Yet another 1-cost Architect take-out event, this one is near the bottom of
the list for usefulness. Generally, you are going to be playing 1
power to do 3 points of damage to a couple of characters by mid-game.
Ho hum. What this card needed was to cost
1 so that it could be played with the counters
from We Have the Technology.
This scientist is okay, but not exceptional. He does provide 3
resource types, but so does the near-broken ArcanoTechnician. Probably
the best use is in some sadistic Burn Baby Burn deck, where you are more
interested in annoying your opponents than in winning. Also note that even though this
card's sub-title is CDCA Scientist, they don't trigger extra draws from the
foundation CDCA Scientist, since it checks titles, not designators.
This state is looking to be sort of iffy in generating a little extra
power. ArcanoLeech is almost free if you play on the opponent to your
left, as you will get back the power you paid right away. You are
going to want to keep the site in play, but seizing it is not an option as
it will stop triggering (the subject site no longer generates power for an
opponent, which may just make this card unplayable). As always, watch out for
Stone Dolmens, which seems to become more and more useful. Being Limited, I can't see playing more than
1 or 2
in a deck, and I still might just want 5 IKTV Special Reports before this
card, let alone a Drug Lab.
Brain Tap Rifle
Don't get me wrong -- I like Weapons -- I really do. But, I like my
weapons to be playable, which this isn't. Think of this card as Brain
Bug v2. There are better cards to reveal Sites, look at hands and deal
damage -- I would rather play a card that does one of them well than a card
that tries to do all of them so-so.
Another marginal at best utility character, this guy is going to be
difficult to use. I guess you are hoping to attack with a mid-range
character and unturn them after playing a BK-97 on them. But, this is
so combo-heavy that it's going to be unreliable and Buro Scientist is just
too fragile for what you get (again, this might have been okay at a cost of
1 for 1 Fighting). Probably the best deck for the Buro Scientist is a
Super Computer-type deck with an expanded hand size -- that way you can
afford to hold on to a few Tech cards until you can get the combo set up
(even then, it's just a 2-cost Back for Seconds).
Another why bother, I don't think this card will see much play. Why
not just zap that character you were going to Ambush? Sure, you can
get the Gunman with it, but that's an exception, not the rule. Also,
don't overlook the ArcanoSeed (affectionately known around here as the
ArcanoSpud) -- it has a very similar effect, is 0-cost, and is also reusable
(if you can defend it that is).
The card that this really reminds me of is the Hand's 100 Names, which may
have been playable in the old days, but I haven't seen one in a deck in
years. Having to intercept is never good (Violence Junkies anyone?),
and not always being able to attack at will just bites. You could try
some janky Soldier action, but wouldn't you rather just save up one more
power and play CHAR?
Rapid Response Team
We can debate forever just how good refilling your hand is, but I don't
think it's that great unless you have a high card throughput (which takes
gads if power generation) -- I would consider it more gravy than anything else.
I don't think the Rapid Response Team's card drawing ability is as good as
Old Uncle's, who has proven to be a solid card to play. What you are left with is a bland 3-cost for 4 Fighting
Cop, that you are hoping to do stupid Cop tricks with (Police Station,
Partners, Magnum Justice etc.). I'm just not
feeling the love.
This is a card that I think people are going to like, as it has both
offensive and defensive uses. If your an old school MTG player, you
might see the resemblance to an old favorite, Berserk. On offense, you double your fighting,
smoke everything in your way, and take sites. The defensive use is a
bit more passive, as you are not going to directly stop an attacker, but you
can wait until just before your turn to zap an opponent's character.
Remember that under the timing rules, playing this at the end of an
opponent's turn gives them the option of returning to their main shot and
launching an attack, so you will want to either zap a turned character or
wait until they've had a failed attack. This card is sort of a cross
between Nerve Gas and Cellular Reinvigoration, and can take the place of
either in a deck, although I would still pack a few Imprisoned to make sure
I have some sure-fire denial. If you are the master politician, you
can use Uncontrolled Mutation to smoke two characters -- wait until one
opponent is attacking, and when it comes time to declare interceptors, zap
another opponent's character this is capable of intercepting -- hopefully he
will take the bait and you'll be clear of two problems.
200 Guys with Hatchets and
This card reminds me a little of Bounty, but that's probably because it's
a Limited Ascended Edge that you can build an entire deck around. I
think it's a little more versatile than the afore mentioned card in that you
can put it into any deck and it will work (as long as your opponents play
Unique characters, which IKTV Report has shown to be fairly common).
While you can bring back hordes of Pledged with 200 Guys, the fun stuff is
going to be with 1-cost utility characters -- off the top of my head, a few
that might be cool: Mad Bomber, Hermes/Malachi, and Consumer on the
Brink. I expect to see this card filter it's way into a lot of casual
Cobra Clan Stalkers
This is another card that I just don't care for. I consider it
generally inferior to Serena Chase, Coil of the Snake and Philippe Benoit,
so I am going to find a hard time playing this in anything other than the
janky Transformed Animal deck. Monkey Chang, anyone? And you are
really going to hate seeing this card in your hand when there is a five body
site out and you only have 3 power.
The bull elephant is an okay guy. He's 4-for-5 Fighting Toughness:2, and
can get a little better. What's nice about Grey Mountain is that he
has a life outside the Transformed Animal deck -- he gets bigger from Lodge
cards as well, which is where I expect to see him played occasionally.
Leopard Clan Warriors
Yet another mediocre Transformed Animal, this one is going to require you
to play with a goodly amount of sites with the Mountain designator, and they
are sort of specialized. Eagle Mountain is the best, but of course
it's ability doesn't compliment the Leopard Clan. Dragon Mountain and
Thousand Sword Mountain are sort of one-of in a deck, and the others just
aren't that playable without some extra tricks. Also, I believe your
opponent can throw a monkey wrench in your plan with a Whirlpool of Blood or
a Hot Springs.
Peacock Clan Warriors
So, how big are these guys going to be? Best case is 6 fighting, but
realistically it's going to be 4 or 5. Just how good is a 2-cost for 4
Fighting that comes out mid-game or later? Not really that good, and
Tactics has always been a very iffy ability unless combined with some other
ability that makes it worthwhile (like on the Palm of Darkness).
