Legacy Format

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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 Ivory Edition Rulebooks, 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.
-Hida Kisada, the Little Bear Experienced (Ivory Edition) is a version of the latter.
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 printed "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).

Legacy Clans

(NOTE: The non-Ivory "Clans" are not Clans pers se, but all the rules for "Clan Alignment" apply to them, and these rules will refer to them as "Clans" for consistency with Ivory Edition terminology.)

The following are all the Clans that can be played in the Legacy Format:

Ivory-legal Clans
-Crab Clan
-Crane Clan
-Dragon Clan
-Lion Clan
-Mantis Clan
-Phoenix Clan
-Scorpion Clan
-Spider Clan
-Unicorn Clan

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)
-Toturi's Army

Special Cases
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 and Imperial (Personalities with these Clan Alignments are identified by the "Hare Clan" and "Imperial" keywords respectively)
Hare Clan and Imperial are only Clans while Shiro Usagi or Journey's End Keep Experienced are in play (respectively again), per those Strongholds' traits. While such a Stronghold not in play, Hare Clan and Imperial 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" or "Imperial" keyword.

-Shadowlands Horde (No Personalities have or can gain 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 cannot have that Clan Alignment, and this Rule is not one that can be overcome by contradictory card effects.

Deckbuilding Restrictions

Banned Cards

There are presently eight 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)
Yodin Sensei (Sensei)


Nanashi Mura, The Shrine of Lady Sun, The Governor's Estate, and Gates of the Second City.

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

Legacy Changes to the Current Rulebook

These changes are applicable ONLY to the Legacy Format. These changes do NOT affect normal Ivory Format play.

p. XX, after the Stronghold card entry

ADD: "Winds.

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. XX, Dynasty card types

ADD: "Celestials.

Celestials are a card type with graphics of clouds in their frame. They represent the influence of powerful supernatural beings in Rokugan. They have no stats.

If any Celestial cards are revealed in a player's Province at any time, after any triggers to the card(s) being revealed take place, the player follows this sequence for any Celestials still in the Province:

A. The Celestial cards enter a specially created entering-play area.
B. Any restrictions on their entering play are checked. If these conditions are not met for any of these Celestial cards, they return to the Province they came from. If these conditions are not met for all of them, Steps C and D do not happen.
C. The player discards any Celestials he or she controls.
D. The Celestial cards enter play from the entering-play area.
E. The entering-play area ceases to exist."

ADD: "Regions.

Region cards have a light brown background, and represent geographical areas that define a player's Provinces. Region cards have no stats.

Regions normally enter play from Provinces during the Events Phase. They do not enter play just by being revealed in a Province at any other time.

Regions about to enter play exist briefly in an entering-play area, where their legality of entering play is checked.

Regions that can enter play do so attached to the Province they were revealed in. Normally, this is shown by putting the Region partway behind any card in the Province, with its title or text box showing. If an effect lets a Region enter play without being revealed in a Province, it may be attached to any Province unless otherwise stated.

A Province will not have more than one Region attached. Attaching a Region in the Events Phase is not optional. If revealed, it must attach if legal. EXCEPTION: Attaching a Region with one or more costs is optional. If the Region's player can't or doesn't want to pay its costs when it would enter play, the Region is discarded instead. Regions that are about to enter play illegally are discarded instead. If a Province somehow has multiple attached Regions, the order in which they attached should be tracked, for example by stacking the later Regions in front of the earlier ones. If two or more Regions have conflicting effects on the same Province (for example, if one says the Province can hold one extra card, while the other says the Province can hold no cards), the most recently attached Region takes precedence over the earlier ones.

p. XX, Events

Amend the final sentence of the entry to read, "Events in Provinces are discarded once an ability on them is used or a triggered trait on them resolves, unless the ability or trait puts the Event itself into play."

p. XX, Attachments

ADD: "Ancestors

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 Modifier; Chi Modifier; Honor Requirement, which follows the same rules as Follower HR, should you be using that Optional Rule; Gold Cost; Focus Value.

All players have the ability, “Repeatable Reaction: After one of your Personalities enters play, Equip a target Ancestor from your hand to him.”

