Superior Tactics #39: Kakita Ariteko

Within moments, he was dead. Ariteko sighed, leaving behind the trappings of medicine
Tom: The origami stethoscope, the origami tongue depressor...
and the soothing herbs. Another, soon enough, would need them.
-- Ree Soesbe and Roger Giner-Sorolla, "The MiSTing of Morikage, part 1"

As any swordsman (or thoughtful sword) knows, the wise warrior understands well the strategies his opponent will use. In that vein, Scott Herbert (aka Bayushi Tasogare) would like to share his wisdom.

"The best personality Crane received in Jade" was one thing I heard about today's personality. The Crane adore her. The Scorpion fear her. The Bloodspeakers sacrificed her. She is, of course,

Kakita Ariteko - Common Personality (HE6) - 0F - 2C - 2HR - 2G - 2PH
Crane Clan Artisan.
Open: Bow Ariteko to restore a Personality to honorable status.

Let's start this analysis with a few numbers... Two-Face would just love our little Ariteko here. 2 Honor for 2 Gold. As good as a Sanctified Temple, and can be used in just about any Stronghold. She's only SH honor for Crane, of course, but any Clan that has problems with dishonored personalities (Phoenix, Unicorn, and Crab spring to mind) can make good use of her. Her 2 HR is reasonable in all but corrupt decks, so she's a good personality to use in other Clans.

Now, what makes this personality just that amazing is that she shares a coveted spot along with Bayushi Tangen and little Toku in that she costs (at least to her Clan) nothing but the Dynasty slot she comes in. While Tangen is the Bowing Machine in the Yogo Towers, Ariteko remains constantly bowed in Crane decks as well, though that may not always be the best use for her as I state below.

Naturally, Ariteko is at her best in a Crane honor-running deck as an anti-Dishonor engine. Before the much-rumored MRP to Kosaten Shiro, she is honor off of virtually any holding the Crane choose to place in their deck. However, speaking from someone who hates to see her hit the table, let me give you a few pointers on using Ariteko against a Scorpion dishonor deck.

  1. Never bow her on your turn. I can't emphasize this enough. Do not use her for the Imperial Favor, unless you know I don't hold Unrequited Love. Do not use her Chi to blow up a Den of Spies. As Vaughn pointed out in the 10/31/00 Rules, neither she nor anything else can rehonor your bowed Ariteko. And I'll Unrequited [Love]/Shame/Test [of Honor] her before you can blink, if you give me the chance.
  2. Rehonor your non-samurai only. If Reju is out, and Ariteko is out, and I have shugenja with Secrets on the Wind, and I dishonor Reju, chances are I'm trying to get you to use Ariteko so I can use Dark Lords Favor and Test of Honor on her or something. Ariteko is the worst threat against current Scorpion dishonor. If I Shame Reju, seppuku him. Ariteko is your best defense against the Scorpion. Don't lose her.
  3. If you can put both Ariteko and another personality out on your turn, do so. The 2 honor you could have gained by paying her cost will not help in the long run, and having her as another personality always helps. On another note, against typical Dishonor decks, if you run Iaijutsu Art and 3C personalities, you won't have many people to challenge. Ariteko could be a dueling machine, properly done, against Dishonor. If you lose the Iaijutsu Art, chances are I focused a Rise from the Ashes or Force of Will, and you can even just bow Ariteko to rehonor herself. That would be one of the few times you would want to bow Ariteko on your turn, since if I Unrequited Love her, that is one more card that I've had to play.

    Now, this article has been mainly on anti-dishonor measures and how Ariteko can fit into them, but she can also belong in various other decks, as seen below.