Meditations on the the Future 

Meditations on the the Future 

With the L5R Honored event last weekend, we saw an end to the competitive side of the single core environment. With that in mind, this article will look at the upcoming events and what the early environment might look like. Along with this, we have a starting decklist for each clan, to give a flavor of what might be.

In early October the game will finally release, and we can start looking getting stuck into the game proper. The Launch program will be split into three events. The Launch Party, probably on the weekend after the official release on the 5th. There all attendees can get their L5R Lanyard, Badge, and a stick for the Badge. A random participant will get an extended art Clan champion. This will be single core, but winning isn’t important. The next event Imperial Summons, probably in late October or early November, will be a tournament with full 40/40 decks built with 3 core sets. If you grab the imperial favor during the tournament, you will get a special promo version of the favor. You will have to pick a Clan for this one, and a random member of each clan will get their Clan champion promo. Again winning isn’t important, just turning up and having fun.

November will be Worlds held at the FFG headquarters. We don’t know a lot of details, but we do know one player will be walking away with the title of Shogun. That is a lot of marbles. The top of each Clan will also be choosing a new role for the Clans. All official tournaments from then onwards will require players to stick to the role chosen.

The last of the launch events is the Way of the Rings with attendees getting a commemorative pin of the 5 rings and the top of each Clan getting a champion promo (if there is more than 1 then it will be random between those top players). This will most likely happen in December and will be the final event for 2017. We should see the first dynasty pack, Ameratsu’s tears, released in that month.

So, what does this new environment look like? Compared to the single core we are going to see a lot more consistency. Although decks are larger at 40, players will have the option to include 3 of their clan cards rather than just hoping to draw that 1 copy. Clan decks will be focused on their strengths, and there will be a greater distinction between the Clans. We can make a few assumptions based on this, it’s not going to be a crystal clear image of the final table at Worlds, but it will give us a baseline to start from.

Overview of the 3-core

From the single core environment, it does look like Scorpion and Crab are going to have the most influence on the overall metagame. Both decks have access to card draw and dishonor effects. This allows them to apply a choke on their opponent by always bidding 1 during card draw. To survive this match-up, decks will need to invest in card draw themselves. The Unicorn attachment Spyglass is likely to be splashed into both Dragon and Lion while the holding Imperial Storehouse will appear in most decks. The Phoenix clan who have access to Forgotten Library for card draw are less likely to suffer in this lock and can use their ring manipulation, especially Display of Power, to trigger Air and Earth. Indeed, Display of Power may be popular for Scorpion and Crab.

Now we are out of the single core environment, the Unicorn have access to 3 copies of Captive Audience which will let them play by their own rules. The Lion are likely to splash at least two copies themselves, making it a common enough feature in the environment that other clans will need to account for it. Due to these powerful event cards, the Crane are almost certainly going to be splashing Scorpion to play Forged Edict along with Voice of Honor and Honored Guest for a pastel blue version of a counterspell deck. Unlike the days of old, the Crane won’t be honoring up with fantastic gardens. Instead, they’ll be using those honorable Samurai to crush provinces. This Crane deck may push Dragon even further into an attachment focus, possibly abandoning all event cards. With Spyglass so prevalent we can expect to see those with access to play the Scorpion Calling in Favors and the Dragon Let Go events.


Dragon are going to end up attachment heavy. Whether they go for the big power unit or a broader board, they are going to be focusing on cards that stick around. While a Banzai! is a massive boost, that Fine Katana is going to stick around and will be relevant two turns later when that Banzai! is long forgotten.

Crane look like they will be focusing on honoring up their board to take provinces while using Voice of Honor and the Scorpion’s Forged Edicts to shut down their opponent’s deck. They will be able to develop a powerful board and may be able to threaten an honor victory if an opponent gets careless.

Scorpion meanwhile, are likely to push for a deadly dishonor deck. Controlling their opponents board with a combination of dishonor and kill while severely limiting their opponent’s card draw by always pushing dishonor.