Walking Corpses is good because they come out second turn, and lay down the
beats. Late game, you want some sort of ability to break a character
stalemate on the board.
Rat Clan Spies
I understand what they are trying to do with the Transformed Animals, but
they just cut the mustard. It's a real design problem -- the Ascended
have some of the best cards already, so to avoid power creep, you have to
make janky combo cards like the Rat Clan Spies. Our play environment
is too aggressive to rely on having character combos last very long.
Gruff Lieutenant works on so many different levels -- he can have Stealth
the first turn, he comes out for free with Family Estate, he gets pumped by
the Police Station, and he always has Stealth so you can combo him reliably
with states like Explosives. Yes, I know the Rat Clan is a foundation,
but they just don't have enough juice to make me want to play them.
The Lady or the Tiger
Neither if you ask me. The only good reason to play this card is to
fuel your Paper Trail, and there are better cards for that. Don't get
me wrong, knocking denial out of your opponents hand is good, but you are
giving them a really good chance to get cards just as good. I don't
know about you, but I like playing good cards in my deck, so that when I
have to draw cards, I draw good cards. Yes, discard is a viable
dueling strategy, but it's really no fun, and doesn't add to the game.
Wolf Clan Hunters
True to the Transformed Animal theme, this foundation is also doesn't seem
very playable. I think they are weaker than Big Macaque Attack, which
has proven to be somewhat fragile. Remember that the Wolf Clan will
shrink as attackers are removed, so they can shrink unexpectedly. Yes,
for 6 power, you can play three Hunters and attack for 12, but isn't that
what the old Thunder King is for?
Four Mountains Fist
I guess a 0-cost state that gives +1 damage is balanced, but I can't see
playing it a lot. If I want Dragon states to beef up my characters,
I'm going to be using Kar Fai's Crib to play them at -1 cost, so there is no
reason to play Four Mountains Fist. And for one more resource, I can
get Brick House. That leaves with the crazy non-combat damage ability.
Yeah, it's good, but only in very limited situations. The deck to
build is the CHAR+Four Mountains fist -- I think it works.
Li Mao (Dragons)
The Accidental Hero gets much better when he graduates to being one of the
Seven Masters. This version is sort of like Isis Fox, but you don't
control the growth -- your opponents do. What makes Isis work are the
great 1-cost independent characters the Dragons have. Li Mao does have
the advantage of gaining superleap, but I think your opponents are most
likely going to take him down first. He's okay in the Can of Whupass
Deck, where he can be a quick threat (although I like Wu Bin better for
This is another card that I am going to have a real problem with fitting
into decks. Lin is combination of the Chinese Doctor and Yakuza
Enforcer, with an additional state blasting ability (i.e. anti-Mentor).
The problem is that the Doctor and Yak do their things better, and there are
better ways to protect against Mentor (Waterfall Sanctuary and Stone
Dolmens). This card tries to do too much, none of it as well as other
What makes this card playable to me is that it only requires one Dragon
resource. You are effectively getting a 3-cost for 5 Fighting.
And the ability is offensive in nature, so it's going to promote attacking
if you want to get your money's worth out of it. This card has a
pretty average designator, but it will allow you to draw a card from Dragon
Out for Blood
This card might prove to be of use in dueling, but I'm not sure that
you're always going to get it off in a four-player game (where I think you
are going to be better off with Dirk Wiseley's Gambit for a little extra
power). Also, Hacker is going to stop this event.
Ready for Action
I don't care if there is some janky combo with Iala Mane, this card isn't
cutting the mustard (even if you play it for only 1 power with Kar Fai's
Crib). Back for Seconds is a card I love but never seem to play enough
of, and I'm always going to play it over Ready for Action. Another
advantage of Back for Seconds is unturning an opponent's character to chump
Storming the Gates of Hell
This is sort of an all or nothing event, with my money riding on nothing
as being the most common result. Sure, can get some extra damage in,
but there have been several other similar effects that just haven't proven
to be that useful. And smoking your characters at the end of the
attack is really going to deter you from using this with any character that
you've invested much power in or have used to set up some combo (or have
loaded down with states). Where this could work is in conjunction with
Golden Comeback or Is That All You Got? -- you return the smoked character(s)
to play unturned, and administer beats again. That's a real fickle
gambit, but sorta cool.
Ting Ting's Bandits
Kind of cool, and I love hosing my opponents, and that is what discard
does. I think this card needed a little more oomph to be really
playable though (such as providing a Chi resource). I suspect that you
are most likely to see it some crazy Hood deck, where you can take advantage
of their designator.
Looking at this guy, he seems okay. 3-cost for 3 Fighting Independent
is a little below the curve -- Add in the fact that
these guys can hit for 6 damage and you get a potential threat. Having
one of these guys in your smoked pile makes a nice option for Is That All
You Got? I also seem some good synergy with Rigorous Discipline and
some of the new Seven Masters copy cards.
Wu Bin of Turtle Island
This set introduces a couple of :Demonic
Tutors to Shadowfist, and this is probably the best. While he
doesn't have the best cost-to-fighting ratio, and obvious choice to beef
that up is going to be Open a Can of Whupass, which will get him up to 8
Fighting. Add that to his Independent, and you can get a real
threat. There are a ton of other cards to get, too, especially low
cost denial. To keep Wu Bin in check, his ability only triggers when
entering play from your hand, so there's no return to play madness.
Ang Dao the Corrupt
This is another card that seems too specialized to see much play.
Generally, you can't count on your opponents having Weapons in play, so you
are hoping to double the mileage of your own by attacking, then playing Ang
Dao, then attacking again getting double bonus from the weapons. For
general usage, I'm a big fan of the Demon Emporer, who I think is better
than this guy. Also, Kun Kan is almost as strong, especially if you
are planning to to burn a site or two (such as when playing The Hungry).
And, do you really want to take that weapon from Long Axe and Short Axe
This is a pretty average thug, that I expect to see from time to time.
At 3 cost, I recommend replacing the odd Evil Twin in decks with a
reasonable amount of low to mid-cost characters. You should be
shooting for 6+ fighting when you play it, but an easy burn would be worth
playing it for less Fighting. What Cenotaph has against it is that the
Lotus specialize in returning their cheap characters -- between Inauspicious
Return and Palace Guards, it may be hard to keep your smoked pile full.
