L5R: Crab is on the Menu

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Take a look at how the Crab Clan will handle in the upcoming L5R LCG.

The Crab are the Wall of Rokugan. Their clan shelters the Emerald Empire from the onslaught of monsters from the Shadowlands. From Oni. From the Undead. Theirs is a Clan of Duty and Courage and Sacrifice. It is they alone who defend the massive Kaiu Wall in the South, and there the fate of the Empire is decided day by day, held in the hands of these stalwart defenders.

via FFG

Today we have a look at how the Crab Clan handles Their themes are courage, duty, and sacrifice, as we mentioned above. And nowhere is this more exemplified than in their signature card (well, one of them), the Way of the Crab, which allows you to sacrifice a character in order to force your opponent to sacrifice a character themselves.

As you can see from the artwork, there’s this idea of brutality and resilience that endures. As you might expect from the Clan that’s tasked with defending the Wall that holds out the monsters, they are expert defenders. The embodiment of inhuman reserves of strength–here we have a look at one of my favorite cards from the preview set: The Mountain Does Not Fall. Even just typing out the name gives me a little chill and immediately grounds me in the setting. But then it’s also a phenomenal card to play.

A character does not Bow when defending. Leaving them free to defend again–or better still, to counterattack. This is the strength of the Crab (who, while not as good as Mantis Clan, still helped allow for the rise of Mantis Clan [best clan], so we must give credit where credit is due). Actually there’s a lot that’s the strength of the Crab. With multiple characters having some sort of sacrifice mechanic and others equipped with the means to get characters in play, a canny Crab player should have no trouble setting the tempo of the fight.

Unsurprisingly, military skill runs high in the Crab. They have a lot of synergies built in to the sacrifice mechanic–and more still which synergize with defense. If you want to break a Crab province, you’d best come prepared. Whether the provinces themselves lending aid to defenders, as Shiro Nishiyama does:

Or providing rewards when successfully defending, such as those gained from the Province “Defend the Wal,.” which lets you get the effects of one of the five rings, even though you’re not attacking. Again, this can help swing the momentum of the game in your favor.

And with characters like the steadfast Hida Toinonatsu and Hiruma Yojimbo ready to help protect your provinces, any Crab Clan’s stronghold is going to be an especially tough nut to crack.

And then of course, we have a look at the Clan Champion himself Hida Kasada.

With 0 glory, he doesn’t care about being honored or dishonored. All he needs is his 7 military strength to lord over whichever conflict he becomes a part of–and his ability to cancel an action ability is one more way to control your opponent. And now, hopefully, you understand the Way of the Crab.

Stay tuned for more L5R news as it develops.

  • Wampasaurus

    While my first and favorite clan will always be Lion, I did enjoy my old Hida Walls deck with plenty of Fortifications. I also really had fun when I played Kuni Kujiro my Crab clan Witch Hunter.

  • Txabi Etxebarrieta

    I will say, as life long Scorpion clan bushi, they have done quite a bit to pique my interest in playing other clans.

    (other clans being literally anything ever besides Crane of course)

    • Severius_Tolluck

      But Crane and Scorpion are having a secret love affair reborn!

      • Txabi Etxebarrieta

        …but little frog, I can swim 😉

        On a more serious note, the gender-swap is an interesting one. Presumably they won’t be having a child together this time. Which makes me curious to see where it develops.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Yeah that was a bit weird. But hey, I dig. Leaves more of a urgency for secrecy and such for the political backfire could be even worse. Interesting to see what they do with this retcon. Hopefully Mantis and other sub clans will get a spot in the light again, like Bat, and Rat, so forth.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Can’t help myself every time I see crab in L5R….
    That being said I may want to run them this time round, I always did like them. I mainly played Mantis in Emperor, and Unicorn in most other editions, did Play a lot of Lion during the last edition release. I Miss the Mizumi from way back when….

  • ZeeLobby

    Never played the original. Worth a look? What other games is this comparable to? (Thanks in advance :D)

    • Txabi Etxebarrieta

      Hard to say. From what we’ve seen so far, its current incarnation is a very very different game from the original. The old game had almost a turn-based strategy element to it, with economy management being a big part of marshaling your forces. This has a different style of play and a “fate” management mechanic. It’s built around a two-deck system for separating out equipment and tactics from characters (and fortifications), if you’re familiar at all with Vampire: the Eternal Struggle.

      The old card game was also very multiplayer friendly. This one, at the moment, focuses on 2 players in a symmetrical struggle. Compared to other LCGs that I’m familiar with, the set up is closest to the now-out-of-print Call of Cthulhu card game.

      I’d say check out the gameplay articles on FFG’s website to figure out of its your cup of tea from a mechanics standpoint.

      • ZeeLobby

        Awesome. Thanks! I’ll definitely check it out. Now I’m curious about the original, haha. I have plenty of 1v1 card games, multiplayer would be fun.