Malifaux Burns Part 7: The Ten Thunders

The Ten Thunders thrive on chaos.  They’re opportunists, always looking for an edge that they can leverage against the more established factions, and it’s possible that the Burning Man is just that edge.  Of course, he’s not the kind of person you can blackmail or threaten… it’s quite possible that the Thunders’ attempts to benefit from the chaos engulfing Malifaux will backfire.  But at least they’ll probably backfire in an entertaining way.

Yan Lo, the Spirit Walker

when another boy is a balloon. Credit: Wyrd Games

The Burning Man causes madness and disaster wherever he flies.  His effect on the spirit world is harder for normal folks to see, but just as profound.  Where he passes, great rents appear in the Paths that Yan Lo walks – wounds in the spiritual essence of reality.  These wounds can be repaired, but only with great efforts.  Yan Lo has to spend more and more time on the Paths lately, and less and less anchored to reality… he has to rely on his descendants to keep him informed, and tethered to world of flesh.

Spirit Walker is more of an Ancestor than ever, and that’s reflected in his core mechanic: now he has a Reliquary, just like the others.  He no longer has the time or inclination to Ascend; he’s as powerful as he’s gonna get right from the start.  Trust me, that’s more than powerful enough.

Severed from the world of the living, Spirit Walker’s Mv is only 2, but he basically never has to take a Walk action.  At the start of the game, attach his Reliquary to a friendly Retainer.  Whenever that model moves – any type of move, for any reason – you place Yan Lo within 3″ of them.  That model also gains Laugh Off, so your opponent can’t move them around, and Release the Soul, which kicks the Reliquary over to the nearest friendly Retainer minion so you can’t permanently lose it (at least until you lose all of your minions).  You can pass it around to a friendly model within 6″ for an action.

So if Spirit Walker never has to spend AP walking, what can he spend it on?  Well, he’s got the Dreamer’s Twist Reality attack, with the very nasty Stunning Strike and Hole in the World triggers to stun or teleport enemies around.  He’s also got a stat 7 Obey, with a tome trigger to give out Focused to a non-Ancestor target.  He can Weary Road to push a nearby model for a bonus action (such as, say, his Reliquary bearer) and Final Wishes lets him sift the top five cards of his deck – and has a trigger to hand out the Reliquary of any one Ancestor you hired this game, just to beef up your team a bit.

The Obey is the most eye-catching part of his card, and the Lingering Voice ability means that if he’s targeting a friendly Retainer with a Reliquary (either his or one that he handed out with Final Wishes) he builds in both the mask and the tome to his attack, effectively letting him Obey and get the trigger for a Focus for free.  These Obeys also ignore concealment.  Rounding out his front of card is Incorporeal to go with his 6/7 defensive statline and Clear to Path to passively let him remove markers to draw cards.

New Yan Lo is one of the most busted Masters in the game, if not the most busted.  He has incredible versatility, since he can Obey friendlies to hand out a Focus and an AP with a suitless 7.  He draws cards and fixes your deck.  He’s reasonably tough to kill.  He has the only stoneable Hole in the World trigger in the game.  His Reliquary even gives the model to which it’s attached a bonus action to make Yan Lo target them with an instant out of sequence Obey – which means he can cross pretty much the whole board in a single turn.  It’s absolutely wild how flexible and powerful he is.  Run, don’t walk, to your LGS today, you filthy Resser players.

Mei Feng, Foreman

proper PPE for welding: 1) mask 2) one metal armband 3) raggedy-ass poncho Credit: Wyrd Games

Mei Feng is in quite a pickle.  The Three Kingdoms are, well, three kingdoms, but the Katanaka family runs the show, which means that the highest-ranking positions in the syndicate are mostly filled with Nipponese.  Zhongguo gets short shrift, even though it is currently languishing under the heel of the Guild and fighting a guerilla war for freedom.  Mei Feng tried to help her homeland once, and Misaki nearly killed her.  The two women have come to an agreement, but Mei Feng certainly isn’t thrilled about it.  And that’s leaving aside her loyalty to her rail workers.  She’s definitely waffling in her loyalty, and in these troubled times, she’s forced to step forward as a leader to keep her people safe.

