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Superior Tactics #22: Moment of Brilliance

Have you had a stroke of inspiration, a moment of brilliance? Tim Maruyama has, and submitted it to Superior Tactics for your benefit.

Moment of Brilliance - Uncommon Action (HB) - 0G - 1Fo
Battle: Target a Personality in this battle. The Personality gains the Tactician trait until the end of the battle.

With the recent introduction of more personalities with the Tactician trait (Oseuth, Ikoma Gunjin, and Ikoma Ken'O, to name a few) and cards which make special use of them, it's not surprising that Tactician decks have been popping up regularly, especially under the banner of the Lion. Unfortunately, these decks lack speed compared to many other decks because the linchpin personalities - the Tacticians - are still relatively expensive; for an honorable Lion player, even a 6-gold personality like Ikoma Gunjin is tough to get out early. That's where Moment of Brilliance comes in.

The most obvious use of this card is to give a personality a good Force bonus -- better than a Charge or Frenzy if you discard a card with a high enough focus value. This means that you don't have to wait for your expensive Tacticians to come out, and you can potentially take a second-turn province with a single Toku under the right circumstances (man, is there anything that guy can't do?). The nice thing about Moment of Brilliance is that it has none of the drawbacks or restrictions of other in-hand force boosters like Frenzy or Destiny Has No Secrets, and it can be used by any personality regardless of clan affiliation, personal honor, stats, or which side of the battle he's on. With such a potentially high Force bonus at your disposal it can make anyone a threat, possibly forcing your opponent to spend his efforts eliminating your newly-christened Tactician while leaving your other personalities alone. On the down side, it's a two-card combo, needing at least one other card in your hand to make use of it (preferably one with a decent focus value; using a Kharmic Strike or Another Time just won't cut it).

Moment of Brilliance can give a deck flexibility by allowing any of your personalities to make use of all those cards which target your personalities with the Tactician trait. (Well, *almost* all of them - it still doesn't allow you to target the personality with Tactical Maneuvers.) For instance, you can make someone like Kakita Toshimoko a one-man wrecking crew by playing White Shore Plain - add some Fortresses of the Dragonfly for even more mayhem! Target Shioda with it and bow him instead of experienced Suana to play Shifting Ground. For an added surprise, play it in combination with Yokatsu Sensei or Troops from the Woods to attach a Lion's Pride to Yasuki Nokatsu. You can even recycle Oseuth for another use of his trait - use his printed Tactician trait on the defensive, play Counterattack, then give him a Moment of Brilliance and use the Tactician trait again.

Oddly enough, Moment of Brilliance may not fit into some Tactician decks because of its focus value of one. Some Tactician decks out there use cards like Gambling House, The Kharmic Wheel Spins, and Hoshi's Challenge; using a card with such a low focus value can be a huge risk which can possibly outweigh the benefits in these decks. Then again, it sure is nice if you flip one in a Test of Honor...

Tim Maruyama
a.k.a. Kitsu Shigeru, Lion Clan Filker

[Additional: This card can't be used to give a personality a second shot. You can't use Hida Yasamura's ability and then play Moment of Brilliance to let him gain a personal force bonus. Oseuth works because he loses the trait and can thus gain it again (in a different battle).

Moment of Brilliance takes two cards to get any sort of force bonus. If a player's also losing cards to Merchant Caravans and other actions, she may not be able to spare two cards, especially one with high focus value. However, two cards for four force is a fairly decent cost/effect ratio, especially since only one of the cards is specific (that is, you can have 30 four focus cards in a deck if you want). In order to produce four force from the fate hand by other means, at least two cards must be played anyway. Of course, Matsu Goehei will take a Kyuden Yoritomo province with a Charge and Strength of Purity while he won't with Moment of Brilliance and Counterattack, but for generic Personalities, two cards and no gold for four force is as good as it gets. And, of course, if you only need two force, you can rid yourself of something less precious than your clan sword.

Moment of Brilliance can target anyone in the battle. Crafty players should always keep an eye out for cards which can do things to opposing units (unlike several force boosters). Unfortunately, there aren't any cards (yet) that hurt a Personality because she's a tactician or do something special if opposed by a Tactician. Of course, if your opponent decides to use the trait, you can have several Hoshi Wayan thank him, but almost any player will think thrice before using a force bonus given to him by his opponent. Moment of Brilliance can't even take the place of Fan of Command in the silly Ninube Ogoku/Know Your Enemy infinite combo. -- ed.]

Card text copyright FRPG, 1995-2000.
Article text copyright Tim Maruyama, 2000, edited by Trevor Stone.

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