Cull the Weak 
Situation 
Tired: While this card is in play, all players must
discard two cards from the top of their Endurance for
each Special card they play. Discard this card if you
play another Cull the Weak. 

Cull the Weak
Situation
Weak: You may only play this card if you have Tired in
play. Discard Tired. While this card is in play, all
players must discard two cards from the top of their
endurance for each card they play. Discard this card if
you play another Cull the Weak. 

Cull the Weak
Event
Exhausted: You may only play this card if you have Weak
in play. Discard Weak. At the beginning of their next
turn, all players must discard the top card of their
Endurance until they exhaust.

We now turn, somewhat belatedly, to the first of the new
Arms & Tactics cards.  The three Cull the Weak cards
introduce a new concept to the Highlander CCG: "Neo-
Plots."  These cards must be played in a particular
sequence, like regular three-part Plots.  However, unlike
Destruction or Unholy Alliance, each of the first two
parts have an effect on the game as well as acting as a
prerequisite for the next part to be played.

Game mechanics questions first.  Despite any
similarities, Cull the Weak is _not_ a Plot, and Xavier
gains no benefit from his Persona ability when using CtW. 
Nor can Kalas use Forgery with it, or anyone benefit from
using Plot Twist or Schemer.  Simple Mind will have an
effect on CtW.  However, Cull the Weak is immune to
Investigation and Alan Baines.

Timing-wise, the loss of cards due to the first two parts
occur consecutively with the play of the relative card. 
Thus, if you played Fortune Teller, you would discard the
top two cards, _then_ look at the top six cards and
rearrange them.  For Patience (with Weak in play), you
would play Patience, discard your top two Endurance
cards, and then draw up to your Ability.

Cards that are put into play by another card do not count
as being played twice.  Thus, if you play Conjure, you
put an Object from your Endurance into play.  However,
you don't burn four cards for first playing Conjure, then
putting into play the Object.

A card that is Focused is still present as a Situation
with a title.  So if you Focus Tired, you can still play
Weak.  However, Weak will still remove Tired, as per the
text on the former.

Your Cull the Weaks have no effect on your opponent's,
and vice versa.  However, the same Situation's effects,
even if there are multiple copies in play by different
players, never stack.  So if you and your opponent both
have Weak in play, you each discard two cards for each
card you play, _not_ four.

Tired and Weak _are_ different Situations (albeit with
the same title), so if you have Tired in play and your
opponent has Weak, they do stack.  So playing a Special
requires that you lose four cards from the top of your
Endurance.

Exhaustion's effect occurs at the beginning of each
player's next turn, as a "must do" effect.  This means
that the person who played it will Exhaust at the
beginning of their next turn, after their Sweep Phase. 
The Exhaustion that was played will be Swept _before_ the
deck is burned through, and then reshuffled.  That can be
important in terms of timing.

So that's how Cull the Weak works in general terms.  More
specifically, how and what should you use it for.

While the first two parts are by no means absolute card-
playing preventatives, they do make sure that an opponent
will pay a heavy price for playing many Specials (with
Tired) or cards in general (with Weak).  Playing four
Lean & Mean and three Patience cards in a turn doesn't
look like quite such a good idea if Weak is in play. 
Similarly, Tired can hurt a Chessex user.

Particularly when using Tired, you want to build your
deck to specific requirements.  Thus you want a deck
which doesn't necessarily rely a great deal on Specials. 
We'll look at who can do that below when we look at
specific Personas.

Weak is more of a general all-round exhaustion card.  It
is best used when you have a "tower" deck and want to
drive a smaller-sized opposing deck to Exhaustion before
you do.  A Lean & Mean deck, if it doesn't or can't deal
with Weak, will quickly burn itself out even under the
best of circumstances.  Of course, with a larger deck
your chances of getting Weak out are that much smaller.

Exhaustion is good for only one thing:  causing you and
your opponent to burn out quickly.  Since it is the third
part of the chain, it can be difficult to play and other
Exhaustion-type cards that affect both players (Desert,
possibly Challenge/ME and Avery Hoskins) are probably not
recommended.  You could easily go past Exhaustion or even
the Weaks that you need to get down so that you can play
Exhaustion.

