||Big Brother Tsien
This guy is an oddity. Not only is he a Unique foundation character,
but he can bust out for some serious damage both early and late
game. Normally to get a 3 power for 5 fighting deal, you have to
have 3 resources (like Silver Band or The Reconstructed). Not to
mention that he's a Demon Hood, which is only surpassed by Demon Martial
Artist for coolness factor. BCL and 10KB give the Lotus several new
Hoods, but I've yet to make the deck work -- there's too much chaff, and
not enough meat.
A resource character that usually winds up as hitter as well, the Bloody
Horde is a staple of Cave Network Lotus dueling decks. If you don't
need much Magic (or have access to another factions Magic resource
characters), these guys can cause some serious trouble. If they ever
make another Demon Horde, these guys will get even better. Don't
forget about Identity Chop Shop and Sinister Accusations to add the
designator Horde to you Demons. And Evil Twinning a Blood Horde can
be a decent deal mid to late game.
If Nine Cuts weren't already a coaster, this card would have put the nail
in his coffin. Using Assassinate to talk out those specialty
characters can be useful (especially in multiplayer), and the Claw's
ability to come out for free when you get used for a Pocket Demon is the
icing on the cake that makes this card very playable. This is one of
those high utility characters (like Righteous Fist) that is worth playing
two of in a deck, but loading up too heavily will slow you down.
First off, if you didn't notice it, this card also counts as a Demon Horde,
so you can play them with your Bloody Hordes. I find this an
interesting card -- it's lousy as a foundation at 3 power and not even
but, Demon Whiskey has a chilling effect on the game -- your opponents are
going to have to think twice before burning sites, especially if you have
more than one of these in your smoked pile. When considering Demon
Whiskey, count it as half a resource at best, otherwise you may find your
deck is too slow. Also, this card competes with the nearly broken
Underworld Tracker, but the tracker is lacking the stupid name.
If you haven't already, take all your Eunuch Underlings out of your decks
and replace them with this card. While Earth Poisoner is not
earthshaking in itself, he can whack a little extra damage on those
annoying sites that usually get turned during an attack (like Kinoshita
House, City Square, Turtle Beach, Sacred Heart Hospital and Fox
Even though Earth Poisoner is strictly better than this card, it's always
been a staple of magic Based Lotus decks. The Eunuch designator lets
you do stupid Eunuch tricks, and you may find yourself still including one
or two of these in a deck over Sinister Priests because of that. Note:
Official Errata changes this card's designator to Sorcerer Bureaucrat.
Bad bad bad, It's a Dragon Fighter without Guts. Of course,
you can really humiliate your opponent if you can win with a 3rd turn
Since he doesn't provide magic, I don't think Ogre will make the
cut. Compare this guy to Low-Rent Cyborg -- he provides a talent and
always hits for 5. You also get to recycle him with In Your Face
Again/There's Always One More. Ogre you get to play for free if
someone steals power or a character from you -- this is just a free play,
not a cancel like Hacker. Do you see the difference? You might
actually want to pay 3 power for the Cyborg, whereas you almost never want
to pay for Ogre, meaning it's just going to sit in your hand.
Gobble gobble gobble -- I have yet to see the turkey in play.
Rate these guys as one star higher if you are playing a deck specifically designed
around them, with lots of Lotus sites that you plan to work into your
front row. The Guards also do a good job defending the Emperor, and
they are more than willing to sacrifice themselves at Ghao Zhang;s
command. Usually you want to play five of this card, but sometimes just
throwing in one or two to fortify your Lotus resources in a mixed faction
deck may prove useful. I've found it very efficient to stock up on
Lotus faction sites -- that way your Palace Guards will rush to defend an
attack against your site structure -- it can really discourage attacks
(not to mention fueling a nice big Die!!!)
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. I've played them a couple times, and maybe
zapped once, but they have been remarkably unspectacular.
Three Fighting is just a little to low to make this guy's Regenerate
ability kick in. Of course, you could be playing him along with
Discerning Fire just in case you feel like spending 5 power to smoke a
Shadowy Mentor (bah, Claw of Fury is even better at that).
Not too much to say about this card. You are probably more likely to
do +1 damage than you are to do -1 damage, but this ability is pretty much
ignorable. This card is a second Sinister Priest, and that means you
will probably only ever be playing Earth Poisoner/Eunuch Underling in
designator decks. This guy gets a little competition from Palace
Guards -- you may not want to play the full 10 1-cost talent providers,
choosing to slip in a few of the returning Guards instead.
foundation -- play it (and see it played) all the time.
He passes the test of being a 1 cost foundation character and passes the
test of having an ability (providing Magic), which makes him a staple in
most Lotus decks. Of course Throne War shakes the Lotus up, and this
guy might see a decline in play as Palace Guards become a character of
choice, with Earth Poisoners giving that Magic support.
||Thorns of the
This guy is bad bad bad. There is only one good play with this guy
(other than discarding him whenever you draw him that is), and that is the
tricky designator match of Archer with Sun Chen. Of course, that is
if Confucius allows it that is.
Pretty un-inspiring. These cards are so marginally better than
Vassals of the Lotus that it's not funny. You weren't really planning
on winning with Thugs and Tools of the Trade, were you? You also bust
out your Swords of Biting for the
Swords deck (assuming you want to forego playing
Swords, which is, almost never in this deck). I've played these a
few times, and I did get a +1 Fighting once, but I can't remember exactly
what the situation was, but these are still way down the list for cards I'd
||Vassals of the
While these guys used to get some play in a speedy Lotus deck that wanted
to bust out fast, the appearance of Palace Guards in Throne War has pretty
much condemned the Vassals to spotty appearances in a Hood deck.
If can bust out an Abysmal Absorber second turn with a Pocket Demon or
Proving Ground, you can dominate a duel by toasting all of your opponent's
resources by aggressively attacking their characters. But, when in a
multiplayer game, such aggressive play with the 'Sorber is usually not
your best plan. Taking one player out of the game by hosing their
resources only destabilizes the game and makes it very hard for you to
stick to your strategy. Instead, use the 'Sorber to attack their
sties -- odds are you won't be intercepted, and then you can use this card
to sit back on defense because the other players will be reluctant to have
their characters absorbed.
Four power to do just a few damage is not good. Compare to Mark of
Fire which is going to plink sites all day. Even Purist Sorcerer is
going to give you more bang for your buck. This card would need to
cost about 2 power to consider playing, and even then I don't think it
would be very good.
The Lotus have so many great utility characters that are foils to the
various strategies, it's often hard to choose which one to play. The
Abysmal Deceiver is one of those cards, who you are hoping to counteract
Shadowy Mentor, Tortured Memories, Heroic Conversion or Xin Kai
Sheng. Since this card is Unique, I wouldn't recommend overloading
on them, but putting one in your deck if you have a open slot is usually a
strong choice. And having the Thing or a Ravenous Devourer around
also lets you worry less about opponents taking control of your
Another card that usually only sees play in sealed (where it's a house),
this card is very mediocre. Underworld Tracker is the same cost, and
looks to be much more useful. At 4 Fighting, the regenerate doesn't
kick in as often as you'd like. If you want regenerators, pay one
more power for Kun Kan and the Demon Emporer.
The Prince has got to be one of the goofiest cards in the game. He
turns Edges into Characters -- sort of. Once you've targeted an Edge
with Abysmal Prince, you will probably try to Smoke it with a Shattering
Fire or White Disciple, but don't overlook other faction damage cards like
Classic example of over valuing Assassinate in the first edition (ala Nine
Cuts). Coaster coaster coaster. Claw of Fury is the way to go.
This is a pretty narrow card that will go into a deck based around it, but
not much else. Police Station is probably your best bet, which will
get you a 5 Fighting regenerator. You will have to be careful in
playing cards like this, as wily opponents will try to two-for-one you by
taking out the card that is keeping this around. Underworld Tracker is
another must, as they are Cops and tend to come back a lot.
Mr. Strange says:
This is my favorite card of the set - I love 2-for-3's, I love
regenerate, and I love adding a well-established designator to a faction
which generally doesn't use it. I guess I also like the theme of the card.
So this one is a big winner for me all around.
While I like 2-for-3s too, they have to have something going for
them, and the Deputies don't got much. My play environment has canny
players that would like nothing more than to cripple your deck by causing
your Deputies to smoke themselves.
At the start, this is a 3-for-4 Toughness:1, so it's playable out of the
starting line. Now to that, we add a crazy copy ability. I think
it falls more into the fun card category than useful. There are a few
times when there will be a small character that you copy for some extra
synergy with Bloody Herd's innate Toughness: 1, but it wont be that often.
And yes, this is a really stupid card thematically.
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.
I take back what I said about dropping an Evil Twin for Cenotaph -- he
just hasn't turned into a threat card for me. Also, Assassinate as a
special ability has always been of questionable merit.
