Dragons have been making a real showing at tournaments lately. Red Wedding
them a tremendous boost, and they have achieved top-dog status. In this
strategy article, I'm going to list some cards to consider playing when you need
to send those pesky heroes to their graves (permanently!).
The Dragons biggest
threats are their ability to cheaply return characters to play (Golden Combeback,
Is That All You Got?!?) as well as some cheap universal character damage (Final
Brawl, Carnival of Carnage). They also have some limited power stealing (Ki-YAAAH!),
and event recursion (Fighting Spirit). Finally, the Dragons are known for
having some of the best Unique hitters in the game, and Guts, Toughness and
Independent are not uncommon abilities for them to have.
Blessed Orchard: The Dragons love to attack, wait for the
smoke to clear, return characters to play, and attack again -- if they've been
giving you power, they will have a lot less tricks to pull.
Casbah: It has a slight chance of delaying a Final Brawl, or maybe
some other 0-Cost Dragon Madness.
Field of Tentacles: The Dragons got their Dojo and Crib, both of which
can inch them to a victory, so shutting one down in a pinch isn't a bad
Garden of Bronze: The Dragons have to generate a lot of power early to
get those big characters in play, so expect them to try and burn at first
opportunity. Gaining 3 power in response can keep you in the game.
Lusignan the Fool: If they Brawl on your turn, you can stop them from
getting it back with a Fighting Spirit.
Maze of Stairs: The Golden Gunman hates this site.
Mourning Tree: It's about the only way you can shut down Independent
(outside of character blanking).
Puzzle Garden: It does slow down Guts (as well as the Dragon's
generally high Fighting scores)
Temple of the Monkey King: This can level the playing field a little,
taking the oomph out of the Dragon's top-notch characters.
The Displaced: Toasty-toasty -- you gotta stop that recursion somehow,
is this is one possible way.
Big Bruiser vNew: Toughness:2 stops almost everything on the
board -- one of the Dragons best assets is also one of their worst enemies.
Carnival of Carnage: If they start a fight, you may just want to
Final Brawl: See Carnival of Carnage.
Heroic Conversion: Very minimal effect, especially since the Dragons
have several top-not immune to control characters. However, it does do a
great job softening up Big Bruisers.
Jane Q. Public: You are almost always either getting a power rebate or
getting through with Jane Q against the Dragons. Extra good with a
Last Outpost: Yup, it's almost all bad, and nowhere near as good
against Brawl as is Festival of Giants, but it does make for quite a surprise.
Little Jim: The Dragons love to send a character to his death fighting
someone, only to play an event to return them to play so they can finish the
job. Little Jim will have none of that.
Marisol: Final What?
Tough as Nails: Sometimes in Dragon vs. Dragon, it's a war of "who's
the Toughest" and this event can make sure your character is the one left
Wu Bin of Turtle Island: 3-for-4 Independent is good on it's own,
and while he doesn't have any specific anti-faction ability, he can fetch you a
card that does, and is always a good inclusion in any deck.
Banish: Returning Dragon characters to hand is much worse for their
controller than smoking them -- now they are going to have to save up power to
replay them over cheap return to play events.
Destroyer: The Energizer Bunny is great for making those inevitable
comebacks you can throw him in front of as many attackers as you like and pick
himself back up from those Final Brawls.
Drugged!: A very minor anti-toughness card, only be used in situations
where you can expect a lot of it (also great against Big Bruisers).
Evil Twin: Sure the Dragons got the best characters in the game,
but your copy only costs 3 power.
Feast of Souls: Expect your smaller character to die in droves --
this is one way to capitalize on it.
Five Fingers of Death: Really hard to use, but it does Toast.
Inauspicious Reburial: The grand-daddy of the character toasters,
this can stop all the Dragon's nasty recursion, but you gotta play around
Kong Jung She: This is a great anti-recursion card. You will
be cleaning out the Dragon player's smoked pile. And, if get a character
or two Brawled away, Kong's -1 Fighting per character drawback is less of one.
Li Yu: He can shrug off a Brawl, but that's about it against the
Necromantic Conspiracy: Again, if you can get around the Hackers,
you can strip a deck of their main recursion event.
Poison Clan Warriors: Not much here, but they can sometimes take
someone with them in a Final Brawl.
Red Scorpion Killers: If you're about to be hosed by a Brawl, some
quick sacrifices of guys about to bite it might just save some of your
characters or make sure they take a few extra with them.
Soul Theft: It does put a temporary glitch into the subject's Golden
Comeback, but it's really only a delaying tactic.
Thing with 1000 Tongues: He's big and tough and old-school.
The Thing rarely fears a Final Brawl, and is tough enough to plow through all
but the beefiest of defences.
Throne of Skulls: We all know the rate at which Dragons die -- time
for you to cash in out it.
Underworld Tracker: This guy is huge in our game -- they can
completely shut down Dragon character recursion. Best used in multiples.
Flood on the Mountain: It's one of the weaker faction-hosers, but,
it does go after the Dragons.
BuroMil Grunt: It's nice how they can pop out after a Final
Brawl to intercept that pesky Dragon who's attacking you.
ArcanoTank: Not a huge anti-Dragon card, but it can really
negate a Final Brawl and get some punch-through on attack.
Assassin Bug: This is one way of keeping those unique Dragons in
line, especially when recycled with Renvigoration Process
Bzzzzt!: Again, not a great card, and very vulnerable to
Hacker, but it's going to get rid of the Big Bruiser once and for all.