One of the differences between Cull the Weak and standard
Plots is that the first two "parts" of Cull the Weak have
their own effects, meaning that the mix of the six cards
you wish to include in your deck can vary considerably. 
You may wish to use six Tireds, for instance.  Or three
Tireds and three Weaks.

Getting Exhaustion into play is the trickiest
combination.  You could hope to have two of each "part,"
and be able to play them in two straight sequences of
Tired-Weak-Exhaustion.  Because of the timing for when
Exhaustion is swept, and the deck cycling takes place,
this is possible to do.  However, you may find a 3-2-1
combination of the three "parts" a bit better.  Remember,
cards like Schemer and Plot Twist won't help you to
complete the sequence any quicker.  Assuming, again, that
you _want_ to play Exhaustion.  However, regardless, you
probably don't want to have more than two Exhaustions
selected from among your six permitted Cull the Weak
cards.

This brings us to the question of who should use Cull the
Weak?  This can vary a bit, depending on if you go with a
6-0-0 strategy, or a 3-3-0 strategy, or a 2-2-2 strategy. 
However, typically Khan is the master of card burning and
Exhaustion.  Six Tired cards, in combination with Desert
(CotW #55), can be extremely painful.  The opponent loses
two cards at the beginning of their turn, and then must
either play a Special to deal with Desert (losing two
more cards due to Tired), or to deal with Tired itself
(costing two more cards).  That leaves the other card to
sock them with two more cards lost next turn.  Use of
Reconnaissance, Focus, and A Master's Focus can help to
get around this.  However, that means those cards are
tied up and can't be used to advance the strategies their
owner intended them for.

Weak assures card loss even if Reconnaissance and the
Foci are played.  What this adds up to is that Khan (or
someone using his Quickening) comes out ahead, since he
only loses three Ability when Exhausting.  And
Exhaustion, of course, means that when played Khan's
Persona ability kicks in right away.

Tired, particularly six by themselves, can prove useful
if you plan to play a deck relatively low on Specials. 
Personas best suited to this are typically:

    1)  Duncan:  diagonal Slash, Razor's Edge, Master's
    Block and Dodge, Leg Sweep, Master's Head Shot,
    Superior Tactics;

    2)  Connor:  diagonal Slash, Master's Block + Master's
    Lunge, Master's Block + Lunge + Head Shot;

    3)  Slan:  Master's Head Shot, and "free" Power Blowing
    plus Edge enhancements like Lunge and Appel;

    4)  The Kurgan:  "cheap" Power Blowing plus the same
    Edge enhancements as Slan;

    5)  Fasil:  Master's Lunge + Backflip, Fleche, Side
    Steps; and

    6)  Methos:  borrowed Master's Head Shot/Kurgan,
    Master's Blocks, Attacks, and Lunges, Immortal
    Research, Superior Tactics.

Two others can include Kern (can make multiple attacks
without playing a Special, enhancing them with Edge cards
like Flashing Blade and Lunge), and Ceirdwyn (multiple
attacks from pre-game Allies plus the same Edge
enhancements as Kern).

Personas who can play Specials early on, then play Tired
and benefit from the in-play Specials without further
Special play, can also use Tired.  Ceirdwyn once she gets
some Allies down, Kanis after he has played his Hounds,
and Yung Dol Kim after he has a few Frenzy's in play, are
good examples of this.

Personas who can duplicate the functions of certain
Specials, without actually playing those Specials, can
work well with Tired as well.  These include Katana,
Nakano, and Fitzcairn.  As always, Nakano discarding a
Special to duplicate an Event is not considered to be
"playing" that Event, so he loses no cards due to Tired.

In all of these cases, you can set up what you need (if
anything), and then put Tired into play while you advance
your non-Special tactics.  An opponent can easily lose
valuable cards playing Specials to deal with your barrage
of attacks and potential Power Blows.

