For the second card in our spotlight we have Legion of One. To all of my non-Lion clan readers I swear I will do cards from other clans as well. It just so happens that I played the recent discord cup season 2 with Lion and some of the nuances are still fresh on my mind. Without further ado let us go on to the card itself.
Legion of One is a 0 cost conflict card with 2 influence. During a military conflict choose a character that is participating alone and he gets +3. You can then burn a fate on your character to provide another +3. This gives you a total of +6!
There are some differences from Banzai that people using this card should be aware of. Due to the wording of this card you cannot use it to buff opposing characters. This is very relevant as Lion uses Feast or Famine and Art of War which you do want your opponents to break. After all if they don’t break it they essentially get a free attack where you had no province effect.
To set aside any debate. Yes this card is strictly worse than Banzai. Fate is usually a bigger cost than honor and it has more restrictions than Banzai does. I don’t see other clans splashing it as they already have Banzai. What it does give Lion is an extra military buff that other clans do not have access to ensuring the win in military conflicts. Remember that Banzai is only restricted to one use per conflict. Once both sides use their Banzai there is usually very few other buffs that come out.
Due to the number of Military buffs in Lion there is usually an order that they have to be played in to maximize their utility. If your playing against a Lion you can usually predict what they have on their hand by which buffs come out first. Lion usually carries Fine Katana, Banzai, Legion of One, and Way of the Lion. Some Lions forego Fine Katana to avoid attachment hate.
If your character is sticking around for more than one turn then Fine Katana is the initial buff if not then it should be the last. Of the others Legion of One should be played first as it is the most restrictive, second priority to Banzai as you can only use one of it per conflict, and your last option should be Way of the Lion. Way of the Lion has a multiplier effect when used together so you should save it until you can use two at once.
Offensive or Defensive?
A lot of Lion players don’t use Legion of One. The reasoning is that Lion already has a lot of military buffs so they don’t need anymore. This is caused by a fundamental misunderstanding on the nature of Legion of One. The card does not actually work well on offense. It requires you to only have one character which works directly against your stronghold.
If you are a Lion character do you ever notice that you actually have a difficult time defending military conflicts? Half the time it’s because you want them to break the province anyway but the other times its because you prefer to use your characters on the offensive instead. Most of the time when you lose due to province break it’s not because your opponent musters the 12 Pol necessary to break Ancestral Grounds but when they manage to sneak in the 7 required to break Mil.
Legion of One is the perfect military defense card as you want to commit as few resources as possible to defense and it requires that you only use one character. The synergies I will point out in the next section highlight this as well.
Legion of One requires fate to use to its maximum potential. We don’t want to spend fate on it as we use it on other things. The answer is simple. We need to put stuff with free fate. If you are playing Lion you should be putting in Keepers anyway for the Toturi synergy but Legion of One gives you extra incentive to put them in.
Keepers become 7 Mil berserkers on the defense after you use Legion of One. That is bigger than anyone save Kisada. The usual line of play is you attack with Mil fire first and bring out your keepers. The Keeper then dies at the end of the turn and you can repeat the cycle next turn.
Beonia is another piece that combos well with Legion of One. I’m a firm advocate of always using one Beonia just in case he triggers. More importantly in case you miss his trigger (when he comes out too early for example) his ability can still be used with Legion of One. When you Spiritcaller Beonia in the 2 fate is normally wasted as he leaves at the end of combat.
Legion of One allows you to use his fate. In fact Legion of One allows you to use his fate twice. With 2 Legions he can actually reach 15 Mil. You were going to lose the fate anyway so it is essentially at no cost to you. This level of force with one person is usually only achievable with a pair of Way of the Lions. Note this would only put Beonia at 12 as opposed to the Legions which would put it at 15.
These two combos are actually your secret ace in the hole when it comes to match ups with Military clans. Your opponent will not expect you to generate this much force with just one person and it can prevent the break allowing you to race ahead.
I hope this article helps players to see the full potential of Legion of One. It is a card that I think should make the cut in most Lion decks. Again I swear I will do a card from another clan next time. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.