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How to Ototo your opponent


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So, I love Ototo's model, his rules are very fun and I can just feel he has a lot of potential. However, there are also some points where he is lacking; let me go over both pros and cons:
Pros: The awesome Rage ability that buffs him [+2(ram)/+ to damage] when on 1/2 Wd or lower; Flurry; 3" engagement range and -Laugh Off-; 12! Wounds with Hard to Kill; (0) heal or AoE Walk Duel for Slow (Thunderstrike upgrade - TT exclusive); can move through Ht 1 and 2 models; Last Blossom, Henchman; the model is awesome!
Cons: Abysmal Wp of 4 (though this is why Zoraida can take him); moderate Walk of 5, small charge of 6; the wounds go down quite quickly with Df5 as he has no additional defenses and this can lead you to burn SS much faster then expected; no abilities or speed that could be useful for schemes per se; somewhat slow to position himself; expensive at 10 SS where you have to work to make him earn his money.

 I have found that he can hold down territory you want covered well. If he sits on top of two of the Squatters' Rights markers, this become different. The enemy -has- to get him out of the way, if they want to score there. They can't lure him or push him away, only Obey would make him go away. If he engages some models, most of them would have to walk to hit back. In addition, depleting his woulds triggers his empowered mode :P Reminder: Do not try this against ranged units, where he will just get shot, A LOT.
 Other then being (somewhat) tanky, he can beat face well when he gets rams.. or when he is angry. And he gets angry when he is half beaten to death. Let's not talk about how and when you want him to lose his Wounds (or not) for now and focus on hitting stuff. For the best results, do the following things: 1. Try to activate him when he is Enraged, but not dead... Hard to Kill helps. B)2. Try to position him with other models so that he can use Flurry and/or Lightning Strike (if available), ALWAYS. 3. Carefully choose when to discard a one-time-effect upgrade. 4. Actually, carefully choose whether to bring him at all if you expect heavy Wp shenanigans other then Lure and the like.
 To solve quite a few of Ototo's problems, you need to position him well, supporting him with other models would be perfect. Engage on your own terms, controlling how hurt he can get so you can annoy (then club) the opponent to death. When all is ready, smash face.
 Where can you play Ototo: Ten Thunders is his native faction. However, since he is Last Blossom, Misaki can take him to the mercenary jobs with her in Outcasts. In addition, he is available to Zoraida as a merc for 1 SS more (at 11) as he has Wp of 4.

