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Asako Shinpi

Honorcrafting - Setting up the theory for an honor deck

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The general consensus regarding the core set is that winning with honor in L5R is not yet competitive.  I’m not necessarily here to disprove that, instead I’m here to walk through the theory side of what a successful honor deck should look like.  It quite possible the honor lines of play go against current conventional wisdom.  It’s also possible people are attempting to use the traditional honor clan, Crane, when the new system favors other clans, Lion and Phoenix.  As this is a basic theory article, let’s start from the ground up.
 
First we need to tease apart some numbers to get a better sense of what an honor win means.  Let’s assume we have a clan with 11 starting honor.  The goal is 25, so the basic math tells us we only need 14 more honor.  To those of us who played old L5R, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but the new system is a tad more stingy.  There are 4 paths to honor gain:
1) The Ring of Air - Taking the +2 honor per ring means 7 rings of air is game!
2) Honorable Peeps - Every honorable character that kicks off is 1 honor, or put another way, every two honorable characters means 1 less ring of air to win.
3) Bidding - For every 2 cards more than you they bid, one less ring of air to win.
4) Card effects - too complicated till we get to a specific clan
 
Ignoring card effects for the moment, let’s construct the fastest semi-reasonable path to winning through honor.  Only 1 air ring per turn is available (currently ignoring card effects).  If we assume first player always declares Air ring, and second player always declares Fire, and we (somehow) win both those battles every turn, we win on turn 10.  Not exactly a blistering pace.  Adding in the bids, for every 2 cards more they get, one turn gets knocked off.  At a crazy extreme, they bid 5 every turn and if they are completely incompetent they hand you the win on turn 3 from honor loss.  Some clans may do two 5 bids hoping to win the first 2-3 turns of the game.  For those 8 cards, you get the equivalent of 4 Air Rings, making a turn 3 win possible for you as well (albeit, you need to do that when they have 15 to 7 card advantage).  But here, a turn 2 win is possible if you can lower their honor that little bit more, making this scenario unlikely.  Rather, the threat of dishonor should keep the card bidding to lower levels, I’m guessing around 4 cards worth, which still cuts off two Air rings.
 
A sorta-reasonable scenario is this:
  • 11 starting honor
  • 4 honor from bid differential.
  • 4 honor from Ring of Fire
  • 6 honor from Ring of Air
For a turn 7 win.
Start: 11
End of 1:16
2:18
3:19
4:21
5:22
6:24
7:25
 
However, this is contingent upon a few things.  First, NO honor loss from an uncontested attack.  Second, we win both Ring of Fire and Air every turn, which probably involves defending.  Third, our stronghold has not been reduced to rubble.  Fourth, our opponent isn’t playing heavy dishonor.
 
So our cards need to do the following:
  1. Help us defend and win when the opponent launches an air or fire attack. (While we don't gain, we don't want to lose)
  2. Have chump blockers for attacks of the other rings
  3. Win Air and Fire attacks (or get those ring effects) every turn
  4. Produce some extra honor.  Even just 1 more honor moves to a turn 6 win, and 3 gets us turn 5.
 
So an honor win has an incentive to win on defense that other decks do not have as strongly.  Most other decks, at least province win decks, would prefer to attack to win faster than the opponent can attack to win against them.  Dishonor decks do have a similar set of requirements, which then does ask the question, why not just run dishonor?  Presumably, at some point, two things will happen.  First, card bids should eventually come down, at least against obvious honor/dishonor opponents.  If there is no bid differential, then getting 14 honor may be easier than giving 10 dishonor, particularly against Crane, Lion, and Phoenix, all of whom have incentive for honoring their characters even when going for victory through province.  If going against dishonor, instead of a race to zero, you can slug out more honor than they can dishonor.  Presuming here if you can both win an equal number of air rings, the honor gainer has a slight advantage. (slight)  An honor deck probably also has the option to switch gears and go dishonor if the opponent really wants to help you that badly.
 
