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Mono no Aware (card image)

  • Neutral Event
  • 3 Fate Cost
  • Action: Remove 1 fate from each character. Draw 1 card. (Max 1 per round.)

Flavor text (it's a haiku):

Autumn's voice falters
Visions of days together
Fade with the new snow

Translation/explanations of Mono no Aware:

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My thoughts:

Thematically, this card is perfect. The theme of Mono no Aware ("sensitivity to the impermanence of all things" being one translation) runs throughout L5R. The most obvious way is in how no character stays in play longer than their Fate allows. Beyond that, very few cards in L5R have permanent ongoing effects. An attachment leaves play when its holder does. Provinces break. Holdings are often sacrificed. Events and character actions rarely create effects that last longer than a single conflict or phase. The Mono no Aware card hastens such leavings and affects both players equally. The art and haiku flavor text both reference the end of Autumn and the beginning of Winter. The changing of the seasons has always been of great importance in Japanese culture. It's a prime time to experience Mono no Aware. On top of that, this just happens to be the last card (number 120) in the last expansion pack of the first cycle of L5R, being released just before the Winter Solstice. It is the end of the beginning, though not the beginning of the end, I think.

Mechanically, this is a very interesting card that I think is well designed. It fits my criteria for a good neutral card: any deck can run it, but only some decks will really want to. It's just expensive enough and risky enough to take skill to play well, while still being powerful enough to be a devastating swing in the right hands at the right time. Further thoughts:

  • Cost of 3 is expensive and hard to hold onto enough fate for, especially early in the game. However, you probably want to play this in the last Action window of the Conflict phase, so you may have had a chance to gain Fate from rings or cards like Kaiu Shuichi and Yasuki Taka in the meantime.
  • It affects both players, so you want to time it for when your opponent has more characters with Fate on them than you do.
  • You don't need to pull 3 Fate off of enemies for this to be worth it. Getting just 1 Fate off of Togashi Yokuni when he's Honored and stacked up with attachments could be game winning.
  • With such a high cost and huge effect, this is a prime target for counterspells (Censure, Forged Edict, Voice of Honor). You might want to protect it by having your own counter ready to counter-counterspell.
  • Since it doesn't say to choose specific characters, it is not prevented by cards like Above Question or Finger of Jade which prevent/cancel targeted effects.
  • Combining this with Void ring or other such fate-removal effects could mean a Champion played with 2 Fate on them ends up leaving the board the same round they were played.
  • Combining this with Waning Hostilities could massively reduce the value a player gets out of investing heavily in strong characters.
  • The one card draw is just a nice little bonus, not something to rely on, I think. However, it could end up being critical if you're really short on Conflict cards.
  • You probably don't want to pay for this card more than once or twice in a game, so I'm not sure it will be a 3x include.
  • Clans which most fear this card, I expect: Dragon (hurts their tall attachment-stacked characters if they can't be kept around), Lion (directly reverses a For Greater Glory, albeit at a much greater cost, can turn a wide board into an empty one)
  • Clans most likely to play this card: Crab (with Reprieve and Iron Mine they can keep characters around in other ways, they also have a lot of sacrificial chumps they probably wouldn't put fate on anyway) and anyone else (Scorpion?, Phoenix?, Dragon?) who plays a long-game war of attrition.
Edited by EdgeOfDreams

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7 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

It's pricey and can hurt you as much as your opponent, not sure the 1 card draw is enough at that price.

So, if it would hurt you as much or more than your opponent, maybe don't choose to play it until a later round, when it would hurt your opponent more?  It's not like the card says, "If you have three or more fate in your pool during an opportunity to play an action, you must choose to play this card."

Honestly, I rather like this card.  The only games I've played that were absolutely dreadful were the few where the opponent managed to field a large army with plenty of Fate on them while I could only get a couple people out, and they got stripped of Fate.  A card like this could help level the playing field if I can just survive that one turn.

Just now, JolOfNar said:

Yeah 4 fate is a bit much for lion walking about money

Really?  All the Lion players I face are constantly rolling in unspent Fate.

Edited by JJ48

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28 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

So, if it would hurt you as much or more than your opponent, maybe don't choose to play it until a later round, when it would hurt your opponent more?  It's not like the card says, "If you have three or more fate in your pool during an opportunity to play an action, you must choose to play this card."

Honestly, I rather like this card.  The only games I've played that were absolutely dreadful were the few where the opponent managed to field a large army with plenty of Fate on them while I could only get a couple people out, and they got stripped of Fate.  A card like this could help level the playing field if I can just survive that one turn.

I wouldn't, but in my experience based on the types of decks I play I'm usually in one of two positions, I have a broad board of characters that I've invested in and either won't have the spare 3 for it, or I'm trying to protect them to keep my board state. 

Or If I'm running a Voltron style deck I'm investing heavily in one or two characters and it may not be worth the loss of one or more of them a turn early to play the card. 

Sure I may kill my opponents board but it may potentially cost me my board, plus having put me on the back foot to begin with during the dynasty phase by limiting my buys to ensure I have enough to pay for it.  And with a cost of 3 it makes it that much harder to rebuild after as I'm out that fate.

In a perfect world if I'm killing three of his characters a turn early without really loosing anything on my side sure it may be useful, but is it worth running for the hope that will come up.

1 minute ago, Joe From Cincinnati said:

What? Don't be silly. Lion players don't pay for characters...

 

That's not true we invest heavily in Spiritcallers and Brawlers, which this card kills that much sooner.

