Liu Bei SP
SP Liu Bei 刘备
The Strong Han Emperor 汉昭烈帝
Strength of Heart 昭烈
During his drawing phase, SP Liu Bei can choose to draw one fewer card and force any character in his attacking range to flip over the top three cards in the deck. Any Peaches in these cards are immediately discarded and not taken into consideration for the options below. The target must choose between one of the two following options:

1.) Discard X cards and allow SP Liu Bei to keep the remaining basic cards.
2.) Receive X units of damage from SP Liu Bei and keep the remaining basic cards.

In both options, X is defined as the number of non-basic cards

Vow of Revenge 誓仇
King Ability: Single Use Ability: Once during the game, SP Liu Bei can give two of his hand cards to any Shu character before his drawing phase. All damage done to SP Liu Bei is prevented and instead transferred to this Shu character. The target of this ability draws one card for each unit of damage that they receive in this fashion. The effects of this ability end immediately when the target reaches the brink of death for the first time after being targeted by this ability.
Clarification:
  • When using "Strength of Heart," Peaches that are flipped over are not taken into consideration in the two options. Peaches do not contribute to the calculation of X and they are not put in the target's hand or in SP Liu Bei's hand.
  • If a target of "Strength of Heart" does not have X cards to discard, they cannot choose option one. Effectively, they must take X units of damage and keep the remaining basic cards. 
  • When activating "Strength of Heart," SP Liu Bei chooses the target before the top three cards are revealed. SP Liu Bei cannot flip over the top three cards then choose a target. 
  • Note that when SP Liu Bei activates "Vow of Revenge," the target Shu character must accept the two hand cards. Unlike most king abilities, "Vow of Revenge" is activated without the consent of the Shu character.
  • Note that negligence damage is not prevented or transmitted via "Vow of Revenge."
 Strengths Weaknesses
  • "Strength of Heart" is a useful offensive power against enemies in SP Liu Bei's attacking range. If two or more non-basic cards are flipped, they will be put in an awkward situation in which they must either discard many cards or receive many units of damage. 
  • "Strength of Heart" is particularly effective against enemies when the top three cards flipped over are non-basic. In these scenarios, the target must either discard three cards or receive three units of damage and keep no cards. 
  • "Strength of Heart" can be very unpredictable. In cases in which no non-tool cards are flipped face up, X is zero and the target can simply take the basic cards without receiving damage. In cases in which X is one and two non-Peach basic cards are flipped, the target essentially 'breaks even,' as one unit of health is typically considered to be worth two cards. 
  • Because SP Liu Bei draws one fewer card when he activates "Strength of Heart," he can quickly find himself low on cards and health.
  • "Vow of Revenge" is the most unfair king ability in the game.

Notable Combinations:
  • Fa Zheng/God Cao Cao/God Guan Yu/God Sima Yi/God Lu Bu (with SP Liu Bei as king) - These characters have powerful damage-activated abilities and can greatly benefit from being 'transferred' damage from SP Liu Bei. Remember, god characters can choose any allegiance at the beginning of the game.
  • Xiao Qiao - Xiao Qiao's "Fantasy" gives her leverage against SP Liu Bei when he targets her with "Strength of Heart." She can be a useful ally because she can keep the basic cards then pass the damage to any enemy, but she can also be a formidable foe since she can pass the damage to SP Liu Bei or one of his allies. 
  • Yuan Shu (with SP Liu Bei as king) - Yuan Shu's "False King" gives him the king's king ability. If Yuan Shu is a rebel, can target SP Liu Bei with "Vow of Revenge" and put him in a very tough situation, as he must damage Yuan Shu, but he is unable to do so without bringing himself to the brink of death first. 
KingChoosing SP Liu Bei as the king is unfair to the rebels in the game. This issue will be discussed in the 'Final Remarks' section.
LoyalistSP Liu Bei seems to be a mediocre loyalist pick. "Strength of Heart" is useful when activated against rebels, but he does not seem to have the longevity to be useful to his king.
RebelSP Liu Bei seems to be a competent rebel. If he can target the king with "Strength of Heart," he can cause the king a fair amount of grief.
SpySP Liu Bei is not the best spy pick. He may be able to turn the tides of battle quickly, but he has little in terms of defensive abilities. 

Final Remarks:
SP Liu Bei is another nail in the 2012 SP coffin. "Vow of Revenge" ruins the game when SP Liu Bei is king. Unlike most of the other king abilities in this game, "Vow of Revenge" does not operate based on the consent of the Shu character targeted. For example, the original Liu Bei's "Fierce General" allows him to ask other Shu characters to provide him with an Attack, but they are not actually required to give him one. Likewise, Cao Cao's "Escort" allows him to ask Wei characters to provide him with an Escape, but there is no requirement on their part to do this. As a result, rebels can pick Shu characters when the original Liu Bei is king or Wei characters when Cao Cao is king. However, when SP Liu Bei is king, rebels cannot pick Shu characters without risking being targeted by "Vow of Revenge." We do not feel that it is fair to prevent a rebel from picking any character from a particular country (in this case Shu) without putting him/herself and their entire team at a significant disadvantage. Also, it should be noted that this king ability is not useful to most loyalists who pick Shu characters. It is primarily helpful when trying to activate retaliatory abilities. Most Shu characters do not have this type of ability. We should make a note that Yuan Shao's king ability is similar to SP Liu Bei's in that rebels cannot pick neutral characters without giving him an advantage via his king ability "Bloodline." However, this king ability is incredibly weak and the benefit provided to Yuan Shao by virtue of a rebel picking a neutral character is more often than not negligible.

Outside of this king ability, there is not much to say about SP Liu Bei. "Strength of Heart" is not a terrible ability, but it seems to be overly complicated and erratic. We would also like to point out that the 2012 SP collection seeks to update characters that were 'left behind' as the game becomes more and more complex. Many players feel that the original Liu Bei is one of the best characters in the game and that any team that has him has a significant advantage by virtue of his presence. While we do not feel nearly as strongly about the original Liu Bei as these players do, we certainly agree that he is not in need of an update. In fact, the original Liu Bei has become more useful as more complex expansions are released since there are more characters that need cards to activate their abilities.
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