Blade Palm is only limited by the number of cards in
play. Not only does it bounce big characters, it denies wins by
returning sites and makes attacks unsuccessful by removing their target
from play. Don't overlook the ability to get rid of turn and
maintain effects like that of the Blanket of Darkness. Always expect
Blade Palm in a deck with Chi. Ring of Gates is a standard counter
to this card as well as Wind on the Mountain and Imprisoned.
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
Buddha's Palm. It's free, it shaves your deck, it's sorta cool.
A fun card only, but you do get to say "You may have countered by Tiger's
Claw, but what about my Buddha's Palm!"
On the surface, it looks like Dark's Soft Whisper is a reliable alternate
power generation card -- but it's not. The opportunity cost is too
high -- you have to be behind in Sites, and you have to have an unsuccessful
attack, which means even if you gain the 2 power, you can't use it to fuel
follow up attacks. Sometimes you can pull a trick of playing a
Golden Candle Society first turn (before playing Feng Shui) and try to
trigger Dark's Soft Whisper, but it is very unreliable and opponents will
wise up and let your attack be successful.
||Dawn of the
You are almost always better off going with Beneficial Realignment or Healing
Earth, but Dawn does have its place. This card may be your best
Event based healing option if you are not playing Hand, and are using
Ancient Groves to fuel your Chi production.
Perhaps the best of the healing Events, once you get a lot of Chi
going. Being 0 cost, it's not going to require that you hold back
playing other cards -- it just takes up a slot in your hand until it comes
in handy (still a penalty, but not as much of one). Late game this
will heal more damage than any other card, and can be Shi Ho Kauis best
Invincible Chi is a very odd card -- it does a lot of quirky stuff, but is
usually only worth playing when you are going for the win or absolutely
have to take a Site. The most reliable use of Invincible Chi is
against those annoying Sites that muck with attacks like Fox Pass and City
Square, but it does also let you bypass some other pitfalls if the target
of your attack is a Fortress of Shadow, Temple of Angry Spirits or similar
card. Against States, it will cancel a Shadowy Mentor and maybe you
cancel a weapon or tank. Edges are the rarest choice, mainly against
Blanket of Darkness. This makes a good one-of in a moderate or
larger sized deck.
||Return to the
Mostly this card is good for after-the-fact Shadowy Mentor protection, but
occasionally their are a few really annoying States (like Repulsor Beams)
that you just want to get rid of. Confucian Stability is still the
card of choice, backed up by Blade Palms.
I think this is going to be the darling of the set. It's going to
break a few late game logjams by actually letting someone win. The
big problem with the card will be king-making in tournaments. I can
foresee a lot of times where someone will be able to stop one player's
attack, but not the other, giving that 3rd person the ultimate power of
life and death as the balance of the universe hinges upon their decision.
If you haven't figured out how to use it, play a big character with
superleap (or any other reasonable evasion ability), wait until an
opponent declares an attack against another opponent, and sneak it.
Probably not the strongest card in dueling, but you can try it if you
like. Boo on such an important card being rare.
another one I whiffed on -- we really tried and tried and tried to make this
work. Spending 2 power to deny another player a site is a little high,
especially considering you have to hold back characters (who didn't
take that site for you on your turn) to do it. I'm still playing it,
but more out of a lost cause than 100% nutty goodness.
With the errata to Violet Mediation and Pocket Demon in Year of the
Dragon, they've been de-powered a bit. Still a good card, you may
wind up playing 3 instead of 4 or 5 now. See the strategy article on
Alternate Power Generation.
