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Shuffler
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Deck Change History
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By I Fight Dragons
12 months ago  (12 months ago)
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I will expand this section with a detailed match-up breakdown and a video going over each card individually in the deck within the near future.

For those who want to know what changes with the full cycle it's not much:
+3 Ethereal Dreamer
-2 Naive Student
-1 Asako Tsuki/Naive Student

For Seeker of Air:
-For provinces I replace Meditations with Fertile Fields.
-Dynasty side you can replace keeper initiates with Ethereal Dreamer
-Conflict side replace Hurricane punch with 2x Embrace the Void and 1x Consumed by Five Fires

****Tournament Report****

*Round 1 against Gunnar Tautason (Dragon Hatamoto)*
The game against Gunnar is a bit of a blur to remember in the haze of all my day 1 games. Thankfully Gunnar seems to have remembered better than I and has told what he remembers. I kept a double keeper opener with Kanjo and just a sole Adept of the Waves as a buyable character. For my first conflict I go water and he assassinates with no defense only for me to drop a Ningyo and break the province and get my Keepers. Knowing his dire situation he goes to break Kanjo but fails on both attacks and I secure a turn 1 favor + online Kanjo. Turn 2 I bought Tadaka (You're going to read these words a lot through this report) and Let Go his attempt to cloud. He attacks Earth and I use Display of Power to take the ring and keep Tadaka online. I found out he was Lion splash from the first turn water ring and I aggressively controlled his board with the Meditations that contained Kanjo and the void ring. Without Reprieves he was basically buying from scratch each turn and Tadaka turned off a lot of his hand for a pretty smooth first round win.

*Round 2 vs Joshua Gum (Crane)*
My game against Crane is generally to not get too behind turn 1 and then buy Tadaka to flip the script after their typical early aggression wanes. Josh was on Dragon splash with Hawk tattoos as well but he didn't draw an aggressive start to oddly I was the one being aggressive and breaking provinces early on. I think I broke 1 province early on and turn 2 used both of my hawk tattoos to pull in his whole board into a province break he'd already committed to with Admit Defeat and Banzai. Since I was first player on turn 3, I all in'd and broke his SH.

*Round 3 vs Jesse Anderson (Dragon)*
I actually don't remember the name of my opponent this round exactly, but I believe it was Jesse (sorry if this is wrong). I remember the match quite well though as it was a blazing 2 round game. I bought 3 cheap shugenja turn 1 and then 3 more turn 2 and managed to see all 3 storms, 2 Ningyo, and 2 punches within the first few draws. With storms being 3 turn 1 and using Kyuden Isawa to replay one I easily double broke two of Dragon's provinces turn 1 and then turn 2 I closed the door with yet more storms, Ningyo, and a covert on his Stronghold thanks to Adept of the Waves.

*Round 4 vs Hussein Bandy (Crab)*
Hussein was a super awesome guy and I remember lots of playful banter back and forth in this game. Unfortunately, I think Crab is probably one of the worst off factions in the Gencon meta as they didn't really get many upgrades - Yori and StD being more side-grades to their deck. Hussein was playing Hawk Tattoo and Dragon splash if I recall correctly, so he was at least not playing the standard unicorn Voltron style. I believe my deck is very strong against Crab in general thanks to a very strong ability to go over their defensive number and break as most crab decks don't have many stat pumps. I remember an early Uona and him buying 1 Witch Hunter turn 2 which got bowed into oblivion by Uona + AtW and then I was on his SH by the end of turn 3 after I censured a Mountain Does Not Fall which was aimed at Kisada defending on political. Turn 4 he's left with just Kisada and my board is much larger so I go over his defenses yet again with raw stats and manage to break.

