Card in Focus: Steadfast Samurai


Welcome everyone to a new series I am starting. My previous articles focused on clans as a whole or concepts in the game. For this series of articles I will be focusing on individual cards and how to maximize the value you get out of them. As you can see by the title I am
starting with the Steadfast Samurai. For this series I will try and avoid the powerhouse cards like Lions Pride Brawler or Niten Master. After all you already know what to do when they come out. I believe it is what you do with bad or neutral draws that ultimately increase your win rate. Getting the most out of your average pieces is how you get those wins.


For those who don’t know Steadfast Samurai is a 1 Mil 1 Pol bushi with a unique ability. As long as you have 5 honor or more Steadfast Samurai does not lose a fate or go to the discard pile. Steadfast Samurai and Doji Shizue are the only two characters in the game who have a mechanic like this and it synergizes particularly well with Lions swarm playstyle. This ability also works with Feast or Famine as it gives you a permanent target.

With a name like Steadfast Samurai and the bushi trait you would think that he is a Mil focused character. Steadfast Samurai is actually what passes for a Political character in Lion. If Historian or Prodigy is not present Steadfast is my default choice to send into Political conflicts. Other Lion characters usually contribute more to Mil or have a special ability that only activates in Mil conflicts. In some Lion builds he is the most Politically oriented character after Ujiaki and Spiritcaller.


If you are including Steadfast in your list then you want to also include as many items as you can. Steadfast is not a card you can build a deck around like Ide Trader so the items you include in the deck have to be good in their own right. Fans and Katanas are good
candidates as there are Lion builds that do not use them anymore to avoid item hate. If you are using a Unicorn splash or Crab splash then Spyglass, Talisman, and Watch Commander would be good choices as well.

At a minimum when using Steadfast I reccomend using 3 fans and 3 katanas. I would go so far as to say I would prefer using a Katana to a Banzai if Steadfast is in the deck, though you will probably find room for both.

While not an item I dont want to have a seperate section for this. Steadfast really benefits from having 3 court games. Dishonored he is a 0/0 potato and honored a 2/2 threat.

Honor Package

Steadfast really shines when you have 5 or more honor than your opponent. To facilitate this and increase our rewards for doing something we wanted to do in the first place we include other characters who either gain honor or benefit from honor as well. Historian, Prodigy, Gunso, Guards, Venerable Generals and Recruits are all good choices to go into a deck with Steadfast. You dont have to include the entire package but Steadfast gives you extra incentive to add these characters.

Most of these characters also encourage you to go wide which is a playstyle Steadfast supports.


I always reccomend running Shameful Display in Lion but some players prefer Pilgrimage. Steadfast reinforces Shameful as he is another character and makes it more likely you will have a defender to activate the Province.

Fertile Fields and Manicured Gardens also make up another point of debate between Lion players. Steadfast would prefer Fields as its another source of card draw that you generate less of from bidding.

For Greater Glory

For Greater Glory has a strange interaction with Steadfast Samurai. As a Lion player your first instict is to maximize the number of characters who benefit from For Greater Glory. In most cases you actually want to leave Steadfast out of that conflict. When you hit For Greater Glory there tends to be no targets leftover for Feast or Famine. Steadfast can serve this purpose and still remain for the next round.

Imperial Favor

Something that a lot of players dont realize is how much steadfast benefits from having the Imperial Favor. Most of the time Steadfast is going to be used for your Political probing attack. With the favor your opponent will have to commit someone with a strength of 3 to defend successfully against him. For some clans that is a significant
allocation of resources. If you were against a Lion mirror the only ones who could do this is Ujiaki, Historian, and Spiritcaller. Put a fan on him and you are threathening a break instead of a probing attack.

I hope this article helps L5r players use this card more effectively. For my next card I am planning to either discuss A Legion of One or Solemn Shugenja. If you have any other suggestions or violent reactions please leave comments.

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