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Shuffler
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By Utaku Soto
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Deck Strategy
Ok, so this one is an interesting one to say the least and although daunting, having a blast running this home brew to good success overall. Needs some definite refining as only got in 2 practice rounds with final deck idea before Gencon so can only get better with work. I broke this deck breakdown into two sections: deck building thoughts, and play strategy. Feel free to jump to play strategy if you’d like but hope you enjoy the method to the madness as well.

DECK BUILDING STRATEGY

The deck idea was an exercise on trying to figure out what was the best way to utilize Shinjo Shiro’s fate advantage. Economy is a huge factor overall and seemed odd that we could not take advantage of this. Was this because I got a little aggro playing HMT? The idea of not breaking 2-3 provinces turn one seemed absurd. But was the 1 fate loss turn one that big of an issue, especially when most clans structure turn one to bank 2-3 anyways going into turn two?

What I eventually decided (and really settled on when the Barcha was previewed) was to truly focus a deck on Attachments. This was for three main reasons:

1.) Attachments are comparable to small events initially, but become more and more valuable with each conflict they are in.

2.) Attachment hate is limited.

3.) Attachments and their effects cannot be cancelled by the standard cancel cards (with some exceptions).

And the second point here is key. Attachment hate is limited and our fate generation advantage mitigates the efficiency gains for Let Go and Hand to Hand. Also, decks at most run 6 attachment control cards, even less in the current PHX / SCO meta. That is an issue when you run 10 attachments with 3-6 high value cards. When you have 18 high value attachments and 26 overall, losing 6 becomes an afterthought.

One side note: the focus on attachments also means there are limited events overall. It also means that if you come across Crane / Scorpion, many of these events will get cancelled. I will discuss this more in the strategy section below.

Once I had this focus on attachments, I actually found it quite difficult to trim the attachments to only 26 and settled building around two major packages:

1.) Movement Package (Adorned Barcha, Favored Mount, Ide Trader, Wild Stallion, Master of Swift Waves, Favorable Ground)

This package is something we ran away from after core as movement is not great if that is all you do. That said, movement becomes much more valuable if you have characters and attachments that have abilities that can impact conflicts, even when the characters are bowed themselves. Having Tetsuko in a military attack each turn is great, having her in both attacks is much better. Having her with a Watch Commander and 1-3 Spyglasses in each attack and defense is best. Repeat this exercise with Ide Trader (more than pays for himself the first turn) as your second tower and that resource advantage becomes domination very quickly.

2.) Crab Splash: Reprieve and Watch Commander

This was one of the big adjustments I made right before heading to Indy. Reprieve was always part of the build to protected my towers (especially when they are early Border Riders), however I had initially built around 3 Jade Tetsubos and 2 Fight Ons. In play testing though, I found the Tetsubos weren’t as effective as planned as although powerful in effects, top decks outside of Crane weren’t building large fate characters. Exception was Scorpion with magistrate or BK, however giving Scorpion fate back always feels bad. The Fight Ons also felt like lost cards as although extremely effective, I often found them cancelled due to the lack of other event cancel cards. The other issue I ran into in play testing was I was so heavily militarily focused, I ran into significant issues defending political battles and neither card was effective in these situations as the heavy political decks were also heavy in event cancellations.

This is how I settled on Watch Commanders. Outside of being a lower costed high value attachment, it provided me with three main benefits:

1.) It was not a restricted attachment. This meant 3 curved blades could replace the Tetsubos stat bump and I could stack a watch commander on top for +2(4)/+1 at 1 less cost.

2.) It gave me the Political defense card I needed. Political conflicts are typically one card after another. A watch commander taxes that from the opponent especially when combined with...

3.) It makes a dishonor win a real and reliable win condition. More on this later...

One thing you might notice is the lack of fantanas in the final build, However I found I often ran into Restricted limits on my towers quickly and although helpful for early pressure, I needed to priority high value attachments early so trimmed to only Curved Blades. The last card I trimmed at Gencon was Invocation of Ash and might try to find a way to work it back in. The combination of it being non-Restricted, balanced +2/+2, and easily movable onto towers that are being RoB or Reprieved during critical Turns 4-5 make it tons of value, especially when you need that little political boost.