*Round 5 vs Tom Kirchgesner (Lion - HMT)*
This game was a real heartbreak for me as I was feeling very good after my first 4 wins and I was looking to lock this game down quickly as well. I managed to get to his SH with him only on 2 breaks. I used Master of Gisei Toshi to turn off all of his military buffs and go all-in on a water conflict as I can still play storm, ningyo, and katanas. He all in defends and spirit calls a 7th Legion. I get to breaking and he plays a conflict character to prevent it, I end up using all of my cards including a bentens + against the waves combo for the additional plus 2 and he manages to prevent the break by 1 skill and still has a fate left over. He spends it on a steward of law and attacks fire to get two keepers and then clears my board for next turn where he gets the favor from me and also flipped another Spiritcaller. I didn't see a cloud and didn't have enough push to break his SH this turn so I let him break my third with his strong military first swing then I try and disable his spiritcallers on my attack using hawk tattoo plus Against the Waves. Unfortunately, he had his 3rd Ready for Battle in hand for the Against the waves and kept one of the Spiritcallers standing for his back-swing on my SH. Even with rally, he just spirit called Ujiaki and that was all she wrote. I don't feel I made any mistakes this game, and it was just in the cards that I wasn't able to win it outright.

*Round 6 vs Steve Palumbo (Scorpion Hatamoto)*
This matchup is all about Tadaka and I know it. Steve is an excellent player and I knew I'd need to play perfectly even with Tadaka as I could end up dishonored or have Tadaka swum if I weren't absolutely careful. I keep Tadaka in an opening mulligan. Steve has a pretty solid opener with a Liar but walks right into Upholding Authority which I gladly let break and I discard a copy of A Fate Worse Than Death. I then swing Earth and manage to push through a win and break on an Imperial Palace with Secret Cache and discard a copy of Forged Edict. Turn 2 I slam Tadaka with 4 fate but he's practically my only board presence. Because of this and my need to play around I Can Swim I play really defensively with conflict characters and luckily Steve also attacked shameful which let me get Tadaka honored and a little more safe. He wins the Earth ring on his second conflict and managed to break 2 more of my provinces putting him on my SH but he's also used nearly every common event in Scorpion decks so I know I only need to worry about Swim and Ambush. Going into next turn Tadaka is neutral again so I attack fire with a chud, break with storms and honor him. I defend Steve's attack on my SH with Tadaka and use Clarity of Purpose to keep him standing then also break on my political attack using Tadaka and the same Clarity thanks to Kyruden Isawa. It's very clear that Steve's entire hand is dead so the very next turn he goes all in on my SH in a last ditch effort to win. I manage to defend as he still doesn't have many playable cards and then stand some of my characters with Against the Waves and break his SH. Tadaka is a fair and balanced card.

*Round 7 vs Robert Gatlin (Crane)*
When I sat down with Robert he thanked me for my work on the TTS mod and we reminisced of Gencon last year where he also played and performed well. I don't remember many details of this game outside of him opening with a 3 fate Guest of Honor that I clouded and then I once again bought Tadaka with 4 fate turn 2 and managed to shut off his hand most of the game so a very one sided win. Props to Robert for being an awesome sport and just enjoying being there and playing the game while I NPE'd him to death.

**DAY 2**

*Top 32 vs Joel Hjortness (Crane)*
There was no open list sharing in the top cut but unfortunately for Joel I knew he was on Scorpion splash using Test of Skill because he played Shen who I was staying with during day 1B. Test of skill is really bad against Tadaka as it can very easily fill your discard with excess events. Once against I take a slow turn 1 and he opens with a Guest of Honor I can't answer so I believe he got a break. Turn 2 a flip Tadaka and buy him then pass saving 2 fate. He uses Test of Skill in the conflict phase to grab a Court games and Voice of Honor and discards Way of the Crane. I know the only way I lose now is if Tadaka gets Noble Sacrificed so I keep him out of political conflicts and manage to force the Voice of Honor on an against the waves. I go on to break 2 and I believe Joel breaks 1 but by the end of the turn he's down a lot of his juice in the discard. Turn 3 I break military first on his third province then all in his stronghold and he can't play anything so I end up winning. Classic Tadaka.

