Crab Clanpack Review Featuring the London Legion (Crab Dynasty Deck)


To save on space, and to avoid you all having to read a wall of text, I have split the review into three sections handily accessible through the following links;

Crab Dynasty Deck
Crab Conflict Deck
Non-Crab Cards

A note on the ratings themselves; All of the cards are rated on a scale from 1-5 where a 1 is a card that is either too specific, or has an effect that is so comparatively weak to existing cards that it will almost never see play to 5 which is as close as an auto-include in a deck as you can get.

Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
I'm going to preface my ideas about the various wall holdings by saying that playing wall deck for quite a bit at Winter Court's side events I don't think its quite there yet as a competitive option for our decks. I am hoping that there will be some more support for the archetype in the future however, so my comments will mostly be about the holding in the context of the wall deck itself because you can't run a wall deck without, well, the wall.

Kyuden Hida: 4.1




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
I've written about Kyuden Hida at length HERE so you don't need convincing that I think this is a great card. It will enable all sorts of wierd and wonderful dynasty cost curves as well as giving consistency back to our decks with Rebuild since Miya Satoshi went on the restricted list. (5)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
With Miya Satoshi on the RL, Kyuden Hida is now one of the few cards that allow Dynasty deck cycling. I won't badger on about how card cycling is good but could this stronghold allow a aggressive, rush Crab archetype? I sure hope so. (4.5)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Everything about this stronghold is interesting and good. Yes, it doesn't help on defense like core, but the affects it has on the probability of a single card coming up is huge. Will be vital for wall decks, and creates an interesting game-play window. Sadly it lacks raw stats that lead to a win condition which all good strongholds seems to have. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
Eh, I think this is naff. It's like having a 5th province to play cards out of, that's fine but Crab want eternal towers so don't need the wider selection. I get that it's to offset holdings in the new archetype but the new archetype is high variance and naff anyway so it doesn't really matter. (2)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
At first glance this may not seem all that good or interesting but honestly its amazing. Being able to dig through your dynasty deck, finding the right card you need and filling your discard pile with rebuild-able holdings or forebearable characters great for wide decks, holding decks and pretty much everything in between. (5)

Kuni Wastelend: 4.0



Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
Finally we get a good candidate for fire. Fitting into the theme of making it easier to defend conflicts at the province, Kuni Wasteland has the blanket effect of stopping your opponent activating all character abilities and keywords from characters they control. Note that this includes characters not participating in the conflict also so no using something like Bayushi Collector outside of the fight to influence the outcome. As detailed on the card, Covert is initiated before the province is revealed but once it is face up, Covert is blocked also. (4)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
Turns off Disguise and most importantly the notorious Lion's Pride Brawler. Stick it under the stronghold and it can turn off covert. What's not to love. I think this will be a great replacement to Meditations. (4)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
I enjoy this card. Provides a solid defensive option that turns off a lot of key cards that your opponent might need to win the conflict. Especially thinking of things like Dragon Duelling and Some of Unicorn/Lions more powerful activated abilities. I will never regret having this under my box. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
Blanks all triggered attacking characters, cool. Has a playable element, cool. Will see play.(4)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
An interesting card. Pretty good for a fire province and a great candidate for the stronghold. Yea pretty solid (3)

Favorable Dealbroker: 1.9



Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
Considering the recent inclusions of Gallant Quartermaster from the Inheritance Cycle, Caravan Guard from the Lion Clanpack and Purifier Apprentice from the Crab Clanpack, we are slowly building out our amount of 1 cost dynasty characters that Favorable Dealbroker can search. Assuming this trend continues into later releases, I can see this card becoming very useful in a 'level 1 toolbox' style of deck where we can find the card we need at the right time. As it stands, I am personally looking forward to testing this in my Broker style decks as it helps find either Gallant Quartermasters or Envoys to push out more fate economy. (2)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
Benevolent Host for Crab. But worse. 1-cost characters aren't great and couple that with his subpar stats and you've probably made a bad fate investment. Not so favourable dealbroker. He does however react off of entering play so if you find a way to cheat him into play then he might have potential but only then. (1)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
This card could be good, but 1 cost-characters aren't that amazing, and his stats are hot garbage. However, if any clan puts its 1-costs to good 'use', it is Crab (Way of the Crab, funeral pyre, in defense of rokugan - there's almost a theme there). May see play in a sacrifice deck but not impressed otherwise. (1.5)

