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Exclusive look at more cards from the upcoming L5R Embers of War set

Posted by Jim {Power Gamer} | 25-Apr-12 | 6 comments
Legend of the Five Rings - Embers of War expansion title

Previews continue for Embers of War, the upcoming set for the Legend of the Five Rings CCG. This week gets to preview two more exclusive new cards!

L5R Embers of War - The Distant Reaches card

The Distant Reaches

The Celestial arc was not an environment that was particularly favorable to attachments, aside from certain very specific decktypes (the Lion Followers decks of early Celestial, or the Mantis decks out of Dragon’s Guard City) and a few individual cards (namely, Chagatai’s Armor and Armor of the Ryu). Early Emperor, by contrast, has seen plenty of attachments being played, in spite of numerous countermeasures like Sundering Strike or Broken Alliance. Now you can add The Distant Reaches to the list of cards that can help you deal with your opponent’s attachments.

The Distant Reaches is pretty unique among anti-attachments cards for a number of reasons. Unlike cards like Sundering Strike, it cannot deal with attachments permanently (by destroying them), but can only neutralize them temporarily. This is offset by the card’s ability to deal with two attachments at once and during the Action Phase, rather than having to wait to do it during battle (of course, if those attachments do make it to battle, The Distant Reaches won’t be any help against them). Then there’s the fact that this card is a Region, which means that it can be destroyed fairly easily by your opponent if you don’t protect it.

This Region seems to be better against Followers than against Items, as bowed Followers do not add their Force to their unit’s, while bowed Items still do. However, many of the most popular Items, like Wyrmbone Katana or Cursed Relic, have great abilities that can only be used while unbowed, so bowing them before combat will deprive your opponent of options or force him to expand more cards to straighten them. Not that The Distant Reaches should be your sole anti-attachments tool (especially because of how fragile it can be), but if used in conjunction with cards like Broken Alliance, it can do wonders against attachments-heavy decks.

L5R Embers of War - Hiromi's Vassals card

Hiromi’s Vassals

Speaking of attachments, here’s a nice, cheap one. Kill actions have so far been the exclusive domain of expensive Followers rather than cheaper ones in Emperor, with Champion of Thunder and Elite Sentry as the most obvious examples, but Hiromi’s Vassals is set to change things up a bit.

At 4 Gold and 3 Force, the Vassals are on par with most cheap attachments like Vigilant Riders or Nightingale Blade. There are, of course, major differences between Items and Followers, especially when it comes to medium-sized ones, with Items generally coming out on top (that is, in decks that aren’t built to take particular advantage of one particular type of attachment), but this particular Follower more than makes up for it with its ability and Focus Effect.

This Follower indeed provides you with a cheap kill action. In fact, its Ranged 6 Attack is similar to the one on Champion of Thunder, a card that costs three times as much as Hiromi’s Vassals (although it comes with more Force and built-in protection, and its action is cost-free). A Ranged 6 Attack kills a lot of things, and the Thunder keyword means that, if you’re playing the Mantis Stronghold Suitengu’s Torch, whatever it is you’re trying to kill will die.

Given the low Focus Value of the Vassals, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever get to use its Focus Effect proactively, but it provides some nice protection against duels. You’re very likely to lose the duel, but at least you’ll get a free Follower out of it, one that you can immediately use to kill the Personality standing in your way. At 4 Gold, Hiromi’s Vassals is a solid Follower; at 0, it’s a bargain!

Comments (6)

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Miniature Painter
Intermediate Reviewer
Master Grader

Looks fun!

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I play orange
Miniature Painter
Veteran Grader
Intermediate Reviewer

So, range 6 isn’t good enough?

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Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph Beta 1.0 Tester

Hmmm… I may have to try this game. It looks like it has some atmosphere. I’ve been avoiding the CCGs though. Need… to… stop… spending… aughghghghghghgh!

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Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Spider Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Went to Gen Con 2012

No one else may love you Distant Reaches…but I would give you a home in one of my decks.

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Crab Clan - Legend of the Five Rings

Yeah, I really don’t see a home for the region.

As for the follower, I can see this card being tinkered with, but it won’t be a power card by any means. Well… unless dueling becomes a major factor, which at this point is not the case.

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Dragon Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Phoenix Clan - Legend of the Five Rings

The region is pretty pointless, I mean this has always been a problem with regions in that they take up a province slot that you want a personality/holding at when they flip, and usually it takes a really strong victory moving action/trait for the region (or event) to be worth playing[or something like Second city, where it essentially replaces itself after flipping]. This being said this region is very specific meta (albeit against a very strong set of decks right now) but being so makes it a hard card to put in for anything else.

I like the follower though wish it was 5 (with possibly more force) so that it could combo w/ Shoguns for card draw, this makes it a hard card to consider adding to decks (aside from the aforementioned mantis one)

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