Card of the Week #24-26

Cat & Mouse (all ME versions)

When you play Cat and Mouse, total the number of Cat and Mouse Plots in play
by all players.  After you play this card, your opponent must take 1 card from
the top of his Endurance and place it in his discard pile for each Cat and
Mouse in play.

Alternate two endings:  After you play this card, your opponent must discard a
defense/attack for each Cat and Mouse in play.

As I noted a few weeks ago, I'm a sucker for using Plots.  And quite frankly,
Cat & Mouse is the best Plot sequence currently available.

First of all, the game-mechanic stuff.  Like any effect that causes discarding
or Endurance "grind," the cards are lost at the beginning of the target's next
phase.  Since you're playing Cat & Mouse against your opponent, this means
this card loss is a  "must do" effect taking place at the beginning of her

When you play a new Cat & Mouse card, you count _all_ Cat & Mouse cards in
play (including the new one) at that moment.  There is no "timing" involved,
so if an opponent immediately gets rid of one or more C&M cards (through the
use of, say, Plan Ahead), he still loses the full number of cards.

Since the discarding of Cat & Mouse is caused by a Situation card, Selective
Memory has no preventative effect.  Nefertiri discards and recovers normally.

Some initial rulings to the contrary, the Director's Cut Situation can _not_
be used as a substitute Cat & Mouse.  C&M has no "requirement" so DC is

Underworld Contact will negate any single Cat & Mouse effect directed at you,
in the normal manner.  However, since you do not discard Cat & Mouse cards
after use, as you do with other Plots upon completion, this benefit is not as

So that's how Cat & Mouse is handled.  What do you do with it?

Some general notes first.  As mentioned above, Underworld Contact doesn't do
much because, unlike other Plots, the C&M cards aren't removed when

Since Cat & Mouse is non-sequential, your opponent can remove them as much as
he wants, and you can still keep playing them, in any order, any way you want. 
And if he does remove them, they'll be back when you go through your
Endurance.  They don't stack in your Ability while you wait for that Part 1.

Even Katana can have trouble with C&M.  He can't really afford to let them
stay out there and add up, so he's going to be Exerting to remove them fairly

The only real disadvantage of C&M is that if both players are using it, the
effects escalate rapidly and painfully for both sides.  Since Nefertiri is
immune to the attack and defense variants, this can work out better for her. 
Otherwise, act preemptively and hit them before they hit you.

On to specifics.  C&M/Attack is a good way to deprive your opponent of
attacks.  This can be beneficial under two circumstances.  The first is if you
are a heavy Power Blow type that cannot see Hidden attacks, or are not good at
avoiding them.  Slan and the Kurgan are good examples:  each only has one type
of dodge card.  An opponent that has no attacks can't make a Hidden attack
against you.

The other circumstance is if you simply want to keep your opponent from
attacking overall.  This technique is not as efficient as Verona or
Pedestrian/Delay-2.  However, it's not a bad supplement.  Mix with Caught in
the Act/SE and Intimidate for best effect.

C&M/Defense is the best of the three Cat & Mouse variants.  If you don't have
Persona-based defense-draining cards like Charm/Kastagir, you can use this to
knock defenses out of your opponent's hand, then follow up with a powerful
attack.  You won't be able supplement the attack with a _second_ Special, so
you should have a good inherent ability to do extra damage.  Slan and the
Kurgan are best for this.

As Jeff notes below, C&M/Defense is also painful when used in conjunction with
Factory or Battlefield.  As we noted in last week's CotW, Factory + C&M/Def is
an unpleasant combination.  Battlefield isn't quite as good, since they get to
redraw to more defenses.  Also, since Battlefield is a "must do" effect, you
can choose to discard a defense to it first, then discard the rest of your
defenses due to Cat & Mouse.  Still, that doesn't leave them with many

C&M/Endurance is of general usefulness.  If you are playing an Exhaustion-type
deck, with cards like Desert, Dirty Trick/Pummel, Improvised Weapon/Attack,
Avery Hoskins, Challenge/ME, and Counterfeit, this Cat & Mouse variant is an
ideal choice.  Potentially, an opponent can lose 1+2+3+4+5+6 = 21 cards from
his Endurance from C&M alone.  Add in the card loss from these other cards,
and you might see several Endurance burns in a 30-minutes game, instead of the
typical one or two.  And of course, a card they go by is a card that is
useless to them.