Crab have a similar end goal to Scorpion, but rather than trying to weaken their opponent’s characters they form a solid defense and don’t give an inch. Way of the Crab in combination with Assassination can brutalize an opponents board. Meanwhile cards like Watch Commander and Intimidating Hida. In this version, I’ve splashed Dragon giving Mirumoto’s Fury for extra defensive options while holding onto Let Go for attachments such as Spyglass.

Unicorn will finally have their toys with cavalry reliably on their cards. With 3 Captive Audience and a wealth of cavalry characters for Cavalry Reserves, they will be a force to reckon with. For this deck I’ve gone with a Lion splash as the majority of Unicorn are Bushi, a Cavalry Reserves followed by a For Greater Glory to keep them around for the last will break most clans.

Lion are going to push an aggressive military deck with the support of the Unicorn’s Captive Audience. The Lion are in the best situation to use cards like Charge and Kitsu Spiritcaller to bring characters into play and then use options like Stand Your Ground and For Greater Glory (not for the Spiritcaller) to have them stick around. Either set of cards well as by themselves and together they generate an impressive board.

Phoenix decks have a lot of working parts and may work best with as many free skill boosts as possible to allow them to take advantage of opportunities that open up.

These are not supposed to be perfect decks, but hopefully, they will be a decent starting point. In the upcoming weeks, Imperial Advisor is going to look at decks for each of the clans. We are going to consider some of the options and see how they play against each other. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please do comment or contact us directly.

If you have any comments or feedback please post them in the comments section below. Join us on our Twitch stream every second Monday at 8pm BST, 9pm CEST, 1pm PST.

Check us out on the Imperial Advisor website, podcast, and YouTube channel for more discussion about the L5R LCG.


5 Replies to “Meditations on the the Future ”

  1. I’m gonna finish the whole thing but I came for Scorpion… Typo note, you’ve got the Scorp pile listed as a Seeker of Air, when you want void.

    Also, 3 Display of Power!? I clearly have to try playing with it cause that seems mad lol. What kind of situations have popped up for anyone actually doing that?

    1. Seeker of Air is right, that’s the Role picked for the Scorpion at Gencon. You are right that there are two Void provinces, which is an error. Pilgrimage has now been changed to Elemental Fury instead.

      It will need testing to determine whether 3 or 2 are the way to go. The dream scenario for this Scorpion dishonor deck is to cancel the opponent’s air ring and use it against them. It also works quite well with fire or earth for similar reasons. The cost makes it tricky to play early, and you don’t want to risk losing a province later in the game, so it does seem dependent on drawing it at the right time.

  2. The discord channel is running a tournament at the moment and they have compiled some figures. Of interest for this article are the primary splashes for each clan.

    Crab: 11 decks – 5 Phoenix, 4 Unicorn, 1 Scorpion, 1 Dragon
    Crane: 16 decks – 10 Scorpion, 4 Dragon, 2 Crab
    Dragon: 15 decks – 6 Unicorn, 4 Crab, 2 Crane, 2 Lion, 1 Phoenix
    Lion: 11 decks – 7 Dragon, 2 Phoenix, 1 Crane, 1 Unicorn
    Phoenix: 16 decks – 9 Dragon, 3 Crane, 2 Crab, 2 Scorpion
    Scorpion: 21 decks – 11 Crab, 6 Dragon, 2 Crane, 2 Phoenix
    Unicorn: 8 decks – 6 Lion, 2 Crane

    So in some cases we were right, in others not so much. For some decks it looks like the discord meta hasn’t quite settled as there is still a lot of variance. It is important to note that the sample size is still quite small, but it is interesting to look at nonetheless.

  3. With your recommended Dragon deck, what would you recommend swapping out now that Mirumoto’s Fury and Spyglass are both restricted?

    1. Oh wow. Interesting question. After 2 and a half years, how would I approach this? Assuming we’ve got 3 core sets and we’re playing Dragon I’d probably go with this!

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