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The Crane Deck Thread


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#61
Blackwell

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Does anyone think there's a valid Crane dueling build from the core set? Maybe with Dragan splash. I was thinking something like a couple tower duelists to control/counter Military conflicts while the rest of the deck played aggressive Politics to break provinces.



#62
Jamesy

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Finally been able to sit down and tweak my deck for the new role. This is what I'm going to be testing for the Imperial Summons event;

 

Shizuka Toshi

Seeker of Air (10/10)

 

Entrenched Position [Earth]

Manicured Garden [Air]

Meditations on the Tao [Fire]

Shameful Display [Void]

The Art of Peace [Air]

 

Dynasty Deck

 

Character (37)

2x Asahina Artisan

3x Brash Samurai

3x Cautious Scout

3x Daidoji Nerishma

3x Doji Challenger

3x Doji Hotaru

3x Doji Whisperer

3x Guest of Honor

3x Kakita Asami

3x Kakita Kaezin

3x Otomo Courtier

3x Savy Politician

2x Seeker Initiate

 

Holding (3)

3x Imperial Storehouse

 

Conflict Deck

 

Attachment (6)

3x Fine Katana

3x Ornate Fan

 

Character (3)

3x Steward of Law

 

Event (31)

3x Admit Defeat

3x Assassination

3x Banzai!

3x Charge!

3x Court Games

3x For Shame!

2x Let Go

3x Mirumoto's Fury

2x Noble Sacrifice

3x Voice of Honor

3x Way of the Crane

 

There's nothing too left field going on here. Opted to add The Art of Peace over Fertile Fields to help switch on Voice of Honor, and potentially set up Noble Sacrifice, but it'll be getting cut once the new air provinces are released. Losing the third copy of Let Go is a minor annoyance, it just means having to be more tactical when we play it, but the deck still has the playset of Mirumoto's Fury. I am thinking about trying Indomitable Will over Fury but for now will be sticking with the standard splash. 

 

Thoughts? What are you all doing differently, fellow Seekers of Air?



#63
sparrowhawk

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Very similar to mine. My differences below.

-1 Art of Peace
+1 Fertile Fields

-3 Cautious Scout
-3 Otomo Courtier
-2 Seeker Initiate
+1 Asahina Artisan
+3 Asahina Storyteller
+1 Doji Gift Giver
+3 Favourable Ground

-2 Noble Sacrifice
+2 Outwit

Some of my reasons:

3 Charges work well with Hotaru, Guest, Storyteller and Kaezin. Guests are great for Favourable Ground, maybe after Charge. Nerishma aids Charge and sometimes you have to waste a dupe Challenger in a Charge to lure in (then move home with FG).

Build is pure tempo, threatening and denying breaks in both conflicts, hence I prefer Outwit (12 courtiers of base Political 3+) soft control over the hard control of Noble Sacrifice that requires set up.

Storyteller and Voice of Honour promotes Honour over Dishonour and playing Fertile Fields over Art of Peace meant I preferred Outwit, which also helps land Admit Defeat (along with Assassination).

Gift Giver gets the 40th card slot as she is a Crane and a Courtier and a 10th bow card for redundancy vs Ready for Battle. Cautious Scout may work nice with Favourable Ground but the only common reveal you care about is Balance of Restoration. It is also situational, cautiously slow whilst tempo wants constant pressure and has no value late game

I'm not sure my changes are better, mainly because I play 6 use-and-lose holdings and all the high end, skipping only 5x 2 cost Crane Dynasty characters but feel Charge and Nerishma will help mitigate bad luck flops.

I really learnt a lot watching Urbanek but still prefer Dragon splash and don't like Academy, even if he played an Assassination off it in the quarters. The moving bowed Guest was what I did to win in 1 core Scorpion splash. But seeing Charge everywhere at Worlds made me re-evaluate the Favourable Ground benefit when passive constants like Guest and Steward just require participation.

Are 6 holdings too many? After watching Worlds, I have taken reassurance that better players than me don't think so. I shall find out tomorrow night.

