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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dèng Ài 邓艾

Posted by Ricky Chua On 3:19 PM 19 comments
Translated description:
"The Staunch Warrior 矫然的壮士 (jiǎo rán dè zhuàng shì)"

Who is he:
There were many pairs of arch-nemeses throughout the Three Kingdoms era between Wei and Shu Kingdoms. In the early days, there were the two most famous loggerheads, Cao Cao 曹操 and Liu Bei 刘备. In wit and cunning, there were Zhuge Liang 诸葛亮 and Sima Yi 司马懿. In the later days as the era was coming to an end, there were the final two, Jiang Wei 姜维 and Deng Ai 邓艾.

Deng Ai was not your typical military general. With a background in agriculture and geography, most would have thought him suitable as a master-farmer than a leading general of the time. But Deng Ai proved to the world that he was no broccoli cropper. Matching his arch-enemy Jiang Wei wit for wit, Deng Ai held back the Shu forces who were bent on clawing into Wei territory. As the disagreements behind the Shu frontlines escalated, Deng Ai conducted the equivalent of Guerilla Warfare in Ancient China and went deep behind enemy lines, but the mountain passes that lay in his path were insurmountable! Did Deng Ai ultimately succeed in striking the heart of the Shu Kingdom? Read on the find out!

Character ability 1: "Amassing Terrain 屯田 (tún tián)"
Every instance that you lose card(s) (on-hand or equipped) outside your turn, you can flip a judgement card. If the judgement is not the suit of "hearts", you can put the judgement card (referred to as "Terrain") atop your character card. Every "Terrain" that you amass, your physical distance to other players decreases by -1.

(Trivia: 屯田 is the agricultural policy practiced by Cao Cao, sending soldiers and refugees to distant lands, so as to boost the economy and provide supplies to the military. The actual meaning of 屯田 can be translated as "Growing Wheat", "Agricultural strategies" or simply "Cultivation")

Character ability 2: "Conduit 凿险 (záo xiǎn)" [Awakening Ability]
At the beginning of your turn, if you have more than or equal to 3 "Terrains", you must reduce your maximum health by 1 unit. You will  then permanently acquire the ability "Blitz 急袭" (In the action phase, you can use any of your "Terrains" as STEAL 顺手牵羊)

Ability's relation to story:
In his younger days, Deng Ai is an official of agriculture, and he was promoted for his talent of agricultural affairs. With more farmlands be developed, he can reach his enemies more easily, due to the steady supply of food and land clearance. Thus the ability "Amassing Terrain" is quite apt for this character, and the mechanics also seems to provide the related advantage. The only issue, though, is that there is no relation between losing cards (or possessions) to how Deng Ai actually increases his territory in the story. Still, a good match nonetheless!

"Conduit" refers to his achievement of constructing canals for the Huai River (淮河). Near the end of the Three Kingdoms era, Sima Yi planned to cultivate the bank of the Huai river, and he sent Deng Ai for this mission. With a good head for geography, Deng Ai advised that canals should be constructed for irrigation, and the result was sensational! Through this success, Deng Ai leap-frogged his way into important official appointments for the Wei Kingdom. In a way, this does mirror the "awakening" of Deng Ai in the story.

"Blitz" refers to his campaign against the Shu Kingdom. He led his forces over the impassable mountains of Sichuan 四川 and struck deep in the heart of the Shu Kingdom, Cheng Du 成都. Nobody was able too foresee that Deng Ai would strike from the mountains, since those mountains have served as a natural defense for Cheng Du for centuries. The Shu Emperor at the time, Liu Shan 刘禅, was forced to surrender, and that marked the beginning of the end for the Kingdom so laboriously created by Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang. For the mechanics of this ability, there does not seem to be any direct link between being able to "steal" and the sneak attack on Cheng Du. They weren't thieves; they were fighers! It does make sense, though, for STEAL to be the tool card of choice since the physical distance advantage is, by far, most useful for stealing.

Additional info based on story:
Most famous achievement - Eliminating the Shu Kingdom. How's THAT for an accomplishment on a resume? Though Deng Ai does take a lot of credit (and Liu Shan a lot of the flak) for the fall of Shu, there was one other critical person behind the scenes who was giving Liu Shan ill-advice. That person was Huang Hao 黄皓, the corrupt and worthless official that peppered Liu Shan with flattery and ill-wisdom. The story says that Huang Hao was executed by Wei troops as even the enemy did not want such a worm, but historically his death  was never written. Legend says that he managed to escape execution by bribing the Wei soldiers.

Cause of death - Killed in a coup d'état planned by Jiang Wei. After the surrender of Liu Shan, Jiang Wei falsely surrendered to Zhong Hui 钟会, the ambitious rival of Deng Ai. They defamed Deng Ai and caused Deng Ai and his son to be imprisoned. Although the coup de’tat was unsuccessful, Deng Ai and his son were killed by the prison keeper, fearing the vengeance of Deng Ai’s troops once Deng Ai is freed.

Wiki Link:
Deng Ai Wiki


  1. does it basically mean for his ability, every time he lose a card outside his turn he is like adding a -1 horse?

