Category Archives: l5r

Manly Neighbours

At first I thought that a Crane deck with Crab sub is going to be a mismatch. However, after playing around with the idea a bit, it’s actually a pretty solid pairing.


While Watch Commander is the star, the key ingredient to this deck is actually Hiruma Ambusher. Being able to shut off an ability for 2 Fate is really strong, especially when you’re facing a decked out Mirumoto Raitsugu that can eat up your skinny blue shirt guys alive.

On the Crane side, I reduced some of the 3-off staples. Main offenders:

Noble Sacrifice
Voice of Honor
Duelist Training

They’re either too expensive (yes, 1 Fate can be expensive when you didn’t pass first) or too situational. Voice of Honor and Noble Sacrifice isn’t as easy to play as I initially thought. And Crane don’t make good duelists. There, I said it. In the New5R, Dragons and Crabs are the top duelists of the land. Until we see a Political duel, Military duels are often losing propositions unless you pick on the little guys. But Kaezin is pretty ok I left a couple of copies of him in.

The deck has a lot more singletons than I would like, they’re often cards that can provide an unexpected bonus when you have it in your hand.

If you’re playing in , look me up (almond55). I often set up games with “open game” as the title in casual so we can try out wonky decks together and practice.


No Blades

For a Crane deck with a Dragon sub, the deck title just seems so wrong. But here we are!


The first rendition of this deck was a primordial soup. I wanted the snazzy monk-tachments coupled with Let Go for the bad bad attachments that will inadvertently find itself stuck to my peeps at the wrong time.

That was a disaster. Sure, Covert was cool. But the return swing was painful as that sit out character was filled with pent up rage waiting to break  my province. Yikes! Mirumoto’s Fury was a better pick. Since a majority of the Glory is 2, bringing out 2 peeps with Fate is usually enough to threaten a counter swing.

Political Rival ended up being the unexpected lynch pin of the deck. by being a 6 on Political defense and a Glory of 0, Dishonor shenanigans don’t usually work on him to bring down his score. It was a pleasant surprise.

I cut down on the staple Voice of Honor and Noble Sacrifice because honoring your peeps, while easier for Crane, wasn’t easy nor reliable at all. No Assassination either because the deck’s honour play quite frankly sucks. The deck relies heavily on your hand so more often than not you’ll find yourself bleeding Honor every turn.

Not much issue with Military bumps. Though it only has Banzai! to handle that area. More emphasis has been given on bumping the political because cards like Outwit! and Kakita Asami relies on them.

Pure Crane

While I don’t think pure clan decks (save for Unicorn) can be string enough on its own for now, even when you’re building pure Crane, there’s still some decision that needs to be made. This deck is skewed to be heavily political, and we’re trying to get most of our Conflict deck down to 0 as much as we can.


Some not so obvious inclusions:

Pilgrimage instead of Shameful Display: While not really playing to Crane’s strengths, this change makes the deck more resilient which is something that you want when you’re building a single dimensional deck.

Single Duelist Training: Might max it up but it really depends. At time this card is awesome while others… not so much. Since this deck doesn’t have much Military boost, leaving it to 1 seems to be adequate. On the other hand, going for deliberate duel lost for honour might be beneficial in some really extreme cases.

Height of Fashion: Not really my first choice, but a big boost in Political when you’re screaming for slots is a good compromise. Plus it gives a chance for your more Military based peeps to be a bit more versatile at the cost of telegraphing to your opponent.

The Perfect Gift: I’m still torn about including this at all. But it’s free and it does give a better card advantage to yourself. The advantage to your opponent really depends on the luck of the draw. Might drop this to 1 and take a single Noble Sacrifice. But the fact that Noble Sacrifice has a cost of 1 Fate still makes me favour this card. Will need more testing to figure it out.

The Angry Bird of L5R?

I managed to finally get my 3x core set. I got only one during the launch event, so now that I have 3, time to build competitive decks.

Although 3x core gives a good spread, I do find as usual, only core set is lacking in certain versatility per clan. So you can get at most 1-2 good decks per clan. Unless you’re tier 1 clan, so you may have 2-3 options.

