Secret HQ


art (c) Mike Trap

Home
Up

Feng Shui

Feng Shui sites are among the most powerful cards in the game.  They go in every deck, and have a huge variety to choose from.  Picking the right sites for your deck can mean the difference between victory and loss in the secret war. 

 

  Ancient Monument
About the only thing this site is good for is replacing those aging Sacred Grounds in your deck.  Yes, it's big, but it gets small surprisingly fast, especially if it gets revealed early or you can't defend it.  The basic trick you are hoping for is to get it down to 1 body, so any attack against it will smoke the Ancient Monument and cause an unsuccessful attack.  Stick to Tangram Alleys and Ominous Swamps if you want big sites.
  Ancestral Tomb
This is an interesting site, with both an advantage, and a drawback. Clearly you want to include this in a deck with lots of low-cost characters to pump the site's Body as soon as possible.  Entropy is Your Friend, Bronze Sentinel and Bao Chou are good compliments.  While return to play cards (especially Inauspicious Return) may seem like anti-combos, sometimes you can pull off the trick of smoking your own tomb to foil an attack.  The drawback of Ancestral Tomb not counting towards victory can be used to your advantage if you wish to build a larger site structure.
  Ancestral Sanctuary
A 4 Body site that's Limited as well -- with that many restrictions it has to be a game breaker!  Not!  This site (along with The Displaced) were a reaction to the early power of discard decks, and with the decline of that deck archetype, the discard triggered ability has little effect on the environment.  If your are trying to pull off tricks with Hidden Sanctuary, playing with one is usually worth it.  Note how this card compliments City Park -- Park's free play condition is having a site of yours burned, while Sanctuary's condition is seized.  I'm not a big fan of this card, but throwing one in a deck usually doesn't hurt if you don't get stuck playing it first turn.  It only works when a Feng Shui site is seized, so no go with Battlegrounds.
  Ancient Temple
It's always been hard for to get this site to do it's trick  In theory it sounds great -- just throw a resource character to intercept and it's an Operation Killdeer against your site, but it just never seems to work quite right.  The site's low body pretty much dooms it to little play.  I think a much better choice is Puzzle Garden if you wish to limit the damage done to your sites.   Note that CHAR munches this site for lunch.
  Auspicious Termites
This site is an oddity.  While there are several tricks you can do with 'returns to hand when smoked,' the main advantage of this site is that it can't be burned.  This winds up being useful in both early and late game.  I  consider Turtle Island to be the superior of the two 'can not be burned' sites just because of it's 8 Body -- I usually only include Termites if I'm full on Island.  See Turtle Island for more info.  Well, not always -- once nice thing about the Termites is that it's easy to take back, especially for the Jammers with Koko, Gorilla Fighters, and Simian Sneakers.
  Aztec Pyramid
This card doesn't need a lot of explanation or suggestions.  Got a deck with a bunch of coin flips?  Well, you can try the pyramid to insure that the odds are always in your favor.  Of course, when an opponent seizes this, you can figure on not winning many coin flips afterwards.  6 Body is low enough to make this hard to defend, too.  I really hate reducing the game to a coin flip, and this card is going to promote that.  If I wanted to gamble on random chance, I'd go to Vegas, not play Shadowfist.  I still haven't seen any action on this card, but maybe people are waiting on better odds.
 

Big Red Barn
Wow, this is as bad as they get.  A 7 body site that's going to be really really fragile.  Sure, it can get big, but it can get small really fast.  The best you can hope for is that it takes a lot of damage, then gets smoked as all your characters die.  Is that what you really want to hope for?  You know you want to go for the janktastic combo of Big Red Barns front row, with Hideouts behind them (and hope no one's playing Brawl or Bomb).

Mr. Strange writes in:
   This card is quite good - at least a 2.25, if I understand your rating system properly.
   This card is more of the "encourage large site structures" theme of the set - in any deck packing the BRB, you can pretty safely set it at the far right slot and not worry about it for a few turns. Just 2 characters in play means this is an 11 body slogfest that will make your opponents look elsewhere. It's an Inner sanctum with a different restriction - and the potential to be crazy intimidating.

My Reply:
   It's not how well you play this card, it's how well your opponents play.  Yeah, you can do tricks returning characters but it's a house of cards that will come crumbling down all around you.  Also, this site just falls to the White Ninja, who's been seeing a lot of play for us lately.

  Birdhouse Cafe
I've never had much luck with the Birdhouse, and it definitely belongs in a deck where you expect to have a larger site structure or expect to be participating in attacks/interceptions on other players' turns.  Time Bandits and Rebel Camp from Throne War might wind up making this card more useful.  I mostly see this in decks that have characters or ticks that allow them to attack off turn, like the old Iala Mane or Code Red.
  Bird Sanctuary
This card looks to be a half-hearted attempt to address the imbalance of 1-cost foundations (they are too good).  While it sort of works in the 10KB environment, I don't think this site will have much effect on the metagame -- it's limited, so cant really build a deck around it, and will be unreliable.  And 6 Body is weak.  Generally, I am always preferring a Gambling House or Nine Dragons Temple to it. 
Blessed Orchard
A staple in my play area -- 'Transfer the power?" is an all-too-common phrase. At 7 Body, it gives a reasonable defense, and the ability can trigger power-shifts in the game.  Early off, it's like that Mole Network that gets you ahead in the power curve, while late game, the site winds up being an undesirable target for someone saving up power for a big play.  It also shares the 'psychological' advantage of cards like Paper Trail by forcing your opponents to spend all their power before attacking.
  Booby-Trapped Tomb
Instructions:  Turn face up.  Release giant rolling ball.  Deal 3 damage.  This is actually a fairly balance card, and is only made really troublesome by Temple and Blue Moon, which really compound the issue.  Still, this card has the potential to net you 1-3 power from it's ability, which puts it right in the middle of the curve (it nets you power by removing your opponents power invested in characters).  Not a card for every deck, but it's an okay backup if you run low (or just want a change from) on those everyday sites like Nine Dragon Temple and City Park.  This has been used to good effect in our area -- a nice balance between Temple of Angry Spirits and Jagged Cliffs.
 

Boot Hill
Here we have another variation on the gain 1 power site, but this one's got a couple of problems.  First, it only works when you are behind, and frankly, I like to win.  And 1 power is not a huge amount of you're in need of comeback.  It does have the interesting effect of being an undesirable target to seize, as it will be unlikely to work for the new owner (unlike Gambling House, which is a tasty treat).  The other drawback is that you have to discard a non-resource character.  I think this is pretty harsh, especially late game when you are going to need that hitter.  I think the discard for Monkey House is much easier to take.  I think this card is just below playable, and you're going to need 1 or more non-FSS in play to use it reliably..

Mr. Strange most likely correctly adds:
   I think this card is just bad. I can't see myself playing this ever. 2 is too high a rating, in my opinion.

