Card of the Week #27-30

Improvised Weapon (Object)

If you are Disarmed you may use this Improvised Weapon.  This weapon allows
you to block Power Blows with a zero-card Exertion.  You may not make Head

Here we have an Object that combines two different functions:  you can avoid
being Disarmed, and you can make 0-Exertion Power Blocks while using it.

But first those bothersome game mechanics issues.  The text of Master's
Disarm/Connor and Nakano states, "Play in your Defense Phase if you have no
weapon. . ."  For the purposes of Master's Disarm _only_, Improvised Weapon
_is_ considered a Weapon.  Thus, you cannot use MD when using it.

Improvised Weapon is _not_ considered a weapon for the purpose of cards such
as Break Weapon, Collapse, Honed Weapon.

The ruling on Improvised Weapon indicates that you can't use Master's Disarm
if you use Extra Weapon either.

So, what good is Improvised Weapon?

Let's look at its lesser effect first.  It lets you make a 0-card Exertion for
a Power Block.  Unfortunately, this is not much of an advantage.  There is
already an Object, Ancestral Blade, that lets you make a Power Block without
making _any_ Exertion.  It doesn't require that you Disarm yourself (via
Discard Weapon), or use up your one Exertion for the turn to make a Power

In fact, even if you're Disarmed, Ancestral Blade will _still_ let you Power
Block without an Exertion.  Assuming of course that you have some way to block
attacks (i.e., the Dragon promotional card).

So it doesn't seem worth the effort to use Improvised Weapon simply to make
"free" Power Blocks.  Ancestral Blade, a relatively easy-to-obtain promotional
card, renders this aspect of Improvised Weapon obsolete.  If you somehow can't
obtain Ancestral Blade, then a deliberate Disarm-to-Power-Block strategy using
IW could work for you.  However, the regular Continuity will probably work
better for you (unless you're using Katana or Xavier, who lack this card).

Why?  Because you don't have to disarm yourself to use Continuity.  And this
brings us to the primary aspect of Improvised Weapon:  as a way to defend
yourself if you are Disarmed.

Unlike Dragon, Improvised Weapon allows you to attack.  And unlike Recover
Weapon, IW lets you attack and block even if your weapon is broken.  Recover
Weapon also _requires_ that you be Disarmed before using it.  None of the
other re-arm methods have this handicap.

Two other methods to rearm involve using the two re-arm Situations.  These are
the Armory promotional card and Watcher/Rearm from the Series Edition.

Both of these are difficult to counter.  If Disarmed, you can play them
immediately and have a weapon.  Only a TCG rip will stop them:  Plan Ahead
does not "counter" them, and so they take effect before they can be removed.
However, Watcher/Counter _will_ counter the play of Watcher/Rearm.  These
Situations can also be played at any time.

There are a few minor disadvantages to Watcher/Rearm.  As a Watcher card, it
counts against the six you are allowed.  And being a Watcher, it has
disadvantages in Watcher's Chronicles (as well as an advantage or two as an
in-play Watcher).

The Armory is a Watcher Field Agent:  again, this has certain vulnerabilities
due to cards in Watcher's Chronicles.

A minor disadvantage of both these cards is that you can't use a disarm
strategy against your opponent if you choose to use these.  Generally,
however, The Armory is probably superior to Improvised Weapon, particularly if
you are using Ancestral Blade.

This leaves a _fifth_ way to rearm yourself:  Extra Weapon.  Extra Weapon and
Improvised Weapon are both Objects, making them easy to keep in play.  The
other methods are subject to countering or removal by various means such as
Forethought, Plan Ahead, and Police - Objects are not.  There are only two
cards that adversely affect Object:  Thief and Misfortune.

You can play both of these Objects regardless of whether you are Disarmed or
not.  Both can be put into play prematurely with the (currently illegal)
Conjure, or recovered from your discard pile with Archaic Collection or Alex

Both cards are useful as long as you have them in play.  However, Extra Weapon
only needs to remain in play long enough for you to discard it and regain your
weapon.  Improvised Weapon must remain in play as long as you want to continue
blocking and attacking while Disarmed.

Once you discard an Extra Weapon you may attack normally.  Improvised Weapon
prevents you from making Head Shots.  However, this may or may not be a
handicap for you, depending on your deck design.

