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On 6/21/2019 at 4:34 AM, Ignithas said:

I would disagree with the sentiment that Warriors of the Wind look silly compared to Masters of the Court. It is right that Unicorn didn't get a card on the same level as Uji, but most cards in Masters of the Court are very niche. Warriors of the Wind has a lot of cards that are broader usefull. The biggest problem of Unicorn atm is not having Unleash the Djinn, because it would be an out to things Unicorn usually loses.

It's obviously not just Uji.

Shiro Shinjo is weak and has no support.

MotC got Kyuden Kakita which already has plenty of support. Take Dragon stronghold and make it better? Cool.
Then you have Uji (doesn't need to be discussed)
and Yuri who can shut down MIL opponents - especially both HMT
Takamori is freaking insane
Gossip is obviously insanely strong
and The Spear Rushes Forth for a free specific bow with practically zero "cost".

Anyway, Crane pack blew Unicorn pack out of the water and Crane was already top-tier.

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17 hours ago, caseycheesecake said:

It's obviously not just Uji.

Shiro Shinjo is weak and has no support.

MotC got Kyuden Kakita which already has plenty of support. Take Dragon stronghold and make it better? Cool.
Then you have Uji (doesn't need to be discussed)
and Yuri who can shut down MIL opponents - especially both HMT
Takamori is freaking insane
Gossip is obviously insanely strong
and The Spear Rushes Forth for a free specific bow with practically zero "cost".

Anyway, Crane pack blew Unicorn pack out of the water and Crane was already top-tier.

I don't think that Shiro Shinjo is weak, but you are right that it doesn't have the support it needs.

Yuri sees almost no play, because aggro is pretty much the only MU he is good in. Takamori is very strong and Gossip is good. The Spear rushes forth is alright, but I can understand everyone that doesn't play it. Curved Blade, Khan's Ordu, Spoils of War and Chagatai are very strong. Speak to the Heart and Shinjo Trailblaizer are good. Shinomen Wayfinder and Utaku Battle Steed have potential to be good, when disguised and the Battle Maiden theme kicks off.

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21 hours ago, caseycheesecake said:

Shiro Shinjo is weak and has no support.

Aranat. Border Fortress. Chasing the Sun. Iuchi Farseer. Iuchi Daiyu. Speak to the Heart.

How much support are you looking for?

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2 hours ago, twinstarbmc said:

Aranat. Border Fortress. Chasing the Sun. Iuchi Farseer. Iuchi Daiyu. Speak to the Heart.

How much support are you looking for?

While those are cards that facilitate the static ability of SS, they do not leverage the power of the stronghold.

FFG has been mostly working on undoing the mistakes of the core set and the first couple cycles which touted Unicorn as this fast attacking military clan.  Most of Unicorn's design space has been geared towards decks that do this.  That is why HMT is their best option at the moment.  Unicorn is seriously lacking in the 4+ cost character department and they have relatively few decent 3 drops too.  They don't really have any good characters at the higher fate costs that can utilize SS.  Shono is arguably their best 4 drop and Chagatai is arguably their best 5 drop...……….both are geared towards HMT.

SS gets more mileage out of non-Unicorn characters like Yoritomo, Toturi, Hantei……...etc.  big impactful characters that require lots of fate.   If you can keep mashing out big threats then eventually you'll have a board state that simply can't be beat, or you'll be able to play big fate events that hurt your opponent.  Problem is that the best big fate cost events are on the RL or are in other clans. 

Until Unicorn get things to do with all that extra fate, then SS, as strong as it is, is relatively tame.

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27 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

While those are cards that facilitate the static ability of SS, they do not leverage the power of the stronghold.

FFG has been mostly working on undoing the mistakes of the core set and the first couple cycles which touted Unicorn as this fast attacking military clan.  Most of Unicorn's design space has been geared towards decks that do this.  That is why HMT is their best option at the moment.  Unicorn is seriously lacking in the 4+ cost character department and they have relatively few decent 3 drops too.  They don't really have any good characters at the higher fate costs that can utilize SS.  Shono is arguably their best 4 drop and Chagatai is arguably their best 5 drop...……….both are geared towards HMT.

