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L5RBr

Dragon - Meta

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There is no doubt that Dragon Deck is one of the most consistent (maybe the most) decks in the core set, with equilibrate skills, a stronghold that function both attacking and defending, great chars and a province that grants card advantage until a fire is revealed.

About this last, uni splash seems to be the favorite, with draw combos the card advantage (spyglass + niten master, swordsmith, investigator, ancestrals) could be huge, and so there is a fate advantage, with secluded temple, playing high costs chars and passing first or chars like enlightned warrior that desencourage getting the fate on rings.

With the few spoilers we have on the first expansions I see a great combo splashing uni, with Kitsuki Yaruma and talisman of the sun you can be able to trigger two times devastatig province effects like restoration of balance or rally to the cause and combo with a shameful display or manicured gardens.

The two other cards spoiled are also good, one cost one event were you can bow another cost one char to bow any cost character with or without attachments, and the bowed char can't use his abilities that conflict and a 3 cost char that with a attachment becomes immune to opponents events, or can give immunity to a better char.

Usually dragon players put 2 fate on a 3+ cost guy first turn, ensuring that he will stay on turn two and this can be a huge board advantage with two big guys and cards like indomitable will, maybe this can be a risky strategy with new cards, but for now few decks can kill a 3+ cost guy with 2 fates in the first turn.

Of course there is a lot of cards on the other clans to be showned, but my count is:

- great card avantage in first turns
- fate advantage
- best duelist in core
- best 2 costs chars niten and swordsmith
- most versatile deck in skills, works fine in mid-game too
- best utility pack in conflict (let go, mirumotos, tattoed, indomitable will)
- low dependency on cards to work

So, for now the dragon can be considered the meta?

Edited by L5RBr

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I look forward to seeing if Dragon stays the meta for Winter Court. With people splashing Dragon, and Scorpion Splash giving kill mechanics, Dragon can suffer from Assassinate/I Can Swim. I think Dragon became meta because of its inherent efficiency over it being the strongest Clan. As time goes on though and people find the combos, that may change.

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Without any major 3 core events calling anything "the meta" is pretty hard.

Does Dragon have excellent splashes and potential? Yes. Do I think they are the best or will be meta defining? I really cant say.
 

If I was going to worlds, which I'm not, I would probably expect more scorpion, dragon or crane, but I don't know if that means they are the best. The greatest players in the game right now seem to be keeping their thoughts under wraps and I think, being the FIRST actual tournament, that what the tiers will look like will be something that we cant really assume going in and there will probably be some interesting upsets. So I really don't think a "meta" actually exists yet.

Edited by TheItsyBitsySpider

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There is a meta, however it's going to be extremely difficult to anticipate because there will only be the WC and PAX that fall into the Core set only environment.  Everything afterwards is going to have to account for the new cards.

L5R has always been a difficult game to predict the meta for.  With clan loyalties thrown into the mix you often have large groups of people playing their clan, regardless of their clan's actual viability in any given format.  I know that I showed up to countless tournaments playing Shadowlands when they were really bad, only because "that's the faction I play."

While I suspect the infusion of new players that have not developed clan loyalties yet could help get us closer to an honest meta, there is still going to be a good number of players that are playing "Crane Honor-runner" or "Lion Honor-runner" or whatever cliche deck they want to play because they are loyal to the clan and the lore of that clan, not because it's the best deck.

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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I break the clan tiers up like this like this:

Tier 1: Crane

Tier 1.5: Dragon/Scorpion/Crab/Lion

Tier 2: Phoenix/Unicorn

All clans have something that presents a problem for some other clan and all clans have the ability to run counter meta to improve their results.  Utlimately it will come down to a combination of pairings, skill, and luck.  By the time we get the results from WC, PAX will be in progress ....and then this meta is obsolete anyways.

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Guys, do you really think Crane is stronger than Dragon atm?