 

Bountiful Fields
This card is specialized, in that it really favors 0-cost States.  This is not one for every every deck, but I think it will become crucial in a few.  States have been on the decline because of all the State-hate (Waterfall being the big culprit, but there are others), and this card is much needed.  It's a must in your Ex-Commando Gun deck, but there are a bunch of others that it will find a home in.  And at 8 Body, at least it's got a little defensive value.  You can't go totally nuts because you can draw only one card per turn, but you can try Superior Mastery, even though it's pretty coastery.  Of course, there' is nothing stopping you from playing multiple Fields if you really want to try to go off.

Simon Johnston writes in:
     I think Superior Mastery is getting better over time as the standard of zero-cost states seems to be improving, but a better way of playing States in other turns is Slo-Mo Vengeance, which you play with Ex-Commando anyway. And might as well play Dr Amanda Snow as well. Or there's always Spirit Pole.

My Reply:
     We'll have to see.  Going way back to the Daedalus era, the way to prod Jose Garcia was tell him there was a card you really liked, but found it hard to play.  That way, there was a small hope that he'd come up with another card that gave it enough of a boost to make it playable.

Cave Network
A standard dueling card.  It is one of the reasons that people are hesitant to attack an unrevealed and undefended site early game.  Dropping out a 'free' 3 cost character can be a huge power swing.  People will often try to fill their decks with 3 cost characters to maximize the effectiveness of this card, but even with 1 and 2 cost characters, Cave Network can shift the balance. Beware the trap of playing with sub-par 3 cost resource characters in effort to 'cave' them out.  Also be prepared to back up your Caves with Whirlpools of Blood. I will often just throw just one Cave Network in a deck to keep my opponents off-base -- since they are either not expecting it, or fear that any deck with one has to have five. 
  Cave of a Thousand Banners
Requiring 3 hand resources, the cave is not the fastest of sites.  With only one ability, this site is pretty much relegated to only one deck -- the Rebel Deck, in which case it acts similar to Rainforest Grove.  The game needs a few more good rebel/rabble cards to make the Cave of a Thousand Banners a more general purpose card. 
  Cataract Gorge
This is a somewhat deceptive site, and it looks better than it actually is.  Not that it's bad, it just rarely turns out to be that useful.  It works best in a heavy denial environment where you can try to draw it out with a feint attack and follow up with an Independent hitter. Unfortunately, that same environment is likely to cancel the Gorge with a Whirlpool or Hot Springs.
  City Hospital
As a generic site this is pretty iffy, and I think it will always fall victim to a better site for deck selection (say the top-notch City Park, or a Nine Dragons Temple).  This is another card that is trying to make 2-cost foundations more playable -- you are hoping to heal in-between fighting a pair of 1-cost characters.  The unturn ability of City Hospital is interesting, but in the long run, I think Sacred Heart is always going to do the job better (if not even Floating Restaurant).  I've played City Hospital to minimal effect with White Disciples.
City Park
8 Body and two good abilities?  What's up with that?  In actuality, this site's Body ranges from 8 to 15, depending on how much damage is dealt when revealing it.  There is nothing more frustrating than hitting a City Park for 7 and running out of gas.  But, having a City Park hit for only 1 damage runs a close second and is often accompanied by snide remarks about your 'Sacred Ground' (i.e. 9 Body Site).  The ability this site shares with Ancestral Sanctuary is extremely powerful -- it allows you to sacrifice a site and not fall behind.  Often you will be attacked to be taken down a peg and wind up not losing much at all if you play City Parks.  Both of these abilities combine to make an all-around good defensive site and a dueling staple. 
City Square
This is one of the most powerful sites in the game, and once you get the damage redirection timing down, you can use the site to make most attacks unsuccessful.  A favorite tactic in our group is to seize opponent's non-Feng Shui sites, and smoke them with a City Square.  You can throw a couple of Dark Travelers in you deck as well to take advantage of this card as well.
  Coral Reef
With 8 Body, this card is respectable enough to see some play.  It's good in decks that like card flow to keep going, and might be a key in some Battleground decks.  It also looks to be decent with Sunless Sea Ruins to avoid getting in a frozen hand.  Turtles beware -- you aren't going to like this card because it might actually encourage some attacks.  If you have lots of gimmicky combos, this could be the card for you, but I think generally, I am going to include City Parks over this in most decks.
  Cr�che of the New Flesh
This was the first of the faction-aligned Feng Shui sites.  At a cost of 2, it can save you one power if it's your 4th site or if you have no sites.  Of course it stinks playing it as your second site and having to pay an extra power.  7 Body and a good smattering of resources make this an ok card, but careful of Victory for the Underdog kicking this site into next week.  Extra points for playing it with Stone Garden and gloating about the picture and how the future is doomed. 
  Curio Shop
This is the poor man's Dragon Mountain.  The effects are very similar, but have enough differences to make choosing the correct site crucial.  Curio Shop works well against decks that need to attack with pumped up resource characters (often 1 cost) using states (guns, tanks) and edges ( Arcanowave Reinforcer and Entropy is Your Friend).  Combine with Puzzle Garden to throw your opponent for a loop!  Curio Shop has been creeping into more decks with the increase of play of Inauspicious Return -- man that card is brutal.
Desolation Ridge
While the dust hasn't settled over the release of Throne War, this card is proving to be quite powerful (UPDATE:  The dust has settled, and this card is a winner).  The first thing we noticed that it tends to shut down Dirk Weasley's Gambit when used with foundation characters.  It also puts a sever damper on Iron and Silk.  Plus you never know when you will be able to weaken or smoke an opponent's site at the most inopportune time for them.  This site can make your opponents feel the pain.

Devil's Mountain
Can you say Power Site?  I knew you could!  This is a variation on a few of the existing sites, and is going to make some power denial.  This of it as a Fox Square... wait, no... make that a City Pass.  I don't think this card will be a huge problem in itself, but it will compound the general problem with the Power Sites being too good.  Another reason to be sure to pack Whirlpools in your deck.  (At this point, I am sure you know all the tricks with redirecting damage, so I don't think I need to explain how to really abuse this card).

  Diamond Beach
Me got Toughness:2  You no hurt Diamond Beach.  CHAR who?  A very marginal site, but it might be okay in a weenie-high metagame if you got a healing effect or two to back it up.  I'll have to try substituting this for Dragon Mountain and Curio Shop in some of my existing decks -- hrm...  you could play 5 Shops and 5 Beaches and 2 Mountains in a ~60 card deck and have the ultimate anti-weenie site structure... I'm going to have to do that.   Nice defensive site, and in my experience, better than Dragon Mountain and Curio Shop in most situations.  If you can heal it and keep your opponents embattled in a Final Brawl, this card plays like a Puzzle Garden.  Again, an overall good site that can go in any deck in a pinch.
  Disco
The ability on this card is straight-up worse than Gambling House, which is to be expected since it has two more body.  Since I like gaining power, I'm always going to go with the House first.  I'd probably go with Phlogiston Mine second, and then Disco as a third power generating site.  Note that you can reveal this in response (like the Mine) to a card being played, so it's almost always going to generate 1 extra power, and you can also gain power from Events on a rare occasion.  
 

