Take a look at the style, grace, and perfection of the Crane Clan and see how they’ll fare on the table.
The Crane Clan is many things. It is grace and beauty. It is honor and perfection, and it is deadly when underestimated. And this week, the Crane Clan continues to bask in the spotlight as Fantasy Flight Games offers a look at their play style with their latest L5R preview. Where last week we got a first look at the setting and lore of Legend of the Five Rings, this week we’re taking a look at some tactics and combos available to the Crane Clan, which are perfect in every except for one–in spite of all their excellence, they continue to not be Mantis Clan.
So here’s a quick summary of how the Crane Clan works. They’re all about gaining honor and duelling and looking good while doing it. With cards like the Asahina Artisan and Kakita Asami allowing you to honor your own characters and drain honor from your opponent. Why would you want to honor your characters–well for starters any time an honored character leaves play, you gain honor, which can be used to bid on the draws from the conflict deck–as well as to propel you towards victory.
But the Crane Clan is prepared to eke even more out of their honored characters, with cards that let you add keywords to honored characters allowing you to trigger additional effects when they leave play, for example. Or you might employ a card like Voice of Honor which lets you counter your opponent’s play if you control more honored characters than they do. Shutting down opponents’ moves is the other big pillar of the Crane Clan’s tactics. It makes sense–they’re the ones for whom appearance is everything. They rely on the structure and etiquette of their society as armor, as much as they do their swords.
We also get a look at the dueling mechanics in the game! Certain characters gain the duelist action which forces your opponent to choose an opponent to fight the challenger to a conflict. Each player bids honor on the duel (which is then added to the skill of the dueling character) and as before, the high bidder pays the low bidder the difference. The duel commences then, and the winner inflicts some kind of status effect on the loser–like removing characters not involved in the duel from a conflict. Or causing them to discard cards.
We also get a look at some of the upcoming provinces, including the unique Crane Clan-only province (by the way, each Clan gets their own unique province), which allows you to dishonor any attacking character and honor any defending character when the province is broken. So even when they “lose” the Crane can still come out ahead of any conflict.
The preview ends with a look at Doji Hotaru, the Champion of the Crane Clan and a beating and a half. Unsurprisingly, she excels at political conflicts, but when she’s honored, her innate glory allows her to raise her skill levels to some of the highest in the game. A force to be reckoned with for sure.
But the Crane Clan are only one clan among many–be sure and stay tuned to see what tricks the cunning Scorpion and the fierce Lion have up their respective sleeves. In Scorpion’s case, it’s almost certainly poison. And literal actual Scorpions.
And as always, no Clan is ever a match for Mantis.