The Emperor's Legion
Announcing a New Clan Pack for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game
“We will make them cower for their insults, and Arasou will be avenged.”
– Matsu Tsuko of the Lion Clan
On the blood-stained battlefields of Rokugan, the skill and prowess of the Lion Clan is legendary. From Matsu warriors to Akodo tacticians to Kitsu who utilize the past itself to overwhelm their foes in combat, the tools of the Lion clan are extensive. The clan serves as the Right Hand of the Emperor, and to face a Lion in battle is to face death itself.
The Emperor’s Legion spotlights the Lion Clan with 78 new cards (three copies of twenty-five different cards and one copy each of three different cards) for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game. Here, look for an emphasis on recursion, revenge, and righteousness.
Furthermore, if you pre-order The Emperor's Legion from Fantasy Flight Games website, not only will you get free shipping within the continental United States, you’ll also receive five double-sided province backers. These province backers sit behind your province in the same sleeve to show off beautiful art by Amélie Hutt and Greg Lambrakis while the card is facedown!
Vengeance of the Lion
Like other Clan Packs, The Emperor’s Legion features a new stronghold for its signature clan. Kyūden Ikoma (The Emperor's Legion, 1) has the highest starting honor in the game, reflective of the Lion’s upstanding dedication to the honor of the Rokugan. Furthermore, the stronghold allows you to bow it after one of your character's loses a conflict as an attacker to bow one of your opponent’s non-Champion characters.
This stronghold adjusts how your opponent thinks about victory in battle. Even a small contingent of Lion forces attacking a province becomes a difficult decision for your opponent. Defending can ensure the Lion don’t break the province, but their mind may be on a larger battle down the line, and can you afford one of your best samurai to be bowed when the real conflict begins? Kyūden Ikoma is a difficult stronghold to play around, and allows Lion players to exact vengeance on those who challenge them.
A golden horde descending upon you is terrifying for any samurai of Rokugan. The Lion’s Bushi are known across Rokugan as fearsome warriors, a well-oiled machine that can tear through their foes.
Matsu Gohei (The Emperor's Legion, 6) is an impressive warrior in his own right, but his true potential is unleashed when he is attacking with at least two other Bushi. Win or lose, Matsu Gohei will not bow as a result of conflict resolution as long as he is flanked by two other Bushi while attacking. This allows Gohei to contribute his three military skill to additional conflicts during the turn. Should you emerge victorious, Gohei and his brethren can utilize For Greater Glory (Core Set, 165) to ensure they can repeat their tactics during the next turn.
However, should your Bushi fall in battle, there is still a duty that must be fulfilled. Every Lion knows they will eventually Embrace Death (The Emperor’s Legion, 23), and find victory even in their ultimate defeat. After you lose a conflict in which you controlled an attacking Bushi, you may sacrifice that Bushi to remove a fate from an opponent’s character, or discard it if they have no fate. Your target doesn’t have to be participating in the conflict, meaning your Bushi’s last breath can throw a wrench into your opponent’s plans, and bring their most fearsome foe with them into the warm embrace of death.
Reverence and History
The sacrifices of these Bushi are not forgotten. The Lion are more than just warriors, their strength comes not only from their moral code and training, but of a reverence for the past. Lion Shugenja can commune with the voice of ancestors long past for guidance and power in conflict. Voice of the Ancestors (The Emperor’s Legion, 10) is a four-cost Shugenja, and the longer he is on the field, the more Spirits of the Lion Clan aid you in conflicts. As an Action, you can play a Lion character from your dynasty discard pile at a discounted cost as an attachment to another character you control. The character from your discard pile becomes a Spirit and adds their military and political skill to the attached character. While the Voice of the Ancestors doesn’t have impressive skills on his own, he can utilize and recur your fallen samurai to strengthen the Lion legion.
But not all recursion comes from ghosts of the past. The Lion are numerous, and cutting down one can bring two more in their place. The Ashigaru Levy (The Emperor's Legion, 4) is already a free character, and allows you to bring another Ashigaru Levy into play from your province or discard pile when they are played. It is important to note that the trigger occurs when the Ashigaru Levy is brought into play by any means, meaning playing one Ashigaru Levy can bring in another, and that Ashigaru Levy can bring in your third, a makeshift army springing up from the cracks of battle. With a single military skill, the Ashigaru cannot stand on their own, but an army of Peasants rising up can make a difference in the Lion’s many military skirmishes.
Like the other Clan Packs before it, each of the other Great Clans of Rokugan receives a new character in The Emperor’s Legion, many of which directly counter the Lion’s most iconic strategies.
For example, Shosuro Denmaru (The Emperor’s Legion, 17) is a Scorpion Commander who can morph the state of the battlefield. While this impressive Bushi is on the field, the base glory of each honored character controlled by your opponent is 0. This is an extremely favorable advantage for the Scorpion, especially against the easily-honored Lion Clan samurai. This ability only affects honored characters, meaning high glory characters are still susceptible to the Scorpion’s dishonorable tactics like Way of the Scorpion (Core Set, 185). While the Lion prefer a straightforward battle, the Scorpion can use this to their advantage, manipulating events and conditions to ensure they can sever the Right Hand of the Emperor should the need arise.
Though they take many forms, all clans of Rokugan fear the might of the Lion. From their fearsome Bushi to their reverent Shugenja, the Lion overwhelm their foes with coordination and skill. Will you join the ranks of the Emperor’s Right Hand?
Discover the path of the Lion in The Emperor’s Legion (L5C27), available now for pre-order from your local retailer or through our website with free shipping in the continental US!
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