Updating the Rules of War

A New Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game Rules Reference Is Now Available


The latest version of the Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game Rules Reference is now online! This update contains the usual streamlined rules, clarifications, new questions, and other minor changes that come with refining the rules. In addition, today’s update includes errata and a change to claiming rings with multiple elements that players should ensure they read about. Learn why these changes were made directly from the developers in the paragraphs below, and then download the new Rules Reference to see all the changes for yourself!

Click on the image above to see the new Rules Reference. This update goes into effect immediately.

Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game Developers on the New Rules Reference

Over the past three months, we’ve been getting rules questions submitted to us through the Rules Submission Form on the website when players encounter confusing card or rule interactions. These questions, combined with common questions that have been asked of judges at our major tournaments, have helped inform us on how to best update the Rules Reference, both to clarify rules interactions and to provide a Questions and Answers section that should address a number of interactions that may have eluded or confused players.

This first major Rules Reference update contains a large number of changes. Most are additional clarifications regarding how the rules operate, often addressing corner cases that occur with certain card abilities in the Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game Core Set and the Imperial Cycle. There are a few areas, however, that we would like to draw attention to and comment on.

Frequently Asked Questions

The biggest addition to the document is a new “Questions and Answers” section. This section contains a number of questions that we have been asked, either through the Rules Submission Form or by players at events. In addition to answering the question at hand, we have included full explanations of why the cards or rules in question interact the way they do and which other areas of the document those interactions are derived from.

Card Errata

The second major addition to the Rules Reference Guide is a section for Card Errata. Errata is a tool that we, as developers, occasionally use to make sure that the game functions in a fun and engaging way. While it is a situation we strive to avoid, a card is sometimes released with text that is not working in a desirable manner. Errata overrides the originally printed information on the card it applies to, and the card functions as the errata would indicate. It is a tool we use very sparingly and with great consideration.

With this update, there are three newly-released cards from the Imperial Cycle whose functions, while intuitive, were not in line with the existing rules. Therefore, we’re issuing errata to ensure that they function as intended. As with any errata, any future reprint of a card will contain the errata text so that new versions of the card contain up-to-date information.

Kaiu Inventor (The Chrysanthemum Throne, 63)

Kaiu Inventor was intended to modify the ability of a holding until the end of the round, allowing you to get an additional trigger out of it. However, because the card was printed with the text, “you may trigger each of that holding’s triggered abilities an additional time each round,” it made it seem as if the duration of the effect was indefinite and that you could apply the Inventor’s ability to the same holding multiple times.

Kaiu Inventor now reads, “…each of that holding’s triggered abilities an additional time this round” to clarify how it should function.

Pit Trap (The Chrysanthemum Throne, 73)

The rules dictate that when a character has an attachment whose attachment condition becomes invalid, the attachment is discarded. Because Pit Trap says, “Attach to an attacking character,” the attachment would become illegally-attached as soon as the character was finished attacking, making the card useless. While the intended effect was intuitive, we have applied errata to make the card function as intended.

Pit Trap now reads, “Attach to a character. Play only on an attacking character.”

Ride Them Down (Fate Has No Secrets, 99)

As printed, Ride Them Down lacked a duration. Once resolved, the effect would set the base strength of the attacked province to one for the rest of the game, which would create problematic memory issues.

We have added a duration by adding, “…until the end of the conflict.” to the end of the effect.

Mulligan Rule

In the previous version of the Rules Reference, it was always clear that a player could only mulligan the cards in their provinces once, but it was less clear whether the players were allowed to look at the newly-added cards to their provinces before they drew their starting conflict hand. The phrasing has been changed to better clarify how mulligans should be played, and a clarifying bullet point in the Mulligan section of the rules explicitly states that players may look at the cards in their provinces after performing their mulligan, but before they draw their starting conflict hand.

Ruling Reversal: Claiming Rings with Multiple Elements

In the original Rules Reference, a player could not trigger the effects of Keeper Initiate or Seeker Initiate when claiming a ring that gained the Air element with Seeker of Knowledge.  The question was basically: at the moment of transition, when a ring moves from the status of contested to claimed, does it maintain the characteristics it had while it was contested?

Our original ruling was no, it did not. However, having seen more players play with these cards, and having discussed the matter further among the design team, we have concluded that this interpretation was unintuitive and difficult to explain. Because of these findings, we are reversing this ruling—and documenting the new ruling in Rules Reference v1.1—to bring the game more in line with people’s expectations and improve their experience.

With this update, a ring is still considered to be contested until all reactions to its being claimed are complete.

Thank you for reading, and may you bring honor to your clan!

~Tyler, Brad, and Nate

Download the new Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game Rules Reference now to read the entire update. If you're planning on playing in an event, make sure to read the changes so you're prepared!

As always, game rules, tournament regulations, and other support materials for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game can be found on our Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game page.

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