Tier 1 for now? I would say it’s

  • Lion
  • Crane
  • Scorpion

In that order. Why so? Crane and Scorpion has the cancel/negate cards while Lion has damn good synergy and they bring back peeps from discard pile. That act alone allows them to retain the numbers. And lion have that action card when they break a province, all bushi in that battlefield will gain a fate token. That swings the army by a huge sum.

That makes lion fearsome for now.

The other worrisome news was that Cycle 1 of chapter packs, instead of monthly release, they release all one shot over 6 weeks, 1 chapter packs per week. I honestly like the idea of getting 120 cards in playset in a go. The only issue is how far in-between cycles do we have the downtime.

Anything below 3 months is too short… while near 6 months is too long if the metagame goes stale. They will need to balance it.

Anyway, I’m tinkering for decklist but being a Phoenix Clan Loyalist like me. Only Phoenix decks will do. Although I may post other clan decks that I find have interesting concepts but that will probably start cycle 2 onwards when we have more card diversity.

Well, I build a phoenix deck first… and we see how it goes few more games down the line.
Fenix / Crab

Pretty birds with big sticks

Another stab at Crane/Unicorn. This time it’s more Unicorn and less of a Crane. Since Crane already has a high political prowess, this deck focuses more on buffing up the military, coupled with Unicorn movement shenanigans. The biggest decision making is when to move into a conflict.


Not sure if this will work

I’ll most likely only post Crane decks when it comes to L5R content, you have been warned.

So for the record I haven’t gotten my cores yet. But that doesn’t stop me from building decks and theorizing on what could be the next best thing. For Crane, the popular votes seem to go to Scorpion influence with their “can’t touch this” decks. Another polarizing view is pairing with Phoenix which can be surprisingly manipulative, more so that the Scorpion.

So I went with something simple: pair it with Unicorn.


The idea is ridiculously simple: Get your guys in there no matter what. You might want to get in there to blow up his stuff, or blank the 2 more turns Champion, whatever. This deck has ample movement. Iuchi Wayfinder is awesome at finding out what to send and which conflict to go to for the second conflict. But being a Crane deck, your goal should always flush for the top 3 cards (Kaezin comes close, but not quite on that list).

Back to the Future: Rokugan Edition

Yup. L5R has returned and we’re going back in time to the Clan Wars, where everything began. No mention of the taint, your sexy tainted heroines are still pure and clan champions die in fictions. Glorious.

GenCon was won by the Crane, who is the only hatamoto of the clan. High number of hatamotos come from the Crab and Dragon.

So what can we expect in the future? Uncertain, though Crab and Dragon does seem pretty strong at the moment. The first event featured only 1 core and reliance over a single clan’s strategy is yet untested since the combos are all one shots. With cores, I expect the Unicorn to be quite potent since most of their personality abilities will begin to work more reliably.

I myself will just start from a single core and pad up with upcoming chapter packs and deluxe expansions. I’ll know for sure in October when the product hits Malaysian shores.

After hiatus… L5R is returning

FFG L5R is approaching… the reviews have been kind of interesting so far. And I think that most AEG L5R players are keeping an eye on it simply coz they love the game.. .and being LCG, it would be cheaper on a player’s wallet.. which is a major point these days. So far we have seen some basic cards and somewhat preview of the crane and lion… just have to wait for the rest. Expected to have a release of sorts at Gencon. We will get more reviews then I suppose.

I’ll probably grab 3x core (For complete playset), but anymore will depend on the playerbase locally. More people means I can get invested in to the game while if less players… well… I’ll just keep the 3x core for nostalgia’s sake. Check out the current preview at L5R at FB, or go to FFG website for more details.

On a sidenote… these are the ccg/lcg games I play on daily basis.

Shadowverse – Daily login for rewards and buy a pack for the every 100g. (Time spent is 5 minutes at most)
Hearthstone – Complete the dailies. Get more gold and buy latest expansion. Dust the spares (Depends on nature quest, between 15 to 30 minutes, if the quest is too annoying, i will reroll or try again tomorrow to reroll. )
Mabinogi – Login for gem reward.. buy packs. fight a friend to get more gems for quest. (I spend more time here to get gems.. so 30 to an hour a day)

So looking at it, it seems I’m less of player these days.. but more to looking forward to crack packs only. For free!

