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yujufrazer

Unicorn Help

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Hey guys, im a veteran card player, and long time Old L5R player.

 

I've always been a Unicorn and Mantis player but there is no mantis so i picked up just the Unicorn again.  Currently a massive number of players in my play group play scorpion, here is where i need help because i find my self with 8+ cards in hand, with 3-4 personalities going against unopposed or single defenders and getting wrecked. Like my opponent is using just a few cards to maim my entire force and shutting me down. Im using every card and fate to come out with a win while my opponent is just destroying me. Between, Poison attachment getting put on my people with fate on them, to mass dishonor, to stay at home force pens or force swapping im going in to battles with 10+ force and ending with 0. Any move i seem to make nets into getting canceled.I notice alot of movement cards for the unicorn but only two ways in the entire game right now and thats removing a fate from a guy, or a personality that only straightens them self's.

Issues im having,
- Out side of court games, i have no way to honor guys. Most of my guys are 1-2 glory so being dishonored hurts super bad. nearly everything i have only works in Military battles (Stronghold, Champion, Cav reserves,Charge, Banzai,moto youth)

- Guys who i put fate on get Poisoned, because i dont control the attachment i cannot use Giver of Gifts to move it to a guy i dont care about.  I splash dragon now but, 2 cards in 40 results in some times i dont pull it. 

- So much movement which doesnt really do any thing. Im rarely getting sent home by any clan i play, theres so much movement, it seems really bad to under assign then use my action to move a guy in just for my opponent to be able to then play something to hinder him, feels like im using my actions just to get maimed, because cav doesnt work like it use to i cannot assign some where and then move some where else. After combat we bow, and go home. So in the next battle sure i can move in but with only 1 ready card in the game (i am ready) which requires me to remove fate to ready them most of my movement just sites there, Again in battles where i decide i need more force im just wasting my action to move a guy in then he gets smashed as well.  If i had a guy who contributed skill while bowed, or a guy with a reaction that readied a guy who moved to this guys battlefield i think i would be doing alot better. 

-With not much react to while moving and the lack of straitening, my Stronghold seems very sub par. +0 bump, an ability that only works while in Military Conflicts on cav people. If i had the option to send home or move in id love it.  Due to the +0 im almost always forced to put the +5 skill defense province under there. 

-only 1 guy doesnt have glory in my clan, but i have no cards to take advantage of that out side of the court games, ring of fire, while defending at shameful display. Im struggling to win, so ring of fire isnt helping, i usually wanna do military attacks due to alot of my actions only working for military so court games is usually played on the defense. Most of my guys have 0 or low numbers for political fights.

- My guys are pretty expensive, i have 3 characters at 4 fate above and alot of 3s, most of my 3s are 2/2s, my army shines on my 2and 1 cost guys but thats only like a 30% of the guys in my deck. i got so many move actions but with out being able to ready them the move is 99% always a bad move for me lol. 

- Fate side im not playing many unicorn cards  like Breakthrough, my fate side and most of my characters seem really weak, again with no way to ready my guys immediately taking a second attack just doesnt seem to hot for me. Also with out needing presence or location for most actions also makes the card a bit more week, Way of the unicorn  makes me go first again, which is pretty cool, but burning a card, pretty much just to again 1 fate is cool but most of the time i need that card to help me in battles and it does not. ide messenger seems super aweful, paying 1 fate to move a guy to battle, alot of my actions do it for free is just frustrating to me. he is a courtier tho, and last is favored mount, 1 fate for a plus 1 military skill bump gain cav, and a move in. already have tons of move in, 1 fate for 1 force is bad, and gaining cav only helps a few personalities which most of the time have crapy force so they sit at home for the counter political defensive battle any ways. i splash dragon, for the 3 popular cards that i see almost everyone take from them.

- All in all most battles im finding my self with cards in my hand i cannot buy because they have a fate cost, or they just dont do any thing for the situation. Ring of water would be perfect for me if it negated the bowing of a guy in battle. So far ring of air only had a defensive use for me. On my first attack no one is bowed to use it on, i can use it to bow a character for my next attack, but with being able to use abilities while bowed and at home, its pretty much useless against the players i play against. 

 

So now that i have brought up the issues im having with my deck, id love to hear from any unicorn players who are smashing scorpion. I must be playing incorrectly or something because i just cant imagine the unicorn being this bad. Again i like the game, there are aspects i do not like but im not here to bash it, im here for help on deck ideas and play strats to further my skill level and to smash scorpion players. I play in a very heavy Scorpion play group, so its either play better clans (i like to think that they are balanced) which i like unicorn so i wanna play them, or lose all the time, which im fine with losing but every game, rarely winning battles is not fun lol.