Jake (Nostred)
Expensive and bad stats just to tutor a free Kaiu Envoy, but I guess if you Pyre the envoy it's probably juuuuust about value (3)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Truly terrible stats with traits crab dont care to much about. Searching for a 1 drop is ok, crab have some decent ones but... crab have far better 4 drops. Maybe good in wide decks, I'm not sure. (2)

Hida O-Ushi: 4.4



Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
Hida O-Ushi was speculated to do everything from insta-break provinces to automatically winning the game. This is obviously a step down from that but she does have decent stats for her cost and finally gives Crab the opportunity to enter the three conflict club along with Lion, Unicorn and recently Crane. The good thing about her ability is that she does not need to be participating and the reaction works on any defense and not just military. I'm inclined to think that most of the time she will be giving us just a second military attack instead of having to do political but where she shines I think is in conjunction with first player and The Mountain Does Not Fall. Assuming that you win one of the defenses there will be the opportunity to use the same character in three conflicts (more if you can ready by the water ring or some other means). Goes well with her brother, Yakamo. (4)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
O-Ushi and the numerous unbow events work great together and you will likely trigger many times in one game. I would slot her 3x in the Dishonour Crab deck just for that potential uncontested honour loss alone. (5)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
O-ushi is the best Bushi, now repeat it x10. I love her ability, and her stats are great too. Expect her to fit into a lot of decks as she works well with things like Mountain and the New Super Mountain! (4)

Jake (Nostred)
HMT on a body in a clan with The Mountain Doesn't Fall, Fight On and so on, pretty good. (4)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Ahh Hida Yoritoko, called 'O-Ushi' which means 'great ox' by her older brother Yakamo since they were both children. Is there any non-Kisada crab character beloved more than O-Ushi? I doubt it. She has a cool flavourful abilty, a badass quote, decent stats and amazing artwork. (5)

Hida Sukune: 2.9



Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
His stats aren't amazing for his cost and his effect, which is essentially a much more restrictive Favored Niece from Scorpion is overshadowed by the likes of Shrewd Yasuki who has the same stats but without the need to discard a card. There is an argument to be made that he can use his ability in each conflict he is defending but on average considering that we would either have to use a Mountain does not Fall or Strength of the Mountain (see below) on him as opposed to other high value targets means that he will rarely if ever be able to use his effect more then once. (2)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
It's not Favoured Niece, but card cycling is always a pleasant sight, especially in a Dishonour themed deck. Let's talk about his 'Commander' trait though! This makes commander card #2 so the card pool isn't quite there but 2 or 3 more (fingers crossed for the next cycle) and you could make use of Lion commander cards (notably Tactical Ingenuity). Then he'll be a 5/5. (3.5

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Card Cycling and nice and cheap. Suffers from being the least favoured child (niece) and being therefore inferior to a non-unique scorpion card. But card cycling is strong, won't take the place from Shrewd Yasuki but may find a spot. Things are looking up for the former banner of fu-leng (4)

Jake (Nostred)
Cycle 2 cards per turn but cheaper than Favoured Neice, an excellent card. Unfortunately also more conditional than Favoured Neice so probably a bit worse. (3)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Kisada's youngest child who honestly would make a terrible banner. I know, I'll see myself out. So.. stats are pretty bad, cool traits and reinforces the win on defence theme. Cycling your hand is always great. I'm not too keen on low cost unique characters however (2)

