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Youko Hamasaki - Tactics and Strategies

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It's finally time for me to talk in depth about my second TT Master and, admittedly, one I think I've found more fun out of than Wastrels. It's Wakefield, your favorite nonsense spouting Wyrdo back with a write up now that I've put a lot of the talk of Youko into practice. It was a long road. A long, long, hard road, but hopefully, with a little bit of tactics and strategies, you'll be able to pick up this deceptively deep and, dare I say, oppressive Master. There's another fantastic post on this same forum, the Youko Journals, but I wanted to put a full topic up regarding general strategy and advice for folks who are getting into Youko and tactica regarding specific models.

This is going to be a lot more in-depth than my Wastrel one just because they're a lot more that goes into Qi and Gong that needs that nuance explained.

Qi and Gong is all about forcing your opponent to make risky decisions.

Major things to keep in mind across all of Qi and Gong is that Youko requires you to know a LOT about the game. You need to have a solid game sense and know when to strike and when to be patient. You need to know how the schemes and strategies interact with your models and how your opponent's models interact with each other. You need to find the right point to use Blackmail and the right point to start dropping Distracted. You need to pressure your opponent non-stop and don't give them a chance to think.

--- Keyword Ability ---

Qi and Gong as a keyword have one universal ability and a few 'secondary' ones that are common across the various types of the keyword. Given how much they spam it, I'll also be talking about Distracted in this section.

Let's start off with Leverage, the primary ability of the Qi and Gong. Every keyworded model has this ability. The easy part first. You can spend Pass Tokens for accuracy in duels. It's slightly less than Focused, but still can help get your abilities to slip by higher defenses and just leverage the deck in your favor. Spending pass tokens wisely is key to Youko's playstyle, so knowing when to use them to pass and force your opponent into bad situations is just as important as when you burn them for accuracy. Burning them for defense is usually a bad deal. At most you're earning a measly +2 on average and at worst you're increasing your chances to flip Black Joker if it hasn't already been cycled. You're usually going to have hand advantage, so I tend to keep them for attack or passing and cheat over my opponent if possible.

The other half of Leverage is the meat of the ability. For each model with leverage, after your opponent reveals a scheme, you score one Pass Token during the start phase. This is AFTER the Initiative Flip. So no bonuses unless you carry them over between turns. There's a lot more to talk about with this part. In essence, Leverage is a blade pressed to your opponent's throat. Leverage is the shadow behind your opponent. As one of my favorite sayings from the Darkest Dungeon, 'Overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer.' Your opponent knows how powerful your abilities are as soon as they flip that first scheme, so people are going to try to counter this by scheming late. A lot of people will get into this very 'oh, I've got this, just have to scheme late mentality.' You will need to exploit this. There's many ways.

First, there's a trigger in keyword that punishes your opponent for not revealing schemes. Both Charm Warders and Youko herself have Shady Dealings on Crow on Youko's bonus and Charm Warder's spell attack. All of these function off Willpower, so target what has the lowest WP is the easiest exploitation. If it slips through, your opponent discards one card at random for each unrevealed scheme that they have. For this reason, keeping schemes unrevealed is a risk, a painful risk that will quickly drain your opponent's hand if you can get them in. You have great ways to get these to go off as well with Distraction Aura. Both Kabuki Warriors and Geisha impart a flat negative to all WP duels within 2 inches of these models. This means that even moderate crows can have a lot of value for Youko and her Charm Warders.

The best way to utilize the fear behind Leverage is to hit your opponent's hand, but you can also provide constant pressure by counterscheming as much as you can. Ferreting out your opponent's schemes is normally a key part of the game, but with Youko it's even more vital. Keeping your opponent from scheming will usually force them to deal with you destroying their hand. The more you can hang Leverage over their head by breaking their hand early, the more you force them to make plays for schemes to make sure they don't have to rely on the deck. If they aren't scheming, they're losing cards. If they start scheming, they're now, all of the sudden, granting you both Pass Tokens and, if they don't get both schemes in one turn, they're suddenly giving you the best of both worlds.

Disguised is a very common ability in keyword as well. Kunoichi, Geisha, and Chiyo all share this ability, giving them defenses from Charging. 

Distracted is the primary condition, almost every model has a way to add it, and, it's not the best. Focus gets around it, and every attack they swing on you is at a negative. A few neat things, it only works on targeting enemy models, so if you Blackmail someone and they're distracted, you can still attack his allies without a penalty.

Distracted mostly just eats your opponent's AP to give you AP advantage. They're either Focusing, which eats an AP they're not spending scheming, or they're Assisting, which is doing the same. If they tough it out and just swing? They're now at a penalty and you're probably packing a hand of things to cheat in. Use it to annoy your opponent and weigh down important models to make your opponent choose between scheming, attacking, or assisting.

