Jared Voshall
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Missouri
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There doesn't seem to be much discussion about the strategies of the newest remake of a much loved classic, so I'm going to go ahead and put up my initial thoughts on the strategies of the game and what sort of thought processes go into it. Full disclosure, I've not gotten to play many games yet, and I've yet to dive into the full deck creation system, but I think I've seen enough to get some idea of the play and counterplay that the game involves. So, without further ado... Here's some thoughts on the Strategies of L5R.

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Part 1: The Art of Conflict
Part 2: Put a Ring on It
Part 3: Winning the Battle
Part 4: A Call to Arms
Part 5: A Matter of Honor
Part 6: The Deck Building Game
Part 7: The Dragon Clan
Part 8: The Phoenix Clan
Part 9: The Crab Clan
Part 10: The Unicorn Clan
Part 11: The Scorpion Clan
Part 12: The Crane Clan
Part 13: Force and Honor (Lion Clan)
Part 14: Rushing the Goal
Part 15: Like a Surgeon
Part 16: Hold the Line
Part 17: For Honor
Part 18: Dishonorable Curs

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Last time we took a look at the honorable Crane clan, and this time we're moving over to a clan that revels in glorious battle - the Lion Clan.

Unlike the other clans, the Lion clan likes bringing in large numbers of characters and using them to overwhelm their opponent's defenses. Nowhere is this more clear than in their Stronghold Yojin no Shiro. Giving you a +1 Military for each attacking character, this can give you a pretty solid boost to your military attacks.

The clan Province, The Art of War, is a good examination of a sacrificial play. While it is a weaker province, drawing 3 cards when it breaks can definitely soften the blow - especially if it gives you the cards you need to blast past your opponents other provinces.

Obstinate Recruits are a bit of a risky play, but a 2/0 for free is really a solid choice if you're going for a surgical strategy. With the other cards in the deck, they can present a real threat to your opponent's provinces early on - but you need to be sure to keep your honor high, or risk losing them.

The Ikoma Prodigy is another good Scout card, which also rewards you for keeping him around for a few turns. This can give you a very nice leg up on getting an honor victory - or soften the blow of some of the cards that cost honor.

Steadfast Samurai may not be the toughest characters in the game, coming in at a 1/1 for 1 - but the fact that a modest 5 honor lead can keep them in the game indefinitely, they're definitely going to be a good boost to your deck.

On the other end of the scale, the Akodo Gunso is going to be a solid choice for getting your swarm going early. At 2/1 for 2, it's not a bad choice - but it's replace with a face up Dynasty card, which can let you get up to 5 (or more) cards in play in one go.

The Deathseeker's ability to remove Fate from a character is definitely decent, and can really mess up your opponent's day - but sacrificing a 2 cost character to do it means you need to weigh the choice much more carefully than you otherwise might.

Kitsu Spiritcaller can be a great support character that just keeps bringing your characters back again, and again, and again, and... This works quite well with the Deathseeker, especially if you keep losing conflicts, as they'll quickly whittle down your opponent's available characters while keeping the Deathseeker available to call in again.

Lion's Pride brawler is probably going to be a strong mainstay of the Lion clan, being a 3/2 for 3 that can bow a character with lower Military. With a bit of support, they can easily drop out a character with 3 or 4 Military from a fight, making it much more winnable.

It's hard to pass up the Honored General as a late game Lion play. You have a decent swarm of characters ready to go, let's give them a 5/3 character to lead them, and he gives them all +1 Military to boot. This is going to be a tough call to pass up, especially seeing he can come in already honored and ready to kick butt.

The Lion Clan Champion, Akodo Toturi, gives you a 6/3 for 5 that let's you resolve a claimed Ring when you win a Military conflict, as long as he's participating. Doubling up your choice of Ring effect, or gaining a Ring effect from successfully defending against your opponent, this is definitely a great character.

The Staging Ground holding is another good card for getting your swarm out, flipping up two additional cards in one go. I think this will be better as you're able to more focus on low-cost characters, but it's still fairly nice as it is now.

On the Conflict Card side of the table, the Guidance of the Ancestors card is a very nice way of giving your side a semi-permanent +1/+1 as you can just keep bringing it back from your discard pile.

Honored Blade will also help you gain honor rather quickly, giving you an extra honor every time you win a conflict it's at. +2 Military is going to help make that more likely, and is great for an Honor based deck.

Sashimono can help get the most out of your big Military characters, keeping them from bowing after a Military conflict. No inherent strength boost, but still a good effect to work with.

Ready for Battle is a great card for keeping your characters fighting throughout a conflict.

Finally, for Greater Glory can really keep your swarm alive after breaking a Province. It would be nice to be able to play multiple per conflict, but even at just 1, you can get 5 or 6 Fate on your forces pretty handily.

Bringing in cards from outside the clan, you want cards that bring in more honor, of course, but also that can help bolster your Political skill. Cards that trigger off winning Military conflicts will also be solid picks for your deck.

In short, if you want a strong military force that will overwhelm your opponent with more characters than they can deal with, while also collecting a large amount of honor for an alternate win condition, then this is a good clan for you.

I look forward to seeing the discussion on this topic, and look forward to seeing what other insights people may bring to the game.
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James Griffith
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Its counterintuitive but the Champion doesn't let you claim the Ring effect from defense. They have ruled that the attacker still gets to use it since the Ring effects are written as the attacker does "x". I suspect it will be corrected down the road.
 
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Jared Voshall
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I did not know that. Good to know. Still, I think I prefer the defender being able to 'steal' the Ring effect after winning a Defensive battle with the character, making it a much more interesting choice of when to use him. Barring Conflict Card shenanigans, instead of choosing between doubling up on a particular ring (with a Military battle, because that's what the clan is good at), I'm choosing between doubling up on a Ring effect or grabbing three different ring effects. On the other side of the table, I need to consider if I want to give my opponent a shot at that particular ring, which makes contesting a ring that my opponent wants a much riskier strategy - perfect for a 5 cost character.
 
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