You know all those players who keep comparing Ivory Edition to Gold Edition? Well, this time they’ve got it right, as our preview for this post – Everpresent Fear – hails from that time (An Oni’s Fury, to be precise).
Of course, the reason we’re getting a Gold-era card is that it’s been a long while since Fear was a thing in L5R (although not as long as you might think, since Fear as a standardized effect was still kicking in the uber-powerful Lotus Edition … not that you were playing the Fear cards, but they were there).
In Ivory Edition, at least from what we’ve seen so far, Everpresent Fear is a Spider-only card (fun note: the original Everpresent Fear’s flavor text was a quote from Shahai, who I hear went on to become acquainted with Diagotsu in some manner). Not that there isn’t anyone outside the Spider Clan who has Shadowlands, but right now your selections are pretty slim. Outside of a handful of Uniques, there’s a single Oni, a single Shugenja, and some Followers – and all of those non-Uniques comes with some sort of honor loss. Not an impressive lineup.
With the Spider, on the other hand, you’ve got a whole mess of Shadowlands Personalities already. Among the Uniques there Daigotsu Arakan, Daigotsu Gyoken, Kokujin (an honorary Spider these days), M’rika, and Ninube Onchi. And the non-Uniques (where you can really fill out a lineup) provide Daigotsu Chiboshi, Daigotsu Endo (appropot of nothing, have you noticed that in the short history of the Spider Clan there’s already been Daigotsu Endo, Daigotsu Kendo, and Daigotsu Sendo?), Daigotsu Hirose, Daigotsu Ryuko, Goju Obayashi, Daigotsu Onosaka, Daigotsu Roburo, and Daigotsu Meguro. It would almost be easier to ask how many Spider aren’t Shadowlands (answer: anyone whose name doesn’t start with “Daigotsu” or “Goju,” plus Kanpeki and the Soul of Keigo). So, basically, if you’re running a samurai-focused Spider deck then Everpresent Fear approximates “Battle: Fear equal to the number of guys at this battle.” That’s going to be at least 3 pretty quickly, and even Fear 3 is a decent effect in Ivory Edition, bowing most Personalities and Followers. Once the battle’s a decent size, a Fear 5 will bow almost anyone.
And the Spider don’t just have the Shadowlands guys – they have a couple of Fear-enhacing Personalities already (Onosaka and Kanpeki xp3), and because of the Fear effect on their Stronghold they probably want to run those anyway.
I’d wager on Everpresent Fear being a possible inclusion for any Spider military deck at the launch of Ivory Edition (I’m guessing that their Sensei will enable the Susumu honor deck).