--- Master ---

Youko Hamasaki is both a delicate flower and a dangerous info broker. Her front of card is loaded full of goodies. Let's get this out of the way first. Unseen Manipulator a passive ability that just makes your opponent play a card down. Serene Countenance is her only defensive ability, but it's always nice to see. Calm Demeanor means that your opponent's cards that are being discarded within 6 are actually a resource for you. You'll draw off anything they do, and, while it's incredibly niche, Informants lets you know what's coming up if an opponent activates. I usually find this to be more useful to check your opponent. Tanking one of their high cards is usually more valuable because they're probably already having some cards gone from their hand and they're going to need to rely on luck.

Youko has no tactical actions. Her first attack action is Exotic Weapons. It's nothing to write home about except for the inbuilt No Witnesses Trigger. It's not going to come up often, but since she's size 2, if your opponent has a big ol' nasty beater in your face, she can slip a hit in without anyone seeing.

We'll skip to her Bonus, Backroom Dealings, an attack action which reveals your target's control hand. Boooring. But there's two triggers. The first one is a gimmick, it lets you guess what your opponent has in their hand to potentially get some damage off. Not that exciting. Shady Dealings, as discussed before, lets you see your opponents whole hand, so you know what's coming, and forces them to discard one at random for each unrevealed scheme. It should be said, always lead with Backroom Dealings. The information it gets you is valuable and with the stat 7 it's easy to force through a discard or two and get some free intel.

Finally, the Yin and Yang of Youko, her defensive play and her offensive play.

Riddles in the Dark is the same as on Brewmaster. It stacks Distracted on the target, one stack for each card that you and your opponent have in difference. She also has a trigger of Information Network, which just gives you an Immediate card draw on a tome, or you can wait until after the action has ended to get the card. Riddles is going to be your AP dump for Youko, since Blackmail, the star of the show, can only be used once per model and can't be used on your opponent's leader. Kunoichi can use the Distracted to get their damage boost on the Ram trigger, but usually you'll want to use it to bog down big hitters or spread it out on targets that you need to have disabled.

Her offensive action is Blackmail. A few things to note. Blackmail is by far her best action and you should ALWAYS go for the trigger. For this reason, run heavy on stones. I usually take 6-7. If you don't have the Mask in hand, stone it. Blackmail epitomizes 'Painful Choice' in Youko. You get a pass token for each card they don't discard up to two. If you don't go for the trigger, they can just ignore it. Two Pass Tokens, in the long run, isn't much, but if you're declaring the Trigger, then...well, if they don't discard two cards, you get a looser Obey. It lets you do any action which doesn't attach upgrades or list a model by name. That includes Bonuses. If you wanna check the forum thread for 'The Elusive Bonus Action' (an excellent read) you can see a ton of the great ideas, but a few of the more interesting ones are, of course, Challenge, or Blow it to Hell to move your opponent's marker, or Remote Detonation. The possibilities are, well, in fact actually quite limited, but it's a reliable Obey that also doesn't need a TN.

You should always be in a position to Blackmail. It's short range, but that's where Bill and the rest of the crew to come in and provide you some cover. She needs to play close to get all of her abilities off, so you need to be aggressive. Distracted is nice, but you should be focusing on trying to keep your opponent on their toes and exploiting whatever abilities that you can. Serene helps keep you safe, and if there's a threat you can't intercept, dump an AP to distract it. That way, even with Focus, they're still swinging at a negative.

--- Totem ---

Chiyo Hamasaki is a significant totem and one of Youko's scheme runners in most setups. Her primary goal is to get across the centerline to add on two pass tokens every turn and to use Biting Insult to get off Distracted and add Pass Tokens. Her Bonus Action, Misinformation, plays directly into Youko, providing you with two discards that you can pick up as well as more intel. You need to figure out if you want to keep her cagey with Youko, or use her to run schemes, as one of the major problems in keyword is that there's not...really an idea scheme runner. Keep in mind she has both Stealth and Disguised, so your opponent is going to need to dedicate to actually attacking her.

--- Henchmen ---

Bill Algren is the core box Henchman and is a tech piece. He's a positioning and counter scheme piece that also plays zone defense and has some tactical applications with both Challenge and Stoic Nod. Bill is a utility knife of a character. He's not QUITE a beater, so don't hire him in expecting him to just shut down folks. He does have min 3 and Crit Strike, but his moderate and severe are both 4, so he doesn't really spike.