The Destroyer has earned the nickname "Energizer Bunny"
because he keep on going and going and going and... You will
almost always want to play this card in a Lotus deck. Now there is a
specific strategy once you get the Destroyer into play -- you want him to
die every turn! You are either running him into a large character on
your turn or you are incepting a large character on an opponents
turn. And make sure the Destroyer dies -- it really stinks when you
start your turn with a 1 Fighting Destroyer. And while this card can
take Sites, remember that is primarily anti-character card.
Since the Doomed Lackey is a 1 cost Eunuch, you can try and pull off
stupid Eunuch tricks with it, like playing it for free with Dragon
Throne. Very rarely will you use the Toughness ability, and you will
probably get more mileage out of the Shadow Creeper.
This Throne War demon has turned out to be simply amazing. Eater of
Fortune is an apt name, as it will eat up your opponents' fortune.
This is a card that I like one of in a dueling deck and two of in a
multiplayer deck. Not only does it have the chance of equaling the
monstrous Walking Corpses, it also Smokes an opponent's Edge which is a
huge advantage, whether it is Shield of Pure Soul, Paper trail or a Feast
Another weapon in the Eunuch deck, the Elite Guards can serve the important
role of protecting your big Eunuch hitters from Events. While
playing 5 of these may not be warranted, playing 2 or 3, especially if you
are relying on cards like Gao Zhang, Shi Zi Hui or Jueding Shelun as your
your major hitters. While the main purpose of the Elite Guards is to
save you from Events, they can get in some much needed damage, and can benefit
from playing the smaller Lotus specialty Unique Characters like The Emperor,
Wu Ta-Hsi or Big Brother Tsien.
Even with the errata making Evil Twins of Unique characters Unique (i.e.
there can be only one Evil Twin of Ting Ting in play, but there can also
be an Evil Twin of the Thing in play at the same time), this is
still one of the best (if not the best) characters in the game.
Three power gives you the best hitter on the table -- not only can you
copy your opponents characters, you can go offensive and play and copy
your own. And with only one resource required, expect to see Evil
Twin in any deck that even splashes Lotus (along with Tortured Memories).
In a way the Wind Demon is a comeback card. You are really hoping to
get that 1 cost 5 Fighting character in a 4 player game, but more realistically
he's 2 cost, but that's still respectable. I wouldn't load up, but 1
or 2 of these along with a couple of Underworld Trackers makes a nice
mid-rage demon threat. Since he reduces his own cost, you can use
Dragon Throne and other cost reduces to get extra mileage. Argh.. I
only got one Feng Kan to play with out of too many boxes, still, he seems decent the few
times I manage to draw him.
Bleech -- it's a bummer to see such an important story character relegated
to such a useless card. Even in the Eunuch deck, White Disciple is
way better. Although I did once see an Identity Chopshop used to
turn Fo Shen into a Useless Eunuch Sorcerer...
Well, we all know what a coaster Abysmal Horror is outside of draft (and
even in draft, the
tricky). So, to make this slot/character playable, we have an added
ability. How good is Flesh Eater's return a card ability? Well,
it's kind of hard to trigger, but returning a card to hand is generally
good, especially when it's something along the lines of a Tortured Memories
(which makes a great follow-up).
BFB is a beat down machine. He's big, he's got a Gas mask, he
regenerates -- what more can you want? Oh, did I mention he's
fast? FBF can actually come out on your second turn by using
combinations of 1 cost foundation characters, Pocket Demon, Proving Ground
or Glimpse of the Abyss. And Toasting a Site is not much of a
drawback, as you get to choose which Site, and you can often remove a
vulnerable one from play. And of course that puts you farther away
from victory, which helps keep his increased Fighting and Regeneration
active (as does Glimpse). Also, since the Toast a Site is a come
into play effect, you can Evil Twin your FBF with impunity, even if you
have no Sites in play.
While the Ghost Assassin can be powerful, you need to play it in
conjunction with with characters with useful abilities. Remember you
only get to use those abilities once, as you will have to toast the source
of those abilities. You can try to take advantage of removing
characters from your Smoked pile by playing Netherworld Return, but you
need to be careful that you don't remove all your resources.
This Demon is a reusable Imprisoned -- sounds great in theory, but in
practice it never works. If you Seducer makes it into play without
being zapped by an Event, you need to do some serious protecting.
Expect a horde of resource characters to head her way at first
chance. You get to bounce one attacker, but the odds are your
Seducer is history unless you some hidden take out.
Seating can make a huge difference in how good a Gibbering Horror is for
you. You want at least 4 Events in your opponent's Smoked pile to
play Gibbering Horror, while 5+ starts making this card a good deal.
While it's really hard to find room for this card with other awesome
choices like Underworld Tracker, I sometimes throw one into a deck and
hope for the best -- in the right situation, Gibbering Horror can exceed 5
This card is very similar to the Righteous One, except it is a lot easier
to use. Unfortunately, with a Fighting of only 1, the Gnarled Horror
is vulnerable to those annoying Dragon events Final Brawl and Carnival of
Everybody loves the Gnarly. It's a card that just screams out
"make the Gnarled Marauder" deck. To get the most mileage
out of the double damage effect, load up on weapon States.
Unfortunately, this card is often seen as a major threat and your
opponents will form a temporary alliance to get it off the board. I
think this guy will like riding on Hell Chargers.
These guys play a lot like Snake Fighter, but a little better (okay, it's
not that hard to do). Yeah, I would have liked them as Hood Martial
Artists, but what are you going to do? To get mileage out of them,
you're going to have to be safe in attacking, as they will get intercepted.
Don't plan on them triggering a lot -- they are a chilling effect card --
people won't attack if they know you can get a free kill in. They're
bad dudes on a motorcycle, and might be okay riding a Hell Charger (or with
the undervalued Hall of Portals).. They are sitting in my Lotus Hood
deck, which I haven't had the motivation to play, as the Hood theme has been
feeling kind of tired for the last few sets.
Hopping Vampire (Seven Masters)
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 came, I saw, I
build the deck, I got bored with it, I took it apart.
This is one of those cards that on it's own is fairly useless, but in the
correct deck can be very playable. In the case of Imperial Guard,
the Eunuch deck is his home. With the great influx of Eunuch cards
in Throne War, it's time to dust off the Guard and drop a few into
decks. You can reasonably expect him to at least be a Walking Corpse
by mid game.
Here we have an okay anti-turtle card, which you need to wait on playing
this card to maximize effect. You want them to have a decent sized
unturned characters, and either a one column site structure, or a site
that will be easy pickings when the character in front of it turns to
change location in response to Je Pai coming in to play. Don't expect
her to live more than 1 turn unless you have some tricks like Kinoshita
House or Fox Pass -- she will be the #1 target for your opponent.
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.
We saw her played a little bit when Red Wedding first came out, but she
seems to have returned to the Underworld these days.
With his list of grudges, you can expect at least 8 damage for your 4
power, and possibly a bunch more. While this card can be offensive
(its 5 Fighting can take sites), it usually plays a more defensive role of
guarding your most vulnerable site and sniping at Unique cards.
With it's base 5 Fighting, Kun Kan is definitely big enough to benefit
from it's Regeneration ability. One old style Lotus deck in these
parts was build around Kun Kan and The Hungry, burning for victory giving
you both power and making your Earth Demon grow. Now with Throne
War, the Lotus has a lot more options, including another 4 cost
regenerator (Demon Emperor)
of the Dammed
I've tried the Legion a couple of times, but they've never quite payed all
the bills they could. The Lotus have a lot of choices in the 3 cost
range, and this falls short of a few others. Still, if you're crazy,
you can try Legion and Walking Corpses in a Dragon Throne deck, using the
Malachi is another card I blew it on with my original assessment. A
1- cost pinger is useful card -- too bad he's rare and so hard to come
by. Providing a magic resource is also a nice bonus.. He
becomes truly dangerous if you are mixing Architects and get his
counterpart Hermes into play. Sigh... you can't use
Inauspicious Return on Malachi or Hermes, so you won't be able to go crazy
with the combo. What is going to become truly frightening is the
Dark Future -- The Purists are going to be introduced as a new faction,
and rumor has it that you will be able to play the Architect and Lotus
Purists by substituting Purist resources -- all of a sudden, Malachi and
Hermes are looking bad-ass.
Even though she's huge, I find it hard to spend 5 power on a mainly
defensive character. The Obsidian Eye now gives you a second card to
go along with Larcenous Mist that will allow the Mother to attack, so you
can try to build a deck around this card.
Bleech... These guys just aren't very exciting. They have that
real limited Toughness, which seems to be primarily anti-Police Station,
but we've known for a long time that a Hood vs. Police matchup is the
makings for a real bad game. The gain power ability only works when
your behind, which makes it all the harder to make it work unless you are
Glimpsing like mad. Even then, this guy only gets about as good as
Walking Corpses, so why go through all the hassle when you can start with
the Corpses? And sadly, NeNe hasn't returned to doing Shadowfist art
-- this was an old piece from the vaults.