Some of these cards (Avery, Desert) cause you to lose your own cards as well. 
With any other Plot, that would be a problem as you lose the very key cards
you need to complete the Plot.  With Cat & Mouse, however, who cares?  You're
not required to play them in sequence.

So who should use Cat & Mouse?  The first, obvious, choice is Xavier.  He can
use 12 of any given Plot.  We noted a potential payoff of 21 above.  Xavier
can add 7+8+9+10+11+12, for a total of 57 + 21 = 88 cards!  He is not limited
to six of any one Plot, so he can use 12 C&M/End if he wishes.  That adds up
to a _lot_ of cards lost.

Xavier has a few other C&M-related tricks.  If his opponent isn't playing
heavily with Situations, he can use Plan Ahead to burn his own C&M Plots,
right before an Endurance burn.  Then he shuffles them all together and gets
to draw and use 1-6 of them again as he continues on.  And since Cat & Mouse
isn't discarded after use, Hidden Explosives becomes that much more powerful .
. .

C&M/Def gives Xavier some serious potential as a swordsman, rather than a
cheesemonger.  Yes, they can use Alertness against that Stalk. . . but not if
they don't have any defenses at all when you played that ninth C&M/Def the
same turn.

Playing a C&M uses up your Special for the turn.  So you want to be a strong
attacker who can inflict pain without playing Specials if you're going to use
the Defense variant.  The Kurgan and Slan are particularly good for this. 
However, Connor and Duncan, since they can Duck or Jump, then Slash or
Spinning Blow, are also good choices.

Anyone using Battlefield or Factory should probably use C&M/Defense.  This
includes Kastagir and Nefertiri in particular.

So overall, Steve gives Cat & Mouse the following ratings:  4 for Attack, 9
for Defense, and 7 for Endurance.

There are more effective anti-attack cards (Verona, Intimidate, Pedestrian),
so attack loss will probably just let your opponent cycle cards.

Endurance card loss can range from an irritation to more serious consequences,
particularly if Xavier goes with all twelve of this version, and can Plan
Ahead out a few before his own Endurance burn.

Defense loss is a heavy hitter, and perhaps the best way to assure you hit
your opponent a couple of good ones.  When combined with other defense-
depriving cards like Battlefield, Factory, Charm, and Kiss Your Butts Goodbye,
you can keep even cheese decks on their toes.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - I like plots that act at the speed of an Event. Cat and Mouse starts
slow but turns nasty fast. Until more people start playing it, this is a great

Jeff - C&M/Endurance is a very underrated card when used with Xavier in the
Lean & Mean format (and even works against Nef!).  Combine the C&M/Defense
with Factory or Battlefield for a nasty surprise, particularly in a Kurgan
deck.  The C&M/Attack version is less useful, since there are better cards to
prevent attacking.

Rick - Snowballing Plots are good in nearly any deck.  Put C&M/Def in and get
ready to start Power Blowing.  C&M/Attack is good for Cheese decks and C&M/End
is good against Lean & Mean decks.

Hank - I use Cat & Mouse a lot more than some people.  C&M Defense is useful
in a lot of swordfighting decks, C&M Attack is useful in a non-attack (or was,
pre-Verona/Safe Haven), and C&M Endurance (while the least useful) is fun for
End Burn decks (Avery decks or alternatives).

Alan - These are _really_ annoying plots to have played against you,
particularly the Defense and Endurance ones.  They can leave you totally
defenseless, causing you to Exert against incoming Power Blows/Head Shots. 
And if your opponent is using a multiple-attack card (plus Scotland the
Brave), you're in real trouble.  Effects are magnified in the hands of Xavier.

Jim - Cat and Mouse is one of my favorite plots.  Unlike the previous plots
you don't build up to it, but instead build upon it.  The more C&M's in play
the greater the effect of the next one played.  C&M is especially fun when
used in conjunction with Schemer.  For attack decks I prefer using
C&M/defense.  This is particularly useful with Kastigir Battlefield decks. 
Amanda and Fitz can also get a lot of mileage out of that combo.  For cheese
decks and lock decks C&/attacks can be quite useful. For marathon decks
C&M/Endurance is a must.  Use Desert as your location of choice, add in Avery,
put in attacks that cause card loss like Stunning Blow, Dirty Trick/Pummel,
and Improvised Weapon/ranged.  Xavier can really roll with C&M.  You can build
some really nice Xavier head hunting decks using C&M/defense along with
Xavier's Forethought and Plan Aheads.  Kurgan can also greatly benefit from
C&M/defense, especially if he is using Follow Up and Catwalk/Ruins.