His Naginata also has 'You're Coming With Me' which is one of his core movement pieces. He can shove a model up to 7 inches, including his base attack shove. This keeps you mobile and allows you to leverage (ha!) your two inch engagement  range to the fullest. Heroic Intervention is always awesome, but in Bill, if you have the Crow, it's also non-linear non-resistible scheme removal or damage. On a tac action. It's...really good. If you have two crows to fuel it, then you can do 4 damage or remove 2 scheme markers without even needing to attack your opponent...or be in range of anything other than one opponent.

The major weakness of Bill is his staying power. He's only got Armor 1 and no other defensive tech except for 'We have Unfinished Business' which heals him for 3 and gives him Fast when a scheme is revealed.  Since he already has Challenge, I don't particularly enjoy taking Silent Protector, but I do actually like Masked Agent. With Me is potent enough, but it allows you to drop an ally in close with your opponent, potentially sending up a Geisha to add Slow or Distracted in melee and crank out that lovely Distraction Aura.

The other thing to really think about as well with Bill is just how unsettlingly FAST that he is. On turns he has fast, he can move 6 inches between targets as part of Heroic Intervention up to 3 times. IF you manage to get all the Mask triggers off for his attacks, you're then going another 5 inches on each attack. In literally the most optimal setup, he could 'theoretically' move 30 inches in one turn when Fast if he hits all his triggers and only uses Heroic Intervention. This is never going to happen, but it can be an interesting way to get him from place to place with his triggers.

Hinamatsu is the second Henchman and is actually Neverborn, not TT or Versatile. While Bill is a tech piece, Hinamatsu, uh, she just brings the pain. She used to be a mini-Yasunori, but with the errata, you're now at a point where she's a sure-in over the flier, if only because her Onslaught is easier to pull off. With Armor 2, 8 health, and Rush, along with Wicked, inbuilt positives to her attack, a pulsing distraction aura, a freaking LURE...she's loaded with everything that Youko needs. She's aggressive, she likes to tie up your opponents and make it painful to disengage, and she also bypasses armor AND has Onslaught and Flurry. She's surprisingly fragile to things that ignore armor (but what armor 2 model isn't) and she can be stone hungry if you don't have cards, but I don't think I've ever been disappointed by her. 

Hinamatsu has just a sliiiightly longer threat range than Bill, but both can end up being quite far up the board in an instant if needed. For that reason, both of them tend to activate later if possible and use their incredible movement to get to exactly where we need them to be. Geisha are key to helping this out, as are Bunraku if you're not running ladies in dresses.

--- Minions ---

Geisha are a 4 stone lure bot. You pay 4 stones, you get a lure that's stat 6, disguised, and has an aura of - to WP duels. They're not really super deep. They pass out Slow and Distracted in Melee, which, is actually pretty impressive. Basically it's paralyze, and can lock a target out and make them either take an assist or two attacks both at a negative. Either way, your 4 point model has just consumed the entire turn of a higher point model. You're welcome. Comedically, they're also great at keeping targets in melee with them, as Sharp Wit attacks WP and Disengage will mean they're at a negative to their defense against the attack. Don't kid yourself, they sure ain't living through a sneeze with DF4 and 4 health, but they can enable plays and hand out Galvanize, which helps get your folks up the board and add on Focus. If you don't need to be Slowing a target, then keep them outside of engagement. Geisha are a great tool to let you Blackmail out charges, as unlike Kabuki Warriors they won't engage whatever is in their aura, only things within an inch.

Kunoichi are a 6 stone Skirmisher. They don't scheme particularly well, since they're only MV5, but they play around the edges and pick off other scheme runners. They also have Tools for the Job, which means if your opponent is out of actions, and this is their last attack, it's safe to pitch that severe to defend if you have a Kunoichi to pick it up with. Their triggers are key here, learn them, apply them when you can, and don't be afraid to chuck a moderate Ram if you've set up distracted on several targets. Their melee is an impressive stat 6 with 4/5/6 if you have the trigger and two stacks of distracted on your target. Hell, their ranged attack is min 3 with that setup too. Don't take these ladies with the expectation for them to make it across the board and effortless get things like Breakthrough or Symbols. Take them with the intention of making their attacks count and recycling good cards.

Bunraku follow the Puppet Train that Hinamatsu set up and are a 6 stone scheme runner with a lure. I really like the figure as a cheap source of Lures, almost more than Geisha. Geisha are one-tricks, and these guys can actually sneak in some decent damage with Crit-strike and the push on their bonus action allows them to get in and out of all sorts of trouble. As a note, they also have a way to hand out Stunned. Stunned is by far the best condition in M3E. Calling it now. Armor 1 makes them safe against most schemers, and their push DOES allow them to JUST BARELY Scheme twice in one turn. Their defense trigger is baked in, but you need to succeed the first time to get it off. +2 DF until the end of the activation means if you don't hit them once, you may not hit them at all. If you want to spam Lures, they're a great way to do it when Geisha won't get the job done. While Geisha are better at it, Bunraku are likely to survive the follow up hit that your opponent tosses out.

