How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

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How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Sleep on Sun May 01, 2011 7:22 am

Hi all. Sleep here as usual. As you may have read from my most recent blog entry, I will be flying out to New Mexico to participate in the Rio Rancho Kotei in just under 2 weeks. In addition, I will be bringing a 1 man crew who will film much of the action that day and we will be producing a documentary of the trip. I've had this discussion with the guys at my local shop, but I figured that I would bring it up to you all here as well since I want to represent the SE well while over there.

I'm admittedly a stubborn Johnny. I HATE playing the "best" decks, always preferring to play a deck that I built and that people will appreciate winning an event. Thing is, my stubbornness in this case has hurt me. In a more balanced environment (like plague war/empire at war) I think I would have a shot at doing well just by playing my favorite deck, and making as little play errors as possible. But in this environment, where breeder, embassy honor, and embassy dishonor are SO strong, any deck below them is stuck with a problem. Either you play meta for all three (and effectively lose all your "regular" match ups to other decks such as CoT, Mantis DGC, and crab heroes/scouts), or only meta 1/2 and pray you don't play the third. Of course, there is a 3rd option: Playing one of the "power 3".

I'm trying really hard just for this one event to acknowledge my weakness (being a johnny but also trying to be competitive) and play a deck that is not built completely of my own hands, and is regarded as good. I've been playtesting with Crab Heroes, but honestly, I don't know how the deck beats breeder, and it has at best a 50/50 shot against embassy honor. It's only good against embassy dishonor, which while IMHO is probably the strongest of the three, will probably be the least played of the 3. So, I need a deck that can beat both Breeder and Embassy Honor at least 50% of the time, while not losing in swiss.

And I'm thinking I MAY have to play breeder. I wouldn't mind taking the "Walling" build to NM, except that I'm not exactly sold on it. And this is due to the current stigma surrounding breeder. Everyone is freaking out about it, and that makes me think that everyone is going to be running meta in the next 2 weeks (it just won it's 10th kotei this weekend). So, if not breeder, then what?

So I'm asking for your advice. At South Carolina I want to play a "deck of my own" (probably my Crab Commandoes!) because I just want to have fun and hang out with my friends/the rest of the Southeast crew. But in NM, where it will just be me, my deck, and a camera, I want to have as much of a shot as possible. I'm not the best pilot in the world, but I feel that I have gotten better over the last year and a half and I think with 2 weeks of solid testing with a deck that has great matchups I will have a shot. Honestly, I don't care about winning the whole thing (although that would be nice), but my goal as a 3rd year L5R player is to at LEAST make top 8. If it's not me in the finals that's cool, the documentary will still be cool and suspenseful about whoever IS in the finals. I just want to have a shot and not bomb out in swiss, that would make a lame event and a waste of a lot of money.

So thoughts? Questions? Once I have a few decks figured out I'll probably start playing a bit on Egg of Pan'ku as well to get extra practice (and I'd really appreciate some helpful pointers from players like Evan).

Thanks in advance guys, I really appreciate any thoughts you have.


Last edited by Sleep on Thu May 05, 2011 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Kakita Hideo on Sun May 01, 2011 8:52 am

Play Crane Dishonor. Might be able to build it today and you can take it with you if you don't see too many Lions in the field. Very Happy
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Velo75 on Sun May 01, 2011 11:07 am

rise in breeder ->more dishonor and less crane honor

meta the meta, play Lion with breeder meta

NM has some very good Lion players like Marty and Ryan, you are risking TEH DOOMZ if you run dishonor

you were warned...
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Pruto on Sun May 01, 2011 11:58 am

play Crab Corey,

if there is anything I've learned this season is that it is better to play what you know, don't try to "learn" something last minute. Crab is good, play crab.

don't worry about beating every deck type, worry about beating most decks, make top 8, and pray lady luck likes you. You can't possibly meta against everything and no deck can beat every other deck, you can probably get to 50/50 or better against them, just aim for that.

