Lion Clanpack Review Featuring the London Legion (Lion Dynasty Deck)





To save on space, and to avoid you all having to read a wall of text, I have split the review into three sections handily accessible through the following links;


A note on the ratings themselves; All of the cards are rated on a scale from 1-5 where a 1 is a card that is either too specific, or has an effect that is so comparatively weak to existing cards that it will almost never see play to 5 which is as close as an auto-include in a deck as you can get.

Kyūden Ikoma








Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)

There are currently 14 'champions' in the game, with the majority of clans only being able to play one at most. Couple this with the ability to throw Lion's cheap dynasty characters into fights gives an opponent a real choice; does he let the lion win for ring effects and possibly province breaks or does he allow probably his best character to be bowed. Couple this with Lion's no-bow on defence characters and the potential is there for this stronghold to be very strong. Overall, we know that bow effects are generally good and I am all for this kind of interactivity between players. (5)



Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)

Lion have plenty of 'more honourable' cards so starting with 13 honour is great as it widens the gap between you and your opponent. The starting honour is ideal for anyone running a Honour Lion deck but overall having more honour also gives the option for Lion to use honour (i.e. Assassinate) and still be ahead. Being able to bow one of your opponents non-champion characters is strong and it doesn't even matter if they have fate on. The threat of the bow alone is powerful as your opponent will have to decide between defending and having one of their other characters bowed or to just let you run over one of their provinces (with the new Tsuko alone, this becomes a lot easier). Lion now have many cards that synergise with losing and although I don't think a deck we can ultilise a deck focused on it, a few of those cards can go a long way. (5)



Finbarr (Steelfur)

As all the clans currently considering changing their entire bid for Phase 2 to get Earth Becomes Sky Indicates, bow is strong. This one can target most characters in the game and as 1st player on a turn is a great opener, comboing with lots of other cards in this set like Champions of Yomi. This plays well into a controlling 1 powerful conflict per turn deck that many players will find refreshing as an alternative to HMT. Or if I dare, a defensive lion honour deck that attacks to lose. If you win, I get to fire everything, if you don't I get this air ring. Seems good. (5)



Jake (Nostred)

The obvious play with KIkoma is to attack with a random poke using an irrelevant character, and then ask your opponent to choose between defending and losing two characters (the one they commit + the one that KIkoma bows) or letting you have the ring. That is good stuff for honour decks, conquest decks and switch decks. The downside is you are almost always going to have to activate KIkoma in your first conflict because triggering KIkoma in your second conflict as second player is worthless, and as first player it is marginally less worthless since your opponent will have seen you didn't use it during your first conflict when they declare their own first conflict. The absolute worst use case is being second player, attacking strong on your first conflict and winning but not breaking, in that situation KIkoma becomes blank. Lion will just need to build decks that exploit KIkoma's strengths. (4)



Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)

13 starting honour! As a scorpion player I can tell you this sucks haha anyways, the ability is quite nice. bow affects are strong and this will make lion pokes particually annoying, Especially their POL ones. other than that however its pretty standard stuff, neat but not Kyuden Isawa strong. (3)



Average Rating: 4.4



Kenson no Gakka




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
On the surface this province seems quite strong; Allowing honor gain outside of shameful display. It also has 5 strength so it is unlikely to break easily and with Lion's multitude of cheap characters has the possibility to give large swings in honor. Combined with Kyuden Ikoma it doesnt look like Lion even need to win fights at all, especially if going for the honor win. (3.5)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
A +5 Art of Peace that reacts to you losing the conflict, rather than it breaking. As an Air province, it's outright better than Before the Throne and despite being a +5 province strength, your opponent will want to avoid farming here. Your opponent will declare with a set amount strength and you can react with it, just so they're winning but not breaking. Pride on your characters will not matter and will contribute raw stats so should your opponent want to break, they will have to add more into it. Overall, Honour and Control decks will have a field day with this province. It's a shame that Tireless Soden Senzo has 0 glory... (3.5 in Control / 5 in Honour)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
I really like this province's effect. Its consistent and in the right deck can lead to a lot of honoured characters. This is abuseable with 1 and 2 drops to create blowout honour swings if your opponent pushes in with force to break this, but even for a smaller conflict it rewards defending quite strongly and helps with future defence. Also taking the air slot means that you can play this alongside other staples like shameful display, meaning you aren't losing anything. A seeker of air lion deck with this, before the throne and shameful has some solid honour gain from its province row. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
This is some wild honour deck goodness. Here's the cheeky bit: It works on both military and political. You can stick all of those naff political stat bodies into a conflict here, lose, honour them all up and then use Right Hand of the Emperor to stand them all back up afterwords. The worst use case is where they attack it and you have no bodies in the conflict, the second worst use case is +1 honour from the one body you do put in, at 5 strength the honour deck runs it because it slows them down whilst getting you at least some honour in most cases. The best use case is a bit Wombo Combo for me, but it's an air province so it isn't competing against Shameful or anything and it's better than before the Thone. (3)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
I suppose this is a better version of The Art of Peace. But still, you put guys to defend just to lose..they get honoured and then bow. hmm..if only there were more stuff that happens when lion lose a conflict. oh wait all that triggers when they lose as the attacker. hmm. i could be wrong. that said this could be annoying vs my dishonour deck. (2) 