Wow is this guy big. He's generally okay, although at 7 cost,
Desolation is a risky proposition (as is anything that costs that much).
He's not quite the dueling monster that the Eastern King is, but he may be
able to turn a game around for you. I suspect that I'll be playing him
along with Glimpse of the Abyss so I can get him out and burn early
(probably also in conjunction with The Hungry). The protection from
opponents' control is crucial -- he wont loose a game for you the way Sky
Dragon will if he gets mentored. And the +1 cost for events targeting
him helps, and rarely are you going to need to target him. Desolation
is so big that he eats a fat interceptor and still takes a site.
The second ability of this event is its primary ability. I don't
really expect to see enough Seven Masters characters in play to be zapping
them all the time, and 1 power for 4 damage isn't that great. The +2
damage could be useful with Inauspicious Return, and it's clearly better
than GeoScan Report, which is a fizzle for a card. Note that this
effects all Lotus characters, so avoid (or use to your advantage) this bonus
on your opponents' characters.
I'm not really sure about this site. It can be darn powerful, but
it's also hard to position correctly. I'll have to play with it some
more -- I expect the place to try it is in the Palace Guard/Imperial Palace
deck, where it will be a bit easier to defend. Time will tell if this
turns into a standard weapon for the Lotus, or a highly-specialized combo
Hopping Vampire NEW
Like the Bloody Horde, this is a card you build a deck around, and you
will want the full compliment of 5 in your deck. They're okay, but not
top-level beats. The official 7M FAQ should be able to answer the
timing questions on how exactly these guys works.
I find her to be very average, but playable.
Jiang Fei is the type of card I throw one-of in a deck and hope to get a
little bit of extra mileage. Remember to hold off on using her
counters until interceptors are actually declared against her. Jiang
still falls short of the amazing Cognitive Spirit, who is beats and a half.
This is another card that sort of falls into the Lotus+Weapon theme.
Kong Jung She
The second biggest character in this set also belongs to the Lotus (see
also Desolation). This renegade Seven Master is pretty beefy, but with
just the Regenerate ability, doesn't quite make the cut for me. I'm
going to go with the old Ice Queen or White Ninja unless I really really
need something that this card provides (which I can't see). The gravy
ability of discarding 2 cards is nice considering how many return effects
there are these days, but not worth playing this card for alone -- this
ability would be much more meta-game useful on a mid-sized character
Long Axe and Short Axe
The best weapon for these guys is the Butterfly Sword, which will turn
them into a 12 damage hitter for the cost of 5 power and two cards.
They do have a little bit of protection (when they have a weapon) against a
few annoying sites, but unfortunately they still get lost in the Fox Pass
(v2 has errata and does not target).
Remember these guys only double damage bonuses, so other damage and +
fighting on weapons will only trigger their immunity ability. Of
course, without a weapon, Long Axe and Short Axe are just a thug, which
makes me think that I'm really going to want to play Mad Monk over these
I'm not a big fan of characters that are primarily designed to attack
other characters, and that sort of what Miasma is. With only 6
Fighting, it's going to be hard for her to reliably take sites, and I always
hope to do a quick burn after plopping out 5 power on a character.
That said, the ability can be powerful, but takes a bit of work to set up.
Also, a few counters on Miasma can really deter attacks at her location.
Her designator is going to be a hard match for Discerning Fire, which is a
bonus, and I don't recommend playing her in conjunction with Feast of Souls.
Poison Clan Warriors
I guess these are okay for a foundation character -- they have an ability
and potentially useful designators. But... they are outclassed
by existing foundations in my opinion. There are already four 1-cost
foundations that I would seriously consider playing before the Poison Clan
even in a Hood Martial Artist deck (Shamanistic Punk, Vassals of the Lotus,
Sinister Priest and Palace Guards), and there is a better 2-cost Hood
foundation, Big Brother Tsien. Sadly, this replacement for Thorns of
the Lotus is going to wind up sitting next to them in the card box instead
of seeing much play.
Shrieking Witch Heads
The event plays very much like Shattering Fire, except that it's going to
get you a little more damage in most cases. You should expect to see it most in
decks that don't have a lot of Magic (for Discerning Fire) and decks not
tuned around Inauspicious Return/Palace Guards/Die!!! Direct damage
has been a little bit out of favor, and this might bring it back some.
There may be some turbo-dueling deck that makes good use of this card, but
it's mostly a big wall. If play Shun Kan and attack, you've just spent
4 power to for a 7 Fighting no ability character, of which you should be
doing better. The way to try and make it work is with The Dragon
Throne, Proving Grounds or Cave Networks, and maybe Lai Kuang. The
Hungry would also be good to refuel this demon's ability to attack.
This could be fun in a multiplayer game where you are biding your time,
and are lying low and trying to annoy your opponents. Unfortunately,
Soul Theft only triggers off of smoking by damage, so when the Neutron Bomb
goes off, you are out of luck. If you add in Shrieking Witch Heads,
you have the poor man's Shadowy Mentor, but this combo is probably balanced
(Mentor is broken). Tortured Memories and Bribery are just too good to
play the card with any frequency. And Waterfall Sanctuary and Stone
Dolmens just kill this card.
This state pretty much goes in the Deadly Sites deck along with Death
Trap, and not anywhere else. It's a bland deterrent, and probably not
even as good as Death Trap. But, if you can get a couple out, you
might have a pretty tough site. Of course, if an opponent does seize
the subject, you might find that you can't get through the army of
Terracotta Warriors yourself.
This state is sure to get a lot of buzz during discussions of Seven
Masters vs. the Underworld. Clearly there is going to be an entire new
deck archetype built around this new way to achieve victory. All of
the initial decks will be mono-Lotus, but there may be other abusive combo
with another faction. I expect Underworld Gateway decks to be very
small and tight, as they need to draw at least 3 copies of this state to
win. As a starting point, I would consider playing Turtle Islands just
to make sure there are sites in play as targets. This one is going to
take some time to shake out -- is it da bomb? Or is it the next Power
of the Great?
Chris Turner writes in:
I made a deck with Underworld gateways/illusory bridge/operation green
strike for GENCON this past weekend. So these two virtually useless cards
are absolutely essential in a rather annoying (though so far ineffective)
deck type, and you might want to update your reviews if you feel inclined.