again

play crab, u know it inside and out, that is a better advantage than whatever breeder or crane can offer you. Eliminate your own play errors, and mistakes based on lack of experience.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Justin on Sun May 01, 2011 12:39 pm

There's some difficulty in learning a new deck at the last minute, but I'm not going to go into that too much because it's mainly a personality thing. Some people have no problem playing the T1 deck for a weekend, some do. Jon from our local playgroup swapped (from Unicorn) to a Lion deck for a Kotei last year, ended up going 0-2 drop, and hated the experience greatly. Meanwhile, Trevor is selling out on a daily basis with no problems. Very Happy

Do these statements describe you?

1. If you do poorly with the Breeder deck, you will feel like you wasted your time playing a deck you didn't like.
2. If you do poorly with the Breeder deck, you will always wonder in the back of your mind if your regular deck would have done better.
3. If you do well with the Breeder deck, will it make you upset with your clan or with game balance?

If so, go with your own deck. If not, feel free to play Breeder for a week.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Pruto on Sun May 01, 2011 2:28 pm

Trevor has been winning Koteis since... 08? he is different Laughing , plus he played the same deck for essentially 3 months now (granted he did well from the get go), i don't think corey has touched breeder or dishonor, ever.

I don't think its only a personality thing. to win consistently you have to know your deck. card combinations that work with certain situations, what to dig for, what to expect from your own deck on a certain turn/opponents turn, what to HOPE for, gold curve etc. unless you're just really good at card games, you can't really pilot a deck blind without prior experience.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  valentine on Sun May 01, 2011 2:30 pm

Short for now: Why would you consider a deck 'the best'? It's pretty well completely subjective to ones playstyle.

And I don't consider it selling out as much as buying two days at gencon. Twisted Evil
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Gosh on Sun May 01, 2011 10:56 pm

I'm with Pruto- stick with what you know.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  valentine on Mon May 02, 2011 12:04 am

'What one knows' can be a really subjective thing too. I'm sure most people think me selling out to lion represented a complete change in perspective from my normal mantis shenanigans. Different clans, different decks. But is that really what happened? I stuck with my preferred theme and juxtaposed it to somewhere else I knew it'd fit. I play 'tempo' decks. So to me I was basically playing the same deck, details be damned.

Sticking with what you know sometimes can mean 'playing what you don't know'.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Moto Damasko on Mon May 02, 2011 1:10 am

Play what you know is my opinion. Just play the meta, beat the meta and use your skills to beat the "odd-balls". Also remember its largely a dice roll, you could end up playing your worst match-up all day, or get to the finals and have your deck crap on you. IMO play what you will enjoy playing, as you will do best with what you enjoy.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Sleep on Mon May 02, 2011 2:16 am

Moto Damasko wrote:Play what you know is my opinion. Just play the meta, beat the meta and use your skills to beat the "odd-balls". Also remember its largely a dice roll, you could end up playing your worst match-up all day, or get to the finals and have your deck crap on you. IMO play what you will enjoy playing, as you will do best with what you enjoy.

Yeah don't get me wrong, I'm fully aware of the chances of being goldfucked in the top 8 and losing because of it. I just don't want to leave NM unhappy because I didn't do well due to my stubbornness with my deck. For example, taking "Flashy Steel" to NM. Although it's a fun deck that I really love, it has no real shot of doing well, and I would be setting myself up for disappointment by playing it.

Also, I really appreciate all the input guys (especially Trevor). I understand that not one deck would be "the best", but moreso, I'm asking from a purely factual point of view, if you were going to be playing in that event, and you had every deck currently legal built, which would you choose that would give you the best shot against the field? IE I don't want to get caught bringing a knife to a gunfight.

