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By Togashi Komhl
4 months ago  (4 months ago)
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Deck Strategy
The main priority for the deck is to be flexible. Knowledge of the environment and reading the board state is key to knowing when to use the deck's strengths. The deck is usually more defensive than aggressive but it needs to do both, not just to break provinces but also to attack to force defense, break provinces, claim rings and honor pings for undefended provinces in some cases.

Most of the time I end up buying one personality turn 1 with fate, preferably 2 fate and then pass. The deck needs fate for attachments so getting passing fate can be really important as well as denying your opponent resources. Remember though that against Crab there is the risk of him playing Way of the Crab and you need to either have a cheap target for that or take the chance but not invest heavily unless you are safe from that threat.

The main trick to the deck is when to play the dishonor key, Mirumoto's Daishio and the challenge is mostly how to make sure it won't be the target of attachment meta. The first tool for that is to know what cards your opponent has. First you have knowledge, can his deck/splash include attachment meta. Currently there are Let Go, Calling in Favors, Hand to Hand and Miya Mystics, Kurada Discrict and soon to be Esteemed Tea House. If you know he cannot use any of those, for example being a Unicorn player showing Crab splash then you are safe to play them whenever you want.
If you have Defend your honor the usual tactic is to play it on a personality with high Mil stat so that if he uses an event you can use Defend your honor to negate it, preferably followed by Policy Debate to make sure he cannot try again.
Sometimes you just have to take the risk and if it get's removed play another one from hand or from the discard pile with Warm Welcome
 Hall of Honor
Kotei - Top 16
Date: 05/31/19 thru 06/02/19
Number of Players: 250
Occasion: UK Grand Kotei, Birmingham
Location: Birmingham
call_split Inspiration For
KoW Dragon Crane by Lambershaspy  (4 months ago)
Test with Crane pack by Togashi Komhl  (4 months ago)
comment Comments
I played a lot of games during the event but here is a brief summary of what I can remember and apologize if I get anything wrong.
All my victories where dishonor victories, although some I would have been able to win by military also.

Game 1 vs Unicorn
I saw quickly that he was splashing Dragon so I needed to play carefully. I managed to set up a Duelist and had enough duels to lower his hand size and honor enough that the pressure was too much and he was dishonored out.

Game 2 vs Crane
This game did not go as easily. He managed to win favor and play Yoshi . I managed to find a province that wasn't Magistrate Station to attack (I think it was Pilgrimage) so I could attack back. We broke provinces and both where attacking the other's stronghold. If I remember correctly the key to victory in this game was Duelist Training bowing personalities when he was attacking my stronghold as well as bowing with Midnight Ravels.

Game 3 and 4 where against Phoenix.
They kind of blur together in my memory and I don't remember any details.

Game 5 vs Unicorn
He started and played Chagatain with 2 fate. In hindsight I should have passed there because I had a conflict character in hand but I played a character and he got the passing fate. That meant that he could charge a Boarder Rider into the first conflict and had enough to win it. I played Kazue into that conflict to duel but it didn't go as planned and I overcommitted to that conflict. I had 1 fate on Kazue so his attack for Void would have cost me all my investment so I attacked back. Ran into the province that makes every conflict military and it meant that Chagatai was able to break two more provinces and honor by claiming Ring of Fire. I could not stop his attack on the stronghold on turn 2.

Game 6 vs Scorpion
It was a Kyuden Bayushi dishonor deck. He had a lot of Covert so my strategy was more aggressive than usual (can't defend if he covert) and using Favorable Ground and Hawk Tattoo wisely. Also defending with smaller bodies saved provinces. Late in the game he attacked for Ring of Fire and I defended with a Kitsuki Investigator and saw that he had 2x I can Swim and 3x Backanded compliments in hand. I managed to win that confict by moving the needed force in with a Hawk Tattoo.
Key points to the game was that he stole at least one Daishio with Calling in Favours. He was low on honor because of Assassination, bidding, duels and dishonored personalities leaving play. Most of the game it was a bid 1 situation but I was considerably higher in honor. When the game was drawing close to time both had broken 1 province and we where close on honor after him playing 3x Backhanded Compliments. I had a few more cards in hand due to that. In the last turn I broke another of his provinces and when time was called he conceded since it was clear I would be higher on tiebreaker points.

