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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Guō Jiā 郭嘉

Posted by Ricky Chua On 1:01 AM 23 comments
Translated description:
"The oracle who died young 早终的先知 (zao zhong de xian zhi)"

Wikipedia link: Guo Jia Wiki
Who is he:
It is said that Cao Cao 曹操 would have won the war if Guo Jia had lived longer. In the early days of Cao Cao's expeditions, there were usually more than one advisor by Cao Cao's side, but Guo Jia's analysis of situations and predictions always seemed to be correct. It is a pity that Guo Jia and Zhu Ge Liang 诸葛亮 belonged to two different chronological segments, and thus never had a chance to compete head-to-head. Despite knowing his days were numbered, Guo Jia could accurately predict how the near future would unravel. On realizing that Guo Jia was absolutely right about how things played out even weeks after his death, Cao Cao wept for the loss of this amazing talent. Like Dian Wei 典韦, Guo Jia died much too early and severely handicapped the potential of Cao Cao's army. The game makers of San Guo Sha 三国杀 paid adequate tribute to the brilliance of Guo Jia by making him one of the most powerful and most popular characters in the entire game. A search of player comments on forums turn up numerous praises for Guo Jia, with many declaring him their all-time favorite character to use.

Character ability 1: "Envy of Heaven 天妒 (tiān dù)"
You can obtain any judgement card that you flip over.

(For example, every time he undergoes judgement for LIGHTNING 闪电 during his turn, he can keep the judgement card that he flipped over. However if he uses ATTACK 杀 on a player that equipped EIGHT TRIGRAMS 八卦阵, Guo Jia cannot keep the judgement card for judgement of EIGHT TRIGRAMS because that card would be flipped over by the target player and not himself.)

Character ability 2: "Bequeathed Strategy 遗计 (yí jì)"
For every 1 unit of damage that you receive, you can draw 2 cards from the deck. You can then choose to give away one, two, or none of these 2 cards to any player.

Ability's relation to story:
Brilliant!!! The chinese name for "Envy of Heaven" is called 天妒 and is short for a more common phrase called 天妒英才 (tiān dù yīng cíi). It translates as "heaven is jealous of a person with such immense intellect/skill/potential" and is morbidly used to describe rare talents who died young. Chinese like to think that heaven struck them down out of jealousy. Guo Jia's "Envy of Heaven" ability seems to mock the heavens as he can benefit from heaven's will (judgement cards). "Bequeathed Strategy" is equally apt as it almost re-enacts Guo Jia's contribution to Cao Cao after dying. Read more about the story behind "Bequeathed Strategy" below.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Guo Jia's bequeathed strategy to Cao Cao. After Yuan Shao 袁绍 and his sons Yuan Shang 袁尚 and Yuan Xi 袁熙 were defeated by Cao Cao, Guo Jia died of illness. He left Cao Cao a secret strategy that said Yuan Shang and Yuan Xi would flee to join Gong Sun Kang 公孙康 and told Cao Cao not to pursue. Guo Jia predicted that Yuan Shang and Yuan Xi's heads would be sent by Gong Sun Kang as long as Cao Cao did not make any move against Gong Sun Kang. This went against the advice of many of Cao Cao's generals, who felt they should crush the brothers while they were weak. True enough, everything that Guo Jia predicted came true.

2. Cause of death - During the northern expedition to erradicate the Yuan brothers, Cao Cao's army travelled light for speed but was ill-prepared for the terrible weather. Guo Jia fell sick along the journey and was unable to join Cao Cao at the battles. By the time Cao Cao returned after the battle was won, Guo Jia had already succumbed to his illness. He was 37.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. Does Guo Jia’s second ability activate even if he is left with 1 unit of health and has no dodges or peaches ?

Ans: Yes, it activates but only after he is saved from the brink of death. He cannot draw 2 cards until after he is saved.

2. Does Guo Jia gets to draw 6 cards if he is struck by lightning with 1 health left and is saved?
Ans: Yes , he can draw 6 cards if he is saved from such a disaster.


  1. Question about Guo Jia's second ability: Let's say Guo Jia has 1 unit of health left and he is attacked by another character. Assuming he has no dodges or peaches (meaning he takes the hit and is about to die), does his second ability activate, allowing him a chance to draw a peach in the next two cards he draws? Or is he dead and his ability doesn't activate?

    Thanks again!

  2. hi ryan

    i think he is allowed to draw 2 cards first. if luckily he gets a peach he can use it.

    correct me if i am wrong, anyone. thanks!