Looking carefully at the above, it appears that Extra Weapon is the superior
of the two Objects.  You use Extra Weapon, it's gone, and there's nothing
further your opponent can do about it except Disarm you again.

With Improvised Weapon, if your opponent Disarms you and then deprives you of
the Improvised Weapon, you have nothing.  You can't attack, you can't block.

This may not sound like much of a disadvantage.  However, any Disarm deck
worth its salt is going to have Misfortune and/or Thief in it.  The same
things that remove Extra Weapon impact Improvised Weapon as well.

You only need to get Extra Weapon down for one round, possibly using
Forethought or a TCG to protect it from removal.  Then you can discard it and
be rearmed.

You must protect Improvised Weapon _continually_ or risk being Disarmed again.

So Extra Weapon appears like the clear choice for use.  And as mentioned
above, The Armory seems to be a better choice as well.

As some reviewers note below, Improvised Weapon _does_ let you use it the turn
you play it.  This can be important in the short-term.  However, this assumes
you don't _already_ have an Extra Weapon in play.  If you do have Extra Weapon
in play, you can discard it the moment you are Disarmed.  Otherwise your
opponent must deal with it before Disarming you.  If your opponent begins
removing your Extra Weapon(s), you have valuable warning of his game strategy:
act accordingly to keep him from attacking, or keep him too busy playing other

In the long-term, Improvised Weapon might give you a one-turn block and
attack.  Once it's removed, it's gone for good.

Who should use Improvised Weapon?  A better question is who should _not_ use
it.  Amanda still takes the extra damage if she Power Blocks with a 0-card
Exertion.  Connor and Duncan tend to favor Head Shots.  The Kurgan, if he is
using a heavy Power Blow-strategy, may possibly use lots of Head Shots

Anyone using the Destruction plot will not want to use Improvised Weapon.
This potentially includes Amanda (due to Seduce), Xavier and Kalas
(Plotmeisters), and the Kurgan and Annie (due to anti-Situation removers).

Since the use of Master's Disarm/Nakano & Connor is disallowed with Improvised
Weapon, those two Personas gain no overwhelming benefit from this combination.

Kern, Katana, and Fitzcairn have better things to do with their Exertions:
Power Blocking with a 0-card Exertion uses up their normal one Exertion per

This leaves only a handful of Personas that are not handicapped by Improvised
Weapon.  And thanks to the Master's Disarm ruling, there is no real strategy
to use with it.

So overall, Steve gives Improvised Weapon an all-time low rating of _1_.
There seems to be no real reason to use it rather than Extra Weapon.  Both
cards are vulnerable to the same things, but Extra Weapon only has to remain
out long enough to discard and re-arm.  The 0-card Exertion Power Block is an
inferior version of Ancestral Blade.  And as long as you use IW, you are
always at risk of having it taken and left with no weapon whatsoever.

This rating _is_ subject to two potential future changes.  The Master's Disarm
ruling is somewhat confusing, since it establishes there is a time when an
Improvised Weapon is a weapon, and other times when it isn't.  If this ruling
is reversed, I would rate IW much higher.

If the current discussion concerning the limit on promotional cards becomes
official, Ancestral Blade is limited, and Improvised Weapon + Discard Weapon
may be a better alternative method to Power Block.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Jeff - My second-favorite anti-Disarm card.  Its usefulness was tarnished when
it was ruled that you can't use a Master's Disarm with this card in play, but
I still like the 0-card exertion for Power Blocks.

Hank - Improvised Weapon is unique.  It can be played without provocation,
like Watcher: Rearm or Extra Weapon, but unlike those it can be used
immediately (like the lesser used Recover Weapon).  I've started using it more
and more in my decks for that reason.  (Ed. Note:  Watcher: Rearm _can_ be
used immediately.)

Alan - This is really an great card.  It's a great anti-Disarm card, plus it
allows 0-card Exertion Power Blocks.  If you don't have access to Ancestral
Blade, Discard Weapon + Improvised Weapon makes an adequate substitute.

Jim - Improvised Weapon is a great card.  This card combines the features of
Ancestral Blade and Extra Weapon in a somewhat weakened form. You can block
Power Blows with a 0-card Exertion and can make attacks normally except for
Head Shots.  A great insurance card against disarm strategies.  It is
immediately available to use the turn you play it, unlike Extra Weapon which
requires a turn to "ready",

Wayne - This is a good toolbox card against Disarm decks.  The advantage of
this card over Extra Weapon is the built-in Ancestral Blade, but I normally
play Extra Weapon since the weapon is recovered upon discarding.  The downside
of Improvised Weapon is that it gives your opponent time to come up with a
Thief or Misfortune which would Disarm you again.

