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EternalKeeper

Why is Air bad?

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As title.

 

I keep seeing that the Air Ring is considered trash, but why exactly is that?

The stance makes you harder to hit (plus you can spend opportunity to become extra hard to hit by ranged attacks) in both combat and scheming by increasing the TN by 1, and at school rank 4 by 2, it got a neat AoE Melee attack, some nice Shuji and Invocations. And it boosts your Focus and Vigilance.

 

So what's the big issue with it?

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It is not really "trash" just not as good as the other Rings. The Stance bonus is okayish but the Opps are kinda crap so you are giving up a lot here unlike with the other Rings that all have very nice Opps even if their Stance bonus is 'meh' (like Void). It has some nice Techniques but so do the other Rings. Focus and Vigilance are the two attributes that are the toughest to improve either way and you get them even if you don't really care about Air. The Air Approaches are kinda bad because only Analyze is universally useful while Trick and especially Con are very limited. 

There is just not a whole lot going for Air while all the other Rings have a big hitter or two. That's all. 

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Air isn't weak. It's just bottom of the barrel when it comes to kata (Thunderclap Strike is one **** of a saving grace, though), which skews a lot of perceptions. It has the best invocations and good-to-great Kiho and Shuji.

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disregarding techniques etc,

air is bad because it is "focus and vigilance".

and since vigilance is basically "(ring+ring)/2"... it doesn't affect much. for example:

air 1 water 3 earth 3 fire 2  = composure 12, endurance 10, focus 3, vigilance 2

air 3 water 3 earth 1 fire 2 = composure 8, endurance 6, focus 5, vigilance 3

 

considering initiative is also almost useless in intrigues, and that vigilance falls to "1" when you are compromised...

doesn't make air "trash", but  certainly not as good as the other 3 rings (not considering Void in this comparison as it is its own beast).

oh, and earth/water stance are breaking duels, but that is another subject.

 

basically, there is not much you are gaining by going "air main".

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1 minute ago, EternalKeeper said:

Hmm... Shame. Air is the one that appeals to me the most aesthetically 

i mean, it is still playable. it's more like an handicap mechanically. same as thinking you'll be a good duelist as a Kakita.

but really, unless you are a sucker for balance like me and a few others, and/or play with very tactical/mechanical players... just chill, play what you want.

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If you're shugenja, most definitely main Air. Fire is your dump ring in that case, insofar as this game as anything that could be termed "dump ring."

Air is definitely a trickier ring to play, otherwise (don't main Air as Bushi, ever).

Edited by JBento

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3 minutes ago, JBento said:

If you're shugenja, most definitely main Air. Fire is your dump ring in that case, insofar as this game as anything that could be termed "dump ring."

Air is definitely a trickier ring to play, otherwise (don't main Air as Bushi, ever).

Alas, Air Main (with Fire and Water sharing Secondary) Kakita Bushi is what appeals the most to me ?

Edited by EternalKeeper

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1 minute ago, EternalKeeper said:

Alas, Air Main (with Fire and Water sharing Secondary) Kakita Bushi is what appeals the most to me ?

Yeah, no. I mean, it CAN be done, but it's really too much effort. 2 out of Air's 3 katas are trash. Main Water, second Air and Fire instead (you'll want a good Air as a Bushi anyway, because Thunderclap strike is your ONE melee AoE, making it indispensable in passing out effects with non-Ring katas)

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3 minutes ago, JBento said:

Yeah, no. I mean, it CAN be done, but it's really too much effort. 2 out of Air's 3 katas are trash. Main Water, second Air and Fire instead (you'll want a good Air as a Bushi anyway, because Thunderclap strike is your ONE melee AoE, making it indispensable in passing out effects with non-Ring katas)

as Earth as your dump ring... kinda rough.

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Well, you need to get your rings up anyway. Since IIRC you can't increase a ring greater than your lowest + Void

Also, how's Breath of Wind style bad? It inflicts Fatigue Damage, which ignores damage reduction, and Disoriented by using Opp, so it's in addition to the normal attack

Edited by EternalKeeper

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2 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

as Earth as your dump ring... kinda rough.

It's not... the best setup, to put it mildly, but you're probably not letting any ring fall too far down anyway. Losing 2-4 Endurance/Composure is probably not hurting you much, unless you're the only party frontliner. If you bring a Daidoji along, for instance, nobody will notice, especially if you Thunderclap your way into hampering the opposition.

Edited by JBento

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6 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

This isn't necessarily terrible, you just shouldn't forget Void. 

It's terrible in the sense D&D 5E Ranger is terrible. Can you make it work? Sure you can. But you can make it work better with a different chassis for much less work.

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49 minutes ago, EternalKeeper said:

Hmm... Shame. Air is the one that appeals to me the most aesthetically 

If it makes thematic sense within your character fantasy, then it's fine to have any ring-balance you see fit.

Even if it's dice-heavy campaign, and you feel you have to min-max your sheet to have a higher probability of success,  I wouldn't turn entirely away from a fun idea.

Sacrificing combat efficiency for aesthetic is fine for many samurai and clan concepts.

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I didn't touch the calculations for composure, endurance etc.