Upgrades per faction

Ten Thunders/Outcasts
Smoke and Shadows - 1 SS, the Last Blossom upgrade. It allows friendly Last Blossom minions to bury/unbury EoT within 6" (no LoS) of a friendly unit for (2), 6 mask. For (1) they get to lay LoS blocking Smoke markers, very useful - and can do the disappearing act as a trigger on mask! - very useful generally. Smoke markers and teleportation allow great field control and mobility. It's usefulness on Ototo however is debatable - he prefers being in combat, no holding support upgrades. If you do take it on Ototo, he pairs better with Oiran in my experience - they are squishier, but Disguised, scheme-running oriented, and their standard tricks are situational - so they need could use more support (like this upgrade).
Ten Thunders only
Call the Thunder - 1 SS, Ototo's personal upgrade, it gives another (0) action: All enemies in a pulse of 3" must take a Df 13 duel or gain Slow. In addition, he gains another trigger on a ram - +2 dmg vs. Slowed models. Synergistic with itself, but even better with more Slow throwing models in the crew.
Recalled Training - 1 SS, + to all flips for everything (duels, damage, healing...) until the end of the turn can be a huge boon to Ototo, this is the permier faction upgrade for him - activate early for maximum effectiveness.
Servant of 5 Dragons - 1 SS, +1 Wp and scheme marker discard isn't very desirable on Ototo as he has no synergy with scheme running, enemy Lures and pushes don't work on him and Wp 5 is still not impressive. Leave this be unless you feel like experimenting ..lousily.
Smoke Grenades  - 1 SS, attacks 6" or more away get - to the flip and in addition, the carrier gets to drop Smoke markers once if discarded. A great, great upgrade - which is probably why it is only Rare 1, non-Leader. It has some anti-synergies with Ototo as he usually prefers being in the thick of it, where it won't do him much good. However, it could be useful before he gets where he's going and when in melee he could drop the Smoke Bombs in his huge engagement to break LoS and engagement for some unexpected moves, hehe.
Betrayal - 2 SS, when discarded start of activation gives - - to all attacks (Rare 2, Master/Henchman). If you think you -will- -definitely- need the protection, go for it. Ototo does not want to -not- get hit though, he wants to get in there, get enraged and start bashing face. Therefore, he isn't a tanky bodyguard type of model and this is rarely a good upgrade on him (not to mention expensive).
Hidden Agenda - 0 SS, the upgrade Wyrd made to make the Oiran less... sucky. When the carrier damages an enemy, friendly Oiran in LoS gain Fast and Focus+1. Actually turns Oiran into quite more useful models. Still it is most often taken on solid ranged attackers as they can more easily activate it. The upgrade has two or three interesting synergies, one of them with McGabe/Sidir and the Promises upgrade: Friendlies in the aura gain +Ml and +Wp, very handy. So for 0 SS you get + to the things you want most with Ototo? Excellent. Also the Shadow Emissary can push a model with an upgrade some " for 1 AP and the Obsidian Oni can heal a model with an Upgrade once per turn as well. Not bad for 0 SS.
Scramble - 2 SS, +1 Wk/Charge and Unimpeded is brilliant. However it is costly on an already expensive model. Consider your options and soulstones carefully before choosing this upgrade.
Oathkeeper - 1 SS, can be discarded for Fast (or Ototo drops a scheme marker after dying). Maybe the most solid faction upgrade, it allows for great flexibility in a turn. You may want to use it walk into position and Flurry, Flurry and attacks another target, or even drop a scheme marker, walk and drop another if you -really- need it.
Survivalist - 1 SS, the Hard to Kill is wasted and + healing is not worth much unless you have Freikorps Librarians with you.
Scout the Field - 1 SS, free Walk at the start of the game is never bad. Allowing Ototo to be able to charge without LoS when discarded is pretty great too, especially given his Shove Aside and 3" engagement range.
I Pay Better - 1 SS, friendly Mercenaries in 10" can discard a card when activating for Focus+1. Not necessarily amazing, but potentially big depending on your crew. Torakage and Oiran are mercenaries, and the Outcasts in general have the greatest Merc population (duh). As I have no experience with the upgrade, nor with Outcasts (yet) for that matter, I can't really say yes or no. Your call.
Fears Given Form - yes, please! 1 SS, the carrier forces a Df 13 duel to models activating in engagement range, or they lose 2 Wd. Excellent way to substitute Call the Thunder in draining the enemy hand, and deal some damage in the mean time. Be careful where you own models activate with this on though :P 
Mimic's Blessing - 1 SS, before activation the carrier is attacker  at - for Sh and Charges (basically the Siluri camouflage ability). Quite useful as in Neverborn the activation order matters even more then ever, and can also be additionally controlled. If, or rather when, Ototo bites the dust, you get to draw 2, discard two - quite nice bonus.
Nexus of Power - spend a single SS on anything other than prevention, such as to get +(ram) for the attack, or +Df flip; gain 1 Wd back. Quite decent to back over Hard to Kill.
Pact - 1 SS, being able to cheat the Black Joker isn't worth much. Some might be inclined to make sure that Black plague never cripples their important activation. Still, I'd rather pass and take my chances without it.
Hide in the Mud - soft cover while holding a key area is rather useful for 1SS.
Dirty Cheater - you might want to consider cheating with Ototo now. After you take some damage, or better yet, after you hit his Hard to Kill, the time to cheat and heal back up comes. Quite useful.

 Particular tactics and crew synergies: In another post down the page. Go, go, Ototo! :P

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Yeah, your thread is great. I really enjoyed reading it, it seemed you are focused on playing Ototo with McGabe. What does this comment mean?

I'm glad you enjoyed it. The "shameless plug" comment was simply me saying that I was promoting my thread with no shame ;)

I encourage any and all chat about Ototo, because he's far and away one of my favourite Ten Thunder models.

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I'm glad you enjoyed it. The "shameless plug" comment was simply me saying that I was promoting my thread with no shame ;)

I encourage any and all chat about Ototo, because he's far and away one of my favourite Ten Thunder models.

Oh, it's quite alright. I was going to post the link to it later when I have more time to add to the thread anyway, so thanks for saving me my time :)
 Ototo is one of my favourites too, especially since most people take a look at him and see his shortcomings. I see a challenge, and potential :P This is how I got into playing Fuhatsu and Yan Lo in the first place as well (though my Yan Lo is a conversion as the store didn't have the box available at the time and I didn't want to wait). I'm especially curious as to how he will translate into a Zoraida crew since my other main faction is Neverborn and I will soon convert her AND Bad Juju because conversions are hella fun B) .

