“I will not merely record history, I will forge it myself.”
–Ruby Champion Agasha Sumiko
In the Imperial City of Otosan Uchi, representatives from all clans congregate for a variety of reasons. Some come seeking assistance from the Emperor. Others take on the role of Emerald Magistrates, upholding the laws of Rokugan. But no matter what their origin, every clan seeks the Emperor’s favor for their own means.
Join us today as we preview The Chrysanthemum Throne, the fourth Dynasty Pack in the Imperial Cycle for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game. The Chrysanthemum Throne offers three copies of twenty new cards and expands on the themes found in the Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game Core Set. The pack also increases the value of the Imperial Favor with cards centered around gaining and maintaining this stat boost.
Few value the Imperial Favor like Agasha Sumiko (The Chrysanthemum Throne, 65 ). As the Ruby Champion, Sumiko is the second-highest-ranking member of the Emerald Magistrates, previously second only to Emerald Champion Doji Satsume. Sumiko is extremely knowledgeable on Imperial Law, as well as the art of combat with her twin blades. With her Imperial position and her skill with arms, Sumiko is a threat on two fronts.
With the law on her side and the backing of the Emperor, Sumiko is a difficult foe to keep down. So long as you control the Imperial Favor, Sumiko does not bow after a conflict in which she attacked. This means that so long as you keep Sumiko on the offensive, she can participate in both your political and military conflicts with equal skill during a turn. In fact, when you’re the first player, you’ll be able to attack twice with Sumiko and still defend with her on your opponent’s last conflict opportunity. In many ways, Sumiko is the perfect target for the Dragon’s bevy of attachments, since you’ll get the benefits twice as long as you control the Imperial Favor.
With characters like Agasha Sumiko depending on the Imperial Favor to activate their abilities, holding it consistently will be a key part of any strategy. While you can rely on having more standing glory and claimed rings at the end of a turn, this doesn’t provide a sure-fire way to gain the favor unless you’re holding your high-glory characters back from participating in conflicts. Luckily, the Imperial Cycle provides new ways to help you gain the Imperial Favor.
The Imperial Palace (The Chrysanthemum Throne, 72) holding itself can be found in The Chrysanthemum Throne. Like the other Imperial holdings, you can only include one copy in your deck, but its effect can be game-changing. When you’re calculating glory for the Imperial Favor, the Imperial Palace adds three glory to your side. If you and your opponent are split in rings, it will be glory that determines who gains the Emperor’s favor. But if you have the Imperial Palace showing, your opponent will either have to hold back from conflicts to keep characters standing for the glory count or forfeit the Imperial Favor to you.
Yet while any clan can include the Imperial Palace in their dynasty deck, some clans have more unscrupulous ways of gaining the favor.
While oftentimes glory determines who comes away with the favor, the Scorpion are known for always having a backup plan. With a glory value of zero, the Fawning Diplomat (The Chrysanthemum Throne, 70) won’t contribute much to glory counts, but she is still instrumental in the Scorpion’s plans—when she leaves play, you simply gain the Imperial Favor.
In many cases, the Fawning Diplomat will leave play due to running out of fate. Since the fate phase happens after determining who gains the Imperial Favor, the Scorpion can easily steal the Imperial Favor from an opponent who may have just gained it. Alternatively, you could choose to sacrifice the Fawning Diplomat when your opponent plays Way of the Crab (Core Set, 137). Though you will have lost a character, this represents an opportunity to gain the Imperial Favor quickly, potentially putting your opponent at a major disadvantage. As a Courtier character with zero glory, the Fawning Diplomat is also the perfect target for paying the cost of Forged Edict (Core Set, 184)—the dishonor she gains has no tangible effect on her skill values.
Much occurs in the city of Otosan Uchi. The Imperial Favor changes hands frequently, but the clan that can hold that goodwill and use it for powerful effects will come out on top in the Forbidden City. Who will you lead to victory?