Purist Sorcerer got a huge boost from Throne War's Sinister
Accusations. Now you can reliably expect your opponents to be
playing Buro characters. Even without Sinister Accusations, Purist
Sorcerer has two solid abilities. First, he does still scoop up
control of CHAR, which is the Architect hitter of choice. Second,
being able to ping characters for a point a damage gives you lots of
This demon is solid -- no longer do you need to spend 6 Power to get out
the Thing to munch things after Tortured Memories -- this guy does it for
two. He is also Mentor defense of a last resort, and he can punch
through damage by eating a few Sinister Priests and Palace Guards.
Unfortunately, you can almost always expect this guy to be intercepted for
at least 2 damage to smoke him at the end of the turn, so Secret Heart
Hospital or Turtle Beach can be of some use. I've had some fun with
a Lot/Hand deck with Devourers and the Hand character stealing cards --
Peasant Uprising, Peasant Leader and Tranquil Persuader.
I'm not getting very excited over this card (although JerO's art is really
cool). They have a somewhat usable evasion ability. The
obvious card to use with them is Demonic Plague, but there is also
Infernal Plague in faction, as well as the always useful pingers (White
Disciple, Purist Sorcerer and Malachi). Going mulitfaction, dropping
a brawl before playing the Red Dragon Troupe is going to let them through,
but you're going to have to choose your target carefully since you
are only doing 4 damage. Okay, I was wrong about these guys --
they actually have potential for punch-through. They went through a
real popular phase here when Red Wedding first came out, but haven't been
seen as much. If you haven't figured it out by now, Demonic Plague is
the go-to card for the Red Dragon Troupe -- you opponents will fear it --
even knowing you've got one in hand (since you've been returning it) will
cause them fits as they are over a barrel.
Red Scorpion Killers
I just did a search at Chimpshack
for 4-cost 5 fighting characters, and there were a lot more good ones than I
expect. And some great ones (cough monkey cough). But, Red
Scorpion Killers is not one of them. They fall somewhere between
Leatherback and Marauder Lord, two cards that don't see a lot of play (at
least in my portion of the globe). You can use them in conjunction
with the theft cards, but, I'm a huge fan of Ravenous Devourer, who gets you
the benefits without the extra power investment. The do you give a last ditch
protection against Mentor and Brawl (sac your foundations to keep the
Killers alive). Pretty much just for Hood decks or administering the
beat down in draft. I have run into several people that think this
is a good card, but they still haven't put their money where their
mouth is. I guess it makes an expensive deterrent to Mentor when
you've run out of State-hate.
Reverend Adam Wither
Yowza, can you feel the power? We are talking some serious smackage
with the good Reverend here. Of course you lose a lot of control over
this ability when attacking -- you can darn tootin' bet that he will be
intercepted by a tiny character if at all possible. Also, remember
that if you attack a character directly (which you may want to do,
especially if you have enough
outright smoke your target if not intercepted) that the attack will be
unsuccessful (since it wasn't combat damage). Where that card is to be
feared is on defense -- you get to pick and choose who you're gonna smack.
And, the Reverend is hard to take out, as it will require multiple
characters in the first attack (or your opponent runs the risk of the
aforementioned unsuccessful attack).
The Shadow Creeper is the best Assassinate character in Standard, and he's
a Eunuch to boot, which allows him to interact with a bunch of other
cards. Also only costing 1 power, you can bring this guy back with
Inauspicious Return, allowing you to Assassinate at will. But since
the Claw of Fury made his debut, I don't think Shadow Creeper is really
worth playing outside a Eunuch deck.
Gah... Making Flying Guillotine look good. In reality,
dropping a Guillotine on a foundation is going to get you more mileage
than this turkey. Even if you are focusing on Hoods and have a
Dragon Throne out, I'd rather have a Student of the Shark most of the
Even though he has super-Regenerate, Snake Man doesn't hold up against the
other 4 cost Demons, with Destroyer being the best example. Of
course, Snake Man in a Speed Boat in a big multiplayer game would be cool.
I'll have to dusk off some Snake Men and try them with the new Lotus
vehicles -- Hell Charger and Demon Tank.
While Smoking an Architect State is occasionally comes up (an odd
Godhammer or ArcanoTank), Sung Hi's primary job is to stop the Architect
Event triumvirate -- Nerve Gas, Imprisoned and Neutron Bomb. Sung Hi also
has a Gas mask, and his low cost doesn't hurt you that much if he is
Imprisoned, do don't hesitate to use his ability even if you think your
opponent is holding two Events. The Purist Sorcerer also plays a
similar anti-Architect role for the Lotus.
The Bound is interesting -- it doesn't really fit in with the Lotus.
It's 3-cost character that hit's for 6 and has Mobility. The goofy
Hosed ability is almost never going to come up, but actually does benefit
the character as it has the annoying tendency to get intercepted by 3
Fighting worth of characters. Being a Netherworld Horror means that
it might not fall victim to Discerning Fire, as Eunuchs and Demons are all
too prone to.
The game changes once The Emperor hits the board -- until he is dealt
with, people will be afraid to play non-Unique characters. Of
course, you will be dealing with those Unique characters with cards such
as Die!!! Since The Emperor is only a 1 Fighting, you
will want characters on the board to help defend him, and Palace Guards
are one of the best choices as they are willing to die over and over again
for The Emperor. They also help out because being a 1 cost
foundation character, they will get you to this card's hefty four
resources quickly. You will also want a decent supply of smaller
Eunuchs available for sacrifice to cancel those pesky Events that could
head The Emperor's way.
While he's not totally out of control power-wise, The Mantis is kinda
cool. He lives up to the current generation of assassins like
the new Nine Cuts, White Ninja and Sting of the Scorpion. If you can
get his fighting up a little, he becomes somewhat respectable. The
obvious combo in the set in Evil Master, but I think Hell Charger is
probably a better way to go -- that way he's gonna be able to use his
toughness more (and he takes down 6 fighting dudes).
This card doesn't seem to fit in Shaolin Showdown -- a set with very few
Tech cards and set in 1865 China. The Metal Demon seems more like
he'd be unleashed in the dark future... Ti Kan is a specialty card
-- the other 3 cost Demons are more versatile, but if your play group has
lots of Tech players (Architects, Jammers), he can slow them down a little
bit. It's a nice mix up, he kills CHAR, and that +1 damage even hits
sites from time to time.
Often an overlooked card, the Tomb Spirit takes sites at will. You
almost always have 3 or more characters in your Smoked pile that aren't
doing you any good, and they can make this card huge. As always, the
problem is keeping your Tomb Spirit alive, as he will almost always be
intercepted by a foundation character, which will put that one point of
damage on him so he will be Smoked at the end of the turn when the pump-up
As much as he tries, he's just no Sting of the Scorpion. Remember,
his target has to do less damage than his fighting score, so you're going to
have to pump him up, or only stick to whacking foundations, which is mostly
a waste of time. There are just better cards in the 3 cost slot for
you to pay the bills with. The card one could compare the Tong to
is Butterfly Knight, which we all know and love (or hate if you're on the
receiving end) -- what makes the BK rock is smacking down sites big time --
just with the Tong does not do.
Hundred Knives of Pain
This Demon is an interesting card -- it's a mid sized character with a
powerful offensive ability. At 3 cost, 200KoP can fit into your Cave
Network deck, but the Lotus have so many good characters that this card
often gets overlooked. Consider playing with Rigorous Discipline or
a couple of States that increase Fighting or Damage to get the most out of
Underworld Tracker is just nuts -- too bad he's uncommon and somewhat hard
to get or every Lotus deck would have five -- well, not that many, but
every deck does want a couple. Two Underworld Trackers in your
Smoked Pile effectively shuts down Golden Comeback as you will almost
always equal your opponent in Fighting. You also will make that
controlling Hand player sweat as he decides whether or not Wind on the
Mountain is worth it. The prevalence of Underworld Tracker has
caused me to squeeze a Bzzzzzt! into most of my Architect decks so it can
be dealt with when needed.
I guess you are hoping for a low resource Silver Band with these
Vassals. That is actually a nice feature given that Hoods are spread
out over the factions, but this card just doesn't have enough juice to do
most of what you want. And they tend to be of limited uses -- you
have to turn some small guys to pump them up, but those small guys will
get picked off, leaving you high and dry next turn. Not to mention
that these guys have no ability on defense.
I remember back when we first saw these guys in action way back in '95 --
M:tG was still in it's first few sets and these guys were christened the
"Juggernauts" of Shadowfist. Walking Corpses have the
insane ratio of two Fighting for 1 power (same as Draco!), and are cheap
enough to not get stuck clogging up your hand. A classic play is
first turn Sinister Priest, followed up by a second turn Walking
Corpses. Unless your opponent is playing Architects, he is going to
have a very hard time not letting you get in the first burn. While
this card has two drawbacks, the offensive power alone offsets not being
able to heal or change location (i.e. intercept anywhere else).
