Chapter 7 of Learning L5R
Playing the Phoenix Clan

Welcome to Rokugan! Learning L5R is a series of videos and blogs to help you jump straight into the action of the Legend of the Five Rings LCG as soon as you get your Core Sets. If you are new to the Learning L5R series, we recommend that you start by reading Chapter 1: A How to Play Guide for New L5R Players.

The Phoenix Clan

The Phoenix Clan are the elemental masters, entrusted with the eternal balance of the five rings. Their magic wielders, the shugenja, are slow to join a conflict, but deadly when called upon.

Below is an intermediate deck list built from three Core Sets. The deck imports a few critical cards from the Crane Clan in accordance with the Influence mechanic found in the rulebook. If you would like to construct a more basic Phoenix Clan deck for your first few games, we recommend watching the Core Set Deck Building video in Chapter 1: A How to Play Guide for New L5R Players.

Stronghold: Isawa Mori Seido

Kuroi Mori (Void)
Meditations on the Tao (Fire)
Fertile Fields (Air)
Elemental Fury (Water)
Entrenched Position (Earth)

Dynasty Deck:
3 x Otomo Courtier
3 x Seppun Guardsman
3 x Solemn Scholar
3 x Shiba Peacemaker
3 x Naive Student
3 x Meddling Mediator
3 x Asako Diplomat
3 x Adept of the Waves
3 x Radiant Orator
3 x Isawa Masahiro
3 x Shiba Yojimbo
3 x Serene Warrior
3 x Isawa Atsuko
3 x Fearsome Mystic
3 x Shiba Tsukune

Conflict Deck:
3 x Seeker of Knowledge
3 x Ornate Fan
3 x Fine Katana
3 x Magnificent Kimono
2 x Cloud the Mind
2 x Pacifism
3 x Court Games
3 x Assassination
3 x For Shame!
3 x Supernatural Storm
3 x Against the Waves
3 x Know the World
3 x Outwit
3 x Display of Power
2 x Voice of Honor (2 influence each)
3 x Admit Defeat (2 influence each)

The five rings are the most important concept to the Phoenix Clan. Their entire game plan revolves around manipulating these elemental forces in order to overcome their enemies. Characters like Isawa Atsuko and Isawa Masahiro have powerful abilities that can only be used during conflicts of a particular type. Meanwhile, characters like the Solemn Scholar gain access to powerful abilities only after you claim specific rings.

Along with an emphasis on the five elements, Phoenix has the highest glory among their characters out of the Core Set. Their need for glory is reinforced with their stronghold, which allows you to add two glory to a character. They have potent abilities that can only be used if they have more glory than their opponent, meaning that honoring or dishonoring a Phoenix clan character has a massive impact on the board state.

While a character is honored, their glory is added to their strength during military and political conflicts. While a character is dishonored, their glory is removed from their strength. This double-edged sword is a weapon that Phoenix must not just understand, but skillfully leverage to achieve victory. The Fire Ring, then, is of critical importance, and should be the primary consideration during every Conflict Phase.

The Phoenix Clan have the most Shugenja, the elemental magic wielders of Rokugan. In the Core Set deck list above, there are fifteen Shugena in the dynasty deck and three in the conflict deck! This gives them unparalleled access to cards like Cloud the Mind, Supernatural Storm, and Against the Wave, which all require a Shugenja to be played. They also have a high number of Courtiers, featuring fifteen in the dynasty deck and three in the conflict deck. This gives them access to cards like For Shame! and Outwit, both of which require Courtiers to play.

This deck uses influence to add Crane cards to the conflict deck. Alongside several other cards that either bow characters, remove characters from a conflict, or make blocking unappealing for your opponent, Admit Defeat is particularly potent, as it lets you bow a lone defender during a conflict. If paired with Outwit or Radiant Orator, you can create game-bending turns. Given the clans desire for glory, Voice of Honor is also a natural fit. The card can only be played when you have more honored characters than your opponent, but it is a free event cancel when you do. This will help you avoid the worst your opponents can throw at you!

If you want to see the above Phoenix Clan core set deck in play, check out the gameplay video below.

Next up, we give an overview of the Scorpion Clan!

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