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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Demi-God Zhào Yún 神赵云

Posted by Ricky Chua On 5:09 PM 39 comments
Translated description: 
"Aura of the Dragon 神威如龙 (shén wēi rú lóng)"

Why is he a Demi-God?
There are over 1000 characters in the ROTK story, some more prominent than others, yet most of them had their flaws. Let's focus only on warriors and generals and see whom we can think of. Lu Bu 吕布 was the strongest, but a simpleton through and through. Guan Yu 关羽 was well-respected, but his arrogance cost him his life. Zhang Fei 张飞 was a brutal fighter, but a reckless goon. Dian Wei 典韦 was fearsome, but died early. The list can go on and on... but one hero really stands out amongst them. He is none other than Zhao Yun.

Almost all the qualities you want to find in a general, Zhao Yun does not lack. Courage and fighting ability is his calling card, but so too is his loyalty and prudence. He served Liu Bei and Shu till a ripe old age, and throughout his long career his name rings fear together with deep respect in the hearts of his foes. But most amazing of all for that era, is his humility. Seldom the one for cockiness and reckless tirades, he makes Guan Yu and Zhang Fei appear like immature teens compared to his cool-head. If there was one general who can be crowned the strongest overall in the three kingdoms era, it would surely be Zhao Yun! The one with the aura of the Dragon!

Character ability 1: "Adversity 逆境 (nì jìng)" [Enforced ability] 
During the drawing phase, the number of cards you draw is equal to the health you have lost thus far plus 2. Your on-hand card limit will always be +2 more than usual.

Character ability 2: "Soul of the Dragon 龙魂"
You can use or play X cards with the same suit as the following:
"Hearts" as "PEACH 桃"
"Diamonds" as "ATTACK 杀" with fire attributes
"Clubs" as "DODGE 闪"
"Spades" as "NEGATE 无懈可击"
(X is the units of health you have currently. X has a minimum of 1.)

Ability's relation to story:
"Adversity" refers to Zhao Yun’s victories in battles that were seemingly impossible to win. The battle that is related to this Demi-God character the most is the Battle of ChangBan 长坂之战. For more details, click here to read the post on Zhao Yun. If you look carefully, you would see in the character portrait that Demi-God Zhao Yun has a baby slung across his chest. That baby is none other than Liu Shan 刘禅 and this portrait actually depicts Zhao Yun's incredible rescue of the baby from the Wei forces during the Chang Ban battle. Nice as the portrait is, the ability itself does not seem to relate much to any adversity he is facing. The little link available is that Zhao Yun can draw more cards as his situation (health) becomes more dire.

Incidentally, Demi-God Zhao Yun is given only 2 units of health. It makes me wonder if this has anything to do with Zhao Yun sustaining multiple wounds and injuries during his rescue of Liu Shan.

"Soul of the Dragon" is wordplay on Zhao Yun’s styled name, "子龙". The character "龙" means dragon. Obviously, the ability has little to do with his soul, or any of the situations in the story. It is just a cool-sounding title to a very power ability. Yet the mechanics of this ability can be argued to have been created in the unofficial packs. The unofficial Zhang Jiao 张角 already featured an ability very similar to "Soul of the Dragon", albeit Zhang Jiao's ability was retardedly overpowered. Of course, you could say that it all began with Yuan Shao 袁绍's ability.


  1. Hmm... easily be defeated if he has no on-hand card.

  2. does ability 1 replaces his regular drawing phase of 2 cards? or does he get say 1 card from loss of health, +2 and the regular drawing of 2 cards which makes 5?

  3. ^ "Adversity" replaces his regular drawing phase. He can draw 3 cards when he loses 1 unit of health and 4 cards when he loses 2 units of health (only possible if he is the ruler).

    P.S. "Adversity" is an enforced ability. I forget to add it.

  4. Mmm, doesnt seem like Demi God for me. I mean unless he is in full health, he becomes strong. Else than that, just usual character with 2 health.

  5. This is why it reflects the character so well, indeed, Zhao Yun is no more than a human, and with his weak mortal life he can make miracles. He his a survivor, surrounded by the ennemy, his blade in one of his hands, Ah Dou in the other one, he breaks through the iron spear wall and go to scare the shit out of Cao Cao!

  6. ^ wasnt he one of the longest surviving characters of the three kingdom? if so, shouldnt he have more life and withstand all attackers longer?

  7. he should have had an awakening ability and gain "Dragon Heart 龙胆. That would have been perfect.

  8. My friends and I played using him and he is always the first 3 to get eliminated and we were thinking what kind of Demi-God last shorter than his mortal self. Therefore, we changed his ability a little, add one new ability and he became a real Demi-God.

  9. if he is a ruler does that mean he will need 3 cards to activate his second ability because he has 3 health?

  10. ^^ what added ability did you use to make him stronger without being too strong?

  11. Yea, if he is a ruler, he need to use 3 cards on full health to activate his ability 2: "Soul of the Dragon 龙魂". Not useful at all.