Everyone I played with except Josh and Julian had no idea what I was doing
until the first Gateway came out without me even attacking. Joy.
I get what they are trying to do with the Poison Clan Chieftain --
he's trying to be a 4-cost for 8 Fighting side of beef. But, he's
really only got 4 Fighting + 4 Damage when attacking, and a piddly 4
Fighting on defense. I'm just not a fan. Note that the damage is
mandatory, so he's really bad if he's the only character in play. Of
course, if you really want to go nuts, you can try him with "We Need Bigger
Guns!" where you can get a nutty 11+ damage out of Xiang Kai.
Eight Pillars of Heaven
Urgh... Yes, this is going to win a game for you every now and then,
but it's just so narrow that it's going to be discarded 99% of the time (or
lethally clog your hand). I guess it's trying to promote a Hand-weenie
deck, but we all know that the Hand usually wins by getting a big
Superleaper through. As much as I've tried to make GeoScan Report
work, it just never does, and I think this card will have the same result.
Yes, it's better than GeoScan, but it's more expensive, and the
pre-conditions (have 2+ attackers/defenders with the same designator) is too
restrictive. Compare this with Evil Chanting.
Essence Absorbing Stance
This is a State version of Rend Chi -- there isn't much more to say about
it. You lose a little bit of surprise, but you get some reusability.
Honestly, since you are playing the Guiding Hand, I think you are better off with a straight-up healing event,
especially if one that can heal sites as well.
Know Your Enemy
Yes, this cheaper Ultimate Mastery can be pretty cool when you pull it off, and it does avoid the classic problem
of Chin Ken (he always winds up fighting Prototype X), but I have one major
problem with Know You Enemy, and it's called Rigorous Discipline. Rig Dis is just so amazing, and I know I always want to play more that I
actually do, and having to wait for combat to copy abilities (let alone use
them) is too restrictive.
Lui Yu Min
I guess this card is okay, but it just doesn't leap out at me. A
5-cost for 8 Fighting CHAR is not bad, but usually the Guiding Hand relies
on other tricks. Speaking of tricks, you are going to need to
play with your site mix in order to trigger Lui Yu Min's Superleap.
You really can't count on people burning for victory (at least in our
group), so you might want to consider a Turtle Island or two (sort of think
of how you would use them in conjunction with Gorilla Fighter). Also,
since Lui triggers off of any seized site, Bandit Hideout is a nice low-risk
site that wont come back to bite you if seized by an opponent.
This character pretty much goes in one deck -- the Peacock deck. The
name refers to a deck that tries to splash most (if not all) factions, and
the name comes from the site Peacock Summit. The deck can be unwieldy
because of its larger size, but once it gets rolling, it can have some
steam. So, you are basically hoping that Orange Master is going to be
a big thug, with a maximum fighting of 9, but more reliably 6-7. What
is going really help this character is that you can play it for only 2 power
if there is an Orange Senshei chamber in play. He's another guy that
gets wasted by Larcenous Mist, which along with Temple of the Monkey King
are almost too good not to play.
Cough... cough... Iron Monkey... cough cough. Your opponent's are
always going to make sure this guy has a little damage on him. At
least the timing rules are in your favor -- even though the Red Master will
lose Superleap if he has to speedbump a foundation character, at least it
will usually be too late to declare any turned characters as interceptors.
And healing a Red Master after interceptions have been declared will make
him magically jump over any turned characters. Good think the Guiding
Hand excels at healing.
Righteous Heaven Stance
I think this state is playable as a one-of surprise in a fun deck, but
like Mad Monkey Kung Fu, it may wind up being cut after a game or to as a
deck is tuned. The ideal target is some really useful 2-3 cost
character -- putting Righteous Heaven Stance on a higher-cost character is
going to be putting too many eggs in one basket unless you are going for the
win and think you can withstand all the denial you are going to draw out.
I sort of like Celestial Stance better, but it's rare, and has some slightly
different resource requirements.
This guy is an ugh. He's not the worst ever, but it's just so bland
that I can't see myself wanting to build the Gardener deck just to play a
possible 2-cost for 3 Fighting Superleaper. Yes, he goes with the
Swords theme, but there are other characters that I just want to play over
him (and you get the bonus of not having to worry about your site mix).
For reference, there are currently 7 Garden sites - Stone Garden, Puzzle
Garden, Garden of Bronze, Moebius Garden, Rust Garden, Paradox Garden and
The Twisted Gardens.
This is the card that just might make the Swords deck work -- not lift to greatness,
but finally work. The trick is to wait for your second turn, and then
play Shaolin Swordsman with a Butterfly Sword for an early burn. You
are going to need a sharky environment, but I think it might be doable.
And even late game, this combo is still strong enough to pulling of.
Shaolin vs. Wudang
This is the mother of all Face Offs. And seeing how difficult it is
to often pull off a single one-on-one Face Off, I just can't see the epic
battle that Shaolin vs. Wudang pretends to be. I guess it's a way to
make playing 2-cost foundations playable, but it's seriously tough to pull
off to great effect.
Expect your opponents to love intercepting this guy -- all their
foundations, and maybe even a few other characters will always try to pile
on. He's a little bet better of wall than 100 Names, but that isn't
saying much. Not being a target for Shadowy Mentor makes this guy
worth at least playing around with to see how he does. You may want a
few unburnable sites or Battleground Sites so as to stretch out your opponents' structure to
lessen the chance of interceptors. Also, you may be able to get the
power rebate yourself with a little Rigorous Discipline.
Here we have some medium Jammer beats. I'm a big fan of Napalm
Addict (hits for 6) and Gorilla Fighter (Independent takes sites and wins
games), so how does this guy stack up? He seems okay, especially
because the Toughness:1 is going to get him through a lot of chaff in combat
(compare with the $10,000 Man). The second ability can also be a game
winner if you are able to knock denial out the right opponent's hand (the
ability also works when returning to play with cards like In Your Face Again
and There's Always One More). Note that the timing allows the opponent
you are targeting with the discard to play Events in response, so this guy
is likely to get zapped by anything about to be discarded, especially if
it's 0-cost. Did I mention that discarded OranguTank to hose someone's
entire hand is cool?