    1. No, you must be saved from death before you can draw the 2 cards from the deck. Sorry...

  3. Sounds good! Let me know if you find out otherwise!

  4. Actually, Guo Jia's second ability says to give one of the drawn cards to any character, and to then give the other drawn card to any character. That means he has to give 2 cards divided any way he chooses among one or two characters, instead of your translation. Am I right?

  5. Princemousey: The card translated reads "give to any character", which includes himself. Usually if it excludes himself, the card will specify. The original instruction is a little confusing, so i abridged it, but the applied meaning is the same.

  6. Ryan: I play a lot of SGS on the site and I love using Guo Jia. However, whenever he is on his last health and gets damaged, he is not allowed to draw 2 cards unless someone saves him, or he saves himself. After the peach (or wine) is used, he can draw 2 cards and give it to anyone. It has been that way for as long as I have started playing online (which is like half a year) and the mechanics of the game haven't changed and seem to be quite accurate.

  7. If Guo Jia is at 1 health left, and is struck by lightning, and also he is saved after, does he get to draw 6 cards?

    Does it apply to Xun Yu as well?

  8. That's an interesting question. According to conventional thought, Guo Jia should be able to draw 6 cards if he is saved from such a disaster.

    However, it is said that there is no concept of "negative health"... hmm... so Guo Jia should only draw 2?!

    But based on most of the research i've found so far, they all seem to point toward the conventional "draw 6 cards", regardless of what Guo Jia's health is before getting struck. What seems to matter is the amount deducted, regardless negative or not.

  9. Guo Jia draws 6 cards, because he draws it at 2/2/2

  10. Great Blog!

    I just wanted to let you know that I play SGS online a lot and when Guo Jia has the eight trigrams, he does get to keep judgment cards that he draws from using it.

  11. Yes, Guo Jia keeps the card from his Eight Trigrams.

    I think what Ricky meant was that he does not keep the card if he's the attacker and the defender flips it for their Eight Trigrams.

  12. Just curious about the negative life rule.
    In my scenario i was playing this character and i got dealt a spade judgement.
    Now i was on one life with a wine and thought i could just heal myself and draw a total of 2 cards and keep the judgement. he proclaimed that i would be on -2 life and die anyway. What exactly is the official ruling to negative life and does it exist to anyone that isnt Zhou Tai?

  13. I suppose you mean a 2-9 Spades judgement which means you got struck by LIGHTNING?

    Negative life exists for everyone. It is just that Zhou Tai is able to exist with negative life, while others will enter brink of death immediately.

    In your scenario:
    1) Draw Spade judgement and keep it.
    2) Get struck by lightning.
    3) Get reduced to -2 health, enter brink of death.
    4) Wine up to -1 health, still in brink of death, crying out for help.
    5) Assuming peach + peach, up to 1 life, escape brink of death, then trigger 2nd ability 3 times for the 3 damage received from LIGHTNING.

    Is this clear enough? Please tell me if you need more explanation. Thanks!

  14. Thats what I thought initially, but then it also said in the description of peach in this website that a peach can only be used once by one person when someone falls onto the brink of death. I cant read chinese so i'm not exactly sure if negative health is meant to exist in this game.
    Rather as soon as your health hits 0 you are considered on the brink of death and remaining damage isnt carried over.
    I realize there are several different methods people use to deal with the idea of damage overflow but i want to know which method is more widely accepted.

  15. Pulling out my official rulebook from my collector's edition, I found what you needed.

    Under the section on Peach, "Example, a player with 2 life left, has been hit by LIGHTNING which causes 3 damage, the player enters brink of death, that player or anyone else needs to contribute together 2 PEACHES to save (2 - 3 + 2 = 1)."

    I have translated verbatim so pardon the grammar.

  16. That clears a lot up thank you. I have started to play on sgs online so the rules are beginning to flesh out properly now.

  17. if Si Ma Yi overrides Guo Jia's judgement, which card does Guo Jia take?

  18. "if Si Ma Yi overrides Guo Jia's judgement, which card does Guo Jia take?"

    Guo Jia takes the card that Si Ma Yi just threw out to change the judgement. I.e. If Si Ma Yi thew out a diamond PEACH to change Guo Jia's ACEDIA (Le Bu Si Shu) judgement, Guo Jia takes the PEACH, but proceeds on to discard phase immediately.

  19. @Princemousey , why does GuoJia 1st ability activate before die ?
    as you wrote:

    "1) Draw Spade judgement and keep it."

    But since the ability says AFTER
    天妒 当你的判定牌生效后

  20. Does he get to keep the judgement card for every lightning draw even if he is not the one who played lightning? Thanks!


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