  12. Let me explain the use of Demi-god Zhao Yun. The key to use Demi-god Zhao Yun is to keep yourself at 1 HP, and do not use "Soul of the Dragon" if you are not at 1 HP.

    By doing so, "Soul of the Dragon" becomes the most powerful ability in the game. At this moment, "Adversity" allows you to draw one more card at drawing phase and stores two more cards at discard phase. Use this ability to get more cards of the suit of hearts, and keep yourself alive (only save yourself at Brink of Death).

    The secret of "Soul of the Dragon" is that, he can use one card of clubs as DODGE, and one card of diamonds as ATTACK (with fore attribute). If you browse through the deck of SGS, you will find out that most ATTACKs are clubs and most DODGEs are diamonds. At 1 HP, it is almost equal to "Dragon Soul".

    And the spades can become NEGATE...

    Never use "Soul of the Dragon" when you are not at 1 HP. Demi-god Zhao Yun is only powerful when he has 1 HP, but he is the most powerful character at 1 HP. Place yourself at "Adversity"!

  13. If as ruler, at the 1 HP he can draw 4 cards, otherwise just 3. And end of turn, you just can keep 3 on-hand cards. In the case being stole or dismantled, DG Zhao Yun become highly vulnerable.

  14. Many players point out how weak DG Zhao Yun is, as "he dies quickly under the assault of all other players of the opposite faction". Somehow they miss the word "all" in their claims.

    Seriously, which other character at 1HP can survive under the assault of ALL THE ENEMIES? No one can, even other DG characters, while DG Zhao Yun can definitely survive longer. And while the enemies are attacking Zhao Yun, what are his allies doing? He is not alone, and by attracting his enemies he can win some precious time for his teammates to prepare a counterattack. In addition, the may be much more attractive targets in the game, like Hua Tuo or Diao Chan. In this case the enemies will definitely ignore you.

    The situation where DG Zhao Yun is "totally dismantled" is applicable to any other character. In fact, Gan Ning will also have some hard time after this, because using his skill is equal to losing his own defense.

    The best tactic for DG Zhao Yun is to be quiet and not attract much attention. Don`t try to "shine" like Huang Yue Ying with the hand full of Tool Cards. Then, try to end your turn with full health and lose 1HP voluntarily before your turn starts, but don`t do that if you don`t have enough hearts/diamond dodges/club attacks (listed by priority). And NEVER use too much cards - you must always end your turn with 3-4 cards on hand.

    P.S. He is definitely stronger than many players think. But I really wouldn`t mind if he had skill that states he cannot receive more than 1 unit of damage at once. That would make DG Zhao Yun perfect, but still kinda balanced :)

  15. ^ where does it say you can lose 1 HP voluntarily?

  16. By "voluntarily" I mean to receive damage in AoE-attacks or the ATTACK of the last enemy before your turn, instead of dodging or using cards.

  17. How do you actually set up with demi-god cards? Are they just shuffled in like any other character and dealt out, or is there a different process to choosing a demi-god character? Seeing as they appear to be absurdly powerful... I can imagine a Ruler with a demi-god being nearly unstoppable...

  18. I personally do not think he is weak. But he has the potential to be left with 1HP too quickly and playing online tells me that if you are left with 1HP, there will be a pack of wolves after you.
    Furthermore, sometimes you might not even have the opportunity to show your intention whether you are with or against the ruler and you bite the dust. Some people including your teammates might want to help you, but they don't know what is your identity, and most of the time, they will let it slide.
    I felt that he really is the best player with 1HP but when it comes to 8-10 players game, which I often play, I think he can be a bit better.

  19. what if we change the rules a bit and add 1 extra health and bring him to max health 3? if he is ruler he will be at 4. This will also increase the cards he can draw shall his health falls.

    Just trying to figure out whats the best way to make him survive longer without being too powerful

  20. Soul of the Dragon has to be the best skill on San Guo Sha. It allows you to Attack, Defend, Save and Counter. Unbelievable.

  21. There are a lot of characters who has good skills, but the catch is you need a lot of skills.
    For him to use Soul of the Dragon, he needs to have 1 health (when it is most useful) but then he's only able to keep 3 cards max, kinda like how theoretically Sima Yi can screw up every judgment but you have to be winning (generally when winning, you have more on hand cards) to be in that kind of position.

    This guy does seem too fragile be a demigod, I would like him to have 3 health instead. I do not think 3 health would make him overpowered.

  22. ^
    There are a lot of characters who has good skills, but the catch is you need a lot of skills.