With an honor deck, you have the advantage of not caring about province strength.  This means you want just enough to win, not to smash all the way through.  1-nothing wins are actually ideal.  It's your opponent who needs to go way over the top, and when you're on defense you have the advantage of seeing their commitment.  Also, once you've revealed a province without an annoying action ability, you want to keep going there.
 
So let assemble a Theory deck.  This is not a winning deck.  That will take one of you who are better at the game to take the principles and improve it.  But it does serve as an example.
 
Let's do a Phoenix deck.
Phoenix has ring manipulation, honor abilities, and the stronghold wants to see honorable/dishonorable characters already.  Plus they have some underused cost efficient defensive characters.
 
Stronghold: Isawa Mori Seido (We want honor gain from our honored, might as well hit harder while they are)
 
Province:
Kuroi Mori (Void) - (If on the Stronghold, make them have the perfect hand to kill you, hopefully giving you a little extra time.  As a bonus, if you don't need to switch conflict type, you can switch the ring.  This effect may be important enough to not have it on your stronghold, looking to grab a free ring switch and win BEFORE you are defending your stronghold)
 
Elemental Fury (Water) - (Let's make that Air ring a Water ring.)
 
Fertile Fields (Air) - (Helps with card advantage)
 
Night Raid (Fire) - (Also helps with card advantage)
 
Ancestral Lands or Entrenched Position (Earth) - (Meta call) - Also Stronghold Province
 
We want both Ring switch effects in the outer provinces making it certain they hit at least one.  The Earth provinces are fine for the last gasp stall.  Testing should prove where Kuroi Mori should go.
 
 
Dynasty Deck:
3x Forgotten Library (Card Draw)
3x Imperial Storehouse XXXX (Card Draw)
3x Naive Students (1 turn Chump blocker, draws a card)
3x Shiba Peacemaker (1 or 2 turn Defense winner, or chump block)
3x Asako Diplomat (honor status giver)
3x Meddling Mediator (3 politics for 2, and discourages 2 attacks per turn) 
3x Serene Warrior (Pretty awesome glory value)
3x Radiant Orator (Glory mechanic)
3x Isawa Masahiro ("Just how badly do you want to be in a Fire Ring contest with me?")
3x Shiba Yojimbo (Protects Seeker's of Knowledge)
3x Shiba Tsukune (Cause, wow)
3x ????? (Fill in your gaps with these 7 cards, or wait until more honor specific stuff comes.  There's some good cards to put here but not necessarily honor specific right now)
3x ?????
1x ?????
 
Conflict Deck:
Phoenix Cards (Honor/Ring specific):
3x Seeker of Knowledge (After the Ring of Air has already been taken, this card gives you another chance at it.  Probably at least 1 fate should go with it if possible, 2 if you can risk it.  A yojimbo out will serve some interference.  Honor Decks from other clans should always splash Phoenix for this card.  One successful play of this card could take 2 turns off of your win time)
3x Display of Power (Can't chump block to avoid the honor loss there, but it changes an Opponent's Air ring win from -2 honor to you, to 2 honor from the ring -1 for the unopposed.  In total, a 3 honor swing for you.  Also pairs with nicely with Know the World)
3x Know the World (Already won the Air Ring, win it again!  Oh, I'll take that fate too)
3x Way of the Phoenix (don't touch that Air ring)
Maybe Magnificent Kimono?  It's 1 politics and a delayed conditional Honoring.  Is that enough?
 
Neutral Cards (Honor/Ring specific)
3x Court Games (Obvious)
?x Contingency Plan (Could be used to eek out that last point of honor.  Sorta dead card till then except for the rare duel)
 
Before we get to the splash clans, the rest of the cards will be filled out with meta appropriate card buffs.  We have a mix of Bushi, Courtiers, and Shugenja so class specific cards are all available.  Obviously stay away from the Assassinations.  Attachments are okay because we will want some characters hanging around for 2-3 turns for honor/glory purposes.
 
What do the other clans offer us?
 
Crab has some useful cards.  Reprieve on the critical characters.  Hiruma Ambusher as a defensive combat trick.  Levy turns a conflict card into 1 honor (and helps the surprise dishonor win when available).  the Mountain Does Not fall works well with Gloried powerhouses.  If Pathfinder's blade is available it could be useful on appropriate enemy provinces to prevent honor loss.
 
