The Legacy Format is a fan-created alternate tournament format of the Legend of the Five Rings card game. Its aim is to allow a maximum number of cards from the long history of the game to be playable simultaneously, while trying to achieve some sense of balance by removing some of the more abusive cards. The Legacy Format is managed by the Legacy Council at The Jade Hand.
The Legacy Rules
These rules supplement or amend the rules of the current-arc tournament format.
These rules are to be used hand-in-hand with the updated text for all cards found in the Oracle of the Void. The Oracle overrides the "Older Cards" Interpretation section in previous Legacy documents, as well as the text itself as printed on all Legend of the Five Rings cards, and all cards' text within it should be considered their "Most Recent Printing" text.
Rulebook, Most Recent Printings
The Legacy Format uses the Emperor Edition rulebook, except as amended below.
The Legacy Format uses the Most Recent Printings of all cards, as found in the Oracle of the Void.
Also, some cards share a name despite being separate cards. In such cases, neither card is considered a Most Recent Printing of the other, and they do not conflict with each other with regard to the Unique rule for deck construction or control. This is the case by default if two cards with the same title are different types, but some cards share a title and are the same type, yet are still considered separate.
These cards are:
A Moment of Truth (Anvil of Despair, Time of the Void)
Corrupted Dojo (Fire and Shadow, Winds of Change)
Hida Kisada (Obsidian Edition, Emperor Edition).
-Hida Kisada Inexperienced and Experienced (Scorpion Clan Coup 3, Enemy of My Enemy) are versions of the former.
Isawa Tanaka (Path of Hope, Imperial Gift 2)
Mirumoto Hojatsu (Dawn of the Empire, The Dead of Winter)
Utaku Keyo (Dark Allies, Lotus Edition). Utaku Keyo Experienced (Test of Enlightenment) is the experienced version of the latter.
Hida Yakamo: There are two separate Personalities known as Hida Yakamo, both of which have received Experienced versions. For the purpose of Most Recent Printings, Uniqueness, and Experienced versions, cards titled Hida Yakamo that have the base "Oni" keyword are distinct from cards titled Hida Yakamo who do not. Hida Yakamo Experienced 2, Experienced 3, and Experienced 3KYD are Experienced versions of the latter Personality.
Despite their similarities, the differently-titled "The House of Tao" (Brotherhood of Shinsei Stronghold, Hidden Emperor 3) is distinct from "House of Tao" (Dragon Clan Stronghold, Diamond Edition).
(NOTE: The non-Emperor "Clans" are not Clans pers se, but all the rules for "Clan alignment" apply to them, and the rules will refer to them as "Clans" for consistency with Emperor Edition terminology.)
The following are all the Clans that can be played in the Legacy Format:
Other Clans (keywords on Personalities that match these Clans are Clan alignment keywords)
-Spirit (Note: The only Spirit Stronghold is not legal for play in the Legacy Format)
Although playable Clans in Legacy, these three cases operate under somewhat different rules.
-Brotherhood of Shinsei (Personalities with this Clan alignment are identified by the "Monk" keyword.)
The Brotherhood of Shinsei does not have a matching Clan alignment keyword for Personalities. Personalities with the "Monk" keyword are aligned to this Clan, and "Monk", on Personalities, is a Clan alignment keyword.
-Hare Clan (Personalities with this Clan alignment are identified by the "Hare Clan" keyword)
The Hare Clan is only a Clan while a Hare Clan Stronghold is in play, per that Stronghold's traits as added by the Oracle of the Void. While that Stronghold is not in play, Hare Clan Personalities with no other Clan alignment should be treated as Unaligned Personalities, and game elements that look for a Clan alignment, or ask you to name one, do not interact with a card with the "Hare Clan" keyword.
-Shadowlands Horde (No Personalities have or will have this Clan alignment; "Shadowlands" by itself is not a Clan alignment keyword)
The Shadowlands Horde is special in that only players and Strongholds have that Clan alignment. Personalities will not have that Clan alignment.
There are presently seven cards that may not be played in Legacy Format decks.