What I did to improve Air a bit is I kept the beta version of Striking as Air for this reason. Renamed the actual Striking as Air as Feint (which tbh its the perfect description for it) and left it as a rank 1 tech. This makes Air bushi pretty decent as agile, evasive warriors in 1vs1.

Edited by Shosur0

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On 11/4/2018 at 11:53 AM, EternalKeeper said:

As title.

 

I keep seeing that the Air Ring is considered trash, but why exactly is that?

The stance makes you harder to hit (plus you can spend opportunity to become extra hard to hit by ranged attacks) in both combat and scheming by increasing the TN by 1, and at school rank 4 by 2, it got a neat AoE Melee attack, some nice Shuji and Invocations. And it boosts your Focus and Vigilance.

 

So what's the big issue with it?

Air isn't bad, but as with Fire it is a component of the worst derived attribute: Focus. Which makes it not a good ring to have at 3 at character creation (it is arguably better to start with any other ring at 3), but it feels to me that it is one of the better rings to have as your "main" ring after you get all others up to 3 especially if your game is more social than action.

Air is a good ring for accomplishing things since its approaches/opportunity set are proactive. Its social opportunities are good, Sentiment (Air) is a key skill + approach for Courtiers and it is alongside Void the best "Initiative" ring because it has useful opportunities. Air Shuji are good if you learn how to use them and Air invocations have unparalleled utility. 

In a sense, Air is a bad ring to focus early (like Void) especially for Bushi, but it becomes better as the other rings get more balanced out and can be a good "main" ring to everyone except for, arguably, melee Bushi.

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7 minutes ago, Shosur0 said:

I didn't touch the calculations for composure, endurance etc.

What I did to improve Air a bit is I kept the beta version of Striking as Air for this reason. Renamed the actual Striking as Air as Feint (which tbh its the perfect description for it) and left it as a rank 1 tech. This makes Air bushi pretty decent as agile, evasive warriors in 1vs1.

yeah, i'm heavily thinking of changing secondary stat calculation (put air into composure instead of earth, and earth in vigilance instead of air) here is what it would make:

 

as original rules: 

air 1 water 3 earth 3 fire 2  = composure 12, endurance 10, focus 3, vigilance 2

air 3 water 3 earth 1 fire 2 = composure 8, endurance 6, focus 5, vigilance 3

air 4 water 2 earth 1 fire 2= composure 6, endurance 6, focus 6, vigilance 3

 

as modified rules:

air 1 water 3 earth 3 fire 2  = composure 8, endurance 10, focus 3, vigilance 3

air 3 water 3 earth 1 fire 2 = composure 12, endurance 6, focus 5, vigilance 2

air 4 water 2 earth 1 fire 2= composure 12, endurance 6, focus 6, vigilance 2

 

if you have 3 more air than earth, you could basically have 6 less composure for 1 more vigilance under the original ruleset! which I fine was way too punishing.

so i prefer my mixup.

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5 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

yeah, i'm heavily thinking of changing secondary stat calculation (put air into composure instead of earth, and earth in vigilance instead of air) here is what it would make:

 

as original rules: 

air 1 water 3 earth 3 fire 2  = composure 12, endurance 10, focus 3, vigilance 2

air 3 water 3 earth 1 fire 2 = composure 8, endurance 6, focus 5, vigilance 3

air 4 water 2 earth 1 fire 2= composure 6, endurance 6, focus 6, vigilance 3

 

as modified rules:

air 1 water 3 earth 3 fire 2  = composure 8, endurance 10, focus 3, vigilance 3

air 3 water 3 earth 1 fire 2 = composure 12, endurance 6, focus 5, vigilance 2

air 4 water 2 earth 1 fire 2= composure 12, endurance 6, focus 6, vigilance 2

 

if you have 3 more air than earth, you could basically have 6 less composure for 1 more vigilance under the original ruleset! which I fine was way too punishing.

so i prefer my mixup.

I find hilarious that a character with Air 4 has 2 Vigilance in your rework (and that an Earth 4 character can have 4 composure).

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When I said that the setup can work I did not mean "OK, this char is gonna be a cool duelist with all the cool stats" or anything like that. Geeeez <_<.  I was thinking more along the line of "here comes the party's walking radar character". Somebody hasta bust out that Analyze and Vigilance either way, so it might as well be the Kakita Duelist. Just have a few Void Points to spam Seize the Moment when crap hits the fan and you are golden. 

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Also keep being a **** and using your Wait action to activate during opponents turns. "I move a step back, then Wait my Strike until my opponent closes the gap." is a pretty fun thing to do, as you often can Critical Strike your opponent after they are locked into their stance, effectively forcing them to make their roll with +1 or +3 TN, depending on how deeply you wounded them. 

I also personally fond the high Focus a very powerful tool, as it frees up Initiative Phase opportunities to do cool stuff, like slapping a Disadvantage on a foe with Air (which is bonkers powerful and was rightly nerfed to cost 2 Opp!) or preloading my foes with Strife. You also can't use stance bonuses at initiative phases - you enter the stances after the Initiative roll is finished. So no Fire Stance Strife to Success for Initiative. 

Edited by WHW

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