The Book of Five Rings:

An adaptation of the theory and concepts of a classic text to deck building and card playing.

Quotes, inspiration and ideas cited to:


The Book of Five Rings - By: Miyamoto Musashi

Translated by Thomas Cleary

Hello again! Ogre here with another installment of what my gut tells me about cards and stuff! Wooo! This time our discussion is on he Embers of War previews for Unicorn clan. We get to see the direction design wants us to go in the upcoming expansions and our first glimpse at new personalities.

EoW also contains in a new stronghold for the Unicorn clan and will be my first card target. Then I will meander my way down the personalities we get and then some notes on the other stuff! So onward to the goods!



The Ki-Rin's Path

Hello again fellow Unicorn players! Welcome to my review of Unicorn previews for Emperor Edition part 2! Let us get to the cards with my thoughts overall afterwards!

Shinjo's Guidance XP


Shinjo Baeshuko Utaku Tsukiko

Shinjo Baeshuko (Soul of Shinjo Huang) - 3 Force for 7 gold (equivalent) is terrible. He doesn't have a trait worth mentioning. I know as soon as you gain 2 honor, he becomes more cost effective but I just fail to see where he fits in. You still have to pay for that 2 honor in some sort of way, either through a fate card or gold making him not effective.

Utakiu Tsukiko(Soul of Utaku Fusae) - Man, I loved Fusae back in the day. Strength of Paragons, Strength in Certainty, A Soldier's Fate, Shinjo's Courage, Shuten Doji's Fury, and The Fortunes Smile were legal with Utaku Plains for massive effect. Now she is back for EE and with a shiny new trait of Paragon! And it couldn't even be any more disappointing. 3 Force for 7 gold no ability? Terrible by card standards these days. Yes, she is now within box honor with the new maiden box but that doesn't fix the issue of her poor stats and no ability. Compare her to Utaku Mai and Utaku Ji-Yun for 1 more gold each and see why I have issues for her.



Shinjo Eun-SahngShinjo TaekenShinjo Taeken (Soul of Shinjo Tae-Hyun) - Outside of blitz, this guy was not even played in CE. Now he is back and rebalanced at 6 gold (you mean 3 force for 7 gold, no ability is bad? See Tsukiko above). He still isn't great, but he is appropriately costed. Silk works pays for him which is nice. He will fill a hole until a better commander comes along.

Shinjo Eun-Sahng (Soul of Chu-Yeung) - What is this? A battle action? Still on an overcosted personality (compare Eun-Sahng to Kaiu Kawachi. A range 4 attack is NOT worth two gold). He still threatens provinces solo style. Overall, I just feel underwhelmed looking at him. For a 10 gold cost, other clans get a lot less restricted kill actions at better printed force or better traits.





Moto ShunsukeMoto TetsuoMoto Tetsuo (Soul of Moto Shanyu) - Our 2nd move and do something personality of EE, Tetsuo has cavalry via battle action. His ability works even if your opponent has nobody there (hello retribution tricks!). Even though he doesn't have commander, he is still a great platform for followers. Between him and the Demon Hunter, infantry followers will be a real possibility in Unicorn (Mmmmm Elite Sentry and Legion of Pain).

Moto Shunsuke (Soul of Akikazu) - Akikazu was great in an environment when people routinely discarded 1-2 personalities on their opening flip. Now with the changes to the game with Border Keep, people rarely have extra discarded guys in the first few turns. This weakens Shunsuke because his force is dependent on extra discarded personalities. Sadly, Shunsuke was also not granted a very important trait: water. Without water, Shunsuke loses out on Erosion, Bo of Water, Strength of the Tsunami, and, most importantly, Skipping the Puddle. Shunsuke is just a meat stick, but meat sticks can still be useful. Expect to see play for a short time until a more relevant shugenja with water comes around.

Shinjo's Guidance XPIuchi ShunishiIuchi Shunishi (Soul of Iuchi Karasu exp 2) - Amazing, simply amazing. Iuchi Shunishi is a very, very nice gift. Iuchi Karasu's original ability gets nerfed a tinge (used to be able to target anybody) but considering he can stop champions before they get to battle is a very good control ability. Instant staple in a lot of decks even if he doesn't have a relevant trait. Most likely personality in unicorn to get whored out. Shunishi could have had no force and lose the shugenja trait and still be amazing at 11 gold. I don't even care that he lacks the water or cavalry traits.

Shinjo's Guidance XP - Did I mention Naleesh is mine forever and ever? :D The trait is very good for Unicorn decks. Grateful Reward makes two force, Erosion makes a quasi two force and those are just the free attachments. However, none of that matters as the Limited ability is where you will get the most mileage out of this card. This card instantly makes Naleesh the best champion in Emperor Edition by the fact that you effectively get to run two copies of her. You can build decks that just focus on bringing her into play because of this celestial. I can already smile and think of all the people who are going to hate me for dropping Naleesh onto Shindan Shorai via this celestial. Awesome.

Shinjo's ChildrenUtaku Elite GuardShinjo's Children - 4 force for 5 gold. Perfect for taking all of the 7 PS Strongholds with our 4 force for 8 gold cost personalities. Triggers Glory of the Shogun. Strong.

Utaku Elite Guard - 3 Force for 3 gold on one Battle maiden, though doesnt work for Naleesh (still gets her up to 8 Force). Great token attachment for Battle Maidens, seeing as it will help trigger the stronghold trait and scales well later in the game. Dies to most anything in the game however so wont be effective for very long in a opposed battle.

Moto House Guard - Wrecking house. Completely destroys token defenses of one guy at each province (with four or less force). With a cavalry assignment, you can wait and see what your opponent is doing before you have to assign anybody. Flash backs to Latomu + Loruko which was amazing even in Diamond/Lotus. Staple throughout the arc, I find it hard to believe that I wouldn't run a deck without this guy.

Moto House Guard

Overall thoughts - The overall personality batch was pretty blah overall. A lot of personalities missing key traits (even theme traits!) as well as, importantly for a clan that has 4 battle themes, battle actions. There are a few amazing slots (Tetsuo and Shunishi) but we will need expansion personalities ASAP to fill out our rosters. Tacticians can run a max of 21 tactician personalities, Shugenja 17 personalities, Paragon 17 personalities and Commander 15 (!) total personalities. Four of our total base set personalities fail to have any relevant trait, which is unacceptable seeing as Commander cannot even field a full Unicorn commander deck.

However, in the non-personality section we received quite a few gems. Shinjo's Guidance Xp is great and Moto House guard is a stud. Shinjo's Children is good and Utaku Elite Guard is decent force for gold in Battle Maidens. As soon as the personality base catches up these cards will shine even more.

Hello again fellow Unicorn Players! Today we received our first glimpse into the Unicorn clan personalities from Emperor Edition. Without further adieu here is my thoughts on each card and then some general thoughts and concerns.


Second City: Part 2: Tacticians and Commander

Hello again Unicorn fans! Welcome to part II of my Second City review! This time around I focus on two themes that got a little less support in terms of cards (Tacticians and Commanders) as well as some other cards that I wanted to point out for various Unicorn Clan usage.


Shinjo Sanenari