Forums News and Information Industry News The Coming Dawn: Dragon, Part 1


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    • Owlbear

    by Bryan Reese

    Hello Enlightened Samurai of Rokugan!

    Come walk with me. Let’s take a stroll through the Remote Monastery of the Dragon while we ponder the mysteries of this world.


    As you can see, this Stronghold is incredibly versatile, allowing you to begin the game with one of four different Rings, tailored specifically to your deck or to your opponent. We have heard some Samurai say this is simply House of Tao 2.0 (or 3.0 if you were a Brotherhood player), but it is more than that. When last we saw House of Tao, it was in an environment where you generally built a deck around it. It was less about versatility, and more about maximum efficiency. For example, there were the famous Dragon Water decks of early Diamond, and Dragon Fire Dueling decks of later Diamond. Today, however, you have more versatility. As a Dragon military deck, I may generally start with Water, but instead start with Earth when fighting an honor or dishonor player, and perhaps start with Air with fighting a Spider player to help fight his powerful Fear effects. If I am an honor player, I have loads of options. Maybe I am fighting to win the battle, so Air will help mitigate my costs, such as bowing for a Ranged Attack. Or perhaps I want Earth, either to keep me in battle or prevent my opponent from returning after I send him home. Water provides me the ability to do some nice Hit and Run tactics, while Fire causes some nice attrition. Even Enlightenment may alter which Ring they want to start with depending on their opponent. Versatility and knowing your opponent will be keys to a Dragon victory.

    Speaking of Enlightenment, you may have noticed that this Ring you start with does not, by Emperor Edition rules, count towards Enlightenment. The decision was made to change the way Enlightenment looks for Rings. We felt it was simpler when explaining the rules to a player that they win if they have all five Rings in play, no ifs, ands, or buts. It certainly makes the Remote Monastery of the Dragon more accessible to a new player if we don’t have to jam “This Ring counts towards Enlightenment” on it. Rather, the rare cards that “cheats” a Ring into play will have text noting that Ring does not count. Much simpler this way.

    Now let us see what happens when we spend more time contemplating and our opponent gets the jump on us.


    As you can see, our extra contemplation has paid off with an additional card and an additional hand size, as well as extra Province Strength.

    These additional resources are quite valuable. Not only the short term benefit of the extra card, but the long term benefit of the increased hand size. Combined with the increased Province Strength, and with your lower Province Strength every point counts, as well as the power of whichever Ring you have in play, you shall be quite a formidable opponent. And much like the Scorpion Stronghold, the better a player you are, and the better you know the environment and your opponent, the more effective your Stronghold shall be. Very fitting for the Dragon.

    Speaking of good fits, let us look at our honorable leader, Mirumoto Shikei.


    So before we go into Shikei, I want to talk a moment about Kensai, and specifically Weapons. You may notice two changes to Weapons; how many hands they take to wield, and what type of weapon they are. The latter of these two, the weapon category, is something we are building for the future. It will allow us to showcase weapon specializations. We can create Iron Cranes who get bonuses for having Polearms and Spears, Ninja who gets bonuses for having Ninja Weapons, and Mantis who get bonuses for wielding Peasant Weapons, etc.

    The first change though, a weapon’s handedness, is tackling two things. First, it brings a bit more realism to the game. No longer will Kensai be dual-wielding Daikyu. Second, it tackles the issue of Kensai getting to obscene levels of Force. One of the great things about Ivory Edition is the inclusion of Fear. It means that two of most prominent battle actions, bow and kill, are now usually tied to Force. This is fantastic for the game, as it makes large Personalities extremely relevant. In the case of Kensai though, it can be problematic at times, as your units can quickly move out of range of anything your opponent can do to them. A 3F Kensai is fine, but give him a couple +3F or +4F weapons, and he becomes a nightmare. So with this change to weapons and their handedness, we have more control over the situation, giving the bigger Force Modifiers to the two-handed weapons, as makes sense. This allows Kensai to get large, but not so large that they become an uncontrollable problem.

    Now back to the man himself, Shikei. 4F is good, but lower for the Clan Champions, and 5C is great. He has an above box honor requirement, but it is not too bad at 9. 10 Gold is pretty cheap and 4 Personal Honor is fantastic. His keywords are great though, getting Samurai, Monk, Kensai, and Duelist, and his abilities are even better. First he can re-arrange the top 3 cards of your deck, exchanging a card in your hand with the best one there, if you wish. Second, he straightens a Ring. As you have already seen, Air, Earth, and Water are all Repeatable, meaning you can use them as many times as you can straighten them. Slap some attachments on him and send him after an Honor player with Earth in play. Watch them try to play around two Rings of Earth in play. Or watch a military opponent try and pin your army down when you get two uses of Ring of Water or Ring of Air. And this is so fitting for a Clan Champion of the Dragon. You may not be the mightiest of warriors, but your wisdom gives you strength others simply do not comprehend. While your opponent has been planning strategies, you have been contemplating the true nature of this world, and as such, you are prepared for whatever your opponent may try and throw your way.

    The post The Coming Dawn: Dragon, Part 1 appeared first on Alderac Entertainment Group.

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