allowing you to seriously threaten province breaks demanding your opponent either forfeit the province or dedicate more resources to defense.  Further - both of them have great ways to be cheated out.  You can use a simple Charge! to get Kisada out, and the clan has Reprieve built in so he can stay out.  Shoju has Ambush, which costs a bit more but can bring a 2nd 1 cost character out if you have one available.  I will rate Kisada higher than Shoju because Kisada's ability is more far reaching, and the Charge / Reprieve gives a greater effect for a cheaper cost.

1) Kisada
2) Shoju.

Mid Tier Strong, but requires set up or a longer game plan to get the most out of them: Hotaru, Toturi, Yokuni.

These champions have great stats but aren't super scary right off.  Hotaru and Toturi gain a lot from being honored, but their ring ability isn't always relevant.  Togashi can be versatile but can also be meh if there isn't another card worth copying.  I will put Togashi as first because the Dragon have access to many equips and the ability copy can potentially give more frontal power.  You don't have to invest for long before you get a payout.  Hotaru is second.  The Crane have more access to directly honoring characters so Hotaru can be honored right up front easier, but it still requires a second card and Dragon has more weapons than Crane has direct honor cards.  Toturi is put last because he is more difficult to honor, he may even need to be out 1 turn fully with just base stats making a b-line for the Ring of Fire before he can really unlock his prowess.  The cards of the Lion support Toturi less than they do the other champions, fortunately the rest of the Lion stand pretty well on their own.  Charge is nice, as is For Greater Glory, but its still a 2nd rate Kisada.

3) Togashi
4) Hotaru
5) Toturi

Low Tier These characters have potential, but are an investment requiring a more full strategy to maximize: Tsukune, Altansarnai.

The difficulty of these champions is that you're going to spend 5+ fate to bring them out, and their stats aren't even worth it.  Altansarnai has 5/4/2, but her ability (and much of her clans greater plays) are based around a strong MIL.  She can execute a character BUT the opponent chooses the character, and after a conflict resolves there is likely a dead character anyway.  It only triggers when you break a province, but her stats are not "province breaking" stats.  Even honored she only comes up to 7 MIL, which barely contests Toturi and Kisada raw.  I really wonder why she isn't 6/3/2, or maybe cost 4, either would have made more sense.  I figure that, like Toturi, the Unicorn will stand well enough alone that ONLY playing their champion through Charge! or Cavalry Reserve will be enough.  Tsukune is the biggest double edge sword...  There is potential for as few as 1 ring to be left over in a turn.  You can hold back from offense and still get the extra rings but offense breaks provinces... and I doubt the Phoenix are going to honor out before they crack.  Her ability is the least impactful as you must juggle several other cards in combo just to re-use rings through a turn, and even then - you may not get much from it as you may fail to win battles blowing your cards swapping rings around rather than putting power on the table...  The worst part is she may become dishonored, and her already paltry stats will become completely negated.  She is a massive risk and even with Charge! she pales in comparison to the other plans power plays.  Altansarnai is better of these because Cavalry Charge! can bring her back on command without her clogging a province.  Fortunately Phoenix have other tools to work with...  It was always the council of 5 that really mattered to them anyway...

6) Altansarnai
7) Tsukune

I think the biggest factor in designing my list was a constant theme of this game - you can't always plan a turn or 2 out...  Every card you buy will soon die.  You only get so much fate per turn and you really need to maximize on it.  Plays like Charge! + Reprieve with a turn 1 Kisada can really wreck a game!  Honoring through the Ring of Fire means you need to win a battle before you can cash in on the Glory, and there aren't many direct card effects to honor as an action.  The way I see it the up front power of a champion, as well as their reliability alone, without card combos is what will make them dominant.  Card combos are great, but even dumping some honor to draw more cards doesn't guarantee you'll have the board state to maximize on it.  While the other characters are playing catch up with extra actions to maximize on their Champions, Kisada and Shoju + those same extra fate and cards are still going to dominate.

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I'll update my OP with a full report in a little bit.  

With Shoju now revealed I have them as follows:

1. Kisada

2. Shoju

3. Yokuni

4. Tsukune

5. Toturi / 5a. Hotaru

6. Altansarnai

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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My rankings are based on synergy and contributions to the clan dynamic:

1. Yokuni. Copying abilities from your dueling guys is disgusting. He's the champ you want to play T2 after using your first turn to set up the board.

2. Shinjo A. Killing units is incredible. Movement-based tricks allow her to really shine. Bringing her back with cavalry reserves is disgusting. Bringing her back, winning a conflict with her, adding a fate to her in the process is downright inhumane.

3. Kisada. Plays well as a counter-swinger after a successful defense. Works within the context of the crab deck very well.

4. Not-Ujimitsu. Two rings is a fairly decent ability. Allows you to gain honor and honor someone, or honor someone and make them discard a card. That type of thing. Loses points because you can't play her on the same turn as any other 3 or higher cost unit, and those are our bread and butter. Definitely a t2 champ like Yokuni, but not as powerful. Double-edged sword; Beats every other champ in one conflict type but loses in the other.

5. Girl Hoturi. Two ring effects is powerful when double fire or double air is available. Double discard and draw is fine. Double fate removal is easy to play around. Zero synergy with other clan cards, aside from honoring people via fire.

6. Toturi. Anethema to the blitzy small waves archetype. Does well with Way of the Lion. Probably designed as a coup-de-grace champion, played on t3 to push through and take the stronghold. Doesn't really do it for me.

