Category Archives: Celestial Legal

Golden Arm – does not bow properly

Forgotten legacy is turning out to be a terrifying set. The power level of the cards have been seen of late in the Celestial arc, but seeing these cards will enter Emperor arc, you have to wonder what kind of cards that will enter the base set. Powerful? or just basic? Just what kind of cards that will be printed/reprinted?

Seeing the previews of Asako Karachu on the main website, you can see that although it’s a monk, which is not what Phoenix clan is used to but will enjoy in Emperor Edition via Henshin team, but the fact that the personality ‘straightens’ every time bowed is not funny. 40% of the monk cards require the monk to bow, so this personality has become staple to all monk decks out there. With the low honor requirement of 2, Spider and Dragon, especially Dragon will see no reason not to include him. Unless the occasionally super clan loyal dude who insist on clan peeps only.

Example of Karachu in play.
Limited : Bow Karachu to temple of shinsei, he straightens.
Limited : Bow Karachu to temple of shinsei, he straightens.
Limited : Bow Karachu to temple of shinsei, he straightens.
Limited : Bow Karachu to my father’s shrine, he straightens.
Limited : Bow Karachu to my father’s shrine, he straightens.
Limited : Bow Karachu to my father’s shrine, he straightens.

Of course, in that scenario, you should be almost at honor victory, seeing that you have all the shrines out. But the point is that he alone, can mitigate the cost that usually requires 6 personality in the usual scenario. So instead of 6 personality and 6 shrines to get 9 honor, it’s just Karachu and 6 holdings to gain 9 honor. Highly efficient personality.

This does make me worry. For all future kihos, I’m sure DT have to use Karachu as a benchmark for all monk cost for the card.

Will he prove to break the kiho/monk requirements? Broken? I suppose it will only become apparently so if the future kihos released will be powerful, and mostly cost to bow the personality. Even then, he is still highly killable, so I doubt it will reach the need for errata.

Time will tell.


Zen in the Five Elements

There are generally four major victory condition in L5R for Celestial arc.

Military – take down all opponent’s provinces. On taking down the last province, you win the game.

Honor – You win the game by starting the turn with family honor above 40 or higher, whereby activating the honor victory.

Dishonor – Drag the opponent’s family honor to -20, he loses immediately upon reaching -20.

Zen / Enlightenment – Put into play all 5 elemental rings by its own text.

In celestial edition, there is two other types of victory condition that frankly is just hard to pull off and placed there just for kicks.

Yoritomo Ascends – An event that you must have 20 samurais in play when it resolves

Claiming the throne – An event that makes fulfill partially the major victory conditions, blowing a province, gain honor, put two rings into play and discarding the favor and paying the gold. More work than actually winning via the major conditions.

But today, we are looking at victory condition number 4, enlightenment. This victory condition is among the hardest to pull off consistently among the major victory condition.

Initially, I was planning to write based on clan point of view, but i would think it’s easier to talk from the ring perspective itself.


Ring of Air

Ring of Air has always been the province of clans that have major support for shugenja and monks, as they trigger off specific keywords, spells and kiho. For those clans with a major sum of those, bringing out ring with air with 3 such cards, easy. Usually Phoenix and Dragon have the easiest for this. Other clans are a bit more difficult since they have little shugenjas and trying to muster shugenja, and have 3 different spell kiho makes it hard to pull off. And to make efficient, the clans have to play out of clan shugenjas to make it effective. For example, in Celestial Edition, Crane have only two shugenjas, and both being unique.


Ring of Earth

It’s fairly easy, yet at the same time hard to pull off. Why is that? Generally, the times you actually take care of the province or the army, you don’t have the ring in hand. And most military deck that can take down province, generally do not include Ring of Earth. Having said that, most decks in general can pull off Ring of Earth is they want to, for a military deck, which is usually Crab, Dragon, Lion, Mantis, Scorpion, Unicorn & Spider. Which are most clans except perhaps Crane & Phoenix who are generally lower force than the military clans and mainly geared to honor running thus will have a harder time to play Ring of Earth.


Ring of the Void

Most decks have generally strategy cards to play among the phases, although the most is during battle. So it’s easiest to pull off except for decks running heavy shugenjas or monks, as ring of the void ignores kiho even though it’s a strategy action. So the moderate difficulty will be for Phoenix shugenja decks, Dragon Monk, Spider Shugenja / monks that relies heavy on kiho/spells. Other decks should have no difficulty.