Donner Lake
This is a funky card, trying to make the most of the cannibal theme -- I'll leave it up to you as to whether this is in good taste or not....  The timing is a little awkward -- you have to have the character at the beginning of your main shot, so you are going to have to protect your guys.  The +1 Fighting is permanent, so you are going to want a steady stream of 1-cost foundations to eat.  The super-jank combo with Donner Lake is Inauspicious Return (and other cards that can't be sac'd like Destroyer).  Since the Zombies can't be sacrificed, if you have no other characters there, you're cool.  I guess zombies don't taste good.

  Dragon Graveyard
As for being an extra-power generating site, this guy is at the bottom.  I guess it's okay if you get to play at least 1 per game in response to a peaky effect, but I don't see that happening.  You will probably gain 1 power once, and 2 power if you are lucky.  I guess you can try Dragon Graveyard in the Primeval Forest deck where you are healing sites left and right.  This is a little specialized against dueling, but you are going to get 1 or 2 power if you wind up playing it -- that's not that bad.  It's a slower Market Square and a great random utility site.  And if your opponents are big into discard, this isn't going to stop them from hosing your hand every time, but it is going to give you some power to deal with the disruption.
  Dragon Mountain
I find myself often torn between putting a Dragon Mountain or a Curio Shop in a deck -- the cards are very close, but have subtle differences.  Dragon Mountain always works (except versus CHAR) and combos with Final Brawl, so I find myself using it in Dragon Decks usually.  I also like to make sure that I have enough characters that don't have one fighting just in case an opponent seizes it.  This is still a good enough site that you can throw it in any deck and benefit from it -- and maybe now with Inauspicious Return, we'll be seeing more Dragon Mountains in play.
Eagle Mountain
Another outstanding site, Eagle Mountain can give you the same early game boost as Turtle Island, allowing you to get some extra licks in on your opponent's first Feng Shui site.  Also this can help you get through your resource characters if you are planning to pump them with states or edges.  This site is great early, letting you get a character advantage, but even late game, that extra toughness can make a win.  Note that your opponents are not going to let your character stick around and will usually try to take them out before you get to attack a second time with them.
  Escher Hotel
Mostly Battleground jank.  It's Unique, so you don't want to overload on them (not that you'll have that many because it's rare).  I guess you are hoping to play some defensive sites like Puzzle Garden, and then stick something like a Bandit Hideout (or even better yet, a Festival Circle) in your back row and get away with it.  It's still not very reliable, and it will all fall apart if your opponents take down the Hotel.  Here's the list of stuff that can combo with it (Ital indicates a combo that I think is unusual, interesting or somewhat comical):

18 Bronze Men, Arcanoleech, Arcanoseed, Bandit Hideout, Blood Fields, BuroMil Elite, Casbah, Cave of a Thousand Banners, Comrades in Arms, Eagle Mountain, Elevator to the Netherworld, Entropy Sphere, Festival Circle, Forty Story Inferno, Fox Pass, Free Fire Zone, Guard Tower, Killing Ground, Kung Fu Student, Locksley Station, Mad Bomber, Mount Erebus, No Man's Land, Ominous Swamp, Ornamental Garden, Portal in Tower Square, Rainforest River, Resistance is Futile, Sniper's Nest, Temple of the Shaolin Dragon, Terracotta Warriors, The Dragon Throne, The Home Front, The Jade Dragon, Tick... Tick... Tick..., Training Camp, Zodiac Lounge