Just gotta remember the hidden text on the 2 Air Provinces: "when revealed, gain 1 Fate"!
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#64
Jamesy

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Very sound reasoning there, Sparrowhawk.

I’ll admit Fertile is probably a better choice than AoP, I just wanted to give it another chance before the new air provinces release resulting in it permanently binder bound. I’m not a huge fan of Cautious Scout either, it’s in the deck because I’m running Charge! so there is a small amount of synergy there. Maybe it needs Favourable Grounds as well to make it worth it, or maybe it’s just a bad card that’ll do nothing but cost me tempo.

You make a good point about holdings. I’m drawn to keeping my number as low as possible, but then I see people running 5-7 of them with success. I’m certainly trying to keep more of an open mind about them moving forward.

#65
OutOfFactionWarlord

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Are 6 holdings too many? After watching Worlds, I have taken reassurance that better players than me don't think so. I shall find out tomorrow night.

Just gotta remember the hidden text on the 2 Air Provinces: "when revealed, gain 1 Fate"!

 

I think if you have a either a way to flip a facedown province card, or have a fairly consistent flop / strategy that doesn't often require large mulligans you can have extra provinces then you can risk running more of them.  Honorable mention to things that trigger off of holdings, and holdings that refill themselves.

 

I hesitate currently to have more than 4 total holdings in most decks due to the lack of high value conflict characters, being far behind for a turn can be so damaging to tempo that I don't think it's worth the risk.  If we get some more 1 cost conflict characters with a little more impact your holding count can creep up.

 

Crane does have a dynasty flipping card in the core, so I've played around with 5 holdings and it hasn't been too bad.



#66
DaidojiBart

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Hello guys, 

Just wanna know your opinion about the new Crane cards (Tears of Amaterasu)

Doji Representative: Good card, I will definitely include this in my new deck. 1/3/2 and a Courtier for 3 fate? I think that is awesome. And that ability is quite useful. :) 

 

Seal of the Crane: I think in the future there will be a significant "duelist" cards for this to be useful. 

Disdainful Remark: A good defensive card. But as of now we will not be able to use it because of our Seeker role. 

Anyways, what are your thoughts? 

Thanks!



#67
sparrowhawk

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23244549_10156821720314502_2457495876488

 

1 influence (mainly for non-Crane) 1 cost 1/1/1 conflict character

Shinobi = primarily for Scorpion (Crane) cheap ambush Miyako deck

 

Some positives

- enables the solo participation in both political conflicts (court games)

- protects vs removal (noble sacrifice, I can swim)

- helps vs scorpion match-up, anticipated shameless display etc

- you control point after which no dishonour applies for rest of round

- 1 cost 1/1 conflict characters have great utility 

 

Some negatives

- Crane characters vulnerable to courtier decks that run For Shame

- Reduced to 0 STR to activate

- No stacking benefit (additional copies text blank)

- Anti-synergetic with self-dishonour effects like Spies in Court

 

Overall, it seems weaker than Steward of Law.

 

But context is everything and all we need is a card like Court Mask where Dishonour is an effect, not a cost, and it becomes much better,

 

So far, I've liked Doji Shizue and Doji Representative but none of the other Crane cards spoiled (after Tears)..

 

Anyone got any other views on the new Crane cards? For the good of the game, maybe it's best that Crane don't get too many good cards.

 

"I will be your strong Clan destined to be weak, Hantei."

 

It's an FFG tradition to lurch from one unbalanced meta to another.



#68
Hakkor

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Some negatives

- Crane characters vulnerable to courtier decks that run For Shame

- Reduced to 0 STR to activate

- No stacking benefit (additional copies text blank)

- Anti-synergetic with self-dishonour effects like Spies in Court

 

I consider this card will be very straightforward (don't you people like cards that have simple effects and require no setting up?).

 

Pay 1, play it with no fate. Make military conflict (sometimes wil be political, depending on the rest of characters) to probe. After resolving the conflict, activate her ability. If your opponent went like crazy to dishonor her, she did her job. The card will no longer target your higher glory characters. If not, you are immune to dishonring tricks (still, For Shame will be a pain, but that requires Courtiers so you'll need some planning).

