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Shuffler
terrain  Provinces  shuffle
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By Moto Taleric
7 months ago  (7 months ago)
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Hi all, this is the deck that I played at the elemental championships in Dark Sphere over the weekend. I just wanted to add a bit of a write up, to give people a bit of context around the deck, some thoughts behind the cards in it, and my thoughts around playing the deck.

Firstly (and probably fairly obviously), this is an aggressive deck, if a blitz deck exists in this game then this is probably it! To give you and idea of this, over the course of my 8 games I think I played 23-24 turns in total (and I think 7 of those turns were in the two games against Jake - my opponent in the final). This isn't so much about eeking out every advantage you can, and slowly grinding your opponent down, this is all about big explosive plays, and breaking provinces out of nowhere.


Firstly here the splash (as I think that influenced the role), Phoenix offers possibly the best aggressive splash (pun totally intended :p) cards in the game: Feral Ningyo - free strength is always good, and another body makes it more difficult to deal with and helps us outnumber our opponent. Coupled with a card that was until recently good enough to be restricted! Against the waves: We have more than enough shugenja to take advantage of Against the Waves and if you can get a turn where you get double (or even triple!) use out of Shahai's covert it's super good!

The other realistic splash choice I considered is Dragon (for Let Go), and its probably fine, but a slightly different deck. The way that I rationalised the splash choice was that I could live without attachment control, as attachments are generally powerful when they can offer advantage over multiple turns (spyglass is the prime example here), and I wasn't planning on the games going on long enough for that to pay off for them. One attachment that often needs controlling that I should mention here is cloud the mind - I don't feel that any of the characters have abilities that are so strong that you need them to win games. For instance, probably the best Cloud the Mind target in the deck - Utaku Tetsuko, I would happily buy a 3/1/1 Cavalry Bushi with the ability: "When this character enters play, your opponent loses a fate and discards a card". I certainly felt that for this style of deck, the orange cards meshed better with the gameplan.


Keeper of Fire, mostly because Unleash the Djinn is bonkers, and one of those plays that can just break provinces out of nowhere. Also the 3 extra influence gives the 3rd Ningyo, which is nice. Also, since Upholding Authority has been released, Keeper allows a reasonably spikey province row.


I think the main interesting choices here are: Manicured Garden over Border Fortress, which I really go back and forth on - I think this was the right call, as it isn't really farmable, whereas Border Fortress can be blank from turn 2 onwards. (Unrelated, but I think in SoW decks Border Fortress is better, because you can get the Seeker fate from flipping your own Rally to the Cause). And Appealing to the Fortunes, I am not sure where I first saw the idea to play this (certainly not my own), but it is so good for this deck! Having another province that I don't want to defend (along with Upholding Authority) is really nice, you will almost always get the last attack as well so you should always be able to attack with that character (even if it is just a Keeper Initiate that you haven't been able to trigger this turn). Often having that character for the third attack is really important as well, and just having a character is enough for a break, given the pumps from hand.


Couple of points here: Firstly the one of Shinjo Altansarnai is because I have 1 copy of the full art, and I want to use it! It is possibly not the best choice (though definitely not the worst - looking at you, Ide Tadaji). Possibly Nergui or Warrior Poet would have been better choices.
Secondly, the number of holdings: I've played with this number of holdings (or more) for a while, and I haven't had a disastrous flip yet, so it seems fine. (May also be worth noting here though, I tend to only buy 1 character each dynasty phase where I can - passing fate is really good!)
Thirdly, no Miya Mystic, I had them in for a while as I felt that I should have some degree of attachment control, but never bought them, so given the thoughts on attachments above, I cut them and really haven't missed them.


Possibly the most interesting thing might be what is not here: Spyglass! Undeniably a very strong card, it took me a long time to cut it. but for this style of deck it was the right choice. Card draw is best in this game when you can lock your opponent into bidding low, and this deck is not able to do that at all. Spyglass is also a card that benefits from a slower playstyle, where you can benefit from it over multiple turns, which this deck does not give you the opportunity to do. Finally with it, and the other attachments I wanted to play in the deck, the fate deck got very expensive and I found myself running out of fate and then drawing cards that required me to have fate!

There are a lot of cards that cause you to lose honour (3x Captive Audience, 3x Banzai!, 2x Unleash the Djinn, 1x Assassination), so there can be a requirement to watch your honour total a bit. However it is important to remember that you will not be drawing through your entire deck in any game with this, so you are unlikely to draw all of them, and being able to consistently see your important cards is important.

3x Cavalry Reserves (and 3x Captive Audience), I initially had 1x & 2x these cards in my deck, however over time these increased, and now I am completely sure that 3x each of them is correct, they are both so powerful, and you do want to see multiple copies in a game. 9 times out of 10, if you can declare a military attack on their stronghold, and can play Cavalry Reserves without it getting cancelled, you win the game. This can be the out that you look for if you stall out as well.

