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So, with all the monks out, technically speaking, which ones do you guys like best? To recap, there is:

High River: These guys bring the heat, literally. Their place in the five rivers is that of the element of fire, and their stats reflect that.

Low River: You might know them as the first of the River monks to be released in M2E, they are the embodiment of water. Tar pit may be more like it, though, as these guys are difficult to destroy, can really keep you in place, and are also known as the pacifist monks.

Wandering River: The temple best known as the element of wind, these monks bring some scheming to the table, as well as moving themselves and enemy models into new, ideally advantageous positions. 

Fermented River: The drunken masters, and the bane of all poison-dealing models. Probably the closest we'll get to 'Earth', these guys rely on gaining and using the Poison condition to weave expertly - if not drunkenly - through the field.

 

So, With all these guys out (and the last of the models for them being released), which ones are your favorite aesthetically, and which ones are your favorite rules-wise?

I realize there is also the Void, but if I understand the fluff correctly I doubt we'll be seeing any monks of that river, as Yu explains that the void is simply using every style's strengths to cover the other style's weaknesses.

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I find they are all very easy to kill so I don't play with them often myself.

I do love the look of the fermented river monks. I will play with Wondering for objective running so that would be my rules fav.

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...Void Monks that are dual 10T/Outcasts for Tara sound awesome. 

High River Monks are dragged on a lot but they are alright. They hit hard and die fast. Great for intro games with new players because they provide an obvious threat that can be managed easily enough. Never take them competitively. 

Wander River Monks are awesome. They can do schemes on their own if your opponent is busy with the rest of the crew. Super quick and hard to hit with proper positioning and terrain. I love taking one, but two starts getting expensive. 

Low River Monks need a charge range to be more effective. We may get an upgrade with the new book but that remains to be seen. Using the Emissary to draw four cards from them with Shenlong is great. He can tag along behind and assist if he's nearby. Kinda meh, hoping their upgrade is ace. 

I haven't used Fermented River Monks yet. That said they look great against Ressers and maybe Sandeep if his crew deals lots of poison out (gamin summons and snake lady). They can dish out crazy damage if they can reach a target inebriated. Overall neat, but circumstancial. People with more experience should overrule my assumptions. 

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At least in the background sense, I love the monk archeotype. There's something about fighting everything from gun-slingers to monsters with nothing but your bare fists (or a staff) that's incredibly appealing to me. :)

 

High River Monks are awesome models, which is why their performance on the table is so painful to see (much like the 10-T archers, actually). They just never seem to be worth their SS cost. 

 

Low River Monks have their place as cheap condition removal, and i keep one in my case for exactly that. They're great for crews who play a relatively static playstyle, but not so much for the likes of more mobile Masters like Misaki. Like @Cadaverousbirth I really wish they had a charge value.  I'm happy to see that they'll get a boost with the rumoured Wave 4 upgrade, although I really wish it had been the High River Monks who'd received a buff. 

 

Wandering River Monks play like Silurid. Since Silurid have been my favorite unit in the game I now no longer have any reason to consider going back to Neverborn. ;) But they also have push effects, which arguably makes them even better! I don't take Wandering River Monks in every game i play, but when I do I never regret it!

 

Fermented River Monks are great for Brewmaster, since he's got some easy ways to stack poison onto them. I find that they're a little like cruise missles. They'll die as fast as you'd expect for a 5 SS model, but before they do they've got the potential damage output of an 8SS model (or thereabouts!). 

 

I've little doubt we'd see a Void River Monk at some point, and I'm excited to see how they'll work. Drawing from Tara's Void mechanics to let them bury models would be nothing short of amazing for 10-T (they're somewhat lacking in ways to neutralise models that don't involve push effects or outright killing debuff-type attacks). Then again if we draw from what Yu said (@yipiyip where did he say that, BTW?), then maybe she'll provide broad buffs to the other monk archeotypes, like handing out conditions whilst also healing/buffing them in other ways? 