Ben - No comment

Rick - No comment

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   1
Ben                   N/A
Jeff                    4
Rick                  N/A
Hank                    7
Alan                    7
Jim                     8
Wayne                   5

Average:                5.33

Master's Domain

Search through your Endurance for a Location card of your choice.  Put that
Location into play.  Reshuffle your Endurance.  [Restricted to 3]

Here we have a fairly straight-forward card.  Look through your Endurance for
a Location, put it into play.  Can't get any simpler than that.

Any game mechanic questions?  Not many.  You can't recover an out-of-play
Location (taken out via TSC Troopers).

Just as using Alex Johnson counts as "playing" an Object, using Master's
Domain to put a Location into play counts as playing that Location.  However,
since Master's Domain has a two-part effect (search for a Location, then put
it into play), you can play it even if Illusory Terrain is out.  IT merely
cancels the second part of MD's effect - it does not prevent Master's Domain
from being played entirely.

You _can_ play Master's Domain if you don't have a Location in your Endurance.
Or if you "forget" that you are out of Locations, as the case may be.  It's
not of much use, but at least it gets the card out of your hand.

And of course, Master's Domain is a Master card.

So what can you do with Master's Domain?  The first, most obvious use is that
for some purposes you can treat it as another copy of a particular Location.
Instead of having only six cards that put, say, Ruins into play in your deck,
you can have up to nine (ten with pg Darius).

If you use a two-Location deck (the Kurgan with Catwalk + Ruins, Amanda with
Ruins + Dead-End Alley, Kastagir with Battlefield + Factory), Master's Domain
can give you some real supplemental power here to not only get out the
Locations quicker, but let you get the one out that you want.  If you're the
Kurgan and you're shooting that Pistol, Master's Domain out a Catwalk.  If
you're using that Slash, get the Ruins instead.

If you have less than the six maximum allowed of a particular Location,
Master's Domain can help you get at least that many.  It has some
disadvantages, however.  MD won't help you to recover Locations from your
Discard.  If you've already drawn and/or played those six Ruins, Master's
Domain is useless (although playable) until you've reshuffled.

Master's Domain counts against your total number of Master cards.  There are
two far-better Master cards:  Stratagem and Advance.  A 2/3 or 3/2 mix of
these cards is almost always useful.  And although Connor may have up to seven
Master cards, Persona-specific cards like Master's Block are probably going to
be more desirable for him.

One strategy for Master's Domain is the one mentioned by Jeff Barnes below.
In conjunction with Chessex, Master's Domain becomes very useful.  You can
play Master's Domain, put a Location into play, and still be able to play a
second Event.  This works nicely if you are using Verona to supplement

This strategy is also useful, albeit less so, with Impressive Move in
Watcher's Chronicles.

But other then that, there don't seem to be a lot of uses specifically for
Master's Domain.

Who should use Master's Domain?  Since all Personas (except those who benefit
primarily from Illusory Terrain, like Xavier) _should_ use Locations, anyone
can get a bit more of a kick by using MD.

The only real limit by Persona is how many Masters are allowed.  Khan, with
four Masters, shouldn't use Master's Domain, unless he absolutely can't find a
use for those Master's Advances and Stratagems (or he doesn't have them).
Generics shouldn't even consider it, assuming they are using the Generic
persona card.

Any Persona with less than six Masters allowed should look at MD with caution.

Of the Personas who can use more than five Masters, Duncan would probably be
better off using the generic Master, or the other two mentioned above.  Connor
tends to favor the Master's Stance/Block/Lunge mix.  Using this combination
can take up all seven of his Master slots.  If he limits himself to just
Master's Block and Lunge (and without pre-game Darius to raise the total
number of both of these), he has three Master slots left.  He will probably
still want to use these for Master's Stratagem, however.

This leaves the Kurgan.  With six Masters, he can actually spare space for a
couple of these.  Master's Advance in particular is useful for him.  However,
if he is using Catwalk in conjunction with Pistol (due to the extra damage -
see PotM #1), he may want the extra Location access.  Also, the Kurgan tends
to Exert a lot, meaning he will have a larger deck.  This is the other aspect
of Master's Domain.