I know Gwent beta is out… but I’m just too lazy to play it on a pc and would rather just wait for the mobile version.

I should start to try to get HearthStone to top spot legend one of these days…

2016 and L5R in FFG

We are now in 2016. By reckoning, still a year and a half more to L5R LCG by FFG. That’s a long way to go and I’m sure we will start getting teaser previews in Jan 2017 in line of the estimated Gencon unveiling. This also means that the actual release production will be by Christmas 2017 or later half of 2018 to get into mass public’s hands.
Only time will tell whether this will significantly change L5r as we know it or will it remain dead… everywhere… we will wait and see i suppose.


The old group locally has split up. A few went to MTG, a few to console/PC gaming… dota mostly and the rest disappear to do their own thing.


Almost all of them gave a tentative comeback only and only if l5r come back hopefully better. While the promise of LCG format makes it cheaper to go in overall compared to the cracking packs of CCG format, a lot of players are weary of FFG LCG format mainly due to the distribution methods via local company… who is notorious in handling the prize support kits. Among the complaints has been getting an expansion 2-3 months later coz he decides to pool 2 expansions per shipment. Prize kits came in late and tampered (some of the prizes are missing) and few more infamous deeds…..


That is the reason that FFG products are having difficulty to grow here. I’ve always favoured AEG prize support, which was very helpful in supporting local communities to grow more players and also WotC prize support for MTG. But FFG prize support… urghh.. is bad really….
A tourney kit of 8 players which only rewards the top player, I find it hard at times to get players to play since they know that by paying, they are getting only participation prize random full bleed card they already have and might not like..(Curse of any LCG, everyone already have the card). unlike WotC/AEG who encourages top 3 prize and 1 lucky draw prize to encourage people to play regardless of winning chances since you might very be that lucky draw winner. With this, even new players are encouraged to play since you stand a chance. But with FFG, only if you have high shot at winning would you be willing to participate, otherwise, why bother to pay and lose as a surety?


This is something that FFG needs to buck up or they will lose out the more casual group in the long run.


I have gotten my hands on Game of Thrones 2.0 LCG. So far the game is much more streamlined compared to the horrors of 1.0. As I have a void of 2 years of L5R to come, I suppose i will throw my lot at this game and see how it goes.
Ours is the Fury!



Exiting Orbit 2015

L5R is dead … for at least 2 years.
For those who didn’t know, L5R under AEG has folded. They have sold the entire creative license to FFG for the entirety of L5R. So the current L5R is dead. The last expansion was released, Evil Portents was let go to shops for free. As no company really wants to buy any product for a game life expectancy of zero. However, since the product was already printed, they just charge the shipping for the items. .

So what to do with the existing product at shops? Frankly no idea. Some of us here have been trying to get some sort value out of it. ;

Among the ideas was to run more draft tournaments. Or even, screw the standard and go back to a more viable format for all. Modern Highlander. While modern covers further back, the local players here have suggested to only include sets not too far back, using only Celestial edition onwards. And being highlander, there should be enough cards in the pool for people to share a bit and build decent decks. And there is enough cards in the community pool to make a decent deck with Celestial, Emperor, Ivory edition.

Since I’m on hiatus, it looks like my L5R hiatus is now permanent. Somewhat I’m ok with that. At least until 2017, the game will be kept alive by others. Post-2017, we will see if FFG screw it up or bring a new fresh perspective. More importantly, that brings in fresh new players. A new generation of L5R players. And being a vet like me…. for the love of the game in AEG’s form.. I really hope not. If FFG changes it too much… I might not return. If it still retains some of the current charm and yet brings a fresh new game, I might just return. A wait and see scenario indeed.

No gaming on card and board games except that I got myself a copy of A Game of Thrones 2.0. The game looks a lot cleaner. It’s also obvious from the..1x core is not enough. Need to get 3x core to be competitive. I will grab the balance of the cores needed in a month or two as I would like to observe the local community support for this game first before deciding anything.

Till then, adios.