In my experience, Dragon is pretty powerful. Im a decent card player (been playing MtG for ages, played old L5R TCG, Rage, Vs system, etc) and I recently jumped into the new L5R LCG game with my buddies. My best friend (who is a very good card player, consistently winning or placing close to the top in constructed tournaments) plays Dragon he has a very good Win/Lose ratio in these first weeks. I mostly play Crane and I'd say he beats me 2/3rds of the times.  Dragon with Unicorn splash is very very consistent. Dragon characters are pretty good and work well together (doomed shugenja, niten adept, niten master, swordsmith, etc) and their province is quite good. He sometimes has some sick openings with niten master + a couple of spyglasses. He can afford to bid low and keep a steady supply of cards, draining you of honor, and Restoration of  Balance is such a blowout some times.  :P Of course it could be just different skill levels. I think I should splash Dragon myself for Let it go. We'll see.

The only thing that really bothers me is that really, how come does Dragon has the best duelist in core? :lol: I think Mirumoto Raitsugu puts Kakita Kaezin to shame. 

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12 minutes ago, Zesu Shadaban said:

Not sure why you would rank Phoenix at the same level as Unicorn, so far they've outperformed everyone but Dragon when it comes to having Hatamotos named. 

Weren't the majority those Hatamotos given out in a tournament that was single core, and served both as an intro to brand new players as well as people who were playing super hard? Not saying that Phoenix isn't a good deck in 3 core (my friend has taught me to fear the fire chicken) just that performance in single core environments doesn't tell the full story of how viable a clan happens to be.

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Just now, Klawtu said:

Weren't the majority those Hatamotos given out in a tournament that was single core, and served both as an intro to brand new players as well as people who were playing super hard? Not saying that Phoenix isn't a good deck in 3 core (my friend has taught me to fear the fire chicken) just that performance in single core environments doesn't tell the full story of how viable a clan happens to be.

Yes, but at the current time the only official data available is from single core tournaments. I realize players have been self-reporting individual games and it's likely that data is being reported accurately, however a collection of one-off matches isn't much more viable than the official tournaments that have been held so far. 

To be honest, I'm not very favorable towards attempting to rank clans at all yet, because we're about to hit not only 2 major 3-core events, but also have this 6 Packs in 6 Weeks unleashed on the meta which is very likely to shake everything up and make any currently gathered data moot. It mostly just rankles me that he ranked Phoenix at the bottom with Unicorn when I've seen no evidence of that being the case. :P

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I hear a lot about Dragon, and I think they are a very influential clan in the core only environment.  There is a reason why players of other clans generally have them near the top of their list when it comes to picking a clan for conflict cards to splash.  The OP is of the opinion that the Dragon clan is driving the meta and he could very well be correct, regardless if I think the Crane have the best deck in the core only format.  Any clan that has a stable deck of it's own that it capable of competing at the highest levels of competition and also is the go to deck for conflict card splashing could easily be considered the clan that is driving the meta game, if that is the criteria you are using.

I'm not discounting Dragon's impact on the game overall, or that they are capable of building a great deck.  I'm of the opinion that Crane is the clan you need to be able to play around (specifically Crane w/Scorpion splash) and are the meta deck of the environment, which puts their Clan at the top of my list. 

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I would argue that Doji Gift Giver and Cautious Scout are better 2 drops. Shrewd Yasuki and Vanguard Warrior are pretty sick too.

But then, my opinion is probably a bit coloured cause Crane feels like a pretty bad match up and my most regular guy is a renowned Crane player from back in the day. 

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30 minutes ago, Zesu Shadaban said:

Not sure why you would rank Phoenix at the same level as Unicorn, so far they've outperformed everyone but Dragon when it comes to having Hatamotos named. 

Phoenix is largely built around their strong events.  Sure they have Pacifism too, but, what do Crane and Scorpion care about Pacifism?  As such, Phoenix tends to suffer at the hands of Crane and Scorpion, two of the top decks in the format.  If Phoenix is not facing those decks, or any other that is running a splash that includes event counters, or is running counters of their own, then Phoenix's chances improve.  Considering that Scorpion clan has consistently posted the highest number of players at the majority of the events, there is a good change that these players continue playing Scorpion for constructed.  The more likely the match up with Scorpion is for Phoenix, the lower their chances are to be successful.  That still doesn't mean there won't be a good number of loyal Phoenix players representing their clan and even finding success vs other clans with a better position in the meta game.  They just need to tune their deck the right way and hope not to run into too many Scorpions. 

