My Personal Review of SW models

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My Personal Review of SW models

This is my personnal Review of all the model you can play as a SW player, minus the Brother.


It's only my personal feeling on how good or bad they are and what they may need to be better.


If you're a new player I recommend that you go for the Starter first unless you only ever play to play Onis.


If you have any question feel free to ask, even if you didn't read the whole document and wanted to talk about a model in particular.



Oni :


Bobata, the Bell Ringer

Deserve a small upgrade for his cost like +1 Ranged and/or Slam attack(0)


Kemono and Ushi

Hard to balance dual profile model, I played it a lot, having 1 Ki as Kemono can lose you the game against model with control ability. Could use some 2/4/6 as range band too but he’s a blast to play with, you have so many options. Dominate is just crazy good.



The hard hitting Oni, he needs some support to deliver his full potential (I’m looking at you Unearthly Rage) but works fine now.



The Rampager needed fixing, The Thunder is nice. He usually one shots someone on turn 2 and then tanks for the rest of the game. I could see him getting a small tweak (2/8 for example) but he’s still playable as is. He came close to having a way to reload with corpses, I’m still hoping he gets something like that one day !



The only model with Inspiration which is great ! That’s the only thing he provides right as the Kahei are so bad. He still could use some love like +1 Ranged, Strong on ranged or Throw Attack (0).



All rounded pretty decent when you play him with some bakemono. Could use another Ki Feat to spend his Ki or some damage on his ranged attack to match the Dragon, but that may be greedy !

Onisho :



Most recent Onisho, setting them on the right path. A little worse than Minato for almost the same cost. He’s playable but don’t try to go 1 on 1 on heavy hitters he should be finishing exhausted models.



Need some love just like Boba, +1 Ki is needed and a good Ki feat would be nice in addition to having him always stun on melee damage.



Too expensive for what he brings to the table, need to not have Impetuous, have 2 Ki and a usefull Ki Feat (like reload or a taunt)

Slaves :



The named Slave if you play him, you play him for Self sacrifice and some objective action. I’m not sure he’s better than the alternative Slave (The Lost) but he offers you some choice and that’s nice. He’s far from the Kohanin but these need fixing !


Oni Slave

3pts for a model that can do some scenario action, you can’t ask much more from them.


The Lost

Great alternative to the Oni Slave and Jun if you’re playing Alphas they are here for you !

Bakemono :



I don’t know what to do with him, he’s supposed to be a support either offensive with his poison or to help you neutralize people but he isn’t that good at if. He may need a rework or a rice cost reduction to hit the table. 5rice is too low, 6rice is a bit too much because he can’t compare to Zung-Fu



He’s a nightmare for your opponent both his Ki feat are great. If your opponent is playing model without boost on move they’ll hate him !



At the moment he is a must have in any Savage Wave warband, the stun is so good for 5rice, you can’t pass on him. I know that Snare is really flavorful on him but come on it’s so frustrating for your opponent when it works and the unlimited range is crazy. I would love to have it changed to an active Ki feat with range 12 that puts a Held marker on someone, that would feel more balanced.


Xi-Han and Zoo

As always 8rice for 1ki is hard, I know that bakemono horde kind of force you to that but still you’re going to fail a lot of fear/opposed Ki. Anyway, it’s the coolest model in the entire game, the design is so good and the model are beautiful I love him. He’s my VIM every times and dies way too much !


Tribal Brute

Well they are bad, just bad. 2 melee dice .. Stupid (even with the errata it hurts) .. They either need to be able to come back with Bakemono Horde or have 3 melee.



2 melee for 6 rice for an all melee dude, not in my games..Same as the Tribal Brute, stupid is hard. It may be playable if he had 3 melee.



Well I still don’t like to pay for a 1ki model but aside from that he is good, he’s going to be your heavy hitter if you play all Bakemono. One downside, the model look a bit small for being Large.