Kaiu Shihobu: 3




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
Given that Kaiu Shihobu puts the chosen holding face down in the province instead of face up means that the holding can't see play until the turn after she activates. By using her effect you telegraph to your opponent that there is a key holding facedown on top of whichever province you use it on giving them the opportunity to attempt to break the province first. If her ability worked as I originally thought then she would have a justified 5 cost for her stats and good ability. As it stands, she is sadly not worth using as Frontline Engineer is both cheaper and arguably more effective as it does not involve losing access to your holdings should he be clouded. (2/5 with errata)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
Save your clouds for this card... If she was going to be played (and certaintanly not with this currently ruling. That's a big if). If she gets this rumoured errata, then she will be a 5 easily. It has potential for deck thinning but without the errata, I don't think she's worth it. (2/5 with errata)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Rumours are currently that this card will recieve a functional errata to clarify the holding goes in face up. When she does then she will be a well statted 5-coster with a great tutor ability. Rating is based on that, since well, until that happens she isn't really worth rating... (5)

Jake (Nostred)
Errata it (score based on the obviously necessary errata) (4)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Oh poor Shihobu, being ruled that the holdings are placed face down really killed how playable she is. Hopefully they errata that. Until then.. On a positive note, crab now have all of their family daimyo in card form. So thats cool, right? (2)

Kaiu Siege Force: 3.4




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
One of the better 6 costers to come out of the clanpacks, Kaiu Siege force comes with a massive 7 military skill, immunity to cloud the mind and mark of shame and a nice re-ready skill that can be used in a pinch. Obviously this card is best used in the wall deck as between Kaiu Forges and Frontline Engineer there is enough ability to search for holdings to make the Siege force's ability almost no cost. (3)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
One of the better 6-drops we've seen. Definitely not Fushico level but you can probaly guarantee getting at least 2 military conflicts a turn with this character. Combine this with Hida O-Ushi and it gets even better. Should you pay the 6 fate for this character though? I'm saying no when you could instead spend that fate on a Hida Kisada. (3)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
I enjoy this card. Big, beefy, safe from Mark of Shame, and a free ready on board. One of the six-costers that could actually find a slot. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
Another overpriced 6 cost, might be playable with Rally though so it gets a decent score (4)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
I'm not too keen on the 6 drop characters. This one seems a bit more useful than the others (I'm not bitter about Bayushi's Whisperers, honest) whats the Rokugani word for trebuchet? (3)

Purifier Apprentice: 3.2




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
Along with the Student of Anatomies from the Inheritance cycle is the latest addition to Crab's growing list of Shugenja. At 1 cost it is a cheap Cloud the Mind enabler and with it's ability not requiring it to be participating in the conflict you could have multiple copies draining away 2-3 honor per turn. I think that there could be a potential defensive dishonor deck to be built, with Apprentices and Kaiu Wall pieces punishing your opponent for attacking and Intimidating Hida and Hida Amoro punishing for not attacking. (2.5)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
My inner dishonour demon is telling me this is a good card. It's a cheap Shugenja and Crab can play a dishonour deck really well + easily win on the defence. The downsides are it's below average stats and the already contested 1-2 slots for Crab. Stick this in a deck with Shiro Nishiyama and it's golden. (3)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Wall Crab is Dishonour Crab IMO so I think this card will slot right in.Add in a bit of cloud the mind and you have a nice one drop. Really the only issue is, you don't drop envoy or guardian for this. So now we are at 9x 1 drops. (3.5)

Jake (Nostred)
1 cost Shugenja. (3)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
I'm a dedicated scorpion dishonour player. I wish this was a red card. I'd like that. Anyway, I like this card. With all the other honour loss and honour pressure effects crab have access to this cool little 1 drop helps bring the crab dishonour deck together, and helps play cloud the mind. Neat (4)


