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In the games that I have played I have not come anywhere close to winning or losing by honor.  My best attempt was as Crane with lion splash which got me to 19 before I lost by Stronghold Destruction. Has anyone come across an honor victory in their journeys? 

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Are you talking about constructed play or single core format?

There have been plenty of posts about dishonor victories being quite common at gen con, but, that is single core play.

Constructed is a little more geared to province destruction as the decks are more refined and have multiple copies of all the strong cards which facilitate province breaking.  That being said, honor/dishonor are both viable in constucted.......you will have difficulty not devoting a significant portion of your deck to winning conflicts as you cannot just race to and honor or dishonor win without interacting with your opponent.

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At Gencon, dishonor losses were everywhere. Someone spread this idea that bidding 5 on turn 1 was a thing you should do no matter what and it really put a lot of people in the dishonor hole early.

 

There were apparently a hand full of honor wins as well, but I didn't see any.

 

In 3 core, I think honor becomes slightly more viable, as you can run 3 Asami, 3 honored blades etc. But it'll still be a relative grind because there are so many more ways to lose honor than there are ways to gain honor. I hope that they develop the card pool such that honor is a possibility but not an inevitability. The honor bid mechanic seems to reinforce this idea that you can play against the honor game if necessary, which is nice.

 

I see honor and dishonor more as opportunistic styles of play right now. Operate with the intention of breaking provinces but, if your opponent is drawing lots of cards, playing assassinations and banzais, letting conflicts go unopposed...maybe you can switch and get that dishonor/honor victory a bit more easily.

I kind of like it that way, personally.

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I've only played Single Core so far, so that is what I am referring to. Even with all that I have only seen dishonor as a looming threat. Something to be, and easily avoided. Then again I've only been playing against Dragons and Lions. Honor seemed like a nice goal, but equally distant. 

 

Its nice to know that those victory types are possible, and even somewhat common.

 

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14 minutes ago, clanmccracken said:

I've only played Single Core so far, so that is what I am referring to. Even with all that I have only seen dishonor as a looming threat. Something to be, and easily avoided. Then again I've only been playing against Dragons and Lions. Honor seemed like a nice goal, but equally distant. 

 

Its nice to know that those victory types are possible, and even somewhat common.

 

A lot will depend on your opponent's strategy. If they are just going to throw caution to the wind and you get a stacked hand and personality flip to combat the card advantage of a 5 to 1 honor bid, then go for it and put the screws to them.

Honor and dishonor are more of a resource and a way to gain info.  If my opponent bids 5 they are either digging for better cards, or they are trying to build a hand that allows them to be aggressive and play from a position of having hand advantage.

You can't just bid 1 and expect the honor/dishonor victory to fall into your lap. You have to be certain that your board position will allow you to keep pace with the hand advantage your opponent has.  If you don't have the board position to do that you should bid higher.  

There are plenty of games I've watched video of where a we get a 5-1 bid and the player that bid 5 just claims earth and chokes their opponent out of cards and rolls over them.  If you are going to lie bid you need to have board position and/or good hand quality.

I'm constructed their may be a way to do an honor blitz style deck, but, be aware that by approaching the game in this fashion you potentially hamper your ability to win battles and may not reach 25 honor in time.  If your opponent gets wise to your plan, the mechanics of the game at such that good play can derail narrow strategies.

Focus on winning conflicts then look to take advantages of what your opponent gives you.  Avoid building a deck that is only geared towards winning one way.

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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I don't see any clan reliably being able to honor run except maybe lion and only then maybe. Its too easy to shut down gains at the moment, and the only other clan that wants to consider it (crane) has much better options and is better at dishonor anyway. 

Dishonor however I expect to see out of a few clans in constructed, but it is not as good as flat out province breaking. New sets will help it, but until then it will really just prey on clans that want to bid high, like dragon and unicorn, while getting in trouble with scorpion and lion, who naturally counter them by their conceptual design. .

But Scorpion, Crane, and Phoenix can all bring a mean dishonor game. My phoenix dishonor deck is far more interesting then my province breaking deck, and its doing slightly better in testing, but I think 90% of that is people still not learning fully how to play into a dishonor deck yet.