At least that is how I see it when trying to evaluate the metagame without an clan bias.  If there were Shadowlands cards in the core set, I'd likely never have even tried to evaluate the overall meta.  I'd just cram as many Shadowlands cards into whatever clan could support them the best and try to cover up any holes they might have. 

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1 hour ago, Zesu Shadaban said:

Yes, but at the current time the only official data available is from single core tournaments. I realize players have been self-reporting individual games and it's likely that data is being reported accurately, however a collection of one-off matches isn't much more viable than the official tournaments that have been held so far. 

To be honest, I'm not very favorable towards attempting to rank clans at all yet, because we're about to hit not only 2 major 3-core events, but also have this 6 Packs in 6 Weeks unleashed on the meta which is very likely to shake everything up and make any currently gathered data moot. It mostly just rankles me that he ranked Phoenix at the bottom with Unicorn when I've seen no evidence of that being the case. :P

Not trying to burn you up or ruffle any feathers........................pun intended :P

I'm just taking my best unbiased guess based on the relative strengths of the decks I've tested or discussed with various other players that are doing the same.

Heck maybe everyone at the WC shows up with Phoenix and Unicorn because they want to resolve the conflict via the card game .........you never really know what's going to turn up when it comes to L5R players.  I still have the image of a shirtless Ogre prancing around with a Unicorn headband burned into my memory.......ah crud I almost just forgot about it and now it's back.  :(

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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From my experience - card advantage in hand is very important.  I didn't play much against Dragon because of the clan loyalty effect, but after my buddy broke it down for me I realized just how powerful Dragon is.  Being able to discard your opponent down to 4 cards when a person may be at 8-15 cards in hand is a VERY powerful effect...  Put your province under your stronghold to hamstring any offense that makes it that far.  With such great discard effect you might just turn the game around.

The other thing Dragon have which I feel is a bit much is Let Go.  A free event to discard any item is a lot, especially considering the cost of items.  2 fate for pacifism?  0 fate let go.  Both players spent a card but one payed 2 fate for it.

Miya Mystic does have some other qualities... but 2 fate for a 1/1 character that you can only buy during dynasty when available, with availability as public knowledge compared to a 0 cost event that you can hold in your hand for "when needed"... its night and day.  The "other qualities" argument of Miya Mystic is negated once you've actually used it. 

The Scorpion event costs 1 + dishonoring a character.  Sure you get the item, but dishonoring often negates the bonuses gained from said item.

Let go is a clear winner for item removal, its not even close.  Other options need to come out for item removal.

Beyond these two things, I think what they have is effective, but nothing else really seems over the top.  

Edited by shosuko

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I think we're likely to get more attachment removal/theft options, though they may not be as good as Let Go. Crab is getting their new holding that lets you steal an attachment, although you have to pay your opponent a fate and the holding is limited to 1 copy per deck. 

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4 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

I break the clan tiers up like this like this:

Tier 1: Crane

Tier 1.5: Dragon/Scorpion/Crab/Lion

Tier 2: Phoenix/Unicorn

All clans have something that presents a problem for some other clan and all clans have the ability to run counter meta to improve their results.  Utlimately it will come down to a combination of pairings, skill, and luck.  By the time we get the results from WC, PAX will be in progress ....and then this meta is obsolete anyways.

I put the dragon in front due to his consistence against any clan. Scorpion and Crane are also very consistent clans, they can handle MIL conflicts far better than Lion with POL. I think Lion, Crab and Phoenix depends a little more having the right cards in right time to win (Uni even more), and Uni/Lion/Phoenix  suffer much with counters, in core set I see like this:

Tier 1: Dragon

Tier 1.5: Scorpion/Crane

Tier 2: Lion/Crab/Phoenix

Tier2.5 Uni

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25 minutes ago, L5RBr said:

I put the dragon in front due to his consistence against any clan. Scorpion and Crane are also very consistent clans, they can handle MIL conflicts far better than Lion with POL. I think Lion, Crab and Phoenix depends a little more having the right cards in right time to win (Uni even more), and Uni/Lion/Phoenix  suffer much with counters, in core set I see like this:

Tier 1: Dragon

Tier 1.5: Scorpion/Crane

Tier 2: Lion/Crab/Phoenix

Tier2.5 Uni

I agree with you - but why not just do tier 1, 2, 3, and 4?  Why have the .5?