PLAY STRATEGY

Overall play strategy goes through a few phases:

1.) Scout provinces efficiently and threaten with Curved Blade while sacrificing provinces (Turns 1-2)
2.) Build your tower and start leveling out the playing field (Turn 2)
3.) Overwhelm with resource advantage in fate, card draw, and honor while keeping your towers on the board (Turns 3+)

How you achieve that first step varies widely and the deck is flexible to support multiple options. The only goal is to get two flips in turn one regardless of breaks in order to get fate gen equal and positive heading forward. So Favorable Ground + 3 cost w/ 2 is great option if you will probably get the passing fate. Border rider with 0-1 fate is great option if you are 1st and especially if you have a conflict character in hand in case of assassinate/Cloud the Mind. The combinations are pretty wide but you should mulligan to ensure you can get the 2 flips and balance the scales. Note: I have found that encampment is not a great option, especially if going 2nd as it will be an immediate target and your opponent may have a banzai to cripple your mil attack or DoP to grab the ring all together. Once you have cards to ensure the double reveal, 2nd goal is Talisman followed by Spyglass/Spoils. You will probably take some breaks early so that is completely ok. Hope is they will hit Forge or Upholding and gain you bonus tempo and or control and an early talisman is an option, however be careful on wasting one early if there is a probability for Let Go being in hand. Better to use later once you have more options to pivot on in case it is moved.

In terms of turn two, now you get that tower in place. This may mean passing without buying if you have an overwhelming hand as you should have 8-9 fate to work with. If you bought cheap turn one you may have 12 or more. This also means you can start working on that honor win if you have Watch Commander and 1-2 spyglasses on board or in hand. Nothing stops an opponent in their tracks like a Turn 2 1 bid from unicorn followed by a watch commander and favored mount played on a 3 cost character with a spyglass or two played on it.

This turn you again push for two provinces as the boat really gets flying at 10 fate a turn, but this time you get to push for breaking as well. Spyglasses with Watch commander give a nice political threat while Barcha / Curved blade make a nightmare on military. I will say try not to get too greedy on character buys as it is more important to build and protect the tower with fingers, reprieve, ring of binding than getting a second 3+ on the board.

After that you should have fate advantage, build your support tower (Trader and Tetsuko are awesome options) and should be moving into every battle, forcing useless defenses from your opponent to avoid honor loss and defending every battle to keep them off your stronghold. This board gets real scary real fast and you need to manage fate well as it is easy to over reach on character buys and run out of fate defending before you can get that reprieve on to save your tower. If you can, having all three Spyglasses, two WCs, and 2-3 Barchas out by turn 3 or 4 is extremely possible / likely.

With that board, you should be able to navigate to either win condition: conquest or dishonor with relative ease. I have won 3 out of 8 games I’ve played with this deck by DH and in all others, I had my opponent below 5 by end of game. This puts the opponent on defense as well and made conquests that much easier with a strong board. This also sets you up well for the 2 points in tiebreakers that is extremely important as you often lose 2-3 provinces.
 Hall of Honor
Kotei - Top 32
Date: 08/02/19 thru 08/03/19
Number of Players: 196
Occasion: Gencon Grand Kotei
Location: Indianapolis
today Matches
  Kyūden Kakita
011
  Isawa Mori Seidō
101
  Kyūden Isawa
314
star Most Valuable Cards
Talisman of the Sun
2
08/02/19
08/02/19
Before the Throne
1
08/02/19
08/02/19
Moto Nergüi
1
08/02/19
08/02/19
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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
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Dynasty Fate Distribution
Conflict Fate Distribution
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Dynasty Initial Draw Probability & Mulligan by Trait
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Conflict Initial Draw Probability & Mulligan by Card
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Conflict Initial Draw Probability + Bid by Card
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Conflict Initial Draw Probability & Mulligan by Trait
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Conflict Initial Draw + Bid Probability by Trait
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