3x Invocation of Ash - this feels like it should not be worth a fate, but is deceptively good. I generally don't trigger the ability - it is just there for a stat pump that can work in both conflicts (and after Captive, is the best political card in the deck!). Incredibly strong with ready effects.

1x Shrine Maiden - I had a point of influence left over, and would be worth it just as a 1/1/0 conflict character. The fact the deck runs a lot of spells definitely helps as well. (In the top 4 against Darren I drew 3 spells off her, including the Unleash the Djinn I needed to close the game out - that may not be representative though ;))

1x Censure, 1x Assasination, are the cards I'm least sure about, I ended up on one of each because I couldn't decide between them. Assasination is really strong in aggressive decks, and I don't like to cut it. Censure is strong, as with three conflicts, and Keeper Initiates to leave standing you can often win the favour almost by accident, and cancels are very useful (mostly to cancel your opponents cancel though). The other card I would like to squeeze in is I Am Ready.


When muliganing I like to try to have a big character (to threaten to charge), and a little character (Moto Youth or Border Rider) to buy turn 1. I will almost always only buy 1 character turn 1 then pass. On the conflict side I always like to see a Wayfinder and Charge, if you have Shahai in the provinces then lots of Meishodo can be good.

Not putting fate on your characters turn 1 can be very strong: it turns the Void ring off for your opponent (and if you are first, and go for Earth, can leave them with 3 meh rings), and with Feast or Famine on the restricted list, more people are playing Meditations on the Tao, so gives you another chance to hit a blank province from your opponent.

Often the limiting factor in breaking provinces is the number of characters that you are able to use to declare conflicts, I always try to declare 3 conflicts each turn, often only attacking with a single character each time (you may find that there are sufficient tricks in hand to then win the conflict anyway).

This write up has ended up being much, much longer than I intended! Thank you if you have read this far, I hope this has given a bit of explanation to the card choices, and if you give the deck a go I hope you have fun playing! (for a few weeks until CotE releases, and the meta changes completely no doubt!).

If anyone has any questions, please let me know.

Finally, I wanted to say thank you to all my opponents at the weekend, all of my games were great, and were played in a really positive spirit, which is really what makes the game worth playing :).
 Hall of Honor
Elemental Championship - 1st Place
Date: 01/12/19 thru 01/12/19
Number of Players: 30
Occasion: Dark Sphere Elemental Championship
Location: London
comment Comments
Congratulations on the outcome and thank you for taking the time to write this up in so much detail! Great game and great community
Hello, please i have only one question, how you can handle buying characters and outnoumbering opponents charakters, if you are playing really few "cheaper characters" ? others play sometimes shinjo scout, sneaky shinjo.. but you are playing, only youth, border rider,and maiden recruit plus 9 holdings :D even if i play only 6 sometimes i have problems with charakters, please tell me how :) thank you and congrats man !
Thanks Atamasa! Generally I trigger the stronghold (Which is the main reason for outnumbering) using Force of the River - even if you only generate 1 token from it, but it give you something good to sac, then it can be worth it.

Its also worth remembering as well that the stronghold can be triggered on defense if necessary - or with captive audience on a conflict that started out as political. So if your opponent defends really hard on your first military conflict, you will still have other chances (which will be made easier if they've over-committed on that conflict).

That said I think Sneaky Shinjo is worth looking at again, I played with it a bit when it first came out, but I can see why it could be good.
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Stats
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Role
No Role
Keeper of Air
Organized Play Role
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win an conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Air
Organized Play Role
You may replace 1 province of any element with an additional province while deck building.
After an province you control is revealed - gain 1 fate.
Keeper of Earth
Organized Play Role
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win an conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Earth
You may replace 1 province of any element with an additional province while deck building.
After an province you control is revealed - gain 1 fate.
Keeper of Fire
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win a conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Fire
Organized Play Role
You may replace 1 province of any element with an additional province while deck building.
After an province you control is revealed - gain 1 fate.
Keeper of Void
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win a conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Void
Organized Play Role
You may replace 1 province of any element with an additional province while deck building.
After an province you control is revealed - gain 1 fate.
Keeper of Water
Organized Play Role
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win a conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Water
Organized Play Role
You may replace 1 province of any element with an additional province while deck building.
After an province you control is revealed - gain 1 fate.
Support of the Crane
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend Influence on clan cards.
Support of the Phoenix
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on cards.
Support of the Scorpion
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on clan cards.
Support of the Unicorn
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on clan cards.
Stronghold
Stronghold
S
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Dynasty Fate Distribution
Conflict Fate Distribution
Trait Distribution
Dynasty Initial Draw Probability & Mulligan by Card
Deck must have at least 40 cards to calculate.
Dynasty Initial Draw Probability & Mulligan by Trait
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Conflict Inital Draw Probability & Mulligan by Card
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Conflict Inital Draw Probability + Bid by Card
Deck must have at least 40 cards to calculate.
Conflict Initial Draw Probability & Mulligan by Trait
Deck must have at least 40 cards to calculate.
Conflict Initial Draw + Bid Probability by Trait
Deck must have at least 40 cards to calculate.
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