Pinnacle of Perfection
Preview the Crane Clan in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game
From their perfectly manicured gardens to their impeccable style, the Crane Clan are the true personification of beauty and grace in Rokugan. The Crane bring this sense of sophistication to the courts of the Emerald Empire, where they dominate political conflicts with unmatched technique. Their warriors and courtiers are quick to become honored, and their dueling skills are unparalleled in the Emerald Empire.
Today, we’re previewing Crane Clan in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game. Excelling in the political realm, the Crane Clan seek victory by honoring their characters and limiting their opponents’ options.
The Height of Fashion
Honoring characters isn’t just an advantage the Crane give themselves, it is essential to their very identity. Their philosophy card, Way of the Crane (Core Set, 146) lets you honor one of your characters at a cost of zero fate, if you target a card like Savvy Politician (Core Set, 45), you can double Way of the Crane's value by honoring an additional character. Honored characters add their glory value to their skill values, giving Crane players big advantages in any type of conflict.
These honored characters excel in the political realm, especially when supported by characters like the Asahina Artisan (Core Set, 40), a Shugenja who can boost the political skill of another Crane character by three during a political conflict. Not only does the Artisan boost other characters, but her shugenja trait allows Crane players to use powerful spells like Cloud the Mind (Core Set, 202).
When engaging with the Crane, it is not just the conflict on the line, but honor itself. Kakita Asami (Core Set, 48) allows Crane players to drain an honor from their opponent while they are winning a political conflict. Using Kakita Asami early in a conflict when you have a character at the Height of Fashion (Core Set, 143) is an easy way to drain honor from an opponent whose style is far outclassed by yours.
The Crane can also turn honored characters into boons. Asahina Storyteller (Core Set, 50) not only has the “Sincerity” keyword, which lets you draw a card when the character leaves play, but also gives every honored character you control Sincerity as well! This means that not only will you receive an honor for an honored character leaving play, but a card from your conflict deck as well.
One on One
While conflicts represent forces meeting on the field of battle or in court, sometimes things get a little more personal, and a duel occurs. Dueling in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game works much like an honor bid. A duel will be initiated through a card ability, like the Crane Clan’s Kakita Kaezin (Core Set, 49). And will let players know both what type of duel is occurring (military or political), who is participating in the duel, and what the effects are. Then, players will use their honor dials to bid honor and add them to the appropriate skill value of their character participating in the duel. The player who bids more pays the difference to the character who bids less, and whomever has the highest combined skill wins the duel.
The effects of duels can be powerful, while Kakita Kaezin can remove all characters not involved in the duel from a conflict, Duelist Training (Core Set, 142) allows any of your characters to challenge foes to a duel, with the loser becoming bowed. This can be the perfect way to defend your provinces from attack.
The most straightforward of these methods is
Voice of Honor
(Core Set, 145), which allows you to cancel the effects of an opponent’s event if you control more honored characters than they do. Meeting the honored requirement should be no issue for the Crane, and their foes will have to think twice before playing important events.
When a voice isn’t enough, certain characters are simply Above Question (Core Set, 141), and can’t be targeted by events at all. Placing Above Question on high-fate cost characters ensures they remain safe from effects that could lessen their impact. Other Crane characters can limit effects that occur during conflicts they are participating in— Steward of Law (Core Set, 139) stops characters from becoming dishonored during conflicts and, as a conflict card, can be played in the middle of a conflict to surprise your opponent. Meanwhile, Guest of Honor (Core Set, 51) simply stops your opponent from playing events at all during a conflict.
A Peaceful Home
The Crane’s stronghold of Shizuka Toshi (Core Set, 2) solidifies the Crane’s dominance of the political arena. You may bow the stronghold during a political conflict to bow a participating character with two or lower political skill. To compete with the Crane, Shizuka Toshi ensures a certain threshold of skill must be met to politically spar with the glorious Crane courtiers.
Like every clan in the Legend of the Five Rings Core Set, the Crane have their own unique province only usable by them. The Art of Peace (Core Set, 9) has four province strength, and has a devastating effect for opponents who decide to attack it. When Way of Peace is broken, every attacking character becomes dishonored and every defending character becomes honored. While the Crane may lose a province, their grace and nobility in defending their lands gives them a huge advantage.
Her Father’s Daughter
“The face looking back at him from under the hood shone like alabaster, striking beauty framed by snow-white hair. Nerishma recognized it immediately and took an astounded step back.
It was Doji Hotaru, Champion of the Crane Clan, and his lord and master.”
-D.G. Laderoute, Her Father’s Daughter
When Doji Satsume relinquished the title of Crane Clan Champion, the responsibility was passed to his daughter, Doji Hotaru (Core Set, 52). Though new to the position of champion, Doji Hotaru leads her clan gracefully. After you win a political conflict in which Doji Hotaru is participating, you may activate the effect of the contested ring. This is in addition to the effect you get for winning a conflict as an attacker, meaning the contested ring is activated twice when on the offensive. Doji Hotaru's ability could be used to gain four honor with the air ring, or remove two fate from your opponent’s characters with the void ring.
Doji Hotaru's ability can also be used after you win a political conflict as the defender, not only denying your opponent an opportunity to use a ring effect, but getting to use that ability for yourself.
Winning a conflict with Doji Hotaru provides a powerful swing, and with six political skill and three military skill, she is a force to be reckoned with. Additionally, with three glory, honoring Doji Hotaru means her military skill value is increased to six, and her political skill value is increased to nine. These are some of the best skill levels in the game, and foes of the Crane will have to dedicate a vast amount of resources to keep up with Doji Hotaru in conflicts.
With unmatched elegance, the Crane believe they embody every aspect of style and beauty, and with a force of honored courtiers, there are few who would argue against them.
Join Fantasy Flight Games on our Facebook page this Friday at 11:00 a.m. CST for an L5RLive Facebook Live Stream with Story Lead Katrina Ostrander and Designers Nate French and Brad Andres to discuss the Crane Clan. Don’t forget to tweet your questions to @FFGames on Twitter using the hashtag “#L5RLive” for a chance to have them answered on air!
Join the ranks of the Crane and purchase Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game (L5C01) at Gen Con 2017 or from your local retailer in the fourth quarter of 2017.