There was another play into the finals event on the Sunday but since I was already qualified I played another "fun" deck in that event and didn't do too well and I didn't really expect it with that deck.

Top 32 vs Unicorn
Playing in the bracket games has always been tense so I don't remember the details of the match so much. I do remember that he didn't have Enless planes so I was free to attack his provinces with strong personalities by themselves without fear of them dying suddenly.
If memory serves we both broke 3 provinces and where attacking the other's stronghold but in the end I managed to play enough duels with a Character with a Daishio attacked to dishonor him out.

Top 16 vs Unicorn
I had reasonable expectations on this matchup since I have played many games against Unicorn. Fate would set a different path. I bought a Raitsugu on the first turn with 2 fate. He was first player an attacked for Void and after some considderation I didn't defend. I attacked back and broke one of his provinces, I think by playing an attachent on Raitsugu rather than using a Banzai!
Next turn I think I managed to break one more of his provinces with a Kituski Investigator with a Tattooed Wanderer attached but he broke 2 provinces in turn.
In short, aside from the first turn, I didn't see any useful personalites. I think I managed to play a Doomed Shugenja on turn 2 but on turn 3 I had 3 personalities out wih 1 Mil stat because I hadn't flipped any. I was bidding 5, 4 and then 5 for cards but I didn't see any Banzai or Mirumoto's Daishio's. I did get some attachments like Daymio's Favor, Cloud the Mind and Duelist training but when he broke my stronghold my hand concisted of 2x Finger of Jade, 3x Defend Your Honor (that I could not use because he had higher force) and one other card that I don't remember.
Hi, esteemed Togashi

I have a myriad questions, mostly because I have seen you are one of the most "stable" Dragon players.

Firstly, I have been a Dragon player since the beginning of the game and now, I believe that Dragon is crap, as Birmingham showed. An attachment-heavy Clan, in an attachment-hate meta...Ok...

Now, the questions:

1. I have seen a lot of players putting 1 card of X in a 40+ deck. Why do you do that? What do you expect from a card that is 1/43 chances of being played, assuming you will play it when you get it. Specifically, Sumiko works if you have the IF. You have 1 in your deck. Are you 100% certain that you will have her, when you gain the IF and that you will be able to play her? What is the logic behind having, 1 of whatever, in a deck?

Myself, I already tried this "idea" with Imperial Palace and I saw it once in 10 games....Needless to say I removed it from the deck because it was useless.

2. In the Deck Strategy you say that your deck is more defensive than aggressive, but needs to do both, break provinces, attack to force defence, claim rings, honour pings...And all that by playing 1 character each round with a 1 or 2 fate? In how many conflicts is that character expected to participate in, each round, and how, exactly, without Unicorn or Crab splash?

3. So, the deck (and actually any Dragon deck) has to be careful against:
-Dragon or any clan with Dragon splash
-Scorpion regardless of splash (if it has Dragon splash, autoconcede?)
-Lion or any clan that uses Lion splash and has Hand to hand
-Any clan that uses Miya Mystics
-Crab

Ok, that leaves the Unicorn (unless they have Dragon splash) and the Phoenix who don't really care, because they can outplay you by sheer arithmetics. Essentially, you gamble your entire game on a 2-cost attachment that can be removed just because someone looked at it wrong, in order to potentially do an honour leech.

4. On the honour leeching of Daisho. An "idea" that I've seen being played by a couple of people. I, literally, have no idea WHY that idea works in the first place. It is so situational in its execution and requires so many factors to contribute to happen, effectively, that it would be better to just go for a brawl victory instead and may the highest number win.

You have already described in your deck strategy, that you are doing duels (Defend your honor, Policy Debate) to win them, not lose them. Assuming you have a Daisho (Situational factor 1) and assuming you have the fate to play it (Situational factor 2) and assuming that it is not removed (Situational factor 3) and assuming that a duel happens (Situational factor 4) at best you are looking at a 1-honor gain from the duel and potential loss in the duel (almost 90% of the time) or a duel win and an honour loss for you. So, you either have a, pretty much, destroyed character from the duel loss, or no honour leech. Unless, you introduce a new factor (Situational Factor 5) that the Daisho is attached to such a powerful character than you win the duel AND leech honour. So, something like close to 5% chance? Seeing as you have low-cost characters, probably even less?

