Spring Cleaning – Updates To Our Core Set

Header image for general updates of the Emerald Legacy

We start the month with a second pass on the Emerald Core Set. The core set was a large undertaking with 260 cards, a few of them did not land where we wanted them to land. We previously had a first patch addressing mistakes that required immediate attention, covering issues that were easier to spot and easier to find the adjustment for. In this second pass we go for smaller details that were either harder to spot or harder to figure out how to adjust them. We will touch 14 cards in this patch.

In today’s update, we only adjust cards from the Emerald Core Set. We have no changes to the restricted list or the ban list in this update, but an update to those lists will be published on March 20, with the beginning of spring.


Starlit Skies

The previous version allowed Unicorn to manipulate the opponent’s decks. This gave immense power to Unicorn, allowing them to remove tools of disruption that the opponent could bring. Unicorn also plays with a few cards that had their power level dependent on randomness: cards like Sand Road Merchant, Ashalan Lantern, To Connect the People; Starlit Skies reduced the randomness around those effects, effectively making them overpowered. Beyond the issues with power level, Unicorn’s design space is of reduced control elements, which does not fit with the previous Starlit Skies. The new version only works on your own decks, still filling the planned spot of giving Unicorn superior choice of cards.

Unwavering Devotion

We reduce the skill bonuses derived from this card. It no more gives +1 military, and the glory bonus is constant, so it also punishes Unicorn if they end up dishonored.

Utaku Stable Master

The previous version had a blanket glory bonus on your characters. We removed this bonus and adjusted the action ability to hit characters with equal glory instead of only lower glory. Those combined changes keep the action ability working as it was previously, but it reduces the mass skill advantage that could be generated by a Stable Master, and its impact on Imperial Favor control.

Day of Brother Horse

The previous version drew you 3 cards. The new version still draws your 3 cards, but you must discard 1 card afterwards (similar to Spoils of War). This change reduces the pure card advantage generated, but it keeps the card quality generated. This change also incorporates a core goal of having a few cards on each clan that support toolboxing.


Yua, the Onibaba

We are increasing Yua’s Political from 0 to 1. This small increase puts 4-strength provinces in reach of her threat during political conflicts, as a single Court Games combined with her ability can lead to a break. This threat is also present when she’s accompanied by any low level Bushi of the Crab, a mere 1 Political on the companion would be enough to reach 4-strength provinces.


Previously this character could steal attachments only while defending. In this update, the nezumi gets more confident and steals attachments also while attacking. Combined with skillful use of the nezumi’s covert ability this can force the opponent into risky defenses.


Kaito Yoshiaki

The previous version was restricted to work only on non-uniques, and this limitation proved too strict. The new version cares about the cost of the characters involved in the conflict, in a similar pattern to Chronicler of Calamities. This change opens up the range of targets up to 3-costers without extra effort, but it leaves the door open for larger hits on high cost characters. Phoenix is a clan that often enjoys using high cost characters, and in the new core meta possess a good array of movement tools to manipulate this requirement in an efficient way.


Agasha Crucible

The new version stays true to the original concept, but implements it more elegantly. The Agasha powers of alchemy now can also be used with attachments, as the Dragon love to do. The additional action that comes with it guarantees that surprise plays can still be performed by the Dragon, without sacrificing tempo.

Truth is in the Killing

The previous version had the combined restrictions of duelist and a role lock, making the card too restrictive in how and where it could be played. The new version is more open to be used in splashes, but it keeps the advantage of duelists in using it. This change approaches Truth Is In The Killing to the pattern used in other duels like Unyielding Terms. It also increases the risk of character removal, something that the new core environment is lacking.


Diligent Chaperone

In the first patch to the core set, the Chaperone was changed to not work on Crane’s own effects. That change was exaggerated, and we are returning the Chaperone to its original form, allowing it to be used proactively with self-dishonor effects. This change reopens the door to a few alternative builds that explore this combo capacity.

Academy of Etiquette

The Academy is part of a new pattern of holdings that refill their spot in the province row. This pattern was introduced to enable holdings that can form the backbone of a strategy, but that do not provide advantages good enough on their own to justify missing province flips consistently. This pattern assumed those holdings would have penalties on province strength as a way to introduce some risk into using them. If the penalty makes sense for holdings with immediate benefits, it becomes too much of a liability on holdings that need to wait the round before rewarding their player. For Academy of Etiquette, the payoff comes only at the end of the round and it requires additional work with honoring characters, something that is also subjected to being denied by the opponent. With those considerations in mind, we adjust the “refill holding” concept to no longer be attached to province penalties, and give the Academy a bonus instead, to help it survive until the time for payoff.


Ashigaru Encampment

It joins the “refill holding” pattern. This is something that should have always been on the card, but it took us a while to notice.

Honeypot Village

The previous version was too unstable to be used, as it gave too much power to the opponent. It also struggled for being an Earth province, a spot with plenty of stronger alternatives for Lion. The new version gives Lion the choice of who gets pulled into the trap. It also moves the province to the Air element, as it befits a trap card.

Akodo Asuka

The previous version drew you 1 card after winning. The new version gives Lion card choice on their card draw, depending on how vast the legions are under Asuka’s command.

The changes are already live in Jigoku and EmeraldDB!

And that’s it for our update. How do you like the changes? Are you happy with what happened to the cards of your clan? Let us know on Facebook, Discord, or here in the comments.