Well, the Monkey fans are going to like this guy, but generally they are
not as good as Punks or Just Another Consumer in a non-specialized deck.
The two tricks you are expecting with Ape Nuts are drawing a card from Mo'
Monkeys Mo' Problems and pumping up your Big Mac Attack. Beware of
Very ho-hum. The only place I can see them being played is in a
Jammer/Rebel/Uprising Deck, where you are expecting to be able to recycle
Deep-Cover Rebels (they trigger every time they are smoked, so In Your Face
Again works with them). I think Che Gorilla is a better 5-cost thug
for the Jammers in a non-trick Monkey deck. Note that any character
you control may attack back row sites -- even if the Rebels arent.
Hordes of Saboteurs
This edge isn't going to be paying the bills in our playgroup.
Canceling sites is strong, but that is what Whirlpools are for. And
Hot Springs is great at giving a little extra protection. The play
cost and the usage cost are way too high on Hordes of Saboteurs, not to
mention the onerous penalty for leaving play (edge removal is part of any
good deck, and this is a huge target).
Kick 'em When They're Down
This event has a huge random potential -- you just never know how it's
going to work out. Ideally you are playing it for free with the
Genocide Lounge (although there are other stuff you are probably going to
choose over it). For maximum annoyance, you really with to combine
Kick 'em with some other damage generating effect like Final Brawl or
This is a very oddball vehicle. I'm not a huge fan of Mobility as it
can turn you into a chump, being forced to intercept to stop someone else
from time to time. The damage reduction ability is very haphazard --
you really need it against interceptors of lesser or equal fighting to
insure that your attack gets through. Of course, our environment is
chocked-full of 1 Fighting resource characters as speedbumps. Where I
see Netherflitter being played is as a supplement to BattleMatic decks, and
even then, it's unclear as to how good this "improved Training Sequence"
really is. This is somewhat of a turtly card, as it will discourage
some attacks (because of the Mobility, opponents are unlikely to attack with
something that's just going to take a hit and bounce). Of course, if
you want to go all the way, you can try this in the Jammer/Hand Superior
Master deck, where you can trick out your opponents to the max.
Now that the Jammers have Mad Scientist, they don't need to really rely on
their 2-cost characters for Tech. So, you are really going to be
playing the Rogue Scientist for the ability (and the occasional 2 points of
damage). How good is the card drawing ability? Well, it's good
if it gets you a card that is going to turn a game for you, and it's not so
great if it doesn't. At some point someone is going to come up with
some crazy combo where this card will prove useful.
Monkey fans rejoice -- this is the best Simian we've seen in a while (and
makes the cut as playable which the Flying Monkey Squad doesn't quite do).
I think the majority of the time you will be picking Independent as his
ability, but the other two just might prove useful in the odd situation.
We Need Bigger Guns!
I think this is about as balanced as a card can get -- it's your basic +1
damage for 0-cost, and you get to do some extra combos with non-combat
damage such as Curtis Graham or The Monkey Who Would Be King. The
question is -- are you going to be better off with this state, or one of
basic Jammer defining cards, In Your Face Again? I think you need some
card where you are getting at least +2 damage to really make this work, such
as Mad Bomber (I think this works).
I think this card is more a power-generating event than a Face Off.
You are hoping to take out your opponents' foundations with your slightly
larger foundations and maybe pocket a power. With Fanaticism deck,
this should happen enough to almost consider playing Combat Courtship.
And it could be a nice boost for the Faceoff deck (and makes a decent event
to return with Contest of Arms).
This falls right in the top- middle of all of the 2-cost for +3 Fighting
states. It's not the best, but it's far from the worst. I still like
Sword of the Master best in this group, and the BK-97 as a good follow up.
The obvious combo is with Ice Commandos, but I'm not sure that it's going to
be a good as Elephant Gun for delivering beats. What this card is
going to discourage is interceptors -- no foundations characters are going
to throw their lives away knowing that you are going to just heal up that
damage after combat.
Again we have another character that fails to impress me. I'm okay
with the Blade of Darkness, but these guys just seem to fall short.
While their ability affects all interceptors, I generally think Toughness:1
is better. They do have the designator
Soldiers, which will let you do a few tricks, but I'm still unimpressed.
4-cost 6 Fighting with Guts -- there isn't much more to say about this
guy. You are probably going to want to save your weapons for Ice
Commandos anyways. I still prefer The Baron, Silver Jet and The Once
and Future Champion for non-element aligned Monarch backup. Brass
Monkey has shown that a Reloadable hitter does have some benefit, especially
in a meta-game where you are worked about getting decked.
The Book of Wrath
Too bad this has the Thunder designator, or it would go in every Monarch
deck. You are still going to see it in a bunch, but it will be the
decks forgoing the amazing Fanaticism (unless Thunder is your sub-faction). Timing is key with this card --
wait until a character is going to be smoked within a scene, then turn the
Book to add it's effect to the same scene. In a four player game,
expect this to get you about 2 power every 3 turns as long as you play
aggressively, which is a reasonable return. Of course, The Book of
Wrath has a huge Discerning Fire target on it.
The Queen's Wrath
It was definitely a bad day when I had a Test Subject in a MegaTank taken
down by this event. It's okay, but there are a lot of good events to
play, and it's always tough to find room for ones like this are are fairly
specific. Our metagame uses a lot of 1-cost foundations -- if yours
doesn't, The Queen may not be as Wrathful. I don't think this isn't as strong as
Demonic Plague. If you like obtuse combos, you can combine this with
Vivisection Agenda to turn it into a "free" reload.
Yes, this guy is a Thunder Knight, so your Thunder Squires are going to be
able to recycle him. While he doesn't really have any special
abilities that are going to be useful in-game, the Captain does give you
some power rebates, eventually making him cost less than his printed cost of
4. He's at least going to be a 3-cost for 5 Fighting if you play him
right -- normally, I'm not a huge fan of these mid-cost thugs, but the
chance of a power a turn, a Fanaticism boost, and the recycling make this
guy very playable in the right deck. His power generating ability
doesn't trigger in a Faceoff, so you aren't running him in that type of
I just don't quite get this card. Just as everyone knows that
Blanket of Darkness is good, they also know that Dr. April Mucosa is bad,
and, in my opinion, this card is more the latter than the former. If
you are the Thunder fanatic, you will drop a Thunder Sword on him, which
combined with Fanaticism, gives him the ability to lower damage by 7.