  Family Home
Any site that has the possibility of generating 2 power a turn is good, you just need to figure out how to make it work consistently.  The best way to do that is to spend all your power every turn, and hope your opponent is unable to.  Of course, spending all your power may not be an option if you have to defend a 5 Body site in your front row!  Again like Blessed Orchard, this card can force your opponent to over-extend by spending all their power to avoid triggering the Home's effect.  UPDATE:  Z-Man nerfted this card a bit, making much less useful.  You can no longer reveal it during your establishing shot -- you have to reveal it at the end of the previous player's turn, with backs him back to his main phase, which makes it much more vulnerable (especially with only 5 body).
  Family Restaurant
Four Body is dangerously low for any site, and any benefit from regeneration this site gains is not worth the risk. Yes, I know it is a 'combo' with security, but combining two coasters isn't going to win many games.  Also the Hood drawback has gotten significantly worse with the release of Flashpoint which contained both Redeemed Gunman and Student of the Shark, two very playable resource Hoods.
Festival Circle
A staple of dueling decks that are vulnerable to targeted events (and aren't they all?), Festival Circle has the additional drawback of being unable to heal as well has having to be in your front row.  Expect a circle when your opponent mysteriously plays a front-row site when they don't have to, especially when they are about to go for the win.  This is the type of card that can go into almost any deck, and be ready for it if you are packing events.
  Floating Restaurant
This site is the counterpart to Desolation Ridge.  Where one does damage when an opponent plays and event, the other heals.  While Floating Restaurant is the weaker of the two (always better to do damage than to heal), it makes up for it by having 2 more Body and being able to play multiple copies (and not turning).  
  Field of Tentacles
While the best use of Field is to slow down Family Estates, it can help against the occasional funky situation like an ArcanoTower or a House on the Hill.  It also shuts down Battleground Sites, and you can deny your opponents the benefits of seizing them.  The game is tending towars more and more non-Feng Shui sites, so this is almost always of some use.
  Fireworks Factory
This site is a hybrid of Pinball Hall and Nine Dragon Temple, and I've found it useful in a couple of situations.  Most notable has been in Jammer decks -- the Jammers are a faction that is low in character removal, so this card can give you a good zap when it's most needed.  It also works because the Jammers have two excellent cards for generating power (Scrounging, Payback Time), so I don't have to put Nine Dragons Temple in this slot for the juice. 
  Forgotten Shrine
This Shrine's relatively weak ability doesn't quite warrant the low body of 6, even if it does trigger Hidden Shrine.  Remember that this can't be done in response to a site turning, so some of the time you will have to reveal this early and target an unrevealed site and hope to get lucky.  Most of the time you are going to with this was a Whirlpool of Blood.
Fortress of Shadow
Among the best of the defensive sites, Fortress sits there with 8 Body just daring your opponent to seize or burn it.  More often than not, you will find that experienced players will deny you a comeback by only smoking this site, which doesn't trigger the power gain ability.  Always a good choice, especially when dueling.  It will take experience in deciding whether to choose Fortress or Nine Dragons Temple, but I almost always have one or the other in any given deck.
Four Sorrows Island
This site is harsh -- it gets damage through unless it's Whirlpooled.  Remember to hold off using this until the current round of interceptions has been declared, since it will invalidate intercepting characters -- only a fool would use this as a pre-emptive strike unless you wanted to Smoke itself.  Don't overlook those highly damage but well-defended sites -- often a foundation character can attack with the aid of Four Sorrows Island and get in a burn.
Fox Pass
Even with the errata making this card Unique, it's still near the top of the list of powerful sites.  Not only do you get the obvious benefit of redirecting attacks away from your utility characters and vulnerable sites, but once you master the 'trick,' you have a decent chance of making attacks unsuccessful.  The trick basically involves you redirecting one attacker to a character that you are going to declare as an interceptor.  Since interceptions are done first, the character you Fox Passed will be unable to damage the new target of his attack if you intercepted correctly and your interceptor was smoked.  This lets you remove the largest threat from an attack, and gives you more options into making the attack unsuccessful.
Gambling House
Yet another version of the 2 power a turn Feng Shui site, Gambling House is very solid.  It can give the extra power the turn you play it, and you can even have 3 power on your first turn if an opponent dropped two of the same 1 cost resource characters.  Don't forget to overlook the designator Netherworld.  I find this works better in less offensive decks -- you want your opponents characters and cards staying on the table so you can gamble.
  Garden of Bronze
Another solid site that can fit into any deck, Garden of Bronze can sometimes give you that boost you need to come back after you've been burned.  A nice bonus is that your opponent doesn't see it coming like Fortress of Shadow and avoid the situation by smoking your sites.  Of course, it has no benefit if it's sitting in your front row just waiting to be attacked. Use of this card depends on your meta-game -- is there are lot of burning for power?  If so, Garden will put some fear into your opponents.
  Golden Mile
I think this will be one of the sought-after 10KB cards.  Golden Mile looks to be able to generate you 2 power a turn pretty steady after about your third turn.  I'm going to guess it's almost on par with Gambling House, with the additional bonus of two more body.  Generating power has never been so easy...
  Grizzly Pass
The verdict is still out on this card.  12 Body sites are very tasty indeed, and Grizzly Passes drawback can be used to your advantage if you play it right.  If you can manage to get 7 to 11 damage on your Pass, you can smoke it by playing a card that matches one you already have in play.  In fact, the easiest way to do this is by revealing another Grizzly Pass, smoking the target of an attack.  I still tend to go Tangrams over this card.
  Grove of Willows
When your deck needs just that extra bump to get out of the starting gate, this card may be of some benefit.  Unless your opponent is playing with cards that reveal face-down Feng Shui, you are guaranteed to gain one power from it.  Try putting it in a deck with Mourning Tree for maximum psychological effect on your opponent -- they will never know whether to attack with just one character, or with everything.
  Hall of Brilliance
While this site can generate boat loads of power, it requires having the  Imperial Palace in play.  Both require heavy resources (three [Lot]) as well as a decent power investment.  By itself, Hall of Brilliance can expect to have between 6 and 9 body most of the time, which is par for the course.  I think this card will be relegated to the Eunuch deck because of it's association with the palace.
  Hall of Portals
Since Hall is 8 Body, it meets the bar of not being overly vulnerable if you throw it in a deck.  It can be very useful if you have a deck that likes to intercept (say you have Toughness or Iron and Silk), but it does give you some extra defense against being sniped, especially in a mutiplayer game.  A couple of Halls in a Battleground deck also allows for additional defense.  It's also ok with Maze of Stairs or Ancient Temple if you are in a mood to defend.  Hall of Portals also lets you defend an extended Battleground Site deck.  You can also use it to promote some chumping -- link up one opponents site structure with the target of an attack that you want stopped, and hope for some interceptions.
  Hartwell Iron Works
Hey look everyone!  It's the baby Temple of Angry Spirits!  This sucker is rare, so it least you wont see one (or two) in every deck like you do with Temple.  This one is a no brainer -- play it, kill your opponent's characters, win.  This is just going to add to the pain and slow the game down even more, which it just didn't need.  Well, it's not near as good as Temple, but it's still strong, and with only 6 body, it is eventually takeable.
  Hallowed Earth
While this site gives you a chance at gaining power by having your site seized or burned, it has been been superceded by Netherworld's Fortress of Shadow and YotD's Nine Dragon Temple, both of which generate similar effects, but have more Body and are more reliable.
  Heart of the Rainforest
If you are trying to pump up a large body site, there are many better sites than this one.  The states that target sites are a poor lot to begin with, and Heart doesn't help them much.  Yes the body of Body grows like nuts when Security is applied (16 after the first and 24 after the second), but you are better off with more aggressive states and sites. 
  Heaven's Peak
With a respectable 8 Body, Heaven's Peak can fit into any deck.  While it may be hard to find room in some of the more tightly tuned decks, the average fun deck can benefit.  This doesn't trigger off of turning to attack, but it does trigger off of turning to intercept.  It also triggers off of cards that are turned as part of a cost -- so White Disciple turning to do damage will trigger the Peak, as will turning a bunch of characters to play the cost for Die!!!
  Hidden Sanctuary
Healing characters at the end of an attack is always a nice thing, but often hard to pull off.  I find that characters are rarely intercepted by non-lethal damage, so they die before getting to trigger the healing effect.  And of course it's no use with 1 fighting characters.  Since the effect is increased by the number of sanctuaries you have in play, a Shoaling or Ancestral Sanctuary may get a little more synergy for you.  
  Hidden Tomb
Play tomb.  Play states on tomb.  Reduce cost.  Lose.  This is strictly a fun card, that's gonna let you dust some old bad cards as well as some new ones and try them out.  For fun, here's the list of cards that this reasonably affects (assuming you don't want to play hoser states like Veiling of the Light on your own Tomb) -- 18 Bronze Men, Chi Syphon, Deathtrap, Elevator to the Netherworld, IKTV Rebroadcast Link, Jury-Rigged Dynamo, Netherworld Passageway, Ornamental Garden, Portal Nexus, Power of the Great, Repulsor Beams, Rope Bridge, Security, Terracotta Warriors, Tesla Lightning Cannon, The Crystal Skull, The Discombobulator, The Jade Dragon, and Thunder on the Mountain.  This card is pretty bad, because you are playing bad cards with it.  For fun only.
Hot Springs
Da Bomb!  Well, not quite, but still good.  Probably one of the better cards in Dark Future, expect to see it in creeping into decks (especially for people that don't have enough Whirlpools).  Good thing it's common.  The wording on this site is a bit odd -- "not affected by effects generated by other sites" is not the same as "not affected by other sites."  What this means is that there is a small subset of sites that have continuous abilities that laugh at Hot Springs, most notably Puzzle Garden.  If you have a deck that doesn't have a lot of turning sites that you need to protect with Whirlpools, I recommend using Hot Springs instead.  I am experimenting with 1 Hotsprings + 1 Whirlpool in most decks until I really get a feel for this card.
  House of Mirrors
House of Mirrors is another one of those sites that can generate two power a turn in the right situation.  Unfortunately, that situation has to be being behind in power generation and wanting to play a Feng Shui site every turn, which in our group is almost never.  
Identity Chopshop
While you won't be removing designators that often, I expect to see this site pop up in Cop, Hood and other designator driven decks.  Since you can only use it on your own characters, you can't use the designator hosers.  Note that Chopshop will stop stuff like Assassins in Love (since it effects *all* which is determined at resolution), but won't stop Discerning Fire since the designators only had to match at generation.  Adding a designator to one of your own characters to fuel a Discerning Fire might be another use of Chopshop.  
  Inner Sanctum
This site is just huge at 11 Body -- not only does it take twice as much damage to seize or burn than most utility sites, it has the added advantage of steering attacks in other directions once it's revealed and still has 9 or 10 Body left.  You can usually get around the disadvantage of Inner Sanctum by playing 4 or more non-Feng Shui sites in your deck.  I rate it higher in dueling just because it's one of the sites that can stop the early burn against you, giving you a chance to jump ahead.
 