 

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Honor doesn't seem like it could ever be a viable strategy. Trying to imagine the kinds of cards that would need to be printed to honor run to 25 is difficult. Especially when you also add the stipulation that the honor victory must come at the detriment to your ability to break provinces. That basically means you'll never resolve rings outside of card abilities, which gives your opponent a lot of free value to work with. Honor victory themed conflict cards would have to be able to trade efficiently, while also gaining you honor, while also not being able to be used by decks that aren't honor running. Honor victory themed dynasty cards would need to generate value from being more honorable (which is awful in the mirror match, as losing an early lead will turn off all your guys while your opponent generates free value), or just also gain you honor while being competitively priced otherwise. 

Think about what a 0 cost "Gain X honor" card would have to look like to make it playable compared to other 0 cost cards like banzai. How much would X have to be? 3? 4? 5 honor? How does an honor victory deck keep up with air/fire or even earth pressure? 

How would an honor victory deck pressure their opponent into playing sub-optimally? Yes if your opponent is eventually forced to bid 1 when either of you get near the edge, but with what mechanism would the honor runner get those last few points?

How would honor victory decks interact with dueling decks? Poorly, I'd imagine, unless honor victory cards are just above power curve while also being unplayable to other deck archetypes. 

What clans does honor victory belong in? Crane? Arguably the most powerful clan in raw political might, with an array of strong and cheap military options that require minimal pumping to be a viable threat? The same clan that already has one of the easiest methods of honoring characters, giving them even more military and political skill? 

What clans does honor victory not belong in? Scorpion? They already have lots of ways to get ahead of their opponents in honor, with things like blackmailer, their stronghold, and dishonoring your opponent's characters. You'd need honor cards to be mostly dynasty (which restricts it to certain factions) to stop them from splashing honor cards.

What does an ideal honor victory deck look like? What does it do? Is its goal to interact with its opponent as little as possible and just survive while you assemble what amounts to a combo kill? Is it defensive or aggressive? Does it play lots of cheaper characters or a few big ones? What stops it from being a province breaking deck?

Edited by player2636234

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9 minutes ago, player2636234 said:

Honor doesn't seem like it could ever be a viable strategy. Trying to imagine the kinds of cards that would need to be printed to honor run to 25 is difficult. Especially when you also add the stipulation that the honor victory must come at the detriment to your ability to break provinces. That basically means you'll never resolve rings outside of card abilities, which gives your opponent a lot of free value to work with. Honor victory themed conflict cards would have to be able to trade efficiently, while also gaining you honor, while also not being able to be used by decks that aren't honor running. Honor victory themed dynasty cards would need to generate value from being more honorable (which is awful in the mirror match, as losing an early lead will turn off all your guys while your opponent generates free value), or just also gain you honor while being competitively otherwise. 

Think about what a 0 cost "Gain X honor" card would have to look like to make it playable compared to other 0 cost cards like banzai. How much would X have to be? 3? 4? 5 honor? How does an honor victory deck keep up with air/fire or even earth pressure? 

How would an honor victory deck pressure their opponent into playing sub-optimally? Yes if your opponent is eventually forced to bid 1 when either of you get near the edge, but with what mechanism would the honor runner get those last few points?

How would honor victory decks interact with dueling decks? Poorly, I'd imagine, unless honor victory cards are just above power curve while also being unplayable to other deck archetypes. 

What clans does honor victory belong in? Crane? Arguably the most powerful clan in raw political might, with an array of strong and cheap military options that require minimal pumping to be a viable threat? The same clan that already has one of the easiest methods of honoring characters, giving them even more military and political skill? 

What clans does honor victory not belong in? Scorpion? They already have lots of ways to get ahead of their opponents in honor, with things like blackmailer, their stronghold, and dishonoring your opponent's characters. You'd need honor cards to be mostly dynasty (which restricts it to certain factions) to stop them from splashing honor cards.