Original Mei Feng was a freight train, barreling forward in your enemy’s face.  Foreman is, well, a foreman, keeping her people safe and directing their actions.  She has two powerful defensive auras: a 12″ one that keeps her crew safe from Hazardous Terrain and an 8″ one that gives out Shielded +1 to friendly Foundry models during the Start Phase.  One Shielded may not seem like much, but it’s a fairly big deal when almost the whole crew has armor already – that’s a lot of survivability.  She’s also got great scrap marker synergy; Heated Metal says that once per activation, when a piece of scrap is dropped within 8″, enemy models in base contact with it take a point of damage; and once they’re on the board, Iron Plating says she can remove a scrap marker within 2″ to reduce an incoming attack’s damage to 0.

She’s lost her melee punch, now using only a Modified Welder that deals low damage or heals a friendly Construct by 2.  But she’s picked up Maxine’s Impromptu Invention, letting her hand out any condition she wants, and with the Workplace Efficiency trigger she can make the target take a non-charge General action – even Masters!  Handing out Slow or Stunned to enemies, or Fast to friendlies, is very very strong – there are some serious beaters in the Foundry keyword and when they’re operating with Focus and extra AP they’re truly scary.

Her Lay Track bonus action is a fairly unique, shockwave-like attack – she drops a scrap within 8″ (triggering Heated Metal) and then each model in the area between her and the scrap must test Df or take damage and gain stunned.  Rounding out her kit, she can remove two scrap markers within 4″ to just summon a Metal Gamin, no flip required.

This Mei Feng is much stronger than the original.  Her crew absolutely vomits out scrap, and now each marker dropped pings out damage and theoretically turns into a metal gamin, which can spew out even more.  Mei Feng herself is hideously hard to remove due to Iron Plating, and the amazing flexibility of Impromptu Invention means she almost always has something good to do.

Jakob Lynch, Dark Bet

you, uh… you feeling ok, buddy?

Jakob Lynch is not feeling ok.  Nekima orchestrated an attack on the Honeypot for reasons of her own, which didn’t go so well – two of the Half-Bloods she sent didn’t make it home, and Lynch survived.  But the place was pretty smashed up.  He’d barely recovered from that blow when the Burning Man arrived.  Lynch escaped the madness on the streets, but even in the Honeypot, he no longer felt safe.  It’s enough to drive a man to drink… and when you chug enough Brilliance-laced whiskey, even someone with Lynch’s legendary resistance to Brilliance starts to feel a bit strange.

If there was any doubt about who was really in charge at the Honeypot, it’s gone now.  Hiring this Lynch means that the the Hungering Darkness attaches the Endless Hunger upgrade at the start of the game – which means it, and not Lynch, is now the leader.  That means, yes, a 3-AP Huggy.  It also gives the Darkness a Demise ability: when it dies, it teleports to Lynch, and heals equal to the amount of Brilliance on him… and he takes that much damage.  The Darkness has started to drink his soul.

He starts with five Brilliance, and is basically a super-Illuminated.  He’s got their Tear Apart action, with the Sharpened Brilliance and Light Inside triggers to give them Brilliance or discard it to deal more damage.  He’s also got Dragged Into the Dark, a tactical action that can yoink the Darkness or any model with 3 or more Brilliance from 6″ away and place them in base contact.  Looming Eclipse lets him cash in his Brilliance to heal nearby models and stack Brilliance on them, and Feed the Darkness is a bonus action to put up an aura that forces nearby models to test at the end of their activation or gain Brilliance.  On the front of his card he still rigs the deck, but he also has Luck Thief, which makes him incredibly frustrating to kill.  The Delirium ability functions a lot like Pandora’s Misery; when a model within 6″ gains a Brilliance token, he can either ping it for 1 damage or push it 2″.

