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shosuko

Must have Conflict Cards

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What are the cards you feel you MUST HAVE for any deck?

Right now I'm seeing Court Games, Banzai! For Glory!,  Cloud the Mind, Finger of Jade, and Policy Debate in pretty much every deck I build and play against.

Are you seeing different cards?  Which conflict cards do you think are essential?

Also what are you testing out, that you think might be essential soon?

I'm thinking that Censure, Contingency Plan, Waning Hostilities, and possibly Way of the Chrysanthemum are worth testing.

There is an emerging play style I've seen some players start to use focusing on securing the Imperial Favor to maximize on Censure.  Its probably the most accessible event cancel available in the game.  The great thing about playing for the favor is not only do you enable your Censure, but you mitigate your opponent's Censure at the same time.

Contingency Plan can be a great counter to Policy Debate, if they don't anticipate the 6 bid you can steal the effect or draw the duel.  It might cost some honor, but it might save the game.  Likewise it can double up with Way of the Chrysanthemum to bring in a 10 honor boost.  If you're at 15 honor and catch your opponent in a 1-5 bid you can win the game on the spot.  15 honor isn't that high, and if you pull it turn 1 jumping to 20 honor you can use Air Ring to seal the deal pretty quickly...

Waning Hostilities looks like a GREAT stall out card for decks that are looking to focus on honor or dishonor as win conditions, or decks that want to build up a few big, heavy fated characters.  If I'm buying just my champion turn 1, I might put 2 fate on them and use my fate from passing first, or the 8th fate as 2nd player to drop this so I don't have to worry about being hit for 2 provinces turn 1.

Those are my thoughts on deck building for the day, what do you think?

Edited by shosuko

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Katanas and Fans are also pretty staple, if for no other reason than threatening a province break with a lone, small dude. I haven't seen Finger of Jade in many decks yet, but I've only played a small handful of games. I haven't put it in any of my decks yet, though I started when I was putting together a weenie unicorn deck. I like Censure a lot better than Finger of Jade, but that's speaking as a Phoenix player.

I strongly dislike Way of the Chrysanthemum. I think it is asking too much to require you to bid 1 and draw no cards, and then if your opponent bids high, you have to pay 2 fate (which can be easily broadcast turn 1), putting you behind on both fate and cards, to gain some honor. Unless you're in very specific situations, it won't put you closer to winning the game. It's a trap card in every way, in my amateur opinion.

I'm also pretty lukewarm on Waning Hostilities. I don't plan on playing it myself, but it's one I need to see in action a bit, first. I guess it's most interesting to players who are racing to break provinces by deciding the tempo. It's got some complicated fate calculations behind it, but I think it'll be hard to manipulate that, since each character can still participate in a conflict. Less room for ring shenanigans, less room for unbowing shenanigans. I think it's going to be tech against some deck that hasn't emerged yet, rather than a general application or good-for-X-clan card. ( I also think Mono-no-Aware is going to be in a similar position.)

Contingency Plan still has many uses, but I still can't see them be worth the card slot. A minor adjustment that can steal an honor? Maybe a Backhanded Compliment substitute in decks that use Policy Debate? You and your opponent both bid one because you're clearly winning the duel, so you play debate and drop to 0 (and still win) but steal an honor in the process too? Cute, but maybe unreliable.

I think Rout, Outwit, and For Shame! are also worth mentioning as auto-includes in any deck that has enough of the appropriate traits, of course.

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Finger of Jade may be stronger in my local scene as we have a lot of Scorpion and Phoenix players - so there are a lot of WotS, Court Games, and For Shame to block.  The down side of Finger of Jade is that a player typically plays around it - so they still have these cards in their hand for the next turn, or find them effective enough on the characters you didn't protect.  Still a clan champion means a lot more with Finger of Jade than without.

Way of Chrysanthemum - I agree with you on this card.  Its a lot to commit, but its also a VERY serious honor gain.  IF you can catch a 1-5 bid those 2 fate give you more than half of your win condition right there.  I think this is too risky for a turn 1 gambit, but if you can maintain a decent honor advantage and play defensive, you could catch your opponent on a high bid when they want to take your SH.

I was actually chatting with one of my good friends who is has been a skilled competitive player across several CCG and LCG, and plays L5R with me often.  He was trying a sort of honor / dueling deck and what he found is that winning by honor is kinda like winning by dishonor - you can't go into the game deciding to do it, but you can set up a type of play style that favors the option, and if you have the card in your hand you can steal the victory that way.  We're still testing to see if we can build a deck that reliably forces a win or steals an honor victory based on these conditions.  Right now its a fun theory, but neither of us are sold on it being effective yet...

Fans and Katanas are great cards.  I don't know if I always see both in every deck, but I think most decks include at least 1 of these.  Same with Rout and Outwit / For Shame.  If the deck can use the card they are definitely auto-include.

I think its kinda funny how many neutral conflict cards push out clan cards in deck construction.

Edited by shosuko

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I'd run at least 1 copy of WotCh in any competitive deck I played.  When you reach the rounds were players get to look at your decklist that's gonna be in the back of their head any time they make an honor bid.

I'd love to run Policy Debate out of Unicorn but they have a hard time winning political duels of you're not playing a very specific version of their deck.  I'm still uncertain if I want to go back to splashing Crane and playing the more politically focused Unicorn deck because Policy Debate is such a big card now.  I just don't have room in the version that runs a Crab splash.

Censure is another card I like to have at least a couple copies in each of my decks.  Favor control is important and being able to protect a key event from an opposing counterspell or to counter something big is worth a couple slots IMO

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1 hour ago, Ishi Tonu said:

I'd run at least 1 copy of WotCh in any competitive deck I played.  When you reach the rounds were players get to look at your decklist that's gonna be in the back of their head any time they make an honor bid.

