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35Soulstones Kirai Tournament Crew - Help needed!


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Hello ressers,

I normally play pretty much gremlins only, but liked the summoning masters very much (like Somer and Ulix) and so my path to the ressers wasn`t that lng, because i had an eye on it all the way anyway.

So in about a month there is a tournament going on here and it is my first ever tournament with 35 Soulstones and gaining ground rules. So, i would need some help of you guys!

In a general matter speaking i like out-activating my opponent, because AP win games. Thats why i love Summoning-Masters.  So, i decided to go with Kirai, because of her ability to summon models without a corpse marker and my GF plays molly then.

I made some lists, that i would like to show you guys and i would appreciate some tips for the schemes and strategies, and of course tips and hints for my composition.

Build 1:


Lost Love

Datsu Ba - Spirit Whispers

Flesh Construct

Izamu - Unnerving Aura



So, this build has a pretty clear path to go. I want to use the flesh costruct as a Generator for all kind of spirits. Just push it to the limit and summon as many spirits as possible. Heal those spirits up with seishin and lost love and just send thos spirits into battle to do as much dmg as possible. After the spirits are healed the only thing left to heal is the flesh construct. That job will do the nurse and heal it fully but of course that construct gains paralyze. It is apretty high investment (11 Stones) but i got a battery fully charged to let the spirits appear. The downside is obviously a pretty card intensive build and nearly no option to draw additional cards.  Izamu does his job at soloing and getting models involved and sticking to them. Datsu tries to finish off low HP models and helps summoning seishin.


Build 2:

Kirai - Spirit Beacon, Unforgiven

Lost Love


Datsu Ba - Spirit Whispers

Izamu - Unnverving Aura


In this case i mainly summon from seishin and heal the newly summoned spirits up with chiaki to remove the slow  condition and heal from a distance.  Not so much point investment and the upgrades make this build more flexible but less sustaining while not being so card hungry. Also i got 2 Stones left and with the Lost Love as another model i can dismiss, i potentially got 6 Soulstones for another model like a jakuuna ubume or a crooligan +2 Stones.


I was also thinking about phillip and the nanny in some cases to draw more cards, but that seemed to be a little of a long shot since it is 35  Stones.


So, please let me know your experinces and maybe you got some hints and tips for me :).

Thanks :)

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I've not played at the 35 ss level,  so I can't give much actual experience. except to say it is quite unbalanced, especially towards summoning and extra AP, so you probably have a decent chance at doing well. (Strictly Victory points win Games. AP are just one way to get VPs). The most important thing is that you enjoy the day. 

The lists look like you are trying to abuse summoning. But even abusing summoning you need to be careful; about how many points you spend on support. You may well find it works for 90% of the games, but that last 10 percent when you to draw high cards, or your opponent has a counter to summoning, you might get complete destroyed. (What would you do if the enemy kill the flesh construct on turn 1 for example?)

My best suggestion is to try playing these lists in couple of games, and decide on where their strengths and weaknesses are. 

The real key to running a master like Kirai is knowing what you best use of cards is each time. Sometimes getting the hanged is great, but other times summoning a much cheaper and weaker spirit like a night terror will actually do better. And because of this the current board state is the real decided on what you do each turn. So a couple of games on the table will help you a lot more than advice on the forums. 



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I think I would go with:
Kirai (Cach 7SS)
 +Absorb Spirit
Datsue Ba
 +My Little Helper
 +Spirit Whisper
Philip and the Nany
 +Haunting Cries
 +Wronged Spirits
Dead Doxy
Night Terror
Night Terror

You should be able to get the doxy to place two schemes so philip can draw you cards. If not that and SS is enough, Kirai can also filter some cards for you.
Kirai and Datsue can both summon a Seshin/turn, Datsue can even summon 2 one turn and give you an extra card.
Night Terrors are good summoning anchors for Drowned (finish the job, so more snack for Philip if they die) and then something more, and helps you out activate your oponent.

