January 3, 2014 at 8:01 am #559606RPGMP3 Newsbot
- Posts : 1658
by GaÃ«l Schmidt ClÃ©ach
Welcome, shugenja of the Phoenix, to the last round of The Coming Dawn. We have so far talked about your Stronghold and one of your Clanâ€™s themes, but today it is time we turn our attention to the most militant among the Phoenix, the Fire Tensai!
The first thing one notices about Ikariya is his 4 Force, large both by Phoenix standards and by those of Ivory Edition. There can be no mistake, the Fire Shugenja are a military theme. 4F will let Ikariya threaten Provinces with a minimum of investment, while protecting him from the many Ranged Attacks and Fear effects that will undoubtedly be popular in early IE even if he comes unequipped or pops up during battle thanks to his Reserve keyword. His ability really encourages you to use him as an offensive platform, though; the more Spells you stack on him, the deadlier he becomes. With enough Spells, Ikariya will be able to fire off massive Ranged Attacks capable of taking down the largest threats of the format. After all, burning their opponents to a crisp is what the Fire Shugenja of the Phoenix do best.
Kyokuta may not have Ikariyaâ€™s high base Force, but heâ€™s just as much of an offensive powerhouse, thanks to his ability. By discarding a card with an element keyword, which most of your Spells will have, you can give him a Force bonus of up to 4, and this even if he is unopposed, potentially turning him into a 6F monstrosity without any further Gold investment. Of course, Kyokutaâ€™s ability is so good that you might want to give him something to protect him, because if he happens to be opposed, he will be able to produce a Ranged Attack just as he himself is getting bigger. Kyokuta has the potential to create major Force swings during battle, and as such should be the centerpiece of Fire military decks for a while.
Not all Fire Shugenja will have Ranged Attack abilities, of course, but for those who donâ€™t, there will always be Fire Spells to fall back on. Fire and Air is one of those Spells, and it is a very useful and versatile one at that. Sure, its Ranged 2 Attack wonâ€™t touch some of the bigger Personalities of the environment, but itâ€™ll be perfect to pick off any smaller Followers that may be protecting them, opening the way for a larger Attack (from Ikariya or Kyokuta, for instance). Or you can combine it with other Ranged Attacks in the unit, such as either of the two above shown Personalities. Its movement ability is not to be underestimated, either. You can use it to threaten multiple Provinces without having to split your armies, or to play the attrition game, killing something with a Ranged Attack, then going away to do it all again next turn.
Of course, military decks need Force to threaten Provinces, and they need ways to protect their Personalities. Thankfully, the Firestorm Legion provides both at once. While it does not have a spectacular Force to Gold ratio, it is cheaper for you as a Phoenix player, and has a few other things going for it. First, it is cheaper for you as a Phoenix player, which is good. Second, it shoots off a Ranged Attack based on likely your strongest attribute, your Chi. Throwing off a Ranged 4 Attack with this bad boy will be pretty standard. There is one more thing going for this Follower. It is a Shugenja. This means it can cast Kihos (and participate in Rituals), and it can also use your Stronghold’s ability, which is very handy when you are a military deck. The versatility of the Firestorm Legion should not be overlooked.
The Fire Shugenja provide a widely different playstyle from the rest of the Phoenix. Itâ€™s not about peacefully staying home and gaining Honor, or about the synergy between Shugenja and Yojimbo; itâ€™s all about hurling giant fireballs at your enemies and leading your armies on wings of fire. And, really, who wouldnâ€™t want to do that?
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