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The Crane Deck Thread


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#141
sparrowhawk

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Can't say I agree with getting 6 cancellation cards, 3 of which that cost influence. Voice of honor and Forged edict don't play well with each other as they are rather counter-productive. I think you just open yourself up to getting your courtiers dishonored to the default state or to the dishonored state, leaving you with up to dead voice of reasons. And every challenge with Steward of law will make you either have to dishonor a honored courtier or have dead forged edicts.

Given the amount of high glory characters in here, I'd rather supplement the voice of honor with censure and use my influence for tools that make me win conflicts. Fiery madness (assuming you'd play cloud the mind at that point) and mark of shame are both interesting options.

The deck has no 5s, which is definitely interesting. You should be able to save up on fate for your events and attachments, but you don't have the political power house in here to help you, and overall you will be down a couple of heavy hitters compared to your opponent's deck. I personally think Tengu Sensei would work well in this deck, but perhaps daidoji Nerishma will give you plenty to spend your fate on.


Apologies for the delay responding. I saw your post on the train to the airport on Friday but it deserved a detailed response. Today I am far too mentally exhausted to focus on work so it's an ideal time to respond.

You make some very good points and I will deal with them one at a time.

* The value of Forged Edict is its surprise and turn 1/early tempo (hence x3). It will cancel unexpectedly and optimises maximum use of Soul Without Reproach. Players expect cancel when Crane have honoured advantage or any player has Imperial Favour. What they don't expect is Crane with nothing honoured turn 1 have their turn 1 Assassination cancelled by dishonouring a Savvy Politician who then is double honoured with Soul Beyond Reproach triggered once to suddenly have 2 honoured characters to turn on your Voice of Honour. I know it's a Magical Christmas Land anecdote but these synergies, they happen in games, perhaps not to that extent. Like a honoured Brash Samurai at home stealing a Katana with Calling in Favours, the first "clever" move I ever did in this game during that 1 Core first ever intro tourney. It also leverages current style playing against Crane (don't dishonour Crane now due to Soul) so something has to get maximum benefit from the card that I heralded was a redundancy "game changer" in post #122 here. Also you Edict in their window to Soul in your window for Voice.

* You make a very good point about the anti-synergy with Steward of Law and it was a mistake by me. Early on in this thread (page 1), I recall debating the merits of Dragon splash (favoured by me) vs Scorpion splash (then favoured by Imperial Advisor's Crane reviewer). One of my issues with Scorpion splash was Steward of Law being so key against Scorpion yet nerfing all 5 splash cards. Here I'm making the same mistake, just out of habit of writing 3x Steward of Law! It shows I have always been a Crane.Dragon player primarily (flirting with even faster Lion splash due to game length worries).

Yet this mistake by me provokes a very good question: is Steward of Law over-valued these days? Good players will see Crane with 1 Fate and a bowed honoured character with no Fate and when you For Shame them, they often will voluntarily bow (unless they are Crane with their Soul). I have been playing at least 2 and mostly 3 Noble Sacrifice because they win games (yet they don't play nice with Voice of Honour). If you don't play Stewards, your For Shame feels devalued (already is against Crane). So maybe, gasp, the deck needs to substitute the 3 Stewards with 2 Harriers and 1 Rival. Because a card that doesn't play nice with 4 of your other cards (Shameful Display, Art of Peace, Calling in Favours, Forged Edict) and there's more (Game of Sedane), it may be time to finally accept Steward is primarily for Mori Seido splash Crane builds that values Courtier Scholars and just wants to protect its high Glory power houses. Yes, my thinking on Steward of Law is slowly changing and that's down to you reminding me of the page 1 anti-synergy and me becoming fed up with how clunky it is in Crane Honour/Dishonour aggro-control builds.

* I explained why Censure is of less value due to anticipation, especially as winning Favour vs Crane (to nerf Shizuka Toshi) should be a high priority for opponents. I have considered Mark of Shame (because it empowers both Noble Sacrifice and Shizuka Toshi) but it feels too expensive. It is however excellent in a Crane heavy meta (such as the UK Elemental Masters that happened this weekend). As for Fiery Madness, my strange preference is for maligned Tainted Koku over Fiery Madness as looking at commonly played characters, when its purpose is to reduce the character to Politics 2, combined with Dishonour that is better against high cost characters, Tainted Koku is almost as effective and often stays in play for the rest of the game. But that's just theory crafting, I've never actually tried it!