- 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 requirement to enter play, "Bow the Personality to whom this card is attaching to attach it."
- 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. XX, Spell

REPLACE "Spells have no Force or Chi Modifiers." with "Most Spells have no Force or Chi Modifiers."
ADD: "Some Spells do have a printed Force or Chi Modifier. In such cases, these stats are displayed exactly as they would be on an Item card."

p. XX, Reading the Card

ADD: "Titles and Family Names

The majority of Personality cards have Family Names. A comprehensive list of Legacy Family Names, to add to those in Ivory Edition, is coming....

p. XX, Strongholds

REPLACE the entire section with: "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. XX, Imperial Favor

ADD: "You may not use these Favor abilities while you control a Wind or Gozoku Sensei."

p. XX, Rules Glossary



After each time one or more cards with the Brash keyword are assigned to attack, the Defender may draw one card for each Brash card that was assigned. The Defender may see each card in this sequence before choosing to draw the next.

Double Chi

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 card with the Elite keyword contributes Force to armies even if it is bowed.


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 target performing Enlightened Personality to straighten a target Ring."


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 "printed" upon the face-down Personality, even though they are not printed on the card. 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:
Repeatable Battle/Open, [* Gold Coin]: Pay Gold equal to the Ninjutsu value of a face-down Ninjutsu Personality you control to turn the Personality face-up.
Repeatable Reaction, [* Gold Coin]: After an action targets a face-down Ninjutsu Personality you control, pay Gold equal to his Ninjutsu value to turn the Personality face-up. If he is now an illegal target for the action, negate its effects on him.


After each time a card with the Overconfident keyword enters play, each player other than its controller, starting to the controller's left, may draw a card.

After each time a card with the Overconfident keyword leaves play, each player other than its owner, starting to the owner's left, may draw a card.

If multiple Overconfident cards enter or leave play at the same time, multiple cards may be drawn. Each player may draw each card before choosing to draw the others.


Prior to Ivory Edition, certain actions were considered "performed" by Personalities (and sometimes Followers or Ancestors; only these three card types can "perform" actions). An action is considered "performed" by a Personality if:

-the action is on a Spell that the Personality is casting
-the action is on an Item attached to the Personality
-the action is on the card itself
-the action explicitly states that the card is chosen/targeted as performing it/its performer.

The third and fourth points above also apply to determining if a Follower or Ancestor is performing an action.


Reactions are a special kind of action that are like a cross between an Interrupt action and a triggered trait.

Like an Interrupt action, they are optional, once per turn by default, and taken at certain times in their own round of active player having the first option.

Like a triggered trait, they are announced and taken (and can ONLY be taken) when a certain trigger occurs (usually listed first after their colon and formatted like a trait's trigger), they may only be taken once per instance of the trigger even if Repeatable, and they are NOT subject to the Rules of Presence and Location.


Like the ability-modifying keyword Home (definition 3), a Remote ability may be used even if the card it is on is at home OR ALSO if it is at another battlefield, rather than at the current battlefield, as an exception to the Rule of Location.


A card with the Singular keyword can not enter play or become controlled by a player if that player already controls a Singular card with the same title.

If the Singular card is in a unit that would change control to a player who already controls a Singular card with that title, the entire unit fails to change control.


While a Personality has Stalwart, negate his first bowing each turn from effects of other players’ cards.

If a non-Stalwart Personality gains Stalwart, the “first bowing” is counted from after the point when he gained the keyword.


An action with the Tactical keyword can only be performed by a Tactician Personality.

The rulebook Tactical Advantage ability is a Tactical ability.

Each Tactician can only perform one Tactical action per turn.


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. XX, 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. XX, 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" or "Experienced CoM" keyword (possibly with a number between Experienced and KYD/CoM). Treat this card as a separate Experience level of the personality. The main implication of KYD/CoM is that cards with the same title and Experience level can be included in the same deck if one has "KYD" or "CoM" and the other does not.

When overlaying an Experienced KYD or CoM personality, ignore the "KYD" or "CoM" entirely, and treat the personality as if it had the "Experienced" keyword, along with any appropriate number."