Charm Warder is a split model with Shenlong and you probably already know about them already. 7stones, they attack off WP, they have good attacks, good triggers, counter summoners and demise, have the annoying Chi property that Monks have alongside leverage...they're toolbox units that fit into most scenarios. I usually consider one core, just for Jynx. Their ranged attack has Shady Dealings and is easy to get off if your opponent is in a Distraction Aura. That's a easy possible 2 cards, maybe more if you can doubletap. Their Bonus Action is also probably one of my favorites. Chaos Theory has a below average chance to deal damage to all enemy models within 5 inches, and one that's outside of it if you get the Crow. If you do get the Crow, one of my favorite games is 'pop the totem,' where you see if you can cheeze out killing your opponents totem turn one because they flipped unlucky.

Kabuki Warrior is unreleased, but you should proxy them. They're amazing. One is almost what I would consider core. Pricey at 8 stones, they're a bog standard beater with average defense at 5. These boys pack a GREATSWORD for melee and lure, with the all important Distraction Aura. On top of that, they come with Combat Finesse, so you can't cheat attacks against them in melee. They love Trained Ninja to get Unimpeded and Stealth, along with From the Shadows to be the first thing your opponent comes in on and just...just beckoning them to come into melee. Kabuki Warriors are, despite their middling defenses, a tanky model. Finesse and hand advantage means you can usually cheat over your opponent and they can take a few hits with 8 heath as well as they dodge. Their Bonus Action CAN come in handy but...honestly, I don't tend to bother. Just remember, if your opponent is in their distraction aura, you're not going to be able to charge, unlike when using Geisha, when you spit out that Blackmail. I tend to trap things with valuable bonus actions, or draw abilities in their aura. My favorite is the Judge.

--- Versatile ---

Dawn Serpent is what I would consider a key versatile pick. Min 3, MV7, scheme runner, all of these are things the keyword is kind of lacking. Hard to Kill and their healing means they're also VERY self sufficient, and adding a Distracted or two to an opponent from Youko is a surefire way to get your opponent to pull their hair out.

Samurai are an unsubtle choice, as is their bigger brother Fuhatsu. I would bring a Samurai if I know I'm going into Armorspam and I don't think Hinamatsu will be enough. Use Lures from to get them into position. If going with Fuhatsu, then same deal goes. Keep a Geisha nearby to feed him focus off Galvanize and move him and let him sit and spin that minigun to full speed and rip people apart.

Tanuki are scheme runners and support pieces, both something that Youko struggles with, IMO. Her keyword is basically sheer offense and having a little healer that can remove conditions and hand out focus is not only nice, but welcome in a crew that's probably going to be taking quite a few hits to the chin. I usually run one.

Minako Rei is also a surprisingly good choice as a scheme runner and counterschemer. No one wants to attack her, so use this to your advantage and press hard against exposed points or use her as a guard dog for vital objectives. Her Katashiro are hard to summon into Youko, but if a Bunraku dies, then, well...

Lust fresh off the errata is our Crossroads 7 member. I don't really enjoy Crossroads as a concept, but Lust can do a few sneaky things. Lascvicic...Lasciv...

AHEM, her Bonus Action only triggers off of the card discarded from the hand, so you don't get 4 cards off her bonus. Her Distracted Spam is pretty nice, but ultimately, you're bringing her for Flirtatious Wink and Consumed by Lust. Consumed lets you counter your opponent's feeble attempts to rebuild their hands, and Flirtatious Wink grants you the Sin tokens to fuel things. She combos with Chiyo, since Misinformation allows you to force a draw of two cards, which...you can basically, if all three are in range of Youko, generate 4 drawn cards off of one action. She can also scheme! She has MV6, which is always good, and Now Kiss helps with positioning problems when opponents need to get in that Distraction Aura, but you don't have a lure free. It's up to you if you want to play for combos, but I think that Youko works fine on her own as a control piece and the rest of her crew is pretty 

--- Out of Keyword ---

Most of what you're going to pick up for Out of Keyword is probably going to be for scheme runners. While Bunraku are excellent in Keyword, I find the lure to be more valuable on most turns. There's not a lot I like in other keywords, since Leverage makes you want to have as many in-keyword models as possible. 

Huckster has taken a hit as the new Gaining Grounds doesn't have a lot of 'spam the scheme markers' but can still be a nice pick depending on the terrain setup. Manipulative adds onto distracted and Bill can dive in to help keep them safe with Heroic Intervention, and I don't tend to feel like she needs anything other than a solid scheme runner and some versatile to back her up.

