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Yan Lo: TT or Ressur?

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I started actually playing in the past few weeks, and so far I am a whopping 0-5.  My best friend and I play each other (no other players in our area), so each game has been Lilith vs a Yan Lo TT crew.  We proxy models we don't have to get a feel for what works and what doesn't.  Anyway, I know that some of my losses were due to either stoopid mistakes, ie. leaving Yan Lo open to Lilith and forgetting to stone for damage reduction, or totally screwing the pooch on my schemes.  But I'm curious about using Yan Lo as a Ressur.  What are everyone's thoughts on this?

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The consensus in my playgroup is that Yan Lo is better in Ressurectionists than in Ten Thunders. In Thunders you lack synergies and you can't built reliable and reasonable chi farm. In Ressurectionists you get Asura and Spirit Beacon for farming chi and activation control and more spirits for Spirit Ascendant synergy. Are you aware of Wave 5 master-specific upgrades? Playing Yan Lo without them doesn't make much sense, he was one of the worst masters in the game back then. Wave 5 brought him new Ascendant upgrade which grants him Casting Expert and great Ca:ToS-Melee: attack which targets Wp (Lilith's weak point) and two regular upgrades, one of which lets him use two (0) and take Lightning Dance as a (0).

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2 hours ago, thatlatinspeakingguy said:

Are you aware of Wave 5 master-specific upgrades? Playing Yan Lo without them doesn't make much sense, he was one of the worst masters in the game back then. Wave 5 brought him new Ascendant upgrade which grants him Casting Expert and great Ca:ToS-Melee: attack which targets Wp (Lilith's weak point) and two regular upgrades, one of which lets him use two (0) and take Lightning Dance as a (0).

Yeah, I've been taking Awakening and Follow Their Footsteps, That 4 or 5 Lightning Dance can be fun. 

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I've always felt Yan Lo was much better in TT than in Ressers. I haven't seen him in Ressers with wave 5, so something big might've changed there, but TT brings plenty of new things to the table too.

Beyond though, in either faction Yan Lo is incredibly easy to play wrong. Pair that against Lilith, who is incredibly easy to play right, and especially beginners are going to struggle getting Yan off the ground. The biggest issue with Yan is that if you don't plan a turn or so ahead, or guess it wrongly, you will struggle to get back on top, and it quickly becomes this domino effect of mispositioning units and cleaning up after the mess that's made. If you want to get results with Yan you're above all going to need a very good feel for positioning, which you'll only gain through experience. You aren't going to stumble into a victory by chance or because your opponent made a few mistakes, which more versatile and easier to pick up masters might get you. It's all going to have to come from your careful planning and execution. 

What lists have you played so far?

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Generally I like him better in Ressers. I can play him in either and their are definitely some things that are better in Thunders (Emissary) additionally a lot of what I play with him can go either way- Soul Porter, Izamu, Yin, Goryo- so I can make an argument either way.  There are also some pools of Strategy/Schemes where if I would use him as a Thunders player. 

However overall it comes down to one thing for me that tips it in favor of Resurrectionists- Rotten Belles. 2 x Belles in his crew really change how it functions, help you drag in victims early to allow you to more rapidly gain Chi, and add so much utility in multiple strategies and schemes. I also like a Shikome in his crew as well. In tandem with Yin they work really well. 

In Ressers I typically run- Yan w/Awakening, Follow Their Footsteps, Reliquary; Soul Porter, Izamu w/Spirit Beacon, Yin w/Take Back the Night, Chiaki w/Pull of the Grave, Goryo, and 2 x Rotten Belles. If I don't need the condition removal from Chiaki then I swap her out for a Shikome usually. 

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Ten Thunders is one of the more difficult factions to get into--and Yan Lo is one of the most complicated masters to play right on top of that.

Generally, Yan Lo is a support master, I use him to buff up my Ancestors and Retainers.  He can deal some damage when he needs to but for the most part, it's his other models that do the heavy lifting, usually Toshiro, Chiaki, and Izamu.  Komainu are a good pick as they get better and better when around the family.  Not to mention, taking Punk Zombies with Toshiro is pretty good.