 

It's a very strong move in the correct deck. Not needin to be in the conflict means A LOT compared to the steward of law. No more sending home or surprise assassination. She can get assassinated, but it'll need to be before she can activate her ability, and in a desperate case, she can do it before a conflict so eliminating her does not deal with the immunity effect.


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#69
sparrowhawk

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So won my first proper tournament today with Crane (Dragon). Given me the confidence that I'm not just an armchair theorycrafter but can deliver the goods when the pressure is on. It was only a local meta of 13 players event so no real kudos. But playing against 4 different Clans (Phoenix 4-1, Crane 4-0 mirrors can be brutal, Dragon 4-1, Scorpion nemesis in final 2-1 Dishonour), I learnt lots - especially happy I won each game within an hour (our rounds were 90 minutes) but I'm worried how hard it would be to finish less one-sided matches.

So I thought I will share some thoughts. First strategy = deck building decisions. Here was my deck (Tears was not legal).


Deck Clan: Crane (Dragon)
Total Influence: (10/10)

Stronghold:
1x Shizuka Toshi (Core Set #2)

Role:
1x Seeker of Air (Core Set #214B)

Province: (5)
Air (2/2) Earth (1/1) Fire (1/1) Void (1/1)
1x Entrenched Position (Core Set #17)
1x Fertile Fields (Core Set #18)
1x Manicured Garden (Core Set #19)
1x Meditations on the Tao (Core Set #20)
1x Shameful Display (Core Set #24)

Character [Dynasty]: (34)
3x Asahina Artisan (Core Set #40)
3x Asahina Storyteller (Core Set #50)
3x Brash Samurai (Core Set #42)
3x Daidoji Nerishma (Core Set #46)
3x Doji Challenger (Core Set #47)
1x Doji Gift Giver (Core Set #44)
3x Doji Hotaru (Core Set #52)
3x Doji Whisperer (Core Set #41)
3x Guest of Honor (Core Set #51)
3x Kakita Asami (Core Set #48)
3x Kakita Kaezin (Core Set #49)
3x Savvy Politician (Core Set #45)

Character [Conflict]: (3)
3x Steward of Law (Core Set #139)

Attachment: (6)
3x Fine Katana (Core Set #200)
3x Ornate Fan (Core Set #201)

Event: (31)
3x Admit Defeat (Core Set #147)
3x Assassination (Core Set #203)
3x Banzai! (Core Set #204)
2x Charge! (Core Set #210)
3x Court Games (Core Set #206)
3x For Shame! (Core Set #207)
2x Let Go (Core Set #155)
3x Mirumoto’s Fury (Core Set #159)
3x Noble Sacrifice (Core Set #148)
3x Voice of Honor (Core Set #145)
3x Way of the Crane (Core Set #146)

Holding: (6)
3x Favorable Ground (Core Set #128)
3x Imperial Storehouse (Core Set #129)


So I thought long and hard about those last 4 Dynasty and last 2 Conflict slots. My short list ended up:

3 Cautious Scout (synergy with Favourable)
1 Asahina Storyteller
1 Outwit
1 Rout

3 Doji Gift Giver (that makes 12 bow effects)
1 Asahina Storyteller
2 Outwit

3 Asahina Stoyteller
1 Doji Gift Giver
2 Charge

In the end, my growing dislike of Outwit and Rout (even more so now Favour is gaining value hence optimal 4th conflict play loses value too) made me choose the last option with Charge big guys. And it worked out well.

Here was an example play:
Attack with Brash Samurai +0F Military Fire
Self-Honour him
Charge in Storyteller to break province
Ring honour Politician +0F and Whisperer +0F at home for Political second break province
Gain +3H and +4C sincerity at end of turn

Another cute play:
Tsukune attacking MIL against bowed board
Charge in Kaezin
Duel and bid 1 to go home
Way of the Crane Kaezin to later break in Fire
Dishonour Tsukune +2F
Noble Sacrifice Kaezin with Storyteller in play

Yet another cute use of Charge I did:
Nerishma reveals Guest of Honour
Attack with Nerishma
Charge in Guest of Honour
Play with no event counter play to break
Favourable Ground Guest bowed into Political

The 3x Noble Sacrifice is my response to the "Joe article" meta that puts lots of fate on big guys. Claimed the scalps of 2 champions +2F and would have killed Hiroue +3F if he hadn't hit it 1 in 9 cards Earth. Thanks for showing me the easy kill I avoided as too convoluted. Don't leave home without them. Soft control the +0F guys and hard control the rest.

