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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yáng Xiū 杨修 (SP001)

Posted by Ricky Chua On 9:50 PM 12 comments
Translated Description: 
Genius Unrestrained 恃才放旷 (shì cái fàng kuàng)

Who is he:
Famed to be one of the most brilliant advisers to Cao Cao 曹操, Yang Xiu was either a genius or a lunatic. Going by his track-record of excellent advice and superior logic, he was mostly trusted, even respected, by Cao Cao. On the other hand, Yang Xiu has a nasty habit of thinking way too far and conjuring up dramatic assumptions for harmless incidents. He was the ancient equivalent of a conspiracy-theorist, and that ultimately cost him his life. Learn from the ancients, don't be too smart for your own good.

Why is he an SP character?
Yang Xiu is not a new character to SGS. In fact Yang Xiu has been around for a while as an original pack character in "Q version" of SGS. Why they left him out of the "mature version" of SGS is anybody's guess. Rumor has it that YOKA left him out on purpose so as to make the Q version more marketable for collectors. Now they've turned the situation around and made him as an SP character, collectible only through the 1st ever issue of Zhuo You Zhi 桌游志. The first issue is now out of print, together with this character! The official YOKA Yang Xiu card is listing for over SGD$50 per card, making this one of the most collectible SGS cards ever!

Character ability 1: Have your Cake (and eat it) 啖酪 (dàn lào)
When you are targeted by a tool card that also affects other players, you can immediately draw a card. If you do so, that tool card has no effect on you.

Character ability 2: The Wishing Bone 鸡肋 (jī lèi)
Whenever you receive damage, you can voice out a card type (basic cards, tool cards or equipment cards). The player that caused you damage can no longer use, play, or discard any on-hand cards of that type until the end of that round.

Ability's relation to story:
You probably heard the phrase "have your cake and eat it too", but a literal version of this scenario actually happened to Yang Xiu. A nomadic tribe sent a box of cakes to Cao Cao as a gift. Cao Cao wrote on the box the words "一合酥" (a box of cake). Upon seeing this, Yang Xiu grabbed a spoon and shared the cake with all of Cao Cao's followers. A puzzled Cao Cao asked for an explanation, to which Yang Xiu replied, "You wrote the words "one mouthful for every person", dare I not obey?" The answer lies in breaking up the words "一合" (a box) into its constituent parts "一人一口" (a mouthful per person). Cao Cao probably gave him the WTF-look. He wasn't happy that his cake was eaten. The mechanics of this ability seems to create that benefit of "eating your cake" by allowing you to draw a card, but it does miss out on the danger to himself that occurred in the story.

"The Wishing Bone" is another famous incident. Cao Cao was contemplating a retreat after his general Xiahou Yuan 夏侯渊 was defeated by Huang Zhong 黄忠. He could not decide if it was better to stay and fight or to withdraw, and it weighed heavily on his mind. He repeatedly muttered the words "chicken bones" as he drank his chicken soup, probably not referring to anything specific. Yang Xiu got wind of the words "chicken bones" and told all the generals to prepare for a retreat. "Chicken bones are tasteless if eaten, but its a pity to discard them as they are useful for soup. He is signalling that advance is futile, and a retreat is imminent. Prepare to retreat, lest there be panic when the order is given." Boy was Cao Cao pissed when he heard that troop morale was dampened by the smart-aleck Yang Xiu!

So what's the relation of "The Wishing Bone" to the story? Not much. It seems more like a defensive mechanism while the story shows that incident was anything but defensive!

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Pulling stories and reasoning out of thin air. The two stories listed above are but two incidents. There are others as well, some completely illogical (or logical, depending on your perspective) but all very creative.

2. Cause of death - Executed by Cao Cao. Seriously, he outsmarted himself. The signal for retreat in the "Wishing Bone" story was a military breach of conduct, and people have been executed for much less. Cao Cao bit the bullet and executed Yang Xiu. After Yang Xiu's death, Cao Cao did not retreat but instead advanced on the enemy. It was a horrible defeat, and Cao Cao regretted not listening to Yang Xiu after all.

How to obtain this character?
Purchase Zhuo You Zhi 桌游志 magazine issue #1 (January 2011) and #2 (February 2011). Unfortunately this issue is no longer in print, and will cost you an arm to buy it!

Wiki Link:
Yang Xiu Wiki


  1. Cant wait for other SP char details..

  2. 更正: 不是鸡助 是 鸡肋 ji lei

  3. Are you guys sure that it's for every tool cards not AOE ? The old version is for AOE I think.

  4. jy thanks for pointing out the error!

