The rumor of the scorpion
The rumor of the scorpion
like all great rumors take this with a grain of salt. Unlike other guides this one is made by a not so pro at the game. So take my words carefully but not as a gift from the divine(more likely it's from below.). Many may ask who am I, no one of great value or honorable mentions. I'm just a madman in a mad world. I have many names but this time you can call me Joe (not the crab Joe, but another Joe.(also not Joe's crab shack either.)).
Unlike most clans we work more on trickery and guile. Our job is to out think our opponent. I will be going over what we can do, first before I go over the cards of our trade, I will not be going over every card, just some cards. Remember this is my view point and not the truth or absolute, in truth there is only one absolute (that's death.).
1. the dynasty phase.
Most clans are able to use all their fate to bring things out in the dynasty phase, scorpion is not. Scorpion needs to at least try to have at least two fate for conflicts. Passing is usually good for scorpion to get that additional fate, if you cannot get that fate from passing look at your opponents honor. If your opponent is higher honor then you, use that stronghold to steal one. This is to drop them quicker. Having them have lower earlier can be good for the bid phase.
2. the start of the poison aka the bidding phase.
Bidding matters a lot with scorpion. Bidding low causes the opponent to drown from having low honor or having low cards. Bidding high allows you to help your opponent gain honor, which allows you to be able to use certain effects like I can swim or blackmail. Your hand matters a lot, a scorpion with low amount of cards is usually not a good thing. Conflict cards are like stamina for scorpion.
3. conflicts and the secret that isn't really a secret.
Conflicts matter, also doing things outside of conflicts can matter. During the conflict phase there is a total of nine times that action windows show up. Action window is when you can do things like actions(had to say it just in case some one didn't know. I feel bad saying it.). Before the first conflict, while in the conflict phase there is an action window, then once in a conflict you have the normal action window. After each conflict there is another action window that is still part of the conflict phase, remember this for cards that return to your hand, after the fourth conflict this is the best time to use those return effects. The fifth outside of conflict phase is a pretty good time to use actions to return things to your hand.
4. which ring to put on his/her finger.
Putting a ring on that finger, well using that ring to hurt the opponent just like some marriages.
Air ring is handy because we use it to slowly kill our opponent through stealing honor.
Fire ring is handy of course because of honor and dishonor, mostly dishonoring an opponents character.
Earth ring is probably one of the most handy rings, it allows you to draw a card and makes the opponent discard a card. Opponent having low cards in their hand makes them want to bid higher next round.
Void ring is handy because it allows to reduce the number of rounds something can stay around especially if they are dishonored.
Water ring is not the most handy, but it can be used to straighten one of your men/women to either allow another conflict or for imperial favor.
5. the ways to win.
The ways to win are generally one of two ways, either through breaking strong hold or dishonoring the opponent. Most of my wins are from bringing the opponent to zero honor. Your patience and their greed is usually their down fall. Scorpions kill with a thousand cuts or a slow poison.
6. status effects.
The fun little things. A lot of this you should know, but it's good to get to the basics.
Covert: covert stops something without covert from declaring defender at the declare defender phase. A unicorn player could still bring that character into the conflict as an action. Yogo could still bring something in that was affected by covert like shoju.
dishonor/honor: besides increasing attributes it also takes or gives honor when leaves play. This means if someone uses the character to bring back to their hand they still lose the honor if it was dishonored. This is very handy for you.
Unique: the ruling is that a player can only have one of their copies in play at a time, this means if you have a copy of their character, they can't bring a new copy out. Also remember that as an action during the dynasty phase you can discard a unique to give your already unique a fate token.
Dash: the annoying trait. This trait can't be switched around. While the character is a dash they can not be forced into a conflict of the type they are dashed in. If they are in a conflict type that they should not be in, they are forced out of it and bowed, this can not be used with the previous sentence to force someone in and then bow them. Since they can not be forced into that conflict type they cannot be kicked out of it.
Dueling: dueling allows to bid with honor generally. This allows you to bid low, which causes the opponent to lose more honor. More honor they lose the quicker they die. Like in real life dueling is a stupid idea, but it's fun to watch while having popcorn, just make sure blood doesn't get on the popcorn. Blood and popcorn is not a tasty thing.
7. the filling aka the cards that make me grin.
Before we go into what cards are good and what cards are bad, let's understand that it's hard for me to define that any card is completely horrible, it's all about how you apply it(you may have seen me complain about a revealed void only province, I don't like it.). Each card is like a tool, in some hands a certain set of tools are useless, while in others they can make great art. What is one man's trash is another man's nuke. If you are not getting it, actions matter a lot for scorpion, especially on characters. Not going to be talking about every card, even though it feels like it.