An all-around useful card, I find it hard not to have one in a deck,
especially if I am also playing Amulet of the Turtle. Not only does
he plink of annoying utility characters, the White Disciple can often let
you damage a site enough to take it. Don't overlook smoking your own
cards (especially sites) to make an attack unsuccessful. White
Disciples like to visit City Hospitals.
As a rule, I like two anti-Ascended cards in a tight Lotus deck --
Shifting Loyalties and Wu Ta. While Shifting Loyalties is usually
better against Shadowy Mentor, Wu Ta can also get rid of that Paper Trail
and more importantly, can turn to cancel an Operation Killdeer that was
going to cause one of your characters to be Smoked during combat without
While I like the Vile Prodigy, it's a hard card to play to good effect, so
I am probably rating it a little higher than it should be. You need
to have patience when playing the Vile, and you should hold off until you
know you are going to get in a successful attack against a Site to that it
will grow to a three. Also having a Shattering Fire or White Disciple
to protect it until you can grow it to a 4 also helps. This card
usually falls short in constructed, but if you get a chance to play it in
a limited format, the Prodigy can be quite nasty.
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.
I've given up playing this guy -- he's a big fizzle. Maybe I'll
dust him off the next time I make a Hand/Lotus copy power deck -- then
again, maybe I wont...
Damage redirection effects are incredibly powerful, and you can wreck and
opponent with Xiu Xie Jiang if you can pull it off. There are two
requirements for this card -- first your opponent has to have one of the
four designators to redirect the damage to. The second requirement
is that you need to have character in combat to redirect the damage from,
as Xiu can't redirect from Sites.
If you can get past the art, I think he's okay. I like the increase
in low cost uniques that have moderate abilities. Stealth is nice
because it's out of faction, and can be a neat trick with a Hell Charger.
The temporary hand reduction is iffy, and does make Yuen a target, but it's
going to give you a lot of information if you're thinking about going for
the win. Note that you can play some politics in describing other
players hands. I've dropped Yuen into a couple of decks, and he's
held his weight. The zap a card can get annoying to people, especially
if you can keep him around a couple of turns.
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 Emperor, 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
anyways? I think I've managed to actually win a game or two with
Ang Dao in my Solar Sword deck -- but that's just cause Solar Sword is so
nasty, and a 12 damage demon for 4 power is something that no one wants to
be on the receiving end of.
This guy just might take the prize for the most confusing wording in
the set. If you take some time to read it, it is decipherable.
Basically, your opponents don't want to intercept him with small characters.
Generally, Chang's ability is not as useful as Toughness:1, so that gives
you an idea of how playable he is at a 5-for-7. He's got a couple of
interactive designators, but dropping and Evil Master on him doesn't make me
excited. As no one seems of the mind to play him, it looks like
Chang is nothing more than a footnote in the two-fisted-tales of the secret
Playing Demon Emperor is a no-brainer -- you can just swap out one of your
Kun Kan's in an existing deck for this card. While you're at it, you
can slip in a few 2 cost utility Demons (like Eater of Fortune or Abysmal
Deceiver) to take advantage of the Demon Emperor's Stealth ability.
At 6 Fighting, this card has a more than reasonable chance of surviving
combat and using his Regenerate ability.
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.
know some people are ga-ga over this schmuck, but every time I get him in
play, my opponents just seem to have no problem thwarting him. The
most embarrassing was
Desolation being intercepted and smoked by a Sinister Priest (with a
little help from Who's the Big Man Now?!?)
While Gao has a useful ability, the fact that it requires turning
eliminates Gao's ability to attack. And with a 10 Fighting character
you really want to attack, so 99% of the time, this card is just a weaker
version of the original Draco.
Here is a solid offensive character. The Dust Demon's got the standard
cost-to-fighting ratio, and a boldface ability. In addition, Huichen
Kan has a synergistic ability that is going to keep the owner of the target
from intercepting with characters at other locations. This ability is
only useful if your opponent has multiple columns and maintains an unturned
character, but that happens often enough to make the ability useful.
Also note that it shuts down Mobility for the defender as well.
While he may no longer be the Center of the Lotus, Gao Zhang is a faction
leader to truly be feared now. While throwing Gao in a random Lotus
deck wont get you very far, if you take the time to craft a deck around
him, you can dominate a game. Palace Guards go great with Gao Zhang
-- not only can they be sacrificed to re-target Events, but you can play
them for free using Gao's play cost reduction. You also will want so
low cost Events, so you can get even more effect out of the cost reduction
by being able to play them on opponent's turns.
A qualifies as a hitter at 5 power for 8 Fighting, Jueding Shelun has a good chance
at taking some sites when he gets into play. I've played this card, and I find that his ability almost never comes into play -- he
either never gets intercepted, or there are no unturned cards on the board
to effect (we like to attack, so characters are usually turned). If
there is a site that requires turning, odds are they will turn it to
affect Jueding's attack. I usually prefer other cards, and if you
have enough demons in your deck, I might consider Lai Kuang over Jedung,
otherwise I really like Shi Zi Hui.
The Ghostly Juedeng doesn't seem so bad - he's sort of a 4-for-7 Fight,
that has the chance to improve the ratio if he sticks around. You
aren't getting back the Dispaced, but you are getting back Malachi and
some other specialty characters. The Dragons seem like a natural pairing
with Juedeng, as you can get back Chinese Doctor, Consumer on the Brink
and Scrappy Kids. My Juedeng deck is to be feared -- I went the
Hermes Malachi route, and along with Throne of Skulls, it just seems to hum
like a well-oiled machine. I'll swap out the Purists for Dragons one
of these days.
MegaTank ruining your day? All of your characters wind up working
for Shadowy Mentors? Kan Li is your answer. Not only is he a
good deal cost wise, his special ability can really help you out in a
pinch. And if you don't need to smoke any States, he's still big
enough to take sites. Of course he does have a little competition
with the addition of the Mad Monk in Throne Wars, but he's still a card
you want to play with.
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.
Kong has shown himself to pretty much be a monster. His drawback
doesn't really kick in to a significant amount, and his discard to toast
ability has shown itself to be surprisingly strong -- he really does take a
bite of of recursion, especially the Dragons.
If you build your deck correctly, most of the time Lai Kuang is a 2 cost 8
Fighting madman. You do need to stock up on demons, but there are
several 3 cost demons that are worth playing, not to mention several good
4 cost. If you want to have some evil fun, try a Dra/Lot deck with
Lai Kuang, 3 cost demons, Wu Ming Yi and Golden Comeback -- non-stop demon
The Fire Demon is somewhat interesting, and needs more play time to see
how good he really is. He's immune to a couple of cards you really
hate to see (Brawl, Killdeer, Avenging Thunder, Nerve Gas), which makes
him pretty tough. With Dragon Throne, Li Yu could become a second
tier CHAR, but that is still yet to be seen.
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
guys. He's in my Solar Sword deck, and he grimaces at opponents --
that's about it.
Another just okay. She can use her
damage ability for punch-through, but only after you spend a turn to first
get those counters on her using Assassinate. Speaking of Assassinate,
you can't pull of any nifty tricks like assassinating a character, then
blasting someone with the damage before the attack ends -- there is no
window in the timing under the current rules (there used to be). On
offense, she is a superior version of the water demon, Shui Yu on offense.
Where Madam Yen gets a little more formidable is on defense, where she can
be a deterrent, but, as you probably know by now, I like characters that
have offense, not just defense. As expected, most smart players get
out of her way, not letting her do much with her damage-counter ability (but
getting out of the way isn't always a bad thing), but she's still too a
little to anti-character-centric for me.
The Mad Monk is mad beats -- he's one of the best Superleapers in the
game. At only 4 cost, you can use various tricks (like Pocket Demon
and Proving Grounds) to bust him out early and take Sites. His
drawback is negligible -- if your opponent is playing Hand, discard the
Mad Monk and don't waste your power. For that reason, you can't
count of this card for your sole offense, but he does make a good backup
hitter. Oddly enough, Mad Monk goes great in a Hand/Lotus deck,
giving an extra layer of protection against Shadowy Mentor.
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.
I've tried to make Miasma work, but it seems that my opponents alway s
manage to disrupt her before any real damage kicks in.
Well, they're giant Butterfly Knights that only get the free attack
against characters, which really takes them down a notch. What you
want are two site a turn machines, but in reality what you get is a thug
that takes out a character, and then turns to heals. There are much
more fun characters for the Lotus like Seven Evils or The Burning King.
If you are lucky, you can get a dueling soft-lock on your opponent by
smoking everything they put out and turning to heal, but that is very
fragile to Gas/Mentor.
A horse is a horse, of course... but, is this horse worth the ride?
Midnight's Mobility giving doesn't excite me, but it's gravy. The real
horse-meat of this card is the ability to retarget Events (much like the
original Ghao Zhang, so it's in faction). Of course, this is going to
cost you a boatload of power the turn you play it, and Midnight is still
vulnerable to sites and characters.