This list can go very wrong if you end up with a truly lousy hand. It more or less lack hitting power. So you better get that 11 or 12, so you can get those Goryos or Shikomes. Both Kirai and Datsue can hit some, and when your oponent kills something, you better be in LoS to throw Ikiyro in its face. Sure, Philip can shoot, but tbh, it is not why he is there. 

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Wow guys, thank you so so much for that advice.

I can see a plan behind your list and didnt even consider it doing that way.

But that is a really neat way to summon, get cards flowing and get a nice summon the turn.

What i isee lacking here a bit is healing, because those spirits are coming half dead :D.


But your list looks sweet!


Thanks alot

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healing is not always essential. The models are as effective on 1 wound as on full wounds in a lot of cases. 

If you chose to go the Philip and Datsue ba route, then look at the upgrade that lets you drop a scheme marker next to spirit that is killed. Its a way you can use kirais summoning on 1 turn to set up Philips card cycling next turn. (If you go this way, then an ideal first turn is summon a drowned off a seishin killing it and  dropping a marker, summon a hanged of a seishin, killing it dropping a scheme, summon a hanged of the drowned, killing it and dropping 2 schemes, giving you enough markers for turns 2 and 3 for Philip. 


I like take back the night on Philip, for more cards, but its a tough fit t this points level. And can see a strong use for Muhuahua on kirai if you want to fuel your summoning in other ways. In effect it gives you lots of free wounds to summon off since you are generating plenty or corpses if you are summoning the undead spirits. 



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I think the advice so far has been spot on. 

It's tricky to give advice at 35ss but the hand sculpting Philip offers is really strong at 50ss, not sure if a beater would bring Kirai more. Kirai is an efficient summoner and people will not have the ap to keep her summons in check. Malevolence should be able to cover a lot of your crew in the early game which should make opponents wary of attacking you. Don't forget Ikiryo offers free wounds for summons if you don't sacrifice her. If Kirai hasn't gone yet you might keep Ikiryo on the board (just watch out for anyone whp canbury you). Your main risk is probably other summoners and beaters making suicide runs at Kirai in the early game. Make sure to protect her turns 1 and 2 and you should have a strong game.


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Just a minor update:

I played against a Pandora Crew yesterday with Kirai.

My crew was:



Izamu or Nurse and Flesh Construct


Lost Love

and some upgrades


vs Pandora:



3 Sorrow




It was desastrous! Pandora managed to avoid ever triggering Ikiryo and we played without any objectives, because he finds malifaux very complex on itself. So, we always ended up clumping, which made it possible for him to kill all of my summons with his AoE effects. That was pretty disappointing and a minor set back, but i also made a crucial mistake with izamu in game 1. Nevertheless, i really learned a lot in those games: Pandora is not cool against summons and always play with objectives, when playing :D. And: Always summoning the highest value you have in hand, isn`t the way to win. Summoning 2-3 Night Terrors would have been so much better then getting Drowned that were easily killed by Nekima.

I am finding my way with Kirai :). Was fun anyway :D


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I'd say use something, even if it's only Turf War with no schemes. Then add some simple scheme marker scheme, just one. Killing comes naturally for most people, it's the positioning and scheme play that takes a bit of goading. Good to keep those things in the back of your mind from the start.

If very basic rules stuff is still a concern I'd shy away from full games entirely. Starter set I think goes from 1v1 to 2v2 to 4v4, maybe 3v3 in between there as well. I'm not saying go down to 1v1 but sometimes babysteps is the way to build towards proficiency. Henchman Hardcore maybe? There's rules for it in the Organised Play Formats on Wyrd's site:


Short of it is 4-model, Henchman led crews (all summoning abilities are blank), close deployment with assassinate/eliminate the leadership and turf war that you can score from round 1.


Whatever you go for, good that you had fun.

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I totally agree with you both! It was just to start him up again, after he lost fun playing malifaux because he got demolished in the first games. (In addition i played Wong that killed 2/3 of his crew with 1 attack...pandora placement you know). So, we wanted to get back to it really slowly. We will add the main strategies next time, and after that we will add 1 scheme. All playing with 35Soulstones so he has some crew setup he is familiar with :).