Dark Bet does three things: spread Brilliance absolutely everywhere, keep his crew healthy, and supercharge the Darkness.  The Darkness is nasty enough on its own; with 3 AP and a recurring revive, it’s downright nightmarish.  Dark Bet can also act as a taxi for it, letting it spend all of its AP obeying and dealing Severe 6s to people.

Dark Bet is an absolute grand slam of a design.  The flavor/mechanics pairing is off the charts (he’s slowly succumbing to the corruptive force he once spread!).  The gameplay is great, as you are forced to carefully balance his Brilliance count to keep him alive, with plenty of ways to gain more or to cash it in.  And he’s very, very powerful, a strong all-rounder and one you can play in a wide variety of pools.  One of the high points of Malifaux Burns, and anyone who’s been Honeypot-curious should check this guy out.

Misaki Katanaka, Fractured

15 minutes into plotting to rule malifaux and she give you this look. Credit: Wyrd Games

Misaki is finding it hard to talk to people lately.  She killed her dad, which, you know, kinda sucks but who can you talk to about it?  And he was a jerk anyways.  But now she’s seeing him, and he’s taunting her, and also there’s black ink or shadow or something coming off of her and it’s a whole thing.  She’s in charge of the Ten Thunders, though, so she can’t exactly take a personal day.  She just has to muscle through.

Fractured is much more of a politician and general than a murder-ninja.  She’s hung up her bisento, and that robe makes it a little hard to dart from shadow to shadow.  Instead, she’s picked up a fun new tool: Obey.

The shadows still do her bidding, of course; when one is placed nearby, she gains Shielded, and not only does she ignore Concealment but she can build in a suit to her duel totals if she’s targeting a model within 3″ of a friendly Shadow Marker.  In order to help her spread them, she can drop a Shadow Marker when a Last-Blossom or enemy model takes an action generated by any non-Charge effect (so an Obey, but also things like Why Hello, Love) or gains Fast, and she has also picked up the Ink-Tipped Dart attack, a 1/3/5 ranged attack that drops a Shadow Marker into base contact with the target.

Her Obey has two great triggers, Will of the Corrupted to Injure the target and Will of the Oyabun to Focus them – and since she has the mask she needs already built in, you can take your pick with your free suit.  Her third attack action, Twisting Paths, is another control tool, letting you teleport the target into base contact with a Shadow Marker within 8″ – though they have to have concealment to begin with, and it’s restricted to enemies or Last-Blossom friendlies.  It also has a very cool trigger, Wrapped in Shadow, which can only affect friendlies; after teleporting the target, you bury them, and at the start of their activation they may unbury in contact with any friendly Shadow Marker.  You can yeet a model all the way across the table with this.  Finally, she has Hidden Allegiances, a weird variant on A Weary Road; it ignores Range and LOS, but can only target models within 3″ of a Shadow Marker.

Fractured is all about spreading as much Shadow across the board as you can, and the extent you can do that will determine how successful you are.  If you can blanket the board in darkness, she can teleport her models around, push and Obey enemies, and generally be a huge nuisance.  If you can’t, she’ll struggle to do much.  I’m not sure if her more subtle control tools are enough to make up for the loss of killing power, but at least she’s trying something different!

Shenlong, the Teacher

if do right, no can… shit, i already used this one!!! Credit: Wyrd Games

When the Governor-General became the Burning Man, the Dragon tried to ascend, too.  Tried to.  It tore Shenlong apart and burst out of his body, but the sudden failure of Kitchener’s ritual thwarted its plan and forced it to retreat; it rebuilt its host and took up residence again.  But now Shenlong knows that the Dragon is not his friend.  It is not on his side and it does not have his best interests in mind – nor those of his students.  Shenlong has resolved to strengthen his mind as much as he’s strengthened his body; to study, and meditate, and figure out a way to protect himself and his students from the Dragon.