Seven Evils subtitle should be Demon Beating Stick instead of Demon
Lord. While 6-for-10 is an average ratio, it's his ability to foil all
those annoying turning sites (like City Square and Fox Pass) that makes Seven Evils
make the cut into a deck. Festival Circle makes a good backup to
this card since he is vulnerable to Events and you don't want to be on the
losing end of 6 power. Remember that none of your cards are
vulnerable to Shadowy Mentor while Seven Evils is in play -- you can just
Toast them in response to give Seven Evils Independent.
Yowza, this card gives me a healthy fear of the law. To start off with
we have Regenerate, which is kick-ass on a character with 8 Fighting.
Add in the turbo Imprisoned, and you've just got a great rebate on your
investment in the Sheriff. And, I bet you just imprisoned the lone
defender of a FSS, making it an even better deal. Agathon is a demon,
so that has a few ups and downs, but it should work to your advantage.
If you're playing a healthy 70+ card deck, his discard your hand shouldn't
be too much of a drawback, although he may sit in your hand a turn or two
before playing him is optimal.
Probably the best character with Tactics, Shi Zi Hui is a good choice for
a hitter, both in Eunuch and non-Eunuch decks. Drawing a cards is a
good thing, and this general lets you do that. It is possible to
construct a deck with Shi Zi Hui and Evil Twin that lets you draw your
entire deck in 2-3 turns, which lets you sit back and control how you will
go for the win. And Inauspicious Return is going to make sure you
have lots of characters attacking to draw cards with.
He we have as Demon thug -- 6 Fighting-for-4 Power with a so-so
ability. The Water Demon does punish people for playing mono-faction
decks, but since they get to choose how they will intercept, his ability
prevents him from ever being intercepted by two characters of the same
faction, and will always be intercepted by the most advantageous for your
opponent. The best use of Shui Yu is to Rig Dis his ability on the
unwary -- in that way it's almost a drawback if you are going up against
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.
Just throwing him in a deck doesn't work -- you really need to combo him
with a blanking ability, and then you've still only got a 3-for-7 unless
you've got a cost break mechanism.
Tanbi is a big dumb beast. Almost as good a ratio as Sergeant Blightman,
Tanbi's 9 Fighting takes Sites, not to mention that it can't be touched by
Nerve Gas. Usually you will want to have Tanbi as part of the first
attack you declare in a turn, as your opponents' will try to burn you by
making that attack unsuccessful if Tanbi isn't included to try and trigger
his Smoke drawback. Don't overlook Larcenous Mist, as it can save
this card in a pinch.
T-Dogg pointed out that this card is a lot like Dirk Wisely -- it's a
trick card to do a lot of damage for less power. If you can clear
the way, you are going to hit for a lot. If you get intercepted,
you're not. The card should also play like Sergeant Blightman, and
you're going to want a Sacred Heart Hospital to make sure he hits for 9.
Simon Johnston from the UK pointed out to me that Ten Thousand Agonies
works pretty well with Amulet of the Turtle -- you can absorb damage at
the normal rate, but the only the overspill is +1.
||The Burning King
How can you not love 14 Fighting? This guy is HUGE! I think
you can have some fun with the card, but it gets hurt a lot by not being
able to enter play when you are ahead -- this is a case of paranoia by the
designers. I sort of think of the Burger King in the same vein as
the old Thunder King, only worse.
Nefarious Master Chin
What really kills this card
is it's onerous
three-resource requirements. It's got two average abilities -- about
the only thing that makes them interesting is that they are linked, so you
can try to maximize them. I know a straight-up 4c-for-7f with no
resource requirements would be insane, but I think two resources is still
reasonable given that it has an ability that triggers mostly out of
faction. Yeah yeah, he works with death ring, but it would be a lot
cooler if you have some reliability when combining Master Chin with any of
the three factions that actually give you a Faceoff event.
Another thug, the Scream has a couple of interesting designators --
Netherworld Horror. When you think of the Lotus, you think of Demons
and Eunuchs, not this guy. His ability is a turtle power -- normally
you want to be attacking with an 8 Fighting character, but to use the
Scream effectively, you want to hold him back and use his ability on an
opponents turn. Chances are that you are not going to be denying
someone resources, but maybe you can foil a Comeback, or better yet, play
some killer character like the Gunman and punish your opponent for being a
cheeser. Glimpse of the Abyss just might give you enough Power to
get this guy rolling.
||Thing with a 1000
"Yum, yum -- eat 'em up!" is the Thing's rallying cry. If
you can keep a few resource characters to feed the Thing with, this card
is remarkably hard to get rid of. And he takes sites. Since
this card's ability requires a sacrifice, it doesn't work with
Inauspicious Return, but it does still work great with Tortured
Memories. You can also try to pull off Sinister Accusations with
Purist Sorcerer to feed your Thing as well.
This hood sorcerer is not great, but he's not bad, either. He's got
the failsafe Mentor protection of being able to eat himself, and he's got
some resistance to Events, even though it hurts. You can play
Vassals with him, but you will be reducing your access to Magic or passing
up the really amazing Palace Guards to do so. I don't think the
Lotus Hood deck is really where it wants to be yet.
||Walker of the
Another great uncommon for sealed play, the Walker just doesn't hold up in
constructed. His ability is very solid, and triggers much more often
then Jueding Shelun's (which is along similar lines), but at a whopping 5
cost, the Walker just doesn't make it into many decks when there are
better hitters that cost less power.
According to the storyline, Xin Kai Sheng eventually winds up on the
Dragon Throne after the Throne War shakes out. As such, XKS has a
pretty nifty ability -- he gain permanent control of anyone he Smokes when
attacking. This makes him an part of an anti-character rather than
an Site taking strategy (although opponent's will be hesitant to intercept
XKS if he does go for a Site). Healing abilities go well with this
card, so Sacred Heart is a must, and consider cards like Chinese Doctor or
Beneficial Realignment if you have the correct factions.
The Dragons ruining your day? Banish them! This card almost
always gets you ahead on power, and it also really slows the Dragons
down. They would much prefer you to Smoke their characters to set
them up for a Golden Comeback. Sending their hitter back to their
hand is just going to cost them extra power and clog up their draws.
Watch out for Ring of Gates.
While this card looks cheaper than Tortured Memories, it's still a 2 power
swing -- you are -1, and your opponent is +1 (although costing you only 1
can be huge). That said, I think there is going to be a place for
Bribery in a lot of Lotus decks. It doesn't replace tortured, it
just gives you additional options, and I would take a look at your local
meta-game to see how much usage you can get out of it. The event is
just made for Ravenous Devourer, where you are going to be munching up the
junk you steal. If your group is anthing like ours, you see
this card on a daily basis. It's almost as good as Tortured Memories,
and the 1-cost just gives you extra options (as well as making opponents
leery when you save just 1 power).
I'm not a fan of Master Chin. As for his Criminal Network, it's sort
of along the lines of Now You Made Us Mad! You are hoping to gain 1
power, rarely 2, and a lot of the time you are just playing this card for
no power at all. The problem with this type of card is that it is of
most use when you are ahead, and not as much when you are behind, which is
when you really need the power. I recommend seriously looking at
Pocket Demon and Glimpse of the Abyss before including this card in your
deck. This is a Hood
card, so you can try and beef up Luis a little with it.
This is a card to watch in the set, and has the potential to become a
staple event for the Lotus. It's a lot like Shaking the Mountain,
but not quite as powerful. To compensate, the resources are lighter,
and it has the odd ability to sneak in a little damage. The timing
on this one is a little tough -- often you will want to play it in
response to your opponent playing a character -- that way they can't
declare an attack.
||Dance of the
Since cards that turn are essentially a free effect, you will be down on
power when you play Dance of the Centipede. So, you need to weigh
when you are going to play this card. Usually, you are best of
saving it to cancel at Site (like Fox Pass or City Square) the turn you go
for the win. Of course, Whirlpool of Blood accomplishes the lion's
share of what this card does.
I'm not so sure about this card. In multiples it can start clogging
up your hand size, but playing only a couple in your deck can clear out
some early junk or get in some free damage. I think this card will
play somewhat like Helix Chewer. Who knows, this could be the
ultimate card Red Wedding is remembered for, going in every Lotus deck,
unbalancing the game when drawn first turn. I'm a lot more sure
about this card now -- I love it. There is not reason not to play one
in every Lotus deck, and maybe more if you got some spiffy tricks. The
worst part about this card is remembering to return it to your hand --we
often try to keep it at the top of the smoked pile, staring us in the face,
so we remember. Also, if your opponents are playing this card, you
really want to keep close track of it to avoid a bonehead play forgetting
about their 1 point zap.
A 0 cost Neutron Bomb that only effects your opponents -- what were they
thinking? By itself, this kills a dinky foundation character.