* No 5s (only Guest at 4+) is my style and I proved it works at Birmingham Grand Kotei. I've explained why it works in old Crane posts and yes, it does need the constant temptation and tempo kill of 3x Admit Defeat. There is so much "win more" in the game with 6/9 Hotaru stomping a province per turn (or twice with Magistrate Station) - where is the finesse in that? I thought Crane were pure finesse! No, I personally prefer winning with several 3 cost characters in play, all of them Glory 2 so they can all solo break and so rarely attract more than 1 defender (when they do, Assassinate the weenie). Forged Edict does allow you to rely more on your 2 costers and that's big for Crane as they have such good 2 costers. The build was based on divorcing yourself from Politics 6+ characters, Asahina Artisan and Policy Debate. The question then was "what's my Restricted?" and as I don't normally play Scorpion, I thought I would explore Forged Edict. If you play Yoshi/Hotaru, you should play Policy Debate.

* As for Tengu Sensei, I think the kenku fits best with 3 Rivals and Seeker Crab splash (2 Skirmishers, 3 Reprieve, 3 Blades). I may post my odd Crane splash Crab build later.

* There are 15 dynasty cards that are 3+ cost to spend your Fate on, normal for me and I pay 1 Fate on all my 1 and 2 cost characters too (except Delegate at times and end game) in my quest for achieving the sustainable "4 Moving Parts" board so the cost structure has never felt too low to me. But I don't play typically. If the game has become too tall, the solution is to go wide so the "shape" of your board depends on your opponent's style.

I want to stress again that I don't consider Scorpion splash as good as the standard "boring" Dragon splash build I cited in post #136. It was just my meta mate is normally a Scorpion super-fan who was playing Crane at UK Elemental Masters (he came 13th out of 63 which is not embarrassing) because he knew that he would only play Scorpion once their Clan Pack comes out. So I trotted out my Scorpion splash. Boring though it may be, I firmly believe Dragon splash is the way to go with Crane to win consistently, not flashily. Player skill will demonstrate other splashes can produce good results too.
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#142
sparrowhawk

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Can someone explain to me why Crane are Keeper of Air please? Rather than Seeker of Fire? Which nobody got! How discredited is this stupid role system when nobody was given Seeker of Fire?

 

Every time I try and build a Crane Keeper of Air deck, I end up returning to Seeker of Air. Because they have so much overlap! And Seeker is far better for such an aggressive tempo Clan. And because they still haven't given us a good neutral Water province.

 

Meantime Seeker of Fire gets you Feast or Famine + Magistrate Station and Imperial Librarian looks interesting for Crane too.

 

And nobody chose Seeker of Fire at all!

 

"But we didn't know the full card pool when we voted!" = Exactly! It's like voting on a complex issue referendum without knowing all the details or voting on an election plainly manipulated by Russian hackers on social media. The whole exercise is some random voting system where you have to game the Clan's position with the likelihood of your vote being wasted (I voted for Keeper of Fire at Birmingham because it's the best for Crane, going back to page 1 in this thread when I played it - but that was just a wasted vote in the arcane allocation of secondary roles with just 1 vote rather than a top 3).

 

God I hate how crappy this role-locking system is. It pisses me off we have these artificial constraints, treated like children. It stifles creativity. Just put Feast or Famine on the Restricted List and unlock them all instead of the next cock-up in this ongoing saga of how roles are mismanaged (because they create this artificial "drama" of players impacting the game rather than a proper way to impact the game - we have yet to see Imperial Meishodo).

 

\end rant



#143
Severijn

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The reason why nobody went with seeker of fire while it was the most desired role is because everyone thought that someone else (i.e. unicorn) would get that role, and so they homed in on the second choice. This means that seeker of fire was heavily undervoted in order to get their best shot at their second best role.

 

Personally, I like the keeper of air role, because it enables different splashes. You can finally play guard duty in your crane deck, even though you may not want it any longer because there's so many ways to honor in Crane now. another cool splash could be unicorn for their talisman, some number of spyglasses and iuchi wayfinders. 

 

But yes, I would have preferred keeper of fire given the opportunity, but unicorn homed in on that one before they realized that this role would be in addition to their current one.

 

As Joe mentioned elsewhere, it would be better if players could give a top 3 list with their choices to mitigate the odds for getting a weird second role. 