Shadowlands Hunter: 3.1




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
I really wanted this to be a conflict character. That aside, I do like his effect but the low stats means that he will generally have to support a larger attacking force to use it. It does however, mean that your opponent will have to be weary of small pokes by this guy as if he wins, there will be a 1 honour drain each turn (more if you can get multiple hunters on the field). I'm guessing that this will see some use as a tech card to slow the game down for the crab player - attacking to force a defence and then possibly comboing with Purifier Apprentice when they dont attack back after. (2.5)
Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
For a 2-cost character, it's in the lackluster side of stats (but as a Lion player, our 2-cost characters can relate). That aside however, Dishonour Crab was currently a thing before #freetheroles and it was working. Being able to threaten an extra honour (or more) a turn forces your opponent to over commit to stop you winning the conflict which I consider a win myself. (4)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Love this card for both theme and affect. It adds a nice bow to the defensive dishonour deck which can send this character in to get unopposed conflicts whether your opponent likes it or not. (3)
Jake (Nostred)
Wow this would be a great red card... Dishonour crab runs it along with a bunch of covert tech. (3)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Oh man I wish this guy was a red card or at least grey. Great for dishonour decks. Just watch out for Display of Power.. (3)


Unyielding Sensei: 4.5




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
Solves a key issue with Wall Deck in that if the provinces are full of holdings, how will we be able to buy characters. Unyielding Sensei's effect is invaluable in this instance because he can be used to store characters on unbroken holdings ready to be used when you need them. This puts Crab in the unique position of being able to have access to more then the standard 4 dynasty characters at any one time. Granted, in the event that the province is broken, all of the cards will be discarded but this can be partly offset by using his effect on an unfavorable province to attack. Especially good in a wide deck allowing for multiple cheap characters to be bought per turn. (4)
Finbarr (Steelfur)
Amazing card that helps holdings not screw you over. Will be a 3x in all wall decks and maybe a few others. (3)

Jake (Nostred)
Avoids holding saturation, has good stats, becomes less relevant with the Rally keyword. (4)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
I played against a wide broker deck using this character and by the fortunes! I'm pretty sure it will outnumber unicorn decks. Plus it will help cycle through your dynasty deck (along with Kyuden Hida) also..good stats! This is a great card. (5)

Kaiu Forges: 4.8




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
On average, Crab run anywhere between 7-10 holdings so the ability to search up to a quarter of the dynasty deck to find the holdings we need is very valuable. Additionally, unlike cards like Rebuild which have to place the holding in an unbroken province, the only restriction is that a Kaiu Wall holding (normally itself) has to be present so it is perfectly acceptable for this to land in a broken province and then use its own effect to switch out for something that can be used instantly such as a Imperial Storehouse or Iron Mine without loosing its value. (5)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Just an amazing search card for any holdings you need. Even if its just to find an iron mines. I think this might be a 1x in any crab deck, but obviously the wall deck just loves it straight up. (5)

Jake (Nostred)
If you must partake of the new Crab loot box you should mitigate the variance as much as you can. Also searching for Palace, Iron Mines and Karada doesn't hurt (5)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Honestly this might show up in every crab deck. Most, if not all, crab run 7+ holdings, maybe far more in a kaiu wall deck, so this is perfect. (4)

Northern Curtain Wall: 1.7



Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
Perhaps the simplest of the wall pieces shown so far but in my opinion this would be one of the most important to get out early. It has a hefty +4 strength and increases the strength of other Kaiu wall holdings in adjacent provinces by +2. This looks to be a linchpin to stop its adjacent holdings from being easily broken. Due to the Northern Curtain wall only buffing the strength of its adjacent holdings, I would expect to need only 3 pieces of the wall on the field with the fourth province slot kept clear for characters and other key holdings such as Iron Mine. (2/3 in a Kaiu Wall Deck)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Province strength, whilst previously seen as a bad thing, can be good when you have provinces to protect. However, it still suffers from the same problem, which is that if I am defending then province strength shouldn't matter, unless there is someway to translate this strength into helping win the conflict, this will likely be the first wall piece cut. (2)

Jake (Nostred)
Ooooooh a positional loot box inside a loot box. (1)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Hmm not impressed. 1 of holding should be amazing. raw province strengh stops you from losing but does nothing to help you win. (2)

