• I was the Breaker of the Mask. I did not want it to exist and as soon as I figured it out, I immediately sent a message to Palmer to confirm it worked and requested it to be fixed before the Kotei. Reese was immediately notified that it existed and was degenerate. The Philly Crew worked on the deck after Reese decided to let it go. I optimized the deck to “go off 85% of the time on turn 3.” The Spain guys knew about it through their rules team guy and beat us to the punch.

    • A great counter point to what happened with Paneki’s Mask is what happened with Only a Shadow just months before. Only a Shadow was released the set before the mask, and also contributed to an overpowered deck. The Phoenix Astonishing Accusation, Winds of Dismissal, Cross Clan Wedding combo dishonor deck. The difference is that the dishonor deck was put out there. Giving the playerbase at large a chance to respond, and for the design team to see the full impact of how degenerate the deck was for the format at large, and also how unsatisfying a game play experience it created. This resulted in appropriate action being taken, and no events were ruined because of it. The game carried on.

      Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we, as players, need to acknowledge that our selfish instincts to squirrel away our secret superior tech ultimately produces a negative effect on the game we love at large.

      • Agreed. And I think there are lessons learned all about because of the experience. I tried to get it resolved through the “chain of commands” before it hit a Kotei as I felt that was the most appropriate route and quickest to get the problem fixed. Regardless, it’s done and we move on. I like the openness you all are pushing for. I like you posted the Rae deck.

  • Hey guys! I love the show!

    Quick question (and something I think that should be addressed):

    How do you feel about he “flex” nature of IE strategies? In particular, since themes were de facto removed, especially performer requirements and “theme” strategies, do you think the Fate deck was homogenized too much? One thing I have found is that Fate side cards are usable by everyone, so you get a situation where the Fate deck doesn’t offer much differentiation. I find that this puts a lot of pressure on the Dynasty deck to offer both diversity and balance. I’d be interested in hearing your views on it!

    Also, I completely agree that EE got a bad rap. I really wish the mega-bans had occurred sooner because I absolutely loved the environment! Full disclosure, I was a Spider Ninja player 🙂

    • Re: EE, I think there were more perception problems than anything else. The bans never came because they were never really needed. I don’t think KL was even that oppressive, it’s just that it felt like what it was doing was better than what you were doing. That’s a common theme in L5R conversation. I’m glad design is being more proactive this time around, though, because a happy playerbase is more important than a clever card concept. The danger, of course, is that we never get to have anything even remotely powerful now. There’s no way, for example, that Official Sanction was something that “slipped through”. My guess is that Reese personally pushed the card though to see if players would accept even the softest control (it was printed in the same set as Long Term Fruition, the card that let you jam out Air and negate Sanction completely). They didn’t and the card was nerfed.

      As far as IE actions go, I don’t think they are more flexible than other arcs, I just think they are weaker. Nobody reaches for Kensai cards or Scout cards because the power level is capped so low that the generic will do just fine AND always work. Is +3 force on 80% of your personality base stronger or weaker than +2 force on 100%? Or move in + followup 80% of the time or move in 100%? In the past we had cards like Cast Aside the Weak and Never Beyond my Reach to support themes, now we have Scout and Kensai chains. Pretty lame, but it ties into my comments above about not being able to have nice toys.

      • Re EE: I guess I come from a different perspective which may be why I feel different. As a pretty devout Spider player during EE (although I’m probably abandoning clan loyalty come 20F), I did as much experimenting as I could to find a way to deal with KL that could still be competitive against the rest of the field. Eventually it just got to the point where I felt like I was building decks to deal with aspects of the game that felt like headaches, more than actually enjoying the game. Maybe it speaks to my ability to make good decks more than anything, but I think the bans brought more variety to the field. It may also tie back to your statements about tech becoming more open so the meta can evolve. I have a decent amount of top quality players around me so unless your deck can handle cut-making decks (and in some cases, Kotei winning decks), it tends to be a rough day of play test. It sounds like your a believer in not restricting yourself to a clan (which I’m pretty much coming around to at this point.)

        I think the power level of the cards is a little disjoint in my opinion. On the one hand, we get things like Weakness Exposed, which is a perfectly powerful card and fine IMO, and on the other hand, we get Victory through Deference. When I look at Victory through Deference, it feels like “Strip Mining to Prevent Forest Fires.” Powerful things do exist in IE, but I don’t think they are well implemented in most cases. Weakness Exposed requires specific cards to make it work. All you would have to do is throw “Duelist” on it and it pretty much could be an EE card. Victory through Deference seems like design is throwing a tactical nuke into the mix to make sure there are no issues regarding recursion and is a very usable card. The main problem to me is that recursion is something that is very normal in card games BUT needs to be actively and thoughtfully designed. However, by throwing a card like VtD into the mix, it’s like design is saying “F’it,” let’s just make a tactical nuke to prevent things from getting abused so we can focus on another +2F pump.

        Blargh, sorry for the disjoint posts. I really do miss themes 🙁

        • No, I’m not clan loyal.

          I actually think being TOO clan loyal hurts the game – it puts players in a position where they feel they can’t play because of the mental box they’ve constructed around themselves.

          I do wish the story team would have support for people who are clan loyal but want to compete, though (ie, play whatever deck you want but declare yourself as an ally to whoever).

          As for VtD, I think it only feels oppressive because of how it interacts with Shugenja. Aside from that it’s a quite interesting card in design space that hasn’t really been explored up to this point. There is a time in L5R when it would have been brushed aside as a pitifully marginal effect. That fact that you’re talking about it as a huge bomb speaks to the low power of L5R cards right now. Even Weakness Exposed is terrible compared to Steel on Steel, which is terrible compared to Iaijutsu Duel.

  • My only issue with EE is that it felt too often like some clans were getting toys and other clans were fighting for scraps.

  • I didn’t mind EE at all. I rather like high power environments actually. Personally I think what looks like a moritorium on control has detracted from the game… made it worse. I think if you want to find a sweet spot for power level in the game you’d want to aim for Diamond Edition post-Lion and Elemental Item errata pre-Khol Wall. It was powerful but not overwhelmingly so with lot’s of different strategies/playstyles… but maybe that’s just me being nostalgic for when I was still newish to the game.

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