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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Páng Tǒng 庞统

Posted by Ricky Chua On 5:40 PM 24 comments
Translated description:
"Rising Phoenix 凤雏 (fèng chú)"

Wikipedia Link: Pang Tong Wiki

Who is he:
The second smartest person of the era, but also probably the ugliest in looks. Pang Tong is supposedly Zhu Ge Liang 诸葛亮's equal in the brains department. Where Zhu Ge Liang is given the nickname "Hidden Dragon 卧龙 (wo long)", Pang Tong is given the nickname "Rising Phoenix 凤雏 (feng chu)". However his hideous looks made some doubt his ability, such as Sun Quan 孙权. Pang Tong is credited as the critical link behind Cao Cao 曹操's spectacular defeat at battle of Red Cliffs 赤壁之战, but he did not live very long to share his talents. Imagine how the world would have been different had Pang Tong lived a decade longer, where both he and Zhu Ge Liang were helping Liu Bei 刘备.

Character ability 1: "Shackle 连环 (lián huán)"
Every on-hand card that has the suit of "clubs" can be used as IRON SHACKLES 铁索连环.

(This also means that card, regardless of its original function, can perform RE-DRAW 重铸, ie: discarded and replaced with a new card from the deck).

Character ability 2: "Nirvana 涅盘 (niè pán)" [Single-use ability]
When you are on the brink of death, you can choose to discard all your cards (both on-hand and equipped) and resurrect yourself. You will have 3 units of health after resurrection and can immediately draw 3 cards from the deck.

(This ability can only be used once. A symbol or marking (unspecified in the instructions) should be used to inform all players that "Nirvana" has already been used once.)

Ability's relation to story:
"Shackles" is a perfect match for Pang Tong since he practically masterminded the shackling of Cao Cao's ships at the battle of Red Cliffs. The shackles turned out to be the key reason for the blaze which wiped out Cao Cao's troops. You can read more about this incident in my write-up on IRON SHACKLES.

"Nirvana" is an interesting ability. Players have commented that the game makers are making up for Pang Tong's early death by allowing him to resurrect in the card game. Then again, a lot of other characters died early but the game makers never gave them resurrection abilities. I mean look at Guo Jia 郭嘉, he was an exceptional advisor and died young. No second-life for him in this game!

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Tricking Cao Cao into shackling all his ships together prior to the battle of Red Cliffs, such that when Zhou Yu 周瑜 set the ships ablaze, there was no escape! Pang Tong is also credited as the main motivator behind Liu Bei's occupation of the west, which became the stronghold for Shu Han 蜀汉.

2. Cause of death - Pang Tong was ambushed by arrows as he led troops to attack Luo Cheng 罗城. Liu Bei decided to send Pang Tong by the shortcut, where ambushes were to be expected, even though Liu Bei himself was the combat personnel and Pang Tong was an advisor. The location of Pang Tong's death is called Luo Feng Po 落凤坡, which translates to Valley of the fallen phoenix. How apt.

FAQ and Disambiguation

1. If Pang Tong is the Ruler, does he get reincarnated with 4 health units or just 3?

Ans: After reincarnation , he gets only 3 units health. But as a ruler, his max health is still 4 units. Therefore he can use one PEACH card to increase to 4 units of health.

2. Does Pang Tong gets to pick a new character for his second life?

Ans: No. You must still remain as Pang Tong.


  1. Perhaps they decided to give him the resurrection power since he was named after the phoenix, which gets reborn when it dies.

  2. That is possible, but the ability's name does not have any link to phoenix. Instead it mentions Nirvana. hmm...

    1. As Red China mentioned, in Chinese stories (actually originated from India), the phoenix is a creature with the ability to resurrect itself. There's a saying, 凤凰浴火,涅槃重生 (The phoenix resurrect itself by bathing in fire.)

      In dictionary, there're two explanations to the word Nirvana, 涅槃 and 天堂. Don't mix them up, we're referring to the first meaning here.

  3. Quick question about pang tong. If he is the ruler and he uses nirvana, does he reincarnate with 4 lives again? Or just 3?


  4. Most feedback in the community suggests that his "2nd life" will only have 3 units of health, regardless of Ruler or not. The difference is in the MAX health. As a ruler, after reincarnation he gets 3 units health in a 4 unit MAX.

    This means that after NIRVANA, Pang Tong (as ruler) can use one PEACH card to increase to 4 units of health.

  5. Does Pang Tong get to pick a new character for his second life? Could you double check the text of his second ability on the card and confirm whether this is the case?

  6. No, pang tong cannot pick a new character for his second life. I think the two words you are not sure about is "zhong zhi" which means "invert". That is the default way of showing that you have already used this ability, and thus, cannot use it again.

  7. No he cannot pick a new character after Nirvana. He will still be the Chain Master Pang Tong.

  8. It's interesting, I've always thought that we had to take a random character in the deck... My chinese friends and I have always played this way... And it semt interesting, considering his beautiful face , he would probably have chosen to get a more attractive body for his second life...

  9. Thanks!!! Today, i had a talk with my friends... I just asked them to reread carefully the text on the card... and they all had the "ah aaah!" effect at the same time understanding that we had played wrongly so far.Anyway, picking a new character was very funny , especially when Pang Tong became Diaochan!!!!

  10. Hahaha!! Huzi your comment made my day~ I can only imagine Pang Tong's smug face as the sexy Diao Chan. Hahahaha!

  11. can the nirvana ability be activated after each person gets a turn to use a peach to save him in the brink of death? or does he have to choose to use it before that happens?

  12. Anytime he wants.. He can choose to do it after or before.

  13. If Pang Tong loses his last unit of health on his own turn and uses his Nirvana ability, does his turn end immediately or can he use those 3 new cards?

  14. He continues on with his turn, and can use the 3 new cards with normal restrictions (only 1 ATTACK per turn).

  15. what happens if he doesnt have any on-hand cards or equipped cards

    can he still use his ability then?

  16. Yes, he can.

    Regarding an earlier post of Ricky's, "Most feedback in the community suggests that his "2nd life" will only have 3 units of health, regardless of Ruler or not. The difference is in the MAX health. As a ruler, after reincarnation he gets 3 units health in a 4 unit MAX."

    This is not based on feedback. The official ruling in the FIRE insert states this.

  17. Does Pang Tong have to discard pending judgment cards also when he dies ?

  18. BTW one further comment to make, there's a sentence yet to be translated regarding his 2nd ability:

    Upon nirvana, his character card should be switched back default position (i.e. vertical and face up), which means he is no longer under "Shackle" and missing his next turn.

  19. Let me explain more about Nirvana, especially on why it was so commonly misunderstood to change a second character card...

  20. On the card, the text just says "重置你的武将牌" (reset your character card). Many players didn't really understand what this "reset" means, without realizing its relationship between Iron Shackle the tool card.
    BTW, details of the Iron Shackle were only printed in ultra-tiny font on the super-mini rule paper that goes with the expansion pack, which went totally unnoticed for most players. Many of them were also playing the tool card in a wrong way, e.g. put it between the two shackled players without touching their character cards.
    In that case, many players interpreted Pang Tong's second ability as picking a new character card, creating the widely-spread misunderstanding.

    Although SGS online has been there for a long time, but it was only very long that the Battle pack and other expansion packs were online. This common mistake was clarified only after that.

  21. Hello, if pang tong comes back to life. Can he still use his first ability?


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