#144
Asklepios

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Re: Honour and Crane, I think the way to view honour gain isn't as a sole path to victory, but rather as an option for victory, a protection from the far more common dishonour losses, and a route to safe card draw. This is why I still run Bonsai Garden, even when I'm not playing for an Honour win: sinking a dynasty slot to gain 1 honour a turn is extremely potent. I mean, not Forgotten Library potent, but definitely strong.


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#145
sparrowhawk

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Re: Honour and Crane, I think the way to view honour gain isn't as a sole path to victory, but rather as an option for victory, a protection from the far more common dishonour losses, and a route to safe card draw. This is why I still run Bonsai Garden, even when I'm not playing for an Honour win: sinking a dynasty slot to gain 1 honour a turn is extremely potent. I mean, not Forgotten Library potent, but definitely strong.


I think I agree with this. This corresponds with a Crab article I saw ages ago (author probably Joe) which said that the path to victory was to pressure on both Provinces and Dishonour. We see this with Scorpion.

So where does Way of the Chrysanthemum stand in the Keeper of Air build? It's a dead card after you play it once. The purist part of me says "go all in" because +8 Honour and later Hotaru for +4 Honour, the remainder for a Honour win is trivial with so much honour tech. But it means playing a more defensive (Disdainful Remark) counter-attack style and none of my tempo Admit Defeats.

My view (having recently written "Neither Fish Nor Fowl" builds don't work) is: "pressure on multiple paths to victory - but have a primary path to victory". That's because I'm convinced a focused strategy is better than versatility.

Here's as far as I've gone with Crane Keeper of Air. Turning down reasons to play Crane like Guest of Honour and Doji Challenger is madness hence the build still pressures on Provinces. It's very different to my usual style. I'm sort of looking forward to testing it (and flapping, not knowing how to play its multiple pressure paths) if I manage to prise a local to play a non-league game.


"Honour Before Conquest"
Crane.Phoenix
Variable Length Versatile

Shizuka Toshi
Keeper of Air
Before the Throne Air
Magistrate Station Fire
Public Forum Earth
Rally to the Cause Water
Shameful Display Void
Influence: 12/13

Dynasty Deck (40)

Characters (34)
1x Asahina Storyteller
3x Brash Samurai
3x Callow Delegate
3x Doji Challenger
3x Doji Hotaru
3x Doji Whisperer
3x Fū Sui Disciple
3x Guest of Honor
3x Kakita Asami
3x Keeper Initiate
3x Kudaka
3x Savvy Politician

Holdings (6)
3x Bonsai Garden
3x Imperial Storehouse

Conflict Deck (40)

Events (32)
2x Clarity of Purpose ///// /
3x Court Games
3x Disdainful Remark
3x For Shame!
3x Noble Sacrifice
3x Policy Debate
3x Soul Beyond Reproach
3x Voice of Honor
3x Way of the Chrysanthemum
3x Way of the Crane
3x Winds of Change ///

Characters (8)
2x Guardian Kami
3x Seeker of Knowledge ///
3x Steward of Law


I truly think Winds of Change is a big deal as it prevents opponents denying Air (Guardian Kami punishes) and the Air conflict synergies does make it even better once online. The ruling that you can use Seeker of Knowledge on a Void conflict, trigger Void and Kudaka, may make no sense (one of the many straws to break mplain's back as rulesmeister) but is crucial to the build. Honouring Keeper Initiate is easy with Fu Sui Disciple and non-stacking Storyteller/Way of the Crane only works with Crane characters. Still Soul in endgame reads "buy 1H for 1F".

Maybe I was wrong to agree with the Imperial Advisor Crane reviewer's opinion that Crane Honour is not viable. Definitely needs testing.

#146
Asklepios

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Chrysanthemum has definitely taken a power leap with reduced hand espionage going on in the game, as it relies so much on surprise.

 

I'd run it out of Crane only on a duelling-heavy build, as too many deck's draw-bids these days go 3/1/1/1/1/1... It's rare to see a reckless 5-bid opening now, though if any clan can draw that opening from an opponent, it's Crane.