Bayushi shoju: the chain saw and lord of political man eating. I call him chain saw for two reasons, one he mows people down, and two he looks like a Jason or a Michael Myers. He is unique in effect. If you use his effect, then later in the conflict the target becomes zero political, they go away and even reprieve doesn't save them. Reprieve would go away and if the target is still at zero it dies. Remember his action only works in a political even if it was changed into a political.
blackmail artist: the honor eater himself. The killer of many players. A two drop that most ignore. A guy that after people read this will target. This little guy has allowed me to win so many different games, he is like scorpion's little secret. Swing with him in a political while trying to claim an air ring and boom you just took two honor, if they have no one it's three honor they lost, that's almost one third of a starting honor.
bayushi yunako: one of the most tactical women in the scorpion clan. Her effect to change military and political is amazing. Make sure that you know that you can not use this to change a dash, make sure that you know this. Many scorpion players and none scorpion players do not know that you can not change a dash. She is good with shoju. Shoju does his effect then you activate her and change the political and military, it could kill.
yogo hiroue: yo go go girl is my nick name for him. I know he is not a girl but he is amazing. You can not use him to try to bring things into conflict that can not be in the conflict. You can not use him to try to bring in a dash to bow that dash character, it does not work that way. I have heard many people talk about it but official rules state that you can not use him to try to pull in a dash or bow a dash. Now his effect can bring a bow character into the conflict, this can be an opponents or even one of yours like chain saw aka shoju. hiroue has so much versatility,even his “if you win” is amazing. If you win the conflict the one you pulled in gains the dishonor, this dishonor is before pride. You can use young rumormonger to move the first dishonor going onto the pride character to another character then you have two dishonored, because pride then gives dishonor. Can also use yogo to pull something in and then something else to pull the character out, if you win the conflict the character still gets the dishonor.
soshi illusionist: one of my favorites. Sadly you can only use this once a round, spending the one fate to eat either an honor or dishonor is amazing. This can allow you to use court mask to bounce on an already dishonored character then spend the one fate to eat the dishonor and now the character is not dishonored.
sinister soshi: sister soshi, she is the best sister ever, way better then one of mine. I know that she is not a sister but you should wish that she was your sister. The combination of her and shoju is a killer. She can't enter an event, she can be bowed and still do her action. She is good to have out if you need a shugenja out for something like cloud the mind.
shosuro actress: I used to think that she wasn't a great card, I have changed my mind pretty quickly. Once I realized that she can be bowed and still use her action. She can even take a unique, now warning you can not use her effect to take a unique if the opponent already has one currently out. The rule of unique is that only one of that unique can be out from that owner, this can allow you to stop them from bringing out that unique from their dynstay by using charge. In some games it could be possible to have two of the same unique out, but one from the opponent's deck and one from your deck(this ruling will probably change later on in the history of this game.).
shosuro miyako: she is an amazing ninja of awesomeness. I used to think that she was ok but like anything in scorpion it's about a thousands cuts to death. She makes the opponent choose one of the two and who they will dishonor, they can not choose someone already dishonored. If they have no one to dishonor they must discard, if they have no cards they must dishonor. She easily forces the opponent to need to bid high for drawing cards.
forged edict: this card has helped me many times. Remember to dishonor a courtier as a cost even if this card is canceled. Canceling a card still makes them pay the cost. This is not an action, it's an interrupt. You could end up having three or four interrupts all going off, one after the other just to stop an event, make sure you remember whose action it is still.
way of the scorpion: this card has saved me many times. Dishonoring something is handy especially if it leaves play it loses one honor. Make sure you know who has what glory. If a 4/4 with 4 glory attacks, you have no defenders, then use way of scorpion to make it a 0/0. a 0 attack returns the ring back and boom they just wasted a conflict.