What does an ideal honor victory deck look like? What does it do? Is its goal to interact with its opponent as little as possible and just survive while you assemble what amounts to a combo kill? Is it defensive or aggressive? Does it play lots of cheaper characters or a few big ones? What stops it from being a province breaking deck?

Let's hope not.  That's what sapped all the fun out of Honor decks in the CCG.

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I think the groundwork for an honor deck is already there - it is in winning many battles, but not pushing to break provinces.  You must constantly take the Ring of Air, and Ring of Fire - and add in items like Honored Blade.  I feel Lion has the best chance at an honor victory in the current card pool - and with 3 cores I could even see it as a primary win condition.  But it isn't the cards as much as it is the play style that makes the difference.  You have to be able to win battles in offense while defending well in both conflict types.  Hopefully your opponent has a province that only triggers once, and you can just attack in each turn.  If you can get ahead enough to bid just 1, your opponent will speed up your honor run with some higher bids.

Dishonor is much more reliable though.  Crane and Scorpion are both built well for dishonor, and I believe Dishonor is both easier - and stronger - than playing to honor.  You would play similarly with Ring of Air and Ring of Fire focus, but instead of just gaining 2 honor and honoring your characters you would focus on taking honor and dishonoring your opponent's characters.  Use some well timed Rout or Outwit, and the Crane duels pressure, or if you're Scorpion maybe splash Levy to give you an extra push.  Any honor you take from your opponent can be dumped into actions like Assassination to help balance the board state.

What is cool about both honor and dishonor right now is that neither is actually 100% deck dependent.  Its not only the cards you have (these definitely reinforce the objective) but also the priorities in game play like ring choice, and conservative play, and especially playing well to your opponent's weaknesses.  At least right now honor / dishonor aren't just a deck build, as much as they are a tactic of winning the game - the same way you might seek to win through destroying your opponent's Stronghold.

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Currently, Honor is not viable IMO. However, Dishonor is viable because players are greedy for cards so its easy to drop a person to 0 opposed to climbing to 25. I suspect in the future we'll get powerful honor cards that compare to the bomb that is Watch Commander, and the good suites Crab and Scorpion are packing currently. 

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1 hour ago, TheItsyBitsySpider said:

 

But Scorpion, Crane, and Phoenix can all bring a mean dishonor game. My phoenix dishonor deck is far more interesting then my province breaking deck, and its doing slightly better in testing, but I think 90% of that is people still not learning fully how to play into a dishonor deck yet.

 

That and you being a stronger, more organized player, with regards to deck building and player abilities, should not be minimized. 

Now I don't know you, I haven't met you or played with/against you, but typically stronger players (IMO, based on experience) commonly gravitate toward the 'harder builds' in almost all games, and L5R is no exception. Thus, given the little I have seen of Phoenix tells me that it ain't easy to balance all of its intricate parts when putting a deck together, and this reasoning can certainly be applied to it's playability.... which is why I will most likely stay with Dragon, as it's playability is 'easier' for me to visualize, plan and game with. (I'm not that strong of a player, in comparison to the average LCG base) 

I hope I made sense. 

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54 minutes ago, kpsmith said:

Currently, Honor is not viable IMO. However, Dishonor is viable because players are greedy for cards so its easy to drop a person to 0 opposed to climbing to 25. I suspect in the future we'll get powerful honor cards that compare to the bomb that is Watch Commander, and the good suites Crab and Scorpion are packing currently. 

I think most people believe this - but if you are playing Lion or Crane there are ways to play to honor.  Honor is slightly further away than dishonor is, but depending on the match up honor may be stronger even.  To start with, both the Ring of Air and bid honor exchanges help both honor and honor loss equally.  You can take 2 honor from Ring of Air instead of taking 1 from your opponent.  Biddings take honor from your opponent gaining towards honor victory just the same.  Neither of these options are more helpful to either victory condition.  The Ring of Fire is also able to help equally for dishonoring your opponent as it is to honor yourself.