With a few characters in play, it strategically take out your opponents'
characters. With a large character base, you are wiping the board or
smacking some serious hitters. Die!!! even takes out the Golden
Gunmen as it doesn't target. Once again, Palace Guards come to the
forefront as a card you want to play -- when they declare an attack
against a Lotus card of yours, you can return the Guards, declare them as
interceptors, and turn them to fuel a big Die!!! And it works great
with Inauspicious Return, too.
While this card looks interesting on the surface, when you finally get
around to playing it, you'll find that it's not that useful. The
problem with Detonating Corpses is that the opportunity to play it is very
narrow (but at least much easier to play than the similar Life in the Fast
Lane). You have to have the card in hand, a power, and a character you
control has to be smoked at a location with a lot of opponents' characters.
Remember, if you are trying to set this up as a combo, you have to consider
the cost to play the character you are detonating as part of the total cost
to play this card. Generally, you going to be happier with a straight
up zap (Shattering Fire, Shrieking Witch Heads or Discerning Fire).
The exception to this is when you have a deck with a heavy free recursion
theme -- Destroyer, Underworld Tracker and Demon Whiskey. A caveat
emptor: remember that using this card is usually going to be at the
end of a failed attack, and if you clear an opponent's board, you may be
leaving them vulnerable to to another opponent to scavenge an easy site.
Mr. Strange adds:
I think that you'll see this
card played in a bunch of decks that steal characters. I think I'd
rate this significantly higher if I were planning to use and opponent's
character as the corpse. Playing it on my own hitter is always a back-up
plan. This card also allows a single decent hitter to defend vs. a horde of
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. The quote was almost right -- Oh no!
Why am I playing Evil Chanting?
I think this card has some potential in getting through waxy character
buildup. It's kind of like giving Stealth to all attacking characters.
Unless they come back and nerf the wording, it can be played at any time
during an attack, and since there is time for new scenes between combat with
interceptors, you can save this for the character you really want to bypass.
And, if you have two in your hand (and the power to play them), you can play
multiple Dust Storms during the same attack, bypassing multiple
This one is kind of sketchy. It requires magic, so you need to think
about your resource characters. It doesn't replace Pocket Demon as a
comeback card, and it doesn't have the raw power of Glimpse of the Abyss
(which also combos with a lot of cards that work when you are farther from
victory). It might be okay as a speed bump card since it can be
triggered off of opponents playing their third Feng Shui or the majority
of the non-FSS. Definitely better in four-player, where you have a
reasonable chance of it not staying in your hand for more than a turn.
I've played it in a few decks, but I think it's only left in my Eunuch
deck right now. It's just not enough of a boost to really make it
worth taking up a card slot (unlike IKTV Special Report, which shows that 2
power is better than 1)
This is a pretty straight-forward card -- Flying Sleeves is a one-shot Fox
Pass. That said, we all know how good Fox Pass is, but this card
plays a little different. This card lets you stop a win, but at the
cost of taking some damage yourself, so you want to use Flying Sleeves
sparingly. Note that this card does not trigger Palace Guards or
Blessed Orchard --
their effect (and several others) are based on the Declaration of the
attack, not the target.
Here we have a very marginal event. First off, do you have
resources? If yes, have you considered playing Larcenous Mist?
Secondly, so you have any resources? Is there a zap that's going to
just plain get rid of that guy you don't want intercepting? Maybe I'm
spoiled, but for 1 power, I really need a card to do something good more
often than this will. (for reference, compare this to a very solid but
not broken card, Prisoner of the Monarchs). I hate to say it, but
is this card almost worse than Dance of the Centipede? Yeah, it
removes an interceptor, but it won't cancel a site, state or edge in a
of the Abyss
While this card is not as abusive as Dangerous Experiment was before it
was given errata, Glimpse of the Abyss is still on the cusp of being a
game breaker. Gaining power is good, and being one Site farther from
victory can often turn into an asset. It lets you build a larger
Site structure while being less threatening, and it lets you take
advantage of cards like Nine Dragon Temple which key off of being farther
from victory. Since this card requires three resources, you don't
want to play more than a few in a multifaction deck, but in a pure Lotus
deck stock up because even playing this on the third turn for 2-3 power
can win you a game if you can drop a hitter and burn a Site for power.
While Inauspicious Reburial can totally take one player out of the game,
that may not always be a good thing. Often that will destabilize a
multiplayer game and throw it into chaos, not putting you on top as you
thought it would. In dueling, if you can get ahead, you can lock out
an opponent. But, the faction that you really want to use this
against, Dragons (because of Golden Comeback and high resource
requirements on many cards), has the best defense with Hacker, which shuts
Reburial right down, and the Gambit's which provide resources that you
can't Toast with this card.
While you can't just throw Inauspicious Return in any deck, it can be
quite devastating in the right deck. You have two ways to go --
either specialty 1 cost characters that you want to keep in play like
Gardeners or Scrappy Kids, or you are going for brute for damage with
cards like Arcanowave Reinforcer. Of course, you could play with
Feast of Souls or Imperial Boon (with 1 cost Eunuchs) and turn
Inauspicious Return into a power generating card. This card has
inspired more decks than any other Z-Man card.
While drawing a specific card you need isn't a bad thing, most Shadowfist
decks are so chocked full of good cards that drawing anything will give
you options. While Infernal Pact is a 0 cost Event, it really costs
you at least one power to play as you have to sacrifice an unturned
character. You can also try Fox Pass/Flying Sleeves tricks with
Infernal Pact -- change the target of a character's attack to your
unturned Sinister Priest, then sacrifice him to look for a card and make
the attack unsuccessful in the process. It also works with Tortured
Memories on defense in a pinch -- steal the biggest attacker, intercept
the next biggest, then sacrifice it to the Infernal Pact.
This is a pretty junky event. You are hoping to Smoke at least three
of their characters to break even. The Monarch's Mark of Fire is
much superior at this type of damage. And Die!!! does the same as
Infernal Plague and a whole lot more usually. Not to mention the new
event Corruption which looks to be better in 90% of situations.
This card may be a little bit better in dueling than I rate it just
because it isn't vulnerable to Hacker like Reburial and Conspiracy.
It really can hose one player really bad -- which is why I don't like it
in multiplayer. Taking one player out of game destabilizes it too
much, and doesn't benefit you nearly as much as the cost. In a duel
where you can Glimpse for quick power, you can hope to completely slow
someone down by hosing all their resources, buying a time advantage.
Generally you only want to play Necromantic Conspiracy if you have power
to spare, as it's 2 cost is never directly recouped. You get the
advantage over the game by denying the target opponent one of their key
cards. Shadowy Mentor is always a great target for this card, as are
Neutron Bomb and any Event takeout. Don't overlook taking out a
character if your opponent is overly dependent on just one or two power
This is for all of you who already have 5 Infernal Plagues in your deck,
and it's just not enough. Sorry, but this event isn't making me feel
the love. This is basically a waste of a card slot in your deck, as
there are so many more useful cards that you can play. Even
Corruption, which isn't great, but can be a situational game winner (let
alone a good card like Demonic Plague). Still a no show. Just
in case you are still considering playing Poisoned! remember that all your
opponents get to declare interceptions independently, and you are never
going to zap more than one opponent's characters with this event.
While this card looks okay at first glance, it's hard to pull
off. It gets even harder once your opponents expect it. There
is a reasonable opportunity
cost of having a character with damage counters on it and an opponent
having a character at the same location. Since the Lotus also have
the benefit of Regenerating characters and characters that return to play
when Smoked, Rend Chi is sort of an anti-combo. You are often better off
playing Shattering Fire to get some damage in. Note that removing
damage is Healing, so you can't use this with cards that can't be healed.
Shifting Loyalties is one of those cards that you really want to squeeze
into your deck. Not only does it just plain hose the Ascended
(Pledged and Mercenary are very common designators for them), you also can
occasionally get these cards as well: Hsiung-nu Mercenaries, Mooks,
Cheap Punks, Nine Cuts or Marisol.
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.
I've tried with the Witch Heads, and it's really fallen short as a zap.
The * Fires have been better, since I almost always have magic in my Lotus
decks -- but then again, Lotus decks without Magic seem to really fizzle for
me, it it may be just as much a function of the deck as this event.
Besides having the best card title in the set, Throwdown is another in the
Lotus' growing arsenal of events. At one time they had Tortured
Memories and that was about it -- the last two sets have given them this
and Corruption. Throwdown is an
alternative to Die!!! -- Die!!!
works when you have characters in play, and Throwdown works best when you
don't. Saving up two of these is going to dish out 16 points of
damage in a four player game -- that's almost a Neutron Bomb.
