Rally to the Cause! The Rally Keyword for Legend of the Five Rings

Rally (Verb) To come together or bring people together in order to help or support somebody/something. In this case, to the cause. Quite what that cause is, noone quite knows.

Hello Everyone and welcome back. Pack 1 of the Dominion Cycle is now out and with it comes a couple of high-impact game pieces in the form of City of the Rich Frog and the Rally keyword. In this article we will be taking a look at Rally specifically and in particular focusing on how many Rally cards we should look to be using in our decks.

Firstly, what is the Rally keyword and how does it work? From the updated Legend of the Five Rings RRG we have the following;


Rally is a keyword ability that appears on dynasty cards. When a card with the rally keyword is revealed in a player’s provinces, that player adds the top card of their dynasty deck to the same province faceup. Both cards are in the province together, and either can be played as an action during the dynasty phase. Do not refill a province until it is empty.

  • When a province is refilled faceup, or when a card is added to a province faceup, that card is not revealed and the rally keyword on it does not trigger.

So immediately, the first thing that comes to mind is that Rally goes a long way depending on how many we include in the deck, to improving dynasty deck consistency. I have already written at great length about how important dynasty deck consistency is as a part of my look into Kyuden Hida HERE so the current feeling is that even if a dynasty card had the Rally keyword and no other text or effects, they would still be auto-includes given that they increase the chances of reaching your other cards more quickly.

The current range of rally cards available at the time of writing. Given that Crab have a Rally dynasty event, and that both Lion and Unicorn have Rally Dynasty characters (with Lion having two) it is not a great leap to assume that each clan will have at least two in-clan Rally cards in order to keep parity.

Christian A. Naesseth has recently written an excellent Facebook post on Rally detailing the probability behind using different numbers of such cards in your Dynasty deck which he has graciously allowed me to re-write here;

I’ve heard from several people that what they’re interested in is the probability of Rally into another Rally. While at first look this might be interesting, I think it is not the best way to study Rally. For simplicity I will assume that the Rally cards are blank except for the keyword and thus not take into account how useful the other ability is. This way we can figure out how many can we put in with the ultimate goal of just thinning your deck.

So how should we be evaluating the number of rally cards? I think a good thing to look at is the number of non-Rally cards you expect to see at a given flop of 4. The ideal case, after initial reveal and proc of Rally, is that you see 4 non-Rally cards. This because it is the same number you would see if you have 0-1 Rally cards in deck. So I think we should study how likely it is to see 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 non-Rally cards as a function of the total number of Rally cards we have in a 40 card deck.

Each subplot corresponds to a certain number of Rally cards (2-15), the y-axis gives the probability and each bar corresponds to 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 non-Rally cards. Note that some probabilities are soo small that they aren’t visible in this illustration. For example if we have 2 Rally cards in deck the probability of seeing 3 non-Rally cards is only about 0.005.

Similar to the previous plot but taking into account the extra two cards seen by City of the Rich Frog. Overall the conclusions made below hold for both 4 and 6 card initial draws.

As an example even if we have 7 Rally cards in deck, we still see 4 non-Rally cards almost 90% of the time. We don’t really know how many each clan will have access to, but from the spoiled cards to date we’ve see that each clan should have access to at least 9. So maybe some of these plots won’t be relevant but I hope there are more neutrals and clan-specific than we’ve seen so far. So what is the ideal number of Rally cards to include?

The number of Rally cards you might want to include in your deck will be different depending on other effects such as Unyielding Sensei, Kyuden Hida, Shinjo Gunso etc. However, in my opinion I think all decks without any such considerations should definitely try at least 6 Rally cards no matter what the other text is. With 6 Rally cards you still see 4 non-Rally cards 92.4% of the time. Also cards like Tsanuri that are good enough to play even if they didn’t have Rally can safely be added on top of this.

TL/DR: I think a good generic start is 6 Rally cards which means you'll still see 4 non-Rally cards more than 90% of the time.

As Christian mentions in his analysis, the presence of cards such as Unyielding Sensei and Kyuden Hida for Crab and Shinjo Gunso for Unicorn that already have the effect of thinning the deck have some issue with Rally as it doesn't trigger unless the card is revealed in a province. In these circumstances, any card with Rally actually has the opposite effect; taking up a space that might have been best served by any other Dynasty card. This is where the cards themselves have to be good enough as stand-alone pieces (such as Tsanuri) to mitigate this effect.

Talking about Crab specifically, I am hoping that a hypothetical crab Rally character will be at least as good as Tsanuri (meaning as cheap), possibly to replace something like One of the Forgotten in our current Crabbits list (see HERE). Also given the amount of fate that Crabbits generates, it would be a good idea to have A Season Of War also in order to further extend plays. As good as the keyword is, I think the relative anti-synergy with both Unyielding Sensei and Kyuden Hida stops us from investing too heavily into the mechanic going for more 9+ cards for example. On the Topic of Season of War, despite it not working with Those Who Serve, there is always the ability to play TWS, buy your characters cheaply and then trigger Season of War for another phase to buy more characters but this time at full price. In a more standard tower-style deck I would anticipate trying to fit in as many Rally cards as possible in order to find your bulky characters and smaller, advantage generating guys more quickly.

Overall I am inclined to agree with Christian's analysis that we should be looking at on average 6 Rally cards in our decks unless they are premium characters such as Tsanuri in which case its perfectly acceptable to add more. My only issue is that Dynasty space in general is at a premium so some difficult choices will have to be made in order to fit anything that isn't a Rally character into the deck.

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