No Victory Without Honour, No Honour Without Victory

After a spate of L5R clan related trash talk here on Lost Hemisphere (http://losthemisphere.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/gauntlet-iii-legend-of-the-ten-rings), Soshi Kenpachi has laid down a challenge to those who play both Legend of the Five Rings and Vs.

A MWS/OCTGN tournament in which you must play a deck that represents the themes and mechanics of your clan.

I’m a Lion Clan player.

The Lion Clan are the Right Hand of the Emperor. Their armies are the mightiest in Rokugan, their generals the greatest tactitians in History and their samurai the epitome of Bushido and Honour. (It’s spelled with a “u”, damn you yanks and your language mangling 😛 ) The Lion are characterized by their fierce devotion to the Empire and the Emperor, their reverence of their ancestors, and their profound respect for their history. And their unequalled military prowess. Let’s not forget that very important fact.  It is said that no army led by an Akodo general has ever been defeated in battle. Sure, the Lion write the history books, but we’re the most honourable clan in Rokugan, and history is written by the victors, so obviously true.

So, thematically, I’ve got the following guidelines for the deck:

Military – The deck will be combat based.

Honourable – Harder to quantify, but I’m thinking 1) No hidden characters  and 2) Play only hero teams.

Mechanically, the Lion have the following recurring themes in the current edition:

– Good force/cost ratio, particularly on small characters (Easily translated)

– Tactitians (You can discard a card and add it’s focus value to their force as a Tactical action. Each tactitian can perform only one tactical action per battle. Tactical actions also occur on fate cards and printed on personalities, and usually involve “bowing” (exhausting) opponents in battle. (So no out of combat exhausts)… Power ups, perhaps?

– The “Get over here!!” mechanic: Pulling opposing characters into battles (You get to assign defenders to battles in L5R, though combat is army vs army not character vs character). I think this is best represented by Hidden Hate in Vs. No courtiers lurking around away from fights. You Will Face Me, Coward!

– There’s a few blanket force pump cards (Easily translated)

– Sacrificing oneself to kill the enemy. Lots of Matsu tend to explode to kill opposition.

– High Personal Honour stats and effects that key off that… Pretty hard to translate, so I’ll just stick with doing honour thematically. (Unless, I suppose, you treat “Willpower” as PH… If DCU is included in the mix, I might be convinced to do it that way.)

– Honourable Dead: Lion get a bit of discard pile manipulation, usually involving taking abilities from dead personalities or gaining bonuses from the number of honourably dead personalities in your discard pile. Unfortunately, the only teams with extensive KO pile manipulation in Vs are evil…

Though the last one does give me an interesting idea, based on an old Lion storyline event. You see, a while back, some of the Kitsu (the shugenja of the Lion clan, who speak with the ancestors) went a little bit evil and started summoning demons and stuff… Now, in the end, the power of the Lion clan’s honour managed to redeem one of the most evil of all demons, Okura, daughter of Akuma, who now guards the gates of heaven. Yeah, even when we go evil, it’s only to have the most awesome redemption ever. Which could be a kinda cool theme to build a deck around… corruption and redemption. I’ll be percolating that.

But most likely, what I’ll be looking to build is an honourable military deck according to the rules of Bushido. Honourable, straightforward combat. Tactically sounds, but no dishonourable tricks. (That decision’s likely to be made based on the name of the card more than anything else 😛 )

I_Avian aka Ikoma Otekai

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~ by Anthony on September 9, 2008.

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