Average Rating: 3.2 in Control, 3.5 in Honour


Ashigaru Levy




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
I am always a fan of free characters, especially when they are 0 cost to begin with. More characters on the field is always better and in a clan with inbuilt recursion like Lion I can see these doing some good work. The lack of Bushi keyword stops them from becoming too good but anything your opponent uses to stop them in conflicts is basically free advantage for you. (3.5)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
Free is good right? Sadly it doesn't work in a HMT deck as it lacks the Bushi tag and at best, they will count for 6 Military with Yojin no Shiro. To get the most value out of them, you'll ideally want them to never flip up together on your provinces, rather 1 each turn. Once all 3 are in the discard however, you'll never recur them again as they'll always be something better to Spiritcaller. Sadly without the Bushi tag, I don't think they're worth the 3 deck slots. (2.5)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Free characters can be strong, especially if they recur or stick around, but so many Lion cards check for the bushi keyword making this not synergise with them. However, recurring one drops that you don't need to stick around and you can resurrect and bring back is solid for a weenie based honour deck if you can find a way to honour them. So there may be something there but my intial prediction isn't amazing. (3)

Jake (Nostred)
You know how we've been talking about Kikoma poking things and Kenson No Gakka being really good when you have lots of irrelevant bodies in a conflict? Stick three of these in a deck with 3 Obstinate Recruits and suddenly you have six free characters to play with. Here's some jank too if you are feeling cute: Run gateway to Meido, buy all six free bodies, honour them all using something like Festival for the Fortunes, win the game with a janky Wombo Combo. In short, free remains my favourite price for anything and Lion are going to love 0 cost pokes. (4)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
I like this card. It's got a cool feel to it. If it had bushi it would be great, but alas they are just peasants. 0 fate for a potenial 3mil is not bad, i just wonder if this is worth 3 slots in the dynasty deck. Probably not. (2)

Average Rating: 3


Samurai of Integrity




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
A cheap 3/3 with the ability to be easily honored due to being Lion and the Bushi keyword? Solid. the key thing for me here is the 3 political skill which gives some much needed ability in an otherwise military focussed clan. (3.5)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
A blank 3/3 Bushi with 2 glory for 2 fate. Stat wise, it's one the better Lion 2-costers which can also pose a threat in a Political conflict. Combine it with a Perfect Cut, Court Games or even a Honor in Battle and it becomes a 5/5 for the future conflicts to come. I think this card will see a decent amount of play. (4)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
2 for a 3/3 with 2 glory. What can I say, in a clan that can honour this is pretty solid. Its no doomed shugenja but its a solid personality. Works very well with A Perfect Cut. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
Crane has lots of cards with high glory and easy ways to honour them, Crane is not favoured in the Scorpion matchup. This is a blank 3/3 body which becomes a blank 1/1 against Scorpion. As a Scoprion player I want to rate this a 5 in the hope that Lion plays it, I'll rate it a 2 though because it's just a potato in waiting. I might be sleeping on this card, but I can't see it being worth playing. (2)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
In pretty much any other clan this card would be ignored but lion have been blessed (cursed) with lots of 2/1/2 2 drop dudes so this character is pretty cool. Plus it has Bushi. (3)

Average Rating: 3.3


Matsu Gohei




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
A cheap no-bow character with an easy to activate effect. Note that it doesnt only have to be in military attacks so there is the opportunity to throw it into political fights and then re-use it for military. (3)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
Designed for a HMT / Swarm deck which has access to plenty of smaller characters. Unfortunately I can't see much of use for him outside of these deck archtypes (maybe a control deck with Honorable Challenger, disguised characters and ready tech) but one thing for sure is that he will excel in a wide deck utilising For Greater Glory and Ikoma Tsanari. (3)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
A character that does bow, with decent stats. HMT will love this. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
Speaking of 2 cost characers which will push Samurai of Integrity out of consideration. This is some quality Lion swarm tech and allows you to mix up the KIkoma calculations a bit by committing three bodies, threatening a break and retaining one. It has good stats for cost, can't be easily turned into a potato, doesn't bow, and works well in HMT decks too. I reckon it's a solid card that will see play. (3)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
The butcher is back! Good stats for a 2 drop for sure. His ability is well im not sure. I guess it wouldnt be too hard to trigger not really. So yea, Gohei is alright. HMT fodder certainly. (3)