And then you get to use it in a Face Off -- I just don't see Thunder
Inquisitor being used that much.
I think this card is going to be a coaster -- yes, there are some funky
tricks you can do with it, but other than turning you Feast of Souls into an
8 Fighting monster, there isn't much. I've grown to have a lot of
respect for Paradigm Recording -- yeah, it's got a more hefty resource
requirement, but stealing someone's killer Edge is da bomb, and is going to
much more useful in anything but the most specialized of decks.
This can be moderately useful for copying an opponent's power site, but
it's also going to blank your own site, so it could be a wash. Ideally
you are playing it on a City Park after playing it out of turn (or having it
heal). Note that you can try ultimate jank by playing bad sites and
hoping to blank them (such as Primeval Forest), but that is a formula to
lose a game. This is going to depend a lot on your meta-game, but Chi
Syhpon could become a staple of the Purists.
Thi is another card that I'm going to have a hard time finding
room for in a deck. She's mainly a 4-for-6 thug with a marginal
ability at best. Any combo with you damaging her is going to be
marginal (if even that), so her ability is going to have to be triggered
mostly by opponents -- I guess you are hoping that your opponents will hold
off on their damage effects while Jenaya Ou is on the board, but that's not
enough disincentive for me. Give me Mutator or Hexagram Spirit any
This is another card that I don't really like. The idea is card
economy -- you get a 6 Fighting character and a site for only one card (as
long as you meet the pre-condition of having a Feng Shui Site in your Smoked
Pile, which the Purists can do with Entropy Sphere). So, what is the
cost of this 6 Fighting no-ability thug? Well, it's 4 power if you
have 0-1 FSS in play, 3 power if you have 2 FSS in play, and 2 power if you
have 3 FSS in play. That sounds like a good deal, but it's not because
of the 5 power outlay. Usually, you are going to be better off
spending the whole 5 power on a character (or characters) with abilities
that are going to be useful in accomplishing your goals (i.e. beating on
your opponents). I guess you can try combining Geomantic Spirit with
the Dragons or the Jammers and use inexpensive return to play effects, but
you aren't really going to have enough sites to reuse this ability a lot.
Glimpse of Brief Eternity
I like this card, but then again, I like cards that punish my opponents
for relying on a single designator. This isn't going to replace the
targeted take out for the Purists (Entropy Sphere), it's going to supplant
it. I can't see myself holding on to Glimpse in my hand -- I will be
dumping it before the start of my next turn. What it seems to directly
outclass is Echo Cancellation.
This is a dual purpose state -- it's both character protection and
character take out. As take-out, it's like Prisoner of the Monarchs.
As protection, it only really works for 1-2 cost utility characters, but it
can set you up for some long-term action with them. See the 7MvU FAQ
for some clarifications on this and Incarnate Abstraction.
This character's ability is a little too random to rely on. There
are quite a few characters that it will take no damage from, but they can
still be intercepted and will fail to overcome anything with a higher
fighting than it. I think it's about a 50-50 shot at having 14
characters, but, honestly, you are almost always better off with 10KB's
This card would be okay except for one thing -- it doesn't provide the
crucial Magic resource that the Purists absolutely need. And I don't
like playing the 1-cost or 2-cost Purist foundations that don't provide
Magic, let alone the 3-cost Shadow Legion. Playing it out of turn as
an interceptor is a fool's game. Tutoring for a card is good, but
since you can only get Purist cards with it, you are somewhat limited.
At some future point, there may be a combo that breaks the game, and if you
have the power to spare, Shadow Legion may become a (minor) problem.
Shards of Warped Reflection
Yes, Evil Twin was over the top back in the old days, but the two
limitations added in Throne War really moved the card towards the top end of
the balanced scale. The Shards swings back too much on the other side.
Evil Twin is probably worth paying 4 power for, but I don't think this is.
The Shards are way too hard to set up -- ideally you copy a the fighting
from a character with high fighting, but a drawback, and then you copy a
good ability from a character with less fighting. Unfortunately, this
never happens. I don't know about your playgroup, but we like
characters with good abilities, not drawbacks, so that is what we tend to
play. Most of the time you are going to copy the highest fighting on
the board, and wind up with some piddling or no ability copied from a
The Shattered Mirror
There are probably a few tricks to do with this one -- I haven't really
thought it out, but the might be something that's just a bit over the top.
Stay tuned for more.
This edge is just too expensive and tricky to be of much use. All
the best stuff (reduction, redirection and smoking your own cards) is
prohibited. Since the Seven Masters have such good access to Chi, you
are better off with a 0-cost Healing Earth, not to mention Beneficent Tao.
I'm not sure about this event -- I think it's most playable in decks
without a decent amount of Chi. If you have Chi, you are going to want
to be playing Healing Earth since it will help your characters as well.
One benefit of this event over the aforementioned is that Beneficent Tao can
heal an opponent's site, possibly sandbagging a win. Note that it only
works on Feng Shui Sites. Beneficent Tao also provides
which makes a nice second resource, but you are still going to need a
foundation for the first. Of course, none of the Seven Masters' cards
need more than two resources, so that reduces the need.
The Master of the Liquid Sword has some pretty good beats, and you will
find that he gains you a rebate of a couple of points of power. And,
his play-for-free is probably the easiest of the Seven Masters to trigger in
a four player game,
so you can expect to play him at no cost a lot of the time. I expect
to see Ghost Wind as a staple hitter in any Seven Masters deck. He
also combos well with Final Brawl.
Again we have a big thug with a few modestly useful abilities.
Discarding a card to heal him every turn is the better of the two I think,
as your opponents aren't going to be able to muck with it. Hopefully
you will have Superleap against enough opponents that you can use that first
ability to remove any damage created by the speed bumps that do get a chance
to intercept. And be wary of opponents who can spend power to get down
to 0 if needed to stop a win.
This Master reminds me of those janky Hand cards from Shaolin Showdown
that you never seem to get around to playing. He's okay, but a couple
of the other Masters are just better, and I only expect to see Ho Chen
played as filler because players don't have enough of the better Masters.