*Top 16 vs Nick Soto (Phoenix - KI Hatamoto)*
So I've noticed a lot of controversy over this in Discord but after I beat Joel, Soto approaches me and we talk. He says he wishes to concede to me because he believes my deck has the better odds of beating Dragon and he knows I've practiced the match-up more. He says he wants the acrylic strongholds and since I already had the set asks if I'd give them to him to which I agree. That was basically the gist of it and this was all done in front of a judge who said it was fine. Making deals and honorable concessions is hardly new to L5R, and we checked with a judge to make sure it was okay and would have played the game out otherwise.

*Top 8 vs Bradley Thiele (Phoenix - KI Hatamoto)*
This was the Phoenix mirror that I have nightmares of for Bradley. I open Kanjo on meditations with a Keeper Initiate, a Solemn Scholar, and a Naive Student. He opens with Uona + dupe. He immediately goes for the water conflict at Kanjo district and I defend, we both use a lot including 2 Ningyos, double storms, and even some Shrine Maidens with punches. I end up winning because I also had a Banzai on top of this all and get a fate for Keeper of Water as well as my Keeper Initiate. I then attack earth with the Keeper to break and discard more cards from his hand. I decide not to make a second conflict to guarantee the favor on my side as I didn't know if he had Ancient Masters to maybe snipe it. Turn 2 I flip Tadaka and buy him with 4 fate yet again. Bradley ends up taking two more breaks through the turn as he doesn't have the cloud for Tadaka on hand and I use Kanjo to keep his attacks at bay completely. Turn 3 Bradley finds his own Tadaka and goes all in Earth at my Kanjo district. He Clouds my Tadaka but I use Let Go and he doesn't have another. I end up drawing a cloud off a Shrine Maiden then cloud his Tadaka and Censure his Let Go. I use my ability to play cards to skillfully win the conflict and then go all in on his SH for the win. Sorry Bradley, I still feel bad.

*Top 4 vs Mike George aka Neph (Crane)*
This game was really sick. If I remember correctly we both opened with Imperial Palace and both broke each-others palace turn 1 for a neutral favor. He opened with a 3 fate Guest of Honor and I open with 2 keepers and a Miya Mystic which I buy with 1 fate. I cloud his Guest which sticks and break water on his palace and get 2 keepers and he attacks my palace in return. He uses Admit Defeat to bow my keeper so I use hawk tattoo to bring in my other one to try and prevent the break but end up unable to do so. Turn 2 I'm a bit more starved for fate and he buys Hotaru with 2 fate. I flip Tadaka with 9 fate available I know if he double voids me then my Tadaka could easily leave play this turn so I spend all of my fate to buy him with 4 extra where normally I'd be more conservative. We each draw 5 and he let goes the cloud on his guest. I believe he still opts to go Earth with Hotaru to turn off Tadaka and I can't really stop him but hits Shameful Display. I defend with Tadaka and he uses Soul Beyond Reproach to re-honor Hotaru, I play a storm to prevent the break and he double earths me discarding spells which was lucky. I then go military water and break through his guest defense with Ningyo to stand Tadaka. He plays Menacing Iron Warrior and attacks military Void to protect his Guest from it. I defend with Tadaka, win and then take a political favor for next round. Round 3 was a bit messy for me as I buy Uona and end up maneuvering a board position where I could have stood Tadaka during his second attack to break his SH but forgot and passed instead. He ends up buying a Brash Samurai and that's it. We both break 1 this turn and are both on SH but he is now first player and I could have won that turn easily with what I had and active Tadaka. So we go to next turn and he buy Kaezin with 1 fate and I buy an Adept and Kudaka for maximum pol stats. He goes all in and I defend with all but 1 keeper initiate for the back swing. I actually manage to Court Games my adept and storm my naive student before he uses his SH which is a mistake from him. I end up preventing the break and he uses Kaezin's duel which I defend with a Keeper + Fan knowing he can't break with just Kaezin vs the 4 pol (3 + favor) and all my board goes him and so does all of his. He wins the ring (Void, iirc) but I now use Adept to covert his Honored Menacing Iron Warrior and go all in military water. He can't play anything from hand and I play 2 Ningyo and 3 Katanas with a storm->box-storm for the break. What an awesome game and I was ecstatic to be in the finals against Aneil yet again.