Wayne - The only Cat & Mouse card that I personally feel has any value is the
discard defense card.  The endurance burning card was perhaps viable prior to
Princes of the Universe, but with this card available it's too easy to just
heal yourself if you are forced to burn through your deck.  The discard
attacks only works if you are playing against an attack deck:  so many decks
are cheese and lock it may actually help those decks.  But discard defense can
be effective with a Slan or Kurgan deck.  It makes for a very simple deck to
build and can play fairly competitively.

Ratings Overall (Attack/Defense/Endurance):

Steve               4/9/7
Ben                 7/7/7
Jeff                3/5/6
Rick                5/8/5
Hank                6/8/4
Alan                7/7/7
Jim                 6/8/5
Wayne               1/4/1

Average:                4.88/7.00/5.25


No Event cards may be played while Garfield is in play.  Discard Garfield if
you draw a card.

Well, here is another of a relatively small group of anti-Special cards,
joining the company of Honor Bound, Wargames West, Honor Bound, Renee Delaney,
Charlie, and Turn of Events (CotW #17).

Game mechanics first.  Garfield is a pretty direct card.  Exerting for cards
is _not_ drawing cards, and does not remove Garfield.  The "reshuffle" effect
of Holy Ground/ME is not considered drawing either.  The effects of cards like
Holy Ground/SE, Master's Stratagem, Patience, Dr. Alan Neyman, Brenda Wyatt,
and Quality Blade/ME _are_ considered to be drawing cards.

If Garfield is Focussed, then you may draw cards at any time(s) during your
turn without removing him.  This includes if you are forced to draw cards, due
to Holy Ground/SE.  Since Garfield is Focussed, you can also play an Event.

Garfield is an Ally.

The first thing to remember when using Garfield is that he _only_ affects
Events.  All players may use Edges, Situations, Locations, and Objects despite
Garfield's presence.

On the other hand, there appear to be more "generic" Events.  Not everyone
uses Quality Blade, or Honor Bound, or Plots.  However, there are very few
decks that don't use Police/Remove Situation, or Watcher/Treatment, or Holy
Ground, or Darius.

Of course, Garfield will restrict your ability to play Events along with your
opponent.  Still, if you are playing an Event-light, Situation-heavy deck,
Garfield has several benefits.  If your opponent has to use Focus to deal with
Garfield, he'll have fewer Foci for your other Situations.  You can use Focus
yourself to strategically play an Event _and_ draw cards so that Garfield
isn't removed as a result.

Garfield's primary use is in conjunction with the other anti-Special cards
mentioned above.  Garfield won't stop your opponent from playing Specials, but
he nicely supplements cards like Wargames West and Turn of Events.  He does in
this in two ways.

The first is that you can only have so many Renee Delaneys, and Charlies, and
Wargames Wests, in your deck.  Garfield isn't perhaps as effective as any of
these cards.  However, you can have up to six of him.

The second, that his effect acts on _top_ of these cards, is better.  If you
have Wargames West and Garfield down, you can play an Object or Situation and
your opponent _still_ can't play any Events on his next turn.  He can play
Objects and Situations.  However, those typically don't let you heal damage
(Watcher/Treatment), avoid attacks (Holy Ground) or remove Situations (Police
Remove/Sit, Investigation, exempting Simple Mind and Plan Ahead).

If you Focus Garfield in this case, you can even play an Event to do any of
these yourself, and he will still be limited by Garfield if not by Wargames

Playing Garfield with Honor Bound is probably not as good an idea.  You will
have to Focus both Garfield and HB if you want to play an Event.  However, if
you do want to use both, it isn't impossible.  Get Garfield down first so you
don't have to Focus HB to play him.  When you want to draw cards, Focus
Garfield.  The combination of HB and Garfield makes it very difficult for your
opponent to play any Specials, much less the critical Event ones mentioned

A similar rationale applies to Turn of Events plus Garfield.  Your opponent
will have to Focus Garfield to play an Event.  And even if he does, he still
has to Exert.  Either that, or burn two Focus cards.  Meanwhile, if you built
an Event-light deck, you won't really care, and can Focus Garfield when you
want to draw.

Garfield does work well with two other categories of cards.  The first are
those who let you raise your hand size above 15, so that you have a larger
pool of cards in your Ability to use rather than drawing.  Master's Endurance
is useful here, and there are several cards in Watcher's Chronicles that can
let you draw to a large amount of cards, which you then keep thanks to
Master's Endurance.