River of the Last Stand: 3.2




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
If the likes of Spies at Court and Policy Debate have taught us anything it's that discard effects can be very powerful. With this holding, any attack against any Kaiu Wall gives a random discard effect which could be very useful considering that the defender will always get to activate the province first. If you are going into a conflict with relatively few cards in hand, losing two of them can really affect your plan for that conflict. Recently I have also been giving some thought to a hand destruction style deck with Spies, Kuni Yori etc. to try and force earth conflicts through so this card might be able to fit into it. (2/4 in a Kaiu Wall Deck)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Just a great card. Random discard can hurt your opponents strategy for the entire game. If this flips on one of the province your opponent was counting on breaking (i.e. not upholding authority). Then you will defend and probably get multiple uses out of this holding, then by the time they decide to go for upholding you're already laughing at their paltry hand size. (5)

Jake (Nostred)
Taxation.lootbox is a pretty good card, might actually help you win a conflict too which is more than most Kaiu Wall holdings. (2.5)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Discard is strong. Random discard is stronger. This is a solid card. (3)

Seventh Tower: 3.2




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
Defend the Wall in Holding form. I really like this card as a tool for the Wall Deck to get more out of winning defensive conflicts. It has decent holding strength and an effect that punishes opponents for doing small poke attacks to get the ring off the table. Using Defend the Wall, we also join the double-ring club whereby an opponent can attack a Wall piece on the province for us to get two ring triggers. Overall this is a welcome addition to the wall toolbox and one that will probably feature alongside Third Whisker Warrens (below), Northern Curtain Wall and River of the Last Stand as the core of our preferred wall pieces on the field. (2/4 in a Kaiu Wall Deck)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Triggering rings on defense whilst not game breaking is powerful and creates a nice situation where your opponent is both afraid to attack and afraid to not attack, caught between wall holdings, fruitful respite and purifier apprentice and intimidating Hida, this card will cause headaches and bad decisions all day. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
Opponent chooses the ring they attack with but once you are setup with 4 Kaiu Wall peices that becomes less of a problem. (2.5)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Defend the Wall in holding form, extra fun if this lands on Defend the Wall itself..with Stauch Hida defending as well! Am i getting carried away? maybe. Is this still a cool card? maybe. I think dishonour crab would like this a lot. (3)

Third Whisker Warrens: 2




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
Third Whisker Warrens is great. There I said it... In the context of the Wall Deck you get a psuedo- Hidden Moon Dojo effect which will greatly help getting characters on the field considering your provinces will be full of holdings. Note that it's effect isn't an action so once you buy your first character with its ability you can immediately use it again to look at the top card of your deck and play the character if needed. Because of this it will be active on every defence at a wall piece and gives the opportunity to save up fate by passing early and only buying what you need. (3/5 in a Kaiu Wall Deck)
Finbarr (Steelfur)
A good card, but most of the time this card will show you something that you can't/don't want to play. Due to its unreliability you won't bank fate to play the card that it shows you, so it will only be useful following a bad flop or in other special circumstances. I would have like if it had let you trigger the action ability on a holding it revealed in exchange for discarding the holding just to give you some way to get the holdings off the top of your deck. As it is, you will often see a holding there and will not be able to do anything with it. (2)

Jake (Nostred)
Topdeck.lootbox is alright if you have a swarm thing with not many holdings going on, which is of course the oppose of the lootbox.dec (2)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
I dont rate this card. I could be wrong. maybe in a wide deck. You'll get an affordable character to play. Its neat that you dont reveal the card and thats its not an triggered abilty. (2)

Watchtower of Valor: 3.8




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
Win on Defence at a Kaiu Wall, draw a card. Its decidedly OK but the other Wall holdings are either better in the context of the wall deck or are flat out more useful in every other deck type (kaiu forges). (2/3 in a Kaiu Wall Deck)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Drawing cards is great, between this and the random discard, we have the two best wall holdings that may see play in other decks for their own abilities (not just for search). (3.5)

Jake (Nostred)
Carddraw.lootbox is pretty good once you are setup, but it's not that punishing to hit if you have to. (4)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Card draw is strong. Crab should be able to win on defence quite easily. (3)

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