Mr. Tannen is an interesting piece. In theory, he adds onto being a 'Bubble Crew' and can easily hand out distracted to a few things. The problem is that Youko likes to play forwards and Tannen is both slow and easy to hit when he's not manipulative. He's also there to mostly pass out Boring Conversation and stack Brilliance and Distracted on high-value targets. If you can then stack that with a Distraction Aura...well, then its easy to lock folks down. I think Youko shines best when she's handling most of the control, but I can see this being a very potent combination for swarming crews. Or, y'know, just hating on Archie or Papa Loco, which is everyone's favorite pass-time.

 

--- When to Declare Youko ---

Youko is a control piece, but her crew is a mixture of beaters, bruisers, and assassins. Qi and Gong is well balanced between offense and control with issues for how soft the crew can be without Youko providing control. With easy access to some of the best versatile tech in the game, since, well, it's Ten Thunders guys, we can get all the cool stuff, Youko has a wide variety of useful tricks for most scheme and strategy setups. The problem with this is that she doesn't excel at anything in particular. If you're not sure who would work best into a scheme or strategy pool, why not Youko?

Corrupted Ley Lines: We musta harnessed them something fierce to corrupt them this bad. Youko actually can be pretty darn crazy into this by just locking down a specific model. Since the Lodestone is only on one model, if you can lure that schemer over and lock them down. Since the Lodestone also needs to be touching the Strategy Marker at the end of the turn, this also makes the abundance of Lures in Youko's crew even more viable. Just keep shiftin' them an inch with that or Bill. Lots of ways to control your opponent while also peeling folks off of your Loderunner.

Symbols of Authority: Lures to keep folks engaged, strategy markers on your opponent's side that can be blitzed to by Bunraku...yeah, this is a good one. I don't think I'd pick her over other Masters like McCabe or Summoners  Defending your markers can be a bit of a problem though. Symbols also favors ranged attacks and whittling down your targets before you dash past and go for the markers when you're clear. If you can just delay your opponents blitzing your markers, then you don't have as much to worry about when you go in for 2-3 points off Symbols and playing heavy to one flank.

Recover Evidence: Call your targets wisely. So, two things. Number one, you don't need to KILL the target to get the intel to drop. Just need to get them to one hit point. We don't have 'Don't Mind Me' like those Showgirls do, but you call out what you want to shut down.  Geisha are a huge liability in this setup, as is Chiyo. It's probably best to use Chiyo as bait and keep her close to Mom while just slipping across the centerline. 

Public Enemies: Oh boy. More complicated Reckoning. Killing late in the round is easy for Youko, especially because of the amount of Pass Tokens you can generate. You can also pick off targets with Bounty Tokens this way too. Since 6 stone models are only worth 1 point, you can go a little heavier on the softer, still highly efficient models in Keyword like Kunoichi or Bunraku to help starve out your opponent from potential points.

Schemes are always fun to talk about, and after a few games of Youko in the new setup, I'm actually really liking a few of these options.

The Good - I feel safe in declaring these in most matchups.

Take Prisoner - It's Youko. Do I need to explain? Between Geisha with slow, a WP based melee attack, and distraction aura, you are virtually guaranteed to keep someone over on top of you. If you nee to, make sure that you're using Blackmail to have folks roll around the other side of your Geisha and keep that model trapped as far back as you can.

Claim Jump - A little risky, but quite usable with folks like Hinamatsu or Bill. You can also try to score it late with feinting and keeping a healer nearby. Lures are my favorite option in this to just get folks off of your Claim Jumper. Additionally, this is where I'd bring in Fuhatsu or a Samurai without question. Even if you're faking Claim Jump it's a great way to force folks out of position to deal with it.

Hidden Martyrs - Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Kunoichi are brilliant for this, as are Bunraku. Its easy to play 'out of position' with one and have the other one sneak in your point.

Catch and Release - Deliver a message but easier? Yes please. It HAS to be a minion, so OOK Torakage are probably the easiest option. They then also need to dash around the field and stay alive until the end of the game on the enemy table half. I'd also take a Kabuki Warrior with Trained Ninja. Lure them in, then have one of your guys lure them out.

Let Them Bleed - With Youko's ability to dictate engagement and Charm Warders ability to just look at a model and have a 43% chance of splashing some damage onto them? It's pretty nice. The first point is easy with a control crew. Draw them in and bust them down below half. The second point is the problem but if you're killing smart and efficiently it can be easy to get those last scheme runners with Chaos Theory. Just don't let XCOM odds ruin you. 43% isn't...terribly amazing odds.