So why 1x Doji Gift Giver? Opponent's choice bow is more limiting than Admit Defeat (1 defender) or Mirumoto's Fury (Glory based) and the 2+ cards combo of Steward of Law & 1+ For Shame can only be safely played if no opposing Courtier else they can For Shame back, another limiting factor. But it bypasses event cancel, Above Question, Shiba Yojimbo. However, whilst giving opponent 1F equals spending a 1F event card drawn (if 1F = 1C), you are more limited in Fate budget than you are in hand size usually. So you don't want multiple Gift Givers in play. The "Hyperkneel" Lannister build of AGOT1 was very tempting but because Crane Shizuka Toshi is popular, I reluctantly rejected the 3x Gift Giver option.


So final cute play that won the final (and my revenge against my nemesis who Dishonour won against me in a cool way as detailed in the Scorpion thread) was this tense end.

Endgame: my Crane (Dragon) vs his Scorpion (Dragon), him first player, both at 4 honour, his Stronghold unused, 2-1 provinces.

Both bid 2 (mind games, how many iterations deep? Vizzini battle of wits in Princess Bride).

He wins in Fire that ends with both my +0F characters bowed Dishonoured. Now only 2 characters ready remaining, my Asami and his Dishonoured Rumourmonger +1F, he can't Edict (no eligible courtier) or Fury (no Fate).

I attack Entrenched Position with Asami in Political Air. He defends with Dishonoured Rumourmonger. I Assassinate defender. My honour 1, his honour 3. I trigger Asami. 2 to 2. Now unopposed Air and no action window to trigger his stronghold - checkmate with me about to lose in the next phase.


I am usually an aggressive province breaker. But the rare Dishonour victories are incredibly satisfying. It also reminds me of flatlining the runner in Netrunner. Once you have blown up a runner with Scorched Earth or analogously pinged a runner to death with thousand cuts Jinteki PE, no other victory is as satisfying.


Whilst Doji Representative has incremental benefit over Kaezin with ability to Charge, For Shame etc. then go home, the first pack sees Crane given weakest cards probably - at least Dragon get Finger of Jade neutral. Whilst this is good for the game, it does mean I will be switching Clans. Lion or Phoenix for a while.
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#70
OutOfFactionWarlord

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<Young Harrier>

 

I really like this card myself.  It's in no way amazing or broken, and Steward of Law is better in most cases.  But I've been playing around with conflict characters more recently, and it's been having some pretty decent results.

 

1-costers are very useful and versatile, this one has some of the benefits of Steward of Law (at a cost) but also conditionally turns that ability on or not at all.  Having access to 6 in-clan conflict chuds plays around quite a few common shenanigans, and the surprise value of that can really mess with plans.

 

Also, she has 1 glory, so in this new Imperial Favor meta we're approaching she's a cool surprise glory bump.  Maybe that will be irrelevant but again a great plan spoiler.  Opponent wants the favor, skips a second conflict to keep some standing glory to push it over and you drop a surprise glory on the board and deny the favor.



#71
DaidojiBart

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Whilst Doji Representative has incremental benefit over Kaezin with ability to Charge, For Shame etc.


I agree, I prefer Doji Rep over Kaezin.

#72
Jamesy

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Good write up, Sparrowhawk! It's a shame you're moving away from Crane for the time being, but I can understand wanting to experiment with other clans. I originally wanted to play them all, but I only get one day a week to actually play so I've decided to stick to different iterations of my Crane deck.

 

I also prefer Doji Rep over Kaezin. Political focused body, Courtier trait and a very usable ability makes for a solid character in my opinion. 