On a related note, if Shenlong ever gets a new upgrade I'll put money on it being named "Void River Style". ;)

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@Rathnard he says it in Crossroads. "Heart of the Dawn" is the story. It's not explicitly stated that the fifth river is void, but he refers to high river as fire, low as water and wandering as air. We can assume fermented is earth, although again this is not actually stated. Since he refers to mastering the five elements, we can assume the final river style is actually mixing the other four as Yu does. He says "To become truly skilled, one must harness all the elements. Then one can learn the final element between the others, and understand how to balance the four. This mastery of the void between elements is the mark of someone truly worthy of becoming Dragonhost."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Since he refers to it as the void, most likely the river is not called the void river (like fire is called high, not fire). Still, it would appear that the fifth river is not a unique style, but a blend.

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This is also Yu's explaining of why Shenlong can mix up his styles mid-game. He was only worthy of being Dragonhost because he mastered the Void between the elements, the fifth style. Essentially, Shenlong and Yu ARE void river monks.

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In that same story though, IIRC, several of the different monk chose to leave their original style and join with other monks. A LRM went to the WRM, etc. after Sensei Yu's speech about mastering each style like he and Shenlong have. Making a blended style monk isn't too far fetched from that idea, and gives more reason to buy awesome minis. Maybe they could be a blank canvas that receive buffs or abilities based upon what upgrades are attached to a Leader. Like an extension of Shen/Yu's adaptability. 

Just some fun conjecture at this point :) 

The Tara connection is just convenience to me, since she is all about the Void and Obliteration. I think Yu is talking more theoretically about the "void" being a fluidity of style than an actual plane of existence. On the other hand this is Malifaux, and magic and Tyrants don't always play by the rules. Obliteration vs. Dragon slobberknocker? I'll make some popcorn.

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For me the wandering River monks are the embodiment of earth. Slow but steadfast.
 The fermented river monks on the other hand are very fast and agile weaving through their enemies like a river.

I simply love the fermented river monks. Once you get 2 poison onto them turn 1 they'll either activate twice every turn thereafter as long as they have enemies to fight against, and or deal some massive damage.

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Ascetically Fermented and Wandering look the best for me but rules wise I like the High River Monks. I am hoping for a Jigoku River or Damned River Monk which is an Oni Monk model. I think that is more likely then a Void River. I have not used any of the monks yet though.

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Oni monks could be cool. Wyrd usually does a good job of not locking themselves in a corner creatively. Matbe we'll see the "Tranquil River Monks" as the masters of all styles, and then "Forgotten River Monks" as Oni monks? That is something I would buy!

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Well, just because only five styles existed on earth doesn't mean new styles can't appear on Malifaux! The discovery of soulstones, non-humans like neverborn, gremlins and constructs, the way TT tend to interact with the other factions often and other general weirdness in Malifaux could easily inspire a new martial arts style.

In many ways I'd be less interested in seeing "new styles" and more interested in seeing new models for the existing styles! Low River Nephilim that take advantage of black blood whilst healing themselves and using disengaging strikes to keep foes near. Perhaps a Fermented River Monk who has moved on from alcohol to the harder stuff, Brilliance!

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3 minutes ago, Nukemouse said:

Well, just because only five styles existed on earth doesn't mean new styles can't appear on Malifaux! The discovery of soulstones, non-humans like neverborn, gremlins and constructs, the way TT tend to interact with the other factions often and other general weirdness in Malifaux could easily inspire a new martial arts style.

In many ways I'd be less interested in seeing "new styles" and more interested in seeing new models for the existing styles! Low River Nephilim that take advantage of black blood whilst healing themselves and using disengaging strikes to keep foes near. Perhaps a Fermented River Monk who has moved on from alcohol to the harder stuff, Brilliance!

Hmmm.... Brilliant River Monks? Nice. I'd like to see that, and with Lynch it could work.

As for new Malifaux inspired styles, you're right, I can see that happening. Maybe if we do see Oni Monks they'll be from Breach River? :D

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17 hours ago, 96p said:

For me the wandering River monks are the embodiment of earth. Slow but steadfast.

Gonna mimic @Cadaverousbirth's shock in you finding Wandering River monks slow and thus related to the earth, not only because they just flat out aren't slow, but also because the attack action on Wandering River Style is literally called "Mighty Gust" with triggers "Changing Winds" and "Blown down", gives an ability called "Calm Air, Thundering Voice", and Sensei Yu, who is a Monk of Wandering River at his core, has that same ability, as well as the attack actions "Airbust" and "Hurricane punch", both of which have the trigger "Winded".