For reference, the Tuscon Kotei (which is relatively close, but also had quite a lot of pull from California which prob wont happen for NM) had FOUR lion in top 8, 2 crane, a scorpion and one other. Winner was Embassy. There were 12 crane and 11 scorpion in swiss, with 3rd highest being around 6-7 if I remember (thinking Lion). I honestly don't expect for there to be much breeder because everyone is bugging out about it, and any breeder that there is may be eliminated by the amount of control. So in effect, I'm looking for something that can beat Lion and Embassy, while still having a shot against the random field in swiss.

After talking it over with some of the guys, I think i'm going to stick with Crab Heroes, but make a little more of a blitzy version of it (based on tried-and-true embassy tips from Richard Walling). Does anyone see any glaring holes in current crab builds that maybe I'm not considering? This is basically the big hero/weapon build that runs Unwavering, OAS, Beloved, M&S and Strength of Bamboo to say "no" to control, while packing cards like Fearless Defense and Strike Quickly for military match ups.

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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  valentine on Mon May 02, 2011 10:24 pm

I was actually going to play Crab Scouts in Louisville, but Darrell forgot to give me all the cards I asked for XD. I think they're a damned solid option that has a good game versus the meta. You'd need to start testing now, but the deck is a wrecking ball. As you like Crab, I'd say its a solid option. Concentrated Fire and Hunting the Daughter are phenomenal cards. It'd take some time to get use to for the military game, but it destroys passive decks and breeder.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  panku on Mon May 02, 2011 10:28 pm

valentine wrote:I was actually going to play Crab Scouts in Louisville, but Darrell forgot to give me all the cards I asked for XD. I think they're a damned solid option that has a good game versus the meta. You'd need to start testing now, but the deck is a wrecking ball. As you like Crab, I'd say its a solid option. Concentrated Fire and Hunting the Daughter are phenomenal cards. It'd take some time to get use to for the military game, but it destroys passive decks and breeder.

I've been telling everyone the same thing since tDoW released.

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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Velo75 on Tue May 03, 2011 12:16 am

crab scouts before the new set is decent but plagued by a middling personality base

crab scouts after the new set is pants wetting

if you're gonna stick with crab, I'd stick with what has been proven to work...crab good dudes with good abilities
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Sleep on Tue May 03, 2011 4:21 am

valentine wrote:I was actually going to play Crab Scouts in Louisville, but Darrell forgot to give me all the cards I asked for XD.
hahaha what a bitch. Razz

We recently built crab scouts about a week and a half/two weeks ago as a "group effort". If Anthony still has the decks I'll try it out. It kind of goes against my playstyle a little bit, but honestly, it would be much closer to home than breeder would. Ninja


Last edited by Sleep on Tue May 03, 2011 8:07 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Sleep on Tue May 03, 2011 8:05 am

Velo75 wrote:crab scouts before the new set is decent but plagued by a middling personality base

crab scouts after the new set is pants wetting

if you're gonna stick with crab, I'd stick with what has been proven to work...crab good dudes with good abilities

I've done a little preliminary testing vs myself on Egg, and I'm liking how it locks down honor/dishonor pretty well. Thing is, I'm not sure how it fares against lion. The version I built (which is a modified version of the deck that won Irvine this last weekend) runs more of the boxable scouts for speed. The deck isn't hurt much by census due to straighten tech on our stronghold (so we can straighten one on the opponents turn, one on my turn, and that should be enough to at least deter a military attack unless its the final province) but is hurt more by crossing. I'll playtest it some later tonight at our local shop.

Evan, you have probably tested against this deck at least a little during your kotei preps. What aspects of the deck does Central Castle Lion hate the most? Don't worry, I'm not trying to one-up you at South Carolina, I probably wont be playing scouts there. But for NM, I know that there will be lots of big name Lion players (and Douglas Dee plays lion sometimes too I methinks), so having an idea for what to prepare for the lion matchup would help. Concentrated fire is a no-brainer vs Kasei/igawa, and raemon doesn't scare me much due to my abundance of followers. *shrug* Our local playgroup is sorely missing a consistent Lion player and I always feel at a loss playing against that deck.

