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The Great Wastes

A brand new card to Combat in Kowloon is an awesome new Feng Shui Site called The Great Wastes. For me, this card is a real throw back to Magic: The Gathering and feels like the unholy love child of a Feng Shui Site and the Magic Card Icy Manipulator. Despite only having 4 body, this site has incredible power and versatility and I predict we’ll be seeing a *lot* of it in constructed play in the future. Defensively, this card is awesome as it allows you to turn a character before they get a chance to attack. Your opponent just played a Neutron Bomb followed by a Golden Gunman? Make him visit The Great Wastes and then mop up in your turn. This makes for a really good “delay” effect as opponent’s commit a lot of power for a big hitter, giving you time to prepare and slowing them down. Playing a hitter and then burning for power is one of the best ways to ramp up in any game, so delaying an opponent in a strong position is a great play.

However, this card also has a lot of use offensively too. You can use it before attacking to turn potential interceptors to give you a safer passage to a Feng Shui Site. Or you can attack with a Superleaper and turn a character when they block to render their efforts futile.

If this card could only turn characters, it would be a great card, but this site allows you to turn *any* card, and this is what makes it somewhat bonkers. Is an opponent’s Fox Pass stopping your attacks? Turn it and it’s no longer an issue. Are opponent’s getting cute with utility characters such as Vivisector and Chinese Doctor? Turn them early in a turn to make sure their effect is limited or wasted.
This card does have some drawbacks. 4 Body is obviously on the weak side of being able to withstand punishment, and being Unique means there are likely to be other copies out there. Opponent’s can also get wise to the card and attack as their first action in a Main Shot to prevent you being able to turn their big hitter before they can attack. However, looking at what this card offers as a whole, there is no doubt that this is an incredible site and that it will fit seamlessly into many decks out there.


Dockyard Analysis

After excitedly ripping open my CiK starter set to see the brand new cards, one card jumped out at me straight away as potentially being super powerful, the brand new Feng Shui Site, Dockyard. Bad starts are the bane of all Shadowfist players as no matter how well constructed your deck is, sometimes the card gods are not with you and you can go 3 or 4 turns without seeing a Foundation character to get you started. Dockyard offers many possible desirable outcomes. You can use it to fetch a resource character AND play a foundation character from it in the same turn to help you get going. You could use it in a multi-faction deck to fetch your secondary / splash faction and speed up your initial ramp-up. Or you could even use it in a “jank” style way to fetch characters with useful abilities such as Portal Jockey to cause some mischief.

Of all these, the one that stood out to me as a massive useful (and borderline broken) play was the ability to trim an already small (60 cards) deck by taking out some foundation characters and replacing 5 Feng Shui Sites with Dockyard. My working theory was that in a 60 card deck with 10 Feng Shui and 8/9 foundation characters, I could potentially drop down to 5 foundation characters and use the Dockyards to fetch them. The idea being that in mid / late game my deck would not have as many foundation characters / Feng Shui sites and I’d be more likely to draw something useful instead. It would also mean I could put more useful attacking / versatile cards into my deck and give myself more chances of winning. In theory it sounded like a very strong play and I thought that this card might be the cause of rocket powered mono-faction decks that were untouchable.

Thankfully, after initial testing, I don’t think this is the case. In a dream scenario, you start with a Dockyard, play and reveal it, then fetch a foundation character and have then got yourself going and trimmed your deck mid-game on turn 1. Whilst this is brilliant when it happens, most of the time you tend to draw a Dockyard when it’s no longer as useful. If you already have a site / foundation character, then playing another 6 point site isn’t always ideal. Of course it allows you to fetch another character to play, but unless you have a really useful foundation character like Portal Jockey, playing another 1 pointer is often a waste of time and power. So whilst it’s true that being able to trim your deck out and add more useful cards is a great benefit, losing the ability to play more powerful Feng Shui Sites is a high price to pay, especially given the power of sites such as LaGrange Four and The Great Wastes.

Personally speaking, in mono faction decks, I think Dockyard is unnecessary, as a well built mono-faction deck should never really struggle to get going anyway, unless the aforementioned card gods are against you. However, I think this card is still really useful for dual or tri-faction decks. In decks like those, I don’t think I would remove foundation characters, but I would use Dockyard with the existing mix to give myself just a bit more speed and protection against being foundation screwed.

Of course, I now await someone to come up with a deck that does break this card completely, but I look forward to seeing it happen.

Golden Comeback!

Combat in Kowloon

With the release of Combat in Kowloon, Shadowfist returns once more! The game that just doesn’t know when it’s dead is now run by Inner Kingdom games and brings a series of new cards to the mix.

To celebrate the occasion, a number of UK Shadowfist veterans have setup this blog to discuss, analyse and evaluate all aspects of the game.