His superleap is going to work most of the time, but sometimes you might
fight yourself going for your second choice of targets. Also, he can
lose it between being declared as an attacker and the declaration of
interceptors. Of course, you have a chance of smacking any
interceptors with the Flawless Strike.
This Master is interesting -- 5 power is a
lot to pay for a character, but Independent has been proven time and time
again to be a game winning ability. Just how big can Jade Fox get?
That's really up to you, and how long you hold off on playing him. You
are probably going to want to be playing the new Seven Masters event
foundations, Kunlun Clan Assault, and a healthy spattering of other low-cost
events to make sure you have plenty in your smoked pile (Unexpected Rescue,
anyone?). Remember that, unlike Che Gorilla, his Fighting isn't fixed,
so he gets bigger for every event that you play, and doesn't get totally
hosed by blanking abilities (Larcenous Mist et. al.). The real saving
grace, is that in a four-player game, Jade Fox has a good chance of coming
out for free, just at the time when he is going to be big enough to make a
Kunlun Clan Assault
This foundation is revolutionary -- it's the
first that is not a character or site. The ability itself is
under-powered (compare to Mark of Fire, which is very balanced in my
opinion). The power of this card is in providing three separate
resources, of which DNA Mage and The Junkyard are the only the only
foundations to due so. This is a card that will take some time to
figure out how playable it really is, but it does create some possible new
splashes for Magic and Chi (not to mention the Seven Masters). Kunlun
Clan Assault is also going to be of help if you are trying to make this
set's Stances work for you.
The mature version of this master out-shines his Dragon aspect. He
has a couple of obvious combos -- if you draw him with Unexpected Rescue or
Surprise Surprise, you can choose to make Li Mao immune to the faction of
the event, which means he is going to stay in play at the end of the
attack/turn. Even if you don't pull off that trick, you can make him
immune to the most dangerous faction sitting at the table. He's also
got conditional superleap, but it's much more under your control than Red
Master's. Kunlun Clan Assault makes a great discard for this ability,
as to a lot of the utility cards you are going to be playing.
Monkey Fools the Tiger
Expect this card when playing against someone with two Seven Masters'
resources in their pool. I expect to be checking for that one power to
give, and it will give me second thought before attacking. That said,
it's still not as good as the old standards, but it is take out. It's
not a targeted effect, so you can stop the Gunman and his ilk, but since
it's damage redirection, CHAR is going to be a problem (isn't he always?).
A way to think about this card is in comparison to is a hypothetical "Small
Nerve Gas" that gave the controller of the target 1 power.
This Master is very playable, but you are going to want to play him with
some way to boost his damage. Some type of weapon seems to be obvious,
and with that boost, he is going be able to pick off those back-row utility
sites (Whirlpools). Pao Yeh Pao Lo Mi is another possibility for that
quick damage boost. Being uncommon, combined with his low cost and
resource requirement, are going to make him the most accessible of the Seven
Occult Kung Fu
This is the Seven Masters' Training Sequence, but with an interesting
gravy ability. I don't think Violet Senshei Chamber and Soul Diver are
played often enough for most people to realize that the ability is strong --
and Occult Kung Fu is differentiated in that you copy from your own Smoked
Pile, not your opponents', so you have much more control over it. I
expect to see this card crop up from time to time in some funky dual faction
decks -- what exactly it will do it's hard to predict, but it will do
something. Note that the Seven Masters faction does not have a lot of
good stuff to copy, so it's multi-faction synergy that this card promotes.
One Thousand Swords
Unfortunately, this weapon is really useful outside of a Sword deck, and I
don't think it's really that useful in one. Don't confuse this as a
re-usable Mark of Fire -- it only zaps characters, and they have to share
the location with the subject, so you are rarely going to be getting in all
4 points. Also, since both abilities require turning, you can't Mobility
over and slice and dice. As I've said before, Mobility is not my
favorite of the abilities, as it often turns you into the table-chump.
Pao Yeh Pao Lo Mi
I'm torn as to whether this card is playable or not. It's very
comparable to a Pump-Action Shotgun when attacking, but has a few extra
tricks, especially when combined with healing effects. I think it's
going to come down to a meta-game decision -- are there a lot of Lotus decks
that you expect to go up against? Canceling that Tortured Memories can
be key. Requiring Chi seems a little odd since it's really hard to get
a Seven Masters' resource without Chi. Maybe ArcanoWave Pulse will
make a comeback...
He's big, he's expensive, and he kicks the teeth in on other characters
(excepting CHAR, of course). You absolutely have to have event and Mentor
protection in hand if you ever want to get Sky Dragon in play (I've had him
Mentored away, and boy are you up the creek). Strictly a fun card, he
will draw a lot of attention from your opponents, and is good in combination
with Golden Comeback (as are most ultra-high cost characters)
I expect this to be a defining card for the Seven Masters at the set's
release. Whether Unexpected Rescue holds up in the long run has yet to
be seen. This event plays a lot like Surprise Surprise, where you are
hoping for a little bit of luck to make it work. Combining with come
into play effects is always a bonus, so this card will mix well with other
factions as well. Note the obvious combo with Li Mao -- when he comes
into play, choose Seven Masters as the resource for his event immunity, and
then at the end of the attack he gets to stick around since Unexpected
Rescue can no longer see him. Since none of the Seven Masters
characters require more than 2 resources (and some only 1), they will work
well with this event. Unfortunately, multi-faction decks hurt a little
because of the resource restriction.
Wah-Shan Clan Warriors
Seven Masters' foundation. Chi foundation. Students. Not
much more to be said. You will probably want 5 of these most of the
time, but you might need to go heavier on the Kunlun Clan Assault depending
on how you are combining factions.
While this card can be powerful, the restriction of not being able to use
it during an attack puts it in the iffy pile. You are going to want
3-4 sites in play to maximize rearrangement tricks, and probably some
serious damage for the healing to be of use. But, I'm going to have a
hard time playing this over some of the other healing events -- Beneficent
Tao for example. This might work okay with a faction that has lots of
stupid site tricks like the Purists.
Boy I wish this card could copy Unique characters -- then you would
actually play this card to do stuff. Right now, I'm finding it a hard
sell to include this card in a deck over another copy of the character I
wanted to copy. Sure, your opponents may have something worth copying,
but just as often they wont. I like Occult Kung Fu much better because
it lets you combine abilities for cool synergy.