The larger the deck, the more you will want Master's Domain, since it
increases your chance of getting that critical Location out into play.

There is no Persona who is specifically small-deck oriented.  I have seen both
large and small deck versions of practically every Persona in existence.

Those Personas who would seem to benefit the most would be Duncan, Connor, the
Kurgan, and Kern.  This isn't to say you should use Master's Domain in any
deck you use, or that you should exclude its use from other Personas.  If you
have a 100-card Amanda deck and you want to get those Dead-End Alleys, out
then go ahead and use Master's Domain.

Overall, Steve gives Master's Domain a _3_.  Some opinions to the contrary,
this card does have its uses.  There are even one or two small strategies like
Chessex/Verona/Master's Domain that it can help you with.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - Abstain

Jeff - The weakest of the ME generic Masters.  Why play with this instead of
another Location in its slot?  Only two reasons I can think of: (1) you only
have 2 Veronas and need to stretch a bit, or (2) you're playing Chessex.
Master's Domain now has a third use:  used correctly, it becomes a Verona,
Italy 1637 without taking up a promo card slot.  Well, it could also become a
Pyramid, but I trust no one is nuts enough to play with that.  Unless they're
Kevin Murray. =)

Rick - Since there are no restricted Locations, you can put six of your
preferred Location in your deck and be able to get to them quickly enough. The
fact that this card takes up a Master slot is another negative.  There are
many ways to get rid of Locations, so using a Master slot just to get one into
play seems like overkill.

Hank - Master's Domain lets you hunt through your deck for a Location and put
it into play immediately.  It's probably useful for Verona decks and the like,
but I don't play with Verona decks and I have better uses for my Master slots.

Alan - Admittedly, I have never used this card, nor have I seen its use very
often.  However, since it is becoming clear the key to winning almost every
duel these days is coming down to Location control, I can see it's importance
growing. . .

Jim - Master's Domain is a good card to use if you are utilizing a multiple-
Location strategy.  It is costly since it uses up a Master slot.  I find it
useful in Kurgan decks when using both Catwalk and Ruins.  Nakano can use it
for a deck using lots of different Locations.  For large decks, Master's
Domain lets you sidestep the six-of-one-title limit.  For single Location
decks that are smaller in size than say 80+ cards, I would not recommend using
Master's Domain.

Wayne - Abstain

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   3
Ben                   N/A
Jeff                    5
Rick                    2
Hank                    4
Alan                    6
Jim                     5
Wayne                 N/A

Average:                4.17


Choose a card from your opponent's hand at random and look at it.  Your
opponent must play this card during his next turn.  If he does not, remove
that card from the game.

Here we have a card that is perhaps one of the most overlooked in the game, if
not the most underestimated.  Most people look at this and think, "Why is this
a rare?"

But first, the inevitable game mechanic questions.  It is important to
understand this card if you intend to use it.

When your opponent selects a card with Psyche, you _must_ play that card if
you can.  You cannot choose to play another Special to get out of playing the
Psyched Special.  You can block, putting yourself into a position where you
are unable to (normally) use a Psyched attack.

If a Psyched card is countered, it is still considered to have been played,
and is not removed from the game.

Usually, it is clear when you can and can't play a card.  For instance, you
can't play an attack if you can't attack.

If your opponent does not attack, you can't play a defense (except a Guard).
You can't be forced to play an illegal defense in lieu of a legal one (except
against Hidden attacks - more below).  If you see which card is Psyched and
then choose not to attack, this could cost an opponent a Master's Block or

Assuming you can play Specials at all, Situations and Objects can be played at
almost any time.  However, there are times when you may not want to
prematurely (Louise Marcus, Honor Bound, Simple Mind, etc.).

Some Edge cards can be played at any time, some cannot.  You can only play
Alertness/Block if your opponent plays an unblockable attack.  You can play
Schemer, or Patience, or Lean & Mean, or Flashing Blade, at any time.

If you are forced to play a Special, you can't play another Special as well
(excepting Chessex, Dr. Sonny, and a few other cards).

There are some Specials that you can play that will have no effect, but at
least you can play them.  Seduce (Amanda's and Nefertiri's) and Trip are good
examples.  These modify your next attack _if you make one_, but can be played
whether you intend to attack or not.

