"Quitting is not an option 险不辞难 (xiǎn bù cí nán)"
Who is he:
You are probably familiar with him by now. Before this SP release, Cao Ren was considered one of the least popular characters. I especially did not look forward to skipping one full round of action despite having additional cards. I felt like a wealthy paraplegic whenever I used him.
Sad to say, I'm still not a fan after this update. True, his defensive abilities have remained, and its usefulness is now pegged to player skill. He now has a 2nd ability that gives him slightly more playability. His portrait also looks fantastic and I would gladly hang a life-size poster on my bedroom wall.
But his most crippling weakness still remains: that "skip-a-turn" cost for using his first (and most useful) ability. Ultimately, I feel like i'm still handicapped and restrained. It's an improvement no doubt, but I'd still wouldn't use him.
Why is he an SP character?
The answer is simple. The old Cao Ren was as energetic as a kettle, and just as respected. If there was a character that needed tweaking, he was it.
Character ability 1: "Break Out 溃围 (kuì wéi)"
At the Ending phase of your turn, you may draw 2 + X cards, then flip your character card over. If you do so, you must discard X cards at the beginning of your next drawing phase. X is the total number of weapon cards in all the equipped areas of all characters.
Character ability 2: "Discipline 严整 (yán zhěng)"
If the number of your on-hand cards is larger than your health, you may use any of your equipped cards as NEGATE 无懈可击.
Additional info based on changes:
Being a master of defensive warfare, Cao Ren knew that simply entrenching was the worst defensive tactics, as the cut of supply would slowly deplete the defense. Only by counterstriking and breaking through the encirclement could save his troops. Cao Ren himself performed two amazing breakthroughs in the history. The first one was in the defense of Jiang Ling 江陵. After the defeat of Cao Cao 曹操 in Red Cliffs, Zhou Yu 周瑜 led his troops to attack the city of Jiang Ling. Cao Ren was assigned to protect Jiang Ling, and he sent Niu Jin 牛金 and 300 troops to challenge the vanguard of Zhou Yu's troops. Niu Jing's troops were encircled quickly. Neglecting the advice of Chen Jiao 陈矫, Cao Ren managed to lead some elite cavaliers personally to save Niu Jing, which was a success. The adviser stopped him just before exclaiming, "General, you are truly a man from Heaven!".
Betrayed by the name, "Breakthrough" is actually a defensive ability like his previous ability "Entrenchment". Perhaps the action of drawing cards reflected the preparation of Cao Ren and the action of discarding reflected the depletion of power after counter attacking?
"Discipline" was the backbone of army, and Cao Ren was good at promoting discipline of his army, just as almost all Wei generals. Discipline was an essential concern of Cao Cao, who aimed at conquering/liberating (pick the one you like) the whole China, Being a respected general and a master of defense, Cao Ren knew the importance of discipline very well. His army was one of the most disciplined troops at that time. This ability allowed you to convert equipped cards to NEGATE. Perhaps it shows that you have to discard the impure troops to maintain "无懈可击 (No flaw to be exploited)"?
How to obtain this character?
Purchase the 14th issue of Zhuo You Zhi magazine (March 2012) to get this limited character card as a free gift! Or simply purchase it separately through Sino-Games.com!