Underhand of the Emperor
Announcing a Scorpion Clan Pack for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game
"The face is the first liar."
Whispers in the dark across Rokugan. Information flows like a river and all channels lead to Bayushi Shoju and the Scorpion Clan. A beggar on the street, a merchant in the city, children playing by a garden. These are the tools of the Scorpion Clan, the eyes and ears found in every corner of the Emerald Empire. The Scorpion use this information to serve the Emperor in ways other clan’s cannot. If the Lion and Crane are the Right and Left Hands of the Empire, the Scorpion are the underhand, serving just as loyally, but just out of sight, waiting in the shadows.
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Underhand of the Emperor, a Scorpion Clan Pack for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game!
Underhand of the Emperor contains 78 new cards (three copies of twenty-five different cards and one copy each of three different cards), many of which focus on the Empire's most secretive clan. Underhand of the Emperor expands on the themes of the Scorpion, giving this Great Clan new deckbuilding options that encourage 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 whisperers, hidden in the darkness. Prepare for the coming of the Scorpion—Underhand of the Emperor is currently scheduled to release in October 2018.
A Secret Fortress
Throughout Underhand of the Emperor, the Scorpion gain cards that trigger powerful abilities when they have six or fewer honor, becoming stronger the closer the Scorpion are to defeat. Their new stronghold, Kyūden Bayushi (Underhand of the Emperor, 1) introduces the threshold of six honor that is vital to many effects in the Clan Pack. As an Action, you may bow this stronghold and choose a dishonored character you control to ready that character. And moreover, if you have six or fewer honor, that character increases its military and political skill until the end of the phase!
Even if you don’t meet the six or fewer honor threshold, readying a dishonored character can provide an extra body in a conflict, and that may just mean the difference between victory and defeat. Though a dishonored character may not have the edge in conflict, some characters, like Shosuro Sadako (All and Nothing, 96) prefer to become dishonored, making them ideal targets for Kyūden Bayushi.
The stronghold pays for this value by having one fewer influence than other strongholds introduced thus far, only giving you nine influence to slot in another clan’s conflict cards. The stronghold also starts you with just nine honor—which is, of course, a double-edged sword. You start closer to the six honor threshold, but how much honor can you lose before you lose control?
Victory Above Honor
Were it not for the quick thinking of Akodo Toturi, Bayushi Aramoro (Underhand of the Emperor, 8) would be the Emerald Champion… though this victory would not come from skill alone. Known as The Whispering Steel, Bayushi Aramoro is willing to do whatever it takes to defeat a foe, even it means abandoning honor.
With five military skill and two political skill, Aramoro is a skilled combatant who can potentially defeat his foe permanently. While Bayushi Aramoro is participating in a military conflict, you may dishonor him and choose a participating character controlled by an opponent. Until the end of the conflict, that character's military skill is reduced by two and the character is discarded if their military skill is zero. Though it may not be honorable, victory is victory. Bayushi Aramoro is not beyond using the unique trickery of the Scorpion to gain an edge.
The Scorpion are already masters at lowering skill through cards like Fiery Madness (Core Set, 183) and Sinister Soshi (Core Set, 97), allowing Aramoro to deliver the finishing blow to problematic opponents who start with more than two military skill. Even the cost of suffering dishonor can be turned to your advantage through Kyūden Bayushi, allowing Aramoro to ready and participate in a second conflict.
The Scorpion are dangerous in the court. Yes, they are master wordsmiths and experts at getting what they want, but there are secret, hidden means that can also give them an advantage where other clans would be bound by their honor.
Stolen Breath (Underhand of the Emperor, 21) is a two-cost attachment that can quite literally steal your opponent’s words. This Poison prevents the attached character from participating in political conflicts. The dark reflection of Pacifism (Core Set, 174), a Phoenix or Scorpion deck using the other clan for influence can lock down their opponent's options and prevent their best characters from participating in their preferred conflicts. This also allows the Scorpion to absolutely dominate political conflicts. If you have Bayushi Shoju (Core Set, 107) on the field, you can steal the breath of your opponent’s best political character and use the Champion’s ability to destroy the rest. With Stolen Breath, nothing can stop the Scorpion in court.
A Most Wise Teacher
Like Disciples of the Void before it, Underhand of the Emperor introduces one new card for the six other Great Clans intended to counter the primary focus of the pack. While Akodo Toturi is the current Emerald Champion, he owes much of his tactical brilliance and training to Akodo Kage (Underhand of the Emperor, 14), his teacher. A wise and honorable Courtier, Kage offers leverage against treachery.
As a Reaction when Kage is on the field, after honor dials are revealed for an honor bid, if your bid is lower than an opponent’s and you are more honorable than that opponent, you can set that opponent’s honor dial to be equal to yours. Not only does this reduce the number of conflict cards your opponent was planning to draw, it seriously impedes the Scorpion. First, it prevents them from losing honor, potentially stopping them from reaching an important threshold. Second, many of their effects trigger when they have a higher bid on their dial than their opponent. I Can Swim (Core Set, 187) can be a deadly event, but Akodo Kage ensures your characters are safe from the Scorpion’s deadly tricks, and helps ensure they have to play on even ground.
With four political skill, Akodo Kage is also the rare Lion who can hold his own in political conflicts. Like Lion's Pride Brawler (Core Set, 75) before him, Akodo Kage is a Courtier who still maintains the fierce military spirit of the Lion, giving him the best of both worlds.
The Eyes of the Empire
The eyes of the Scorpion are everywhere, unseen but ever present. Whether in the guise of a lowly peasant in the fields or an inconspicuous gardener, Bayushi’s whisperers fill the world of Rokugan, and the knowledge they bring is power for the Scorpion. The Scorpion Clan sits ready, watching and waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Will you join them and serve the Empire as Hantei’s villain?
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