 

Withholding judgment on Shoju, but from what we've seen of Scorpion so far, he's somewhere between Yokuni and not-Ujimitsu. Kills dishonored people with glory equal to or higher than their political stat. 9 effective political skill if none of those are on the board. Strong possibility he's the best champion once we see all the scorpion cards.

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On 8/9/2017 at 2:32 PM, RandomJC said:

Can you declare a second conflict with breakthrough if you have no attackers?

No. You have to be able to assign an attacker to be able to declare an attack.

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Updated rankings are pretty close to mine, but I think it's worth pointing out at this point that evaluating the champs in a vacuum can be a little misleading.  A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Both Kisada and Shoju are vulnerable to send home effects because of their one-sided nature, more so of course for Kisada.  Without Kisada in a Mil challenge, Crab have a tough time breaking provinces.  Yokuni cares a lot less, he just comes back in the other conflict just as strong, plus Outwit/Rout are just plain harder to play against him.
  2. Toturi is the king of Charge, not just for his high Mil, but for the other ways that Lion has of keeping him around (For Greater Glory, Good Omen).  Essentially, if you're playing him from provinces, you're probably doing it wrong.  Both Altansarai and Kisada are also good Charge targets, but I've found Toturi to have the best combos.  Plus, Way of the Lion is a constant threat when he's out there, and +6 Mil for 0 is bloody insane.

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18 hours ago, Casanunda said:

Updated rankings are pretty close to mine, but I think it's worth pointing out at this point that evaluating the champs in a vacuum can be a little misleading.  A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Both Kisada and Shoju are vulnerable to send home effects because of their one-sided nature, more so of course for Kisada.  Without Kisada in a Mil challenge, Crab have a tough time breaking provinces.  Yokuni cares a lot less, he just comes back in the other conflict just as strong, plus Outwit/Rout are just plain harder to play against him.
  2. Toturi is the king of Charge, not just for his high Mil, but for the other ways that Lion has of keeping him around (For Greater Glory, Good Omen).  Essentially, if you're playing him from provinces, you're probably doing it wrong.  Both Altansarai and Kisada are also good Charge targets, but I've found Toturi to have the best combos.  Plus, Way of the Lion is a constant threat when he's out there, and +6 Mil for 0 is bloody insane.

Crab have Reprieve to keep Kisada around after a Charge!

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Now that we have all the champions known, I'd like to chime in with my opinions on which champions are the real deal and which are less so.

1) Bayushi Shoju - Shoju is the political equivalent of a Mac Truck. Every time he's on the board you are daring your opponent to send guys to court just to die. Between dishonor and other stat penalties, Shoju has the reach to kill just about anyone in the game. Your opponent rarely puts up more than a token defense against him, so he basically wins you free conflicts all day. The courtier trait means he almost always can Outwit anyone else while not being vulnerable to it himself.

2) Shiba Tsukune - Perhaps the controversial pick of mine, but Tsukune is nothing but lasting value in a game that's all about maximizing your gains from the cards you have on board. Getting two rings a turn is easy as you basically only need to attack if you are breaking a province while she's on the board. She's also a boss while honored and still fine while dishonored (basically being a passive favor guarantee + 2 Rings a turn). Combos nicely with Know the World as well for doubling up on a specific ring.

3) Togashi Yokuni - It's hard to know whether he or Kisada deserves this spot more, but I give the edge to Yokuni for his sheer flexibility and better/balanced stat-line. There are many characters that have insane triggered abilities that he can make use of, so he very often has a good target to abuse with his copy. 

4) Hida Kisada - Great ability that basically always gives you action tempo while you haven't lost a conflict this turn. Though as more factions have been revealed, I find his ability less and less relevant outside of the action tempo because almost every clan has a few throwaway actions to use it up at no real cost (sans Crane, poor Crane). An absolute freight train in Military, but really mediocre in political. 0 Glory is nice too, though his ability is what makes him really shine.

5) Akodo Toturi - The double ring effect on win is probably the weakest and one of the least versatile champion abilities (only Alternator-sans is more narrow). I give Toturi the edge over Hotaru for his synergy with Charge! and Kitsu Spiritcaller in Lion, making him the best and easiest champion to cheat into play when you need him. I almost never pay for him normally. 

6) Shinjo Altansarnai - A really narrow ability combined with balanced, though weaker than Yokuni's, stats. The ability really needs to combo with Fallen in Battle and Assassinate to really shine, in which case it can be a real blow out at times. Without those combo interactions, though it's the least impactful for how specific the conditions are to trigger it (specifically winning on attack, in military, and breaking the opponent's province). 

7) Doji Hotaru - While Hotaru's statline isn't at all bad and Crane have a bevy of honoring combos that make her a 6/9 more than a 3/6, Hotaru's ability simply doesn't add up to the power level of the other champions and she doesn't quite influence the game as much because of it. 

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Ki Sa Da! Ki Sa Da!  Just Rout those scrubs in the political challenge!

I think I Fight Dragons' 2, 3 and 4 picks kinda float around for me.  Yokuni needs to have a good target to make him sing, Tsukune can be completely shut down by dishonor and Kisada always falls victim to things like Mirumoto's Fury, Pacifism and Radiant Orator.  In my limited experience I think I liked Kisada the best out of those three because you don't need to do anything extra to just make him a huge pain in the butt for your opponent.  You just pay the cost then they need to deal with it. 

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