Leave Your Mark - Take a Huckster and you can keep the center cleared if you have enough lures. Huckster can drop all the schemes you need. Incredibly easy to fake as well by having your Huckster just spam False Claim on the turn 3/4 while you set up for other schemes. 

The Bad - Harder to do, but not impossible.

Breakthrough - Hire Minako Rei, a Dawn Serpent, and a Huckster and pray. Minako's fast enough and can cover them without too much a problem, Dawn Serpent can sneak by easily, but the problem is dropping schemes in a meaningful manner. Hucksters solve that but are card intensive and it can be hard to pull it off if you're already cheating in a ton of stuff.

Vendetta - There's...really not a good Vendetta target in Youko outside of maybe Hinamatsu versus your opponent's henchman. Sadly, she's also very squishy if your opponent has access to analyze weakness. With the amount of control, you're probably able to at least get the second point even if you can't squeeze the first, but if you're taking it for just one point, what's the point of it?

Assassinate - Yeah this has to be on here. Assassinate is a BAD Scheme to Youko. She's not terribly durable and stones/focus can really break her apart if the enemy master comes gunning. Her crew is good at bruising, but Blackmail can't target Masters so Youko can't contribute to it like most other Masters can in someway. That being said, stacking distracted for a Kunoichi angle is definitely a possibility, but your opponent will see it coming from a mile away.

Spread Them Out - Unless you can get control early and gain activation advantage, this one really isn't going to be taken. Easily telegraphed like Harness was, but even easier to counter because you likely need three seperate models to do it instead of just one Huckster.

The Wyrd - All of these aren't optimal, but can be if deployment and matchup is right up your alley. 

Sabotage - Who DESIGNED this scheme? Opponent's deployment zone, but not really? Did they WANT breakthrough 2.0? Putting scheme markers near things isn't too much a problem, but like...it's so variable based off the map it's not exactly an optimal option. If the deployment favors it, Hucksters are an okay setup.

Research Mission - Certainly plausible. I'd bring a Huckster since False Claiming near a Strategy Marker can set up for it in one action if you cheat in the trigger and have someone else scheme. The secondary is, uh, interesting to say the least. Matchup wise, this one is also easier to get against crews like Misaki or Rasputina, but near impossible in certain matchups in Public Enemies.

Runic Binding - Wait, what? Hold on. Extremely tight scheme lineups that have to be placed within 10 inches of each other that form a triangle and...hold on hold on. WHAT? With Lures it's certainly possible, especially if your opponent is diving into Youko or you're drawing them to one flank, but it's definitely matchup dependent. You're not getting this vs. a Gunline crew and you're sure not going to go for this into Public Enemies.

 

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the best OOK model for Youko is Mr. Tannen! try him! he will make your opponent cry with all the pressure he adds!

 

use a samurai with silent protector to protect Youko and Tannen! 

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5 hours ago, Cursed25 said:

the best OOK model for Youko is Mr. Tannen! try him! he will make your opponent cry with all the pressure he adds!

 

use a samurai with silent protector to protect Youko and Tannen! 

I'll have to give this one a shot. 7 stones is a pretty steep price for Tannen, who's also really slow. My concern is primarily that Tannen really wants to add Brilliance to make sure that Boring Conversation is a lot harder to go around. It certainly can help lock down an already dragged down model who may be locked in with a Kabuki Warrior or Geisha, but...I don't really think I want to put them as a bubble crew.

I think the reverse is actually a better option. Hiring a Kabuki Warrior into Honeypot means that the bubble crew has a beater that can both lure alongside of Beckoners, add on the negative WP aura, and can keep things pinned in.

3 hours ago, Necrokamo said:

As an additional option try Lust, according to several opinions, the errata has made her very compatible with the Qi & Gong.

Samurai are really good, but I think the Lust option may be better. The advantage with Lust is that you can easily trigger Flirtatious Wink with Misinformation from Chiyo. This also blends into Consumed by Lust being able to just turn Misinformation into a straight two card discard if your target has a sin token on it which they would immediately get from Lascivious music anyway...

Lust can also run schemes with MV6 and Now Kiss can help with keeping her clear of targets. Lascivious Music, sadly, only discards one card from the hand, so Youko only gets to draw one off of it.

I think that the Samurai with Silent Protector is an interesting concept as well, but the thing is, Youko wants to play forwards, which means the Samurai needs to either be lured forwards to keep up with her, or she needs to hang a little further back. Bill can accomplish the same thing by just forcing your opponent back and challenging and has access to Leverage. He's a little softer, but still gives potent advantages.