Ring of Water

Among the easiest ring to pull off, it requires only 4 Battle Action. As long as from cards with different title. Another easy one. Most attachment and even personality have ability these days, so it is very easy to pull it off. All clans should be able to use it, maybe the only difficulty is getting it in hand when you need it.


Ring of Fire

The grand ‘pain in the ass’ ring. This is the only ring with the highest difficulty.

First, you have to win the duel in battle, where the risk is high that you can get removed from battle before you can even try to get the duel off. More importantly, if your first duel failed, after putting ring of fire into discard pile, it takes another turn to try it again. So in most cases, when you initiate the duel in battle, make it count!!

Secondly, you need to win the duel by winning by at least a difference of 3 points! If you target a guy with lower chi, chances are, they will strike, since they know you can focus fire ring. If you are lower chi or equal, unless you’re duelist, the attempt will be blocked by the opponent by striking. Even you’re duelist and equal chi or any shugenja equal chi using Master the Body, there is always a chance that your attempt will fail, as even the normal military decks nowadays have a decent amount of 3 or 4 focus value and do remember that you have to lower the ring of fire by -2 value.

So Ring of Fire, the easiest deck to pull this off, is Phoenix decks with Ochiai xp2, since she can duel and focus first at all times when she use her ability and Crane decks that uses Seawatch Castle, as it enables duelling every turn resource-free, removing the need for the player to include a lot of duelling cards.

TLDR version

L5R Ring Relation.jpg

So in the end, Post-Eaw environment, if the clans were to be ranked in accordance to their capability to pull off enlightment easily, i would ranked them in this order.

1. Dragon

2. Phoenix

3. Spider

4. Scorpion

5. Crane

6. Unicorn

7. Mantis

8. Crab

9. Lion

10. Ronin

Keep in mind though, having said all that, the ability to search/tutor for the rings are mostly in the province of monks / shugenja. Most other decks will be limited in their capability to search for the rings, relying purely on Wisdom Gained while decks with shugenja access will be able “Changing Path”, the kiho that speeds up ring fetching technology when you’re focused on trying to enlightenment.

So surpise everyone in your local environment, play enlightenment. You will find it unsurprisingly painful to play initially, but once you do, you will find that it has its rewards, since you can play it so many ways and it creates less brain damage as you get used to the style and deck.

Even me, no matter what deck I play now, I somehow will always think back to my Phoenix enlightenment deck, makes me itchy to try to make that Crane Seawatch Enlightenment by the Sea deck. 😛

Top 5 Rares – Empire at War

Empire at War expansion (EaW) has come and gone. On the horizon, right during Christmas, AEG has announced, (although indirectly) a new expansion. (The Dead of Winter), with a promising picture what many speculate is Bayushi Muhiko xp.

But that’s 2-3 months down the line. RIght now, we would like to list down, post-EaW, what are the top 5 rares wanted in that set. As per previous disclaimer for TPW, i repeat the following. 😛

Disclaimer : As with every expansion, each set brings out in new exciting cards to change, shake up the environment. I have listed down top 5 rares and uncommons that is sought after in the set. Naturally, i took out personalities since they heavily faction related, while the list is mainly to show the top generic cards.

Top 5 wanted rare cards in EaW
1. Superior Mobility

Another dual ability card that you want. For the first part, unbow your target unit. Enough said. Second part, move an opponent unit, or he dies. Of course there’s a lot of good thing to say about that action. If he goes back, then there’s a possibility that he cannot come back, especially if Inexorable Defeat has been played and the person you’re targetting is not it. If he negates the movement, he dies. A nice piece of choice the opponent have to make. This card fits nicely offensively and defensively.

2. Shameful and Cowardly

Another good card, although I wouldn’t call it completely staple, but it is highly sought after since you with this card, it doesn’t require your guy to perform, so Enough Talk can’t stop this card. The effect is it gives a force penalty of -6F in total targetting two personality and more importantly, it dishonors two guys. No questions asked. That alone makes it a power card since if it hits the high honor clans, it’s very painful, like battle maiden and high ph magistrates. And it you have anything that can affect dishonored personality, this cards set things up for the next kill.

