Chapter 2 of Learning L5R
Playing the Scorpion 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.

L5R Scorpion Clan - Trademark FFG

The Scorpion Clan

Known as villains throughout Rokugan, the Scorpion Clan is not afraid to get their hands dirty to protect the Empire – especially since it means that other clans need not do the same. Scorpion wields blackmail, poison, and sabotage to accomplish whatever is best for Rokugan. For Scorpion, the ends always justify the means.

Below is an intermediate deck list built from three Core Sets. The deck imports a few critical cards from the Crab Clan in accordance with the Influence mechanic found in the rulebook. If you would like to construct a more basic Scorpion 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: City of the Open Hand

Secret Cache (Air)
Elemental Fury (Water)
Shameful Display (Void)
Night Raid (Fire)
Entrenched Position (Earth)

Dynasty Deck:
2 x Otomo Courtier
3 x Sinister Soshi
3 x Bayushi Liar
3 x Bayushi Shoju
1 x Yogo Outcast
3 x Soshi Illusionist
3 x Blackmail Artist
1 x Yogo Hiroue
2 x Bayushi Yunako
2 x Shosuro Miyako
3 x Shosuro Actress
3 x Favored Niece
3 x Young Rumormonger
3 x Bayushi Maniuplator
3 x Seppun Guardsman
2 x Wandering Ronin

Conflict Deck:
1 x Blackmail
1 x Stoic Gunso
3 x Assassination
3 x Court Games
3 x Outwit
3 x For Shame!
3 x Way of the Scorpion
2 x I Can Swim
1 x Calling in Favors
3 x Watch Commander
2 x Unassuming Yojimbo
3 x Adept of Shadows
2 x Ambush
3 x Forged Edict
3 x Banzai!
2 x Contingency Plan
2 x Spies at Court

As is hinted at by the clan’s stronghold, which allows Scorpion to take an honor from a more honorable opponent, one of the primary themes of Scorpion is dishonor. This kind of honor manipulation is demonstrated best with the signature Way of the Scorpion card, which dishonors a character outright. Similarly, dishonoring your own characters drives the power of cards like Forged Edict, and many cards, like Blackmail, require having less honor than an opponent to be played!

With a desire to be less honorable than their opponents, Scorpion often places high bids on their honor dial. Their stronghold lets them recover more easily from low honor, so even opponents who decide to bid low in order to pressure your honor will have a difficult time completely dishonoring Scorpion. This dangerous dance is one that every player of Scorpion will have to master.


Along with their manipulation of honor, they are among the strongest political powers in Rokugan, rivaled only by the Crane Clan. Of course, they have quite a different approach. While the Crane are often considered one of the most honorable clans, Scorpion does whatever is necessary to achieve their political desires. Given this political proclivity, their Core Set deck features over twenty Courtier characters (including the clan champion). This gives them access to even more potent tricks, like Court Games, For Shame!, and Outwit.

While dishonoring an enemy is powerful, they also have characters and events that take characters from their opponent. Blackmail lets you take control of a two cost character belonging to your opponent, and I Can Swim lets you discard a dishonorable character! This means that even a champion with several fate is not safe from the vile ways of the Scorpion! Of course, we cannot leave out their clan champion, Bayushi Shoju. He features a limit twice per turn action that reduces an enemy’s political skill by one and discards them if they are at 0 strength!

When it comes to conflict, Scorpion has particular interest in Void and Water. Keeping the number of enemy characters in check is especially important, as the less characters your opponent has the more powerful your conflict tricks become. Fire and Air are of potential interest if you can put pressure on your opponent’s honor or are too low on honor yourself.

Curious to see how this deck plays in an actual game? Watch the gameplay video below to see this Scorpion deck take on the honorable Crane Clan!

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

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