 

Also if they are just bad right now, which i hope isnt the case does any one have a spoilers page so i can start preparing proxys for new upcoming cards ? Are the old fan made clan websites still up and running and recieveing the latest card spoilers?

One last thing as i continue to drag this post out, When units get sent home due to conflict resolution it says bow the characters do the attachments remain unbowed then?

 

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Yes attachments remain unbowed unless they got bowed by some effect.

Yes Scorpion are tough and yes Unicorn are in a tough spot just out of the core.  Dragon splash doesn't give you much to combat Scorpion.  

If you're playing in a Scorpion heavy meta, Crane splash is a good option.  Steward of Law is a nice way to counter Scorpion and I would recommend aggressively mulliganing to get him.  Use Spyglass to build hand advantage and keep your honor high and eventually you can get them into situations where they can't use their key cards to disrupt your attacks.

If they throw a single defender at you, Admit Defeat will help you win rings primarily Fire to keep your guys from getting dishonored or dishonor their Couriers so they can't turn on some of their tricks.  Also this gets your keeper initiates back in play to try and keep pressure on them an win conflicts until you can wear them out.

It's important not to overcommit to a single battle for a province break.   Try to win key rings or at least take important rings out of the mix, break the provinces that have repeatable effects if you can.  If you get bogged down in their game of only getting in one attack per turn it's near impossible to beat Scorpion.  You'll generally be more successful if you can get multiple attacks on them and keep forcing them to invest a lot of cards.

 

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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Yea maybe, as long as the steward of law isnt getting assassinated lol. Ill eventually post a link to my deck, and maybe ill record some games and post them on youtube so you guys can give me better advice based off of my actual deck and play style. I realize it might be hard to give me tips with out me posting any of that. Ishi Tonu perhaps then you can tell me if im just playing in correctly or maybe my deck is aweful. Have there been any major tournaments? Maybe i can see top of clan players deck. 

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Deck Created with CardGameDB.com Legend of the Five Rings Deckbuilder


Deck Clan: Unicorn

Total Cards: (85)

Total Conflict: (40) Total Dynasty: (40)

Total Influence: (12/13)

Stronghold:  
1x Golden Plains Outpost (Core Set #7)

Role:  
1x Keeper of Fire (Core Set #216A)

Province: (5)  
Air (1/1) Earth (1/1) Fire (1/1) Void (1/1) Water (1/1)  
1x Ancestral Lands (Core Set #15)
1x Manicured Garden (Core Set #19)
1x Meditations on the Tao (Core Set #20)
1x Pilgrimage (Core Set #22)
1x Rally to the Cause (Core Set #23)

Character [Dynasty]: (38)  
3x Aggressive Moto (Core Set #111)
3x Giver of Gifts (Core Set #115)
3x Border Rider (Core Set #112)
3x Ide Trader (Core Set #116)
3x Meishōdō Wielder (Core Set #113)
3x Moto Horde (Core Set #119)
3x Moto Youth (Core Set #109)
3x Shinjo Altansarnai (Core Set #121)
3x Shinjo Outrider (Core Set #114)
2x Shinjo Tatsuo (Core Set #120)
3x Utaku Infantry (Core Set #110)
3x Utaku Yumino (Core Set #118)
3x Warrior Poet (Core Set #117)

Character [Conflict]: (0/10)  

Attachment: (7)  
2x Fine Katana (Core Set #200)
2x Favored Mount (Core Set #192)
3x Spyglass (Core Set #193)

Event: (33)  
3x Assassination (Core Set #203)
3x Banzai! (Core Set #204)
3x Captive Audience (Core Set #196)
3x Cavalry Reserves (Core Set #199)
3x Charge! (Core Set #210)
3x Fallen in Battle (Core Set #211)
3x Good Omen (Core Set #208)
3x I Am Ready (Core Set #197)
3x Let Go (Core Set #155)
3x Mirumoto’s Fury (Core Set #159)
3x Rout (Core Set #213)

Holding: (2)  
2x Favorable Ground (Core Set #128)

-------------------------------------

I just put this together today and played 6 games against my friend's scorpion and crane deck.  Came out 4-2.  I main scorpion so I tend to have a understanding of what it's like to be playing as scorpion, so I was able to use that knowledge to my advantage.  Scorpion and Crane are very weak military wise, so this deck wins by having superior military advantage.  As you can see, this deck does not run any cards that helps with political battle with the exception of captive audience.  Cards that were effective only in political conflict were dead in their hands.  In the entire single 6 games played, I have not lost a single military conflict.  I did not always take provinces, but every fight that was fought I have made the player commit far more resource than me, thus it paved way for the next conflicts.   