I expect Die!!! to still rule in mono-Lotus decks, and expect to see
Throwdown crop up in multi-faction decks because of it's light resource
Tortured Memories is probably the Lotus second best Event, only topped by
Glimpse. The obvious use is to take your opponent's characters and
use them to take sites, but often the better use is as character takeout
and creating unsuccessful attacks. If an opponent is attacking and
has two hitters in play, you can Torture one to intercept the other,
hopefully Smoking both. In this way, this Event behaves very much
like Discerning Fire, but without having to match designators. The
only faction that this trick has trouble against is the Dragons, with both
Ting Ting and the Golden Gunman being immune to Tortured Memories.
I think this card is strong. Early game, you are using Verminous
Rain to speed bump a Gambling House or other site that is giving a quick
boost to an opponent. Late game you can reload this and use it to
punch through for a win. Notice that it cancels all sites, not just
those that turn (such as Puzzle Gardens and Temple of the Angry
Spirits). It at all possible, you want to avoid toasting The
Destroyer, Underworld Trackers and Palace Guards when reloading.
If a deck of mine has Lotus and Magic, espect to see at least 1 of this
card. I don't overload because I can reload it when needed, and you
don't have to worry about it clogging your hand is it's eminently dumpable
on a random site in play.
"You Fell into my Trap!"
Anyone who's old school knows the ups and downs of Cave Network.
It's a strong card, but can be greatly negated by an opponent who knows how
to play against it. I rarely play decks based around Cave Network, but
I've been known to throw one in a deck here an there just for the extra
surprise factor. YFintoMT is very similar. If you load up on
them (and Cave Networks), they are going to clog your hand as your opponents
will build sites and defenses, and wait on attacking until it's to their
advantage. But, one or two can be a nasty trick. You can always
discard YFintoMT -- it's not like you've committed to the strategy as you
when playing a Cave Network. I still haven't built the deck, but I
still the card has some playability, although it might not be as good as
just packing 1-2 Cave Networks to keep your opponents honest.
Deathtrap is a great deterrent to being attacked in
multiplayer. People love plinking sites with their leftover resource
characters, but they will look for other targets than sites with this
State on them. Deathtrap goes especially well with Puzzle
Garden, Temple of Angry Spirits and Dragon Mountain. And a Deathtrap
(or two) on Hartwell Iron Works is just rude.
||The Demon Within
This card has three uses -- it can pump up your resource characters a bit,
it can be used in conjunction with Monster Hunter to take your opponents
characters and it can be used to Smoke your opponents' Demons. Even
with so many uses, the heavy cost of 2 power often makes other cards
a better option.
This tank is quite unspectacular, but this is partially due to Hell
Charger -- two similar cards (in the same set) with one being standout
better than the other. Also, this card has a major drawback of not
being able to be played on Demons, which is going to limit either your
deck construction or play opportunities.
Slightly beefed up Helix Chewer, maybe along the lines of Pain Feedback.
Either way, it's a marginal card, and along with Hypnotized! and Poisoned,
the Lotus has created it's own axis of evil that we should call up the
national guard and stamp them out once and for all. This is not a
card that people have been playing -- Demonic Plague is just such a bomb
that it's hard to outshine it. Still, this would be an okay card in a
draft or sealed game.
This is the retail only promo. This plays a little like Lateral
Reincarnation in that you are probably going to use it on a character that
is about to be zapped. You can also use it to make an attack against a
character at this location unsuccessful. But, where the trick in this
card may lie is that it's a permanent way to sacrifice characters (or at
least 1 a turn), so you can try to work out sacrifice tricks.. Probably a
little expensive at 1 power, but that's what Hidden Tomb is for.
Spending 3 power on a state in the age of the Waterfall is a risky
proposition. Evil Master is about as blah as they get. Sure,
it's good for sneaking through damage after interception, but that is more
than countered by the fragile nature of the state. Gimme a solid
4c-for-7f almost any day of the week. The exceptions are if you can
find a really useful character to take advantage of the Fighting bonus,
like The Mantis, but even
then, I'd be much happier with a Sword of the Master (or even a
Sometimes you can pull a trick with this card, but a lot of the time, it
just means a resource character gets in the way while the real
interception happens elsewhere. It only really becomes useful when
opponents have only one possible interceptor, but that's pretty rare for
Fingers of Death
Son of Really Big Gun and Bride of Disintegrator Ray all in one
state! I'm not a big fan of either of those, and you can probably
guess that I won't be a fan of Five Fingers. As for the toasting
part, I just hate to spend 1 power and a character to do it, and for
damage, Shotgun gets you +3. If you're toasting, I'd go with Abysmal
Absorber and the Displaced over this card every time.
This cards saving grace is that it's zero cost. If you are lucky,
you can try to do 2 damage to a character for no power outlay, which is a
so so deal at best considering the hoops you have to go through to get
Flying Guillotine to work. Of course, it's a really cool movie that
this card comes from, and that makes it almost worth playing!
This is a strong candidate for the worst version of Training Sequence yet
award. Limited states are just going to clog up your hand.
Sure, you play one copy in a eunuch deck, but that's it.
Whoa Nellie! Keeping with the new standard of Sword of the Master,
this state packs some punch for your power, and is a nice surprise in any
deck. In my experience, the heal 2 damage is almost as good as
regenerate. and turning to change location makes sure that you are making
the decisions when it comes to intercepting.
This is a situationally useful card. First off, it has the huge
potential to hurt you, especially if you are working the recursion angle
that I see in a lot of Lotus decks. The 2-for-1 Fighting toast is
kinda harsh, so you probably wont be getting much more than +4, and possibly
less. Still, this can be quite powerful on the right character, such
as one with Regenerate. Also, you have to think about the situations
when you are playing this card -- I suspect it will either be to take a
site, or save a character of your from being smoked in combat while smoking
your opponent's character. When you do play this, you ideally want
enough resources in play so as not to cripple yourself -- an Infernal Temple
or two might go a long way in this case.
Have no doubts about it, Inexorable Corruption is very slow when played
against an opponent. Usually you go for a site unless you know they
are relying on healing (like Sacred Heart Hospital) to keep the pressure
up, in which case you might want to throw this on their hitter.
Remember you can't seize a site that is the subject of this card since the
damage can't be removed (the site will be Smoked immediately after you
seize it). Don't overlook playing Inexorable Corruption on a site of
your own if you will be hosed if your opponent seizes it -- that way they
will have to burn it. Of course, you could put this on your own
Turtle Island or Inauspicious Termites to create a Feng Shui site that
your opponents can't burn or seize.
Spend two power to nullify an opponent's site? Ick. This goes
along with all those other incredibly bad 2-cost Lotus states like Veiling
of the Light and and Sphere of Defilement. Definitely not the answer
to the Temple of Angry Spirits. Compare with the Jammers Sabotage.
This card will Smoke any other card in the game, provided that your
opponent is unwilling to pay 1 power ever turn. But if you do the
math, you find that you often wind up on the short end. If you play
it on a site, that site will usually wind up paying for the Poison
Needles, so it will take three turns for you to get ahead, and games can
be won or lost in three turns, so you may never get your power back.
If you play it on a character, more often than not, that character will be
running into other characters, getting Smoked by combat damage before your
opponent has to pay for this State. And, if there are no characters
for them to run into, they are taking Sites. All around, this is
usually a losing proposition.
On it's own, Sinister Accusations isn't going to get you far. But in
combination with other cards, it can be extremely powerful. The
cards you need to make it work are those that interact with designators,
and the Lotus has two of the best, Purist Sorcerer and Shifting
Loyalties. Both of these can make Sinister Accusations a devastating
card. Don't overlook Discerning Fire -- while it gets expensive,
this State can insure you two targets. You will also want an
Identity Chop Shop in any deck where you are doing designator tricks.
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. Between Tortured Memories and Bribery,
it's just so hard to squeeze this into a deck (not to mention all the
State-hate out there). Still, I do have one in one deck -- I've stolen
Ting Ting with Xin Kai Sheng, and I'm gonna steal her with Soul Theft one
Two power is a lot to pay for an effect that only slows down an
opponent. Yes, Sphere of Defilement will make them think twice about
using their Sites at every opportunity, but they will still use them when
they need to. You can hope to weaken their sites enough to make them
easy to take, but for the same power you can get in two Killing Rains,
which are more reliable.
||Sword of Biting
Yes this does let your weenies do 4 extra damage. So what?
This card is hard to use, and 9 times out of 10 you will do just as well
(if not better) with Shattering Fire.
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. With 2FT's Hidden Tomb, you can play
this state for free. Our play has sown that Deathtrap is generally
better, but we really favor 1-cost foundations over the more costly ones.
Still, this is a pretty janky card.
||Theft of Fortune
Theft of Fortune needs about 3 turns in play for you to feel like you've
broken even for playing it. Odds are you are using the damage to
reveal sites, since your opponent will try to avoid having characters that
will be overly vulnerable to the effect. Odds are, you would be
better off playing Inexorable Corruption if you are playing a long game
and are willing to do your damage over many turns.