Average Rating: 3.2


Ardent Omodaisu




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
The issue I have with this card is that it is entirely dependant on your opponent walking into it. Dishonor via characters is only really achievable by Scorpion so I wouldn't see this being played that much. It is however, another card in the honor win toolbox and it does have the desireable courtier trait (though in this case it seems more geared to stop you from not getting the honor victory as opposed to actively achieving the goal). (2.5, 3 vs Scorpion)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
The ability on this characters is bonkers. Bonkers good. Most decks run either Court Games, For Shame! or other dishonour tech and now you present your opponent with a choice. Do I sit on these cards or do I effectively give my opponent a 4 honour swing for the sake of winning a conflict. Lion has plenty of high glory characters so it offers them some sort of protection. The card's also a Courtier so you can set up your own For Shame! or even a Regal Bearing. If dishonour Lion becomes a thing, this character will be a staple. (5)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
A niche ability, but one that heavily punishes opponents for doing something that is an integral strategy for those clans. Bit tricky to fit in to HMT as he is a courtier but equally this card could revolutionise the dishonour matchup for any clan. We have seen the effect of reliable 1 honour gain per turn with Tranquil Philosopher in Dragon. Also remember that if you are trying to honour run, your opponent dishonouring your characters is one of only two ways to stop you. So this counters that, demanding more cards to make dishonour worthwhile. (5) 

Jake (Nostred)
Remember how I was talking about potatoing chaaracters as Scorpion? Well this scares me a lot... It can't be assasinated and turns a -1 dishonour effect into a +1 honour net gain (-1+2 is 1, quick maths). It dramatically facilitates a Lion honour deck because losing the fire ring now gives Lion half an air ring and that's wild in a clan which can start on 13 honour. The ability is a Reaction which is relevant for the interaction with A Fate Worse Than Death. Overall it seems good in the honour deck and I hate it. (4)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Damn i wish this card was red. This will be really annoying to deal with vs dishonour decks. So i guess thats great for the lion. If his glory was 1 he would be awesome. Still I like this card. (3)

Average Rating: 3.9, 4 vs Scorpion


Kitsu Motsu




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
This set seems to have a 'less cards then your opponent' subtheme going so I can see the effect getting some use. You can choose the target so it can be a good way to proc the stronghold, dragging a guy into the fight, and then bowing another for a 2 character swing ready to break something on the next attack. In the context of Lion, it has good keywords and can quickly become a 5/5 making it a solid card for most decks. (4)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
Decent statline and a great ability locked behind having less cards than your opponent. Works best in Kyuden Ikoma where you can force your opponent to win, potentially bowing out 2 of their characters at a cost of a conflict. Having this character on board may also force your opponent to bid lower to stop you harpooning in their biggest character. (3.5)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Harpoon is decent, Lion will bid low. Helps pull in characters on the attack so that they can't attack you and may also beat you on the attack. Synergises with Kyuden Ikoma in a surprising but effective way. Also Bushi and Commander which are relevant keywords. Commander have lots of self-honour effects so making him 2 glory is going to be relevant as well. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
It's a 3/3/2 for 3 cost harpoon, it's great. Do your poke thing with KIkoma and then use the harpoon effect to really mess with things. Having commander actually makes it less potatoable than the equivilently statted Samurai of Integrity, and the use case of poking with Motsu isn't impacted by it being made into a 1/1 because you are fine losing the conflict and triggering KIkoma. One extra fate buys you a harpoon effect that can't be assasinated and has relevant traits. Hot. (5)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Another old school character gets a card. Motsu was always a fan favorite back in the day and its great to see him again, Plus harpoon affects are strong and useful. I feel like the less cards in hand thing will get easier and easier for lion to trigger so yea im pretty sure this guy will see a good amount of play. (4) 

