With our new downtime in L5R, I thought it was time to talk more about Kenjutsu Kata (also known as L5R cube) design and drafting. We have so many cards now that are now obsolete, we need a good use for them. Today’s lesson is about how to design your own Kenjutsu Kata.
Picking a Card Pool
First, you must choose whether or not to use the entire card pool to build your Kenjutsu Kata. For my example today, I will be doing a Kata using only Samurai Era legal cards.
Typically here, you have two options. If you are using a specific card pool, like I am here with Samurai Arc, then you can use that Arc / format rules set. Since I have a very high number of players who only learned the game during Ivory, I am going with option two.
Number of Packs
I decided that each player will get 4 x 15 cards booster packs made up of cards from this Kata. The card packs will be randomized with either 8 dynasty / 7 fate cards or 7 dynasty / 8 fate cards.
This is where you really get into the design element. When you are building a Kata from a large card pool, choosing themes can be difficult. One thing that you need to know about drafting is that you should have many overlapping themes. For example, below is what I have set the themes for the Samurai Era Kata:
[table id=3 /]
Every theme is in at least 2 clans (and some in 3 clans).
Samurai Era Kenjutsu Kata
[table id=1 /]
There are a couple of things about the choices here. I decided to put 0 Region cards in this design. Also, I only put in 5 events into this design. The majority of the Dynasty side is holdings and personalities. I did this as most of my local players were very new to the game and only know the Ivory card types and rule set.
[table id=4 /]
Each clan had 20 Personalities (10 per theme) as well as 15 Unaligned personalities to help fill out themes.
|A New Wall|
|Glory of the Shogun|
|In Time of War|
|The Shogun’s Peace|
I kept the event list small but still quite useful.
|Deeds and Words|
|Forest Killer Cavern|
|House of Exotic Goods|
|House of the Dead|
|House of the Fallen Blossom|
|Kabuki Theater Troupe|
|Kata Training Grounds|
|Northern Hub Village Shipwrights|
|Shrine to Bishamon|
|Shrine to Fukurokujin|
|Temple of the Righteous Emperor|
|Temple to Shinsei|
|Temples of Gisei Toshi|
Now for the holdings, I put 50 in the kata. There are no Legacy holding. Those are separate from the Kata. Each player after the draft may add 1 copy of up to 2 different Legacy holdings.
I won’t list the personalities here but I will post the full Kata link at the bottom of the article.
[table id=2 /]
The fate list has no Rings in it. Like the Legacy holdings, they are separate from the Kata. They may be added after the draft before the first round begins.
The question of using the draft stronghold or using the constructed based strongholds is often an interesting one.
The first way is to simply use the Draft Stronghold for that arc. Since this is a Samurai arc Kata, we used The Shrine of Lady Sun. In this matter, at the end of the deck building segment, you get to choose two clans who have your allegiance for the rest of the event.
Another way you can play it is after each player drafts their 4 packs, two 9-card packs will be drafted. One pack contains 1 stronghold for each of the 9 clans and the other pack has a different stronghold for each of the 9 clans. One pack starts at seat 1 and goes around the table to the left until every player has drafted a stronghold (the last stronghold remaining in that pack is not drafted). The second pack begins at seat 8 and goes around the table to the right until every player has drafted a second stronghold (the last stronghold remaining in that pack is not drafted). In using this, you are relegated to having only 1 clan allegiance (that one being the one on your stronghold).
The last way would be to do both. They could play either stronghold they drafted (under one clan alignment) or play with the draft stronghold (with 2 clan alignments).
Link to the entire Kata is here.