Elsa Winterhagen: She's big, thuggy, and shrugs off Final
Brawls. and doesn't do half-bad fighting her way to a site through a mass of
Homo Omega: The magic Toughness: 2 and a lot of Fighting --
yeah, he's expensive, but getting either version on the table will be extremely
difficult for the Dragons to deal with.
Imprisoned: This card hurts the Dragons much more than other take
out -- they have to pay the full power cost for a character in their hand, and
they can't use their recursion tricks.
Jason X vNew: Hey, he turned traitor!
Police State: This is a very under-played card. It has huge
flexibility. Add the fact that it doesn't target, and you got one smoked
Spirit Shield Generator: This is an expensive way to negate Final
Festival of Giants: The anti-Brawl.
Green Senshei Chamber: Toughness: 2 !
Mad-Monkey Kung Fu: Decent Fighting bonus and immunity to Brawl are all
wrapped up in this state.
Scales of the Dragon: While Toughness:2 is always useful, it's nice
to stop a Brawl in a pinch. But, watchout for the timing rules -- you
can't play Scales in response to a Brawl in time to use it before the Brawl does
Secrets of Shaolin: The Dragons usually pack a lot of 0-cost events, but
don't skimp on Confucian Stabilites.
Swinging with the Hand: This dreck has just one purpose, to hose
Final Brawl. It's kind of iffy in a deck (especially since you could just
be playing a Confucian and be stopping lots of events).
The Red Harvest: It's hard to pull off, but you can gain a power rebate
in response to a Final Brawl on your turn.
Tranquil Persuader: If you can keep him around, he's a big threat against
all but the most loyal Dragon characters (T2 and Steven Wu)
200 Guys with Hatchets and Ladders: The Dragons are all
about Unique guys, so this might slow them down just a little, but watch out for
Toughness as it will mow through your horde of Pledged.
Grey Mountain: Magic words, Toughness:2
Master of Disguise: Another sneaky way to take out one of those
unique-characters that the Dragon's love -- and, it's going to cost them 1 power
in addition if the Master is still around when they try a Golden Comeback.
Sam Malory: With his weird Toughness, he's fairly hard to kill by some of
the Dragon tricks, but he still can be beaten by a big character.
Shadowy Mentor: Yes, this an amazing card against all factions, but I'm
including because it's one of the banes of the Dragons, especially on the
Shinobu Yashida: If you are fighting someone with 8 or more Fighting, there
is a good chance it's a Dragon -- Shinobu is a cheap (3 power with a Family
Estate) character to keep from being bull-dozed by the Dragons.
Ursus: The bear has an interesting feature of loving Final Brawls.
Anyone who survives is going to be chewed up by Ursus and his damage immunity.
Buffalo Soldier: He grants his event immunity to your horde -- get
two Soldiers out, and they cover each other's behind.
Kick 'em When They're Down: This is sort of like Brawling after a
Brawl -- if the Dragon player took some damage to clean out some opponents, this
might just clean him back (although it's hard to justify playing this over Who's
the Monkey Now?"
Punks: They make a pretty mean speed bump for all those unique Dragon
Stolen Plans: Between Ki-YAAAH! and Dirk Wiseley's Gambit, you might
have a chance of pulling this off against a Dragon player, although this card
can be a hand-clogger.
The Ape is Loose: Monkey see, Monkey get to ignore a Brawl and do
Who's the Monkey Now?: The ultimate answer to Final Brawl -- not
only do you cancel it, but you take one of the Dragons with you!
Armies of the Monarchs: A couple of these in play, and the Dragon
heroes are going to be falling to your mid-range characters.
Avenging Thunder: Toasty toasty -- no Comeback for you!
Blood Lust: With all the Brawling going on, this event has a chance to bring
you in a steady stream of power to compensate for the damage you're taking.
Darkness Warriors: More than once I've gotten my 1-power rebate in
response to a Final Brawl.
Queen of the Darkness Pagoda: Again, being Toasted is the Dragon's
greatest fear, and the Queen excels at it.
Jenaya Oyu: Again, not a great character, but you can hit back for
2 from a Final Brawl.
Material Transcendence: While this is generally decent character
removal, it has the added bonus of denying the Dragons a quick comeback as well
has prohibiting them from playing another copy of a unique card.
Purist Aspirant: Sure you gotta Sacrifice them, but they will soak
up all that Final Brawl damage heading to your characters while letting everyone
else fight it out.
Li Mao: You can choose to have him immune to Dragon events,
bypassing those Brawls and Carnivals.
Sky Dragon: Sure, he takes damage from Brawls, but, he's going to
make short work of most Dragon heroes in combat.
Memory Reprocessing: Take advantage of the killer Dragon event,
then get it out of the game so it can't be recycled with Fighting Spirit.
Dim Mak: This is a stretch, but the Dragons are known for their
Toughness, which has no chance against the Dim Mak!
Fortuitous Chi: This will save all characters with matching designators
from a Final Brawl, but it's really hard to pull off.
Invincible Stance: You got the possibility for Thing with 1000 Tongues level
toughness with this state.
Shadowfist: Without point-take-out, a character that's invulnerable to
combat damage is going to be difficult for a Dragon player to deal with.
Disintegrator Ray: It's not that reliable, but it can toast in a
IFF Missiles: This event is pretty janktastic, but it has the best chance of
going off against the Dragons, as they are the faction with the least designator
IKTV Special Report: Dragons love to play unique characters, you'll love
gaining 2 power.
MegaTank: Again, the magic Toughness: 2.
Replacement Parts: If your character survives the Brawl, this state
can get them back up to speed in no time.