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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Liú Shàn 刘禅

Posted by Ricky Chua On 6:14 PM 22 comments
Translated description:
"The King with a Laissez-faire Destiny 无为的真命主 (wú wéi dè zhēn mìng zhǔ)"

Who is he:
Likely one of the most despised characters in the entire era, Liu Shan is the son and successor of Liu Bei 刘备. He took over the reins of the Shu Kingdom from an early age of 16 (the year that Liu Bei died), and is infamous for his inability as a ruler... or at least that is what the story wants us to think. There was a huge chunk of history missing between the years Liu Shan first ruled Shu till the fall of the kingdom 40 years later. In the absence of recorded facts, myths and rumours have not been kind to Liu Shan and painted a picture of an indulgent and indecisive ruler. Ultimately, the kingdom of Shu so painstakingly created by Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang 诸葛亮 and gang, was destroyed during Liu Shan's reign. Legend has it that Liu Shan's intellect was compromised when his own father threw the baby Liu Shan on the ground! Why would Liu Bei do such a thing? Read on to find out!

Character ability 1: "Relish 享乐 (xiǎng lè)" [Enforced ability]
Whenever other player targets an ATTACK 杀 at you, he/she must discard a basic card, or that ATTACK has no effect on you.

Character ability 2: "Devolution 放权 (fàng quán)"
You can skip your action phase. If you do so, you can discard an on-hand card at the end of your turn and let another player go an extra turn.

Character ability 3: "Eiron 若愚" [Ruler ability] [Awakening ability] 
At the start of your turn, if your health is the least or among the least, you must raise your maximum health by 1 unit, regain 1 unit of health and permanently acquire get the ability "Rouse 激将".

(Note: "Rouse" is Liu Bei's Ruler ability, where Shu characters can use an ATTACK on his behalf.)

Ability's relation to story:
"Relish" refers to Liu Shan’s lifestyle. Liu Shan was interested in playing and having fun, but never in politics. He continued to relish his material wealth and abundance even after the downfall of Shu. However, some say his indulgent lifestyle was all just a ploy to keep him away from danger. Even though he was captured by Wei forces, he was given nobility in Wei's courts and allowed to enjoy his final years in peace. The mechanics of this ability cleverly shields Liu Shan from ATTACKS, allowing him (you) to stay safe and happy.

"Devolution" refers to his political strategies. He allowed his trusted officials to handle all state affairs, regardless of their capability. When he gave the power to wise people like Zhuge Liang and Jiang Wei 姜维, the Shu kingdom was efficient and strong. However, it proved to be a mistake to give such powers to Huang Hao 黄皓, the corrupt and incapable eunuch who Liu Shan trusted. The Shu kingdom quickly became chaotic, and ultimately crumbled. The game mechanics allows Liu Shan to "devolute" his action phase, granting an extra turn to another player that you trust. Don't make the same mistake as Liu Shan! Watch out for the defectors!

"Eiron" is interesting. It comes from the Chinese phrase “大智若愚 (still-water runs deep, or the smartest people usually seems the dumbest)”. Although Liu Shan was thought to be an incompetent leader, some historians thought he was just feinting the fool. When Liu Bei was still alive, Zhuge Liang praised Liu Shan as benevolent, clever and receptive. Some historians also believe that when Sima Zhao 司马昭 invited him to a banquet (the banquet that became the basis of ACEDIA 乐不思蜀), Liu Shan played the fool without ambition so as to protect himself. Sadly, whether he really was a fool or a cunning actor, we will never know. In this game ability, however, Liu Shan need not feign the fool forever, but can unveil his disguise as a powerful leader as capable as Liu Bei.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Losing his "brain cells" when Liu Bei tossed him. Ok perhaps that's not exactly an achievement, but it's still very significant in popular folklore. At the battle of Chang Ban 长板之战, Zhao Yun 赵云 risked life and limb to rescue the baby Liu Shan from Wei forces. When Liu Bei saw the wounds that his beloved general suffered to save his son, Liu Bei tossed his baby to the ground and proclaimed "To preserve that suckling I very nearly lost a great general!" It is said that Liu Shan suffered a concussion as a result of Liu Bei's over-drama, and hence became "stupid" for the rest of his life.

2. Cause of death - Old age. After living in captivity in Wei, Liu Shan never did think much about his own kingdom that he lost. All he seemed to care about was living a carefree life and having ample play-time. Thus Liu Shan was never again regarded as a threat and he was left to while away his remaining 8 years of his life under soft-captivity. He was aptly given the title "The Duke of Peace and Comfort 安乐公". Because of this, he has become almost synonymous with the sin of Acedia. He was aged 64 when he died.

