Legend of the Five Rings: Master of the Court Clan Pack (engl.)
Amidst the honorable samurai of the Emerald Empire, none stand quite as virtuously as those of the Crane Clan. It is by the grace and excellence of the Left Hand of the Emperor that peace is maintained, for their mastery of law and diplomacy is unparalleled. The descendants of Lady Doji helped codify the laws that govern life in the Empire, simultaneously defining the social order and modeling it with elegance.
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Masters of the Court, a Crane Clan Pack for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game!
Masters of the Court spotlights the Crane 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, you can look for an emphasis on the Crane’s skilled Duelists, their well-spoken Courtiers, and their ability to lock down their opponents with powerful conflict cards.
An Honorable Duel
Across the Emerald Empire, the Crane dominate duels, both on the field of battle and in court, and no stronghold emphasizes this more than Kyūden Kakita (Masters of the Court, 1). Melding the themes of dueling and honoring characters, Kyūden Kakita can be used to honor a participant in a duel. With an increased emphasis on dueling in both Masters of the Court and the Children of the Empire Premium Expansion, winning duels already provides a variety of rewards.
Now, Kyūden Kakita can provide a further boon whether your duel ends in victory or defeat. Even if your opponent targets your character for an easy victory, or you plan on losing the duel to begin with, Kyūden Kakita makes sure that your character walks away honored. Of course, there is a tradeoff, and with nine influence instead of ten, Kyūden Kakita forces you to rely on the tools of the Crane Clan more than any other stronghold. Still, with plenty of ways to force duels, few can stand up to the Left Hand of the Emperor.
Just one of the new ways to initiate a duel in Masters of the Court is with Kakita Yuri (Masters of the Court, 8). While he holds no military skill, he can contribute three political skill and initiate a powerful political duel, with the loser unable to declare a military conflict for the rest of the phase. Taking advantage of this ability requires careful planning—as the first player, you guarantee that you can use Yuri before your opponent declares their military conflict, but there is an additional hurdle to clear. Unlike traditional duels, your opponent can choose their representative, meaning that if a character like Bayushi Shoju (Core Set, 107) is on the field, it will be difficult for Kakita Yuri to claim victory. However, if Kakita Yuri can be honored by a card like Way of the Crane (Core Set, 146) or Kyūden Kakita, he becomes nearly unbeatable.
Masters of the Court introduces another reward for dueling in the form of the Distinguished Dōjō (Masters of the Court, 13). The Crane are one of the most honorable clans in the Emerald Empire, and victory only brings greater glory. After you win a duel with the Distinguished Dōjō on the field, you may place an honor token on it. Then, you may sacrifice the Dōjō to gain honor equal to the number of tokens on the holding! By accumulating up to three honor per round, the Distinguished Dōjō can provide you with a massive influx of honor that can be used for bidding on card draw or duels, or perhaps even used to ascend to an honor victory.
Masters of the Court also extends the pressure that the Crane can put on their opponent by limiting their options.
Asahina Takamori (Masters of the Court, 9) is the Daimyō of the Asahina family, and although he has base stats of zero, his ability can completely change the momentum of the game—after you play a Crane character, you may choose an opponent’s character with equal or lower cost and prevent them from being declared as an attacker or defender this round. Essentially, as long as he remains on the field, Asahina Takamori can continually neutralize threats on your opponent’s side of the board, keeping fate trickling off of these characters as they remain stagnant. What's more, if you manage to honor Asahina Takamori, he can even start to contribute to conflicts himself with three military and three political skill.
While Asahina Takamori prevents your opponents from even participating in conflicts, those characters may still use their abilities. Luckily, the Crane have powerful Political Sanctions (Masters of the Court, 20) to prevent your opponents from interfering with your plans. If you are currently winning a political conflict, you can attach Political Sanction to a participating character. Then, so long as your Political Sanction remains in force, that character can't use any triggered abilities! Like Cloud the Mind (Core Set, 202), this attachment is an ideal way to shut down powerful characters, and at only one influence, it's sure to show up in plenty of conflict decks.
Negotiate with Strength
As with all Clan Packs, each of the other Great Clans also receive a new character to counter the new Crane strategies introduced in the pack. Masters of the Court introduces Akodo Makoto (Masters of the Court, 16), a Lion Clan Bushi who specializes in removing Courtiers from the field. After Akodo Makoto wins a conflict, you can choose a participating Courtier and discard it if it has no fate, or remove one fate from it. Of course, this can be devastating to clans like the Crane and Scorpion, who rely on Courtiers to achieve political victory. But even if there are no valuable targets, Akodo Makoto still contributes four skill to a military conflict, making her a valuable ally to any Lion player.