There are a number of Specials that are "response-specific."  For instance,
you can only play Police/Counter Damage if your opponent actually played an
Event that does damage to you.

Any card that is response-specific can be played under certain circumstances.
However, there are times when they may not be playable.  If this is the case,
the card is lost from the game.

You can play Darius if you don't have _any_ of another Persona's cards in your
hand, rather than lose it from the game.  To do so, however, you must Exert
for a defense from another Persona.  This tactic is permissible even if you
know you don't have any such card in your deck.

Timing can also hurt you.  Psyche forcing you to play Discard Weapon if you're
not ready is one example.  If you are forced to play a Head Shot and don't
have an Upper attack, you are forced to Exert for one.  Ditto if you are
forced to play Hook, Extra Shot, Follow-Up, or Combination and don't have a
second attack.

Being forced to play Run Through or Master's Disarm/Kurgan the turn after your
opponent plays that Thrust/Power Blow is probably not a good thing.  Another
example is being forced to play Kiss Your Butts Goodbye when you're
temporarily out of dodges.

The best two examples of potent bad timing are Nexus and Second Wind.  Being
forced to play either of these early in the game can be a serious problem.

If you are forced to play a card you don't like . . . you've got trouble.  If
you had a Holy Ground/Forfeit in your deck to protect those Quickenings, being
forced to use it due to Psyche is probably the ultimate humiliation.

However, you are also hurt if you are forced to use Police/Remove Sit when
you're the only one who currently has Situations in play, or to use Simple
Mind even though you have lots of Situations currently in play.

One note:  counter cards, including the TCG rip, do _not_ specify you can only
use them against an opponent's card.  You can rip a TCG to counter your own
card as you play it.  Psyche is probably the only time that you will want to
do this, though.

Prematurely forcing a lock deck to play Jack Donovan or Honor Bound, or Focus
before there are any Situations out, can help you.  Making your opponent play
a card like Watcher/Treatment early in the game, when she is at full Ability,
is also useful.  As is forcing them to play a Dr. Sonny Jackson when you are
not doing any damage to them.

Against an opponent with an Ability of 15, Psyche's impact can be minimal.
However, later in the game when they have a smaller Ability, Psyche can be
crippling as they lose those cards they need, or are forced to play them
before the desired moment.

I have noted in previous reviews of game-remover cards like TSC Troopers (CotW
#14) and Amnesia (#22) that these are not particularly useful since the impact
of removal isn't felt until the next time through the target's Endurance.
Psyche suffers a similar problem.  However, careful play of Psyche under the
right circumstances can mean your opponent doesn't get a chance to play the
card the _first_ time either.  Refusing to attack the turn you Psyched your
opponent's Master's Block is a good example.

So that's what Psyche does, and how you use it.  The question is, who should
use it?

As the above indicates, there is no strong strategy for using Psyche - the
effects are a bit too variable.  Psyche can seriously hurt your opponent.
However, it could just as easily do little or nothing.  If they were going to
use that Seduce/Amanda anyway, your opponent is not going to be bothered if he
was Psyched into using it.

Still, there are a few tactics, and a few Personas, who can make best use of
the benefits of Psyche.

One tactic is using Psyche against an opponent taking a wait-and-see approach
to playing anti-Power Blow cards like Ancestral Blade.  If your opponent
doesn't have an Ancestral Blade on the table, and you Psyche them into playing
a _different_ Special, immediately make a Power Blow.  They can't play the
Ancestral Blade, and will have to deal with your Power Blow in some other
manner.  Also, unless the Special you Psyched _was_ Holy Ground, they can't
play HG either.  And if you did Psyche their Holy Ground, don't attack.  In
this manner, you can make them waste Holy Grounds and score with your attacks

The above also demonstrates that you should play Psyche _before_ making an
attack on any given turn.

This tactic is best suited to Personas who can do lots of damage without
playing a Special, since Psyche is the Special you play.  This includes Slan,
the Kurgan, Kern, and Annie.  Anyone using Master Swordsman from Watcher's
Chronicles can also benefit from this tactic, however.

Here's another tactic:  are you playing Kalas and tired of the fact they
refuse to play those Holy Grounds you know they've got?  Psyche them into
playing one and then go ahead and Stalk/Head Shot them on your next turn.

Do you use Thief?  If so, your opponent may be cautious in playing those
Objects (particularly Ancestral Blade), waiting until you remove the first one
until he plays a second.  Psyche gets them on the table quicker, making your
Thief more cost-effective.

