L5R: Rapid Fire Expansion Pack Releases

Fantasy Flight Games is dropping Six Dynasty Packs in Six Weeks for Legend of the Five Rings!

In an unprecedented move, FFG is really ramping up their L5R release schedule by an order of magnitude. Their new releases plan will have the entire First Dynasty Cycle drop within weeks after their first World Championship in November.

via Fantasy Flight Games

Today, Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the next chapters of the unfolding story of Legend of the Five Rings: the six Dynasty Packs of the Imperial Cycle for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game:

Rather than releasing one Dynasty Pack per month over a period of six months, the release schedule for the Imperial Cycle will be compounded and concentrated into a shorter period of time. Beginning in early November, one Dynasty Pack will be released every week for six weeks. During this special event, the meta for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game will evolve rapidly, potentially allowing new and exciting deck archetypes to rise to prominence in a matter of days. In addition, the tales of Rokugan told through the fiction included in each Dynasty Pack will see the story of the Imperial Cycle advance from week to week.

This is a LOT to take in. To set the stage, let’s talk about a typical FFG release for one of their LCG (Living Card Games). For their previous products, they have announced a Core Set followed up by the first pack in the Cycle of cards. A Cycle is a block of around 6 expansion packs that all share a common theme, story elements, or mechanics. There are also “deluxe” expansions that come out, typically after a Cycle is complete, that kick start the next Cycle’s arc.

The typical release window can take months to unfold. Typically, we’ll see an Expansion pack every month (if we’re lucky) for a game, and a new “deluxe” expansion ever 3-6 months depending on how fast the Expansion Packs are coming out.

With this new L5R release – FFG has hit the warp speed on the release window. The current plan is to push out the entire Imperial Cycle (they always name Cycle something that fits the game/theme) in six consecutive weeks. Players won’t have to wait for months to have the first Cycle of cards – by Christmas the will be able to dive right in and start experimenting with the entire Cycle!

The World Champs is set for November 1st-3rd. After that this rapid fire release schedule kicks off. L5R players are going to have to quickly evaluate and shift with the game if they want to remain competitive. The good news is that all of these Packs typically come with player sets for all the cards you will need – so if you only want to build a single deck, you’ll only need to pick up one copy of each set. However, if you’re really into deck building and want to run multiple sets in different deck you’ll need multiple packs.

Personally, I’ve always been more of a casual/collector player – so one pack a week sounds awesome. However, there are folks who feel like this is just a ploy to cash in on the massive success of L5R. With Core Sets selling out quickly the more cynical folks are wondering if perhaps the rush to get all six Packs out is just a way for FFG to strike while the iron is hot. Some of the more competitive crowd have pointed out that having the first 6 packs from the Cycle drop within weeks vs months will help stabilize the game and make it more appealing to the competitive scene.

I think they both have a good point. I can’t really fault FFG for wanting to make money (they are a business) but I’m also glad that an entire cycle for a new game will be out by Christmas! I wish some of the other games would get the same treatment…

If you’d like to see more of the cards or read further about the announcement hop over to FFG’s site and read the full article HERE. The Imperial Cycle starts it’s Six Week Sprint sometime after Novermber 3rd!


An entire cycle in 6 weeks? That’s…Madness! No – it’s Rokugan!

  • Huntard

    On one hand this is great, it’s well known that FFG has a cycle more or less complete and ready to go by the time the first pack is released and that the LCGs start to get really good once the first cycle is complete.

    On the other hand the breakneck pace and increased cost may burn some players out who are used to the more languid pace of an LCG. That and there may end up being fatigue if there’s too long before this dump and the next one (More than 3-4 months).

    I am tentatively excited though, L5R has proven to have the best core set meta of any LCG Fantasy Flight has released and if after this they shift back to their normal schedule or if they do a rapid fire dump like this every quarter or 4 months it could work out great.

    • Txabi Etxebarrieta

      Total wild speculation, but I’m going to guess they’re trying to focus this more on tournament scenes if those are the folks who buy into expansions the most. I feel as though I’ve read complaints that the very slow releases of expansions in the competitive LCG environments results in stagnant metas, and a general issue where mechanics that take a long time to roll out through a given cycle. It means competitive players don’t necessarily have a lot of time to react to decks which take advantage of those mechanics at the end of a cycle if they do end up being dominant.

      But this is all very hazy and something I remember reading from the peripherals of the whole LCG competitive scene, which I’m not a part of. So large grains of salt recommended.

      • BClement

        This is absolutely in response to the tournament meta, The rapid deployment of an entire first cycle means that all the cards are on the table – literally. Tournament players are going to actually be able to play with all the mechanics in a set at once vs having to wait months to see how a card is supposed to work out. That’s great for the folks who want a competitive game.

        As far as cost – this has been announced now and the big launch isn’t for another month. The packs are $15 each and are spaced out one a week. For six weeks. In total it’s $90, which, hey that’s a chunk of change and I get that. But most folks can swing $15 a week for their hobby. Or they can save up/budget starting now and be ready to buy them all in a month.

        And for burnout, I don’t know why non-LCG players would get burned out just because there are more cards in the pool. Most of the LCG players I’ve encountered are ex-magic players who quit cause they hated the random pack model. Now, all the packs have the same cards so you know what you’re buying from the start. Just because the card pool is getting larger faster isn’t a big deal for those folks.

        • Txabi Etxebarrieta

          ^^Validation is a comforting thing.