L5R: Unicorn Clan Preview

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The Unicorn Clan are wandering warriors who returned to the Emerald Empire with strange magics and fighting styles. See them below.

via FFG

Speed is one of the defending characteristics of the Unicorn Clan. With their reputation as horsemasters and warriors par excellence, they are adept at getting where they need to be, in force, and before they have the opportunity to prepare for their assault.

This translates to the card game as well. Unicorn Clan has an abundance of units that you can deploy fast and furious and where you need them to be. Whether it’s units like the Meishodo Wielder or the Moto Horde, which pack powerful units into relatively cheap fate costs. The Meishodo Wielder, for instance, is cheaper to bring into play if you’re the first player. And at 4 fate for 6 Military Conflict skill, the Moto Horde is an undeniably powerful force in any military conflict and it’s cheap enough that you’ll be able to launch them at opponents who might not be ready.

But the speed of the Unicorns is more legendary still. The other trick up their sleeve is their ability to shunt units from conflict to conflict. Units like the Ide Messenger have the ability to transfer a character from one conflict to another–which can be especially fruitful if you’re about to break a conflict, or if you’ve forced your opponent to commit heavy resources to a fight while you then later transfer your characters away from the fight to attack a different province.

The early game is where the Unicorn are dominant, but their usefulness shines on through the mid-game as well. Reinforcing/redirecting conflicts is incredibly powerful–but not only that the Unicorn excel at manipulating their cavalry, with cards like the Favored Mount or Born in War making your cavalry better/move faster as needed.

A fight the Unicorn Start will almost never be the fight that they finish–they are masters of dictating the terms of their fight. So long as they can set the momentum in the beginning. With a slow start, their units are relatively fragile, and without being able to get the fate they need, they might be left vulnerable. But–even if you should break their provinces, the Unicorn still fight on their terms. Their Clan Champion, Shinjo Altansarnai, can force your enemy to discard a character in a conflict where you break a province (and note, one of their own provinces may be broken by you to force your opponent to discard a card).

All in all, the strange ways of the Unicorn, while foreign to Rokugan, provide them with a significant advantage against the other Clans. They are as the Wind, swift and free–and impossible to catch.

It seems fitting that the final clan to be previewed is Scorpion. No doubt there will be much treachery in the coming week.

  • Txabi Etxebarrieta

    Saving the best for last, naturally.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      Yeah outside Mantis, Unicorn is probably my fave play style. Course I wish for just fun the Ratlings Mizumi would be back soon, as they would fall in line with the date of the retcon fall back point!