Jade Palace of the Dragon King
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 Palace's 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 has been retired along with the expansion themed decks.

  Jade Valley
Jade Valley is is Year of the Dragon's Night Market -- a site that looks good at first glance, but never seems to pull it's weight.  It usually winds up being a 7 Body site with no ability and you wind up wishing you had played a card that would give you a real chance at a comeback like Nine Dragon Temple..
  Jagged Cliffs
This is one of those cards I never get around to sticking in a deck, but it's still a very solid card -- 8 Body and a decent ability has to rate at least playabe.  You need to avoid getting trapped at your own Jagged Cliffs when it goes boom, which a clever opponent will try to do.  So you are either facing heavy combat, keeping your characters at the cliffs unturned, or leaving it undefended so your opponent can minimize his losses -- difficult anyway you do it.  For maximum damage, play Booby Traps for 6 total damage if Jagged Cliffs goes to zero!
Kinoshita House
This in another one of the sites that best used to create a situation where your opponent has just had an unsuccessful attack, leaving unturned characters of his unable to attack. Surprise alone usually gives you a one turn grace period when using everyone's favorite house of ill repute.  After that, opponents are forced to overextend when declaring attackers or risk falling victim to Kinoshita House.  I rate it slightly less in multiplayer because there is a greater chance of a Whirlpool being used, and also once you've used it to stop one player, others will greedily eye it until it unturns.
  Lily Pond
While you can do cute tricks with Lily Pond, they almost always wind up in your losing a site.  This is not a good thing.  Since most site abilities trigger off an attack being declared, I don't think you can Lily Pond your Cave Network or Blessed Orchard and have them trigger, but I could be wrong as even the new wordings are ambiguous.  Still, this site can work for you if you are playing Dark Travelers or have utility sites that you absolutely have to protect and are willing to sacrifice a pond for them. 
  Locksley Station
A 4 Body site without an advantage that is always useable is more of a liability in a duel than a benefit.  But, once you get to multiplayer, decks are slower, and non-Feng Shui sites are more likely to hit the board, allowing you to use the Station.  This site provides a 2 power swing (you generate one more, your opponent one less), not only does it have the low body, but it has to be in your front row to use it's ability.  Be prepared to defend this site or lose the site it's controlling along with it..  Of course if you can get City Square into play, you can conveniently redirect damage from the Station to the site you've stolen, thereby smoking it and leaving Lockley Station free to grab another.
 

Mah-Jongg Parlor
This is an example of really bad card design.  This card is either going to be terrible (when it gets cancelled), or is going to be amazing as it churns out the power (such as in a draft or sealed event).  Your mileage is going to vary greatly on Mah-Jongg, and it will be a meta-game choice as to play this or not.

  Market Square
This site I really like, and I think it's one of the more interesting non-unique site in Showdown.  It almost always gets you a power back, and often many more.  There are several strong combos with Market Square:  It triggers a first turn 2 Fighting Fu Student.  It goes well with sites/cards that slow up attacks like Kinoshita House and Fox Pass.   And it goes great with the Architects 1-cost Events -- you can fake out your opponent by having no power, only to zap their attack with the power you gained.
  Marsh
Where Jagged Cliffs passes the 8 Body useful ability test, Marsh does not.  Vehicles are just to rare in any format but sealed, and you might as well be playing Sacred Grounds.  You can build a deck around playing 0 cost vehicle states on your opponents characters, but avoid Fire Sled stick to Motorcycle and Stolen Police Car only.  And it really stinks when your opponent wins using your Stolen Police Car, speaking from experience.  Even with all the new vehicles in the last few sets, Marsh is still not making the cut, but I might consider it if you have friend who does nothing but play endless vehicles.
  Maze of Stairs
By itself, Maze is okay -- it's in combination with other cards that it becomes powerful.  What you need are ways to reduce the number of attackers on this site to one -- Kinoshita House and Fox Pass are two of the best, but any defensive card works.  For example, Nerve Gas and Imprisoned work not only will get rid of an opponents character, but it will let you defend your Maze of Stairs.  There are bunches of cards that this works well with, and stops the Gunman cold.  10KB gives us the goofy Assault Squad, who is almost playable in combination with Maze of Stairs.
  Moebius Gardens
Yet another addition to the sites that can generate extra power, Moebius Gardens is very solid, especially in multiplayer where the Pocket Demons are flying.  And they work in multiples...  mmm...  tasty!
  Monkey House
Yet another variation of the 2 power a turn site, this one requires the discard of a non-Unique/non-Limited Feng Shui site from your hand, which can often be used to your advantage if your hand is clogged.  At a healthy 7 Body, this is one of the most reliable extra power generation sites.  Be sure to watch your opponents for illegal site discards, as it is a common mistake when using Monkey House. 
 

Mountain Fortress
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 Mountain Fortress, done.  Second turn Mountain Fortress, Magic providing foundation, Killing Rain x2, attack for 9...  Yeah right... Killing Rain...  I've tried this card... I've even gotten Security on it...  it's bad.  your deck is bad... it gets used agaiinst you... the fox steals the crane's eggs.

