The next Clan Pack coming to Legend of the Five Rings is for Clan Scorpion. “Underhand of the Emperor” is all about the art of subterfuge as it introduces new cards and themes that expand on concepts of playing as Scorpion.
Legend of the Five Rings is a pretty great LCG from Fantasy Flight Games that pits players against each other in a game of Military, Political and Honorable conflict. We won’t go into the details here, but one of the key concepts in the game is that players build decks around a chosen clan. On top of that, each clan also plays with particular themes – some clans are all about Military might. Some are defensive in nature. Some prefer to push on the political front. And then there is Clan Scorpion who only cares about one thing: Victory.
The Scorpion Clan isn’t necessarily the bad guy – but they can be the bad guy out of necessity. They are a complicated clan who can skirt the line of dishonorable in order to achieve a victory. It’s a dangerous game but if you’re the type of player that likes to play dangerously then the rewards for playing as Clan Scorpion are there.
“In dark alleys and shadowy corners of the Emerald Empire, the Scorpion Clan lurks. There is no secret that Bayushi’s whisperers do not hear, and across Rokugan, the Scorpion influence the path of history… not with steel and battle plans, but with words that can cut deeper than any sword.”
One of the themes that has emerged for Clan Scorpion is the addition of Shinobi (aka ninjas) to their arsenal. In the official record of Rokugan, Shinobi do not exists. Of course they don’t *wink-wink* because everything in the Empire is on the up-and-up. Nothing gets done in the Shadows and the Clans all have a sense of honor above duty…right? Sure – keep telling yourself that.
The Scorpion Clan isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty to get the job done. They are willing to sacrifice their personal honor for the sake of their duty and that has a lot of in-game effects they can take advantage of. Honor in L5R isn’t just a concept – it’s also a resource that is used in game. If you ever lose all of your honor, you do lose the game. But smart manipulation of your honor can help you to achieve victory. While other clans might focus on Military or Political power, Scorpion plays both sides and uses honor (and dishonor) to win.
From the Shadows is a great example. This card allows you to play a Shinobi for your hand or provinces into a conflict IF you have less honor than an opponent. That character does enter play dishonored – but that can be an advantage for the Scorpion Clan.
Many of the Shinobi cards have other effects that can trigger off of the dishonored status. Shosuro Takao can pop into a conflict that involves a dishonored character giving you a numerical advantage.
Again, using Honor as a resource is key to the Scorpion Clan’s strategy. Cards like Alibi Artist and Liar’s Mask will help put you over the top – as long as you can stay under their honor requirements:
The Scorpion Clan is a challenging Clan to play and master. When you’re honor is that close to defeat, one bad play can put you out of the game. But if you can master the art of striking from the shadows they can be victorious – and winners write the history books.
Underhand of the Emperor contains 78 new cards (three copies of 25 different cards and 1 copy of each of 3 different cards .) Underhand of the Empire expands on classic themes of the Scorpion, giving them new deck building options that encourages them to toe the line between dishonor and defeat. Look for a new Role card, a Philosophy that prevents you from losing the game, and an army of whispers, standing at attention
They aren’t the villains – but they can be when the time calls for it.