Crane has some obvious cards.  Voice of Honor tops the list as we're trying to win the honored character game.  Noble Sacrifice if you can manage the setup.  It should only be done to a powerful character as you'd rather be honoring your own characters than dishonoring the opponent's.  In an honor deck, Steward of Law is fantastic.  It means enemy Fire Ring challenges don't need to be won.  Political Rival is a beast on defense, and in the right situations can easily solo a ring out.  Duelist Training is useful but won't net you honor.  Instead it will draw cards from their hand (still good).
 
Dragon doesn't have anything specifically related to our deck.  If you splashed it, it would be for the standard effects most other clans want when they splash for it.
 
Lion has some neat stuff.  Guard Duty (if available) is better than the Komono.  You don't have to win, and you get the bonus immediately.  Guidance of the Ancestors gets you a repayable buff, important as we'll always be low on cards.  If you can get two triggers out of Honored Blade, it's pretty good.  Assuming the first play is a "surprise" you are essentially trading a Fate for 1 honor (over the cost of the basic katana).  I dream of the Sashimono on an honored Shiba Tsukuni.  If that ever happens it doesn't matter what the rest of deck does.  Probably won't happen.  Stand your Ground is counter synergy, we want characters to leave in an honored state.  Ready for Battle just because its good.
 
Scorpion.  ummm.  Fiery Madness?
 
Unicorn you would take primarily for Favored Mount and Spyglass. Talisman of the Sun (if usable) might be an interesting play.  Iuchi Wayfinder's would help you find the enemy earth province.  Breakthrough MIGHT be interesting, but I assume it would be a waste.
 
 
We have efficient defenders and chump blockers.  A few ring tricks to make sure we get the one we want.  It has the possibility for a decent win turn, can switch to dishonor if needed, and should you ever get that Sashimono on a 3 fate Tsukune with Honored Blade, do know the crab player will shortly assassinate your chump and play Way of the Crab.  
 
The question for a deck like this is: Do we gain enough from the honor path to justify having a certain percentage of our cards NOT being directed towards winning the battles? Are the tools present?  Maybe?  maybe....  (Okay, not likely just yet, but I don't think it would take many new cards to be the tipping point)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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5 hours ago, Asako Shinpi said:
The general consensus regarding the core set is that winning with honor in L5R is not yet competitive.  
 
This is basically true for all Clans except Lion.  They of all the Clans are set better for winning by Honor.
 
They start with 12 Honor so only need 13 more Honor to win.
 
They can get a huge chunk of that with the first draw if their opponent goes for that big Five Draw bid.  Could be 4-5 you can get that five by using this card.  I know that this Card did not Review all that well and in most decks it not that great.  But in a Deck Running for an Honor Win it can gain you 2-3 more Honor which is huge when you need 13-14 Honor to win. 
 
L5C01_205.jpg
 
They have several Characters that can be Honored with ease.  Their Sword can Honor an individual.
 
Oh and they can be a beast in Military Conflicts so they will be going after those rings that give Honor.
 
Problem match ups would be:
 
Crane due to not getting that huge swing in the first turn.
 
Scorpion due to needing more Honor or losing those Honored individuals.
 
But yes for most Clans you have a far greater chance to lose by going to "0" than to win by getting to "25" Honor.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Very nice thoughtful write up. 

It seems as if his deck could also just break provinces, or dishonor.  There is plenty of space there to have a multiple condition deck.

What I do see from your deck is an honorable deck idea that might just be able to surpass the dishonor tactics of Scorpion though.  Although you wouldn't win via Honor, you'd cause some real problems to the scorpion.

I'd honestly consider running this with Scorpion splash just for the FORCED EDICTS. It'd would be easy for you to re-honor or just go to neutral and the event cancel is just so strong. 

Edited by kraken78

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If you're trying to force an honor win, Dragon would be the best clan at the moment, IMO.

With a Crane splash, you would have access to the most duels and right now the only way to gain large amounts of honor is via the honor dial.  The more cards you have to trigger a duel, the more potential exchanges of honor you can create.