*Finals vs Aneil Seetharam (Dragon Hatamoto)*
I know Aneil's deck and he knows mine. Having practiced this match-up a ton I know that I can't beat Dragon if the game goes long thanks to Reprieve and the extended value Dragon will get off their absurd character text boxes. It's all aggro, all the time. I buy Adept +1 and Tsuki +1 and he buys Raitsugu with 3 fate. I bid 3 and draw 1 more off the library so I have 8 cards in hand. I preplay a fan on Tsuki, a Katana on the Adept, and a Cloud on Raitsugu for Restoration. I covert past Raitsugu, trading a Let Go for a TW on him previously, and hit resto to discard 0 cards and Aneil pulls in Tsuki with Hawk Tattoo and it breaks. I get a keeper initiate. Aneil cracks back with Raitsugu at my Library on a Garden which I don't defend and just gain the fate since I have a storm. He uses the Void ring on my Adept. I then go Earth political with the keeper and double storm to break but Aneil plays another wanderer at home and suits him and Raitsugu up with every he can play. I get the earth ring and discard his last card which was a cloud. Aneil then attacks political with his Wanderer and hits Shameful Display which breaks and he uses the fire ring to honor Raitsugu. We go into turn 2 and he buys an Investigator with 2 fate and I buy a Solemn Scholar and Atsuko both with 1 to protect against Raitsugu because I know I have to end this turn or I lose. He attacks meditations with the Investigator and the Wanderer and I can't afford to defend it so he just pulls a Cloud from my hand with investigator then breaks. I attack with the Scholar and Atsuko Earth and hit FoF which is fine because I won't win past this turn anyways. He doesn't defend and preplays a bunch of attachments and importantly 1 is a finger of jade on Raitsugu. I break and he takes the fate of Atsuko onto the Tattooed Wanderer with 2 fans. I'm thinking through my lines here with the attachment dump that just happened and note that the FoJ stops the solemn scholar from bow Raitsugu. I'm just double checking my outs which are now to stop his break and spend my last fate to AtW Atsuko since he has no cards then attack water and use her + Ningyo to win. Unfortunately this carefully laid plan goes out the window once we both pass pre-conflicts and he declares. Me and Aneil both play fast but it really caught up with me here as I instinctively declared the use of my Solemn Scholar without thinking and immediately regret it but Aneil had already used the FoJ so I couldn't take it back. I hadn't even declared defenders and thanks to Raitsugu's text box if I use Hawk Tattoo or play a Shrine Maiden he just removes the card anyways and that was the game. It was a real feelsbad but we talked it over and if I had managed to successfully defend then Aneil can just use his Favorable Ground to pull Raitsugu back and then defend my Atsuko attack which wouldn't then break and next turn I'm left with just a Solemn Scholar with a suited up Raitsugu, an Investigator, and a double fan Tattooed Wanderer. Just goes to show how big going first vs going second is in the Dragon match-up as Aneil managed to be on my SH before I was on his and also managed to have 5 extra fate on me throughout the game (1 from 2nd player, 2 from passing first, and 2 from seeker triggers). It really can be an uphill battle but I played to my outs and I don't feel bad as Aneil is a strong player and very much deserved the win. GG.
 Hall of Honor
Kotei - 2nd Place
Date: 08/02/18 thru 08/04/18
Number of Players: 297
Occasion: Grand Kotei Gencon 2018
Location: Indianapolis, IN
today Matches
  Shiro Nishiyama
101
  Shizuka Toshi
404
  Mountain's Anvil Castle
213
  Hisu Mori Toride
011
  Kyūden Isawa
202
  City of the Open Hand
101
star Most Valuable Cards
Isawa Tadaka
4
08/04/18
08/02/18
Kanjo District
1
08/04/18
08/04/18
Feral Ningyo
1
08/02/18
08/02/18
Hawk Tattoo
1
08/02/18
08/02/18
Isawa Uona
1
08/02/18
08/02/18
Supernatural Storm
1
08/02/18
08/02/18
video_library Media
Grand Kotei Gencon 2018 - 2nd Place Phoenix Deck Tech
Date: 08/08/18
Recorded By: Travis McDaniel
Detailed deck breakdown and explanation of general strategy.
comment Comments
Amazing work, Greatly appreciate you sharing the list and commentary.
Thank you so much for sharing your list and your experience with it, Travis. This was a very interesting read!
Amazing report. It's very thorough and insightful.

