You guys ever consider posting a link to this Podcast/Blog on the L5R FB group?
We have a facebook page – search EnoughTalkL5R. We try to update it every so often with the goings-on of the site. Neither of us really use facebook though, so there ya go. If you do and you enjoy the content, please feel free to spam our links far and wide!
Thanks for calling out design on the unaligned shugenja. I have a Phoenix military deck that has exactly one aligned shugenja (Kouka) in it. Any thoughts on why design thinks its a good idea to print, in particular, the best shugenja, as opposed to the best samurai, courtiers etc…, as unaligned? What is it about military shugenja that makes design think they should be unaligned? It seems like design wants multiple clans to be able to run, in essence, the same military shugenja deck with only small variants between them.
As someone who has enjoyed playing Phoenix military for a long time, it’s frustrating to have to rationalize my choice to run the Phoenix box when constructing a military shugenja deck. I suspect this may be some small part of the reason(s) for the nerfing of the Unicorn box and the Crab sensei; now Phoenix is at least as good a start for military shugenja as those other clans.
There is a reason to play the Phoenix guys over the unaligned guys – the Phoenix Box itself. The problem is that Oath of Fealty exists, AND gives all the unaligned super-guys +1/+1, so even more strikes against playing in faction.
I think I understand what design was trying to do. They wanted every faction to have access to every theme. It doesn’t mean every theme would be widely supported, just that they could do it. But wait! Not every clan has a strong Shugenja family! Enter the rent-a-shugs. The problem is that it’s not actually true – every faction does have a cannon shugenja family as far as I know – and the size and power of the family has nothing to do with it’s representation in the game (see: Daidoji). Maybe a bigger problem was design space? They didn’t want to take up too many slots cranking out head-scratching Kitsu or Soshi military personalities.
Now, as for why the rent-a-shugs are so pushed, your guess is as good as mine. When we have a situation like this, where there’s no one broken card but a single theme that just seems to work way too well, it reeks of insufficient playtest. Usual boilerplate platitudes apply – they’re unpaid volunteers whaddya want, etc – but missing that shugs have the best personalities, the best action suite, and the best gold seems like a pretty glaring oversight.
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