Preview Disciples of the Void with Designer Brad Andres
“It is the nature of man to walk the path. It is the nature of man to turn from the path. This is the nature of man.”
–Shinsei’s Gift, apocryphal
The Emerald Empire is in a state of change. New champions rise up to lead their clans to honor and glory, strange calamities throw entire regions into chaos, and underneath it all, a Minor Clan looks to elevate their status. The dynamics of the Emerald Empire are shifting. Can the Phoenix rely on their ancient wisdom to keep themselves grounded in the ever-shifting land of Rokugan?
As the balance of the elements in Rokugan shifts, so too does Disciples of the Void shift the dynamic of Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game. As the first Clan Pack, Disciples of the Void infuses the game with new Phoenix cards, including a new stronghold and province card devoted to this mystical clan. Alongside these, you'll encounter a host of powerful Spells, the most expensive dynasty card yet in the game, and new ways to claim and manipulate the rings.
Read on to find designer Brad Andres's thoughts on the new expansion, and be sure to pre-order Disciples of the Void from your local retailer or our website here!
Fantasy Flight Games: Where does Disciples of the Void take the Phoenix? What new sub-themes are explored?
Brad Andres: Disciples of the Void takes us deep into the heart of the Phoenix Clan and really shows off just how powerful and flashy their magical might can be. The main new sub-theme this clan uncovers in the pack focuses on their use of Spell cards to give themselves an edge during conflicts or control of the flow of the game by manipulating the ring tokens. Some of their characters get in on the fun as well, with cards like Fire Elemental Guard (Disciples of the Void, 8) being able to trigger its powerful attachment removal effect if you played at least three Spell cards during a conflict.
FFG: This is the first Clan Pack introduced to Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game. What makes this format exciting as a designer?
BA: The Clan Pack format has been really intriguing to design for. You really get to dive deep into what makes a particular clan tick and get to love and dote on them with all of your attention. The format also provides the opportunity to push new deck archetypes and grow the faction’s identity, which includes creating the game’s first new stronghold, Kyūden Isawa (Disciples of the Void, 1)!
FFG: What was the biggest challenge in designing Disciples of the Void?
BA: Honestly this pack was really a joy to design and the most difficult part was reining in all the ideas I had! I really wanted to focus on the most interesting aspects of the clan, the ones that truly set the Phoenix Clan apart. This led me to designs like the Secluded Shrine (Disciples of the Void, 12), which synergizes with the Phoenix Clan’s capability to benefit directly from the rings they have claimed. This card has a natural fit in decks that utilize cards like the Solemn Scholar (Core Set, 83) or the Henshin Disciple (Fate Has No Secrets, 87) from the Imperial Cycle.
FFG: What card best exemplifies the Phoenix philosophy in the pack?
BA: Flavor-wise I think the card Fushichō (Disciples of the Void, 11) best exemplifies the philosophy of the Phoenix Clan, representing the cyclical nature of life, death, and rebirth in Rokugan which inspired the Kami Shiba to found the Phoenix Clan in the first place. The card’s ability was also inspired by this tale, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. To boot, it's also an actual phoenix, so what better representative of the Clan's philosophy could you get?
FFG: What clans synergize well with the new role card, Support of the Phoenix (Disciples of the Void, 3)?
BA: The first two clans that come to mind are the Crane Clan and the Dragon Clan. The Crane can take advantage of the extra influence provided by the role card to pick up cards like Clarity of Purpose (Disciples of the Void, 23), which help make their political conflicts more effective than ever. The Dragon Clan benefits by being able to supplement their own stockpile of attachments with some of the powerful options available to the Phoenix, including the Katana of Fire (Disciples of the Void, 20) or Favor of the Kami (Disciples of the Void, 19).
FFG: How did you go about designing the other clan cards featured in Disciples of the Void?
BA: Designing the cards for the other clans in Disciples of the Void was an interesting challenge, but I started by looking at what aspects and play patterns are the most integral to how the Phoenix Clan plays. Then, I found ways that the other clans can exploit or fight against them in a way that stays mechanically true to the clan's identity, while making sure they still had broad applications to the game as a whole. A great example is Togashi Tadakatsu (Disciples of the Void, 15). His ability to manipulate how players select rings can be a huge roadblock for any clan to overcome, but the Phoenix Clan will have a particularly tough time with their need to use particular rings.
With twenty-eight unique cards, Disciples of the Void iinfuses the Great Clans with powerful new options. But will these new tools be enough to save Rokugan from the calamities to come?
Ignite the flames of wisdom and pre-order Disciples of the Void (L5C08) from your local retailer or our website!