This is a pretty evil card. 2 power to smoke an opponent's character
is okay, especially when out of faction in the Lotus. Then you have a
bonus copy ability, which is hit or miss. Of course, there is often
some great synergy in copying abilities. What hampers Two-Headed
Horror is that it can be difficult to set up. You need a character in
play with Fighting higher than your target (you can always suicide a
resource or two to make sure this is the case) and you need 2 power -- all
of which makes this difficult to pull off in a single turn. Still,
when you can do it, it's extra satisfying for the double hose on your
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 have yet to hear of Underworld Gateway taking a
major win. Unfortunately, your opponents can gang up on you and really
shut down your alternate victory condition, and if you can't manage a 5 site
win when beaten down, you are in trouble. I made a really funky UG
deck that plays 5 Who's the Big Man Now?!? as it's punch through -- it
doesn't do well, but it can occasionally generate some amusing plays.
The best use of Vampiric Touch is not obvious at first glance of the
rules text, Smoking an opponent's character. You can slap this on
their hitter, and declare the end of your turn, hoping they don't have an
Event that can Smoke a character. Trying to use this offensively is
very difficult, and the best you can hope for is maybe two or three
characters being Smoked the turn you play this State. Don't expect
your character to live another turn unless you have a way of Smoking a
character during an opponents' turn, as it is unlikely that they will make
an attack that gives you a chance at Smoking a character in combat.
||Veiling of the
It's hard to say whether this card will help or hurt an opponent.
Having sites that don't count towards victory is often a good thing -- you
generate extra power and aren't as big of a threat for an immediate
win. This will slow your opponent one turn if they are about to win,
but at a cost of two power, you will need to counterattack fast.
||Chains of Bone
You are hoping to slow down Ascended players with Chains of Bone.
All of their characters still get to attack once, and the all get to
defend. This card will get Smoked by Realpolitik eventually, so you
are hoping for it to have at least a 4 turn lifespan to start seeing an
advantage. This card is nowhere near as powerful as its opposite,
||Feast of Souls
Feast of Souls is very slow, and it can take you many turns to recoup the
cost. Usually, you don't want to play this Edge unless you have
several characters in play already, allowing you a jump on gaining the 4
power back. I'm real down on expensive Edges since Eater of Fortune
came out. Remember it doesn't trigger off of Sacrifices, so you
don't get power throwing priests to you Thing.
||Flood on the
This card just never pays the bills. Dragon players see a Flood on
the Mountain coming way in advance, and will be sending their characters
off on suicidal attacks. And Flood does nothing to characters with
Toughness, and practically nothing to characters with Guts, and that is
what the Dragon player will concentrate on once this card hits the table.
Turning Eunuchs to gain power means you aren't attacking with them or
using them with Die!!! With the addition of Eater of Fortune in
Throne Wars, Imperial Boon is all that easier to Smoke, taking all of your
Eunuchs with them. Imperial Palace and The Dragon Throne are much at
getting a power advantage in a Eunuch deck.
I like generating power, and I even like drawing cards upon occasion.
This card gives you a chance to do both. I look at it as sort of a
second-rate long-term Drug Lab. Play it, and wait it out, and hope to
get a big payoff later. One nice thing is that it's near impossible
for your opponents to zap it without you being able to pop it off for power
after the turn you played it has ended and you've put a counter on it (hint,
don't play it if there's a Fist of Shadow in play).
is as slow as I thought it was, but it's still okay. I still like
Throne of Skulls just a tad better (but it is rare and harder to find),
unless you have some trick that makes use of sacrificing cards.
Coasters everywhere? First off, never activate this ability against
an opponent you expect of playing Resistance Squads. The high
resource conditions more than offset the low cost. I guess you are
hoping to get some advantage of knowing what denial your opponent has in
hand, but that still doesn't give you info on any face-down feng shui
sites they may have, which is just as much a problem. In general, I
find this type of information of minimal use -- it's nowhere near Covert
Operation, which gives you knowledge and lets you strip a card, or even
Curtain of Fullness, which can clear the way for a winning attack or just
generally hose an opponent.
This might gain you a little power, but by the time you get the resources
out and get this in to play, I don't know how much game will be left to
gain power from this. Remember that this doesn't trigger off of
Sacrifice, so you can't steal and much stuff and gain power.
pointed out that Throne of Skulls has potential when played in combination
with The Destroyer, Rev. Paine and using Big Brother Tsien as foundation.
I've seen this card enough now to show that's a good option when considering
your alt-power generations in a Lotus deck -- it's going to give you a small
and steady boost, and you're cripped by burning-for-victory with it like you
are with Pocket Demon.
This is a trick card -- it looks a lot better than it really is. At
3 Lotus resources, it's very slow, and doesn't give you that early game
boost when you need it. That said, it's still okay to throw into a
Demon deck and hope to generate a couple power over a longer game, and
maybe a little more if you overload on stuff to make attacks
unsuccessful. Of course in multiplayer this becomes more a deterrent
to attack than a power generating trick, but not being attack isn't that
bad if your deck has room for a little offense with all the defense.
You occasionally will see an Underworld Presence as a free spot in a deck,
but this card has such unpredictable results and you can never predict
exactly what it will do. You can try to maximize the effect by
playing characters that can't turn to heal and Regenerating
characters. You can also try to get around Underworld Presence with
Sacred Heart Hospital, but it will be a major target for your opponents to
I think this is the next Underworld Presence. You play Wasting Curse
when you want to annoy your opponents without really winning. It
effects your own characters too, so it's a real downer. It's not
limited, so you could get 5 of these in play if you are an evil bastard.
While I rarely see Underworld Presence in some terrible deck, I've yet to
see Wasting Curse take the stage. Also, with so many Big Bruisers out
there, it doesn't seem like it would be effective... hrm... that gives me a
Well, it's an obvious combo with Master Chen (and about the only reliable
way to get him in a Faceoff because of the high resource
requirements). Most of the time it's going to be a limited form of assassinate,
that can be used out of turn.
While the Demon Site is better than I Ching because you can actually
filter your draw more by discarding unwanted cards, it's still very
expensive for the effect. Throwing Guiya Zui in a Tower of Power
(large 100+ card decks) is one of the better uses, as you are planning on
a slower game and the card filtering is more important.
See Feng Shui Sites.
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
card. This cars still draws mixed opinions from people, and I'm in
the it's good camp. You have to have power sites to copy, and since
it's only 4 body, you have to be able to defend it (think of it like a
KHouse that needs a combo). Where the problem lies is that your side
structure can fall like a house of cards if it gets cracked. Oh, added
bonus, Haunted Forest in not a Feng Shui Site, so Whirlpool of Blood doesn't
stop it (but Field of Tentacles will).
By itself, you probably aren't playing Imperial Palace. But, if you
are playing a Eunuch deck, this Site has the potential to generate 3 power
a turn, and you can use it the turn you play it to make its cost
effectively one. Of course you will want lots of Eunuchs and
Guards to take advantage of this, and Eunuch Underling, Earth Poisoner and
both Imperial and Elite Guards pop out for free. You can also get a
break on your big hitters -- Gao Zhang pops out for only 4 power if you
have the Imperial Palace in play. Hall of Brilliance has its own
built-in combo with this Site, and of course Palace Guards do a decent job
defending the Imperial Palace.
The real power of this card is not that it provides Magic resources, the
power of Infernal Temple is a Lotus card. This means that your
Palace Guards will return to play when an attack is declared against it,
so it can be used to set up a reasonable defense.
of the Damned
A lot of people have mixed feelings about Registry of the Damned, but in
the right deck, it can be quite powerful. It combos well with two
characters -- Palace Guards to defend it and Walking Corpses to recycle
with it (not only are the Corpses good by themselves, they only need two
Registry counters to play). Of course, having this Site seized by an
opponent can really stink, as they play cards from your Smoked pile, and
you may be fighting against your own Walking Corpses.
Any deck that shares a lot of designators can take advantage of the Dragon
Throne. The trick is to make this Site generate at least one power
every turn, with being able to play two characters with it is
optimal. Oddly enough, a minor problem for the Lotus is that they
have too many cost reducing cards -- if you get Gao Zhang, Imperial Palace
and Dragon Throne into play, you may not be able to take advantage of all
that cost reduction. Also be prepared to defend this Site, as your
opponents will want to seize this and chose a new designator.
I don't think there is much reason to play this outside a Demon
deck. A Toughness:1 site isn't bad, but how often to you play Dragon
Mountain? In the Demon deck, it's a nice little utility, but not a
foundation. It also bites I don't quite get the +3 Body ability -- I guess it's
just a kicker to try and make you play with the Demon Site...
White Leopard Club
This card has a very powerful
effect, but at a huge drawback. 2 Body stinks,
and unless you are playing an almost all Hood deck, I'd skip it.
Unfortunately, this is only main shot, so you can't use it to cancel those
Pocket Demons when you want to (especially since the Club only fuels
them). When playing against White Leopard Club, it's probably best
to smoke it unless you can stick it back row behind a well defended site,
as your opponent will quickly grab it back and have it beefy again.