The second category is cards that relate to drawing or not drawing.  These
include Factory and Shadow of the Mind.

The next question is which Personas should use Garfield.  As noted above, any
Situation-heavy deck can do so.  There are two Personas who typically meet
this criteria:  Xavier and Nakano.  Both have powerful Persona-specific
Situations.  Garfield can limit Nakano's special ability.  However, the
Sorcerer's ability is more of an emergency measure, and not one you build a
deck strategy around.  Garfield will let Nakano make it difficult for
opponents to deal with cards like Master's Maneuvers, Mirror Image, Swords to
Snakes, and Shadows of the Mind.  The latter in particular is useful since
Nakano doesn't want to draw cards when using that either.

Xavier can hide behind the double anti-Event barrier of Forethought and
Garfield, and he can use Plan Ahead as a non-Event way to remove his
opponent's Situations.  Xavier _does_ have to play an Event to complete most
of his Plots, so he will either have to save his Foci or use Cat & Mouse.

Who else should use Garfield?  Any particular deck that relies mostly on
Situations and Objects.  The Kurgan is a good choice here:  he can easily use
a Situation-heavy Plot deck to wreck havoc on an opponent.  He has the added
advantage of Disguise:  Garfield helps to protect Disguise from removal (since
an opponent has to use two Foci to Police either card), and limits an
opponent's ability to escape to Holy Ground against the Kurgan's attacks.

One caution, however:  for any Power Blow-oriented Persona (primarily the
Kurgan, Slan, and Connor), Garfield is not a whole lot of help.  A lot more
people use Ancestral Blade rather than Continuity, and Continuity rather than
Stamina.  Garfield isn't going to stop your opponent from using Ancestral
Blade or Continuity to thwart your Power Blows.

Nefertiri decks are not necessarily Event-light.  However, since she can draw
up to her Ability multiple times, she gains additional advantage from using
Focus + Garfield.

Any anti-Special deck might benefit from Garfield, when used in conjunction
with other such cards.  Again, this tends to include Slan and the Kurgan
(because they can inflict lots of damage without playing Specials), and Connor
(thanks to his Master's Block/Lunge/Stance combination).

So overall, Steve gives Garfield a _6_.  He is not the best of the anti-
Special cards:  he's neither as reliable as Renee Delaney, or as persistent as
Honor Bound.  Unlike Turn of Events, however, he is an absolute barrier to
Event play.  And the Event-only clause means you can build a deck around him,
while your unprepared opponent could be stuck with a large hand of Events they
can't play at a critical moment.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - I give it a 7 because it's a useful card, in the right deck. 
Admittedly, the deck in question is a lock deck, but Garfield is a real
sleeper.  A single Garfield on the table forms a lock that stops most attack
decks, which rely on Events, but lets a Plot deck keep right on rolling. 

Jeff - Garfield is less useful than its promo relative Turn of Events (boy,
where have I heard that before:  Second Wind/Nexus? Continuity/Ancestral
Blade?).  However, it shares the same problems - namely, that it is all but
useless against the majority of cheese decks since they are Katana.  Tack on
the fact that you can't draw up without Focus, and this one adds up to another
overrated card.

Rick - This card can be dangerous in Nefertiri's hands.  Since she can draw up
at any time, she can lock you out of Events but draw up to remove Garfield and
then play her own Events the same turn.

Hank - Less comprehensive than Honor Bound, and harder to keep in play. 
Drawing cards is important to almost any strategy.  I could see it used with
Factory and
Focus in a Nefertiri deck, but the few times I've used it in other decks it's
been fairly worthless to me.

Alan - A good anti-cheese card (except against Katana, of course), but has a
fairly big drawback, in my opinion (I *love* drawing cards at the end of my
turn!).  Nothing that a few Focii can't get around.

Jim - Garfield is a good card for slowing down Event decks.  It is especially
useful against Lean & Mean direct damage cheese decks.  Since Garfield goes
away if you draw a card, it works well with Factory.  I rarely use Garfield
due to the limitation on drawing a card.  I prefer using Quality Blade/ME
which requires a card draw and Master's Stratagem which permits an optional
draw.  I use Honor Bound and War Games West to hamper cheese decks.  I would
only use Garfield in Lean and Mean deck with 6 Focus, to get a single one-turn
delay, in which case Renee Delaney is a better card.