Did you get to trigger Uona much with only 4 Air cards in your deck?
I have 7 Air cards. 3 Cloud the Mind, 3 Hurricane Punch, 1 Benten's touch
Congratz on 2nd place Travis. I'm really puzzled with some choices though., why the 3xHurricane Punch? You have 6 targets that you can use them with. Yes, it is a Kihou, you can/will draw it with Shrine Maidens. Still it would feel very inconsistent to me. If it's simply to have something to draw with Shrine Maidens, there are more versatile options that are Spells ( Twist of Fate, Know the World, 2nd DoP).
I imagine because it is a free air event that activates that two cost lady and nets a card. Not much down side!
It is more consistent than you would think. Considering Shrine Maiden is also a conflict card it is not hard to line them up with a punch or two; and Keeper Initiates are in play the whole game once you see them because it's really hard for anyone to stop you claiming the Water ring. So if you see a Keeper early then you practically always have a punch target and otherwise you just try and line up your Maiden uses with them.
and no other spells come close to matching what Hurricane Punch gives. I effectively have a 37 card conflict deck and also get extra raw stats for 0 extra card investment.
There are some very Flexible options in terms of spells. I'd take Twist of Fate any day, considering how it can remove a stacked Niten Master out of the game. Anyway, I guess it's just different styles of deckbuilding I guess.
Karmic Twist lost a lot of edges with a lot more uniques in the field. It's pretty solid against Lion still as a way to deal with Spiritcaller and Crane, but everyone else - especially Dragon - can easily play around it and make it dead. Beyond that, with increased unique counts in the Phoenix deck as well, it can be clunky to set up as a pseudo-reprieve as the only big characters you can do this with are Prodigy and Master of Gisei Toshi.
Thanks for your breakdown and incredibly helpful video. A couple questions: with your suggestions for the air role, do you think Uona is viable with only 4 triggers? How many do you think she needs? Also, can the deck survive without the let go's, if we used another clan for influence (in the Kotei environment)? thanks again
I just played the seeker version of this deck last saturday and managed to get three victories and win the tournament. I suppose that Uona with only four triggers may not be very reliant, but it managed to give me a very solid win against Crane by way of Clouding three Guests of honor conescutively with Uona during two turns.

I also think this deck does not rely on Uona that much. It comes handy and helpful when she's there and you have the cards, but I think the deck also works well without her effect (She still is a low cost shugenja that you can use to throw spells at your opponents face).
I did find 4 air spells for Uona just slightly lacking. My current Seeker version of the deck has 2 Benten's touch to shore up the air spells and the extra seeker fate makes using a Benten's Touch and an Against the Waves as a way to honor a Shugenja less painful.
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Role
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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
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
Deck must have at least 40 cards to calculate.
Conflict Inital Draw Probability & Mulligan by Card
Deck must have at least 40 cards to calculate.
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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