At first glance, this Feng Shui Site seems strong. And I think it
is. The only Seven Masters' character that it doesn't work with out of
the box is the Wah Shan Clan, and a little Occult Kung Fu or some other
fighting booster makes them eligible. Wudang Mountain plays like a
mini-Rend Chi, but without the location and about to enter combat
restrictions. With a solid 8 Body, I expect to see this played fairly
often as the 3rd FSS for anyone running the Seven Masters. Note that
being a Feng Shui site is also a drawback (as well as an advantage) -- it's
going to cost you in terms of power over a regular FSS if you can't maintain
a larger site structure.
Wu Man Kai
The Master of Wudang Mountain is a game
finisher, but a costly one. He reminds me of the Dark Future version
of Rhys Engel. Where he is going to kick-ass is on all the X fighting
characters -- discarding any card to smoke them is to prove randomly useful.
Boundless Heaven Sword
Utter dreck. Way too expensive and fragile. This is a Floating
Fortress when it should be a MegaTank.
I'm not sure if Superleap is worth 1 power -- I guess it is, but how often
do you see Flying Kick? Chi provides the Superleap, but a lot of the
hitter in your Chi providing deck are already going to Superleap anyways
(e.g. most of the Seven Masters). Magic provides the blasting ability,
but it's a tad expensive to use (2-4 power to smoke a
character, plus the 1 power to play the state). Of course, it's a big
deterrent after a burn for power when you got the ammo to protect the
location of the subject. The resource requirement is light enough to
play in any deck that can support the Seven Masters.
This card can be very strong, if you have
power to spare. Not that you have to spend the power, but you have to
have the power as a threat. This card works great after a burn for
power -- you have an invincible interceptor guarding at least one of your
columns. What really restricts this card is the resource requirement
-- It's going to take a while to see what combination of factions really
work for this resource requirement.
On a medium sized character, this is likely to get you +2-3 Fighting, and
+3-5 Fighting on a serious hitter. Without a gravy ability (like that
on Sword of the Dragon King), I don't think Six Dragon Sword pulls its
weight. I think it would work best some sort of Can of Whupass deck
that you've worked Magic into. Sure, the Seven Masters get nice big
bonuses from this weapon, but they don't need it, and you're always going to
want another Fortune of the Turtle for any of this card when building your
While this card has an okay ability, the resource requirements are very
high, making it difficult to fit into many decks. Also, there are
already a fair number of 0-cost states that seem a little better that I
never seem to fit into decks (like King on the Water). Another problem
is that most of the characters that this would be played on probably will
have a good evasion ability or immunity, and won't need the Regenerate.
Here we have an improved Really Big Gun, but with a few tricks. I
expect to see the occasional Solar Sword deck, but I'm not sure how well it will
work. You need a Magic resource for the this weapon, and most of the Swords
characters are in Chi factions. It might actually make the old
Swordsman resource character playable in limited situations.
The Celestial Eye
If you can wait a few turns, this card can be devastating, blasting entire
columns. But, if your opponents give you the time that the Eye
needs to get going, they are chumps. The Eye has a reasonably high
resource requirement, and it's fragile nature means you are going to want to
play it on a character that is going to stick around. In a weird way,
Amulet of the Turtle is very comparable (and possibly better) at dealing out
some damage and punching through.
This is a very specialized event. It is 0-cost character take out,
but it has another potentially hefty price of toasting cards from your deck.
I think this will be best in those decks where you are using Chi for support
(such as Blade Palm) without heavy usage (such as Healing Earth). The
Seven Masters splashed with any faction but the Hand should achieve this, as
will a light-Chi Hand deck. I think this will do best in 80+ card
decks, where you are only going to have a couple of for that added punch
through. Watch out for Hackers, who seem to know the counter-move for
Invincible Earth Sword
Dreck. See Boundless Heaven Sword. Or don't.
No Shadow Kick
This card plays almost identical to Shadowfist. It's strong, but
vulnerable. The best use of this state is to play it on Wong Fei Hong
for free, but I think that was kind of the point. If you use it to
attack characters, be prepared to have your attack fail as No Shadow Kick
will smoke the target before you get to combat damage most of the time.
This old monk knows how to kick butt. Not only is he okay in
dueling, I think he's going to be good in multiplayer. He's best as a
speed card, and if you can get him out on the second turn (using Proving
Ground like in a TurboCHAR deck), he's going to be hard for your opponents
to stop. Even mid-game he can be okay against a player who has a
larger site structure where you can exploit interceptors to trigger Shung's
|None in this set.
The Swords Unite
Why? Why? Why? Actually, if I put my mind to it, I can
come up with at least two reasons to play this card. The first is that
you really want to play Sword of the Master, but only have a single copy --
The Swords Unite is going to give you a couple more chances to draw it.
Also, if you are trying some sort of Swords blitz deck (say with Shaolin
Swordsman) and you want more than 5 Butterfly Swords. Still, I think
it's on the janky side of playable.
Jade Palace of the Dragon
In our group, characters get smoked all the time, so a little bit of
healing helps. Unfortunately, this card sort of plays like Stone
Garden or City Hospital, but with a trigger instead of being a voluntary
effect. The Lakes low body is a real killer, and I just can see
replacing a more dependable site with it in most decks. Really, how
good is this in comparison to the other 5 body sites that you see played?
This site is very tough to use -- you can get a quick fighting bonus, but
it's going to leave you with low body Feng Shui, that's very vulnerable to
being taken down by a foundation character. There might be some crazy
trick with Killing Rain, but you going to be living in a house of cards, and
it might come tumbling down. Note the crazy play of: Fist
turn Warrior Mountain, done. Second turn Warrior Mountain, Magic
providing foundation, Killing Rain x2, attack for 9...
Thousand Swords Mountain
While not outstanding, this card is okay filler for a slot in the extra
power generation portion of a deck's Feng Shui Sites. Don't expect to
get more than 1-2 power from it -- your opponents are not going to keep
piling on piddling amounts of damage just so you can heal it and gain power.
Once revealed, attacks against Thousand Swords Mountain are going to be
serious. You can also try this site in conjunction with Killing Rain,
but it's more of a bonus than a killer combo.