 

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I was thinking about playing Sun Quiang with her, he can heal and help youko or tannen survive with his place, he also can give more distracted condition to your enemies with excelent triggers (duality can force enemy to discard and you can then discard/draw or hole in the world to more positioning) 

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Tannen don't need brilliance if opponent is within distraction aura because a lot of low wp models will have a hard time doing anything other than walk near him.

 

Also the main draw of Tannen in a Youko crew is Betrayal! forcing an already card starve opponent to discard even more to cheat will be backbreaking! 😉 also each time they want to cheat near Youko/Tannen, they discard giving you a card in the process! 

 

Also when I play Youko I don,t play that much into a bubble! My Core (Youko, Tannen, Protector Samurai) will stay near each other and will be send near low WP enemy models to deplete hands while the rest of the crew will munch what they want! I really like Hinamatsu as a threat somewhere else in the board forcing opponent to split his force!

 

I'll have to rethink every strategies I had because of GG-1 but I'm hoping to still use Youko in the new strats/schemes! 🙂

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Updated strats/schemes over here. They'll be shifting as I have more time to play around with them, but they're in a good spot right now based off what I've snuck in so far.

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On 3/7/2020 at 2:41 AM, Bondu said:

I was thinking about playing Sun Quiang with her, he can heal and help youko or tannen survive with his place, he also can give more distracted condition to your enemies with excelent triggers (duality can force enemy to discard and you can then discard/draw or hole in the world to more positioning) 

I don't know how I feel about Sun Quiang. On one hand, he's got a good amount of utility, but on the other hand, that's a lot of stones for a support piece. Tannen is cheap enough, but I feel like if you play too heavily into Distracted it may end up being a problem. Tanuki help with scheming, which is another main weakness, and while Sun can do the same, it also steals stones from other things. I'll have to give him a shot.

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Sun Quiang is better healer than Tanuki, but you are loosing spam of free focus and have sometimes worse condition removal (free assist action is nice, but not enough if targeted model suffer from condition spam).

But you may find here funny trick for your models by discarding card via his bedside manner to help survive opponent's attack (after first damage) by placing them outside their engagment range, but engaded by your model (Kabuki or Bill with their 2" engage range). This will aslo heal them for 1 hp and if they are unactivated when they will activate they will heal for another 1 hp.

He is 3 stones more, but has much better survivalibity, his Yin and Yang is stat 7 and near Youko duality trigger is wonderful - it's another source of opponent's hand control and you can cycle cards. Other non crows triggers are wonderful too (give distracted+1 to 2 models is nice and Hole in the world might be neat with schemes that requires LoS like take prisoner or to place something armored in no LoS to their friends so No Witnesses will hurt). Don't mind me might be useful picking evidence markers. Study might be also useful for (counter) scheming and with Kabuki's a New Horizon you may place it where you need.

 

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Eh, someone else mentioning Sun Quiang!

I've taken him in pretty much every game with Youko I've played, he's definitely worth it IMO. As has been said, all of his non-crows triggers are great. The healing is super nice, and now that My Loyal Servant can be used on the model that healing energy targeted. Bedside Manner is also super useful, and becomes even more reliable in a crew like Youko's where you can get cards to use reliably.

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Sun Quiang is great with her. Also take in count Bedside Manner + King of Medicine make H2K models really H2K: An attack bring that model to 1 Wd? Discard a card and it's now at 2 Wds. Another attack? Here you have another card...

I think this wasn't mentioned yet: Charm Warders with Masked Agent are a real threat, even if a bit squishy. All their attacks are resisted with Wp so they are very reliable versus something under a Distraction Aura.

The best part is cheating the coordinated attack trigger with a low mask because the other player cannot cheat to put that Kabuki sword in good use (even from 10'' with Jynx), or use "with me" when charging into a Geisha aura (or dragging a Geisha/Kabuki for the aura); getting also an easy coordinated attack trigger in mele for other beater.

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1 hour ago, santaclaws01 said:

 now that My Loyal Servant can be used on the model that healing energy targeted.

It can? I must have missed the faq.

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6 hours ago, Thatguy said:

It can? I must have missed the faq.

Yeah, I can't find it... I also don't know a version of English where "another" could mean "the same". I understand the parentheses confuse the sentence a bit but is seems to act as a further stipulation rather than change the meaning of "another".

 

My 2¢

 

 

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8 hours ago, Thatguy said:

It can? I must have missed the faq.

That clarification is "hidden" in the NVB FAQs, but it affects every ability with that wording:

1. Nekima – Can Nekima Push and take a y Action as a result of a friendly Nephilim model being killed within range of her Enraged By Insolence Action?
a) No. “Another” always refers to “not the model from which this t ext is written” except in those instances where the model in which “Another” is written would not always be a legal subject of the sentence, such as “Another Scrap Marker”, or “Another enemy model”. In such cases, “Another” will never refer to the previous legal subject.

