Breath of the Kami
Preview the First Dynasty Pack in the Elemental Cycle for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game
"The energies of the Sun and Moon, of the Five Elements—all must be balanced."
–Fū Sui Disciple
Unseen, but ever-present, Air surrounds every samurai in the Emerald Empire. It gives life, but its absence can just as quickly end it. Representing precision and skill, empathy and politics, Air is subtle and light. But in the hands of a skilled shugenja, the element can become a raging storm, capable of wiping out any enemy.
Join us today as we preview Breath of the Kami, the first Dynasty Pack in the Elemental Cycle for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game.
Breath of the Kami introduces the themes of the Elemental Cycle, and lays the groundwork of things to come. The Shugenja of Rokugan take center stage as they manipulate the elements around them, casting powerful Spells that will shape the events of conflicts to come. But while these powerful shugenja study the elements, destiny moves other pieces into place. The Mantis Clan makes its first appearance in Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game, ancient Creatures return to conflicts, and to the south, the ever-growing threat of the Shadowlands continues to expand….
Reflexive and Reflective
As with each of the five elements, while Air is an essential part of Rokugan, every clan relates to it in a different way. Some use Air's powerful energy to reflect the world around them, while others use it for more direct methods.
The Dragon are known to harness the elements for use in their Kihō techniques. Augmenting martial arts with the mystical elements, few in Rokugan can compare to a Dragon Monk in hand-to-hand combat. The Hurricane Punch (Breath of the Kami, 17) is an Air technique favoring speed over power, overwhelming your opponent with a barrage of fists. During a conflict, you can play this event and choose a participating Monk character—that character increases its military skill until the end of the conflict and you can draw a card. The event costs zero fate and replaces itself with the card draw, meaning it's a low-risk investment that can mean the difference between a failed conflict and breaking a province. You have little to worry about with resource depletion, and the Hurricane Punch can potentially set up additional Kihō techniques that you may draw into. What is lost is gained, and all remains in balance.
While the Dragon see Air as a means to enhance their Kihō techniques, other clans see the benefits of Air with illusionary Spells. The Crane, in all their beauty, have perfected The Mirror's Gaze (Breath of the Kami, 15). This two cost attachment can only be controlled by a Shugenja, and as a Reaction after the effects of an opponent’s event resolves, you can immediately resolve that event again as if you had just played it, ignoring costs and choosing new targets as you please.
The Mirror’s Gaze is powerful magic, able to mimic the effects of some of the most powerful events in the game without paying their fate cost. An opponent’s Banzai! (Core Set, 204) will essentially be negated as you pump your own character. Even if your Shugenja suffers A Fate Worse Than Death (Fate Has No Secrets, 98), he won’t be suffering alone—you'll be able to mimic the terrifying Scorpion effect for free. When you take on a Crane Shugenja, you face a reflection of your own actions and must be prepared for the consequences.
Winds of Change
The Elemental Cycle brings the Mantis Clan to the forefront of the conflicts in Rokugan. But just because the Mantis are a minor clan doesn’t mean they don’t have their own Shugenja, and their own way of relating to the elements. Kudaka (Breath of the Kami, 13) is one of Yoritomo’s most trusted confidants, a tenkinja who guides the Mantis as they traverse the seas. Now, Kudaka enters Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game as a Shugenja of the Air, and asks the Kami to aid in the fortune of her prolific minor clan.
When Kudaka is on the field, you gain one fate and draw one card immediately after you claim the Air Ring. If you claim this ring on the offensive, you'll also be gaining honor, meaning you can get a boost to card draw, fate, and honor all at once. These resources are all connected and Kudaka’s boost can provide a massive swing in momentum. You'll also notice that Kudaka’s ability is limited to twice per round, meaning if Kudaka finds herself fighting alongside the Phoenix, you can use cards like Know the World (Core Set, 178) to get the most out of her ability.
Kudaka is the vanguard of the Mantis, the calm before the storm—more are coming, and they will not be silenced.
While the elements fall out of balance and Shugenja work abstract magic for powerful Spells, careful attention must also be paid to the physical plane. The politics of Rokugan are as deadly as ever and all the Great Clans must maintain their standing armies to protect the empire and themselves.
Hisu Mori Toride (Breath of the Kami, 1) is a new stronghold that houses the Lion Clan, and it lets you call the full military force of the Lion Clan to your aid. After you win a military conflict by five or more skill, you may bow the stronghold and sacrifice a friendly Bushi to declare an additional military conflict this phase! If you can successfully mount a proper military offensive, you can put major pressure on your opponent and force them to treat every military conflict as a do-or-die situation. Cards like A Legion of One (Meditations on the Ephemeral, 116) can create a favorable conflict with little character investment, while the Kitsu Spiritcaller (Core Set, 74) can provide additional bodies for a second military conflict. With overwhelming pressure, the Lion can overrun their foes and become even more fearsome with the help of Hisu Mori Toride. As long as the proud clan controls the formidable stronghold, few will be able to stand against their might in pitched battle.
A New Breath
Breath of the Kami is the start of a new era of Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game. With the elements falling out of balance, Shugenja and their knowledge are more important than ever. The Air is all around us, but what happens when it becomes angry? When the wind roars and threatens to overtake everything, can Rokugan weather the coming storm?
Feel the Air with Breath of the Kami (L5C09), hitting store shelves on June 28th and available now for pre-order from your local retailer or our website!