Superior Tactics #45: Bayushi Yojiro

Where did Superior Tactics go? In the past month and a half, I've had a lot going on in my life besides gaming, and Superior Tactics fell by the side. Superior Tactics is not dead, but I don't feel comfortable claiming that it is a weekly strategy column anymore. Please continue to send me articles, and I'll process them as time presents itself. Some teachers have a regular schedule. Others arrive suddenly, release a flurry of wisdom, and depart while the students digest it all. Who knows when Shinsei may turn up?

Andrew Getting (aka Bayushi Chimizu) penned this article on a rather queer Scorpion fellow.

Every so often, there's one or two characters in each clan that's so outlandish, so utterly against type that he becomes one of the signature characters for that clan. From Yasuki Taka to Toku, these people are some of the most beloved characters in the game.

And then there's Bayushi Yojiro. Some of the Scorpion hate him. Some of the Scorpion adore him. Some just scratch their head and wonder how he became daimyo. Some just think it's cool that Wick's in charge again.

And some say meet the new boss, same as the old boss, but I digress.

Bayushi Yojiro - Common Personality (SCC2) - 2F - 2C - 5HR - 6G - 2PH
Scorpion Clan Imperial Magistrate. Will not join a 'Shadow Stronghold of the Bayushi' Scorpion Clan player. Has a 2F/2C bonus while you have the Imperial Favor.
Bayushi Yojiro - Uncommon Personality (HE5) - 2F - 4C - 0HR - 7G - 2PH
Scorpion Clan Magistrate. Samurai. Experienced. Unique.
If your family honor ever drops below zero, Yojiro is destroyed.
Yojiro may attach the Ancestral Sword of the Scorpion without gold cost. Any action or card effect which would dishonor Yojiro does not dishonor him but produces all other effects normally.
Bayushi Yojiro - Rare Personality (SW) - 3F - 5C - -HR - 10G - 2PH
Scorpion Clan Champion. Samurai. Experienced 2. Unique.
Yojiro will only join a Scorpion player.
Your Scorpion Personalities each gain +1 Personal Honor.
Open: If you have no Shadowlands cards in play, permanently lower Yojiro's Chi by 1 to raise your Family Honor to your starting Family Honor. This is not considered an honor gain.

When SCC2 came out, most Scorpion rolled their eyes and mumbled about how great a Crane Yojiro was. While he's since been co-opted by Toturi's Army and the Unicorn, Yojiro still has some fine points to consider. For one, he is an outstanding target for gaining the Kolat or Ninja trait (through Kolat Master, Shiryo no Goju, or Kaagi's Journal), if only to give him the Night Medallion. Suddenly he's 8/8 with 4 PH when you've got the favor.

Ironically, his Experienced 2 form means that he's more likely to be used in future Scorpion decks now that he's abandoned his junshin ways. Note that, unlike his experienced forms, Yojiro is not a samurai. Also note that his art will be fixed in Gold. No more cross-dressing for this Scorpion.

Flash forward nine months. Extended Jade is the dominant environment after GenCon '98, and the Scorpion are making do with expensive, less-useful Personalities. Suddenly, Yojiro returns. Nobody in the Scorpion could be less happy at receiving a flavor Personality during such a lean time. But wait - Yojiro does have benefits. In addition to the sword ability, Yojiro actually works fairly well in a dishonor deck that can stay above 0 honor. For starters, he can defend Ryoko Owari without problems. He can also use Bayushi Technique, almost making that card not suck. Though still not a stellar Personality, he's actually miles ahead of his basic form. Also note that Yojiro is no longer Imperial; too bad, Toturi. [Yojiro can't actually perform actions, like Bayushi Technique, which dishonor the performer as a cost, since he cancels the cost. He can Frenzy away, though. -- ed.]

Nearly two years goes by. The Scorpion return from exile, Aramoro regains their lands, and Kachiko and Aramoro take a nosedive. The outcast becomes the champion, and lo, he does rock.

Okay, no Corrupt Geisha Houses. No sweat; Black Markets work almost as well, and Yojiro's still pretty snazzy in a dishonor deck, letting you get the favor that much faster.

Yojiro's personal honor clause has been ruled to affect *all* of your Scorpion, too, including those not in play. Suddenly, all of those jokes about honor running Scorpion aren't funny anymore. 2PH and 3PH is more than enough to begin the run, and the Yogo SH has so many ways of winning battles that it's obscene. The Elite followers and especially the Spirit Guides become more reasonable, as well as making the Scorpion that much more resistant to cards targeting their personal honor.

Then there's the combo ramifications. If you give him the Night Medallion, and your 1 PH Scorpion become 4 PH. Use the Wasp or Lady of the Forest Sensei, and you've got more access to 2PH (3PH under Yojiro) "Scorpion." Combined with judicious use of Taberu XP, Wind's Truth, and Dirty Politics, and there's a real, strong chance at a Scorpion honor-runner in some environments.

Finally, Yojiro shrugs off the last vestiges of his magisterial background. He belongs to the Scorpion through and through.

[Additional: Bayushi Yojiro is one of those fun Personalities who are so mediocre that one must search through other mediocre cards to come up with entertaining uses. Shirasu Sensei will never cause the experienced Yojiro to kill himself, and he'll be in-clan. The same Yojiro has little to fear while wielding Bitter.

The experienced 2 version allows for some more productive combinations. Any non-shadowlands card that produces large honor losses is a good candidate; The Bayushi Labyrinth is one good example, as is Sacrificial Altar. He helps the Shadow Stronghold of the Bayushi go low when needed (Dark Lord's Favor, Breach of Etiquette) but stay out of danger range. Also note that you can buy a big Shadowlands personality and then untaint it with Ashlim before using Yojiro, though that's a bit contrived. Even more contrived, two players with a Bayushi Yojiro, an Emerald Armor, a Ninja Shapeshifter, a Dragon Pearl, and Hantei XVI can produce an impasse without anyone to blame.

Don't forget that these tricks are open to any clan which would like to overlay the experienced 2 Yojiro on the nonexperienced one. However, such decks may have trouble fronting the five honor required for the original version.

Although all three Yojiro versions are in Gold Edition, none scream out for interesting combinations. Even the Scorpion don't have many opportunities to lose honor besides Shadowlands cards, and few cards dishonor your own personalities beneficially. In a slower environment, a Yogo honor deck sporting the nonexperienced Yojiro and the champion version might stand a chance. Be on the lookout for funky honor loss and dishonor cards, though. -- ed.]

Card text copyright FRPG, 1995-2000.
Article text copyright Andrew Getting, 2000, edited by Trevor Stone.

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