I haven't fielded it against non political clans yet, but I would probably play it out in a similar fashion, dominate the military fights and commit little to political.  Mirumoto fury, rout, and let go were used primarily to stop political attacks from going through.  Against both clans, I kept count of how many cancels they have and when/if they can play it. If I feel I successful baited them out of their hands, then that's when I can play reserved calvary.

I don't think this deck is perfect, since it's first draft but I had a lot of fun with it, and it worked really well.   I hope that this helps you out.  

Good luck!

Edited by RenoShinra

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Interesting. Do you bother with your political challenge then or do you just pass and only challenge once per turn?

yujufrazer I sympathise with you as I played my Scorpian deck against my brother's unicorn twice last night and he echoes your same sentiments. He felt that I had an answer to every trick and ploy he made while he had no answer to mine. He took it with good grace but really didn't have much fun, I mean at the end of the 2nd game he had about a dozen cards in hand to my 6 while we battled over his stronghold and not one of them helped him.

He played unicorn as a challenge as he knew they were struggling, his main clan is phoenix. He has had some success against other clans and says the deck is fun, but I think his losses outnumber his wins and finds Scorpian in particular to be devastating to play against.

They have a lot of move actions, but agree that they can't make much use of them at the moment. I think they're deck is going to struggle until the cardpool expands. Hopefully by Christmas when the imperial cycle is released we'll see them with with a lot more options.

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35 minutes ago, Dahawi said:

Interesting. Do you bother with your political challenge then or do you just pass and only challenge once per turn?

I might.  If I have a captive audience, definitely will go for it, but not at the expense of taking a military first.  Every use of captive audience is a bait to see if they will cancel it.  When you have characters such as your couriters, shinjo outrider and border riders, it's worth going for to force them to commit resource to block (thus, making their political attack weaker), or just to snipe a ring effect.  That way if they have nasty political cards to throw at them, the effect is minimum since it's not really affecting my heavy military hitters.  I definitely wouldn't send Shinjo Altansarnai alone though in fear of court games. 

The way how I use my move action is just commit a little more than you need for military attacks to break a province, save the rest for defense or for political snipe.  If they attempt a block, then use your stronghold and movement tricks to rush in.  

Edited by RenoShinra

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7 hours ago, yujufrazer said:

Yea maybe, as long as the steward of law isnt getting assassinated lol. Ill eventually post a link to my deck, and maybe ill record some games and post them on youtube so you guys can give me better advice based off of my actual deck and play style. I realize it might be hard to give me tips with out me posting any of that. Ishi Tonu perhaps then you can tell me if im just playing in correctly or maybe my deck is aweful. Have there been any major tournaments? Maybe i can see top of clan players deck. 

I don't know if there are a list of top decks posted out there. The only one I've seen outside of the various databases was posted from the 90 persontourney that couldn't crack the top 8.

I'm not the person to tell anyone if they are playing wrong.  My 20 years of experience with the CCG has proven to count for very little in this game.  My very limited experience with SWLCG and Conquest have been more helpful in my attempts to improve my level of play in the LCG.

You may be able to find some small gains vs Scorpion, the problem.then becomes can your deck still compete with other clans?  It's a tough call.  Stick with it and keep testing. It might end up where you have to just build the best overall deck you can and hope for favorable match ups.  However if you are playing in a meta known to be dominated by one clan, I think you are on the right path with trying to run cou yet to them as best you can.

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9 hours ago, yujufrazer said:

A pretty good summary of everything people struggle with in Unicorn.

I'm rubbish at using this UI to break your big quote into small ones so apologies for just addressing the points one by one without directly referring back.

Dishonour is a pain. I usually let it pass, but the Fire Ring is your other source of honour/dishonour. Way of the Unicorn helps you get first shout at it more often (if that's what you want).