Average Rating: 4.1


Akodo Motivator




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
So I think that Akodo Motivator is going to be the sleeper hit of the deck. Earth ring into Spies at court is a fairly common play nowadays and card destruction is as prevalent as ever (especially in Crane) so with the tendency to bid low due to cards like Kitsu Motsu, the clan needs a way to reign in excessive opponent card advantage. (4.5)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
My favourite card this pack. Having this character present on the board makes the Earth Ring less tempting for your opponent, they're unlikely to ever play Spies at Court and if they Display of Power your Earth Ring, they have to discard a card too. Let's not forget his 5/2 statline which makes it a great Way of the Lion target. (5)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
If this card was in a clan that towered more I would think it was solid but then. Maybe Lion will start to tower more with cards like this. Greatly punishes hand destruction decks, and disincentivises the earth ring. It is a bit of anti-synergy with the cards that want your opponent to have more cards than you, but equally you don't want the difference to be too big as that is often how Lion lose games. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
So this character has decent stats and makes the Earth ring worse. It's okay but I'm not sure it's going to compete with the likes of Honoured General or play into a small character poke thing that Lion seem to be being pushed towards. I reckon it's a card in some decks but not all of them. (3)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
First off, a 5/2/1 for 4? Love it. great stats. Then the ability! do i really want to play spies at court? hmm maybe not. im liking this 'you hurt me, i hurt you' theme we are seeing with lion. you cant get into a scrap with the right hand without getting bloody yourself. (4.5)

Average Rating: 4.2


Voice of the Ancestors




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
On the face of it, this card may seem lacklustre due to its relatively high cost and middling stats. However, considering the large amount of 1 cost characters Lion can play it can boost its own stats up to a 6/3 for no investment. The shugenja keyword is also desireable due to the ability to play cloud the mind so I could see this card in play. (3.5)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
There are two characters than can become a free attachment, Matsu Berserker (+3/-) and Ikoma Prodigy (0/2) and these are considered staples in a Lion deck. Pair this card in with Samurai of Integrity and now you have a +3/+3 attachment for 1 fate... VALUE. Our 4 cost slot is already tight but I still think this card will see play in a good amount of decks but will shine in a tower deck. (4)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Another card that words really well with towers, but its quite good in general. Also provides support for Lion being able to play cloud the mind. Though the danger I see with this is that the cost-curve of a lion deck post pack could potentially creep too high to support. So this one may be cut as he does not have a strong inherent abilty but relies on other cards. That being said, looking at the statline of Lion personalities, having a discard pile of non-restricted 3/3, 3/1, 6/3 attachments seems really good. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
I don't get this card sadly. Do you play it in a deck with big characters? If you do, isn't the fate better spent on cheaper attachments? Doesn't the attachment still just eat a Let Go but cost loads more fate? This feels like you are paying 4 fate for a bad body that will enable you to spend more fate on attachments that are less efficient than normal attachments. I'm either hugely missing a trick or this is a really bad card. (1)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
I really love the design of this card. I also like the idea of making the Matsu 7th Legion an attachment. Using this with smaller characters is better of course, Matsu Berzerker will give +3 mil for 0 fate or Samurai of Integity will give +3/+3 for 1 fate. but still.. its a fun idea. (3)

Average Rating: 3.1


Matsu Tsuko




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
With Toturi in the capital, Lion have a new clan champion. Her reaction is quite strong as if you win, you break. This includes on the draw so it forces your opponent to either overcommit or risk loosing a province. She has decent stats for her cost and the 3 glory is welcome in a clan that can easily honor its characters. Also within the Clan, she has the most desireable set of keywords so I can see her being played. The only issue is that with the increased number of high cost dynasty characters availaible, Lion players will have to think hard about the focus of the deck they are building; Toturi for multiple ring effects, or Tsuko to force out advantage from every attack. (4)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
Where Tsuko really shines is in the political conflict. Lion usually have no trouble in the military side of things but struggle when it comes to political pumps. If your opponent wants to save the province, they will now have to spend more resources into it. Should you combine Tsuko with Strength in Numbers and/or covert and you will have yourself a broken province. At 5 Military, 4 Political (4 Political!) and 3 Glory, she's on track for replacing the fan favourite Akodo Toturi. (5)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
The new Tsuko is pretty solid. A commander and Bushi, a great statline. Does she edge Toturi out of the five cost slot? In an honour focused deck, probably. The tricky part about her is that at the moment when Lion go to attack they tend to break. They aren't a clan that wins by 1-2 and calls it a day. However, she has a definite card advantage benefit. You only need to play one buff to your opponents two, because if they lose by even 1 they lose the province. This is an excellent ability for a 5-cost, and may even enable an honour deck to switch to conquest if it can reliably win conflicts by even small margins. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
Good god... (5)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
The Lady of Lions is back with a new card, and frankly a better one. All her stats have been upped by 1 (along with her cost) but.. she just breaks provinces. A quick charge or Forebearer's Echos and boom dead province. Note that she works in POL conflicts too. My only complaint? This verision doesn't have the Daimyo trait..has she been demoted? (4)

