New Order AEG Strategy Article

From The Sensei: Crane Strategy for The New Order
To say the Crane Clan in Ivory Edition has had a strong selection of cards and decks to choose from would be a bit of an understatement. There aren’t many who will deny that the Powder Blues haven’t been in a very strong position overall for the majority of the arc. Crane Scouts have been undeniably the most popular and frequently played Crane decks for the majority of the arc, and those inclined to play as the Daidoji get a couple of very strong Personalities in TNO in Daidoji Nozomi and her ‘Navalry’ and in the 4F Conqueror Daidoji Tomomi. Both are excellent midgame Personalities that can easy be incorporated into the current Scouts lineup.
I, however, have always been an Honor player. It’s what I love to do, and what I think Crane does very well. Defensive Honor has always been a deck that will just flat out beat you if you approach it unprepared, and was always one of the first things my friends and I would put together in order to test our various military builds against.
Moving into Strict play, I think Crane have a very strong presence as a defensive honor deck, and that’s something I’m going to talk about a little tonight.
Esteemed House of the Crane
Events (1)
1x Wisdom Gained
Holdings (18)
3x Carpenter Shrine
3x Defensive Memorial
3x Marketplace
2x Kabuki Theater Troupe
1x Counting House
3x Poorly Placed Garden
3x Famous Bazaar
Personalities (21)
3x Kakita Burei
3x Doji Shimada
3x Doji Soeka
3x Daidoji Kinta
3x Doji Etsuki
1x Doji Makoto, the Smiling Blade
1x Yasuki Makoto, Imperial Advisor
1x Doji Katata
3x Doji Takato, the Manipulator
FATE (41)
Rings (3) –
1x Ring of Air
1x Ring of the Void
1x Ring of Earth
Strategies (38)
3x Block Supply Lines
3x Sanctioned Duel
3x Benefits of Honor
3x Inexplicable Challenge
3x Planned Departure
3x Soul’s Sacrifice
2x Beset From All Sides
2x Wheels Within Wheels
3x A New Alliance
3x Discretionary Valor
3x Show No Mercy
3x Imperial Summons
2x Progressive
2x Flashy Technique
First things first, you won’t find any really showy tricks here, or fancy combos. This a very solid, standard defensive honor deck, one capable of rolling with the punches and dealing with a wide variety of opponents and issues.
We’re running a single Event, Wisdom Gained, to provide us with some easy deck thinning to obtain whatever Rings we want to use.
Holding-wise, this is all very standard fare for defensive Crane Honor, and the inclusion of so many Honor-producing Holdings is one of the main reasons we are opting not to go with either of the Crane focused Theme Sensei. While Akagi and Tadanobu are both certainly great in their own respective decks, here they simply can’t hold a candle to a 3 Honor producing PPG.
So far, you may have noticed we haven’t been touching much on TNO cards, but we’ll be farming quite a few for our Personality base. We’ll be using 3x Doji Shimada, as 4G for a 2F/3C/3PH Personality is a price point that is hard to ignore. On a sub-optimal turn 2 gold draw, we can still hope for the chance to grab a 2GC holding and proclaim Shimada to set up early favor control. 2F is just enough to make him count as a chump blocker, and we’ll be getting some legwork out of his 3PH for cards like Soul’s Sacrifice. With 3C he’s not the world’s best dueler, but in a pinch he can sling a Sanction Duel with some confidence.
Next up, we’ll be grabbing Yasuki Makoto, who, while not a Crane, definitely has a place in this deck. Defensive decks are pretty notorious for burning out their resources quickly in a decisive mid-game defense play, then leaving themselves tapped out when it comes time to protect the last province. Anything that can draw us cards is a good thing, and there are few better at it than Makoto. She’s well worth her 8GC out-of-Clan price point, and that she’s a Courtier for slinging things like Inexplicable Challenge or Beset >From All Sides in a pinch is just gravy.
Finally, we’re picking up Doji Takato, the Crane Love Letter Personality. His Interrupt does have a random chance to allow you to pitch a card you don’t immediately need in order to possibly flush a key card from your opponent’s hand, or even pick up one that could cinch you the game. Tossing a Beset From All Sides and randomly discarding my Lion opponent’s Sun Returns or stealing his Soul’s Sacrifice is a trade I will never feel bad about making. His statline is also fantastic for his cost as a 4C/3PH Personality for 5G, meaning he can issue Sanctioned Duels and Beset From All Sides with the best of them.
Heading over to the Fate-side, we see a pretty standard mix of defensive Honor selections, a mix of send-home actions and some kill cards, with a light peppering of open control in Imperial Summons. Like I said before, I am not really one for fancy tricks when it comes to defensive Honor decks. We have a few other options we could look at subbing out here if we don’t like what we have. The Sanctioned Duels, for example, can easily swap out for 3x Serenity if we want more battle kill (which Personalities like Shimada or Kakita Burei would be all too happy to perform). Instead of the ever-popular Victory Through Deference, we’ve decided to try out a somewhat similar alternative, TNO’s A New Alliance. There are several strong Spells in TNO, and the ability to shut down abilities on both troublesome Dynasty and Fate cards in play at once and draw is a bargain at the 2G Invest cost.
In closing, while this may not be a killer deck that you can use to utterly dominate your local environment or a larger tournament scene, this kind of solid Honor deck is the type I as a Crane player have always enjoyed, and the type I have often enjoyed using to beat people who don’t bother to take Honor into consideration . Moving into the Strict environment, expect to see Honor in general make a stronger showing at the tables across various Clans, but Crane will continue to be the Clan that sets the standard that all the others will be reaching for, and testing against.

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