The Inheritance Cycle is the third cycle for the Legend of the Five Rings Living Card Game (L5R LCG). Cycles consist of 6 Dynasty Packs, each containing 22 new cards. As with previous L5R LCG expansions, each pack contains all the copies of the cards you will need (either 1 for unique or 3 copies of all other cards) so multiple purchases aren't required.
In this article, we're going to look at our favorite cards from each Dynasty Pack and we make no apologies for the amount of Scorpion love we have, we got some great cards this cycle. The cards we discuss aren't necessarily the best cards from each pack, just our favorites.
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For The Empire
- Akodo Zentaro - Zentaro has the Disguised ability that's new in this Cycle. Disguised allows the character to replace a non-unique character matching the card type beside the ability. The Disguised character has their cost reduced by the character they are replacing, so you don't lose anything in terms of cost, but can get them out quickly from your hand and use them immediately as they come in unbowed. They can also be played normally. This means that you can never really be sure what attack is coming, as they can replace a character that has already been used that turn for a surprise attack. Zentaro is also able to steal a non-unique holding as an added bonus.
- Shameless Gossip - This is the start of Scorpion happiness with this cycle. Being able to shift tokens around, either from your own characters or your opponents as long as they're between characters controlled by the same player. It lets you either put tokens where you need them on your characters, or where your opponent doesn't want them. This is the kind of card we've been waiting for, for Scorpion shenanigans.
- Shinjo Kyora - As well as being disguised, as discussed above with Zentaro, Kyora has the ability to swap the ring being contested in the battle, making it one that you really need if you're winning, or one you don't if you're opponent is looking likely to win.
Bonds Of Blood
- Alluring Patron - We love the theme behind this card, as well as the mechanics. Alluring Patron pulls a character into a conflict or dishonours it, your opponent choice. Either they come, or suffer dishonour. The Scorpion are happy with either option.
- Hiruma Yoshino - A disguised Bushi for the crab but with an interesting ability that can act as more of a deterrent from attacking a face-up province, or a great boost from one of your opponent's face-up provinces.
- Akodo Kaede - Kaede was formerly a Phoenix card and due to her marriage in the ongoing storyline, is now a Lion card. She's still a powerful shugenja, immune to ring effects and can remove fate from herself to keep other characters in play. Incredibly thematic and it's great to see this being carried through the cards.
Justice For Satsume
- Effective Deception - The first card of a Scorpion triple in this pack. Effective Deception is a province that can cancel a triggered ability in a conflict at this province.
- Shosuro Ibuki - Ibuki is the Disguised Scorpion card for this set. She's a Bushi who replaces a Courtier, which is great for Scorpion thematically. Her ability punishes all character in a conflict, so make sure that your opponent is losing more than you before she joins.
- Shosuro Miyako - Miyako can only be played through Disguised and not played normally and she can only replace a non-Scorpion character. When she appears though, she dishonours a non-unique character of your opponents.
The Children of Heaven
- Issue a Challenge - Issue a challenge is great for restricting what options your opponent can defend with but takes some working out to make sure you'll benefit. Has a great samurai battle-theme to it.
- Regal Bearing - Regal Bearing takes some set up but can draw you 4 cards if your opponent has their dial at 5. Setting your honour dial mid-turn is interesting and we hope to see further play with that effect.
- Unspoken Etiquette - Unspoken Etiquette is a difficult card to get off, getting non-courtier characters into a political conflict. But hopefully one day this can be a powerful combo card, where you can pull in characters you want to dishonour.
A Champion's Foresight
- Shiro Kitsuki - A huge 11 influence stronghold for the Dragon clan, and a very interesting ability. Extremely thematic in the knowledge of your opponent's deck and tactics, that can be a huge benefit to a Dragon deck and lead to some powerful swings if played correctly.
- Withstand the Darkness - Gives your Crab character an extra turn of life after being targeted by an event, as a free cost card. Very handy for keeping big characters around, which are surely going to be the targetted by your opponent.
- By Any Means - By Any Means requires your honour bid dial to be higher than your opponents, which is unlikely generally in a Scorpion deck, but we can hope for some future cards that mess with honour dials and this might see some play. Great thematic card.
- Bayushi Shoju - Our favourite card of the set, a big character for Scorpion, with abilities showing his thematic influence. Your opponents (notice plural, building towards multiplayer Clan Wars) cannot have the Imperial Favour. It also forces all players to draw 2 cards and lose 1 honour. Forced drawing is an interesting concept in some card games, but here everyone benefits, it's the constant ticking away of the honour that is really great for the Scorpion. Shoju is high cost, but you'll want to keep in in play for a while too.
- Gallant Quartermaster - The Quartermaster's only purpose is to be sacrificed. You gain an extra 2 fate for cost of 1, so it's costing you 1 card for 1 fate, but you also get the benefit of the card that you're using to sacrifice, rather than losing a character you might want to use, which is incredibly useful.
- Chrysanthemum Steward - This character allows you to put a card back on top of your opponent's conflict deck from their discard pile. Assuming they have a useless card or something they can't use, you can control their card draw for as long as the Steward enters conflicts. It might not be incredibly impactful, but it's an interesting mechanic that we'll be exploring.
What are your favorite cards from the Cycle? Which clans are you playing? Has this been a big cycle for your decks? Let us know in the comments below.
The L5R Inheritance Cycle Packs used for this article were provided by Asmodee UK.