After making that last gif set I have something I need to gush about.
Have you guys noticed that when Rai wins a showdown it’s almost never a last minute thing? He doesn’t just win, he completely wrecks his opponent. His first showdown in Shen Yi Bu is a perfect example of this. Rai controlled that whole showdown, from the initiation to his victory. He intentionally set up the ‘Shen Yi Bu Switcheroo’ just so he had a chance to get the Sword of the Storm. Yeah, he gambled with handing over the Two-Ton Tunic and that could of cost him the whole showdown, but it was still within his plans. His defeat of Tubbimura was absolute in the end.
Another showdown in which the initiation was his plan was in In the Flesh. He was waiting while the other monks tried to get the Reversing Mirror. Watching until the perfect chance to initiate a showdown. I’m still not entirely sure whether Rai had already decided to go Heylin before or during the showdown. This issue with whether to be Xiaolin or Heylin might of been a factor with his moment of doubt during the showdown. I am sure the initiation was planned but up until this moment:
I’m fairly certain Rai was just winging it. Though using a tiny rift to push Jack off the ledge was a stroke of genius.
Then we have the showdown in Pandatown. This is the only showdown I can think of where someone explicitly states that Rai’s victory was kinda brutal.
This is probably because Rai almost drowned Jack and Pandabubba. But the brutality point still stands.
Next we’ve got the showdown against Gigi in The Demon Seed. That was not a planned initiation. That was mostly Rai thinking on his toes. Shifting a bad situation into a good one. Honestly I could go on for quite a while about this showdown and you know what, I think I will. One instance of Rai thinking quickly while under pressure is this:
He’s constricted and only just recovered from asphyxiation and yet he has the cognitive ability to make this shit situation his own. Not only does he know he needs to use the Reversing Mirror to rebound the Moonstone Locust but he can also use it as a counter measure for the Thorn of Thunderbolt. Which obviously leads to Rai reversing the Thunderbolt back into Gigi’s face, which was amazing. But then there is that kinda bluff before hand, where he reappears right in Gigi’s firing range. He baited Gigi! Then there is his actually victory which was him just being a bloody show off and I fucking love it.
Another thing I want to mention in this showdown was when Rai was drowning.
How much of that was just Rai flailing around? Probably a large percentage but my Rai biased just wants me to think he planned that. Planned for the Wu to fly up. Just so he wouldn’t loose it. Maybe even to increase his chance of getting it. I don’t know. I’m just paranoid and way too into Master Tactician Rai.
Lastly I want to talk about Rai vs Omi in The Return of Master Monk Guan. Yeah Rai lost, but he planned to lose. That entire showdown was Rai planning to cheat Hannibal out of all the Wu. Just that entire episode is amazing and perfect for Master Tactician Rai. The fact that no one even showed any clue or inkling that this was Rai’s plan from the beginning just makes the episode so much better. Also hits me in the feels with the other monks instantly being suspicious of Rai and believing he’d gone bad again, but lets not talk about that.
Just look at him standing in the background like the puppet master he is. Just Master Tactician Rai gives me life guys. I think Guan said it best.