Average Rating: 4.4


Champions of the Yomi




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
The big 6 coster of the deck with an impressive statline and Voice of the Ancestors synergy to boot. Of course its best used in your second conflict; Unfortunately it cant be used at the same time as your stronghold but the 6 military and political enable it to bully out most characters in the game. Due to its cost, you probably wont be buying this directly from the province row so it is probably the prime charge target outside of the clan champions. With the other recursion available to Lion you should be able to get use out of this over multiple turns without having to remove it from play. (4)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
At a first glance, the ability sounds good (Who wouldn't like a free 6/6). Upon thinking however... What is the likelihood that you meet those exact requirements? (Lose one of your conflicts, have a standing stronghold to bow and have it in the discard). Over the course of the game, probably between 0 and 1. You'll want to cheat this card in via Charge! or Miya Satoshi it into the discard otherwise it will have to sit on your province row for a turn (you'll never want to pay for it). It's strength comes from being your discard pile as it forces your opponent to decide between letting you win and break or give you a 6/6 for free. (3.5)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
I love everything about this card, flavour, statline and how it enters play. The only issue is choosing this effect over Kyuden Ikoma, which I think will catch a lot of people out. It also means that as first player if a province gets broken and this ends in your discard pile you can't react to it until next turn which will feel bad, however, recursion from Forebear's echos and spiritcaller actually get around this, so maybe you recur it the first time with one of those and with its own effect as the last option. The other challenge of course is that you will never want to buy this normally, however, with charge and recursion you shouldn't have to. (5)

Jake (Nostred)
One of the potential weaknesses of KIkoma is that you have a poke ready to go but then don't have a big swing to follow up with in conflict 2. Well worry no more friend, now you can bow your stronghold and just spawn a 6/6 for free after also forcing your opponent to make the bad KIkoma choice. This let's you trigger KIkoma in your second conflict as first player too if you didn't do it in your first conflict for w.e. reason. Yes that only nets you a defensive character but w.e. It also lets you use KIkoma in your second conflict as second player to claim the favour because the favour is claimed at the end of the conflict phase. You can also use charge on it, you can use Forebearer's Echos on it and you can use Spiritcaller on it. It's just options and redundancy everywhere, and options and redundancy are both really good things to have. (5)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
The big 6 drop of the pack. Interesting that this can have Spirit attachments, which current is only those made by the Voice of the Ancestors character seen above. But hay, future releases right? This is a character you let get discarded and play out of the discard pile. Maybe use Miya Satoshi to speed that up. In fact Satoshi will these new lion cards might be a great idea. Anyways, having to bow your stronghold is a touch unfortunate to bring these guys in for free, oh well. I like this card its no Fushicho but still good. (3)

Average Rating: 4.1


Hall of Victories




Aytan Hilmi (JeremiahBlitz)
I have often heard that players looking for the honor win are playing a completely different game to their opponent. They also say that the best decks can pressure two of the three win conditions in the game so this province actually becomes quite useful; lion are rarely playing the dishonor game so against opponents such as Scorpion this allows you to focus on the conquest victory and not have to be worried about being dishonored out. Also the high starting honor of the new stronghold along with this and other self-honor cards lends well to being able to realistically persue the honor victory as a secondary win condition. (4)

Luke Richards (Ikoma Eto)
Something good for the Honour Lion deck and probably only the Honour Lion deck. A net 1 honour gain can make all the difference and it's any conflict (unlimited). It's only downside is that you're also giving your opponent the option to gain more honour but do you really care? Probably not. Multiple Hall of Victories stack so the potential accumalation of honour can be huge. (1, 5 if honour running)

Finbarr (Steelfur)
Applying to your opponent feels weird, but then if honour is your goal you don't really care what honour your opponent is on if its less than yours. A solid holding to have in a province as a defending player. (4)

Jake (Nostred)
I dunno if honour Lion is going to be a thing here, I think it might be, if it is then this is an amazing card, if it isn't then it's a coaster. I've rated it a 4 because there's a good chance honour lion becomes a thing. (4)

Alex Botts (Bayushi Shimiji)
Hmm honour running lion. We've all seen people try that before with various levels of success. This might help. Use this in HMT lion with Glorious Victory, Honoured Blade, splash crane for more honour affacts. It could be cool. Interesting that it affects your opponent too. and that its a forced reaction. Two honour running lion against each other could be as interesting a race as two dishonour scorpion. It's a neat card. (2)

Average Rating: 3, 3.8 if honour running

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