Yokuni being able to copy a duelist's printed ability and Agasha Swordsmith's ability to dig for Duelist Training are just a little more than everyone else, do that's where I went when trying to make a deck that was focused on winning by honor.

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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I like this Phoenix idea, seems interesting.  In our first few games, Lion was always able to push upwards to threaten honour victory.  Just bid one every turn, use Honored Blade, double Air ring with Toturi, etc.  Nice thing about Lion is that they don't need conflict cards to win conflicts, their dynasty deck plus stronghold is often enough to not only win but break, so you can afford to bid low the whole game.   Just about every game I played with them I finished at 20 honour or higher.  They can also splash Crane for Duelist Training, and with so many high Military characters, it's easy to find a target for it.

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11 hours ago, Casanunda said:

I like this Phoenix idea, seems interesting.  In our first few games, Lion was always able to push upwards to threaten honour victory.  Just bid one every turn, use Honored Blade, double Air ring with Toturi, etc.  Nice thing about Lion is that they don't need conflict cards to win conflicts, their dynasty deck plus stronghold is often enough to not only win but break, so you can afford to bid low the whole game.   Just about every game I played with them I finished at 20 honour or higher.  They can also splash Crane for Duelist Training, and with so many high Military characters, it's easy to find a target for it.

Which begs the question; Will Lion be the premier Clan that will be able to threaten an Honor win AND a Military win with the release of the 6 upcoming packs?

My short answer is ‘maybe’ due to their access of many formidable in-Clan Conflict cards. 

Crane players are obviously jealous. ?

?

Edited by LordBlunt

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On 10/28/2017 at 7:15 AM, Ishi Tonu said:

If you're trying to force an honor win, Dragon would be the best clan at the moment, IMO.

With a Crane splash, you would have access to the most duels and right now the only way to gain large amounts of honor is via the honor dial.  The more cards you have to trigger a duel, the more potential exchanges of honor you can create.

Yokuni being able to copy a duelist's printed ability and Agasha Swordsmith's ability to dig for Duelist Training are just a little more than everyone else, do that's where I went when trying to make a deck that was focused on winning by honor.

I'm not sold on honor gain from dueling right now.  Let's take Mirumoto Raitsugu for a moment and work through the different possibilities.  We'll use Raitsugu at his base 3, vs some random at 1.

  1. We only ever bid 1 because honor is priority.
    1. Then, if the opposing player also bids 1, we gain no honor but we remove a fate (or character).
    2. If the opposing player bids higher, let's say they bid 4, then we gain 3 honor and Raitsugu loses a fate.
    3. Its also possible, but highly unlikely the opposing player bids 2, we gain 1 honor AND they lose a fate.
  2. We anticipate the 4 bid, and bid 3.
    1. They did bid 4, so we gain 1 honor and they still lose
    2. They bid 5, gambling on your 3.  We gain 2 honor but the duel is a tie.
    3. They bid 1, WE lose two honor but they lose duel.
  3. We anticipate 5, and bid 4.
    1. They did bid 5, so we gain 1 honor and win the duel
    2. They bid 1, so we lose 4 honor and win the duel.

The value of each of these is how much we value our honor vs the lose of their character or fate vs Raitsugu losing the duel.  2.1 is the best possible outcome for us, all upside.  From their perspective, they can realistically bid 1, hoping for 3.2 while being okay with 1.1.  In most situations they are going to lose the duel.  If they valued that 1 military character, why is it in the conflict?  They either saw Raitsugu coming, or we had to invest another trick to set up the above.  In rare cases where they are tricked or pressured into sending the valuable 1 military character, they bid 5, counting on us valuing honor above the fate token, and they give us 4 honor, but they keep the character.  But maybe we value the target character losing the duel more than the honor for tactical reasons, and end up in 3 above.  If the character is THAT valuable, they should always bid 1.  If we want to win, we can always win.  But we risk our honor.

So with low value target characters, they should bid 1.  With high value target characters, they should bid 1.  If they follow this, our honor gain is VERY difficult.  We can only luck into the opponent giving us honor gain.  1 for both parties is the SAFEST risk.  There are bid combos that do better for both parties, but none are usually worth the risk.

