The Pinnacle of Power
Preview Scorpion Characters in Underhand of the Emperor
“Years of careful planning, of procuring key appointments and influential marriages, of removing those who would stand in our way—all of it has culminated in what we now have. The Scorpion have earned the center of the Imperial stage."
– Bayushi Kachiko, "The World, A Stage"
The Scorpion are subtle, waiting in the shadows for just the right time to strike. Though as the other clans squabble around them, the Scorpion find themselves with an unprecedented amount of power, and at the center of Rokugan’s attention. But do these master manipulators belong in the spotlight, or should they fall back into the darkness, with the rest of the shadows?
Join us today as we look at some of the most dangerous Scorpion characters found in Underhand of the Emperor, a Scorpion Clan Pack for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game!
Underhand of the Emperor features 78 new cards (three copies each of 25 different cards and one copy each of three different cards) and primarily focuses on the Scorpion Clan. Rather than enhancing existing strategies, however, Clan Packs open up new ways to play a clan and provide new deckbuilding options for all players.
Whispers in the Dark
In the entirety of the Emerald Empire, there are few secrets that the Scorpion are not privy to. A humble gardener, a street urchin begging for koku, an invisible servant moving quietly past courtiers—individually, these peasants hold no standing in Rokugan, but together, they are part of the most formidable weapon the Scorpion have for gathering information.
Bayushi's Whisperers (Underhand of the Emperor, 10) is a six-cost character that represents this network the Scorpion have established. With three military skill, six political skill, and zero glory, the army of whisperers is consistent in their strength. Though they can’t wield any attachments, their Action ability is one of the most powerful in the game, letting you view your opponent’s hand, name a card, and prevent them from playing that card for an entire phase. Many powerful abilities are limited to a single conflict, but by carefully dispatching your whisperers, you can shut down your opponent’s most important card for the entirety of the conflict phase. The Scorpion already excel at shutting out their opponent with cards like Forged Edict (Core Set, 184), and Bayushi’s Whisperers allows you to completely disregard a card before your opponent can even play it. You also obtain valuable information, gaining the ability to plan with perfect knowledge of your rival's capabilities.
A Direct Method
While the Scorpion are masters of manipulation, sometimes a more direct method is advisable. Few Scorpion Bushi are as intimidating, or as direct, as the Ignoble Enforcers (Underhand of the Emperor, 9). With four military skill and four political skill, they'll make an impact in any conflict, but five fate can be a heavy cost to pay. Luckily for the Scorpion, they are willing to take any measure to perform their duty, even sacrificing honor. When you play Ignoble Enforcers, you can lose up to three honor, placing one fate on this character for every honor lost. As with everything the Scorpion do, this can accomplish several goals.
First, you allow the Ignoble Enforcers to stick around, making the Enforcers more likely to have a large impact on the game. And of course, the Scorpion excel when they have a low amount of honor. Specifically, a theme of having six or less honor is developed throughout the cards of Underhand of the Emperor. Cards like Court of Deception (Underhand of the Emperor, 11) or Liar's Mask (Underhand of the Emperor, 20) can only be activated if you have crossed that threshold. The Ignoble Enforcers give you a way to reach that number while also placing fate on your character.
Other cards in Underhand of the Emperor also lend themselves to proper planning. Insolent Rival (Underhand of the Emperor, 6) may appear fairly weak, but its skill is significantly increased when the bid on your honor dial is higher than your opponent's. The Insolent Rival can use this strength to challenge an enemy character to a military duel, with the loser becoming dishonored. When you account for the Insolent Rival's skill boost tied to the honor dial, the Insolent Rival becomes most difficult to defeat in a one-on-one duel. The Scorpion have little regard for honor, and they have no problem going to any lengths to win a duel, making Insolent Rival a very effective character.
Whispers and Steel
While the other clans crumble and bicker around them, the Scorpion consolidate power, and that power is becoming extremely visible. After so many years manipulating events, the Scorpion are the most prominent clan in the Empire. But is the clan of lies truly meant to be put on such a stage? Regardless, they will perform their duty. Will you join the chorus of whispers?
Find out with Underhand of the Emperor (L5C15), available now for pre-order from your local retailer or our website!
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