Life after Water. Splash Options after role change.

See you later Fight On! It was fun whilst it lasted (Yes, Solitary Strength is an air role restricted card in a possible Dragon Splash but no, I don't think it will see play in Crab decks for the time being).



The quarterly role change has finally hit us (results here) and so Crab has lost its keeper of water role which means no more fight on until at least November 2019. This time around we have chosen Keeper of Air which opens up some nice deck-building options so in this post I'm going to cover a couple of the splash options with the newly unlocked cards that I'll be looking into testing over the coming quarter. Incidentally Seeker Void/Keeper Air are the two roles that we will be using going into Winter Court this year so hopefully as a community we can settle on a decent splash to give us the best chance at worlds.



As our only Air role-restricted card, I thought that it would be worth talking about Guardian of Virtue. Showcased in the Children of the Empire set, composure was intended to reduce the prevalence of the 'bid five meta' by giving players the option of bidding lower in order to activate powerful effects. Unfortunately there has not been any further composure support during the inheritance cycle and very few of the composure cards have been good enough to make their way into general play. As crab is one of the clans that can threaten both conquest and dishonor wins, I often find that we end up in a bid 1 war from turns 2-3 on wards as we try to choke our opponents hand whilst going for breaks.

Guardian of Virtue actually has a decent effect if it can be used, but as a result of the bid 1 war, it's not likely to be very useful from mid-game onwards. If it's effect had no composure restriction then I would personally be looking to use it but as it is, it's near anti-synergy with how Crab plays stops it from being consistent enough.


I also wanted to take a moment to talk about Frostbitten Crossing. At the time of writing, the Air province row contenders are Before the Throne, Fertile Fields and Manicured Garden. Given the prevalence of tower characters in game nowadays and our lack of in-clan attachment removal I would be looking to swap out to Frostbitten especially if we keep our Unicorn splash Talisman of the Sun to force conflicts into the province. Note that it does allow the removal of all attachments on any participating character so potentially Frostbitten Crossing can be used to remove opponent Cloud the Mind and Mark of Shames. In the absence of Talisman, it's value does go down somewhat but it still gives another unfavorable province to attack so that we can funnel conflicts into other places.

Scorpion






The idea with this splash is that by buying into scorpion, we have the ability to go hard dishonor. The keeper of Air role opens up the use of the excellent mark of shame along with the existing dishonor tech already afforded to us from Scorpion clan. Other options to round out the splash might be cards like I Can Swim to further take advantage of opponents characters dishonored by Mark of Shame and Miyako, and Calling in Favours for attachment control.

The Conflict deck is likely to be more expensive then we are used to however, with a number of 3 cost conflict characters so the dynasty deck may have to compensate. At the moment I am thinking a number of cheaper characters so that we are able to play the conflict deck when we need to; In essence playing like scorpion tend to do now by buying a cheap guy then passing early for the fate.



Pack 3 of the Inheritance Cycle also gave us Warden of the Damned. Combined with Scorpion Splash and copies of Court Games, For Shame! and the Fire Ring, we gain access to semi-targeted, albeit expensive character control. Considering that Warden is also a Crab Character and therefore a viable target for Way of the Crab, I can imagine some crazy board-wipe effects coming in the future.


Lion






Forebearer's echoes is probably the card that I am most excited about testing. We have already got some good use out of Gateway to Meido and as I tend to run a Yasuki Broker deck anyway, the ability to bring back any dynasty character for 2 cost seems like it has the opportunity to generate some good economy. At only one influence it is relatively cheap so it also opens up plenty of space to bring some of the other usual lion tech such as Ready for Battle and Hand to Hand.

Regal Bearing is not released yet but at some point in the future, the possibility of a first turn regal bearing for either a massive 4 card swing or 4 honor advantage without sacrificing hand advantage seems like it could be very strong. The broker deck runs a large amount of courtiers already so it should easily be able to be used. There are rumors of some kind of restriction to Talisman of the Sun in the pipeline and Spyglass is already restricted so I think that Lion could be a viable alternative.




Something a bit more fun is the idea of running a kill deck with the as yet unrealeased Embrace Death, Way of the Crab and Assassinate. We already have a large number of cheap bushi characters so this could fit nicely into the existing sacrifice tech we already have.


Crane



Finally, I couldn't talk about Air restricted cards without mentioning Soul Beyond Reproach. As mentioned by Tyler in his article, Soul Beyond Reproach does actually allow crab to do something that it hasn't so far; be able to counter dishonor outside the Fire ring. In the past we haven't really cared about being dishonored as we would generally run 0 glory characters but with the increasing amount of Yasuki cards being released with 1-2 glory, a Crane splash could help negate some of the downsides especially against Scorpion with their several dishonor methods.

As a whole the Crane splash has gone down in value somewhat since the restricting of Steward of Law but I could see a splash to compliment our existing covert game with Political Rival at least seeing some testing time.


Overall it looks like an exciting time for Crab as we head into the period before Winter Court. We have a new role, clanpack around the corner and several interesting cards in the coming months that should shake up our state of play.

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