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3 hours ago, Thatguy said:

I'm not sure how comfortable I feel with this interpretation. It would make Richochet an incredibly powerful trigger.

Screenshot_20200311-082204.png

Haha, good one. That's probably not following the errata ruling, either that or the "Ricochet" is happening inside of the model's ribcage XD.

But it's true we now need a clarification for that one.

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My guess is that RAI, another refers to not the generating model for auras and static abilities without a target and for abilities that have a target another means not the original target.

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Aaaaaand easing our way back onto topic...

 

On 3/10/2020 at 6:26 PM, Ogid said:

Sun Quiang is great with her. Also take in count Bedside Manner + King of Medicine make H2K models really H2K: An attack bring that model to 1 Wd? Discard a card and it's now at 2 Wds. Another attack? Here you have another card...

I think this wasn't mentioned yet: Charm Warders with Masked Agent are a real threat, even if a bit squishy. All their attacks are resisted with Wp so they are very reliable versus something under a Distraction Aura.

The best part is cheating the coordinated attack trigger with a low mask because the other player cannot cheat to put that Kabuki sword in good use (even from 10'' with Jynx), or use "with me" when charging into a Geisha aura (or dragging a Geisha/Kabuki for the aura); getting also an easy coordinated attack trigger in mele for other beater.

This Masked Agent tip is freaking amazing and I love it.

I always assumed that it was just melee actions, but you're completely right. It allows them to also be even more of a toolbox. This also means you can With Me, bring in something to drop that distraction aura next to the target, Kabuki Warrior, for instance, and all of the sudden you're flipping against a negative with your Chi Blade melee attack that has a brilliant trigger on any flip.

Sun is definitely an MVP for times when you need a ton of longevity. But the only things that have H2K is going to be things you put Silent Protector on, at least in keyword, so it gets 'meh' rating from me for being an expensive combo. In the right setups though, against burst crews, probably very viable. If Seamus pops up as a popular meta model I'd run him, or something with a lot of triggers like Marcus with Onslaught and such.

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6 hours ago, Wakefield said:

This Masked Agent tip is freaking amazing and I love it.

I always assumed that it was just melee actions, but you're completely right. It allows them to also be even more of a toolbox. This also means you can With Me, bring in something to drop that distraction aura next to the target, Kabuki Warrior, for instance, and all of the sudden you're flipping against a negative with your Chi Blade melee attack that has a brilliant trigger on any flip.

Glad to hear it helped :)

Haha, it happened also to me; when I noticed it's for all attacks that upgrade got a whole new level of utility. Another good combo, this one for Shenlong: Archers/Warders + Low River Style (positioning them near of Students) or even for High Rivers tailing Shenlong (not sure now you cannot charge them with Chi in turn 1 tho), maybe also worth with Lotus' Threaten but that's only 8''. You may buy the trigger with chi thanks to the aura.

The counterpart in a Youko crew is this is a combo relying on minions and an upgrade; which aren't the most resilient models, so it needs finesse/the right game. But when well executed, it's really good.

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On 3/11/2020 at 3:38 AM, Ogid said:

That clarification is "hidden" in the NVB FAQs, but it affects every ability with that wording:

1. Nekima – Can Nekima Push and take a y Action as a result of a friendly Nephilim model being killed within range of her Enraged By Insolence Action?
a) No. “Another” always refers to “not the model from which this t ext is written” except in those instances where the model in which “Another” is written would not always be a legal subject of the sentence, such as “Another Scrap Marker”, or “Another enemy model”. In such cases, “Another” will never refer to the previous legal subject.

 

On 3/11/2020 at 8:25 AM, Thatguy said:

I'm not sure how comfortable I feel with this interpretation. It would make Richochet an incredibly powerful trigger.

Screenshot_20200311-082204.png

In Von Schill's Load Up, his My Loyal Servant trigger says "another model" followed by "other than this model". Why would it need that if another model already means that?

Screenshot_2020-03-12 Malifaux 3E(1).png

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36 minutes ago, touchdown said:

In Von Schill's Load Up, his My Loyal Servant trigger says "another model" followed by "other than this model". Why would it need that if another model already means that?

 

I feel that it's obvious that the ruling on Enraged by Insolence was a ham-fisted attempt at nerfing Nekima by not letting Nekima herself get free swings, and their blanket "another means not the acting model" interpretation has backfired immensely. Obviously Enraged by Insolence meant another nephilim that isn't the one dying, My Loyal Servant and Ricochet being great examples of how they clearly originally defined "another". 

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