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Yan Lo M2E


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Hi Malifolks,


i just bought a very nice, fully painted Yan Lo Crew of Ebay and wanted to know haw to play them best.

I searched the Forum for Yan Lo threads but all i could find was stuff from before M2E. So lets discuss the old man :D


From looking at the cards (well pdf) i think there is lots of fun things including "ancestors" wich can be pushed around etc. and i see a lot of potential for shenanigans with "Lightning dance" and of course there's the whole Chi mechanic (what use of the chi is the best - upgrades/Transcendence?)

Does anyone of you play Yan Lo regularly and can give a newcomer some tips and tricks on what works well, wich shemes and strats he likes etc.?

Also i usually play (Seamus) with lots of minions, but there aren't too much minions that have great interaction with the Yan Lo crew - at least not at first glance. So what minions do you usually take (besides of the awesome Ashigaru).

The Ebay-auction i've won included:


Yan Lo

Soul Porter

Chiaki the niece

3 Ashigaru

Toshiro the Daimyo

Izamu the Armor

Yin the penangelan


... wich seems like a ready to play 50SS list, but i would think my opponent will almost always have much more models and can easy out-activate me. Is this fear unreasonable?

Also i have a question regarding the "rebuild corpus" spell from the "reliquary" upgrade: Can i for example reanimate a model in this manner two times in a game if i "bought it" via soulstones at the beginning of the game? So is the restriction just excluding models wich i summoned during the game (and didnt have from the start) or every summoned model - so i could revive for example Yin two times in one game.

Well those are the question that come to mind when i read the cards. Please feel free to tell me anything that may help me to understand Yan Lo and his playstyle better. 


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Rebuild Corpus only allows you to bring a model back once, and they must have been included from the beginning of the game to do that.


If my schedule works out the way I hope it will, I'll get to give my Yan Lo crew a go for the first time since the beta ended. If you plan on taking the entire themed crew then you'll likely what Reliquary just to keep them alive. Fortify the spirit is a good way to boost his survivability, which is very low in the beginning. Brutal .....staff thingy....to me doesn't seem like a much needed investment, as I'd rather go for Spirit Barrage to build Chi. I want to play around with it at a later date to see if I'm missing out but I don't think I will be.

As for the Ascendant upgrades Ash is extremely easy to get from the word go and gives Impossible to Wound, giving Yan Lo an instant boost to his life span. Terracotta Curse stacks well if you have nearby Ashigaru to become a hedge wall of auto-damage as well. Spirit is good for the Incorporeal, but keep in mind that Izamu and The Soul Porter are the only spirits native to his crew. If playing as Ten Thunders, or summoning them via Pull of the Grave, the Komainu are also spirits, so you can maximize the number of models effected by Furmi of Yomi. Finally Bone will give you the Hunpo Assault and can pay for itself with a good few good flips. You can build Chi very quickly so there is no reason you shouldn't be able to get all three of the upgrades within three turns (keep in mind the Harvest Chi ability for that reason).

I did put Izamu on the table in a Seamus list for fun the other day, and had quite a bit of fun with him. Unnerving Aura is a fun thing to tack on to a model that is almost impossible to get away from. I want to give the same thing a go with Yin and create wide areas of nearly inescapable auras of automatic damage. They are both Ancestors and the Soul Porter can push them forward for a blitz into the enemy's face.

Toshiro should always have friends near him. Ashigaru are great for countering enemy models attempts to charge in unless they want to get cut up with Yari attacks. I want to try taking a canine Remain just to feed a few corpse counters to him.

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Thx for the replies so far.
I would love to hear from somebody who plays him regularly what exactly sets him appart from other masters. at what does he excel and where are his weak spots.

Another question: The Ancestor upgrades all have no rarity, so is it possible that Yin for example has one of them from the beginning and then Yan can spend Chi to get the same upgrade? Also can he have an uprade more than once (because he ignores restrictions when he spends chi to get them) and do then for example Impossible to wound stack?

... if i reanimate Izamu with an upgrade ob him, is the upragde still on him after i reanimate him?

... questions questions ...  :lol:

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more Questions  :D


I dont have the wave1 TT cards/pdf - are there any retainers besides ashigaru and those construct things/statues (i dont know the name right now) ?


Also, are there more ancestors besides Yin, Izasmu, Toshiro ?


Thanks guys


No retainers, but there are some useful stuff that aren't, like rotten belles and punk zombies (if you go Rezzer).

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Chiaki is also an ancestor. I think you may be confusing the Ascendant upgrades for Ancestor upgrades. Unfortunately Yan Lo is the only one who has access to this via his Chi Mechanic.

I've also only just got this crew so some experience would be appreciated! :P Though I have been eyeing them for ages so my theoryfaux is strong.