Thanks for your advice, i will consider it and try it out with new players :). Nice to have you guys here :).


I will keep you posted :). Saturday is a new trial and error day :D.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, last weekend i had the chance to try some more with Kirai with the official tournament schemes and strats against avery nice guy in my area.

He was playing Colette (new to that crew) and i played Kirai for the 2nd time ever.

His crew was the complete dark carnival crew with some upgrades i dont really remember (but the scheme marker placing was also in it, that was mentioned in the latest errata).

My crew consisted of:

Kirai - Absorb Spirit

Datsue Ba - Spirit Whispers


Izamu - Unnerving Aura

Philipp and the Nanny


Guard the stash

his schemes: Leave your mark and claim jump

my schemes: Leave your mark, Tail'em


What i could learn out of this game:

- The Errata was a good thing, so that those mechanical flying apes can`t so easily claim jumps and leave their mark

- Izamu doesnt even need to attack, as long as he holds some models in his unnerving Aura

- Hanged are a very good model in general, but sometimes u need something special for mobility or just more resistant like night terrors or shikome

- Drowned are just absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! I like them even more than hanged and was considering taking jakuna ubume instead of Philipp and the Nanny BUT

- the card advantage is just incredible when eating markers! That is just WOW. Also a nice target to push with Datsu and then swap with izamu. As long as they didnt activate they got manipulative and if an enemy wants to attack her and is in melee just swap them for izamu!

- I forgot to move kirai because of all that summoning but ikiryo alone is worth a move to get the spirits in the radius.

- Never forget to score even though killing your opponent is fun, you win with VP not with killed models. It was very close in the end, even though he had 2 models left out of 8 or 9.  He saved his master 2-3 times by sacrificing another model, which i didn`t expect to happen, but he did. I then realized i need at least one henchman or a master to survive to score, so i tried to kill his master again and he swapped for his henchman...then exploded a flying ape next to him to let him die. That lead to round 5 where i couldn`t score, except for stash and he had his last round scoring VP for leave mark. We then decided he couldn`t score any more VP, while i still got the stash and had 2 modles ready to deplay scheme markers for leave your mark. So, all in all i won 7-5 and was a bit overwhelmed and nervous, but we had a blast! It was totally friendly, smooth, with many laughs and had fun playing this great piece of minitaure game :). And most importantly: I learned a LOT! for the tournament!

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I have got 2 weeks left until the tournament (well 1 Week and 6 days to be esact).

So, if you got some hints/tips for me i would be grateful :). And of course i will post a battle report after in finished the tournament (no matter what results i will score) :).


Thanks for the interest you take :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, last playtesting done yesterday against Marcus.

It was pretty tough to survive Turn 1 and 2 but then got pretty well i guess! I had a Marcus with feral, hunger cry and gods domain with a sabretooh cerberus, a Spawn Mother, Myranda, Jackalope and a Gupp.

I had the same crew i posted earlier: Kirai - Absorb Spirit, Datsue Ba - Spirit Whispers, Philipp and the Nanny, Chiaki and an absolutely georgous Izamu, that was well worth his points with unnerving Aura.

The Strategy was Guard the stash with standard deployment.

Schemes: Covert Breakthrough, Accusations, Eliminate the leadership, Show of Force and of course Claim Jump.

My opponent chose eliminate the leadership and Accusations, while i got show of force and accusations.

My idea behind this was, that i get more activations and would score points, if she is going to beat the hell out of me or has to spend AP to flee.

Show of force was a pretty nice option here, because i had datsu with terrify and incorporeal and also Izamu with upgrades. So i thought this would be nice to have if i even have to stay near those stashes.

Turn 1 i cycled some cards and got some high cards, but no crows at all which forced me to spend 2 out of 3 soulstones to get a Hanged and a Shikome (this was pretty stupid, because Shikome is a beast...i should've known better, because i love Marcus and play him up and down at the moment. Anyway i made the same mistake later with a Night terror...).

