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Kirai versus the Viks


Boshea
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So a friend of mine is having trouble beating my Viks with his Kirai crew. Pretty much every game can be summed up as "Whirlwind happened". Personally I think a big part of that has been me getting a dumb number of Masks when going for it, and being able to flip/cheat past the Onryo's Haunt. Another part of the problem is lack of models, since he currently doesn't have Shikome or Gaki.

We're playing at 25 stones currently with the following lists

Kirai Ankoku -- 8 Pool

Lost Love [2ss]

Datsue-Ba [7ss]

Seishin [2ss]

Seishin [2ss]

Seishin [2ss]

Seishin [2ss]

Seishin [2ss]

Viktoria -- 5 Pool

Convict Gunslinger [5ss]

Ronin [5ss]

Ronin [5ss]

Ronin [5ss]

I've been reading through the units and nothing is really jumping out at me for how to deal with the Viks other than "grind out the games". Just the games have been so one sided to the point of not wanting to play.

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The Viks can be a real problem for Kirai because of their magic weapons and whirlwind trigger that can just kill off all the Seishen. Looking at the Kirai list, your opponent doesn't have much offense to fight back with.

This particluar matchup is not so much fun for Kiria (I am learning Kirai and I don't look forward to this matchup, especially since it only gets worse with more models and more outcast magic weapons).

It seem like your opponent is going to need some Shikome, if for no other reason one of the best plans is to just kill off the Vik(s) with them so they cannot whirlwind first.

Better Kirai players would have to address a more finesse' plan.

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Spreading out is usually a good idea against the Viktorias, though I realise that Kirai has problems with that. I feel like the Kirai player also needs some models that will actually get stuff done with objectives - some Night Terrors would probably help in this regard. Shikome and Gaki are also pretty essential models, since without them her Summon options are severely limited.

Kirai has a similar jump-kill tactic to the Viks in the Ikiryo Sling - get your friend to have a look on PullMyFinger if he's not aware of it. It's a bit harder to pull off than the Whirlwind bomb, but worth it when you get it to work. Essentially, my basic advice would be to kill one of the Viks before they get a chance to sling each other into the heart of your crew - once one's down, their threat range is massively reduced, and you can start kiting and sending in Shikomes to wear them down.

Anything with plentiful magic weapons is always going to be a tough match-up for Kirai, there's really no way of getting around that.

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Its going to be hard to beat the Viks at 25ss.

The problem with 25ss games is that they're very master-centric as you dont generally have enough minions to hit critical mass and threaten masters. I advise moving up to 35ss asap. Its only a model or two diference and isnt particularly more difficult.

That said, his list needs tweaking for 25ss. Kirai is a aupport master and he is also running Datsue-Ba, leaving him without much in the way of viable board threat by the time he packs in hiis Seishin.

Try switching 1ss and the Datsue for a Shikome and Preyig a Viktoria. Shikome plus Ikiryo gives you enough to threaten them, and he can also consider summoning a second Shikome. With Kirai's movement he should be able to get the drop on Viks and at least lock them into combat - make sure Kirai is close by enough that as stuff dies, she gets Seishin to summon more back. If a Shikome alpha strike doesnt kill Viks, then make em fight a war of attrition for a couple of turns.

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This is an interesting topic for me as Victorias and Kirai are my two masters!

What I see from your lists: you have an efficient, dynamite 25ss list! That is the optimal 25 point Victoria crew, a great list. When I play 30ss games, I swap out a Ronin for Taelor. It does wonders.

His list lacks muscle, as Calmdown said. Datsue-ba is support, but in his list it is the closest thing he has to a heavy hitter. He needs Shikome. Summoning one of them, plus Ikiryo will give him the punch he needs.

I have not played a 25ss game with Kirai, so take what I say with some caution. But I would try these options:

Kirai- 3ss pool

Lost Love

Seishin x5

Night Terrors x2

Datsue-ba

(This list gives him some objective grabbing night terrors. He will need to summon his attackers.)

Kirai- 3ss pool

Lost Love

Seishin x5

Dead Rider

Night Terror

(This list gives him a nice big time hitter with the Dead Rider. He only has one Night Terror, which feels a little out of place, but I couldn't think of anything better. Maybe take out the Nigh Terror and one Seishin for an Insidious Madness.)

Kirai- 4ss pool

Lost Love

Seishin x5

The Hanged

Insidious Madness

(I have little experience with the Hanged, but maybe that would help. Paired with the Madness it packs a punch.)

Oh, and when the Kirai Avatar comes out, he might want to get that. It takes away all of her really cool summoning and utility powers (which really really sucks!) but it gives her a soulstone using Ikyrio with a bunch of melee attacks. Essentially it will turn her into a melee master. Maybe that's the answer he's looking for.

