Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Modern Hand Deck

Here is another sampler deck just to try the new cards in the Modern format.  The only theme to this deck is build up a big pool of [Chi] and use cards that benefit from it.  The Modern format really does not have many Hand characters that don't provide [Chi], so this isn't much of limitation to deck construction.

Shaolin Supplicants x5
Buddhist Monk x4
Temple Guards x4

Buddhist Gardener
Shi Ho Kuai x2
Kung Fu Master
The Iron Monkey x2
Jade Fox
Chin Ken
Master Hao
Green Master
Sifu Beumer
Li Po

Healing Earth x2
Violet Meditation x3
Rigorous Discipline x3
Shaking the Mountain
Breath of the Dragon
Blade Palm x2
Robbing the Kong
Eight Pillars of Heaven Array

Water Sword x3
Butterfly Swords
Dim Mak
Candle Training

Shield of Pure Soul x2

Venerable Apothecary x2
Garden of Peaceful Reflection

Dockyard x3
Kowloon Gate
Phlogiston Mine x2
Po Toi Islands x2
Puzzle Garden x3
Stone Spirals
Vale of Tears

The deck has a subtheme of Superleap which worked well.  The Temple Guards were able to take 2 sites using their Superleap fueled by a Puzzle Garden.

For the people who think that Venerable Apothecary is too big of a liability to play, in my experience, my opponents often end up seizing it.  Now you can use its healing ability for your own push for victory.

Water Sword worked well for one game.  On three occasions it gave me the Fighting needed to take a site including on the winning attack.  I don't think this makes it a top tier card, but it certainly is playable.  Mix it with more copies of Candle Training and you can prevent hand clog by discarding it as needed.  The hand clog is also somewhat limited as the return to hand effect is voluntary.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cave Network Tricks

Cave network:
If you control no Characters when an attack is declared against Cave Network, you may turn Cave Network to play a Character with a cost of 3 or less at no cost.
The ruling on using this card is that you can turn it at anytime in response to the declaration of an attack on this site, if you have no characters in play when you turn the Cave Network.  This means you could use the CN if you can eliminate characters in play in response to the declaration of the attack before you respond with the CN.

With the new timing rules, Cave Network tricks have a whole new level of options.  Previously, all effects were generated and then resolved with no opportunity to generate new effects.  So the only way to eliminate characters so a Cave Network was usable was to sacrifice the defending character(s) since sacrifices are done on generation.  Now new effects can be generated after each old one is resolved.  So this allows the defending player to use any number of damage effects to remove characters from play.  Example: Defender has a Cave Network with a Just Another Consumer with a BoBo Splitter in front of a Cave Network.  Once the attack is declared, in response the Splitter is sacrificed to do 1 damage to all characters at that location. Let JAC get smoked, and it is now legal to turn Cave Network to drop a 3 cost character.

Here are some of the other cards that could be used to set up the Cave Network: Final Brawl, Kunlun Clan Assault, Hail of Skulls, Nunchucks, Fusion Rifle, Tommy Gun, Nerve Gas (or any other direct character removal), etc.  The list is extensive.  I think this is going make Cave Network a much more useful card than before. I especially like Final Brawl.  This is just what the Final Brawl / Yakuza Enforcer deck needed.  I'll have to dust off Last Man Standing and inflict a new level of pain on my play group.

Modern Lotus Deck

Here is a Modern format Lotus deck I threw together.

Moon Petal x2
Undead Horrors x3
Imp x5
Hungry Ghosts x2

Exorcist x2
Eater of Fortune
Soul Reaver
Evil Twin
Sewer Scum
Doktor Herrnberger
Reggie Mortis
Abysmal Wyrm
Feng Kan
Long Shadows
Abaddon the Destroyer
Xin Ji Yang (7 Fighting)
Green Snake and White Snake
Ming I

Pocket Demon x2
Larcenous Mist
Feeding the Hungry
Bribery x2
Hail of Skulls
Spirit Wrack x2
Tortured Memories x2
Death of 1,000 Cuts
Underworld Coronation

Flying Guillotine x2
Bite of the Long Teeth
Chi Detachment
Long Black Hearse

Insidious Plan x2
Sepulcher of Fiends

Desolate Ridge
Dockyard x2
Haunted Tomb
Medicinal Flower Garden
Mobius Garden x2
Nine Dragon Temple
Po Toi Islands
Precious Lotus Monastery
Whirlpool of Blood

The deck is really a smattering of new cards just to give them a whirl to see what if anything stands out.  For characters the Soul Reaver was OK, if you can wait through the 5 minutes of criticism of the artwork every time it gets played.  The deck really needs Assassinate adders to help the Reaver reach full effectiveness.  On one turn where there were no easy targets on my turn, the Reaver joined an opponents attack that looked like a guaranteed success to get the bonus before my next turn. Reggie was good when I got him into play.  Once he returned Feng Kan to play for a quick attack and then sacrifice to an Exorcist. Another game, he returned a 6 fighting hitter to set up the winning turn.  I did not get a chance to play any of the big hitters.