  Mountain Retreat
Bad bad bad.  How often does an opponent damage a site with more than two attackers?  Maybe if your opponent is trying to swarm you, but that is rare in these parts unless going for the win, and there are much better sites as stopping a win.  And unless you have defenders, your opponent can send in his goons two at a time once the retreat has been revealed.
  Mount Makarakomburu
First off, you really want to be playing Secret Headquarters over Mt. Monkeybutt -- while this card looks similar, it's not in the same league.  If you have 2 Secret HQs in your deck already and don't want to run Trade Centers, then maybe this card will do okay.  An exception where you might want to play this over Secret HQ is in a deck that has a lot of triggers off of your opponents seizing your sites (classic example is Gorilla Fighter).  Dropping this second turn isn't the speed increase that Secret HQ is, mainly because you are going to still have to pay 2 for your next FSS.  I guess it's okay if it's your 4th Feng Shui site, but I find that players don't last long at four sites -- they either win or get taken down, and you need a lot of turns for this card to pay off.
  Mourning Tree
This is one of those sites like Dragon Mountain that any deck can benefit from, without having to worry about supporting it with other cards.  It's best at annoying Dragon players who rely on Independent hitters to keep the pressure on.  Nothing more fun than a Scrappy Kid running straight into a Mourning Tree on a first attack.  But, if you opponent miscalculates on an attack to take this site, you are safe from follow up attacks, so it will often draw an over-commitment of attackers.  And any other denial you have is just going to slow down your opponents more.
Nine Dragon Temple
Finally a card to give Fortress of Shadow a run for it's money.  Even though it's trigger condition is slightly worse (you have to be farther from victory rather than have less power generating sites), it always goes off when the site's Body is reduced to zero -- your opponent can't avoid giving you 3 power by smoking the temple.  This card also goes well with the cards that put you farther from victory, and is usable in a larger structure with non-Feng Shui sites.
  Night Club
While this is okay early game when playing in the 10KB environment, I don't think it makes the cut in constructed.  There are just too many other FSS that get you a little bit more than a couple damage to intercepting characters over a game.
  Night Market
Night Market  is a site that always looks better that it really is.  The most common events that opponents play on my turn are the 1 cost zaps (Gas, Imprisoned, Shattering Fire, Orbital Laser Strike), Confucian Stability, Discerning Fire, Golden Comeback, or Neutron Bomb, and then they are usually only drawn out when I'm going for the win.  There are just better and more reliable sites for generating a few extra points of power, despite Night Market having a solid 8 Body.
  Obsidian Mountain
Well, it's big.  And you can hope your opponents attack it with a Palm of Darkness to cancel the damage ability.  This is a card you want 5 or none of -- and you are also playing it with at least 2 Dragon Mountains.  This means you need to find at least 5 more Feng Shui for a small deck, and it's hard to fit stuff in.  Stick with Ominous Swamp and Tangram Alley for big sites.
  Ominous Swamp
I've become fond of this site recently.  I like Inner Sanctums, and this site is often a nice alternative.  It lets (well, er.. forces) you to spread out some, but 13 Body is just so huge -- it takes The Gunman and 5 more damage to take it -- The Gunman will be looking elsewhere...  Paying 1 power to play a site behind it is sort of a balance -- there are definitely times you want to smoke your Ominous Swamp (like when it has 12 damage on it).  This site seems a natural in a Battleground deck where you want to spread out and have sites that are defensive.
  Peacock Summit
This site gives the multi-faction style of deck the nickname Peacock whether they are playing summits or not.  At 10 Body in a two faction deck, they are a questionable addition over Inner Sanctum or Grizzly pass if you are looking for high body sites.  At 3 factions, Peacock Summit grows to 12 Body making a serious consideration for defense.  This site often makes appearances in Xiaoyang Yun decks, where it can get up to 22 body if they are playing all eight factions.  The most sneaky use is getting it up to 12 Body in the mono-Architect deck by playing Rhys Engel and Dunwa Saleem.
  Perpetual Motion Machine
The larger your deck gets, the more useful the Motion Machine becomes.  Well, less useless it becomes.  In theory it lets you keep your hand free of clogs, letting you draw into the cards you need.  An especially devious player can play these in a deck with Paper Trails, and hope there opponent can't resist using this site once it's been seized!  
  Petroglyphs
An interesting site -- Petroglyphs can almost replace one of your Whirlpools, as the main cards it messes with are Fox Pass, Turtle Beach and City Square.  This card weighs in at 7 Body, which is defendable in the front row, unlike Whirlpool.  Don't overlook Robust Feng Shui, Expendable Unit and Brain Fire, all cards that you really want to cancel when retargetted against you.
  Phlogiston Mine
I have been throwing the Mine in random decks just to check it out, and it's been okay.  You can usually count on it to generate a couple power, but it's not outstanding, and belongs in the generic category of sites that conditionally give you a point of power.  Of course, you can get really lucky and make 6 power off of this site over the course of a multiplayer game -- I've done it!
  Pinball Arcade
This is about as bland as they get. Even the Fire King scoffs at it.  I guess it depends on doing 1 extra point a turn (providing you made a successful attack) the equivalent of gaining power -- I don't, so I think this card is heading to coaster city.
  Pinball Hall
This site is the Temple of Angry Spirits little brother.  At eight body, it makes a good front row site, and like Fortress of Shadow, can often wind up being smoked instead of seized or burned.  Pinball Hall will probably go best in a deck that doesn't have a lot of character removal (like Nerve Gas, Shattering Fire and Shadowy Mentor) available to it.  I think I like Fireworks Factory better, as a smart opponent will often just smoke a Pinball Hall, but that in itself is also something to consider.
  The Pinnacles
If you can attack *a lot* this site can make a little extra power for you, but it's often hit or miss.  And it's a real bummer when your opponent seizes your Pinnacles with two counters on it, which lets them put a third counter, gaining them a quick power.  I suspect this will mostly be seen in Scrappy Kid/Student of the Dragon heavy decks.  Also note that The Pinnacles doesn't require turning to place counters or generate power, so it might be an alternative to Gambling House and Monkey House in a very Whirlpool heavy environment.  One of the best combos I've seen with the Pinnacles is Inauspicious Return and Scrappy Kids, although it also works okay with Simian Sneakers.
  Primeval Forest
Generating 2 Power a turn is the shiznat.  Generating 0 ain't.  To use this card reliably, you need some healing effects in your deck -- that means playing Hand (not necessarily that bad) and/or playing lots of Stone Gardens (usually not the best as you want more versatility).  What kills this site is the Limited restriction -- that makes it almost impossible to build a deck around, so you are loading up on combo cards that you will never get to use.  I have seen many a game where the controller of Primeval Forrest has begged for someone to come over and take a damaged one just so they can start generating power again.
Proving Grounds
Provided you can drop a 2 or higher cost character every turn, this site effectively generates 2 power a turn, which is good in my book.  Unlike most of the other sites that give you extra power, Proving Grounds has the nasty drawback of generating zero power if cancelled or you can't meet its condition of having a character to play.  Still this site can put the pressure on an opponent like nothing else, and be prepared to back up your Proving Grounds with Whirlpools to counter your opponent's Whirlpools.  Also consider some alternate power generation events, which seem to go hand in hand with this site.  While you will occasionally see just a few Proving Grounds in a deck, most often (like with Cave Networks), you will see five.  One of the most famous of the Proving Ground decks is TurboCHAR -- the deck is hoping to go 1st turn PG and DNA Mage, 2nd turn Pocket Demon for 2 power (3 total), Whirlpool, turn PG to play CHAR, proceed to beats.
Puzzle Garden
The defensive power of Puzzle Garden is something not to be laughed at.  At 8 Body, it takes no less than 3 characters to take this site.  It doesn't matter if those 3 characters are Ting Ting, the Golden Gunman and the Queen of the Ice Pagoda -- all three would have to attack to take down a Puzzle in one turn.  Both the Dragons and the Lotus have excellent support cards like Final Brawl, Die!!! and oddly enough, Deathtrap too keep smaller characters from chipping away at your garden, and healing effects are multiplied by the Garden.  CHAR loves puzzles.
  Rainforest Grove
This is a site with an interesting ability that is maximized by having few cards in play.  But, since you want to have lots of characters to gain the bonus, and you never want your opponent to have a lot of cards in play, the Grove is difficult to pull off.  Also, since characters are often intercepted by just enough fighting to smoke them, healing effects like Healing Earth or Hidden Sanctuary will get the most mileage out this card.  Eagle Mountain can often serve the same purpose as Grove, but without having to depend on other cards.
  Rainforest River
Like Night Market, Rainforest River is one of those sites that looks better than it actually is.  While it can shore up your defenses if you are forced to drop a front-row Whirlpool, generally it is best to avoid situations like that in the first place,  Also it can only go in front of Feng Shui sites, which often winds up limiting the usefulness of this site.  I find it hard to pass over a City Park for this site.
  Rainforest Temple
The only Rainforest site that requires turning, the Temple is the most useful of this generally weak trio.  It acts as a larger Body site by being able to funnel damage to other sites, but then you wind up with a lot of damage sites that can fall in rapid succession once your temple is gone.  You can combine this with Family Restaurant's regeneration ability to heal 2 damage a turn, but frankly you are better off playing Stone Gardens if you want to heal your sites.  
  Ring of Gates
Ring of Gates was a reaction to the outbreak of Imprisoned decks, but in the process turned out the be a great denial site. Among the more common effects it stops are Blade Palm, ArcanoTechnician, Banish, Fighting Spirit, Wind on the Mountain and Into the Light,  Don't overlook the devious benefit of turning Ring of Gates to cancel Auspicious Termites returning to its owners hand when smoked!  This is one of the sites that is almost considered a must in dueling, where an early Imprisoned can mean a game.  For the truly ambitious, combine with Stolen Police Car and hope for the best!  It's going to depend on your meta-game as to whether you pack Ring, Festival Circle, or both.
  Roller Rink
Roller Rink screams out Dark Travelers and Displaced.  Maybe a few other really fragile specialty characters like Malachi and Hermes will work okay.  Getting this card damaged, but not vulnerable to an easy seize usually involves Killing Rain and it sitting in the back row, which just adds an extra headache to this card.  I think in the long run the benefits of Roller Rink are going to be questionable
, and boy is the art god awful -- hokey pokey anyone?
 