The verdict is still out on this card, and it's going to cause a lot of
timing disputes. The obvious use is in combination with
Superleapers, but there are several other powerful uses for this
card. It also turns sites, that lets you get in a pre-emptive strike
against those sites that can foil an attack when used during your
turn. Of course one of the most powerful uses is on your opponent's
turn to shut down part of their offense -- if they don't attack as first
action, you are turning a bunch of their characters, denying them
attacks. Watch out for decks that try to recycle Shaking the
Mountain and get you into a semi-lock.
of the Crane
Wing of the Crane is one of the most powerful Chi Events, and has multiple
uses. First, it gets rid of attackers, making it much easier to make
an attack unsuccessful. It's also great on offense as you can get
rid of that interceptor and get damage through. It's also a limited
Confucian Stability when you use it on one of your own characters to avoid
a Nerve Gas or similar Event. Finally, it works like a Return to the
Center to get rid of Shadowy Mentors after the fact. I just aren't
enough good things to say about Wing of the Crane. The only reason
not to play five of these is their three Chi resource requirement, but
still I would run at least 1 or 2 in any deck with Chi.
||Armored in Life
Toughness:1 is a great bonus on a character, but is it worth 1
Power? Generally no, because that 1 power would be getting you a
bigger and better character. As a general rule, Eagle Mountain is
the way to give your (attacking) characters toughness, while House on the
Hill isn't terrible for interceptors. Drop this turkey in favor of
Path of the Storm Turtle, which is almost as good, and costs no power.
Hrm... this card kind of looks like Buro Godhammer, only worse. Why
do I say worse? Godhammer
kicks butt because the Architects have so many Ambushers. While I
was tuning a Swordsman deck, I eventually migrated out the Butterfly
Swords for Tiger Hook Swords -- the speed was worth giving up 1 extra
damage (only having 5 Golden Candle Societies and Chi foundations was too
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. I've gotten it
out a few times, and boy is it fun to blast a bunch of your opponents'
characters to the Underworld. Burning for Power is almost a must when
you're playing this.
||Claw of the Tiger
Claw of the Tiger has the potential to wreck a horde of resource
characters intercepting you in a chain. Of course, they will never
do it if Claw is already in play, so surprise is key. This card
plays very much like Armored in Life. Like it's cousin Hosed, Claw
of the Tiger can be fun as an occasional one-of in a deck, but don't
expect it to do that much.
||Contract of the
As a reusable Back For Seconds, this can be a very powerful card.
But, to get your two power investment back, you want your character to
stick around for another turn to use it again. Luckily, the Hand excels
at protecting it characters. One of the best uses I've ever seen is
Bernie's Invincible Queen deck -- get out a Queen of the Ice Pagoda (old
of course) with a Fortune of the Turtle and a Contract of the Fox and go
Death Touch turns any character into a Gnarled Horror (more or
less). So, you are looking at a minimum of 3 power to kill a
character, providing they don't stop you in the process. That is not
a good deal. Of course, there is the odd situation where you still
get to kill a character even if yours had been Operation Killdeer'd, but
that is a fluke.
This card weighs in as a slightly improved Training Sequence. Of
course, the only time you play Training Sequence is for free with Kar
Fai's Crib. Of course, this card does wreck Sam Mallory.
Drunken Stance is a great surprise card, and you should avoid playing it
until it will pay for itself by returning some characters to an opponents
hand. Not only is this card great against weenie hordes, it also
whups on the White Ninja and the Queen of the Ice Pagoda. This is
one of those cards that you can throw one-of into a deck and hope to get a
little surprise factor advantage.
Finally Throne War brings us a really good offensive State that is not a
Tank or a Gun. Flying Sword Stance far exceeds the similar States of
Training Sequence and Dim Mak. Don't overlook the restricted
Superleap this card gives -- it can let a hitter get through to take a
site against an army of foundation characters or the Queen of the Ice
While Flying Whirlwind Strike is great fun to play, it's usually not that efficient.