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One of my more regular opponents fields the Viks against my Kirai so we have a fair number of games in with these crews facing off. Granted it is normally at 35 stones but what I have learned should translate reasonably down to 25. If you start every Kirai list with this its hard to go wrong:

Kirai 4ss

Lost Love

Seishin x 5

Insidious Madness

An 8 point beater of your choice

Shikome being the obvious choice for the final 8 points. I have also had success with Misaki or a Convict Gunslinger although these are reliant on getting off Pass Beyond from lost love. Misaki or the Convict with +2 CB from Seishin are quite hurty and either with reactivate really really can hurt. Again this is somewhat of a gamble as you cannot be garaunteed to get off Pass Beyond. The added benefit of the Convict being you go up to a 6ss pool and often times the player with more SS wins by default. One other highly beneficial thing you can accomplish is to land Chill of death on whichever Vik you plan on assaulting first. SS really help for ensuring this lands. If you manage to chill a target, especially they prey of a Shikome or current target of Ikiryos affection, they are essentially dead. A CB boosted spirit Misaki or Convict will also shred anything under the effect of Chill. The Madness, I'm of the mindset that every list needs a Madness, will prevent a crucial initiative from ruining your day as a sword Vik getting that crucial first move in a mid to late game turn can really whirlwind your face off.

For objective based matches drop the 8 point hitter and 1 seishin for 3 Night Terrors and maintain your 4ss. Complete your objectives and deny deny deny healing and swirling your way out of danger as much as possible as you delay for the end of the game. Throw Ikiriyo and seishin speedbumps in his way as much as you can and hold on to your VP untill the crucial end game flip happens ;)

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I might field a list like this against the Viks.

Ressurectionists Crew - 25 - Scrap

Kirai Ankoku
--
5 Pool

Lost Love [2ss]

  • Datsue-Ba
    [7ss]

  • Seishin
    [2ss]

  • Seishin
    [2ss]

  • Desperate Mercenary
    [2ss]

  • Canine Remains
    [2ss]

  • Seishin
    [2ss]

  • Insidious Madness
    [4ss]

As part of your standard Kirai stall tactics put the canine remains into Def Stance, then attack the Desperate Merc. The goal is to get her to exactly one wound. Make certain you don't kill her yet. Then use the desperate merc to attack the Canine Remains. Again don't forget the goal is to get him to one wound, and with the double positive twist on the Canine's Def flip you can choose the whichever of the three cards he'll flip for defense that will help most. Continue stall tactics with the Lost Love and Seishin until you are ready.

Datsue-Ba then uses her Weigh Sins ability to kill the Desperate Merc and the Canine Remains, remember that if both models are at one wound you only need Datsue-Ba to successfully cast the spell, because the resisting models can choose to automatically tie the duel, thus most likely causing the last wound and getting a Gaki off of each, as well as a Seishin for the model dying near Kirai.

As a side note make certain the Desperate Merc dies first, as not only can you then toss a heal Kirai's way, if you need it, but also as the Canine Remains is a Graverobber the corpse counter will stay in play as your Gaki is created and then can be instantly picked up.

So after the first turn you'll have:

Kirai

Lost Love

Datsue-Ba

2 Gaki with Corpse Counters (For the Slow to Die Heal flip)

5 Seishin

and an Insideous Madness, plus whatever Kirai managed to summon.

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As my flatmate plays Kirai and I field the Vickies this is the one matchup I feel to be kind of experienced with.

First of all - I'm rather surprised with your list. I usually go for the magic weapons and a librarian. Still, we mostly play 35ss

As it's been pointed out quite a few times Kirai will need some muscle. That being said (always depending on the stragies and schemes of course) I wouldn't recommend going for the Vickies. Personally I struggle the most when Shikome and/or Ikiryo manage to kill off something early in the game. In my case it's usually the librarian or the student since you can hardly keep them totally safe from a well placed Shikome.

Other than that it's Johan or Taelor. They aren't easily defeated but especially Johan tends to get worn down by a number of Gakis.

The two faults the Kirai crew can't afford is 1. leaving her too far behind to regain Seishin and 2. spreading too far and thus allowing the Viks to do slingshot kills.

The Vickies, however, tend to survive really long which commonly nets me bodyguard. My friend has more or less decided to leave them alone and leaves me sitting on some soulstones. Still I can hardly play them more offensively since that would mean to slingshot right into the heart of his crew, whirlwind down as much as I can and hoping to somehow survive his backlash - which is highly unlikely. It's quite a stalemate: He goes for bodyguard as well, knowing that nothing except for the Viks has a mere chance of taking down Kirai.

So usually the game is decided by the first big losses and how this affects strategies. Most times it ends with Kirai and her Seishin-Shield (or whatever she has summoned turn 5 or 6) on his side and the Viks plus something that's managed to survive (often it's Taelor) on mine.

I recently got Misaki to try a totally offensive approach (like Viks, Johan, Taelor, Misaki and something to fill the rest). We'll see how that goes...

-DoT

Edited by DoT
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