What you need to look at is only the synergy of your other actions.  IF you have other dishonoring actions, or actions which cost honor (any actions that cost honor will certainly sink an honor win) then dishonoring is the better choice.  If you have more honoring options like Lion do then you can play to honor just as easily.  Bid low, honor characters, Ring of Air and Fire to honor more.  Add in self-honoring characters, honor gaining characters, and honored blade and you can play to honor just as easily as dishonor.  I think most players are either not focusing on Lion, or are focusing on winning through province to try - but right now Lion can certainly honor victory as a game plan in full constructed play.  I think Crane can as well through similar efforts as they also have ways to self-honor.  I think the predominance of dishonor tech is due more to player desire than mechanical advantage.

Lion can definitely play for Honor Victory.  Scorpion definitely play better to dishonor because their tech focuses on dishonoring the opponent already so they don't have the cards for synergy with the extra honor gain. Crane can play for either, and it is more player preference to include Scorpion tech and honor loss actions that make dishonor preferable.  I think Crane would actually play better towards an honor victory if they dropped the honor-loss tech and splashed a different clan because they have a lot of actions to honor their characters already, and this is lost when they go for dishonor from RoF and Air.

Edited by shosuko

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9 minutes ago, RandomJC said:

Small personal experience I've had, I have threatened honor a few times with Lion, and that wasn't playing particularly to honor.

My observation is similar. Between: Lion people coming into play honored, honoring themselves through battle actions or winning conflicts, bidding 1 every turn with little consequence b/c of their clan province and printed abilities, and having Toturi that can pull either double Air or Fire, Lion consistently has more honor and more honored people than any other faction from what I can tell. My local Lion player is usually at 22 or so before he takes my last province.

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1 minute ago, Iuchi Toshimo said:

My observation is similar. Between: Lion people coming into play honored, honoring themselves through battle actions or winning conflicts, bidding 1 every turn with little consequence b/c of their clan province and printed abilities, and having Toturi that can pull either double Air or Fire, Lion consistently has more honor and more honored people than any other faction from what I can tell. My local Lion player is usually at 22 or so before he takes my last province.

For some reason a lot of people still bid 5, a lot. Which is great, because bid 1 with Lion, and then they can see how little there massive hand helps them in stopping me from hurting them. (I grew very comfortable having no hand playing Lion)

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I've played and seen a lot of games, but haven't seen yet a Honor Victory, and I kind of like it, cause rush honor is boring, is like you and your foe are playing different games, there's few interaction.

I really enjoyed this new format, where all clans must attack to win, there's no "anti-game" decks in the core, those kind of decks that do nothing but denying everything you do, to me this make the game great.

In the otherside I've seen a lot of dishonor victorys, with all clans, most of them cause the looser used cards like banzai and assassination, so they were interacting, it was part of the same game, dishonor can be your plan B when you are stuck , and sometimes you can change your strategy in the middle of the game and it can actually work.

I'm liking this way.

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1 minute ago, L5RBr said:

I've played and seen a lot of games, but haven't seen yet a Honor Victory, and I kind of like it, cause rush honor is boring, is like you and your foe are playing different games, there's few interaction.

I really enjoyed this new format, where all clans must attack to win, there's no "anti-game" decks in the core, those kind of decks that do nothing but denying everything you do, to me this make the game great.

In the otherside I've seen a lot of dishonor victorys, with all clans, most of them cause the looser used cards like banzai and assassination, so they were interacting, it was part of the same game, dishonor can be your plan B when you are stuck , and sometimes you can change your strategy in the middle of the game and it can actually work.

I'm liking this way.

This is exactly why I'm not sold on either assassination or Banzai as most other people are.

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I've won 2 dishonor victories with my Phoenix deck, even though it's not designed for that. Highest honor I've hit is 17, but I'm using high honor to pay for cards like Assassinate. I tend to bid around 2 most turns and rely on the Phoenix holding and splashed Spyglass for extra draw.

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Conceptually, which is easier: Gaining 14 by yourself, or reducing your opponent by 9-11 with help from their bids? 

Ring of Air +2 is tempting, until you realize that +1/-1 is faster as a victory condition, when combined with mid-to-high honor dial bids and Assassination / Banzai shenanigans.