Wayne - Garfield is a very useful card for someone with situation-heavy and/or
attack decks.  It's a good anti-cheese card and it helps prevents Police, Holy
Grounds, or Watchers from being played.  Its usefulness is somewhat diminished
because you must have an ample supply of cards in your hand and you can't play
Event cards yourself.  I rarely use this card because of these reasons and
Katana simply exerts to remove it.

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   6
Ben                     7
Jeff                    4
Rick                    7
Hank                    5
Alan                    7
Jim                     4
Wayne                   5

Average:                5.63

Higher Ground

You move to higher ground than your opponent.  Your opponent may not play
Upper Attacks.  You may not play Lower Attacks.  If both players have Higher
Ground in play, neither has any effect.  Higher Ground is a Standing Defense.

Well, we have another entry into what is currently a rather small category of
cards:  Standing Defense that are not Guards.  This puts Higher Ground in the
same company as Dugal MacLeod, Master's Stance, and the various Continuity

Like any Standing Defense, Higher Ground can be affected by Battle Priest,
Dangerous Ground, Dirty Trick/Shove, Ruins, Rush, Skylight, Slippery Footing,
Trip/all versions, Hammer Blow/Kurgan, and Surprise Attack/Amanda.

Although the card text strongly suggests otherwise because it states,
"neither," one Higher Ground cancels out _all_ Higher Grounds on the opposing
side.  If it helps, substitute the words "none have" for "neither has."  It
works for me.  :)

Although Higher Ground does not "stack," if your opponent has at least one
unFocussed HG in play, you are subject to HG's effects.

A card that has no effect is the same as a card that has been nullified (i.e.,
Focus).  As per Ben Durbin, there is no difference between these two terms.

Any attack with multiple areas that has at least one area in an Upper square
is considered an upper attack.  Thus, Slash/Vertical and Connor & Duncan's
Persona-specific Slashes cannot be played by _either_ player when Higher
Ground is in play.  The Horizontal Slash can be played by both players, since
it is entirely a Middle attack.  Handle other multi-area attacks the same way.

Ranged Attacks such as Pistol/UC and LC are also affected by Higher Ground,
however lacking in "realism" this might be.

An interesting note:  a multiple-area attack that has at least one area in an
upper square can be a Head Shot, as long as it can be made a Power Blow.  Make
of that what you will.

So what do you with Higher Ground?  Well, its primary use is to prevent your
opponent from making Upper attacks.  An industrious opponent may cut your legs
out from under you while you're perched on that car, but they'll never take
your head since they can't play an Upper attack.

Higher Ground makes it very difficult for Kalas to pull off the dreaded
Stalk/Head Shot.

Besides immunity to Head Shots and certain Pistol attacks, a number of the
non-Special attacks are also Upper attacks.  Stunning Blow, Spinning Attack,
and Riposte are all primarily Upper attacks.  None of them can be used against
you if you have a Higher Ground in play.

There is also a tendency for many players to favor Upper attacks.  Duncan,
Connor, and Kurgan decks, who like to get "free" Power Blows through the use
of not only the Power Blow card, but Head Shot as well, tend to rely on Head
Shot for an extra six freebies.  Higher Ground can use this tendency against

So Higher Ground provides a good defense against Head Shots as well as certain
Power Blows.  However, it can restrict you.

This may not be much of a problem, however.  For one thing, it doesn't impair
_your_ ability to make Head Shots.  As noted above, there are a larger number
of non-Special Upper attacks, all of which you can wield effectively while
your opponent cannot.

You also have the advantage that if you put Higher Ground in your deck, you'll
know it ahead of time and can build your deck accordingly.  Obviously, you
shouldn't put more than one of each of the three Lower attacks in your deck.

As well as attacks, you can build your deck defensively in accordance.  I
wouldn't recommend going with the minimal number of Upper defenses:  opponents
will find some way around your Higher Grounds.

However, you should definitely put a larger number of Lower Guards in your
deck when you use Higher Ground.  You can put a LG up, keep it up, and
continue to make Upper attacks ad infinitum.  If you have an Ancestral Blade
in play, you can go a long time without dropping the Lower Guard.

The exception to this is if your opponent launches an unblockable attack.  You
can't play Alertness/Block on a defense already in play.  Simply play a new
Lower Guard and an Alertness/Block on the same turn if this situation arises.

