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Subject: The Kami ranked. rss

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Casey Smith
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I thought it would be fun to start some discussion on how powerful the different Kami are, and then compare their abilities in Kami Unbound(Im going to save this for another post).

In another post a few people were insisting that Shinto need to go to shrines and I don't believe that to be the case. Because some of the Kami powers are kind of situational and some are just flat out better than others. If someone with more honor than you already has 3 shinto on a Kami, its not even worth the effort in my opinion to send your shinto to worship.

This just strictly working with their Kami Phase abilities, I'll make another post comparing their Kami Unbound abilities.

Kami phase abilities in rank of strength

1. Ryujin (Get a seasonal card)- This is a Kami that benefits everyone. It basically gives you the power of a mandate 3 times a season, the only downside about it is you might not have the money for a card you want. I feel like Rujin is so good, he is worth putting all your shinto down no matter who else is available. His ability isn't just a temp boost, but gives you enhancements for the rest of the game. He is even better for Bonsai clan.

2. Amaterasu (move to highest honor) - This is the Kami I suspect a lot of people will consider the best one, but I don't think she is one that all the players would want and thats why I have her second. If you are going a Oni/Low Honor strategy, you are going to ignore her. With that said, moving to top honor is something that is hard to ignore and since it makes the top worshipper winner of all ties, it does give a lot of power. Something that I never thought about until I played with her, is if anyone wants to dethrone you on this shrine. they have to always pay an extra shinto, because you'll never take the shrine with a tie. The biggest negative about her, is if you want to keep top honor you are kind of stuck on spending shinto on her.

3. Tsukuyomi (2 coins) - Money is hard to come by, and you can do a lot with it. Buy things, buy influence, win bidding in wars. It might not seem like a lot, but if you can keep his favor a whole season you can get six coins(that can buy two strongholds). For the Koi clan this is also more ronin. I don't consider this Kami as situational as the rest, and a good benefit for everyone. He is worth trying to get.

4. Raijin (recruit a single Bushi, put it wherever you want) - This one I consider almost as good as Tsukuyomi, but I give a slight edge to the coin lord. Being able to put down a Bushi and isn't restricted to strongholds, is great for beefing up provinces immediately. Also if you can keep control of it, you might not even need all of your strongholds, which can also save you some coin. Some downsides of it, it can make Betray a more tempting choice for your foes, and if you control it multiple seasons you might run out of Bushi to put out. Although you could argue that you are preventing others from using it too.

5. Susanoo (Vp for every stronghold) - You can rack up some points with this one, but not really till about halfway thru the game(there is no way you can really get all your strongholds till Summer). Also your foes can make it hard for you to construct strongholds. I think this is a good one if you can get it with 1 shinto(assuming people are maxing out on other Kami)

6. Hachiman (2 ronin) - I'll admit I am on the fence on this one, I think it could be higher but it seems really situational. Ronin are only good for one part of war bidding, but they can be used as a currency. Ronin are also extremely hard to get, and they reset every season. I think this is a great Kami for Koi; since ronin turn into coin at the start of war, but I am not sure if they are worth the Shinto for other clans. The person that gets this Kami though, will spread out the bidding in the war phase as someone might try to prevent you from using your ronin. I can see its strengths, but since it's only used for one mechanic (Granted that mechanic can help you win wars) I would rather get other Kami.

7. Fujin (move 2 units 1 space or 1 unit 2 spaces) - Rising Sun is not a game with great mobility (except for those ass holes Dragonfly Clan), so you would think this would be a decent Kami but I personally don't see that being the case. I think this would combo great with monsters that have abilities that trigger when they move into a province. I think this is a good Kami at the end of a season when you want to sneak a unit or two into a war, but outside of these instances I don't think this Kami is very good.

Would like to hear what other people think, I am sure there are strategies that I have never considered.
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Gavin Kenny
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I think Hachiman is much higher up the list to be honest. I used him extremely effectively as Fox clan. Together with the seasonal card that gives you two ronin at the start of the war, you only needed to win the battle bid to often win the province. This is definitely my third favourite Kami.
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Mr Suitcase
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gavken wrote:
I think Hachiman is much higher up the list to be honest. I used him extremely effectively as Fox clan. Together with the seasonal card that gives you two ronin at the start of the war, you only needed to win the battle bid to often win the province. This is definitely my third favourite Kami.


I've played exactly once - so take my comments with a grain of salt.

BUT... whoever got Hachiman early in the season can end up with 6 extra Ronin that season. Those Ronin change the math of the battles in the war phase significantly.
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Lou Lessing
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I think you rank Hachiman too low. Ronin are hard to get and they're very important to any kind of spread-out strategy like Dragonfly or Fox, they aren't just for Koi. And Hachiman gets you a lot of Ronin if you hold him for a whole round. 6 Ronin + 1 Bushi wins most battles.

