Invitational Preview - Daidoji Micah Crane Maestro



League Admin Daidoji Micah is a U.S based player based Portland, Oregon who entered the league in the pre-season and gradually built up a fairly dominant position as a top Crane.

Pre-Season 

In this test season he went 4-0 in a pod that mainly contained new players.
wins vs Scorpion Calimsha [1500], Unicorn Malst [1500], Dragon Kitsuki Date [1500], Scorpion Bayushi Yuuji [1615]


Season 2 - Start Rating - 1821

Another strong pod showing with a 6-1 win/loss taking him to 1st place in the pod. 

Wins vs Crab Ide Satiro [1706], Lion Tsuke [1405], Unicorn Froomja [1245], Phoenix Errata [1275], Dragon robsmash [1500], Crane Schlorgadorb [1652]
Losses vs Scorpion Yaba [1500]

Season 2 Cup

This was the moment where the community started to take notice of his play style. Micah was the first proponent of the Crane 'fate heavy' play. Which was (at the time) an unusual approach and his continued success coincided with many senior, well regarded, Crane's having decided drops in play wins. Taking out MindsDesire in the Top 16 then only just losing to Kingsley in the T8 made the community take notice even more so as only Micah and Chutereve were the only two Crane's to reach the 16 and lots of Crane's started mimicking one or the others play styles.

T64 beat Scorpion Adam H [1449]
T32 beat Scorpion Bayushi Yuuji [1865]
T16 beat Dragon MindsDesire [1965]
T8 lost to Dragon Kingsley [1978]


Season 3 - Start Rating 1853

Showed another strong showing and another 1st pod place with a 5-1 actual (6-1 with drops) 


Wins vs Crab KAPOWE [1500], Crab Miserable Toad [1301], Unicorn Quindo [1261], Crane Theia [1500], Lion Toreadory [1744]

Losses vs Lion firesa [1500]

Season 3 Cup

As with the previous season Micah went deep into the cup but this was attracting the attention of Crane's who were copying the style and needed to see more 'reps' to get an idea of how to play that way (as a lot of mimicking involves seeing how a player reacts to events with a deck you are familiar with.)

T64 beat Crane Jeremy [1608]
T32 beat Crab action_johnny [1584]
T16 lost to Phoenix Shiba_Inu [1729]


Season 4 - Start Rating 1926

Splitting pod honours with Kingsley Micah took a 5-1 actual (6-1 with drops).

Wins vs Scorpion  Byron Krane [1920], Crab sla-dreamer [1283], Phoenix Sintor [1500], Phoenix Thephilofizier [1500] and Crane D4rkWolf10 [1154]

Losses vs Dragon Kingsley [2020]

Season 4 Cup

Which allowed him yet another strong push in the play-offs with some impressive wins over strong opponents. Micah's legacy could also show in that this was the season where Crane were dominant in the cup (though not winning, curses) in part due to Micah's own play examples. Basically Crane's either ran 'Micah Style' or used the Scorpion splash in a method closer to the earlier Crane play styles (perhaps closer to Chut's style). Both methods had success.

T64 beat Phoenix Sandybell [1830]
T32 beat Dragon Mirumoto Kai [1745]
T16 beat Scorpion nyxnyxnyx [1851]
T8 lost to Crab Jokingly [1792]


Season 5 - Start Rating 1996

As is now traditional Micah dropped one game in pods (pushing him to 2nd place!) going 5-1 actual (6-1 with drops). It is noticeable that his pods have generally been average in terms of ratings (and his cup games hard in terms of ratings compared to other players). Having played in repeated pods with 3 +1700 players makes me wonder if the U.S pods have more turnaround than European ones....(something to look into)

Wins vs Crane Simcof [1406], Dragon Hos [1480], Lion Toreadory [1590],  Phoenix shiba chicken [1500],  Scorpion Kweti Ahtu [1500]
Losses vs Scorpion nyxnyxnyx [1851]

Season 5 Cup 

A strong win against fellow U.S chameleon SirLargeness started his cup before he conceeded the T32 as he did not need the points (go for the win and the cup....)

T64 beat Crane SirLargeness [1840]
T32 lost to Crane Raphelos [1700]

LCQ

T64 conceded to Crab WhackedMaki [1700] probably as already through?


Micah therefore gets to the Invitational on deep, repeated cup runs. He was (and might still be..) from Season 3 to now the top Crane player in the ratings and is one of the few players (SirLargeness with Scorpion and MindsDesire/Kingsley with Dragon ) who have been the cause of very recognisable play/meta shifts in the environment.

Ratings wise he just skimmed the edge of Candidate Master but that is still a difficult position to retain and even with that pressure is still in the top band of players of the game.

As is the usual path for these previews the standard questionnaire was past to Micah and he kindly answered as follows.


Did you play a lot of Original L5R? and if so how long/when

I played from around the end of Scorpion Clan Coup through Gold, then took some time off, came back briefly for Emperor and hated it and then played in Ivory. Best result was top of clan at Gencon one year. 

Do/have you played other competitive card games at a high level?

Not card games, but I was top 10 in the USA as an epee fencer. 

What were your experiences of the Discord League – any highlights ?

Some of my early games against Scorpion were super tense dishonor matches, those were certainly some of the highlights. I feel like as players have gotten better and the card pool gets a bit stronger it's gotten easier to snowball to a win, so I haven't felt like I've had as many tense games recently.

Do you have any advice for the other lower ranked players?

I think the average quality of the playerbase is going up, so don't get discouraged even if it feels like you're not making progress, since I think a lot of that is that other people are improving as well. Take advantage of whatever resources you can to get some games in as well, jigoku and clan chats for deck advice are very helpful.

Have you had success in paper tournaments and if so how well have you done? (this is basically so we can enhance your successes)

I'm so far undefeated in the occasional local events I play, though Hida Mozi has beaten me in plenty of casual games IRL. I've got scheduling conflicts with both west coast Koteis this year and I'm 99% sure I'd tilt super hard on the tiebreaker rules if I flew somewhere and lost despite being in a winning position on the board.

What is there that you like/dislike about new L5R and what would you like (or not like) to see moving forward.

I love the base mechanics of the game including how important ring selection is and how characters can fall off the board after a few turns, plus the fixed economy solves a lot of issues that tend to crop up in games.

I dislike some of the elements of the game that discourage or prohibit being able to play your own cards (Guest of Honor, Tadaka, Watch commander to some extent) as well as the effects that completely break the mono no aware investment model without enough counterplay (Feast or Famine, Kharmic Twist on your opponent's characters.) The 1-of holdings are also fairly bad design choices because "getting lucky and seeing it" is not a good play mechanic.

What are your favourite/least favourite matchups?

I enjoy the Scorpion MU more than most people. The Crane mirror is kind of terrible, and it's not much fun playing against choke decks that drag the game down to 1 bids super quickly. 

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