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#73
Asklepios

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Noticed a pattern this last few weeks since the Imperial Cycle launched, and that pattern is that I can't seem to beat Crane. My win rates are very solid these days - roughly 5 out of 6 octgn matches against non-Crane, but something like 1 out of 4 vs Crane.

 

One thing I find in particular is that I can generally break the three provinces quickly, but Entrenched Position on the stronghold will hold me up long enough for the Cranes to catch up, and then win. 

 

I play a mix of clans, but mostly Scorpion, Lion and Dragon.

 

So, from the Crane perspective, how do we beat you? What card effects do you fear most? What messes up your game plans?

 

So far, I've established that when playing Scorpion, it's best to concentrate on dishonoring your honored characters, to either draw out or invalidate Voice of Honor. And for Dragon, I'm learning to avoid defending singly as much as possible, unless I've got Above Question in place, as bowing effects are so common. Lion, I tend to lose by a whisker or win by a whisker, but my broad thought is that it's easier to mount a HUGE military attack that breaks Entrenched Position / Stronghold than it is to mount a medium sized political attack on the same stronghold. That is, best to fight that battle on my territory, not yours.

 

Any other tips?



#74
sparrowhawk

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I hate highlighting ways to beat my favourite clan but here are some:

1. never defend single if Crane has 1F and few Admit Defeats played (could be a bluff).

2. prioritise the Fire ring and prevent giving Crane honour advantage (not the same as dishonour to neutral unless Storyteller in play or you are worried about Noble Sacrifice but sometimes honour your own character with more Fate, usually the ready one at home, so you maintain honoured status longer).

3. zugzwang - delay the coup de grace play like Mountain or Banzai until last; my Crane relies on playing more delaying constructive actions before Assassinate + Admit Defeat.

4. try to have a Courtier in a conflict if Crane has 1F and save your For Shame so that when they bring in a Steward, you bow back.

5. don't auto-invest 2F on 4+ dude, especially if they have cheap honoured (about to leave = danger); even then be wary of their easy kill.

6. win Imperial Favour to Political - that way, if your honoured Historian gets hit with Court Games (why alone?) or he Assassinates to reduce Yogo Outcast to 2 during a Political attack or he Let Go that Fan or played Fiery Madness, at least Crane still has to defend against your 1 attack due to Favour after he uses Shizuka Toshi on your probe.

7. turn 1 instantly Assassinate Brash Samurai when it attacks before it gains honoured.

8. save Cloud the Mind for the Guest and Doji Challenger, played as first action in defence.

I'm sure there are other weaknesses. I believe Lion is a bad match-up for Crane, otherwise Crane handles most others in my experience.

However everything is based on player quality really. I bet you kept losing to Crane because it was the same player...

I feel dirty posting How To Beat Crane advice in the Crane thread! I never ever felt loyalty to any faction before L5R...
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#75
Asklepios

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It was the honourable thing to do! *bow*

 

I think your'e right on the over-investing. I got caught out a few times by the Noble Sacrifice kill effect. 



#76
sparrowhawk

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It was the honourable thing to do! *bow*
 
I think your'e right on the over-investing. I got caught out a few times by the Noble Sacrifice kill effect.


You can safely play big guys +2F as first player if you think you can win Fire first conflict and honour it. Because Court Games is 1/conflict, best protection against Noble Sacrifice (and I Can Swim) is to honour your target before it participates.
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#77
Asklepios

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Very nice, will remember that.

 

Gotta say, I'm mostly trying to head off that situation where I have a "bane" faction. On Conquest I was running at 90% win rates vs most factions and 20% win vs Cato, and I never ever managed to lose that. So many tournaments, the curse of Cato took me out of the running. My tourney performances basically correlated to how many Catos I face.

 

Really hoping Crane aren't my bane here!



#78
FedericoFasullo

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They are both blue!



#79
Asklepios

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Wait... I'm suddenly remembering now that Blue decks used to be my bane in MTG back in the 1990s... Hmm.


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#80
FedericoFasullo

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So serious question: how do I beat up a lion with my Crane? Should I use the superstrong dragon splash or I can use something else?