I don't think Amaterasu is that good. Winning ties on the other shrines is nice if she's early in the order, but there are many good ways to gain honor. One or two players are usually on low-honor strategies, so you're really only jockeying with a few other players for the top spots. Gaining 2-3 honor from Seppuku or other sources is just as good as moving to the top. She's also the worst kami to hold for a whole season, if you're already on top, she does nothing.

Fujin's weird because he's super powerful when he's powerful but totally useless a lot of the time. He's also rubbish to hold for a season.

Tsukoyomi's solid but not incredible. #3 sounds about right. He's great to hold for a season.

Not sure about the other three yet. I've played 1 game, they weren't in it. Ryujin seems like a good choice for #1. Raijin seems middling-to-good, like Tsukoyomi. It's hard to know how good Susanoo is, but I suspect very good. VP wins games.
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Casey Smith
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gavken wrote:
I think Hachiman is much higher up the list to be honest. I used him extremely effectively as Fox clan. Together with the seasonal card that gives you two ronin at the start of the war, you only needed to win the battle bid to often win the province. This is definitely my third favourite Kami.


The thing about Ronin is, no matter how many you have, if your opponent outbids you; you can’t use them. That’s why I have it so low.
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Aaron Boyd
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I would rank them as such:

1. Ryujin - I think the assessment here was pretty spot on.

2. Tsukuyomi - Again, pretty spot on.

3. Hachiman - If you don't have any ronin, you lock yourself out of an entire avenue for victory in battle. In my experience, I found ronin to be very influential in battle for every clan. I would be tempted to rank Hachiman on the same level as Tsukuyomi, but refrained because Tsukuyomi is more universally useful.

4. Raijin - Also a fair assessment

5. Fujin - Mobility can be used to great effect in this game. As stated by the OP, Using Fujin in the last Kami phase prior to war can dramatically change the tides of battles. It can also be used during the first two kami phases to position for a harvest, prepare for more distant moves, or correct errors in positioning. The only reason I would rate him below Raijin, is because Raijin relieves the need to play a recruit mandate, freeing you to choose something else.

6. Amaterasu - Having the highest honor is very beneficial, but Amaterasu's impact on a game depends greatly on her position in the shrines as well as players specific strategies. All this makes her very situational. When she's good, she's amazing...but the rest of the time she just helps the highest honor player solidify that position.

7. Susanoo - The victory points earned by Susanoo can really swing a game, but the amount of strongholds needed to fuel that isn't the best fit for every clan. I see Turtle and Bonsai getting the most frequent use out of this Kami, and Sun and Moon being able to really abuse it if they wish. If he's open though, some VP are better than no VP, so you might as well throw a Shinto on him while everyone else fights for the other Kami.
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Casey Smith
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I have to admit I never considered Fujin to be a good way to position yourself for Harvests during the season. Thanks for the tip.
 
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Dvonn Yinsh
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Fujin, coupled with the Oni of Spite (steal 2 VPs per opponent with higher honour) is a crazy combo.
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Mr. Octavius
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SwissQueso wrote:
gavken wrote:
I think Hachiman is much higher up the list to be honest. I used him extremely effectively as Fox clan. Together with the seasonal card that gives you two ronin at the start of the war, you only needed to win the battle bid to often win the province. This is definitely my third favourite Kami.


The thing about Ronin is, no matter how many you have, if your opponent outbids you; you can’t use them. That’s why I have it so low.


But forcing them to have to outbid you means they have less coin to distribute to other advantages. Making it easier to win the advantages you want.

Kami strength also depends on your Clan. If playing Fox Hachiman becomes the most important Kami (possibly second to Ryujin, depending on the game) as now your single bushi in the various provinces is just a foothold for deploying your army of Ronin. Every province you're in you either win or get a pile of coins.

If Bonsai is in the game, Ryujin becomes the most important thing in the game for everyone. Bonsai wants him, and everyone else absolutely does not want Bonsai to have him.

One thing to keep in mind with Raijin, is if you're putting 3 shinto on him you're practically wasting your time. You could have just put 3 bushi on the board directly. (You do gain the bonus that they can be placed anywhere.) Ideally you want to place fewer shinto on him than there are Kami phases remaining, but then you run the risk of someone outbiddng you for parity and your shinto being wasted. You should probably only place shinto there if you know you'll get the benefit out of it. (ie. A single shinto right before the Kami phase if none of the remaining players can outbid you.)

I'd personally rate Raijin very low, but I haven't played with him yet. Fox have zero interest and Dragonfly shouldn't waste their time.
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Mr. Octavius
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candoo wrote:
Fujin, coupled with the Oni of Spite (steal 2 VPs per opponent with higher honour) is a crazy combo.


Isn't Oni of Spite in every game? That makes Fujin very important in Autumn. If you have OoS you want him, and if you don't have OoS you want to keep him away from the player that does.
 
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Patrick Stangier
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Maebon wrote:
candoo wrote:
Fujin, coupled with the Oni of Spite (steal 2 VPs per opponent with higher honour) is a crazy combo.


