Scotland the Brave

Situation
Discard Scotland the Brave and make an Exertion. All basic attacks you play
this turn may be considered Power Blows. This will allow you to make more than
one Power Blow this turn.  (Restricted to 2)

Well, this one also seems pretty straight-forward.  still, let's take a look
at the rule stuff.  Yes, Scotland the Brave is _intended_ to let you break the
rule that prevents you from making more than one Power Blow a turn.  As
anybody playing against a Slan/Berserk can tell you, there's a very good
reason for that rule.

An Exertion never "pays" for more than one thing.  So you can't Exert for
something else, and consider that Exertion to "pay" for Scotland the Brave as
well.  Sorry.

Although it seems self-evident, StB does two things.  Not only does it bypass
the "one Power Blow per turn" rule, but it makes all of your attacks Power
Blows.  So it serves the purpose of exerting for a Power Blow as well.  All
you need is a way to play multiple basic attacks.

So how do you do that?  when Scotland the Brave first came out, most of the
ways to make multiple attacks involved Exerting (Battle Rage, Berserk - not
Bloodlust since those attacks can't be made Power Blows).  This tended to get
in the way of using Scotland the Brave, since you then needed to make
_another_ Exertion to use that.

Initially, the only way to get around that was for Duncan to use
Flashback/Situation to make an extra 3-card Exertion.

Of course, you could settle for two-attack cards like Combination, Extra Shot,
Hook/Xavier and Follow-Up/Kurgan and then Exert to make the second attack a
Power Blow.  Most folks at that time didn't consider that particularly cost-
effective, though.

Since those early days, things have changed.  The Prize/Extra Exertion (CotW
#19) assures that anyone who really wants to can make two Exertions.  More
Personas have the Flashback/Situation/Extra Exert card (Fitzcairn, Annie,
Kern).  And there are more ways to make multiple attacks without Exerting (Kim
and Annie in general, Berkeley, The Prize/Extra Attack, Fury/Kane, Master of
the Hunt/Kurgan, Weapon's Training/Nakano).

So the ability to effectively use Scotland the Brave is no longer absent.  The
question is, what can you do with it and who can use it best?

The main problem with Scotland the Brave is the problem that plagues Special-
assisted Power Blowing in general:  Ancestral Blade and "free" Power Blocking
in general (Luther, his Q, even Continuity).  If you've got one of these, all
you need to do is block normally, and you're set.  Alex Johnson and Conjure,
and the neutering of Thief, make it very hard to deal with Ancestral Blade. 
Short of a card like the Gathering, your opponent can always play Ancestral
Blade (or Alex to grab an Ancestral Blade) and then block at his leisure.

Escaping multiple attacks is also fairly easy.  Carl or a willingness to rip
TCGs is a must, and even the former won't help against Disappear or Live
Forever.  Ripping on a TCG or Alex Johnson can be critical.

So who can or should use Scotland the Brave?  The aforementioned Berserk and
"standard" Battle Rage users, for one (Duncan, Khan, Richie, Connor,
Nefertiri, Slan).  Use The Prize/Extra Exertion (or Flashback for Duncan or
"borrowed" by Richie), and go for it.

Kern can "put together" a Battle Rage by using Flashing Blade in conjunction
with his Persona ability.  He also has Flashback/Extra Exert, so can pull this
off.  He can further supplement Rage in this manner, which also permits him
multiple Power Blows.

Annie also has Flashback/Extra Exert, but since she has Run Through (which
lets her make multiple Power Blows), Scotland the Brave seems a bit redundant.

Amanda can make multiple attacks easily, but with her Persona ability, why
bother?  Kim will 2-3 Frenzies on the board, and an Extra Weapon, can at the
cost of both losing two cards for his Persona ability and (typically) five
cards to the Exertion, can pull this off a bit more readily.

Even more dangerous is Kane.  Use of Dojo will let him collect up to 10 Basic
Attacks fairly readily, then make an Exertion, play his 10 attacks, and cut
loose with Power Blows.  Of course, he'll lose cards to the Exertion...