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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Moto Damasko on Tue May 03, 2011 9:37 am

Besides, winning with breeder would be kinda jank.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Sleep on Wed May 04, 2011 6:22 am

The current scout build that I am testing on egg. This is an adaptation of the Irvine Kotei scout build with some key changes made by Team Anthem during playtesting at our store last night. Just about the only thing about the deck that I don't like is not running sneak attack, but for a deck designed to take a massive crap on control, it's even more awesome making their reinforce the gates (relatively) worthless. Any thoughts?

(note, it's at 41 fate side, but it's running 3 dangerous reconnaissance which effectively makes it a 38)


1 Shattered Peaks Castle

# Dynasty (40)

# Events (2)
1 Alter History
1 The New Order

# Celestials (1)
1 Hida's Guidance

# Regions (1)
1 Sacred Valley

# Holdings (15)
1 Chugo Seido
1 Counting House
1 Expendable Resources
3 Iron Mine
1 Traveling Peddler
3 Border Village
3 Barley Farm
2 Oyo Seido

# Personalities (21)
3 Hiruma Akio
2 Hiruma Hidora
3 Hiruma Seiko
3 Hiruma Toshio
3 Tennyo
3 Toritaka Horoiso
3 Toritaka Okabe
1 Hida Kuon - exp6

# Fate (41)

# Strategies (41)
3 Concentrated Fire
3 Dangerous Reconnaissance
3 Hunting the Daughter
3 Military Assessment
3 Strategic Strike
3 We Stand Ready
2 Unfamiliar Ground
2 Scouting Far Afield
3 Superior Mobility
3 Border Ambush
3 Shameful and Cowardly
3 Proper Deference
1 The Thriving Light
1 Ultimate Sacrifice
3 Peasant Vengeance
2 Rout

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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  valentine on Wed May 04, 2011 7:11 am

Try tsi muketsu over border village? Has counting house been accomplishing much? This is a faster deck, you shouldn't be behind in the province race. I'd cut for a second peddler or expendable (that poor ghost). Final duty? There's enough jank in a scout deck that you can make it work. He's no scout but akeno would be the second card in every crab deck I built, but if you've already got the control game down he's superfluous. Sneak is a crutch, kick it away now and don't look back. 41 red cards, have you thought about void? Sacred valley seems overkill. Height of courage is pretty good when you've got hordes of followers. Helps to dance around outer walls and the favor.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Sleep on Wed May 04, 2011 7:40 am

valentine wrote:Try tsi muketsu over border village? Has counting house been accomplishing much? This is a faster deck, you shouldn't be behind in the province race. I'd cut for a second peddler or expendable (that poor ghost). Final duty? There's enough jank in a scout deck that you can make it work. He's no scout but akeno would be the second card in every crab deck I built, but if you've already got the control game down he's superfluous. Sneak is a crutch, kick it away now and don't look back. 41 red cards, have you thought about void? Sacred valley seems overkill. Height of courage is pretty good when you've got hordes of followers. Helps to dance around outer walls and the favor.

I gotta agree about Akeno 99% of the time, but this deck really doesn't need him. This deck's biggest problem is huge weapon builds (like the Crab Heroes) and probably Kensai. Realistically though, I shouldn't see a kensai player after round 2-3. And heroes I can outrace with the help of rout and Tennyo for a little bit of attachment control. Strategic strike eats up follower builds and none are really viable now so I'm feeling good about that.

I haven't playtested against Embassy Honor or Naked Lion yet, so I'm not sure how strong the deck is against the two matchups. If the honor matchup is good enough I may cut the proper deferences for final duty or claw and shell to help against breeder and lion. This deck already does pretty well against the "popular" breeder build, and claw and shell would probably move it up to about 60-70% chance of winning, so that may be a viable option.