The events, states, and edges did not show anything new.  Tortured Memories was the game winner.  One bit of jank included in the design was the Chi Detachment to remove Mag from some characters to make them vulnerable to Spirit Wrack. 

Some people are claiming that Lotus is the strongest faction in Modern, or that it at least rivals Dragon Big Bruiser decks.  If that is true, it comes from the synergy of the cards and not from the strength of the individual cards.  This almost random deck of cards needs a lot of help to be consistently good.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Modern Jammer Deck

Here is a Modern Jammer deck I built just to give them a try.  I had a limited number of cards available and just threw this together before GameHole Con.
Rhesus Pieces x2
Punks x5
Mad Scientist x5
Software Pirate x2

Curtis Graham
Dump Scrounger x2
Yul Gibbons
Test Monkey
Billy Zed
Stephanie Cinders
Kitty Kerosene
Machine Warrior x3

Scrounging x5
The Algernon Effect
Turbo Boost x3
Rabble Rousing
Chi Seeking Missile x3
Who’s the Monkey Now? x2
In Your Face Again x2
Out of the Barrel x3

Electro-Gauntlet x3
Bionic Enhancements

Payback Time

Simian Sanctuary

Feng Shui Sites
Dockyard x3
Endless Corridor
LaGrange Four
Manufactured Island x3
Martyr’s Tomb x2
Temple of Celestial Mercy
Tiger Leaping Gorge
Valley of Ashes

The main thought was to get out a Machine Warrior and have lots of tech cards available to feed to it.  Temple of Celestial Mercy and Software Pirates were here to help with the card flow.  Ideally more Salvages should be in this deck too.  
In the game I played, Kitty was a star primarily because of being Unstoppable.  One of the other decks was a Hand Toughness deck.  She really messed up that deck.  Yul was also a highlight.  He cooked up free Punks and a Manufactured Island in his lab.  The final winning cards were Kitty with an Electo-Gauntlet that charged for a couple turns.  She then attacked with the Algernon Effect for the win. 

Modern Dragon Deck

So here is the Modern format Dragon deck that I built.  It was made with just Combat in Kowloon and Reloaded cards along with promos.

Student of the Dragon x5
Junkyard Boys x5
Tech Squad x3

Major Prescott Rogers x2
Chinese Doctor x2
Prince of the Ice Pagoda
Dr. Amanda Snow
Shang Bojing x2
Big Bruiser x2
Inspector Will Zhurong

Never Found the Body x2
Dirk Wisely’s Gambit x2
Final Brawl x4
Never Surrender
Open a Can of Whupass x5
Back for Seconds x3
Stunt Driving x2
“Is That All You Got?”
Golden Comeback x2

Shadowy Mentor
Feng Shui Sites
Gambling House
LaGrange Four
Manufactured Island x2
Martyr’s Tomb
Medicinal Flower Garden
Mirrored Lake
Mobius Gardens
Precious Lotus Monastery
Temple of the Angry Spirits
The Iron Palace
The Red Lantern Tavern
Whirlpool of Blood

This deck basically is Open a Can of Whupass and Back For Seconds for making a really buff Character and attacking with it twice.  I personally like Shang Bojing in this deck.  When he opens a can for 13 Fighting with Guts, it goes pretty far.  But in one game, I was even able to take out an early Great Wall using stunt driving Junkyard Boys with a can and coming back for seconds to finish it off.

When I built this deck, I found it was really unfortunate that the CiK deck was a vehicle deck and the best character in Reload was the Big Bruiser.  This anti-combo really limits the deck building options for Dragons.  For the foreseeable future all Modern Dragon decks are going to revolve around the Big Bruiser.  This deck certainly uses him, but does not rely exclusively on him. 

With the two new sets available, I need to put in some Fortune Favors the Bold, Heroic Bloodshed, and Fighting Spirit cards.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gen Con 2013

So after the warm ups we had the week before Gen Con, I decided that it was worth going to Gen Con this year even if it was for a very limited time.  My work schedule prevented me from taking Thursday off, and I had committed to babysitting my niece on Saturday.  My only time for the con was to drive down Friday morning, play in the World Championship in the evening, and drive back on Saturday morning.

I didn't have time to seriously tune or build a new deck for the tournament.  I decided to play the deck that got me through the Wisconsin State Championship a year ago: "Piece a the Action".  It can be played around to limit its ability to generate crazy power and is vulnerable to Discerning Fire, but I have fun playing it.  I did remove the Spin Doctor and the Plains of Ash and put in a Cry of the Forgotten Ancestor and Medicinal Flower Garden.