What about the flip side, we challenge a high value mil 5 target (Clan Champion) with a plain Raitsugu.  (Let's assume no fate anywhere)

They need the character enough to highly incentivize them winning the duel.  They then bid 3 or 4.  3 if a tie is good enough, 4 if winning is preferable to giving us 1 more honor.  They EXPECT us to bid 1, but need to bid 3 or 4 to keep their character safe.  Provided trading 2 honor is preferable to the risk of losing their clan champion, its the only rational thing to do.  Some people may still wager the 1 bid, to prevent the honor transfer and win the duel.  But the loss of their champion, even only some of the time, is not worth the honor.

So here we have a situation where if they have a more powerful valuable character that can be threatened by the duel, we can earn some honor provided we are willing to pay the consequences.  Is 2 honor gain worth the 3 fate cost of Raitsugu?  If we put 2 fate counters on Raitsugu when we bought him, is 5 fate worth 4 honor (2 lost duels)?  4 honor is 2/7 of our goal.  For comparison, Seeker of Knowledge for 2+3 fate gets us four uses for a possible 8 honor not otherwise available.  Both characters are highly conditional in their honor gain.  Raitsugu requires the proper enemy characters out to gain fate (if not, he bullies fate off of chumps).  Seeker requires you to win those 4 conflicts now made into Air rings.  Neither is guaranteed.

This is not to say Raitsugu is a bad card.  He's very good in many ways.  But I'm not convinced he's what I want to base an entire honor win around.  I'm very happy to have him in an already existing honor deck as the honor pressure will help him win more duels.  But in an honor deck, he's not gaining honor so much as using the threat of honor gain to further pressure the enemy in multiple ways.  Let's look at the potential dragon honor cards:

Togashi Initiate (Self-honoring making for an easy 1 honor gain)

Mantra of Fire (likes fire conflicts, doesn't add to honor)

That's it!  Now if Lion (or someone else) gets a critical mass of honor attachments, then Dragon could use its attachment affinity to amplify those effects.  But I'm not seeing much here for a Dragon honor win.

 

Crane Honor Dueling might be different story.  Let's look.  Let's start with the duelist: Kakita Kaezin

Similar stats to the Dragon so we can use the above outcomes.  The 2 big differences here is that Kaezin doesn't get to choose who to fight, AND losing or winning to a superior opponent (Clan Champion level) is zero threat.  Most Clan Champions are fine mono-a-mono with Kaezin so Kaezin probably doesn't gain much by winning, and goes home on losing.  So no honor gain.  Without something else changing the conditions, the Champion bids 1, if you bid 5 they thank you for the honor and don't care everyone else went home.  Of course in some situations you might play admit defeat or similar as a follow up, but its probably not a bid enough threat for the opponent to worry about and to generate Honor from Kaezin.  However, vs a swarm of inferiors, bully dueling is just fine.  They have the choice of one swarm member vs Kaezin, or paying you 1-3 honor to send Kaezin home.  Highly situational but useful.

Let's look at what's around him:

Duelist Training (The honor change can be switched to cards.  Still good pressure, not the PRIMARY source of honor gain)

Brash Samurai (Self honoring chump, well, 2 cost for a 4/3 character might be more than chump)

Doji Hotaru (Double Air ring on attack)

Kakita Asami (Probably 1 honor gain per turn.  So 3+2 fate gets you 3 honor)

Savvy Politician (Doubles the honoring)

Way of the Crane (how easy can you get?)

The Art of Peace (This could be around 4 honor with setup, but goes against the defending to win aspect.  More easily a Steward of Law chump on an enemy fire attack for 1 honor)

The rest of the conflict cards I covered in the Phoenix splash.