Never played O5R, but inferring from some of what you say, I think I understand a bit better why O5R players have such a heavy dislike of Unicorn movement in N5R. I actually think it's pretty powerful and is key to making your characters worth their otherwise overly high costs. The threat of moving in can force your opponent to over-commit to a conflict (in which case you don't move in and let them bow out) or to under-commit. In which case you move in the perfect amount and get a very efficient win or break (the or is quite important, because sometimes the win but not break is a much better play on your first challenge imho as it keeps threat relevant for the next challenge and defence).

Moving in bowed characters can also get you minor efficiency gains or bump strength in challenges, so even if you just commit your characters to the first challenge and they all bow you can still get bumps off them later.

1) Preventing honour loss from undefended

2) Bumping the strength of Utaku Infantry (Tatsuo might be a bit naff, but he can usually +2 an infantry when bowed and with another bowed char - 2 chars that would do nothing ordinarily)

3) Warrior Poet's ability trigger

4) Ide Trader or Spy Glass triggers

Border Rider and I Am Ready then gives you some ready tech, albeit limited.

Agree Stronghold sits there doing nothing a lot of the time. However it does still impact your opponent's decision tree, merely by existing, can get you some of those minor gains mentioned above, and occasionally can be game-defining. I'm happy to put a 5 strength province (Entrenched Position) under there, because with Captive Audience about, it's pretty tough to break even with the rather disappointing +0.

Agree Glory is irritating at present, with limited honour tech, especially if you're facing a lot of Scorpion. Likewise agree the high-cost characters are expensive for their stats. I do think though if/when movement shenanigans suddenly click for you, this will hurt less. Also the prime method of getting the more expensive mil dudes in is going to be Charge/Cav Res, not actually paying for them normally. We do get superior economy tech to other clans which also helps mitigate this a fair bit.

I actually really like the Conflict deck. I agree Ide Messenger is a joke, and have even cut Iuchi Wayfinder, though I love his ability. So conflict characters aren't their thing (yet) although they have pseudo-conflict characters/battle buffs in Cav Res and being the most efficient clan for Charge. I think a big part of Unicorn is knowing when to lose your battles. This is part of the point of Movement Tech imho. You don't have the raw stat buffs of other clans, but you can create situations in which your opponent must over or under-commit, whilst you can often get perfect efficiency. I will almost always let my own provinces break if my opponent loses board presence to achieve it, or if it allows me to do what I want to do in response. In games where both players hit 3 province breaks on the same turn, Way of the Unicorn to let you attack first next turn can be game-defining. Regarding cards that directly swing combats I also think there are so many neautral cards (Fan, Katana, Banzai, Assassination, Court Games, Charge) that our lack of clan-specific cards isn't catastrophic. I've cut Mount to 2x, but it's still massive economy on Trader, and allows for Political move ins and less telegraphed move ins (the turn you play it). Cav Reserves and Captive Audience also serve as pseudo-buffs and often outdo actual buffs.

I do agree Scorpion is possibly the hardest match up. Edict is nasty, given our reliance on specific combat tricks; and Dishonour, both in terms of Glory values and actual Honour concerns (and the card choke effect), is a vulnerability of Unicorn's. I don't envy you facing those decks day in and day out (though I'd actually like to face more of them to try and work out the best way to play around the problems).

Overall I think there are two areas where Unicorn shine. One is economy (though this is off-set by some expensive or inefficient cards). Second, is getting mileage from movement to make more efficient plays than your opponent (and more importantly push them into inefficiency) - if nobody else is playing Unicorn in your meta I would recommend seeing if you you could get a really good player to play it against you and experience the effect that well-used movement has on your choice matrix when you are facing it. The two facets combine quite well to give you a series of marginal gains that can really add up by the mid-game. It does fall apart if you cock up though, as you can lose those gains much more quickly than you accumulate them, so I would definitely consider it one of the less forgiving play-styles. Of course others will tell you to just rush with fate-naked ponies, but imho that's a pretty inconsistent play-style (at present) since you become very dependent on flop and draw.

 

Not sure any of that is actually helpful, but figured it was worth a try :)

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Have you considered instead of trying to put up a shield against them, just going 110% aggression.

Unicorn seems like the most 'trade' oriented clan (province for province).  I would try just going harder tempo wise.

Have you tried splashing Lion? I think most would say to deal with Scorpion, splash Dragon or Crane. In order to deal with Scorpion's events and dishonoring but that may not really work since they have so much more of it than you have ways to mitigate it.

Lion gives you access to stuff like Sashimono which would let make your unopposed wins much stronger for you outcome wise, Honored Blade which can keep your honor up from each win, Vengeful Oathkeeper who can help you counter-attack on the cheap (you've said Fate is an issue), and For Greater Glory which would help you keep guys around longer without spending tons of fate in dynasty. There's also Ready for Battle to deal with any forced bowing though I imagine that's more rare.