Okina & Oto

The only goblin with Leadership, he’s a must have if you are facing any kind of yurei warband and even if you don’t his Ki Feat are great (expensive but great!). Be carefull before risking him to melee though !


Bakemono - Archers - Beaters - Bushi - Spearmen - (Raiders)

They are here to provide some numbers, don’t spend all your rice on them or you’re going to have a lot of useless dude! I usually 3 to 4 of them. They die a lot and sometimes come back. Once in a while they will do few damage, don't expect more ! My personal favorites the Spearmen, First strike either save them or allow them to attack before dying.


Bakemono Boomers

You’ve got to invest a lot of your Horde Ki to make them deliver, placing them with Shadow Walk before shooting but they are scary for your opponent !


Bakemono Giant Cave Bat Rider

Scout, Sixth Sense, 2Ki, a good Sweep Attack(0) on wounded, this model is quite good !


Bakemono Nian Rider

Well, I do love the model but play the Bat if you want one that’s good. Could use Brutal(1) for that price.



Latest Bakemono, can be played in both Savage Wave and KKZ. I would have loved to have him with built in Shurikens but let’s not be too greedy. He’s good at what he does, which is sneaking behind the enemy lane and get to the Objectives.

Yokai, Animals and Stuff! :


The Nian - The Great Eye

Both are bad for the price. The Great Eye is the one that you should play if you wanted to have one on your table. It’s hard to pay 10 for a 2/0 Ki without a really pay off. A good solution is a mix of their stat I think.


Kaihei and Kaihei Alpha

I do love the model, I tried a lot to play with. But every time my opponent sees them he know it’s not a competitive game. The Alpha got a huge cost reduction in the last errata and 8 wounds 3 melee for 7 rice is decent I guess. I think they deserve some kind of Kaihei horde card to stock some Ki and have them call another Kaihei for help when they are engaged, or even Feign death. But for now, don’t play them.


Giant Cave Bat

Not bad, not great either, nothing that would make me play it in an out of them warband. The one with a rider is better.


Nightwing Swarm

Kind of Immune to Ranged attack. Quite hard to get rid of in melee. It might be good enough to play out of theme.


Kami of Sapping Silt

I tried it once, it was decent, your opponent don’t want to waste resources killing it and the -2 move is painfull. Still could use 2melee and/or 4move


Taisho Tenbatsu

Well he need to be updated. 12 Rice is more than Minato, close to an Oni and he can’t do half what they will.

Thanks for reading, feel free to disagree ! Once again it's only my point of view, I'll be happy to hear yours.


Axiam's picture
Last seen: 3 days 1 hour ago
Joined: 13/03/2016 - 22:37
Points: 280

The benefit that taisho tenbatsu brings is that he can be soulless. Against a lot of enemies that can be clutch. Other than the bakemono event card I think it is the only access to soulless.
Zung-fu being able to soulless enforce insignificance on a model on an objective is also very strong in a scoring turn.


Last seen: 3 months 3 days ago
Joined: 17/10/2016 - 19:45
Points: 0

Taisho Tenbatshu does bring Soulless to the table but as you said you can have it with the Enhancement also, you can use the Kami too if you really want a Soulless model.

It's not that he is bad, he isn't good and he is way overcosted. To use Souless you need to suffer 1 wound which isn't something you're going to do every turn. And if you plan to use the other ability you get Impetuous, something you don't want, and you can't use Oni Rage because Ki generation happens before getting this ability.

I'd say as is I'd pay 9 to 10 rice for him, but even then he doesn't get a lot of synergies with the other SW model.

Zung-Fu is great with and without the combo you mentioned. As I said both Ki feat are strong. Stronger with soulless

Ret-chrishales's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 14/08/2013 - 13:47
Points: 97

" Anyway, it’s the coolest model in the entire game, the design is so good and the model are beautiful I love him."


You're my new favourite person lol.


Bushido Grand Master 2015 & 2017