Which brings us a good time to mention using Collect to minimize your
Exertions.  Get enough of these down, and you're set.  Det. Bedsoe can be a
problem, but he doesn't deprive you of the ability to use Scotland the Brave:
he just makes it less cost-effective.  Also beware of Zocchi Distributors.

Other Personas?  The Kurgan's extra damage and "cheap" Power Blowing can let
him, in conjunction with The Prize/Extra Attack, turn an Extra Shot or Follow-
Up in to a deadly one-two.

In all cases, the key to remember is to not only put in what you need to make
Scotland the Brave effective, but deal with any "escape" cards your opponent
might have.  This can mean your deck may be slow to develop.  But once you've
cut off most avenues of escape, a single Scotland the Brave used in a multi-
attack combo can be the turning moment in a game.

So overall, Steve gives Scotland the Brave a 5.  It's slow to prepare if you
want it to work effectively, but powerful if you can pull it off and cover all
the bases.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Jeff - Another fun and not overly powerful promo card, this one makes the
multi-attack decks a bit stronger.  Not much stronger, but a bit tougher. 
Annie, Kern (with some way to make 2 exertions), maybe the MacLeod boys (with
Bagpipes and The Prize: Attacks) could possibly benefit from this, but it's
still not quite tournament level.

Hank - A useful card in multiple-attack decks, doubly useful in a deck which
restricts Exertions and removes Ancestral Blades.  I've used it before, and I
like the card.

Alan - At one point, this card's best use was in Duncan's hands, due to his
fairly easy ability to make extra Exertions _and_ play multiple attacks during
his turn.  However, now that just about _anyone_ can make multiple Exertions
and attacks during their turn, this card's usefulness has skyrocketed,
especially with those Personas who have an inherent ability to make multiple
attacks.

Jim - This card is not very useful for most Immortals, but those who can use
it to advantage, benefit from it considerably.  This is an essential card for
any Duncan deck built around multiple attacks such as a Duncan Battle Rage
deck.  Annie can also benefit from Scotland the Brave.  The key is getting
some way to make an additional Exertion.  The Prize/Exertion is the card to go
with for non-Duncan personas.

Wayne - One of the better one-turn kill cards for multiple attack decks. 
Drawbacks are Ancestral Blade or Event cards that escape damage.  You can't
really base a strategy around this card but it's not a bad complimentary card.

Prodipto - This is a good card for multiple attack type decks.  Kern and Annie
can benefit from it, although Kern needs a way to make two Exertions (read
Signorina Arianna...).  Similarly, Battle Rage and Berserk decks can benefit
whether through the use of Flashbacks (Duncan), or Signorina Arianna (Richie,
Nefertiri, Slan).  It's a good card, but it requires you to design a strategy
around it.

Allen - This is a promo which was easy to get, and works well if you build
your deck around it.  It won't do you much good if you just toss it into an
already existing deck.  Multiple Power Blows can be a pain for your opponent
to deal with, especially if he can't run to church or dodge freely.  Take
relevant precautions such as Flashing Blade, Battle Rage, Carl, etc.  You
should also watch out for Ancestral Blade.  A Duncan Battle Rage using five
Flurry Strikes can be most effective when you use his Flashback to get the
exertion for StB.

Bruce - Well, other than the requirements of waiting a turn to use it and
having some means of making multiple attacks, this is a very effective card. 
There are now other means of making multiple Power Blows in a turn and I have
seen people have significant difficulty in pulling this one off.

Stealth Dave - A previously unattractive card, StB is now quite viable with
Kane's Fury and YDK's Frenzys.  It takes a lot of planning to set it up
correctly, but it can be worth the effort.  I would suggest using The
Gathering with this card so that your efforts are not wasted.

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   5
Jeff                    4
Hank                    7
Alan                    8
Jim                     7
Wayne                   6
Prodipto                5
Allen                   7
Bruce                   5
Sdave                   6

Average:                6.00