Breach of Etiquette (Strategy)
Minor Oni Servant (Follower)
Rise from the Ashes (Spell)
Shrine of the Spirits (Stronghold)
Take the Initiative (Strategy)
The High House of Light (Stronghold)
The Master of Five (Event)
Nanashi Mura, The Shrine of Lady Sun, and The Governor's Estate.
These strongholds are not legal for play in any Legacy format other than Booster Draft.
Some Personalities count as being the same card for the purpose of deckbuilding limits (ie, maximum of 3 non-unique and 1 unique card):
-Any card that says it counts as another for construction (Bayushi Hisa, Yasuki Hachi).
-Any card whose title and same Experience level (if any) is in another card's "Soul of X" keyword, as well as cards referred to in THAT card's "Soul of X" keyword, and so on (i.e. you may only include 3 copies total in any combination of Bayushi Tangen, Bayushi Kwanchai (non-Exp) and Bayushi Irezu).
-Kaiu Hisayuki and Silence
-Daidoji Akagi and Daidoji Karasu
-Daidoji Nagiko and Daidoji Rekai Experienced 2
-Doji Seo and Doji Seishiro
-Doji Sesshu and Doji Kurohito
-Akodo Seichii and Ikoma Ken'o
-Tsuruchi Kansuke and Tsuruchi Dokuo
-Isawa Oharu and Isawa Sze
-Isawa Umeko and Isawa Toiko
-Bayushi Hisato, Bayushi Marumo, and Bayushi Sunetra non-Experienced
-Bayushi Hisoka and Bayushi Goshiu Experienced 2
-Moto Suren and Moto Wasaka
-Shinjo Kadonomaro and Shinjo Suboto
-Utaku Genshi and Utaku Uzuki
-Utaku Tama and Otaku Tetsuko
Deck Size Limitation
Your Dynasty and Fate deck must each contain at least forty cards AFTER removing your initial Sensei (if any) from your Fate deck.
Legacy Changes to the Current Rulebook
These changes are applicable ONLY to the Legacy Format. These changes do NOT affect normal Emperor Format play.
p. 25, after the Stronghold card entry
Winds represent an aspect of the Imperial Court you support. Winds have only a title and a text box. A Wind never goes in either of your decks.
While you have a Wind in play, you may not take rulebook Favor actions."
p. 27, Holdings
ADD: Fortifications are a special type of Holding card. These are defensive structures permanently associated with a particular province. Fortifications do not enter play bowed, as other Holdings do; instead, they may only enter play by attaching to the province from which they entered. A province can attach any number of different Fortifications, but no more than one copy of each by title and Experience level. Fortifications are controlled by the player whose province it is that they're attached.
During battles, Fortifications exist at their province’s battlefield, and you may only take actions from a Fortification at the current battlefield.
p. 33, Fate Card Types
The Sensei card type represents the person who was your teacher on the path to adulthood. A Sensei card is a Fate card and goes in your Fate deck. If your Sensei card has a Dynasty back, you must either use sleeves in your deck, or play it before the start of the game.
A Sensei card has the following stats; the modifiers alter the relevant stat on your Stronghold while the Sensei is in play: Province Strength modifier; Gold Production modifier; Starting Family Honor modifier; Focus Value. Sensei cards with no base Focus Value are considered to have a Focus Value of 0.
Each game, before revealing Strongholds, you may remove one Sensei from your Fate deck, and reveal it at the same time as your Stronghold. Your Fate deck must STILL contain at least forty cards after removing your initial Sensei. This is the only way to get a Sensei into play without a card effect. This does not count as bringing a card into play.
Sensei modifiers will not reduce your Starting Family Honor below -19. If a card effect causes you to change Sensei during the game, the new Sensei's Starting Family Honor modifier does not affect your current Family Honor, but any changes to the Province Strength modifier do affect the strength of your provinces.
Each Sensei has a list of Clans that may use it. You may only use a Sensei if your Clan is among those listed on the Sensei card, or if it lists "All Clans" instead. A Sensei that lists "All Clans" may be used regardless of your Clan, if any. A Sensei's listing of Clan alignments is only for the purpose of determining if it is legal to play; they do not count as keywords of the Sensei (ie, a Sensei that may be played by a Naga player is not a Naga card).
p. 37, Attachments
Ancestors represent the spirits of long-gone personalities returned from the grave to assist your Clan. An Ancestor card is an attachment with the following stats: Force bonus; Chi bonus; Honor Requirement, which follows the same rules as Follower HR; Gold Cost, Focus Value.