  5. anon: it does not necessarily apply to all AOEs, such as iron shackles. as long as he is one of those targeted where there are also others affected.

    i've cleared up the translation a bit to make it clearer.

  6. Can he use his 1st skill with Harvest? If so, does he draw before cards are revealed, before his turn to take a card, or after everyone has taken one?

    Can another player Negate the tool card's effect on him to prevent him from drawing a card? A little ambiguous because it says *targeted* by a tool card, and *immediately* draw a card

    If the person who damaged him only has the type of card that Yang Xiu called and is over hand limit, would he be able to keep them through discard phase?

  7. ^ Yes, he can use "Have your Cake" with beneficial tool cards HARVEST and PEACH GARDEN, as long as they target you and character(s) other than you.
    In the case of HARVEST, Yang Xiu draws after cards are revealed.

    "Have your Cake" takes effect before NEGATE. The procedure should be:
    1.Using the tool card (Huang Yueying draws a card at this moment)
    2.Targeting (Jia Xu's "Behind the Curtain", Yang Xiu's "Take your Cake")
    [2.5 HARVEST:showing cards equal to the number of surviving characters]
    3.The tool card takes effect(Xu Shu's "Speechless", using NEGATE)

    For "The Wishing Bone", it is a complicated issue. I would explain it in detail.

    If a character becomes the target of “The Wishing Bone” he/she cannot discard his/her on-hand cards of this type .He/she cannot discard those cards for abilities (e.g. Diao Chan cannot discard those cards to use "Seed of Animosity", Sun Quan cannot discard those cards for "Balance of Power"), or discard those cards in discard phase.

    If he/she has discarded cards of other types, and still, cannot discard the on-hand cards to the number of current units of health, he/she has to show the entire set of on-hand cards to prove that he cannot discard these cards. Then, the discard phase ends and he/she can keep the remaining cards, which can turn out to be an advantage.

    P.S. "Take the Cake" can only be used when "a tool card targets multiple characters that include you". Therefore, in the occasion that there are two characters only, when Yang Xiu's opponent use BARBARIANS or RAINING ARROWS, the AOE tool cards only target Yang Xiu. Therefore, Yang Xiu cannot use "Take the Cake".

    Historically, he was executed not for the military action, but for leakage of test materials to Cao Zhi...

    To Ricky: SGS never uses the word "Player" to prevent ambiguity. Also, there are translation mistakes in WINE. Please fix them.

  8. Phew, makes me thankful that I got a bootleg version of this card with my bootleg version of SGS! :D

  9. What is the verdict on the term "round".
    If Yang Xiu decides on Basic Cards, then can that player not play any until when?
    Their next turn?
    Yang Xiu's next turn?
    The King's next turn?

    Does this hold true if Yang Xiu is damaged by another player outside of their turn? (Such as through Diao Chan?)
    Then would the be unable to play until Diao Chan's next turn?

  10. ^
    It should not be "round". My original translation is

    Everytime you receive damage, you can state a type of cards (basic cards, tool cards or equipment cards). The source of damage cannot use, play or discard the type of cards stated by you until the end of this turn.


    1. Inside the turn of the source of damage (e.g. someone ATTACKs Yang Xiu directly), the source of damage cannot use, play or discard that type of cards until the end of his turn.

    2. Outside the turn of the source of damage :

    e.g. Diao Chan "Seed of Animosity" on Lu Bu and Yang Xiu, and Lu Bu deals 1 damage to Yang Xiu, Lu Bu cannot use,play or discard that type of cards until the end of this turn , i.e. Diao Chan's turn.

  11. Ji Lei can be a very powerful offensive ability as well... imagine spamming ATTACK! on an enemy after banning him/her from using basic cards to defend. In terms of how you can trigger the skill on an enemy during Yang Xiu's turn, I can automatically think of 2 tool cards that can help you to do that.

    And if you consider the cards banned by Ji Lei as chicken bones, you will find out that they are useless for this turn (tasteless to eat), but useful to keep for the soup (and so you end up keeping them).

  12. Ji Lei really does means that the target is the character in whose round Yang Xiu was damaged. Thus Diao Chan will be affected even if she's not the source, and no, it can't be used to produce a scenario where a character is completely vulnerable to attacks, since the only one who will and could be affected is the character currently having the turn. And since this ability doesn't carry over to the next turn, it really cannot be used in the offensive way PeterCheungJr said.


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