Sacred Ground
This is the base for designing Feng Shui sites.  Sites' Body decrease from 9 as their ability gets better, and increase when the sites get disadvantages.  Unfortunately, since there are so many useful 8 Body Sites, Sacred Ground should never see play outside of sealed (and then only if you are short of sites).

Sacred Heart Hospital
How can you not like a site that can turn to heal a character?  Sacred Heart is the bane of characters intercepting in a chain to put that nail into an attacking characters coffin (along with Blood of the Valiant).  Large characters usually benefit the most from this card, and Sergeant Blightman is often a visitor.  This is one of those sites that will often get seized by an opponent over being burned.
  Smiling Heaven Lake
With an effect similar to Kar Fai's Crib and Combat in Arms, this site allows you to bypass one resource condition and avoid having to spend power on foundation characters.  Larger decks will benefit as they have more difficulty in drawing resource characters reliably.  Unfortunately, this site requires turning, which can cause you problems if your opponent has a Whirlpool advantage.
  Sampan Village
Playing a Sampan Village in our group is most likely going to get you laughed at and get you flooded with a bunch of "what's that do again?' type questions.  While it can clear a site of defenders, its a hard trick to pull off as most players favor smaller structures.  Your best hope for pulling off a Sampan is play with lots of Battleground Sites so you opponent will be all over the board, giving you the chance to scatter their defenses.
Stone Dolmens
Hoses Mentor.  Period.  Not as good as Waterfall Sanctuary, but goes in some decks (especially if you are like me, and keep running out of Waterfalls).  There are a couple of other annoying States this gets rid of, from Avenging Fire to Resistance Is Futile!  Like the Spirals, this has a respectable 8 Body, so it's got a little D.  You probably don't want to play this in a deck with Shadowy Mentors, since Stone Dolmens won't be controllable with Whirlpools like Waterfall Sanctuary it (you opponent waits until the end of your turn, declares Dolmens, you turn your Whirlpool, they start their turn, declare Dolmens again, and you lose).  A staple of all our decks, and the only thing not keeping us from playing more is that we don't have more.
  Stone Garden
An interesting card -- at 6 Body its moderately weak, and while Stone Garden's ability isn't on par with City Square or Turtle Beach, it can save sites and can be used in multiples.  More than once an attack against a damaged site has been unable to reduce the site to zero from a timely Stone Garden.  Don't forget to heal other player's sites if it will stop an opponent from grabbing it -- you want it weak and on the board for yourself.
  Stone Spirals
This is a variation on Mobius Gardens.  I'm thinking it's not as good, just because Red Wedding has so many power generating Events, which are going going to make the Gardens better.  It's also a metagame card -- if one of your opponents always plays Family Estate or Proving Grounds, then try it out and see if Stone Spirals works for you (getting two into play could really make that PG player think twice).    Time will tell, at least its got 8 Body to keep it in play for a while.  Every now and then it goes off, but not as often as you like.  But, I can say the same about Mobius Gardens, but with all the new power generating events, I think the Mobius has got the edge.
  Sunless Sea Ruins
This card is very difficult to play -- not being able to discard can be a huge disadvantage if your hand gets clogged.  You don't play this site for the 10 Body since there are better bigger sites -- you play it for the increased hand size.  0-cost events can help keep your hand flowing, with Far Seeing Rice Grains being a likely choice to with Sunless Sea Ruins.
  Tangram Alley
It's big... wait... no... it's HUGE.  While you can figure on this guy having a 9 Body early game (effectively making it a Sacred Ground), late game this is almost always a massive 14 Body.  We are talking Burning King size.  It's amazing how much of an attack deterrent that 14 Body can be -- it is noticeable over the 11 Body of Inner Sanctum.   See also it's cousin, Ominous Swamp.
Temple of Angry Spirits
In my opinion, this is one of the three cards in Throne Wars that are so overpowered they shouldn't have been printed in the current form (along with Die!!! and Inauspicious Return).  There isn't much strategy to this site -- play it, watch your opponents' characters dies, and win.  Also hope your opponent doesn't play it before you do.  Be prepared for some Uniqueness auctions once everyone clues into the power of the Temple.  This card has become dominant in dueling, where it can single handedly knock your opponent out of the game.  And in multi, it's still a great deterrent, and it will cause your opponents to look for easier targets.
Temple of Celestial Mercy
Yikes... people are going to love this card.  Throw it in a deck, and get more cards.  Sure there are combos like Fatty Cho and Tong Su Jin, but just holding  two extra cards is huge in any deck.  Like that other Temple, expect to see this one a lot.  Did I mention that you should expect to see this card a lot?  It's only limiting factor is that it's a fixed card in 10KB, found in both the Architect and Dragon decks.
Temple of the Monkey King
While this card can have some nice synergy in a lot of surprising situations, it has it's true home in 2061 under the Architects control.  This is the site that is going to allow you to zap the Golden Gunman and the Eastern King with your Nerve Gasses and Imprisoned.  Unfortunately you can't blank your own characters (the target has to be attacking) and set up some crazy Demon Queen madness, but since this Temple is non-unique, you don't have to worry about drawing multiples or auctions, not to mention a respectable 8 Body.  Having an exposed Temple of the Monkey King is often enough of a deterrent to send some attackers elsewhere.
The Blue Moon Club
Temple-lite any one?  I suspect that this is hands-down the best card in 2FT (although the general low-power level of the set .  It's just as good as Temple against foundation characters, and it generates an additional power every other turn?  Yeesh.  I'm dreading the Booby-trapped Blue Moon Temple Ironworks deck, with sites that just punish you for attacking.  Just what we need, longer games.
 