It's interesting to note that in some of these cases,
Tired may help a deck while Weak can actually hurt the
same deck.  Kern might be able to make his opponent pay
for playing those Specials, but if he plays Weak, he's
going to lose two cards for each attack he makes.  And
since his strategy is multi-attacking, that's going to
hurt a lot.

The same applies to Personas that rely on elaborate
multi-defense/attack/Edge combos.  A Duncan deck that
plays Jump, Leg Sweep, Flashing Blade, and Master's Head
Shot won't lose any cards due to Tired, but he'll lose
eight cards due to Weak.

This also means Weak is a minor defense against multi-
attack types.  A Kurgan deck that plays Bloodlust when
Weak is in play is going to exhaust even quicker than
usual.

So overall, Steve gives Tired a _7_, Weak a _5_, and
Exhaustion a _2_.  Tired in and of itself is a fairly
potent card in the right type of deck, and as shown
above, there are a lot of Personas it can work with. 
Weak requires Tired to be in play, is much broader in
scope, and typically will probably only be of use to
those using Khan or his Quickening.  Exhaustion requires
that Tired have been played, and that Weak is in play,
making it difficult to pull off.  It's really only of use
in decks based on Khan's Persona ability.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Jeff - I'm not a big fan of this set of cards, since it's
pretty evident that the first two-thirds encourage
stall/"do-nothing" decks.  Never the less, they do
perhaps encourage larger decks (and Khan), so it's not
_all_ bad.  What I can't see is why you'd ever use the
third part.

Hank - I like Cull The Weak.  It fits with Khan decks, or
non-Special decks, or decks which retrieve cards from the
discard pile.  I think between Cull The Weak and Choke
we're going to see more Exhaustion strategies develop. 
Not overpowering, but a good set of cards.

Alan - Abstain

Prodipto - Most valuable for Khan, the Cull the Weak
series is also good for tower decks.  Many decks,
particularly at the tournament level, stay between 44-50
cards.  Rapid card turnover, particularly if used in
conjunction with Avery Hoskins, and Zocchi's can
completely throw off somebody's strategy.  The trick with
Cull the Weak is that, like plots, it is difficult to get
the third card out.

Allen - Abstain

Bruce - (Tired) Since this is the first card of the
series it can be played alone in the deck and is the most
likely to be seen as a result. It can be used in any
moderate size deck that is light in Specials or just as
an augmentation to other Exhaustion strategies. (Weak)
This card can devastate any speed deck no matter how big
it is. If you play a defensive stall deck, you can slow
down your opponent's strategy dramatically without losing
a lot of cards. This will likely either put you in First
Blood where you wanted to be any way, or your opponent
out of the game from Exhaustion and the inability to get
to his cards. (Exhausted) As a closer, this is a fairly
decent card, but in the current First Blood environment,
I don't actually think you will see it hit the table to
frequently.

Stealth Dave - Abstain

Jonathan - This is a fun neo-plot but probably not a very
effective one. It lends itself to one particular Immortal
very well (Khan) but few other decks will wish to use the
full set of three.  The best part about these neo-plots
is your ability to use only parts of them if you wish.  A
low Special deck can utilize Tired to penalize the
opponent more greatly than they are penalized.  Likewise,
a deck that plays very few cards a turn may wish to use
Weak to prevent their opponent from unleashing a multi-
attack arsenal, or playing a plethora of Edges in a turn. 
Only Khan has a tremendous advantage when using
Exhausted.  With a bunch of healing in his deck, Khan
might be able to run you through your deck a few times
using this set, but I don t foresee it getting a lot of
use otherwise.

Charles - I like Cull a lot; especially with the Khan
persona or a tower deck; Unfortunately, this group of
cards affects all players.  Fortunately you only need to
get Cull: Tired into play to annoy your opponent.:)

Ratings Overall

Steve               7/5/2
Jeff                4/6/3
Hank                7/7/7
Alan                  N/A
Prodipto            5/5/5
Allen                 N/A
Bruce               6/7/4
Sdave                 N/A
Jonathan            3/3/2
Charles             6/7/5

Average:                5.43/5.71/4.00

------------------------------------------------------------------