Sadly, this means that Shenlong isn’t really tapping into the Ass-Beating Kata that his original is so famous for.  Happily, it means he has a whole new bag of tricks.  Foremost among these is Shifting Form.  At the start of the game, he attaches one of his Style upgrades.  Thereafter, whenever any friendly Monk activates, it may discard a Style upgrade attached to it to flip to any other Style.  That’s right – any monk.  Teacher takes his job seriously, and after years of just flying crane kicking his way around the battlefield, he’s decided to spread the love around.

This comes from his bonus action, Great Teacher; he can discard a card to give all friendly Minions within 6″ of himself a +twist on all duels for the rest of the turn.  That’s pretty sweet – though it is a tight bubble, making it hard to benefit from his Keyword’s mobility, and to be honest Monk minions are kinda naff.  However, the ability has a built-in trigger to attach any Style upgrade to a Monk within range – not a Monk minion, just a Monk.  So you can give the Four Winds Golem or Sensei Yu a style.  There are some limitations here – you can only have one Style on a given Monk at a time, and you probably want to have 3 out at once rather than all 4, since once you have all 4 out you can’t swap them around (since you can only have one of each out at a time).  Still, the Style upgrades are hugely potent, and attaching them to other models really turns them up to 11.  This also lets you have more than one Style on the board at a time.

Beyond that, Shenlong has opted for a more subtle, scheme-focused playstyle.  Expert Educator means that any Monk within 12″ who would Concentrate can instead Interact by discarding a Chi token, and can do so even if engaged.  This is pretty sweet, although interacting while engaged is less significant for Strategies than it was before, since neither of the Strategies that requires Interact actions cares about engagement (well, Cursed Objects kinda does sometimes).  He’s got the standard Chi abilities that all Monks share, and Academic Superiority is kind of a fun little flex, forcing opponents within 6″ to ignore all the text on their Upgrades except for Insignificant.

His other actions are a little underwhelming, sadly.  Dawn Staff is a 2″ engage and has a built-in trigger to let him Concentrate, but at a Stat 5 2/3/4 it’s pretty weak.  Years of Practice lets him push a friendly 4″ and have them Concentrate, so that’s some AP transfer, but the Concentrate only happens to friendly Monks so you can’t really set up Samurai or Fuhatsu to wreck face with this.  And the River’s Wrath ability is a neat little shockwave that can pulse out of Shenlong or another Monk, but it’s only TN13 and only does 2 damage (though it does Stun) so it’s not lighting the world on fire.

The Style-sharing is pretty cool, but the rest of Teacher’s card falls a bit flat, and his Keyword really isn’t stellar – so a support Master isn’t as impressive as it might otherwise be.  Still, you gotta root for the key, and plenty of Schemes in GG3 really do care about interacting while engaged.

Asami Tanaka, Shintaku

in malifaux, tentacles come OUT of orifice. what a country! Credit: Wyrd Games

Asami is the poster girl for making the best out of a bad situation.  Sure, the Oni are actively trying to invade reality through the hole in her head, but at least she’s made a friend.  Yan Lo is, as has been previously intimated, not a very nice person, but at least he’s dedicated to the defeat of the Kimon and their dread master Lingxuzi.  Asami is growing into her power; she may not be able to free herself from Amanaku’s “gift,” but she’s wise to his tricks and smart enough to resist his wiles.  She’s nobody’s puppet, and if Lingxuzi thinks he can use her as a bridge to invade reality, he has another think coming.

First things first – like many summoners, Asami has lost her summons between versions.  Instead, she’s trying to get more use out of The Oni We Have At Home.  The primary mechanism by which she does this is via Rift Markers, which represent rifts into the Kimon dimension of Beyond.  She can create them via Into the Beyond, a Shockwave attack that leaves behind a Hazardous, Destructible Rift Marker.  Oni are immune to both the initial shockwave and the subsequent Hazardous effect of the Rift Marker.  Once the Rifts are open, she has a few ways to use them – primarily Dimensional Rifts, which lets any Oni ending a move within 1″ of Asami or a Rift Marker place anywhere within 8″ of itself, as long as its destination is also within 1″ of Asami or a Rift Marker.  Then it removes all Rift Markers within 1″ of itself.  That’s a mouthful, but basically: Rift Markers give you a free 8″ teleport to each other; Asami counts as a Rift Marker; and when you pop out you close the rift behind you.

