Meta Check – Houston

Meta Check – Houston

Welcome to coverage of the Penultimate Kotei! Houston is the last Kotei before the Grand Kotei at Gencon which ends the season. We have high hopes for this tournament as it is not locked behind a convention. This first pack of the elemental cycle is legal, so we will get a taste of what is to come.

Day 1

Players are headed to the event now. We’re expecting the first round to start at 10:00 local time which is 16:00 BST. Currently, we do believe there will be a stream, but it will be dependent on the internet at the location. Updates once we get them.

  • Pre-registration numbers are just over 50.
  • The stream will be at Kolat Club with a re-stream with commentary by Travis.
  • They also have Lotus Pavilion! Great news for those of us following from home.
  • Final numbers for attendance are 65.

Interesting attendance numbers with players clearly interested in playing with the new Lion and Phoenix strongholds. Reports say 10 of the Phoenix are playing the new stronghold with 2 playing the old. The new pack also has Isawa Uona who is a very powerful new addition to the Phoenix, will they be crazy enough to run Maze of Illusions also? For their sake, we hope not.

Round 4 has just ended with 2 Scorpion and 2 Dragon still undefeated. Crab so far have had a poor showing with the best Crab going 2-2. Lion, who had been doing poorly in recent tournaments, are doing pretty well with the new stronghold which is great to see.


At the end of day 1, a total of 5 players made the qualification requirement of 53 points, along with them 7 challengers.

Top players in order

  • 1. Johnny Shen – Scorpion – Hatamoto
  • 2. James Balthis – Crane – Hatamoto
  • 3. Aneil Seetharam – Dragon – Hatamoto
  • 4. Trevor Holmes – Lion – Hatamoto
  • 5. Steven Palumbo – Scorpion
  • 6. Christopher Pottorf – Crane
  • 7. Luke Macdowall – Scorpion
  • 8. William Zhang – Dragon
  • 10. Jon Fernandez – Phoenix – Hatamoto
  • 12. Rob Perry – Crab – Hatamoto
  • 14. Dan Mui – Lion
  • 22. Kilian Downey – Unicorn – Hatamoto

Since the event is also up on Lotus Pavilion we get some win rates from day 1. As always, use with caution. These just show the games played, to draw any inferences about future games is a leap.

Out of curiosity, since we have the new Lion stronghold this additional set is for the new stronghold only. Similar for the most part but a much better game against Dragon, Crane, and Crab.

Day 2
The second day broke down as follows. The bracket for Day 2 is up on Challonge and will update updated live.
Congrats to Johnny Shen from the Jade Throne Podcast for his victory. I’m sure we’ll see good discussion about it coming up as so many of the team were at the event.


Position Name Faction
Winner Johnny Shen Scorpion
Top 2 James Balthis Crane
Top 4 Steven Palumbo Scorpion
Top 4 Dan Mui Lion
Top 8 Jon Fernandez Phoenix
Top 8 Trevor Holmes Lion
Top 8 Luke Macdowall Scorpion
Top 8 Aneil Seetharam Dragon
Top 16 William Zhang Dragon
Top 16 Killian Downey Unicorn
Top 16 Roby Perry Crab
Top 16 Christopher Pottorf Crane

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.

9 Replies to “Meta Check – Houston”

  1. Thank you for all the coverage you’ve done this season! I wasn’t able to go to anything Kotei, but you all helped the weekends feel like events!

  2. The dominance of Scorpion (and Crab) just further cemented with these results. Thus, given the continual results in from these tournaments, in Tier 1 is Scorpion (the premier deck in the game) and Crab, Tier 2 is Crane and Phoenix with their new Stronghold, and in Tier 3 is Lion, Dragon and Unicorn… exactly as I have been stating for the past 6+ months… I strongly suspect this trend to continue with the release of the upcoming Dynasty packs in the months to come. Congratulations to all who competed! (Well Done!)

    1. I don’t think the word ‘exactly’ means what you think it means. Most people assessing the environment over the last six months wouldn’t put Dragon in the bottom tier, and an event that saw five 6-1’s with no Crab doesn’t really demonstrate their dominance.

        1. I completely agree. Crab (though having a decent turn up) overall didn’t do too great this time around.

    2. Crane and Phoenix T2? Phoenix had a rough day overall outside of just dominating the Crab match-up. Dragon is also solidly T1 with Scorpion because Dragon/Crab is arguably the best deck currently as all other decks, see the Scorpion decks specifically, are teching around that match-up. Lion, especially with HMT, was much stronger than expected.
      Hopefully we see more competitive Unicorn decks at GenCon with 4 packs being legal.

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