Greetings brothers and sisters in arms!
I have the honor to be Isawa Tsuke, despite the differences between our families I have taken up the Lion to be my adopted clan since the start of the LCG. I have recently embarked upon a four-month journey away from Rokugan and return to find a clan in search of its identity. Some traitorous voices have even said that the Lion armies are the weakest in Rokugan alongside those of the Unicorn! Shame on those who disparage the heirs of Akodo! The loyalty of these samurai to the Emperor should be questioned! Remember when the last Akodo falls so falls the last Hantei!
State of the Lion
Some of the fellow Lions that I have been in contact with since my return have told me tales of hardships endured and battles lost. Such strange tales when just one year ago the Lion clan was declared to be the champion of the world.
In times such as these we have to look at the core of the Lion clan. What makes us strong? What sets us apart from the rest? It is of course our unwavering loyalty to the Emperor, our strong connections with our ancestors, and of course our proud military tradition. More than any other clan we have been gifted with a strong foundation to base our expansion from.
Trying out new things can be good and can lead to great things such as our Legion of One or our new Guards but others can become traps when we focus too much on them like the courtier Satoshi and trinkets like the Imperial Palace. Even reliance on our new magistrates may be a bad thing. Our ancestors have gifted us with a strong base therefore we have to be more selective than others when including new things. I encourage struggling Lion players to read the previous Lion Clan Masterclass articles and try getting back to basics for a battle or two. You may find that you will have an easier time exploiting our strengths. Lists are included in those articles which can easily be adapted to conform to the new imperial decrees. Remember the Lion is an army. We have a few notable heroes to lead us but our strength is in our numbers and we have strongholds that reward us for it. We are also the only clan who has the logistical expertise to use Staging Grounds. It would be a shame not to use it.
I have also been told of the ascent of the Scorpion as the new greatest clan. This can only be good for us as I firmly believe that our armies are the best suited to combat them. Some of my previous battles in the fields of Discord are available and may provide some insight on how to handle the Scorpions.
The Restricted List
The Emperor in all his wisdom has seen fit to decree that some tactics be limited in battle. We should rejoice at this pronouncement! While it is true that we have been chastised in our eagerness to battle For Greater Glory other clans have lost so much more. If we are being honest with ourselves we never needed the glory anyway and it just enabled us to win faster. Now we can include tactics that help us to win in the first place rather than extending our victory.
No more will our opponents prevent the sacrifice of our peasants from benefiting our clan with Pathfinders Blades. Debates, which in all honesty we have never been great at, has been limited by imperial fiat. The Scorpion, Dragon, and Crab have lost numerous tools.
The loss of Mirumoto’s Fury is regrettable as we are the only clan who can counter it as we are always Ready for Battle but we can always switch to Let Go and Wanderers if we decide to ally with the Dragon or we can ally with the Crane and enact the ultimate Noble Sacrifice, drowning out the screams of our opponent with our heartfelt Voice of Honor. Our immense pride as the right hand of the Emperor and the affinity we have for the Fire ring can see us through. Our readiness will always find a use even in situations where Mirumoto’s Fury has abated. Any way you look at it the Emperor has done us a favor with his proclamation.
Future of the Lion
Reinforcements are coming one after the other in another 6 week wave. The future of the Lion looks bright. My foresight tells me that there is two distinct branches of the Lion army forming and it is fitting that they are to be led by the two champions that have always been loyal to the Emperor, even when other Lions have been led astray. If you are new to the LCG, I encourage you to read the history books to find out what I am talking about. They are highly entertaining.
On the one hand we will have the traditionalists led by Ikoma Ujiaki. This will feature champions like Toturi and Ujiaki himself charging in to lead our armies supported by our Spirit Callers. I will not dwell too much on this as this is mostly how Lion should be functioning now. A hero or two supported by numerous smaller personalities to spread the defense and force our opponents to commit resources.
The other path is more interesting and new. It will be led by Ikoma Tsanuri and will feature many of our bushi. The new stronghold we are developing would benefit this as we have more people to commit to the various battlefields and underused samurai like Toshiro may be given a chance to shine. It may, and this is something im not sure of yet, it may not even include our Kitsu Spirit Callers as there would be no good targets to bring back. Fighting for glory may also be preferred over charging in blindly as well. Due to the Pride of our bushi and the skill of our honorable courtiers achieving an honor victory may even be possible. Honor has always been problematic as gaining it has traditionally not advanced your positions on the battlefield, but in this build honor would be gained organically through our loyal armies leaving service honorably. The Crane, while our traditional rivals, will most likely make the best allies for armies led by Tsanuri.
As always I remain your friend in service to the Lion Clan and the Phoenix, the clan of my birth, in that order.