SS gets more mileage out of non-Unicorn characters like Yoritomo, Toturi, Hantei……...etc.  big impactful characters that require lots of fate.   If you can keep mashing out big threats then eventually you'll have a board state that simply can't be beat, or you'll be able to play big fate events that hurt your opponent.  Problem is that the best big fate cost events are on the RL or are in other clans. 

Until Unicorn get things to do with all that extra fate, then SS, as strong as it is, is relatively tame.

Shono gets just as much if not more mileage from ShiShi as HMT.  ShiShi lets you build a board that can last over multiple turns and drown your opponent in those bodies and Shono with is pump is perfect in that deck.  its also lets you opt for multiple Cav Reserves on a turn which again make Shono that much stronger with his buff.  Unicorn also have some great 3 and 4 costers like Shahai and Daiyu that offer key traits and useful abilities that help you push your economic advantage.

HMT gives you burst value as you can fire out of the gate really strong and claim victory before opponents can mount a proper defense, whereas ShiShi is a late game stronghold.  Its just taht most Unicorn builds right now are so focused on Aggro that they are ignoring the economic late game that ShiShi provides.  Once they get off charge and start slotting For Greater Glory to really abuse Cav Reserve turns I think you'll find ShiShi plays better.

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I don't disagree.  I think the metagame rewards the speed of HMT more.  With a late game strategy, you don't want to be looking at a Tadaka and hoping you can resolve an event based play to carry you.  That is a very specific build....one which I am eagerly awaiting the cards from the next cycle to facilitate the return of FGG and Unicorn.  I don't think it's there yet.

In general I think that SS is geared towards the big fate plays where you are sticking characters that have great abilities, not just stats. Unicorn just doesn't have enough characters with abilities that impact the board in a significant way.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/25/2019 at 7:06 AM, twinstarbmc said:

Aranat. Border Fortress. Chasing the Sun. Iuchi Farseer. Iuchi Daiyu. Speak to the Heart.

How much support are you looking for?

ShSh's problem is they need to spend resources to explore 4 provinces in 2 turns.
This doesn't allow for defense. So you're looking at starting T3 with 1-3 broken provinces before your Stronghold starts netting you money.

Aranat is a bad play vs 4/7 clans: Crab WotC (auto lose), Crane Magistrate reveal T1 (auto lose), Scorpion KK Poison, and Unicorn HMT will run through you for 3 breaks.
Border Fortress is dead T2 if you're lucky enough for them to hit it first turn.
Chasing the Sun is bad and dead T3.
Farseer is dead T3.
Daiyu is excellent T3+
Speak to the Heart is excellent T3+

Trailblazer is dead T3.
Outflank is dead T3.
Child of the Plains is dead T3.

ShSh's direction toward neutral characters also has diminishing synergy with Shiotome Encampment as well as the Unicorn-only cards like Curved Blade, Utaku Steeds, and Speak to the Heart.

But ultimately, once you start pumping out fate on T3, the you're usually playing catch-up and a couple turns of extra fate isn't enough to stop the bleeding and, yes, buying weak-ability Unicorn characters.

Edited by caseycheesecake

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4 minutes ago, caseycheesecake said:

ShSh's problem is they need to spend resources to explore 4 provinces in 2 turns.
This doesn't allow for defense. So you're looking at starting T3 with 1-3 broken provinces before your Stronghold starts netting you money.

Aranat is a bad play vs 4/7 clans: Crab WotC (auto lose), Crane Magistrate reveal T1 (auto lose), Scorpion KK Poison, and Unicorn HMT will run through you for 3 breaks.
Border Fortress is dead T2 if you're lucky enough for them to hit it first turn.
Chasing the Sun is bad and dead T3.
Farseer is dead T3.
Daiyu is excellent T3+
Speak to the Heart is excellent T3+

Trailblazer is dead T3.
Outflank is dead T3.
Child of the Plains is dead T3.