If you don't have a Lower Guard up, you can always play a Focus or two and
play a Lower attack.  This is particularly useful if you also have a Hidden
attack coming.  In fact, try Focussing your Higher Ground and then play a
Hidden Upper attack - it's a neat double-bluff.

As noted above, Higher Ground is _very_ vulnerable to removal, being both a
Situation and a Standing Defense.  That is its major weakness.  Thanks to Rush
and Surprise Attack, _every_ Persona has a way to remove Standing Defenses,
even Slan and Amanda.

There is no reason to play multiple Higher Grounds, since they can be removed
en masse by a single anti-Standing Defense card.  You gain no benefit since
your HGs don't stack, and a single Higher Ground of your opponent's will
cancel out _all_ of yours.  If you want to use the Focus/double-bluff strategy
mentioned above, you also don't want a lot of Higher Grounds in play.

This leaves you with the choice of keeping Higher Grounds in your hand, taking
up space, or playing them out and having your opponent remove them in a single
turn.  Not a pleasant pair of alternatives.

Your opponent's best defense against your use of Higher Ground is a single
Upper Guard.  Kastagir with a Master's Guard in play is your worst nightmare. 
Keep Trip or Surprise Attack on hand for removal purposes.  Rush, for obvious
reasons, is not a good choice for Guard removal.

So who should use Higher Ground?  As noted above, Connor, Duncan, and the
Kurgan are best at launching a powerful series of Upper attacks that are Head
Shots.  Duncan and Connor need not concern themselves with a Hidden counter-
attack.  However, with HG in play that's not really an issue even for the
Kurgan:  a Lower Guard will cover any area your opponent can respond to.

By the same token, Slan can make use of Higher Ground as well by making Upper
attacks, each one an Exertion-less Power Blow.  However, he has no way except
using Darius or the Generic Quickening (for Trip) to remove an opponent's
Upper Guard.  As noted above, his using Rush would be self-defeating.

If you are using a non-attack deck, Higher Ground can further limit your
opponent's attack options.  If they Focus that Pedestrian, and remove that
Verona with their own Location, they still can't use any of their Upper

All other Personas gain no major benefit from Higher Ground.  HG does get in
your way if you intend to use Battle Rage, Berserk, or Bloodlust, or if you
are Kern, Amanda, or Annie.  In all of these cases, you want a wide spread of

So overall, Steve gives Higher Ground a _5_.  It's a nice defensive card, and
there are a few effective strategies that can be built around.  However, its
high degree of vulnerability is its major handicap, taking it down a point or

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - [Abstain]

Jeff - A very underrated card.  Pair it with Lower Guard in a Slan deck for
oodles of fun.  Good swordplay card.

Rick - The card is a Standing Defense, making it too vulnerable for you to
depend on it saving your head.  I could see this going in a head-taking deck
so you don't have to block Upper Attacks and have the blocks restricting your
own Upper Attacks.  Still, if your opponent doesn't have something to remove
Standing Defenses, this and a Lower Guard could be a great plan.

Hank - I've always liked Higher Ground.  I like cards that alter the
swordfighting aspects of Highlander without breaking them (I despise direct
damage and non-attack cards like Verona).  Higher Ground is a great example of
the type of card I like.

Alan - Higher Ground is one of those cards that finds its best use in
combination with other cards; in this case, Dugal MacLeod + Lower Guard.  You
stop your opponent from being able to do sword damage to you, while still
being able to do sword damage to them.  Higher Ground's only real drawback is
that it is fairly vulnerable, since it is a Standing Defense as well as a

Jim - Higher Ground is a good card when combined with other cards.  Lower
Guard and Catwalk are two of the better cards to use with Higher Ground. 
Since HG is a Standing Defense it is fairly easy to remove.  However, if you
use a Special-denial strategy after playing HG, you can keep it in play. 
Higher Ground is a good card to use if you are playing a head hunting deck or
are playing a hand that is heavy with Upper and Middle Attacks.  Higher Ground
is an especially good card for Kastagir due to his Master's Guard.

Wayne - This is a somewhat effective card against non-Katana decks.  Protects
against Head Shots and is good when played with a Lower Guard.  I prefer using
Master's Stance instead of Higher Ground because you can keep a Master's Block
in play with it.  I would rate it higher if it was not so easily removed from

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   5
Ben                   N/A
Jeff                    6
Rick                    5
Hank                    8
Alan                    7
Jim                     6
Wayne                   4

Average:                5.86