Optional Rules

These rules do not apply to all Legacy Format games. However, as noted below, some are in effect depending upon whether one is playing standard-construction Legacy (as detailed above) or BigDeck, and some are presented here for use as house-rule options to allow an even greater number of cards to be used in the either Format.

Monkey Clan/Toturi's Army

Prior to Gold Edition, there were several Clans which were removed in that Edition and have not returned as playable outside of Legacy. One of these was Toturi's Army; however, there was an Optional Rule presented in Gold Edition which allowed the "Monkey Clan" keyword to be considered equivalent to the "Toturi's Army" Clan Alignment keyword.

While not reflected in the Oracle of the Void, this Rule is in effect for both standard-construction Legacy and BigDeck.


Prior to Ivory Edition, there were two different player abilities that allowed one to order his or her Personality to commit seppuku under certain circumstances. From Imperial to Celestial Edition (though at various times, it only allowed Samurai or Samurai and Courtiers; this version allows Shugenja as well, like the Emperor Edition iteration of Ordering Seppuku), it was:

"Repeatable Reaction: Before you lose Honor from an action that targeted or was performed by one of your Courtier, Samurai, or Shugenja Personalities, he commits seppuku. If the seppuku destroyed him, reduce the Honor loss to 1."

This version of the ability is available to players in official standard-construction Legacy format.

In Emperor Edition, the ability was:

"Repeatable Open: Target a dishonorable Courtier, Samurai, or Shugenja Personality you control. He commits seppuku."

This version of the ability is available to players in the official BigDeck format.

Starting Holdings

In Celestial and Emperor Editions, players began with one or two Holdings in play, pre-game. One was compensation for not going first, called "Bamboo Harvesters", the other was a way to speed up the start of the game, called "Border Keep". Players began the game with one of any version of these cards in play (Inexperienced, basic, Experienced, or Experienced 2), and they were not counted toward minimum deck size.

Starting with Bamboo Harvesters in play, bowed, if you are not going first is in effect for both standard-construction Legacy and BigDeck.

In BigDeck ONLY, all players also start with Border Keep in play, unbowed, and may not use the player Cycle ability. In addition, both Border Keep Exp and Bamboo Harvesters Exp are played by their Forgotten Legacy text, not their MRP text.

Legacy Holdings

In Samurai Edition, before the advent of Celestial and Emperor Editions' Border Keep and Bamboo Harvesters, players not going first had the option to search their deck for one Holding with the "Legacy" keyword and start with it in play, bowed, and it would not straighten until the player's third turn began.

In standard-construction Legacy Format ONLY, players have the option of starting with a Legacy Holding in play instead of Bamboo Harvesters; it does not come from your deck, does not count toward minimum deck size, and as in Samurai Edition, will not straighten until after your third turn begins.

Also in Samurai Edition, all players had an 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 to search your Dynasty deck, then any face-down cards in your Provinces, for a Legacy Holding. Put it into play (bowed), ignoring costs.

In the official BigDeck format ONLY, this ability is available to players.

Clan Allegiance

In Emperor Edition, inspiration was taken from the Event Blood Money to create the following Rule:

Each time a player brings into play a Personality aligned to his Clan, unless the Personality is being created, that player has the option to increase the Gold cost to play the Personality by 2. If he does so, he may ignore the Personality's Honor Requirement to bring him into play. This is known as buying with "Clan Allegiance."

This option is available to players in the official BigDeck format.

Cavalry Maneuvers

Prior to Ivory Edition, there was no Cavalry Engage player ability. Instead, there were two Maneuvers Segments which occurred one after the other; Infantry Maneuvers, then Cavalry Maneuvers. Each had its own sub-section for first attackers, then defenders, as usual. Any type of units were allowed to assign during the first, but only Cavalry units could assign in the second, allowing it to be seen where Infantry defending units had assigned prior assigning attacking Cavalry.

When using this optional Rule, you may not use the Cavalry Engage player ability.

Classic Lobbying

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 target 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.

Follower Honor Requirements

Prior to Ivory Edition, Followers also had an Honor Requirement stat. As an additional restriction on attaching, the Personal Honor of the Personality attaching a Follower must be equal to or greater than the Honor Requirement of the Follower.