  2. is this specific to the manner in which he loses a card (i.e. does it work for him playing a Peach to save someone, or spending Attacks in a Duel, or using a Dodge, etc.)?

  3. Anonymous: It does the functional equivalent, but it's not actually adding a -1 horse.

    seph: It means losing cards due to Steal, Dismantle, and the like. Playing cards is different Peach, Attacks in a Duel, and Dodges are all considered playing the card, not losing them.

  4. ^ No. Playing, using and /or discarding cards are all included in the area of "losing cards". Spending cards in "Points Duel", Exchanging cards in "Alliance" are also included, according to the official FAQ.

  5. For his awakening ability, does he lose one maximum health at the beginning of EACH turn so long as he has three or more fields or does the health loss only happen once per game?

  6. ^The max. health loss happen only once per game. By the way, let me introduce the awakening ability system.

    An awakening ability is a combination of enforced ability and single-use ability. Whenever the requirement of an awakening ability is fulfilled, the mechanism will be triggered, changing the max. health as a sign (to show that the ability has been used once) and the character gets some additional skills, sometimes with some bonus.

    In this case, whenever Deng Ai amasses three or more than three "Terrains" (the requirement), his max health will be reduced by 1 and gets the ability "Blitz".

    ...Doesn't it sounds like you get up whenever your alarm clack rings, and you get up once per day only, even if the alarm clock rings again...

    P.S. To defeat Deng Ai, leave him alone and kill his teammates first. He is only powerful after he has been awakened...

  7. 1. what is the exchanging cards in "alliance" mean?
    2. So in response to what 零時色 said above, using a DODGE when some ATTACKS you actually activates the ability "Amassing Terrain"?

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. will there be translation to the Demi-god characters?

  10. If someone uses "Duel" on Deng Ai & Deng Ai plays multiple "sha" in response to it, can he

    (1)Activate "屯田" everytime he plays a "sha"?
    (2)Or he is only allowed to activate "屯田" once after the entire duel is over?

  11. ^ (1) is right. Everytime he plays and ATTACK, he can activate "Amassing Terrain". This is because he loses an on-hand card whenever he plays an ATTACK, so it is counted as 'one instance' that you lose a card.

  12. can the "terrains" be broken by "dismantle"?

  13. ^ No. Cards of "Terrains", "Refuting Death" and "Stars" (DG Zhuge Liang) are considered as removed from game temporarily. DISMANTLE and STEAL have no effects on them.

  14. if he has 5 terrains that means that his physical distance from others is 5, meaning you need like the Unicorn Bow to attack them?

  15. No, he gains -1 per terrain, it means if he has 5 terrains. the next 5 players are distance 0 to him.

  16. ReijiShiki: Can you please provide the source in the official FAQ which states " Playing, using and /or discarding cards are all included in the area of 'losing cards'" Thanks.

  17. ^ Unfortunately, the official FAQ never define something precisely and directly, and you can only deduce it...the word "according" seems to be too's my fault...

    (Evidence of losing cards as using NEGATE)

    (Evidence of losing cards in Points Duel)

    (Evidence of losing cards in "Alliance")

    ...Also, you can find traces in Lu Xun's case.

    In Ricky's translation, Lu Xun's "One after another" is translated as "Whenever Lu Xun loses or uses his last on-hand card, he can immediately draw one card from the deck. This means Lu Xun will always have at least one card on hand at all times.", but the character card of Lu Xun actually uses the word "失去", same wording as Deng Ai's...

    You can find the official FAQ in YOKAGAMES. Sorry, I am not going to translate them currently, as I have to scan the translation here before translating the FAQ.

    P.S. For further study, you may search for the unofficial FAQ. Although it is not made by YOKAGAMES actually, it is more detailed and generally accepted. I think it has a high creditability and use them to solve problems not stated by the official rulebook and FAQ, but it is up to you.

  18. So basically, when fighting him on 1vs1, will it be really hard to kill him ?

  19. ^ Not really.

    Deng Ai can be really tough, but there are several methods to kill him.

    1) Use characters that can deal damage without activating "Amassing Terrain", e.g. Zhou Yu, Xiao Qiao, Dian Wei, Ling Tong...Ma Chao and Huang Zhong are also good options.

    2) Use characters that have have immunity towards BLAZE, i.e. Lu Xun and Xu Shu. Note that Jia Xu is immune towards black-suited TOOL CARDS, and Deng Ai cannot acquire "Terrains" of heart suit. In other words, only STEALs converted by diamonds "Terrains" are effective towards Jia Xu.

    3) Use characters that can keep extra cards outside their turns, e.g. Diao Chan and Lu Meng. Zhang Chunhua with activated "Bereavement" is also OK.

    4) Elder Zhuge Liang: Who can steal from the "Empty City"?

    5) Even if you are not using characters above, don't hesitate to attack Deng Ai. the number of ATTACKs is twice of that of DODGE, so Deng Ai would eventually fails to dodge.

    6)BLAZE can deal damage to Deng Ai without activating "Amassing Terrain". That means Younger Zhuge Liang is also a good choice.


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