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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lǚ Bù 吕布

Posted by Ricky Chua On 3:27 PM No comments
What's with the cartoon?
Just a cuter version of the original portrait, this time shown holding his Heavenly Halberd. 

Who is he:
Quite possibly the best fighter in all of China in that era, Lu Bu was a formidable general that struck fear in his opponents. Yet for all his military prowess and combat ability, Lu Bu was not the smartest of people. Throw in a tinge of greed, a sprinkle of lust, and you have a riding, fighting disaster atop four hooves. Dong Zhuo 董卓 found that out the hard way. To win Lu Bu's favour, Dong Zhuo showered Lu Bu with expensive gifts such as the Red Hare 赤兔 horse and an assortment of jewels. Lu Bu came under Dong Zhuo's wing after all receiving all those goodies, then ended up murdering Dong Zhuo victim over a woman. After Dong Zhuo's death, Lu Bu became a minor warlord and led a series of battles in an effort to expand his territory. However his poor use of strategy and refusal to listen to advice ultimately caused his downfall.

Character ability: [Enforced ability] "Without Equal 无双 (wú shuāng)"
Whenever Lu Bu uses ATTACK 杀, his target has to use 2 DODGE 闪 cards to successfully evade the attack. During a DUEL 决斗, Lu Bu's opponent needs to use 2 ATTACK cards for every one ATTACK card that he uses.

Ability's relation to story:
The link can actually be found in the subscript line written under his ability description. It is a phrase said by Chen Gong 陈宫, his advisor when Lu Bu became warlord, that reads:

"His courage and bravery, unsurmountable. His eagerness for battle, unprecedented. Yet brave but without cunning. Violent but without benevolence. 骁勇无敌, 善战无前. 然勇而无谋, 暴而少仁."

无双 literal translates to "Without Equal" and refers to his incredibly combat skills. Thankfully, it does not seem to be sarcastic referring to his intellect as well.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Killing Dong Zhuo. Ok so maybe it's not a very glamorous view of Lu Bu to say it was his "most famous achievement" when he was merely a pawn of Wang Yun 王允's scheme, but the fellow did kill the tyrant and the world celebrated Dong Zhuo's death. Coming in second would be his securing a truce between Yuan Shu 袁术 and Liu Bei 刘备's forces by showing off his archery skills, but that seemed somewhat less spectacular in comparison, doesn't it?

[Addendum] By popular demand, I have added the 1 VS 3 fight between Lu Bu VS Liu Bei 刘备 and company. In the days of Yuan Shao 袁绍's coalition against Dong Zhuo, many generals challenged Lu Bu, not none were his match. One of these generals was Gong Sun Zan 公孙瓒, who could hardly hold up a dozen bouts against the mighty Lu Bu. Out came Zhang Fei 张飞 who raced out to meet Lu Bu, thus saving Gong Sun Zan. The two were evenly matched when Guan Yu 关羽 joined in. 1 VS 2 and still Lu Bu held up strong. Liu Bei joined in the fray and it became 3 of the legendary heroes (all highly capable fighters) against 1 single Lu Bu. Though Lu Bu could match them 1 VS 3, alas he became fatigued and he retreated. Still, the entire coalition of thousands was watching the duel and everyone had little doubt of the fighting prowess of Lu Bu.

2. Cause of death - Betrayed by his own men to Cao Cao 曹操 and executed. For all his fighting valour, Lu Bu became a coward in the face of death. When Lu Bu was under siege, he chose to stay by the side of his wives and not listen to his advisor, Chen Gong. He was also ill-tempered to his men, their low-morale fueling resentment for their leader. While Lu Bu was asleep, they stole the Heaven Scorcher Halberd 方天画戟 and bundled Lu Bu over to Cao Cao. Lu Bu asked Cao Cao to allow him to surrender and he would be at Cao Cao's service. However Liu Bei quickly reminded Cao Cao of the fate of Lu Bu's previous masters, and Cao Cao ordered Lu Bu executed without hesitation. Lu Bu pleaded for his life to no avail. In sharp contrast, Lu Bu's general Zhang Liao 张辽 cursed Cao Cao despite being bound for certain death. Cao Cao unbound Zhang Liao, and Zhang Liao then became one of Cao Cao's most able general in the years to come.

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