Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen.
Figured I should give you an update on how your advice went last night. I did indeed take Toni with Magical Training.
Turn 1 Shenlong did his thing, stacking 6ish Chi. As it was 35 points, he did not put an upgrade on Shen, instead opting for bodies to push corrupted idols around.
Turn 2 Shenlong came in, and got stymied by the Ironsides/Amina/Captain bubble. He did not realize how defensive it would end up being. Now you may realize something at this point that I did not. That's a lot of points at 35. I was getting 2 pass tokens a turn. And was quickly realizing I didn't have the bodies to do schemes and strategies, I had become so focuses on stopping Shen. I will point out that I believe I got Shen and the Sensei down to 1 would on this turn, because I didn't calculate hard to wound into my math, and they both were able to heal up after.
Turn 3 Shenlong bounced into my backfield killing both Mouse and a Gunsmith in one activation.
Turn 4 Shenlong tries to get to Amina, but his only route takes him into melee with Toni as well. So he is forced to attack Toni, which puts him low enough to kill on my activation.
Turn 5 is a scramble for me to catch up in score, but with only 3 models, it ends up being a tie, 3 to 3. We both scored 2 points on the strategy, and he got 1 point on deliver a message, and I got 1 point on breakthrough. We both had our vendetta models killed in stupid ways before they got to score
We both talked about mistakes that we made, and oh boy, was there a laundry list for both of us. But, without your help, I definitely would have fallen victim to Shenlong's shenanigans, and would have been steamrolled. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!