So here we have Crane, who will be far better at gaining honor than dragon, and even their dueler is not a consistent honor gainer.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Might as well look at the Lion Dynasty cards:

Akodo Gunsō (Pride mechanic, conditional and delayed for glory, but still gets that honor)

Akodo Toturi (Double the attacking Air rings)

Honored General (Free honoring)

Ikoma Eiji (Incentivizes the chump to prevent honor loss.  )

Ikoma Prodigy (Spend 2 for the character and get an honor, Chump)

Kitsu Spiritcaller (Bouncing Honored Generals, Venerable Historian s and similar means an easy +1 honor again)

Steadfast Samurai and Obstinate Recruit  and (Obvious benefit from the honor gain)

Venerable Historian (Another easy +1 honor)

The Art of War (Conflict card advantage, but in an honor deck I might keep Elemental Fury instead)

Lion has the advantage of Shameful Display not competing with its clan province over Phoenix.

Lion probably does have the best chance at honor running.  Their honor deck would be more of a slight variant on their standard attacking deck than something truly different.  A change in numbers of a few different cards, and perhaps a Crane or Phoenix splash for the honor specific cards that a standard lion deck might ignore.  It would be slightly less good at Province winning, but dialing up the chance at an honor win could pressure the opponent to make suboptimal plays.  The honor win deck might still win most often by province wins, but only because the opponent has enough pressure from the honor potential that it breaks open the enemies ability to cope.

Imagine a Lion deck with political rival, steward of law, Voice of honor, etc.  Need to try this out.  (I'd rather make the Phoenix deck work, but I never thought I'd get excited thinking about a Lion deck)  haha

 

 

 

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Dragon dueling is much better at honor swings than you give it credit for. In any given conflict, Raitsugu can hit a smaller character, and force either an honor loss or the loss of the conflict when the small character is removed. Way of the Dragon means you can either push out two smaller characters, or gain honor a couple times. Good Omen does a great job of keeping Raitsugu in the game while honor-dueling, and if you are using Raitsugu in Political Conflicts his affect on the outcome is even more exaggerated as he duels out low-Mil high-Pol characters. Even more to the point, punting a small character in front of Raitsugu to save the 1 honor from an uncontested province is a way to lose the character early and still lose the extra honor.

If you put Duelist Training into the mix, you have another way of forcing your opponent to either lose conflicts or lose honor. Yokuni does the same.

I don't think that honor-wins are quite viable yet, but you really shouldn't underestimate the power of an additional honor bid or two every turn.

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18 minutes ago, SlackerHacker said:

Lion is the best honor clan right now. I've won by honor several times and could have more but you tend to be close to honor wins and dishonor wins at that same time. Pretty often I'm up to 20+ and have them down to 4 or less. 

 Exactly why I want a keeper role and splash lion for my Phoenix deck. We have okay options to gain honor, but they generally mean stealing from your opponent (pushing dishonor) or winning conflicts (pushing province breaks). It's just too easy to hit one of the other win conditions first. 

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2 hours ago, KineticOperator said:

Dragon dueling is much better at honor swings than you give it credit for. In any given conflict, Raitsugu can hit a smaller character, and force either an honor loss or the loss of the conflict when the small character is removed. Way of the Dragon means you can either push out two smaller characters, or gain honor a couple times. Good Omen does a great job of keeping Raitsugu in the game while honor-dueling, and if you are using Raitsugu in Political Conflicts his affect on the outcome is even more exaggerated as he duels out low-Mil high-Pol characters. Even more to the point, punting a small character in front of Raitsugu to save the 1 honor from an uncontested province is a way to lose the character early and still lose the extra honor.

If you put Duelist Training into the mix, you have another way of forcing your opponent to either lose conflicts or lose honor. Yokuni does the same.

I don't think that honor-wins are quite viable yet, but you really shouldn't underestimate the power of an additional honor bid or two every turn.