3. Yagimaki’s Fist

Adding to the roster list of good attachment is yagimaki’s fist. At 8g, with 5F and +1C, and it has a built-in ability to destroy any card with 7g and less. Of course, without attachment, but that would mean that it can destroy any attachment with ease, exposing the personality nekid for other stuff. With Kensai on the rise, this card will join the likes of Rising Sun Blade.

4. Fearless Defense

Bow and if you’re more expensive, destroy. It’s a good card to try to play since there’s a potential for destruction if necessary. Can be used offensively or defensively, although it has high potential in crab due to high force high cost personalities. Other clans might not benefit much but in most scenarios, you’re looking at bowing.

5. Battle Fatigue

This card is not exactly hot per say, but it destroys region as well and most of the time, people do perform battle action. So you’re guaranteed to be able to play the card.

Honorable Mention :
Blade of Perfection.
This should have been a rare. A 4g weapon, for +3F/+1C and the capability of remaining unbowed is atrocious. and the reaction to come back from the discard upon destruction, (albeit once per turn) is annoying. A lot action can bypass units that has no unbowed cards, such as precise strike. This blade however, makes the job a lot more difficult. I faced it during prerelease and the blade was simply annoying. 🙂

There you have. In terms of usable must have cards, I would say TPW offers much better option overall themes, but EaW provides cards for deck achetype that is in need of boost, namely kensai, ninja and magistrate.

We will have to see what this environment changes for us. I will post on that particular topic later.

Honorable Mentions – IG3

With IG3, it’s the other direction. The set comes in free with complete playset, so you wont see extraordinary ebay price on it. So i’ll just go ahead and cover some cards that will see play in majority of decks. Again, clan cards will be put aside as it doesn’t create a right results in terms of generic capability.

The cards mentioned here are probably going to be in most decks, at least a copy or two since they have good usage overall.

1) Planned Adversity.

The ability to sack any holding that you may control to look for a key holding is superb. Need that Peddler now? sack a barley farm and look for it. Basically, this card makes it worth inclusion in decks.

2) Deny the Horde

Used to being overwhelmed by the opponent? Well, as a reverse flanked by nightmare, if you’re being outnumbered, this card will even the odds a bit.

3) Faint Praise

More Honor Meta. It’s also conditional against honor run. This might see play or not since there is always Only Action Speaks in the environment for military decks. In dishonor decks though, and I’m expecting the metagame to shift to heavier dishonor this time around, so this card will probably see more play.

4) Strategic Keep

An interesting holding. Even in military decks, sometimes you want to ensure that the opponent have a hard time to counter swing you after you attack, so strategic keep will increase the province strength to ensure safety in numbers. Defensive honor decks will definitely pack these as they can get to higher province strength. It’s highly usable since it provides a solid gold of 4, and it doesnt have any other ability, making it guilt free to bow for gold. In fact, the only thing you use it for is gold.

Top 5 Wanted TPW cards

As with every expansion, each set brings out in new exciting cards to change/ shake up the environment. This is purely from my own observation and some ebay sniping, I have listed down top 5 rares and uncommons that is sought after in the set. Naturally, i took out personalities since they are heavily faction related, while this list is mainly to show the top generic cards.

Top 5 wanted rare cards in TPW

1. Only Action Speaks
The hate against honor is obvious. This card, simply shuts down honor for the entire phase. This card is a bane to honor decks, especially when they are close to honor out, 35-36 to reach 40, and the military decks comes knocking on your last two provinces. Any honor you try to make and WHAM. No more honor for the entire phase! If the military is smart, they can play a card that creates a gain and play OAS, effectively neutering any honor gains for the entire battle phase. Good bye honor deck.

Any honor decks that honors in limited as well, play this and watch him babble for a minute or two, wondering how is he going to get that extra honor to sprint. Unfortunately, the card that this card is supposed to heavily meta, is an LSC deck (Last Step Castle- Dragon SH), yet is doesn’t affect the stronghold at all.

Second ability is useless for most clans except big fatty crab peeps or Onis. Most people play mainly for the anti-honor function.

2. Scouting Far Afield
Another good card, I wouldn’t call it staple, but it is highly sought after, since with this card, you have a chance to get back some strategy cards that you may have used before and especially if that card happens to meta nicely the opponent.