All players have the ability, “Reaction: Any number of times per turn, after one of your Personalities enters play: Attach an Ancestor from your hand to him, paying all costs.”
- An Ancestor that has a Clan alignment will only attach to a Personality with that same Clan alignment, and if its Personality ever loses that Clan alignment keyword, destroy it.
- Ancestors have the additional cost to enter play, "Bow the Personality to whom this card is attaching."
- Ancestors will not be transferred.
- Like Personalities and Followers, Ancestors perform the actions on them, and may be chosen as the performers of other actions.
p. 39, Spell
REPLACE "Spells have no Force or Chi bonuses." with "Most spells have no force or chi bonuses."
ADD: "Some spells do have a base Force or Chi bonus. In such cases, the bonus is displayed exactly as it would be on an item cards."
p. 40, Reading the Card
ADD: "Titles and Family Names
The majority of Personality cards have Family Names. A comprehensive list of Family Names is coming soon....
p. 48, Strongholds
REPLACE the entire section with: "Before the game begins, you may search your Fate deck for up to one Sensei card, and remove it. Your deck must still be of legal size after doing so.
Once all players have done this, all players simultaneously reveal their Strongholds, and any Wind and/or Sensei they choose to play. No more than one Sensei or Wind may be revealed in this way at this time (unless a Stronghold's game text allow otherwise). All these cards begin the game in play.
p. 70, Imperial Favor
ADD: "You may not use these Favor abilities while you control a Wind or Gozoku Sensei."
p. 93, Rules Glossary
When a Personality in a duel has the Double Chi keyword, the Focus Value of each of card focused for the Personality is added twice instead of once to the Personality's duel resolution score.
A Personality with the Enlightened keyword has +1F for each Ring in play.
In addition, all players have the following ability, "Elemental Battle/Open: Bow your performing Enlightened Personality and target a Ring: Straighten it."
Some older cards have an abilities that read: "Fear Battle: Fear X". These abilities should generally be read as "Fear Battle: You may target a unit in the current enemy army. Bow all non-Undead Followers in it with Force less than or equal to X." Cards that refer to Fear "strength" only refer to Fear abilities written in this shorthand, not just any number in a Fear ability.
Ninjutsu represents a Ninja's ability to hide in plain sight, and is followed by a numerical value.
Personalities with the Ninjutsu keyword are treated specially at certain times while face-down. While known to be face-down in play or in a province, through effects that allowed it to be seen by at least one player, a Ninjutsu Personality is a 2F/3C/0PH Personality with an Honor Requirement of “–”, a Gold Cost of 4, and the Ninja keyword. Similar to a Created card, these granted stats and keyword are considered "base" upon the face-down Personality, even though they are not printed on the card [reversal, added 7 July 2012]. He also is considered a Ninjutsu Personality while face-down, although the existence and numerical value of the keyword is determined by his face-up side.
A face-down Ninjutsu Personality in play may attach Items, Spells, and Followers regardless of restrictions on those cards and may attach Spells without being a Shugenja. You may freely look at the faces of any face-down card you control that is clearly marked as being a face-down Ninjutsu personality.
When a face-down Ninjutsu Personality in play would be turned face-up, check all play restrictions, including Honor Requirement, of the face-up side. If you fail to meet any of these, discard him and everything attached to him instead of turning him. Otherwise, turn him face-up, then discard all cards illegally attached to him. The Personality retains all ongoing effects when turning in either direction. Turning face-up or face-down is not considered "entering play".
Personalities may not be face-down in the discard pile.
In addition, all players have the following abilities:
Battle/Open: Any number of times per turn, pay Gold equal to the Ninjutsu value of a facedown Ninjutsu Personality you control: Turn the Personality face-up.
Reaction: Any number of times per turn, after an action targets a face-down Ninjutsu Personality you control, pay Gold equal to his Ninjutsu value: Turn the Personality face-up. If he is now an illegal target for the action, negate its effects on him.