The tournament ended up being 3 qualifying rounds of 4-player games.  There were 20 players participating.  After the random seating for the first round, subsequent rounds were seated by Swiss format without substitutions to limit rematches.

Round 1:
Christian Green - Dragon Nomad Army
Josh K - Dragon Hitters
Ethan - Architect
Me - Ascended "Piece of the Action"

Ended in a time out tie between Josh and me.  Had the game lasted a few more minutes, I think I could have won this one.  Because we were within the last 10 minutes to play, I used The Golden Spike on Ethan's turn to get a Feng Shui back into play for the game points.  Time was called during my turn before I was able to launch an attack for the win.  If time were not an object, I would have been able to wait for my turn and then attack for the 4th site and use the Golden Spike to turn it into a winning attack.

Round 2:
John Merrill - Monarchs Fire deck
Josh K - Dragon Hitters
Ryan - Jammer / Syndicate Tech State deck
Me- Ascended "Piece of the Action"

Time was called as I launched my attack for the win using The She-Wolf, The Unspoken Name, and a Corrupt Bookie.  Fortunately I was able to use Jan Zvireci on John and pull out his Discerning Fire before the attack.  This saved my Pledged characters and I was able to use it to take out his Fire cards.  The attack had to go at John because he was the only one with only Feng Shui Sites.  There was an Endless Corridor in play that would make any other attack worthless.  No one had any denial left in hand.  After interceptors, the Unspoken Name was able to turn to heal and take the site for the win.

I'll give John bonus points for this game.  As far as I could tell, he was using a Modern deck.

Round 3:
John Wengler - ReAscended Arch / Asc, who had already clinched a spot in the finals.
Christian Green - Dragon Nomad Army
Chris Turner - Asc/Lotus "Terrible"
Me- Ascended "Piece of the Action"

Christian got out a Nomad Army early which I took with a Shadowy Mentor.  John followed with Anubis, which Chris Mentored on his turn.  John foiled it by sacrificing Anubis to Evacuation: 2066.  Christian had out a Big Bruiser and attacked my unrevealed City Square for the win.  The Bruiser was stopped with a Kinoshita House.  Christian played a Calvary Regiment and unturned the Bruiser and gave him Independence.  The Bruiser attacked with the Calvary Regiment.  The Regiment was stopped somehow.  I blocked the Bruiser who already had two damage with a Black Helicopter Squad to get his damage down to 5 which would not take the site.  Christian played Just a Scratch to heal the Bruiser.  I had to redirect the damage to another of my FSS to foil the attack.  My site was smoked.  Christian played a second Calvary Regiment to unturn the Bruiser again.  This time there was no denial and my City Square was taken for the win. 

The way it turned out, if I had let the first attack get through instead of smoking the FSS with redirected damage, I would have had 2 more Game Points in the tournament.  This would have put me in a tie with Josh to get into the final.  I don't know the tie break rules in that case.  I would have hoped that since I won one of my games with Josh and tied the other game with him, I would have gotten into the final.  Moot point anyway.

Congratulations to Christian on the win in the finals.

Monday, August 19, 2013

After Action Report for August 11

So we got a group together at Epic Quest Games in Hartland to get some trials in before Gen Con.  It was Willow, Tim, Chris, and me.  I delayed publishing this so as to not give away any secret tech before the convention.  We played two four player games and one three player game that Tim sat out.

Game 1:
Willow - Dragon Hitters w/ Unturning
Tim - Lotus Exploding Demons
Jim - Jammer
Chris - Asc/Lotus "Terrible"

I won this game taking four sites on the final turn.  I played King Kung and took Willow's Hanging Gardens and LaGrange Four with one attack.  LaGrange Four then used the sites to attack with the big monkey two more times taking the remaining two sites needed for victory.

Game 2:
Willow - Modern Monarch
Tim - Lotus Exploding Demons
Jim- Dragon/Monarch Discard
Chris - Asc/Lotus "Terrible"

I started well.  I was killing off opponents foundation characters and damaging sites with my foundations backed with Eagle Mountain and Nightclub.  I got up to having Silver Jet out.  Chris put a Shadowy Mentor on him.  Tim got out White Ninja.  Chris then put a Shadowy Mentor on her and won the game.

Game 3:
Willow - Dragon Hitters w/Unturning
Jim - Ascended "Piece of the Action"
Chris - Asc/Lotus "Terrible"

I won this game with a Shadowy Mentor on Willow's Bei Tairong.  Bei seized Willow's LaGrange Four which was exposed using my Endless Corridor.  I then played Claws who took two sites using the LaGrange Four.