Since this card only doubles damage, it won't stop you from getting Smoked
by interceptors. Of course, you could play Flying Whirlwind Strike
for free on the new Wong Fei Hong, but his Fighting of 11 is usually
enough to take Sites and trying for 44 damage is just nutty, even if you
are playing Gorilla Warfare.
||Fortune of the
This card is a specialized version of Confucian Stability for Events that
target characters, with the added bonus that it gets to stick
around. If its your turn, you can play this bad boy in response to
an Event, canceling it just like it was a Confucian. You need to be
careful, playing this card is likely to draw all sorts of nastiness in
response, but if you can get it through you have a character to be reckoned
with. Fortune only makes a character immune to your opponents
events, so you cant pull of some great combos like an Hand/Arc Neutron
Fortuitous Chi is similar to the Dragon State Charmed Life, with the
addition of effecting all characters you control that share a
designator. Of course, playing with lots of common designators is
usually a recipe for disaster when you run into Discerning Fire or even a
Gambling House. I would recommend Fortune of the Turtle over
Fortuitous Chi 95% of the time, as it stops more events (especially
Operation Killdeer) and only costs one power.
While this card is fast and cheap, it still if of limited use. It
has the potential to do a lot of damage, but then you have to make sure
another character is around to finish the job. While it does give
you a defense bonus and something to do with those resource characters
late game, odds are you will wish you drew something you could take sites
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. Yup, it's expensive, but boy is
hard to get around -- almost as good as Shadowfist, and then some.
on the Water
This is one of those cards I always want to play with, but wind up cutting
at the last minute to trim down a deck. It's a fine card, and lets
you blast through for some damage, often letting you sneak in a
burn. But, the Hand excels at Superleaping and the overlooked Blood
of the Valiant which are also going to get your damage through. This could be tasty in the Fire-Chi deck with Spirit Pole to
make sure you have it when you need it.
of the Master
This one is right up there with Orange Meditation. Sure, it lets you
save your Swords from impending death, but only if you have another
character. And you had to draw your swords -- I always wound up
drawing this card over States that actually did something useful.
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.
Goes in the Wong Fei Hong deck, but not much else.
Thwak! Finally a respectable rival to Fusion Rifle. And it's
going to be a lot of fun on Superleapers. Like any weapon state, you
usually don't want to many of them unless you are playing an Ex-Command or
Ice Commando deck, so use it sparingly. Doesn't really seem
so hot with
Kung Fu Prodigy -- too bad.
of the Clever Fox
Stealing Power is good. Paying a high cost for it is questionable.
Clever Fox is half the price of Virtuous Hood and Iron Monkey, two cards
that I am a huge fan of. I think 9 times out of 10 you are going to
be happier drawing them over this State. Save this slot in your deck
for The Fox Outfoxed, a card that has the potential to show you a
of the Healthy Tiger
Another card that is awkward to use, Health Tiger is another State that I
am not a fan of. Sure, it will let your big hitter take a site if
they've been beaten up, but why let them get beaten up in the first
place? Let me tell you a Shadowfist proverb,
Grasshopper. The road to victory is slick with the Blood of
of the Lurking Rat
Well, we all know what a coaster Undercover is -- so what makes this card
any better? Well, actually, it is quite a bit better just because
you can put a stop to crazy site madness with Lurking Rat -- and he can
hit almost any site on the board. Having played with Palm of
Darkness, this is a really useful ability, and don't forget you can also
play this State in response to someone using the site that is the target
of the attack for extra style points.
of the Praying Mantis
Eep -- here we have a Really Big Gun, but only useable against characters,
and sort of a Toughness against 1 cost character. Neither one of
these adds up to 1 power though. Now we know why Dunwa became a
traitor -- being a mantis bites...
of the Raging Bear
Hrm... for 2 power I can turn any character into Sam Mallory... Not
a great deal, as Sam is only okay at best. We know that
character + state is an inherently weaker combination that the character
with the innate ability. It does give you more flexibility, but the
added cost usually offsets it to the point of being sub-standard, like in
this case. Sam would have to be a 3-cost 7 Fighting vanilla
character to equal out with Path of the Raging Bear. Still, this
State is pretty if you can get it onto Sam, giving him uber toughness.
of the Storm Turtle
This is the best of the Chi paths -- it comes out fairly fast and free,
and works against a decent amount characters. A few factions make
this card pretty useless, but it only slows you down a turn since you can
drop it at no cost if you have a character in play. The trick
is that it goes in the decks with Golden Candles and a few other low-cost
Chi-providers like Noodle Lady and Gardener -- watch out for a lot of the
new Shaolin Showdown cards that don't provide Chi.