I'm really not sure how it could be more clear that the Wandering River is air.

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I am sure we will see more stuff with the 5 rivers down the road. Pretty sure a few of the staff members are L5R fans (we talked about favorite clans in the chat once). Plus, Shenlong shares an uncanny resemblance to a certain member of the Dragon Clan:
Togashi Mitsu.jpg

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Interesting point! I don't really know much about L5R but that picture is telling. I'd love to see more monks, especially if they give me more of a reason to field my current ones. I'd really just be happy if they gave us new monks that I can proxy with my High Rivers, because I love the models but like most, feel their presence on the board is lackluster.

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Wouldn't it make more sense to base these on the Chinese elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water) rather than the Greek (Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Aether/Void)?

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15 minutes ago, Bengt said:

Wouldn't it make more sense to base these on the Chinese elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water) rather than the Greek (Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Aether/Void)?

Probably, but they've gone with neither of these, right? Fermented River doesn't track to Earth at all, so while the inclusion of Air makes it closer to Greek, it's still a thing Wyrd are making their own.

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3 hours ago, santaclaws01 said:

Gonna mimic @Cadaverousbirth's shock in you finding Wandering River monks slow and thus related to the earth, not only because they just flat out aren't slow, but also because the attack action on Wandering River Style is literally called "Mighty Gust" with triggers "Changing Winds" and "Blown down", gives an ability called "Calm Air, Thundering Voice", and Sensei Yu, who is a Monk of Wandering River at his core, has that same ability, as well as the attack actions "Airbust" and "Hurricane punch", both of which have the trigger "Winded".

I'm really not sure how it could be more clear that the Wandering River is air.

Yeah that would be my wrong... I didn't mean wandering River but Low River.

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4 hours ago, Bengt said:

Wouldn't it make more sense to base these on the Chinese elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water) rather than the Greek (Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Aether/Void)?

The traditional Japanese five elements are Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Void. I guess this can attributed to a Japanese clan (Katanaka) dominating the Ten Thunders, which have members from all three Kingdoms (China, Japan, Vietnam I think was the third?).

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Random thought and I am not sure some one mentioned it. Perhaps the fifth river is a combination of 2 other rivers, I am just thinking back to the story in cross road with the tournament and how people moved from one temple to another. Could be neat for a monk enforcer model.

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17 hours ago, D_acolyte said:

Random thought and I am not sure some one mentioned it. Perhaps the fifth river is a combination of 2 other rivers, I am just thinking back to the story in cross road with the tournament and how people moved from one temple to another. Could be neat for a monk enforcer model.

According to Yu in that same Crossroads story, the fifth element is combining all the elements. Since he just finished equating each river to an element, it can be assumed the fifth river is the fifth element, aka the fifth river is combing all 4 styles, not just two, which is more than just an enforcer, it's a henchman and master, in the form of Yu and Shenlong, respectively.

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5 hours ago, yipiyip said:

According to Yu in that same Crossroads story, the fifth element is combining all the elements. Since he just finished equating each river to an element, it can be assumed the fifth river is the fifth element, aka the fifth river is combing all 4 styles, not just two, which is more than just an enforcer, it's a henchman and master, in the form of Yu and Shenlong, respectively.

If that is the case then it sounds almost like this topic answered itself.

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1 hour ago, D_acolyte said:

If that is the case then it sounds almost like this topic answered itself.

That's not what this topic is about. Please read above, the topic was asking people's favorite of the four released river monks, both looks and rules wise. And as others have pointed out, it's possible that even though there are only 5 rivers earthside, Malifaux could offer new rivers and styles. Thus we were speculating what those new styles might look like.

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13 minutes ago, yipiyip said:

That's not what this topic is about. Please read above, the topic was asking people's favorite of the four released river monks, both looks and rules wise. And as others have pointed out, it's possible that even though there are only 5 rivers earthside, Malifaux could offer new rivers and styles. Thus we were speculating what those new styles might look like.

Ah then it is just the void river comment through me off.

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