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Monday, May 2, 2011

Chéng Yù 程昱

Posted by Ricky Chua On 2:55 PM 2 comments
Translated description:
World's most Eccentric Noble 世之奇士 (shì zhī qí shì)

Who is he:
Cao Cao 曹操 had a large of circle of excellent advisors, such as Guo Jia 郭嘉 and Xun Yu 荀彧, but Cheng Yu 程昱 is probably the most sadistic of them all. He is most famous for substituting human flesh for grains during a famine. Yum.

With a tongue that lashed out insolently, Cheng Yu was not the most popular advisor.  However his intellectual brilliance was clear to Cao Cao. Cheng Yu masterminded the ploy that tricked Xu Shu 徐庶 into leaving Liu Bei 刘备, as well as predicting that the Wu Kingdom could use fire attack during the Battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战. Smart, cunning, sadistic. He would have been the "Joker" of the Three Kingdoms era. Why so serious??

Character ability 1: Abduction 挟亲 (xié qīn)
When you cause 1 unit of damage to any character, you can immediately dismantle 1 card from any other character. Limited to one use per turn.

Character ability 2: Call your Bluff 认伪 (rèn wěi)
Before any character flips a judgement card, you can predict aloud the colour (red or black) of that judgement card. If your predicition is correct and the judgement card takes effect, you can immediately draw 1 card from the deck.

Ability's relation to story:
"Abduction" is probably based on the infamous "human flesh for grains" episode. Cheng Yu abducted the townsfolk in the city and butchered them. He then ordered the human flesh to be scattered into the rice of the soldiers so that the army will be well fed. The actual ability on this card does not seem to be related much to this story though. "Call your Bluff" does not seem to be related to ROTK or history in any way.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - During the famine of early 190 AD, Cao Cao came very close to giving up his campaign and giving in to Yuan Shao 袁绍. Cheng Yu stood up to Cao Cao and insulted him point-blank, calling him shameless in the hopes that it would jolt the fight back into Cao Cao.

Cheng Yu's daring tactic both worked as well as backfired. Cao Cao woke up and decided to take the fight to Yuan Shao, but at the same time did not have the rations necessary to feed his army. Cao Cao then asked Cheng Yu to find 3 days worth of food. It was thus that the sadist streak surfaced in Cheng Yu. He led his troops to pillage his own hometown and abduct the townsfolk, such that they be turned into human meat to feed the soldiers!

2. Cause of death - Cheng Yu died at the age of 59, a relatively old age at the time. Before he died, Cao Pi 曹丕 did want to give the title of Duke to Cheng Yu, but Cheng Yu did not live long enough to receive it.

Wiki Link
- Cheng Yu Wiki


  1. 挟親 does not simply mean abduction. It means taking someone's relatives as hostage. It is referring to the event that he abducted Xu Shu's mother so that he will join the Wei force. 識偽 refers to the event that he wrote the force letter, using his mother's identity to convince him.

  2. If Cheng Yu damages someone outside of his turn, through Diao Chan etc, does he still get to use abduction?


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