She has a few other triggers to make use of them – Unstable Rift on her melee attack lets you push a Rift 4″ and, if it hits the target, you shunt them 4″ as well.  And Pulled In on her Into the Beyond shockwave lets you teleport any model damaged by the rift anywhere within 1″ of it.  Unfortunately, the Rift mechanic – while very cool – is somewhat limited.  You have to close rifts when you pop through them, and your opponent can just remove them whenever they want as they’re Destructible, and you can only get more by spamming a fairly unimpressive shockwave.  That’s a lot of AP investment for relatively little payoff.

Beyond the Rifts, she focuses largely on supporting Flicker Token mechanics; Flickering Lanterns lets any Oni that ends a move within 8″ of Asami discard a Flicker Token to gain a Shielded once per activation, which means as long as you’re keeping her relatively central you get one free Flicker Token per activation.  The Unstable Rift trigger also requires you to remove a Flicker Token from a nearby Oni.  She’s got kind of a neat payoff, too, in Wrath of the Kimon, a bonus action that lets an Oni activate twice this turn, but gain three Flicker Tokens (a lethal dose) at the start of its second activation.  As long as it has no Tokens to start with, Flickering Lanterns will keep it alive, so this is a low-risk way to drop six Jorogumo AP into your opponent’s face.  Finally, she’s got a pretty sweet ranged attack in Spiritual Invasion – low damage, but it Staggers or Injures the target and it has the fascination Possession trigger, which lets you Bury a nearby Oni.  When the buried model activates, it gets to pop out next to either Asami or the model you targeted.

Shintaku’s mobility is excellent, but that’s not really the Oni keyword’s problem.  Their models are fragile, and you used to be able to get around that by summoning them; in the absence of summons, the crew tends to wilt quickly.  Her model is cool as heck, though.

Youko Hamasaki, Unseen

that outfit is a bit loud for a ninja. maybe she’s trying to blend in with some theater curtains. Credit: Wyrd Games

Most people think Youko is just a frivolous geisha.  A few know that she’s a brilliant spymaster.  Almost none know that she’s also a trained killer… and few who learn that fact get a chance to tell anyone.  Youko silences threats to the Ten Thunders and the Qi and Gong in many ways, from blackmail and manipulation to a cut throat.  Dead men tell no tales, after all.

This Youko has pretty much all of the abilities you’d expect from a ninja: Stealth (can’t be attacked from more than 6″ away), Slippery (can only be engaged by models in base to base) and a neat Backstab (a Stat 7 2/3/4 attack that ignores Armor).

Of course, Youko wouldn’t be Youko without some sly tricks.  This time, they focus on what was originally a minor subtheme in the crew: the Distracted condition.  She can hand it out with Incriminating Evidence, which lets her cash in a Pass Token or card to Distract an enemy within 8″, and with Gather Intel, which lets her push a friendly target 5″ and then have it pulse out Distracted within 2″ to enemies that fail a TN 13 WP duel.  And once her targets are Distracted, she can use it for various neat effects: her Backstab can reduce the target’s Distracted to add damage 1 to 1 (to a maximum of +2), and Whispered Lies allows other friendly Qi and Gong models to build in a suit of their choice once per activation if there is +2 Distracted or more total on nearby enemies.  That’s a little fiddly, but the crew has lots of good triggers, and building your triggers in is always very strong.

