I want to frame this thread with personally I was pretty positive about White Banner in N3 and was looking forward to them in N4 and felt like they were going to a good place where they could stand apart from vanilla successfully. Now we're here I don't think those optimistic thoughts panned out. I'm not satisfied with where White Banner wound up and the problem I think is largely with the Tian Gou which were a lynch pin unit that would make or break fireteams. To discuss that further we need to first consider hacking in N4. KHDs in N4 suck at killing stuff, they have no teeth. As the local Nomads player put it to me "we've fucked up and gone back in time to N2 where hackers were king shit with total impunity. They don't have a predator in their ecosystem." He also had some choice things to say about people who didn't understand how to hack in N3 and were garbage players who talked too much on the forums but I'm not gonna go on that tangent. The proliferation of firewalls, and the meta shifting towards offensively moving/deploying repeaters to hack through rather than physically moving the hackers to hack targets, combined with KHDs now being very adversely affected by them, makes it very hard for your bog standard KHD like a Ninja, Tian Gou, Kanren or so on and so forth from actually being a lethal threat or any kind of deterrent. This is further compounded by some of the strongest hacker profiles now being able to throw themselves into powerful tinbot links and/or having very high BTS scores and the N4 Trinity just doesn't cut shit in terms of being able to threaten them. In terms of counter hacking for Yu Jing I'm actually finding it's less important to invest in the basic bitch KHD profiles. In fact I would go as far as to say don't touch them at all for the most part, it's more important to invest in tech that can safely remove repeaters Linked Grenade launchers, disposable troops to attack ensconced repeaters, etc. I would rather have a Ninja who can move into a repeater zone and just beat the shit out of the Moran holding the repeater rather than a Ninja who will more than likely fail to kill the target hacker even if he consistently wins F2F rolls because he's statistically attacking the target with a fucking basic Pistol. It's becoming a shared opinion in my meta that the basic bitch KHD profiles for various armies need to become a greater threat otherwise they're just going to become irrelevant in the hacking sphere of the game. That tangent aside, the Jammer profile obviously got a massive indirect nerf for the Tian Gou. These were the two profiles that in N3 were the key to making White Banner fireteams both unpredictable and very dangerous to engage aggressively. The Ye Mao are paying to be a super jump unit in N4 with 4-4 MOV which isn't great, and they can't core and their supportive wildcards are now much weaker and this overall makes them very unattractive, playing smaller fireteams of any sort are much more difficult to make viable with the Tian Gou's current state. Want the core with Shang Ji-sus? Well IA has the exact same allotment of Zhanshi (fucking why?), better support wildcards (Haidao, Jeong, Krit, Hulang, Son-Bae, Tai), and had their wildcard maximums removed (unlike White Banner). IA's improved fireteams aside I was ok with considering weak fireteams in White Banner in N3 because I was looking at White Banner being very ambushed focused. Unfortunately for White Banner, Vanilla has seen some massive improvements in this department. Liu Xing got huge buffs Lu Duan has a very legitimate target to impersonate as the EVO hacker Hac Tao got an NCO profile and got a price drop The Hun Dun is still AVA2 in Vanilla (and honestly going past 2 for either Vanilla or White Banner isn't great) The Kanren got a huge buff at both effectiveness in CC and the ability to reach it with Mad Trap baiting, additionally with Hulangs being stronger they finally have a good target to misdirect with holomask The Ninja got the FO profile I've been bitching about Yu Jing not being given for years On that last point do not sleep on that Ninja FO profile, it is legitimately good. I think people are forgetting this fucker has a flash pulse and running much more dangerous Stun ammo now. Actually running AVA2 Ninjas isn't a meme anymore, these units are a legitimate ARO threat and can fuck up a solo Rambo's attack run very easily. An uncontested Flash is likely to hit on a 16 given that the Ninja has such a depth of places and angles it can hide in with Infiltration. A BTS6 TAG fails that save 58% of the time, let alone a lesser armoured target. If you layer your hidden AROs correctly, even a fireteam pointman is going to have a difficult time maintaining a combat effective status when he's simultaneously trying to avoid getting his link raped by a Hundun HRL and also not get stunned out of commission by a Ninja. As an added bonus to their versatility Ninjas had a decent boost to their CC threat being less crit reliant now with effectively PH14 for damage rolls with that DA CCW thanks to MA3. Overall Vanilla really has very strong ambush game. It is legitimately very hard to tell what the fuck is actually in a Vanilla Yu Jing list when they have so many good options to deploy off the table along with some very decent options to obfuscate their support and attack pieces through holomask. It is difficult to even be sure a Liu Xing is being telegraphed by a lone EVO remote when it could just be a Lu Duan faking it. Overall, not impressed with the final product of White Banner but I really like where Vanilla is right now.