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.
Fun in the stance deck, but not over powered.
This is another difficult card to play, but it can have a huge annoyance
factor. It doesn't quite make the cut as a 1 point Fusion Rifle,
especially since it cant damage sites. So we have to look at the
doesn't unturn ability. About the only use for this is on a
conditional superleaper -- you are looking to drop this on Impoverished
Monk or Rig Dis Superleap on to its subject.
Rain of Fury seems to pretty much have been made for the poor Orange
Monk. While maybe you can hope to get a measly +1 or +2 out of this
State for your character, most of the time characters just don't live that
long. Also, you can't get a bonus by playing this in response to an
Event and opponents can also bypass the bonus by playing Events in
response to Rain of Fury. Stick to Flying Sword Stance if you want a
0-cost Chi State to increase fighting.
Secret Wisdom of the Ancients
This is an hand size increasing card, that goes into the growing arsenal
of the Guiding Hand. This one is so-so, and you need to make a
meta-game decision before playing it -- how much Edge removal is there, and
will Secret Wisdom draw it? For the potentially unlimited extra hand
size, you have the penalty of revealing the cards, so a crafty player might
hold a much needed card in hand over dropping in Secret Wisdom. Before
playing this card, you also need to count up the
events and states in your deck to make sure it's going to do something at
all -- you're going to need a goodly amount (more than just 5 Violet
Meditations) to really make use of this edge. Also note the bummer
that you can't discard to Billy Chow or Deadly Hand from Secret Wisdom.
It's looking like Calgon was the secret wisdom (which is why the Ancients
are no longer around).
While is expensive and slow (a whopping 4 Chi required), Shadowfist is one
bad mack daddy of a State, letting you slap other character all over the
place. With the additional 3 power investment in your character with
the Shadowfist, protecting it becomes crucial. Confucian Stability
and Fortune of the Turtle are highly recommended as backup for this card.
If you didn't figure it out from the Hand YotD deck, Shadowfist goes
pretty with with the new version of Wong Fei Hong.
The usefulness of this card will depend on the play style of your
group. If you are in single column, zero-to-two sites in play max
country, you won't get much out of The Fox Outfoxed. But, if your
group prefers larger site structures and non-Feng Shui sites, this card
can turn a game in your favor after a few turns (especially if someone in
your group just cant resist Trade Centers). Don't overlook
dropping a Fox Outfoxed on an Edge, State or Character (gotta love it on
Paper Trail, and Shield of Pure Soul isn't too bad either).
Far superior to Whirlwind Strike, Twin Thunder Kick is both offensive and
defensive. When an opponent attacks, you can intercept their
smallest character and still put the hurt on their main attacker. On
offense, you cut chains in half or can take out those utility characters
that avoid combat. The bonus to Superleapers is just icing on the
cake, and don't be lulled into holding Twin Thunder Kick just for that
purpose. Still not a great card, but it can be a fun surprise every
now and then.
As with Chin Ken, you can have a debate over whether this is actually a
useful ability. Other than some strange surprise effect, you
opponents are usually picking what ability you will gain with Ultimate
Mastery by carefully choosing their interceptors.
of a Thousand Steps
Half a Shadowfist for 2 power? Get this out of here. This card
often works out to be a measly Toughness:1, and you are wonder why you
wasted your power on it when you could have played Path of the Storm
The card has been replaced by Twin Thunder Kick, which is worlds above it.
Chi is the hardest of the 3 non-faction resources to get. Only the
Hand has access to resource characters that provide it, and the only other
faction that has cards that give Chi is the Dragons, and most of their Chi
is on high cost characters. By popping a few Ancient Groves into a
deck, even the Architects can get some Chi action going.