By Jeremy Sumerlin
Greetings, Honorable Cranes!
Okay, so let’s just get this out of the way first: The last year or so has not been kind to the Great Clan of Lady Doji. Beset on all sides by enemies both militant and political, we have carried ourselves through with the even hand and honorable heart that have always been our true strengths.
The Crane have always been the true masters of economic might in the Empire, long after the turning of the Yasuki, and long before the coming of the Mantis. We succeed where others fail and recover where others fade away because we understand the value of political and economic capital, and where to divert those resources in order to maximize our effectiveness.
The Crane are, at their heart, the Clan of Honor. While others flirt with this path to victory, we are the rightful masters of the political arena. In Ivory Edition, one of the primary methods for clans to pursue Honor victories involves the proper use and management of honor-gaining holdings. Unfortunately, many of these holdings are unfriendly to an efficient gold scheme. The Crane are able to utilize their economic talents to smooth out these potential problem areas, making sure they do not need to sacrifice their prosperity.
Crane players who wish to pursue other paths to victory, whether through the blade or otherwise, can still reap the benefits of our economic might, using our wealth to out-produce our enemies.
The Crane are also masters of maximizing their political resources, able to gain a stronger advantage than most from the use of these holdings. This maximization doesn’t just extend to Honor producing holdings, however.
When we find ourselves in conflict with other honorable Clans, we make sure that we have the ear of the court and the favor of the Iweko Dynasty. Against the aggression of high honor military opponents, we can quickly nab the Favor for some extra protection against early attacks, and against other Honor runners, we are able to quickly establish superior card access. Our strong voice in the courts of the Empress is due in no small part to the efforts of our great Champion, Doji Makoto.
Doji Makoto, as you can see, follows the concept of Ivory Champions as Clan Leaders, and not as “The Only Guy I Bring Into Play”. He still, however, embodies all of what it means to be a Crane. At 6 Chi, he is a peerless Duelist who no other Clan Champion can match. His 5 Personal Honor is matched only by the Champion of the Lion Clan. While his Force is not fantastic, that can be quickly remedied with the use of items such as Seppun’s Blessed Blade, which turns him into a frankly terrifying 8F/8C problem for any opponent to have to deal with. In fact, he’s so honorable, he elevates all the peers of his Clan.
In Emperor Edition, Proclaiming was specifically tied to printed Personal Honor. However, in Ivory Edition, like most of the game’s history, this extra restriction is no longer the case. Since you gain Honor from the Proclaim action after the Personality has entered play, Makoto effectively nets you 1 extra Honor per turn, as well as boosting the effectiveness of your other Personalities when using the varied actions in Ivory that rely on high Personal Honor.
On top of all of that, he also turns the Imperial Favor card cycle action into pure card draw, a rarity in Ivory Edition and an effective demonstration of his effortless mastery of the political arena.
Remember, sons and daughters of Doji: Honor, above all else, is what we know better than all the other Great Clans. It is what we are.