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  • 3 months later...

Finally able to sit down and write about Ototo together with some masters and synergies. Whew!

Ototo in Ten Thunders

The Thunders are the main faction for Ototo and therefore take the biggest focus here. This lists master-specific synergies first, then synergies with other models afterwards.
I prefer to think that Ototo is not as much a charger, nor a tank (despite his Wd and Enrage ability) - he would rather hang back and cover a wide area with his 40mm base and 3" engagement range. The best use for him is when you rush with your faster models upfield and place you scheme markers/touch some Strategy markers, then park Ototo right on top so that the opponent would have to kill him to interact (unless they have something like Don't Mind Me or a discard scheme markers ability). He will not budge unless he is pushed or moved by a friendly model - only the enemy placement effects will work on him, and these are rather rare. Still be mindful of what you are facing and where you place him - despite his 12 Wd and Hard to Kill he can drop down to 0 rather quickly. While often he might have to stand in the middle of the playing field, his Df 5 is decent albeit uninspiring. Try to pair it with more defensive abilities, healing, most importantly - take cover whenever possible! Using defensive stance when protecting (like a bigger Ten Thunders Brother) before getting enraged and pounding away in a charge or flurry is how he works.
In addition, Ototo is one of the two Last Blossom Henchman models (the other being Yamaziko). As such he can carry the Smoke and Shadows upgrade. However, he is already very expensive for what he does, and in addition he is quite likely to be straight between the crosshairs of the enemy models. As such, he is prone to, well, getting killed and so is not a very good carrier of the upgrade.


Ototo comes in the Misaki crewbox "The Thunder", but despite his thematic ability to call upon a Thunder-strike he does not have too much of a synergy with his mistress. He has average speed of 5 and can move through models with Ht.1/2, but this is as much mobility as he gets. Often he will be unable to keep up with Misaki and will remain behind. In addition, his personal upgrade has no synergy with any of the models (but himself) that are usually a part of a Misaki crew apart from Sensei Yu. If you take Ototo with Misaki, your best bet is for an upgrade is either the fantastic (and Rare 1) Smoke Grenades, or Recalled Training.
Finally, Misaki herself can somewhat help Ototo and some other models with her Downburst tactical action. Being able to push models works well for positioning (or screwing the positioning of) models. Don't think of Ototo as a second beater for the team, but rather a scheme/strat bodyguard and take a ranged support (such as a sniper or two) to kill weaker models off.


Ototo can be very happy in a McGabe crew, but who wouldn't be? Badge of speed can give him Nimble, the Elixir gives regeneration - both are things he appreciates. The Strangmetal Shirt can be quite useful on him in case you expect not to use his (0) self-heal too often. The push he receives from "Take This!" is the icing on the cake. While you will use him here as a bodyguard or scheme holder once again, he is more versatile and durable. In addition, McGabe crews traditionally spread a lot of Slow around (including the master himself) and Ototo's personal upgrade is quite powerful in such a crew.


Ah, another master that can make everything better. The best thing Shenlong can do for Ototo is push him once or twice to get him into position and add some bonus Fast on top. Very useful and certainly viable for a change. In addition, there is often a lot of healing in a Shenlong crew and thus Ototo can live longer and gain the benefits of his Hard to Kill again and again.

Yan Lo (Pan?)

The Great Ancestor can make Ototo a spirit, give him Armor+2, then potentially make him and up to two more Spirits take a (1) Action. Once again a fair bit of healing to be had in the crew, which allows Little Brother to live longer. Finally, there is also Lightning Dance: The best positioning mechanism that can deliver enemy models straight into a Flurry of blows.

Lynch, Brewmaster, Mei Feng

Not much synergy to be found with those masters. However, with Lynch he can discard an ace for the Flurry (essentially for free), Brewmaster can Obey him or allow him to heal for (1) in exchange for poison, and Mei Feng can shield him with "Vent Steam". In addition, all three can benefit from the "Wings of Wind" upgrade - Mei has no native (0) upgrade, while Lynch and Brewie might not need theirs all the time if you take Sensei Yu along.