Yu is a keyword that represents harming your opponent even if it means your death, and is followed by a numerical value.
If one or more cards with the Yu keyword are in a losing army during Battle Resolution, each may destroy an enemy Follower, or an enemy Personality without Followers, that has Force less than or equal to the losing card’s Yu value. Multiple cards may also combine their Yu values to destroy a single card, but one card may not split its Yu to destroy multiple cards. This occurs after determining the battle's outcome but before destroying the losing side. Destroying cards in this way does not alter the outcome of the battle, and it does not earn the loser any Honor. Using the Yu keyword is not an action, and is not targeted. The Attacker or Defender makes all decisions for all Yu values in his army, and can use the keywords in any order.
When giving a bonus to the Yu value of a card that does not have the keyword, give the card Yu 0 before receiving the bonus, which remains for the same duration as the bonus (this is a change from the earlier rule that gave Yu 0 permanently).
p. 102, Duel Overview
ADD, after the first sentence of point 2., "If any of these cards is revealed to be an illegal focus, discard it immediately."
p. 105, Experienced
ADD, after the second paragraph: "Cards with Experienced X (Alternate Title) are considered to also have all alternate titles that the Alternate Title card has, for the purposes of deck construction, the Unique rule, and overlaying. Additionally, all higher Experience keyword levels of a card with an Experienced (Alternate Title) keyword are considered to have that alternate title.
- Example 1: Heigi's "Experienced 5 Akodo Ginawa" keyword is also considered to have the "Ginawa" alternate title, because Akodo Ginawa's Experienced 4 keyword does.
- Example 2: Shosuro's "Experienced 7" keyword is considered to have the Ninja Shapeshifter alternate title because her Experienced 1 version does.
Also, some cards have the "Experienced KYD" keyword (possibly with a number between Experienced and KYD). Treat this card as a separate Experience level of the personality. The main implication of KYD is that cards with the same title and Experience level can be included in the same deck if one has “KYD” and the other does not.
When overlaying an Experienced KYD personality, ignore the "KYD" entirely, and treat the personality as if it had the "Experienced" keyword, along with any appropriate number."
p. 113, Ranged Attack
ADD, after the first paragraph on that page: "Some card effects allow Ranged Attacks to be combined. Ranged Attacks may only be combined if:
-Each of the actions that produce the Ranged Attack may legally be taken at this time.
-Each of the actions that produce the Ranged Attack may legally target the target of the combined Ranged Attack.
If all these conditions are met, you may combine the Ranged Attacks by taking the combining actions simultaneously, paying all their costs, creating a single Ranged Attack with strength equal to the total strength of all involved Ranged Attacks, as well as any special effects the original Ranged Attacks had (such as being compared against Chi rather than Force, bowing rather than destroying the target, etc).
These rules are not in effect for Official Legacy Format games, but are presented here as options for an even greater number of cards and keywords to be used in the Format.
In Samurai Edition, before the advent of Border Keep and Bamboo Harvesters, all players had the ability that interacted with Holdings with the "Legacy" keyword:
Reaction: After your Dynasty Phase ends, if you brought no Holdings into play this turn, bow your Stronghold: Search your Dynasty deck, then any face-down cards in your provinces, for a Legacy Holding. Put it into play (bowed), ignoring costs.
This ability is available to players in the official BigDeck format.
Prior to Gold Edition, Lobbying was a more complex process than the current Lobby ability. For classic lobbying, replace that ability with:
Political Limited: Bow your performing Personality with 1 Personal Honor or higher, and, if any, target the player who controls the Imperial Favor or the player with Family Honor equal to or higher than yours if it is uncontrolled: If you did not target another player, take the Imperial Favor. Otherwise, each player, starting with you and proceeding in turn order until all players choose not to do so, may bow one of their Personalities or, once per resolution of this action, discard a card to "give a gift". Each of yours and the target's "gifts" and Personalities "support" yourselves, while other players' may choose which of you two their "gifts" and bowing Personalities "support". Add the Personal Honor of all Personalities this effect bowed, plus the Focus Value of all "gifts", to the Family Honor of the player they "support". If your total is higher than the target's, take the Imperial Favor.