I can swim: remember to always pay attention to your bid dial with this card. Things like bayushi manipulator only effect for drawing and not for I can swim. Ties on bid dial or you having lower bid dial then opponent makes this card useless. This is one of the few kill cards, it requires you to combo it with other cards like way of the scorpion, shosuro miyako, or ring of fire. Now the target must be in the current conflict so the ring of fire is only good for the next round.
adept of shadows: a two drop that allows you to bounce it. This card is good to reduce your honor for other effects. When she leaves play and then comes back from bringing her back she is considered a new card.
court mask: a card that gives you bonuses to both military and political. Now it's action gives dishonor as an effect and not as a cost. This way the action can be used to return to your hand even if the attached is already dishonored. Can also be used to dishonor something that you have temporary control over, then give it back(i here you can have the fruit cake, after I took a bite out of it.). This allows you to then I can swim it or assassination it.
calling in favors: one of the few ways to get rid of annoying attachments like cloud the mind. How handy it is by taking control of an opponent's character, then move the attachment over to their character. Young rumormonger allows you to dishonor something else instead of the one you want to give the attachment to. This is also handy to take away an opponent's favorite attachment.
secret cache: happens when ever someone attacks here, now remember a reaction like an action can only happen once a round per card by that player. This card allows you find a card, now this card still allows you to find a card that could work in the reaction time like mantra of fire, then use mantra of fire. This usually helps me find something really handy, those top five cards could be anything that is good like find an assassination to kill that 2 drop that is attacking.
Blackmail: I have talked or hinted about this card a lot in this guide. It is handy as long as you have less honor then the opponent. If your opponent already used that character's action you can use it because the limit is for the player. This can be used to take control of something that has a lot of attachments to get those attachments discarded because they say “can only be attached to what you control.” this is good for grabbing a sacrifice or target for your costs. This is also good to grab something that can't be in that role and forcing it be kicked out of the conflict and bowed like shiba peacemaker. Remember if you take control of something it doesn't put it into the conflict If it wasn't already in the conflict.
smoke and mirrors: this card just came out. It is handy for at least one reason, even though shinobi requirement is not as handy right now. You can use this to return any number home to force your opponent to bow a lot, because they used everything to defend, then attacking during your next conflict. Really handy to exhaust the opponent while attacking their stronghold.
8. unhonorable mentions
cards that are not scorpion cards but deserve some mention for scorpion to play with. I tried to mention at least one card from each clan, I think lion or dragon was the hardest to do such. I also didn't talk about most of the weapons. If they are bland I probably didn't talk about them.
Embrace the void: is a handy card to attach to your opponent's cards. This allows you to gain fate and if you use assassination on the character after attaching this onto the character you gain the fate, this could lead you to a huge advantage, like a land slide of fate.
watch commander: a way to slow your opponent down. While this is attached to a character it causes the opponent to think of ways to either get rid of it or play less cards to get the same effect. If you are forcing the opponent to discard already, this puts way more pressure on them, warning you may see your opponent have a melt down because of this. I have literally been yelled at because of this, I was smiling because it was hilarious.
seeker of knowledge: this is handy for many scorpion players, where you make sure that at least one ring is an air ring. Could even make it to where you have two air rings going off a round, this can cause your opponent to be losing at least two honor a round.
Outwit: this card is mostly handy if you need to win this conflict to win. Allowing you send something home is still good even though they could use it later in the round to smack you.
contingency plan: most players think that this is a wasteful card. This card allows you to mess with the bid dial, which is good. If your opponent bid's a 1 and you bid a 1, they are at a 1 honor this would allow you to win. Also if you are dueling this allows you to change your bid to a zero or a six which could allow you to win. Soon I see a scorpion dueling deck coming and I think this card will be in it.
cloud the mind: the bane to many great leaders. This causes me headaches and causes others too. Remember that sister soshi is a shugenja. Running this is easily possible. Now if another card gives text, this only stops the card's printed text and not other text that was added.
spies at court: “well duh, it's the crane spying. I would never have a spy at court.” But in all honesty giving a dishonor, then forcing your opponent to discard two cards is good. Especially when you can eat it or even pass it off to someone that you temporarily control.
voice of honor: this is a good counter card but is slightly hard for you. You need to have something honored, it is easy to dishonor your opponent's stuff. This card is more of an annoyance against you then for you to use. You still could still run it, but you need to be able to honor one thing on your side, could happen, less likely with playing against a dishonor player.
