Sima Zhao 6
Sima Zhao 司马昭
A Man of Sinister Ambition 狼子野心

Transparent 昭心
At the beginning of his action phase, Sima Zhao can show his hand to everyone. Then, he chooses any character in his attack range. This character is attacked by Sima Zhao.

Careful Wolf 狼顾
For each unit of damage that Sima Zhao receives on behalf of another character, he can flip a judgement card. Sima Zhao can then choose to discard any hand card to change this judgement card. Sima Zhao then views the hand of the source of damage and he can discard as many cards that are of the same suit as the judgement card. 
Clarification:
  • "Transparent" can be used if Sima Zhao is successfully targeted by Starvation, but he cannot use this ability if he is successfully targeted by Capture as this ability is activated at the beginning of his action phase.
  • Sima Zhao can use "Transparent" even if he has no hand cards. 
  • Sima Zhao can use weapon effects with "Transparent." Also, the use of this ability does not count as Sima Zhao's one Attack for his action phase.
  • The Attack produced by "Transparent" is colorless and has no elemental property.
  • When Sima Zhao uses "Careful Wolf," he does not need to discard all or any of the cards of the same suit in the target's hand. If he so chooses, he can simply use the ability to view the hand of the target.
 Strengths Weaknesses
  • "Transparent" gives Sima Zhao the potential to do a large amount of damage in a short amount of time as it gives him an extra Attack each turn without any card cost.
  • "Transparent" is useful with weapon abilities such as the Gender Swords, Ice Blade, and Scimitar.
  • "Careful Wolf" is nice because it allows Sima Zhao to look at the hand of the characters that damage him and see what they have (or more importantly, what they do not have). He can also use this ability to discard many hand cards of an enemy if he already has an idea of what is in their hand. For example, against Xiao Qiao, Sima Zhao can change the judgement to a heart and get rid of all of the cards in her hand that she can use to pass damage via "Fantasy" with.
  • Sima Zhao is incredibly fragile. He has only three units of health and "Careful Wolf" is not a very strong deterrent in most cases.
  • "Transparent" forces Sima Zhao to show everybody at the table his hand. This can alert them to weaknesses and allow them to more easily damage him. For example, if they see that he has no Escapes in his hand, an enemy will not hesitate to Attack him with Wine.
  • Sima Zhao is entirely dependent upon his attacking range in order to be effective. As a result, enemies will be quick to remove his weapons in any way possible. If he cannot reach his enemies, "Transparent" is useless. Also, +1 Horses and the Wood Armor have a tendency of stopping Sima Zhao in his tracks.

Notable Combinations:
  • Gan Ning/Zhang He/New Ling Tong - These characters specialize in card destruction and will have an easy time of destroying Sima Zhao's weapons and limiting the usefulness of "Illustrious Heart."
  • Xiahou Dun/Fa Zheng/New Fa Zheng/Sima Yi/Cai Wen Ji/Xun Yu/Guo Jia - These characters have retaliatory abilities and/or damage-activated abilities. If they are on the other side, they may be bad targets for "Illustrious Heart."
  • Liu Shan/Younger Zhuge Liang - These characters have abilities that give them defense against Attacks, making it harder for Sima Zhao to damage them with "Transparent."
KingSima Zhao is a serviceable, but not outstanding king choice. If rebels are in his reach, he can keep the pressure on them easily and kill them quickly with the help of his loyalists. However, it is important to remember that with few units of health and little in terms of defensive abilities, the rebels may easily do the same to Sima Zhao.
LoyalistSima Zhao is a good loyalist. He can use "Transparent" to attack the rebels frequently.
RebelSima Zhao is a good rebel, especially if he can reach the king. He can use "Transparent" to ensure that the king is attacked each turn.
SpySima Zhao is a poor spy. He has trouble trying to survive for a long time and it is difficult for him to keep the game balanced unless he has a long range weapons that allows him to reach members of both teams.

Final Remarks:
Sima Zhao is a fun character to use and he is very well balanced. He is also reminiscent of Xun You, as he has excellent offensive powers and he has to show his hand to the table frequently. When using him, always be mindful of your distance from your enemies and try to keep Negates so you can prevent enemies for using Break or Steal on your weapon. Also, keep in mind that you have no guarantee that you will be able to discard hand card of an opponent via "Careful Wolf," as Sima Zhao only has the opportunity to change the judgement card before looking at the hand. As a result, it is usually not wise to 'take damage' with the sole intent activate this ability.
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