Li Ru 5
Li Ru 李儒
The Devil's Poisonous Scholar

Poisoned Wine 毒计
Li Ru can place a spade on his character card. This is Poison. Whenever another character attacks, Li Ru can place Poison in their hand. The attacking character must either flip their character card or lose one health. This count as the attacker using wine as well. Li Ru can have only one Poison on his character card at any time.

See Through 识破
Li Ru cannot be targeted by spade attacks or tools.
Clarification:
  • The spade that Li Ru places on his card as a Poison cannot be used for its original purpose. For example, if he has a spade Attack, he cannot play this card in response to a Duel or Barbarians. His Poison also cannot be removed with a Break, Steal, or character ability.
  • When Li Ru gives his Poison to another character, the attacking character must select whether they lose health or flip before the attack goes into effect.
  • Li Ru cannot give Poison to himself to power up one of his attacks with Wine. This ability can only target other characters.
  • Li Ru can only target another character with "Poisoned Wine" if they have not used a Wine during that turn.  This is because a player is limited to using Wine once during each turn.
  • "See Through" is enforced. Li Ru does not have an option in this ability.
  • "See Through" does not prevent the use of a Negate.
 Strengths Weaknesses
  • "Poisoned Wine" has multiple uses. Li Ru can use it on an ally that is attacking one of his enemies to add Wine and increase the damage of the Attack if he is confident that the target does not have an Escape. Likewise, he can target an enemy that is attacking one of his allies (or even himself) if he is confident that the target of the Attack has an Escape.
  • When Li Ru targets an enemy with "Poisoned Wine," the two options that they have to choose from (negligence damage and flipping their character card) are very extreme. This ability is nice against characters with retaliatory abilities or damage-activated abilities since negligence damage will not trigger these abilities. Also, flipping one's character card is very rarely an attractive proposition. 
  • "See Through" gives Li Ru a decent amount of protection against enemy tool and Attack cards. See the 'Final Remarks' section for more details.
  • "Poisoned Wine" and "See Through" work quite well together, especially in a one-on-one scenario. Li Ru can target an enemy with "Poisoned Wine" when they are attacking him if he has an Escape in his hand (since he knows that the Attack will not damage him) in order to force the enemy to suffer negligence damage or flip their character card. The spade-suited card that they just acquired cannot be used to target Li Ru.
  • While there are two different ways to use "Poisoned Wine," both uses have significant drawbacks. When Li Ru targets an enemy with "Poisoned Wine," there is a chance that the enemy's target (Li Ru's ally) might not have an Escape. Likewise, when Li Ru targets an ally with "Poisoned Wine," there is a chance that the target's ally (Li Ru's enemy) has an Escape. In cases like these, Li Ru's ally either suffers additional damage or suffers an unnecessary unit of negligence damage or must unnecessarily flip their character card. An important part of using this ability correctly is being able to read these situations, but it is not always as easy as it seems. Another important factor is communication with your allies. Depending on your 'house rules,' you may or may not be able to ask your teammates when they are being attacked by an enemy if they have an Escape. Obviously, if you know this information, you can use this ability more effectively.
  • "See Through" is nice for defense, but with only this ability and three units of health, Li Ru is fragile. 
  • The strategy outlined in the third bullet point in the 'Strengths' section is good in one-on-one battles, but experienced players will refrain from attacking Li Ru if they have other targets when he has a Poison on his character card. 

Notable Combinations:
  • Dong Zhuo/Hua Xiong/God Guan Yu - These characters have a lot of health and can afford to suffer negligence damage when Li Ru uses "Poisoned Wine" to power up an Attack from them. Additionally, Dong Zhuo can use the spade-suited card as Wine via "Wine." This is good for Li Ru if they are on his team, but if they are not, they have a degree of leverage against Li Ru.
  • Lu Bu/God Lu Bu/Ma Chao/Huang Zhong - These characters have abilities that allow them to make their Attacks difficult or impossible to avoid with an Escape. As a result, they are good allies, but also formidable enemies, as Li Ru cannot use "Poisoned Wine" on them if they are attacking him or his allies.
  • Cao Ren/Cao Zhi/SP Cao Ren/God Cao Cao/God Lu Bu - These characters have abilities that require them to flip their character card. Li Ru can help them by targeting them with "Poisoned Wine," then they can flip back to their upright position when they activate their abilities. As with the other characters mentioned thus far, these characters are good allies, but also have leverage against Li Ru if he is on the opposite team.
  • Xiao Qiao - Xiao Qiao's "Beauty" converts her spade-suited cards into heart-suited cards. As a result, Li Ru's "See Through" gives him no protection against Xiao Qiao.
KingLi Ru is a poor king choice. "See Through" just does not provide him with enough protection against the rebels.
LoyalistLi Ru is a serviceable loyalist pick. His abilities can be damaging against the rebels, but "Poisoned Wine" will not be useful when it becomes obvious to the rebels that the king has no Escapes remaining in his/her hand.
RebelLi Ru is also a serviceable rebel pick. His abilities can be good when used against the king, but keep in mind that "Poisoned Wine" can be danagerous for his allies if they do not have an Escape.
SpyLi Ru is probably best as a spy. When he targets another character with "Poisoned Wine," both Li Ru's target and the target's target suffer, as the Attack is considered to be with Wine and Li Ru's target must either suffer negligence damage or flip their character card. Even better yet, the spade card that Li Ru parts with cannot come back to haunt him or his non-existent team, as Li Ru's "See Through" prevents it from targeting him.

Final Remarks:
3D Li Ru is a very interesting and creative character. We appreciate how his abilities reflect his accomplishments in 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms.' We also like how his abilities work well in conjunction with Dong Zhuo and his important generals (Lu Bu, Hua Xiong). However, these abilities do not seem to translate as well into San Guo Sha as we would like them to. "Poisoned Wine" can be a very risky maneuver no matter how it is used if Li Ru cannot tell if the target of the Attack has an Escape. "See Through" seems to be inspired by Jia Xu's "Curtain." The following table compares how many cards of each type to which Li Ru and Jia Xu are immune:

CardLi Ru's ImmunityJia Xu's ImmunityTotal Number of Cards in Deck
Attack11 034
Break
Duel1
Barbarians
Steal 
Hail of Arrows 0
Coerce 
Blaze 
Chains 
Capture 
Starvation 
Lightning 2

As it is plain to see, Jia Xu's "Curtain" gives him much more protection against tools than Li Ru's "See Through." The extra immunity to Attacks does not compensate for the lost protection against tool cards. 
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