I played very, very defensively against Marcus because i know what he was capable of and i know that those aggressive Lineups have a tendency to eliminate the leadership.

While she was advancing forward, i was preparing my defensive line, but leaping makes this pretty tough! I swapped a Seishin with Izamu and charged in to kill a Gupp and bind Marcus and the Sabretooh (Oh, boy! I love this range 3 melee of him). After turn 1 i didnt advance with chiaki and Kirai, because Kirai summoned and Chiaki got rid of the slows, so my hanged and shikome could get into position. She made Izamu a beast and attacked him with marcus, while he had minus flips...pretty hard even with armor 2. He took some dmg, but that was quite alright.

Philipp and the nanny were advancing towards the 2nd stash.

Points: 1 for me for show of force, none for her.

Turn 2 the sabretooh jumped my hanged and immediately got rid of him with the + flips. Again a lesson learned...i should just cast whispers on them before... Myranda charge in and tried to attack my advance Kirai at this time. Luckily i had masks and ikiryo (which was summoned after the first attack) absorbed some dmg. The Adversary condition was instaly removed when Myrand transformed into a blessed of december bringing back a formerly killed jackalope.

Witch that she had a Model on the 2nd stash, ready to score for that one. Marcus also activated and made my beasts worse before Alphaing my Izamu and letting him just walk as far away as he could...that was quite annoying and freeing up her models. The Spawnmother guarded the 2nd stash and trying to lay eggs.

I advanced with Datsue, giving izamu a walk action, so he could charge in next. So he did and chiaki and kirai went to middle.

Shikome dropped a scheme marker because she had a -. Kirai summoned a night terror out of a seishin.

End of round 2: 1 point for her for guard the stash, 1 for me for show of force.

1-2 for me.

Next round she had enough of that walking scrap metal spirit and activated marcus, giving izamu the beast condition once again and attacked him with all she had. i had some pretty good flips, but it was nevver enough to even defend a single attack. Although he took some dmg, he survived with 4 wounds left. But the was accomplice...and the sabretooth took the chance to do so as well. Another 4 dmg and 3 dmg came in and izamu survived with 1 remaining wound. I instaly summoned a seishin and bound her others models to sacrifice instaly all seishin i had spare to let him live longer. The unnerving aura finally did some dmg to the sabretooth, so he had exactly half of his life left. The bleesed again tried to hit kirai, but again i had some masks so ikiryo vanished not having done much. The blessed then jumped away to the nanny and tried to secure the 2nd stash.Things went pretty well with kirai at only 4 dmg and cards to summon again. I scored another point for Accusation izamu made before hitting the sabre.

Turn 3 ended and i scored for accusations, Show of force and guard the stash where she shikome went.

she didnt score.

We agreed to end the game here, because she had to leave for work and we both agreed that from there on things would go downside.


Lessons i learned:

- DOnt summon beasts against Marcus!

- I did break LoS to the shikome which was pretty neat, but instantly forgot her 0 Action when i charged the spawnmother...oh boy..read the cards!

- Izamu is great and can really take a beating. With chiaki in the back against conditions and some spare seishin on the field it is superb to heal him up!

- That could be the most important lesson i learned: DONT instantly sacrifice the seishin...they are worth more than they look like! Even though this means i have to summon a smaller model from chiaki or something else, those boys allow me to out-activate my opponent and to control pretty much the field while i can sac them for getting +2, heal any spirit or even draw cards if needed! I really love those Seishin :).


Please add anything you would like to and Saturday is the big day :).


PS: I will add a photo of my newly painted Izamu i really put some work in :). Love this model a LOT!

Thanks for reading and see you in the bayou!

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On 18.8.2017 at 1:02 PM, Ludvig said:

Cool terrain, where is that gazebo from?

On that board I'd look into some sniper models ;)

Hey Ludvig, i think it is from GW, but i will ask the friend of mine where it is from.

And as promised the battle report will follow this week :).

I can spoil: It was a great tournament.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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