I tried only crabs, and took them to dishonor the opponent. I took 2 Watch commander, 3 reprieve and 1 Hiruma ambusher.
If trying to focus on breaking the provinces, then I think it's better to take Dragon (ancestral attachments, let go, wanderer) or lion (guidance, honored blade, vengeful oathkeeper, maybe sashimono, but 2 cost is really expensive)
I listed to the Art of Warcast's reviews and Crab seemed to come up as a suggested ally a fair bit, and reading them I can see why.
I've not had the chance to try out a proxy version yet, and nowhere near GenCon, so I am pure theory and research at the moment, but this is a deck I was thinking:
3x Miya Mystic - A cheap Shugenja and whilst not the best stats, if they play an attachment that bothers me (to buff them or hinder me), I can use them once I have used them in a conflict
3x Seppun Guardsman - Cheap meatshield to either protect me or possibly even attack
3x Imperial Storehouse - I'm not sure how I feel about holdings, but as I doubt I will be buying four dynasty cards a turn, being able to use the holding to help protect my province and then blow it up at the end of the conflict phase for a card looks good
3x Bayushi Manipulator - Cheap, skill matching cost, and being able to increase the dial beyond 5 means if I do need to draw big, or bid low and make up for it, I can
3x Bayushi Shoju - Why would anyone not want a playset of their champion?!
3x Blackmail Artist - I am hoping to win political conflicts and take the honour I was likely giving them from bidding high for conflict draw
3x Sinister Soshi - A cheap character who exists to be a temporary Fiery Madness each turn, and also a shugenja
3x Soshi Illusionist - Another shugenja, and whilst their political skill is above cost, their ability to spend fate to remove status (likely my own dishonour) means they will likely be bought with 1 or 2 extra fate to hang around
3x Yogo Outcast - Another shugenja, where hopefully they will be a 3/3 for a cost of 2 which is a bargain
3x Shosuro Actress - I like the idea of send her into a (political) conflict, then then in a later conflict kill her off to get one of their own characters into the fight, who should be an even match for them
3x Favored Niece - When card draw isn't available, card cycling is the next best thing. And if I can somehow honour her, becoming a 4/4 makes her a great threat, though dishonour will cripple her
2x Bayushi Yunako - Due to cost 4 I thought 3x would be too much, but shoring up my military and being able to switch someone on either side of a conflict she is in looks like it could discourage my opponent
2x Yoho Hiroue - Similar to Yunako with their cost, he will be great in political challenges (potentially break a province if uncontested), but his ability to drag in someone who doesn't want to be there and was intending to be in a later conflict is fun, with the added perk of dishonouring them if I win
3x City of Lies - Again, unsure how good holdings will be, but with three different evens that can be reduced, I'm curious to see what difference it makes, as well as a cheeky stalling tactic during a conflict
3x Supernatural Storm (3 Influence) - I love the idea of a character getting a large boost to both skills that isn't expected. The fact they Shugenja don't have to be involved in the conflict is what swings it for me
3x Seeker of Knowledge (3 Influence) - With Shugenja being the theme of the deck, being only 1 influence and 2 cost for 2 skill is okay, being able to allow me to conflict with a ring with fate on it that wouldn't do much for me, and if I win actually turn it into air for an honour boost/swing
2x Ishiken Initiate (4 Influence) - I only went with 2 due to their influence cost, and whilst the idea of them growing from claiming rings is good I think 2 will be sufficient
3x Court Games - The flexibility to either honour one of my own characters (who may get dishonoured again for other effects), or one of theirs (even if they do choose who in the conflict) for 0 cost looks great
3x Fine Katana - No reason any deck shouldn't have a 0 cost attachment, especially to help me shore up the weaker side of my clan
3x Ornate Fan - As above, but this way to help me either win at conflicts, or mean I need to use less characters and use them in other conflicts
3x Spies at Court - Hand destruction is a terrifying thing in any game which doesn't auto-refill your hand, and removing options for no fate and only a dishonour seems a great deal when it is on their stronger conflict type
3x Way of the Scorpion - Why would I not!
3x Unassuming Yojimbo - If my opponent only has a single military character to defend with, she could possibly break a province on her own( better chance with a katana), and I remember how great stealth was in AGOT 1e
3x Ambush - A super charged Charge, except it isn't conflict restricted, and can be a combination of hand or provinces, and the cost limit means if I wanted to surprise Bayushi Shoju out I can.
2x Adept of Shadows - As soon as one gets played, my opponent knows that if I have the fate available they, I can add them into any conflict and impact their future plans
2x Blackmail - Being less honourable shouldn't be difficult, however the 3 cost and limit of 2 cost or lower characters means I opted only to take 2 of these
3x I Can Swim - Between bidding high and Bayushi Manipulator to get the dial high enough, and Way of the Scorpion to dishonour a character, this should be a good way at controlling the board
3x Fiery Madness - The ability to shut down small characters completely, and also help me win a conflict that they expect me to lose is great. Combining with Bayushi Shoju is even filthier!
2x Cloud the Mind - Blank frustrating abilities, or if I am in desperate need, my Seppun Guardsman so I can attack with him even when they have Imperial Favour
Air: Secret Cache - A free mini search, with no reveal, and unless they don't break it will do more than Fertile Fields, and earning fate from Manicured Garden means nothing if I don't have options in hand
Earth: Entrenched Position - Making it harder for them to break through with military protects me against something they might not have thought they would have had trouble with
Fire: Night Raid - At worst it will make them get rid of 1 card, but if they do push in with lots, it can severely damage their hand. I think removing an option from their hand will do more than the one fate I could remove if I use Meditations on the Tao, as if they go in with fateless characters, it will do nothing for me
Water: Rally to the Cause - 50/50 chance they hit it with whichever conflict is weaker for me at the time, and being able to tell Lion or Unicorn we are actually talking instead of fighting seems solid
Void: Shameful Display - The potential skill swing if we both have Glory 1+ on each side will be tremendous, as well as combining with I Can Swim or even Adept of Shadows to mitigate her honour cost
It is based on my earlier comment of s Shugenja deck, with 17 of them in the deck.
I thought about Assassination, but the cost of 3 honour looks really painful, when Blackmailing them to swing them to my side in a conflict isn't a permanent option but could make a bigger difference.