Wiki Link:
Liu Shan Wiki


  1. Not quite sure how the Devolution ability works. By letting another player to have extra turn, is it;
    1. That player get to play a turn immediately, then back to normal flow. Or,
    2. That player get to play two times when it is his/her turn.

  2. I want to also ask about the first ability. I want to know the order of procession. When someone targets Liú Shàn with an attack does Liú Shàn first discard a block first and then the player attack discards a card to make the attack effective?

  3. Can you only Awaken once? Meaning that after Liu Shan gains his awakening ability, during the game if he is ever at the least/among the least life again, can he add 1 to his maximum life and gain 1 life?

  4. For "Relish", when someone targets Liu Shan with an ATTACK, he/she discards a basic card before Liu Shan uses a dodge/receives damage.

    For "Devolution", Liu Shan has to skip his action phase only when he can (an effective ACEDIA will disable his ability) and discard an on-hand card at the end of the turn (NOT the end phase), and the player gets the extra turn IMMEDIATELY.
    By the way, to indicate the player is doing the extra turn, Liu Shan has the COMMAND(令) card (the card that Liu Shan shows a naughty face in the expansion pack). If you are using Liu Shan, you place the COMMAND card face-up beside you character card. When you use devolution, give the COMMAND card to the character you choose to indicate this is an extra turn, until the end of this extra turn.
    Also, if there is a character whose character card is flipped (face-down), and you give him/her an extra turn, he/she flips over the character card (becoming face-up) and returns to normal flow.
    (To Ricky: This is the information from the current FAQ, after the translation was done. Please add this as further reference to the ability.)

    You can awaken only once.
    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.

  5. Can the attacker discard a "wine" to fulfill the requirements of "Relish" but at the same time, does this discarded "wine" serve a 2nd purpose such tt there's a +1 to the attack?

    My sentiments tell me it's a "NO" but i just want to be sure.

  6. when he uses devolution for a player to gain an extra turn, do the player with 2 turn have to wait until his/her turn and play the turn twice in a row? or does his/her turn follow immediately at the end of Liú Shàn

  7. ^ For "Devolution", Liu Shan has to skip his action phase only when he can (an effective ACEDIA will disable his ability) and discard an on-hand card at the end of the turn (NOT the end phase), and the player gets the extra turn IMMEDIATELY.

  8. Can Zhen Ji discard any on hand black card (as a dodge) to fulfill the requirements for Relish?

  9. Yes, she can. Same goes to Guan Yu and Dong Zhuo.

  10. Even better would be if you had the Serpent Spear and used two other cards to get that one attack you need, after of course using two card to attack him to begin with.

  11. ^this should not be the case, please be aware of the description of each skill.
    Zhen Ji's skill description: You can use any black suited on-hand cards as Dodge when you need to use or play a Dodge card.
    Guan Yu's skill description: You can use any red suited cards as Attack when you need to use or play an Attack card.
    Dong Zhuo's skill description: You can use any spades on hand cards as Wine when you need to use a Wine card.
    Please be aware that, none of the above skill mentioned about whether or not discarding a black suited card (in Zhen Ji's case) would be considered as a Dodge; only on hand cards that is being played/used can be considered as a Dodge.
    Liu Shan's skill needs you to DISCARD a basic card, not play/use an extra basic card.
    So at the end of the day, NOE of these characters mentioned above can use their skill to meet their requirements of discarding a basic card.

    1. Imagine 臥龍諸葛亮 + 吳國太 if that was the case -_-

  12. and more over, you cannot use Serpent Spear as well, same logic goes into the same scenario.

  13. ^ Lord Leopard's logic is right, because you cannot use these conversion abilities in discarding.

    By the way, even if the mechanism allows you to do so, I think no one will discard precious TOOL CARDS and EQUIPMENT CARDS except those you cannot utilise at that moment...

  14. it seems that since he only had 3 "bloods" the awakening ability could just be activated at the beginning of the game. since he will always be "among the least" with three health. would that be accurate or does he need to lose one health first?

    1. "Eiron" is a Ruler ability. It can only be activated when Liu Shan is the ruler. So he besically has 4 units of health.

      P.S. You may consider the units of health as "Yin Yang Fish" (official speaking) or "Magatama" (general speaking).

    2. he needs to lose one unit of health first unless all the other characters have four units of health. he has one extra as a ruler, hence he will have 4, and it is likely there will be someone else with 3 units of health.

      it is not actually guaranteed he'll get that ability unless he gets to 1 health.

    3. Even if he gets to 1 health, it is not guaranteered that he can activate "Eiron", since he may face a defector of Zhou Tai who is "Refuting Death" ^ ^

    4. can "Eiron" use more than once like every beginning of his turn if she is less health than others. he regains health and another max health?

  15. After reading some nice stuff in your article I really feel speechlesschild care rouse hill


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