The other tool this Youko brings to the table is card manipulation.  Information Broker lets her discard up to two cards and draw two cards from your discard pile (and then hand out one Distracted to a model near her or Chiyo).  This ability is bonkers, since if you activate later in the turn you are almost always switching two weak cards for two Severes, or even two 13s.  You can’t draw Jokers, but there are no other restrictions.  It doesn’t even have a TN!  Offensively, her bonus action Hidden Ledger lets her reveal the top seven cards of the opponent’s deck, pick a suit, and discard all the cards of that suit (shuffling the rest back in).  Where this really gets crazy is the triggers: Mind Games lets her hold back three cards and stack the top of the opponent’s deck with them after shuffling (have fun with three weaks!) and Black Stain lets you pick one of the discarded cards and remove it from the game entirely.  If your opponent isn’t on Dreamer, you can just permanently remove a 13 from their deck… as there’s no range on this ability, it’s conceivable that by the time she’s done activating on Turn 4 they have no 13s left.  That is brutal and combined with her amazing card draw lets you almost guarantee that you win duels.

Topping it all off is Cunning Patience, a replacement for Leverage… instead of getting a free Pass Token if your opponent has a revealed Scheme, you just get 2 of them, every turn, for free.  Again, just insanely powerful, guaranteeing you the last activation if you want it.  Youko is crazy strong and flexible, able to play into most pools in the game.

Kenshiro, the Tactician

come on man, just a little bit of sword. i need it, man, Credit: Wyrd Games

Kenshiro is a wise and ancient warrior – a hero once tricked by the demon dwelling within the Masamune Nihonto (actually the Tyrant Shez’uul).  He seeks to use the cursed blade to seal away the Beyond for good, and has thrown in with Yan Lo to help accomplish this great work.

Or else he’s working with the Viktorias, recognizing the sign of another great hero who has fallen under the evil sword’s spell, and together they will destroy the Masamune and free her from its grasp.

Or else he’s just an addict, jonesing for a fix.  When Titania claimed the sword, she cast out all the souls bound to the blade, and Kenshiro was tossed loose.  He’s been dead for ages, but he still remembers what it feels like to wield the Masamune.  He will do anything, say anything, to taste that power one more time.

Kenshiro may be an addict, but the man’s still got it.  His core mechanic is Tactics Tokens; you get two at the start of each turn, they carry over, and you can discard one at any time to let any friendly model Cheat Fate with the top card of your deck.

This ability is crazy strong – Som’er Teeth Jones had it in a 6″ aura and it was so good it had to be nerfed.  This is only 2x per turn, but it’s table-wide, and you won’t often need to do it that often.  He can also generate more with the Outwit trigger, too.

Beyond that, Kenshiro has the suite of abilities you’d expect for an Ancestor/Retainer ghost.  He’s Incorporeal, with Battle Tempo and a Reliquary that lets a friendly model generate one Tactics Token per turn.  He’s also got the kinda-neat Fleet of Foot ability, and 8″ aura that lets friendly Mercenaries or Retainers move instead of pushing – which means you can do non-linear charges!  For attacks, he’s got Reverse Momentum, a Stat 7 1/2/3 that moves the target up to 3″, but has a Ram trigger to becomes a 3/4/5 ignoring Armor and Incoroporeal, which whips ass.  He can also make the enemy Leader discard cards for each unrevealed scheme, but you don’t want this guy within 6″ of the enemy Leader all that often, since despite 6/6 defenses he’s a bit fragile.  Finally, his bonus actions can either push a scheme marker around or give you an aura that lets you look at the top two cards of your deck whenever a nearby model hits with a melee attack and draw any Jokers you see.  You have to put any non-Jokers back in the same order, but hey, free Joker-fishing.

Kenshiro is crazy good and an immediate staple in both keyword lists.  You probably won’t take him ook, but the combination of good mobility, good utility, and an attack that ranges from fair to bananas is enough.