If you use Hidden attacks and can make them without playing a Special
(Riposte, Jump, Duck, Mountain Cave, Master's Block/Richie & Duncan, Swords to
Snakes & Shadows of the Mind/Nakano, Acrobat/Amanda), Psyche is potentially a
card for you.  If you are making a Hidden attack, your opponent _can_ play an
illegal defense.  So if you Psyche him into playing a Lower Right Block, go
ahead and make a Hidden Upper Left Attack.  He must play the LRB, since it's
legal in this case.  Even if they _know_ it's an Upper attack because it's a
Riposte, they still can't play that Upper Guard because you Psyched them to
use the LRB.  This strategy works best for Connor, the primary user of
Mountain Cave.  Duncan, Richie, Amanda, and Nakano can also use it, though.

Tired of your opponent waiting to play that Location to remove your Catwalk,
and then use a dodge the same turn?  He can't do it if you use The Gathering .
. . but without Reconnaissance he also can't do it if you force him to play
another Special instead with Psyche.

Overall, Steve gives Psyche a _6_.  It is a potent two-faceted card.  It is
one of a very few cards that forces an opponent to play something.  It is also
a card that can potentially remove cards from the game.  Psyche gives you some
very subtle control over what your opponent can do.  There are several useful
combinations using Psyche, and its psychological value shouldn't be
underestimated.  It is only the card's random nature that lowers it from a 7

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - Abstain

Jeff - Blech.  Maybe if you got to _choose_, I'd have a use for this card.  As
it is, it's only going to be seen in sealed deck -- and there I'd think hard
before using it.

Rick - Psyche is a good card if you want to annoy your opponent.  About half
the time you should be able to make them get rid of a card from the game.  But
if they can't play when they have to, the probably didn't want to play it
anyway, so you really just helped them cycle cards.  You should already have a
rough idea of what cards are in their hand before using Psyche.

Hank - When I first bought my cards, I ended up with a lot of Psyches . . . so
I really tried to figure out a good use for them.  Unfortunately, I could
never get them to really have a big impact on play... and I have better
Specials to put in a deck that _do_ have a big impact.

Alan - This is a card I haven't found too much use for.  There are other cards
I would rather use to force my opponent to discard/remove cards from the game.
However, if the sole purpose of my deck was to annoy the heck out of my
opponent, then this is a card I just may use (don't laugh, I've actually seen
decks like that).

Jim - Abstain

Wayne - This card is possible a fun card to play with in non-tournament play,
but it is fairly useless in tournaments.  Upper Hand is probably a much better
alternative since you get to see your opponent's hand and discard the card you
choose.  I don't see many uses.

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   6
Ben                   N/A
Jeff                    2
Rick                    5
Hank                    4
Alan                    4
Jim                   N/A
Wayne                   2

Average:                3.83

Elizabeth Vaughn

EVENT:  Reporter.  Your opponent is hounded by a reporter.  You may discard up
to 6 cards and replace them from your Endurance.  (errata'd text)

An interesting card.  This was initially somewhat overlooked, but seems to be
coming back into vogue big time.

First, the game mechanic questions.  Elizabeth Vaughn is both an Ally and a

"Duel is delayed." is flavor text and has no impact on play.

You discard, then immediately draw the same number.

So that's how she works - what does she do and how useful is it to you?  Card
cycling is _critical_ in Highlander, and becoming more so every day.  Patience
lets you draw quickly.  Master's Stratagem lets you dump cards.  Quality
Blade/ME essentially lets you have an Ability one higher, as well as letting
you draw the card at the beginning of your turn.

Elizabeth Vaughn lets you dump a big chunk of cards and redraw them
immediately.  Using her does use up your one Special for the turn.  However,
you can still play defenses and attacks.

That suggests one use for Elizabeth Vaughn.  Don't have the defense you need?
If so, discard those defenses that aren't helping you, or that attack you
don't need at the moment, and draw up to six more cards.  Hopefully the
defense will be there.

Are you faced with an unblockable/undodgeable attack and don't have that
Alertness in your hand?  Play Elizabeth Vaughn.  You may not be able to play
another Special . . . but you can play any number of Edge cards.  If you draw
a few Patience, you can play those as well.  Not only can you draw to replace
Patience, but to replace EV as well.