The Steam Laundry Company
Healing is strong.  A site that can heal over and over is even better.  Now, we all know Stone Garden is kinda janktastic, but it is marginally playable.  This card kicks it up a notch.  Yes, it's not a combo with the totally broken Temple of Angry Spirits, but you can do some tricks the always useful City Square.  And you can make your City Park heal every turn.  This is going to add some extra beef to the large body sites (Inner Sanctum anyone?), so you may want to consider a few in a deck where you are trying to abuse the Steam Laundry.  Don't overlook the denial part of this card -- if anyone is about to take a damage a non-unique site

 

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.  All of mine are still in decks.  I like it as an alternative to the old standby power generating sites.  The defense value lets you build (you opponents don't wear it down with free foundation attacks).

Turtle Beach
While mastering the strategy of using Turtle Beach can take a while, once learned you can dominate a game with it.  And the beach has uses both early and late game.  A first turn Turtle Beach can give you an nice advantage by allowing you to attack an opponents site and kill their characters in the process.  This often allows you to get 4+ damage on their first site while you both race to build your power structure, almost insuring that they will feel the first burn.  Mid to late game, this site is the master of creating an unsuccessful attack, because whenever it's used on an a tiny intercepting character, it still stops the attacker because it has failed to overcome the interceptor.  As a site that often winds up smoking itself, it fits good with Dark Traveler, and it is a Unique site that is often worth playing multiples of in a deck, even with the new rules that disallow you to voluntarily put two Unique cards into play.  This site is a staple of dueling decks, as well as many specialized character decks. such as the Ex-Commando Gun deck.
Turtle Island
This is one of my favorite sites, so I may rate it a little higher that it deserves.  Not only does it stop an early burn, but it combos well with several other cards like Gorilla Fighter, Jade Valley and Storm of the Just.  Don't forget about Auspicious Termites if you feel like making a 'fire-proof' deck. Early game, players are looking for a site to burn for power, hoping that the power boost will start them steamrolling towards a victory, and Turtle Island will thwart them.  Turtle Island also combos well with cards that trigger of cards being seized (Avenging Thunder), cards that trigger off of an opponent controlling sites you own (Gorilla Fighter, Storm of the Just), and cards that count an opponents sites (Pocket Demon, et. al.).
  The Hanging Coffins
Tactics has proven itself to be the weakest of the standard character abilities.  Yes, it can save your characters from being intercepted during Operation Killdeer or running into the Temple of Angry Spirits (but only if it's face up, stupid ruling), a 6 Body site is weak for this ability.  It will trigger the +2 Fighting ability that Melissa Aguelera gives, so it worth throwing in a deck when playing her. The favorite combo with the Hanging Coffins is Ambush, where you can use the special Tactics window to ambush your opponent, then pull out before then can hit back (if they survived your initial damage).
  The Red Lantern Tavern
This is another one of those sites that usually gets cut when I finally get around to putting cards into a deck.  Assassinate was clearly over priced in the initial sets (look at Nine Cuts and Sting of the Scorpion vs. Claw of Fury from Flashpoint).  Assassinate can be very useful at getting rid of protected utility characters, but the limitation of Assassinate vs. turned characters only drops the tavern to a lower tier.  This card is also of marginal use in combination with the Ascended Edge Bounty, letting it trigger off some of your foundations.
 

University Library
Yawn.  +1 hand size, 7 body site.  Nothing new or exciting to see here.  Move along.  Cards like Temple of Celestial Mercy or Orange Sensei Chamber that straight up increase your hand-size have been shown to be winners.  Cards like Coral Reef that let you draw and filter not so as much.  Now that I think about it, this would have made a great new Sacred Ground at 9 Body -- as it is, there are just better sites to play in most decks.  Even if you get multiple libraries out, you are denying yourself other good sites.  It's not very clear what happens if University Library gets blanked -- we'll have to wait for the FAQ.

Rating:  1.5

Mr. Strange adds:
 
  I really like + hand size, but this effect is different enough that I think I'm going to like it. This makes random discard effects much more palatable.

  Wall of a Thousand Eyes
This is a rarely used site, but it can be quite powerful in the right situation.  Superleap is probably the ability that you want to cancel most, followed by Stealth.  Note that the Wall of a Thousand Eyes doesn't have to be the target of the attack -- the all-seeing wall protects all of your sites (but not your characters).  At 7 Body, it doesn't really punish you for playing it, so it makes a good addition if you are being slapped by superleap or stealth a lot, as determined by your meta-game..

Waterfall Sanctuary
Goes in every deck that isn't playing heavy States (and even in some of those!).  It crushes Mentor, Tanks, Guns, Swords, etc.  This is one of those no-brainer cards (like Whirlpool of Blood) that you should squeeze into every deck.  Heck, play two in every deck until the Ascended have lost control of the current juncture.  Don't forget to smack your own States if the character is going to get Smoked to draw a card.  And don't forget a Whirlpool or two to back up the Waterfall -- you don't want your opponent stopping you.

Whirlpool of Blood
Without a doubt this is the most useful site in the game.  And the funny thing is that it does nothing without your opponent playing with sites that turn for effect.  But of course, everyone does, so this card is a must.  Oddly enough, the card most often targeted by a Whirlpool is another Whirlpool.  This card is a staple of dueling, where canceling an early site can make a game.  It's also extremely useful in backing up your own sites that turn, such as Proving Ground.  Expect to see 4 or 5 in a dueling deck, and 1 to 3 in a friendly deck.  UPDATE:  While Hot Springs has not taken off as much as I expected it to, it's still a viable alternative to Whirlpool in heavy character based decks.  
 

 

 

horizontal rule

Shadowfist is (c) Z-Man Games -- visit the official Shadowfist website!

Send an email to the Secret HQ