Lady Yume

legs that go ALL the way up. Credit: Benjamin Porter (Ashenhold Art)

The Nightmare realm reaches everywhere: Earth, Malifaux, even the Beyond where Oni dwell.  Lady Yume has a foot in both worlds… with feet to spare.  An elder noppera-bo, she tends to devour travelers in Nightmare, but she can be called by those with links to the Beyond or the nightmare realm…

Yume’s a bit odd.  She’s pricy at 8 stones, but for that you get a Terrifying, Unimpeded beater with a 2/3/6 melee attack with great triggers.  When she activates, she can either discard a card you have removed from the game or add a Flicker token to a nearby model with From Beyond (she does not have From Beyond herself) to draw a card.  Whenever a model is placed within 6″ of her, she can also look at the top cards of that model’s deck and discard any non-Joker card with a value of 5 or less.  This basically means that, for Dreamer and Asami’s summoning and teleport shenanigans, she can filter bad cards out of your deck, and she can tax your resources to draw more.  She’s also got a fairly unique 12″ range attack that does exactly 1 damage and Injures the target, but it’s a stat 7 vs. willpower – inflicting Injured is very strong, and inflicting willpower duels specifically from long range is very good in Dreamer, who gets all kinds of bonuses when someone fails one (Yume herself heals 1 if an engaged enemy fails a Wp duel).

She can also Coil Around Prey, a strange 3″ range attack that’s a Stat 3 against Sz, and simply places the target in base contact with her… though with Bowled Over and Glimpse the Void triggers, it’s really for abducting enemy models and getting them out of position.

Yume is tough to use, and much stronger in Dreamer than in Oni, since they benefit more from the Wp shenanigans and pitching an exiled card is a much softer cost than gaining a flicker token.  Still, she has a place – if nothing else, a Stat 7 against Willpower that injures really sets you up to succeed.


no, i don’t know how to type the little lines over the “o”s. Credit: Wyrd Games

Shojo is just about my favorite pun in Malifaux.  She’s a real free spirit (waggles eyebrows).  She works at the Qi and Gong, and Youko knows better than to ask her any questions about where she goes (and why she takes the best sake with her when she does).  Of course, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that when she does take a leave of absence, it’s straight into the Bayou; humans are far too complicated, and there’s at least one crowd of gremlins who knows how to party.

Shojo, so you might expect, loooooves poison.  She’s Incorporeal and doesn’t take damage from poison, which is good, because you want a lot on her – she can remove 3 poison at the end of any model’s activation to gain a pass token, any number of times per turn.

This ability is straight-up busted.  Last activation is super super powerful in Malifaux, and Shojo can guarantee it – load her up with enough poison and she’ll print as many tokens as you need.  That by itself would make her playable, but she’s got plenty of other stuff on her card.  When an enemy model within 6″ fails a Wp duel, she can either have it gain Poison or gain some herself.  This synergizes well with her Have a Drink melee attack, which hands out Poison, and Biting Insult, a ranged attack that hands out Distracted and gives you a pass token if the enemy hasn’t yet activated.  She’s got great triggers, too – Beautiful Clothes hands out Distracted on her melee attack, Making Conversation lets her heal a nearby friendly, and Fussy Company lets her take the Boring Conversation action for free with a +twist to the duel.  Oh yeah, she has Boring Conversation.  It owns.

Should you choose to just take the Boring Conversation action on its own, she has built in triggers to either self-heal 2 and gain poison or discard a pass token to drop a Scheme Marker in base contact.  And to top it all off, her Slurred Speech bonus action sets up a 6″ aura in which you can discard a pass token to reduce the value of an opponent’s cheated card by 3 – a massive debuff that makes it almost impossible to lose if you can afford to cheat (and thereby force your opponent to cheat as well).  She’s even got the Making Conversation trigger on that too!

Shojo is incredibly strong.  She’s very fragile – 5/4 defenses and 6 health with only Incorporeal to keep her alive means she’ll drop like a sack of flour if anyone looks at her wrong – but if they’re just hitting her with chip shots she has enough incidental healing to stay topped off.  And if you have good cards, you can use Slurred Speech to stay safe from melee attacks.  You have to keep her protected, because smart opponents will try to kill her instantly, but if they can’t she can win you the game singlehandedly.

And that model rules!

That’s the Ten Thunders.  We’re almost done here – just one faction to go!  Not sure what I’ll talk about next, but Wyrd’s previewed a ton of gorgeous stuff at Gencon, so I’m sure I can think of something.

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