If you're trapped with a useless, diminishing hand of cards due to Factory or
a multi-play Encounter, Elizabeth Vaughn can give you a boost there as well.
If you've been hit with a Charm/Kastagir or a Cat & Mouse/Defense, EV can give
you an emergency draw of cards there as well.

As noted above, Elizabeth Vaughn is a card cycler.  Did you put
Alertness/Block in your deck, and you find yourself up against Luther or Annie
Devlin?  You're probably not going to be facing an unblockable attack, and you
can dump those Alertness cards at will.

In other words, Elizabeth Vaughn can help you dump those cards you don't need.
Unlike, Master's Stratagem, it lets you dump them in bulk.

Is Elizabeth Vaughn better or worse than the Movie Edition Flashback?  As an
Ally and a Reporter, Elizabeth is more vulnerable.  However, currently there
isn't much for her to be vulnerable _to_.  The only card that affects
Reporters is Sovereign Media, a promo card that you typically don't find in
many tournament decks.  Sovereign Media _is_ a powerful card, removing all
Reporters in the target's Endurance from the game.  Even Selective Memory is
no proof against it.

However, at least one of the other two Reporters, Linda Plager, is pretty
inconsequential.  If you think you'll be up against opponents paranoid about
Reporter itself and/or Elizabeth, then don't use them.

There are not currently any cards that detrimentally affect Event Allies such
as Elizabeth, so she's in no danger there.

Balanced against this are the facts that A) Elizabeth Vaughn is a Common
(compared to Flashback's Rare status); B) not all Personas have Flashback; and
C) she allows the discard of one additional card.  Taking this all into
account, EV is currently the better of the two cards.

Of course, in Renaissance-style play, Flashback is usable and Elizabeth Vaughn
is not, making it much more useful as a card-cycler.

Another issue that arises is:  is Holy Ground/SE better than Elizabeth Vaughn?
If you are expecting a lot of attacks that can't be dodged or blocked, then
Holy Ground is definitely better.  However, it also lets your opponent cycle
cards . . . and he doesn't have to play a Special to do so!  If you have other
means of avoiding attacks (Disappear, Alertness/Block & Dodge), EV is once
again the better card.  Also, Carl won't counter Elizabeth Vaughn.

Above we note the power of card-cycling.  Using Holy Ground/SE to let your
opponent ditch cards is doing his work for him.  If you are going for a lock
deck, using Holy Ground is probably not a good idea:  why give them a chance
to draw those lock-breakers?

Elizabeth Vaughn seems like a better bet for combat and non-combat decks.  Use
Alertness/Block to avoid those unavoidable attacks, and EV to cycle rapidly
and get what you need while they have to spend their turn playing Specials to
get their vital cards.

So which Personas benefit from Elizabeth Vaughn?  Probably all of them.  The
ones without Flashback/discard have no other choice but to use her for large-
scale card cycling.

Nefertiri gets no huge benefit from Elizabeth Vaughn.  She can draw to replace
EV itself, giving her an extra card in addition to the other cards she
cycled/discarded.  In fact, she can play EV, draw to replace, and then toss
the replacement card as one of the six allowed.  This is not a huge benefit
for her.

No other Persona gains specific advantages from Elizabeth Vaughn.  The dumping
of useless cards is a benefit to anyone.

So overall, Steve gives Elizabeth Vaughn a _7_ at the current time.  If future
cards have a greater impact on Reporters and Event-Allies, then this rating
could be lower.  But right now, her ready availability to any Persona, and her
ability to move mass numbers of cards, make her a force to be reckoned with.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - Abstain

Jeff - Lizzie Vaughn is essentially a Holy Ground without the "Holy" part.
Useful only if you don't want your opponent to cycle as well.  Usually,
though, I'd rather have a Holy Ground: 4 Cards.

Rick - It's one of the best card cyclers in the game so it's good in an

Hank - Elizabeth Vaughn is a good card for throughput, if you're somehow
intent on keeping your opponent from drawing cards.  Otherwise, I use Holy
Ground/SE for the same effect.  Still, it's a card with a use.

Alan - Abstain

Jim - Abstain

Wayne - This is probably the best generic event card for card cycling.  This
card allows you to play a larger deck and still dump the "trash" without it
piling up in your hand.  This card is probably second only to Master Stratagem
as far as card cycling.

Ratings Overall:

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

Average:                6.80