First, a little public service announcement. If you are feeling listless, numb, or have no energy, see your doctor. You may be suffering from Depression. If you have a prescription for Depression, you still need to see your doctor no less often than once every 6 months. Like me, you could become immune to the anti-depression medication you are on, and not realize it for months, or even years.
Okay, todays's article will be looking at Asako Misako. She is not the first Phoenix clan Courtier we have had, but one of very few. There have only been 6 Phoenix Clan courtiers printed, one of them unique. Three Asako, two Isawa, and a Shiba.
So, Asako Misako. She is 1F, 3C, with a 6HR, 5 GC, and 3 PH. She is obviously one of our boxables, and thus low end stats. 1F is a piffle, barely worth mentioning. 3C is average, at best, again, not worth mentioning. Her honour requirement is our starting family honour, so we are okay, as long as we don't take any honour losses. And with the raise of 2 gold, we even are still okay, especially as her 3 personal honour helps raise family honour.
Her traits are the simple Phoenix Clan and Courtier. This does mean that Deflection costs 1 less for each Misako you have in play. Nothing much, but it is something. Likewise, any action that requires a Courtier she can use. Examples might be Deceit and Subterfuge, or Discreet Retreat. Another one that works well with her is Inexplicable Challenge. I will get into that later.
Her ability is simple: Political Battle: If Misako is in your home, target a Shugenja: Move home a target enemy personality. Gain 1 honour.
So, what can that do? What does it mean? First, you have to have her at your home, and unbowed. That is where Discreet Retreat can come in. If she is at a battle, that sends her home, without bowing her, and hands out a force alteration at the same time. You also have to have a shugenja at the current battlefield. She won't work with no-one there, or with a Samurai or other Courtier there. She will only help Shugenja. As a cute little side note, since targeting the shugenja is in the requirements block, she will work with Mizuhiko's Naval action. Naval; send home. Great on the attack, especially against a Crane defense deck. Additionally, the shugenja does not have to be straight. It doesn't matter if it is a straight Master, or a bowed 0/1. All she needs is any Shugenja. And players don't like wasting actions on bowed cards, so a bowed Shugenja is quite useable. Especially as getting actions from bowed cards is also good.
Next, she sends home an enemy personality. Note, this does not require they be attacking. It only requires they be opposing the Shugenja you target. They can be single terrifying units, or massive columns of a personality with 15 attachments. She doesn't care. They go home.
And, finally, you gain 1 honour. Note, and this came up at the recent Kotei I attended. If they negate all effects of the action, or all further effects, the honour gain does not occur. Also interesting is that if either of she or the shugenja are dishonoured, they will be rehonoured. If both are dishonoured, they will both be rehonoured! That can be really helpful, sometimes.
I mentioned Inexplicable Challenge earlier, and am going to touch on it now. It is a rare from Glory of the Empire that says: "Political
Battle: Target your Courtier at any location: Bow a target enemy card without attachments. Choose a player, who either gains or loses 2 Honor." Since Misako is best used from your home anyways, this is another little bit that can help. It allows her to do things other than just her send home.
Most often, she is going to be sitting at your home, not doing anything. Why? Because her utility requires that she be unbowed during an attack. But, if you don't have any shugenja out, or don't need that send-home, she is another body. Use her for the Favour, or anything that a warm personality can do. Chump blocker needed? She can do that. Though personally, I find Kanta better for that.
A little note before I touch on negatives with her. Several times, my opponent wanted to know how I was sending home his bruiser unit. And when he saw I had 2 or 3 of her out, he would usually curse. If the personality is low force, and not assigned to battle, they don't matter, right? Heh.
The negatives. First, she is not, herself a shugenja. This means if she is your only personality out, and you have a hand of spells, it is a dead hand. Second, she does require Shugenja to do her thing. If you don't have any, she is useless, save as a speedbump, and not much of one that way.
Also, her ability is Political. If you are looking at Chen, you are in trouble. There are things that screw with Political, and they will mess with her. But, for the most part, they are currently ignored. It is another part of the game you just have to work with.
She is low force, and low-average chi. She is bait, that the other player can usually take out fairly easily. Of course, if he is concentrating on her, instead of other cards, you are either in real trouble, or your opponent is.
So, there it is, a quick look at this little common from Path of the Destroyer. Any comments or questions?