The fifth base set for the Legend of the Five Rings CCG, Pearl Edition was both a more-inclusive reprint of Jade Edition and a completely new beast. The major change that caught most eyes was the nearly complete reworking of the card borders: whereas every card prior to Pearl Edition had featured a stylized, very detailed border, the new cards featured a font change, a simplified border, altered colors for various cards (including color changes for a number of Factions), and enlargened spaces for both artwork and card text. There were a number of other changes to the way the cards were presented, including the first L5R starter decks truly playable out of the box for every faction, the inclusion of cardboard spinners attached to the Stronghold to keep track of Honor (that proved less than popular), and the inclusion of only ten counters per deck as opposed to twenty in prior sets.

Pearl Edition is set during and after the events of the Dark Journey Home set. Toturi has returned to the throne, but he is changed somehow... the Crane are at war with themselves, the Crab are having significant problems holding the recently-retaken Hiruma Castle, the Lion and Unicorn clans are warring while the Naga and the Brotherhood are losing their war against the armies of the Dragon and Toturi's Army. Yoritomo's Army is doing battle with the Phoenix, claiming the firechickens' unused territory for their own use. All in all, the Empire is tearing itself apart: but things will crystalize shortly, as the Scorpion prepare their return from the Burning Sands...

The Ninja were the only Faction that went unrepresented in Pearl Edition, leaving the twelve factions printed in Jade Edition as the base set, each of which recieved the same Stronghold that they did in Jade Edition. The card base was increased, mostly to provide the inclusion of more Personalities to Clans that now had access to some through the grandfather clause of Strict Jade. Starter decks sixty cards strong came mostly prepackaged with cards useful for the Faction purchased as well as a number of random; booster packs consisted of fifteen randomly-assorted cards.

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