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Bayushi Tsubaki

Dueling: Who does it better? Crane vs Dragon

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Just looking at the cards as they're previewed/printed, as I haven't been able to play in quite a few months, I get the impression that dueling is solidly a Crane strategy and that Dragon, if they want to keep up, will have to heavily invest in a Crane splash if they really want it to be a successful playstyle (possibly to the detriment of using the Crane role instead of the superior elemental role(s) ).

Looking at Crane splashing Dragon, it seems like a much less intense investment requirement.

But, then again, I'm admittedly out of the meta loop, so I'm asking here just out of curiosity! Who's dueling better? (Or at least easier?)

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I would lean to toward saying Crane.  But lets take a look at the cards head to head that have duel effects printed or the duelist keyword.


Kyuden Kakita vs Mountains Anvil Castle

I think this is a wash. Kyuden Kakita profits from any duel win or lose and potentially helps you win future duels wheras MAC gives a more immediate and wide reaching benefit in addition to helping win duels with the stat boost


Dynasty characters:


Courtly Challenger

Kakita Favorite

Kakita Kaezin

Kakita Toshimoko

Kakita Yuri

Tengu Sensei

Doji Challenger


Kitsuki Shomon

Mirumoto Hitomi

Mirumoto Raitsugu

Prudent Challenger

Mirumoto Prodigy


So this is an interesting comparison.  Crane have more duelists (7 to 5) and more printed duels (4 to 3), whereas Dragon really has two of the 3 most potent duels, imho, in the game, with Toshimoko being the most potent for Crane.  Crane also has some versatility to their printed duels in terms of effects and duel types (Pol and Mil). I'm going to give the slight edge to Crane here.




Kakita Dojo

Distinguished Dojo



Mirumoto Dojo


Crane does have two dueling focused holdings, but Distinguished Dojo doesn't see play.  This comes down to the Mirumoto vs Kakita Dojos.  Both have printed military duels and both are enhanced by duelists. Turning off an ability with the possibility of also bowing if the winner is a duelist is very powerful where as moving a fate from a character to the pool or discarding the fate if the winner is duelist can also be powerful.  I give the edge here to Crane as Kakita Dojo has more utility than Mirumoto Dojo.





Kakita Blade

Duelist Training

Seal of the Crane

Iaijutsu Master



Mirumoto Daisho

Justicar's Approach


Again, Crane have more cards focused on duels and have fun things not directly related to dueling (Formal Invitation) that can empower their duelists, I think I give this category to Dragon. Mirumoto Daisho and Justicar's approach  and Dragon's general attachment support give them the edge here.



Civil Discourse

Courteous Scheming

Duel to the Death

Game of Sadane

Insult to Injury

Kakita's Final Stance

Storied Defeat



Magnificent Triumph

Rising Stars Kata


I think this is in Crane's Favor pretty solidly due to number of duels and better duel support, though Way of the Dragon deserve mention despite not strictly being duel related...


Conflict Characters


Arbiter of Authority


Niten Pupil


Crane win this category too.   Niten Pupil isn't currently legal for Dragon as they don't have a Water Role....


So just going by dueling related cards, I think Crane comes out ahead.  Where it becomes tough is Dragon can splash Crane and vice versa. Properly tooled up, Raitsugu is a menace as he can straight up kill guys and might be doing it multiple times per turn thanks to Way of the Dragon. If we are solely looking at the cards, Crane has more dueling cards and more flexible options whereas Dragon has a few, powerful dueling cards.  


Edited by Silver Crane

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The question is a bit of a misnomer.  If someone wants to make a dueling deck it is almost certainly going to be Crane splashing Dragon or Dragon splashing Crane.  There are some other options that have a lot of benefits (Crab can make your duelists stronger and more resilient, Lion offers more options and gives benefits when Kakita Dojo honors your duelists, etc.) but for pure dueling one would want to run one of those two builds.  At that point it becomes a matter of style and meta (currently Crane dueling seems to beat Dragon dueling but that has more to do with the fact that much of Dragon has been nerfed while Crane has received a big boost from their clan pack) than anything else.

The real question is who runs a better dueling deck without splashing the other, i.e. does Crane/Unicorn beat Dragon/Crab (or other combos).  The general consensus seems to be that Dragon dueling works better as a support strategy than Crane dueling does, but Crane can run a better duel-focused deck than Dragon can.

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It Depends why you are wanting to get from your dueling.

Dueling for duelings sake leads to nothing.

If you ware wanting to Duel to go for a honor victory, Crane. If you are looking for a dishonor victory then I would say Dragon.

Winning via conflict, depends on your play style. I would say that Dragons Personalities have better printed duels and the fact they are all Military makes its easier build a deck to win duels consistently or just win because you have a tower. Crane has better a dueling support for conflicts via holdings and events. Kakita Dōjō is better for letting you win a conflict, as is storied Defeat. Crane also has more printed Duels in the conflict deck.

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