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Playing an honor deck, there have been times that I have had honored characters with fate on them that I would like to see leave play to get the honor for the honored character leaving play.  Playing this card could be an easy way to do that while still hurting my opponent as well.

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Just now, Horizonshard said:

Playing an honor deck, there have been times that I have had honored characters with fate on them that I would like to see leave play to get the honor for the honored character leaving play.  Playing this card could be an easy way to do that while still hurting my opponent as well.

Or, in a dishonor deck, you could hurry the demise of an opponent's dishonored characters.

Likewise, if you have characters that trigger effects when they or something else leaves play, that could lead to some interesting interactions.

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10 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

In a perfect world if I'm killing three of his characters a turn early without really loosing anything on my side sure it may be useful, but is it worth running for the hope that will come up.

I think if you're running Mono no Aware in your deck, you don't "hope that will come up". Instead, you play intentionally to create the right circumstances for it. For example, if I know I have Mono no aware in hand or am likely to draw it, I might intentionally under-fate one or more of my characters, especially if they have a sacrifice effect or I have cards like Reprieve around.

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5 minutes ago, EdgeOfDreams said:

I think if you're running Mono no Aware in your deck, you don't "hope that will come up". Instead, you play intentionally to create the right circumstances for it. For example, if I know I have Mono no aware in hand or am likely to draw it, I might intentionally under-fate one or more of my characters, especially if they have a sacrifice effect or I have cards like Reprieve around.

And potentially shoot myself in the foot if it gets canceled.  Sorry not convincing me of the strength there.  Its a situational card at best for most of my decks.  I can see where some factions (Crab mostly) will see a much better use from it, but for most of my decks it can hurt just as much as it helps by either speeding up may own board decay or dictating too much of my Dynasty buy pattern and telegraphing itself too much to my opponent.  If they see that I have 3 -4  fate left and haven't put fate on most of my characters you know that they are going to save their cancel for either this or the For Greater Glory that I will play to try and take advantage of it.  

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Phoenix shouldn't mind too much.  Embrace the Void in whatever character you stack fate on and at least you'll get your fate back.

Unicorn actually works fairly decently with it since you can I Am Ready something before you play it.

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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It's a pretty bad counter to for greater glory. Like someone already said, you're paying more to remove the greater glory benefit. Chances are, the lion player is light on fated personalities already if they're going for a greater glory play. A counter spell is much more efficient against a greater glory. This has no restrictions on it other than the cost though, so it could be a counter option in a deck that doesn't anticipate being able to use the current counters and really wants an anti greater glory card.

This seems like a contender for honor running decks making use of pride or otherwise self honoring cards. You're probably lightly using fate on characters since you'll want to honor them and let them die for the points. Mono no aware can slow down the game to a degree, helping buy time for the honor to rise. The crane have Yoshi to ease the cost, but I'm not sure if you'd really want to combine the two cards since you generally want to fate up someone big like him.

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Just now, Schmoozies said:

And potentially shoot myself in the foot if it gets canceled.  Sorry not convincing me of the strength there.  Its a situational card at best for most of my decks.  I can see where some factions (Crab mostly) will see a much better use from it, but for most of my decks it can hurt just as much as it helps by either speeding up may own board decay or dictating too much of my Dynasty buy pattern and telegraphing itself too much to my opponent.  If they see that I have 3 -4  fate left and haven't put fate on most of my characters you know that they are going to save their cancel for either this or the For Greater Glory that I will play to try and take advantage of it.  

Yep, that is a risk. I never said this was an auto-include card or good for every clan, just that you "can" run it in any deck (as opposed to, say, Cloud The Mind which is effectively limited to only being played by clans with good Shugenja support). I think it will be good in the decks where it's good (The first rule of Tautology Club...), and underperform in the decks where it's at odds with their usual strategy.

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A thought on timing:

You can play Mono no Aware in the Conflict phase. That means any 1-fate characters will go away at the end of this round.

Or you can play it in the Fate or Regroup phases, after fate has been removed from characters. That has a more delayed effect on your opponent's board, but I think it could be the right play sometimes.

For example, at the end of the Conflict phase, my opponent's fated characters have 2 or more fate on each of them, and my fated characters only have 1 fate on them. If I play Mono no Aware now, it hurts both of us. If I wait until the end of the Fate phase, however, I can play it and only hurt my opponent.

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4 minutes ago, EdgeOfDreams said:

A thought on timing:

You can play Mono no Aware in the Conflict phase. That means any 1-fate characters will go away at the end of this round.

Or you can play it in the Fate or Regroup phases, after fate has been removed from characters. That has a more delayed effect on your opponent's board, but I think it could be the right play sometimes.

For example, at the end of the Conflict phase, my opponent's fated characters have 2 or more fate on each of them, and my fated characters only have 1 fate on them. If I play Mono no Aware now, it hurts both of us. If I wait until the end of the Fate phase, however, I can play it and only hurt my opponent.

Again situational at best as how often are you seeing two or three characters (when this would be best played) on your opponents side with fate on them still after regroup where it won't hurt you as well.  Plus they are still getting the full use of the characters for the next round and still have the chance to use them for that turn.  I still think the best use is against Crab or Lion never die decks where they may have used all their fate and are sacking Vanguard's or just Played a For Greater Good to keep an Ujiaki Horde or charged beat stick in play.  If I can kill a Kisada during the end of conflict phase after you just thought you had kept him alive for a round great.   But at the cost of 3 fate I better be getting a lot of value of the board for it.

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