Isn't Oni of Spite in every game? That makes Fujin very important in Autumn. If you have OoS you want him, and if you don't have OoS you want to keep him away from the player that does.
Not quite every game.

Oni of Spite is not part of the core season cards, so he will not appear in every game. However he appears in every season card set except Teapot.

So, unless you are using the Teapot set, the Oni of Spite will be in the game.
 
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Jon Snow
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meeple I enjoy your analyses of each Kami. But "ranking" the Kami is pointless, since the game is so situational, and each play of Rising Sun so different. Their use, like almost everything else, depends of course on which of them are even in the game, and then who is playing what clan and what strategy, which card set you are using, etc.

One of the most fun things about the 8 games I've played so far is trying to find new strategies for victory by new combinations of the game elements. So the desirability of any particular Kami at any particular time will depend on what you are doing, and quite possibly depend on your current shrine strategy, and those of other players. I've seen games where there is no one on any shrine during one Kami Phase, and where shrines seem more important than board position the next and all the players are carefully coordinating with their allies in throwing Shinto and a certain Monster or Lucky God up there!
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jonatan dyre
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I would rate both Hachiman and Fujin higher

SwissQueso wrote:
The thing about Ronin is, no matter how many you have, if your opponent outbids you; you can’t use them. That’s why I have it so low.


The money income from an opponent that outbids you is a huge part of their value. And that moves Hachiman up to 2 or 3 imho.

I Agree that Fujin is mostly seen as a big hit o full miss, but it has it moments in between also, when it's set up for some nice big harvest action

but it is actual Lotus I fear having it (because then marshall mandates is likely to be burned) and that leaves train monsters and betrays to get involved on the board. Both something that can be a big problem at times.

But Fujims power is sudle,so I can understand that it often is underestimated.

 
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Z
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chas59 wrote:
meeple I enjoy your analyses of each Kami. But "ranking" the Kami is pointless, since the game is so situational, and each play of Rising Sun so different. Their use, like almost everything else, depends of course on which of them are even in the game, and then who is playing what clan and what strategy, which card set you are using, etc.

One of the most fun things about the 8 games I've played so far is trying to find new strategies for victory by new combinations of the game elements. So the desirability of any particular Kami at any particular time will depend on what you are doing, and quite possibly depend on your current shrine strategy, and those of other players. I've seen games where there is no one on any shrine during one Kami Phase, and where shrines seem more important than board position the next and all the players are carefully coordinating with their allies in throwing Shinto and a certain Monster or Lucky God up there!


This 100%. Ranking the Kami in a vacuum is pointless because at any one point in time your game state can change, and thus one Kami may become vastly more important than another. It depends on what clans you are playing, the clans your opponents are playing, the Season card set available, alliances, etc.
 
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Aaron Boyd
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Estoyldian wrote:
chas59 wrote:
meeple I enjoy your analyses of each Kami. But "ranking" the Kami is pointless, since the game is so situational, and each play of Rising Sun so different. Their use, like almost everything else, depends of course on which of them are even in the game, and then who is playing what clan and what strategy, which card set you are using, etc.

One of the most fun things about the 8 games I've played so far is trying to find new strategies for victory by new combinations of the game elements. So the desirability of any particular Kami at any particular time will depend on what you are doing, and quite possibly depend on your current shrine strategy, and those of other players. I've seen games where there is no one on any shrine during one Kami Phase, and where shrines seem more important than board position the next and all the players are carefully coordinating with their allies in throwing Shinto and a certain Monster or Lucky God up there!


This 100%. Ranking the Kami in a vacuum is pointless because at any one point in time your game state can change, and thus one Kami may become vastly more important than another. It depends on what clans you are playing, the clans your opponents are playing, the Season card set available, alliances, etc.


Obviously true. But things like this help give a baseline or frame of reference to newer players or players who might be struggling with strategy. As each clan is asymmetric, and different strategies can be adopted by just about every clan, there is not and will not be a standard strategy. There are too many variables. But again, it's nice to have a baseline or foundation to build on.
 
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Casey Smith
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I was trying to look at the Kami as a player that got to recruit first on the first mandate. As the board evolves and even the Kami themselves get Shinto things change.

It was mostly just for fun; although I do think baseline that some Kami are better than others and offer more.
 
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jonatan dyre
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Crosier wrote:

Obviously true. But things like this help give a baseline or frame of reference to newer players or players who might be struggling with strategy. As each clan is asymmetric, and different strategies can be adopted by just about every clan, there is not and will not be a standard strategy. There are too many variables. But again, it's nice to have a baseline or foundation to build on.


In that case we properly should not only discuss the strength of each kami, but the impact on the game play.

The difference in impact is huge in having 6 more coins in play (Tsukuyomi -2 coins) and then having 6 more ronins in play (Hachiman -2 ronin).


 
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