    I meant you need a lot of cards ><

  23. Increase additional on-hand cards limit to become + 3 will be fairly justified. What do you guys think?

  24. Well, technically he can have 7 cards at 1HP - for Soul of the Dragon he can also use his equipment.

    Giving him 3 HP will let him live longer, but it will also affect Soul of the Dragon. In real battle experienced enemies will not touch you at all, because they know that you will become a threat only at 1HP. And that`s with his current 2HP. I played as Demi-God Zhao Yun a few times, and I usually can drop my HP only during AoE-attacks. If you are the loyalist, the rebels will just go straight to kill the Ruler. As a rebel you will be killed quickly only if you are surrounded by enemies or if your allies are characters like Guo Jia, Xun Yu or Fa Zheng, who are willing to get damage. In other cases there usually more dangerous allies that will attract the enemies` attention. The result is that sometimes it`s really hard to get damaged even with our 2HP limit.

    The trouble comes, however, when Zhang Jiao is in game and he is not your ally or when Lingtning is activated. Getting 2-3 units of damage is critical in case of Demi-God. That`s why I think he should have had the ability to reduce all damages he receives to 1.

  25. Ok sorry for the late reply, comment 10.

    The Demi God Zhao Yun that my friends and I agreed upon is that first he has 4HP.The new ability we give him is an awakening enforced ability called (Blue Steel Blade 青釭剑). This is how it works.

    1) At the start of his turn, when he has 2HP or less, he has to reduced his current HP to 1, so if he has 1HP, you do not need to reduce.

    2) He need to reduce his maximum health level by 1HP

    3) He can only draw 3 cards. (If you are a ruler at 1HP, you are supposed to draw 5 cards but you only draw 3 cards for this turn.)

    4) Finally you will gain the effect of Blue Steel Blade for the rest of the game. You can still equip another weapon. (Easy to understand?)

    We play this format for a few times and we think he is a bit more powerful but most certainly not overpowered. Feel free to try and tell us how is it.

  26. ^^ Actually, we are going to try to change another ability this weekend and test it out. We agreed that Soul of the Dragon ability be tweaked a bit. We are thinking of making him throw 2 cards of same suit when he has 3, 4 and 5HP and 1 card when he has 0, 1 and 2HP. We see how this work. Update all of you this Sunday or Monday. Enjoy the game everybody.

  27. Wonderful abilities, but with only two life it will diffcult to play ;) i have try out using this card, but hrm.... Two heath?

  28. DG Zhao Yun holds the record for most number of comments. :)

  29. I think Zhao Yun is still underpowered as compare to other DGs. Even though I will agree he will be the most strong at 1 HP among other mortals.

  30. I wonder why YokaGames create DG Zhao Yun this weak. If only his "Soul of the Dragon" use 1 card of the suit to activate, bcause i am a fan of this character esp in the ROTK story.

  31. Looking through these comments, I am baffled that so many people think that they know how to balance San Guo Sha better than Yoka Games. We all have characters that we think are weaker than the rest. Particularly, I think that Ma Su, Cao Ren, and Zhou Yu are much weaker than the rest of the characters, but I don't change their abilities because I know that they were created to handle certain situations better than other characters can. Obviously, anyone who has these cards can play the game in whatever way that they want to, but perhaps those of you who are claiming that DG Zhao Yun is too weak are simply using him incorrectly. As 零時色 said, he is most powerful when he only has one unit of health. In this state, he can use 1/4 of the deck as PEACH, 1/4 of the deck as DODGE, 1/4 of the deck as ATTACK, and 1/4 of the deck as NEGATE. Realize that his second ability is not enforced - meaning, for example, he can use a heart card as either a PEACH or whatever is printed on the card. This gives him two options as to how he can use each of his cards. If he has one health at the beginning of his turn, he draws three cards and has a good chance of drawing a heart/PEACH if you are uncomfortable with ending your turn with one unit of health. He is extremely versatile.

    My friend and I like to play games in which everyone gets DG characters and Zhao Yun seems to fit in just fine with the rest of them. I am basically trying to tell everyone here to give him a chance as he is written here and try to change your tactics instead of his abilities to improve your chances with him.

  32. +1 to the last comment.

    In fact, DG Lv Meng`s lifespan is sometimes even shorter than that of DG Zhao Yun.

  33. BTW, there is a joke concerning his 2HP limit.

    When Dong Zhuo was introduced to players, someone found an explanation to his 8HP on his image: Dong Zhuo - 4HP, 2 maidens - 2HP each, so 8HP in total.
    So now we have DG Zhao Yun - 4HP, baby Liu Shan as a burden - negative 2HP, 2HP in total :)

  34. After reading comments above I don't understand how DGZY becomes so powerful at 1hp, I understand why its good for Adversity as it allows him to draw and keep more cards.

    But for Soul of the Dragon he can only use it the number of times EQUAL to his health according to translation above (X = amounts of health you currently have) which means you can only use 1 card.

    1. It is not the number of times, it is the number of cards you need to convert in one time...

    2. I still don't understand, do you mean if he had 2 hp he would need 2 cards of the same suit to use as 1 skill? Eg 2 heart cards to use as 1 peach card.

  35. Can you used equipped cards you have for 'Soul of the Dragon'? Or it only on-hand cards?

  36. You can use equipped cards.^_^


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