Lightning Dance can be a key ability depending on the strategy and schemes.  I have always used him as TT, though.  Being a little weird of a master, maybe try running him without his normal synergy?  The synergies of the some of the masters can be a trap. I'd try him with just some of the better TT models, maybe Crime Bosses or Lone swordsmen, any model than ar 2 would really help with, from Transcendence.

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Drowsheep gives some pretty good advice and makes some good points.

in Ressers I take a different approach to using him and after the key piece use him as a key offensive piece, a controlling piece, and a tar pit more so than an enabling piece for my crew..... except he enables some of them to scheme rather than fight by taking a primary role in enemy engagement. 

First turn, like most Yan players, I focus on maximizing his Chi in order to prep for shifting to offense on turn 2. I try to do this as offensively as possible rather than just Chi farming off my own models to not only prep him for the future but also help me gain the advantage in other areas as well.

Typically if they activate something cheap and expendable that I can drag in first then I will start by luring it in. If they haven’t I am not going to lure something that can just walk back and instead will activate the Goryo, free a Seishin, and position for next turn. Then activate the Seishin and do something pointless that makes him accessible but not in my way. He can also be positioned where you can lure something into them for them to kill (giving you Chi if near Yan) or where you can dance things into later. From there I will activate the Shikome or Yin if I have to but the preferred is to start luring something into charge range. Then charge with the Porter to stack a couple of a Chi on Yan with the trigger on his spear. Then finish it off with Yin or the Shikome to get another Chi and draw a card from Take Back the Night and get a Seishin from Spirit Anchor. Activate the Seishin to burn another activation. 

Then repeat with the other Belle unless she was needed to help drag in the first target. Kill the target with Izamu tonget more Chi, another card, and possibly another Seishin. If they managed to kill anything of yours then you should have got Chi from that. If not, when Yan discards a card for Chi depending on the situation and how the previous actions worked out that puts you at possibly 5 Chi (2 from the porters attacks, 2 for each model you killed, 1 for the discard). If they killed anything of yours (like the Seishin) then you may be higher; if not Yan can either kill the Seishin himself for more Chi or immediately grab Blood Ascendant and heal your Goryo with your 0 actions or grab Blood Ascendent and Dance something back if in range to beat on it. The safer bet is blast the Seishin with Spirit Barrage and get the extra Chi there and then position for next turn. Through this don’t overextend and play back using the Belles to get targets while maintaining enough space to allow you to hold Yan for mid- to late turn 2. 

You could be going into turn 2 with Blood Ascendant and 3 Chi- in turn 2 if you can hold Yan for later with Belles and your other models you can stack more Chi on him so you can have the extra AP, grab Bone Ascendant, and then start going to town with CA 6-8 and + flips. 

Next upgrade grab the survivability upgrades and then just live the dream. The Belles, Goryo, and Chiaki/Shikome can then just scheme run while Izamu, Yin, and Yan put in work. Seishin can heal, Yan can heal, etc. and when necessary you can bring Izamu, Yin, or Chiaki back if you lose them early. 

This is a lot of fun and has worked well for me in a number of strategies. 

 

Disclaimer for the naysayers- 1. YMMV, 2. None of this is guaranteed, 3. Yes, players can play defensively against this to make it harder to drag things in with the Belles, 4. Yes, the Soul Porter or the other ways I get Chi are not guaranteed, 5. Yes, none of this would work in your meta and your lists are better and you are a better player and I only got lucky playing this in a poor meta. 

 

Disclaimer to the disclaimer- for everyone not one of the naysayers I apologize for the previous disclaimer. There have been occasions in other threads, boards, pages where I have discussed Yan Lo and the responses prompted me to add the above disclaimer so my Yan Lo fan club wouldn’t feel obligated to points out points 1-5. 

My .02

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@thewrathchilde Looks like a fun and solid crew! Great breakdown on how it plays, I really need to get some Japanese-style Belles!

For me, whenever I play Ressers in general, I always have to use both Belles to Lure something close enough to charge (sadly my opponents never willing walk into Lure range :( ). I also love Ressers because I prefer their Emissary (Shards of Kythera are just soooooo good! & they give a zombie for Yan to get Chi from when the enemy kills them).

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