Hello everyone! My apologies for the wait. Some real life stuff pushed my post-Kotei break a little longer than I had anticipated. Playing catch up now by looking at the Dragon in The Coming Storm.
A boxable courtier! Woo! He even has a nice battle action that could help you win a battle and get a little dishonor going! Awesome! If only we had a deck to play him out of. If one looks at the merits of the card itself then it is clearly an A. A truly boxable personality with a good battle action is always to be appreciated. However, until Courtier based Honor becomes a viable strategy for anyone that is not Crane I really cannot see using him a lot which is a shame. If he had more than 0 Force he could have been used in military in order to use Way of the Dragon more efficiently.
Grade: B (Due to the current deck building environment. A if we ever get a truly competitive Honor/Dishonor theme going.
Reiji is one of those guys whose value lies fully in stats and traits. He is Kensai/Cavalry which is always dangerous even with the new Cavalry rules. 4 force and 3 chi is pretty good considering he only costs 7 gold. Whats more, he has a 4 honor requirement instead of the 5 most of the other Dragons in the set has. This is important because it allows him to be the first personality you bring down if you are using our Sensei which a lot of Kensai decks are running right now.
Another cheap, solid Kensai personality for us. Effectively a 3/3 for 5 the moment he gets a weapon with a Fear ability that should grab a fair amount of targets assuming the attached weapon gives a chi boost. That 5 gold cost Kensai slot is pretty packed for the Dragon at the moment, however, with both Tsukazu and Niwa being able to put forward arguments that they are better. Takanori will definitely see use though.
Finally a truly boxable shugenja! Not our first shugenja to cost 4 gold but Junya has a 5 honor requirement which allows him to brought in quickly. Tamori Defensive Honor really needed this little boost of speed in my opinion. His trait could be a very interesting one assuming that Fortifications end up becoming a theme for us.
I love Touya, I really do. She is, by far, my favorite Dragon personality released in this set. A cheap shugenja with decent chi, good personal honor, and a reasonable honor requirement along with a Battle action that gains you honor. She also puts to use spells like Hitomi’s Devotion who have a useful trait but no Battle action. I think that Youya and Junya give a Tamori Defensive Honor deck the speed to be able to stand up to military decks now the problem is that without the taunt mechanism we had in the last set there is no way for us to compete with Crane honor. We just will not be able to keep up with the honor gains.
Yayoi is my second favorite personality this set. A cheap monk with nice stats and a good Battle ability. It requires her to bow but non-Enlightenment Dragon decks tend to start with Ring of Air anyway so it is not a big deal. She is a welcomed addition to a monk deck.
A nice duel that gives you a +4 force swing which is definitely considerable. It gets even better if you can get some dishonor into the equation which is not difficult. In my current Kensai deck I have Justice of the Crane and Demonstrating Technique which creates plenty of dishonorable targets. The fact that it has Discipline also makes it very nice for Enlightenment. I can afford to lose this duel to dropping Ring of Void, for example, since I know that I can always use it from the discard pile later on. 4 focus value on duels is something that I always appreciate.
Poor Suikihime Sensei. The core ability of this Sensei to bring in Courtiers from other clans is so potentially broken that they put limits on it until it ended up strangling it. Being limited to one Courtier per clan really does not allow to develop a theme. With the Sensei giving you -1 starting gold you gold scheme is better off paying the other courtiers for 2 more gold. Only Scorpion really needs to worry about the ignoring honor requirement part but they would not have problems with the Crab courtiers they would be looking at. The main problem that this card has is that they put Crane and Scorpion in it. That was a huge mistake. Dragon and Phoenix definitely need the help if they want to run Honor/Dishonor decks but the problem is that any help that this sensei gives those two clans would also make the two best clans in Honor and Dishonor even better. The gap is not closed. If they would have moved Scorpion and Crane to Aranai and had Spider, Crab, or Unicorn in Suikihime Sensei then you could have loosened the restrictions a little bit without the concern of making Scorpion and Crane super broken. You could have had more clans brought out viable options for Honor and Dishonor which would have made the environment richer. This was a big lost opportunity guys. I will have to give this Sensei an F. Yes, it is still playable but it could have had such a good impact on the field if used better.
You know, its weird. I liked every single personality we got so I should be feeling really optimistic about the future of the Dragon but I do not. Yayoi, Touya, and Kira are great but we still do not have enough to be able to make a competitive honor theme. If they would have removed Scorpion and Crane from Suikihime Sensei and took away from of its restrictions then maybe things would have been different. Reiji and Takanori will see play in Kensai builds but that is already out strongest deck and I do not see these two being a huge power up from what we already have. Touya is a very nice addition to a Monk deck but where are the Kihos to make them more worthwhile? I think Tamori Honor could become a viable deck if it gets serious support in the next set like Crab Dishonor got in this one. I suppose my overall comments here would have to be that there is definitely potential in these cards but we need a little more.