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In my case, I do it to show that the drop off is not really that steep.

I've been able to win games with Unicorn vs every clan.  The problem is that in doing so, I have to make more adjustments to plug the holes vs one clan that the deck becomes weak to something else.

I think the clans at the top take less tweeking to compete against the other strong decks.  This is why I put Crane at the top.  While each clan has it's own unique identity and style, they all have events that define what they do.  When you can just cram 6 "nuh-uhs" into your deck this gives you a natural way to combat the rest of the field.  Then you just need to decide where you go for your last few cards.  With other clans looking to be successful in competitive play, I personally look to see if I can include some counters from either Crane or Scorpion.  If I have too hard a time getting honored or handling the dishonor, I look somewhere else to splash........Dragon is good option. 

Decks can be adjusted to be more competitive vs the meta.  It just comes down to predicting the meta correctly.  That is very difficult in this game.  No amount of testing can prepare you for walking into an event where a huge surge of loyal Crab players just showed up and you didn't account for them to be a big factor.  If bounties start going up, this will also change the dynamic of how the L5R meta is determined.

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41 minutes ago, shosuko said:

I agree with you - but why not just do tier 1, 2, 3, and 4?  Why have the .5?

Well no matter what it's arbitrary but usually a smaller increment means the difference isn't as large from top to bottom. 1 to 2.5 is 1.5 difference. 1 to 4 is 3. Indicates there is less separating them.

In tier lists for say fighting games we usually use letter grades (plus S). A difference of A to A- is not the same as A- to B+ which is not the same as A to B. Those all indicate different increments.

As long as someone explains their thinking though anything works.

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Winter Court won't prove anything because it's just more of the American meta (as it always is in Yr 0 of an LCG due to the Gencon release into November Worlds with no time for a tournament season).

By the time we get a useful insight into the global meta we'll be a whole cycle + into the card pool. I don't think we'll ever truly know what this card-pool's global meta might have looked like (which is a shame because I would love an opportunity to make a case for Unicorn in a tournament setting).

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22 minutes ago, OsramTaleka said:

Discussions like these really make me wish/hope they add some kind of sideboarding into OP. That would change everything.

I have always utterly hated the idea of sideboards. Either your deck can do we'll against the field or it can't. Giving people silver bullets is lazy. If you decide to build too narrow there are consequences.

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2 hours ago, Ragudaddy said:

I have always utterly hated the idea of sideboards. Either your deck can do we'll against the field or it can't. Giving people silver bullets is lazy. If you decide to build too narrow there are consequences.

The problem is that without a side board some very powerful cards require you to put counters in so that you can play around them which then weakens your deck when those cards aren't present.  Sideboard allows players to play optimally against each other more often by switching out niche cards unless they are needed.

The only problem with sideboard is that it really only works in a first to 2+ format since the deck has a required "starting" profile with listed side board cards you can only add in after the first game.

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17 hours ago, Ragudaddy said:

I have always utterly hated the idea of sideboards. Either your deck can do we'll against the field or it can't. Giving people silver bullets is lazy. If you decide to build too narrow there are consequences.

If you were required to keep your same Clan and Influence Clan it would give you a few more options and help to balance out the feeling of "X clan is just straight up at a loss to Y clan" without decks being wildly different between games. If your deck was too narrow before, the sideboard wouldn't do too much to change that. It would just take the edge off.

If you were Lion you would come into a political conflict in The City of Lies with different tools than a conflict at Isawa Mori Seido. Having access to a sideboard would be similar to that.

Edited by OsramTaleka
Grammar

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