I think you misunderstand my point.  I'm not saying the Dragon dueling can't gain some honor.  I'm saying 6 cards are not sufficient to base an honor deck off of.  No consistency, (even with the search) and it gives your opponent too many choices.  That's fine vs a lesser player, but high level play means you have to expect your opponent to constantly make the superior choices.  Giving them the choice of honor or fate is suboptimal when trying to construct an honor deck.  They should always be choosing the least damaging option.  You're even giving them chances to come out ahead on you.  Throwing more cards in to support these 6, makes it a combo deck, which usually isn't an improvement.  Furthermore, while Raitsugu's duel win is a nice ability, it's not unique.  Togashi Kazue, and Fearsome Mystic both have similar abilities, and Swift Magistrate isn't too far off.  All of those are reliable and not reliant upon the opponents choice.  On the honor side, we have Blackmail ArtistHonored Blade, and Kakita Asami for simple honor gain which is not too difficult to trigger.  Seeker of Knowledge does it through creating Air ring matchups and should easily out earn duels of any sort.

Duelist Training is a worse duel than Raitsugu.  It gives he opponent a different way to chose (selecting to pay with cards instead of honor) weakening the effect further.  

Raitsugu has his place, but not at the core of an honor deck in the current card pool.  Dragon should hopefully get a critical mass of duels to make the honor dueling interesting (but not TOO powerful).  6 cards dependent upon other cards for success is not it.  Crane has far better prospects as they can support their dueling with other honor gain making bully dueling even easier.

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Don't wanna get ahead of myself, but I think WotCh makes honor running viable, if not wholly competitive. Lion and Crane seem like the logical picks, probably the former more than the latter for the reasons listed above + the new character just spoiled that'll help push through Air and Fire ring challenges. 

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And bidding 5 is no longer a good idea since it could mean an honor gain of 8.

 

And I just realized a Lion could win a turn 1 honor victory under the right condition (very unlikely, but still)

 

Start at 12.

Bid 1, opponents bid 5. Honor at 16.

Play WoftCh. Honor at 20.

Bring Toturi's in play and claim the air ring twice. Honor at 24.


If you honor Toturi somehow (I splash Phoenix, so  magnificient kimono is an easy way), gain 1 honor when he leaves play at the end if the turn. Honor at 25, you win.

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16 minutes ago, Tetsuhiko said:

And bidding 5 is no longer a good idea since it could mean an honor gain of 8.

 

And I just realized a Lion could win a turn 1 honor victory under the right condition (very unlikely, but still)

 

Start at 12.

Bid 1, opponents bid 5. Honor at 16.

Play WoftCh. Honor at 20.

Bring Toturi's in play and claim the air ring twice. Honor at 24.


If you honor Toturi somehow (I splash Phoenix, so  magnificient kimono is an easy way), gain 1 honor when he leaves play at the end if the turn. Honor at 25, you win.

Entirely possible, just very unlikely. But the fact that it is possible suggests that it's a viable win condition/deck consideration. You might not win on turn one every game (or ever), but the pieces exist to win on the turn after that, or the turn after that, or...

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It's an awkward card for the lion. In my experience, Lion like bidding high to power a very aggressive assault that finishes before they run too low on honor (since many of their conflict cards help them maintain momentum, like WotL and For Greater Glory), but many of their cards also expect them to have higher honor than their opponent. The existence of this card guarantees their opponents bid low on the opening turn, which means that the lion will often start at an honor disadvantage even if they're not necessarily playing an honor deck.

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On my playgroup, nobody bids high on turn 1, if ever, so my personal experience is somewhat different. And that includes me, with a Lion blitz deck. I don't want to lose honor advantage for the obstinate recruits and steadfast samurais, two important pieces to keep the pressure.

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1 hour ago, AradonTemplar said:

Do you play venerable historians in your deck? Our play group is very new, so we could be playing the game very differently (and worse) than experienced players.

I have as much experience in the game than you. It's been out for only two months ;)

 

But yes, I play Venerable Historian. The one card I have much difficulties including is the Lion Prise Brawler. He is good, but with a fate cost of 3, I always think he'll slow me down, especially since I already have 3 other characters with a fate cost of 3+ (spiritcaller, honored general and Toturi...and I'm thinking of somehow ditching Toturi).

 

I'm weird that way.

 

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Scorpion vs Lion

Scorpion buys Rumormonger and increases their bid from 5 to 6

Lion used contingency plans to reduce their honor bid from 1 to 0 and then plays WotCh. (Net 12 honor gain)

Is being 1 point away from an honor victory worth that large of a hand disadvantage?

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