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10 hours ago, Dahawi said:

Interesting. Do you bother with your political challenge then or do you just pass and only challenge once per turn?

yujufrazer I sympathise with you as I played my Scorpian deck against my brother's unicorn twice last night and he echoes your same sentiments. He felt that I had an answer to every trick and ploy he made while he had no answer to mine. He took it with good grace but really didn't have much fun, I mean at the end of the 2nd game he had about a dozen cards in hand to my 6 while we battled over his stronghold and not one of them helped him.

He played unicorn as a challenge as he knew they were struggling, his main clan is phoenix. He has had some success against other clans and says the deck is fun, but I think his losses outnumber his wins and finds Scorpian in particular to be devastating to play against.

They have a lot of move actions, but agree that they can't make much use of them at the moment. I think they're deck is going to struggle until the cardpool expands. Hopefully by Christmas when the imperial cycle is released we'll see them with with a lot more options.

yea it seems that all the other clans have themes, and can do everything pretty decently, unicorn tho has, no bow, has no dishonor, has no honor. Which i find crappy cause most of our guys have glory 1-2 which really sucks when your opponent can dishonor you. When my guys get dishonored its devastating lol. i have lots of card draw i can go from 2 cards to 6 cards no problem but the 4 new cards i draw usualy dont help me cause they are always some kind of movement or some kind of Skill bump lol. Most of the unicorn conflict cards seem great in other decks lol. i still am enjoying the game, but i agree i hope they get alot more cards when the exp come out. ive seen 3 unicorn previews, and there is a new item that lets me move battles which seems awesome but the character i seen seemed really bad. With 6 expacs i hope we get a new stronghold as well.

 

I orginally started splashing Lion, might check it out, but after further talk with other unicorn clan players, im not playing bad but it does seem that i playing the clan wrong. So i will be running a new deck of unicorn and begin playing it a bit differently. I appreciate the replies everyone and will get back to you all upon further testing.

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16 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

If you're playing in a Scorpion heavy meta, Crane splash is a good option.  Steward of Law is a nice way to counter Scorpion and I would recommend aggressively mulliganing to get him.  Use Spyglass to build hand advantage and keep your honor high and eventually you can get them into situations where they can't use their key cards to disrupt your attacks.

If they throw a single defender at you, Admit Defeat will help you win rings primarily Fire to keep your guys from getting dishonored or dishonor their Couriers so they can't turn on some of their tricks.  Also this gets your keeper initiates back in play to try and keep pressure on them an win conflicts until you can wear them out.

I am 100% in agreement with this; I played against Scorpion twice this weekend in a friendly tournament and won both games.  I splashed Crane for 3 x Steward of Law, 3 x Admit Defeat, and 2 x Political Rival, who really helps defend politically.  Use Steward of Law to try to prevent him from countering your most powerful events (Captive Audience, Cavalry Reserves), or when he takes the fire ring.  Use Ide Trader and Spyglass to gain incremental advantage in cards and fate and try to outlast him.  You don't need a lot of help to break provinces militarily, just try to prevent him breaking using Pol and you should be able to get ahead.

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Yea i havent made much progress in the deck construction, what im noticing is that most of my unicorn personalities dont do much once actualy in the fight. I have the discard a card to pump, and the give all my opponents guys -1/-1 out side from that i have to rely on my conflict cards, the unicorn conflict cards all seem to be in the same boat, none help me once im in the battle but out side of it they do stuff. 

 

Does any one stream games with their friends, cause ive also switched to dragon with unicorn splash and ive not had any luck in that match up either. Unless crab and scorpion are just OP and Unicorn is absolute crap, im either playing wildly incorrect which is possible, or they are just super bad and i cant win any ways. If some one wants to skype and play some games or use tabletop or some other service to play online with me and maybe discuss strats and such i desperately need it. I have no problems losing but im getting destroyed in 20 or so games ive not came close once, pretty sure my opponent feels bad for me some times and just lets me get the 1 province i get a game lol. I want to like this game help me be good lmao. 

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On ‎23‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 6:47 AM, Ishi Tonu said:

Yes Scorpion are tough

 

G*ddamn blackmail (really not fun when they swipe your matsu berserker) and calling in favors.

But hey I can't hate the scorp that much, I splashed them in my Dragon deck.

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