ShSh's direction toward neutral characters also has diminishing synergy with Shiotome Encampment as well as the Unicorn-only cards like Curved Blade, Utaku Steeds, and Speak to the Heart.

But ultimately, once you start pumping out fate on T3, the you're usually playing catch-up and a couple turns of extra fate isn't enough to stop the bleeding.

I THINK I understood most of what you said there.  But Unicorn have solutions to dead cards. Utaku Yumino, Utaku KamokoSaadiyah al-Mozedu are all ways to put a little life back into dead cards. Yes, this is a mid-to-late game stronghold. But I'm sorry, if you can't see ways to make all that extra fate work for you, I can't help you. I don't mind playing catch-up, because I've found I can win a fair amount. I'm able to put just a little extra fate on characters, play more expensive cards. It's a small snowball at the top of the mountain, but with a little push and a little patience, it's an unstoppable boulder at the bottom.

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On 6/25/2019 at 3:53 AM, Ignithas said:

I don't think that Shiro Shinjo is weak, but you are right that it doesn't have the support it needs.

Yuri sees almost no play, because aggro is pretty much the only MU he is good in. Takamori is very strong and Gossip is good. The Spear rushes forth is alright, but I can understand everyone that doesn't play it. Curved Blade, Khan's Ordu, Spoils of War and Chagatai are very strong. Speak to the Heart and Shinjo Trailblaizer are good. Shinomen Wayfinder and Utaku Battle Steed have potential to be good, when disguised and the Battle Maiden theme kicks off.

Again, everything that we got that is good is really only effective for HMT.

And battle maidens... Yumino is garbage and doesn't even see play in my honor tech/battle maiden deck! What's really sad, though, is how they crapped all over Utaku Rumaru. Her passive is decent, but her ability needs to have 1) won conflict 2) discard a card 3) participating character OTHER THAN HERSELF. Is it too much to ask for her to just honor a character when she wins a conflict? Come on...

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, twinstarbmc said:

I THINK I understood most of what you said there.  But Unicorn have solutions to dead cards. Utaku Yumino, Utaku KamokoSaadiyah al-Mozedu are all ways to put a little life back into dead cards. Yes, this is a mid-to-late game stronghold. But I'm sorry, if you can't see ways to make all that extra fate work for you, I can't help you. I don't mind playing catch-up, because I've found I can win a fair amount. I'm able to put just a little extra fate on characters, play more expensive cards. It's a small snowball at the top of the mountain, but with a little push and a little patience, it's an unstoppable boulder at the bottom.

Over half of those dead cards are dynasty, so those characters don't really help you there. There is no extra value.

In a competitive environment, you're not getting much extra fate before the game is over. You're looking at essentially a blank stronghold T1-2 and, like I said, a weaker board state and probably more broken provinces once you do start ramping up because you can't defend meaningfully while still exploring all four provinces by T2. Then you not only need to break 2-3 provinces starting T3, but also defend your remaining province and SH. That's a tall order. It's better to get fate early than later in this game.

Edited by caseycheesecake

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10 minutes ago, caseycheesecake said:

Over half of those dead cards are dynasty, so those characters don't really help you there. There is no extra value.

In a competitive environment, you're not getting much extra fate before the game is over. You're looking at essentially a blank stronghold T1-2 and, like I said, a weaker board state and probably more broken provinces once you do start ramping up because you can't defend meaningfully while still exploring all four provinces by T2. Then you not only need to break 2-3 provinces starting T3, but also defend your remaining province and SH. That's a tall order. It's better to get fate early than later in this game.

Once you've seen all their provinces, your stronghold isn't blank at all. It says "Bow: Start your turn with 3 more fate than everybody else in the Empire." When worded that way, sounds pretty good to me.

And why are we waiting for turn 3 to start cronching provs? Broken provinces are face-up, so it still behooves you to take the same kind of turns you would if you were blitzy. By the time turn 3 starts, if you haven't cracked at least two of their provinces, something's seriously wrong. 

