Maurice

Event
Turn over cards in your Endurance and discard them until
you find the one you would like to keep.  Then put that
card in your hand.

Maurice is a Rare that, like a number of the older Allies
like Brenda Wyatt and Louise Marcus, haven't been so much
dismissed as simply overlooked.

Game mechanic questions first.  In the case of Maurice
they're pretty straightforward.  Maurice is a Special,
and if you play him he counts as your Special for the
turn.  So if you use him to grab a Special, you can't
play it that turn (unless you use Chessex - see below).

And...that's it.  Pretty simple, eh?

So other than target practice on your dart board
(apologies to the legions of Michel Modo fans out there),
what can you do with Maurice?

Obviously, he's of little or no use in a small deck.
There's enough "vapor" out there that as long as you
actually want to play a non-Edge card rather than Exert,
you can do so.  Why use Maurice to cycle through your
deck when you can use Patience, Lean & Mean, A Master's
Focus, Desperation, Martin Hyde, the Nef Qs, etc.?

So that means Maurice goes into the larger decks.
Fortunately, these have gotten somewhat of a boost with
the release of Big & Bad in the Arms & Tactics edition.

The use of Maurice in such a larger deck is obviously.
Even with Big & Bad, you may not have the defense or
attack you need.  Or in anticipation of a combo you want
to play next turn, you don't have the one card you need.
In either case, play Maurice and prepare to start
digging.

Big & Bad can be used in much the same manner.  However,
it is both limited to and required that you draw ten
cards.  With Maurice, you can keep on going past ten
cards.  Alternately, if the card you needed was the first
one you drew, you can stop then and there.

Big & Bad also has the disadvantage that it raises your
deck size minimum.  Maurice has no such limitation.  You
can put him in a 60-, 70-, or 80-card deck.

With Maurice, you also don't need to keep going until you
get the card you need.  If the Kurgan played an attack
and you're looking for the proper block, but you draw
Holy Ground instead and suspect he's going to use a
Bloodlust in a turn or two...keeping the HG might be the
better option.

This brings out another interesting point.  Don't forget
that you can Exert after playing Maurice.  If you get a
Special that you'd rather keep while looking for a
defense, keep the Special and then Exert.

For Edges this is also a pretty good deal since unlike
Specials, you can play the Edge the same turn you use
Maurice.  For those who can make multiple attacks without
playing a Special (Amanda, Kern, Kim, Rapier and Katana
users), drawing that Flashing Blade at the critical
moment may be just what you need to put your opponent in
a bind.

One final use for Maurice is in a Chessex-based deck.
Play Maurice as your first card, look for the Event that
you need, and play it as the second card.  Direct damage
cards can get at useful stuff like Angry Mob/SEs and
Careful Planning that much quicker, _and_ play it.  This
gives the opponent less time to slap down The
Gathering/Promo (if they're using it) and lock you.

The main problem with Maurice is that...you may have to
some digging to get what you want. This can be good in a
while.  It means you can get rid of some garbage, as you
toss those Upper Center Attacks and Evades that you've
realized you don't need.

It's bad in that, with each card you draw you're that
much closer to an Endurance burn.  You may also have to
go past some cards that _might_ prove useful in return
for a card that you need that will prove useful _now_.

So to use Maurice, you have to both have discipline and
be flexible.  If the card you need is down deep, get used
to the idea that you're going to have to toss some other
stuff to get to it. But you need to be flexible in that
you may have to change your plans depending on what cards
come up.

Since Maurice does increase your chances of Endurance
burn, Khan or someone using his Quickening get best use
out of him so the Ability loss is minimized when you do
take the burn.

Tower decks, particularly those who use larger numbers of
certain cards to make up for critical cards being lost in
the shuffle, can also benefit from Maurice.  Such tower
decks typically feature the following Personas: Duncan,
Connor, and Kern, but practically anyone else under the
right circumstances.

If you're not playing at least a 60 card deck, you
otherwise probably won't find much use for Maurice.  This
does mean that if the Big & Bad tournament format becomes
popular, Maurice may see much more use.

So overall, Steve gives Maurice a _5_ rating.  It can
prove vital under the right circumstances, particularly
if you favor large decks.  I do, so I tend to rate it a
little higher.  If this format becomes more popular, the
5 rating will also be more warranted.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Jeff - Not a card you see very often... and for good
reason.  Maybe it would have some use in sealed or in a
huge deck as a Luck.  Even then, I think I'd rather build
without Maurice.

Hank - Maurice has some uses (defending against that
Master's Head Shot, for instance), but I've never really
used him much.  The cost of going through a lot of cards
I've always seen as a last-ditch kind of thing, so I've
never found a good offensive need for him... and, as
defense, there are lots of other Events less costly (Live
Forever, anyone?)...

Alan - Abstain

Prodipto - Maurice is best suited for novice players.
Until good deckbuilding strategies have been learned,
Maurice is a nice failsafe to get a card you need for
your strategy to work.  The drawback is the high card
turnover, but he allows players to cycle cards much more
readily.  He has no place, however, in a well-built deck.

Allen - Abstain

Bruce - An interesting and fun card that actually works.
With six of these and some decent cycling, you can make a
big deck that may not win a lot of tournaments, but will
at least win some games. While the fact that he uses your
Special for the turn limits his emergency use, you can
use Maurice to make a toolbox extrordinaire, to stack for
First Blood, to commit suicide, and to get to cards in an
Exhaustion deck.  Most tournament decks are small and
will find little use for him, but if Big & Bad changes
that, I see Maurice seeing a lot more use.

Stealth Dave - Not much I can really say about Maurice.
I've never really had much use for him.  He's more of a
desperation card than anything essential to a strategy.
If you _have_ to get to one particular card, you're
better off going with a 44-card vapor deck.  He might
have some use in a tool-box deck, but there you're better
off playing as Methos (ack!).  Unless you need lots of
Allies in play (Ceirdwyn, Clan MacLeod), there's not much
call for this romantic Frenchman.

Jonathan -  Generally, a card with more risk than reward.
Unless that card you're searching for is so integral to
your strategy, or could win you the game at that very
instant, Maurice will be an effort in futility. Even if
you could guarantee not having to go very far through
your deck, attempting to cycle to the card would be a
fonder fate than using Maurice. Probably a fun card at
times, but just not worth the space. His place is in a
Big and Bad deck (perhaps) but is better played in a Cull
the Weak deck, helping Khan (or a user of his Q) get to
dual-player exhaustion quicker. Not a card I'd expect to
see in high-level play.

Charles - Great if you have a massive deck, are fishing
for an Edge, or if you are playing a deck that relies on
getting specific cards quickly.  Maurice is, however, the
poor man's Desperation/Nefertiri and if you are going to
use it, then I highly recommend replacing Maurice with
Desperation and switching your persona to Nefertiri.

Ratings Overall

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

Average:                4.13

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