5. Even assuming that everything else conspires for your deck to work like a swiss clock, why do your opponents let you do that? I have tried the same technique in one of our tournaments and I lost every match, simply because I either had to win the duel (and thus commit a large character and a lot of cards to win it) to do something that was meaningful in the game (break province, remove character, discard cards), in which case the opponent lost the duel, but who cares, it's not the end of the world, most clans have a myriad ways of bypassing this "nuisance" anyway, OR I had to purposefully lose the duel to leech honour, in which case I destroyed MY character due to the duel loss and subsequently lost the game because having dishonored, bowed, fateless characters on the board is not exactly a good strategy to win the game, unless you play Scorpion.

I'm happy that at least 1 Dragon manages to put in some wins, but I believe that your deck works by sheer luck and bad opposition who don't know basic stuff about the game. I don't argue that you are a very good player, I argue that in this environment, having skill for the Dragon clan, is irrelevant. The meta is too Dragon-hate, at this point.
@hobbyman dueling dishonor requires a patientence and timing. I'll admit that i havent mastered it and it obviously isn't right for you but it does work, i think top 16 in a grand kotei dosent happen by luck alone.
Kohml I was interested in what rings you prefered to attack?
@hobbyman

I'll try to answer some of your questions.

1. For the Dynasty side there are 1x of some personalities and some that are 2x of mostly for flexibility. Sumiko, for example, is not there for her ability, that going off is just a bonus, she is there because she is a 4/4 personality with 1 Glory so she doesn't get too weak if she is dishonored. Toturi similar, for his 6 Mil that occationally is worth it. Also so that the provinces don't get stuck increasing the risk of flipping the same Unique in separate provinces. They are also just 1x off because I don't like to buy 5 cost personalities too often since it stops me from bowing the opponent with Midnight Revels sometimes.
On the Conflict side there is only Pesant's Advise. Its there to have a chance to counter Kanjo and Kurada districts, sometimes Shintome Encampment and rarely else. I don't want to draw two copies in my hand. Think of it also as a meta for the top tables. If my opponent sees I have a meta card in my deck he plays differently than if I don't. Assassinate is a good example of that. If I don't have Assassinate in my deck my opponent is free to put fate on good cheap personalities like Brash Samurai, Agasha Swordsmit and Bayushi Liar without any chance of loosing that investment.

2. It's the place Dragon is in at the moment. We face opponents we cannot outmatch in pure stats in conflict unless it's by luck or spending a lot of cards so we tend to end up on the defense more than we like so we better be prepared to do so when we need.
Often I buy just 1 personality on the first turn. Optimally I play 2, one solid and one cheap. Depending on draw there is also the option of buying one solid an play a Tattood Wanderer for ping/scouting

3. Yes. It's doable also because even if you don't have the Daishio the duels still help win conflicts. Kitsuki Investigator and Policy Debate help scout if the opponent have the attachment meta before playing a Daishio and also simply play it into conflict and play Defend Your Honor to counter any Event meta. With the Crane pack (that wasn't legal in Birmingham) I've added Gossip to the deck to counter attachment meta or other useful things as needed.

4. As I see it Dragon cannot simply Brawl it's way to victory at the moment. We don't have any chance of matching the force in play against too many clans for it to be any viable option. Unicorn can easily outclass us there. Crane, with honoring through their stronghold, can probably do the same. Phoenix with their Supernatural Strength too. And when we can match them we do so at a greater cost (more cards/fate and so on) so we loose by attrition in the end.
That is why I opt for this path to victory.

5. It's a delicate balance of picking your battles and try to hit them for multiple duels in a conflict where you can win the duels and they cannot move away. Sometimes it means dueling the weak personality accompanying their larger unit in the conflict and sometimes, regretfully, it means issuing a duel you cannot win. I usually try not to do that unless I don't loose anything by loosing the duel. Like issuing a Mirumoto's Dojo duel when my personality has no fate and so on.

The path of the Dragon is rarely easy and that's why we have the most fun. When we manage to do well we know we have earned it! :)
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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
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 Fire
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win a conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Fire
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
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 Crab
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on clan cards.
Support of the Crane
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend Influence on clan cards.
Support of the Dragon
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on clan cards.
Support of the Lion
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.
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