The sacred valley may come out. I don't know. I beat embassy dishonor once, and lost the 2nd game. Granted, the 2nd game it was because I got cocky but he got a HORRIBLE start. The sacred valley in practice has been saving me 4-6 honor a game before it gets hit by thriving light. Thing is, the deck is already pretty strong against dishonor anyways, so I can see dropping it for a different region, war of dark fire, or another personality (would love to fit Hiruma Etsuro in here) but again that decision will come after I play test honor and see if I need more help on that front.

You are right about the counting house. I used it once against breeder but honestly, it could be another expendable/traveling peddler and I'd get much more use out of it. It's a holdover from the Irvine Kotei winners deck and I didn't really think twice about it. Honestly, I have no idea how the guy won a kotei with the deck he had, because it just had some... bad... cards in it.

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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Kakita Hideo on Wed May 04, 2011 12:56 pm

Sleep wrote:

1 Shattered Peaks Castle

# Dynasty (40)

# Events (0)
1 Alter History Your good in this matchup
1 The New Order see above

# Celestials (1)
1 Hida's Guidance

# Regions (1)
1 Sacred Valley Heartlands/Farmlands-Either one is fine you'll have the extra gold

# Holdings (15)
1 Chugo Seido
1 Counting House Expendable if you add heartlands,peddler if its farmlands
1 Expendable Resources
3 Iron Mine
1 Traveling Peddler
3 Border Village
3 Barley Farm
2 Oyo Seido

# Personalities (23)
3 Hiruma Akio
2 Hiruma Hidora (go to 3)
3 Hiruma Seiko
3 Hiruma Toshio
3 Tennyo
3 Toritaka Horoiso
3 Toritaka Okabe
1 Hida Kuon - exp6
1 Hiruma Etsuro

# Fate (40)

# Strategies (40)
3 Concentrated Fire
3 Dangerous Reconnaissance
3 Hunting the Daughter
2 3 Military Assessment
3 Strategic Strike
3 We Stand Ready
3 2 Unfamiliar Ground
2 Scouting Far Afield
3 Superior Mobility
3 Border Ambush
3 Shameful and Cowardly (you can cut here for Void if you'd like)
3 Proper Deference
1 The Thriving Light
1 Ultimate Sacrifice
2 3 Peasant Vengeance
2 3 Rout
3 Settling the Homeless




Those are my recommendations. I like Final Duty and Height of Courage but its tough to fit. I like the dynasty side at 23 dudes though so that you can guarantee being able to flood the field. Sneak has no place in this deck. Nobody is that important.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  DDreischmeyer on Thu May 05, 2011 5:22 pm

Sleep wrote:Honestly, I have no idea how the guy won a kotei with the deck he had, because it just had some... bad... cards in it.
Roy is part of my local group and the two of us play one another quite frequently. He would freely admit that he was lucky both in getting favorable pairings throughout most of the day and in drawing key cards when he needed them. The truth is he was playing a bunch of decks prior to the Kotei just wanting to build and play something that would win, he dabbled with EotC, LSC, FotD, CC, and several other dekcs which everyone has been talking about. In the end, he decided he would rather play Crab as that is the faction he calls home and didn't feel that the 'usual' Crab decks would be up to the task of winning a Kotei. So, he built the scout deck literally the week of the event and had maybe a dozen games played total, most of that on EoPK, before heading into the event. He knows there were lots of bad cards in the deck and that if he spent some time playing and refining the deck it could improve drastically. He didn't want to post the deck because he knew it was so weak and that people would see that and ask themselves WTF, but so many people were asking for the deck list he figured why not and posted it even though it was obviously flawed. In the end however, it was sufficient to get the job done. He is no longer playing the deck as he will not be attending any additional Kotei events before BtD is legal and he plans on building the new Crab stronghold ASAP and get to work in tuning that deck rather than work on a deck in an environment he will not be playing in.

