Torn Asunder, the new set for the Legend of the Five Rings CCG is coming soon and previews have already begun at www.l5r.com. Here is an exclusive look at two new cards from the upcoming expansion. Check back each thursday for the next two weeks as we preview two new cards each week!
In L5R the two most common deck archetypes are Military and Honor. Both decks fight against each other, using two completely different paths to victory. For the Honor player, the Imperial Favor mechanic can be an essential tool to stemming the Military deck’s onslaught of powerful units against their Provinces. Since acquiring the Favor is limited to whoever has the highest current Family Honor, Military decks are often locked out of this resource when competing against an Honor deck. The Imperial Favor represents a reusable resource that has no card cost associated with it, so access to it can often grind out an advantage for the Honor player.
Rejected Mediation allows the Military player to force those Honor players to not rely on the Favor as a crutch for defense. By forcing the player with the Imperial Favor to discard it, this Event gives a Military deck a slight tempo boost while limiting the current options for the Honor player. The second effect of negating the first Political action taken each turn for two turn cycles is arguably an even bigger boon for the Military decks, which run very few Political cards. Being told your entire hand might be irrelevant if you can’t punch through the first negation can leave an Honor deck’s Provinces vulnerable. Granted the randomness that Unique Events inherently have does mean that simply adding the card to a Military deck is hardly a lock against the often deceptively quick Honor runners.
On the other side of the Military/Honor matchup, we have Hero’s Memorial. This Holding is different than many others in that it does not bow to produce any Gold, and thus cannot advance your deck economy. Where it makes up for this restriction is in its 0 Gold Cost and the boost it can give your road to victory. Turning a negative occurrence like the loss of one of your Personalities to the vicious Military decks into a positive one can give the Honor decks a reason to put their normally weaker Personalities in to harm’s way earlier and more often. Thankfully for the Military player, Hero’s Memorial is Singular, allowing only one copy of the card to be controlled by a player at any time.
Where Hero’s Memorial really shines is in the small line of text running up the right hand border of the card. These lines of text are called Storyline Credits. They are on cards that were created to honor and celebrate a tournament win by the player cited in the text. Here Chris Medico won a Name a Holding tournament in 2011 and this is the card resulting from it. These card credits and the opportunity to win them is unique to Legend of the Five Rings, and is the driving force behind much of the game’s competitive tournament scene and the source for much of the player base’s fanatical devotion to the game.