#147
Severijn

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A while ago, Caldera asked if I would play Tengu Sensei in the list I shared earlier. I believe Tengu Sensei is at its strongest in a deck that gets a large pay-off from winning a ring. I also believe it is a poor defender, so I want to look into ways to ensure that I can defend without relying on characters. This is what I came up with:

 

Tengu's madness
by: Severijn

Shizuka Toshi  (Core)
Keeper of Air
Fertile Fields  (Core)
Magistrate Station  (Elements Unbound)
Public Forum  (Into the Forbidden City)
Rally to the Cause  (Core)
Shameful Display  (Core)


Dynasty Deck (40)
Character (33)
3   Callow Delegate  (All and Nothing)
3   Brash Samurai  (Core)
2   Cautious Scout  (Core)
1   Doji Shizue  (The Chrysanthemum Throne)
3   Keeper Initiate  (Core)
3   Doji Challenger  (Core)
3   Doji Representative  (Tears of Amaterasu)
3   Fū Sui Disciple  (Breath of the Kami)
3   Guest of Honor  (Core)
3   Kudaka  (Breath of the Kami)
3   Kakita Yoshi  (Into the Forbidden City)
3   Tengu Sensei  (Elements Unbound)

Holding (7)
3   Bonsai Garden  (Tainted Lands)
3   Favorable Ground  (Core)
1   The Imperial Palace  (The Chrysanthemum Throne)


Conflict Deck (40)
Attachment (8)
2   Formal Invitation  (Breath of the Kami)
3   Fiery Madness  (Core)
3   Mark of Shame  (All and Nothing)

Character (4)
1   Mantis Seafarer  (The Fires Within)
3   Political Rival  (Core)

Event (28)
2   Assassination  (Core)
3   Banzai!  (Core)
3   Court Games  (Core)
3   For Shame!  (Core)
3   Voice of Honor  (Core)
3   Way of the Crane  (Core)
2   Admit Defeat  (Core)
2   Calling in Favors  (Core)
1   Disdainful Remark  (Tears of Amaterasu)
3   Noble Sacrifice  (Core)
3   Soul Beyond Reproach  (The Ebb and Flow)


Deck Built using https://www.bushibuilder.com

 

The core idea is that Tengu sensei makes it easy to win a ring when attacking. This makes me want to build it with the new role: Keeper of air. With keeper of air, I get more influence and access to keeper-only cards. I put in keeper initiates, bonsai garden, fu sui disciple and kudada as ways to profit of winning the air ring. With keepers in the list, I went with Kakita Yoshi to draw more cards and having another powerful character that works well with my honor events.

I splashed scorpion because Mark of Shame and Fiery madness are good ways to deal with characters both big and small. As a bonus, I also get to play calling in favors, giving me some attachment control. The scorpion attachments are particularly strong with my own stronghold to get to bow their big character during political challenges.

This is still a very rough list, more an idea than a streamlined list. I am undecided whether public forum is the earth province that I should run. I initially ran 3 doji Shizue given that I have a good chance to get the imperial favor with this list, but cut two for cautious scouts, which seem like a good idea considering the powerful provinces we see in the game. Mantis seafarer is a nice card in a deck that is gaining lots of honor, and I am looking to add more to the list, despite that my conflict curve is pretty heavy. I am also looking to get some fine katanas into this deck again.

 

Let me know your thoughts on the list or the concept behind it. I think this is the kind of list where Tengu Sensei really works well in. I also did not want forged edict over the calling in favors, because I don't want too many reactive/situational cards. This does mean that I am currently down a restricted card.


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#148
sparrowhawk

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Firstly, I'd like to state that I like your build a lot. There is lot to like here.

I do see your point that Covert can deliver a specific ring (here Air) but Tengu is really a defensive piece. You cannot attack with your best attacker - so it's now going to defend.

That piece targeted by Tengu in Military as your first attack is probably Military so it's now reassigned to defend in Political. Making it a perfect patsy for your Political duels! In addition, if a Crane build deserves 3x Admit Defeat, it has to be a Tengu build. Finally, isn't this likely to give away Favour, for example against a Political dash Army that can't even defend the follow-up Political. It's like playing expel effects.

I think you missed a trick with Unassuming Yojimbo. And Savvy Politician is surely wise with so much self-honour (instead of Yoshi) to fund having 6 conflict characters of cost 3.

There are a few other niggles but what I really do like is your willingness to challenge sacred cows by the omission of many staples. It's a brave build. Bravo!

In contrast, I have 2 Tengu decks and both of them have boringly familiar cards. But I don't need to apologise for playing boring efficient cards because the point of the game is to win - consistently.