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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Moto Damasko on Thu May 05, 2011 5:28 pm

DDreischmeyer wrote:
Sleep wrote:Honestly, I have no idea how the guy won a kotei with the deck he had, because it just had some... bad... cards in it.
Roy is part of my local group and the two of us play one another quite frequently. He would freely admit that he was lucky both in getting favorable pairings throughout most of the day and in drawing key cards when he needed them. The truth is he was playing a bunch of decks prior to the Kotei just wanting to build and play something that would win, he dabbled with EotC, LSC, FotD, CC, and several other dekcs which everyone has been talking about. In the end, he decided he would rather play Crab as that is the faction he calls home and didn't feel that the 'usual' Crab decks would be up to the task of winning a Kotei. So, he built the scout deck literally the week of the event and had maybe a dozen games played total, most of that on EoPK, before heading into the event. He knows there were lots of bad cards in the deck and that if he spent some time playing and refining the deck it could improve drastically. He didn't want to post the deck because he knew it was so weak and that people would see that and ask themselves WTF, but so many people were asking for the deck list he figured why not and posted it even though it was obviously flawed. In the end however, it was sufficient to get the job done. He is no longer playing the deck as he will not be attending any additional Kotei events before BtD is legal and he plans on building the new Crab stronghold ASAP and get to work in tuning that deck rather than work on a deck in an environment he will not be playing in.

This makes me happy, to see a player who purely wants to win but sticks with his clan and wins anyways. In the end kotei's are all about getting lucky and playing strong, a perfect deck can still lose, and a sub-par one can still win. I'm glad you posted this, made my day.
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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  Sleep on Thu May 05, 2011 5:40 pm

DDreischmeyer wrote:
Sleep wrote:Honestly, I have no idea how the guy won a kotei with the deck he had, because it just had some... bad... cards in it.
Roy is part of my local group and the two of us play one another quite frequently. He would freely admit that he was lucky both in getting favorable pairings throughout most of the day and in drawing key cards when he needed them. The truth is he was playing a bunch of decks prior to the Kotei just wanting to build and play something that would win, he dabbled with EotC, LSC, FotD, CC, and several other dekcs which everyone has been talking about. In the end, he decided he would rather play Crab as that is the faction he calls home and didn't feel that the 'usual' Crab decks would be up to the task of winning a Kotei. So, he built the scout deck literally the week of the event and had maybe a dozen games played total, most of that on EoPK, before heading into the event. He knows there were lots of bad cards in the deck and that if he spent some time playing and refining the deck it could improve drastically. He didn't want to post the deck because he knew it was so weak and that people would see that and ask themselves WTF, but so many people were asking for the deck list he figured why not and posted it even though it was obviously flawed. In the end however, it was sufficient to get the job done. He is no longer playing the deck as he will not be attending any additional Kotei events before BtD is legal and he plans on building the new Crab stronghold ASAP and get to work in tuning that deck rather than work on a deck in an environment he will not be playing in.

Thanks for the reply! Very enlightening! I hope that you or roy didn't take my comment too much to heart. I didn't mean to downplay his winning of the kotei or anything (hell, I'm proud that he brought honor to the crab by winning!). I just meant that there were some card choices that longer/more focused playtesting would have revealed to be very sub-par in the deck. But your explanation answers that question, throwing it together a week before the event and only playing it like 12 times is not enough to really get a feel for a deck, and obviously it wasn't that bad of a deck because he still had a great day with it and beat all the decks he needed to beat to win the event. Grats again to Roy!

Hopefully I can find some success with a similar build.

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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

Post  DDreischmeyer on Thu May 05, 2011 5:55 pm

Sleep wrote: I hope that you or roy didn't take my comment too much to heart.
Nah, Roy hasn't much use for forums, rarely visits them at all. I on the other hand am constantly browsing as many forums as I can throughout the day. I couldn't care less what someone thinks of Roy's deck, it isn't like I helped him build it, and either way it did what it was supposed to do when it mattered. I was just trying to put into perspective why the deck looked so weak on paper and hopefully reassure you that there wasn't some secret deep meaning for a particular card being included in the deck which you may have struggled with removing, LOL.

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Re: How to win at the New Mexico Kotei

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