#horsepun

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, caseycheesecake said:

ShSh's problem is they need to spend resources to explore 4 provinces in 2 turns.
This doesn't allow for defense. So you're looking at starting T3 with 1-3 broken provinces before your Stronghold starts netting you money.

Yes and no

It depends on the build you are running.  Inheritance cycle will leave Unicorn with a legitimate swarm build that I believe operates optimally off SS, if you're going for a traditional swarm that can build up over time.  If you're just looking for a go wide aggro blitz, then HMT remains your best option.

The point is that while you will leave yourself open to breaks on the first turn, it really isn't a big deal if you are growing your board, and scouting your opponent's provinces naturally.  This ensures that you start turn 2 having caught up on the fate shortage on turn one and now every turn after you will be ahead.

If it's the big bodies deck then that is going to be a different type of deck with a more difficult task of revealing those opposing provinces.  Likely more defensive and grindy.  The only alternative to playing slow and being behind is playing the cards that help reveal provinces and most of those are bad.

4 hours ago, caseycheesecake said:

Again, everything that we got that is good is really only effective for HMT

Not exactly.  The FGG swarm deck is playable, and somewhat effective, out of SS, but, it's just missing those final pieces that push it into competitive relevance.  Luckily they are in the Inheritance cycle so we don't have long to wait.

 

4 hours ago, caseycheesecake said:

Over half of those dead cards are dynasty, so those characters don't really help you there. There is no extra value.

In a competitive environment, you're not getting much extra fate before the game is over. You're looking at essentially a blank stronghold T1-2 and, like I said, a weaker board state and probably more broken provinces once you do start ramping up because you can't defend meaningfully while still exploring all four provinces by T2. Then you not only need to break 2-3 provinces starting T3, but also defend your remaining province and SH. That's a tall order. It's better to get fate early than later in this game.

Again, if you're playing the traditional FGG swarm deck off SS, you don't really need to defend, because you will have the ability to threaten your opponent's provinces with breaks.  With this deck you can have 3+ (I've had as many as 6 on multiple occasions in testing, 4-5 is most common) characters carry over into turn two with a FGG on turn one.  You should have at least broken one province and flipped at least 2 provinces on turn one, so turn two has you breaking even on fate and in a potential position to threating a military conquest victory if your opponent has a go at you.  If you play back to back turns with FGG then it's pretty much game over, because turn 3 and after you'll have a 3 fate advantage and your board state will just get out of control.  It's another deck that breaks the design philosophy of Mono No Aware, which the game is built around.  It has all indications that it should be legit.  The question will be, "does the meta crack back to a counterspell heavy meta?"  If so, this can be a problem for the deck.

Unicorn has three splashes that should be seriously considered post Inheritance cycle

Dragon - Lion - Crane

Dragon is the premiere Charge based blitz deck (in particular with Toturi……...yes I'm calling my shot and saying my deck is the best version of this style of deck and I'll welcome anyone that wants to debate that with me)  It can be run of both, but, it truly shines off HMT

Lion will again have the FGG swarm deck as an option.  It's great on both and close to as fast as the Dragon splash off HMT, but, the strategies for FGG favor a build up and this favors SS.  It's the premier military swarm build of the future.

Crane is the wild card.  You can play an aggressive aggro/honor switch deck that looks like either of the pure military options and steal honor wins from people who are not prepared.

This variety will pose problems for a lot of people as the decks can look very similar on turn one, and you don't really know what a Unicorn player is going for until that first RL or splash card is played.  By then it could be too late to adapt to what Unicorn is doing.  While it is less a surprise when playing games with decklists, it should help get more Unicorn into the knock out matches and improve their chances to win something.

Until the Inheritance cycle drops, and all the relevant cards are in the mix, Unicorn HMT w/Charge is the best option, and Dragon splash w/Toturi is the best version of that deck...…….and in a few months...………..who knows?

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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