Here is one of my builds with Tengu.


"Winged Allies"
Crane.Phoenix
Fast Aggro-Control

Shizuka Toshi
Seeker of Air
Fertile Fields Air
Manicured Garden Air
Entrenched Position Earth
Magistrate Station Fire
Shameful Display Void
Influence: 9/10, 1 remaining

Dynasty Deck (40)

Characters (33)
3x Asahina Artisan
3x Brash Samurai
3x Callow Delegate
3x Cautious Scout
3x Doji Challenger
3x Doji Hotaru
3x Doji Representative
3x Doji Whisperer
3x Guest of Honor
3x Savvy Politician
3x Tengu Sensei

Holdings (7)
3x Favorable Ground
3x Imperial Storehouse
1x The Imperial Palace

Conflict Deck (40)

Events (34)
3x Admit Defeat
2x Assassination
3x Banzai!
3x Clarity of Purpose ///// ////
3x Court Games
3x For Shame!
2x Game of Sadane
3x Noble Sacrifice
3x Policy Debate
3x Soul Beyond Reproach
3x Voice of Honor
3x Way of the Crane

Characters (6)
3x Political Rival
3x Steward of Law


Focusing on the Tengu Clarity synergy, it also leverages Hotaru Clarity then adds Artisan to bully its 5 Political duels (Game of Sedane is often a softener, at +2 you can bid 3 before now being able to multiple Debate), against that Military character forced to just defend.

Most of the other cards are standard because they are good. It's lovely to play all that Crane goodness with its web of synergies because your splash is just 3 cards, all whilst making attachment control dead draws for opponent.

We disagree about Entrenched Position but, because I don't want to rely on match-ups, I want to even up my chances against every match-up so I can't blame a bad match-up. But I understand your dislike of Entrenched when Military has higher variance and ceiling.

I think the alternatives to Tengu Sensei are better. He's not good enough. Non-unique 5 coster that you don't Charge and dies in the mirror (moves like Challenger/Shizuka Toshi). He's also too much "only works in attack". But I can see his stock go up if Crane get a "return home" event. Just like Mark of Shame cries out for bounce attachment.

A shame as I love the artwork.

#149
Severijn

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I have a comment on my own decklist: Don't play Mantis Seafarer. This should be a 1 cost conflict character, either a cheeky steward of law, or more likely a noble harrier. I never get out of my initial costs with the seafarer to justify playing it over a 1 coster that doesn't need to win a conflict to get me some fate back.

 

The reason why I don't run savvy politician is because I don't want to spend my fate on two characters early on to take advantage of its ability. I prefer to save up fate for buying a tengu sensei or another heavy hitter with 3 fate. My splash cards also give me options to spend that fate in case my opponent tries to take advantage from me buying only one character. I believe this approach might also delay the decay of Crane's power spike. Most players I play against lose their edge as crane after turn 3. Too much fades and they cannot keep up with the slower deck that spends more fate per character. That said, I am considering playing doji whisperer in here again, mainly as a safety measure against way of the crab.

 

I do like adding in unassuming Yojimbo. It could be the conflict character I am looking for. On admit defeat: I like this card, I really do. But I have been burned too often with dead copies in my hand. Similarly, my phoenix decks with chikai order protector often blank that card all game long, making me unwilling to rely on it too often. I think playing two copies gives me access to the effect when it would be useful and it leads to less opportunities where this is a dead card. Plus, playing only two copies leaves the opponent guessing when the third one is coming.

 

When I see that my opponent has a card that will harpoon in my tengu sensei, and I do not have a favorable grounds ready to help, I just leave him and buy it next turn if it is still out there, when I am the first player. I am also not too worried about losing the imperial favor due to tengu sensei attacking. I think if I get in that situation, I am already favored to win the game. The keepers do help, however.

 

I like your build. The artisan is a nice inclusion for making that game of sadane work with tengu sensei. Even if it is another moving part, it is also just a good card. Despite my dislike of entrenched position in phoenix, I think it is pretty good as the stronghold province in a Crane deck. It is also better in the row than ancestral, though both pale compared to public forum and upholding authority. With clarity of purpose as the splash, I would play kakita yoshi over tengu sensei. Clarity of just better if you have more 6 pol characters to combine this with. In comparison to the tengu sensei list of mine above: I don't intend to defend as heavily.