My only experience is as 10 Thunders but Ashigaru are basically a spiky, impassable wall with Toshiro giving positives and Yan Lo healing. Toshiro's upgrade allows you to bring them back too should they die. I've tried this out and it was very good. With Toshiro though beware those things that ignore Hard to Wound.

This is theoretically sound though I've not tried it yet but using Onryo in conjunction with Izamu and Komainu is also a good option because when the Onryo suffer damage they give out a condition that gives bonuses to friendly Spirits. It's also obviously useful when Yan Lo turns things into Spirits. With the appropriate order of activation it s possible to have two Ashigaru with Fast from Toshiro. Which can equate to 3-6 attacks per Ashigaru depending on your success and ability to charge.


Yin is a great control piece in that she can hold models in place if she is engaged with them or if she uses The Fear Behind the Eyes.  Gnawing Fear is just great for Yin herself as well as the Spirit Porter and Chiaki who can then give Chi out more reliably. She is also tough.


Chiaki is a very good support/control piece with her ability to hand out Chi and remove conditions/heal. She is also frustrating to go after with her high Manipulative but she is very soft but not usually high priority. A trick with her if you need to heal Yan Lo and don't want to lose the Chi condition is that you can give him Slow with her upgrade's ability and remove that instead.


The Soul Porter is great for upping the mobility of your Ancestors and also pretty damn decent at generating Chi for them. Just be careful because he can be killed really, really easily. He also helps against other models that would remove Chi from your ancestors.


Yan Lo is quite an odd master because he starts out the game pretty average but becomes ridiculously powerful through Chi. What I learned from playing him is that it is a good idea to spend Chi on defensive upgrades earlier in the game and then focus on building Chi up to up your Ca. Fortify the Spirit is an awesome upgrade and can really toughen him up. Essentially Tomes are worth two more than the card says. Instill youth is very good once you have some Chi and expensive but useful if you don't. Spirit Barrage is great but has relatively low damage output for a master while Brutal Khakkahara is less reliable but, as the name suggests, brutal. Great against low Defense models. Reliquary I think i actually pretty great considering that with Chi it is easier to cast and Enforcers/Henchmen are brought back for a pretty low cost. They're all tough and/or useful so it is good. Unless you have stacked up defensive upgrades and Chi for Fortify the Spirit Lightning Dance can be a risky move but it is very good for getting enemy models into trouble. Same with Hunpo Assault what is nice about this ability is that for high Df/low Wound/ Spirit Barage works a charm and for low Df/high Wound/high Armour/hard to wound models Brutal Khakahara is amazing.

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As for the upgrades (You meant the Ascendant ones I believe) No one can actually take them from the beginning. They all have the requirement "Ascendant" which no one has, so no one is allowed to buy them during list building. Yan Lo has a tactical action that says to attach them, allowing him to bypass that restriction. None of the Ascendant upgrades can be paid for though.

As for Ancestors that are summoned back into play, they come in without any upgrades as per the rulebook. Unless something specifically says they would keep them, models are summoned without upgrades. Nothing in Reliquary changes that, so summoned Ancestors are vanilla.

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I agree with Chris_Havoc, the Soul Porter is a very fragile model but very useful. I want to try using Lightning Dance to send wounded models to the Soul Porter to be finished off with the spear (which has a pretty decent attack value for a totem) for the two points of Chi.

At full power Yan Lo is Df/Wp 8 (on a Tome), Impossible To Wound and Incorporeal with 12 wounds. You can also stack Armor on him with Transcendence and make a tiny old man immune to sidewinder missiles.

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I'm gonna have my first game this evening with him and i'm excited. What does a typicall 50SS list look like (not too scheme specific)?
I kinda want to bring Izamu, Yin and Toshiro but then i have to cut some Ashigaru, chiaki or the soulporter ... probably chiaki ...
I want to play Izamu and Yin with the dmg-Aura (doent have the name right now) ... i hope i can fit everything in a 50SS list though

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I agree with Chris_Havoc, the Soul Porter is a very fragile model but very useful. I want to try using Lightning Dance to send wounded models to the Soul Porter to be finished off with the spear (which has a pretty decent attack value for a totem) for the two points of Chi.

At full power Yan Lo is Df/Wp 8 (on a Tome), Impossible To Wound and Incorporeal with 12 wounds. You can also stack Armor on him with Transcendence and make a tiny old man immune to sidewinder missiles.



Yeah with tomes and ascendant upgrades Yan Lo is really hard to actually touch and even harder to kill. However, I think the max bonus for Fortify the Spirit is +2 so you'll be on 7 rather than 8 but still in really good stead.


Just checked this because it came up in a game last night, it can go up to +3 if his chi is high enough.

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