The Imperial Herald

A Legend of the Five Rings Publication

The Imperial Herald - July 2020

By paulofhallett

Welcome to the July 2020 edition of the Imperial Herald. While COVID-19 continues to ensure that Legend of the Five Rings competitive play is almost exclusively restricted to the online realm, there is still plenty to talk about from the recent World Cup, the upcoming Jigoku Clan War draft event, and potential announcements from the FFG In-flight Report.


It's still hard to talk about anything else these days, and while cases are either rising or falling depending on where you are reading this, there appears to be no genuine end in sight for COVID-19 . There are sporadic reports of small tournaments across the globe, but still no definite plans for a return to large-scale competitive play. This includes the upcoming World Championship event in Spain in November which is supposedly still on, although there have been no updates from FFG to confirm this.

New Releases

July saw the release of pack 3 of the Dominion Cycle: In Pursuit of Truth. Notable for introducing Lost Papers (for high-skill players only), the pack also includes the final 'mantra' card Mantra of Void, Lion juggernaut Master Tactician, and the highly effective Student of the Tao for Phoenix.

My local store is yet to receive their order, but hopefully yours has come through by now.

July also saw FFG release the official images for pack 4: Campaigns of Conquest, which the Jigoku developers quickly implemented for online play. Thank you as always for the great work done here, and a reminder that you can tip your hosts through PayPal.

Gen Con

While the doors to Gencon might be closed this year, an online event will still take place in its absence. As part of the show FFG will present their In-flight Report as usual, and announcements for Legend of the Five Rings are confirmed.

Tune in to watch the report live through the FFG Twitch channel at 7 pm Central Time on July 29.

You can also tune in to the latest podcast by The Jade Throne for some rampant announcement speculation from Shey and Handsome Dan.


FFG continues to release a steady stream of fiction to offset the lack of major releases and announcements.

At the beginning of the month we had the very spicy Daidoji by Nancy M. Sauer, which continues the story of the Crane siege to break the Lion occupation of Kyuden Kakita. We also had Beneath the Light of Jade by Robert Denton III which sees Asako Tsuki finally deliver her message to Isawa Tadaka beyond the Kaiu Wall. As with all stories in the Shadowlands, however, things are not what they seem, and the climax to the narrative also sets up a story choice for all Hatamoto before Gencon.

Finally, the unlikely friendship between Yasuki Oguri and Kudaka continues to develop in The Shadow of Glory by Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda.

As always, you can listen to in-depth analysis of each fiction by The Last Province podcast, and professional readings of each by The Table is Yours.

Meta Check

The meta is starting to settle since the most recent Imperial Law decree and the implementation of Pack 4 on Jigoku. Scorpion, somewhat neutered after the last restricted list update, are starting to return to form with Forgery. The Lion hybrid conquest/honour engine continues to perform well with Ikoma Tsunuri making an excellent contribution. Phoenix, meanwhile have found a new star in Student of the Tao who, when combined with an almost entirely Void province row, is capable of putting up fierce resistance.

Unicorn, meanwhile, now enjoy being able to Ride at Dawn on their Steed of the Steppes, no longer forced to stop at each passing village to engage in meaningless Policy Debate(s), or to endure endless Display(s) of Power by shameless shugenja.

Competitive Play

Discord World Cup

After a thrilling final round Spain have once again been crowned champions of the Discord World Cup (despite the USA continuing to insist the event did not take place). Congratulations to Spain for their consistently-high standard of play, and to Greece for an outstanding run to also reach the finals.

Special thanks to Mind's Desire for hosting the event, and to all the casters who helped bring the event to life.

And, while Spain may be champions of the world, it has been confirmed that Australia are now Champions of the Universe.

Jigoku Clan War

July also saw the announcement of the Jigoku Clan War. A team-drafting event, the tournament will see eight captains select teams from a pool of 160 players. Once formed, these teams will then go on to battle one another in the weeks to come.

For those wishing to watch the draft event live, tune in on August 1st at 20:00 cest | 14:00 edt to Jeremy's Twitch channel.

London Legion Online 6

Image by David Robotham, Courtesy of the LLO.

At the time of writing London Legion Online 6 is well underway with both EU and NA sides having finished. Dario Perri took first place in Europe with Lion, while Ignithas won in North America with Phoenix.

Be sure to check The Lotus Pavilion for the final result, and Imperial Advisor for a full breakdown.

The Emerald Dojo

Here at the Emerald Dojo we're continuing to work to keep all guides updated with changes to the card pool and meta. We're also looking to restructure the site so that the Clan Guides are tailored more for beginner players, whilst a new Competitive Play section will cater to experienced players wanting to know about the current meta.

We are recruiting players to maintain these competitive guides for each clan. If you are interested in taking ownership of the Crab, Lion, or Scorpion guides please get in touch with paulofhallett#7086 or Severijn#5194 on Discord.

As always, if you would like to promote something in The Imperial Herald or receive a shout out, please get in touch through Discord.


August should see the arrival of Pack 4 of the Dominion Cycle, Campaigns of Conquest in stores, and Pack 5, As Honor Demands on Jigoku.

While the Gencon In-flight Report will mostly likely announce a new Dynasty Pack cycle, there is always the outside chance we will get a new round of Clan Packs, details of another Premium Expansion, or even (if you're as hopeful as Shey), a miniatures skirmish or new type of board game. Time will tell!

In the meantime, stay safe, pray to the Kami, and see you next month.