Assassination: this card should just be a scorpion card. Killing something that is dishonored makes opponent lose an honor. Also playing this could bring you down to below your opponent for the ability to use blackmail or similar effects. Remember the 3 honor loss is a cost, so if this gets canceled you still lose the honor.
court games: this card is a bread and butter for scorpion, it allows us to dishonor something. Using it to honor something is more for a last chance scenario.
goblin sneak: the image I have when ever I play with this card, is that scorpion attached a piece of meat to a string attach to some sticks, that are on the back of the goblin, that happen to be controlled by some more wires. The meat happens to be crane or lions, not sure, their honor all looks the same to me. I think it should be called sneaky goblin, but what ever. It's a 2 drop that allows you to take one fate from the opponent which slows them down and even ruins their plans. Combine it with miyako aka lady in white, you have one card coming out taking a card and a fate, or it takes a fate and dishonors something. It's a win, win scenario. Now if you play this and they don't have a fate.... well you get nothing.
political rival: I call this guy scorpion spy. I rarely get to play him but when I do it's a 6 political defender, this hurts any political attack. It's like having playing a 2 drop -/2 with a political banzai.
admit defeat: opponent likes to defend with one guy, especially if he/she is big. This allows you to make him/her take the knee (insert a Daenerys picture here.). Really handy, especially if you need that guy/girl go away to break.
for shame: this can work like an admit defeat or it can act like a way of the scorpion either way it's handy, sure your opponent get's the choice. Either way you get something good out of it. Now if it is bowed remember they have to pick the dishonor, if it is dishonored they have to pick bow. You may not have a way of the scorpion for I can swim, so this is a good thing to use as a replacement. Its good to run both this and way of the scorpion in the deck so that way you have like six cards out of forty, instead of a three in forty chance.
hiruma ambusher: this guy is handy. He helps you stop your opponent from having something nasty like their own chain saw. Still doesn't stop captain lord crab commander but it works on actions, interrupts, and reactions. This could bend over a lady in white, can also be handy with a lady in white.
jade tetsubo: this card is not bad. It is good to dishonor your target followed by then using this to remove the fate from that target. The target then has the round before it dies.
Levy: can be handy. If your opponent has no fate this steals honor. That could be handy if the opponent just played everything and is at 1 to three honor, followed by a score of either honor stealing effects or dishonor.
let go: this is so handy(i should put pictures of hands every where because I keep saying handy.), especially against pacifism or cloud the mind. Scorpion has things to move around attachments, but not really a thing to remove attachments, that's what this is for.
tattooed wanderer: giving covert is good, but remember to attach before declaring an attackor the covert is useless.
master of spears: it's Brittany Spears. This one is another move home card. Moving home is good for breaking especially that stronghold.
strength in numbers: another move home card. Good with yogo.
Spyglass: if a scorpion player tends to bid a low number this is a good card to have in the deck. This allows you to draw, which keeps you around longer.
pacifism: this card is handy. The ability to force a character to be a political conflict is strong, especially if your specialty is political. Forcing a 7m/2p into a political with chain saw on the field is a handy thing.
magnificent kimono: a lot of players attach this card to their characters, so that way they get the honor, this is wrong. For a scorpion players, you attach this to your enemy's character when you know that you are going to win, this way they get dishonor. This is a wonderful to attach to a guy with zero fate on it. The best weapons are those that don't look like a weapon.
9. the issue.
The issue to being a scorpion player, like many people you are playing with fire. Honor is the fire that you play with. At times you fall down it like a spider on a web, then at other times you climb up the web. We are a clan who is not the best fighters, we are not the best at politics, our job is to out think our opponents. We need to keep at least two to three cards in hand, use what we got on the board. Our major way to win is by dishonoring. I have literally heard people say “you can't win by dishonor unless I let you.” the issue is that is the point. We do not fight the current, we use it to our advantage. If you hear a player say, “man I made a mistake.” you did your job right. Your deck is designed to throw their thinking off, it's part of how it was designed. Human brains work certain ways, doing all these actions throws the brain off, which makes them make a step in the wrong direction.
The human mind is designed to fight the confrontation directly, our clan is designed to use it against it's self. If a boulder is going down a hill, if the boulder would continue it's path it would destroy the village down below. Most people would try to get in front of it or put something in front of it to stop. A scorpion player should either put a diagonal board in front of it or get behind it and push it in a slightly off direction. This would allow you to save the day, you don't care about who else it hits as long as that village is fine. If you are lucky, you might be able to shift it towards a crane or lion village. This kind of thinking is exactly how you have to think, while playing. Your shoju hits it with a needle, your poisons subtract it's strength, your sister enfeebles it, and your way dishonors it, all together that's a -9 and a death. While other player play chess, we must play go.
???. Final notes.
If you notice I don't tell you what my splash is, or what cards to play. I told you different cards and generalized play options, plus rules. Each player plays differently. Each player might have a different idea. I'm just trying to show the options for the clan of shadows. A lot of our clan is mind over matter but not in the dragon way. My job is to show you your way, to your own path. I hope this helped, I know a lot of it is vagueness when I'm telling you what you can do.