Phoenix players are especially good at achieving dishonor victories, as they have near at-will access to fire and air. Combine this with a stronghold that already gains advantage from dishonoring your opponent's personalities, and there are purely more synergies for dishonor than there are for honor.

Edited by Nickciufi

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8 hours ago, Nickciufi said:

Conceptually, which is easier: Gaining 14 by yourself, or reducing your opponent by 9-11 with help from their bids? 

Ring of Air +2 is tempting, until you realize that +1/-1 is faster as a victory condition, when combined with mid-to-high honor dial bids and Assassination / Banzai shenanigans.

Phoenix players are especially good at achieving dishonor victories, as they have near at-will access to fire and air. Combine this with a stronghold that already gains advantage from dishonoring your opponent's personalities, and there are purely more synergies for dishonor than there are for honor.

You do know you gain as much honor from bids as they lose, right? You cannot use bids any better for dishonor victory than you can for honor. 

Ring of air can give +1 and -1 but that only moves your opponent 1 point towards dishonor. The +2 honor gain brings you 2 points towards honor victory. Which is easier? Reducing 10 to 0, 1 at a time, or increasing 12 to 25, 2 points at a time? 

Further - which is more reliable? Gimping your opponent with a dishonored character, with no control over their deck build and glory stats, or building a deck that maximizes gains from being honored? 

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13 hours ago, Joe From Cincinnati said:

At Gencon, dishonor losses were everywhere. Someone spread this idea that bidding 5 on turn 1 was a thing you should do no matter what and it really put a lot of people in the dishonor hole early.

 

I guess the Scorpions don't need strong cards to win--just gullible opponents.

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11 hours ago, shosuko said:

You do know you gain as much honor from bids as they lose, right? You cannot use bids any better for dishonor victory than you can for honor. 

Ring of air can give +1 and -1 but that only moves your opponent 1 point towards dishonor. The +2 honor gain brings you 2 points towards honor victory. Which is easier? Reducing 10 to 0, 1 at a time, or increasing 12 to 25, 2 points at a time? 

Further - which is more reliable? Gimping your opponent with a dishonored character, with no control over their deck build and glory stats, or building a deck that maximizes gains from being honored? 

There are 3 clans starting at 10, 3 starting at 11, and 1 starting at 12. For Lion, the gap between honor and dishonor is 1 point. For the other 6 clans, dishonor is 2 or 3 points closer. 

Every action that Phoenix can play which honors a friendly character can also be used to dishonor an opponent's character. As we have already established, dishonor is closer than honor. Therefore, dishonoring an opponent's already-dying character is, by definition, a faster path to victory. 

You're right when you say that honor bids give you as much honor as they dishonor the opponent. However, Banzai does not give the Phoenix player 1 honor. Assassination does not give the Phoenix player 3 honor. Phoenix players do not gain 1 honor when their opponent does not oppose them in a conflict. Watch Commander does not gain a Phoenix player 1 honor per opponent action. These are all advantages to pursuing dishonor and not honor.

There are precisely two cards not related to honor or dishonor which gain honor: Levy and Honored Blade. Both are conditional with some other exigent cost. The opponent can simply give you the fate for Levy. Levy costs 3 influence per copy, in a deck with a maximum of 10 influence, making it exclusive with Watch Commander. It also requires a Crab influence to use, limiting access to several key cards offered by other clans, including Mirumoto's Fury, Let Go, Voice of Honor, etc. Honored Blade has a cost of 1, requires winning a conflict, requires a Lion influence, and is an attachment, making it vulnerable to Let Go and Calling in Favors. Aside from the honor gain ability, it offers the same amount of military bonus that can be found on free attachments.

Given the above dissertation highlighting the numerous, incredibly popular ways an opponent can lose honor (outside of honor bids and Ring of Air), and the few and restrictive ways there are to gain honor (outside of an opponent's bid and the Ring of Air), honor is simply not a viable path to victory at this point. Ring of Air gaining 2 versus gaining 1 and taking 1 is more or less irrelevant considering all of these other associated factors. And if you can win Ring of Air 5-7 times, you could have likely won the game through conflict after 3-5 of those victories.

 

Edited by Nickciufi

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