Synergies with other TT models

Sensei Yu - Yu can push and Fast like Shenlong, OR heal - if has the right style. Even if for some reason he is taken with Fermented or High River (or none? wtf!?) he can still Air Burst Ototo. He can also give Slow, Burning or Poison with his attacks - even better.
Sidir - he can protect from an attack and after teleporting can stand far away from the enemy engagement in case there are extra attack triggers (Cerberus, Nephilim anyone?). In addition he gives out potential Slow/discard and likes to shoot Slow models himself. Promises gives him + to Ml and Wp, which he needs, seriously. Great synergy here.
Yamaziko - the other Last Blossom Henchman (or Woman?), she is better suited for carrying the Smoke and Shadows upgrade. She is also Nimble so she can place two scheme markers in a single activation and her (0) Brace Yari can protect Ototo from charges or punish them. Nice.
Chiaki the Niece - she can remove conditions, potentially heals, her upgrades gives Slow on a stick. Not too bad.
Lust - this gal can really shake things up, or down if you will. She can also substitute Yan Lo for the placement effect. Her board control is amazng (on paper, won't be trying her).
Mr. Graves - a Ruthless semi-tank beater guy who can hold even more territory down AND push Ototo into position when needed. Instant like.
The Lone Swordsman - more killy then Ototo (unless Enraged and with Battering Blows). Less survivable unless vs. Sh attacks.
Katanaka Sniper - provide precious ranged cover shooting.
Obsidian Oni - if your Ototo has an upgrade, this here Oni can heal him.
Ten Thunders Brothers - the little brothers to the big Little Bro.
Ten Thunders Archers - able to shoot from behind cover and into engagement without randomizing. Ototo like!
Wastrel - with McGabe, they can heal Ototo or pass him and upgrade.
Last Blossom minions - Oiran, Torakage and Jorogumo. They enjoy being able to shadowport. If Ototo allows them to, they are best buddies.
Fuhatsu - shoot at Ototo for controlled blasts. Make Ototo enraged. If you are careful this could be golden.

Ototo in Outcasts

Misaki is an assassin for hire and so also operates as an Outcast master. Who knew! Ototo doesn't have access to his personal upgrade here (TT only), but there is a slew of new tricks he can employ instead. Oathkeeper and Scout the field in particular come to mind. Also if you have many mercenaries in the crew and no one else to carry it, Ototo can also hold "I Pay Better".

There are some models Ototo should work well with in Outcasts (scheme runners are always great to round his ability, so I am not listing them) here:
Lazarus - shoot at Ototo for controlled blasts. Make Ototo enraged. If you are careful this could be golden.
Freikorps Trapper - provide precious ranged cover shooting.
Freikorps Librarian can heal models, and if the master is an Outcast she can do that twice.
Aionus and Hannah - can bury models that trouble you.
Student of Conflict can give models Fast.
Hans and Bishop can penetrate the defenses of models Ototo has hard time dealing with.
Johan removes conditions and hits Constructs really hard.

Ototo and Zoraida:

Zoraida can hire Ototo as a Mercenary (and Samurai! :)) in Neverborn and Gremlins as he has a measly Wp 4.  This makes him extra expensive at 11 ss, but certainly changes the feel of the crew and can be fun. She has a wide access to different models as well, including scheme running Swampfiends; Tormented like Papa Loco and - you know it - Nurses; lots and lots of Gremlins; even Depleted. This can make for versatile (and often wacky) crew combinations. The best partner for Ototo (and the best model for Zoraida if we follow logic and not having fun with random Lil Bro's) is the Nurse - she can heal, paralyze, buff, debuff... This is also useful together with Ototo. He might want to stay in place and attack only. He might not be able to Flurry, but he will deal 4/6/7 damage BEFORE Critical Strike comes into the equation, and with Enrage active, a card and a stone he gets up to 7/9/10 at +flip for 8 Ml... Ridiculously scary. Ugh.

In Neverborn

Fears Given Form on Ototo is kinda scary (har har) with his engagement range of 3", and Nexus of Power can heal him over Hard to Kill if you spend a stone, say, on a + to defense. In addition Zoraida herself can Obey him whenever, while the Neverborn overall have many ways to position models and move them around in position.

In Gremlins

Ototo fits in Gremlins for some reason - he is big, but a little brother, he is a little slow on the uptake, but likes to jump into the fray. He is also a lot of fun, and somewhat risky. Hide in the Mud can give him cover where there is none, and Dirty Cheater can let him cheat some, even low-ish cards, but gain health for it. Oh, and On Yer Tip Toes or whatever upgrade can make friendly Gupps and Gremlins Ht2. Cute. I don't know the faction well, nor do I have many models I can play in it, so I can offer no comments on models and synergy there, really. 

Edit: Oops, so Zoraida can only hire -living- models with Wp4 or less. My bad, no Guilty or Montresor for this swamp girl :P

Edited by Eclipse
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