I'd love to run Policy Debate out of Unicorn but they have a hard time winning political duels of you're not playing a very specific version of their deck.  I'm still uncertain if I want to go back to splashing Crane and playing the more politically focused Unicorn deck because Policy Debate is such a big card now.  I just don't have room in the version that runs a Crab splash.

Censure is another card I like to have at least a couple copies in each of my decks.  Favor control is important and being able to protect a key event from an opposing counterspell or to counter something big is worth a couple slots IMO

idk - you pick both targets.  I don't play Unicorn, but here are some characters I think might be useful to enable and capitalize on Policy Debate

1) Child of the Plains - this won't be your duelist, but it sure can help you capitalize on the duel.  Think about it, before the defender gets to play an action (possibly their own policy debate) you can SURPRISE POLICY DEBATE!  No other clan can do this, and I've had 1st action defense policy debate shut down my offense quickly...  I wish I could steal first action to shut down their defense!

2) Ide Tadaji - This guys is both a great duelist, and a great enabler.  His 4 POL is strong enough to make the play even without being honored or having any attachments.  More than that! He can pull 2 cheap guys into the conflict... why not grab their 0 POL character in and SURPRISE POLICY DEBATE lol

3) Moto Juro - while this guy isn't that great at POL, I think he is a star player in the Unicorn lineup.  He isn't a bad target for honoring as his 2 Glory is about as good as it gets when you're Unicorn... but then think about this - twice he can move into a conflict.  He doesn't have to be ready, he just moves!  Use your first conflict with him to attack them MIL+Fire and honor him, then move him into another conflict that turn and SURPRISE POLICY DEBATE!  MUAHAHAHAHAAA Winter Court at Shiro Moto all over again lol

4) Shinjo Outrider - Same as Moto Juro.  Honor and CHARGE! back into the conflict with 4 POL for a SURPRISE POLICY DEBATE!  Only costs 2, so this is more of the backup duelist, but still effective.

5) I should mention Shinjo Tatsuo... only because he qualifies as a duelist if honored...  People might be surprised you're even using him, but they'll be more surprised by his SURPRISE POLICY DEBATE!

6) Utaku Yumino - This is a great duelist because you can pump her and / or honor her making her a great duelist choice!  It won't be much of a surprise, but I love saying SURPRISE POLICY DEBATE!

7) Finally... drum roll please...  Warrior Poet - While this character is participating each participating character controlled by your opponent gets -1/-1 until the end of the conflict.  She is a great enabler, and if honored is also a great duelist!  What's that you're reading?  Is it by Shel Silverstein?  nope, I'm just reading SURPRISE POLICY DEBATE!

Granted a lot of this requires honoring or equipping to really bully duel, but lets be real - every clan needs to build up their duelist to be safe.  Honoring isn't that tough to do considering its always available on Ring of Fire, and you might already be running Court Games...  idk what your splash is, but give it a try ^_^ 

Edited by shosuko

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Yeah it ends up being rather cumbersome for Unicorn.  Generally you want to be pumped beforehand so you can Children of the Plains the Debate first so the attack can be somwaht telegraphed.

The best Duelist for Unicorn has been Utaku Infantry....but generally this forces you to put your own weak political characters into the battle.

Moro horde is actually great here since you don't have to worry about being got by the duel when he's the I ly target.  I'm sure I'll find room for debate somewhere as it's a great card to attack multiple lines on play, its just a bit trickier to pull off with the pONI.

 

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I've never been that sold on Rout and Outwit; sending characters home unbowed just leaves them more characters to hit me with on their next challenge or defend my counter attack. I'd rather weaken them with for shames and court games (which are free to play unlike the other 2) and weather the storm so I can hit them back harder in my next challenge. That said, with Haughty Magistrate now being a thing, I think they are more important than they have been.

Edited by Dahawi

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I've been running Policy Debate in Unicorn for a couple weeks now, and it's never dead. Only time it isn't an all star event, is when it gets plucked from hand by my opponents Policy Debate (!), or otherwise canceled. With Ornate Fan, Spyglass (+/- splash items), and honoring decent characters, there will always be advantageous targets. From my semi-competitive experience, it's one of those cards which is informing/deforming the current environment. 

I'll echo the sentiment that neutral conflict cards are squeezing out clan cards in a lot of my decks. I often start with 20-25 neutrals; mainly because they are universally effective and cheap. The clan cards tend to be more expensive and more niche. 

I'd add Charge to the list of near-auto-includes. It remains one of the swingiest cards, potentially "netting" 2-4 fate, and is only getting better with the flush of badass 4 and 5 cost characters. 

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I'm with you on Rout / Outwit @Dahawi I don't like sending people home ready.  I've avoided those cards so far but people have recommended I try it out as a 2nd conflict trump card.  Even as a 2nd conflict trump card I'm a bit skeptical since the Imperial Favor means so much now...  I think its one of those edge cases where some people may always use it, but I don't think its auto-include for everyone the way Court Games and Banzai are.

10 hours ago, FunTimeTeddy said:

I'd add Charge to the list of near-auto-includes. It remains one of the swingiest cards, potentially "netting" 2-4 fate, and is only getting better with the flush of badass 4 and 5 cost characters. 

I'm not used to Charge but I'm seeing that it can be great if you know you will need to defend MIL that turn - to just leave your defender in the province so you can charge them out.  I'm getting more use out of this card and it might be an auto-include for decks that prefer to invest in POL characters, but need MIL for defense.

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