Meeting honor decks and you can play Only Action Speaks up to 6 times? Simply solid gold.

3. Cost of Pride
Reduce ranged attack by 3 and the ability to bow / unbow any card that is different from base force. Almost everything basically. I doubt there’s any card that do not gain any semblence of force pump. This card is good is all military decks, except for duelling, mainly due to its low focus value. But this card is generally good to put in military decks who expects a lot of opposition, force pumps and bow techs.

4. Rising Sun Blade
An 8 gold weapon with +6F/+1C. 3FV and ability to PK any card at 5F and below that has no attachment. And in most cases, you can attach on turn 3 to start attacking. This card is simply good due to its destructive power to destroy cards.

However, in the environment with rout, it is a rather risky investment but some decks, simply worth that +6F alone. Nevertheless… the fear of this weapon coming at the defender early.. is priceless.

5. Deathly Aura
The New sneak attack. The value is insanely high due to being a sneak attack with a focus value of 4. And it’s a dark virtue, meaning that spider paragon makes use of this very well. However, I’m not too sold on this when people compare this to be better than Sneak Attack, since it requires you to perform the action by the samurai, meaning that you cannot use follower ability such as Imperial Elite Guard, use shugenja related spell or monk kiho and even play terrain. The freedom of choosing any action makes Sneak Attack better. But then again, having 2x sets of sneak attack is still very good for any military deck to enable the first action in an attack.

Top 5 wanted uncommon in TPW

1. Inexorable Defeat
Staple for most decks. The ability of movement, and prevent further movement to battlefield is strong. You can use this as defender to avoid any more attacker moving in and as attacker, to avoid defender sending more defenders.

The second ability is just as solid. Destruction of terrain or region. The capability of destroying those card type in battle/open makes it key.

The 2 honor loss is negligible really. Most decks can always recoup the honor loss and the military decks that dont, basically have (dash) – honor requirement to ensure that they can continue to increase the military build-up and not hampered by honor.

2. Radiant Steel
A good weapon for 4g, gives a +3F/+1C with a built in ability to destroy weapon/armor. That makes it efficient for use a weapon that destroys those other types. This weapon sees a lot of use in Kensai decks since kensai can destroy the weapon first, then use Yarijutsu to off the unit. The added force and fv makes it more interesting but I would say it’s comparative to Tempered No-Dachi in PotD. That weapon does the better destruction (item and follower, compared to this item, weapon or armor) but lower one force and fv.

3. Reckless Confrontation
Useful in high honor PH decks. For military, it’s Lion and Unicorn Utaku Plains deck, and defensive honor, it’s Phoenix and Crane and Dragon. This card neutralised some of the threats posed by super unit Mantis DGC decks, and they tend to stack up to a massive train of 4F followers and super personalities to sustain it. The ability to gain 1 honor per 0F card is what makes this card so amazing. Usually, you can net around 2-4 honor per card with this action most of the time, unless you happen to meet naked decks, (peeps with no attachment). But in those situations, it is still a decent force reduction card, since your personality performing is in the range of 3 to 4PH.

4. Unimpeachable Name
This is a tough choice because the second ability is only useful for shugenja decks, which most people wont run. However, the reaction is gold. The ability to rehonor before getting your personality gets killed by a dishonored effect. So this helps to avoid getting your personality killed when targetted by Imperial Adjudication versus a duelling deck while being dishonored.
The important role of this card is to meta the possibility that post Empire at War, (a set coming soon) dishonor decks are on the rise, with the amount of support for courtier/magistrate. Being able to somewhat interrupt the ability of dishonor in its tracks can be crucial.

5. Province Assaulted
4FV and the ability to unbow two units is good on opponent’s turn. The first ability is at the moment playable since most people still play boxable and this card will anti that boxable better than burn the village. I find this still useful for the second ability, giving the military decks a chance to defend and being able to commit during your turn to attack.

There are other cards worth mention that is chasable rares from this set, The Plague Wars, but I think the mention of these top 5 is right on the dot, seeing as these cards were immediately sold out from Koku Redemption tells a lot of the chasebility of these cards.

I’ll be back with top usable cards from IG3, since the full spoiler is now available.