Rapier

"Do you still think you can make a Swordsman out of me
Consone?"
- Duncan MacLeod

RAPIER
You may play an additional non-Special attack during your
turn. All Basic Attacks you play do 1 less damage. This
will not reduce an attack's damage to less than 1.
ONE HAND ICON

Rapier
Bleeding Wound 3
SITUATION
Play in conjunction with a non-Special attack. If the
attack is not successful, discard this card. While this
card is in play, your opponent takes 1 damage during his
turn for the next three turns. At the end of your
opponent's third turn, discard this card.

Rapier
Quality Blade
OBJECT
While this card is in play, you may play Basic Attacks to
an area you last blocked.

Rapier
Slice
ATTACK  (Red Grid:  Upper Left and Middle Center)
This attack cannot be a Power Blow. If the next attack
you play this turn is Slice, that attack cannot be
dodged.

Rapier
Slice
ATTACK  (Red Grid:  Upper Right and Middle Center)
This attack cannot be a Power Blow. If the next attack
you play this turn is Slice, that attack cannot be
dodged.

Rapier
Swashbuckler 2
SITUATION
While this card is in play, you may play an additional
non-Special attack during your turn for each dodge you
play during your Defense Phase.

Overview:

Rapier is one of the best Weapon of Choice cards
available, and offers a number of potent strategies to
its user. Combined with a number of other offerings from
Arms and Tactics, Highlander players should expect to see
many Personas making use of Rapier's multi-attack
benefits. In an increasingly attack-oriented game, Rapier
provides greatly increased attacking power to many
strategies.

Rapier's benefits are fairly straightforward. You gain an
extra non-Special attack each turn. This attack is in
addition to any other attacks you have the ability to
play on that turn. Although your additional attack may
not be a Special Attack, you are in no way prevented from
playing a Special Attack first, then playing your
non-Special additional attack for Rapier. In fact, this
tactic is often particularly useful, as you give your
opponent a lot to chew on. Rapier's  disadvantage is also
simple, deducting one damage from any successful Basic
Attack, to a minimum of one.

Rapier is a one-handed weapon, making it compatible with
both Shield and Parrying Blade. In both instances, use of
two WoCs gives the Persona some disarm protection with
little worry . For the most potent combos, Parrying Blade
should be considered as the supplementary choice to
Rapier.

Weapon Specific Cards:

Bleeding Wound is similar in function to the WC card
Immortal Wound. Played in conjunction with a single
non-Special Attack, the card remains in play if that
attack is successful, causing a point of damage for the
next three turns to your unfortunate opponent. Bleeding
Wound need not be played in conjunction with an attack
that does damage, as Dirty Tricks may become slightly
more troublesome. It's restriction of three makes it less
than brutally effective, but if you are playing many
difficult-to-defend non-Special attacks (as one often
does with the Rapier) it may be worth your time.

Quality Blade will see little play, as it's amplification
of your ability to effectively play Basic Attacks is less
useful for Rapier users who play as few Basic Attacks as
possible. Amanda might consider this card, as her Basic
Attacks are as effective as ever.

Slice (UL/UC and UR/UC) is Rapier's non-Special attack
offering to your arsenal. If you have multiple attacks,
and play a Slice following a Slice, the second Slice may
not be dodged. Slices can be pulled from Exertions, but
cannot be Power Blows. Though relatively easy to defend
against, these attacks can definitely have an effect as
the game goes on. Any attack that covers more than one
grid area is a potentially effective attack.

Finally, Swashbuckler allows the Rapier user an
additional non-Special attack for each dodge they play.
Considering that many Rapier users are heavy dodge
Personas, this Situation could prove effective for those
that can never have enough additional attacks.

Who should use the Rapier?

Quite a few Personas can make excellent use of the
Rapier, depending on the chosen strategy. Even
traditional Basic Attack users such as Slan can use it.
Often, the most effective and deadly, uses of the Rapier
are derived from its use in conjunction with Parrying
Blade. Parrying Blade's usefulness in conjunction with
Rapier can be chalked up to Parrying Blade's excellent
Special and non-Special attacks, which give Rapier users
even greater multi-attack capabilities. Here are some of
the Personas that might wish to consider the Rapier for
their slicing and dicing pleasures:

Duncan MacLeod:  Think "Duende" and you've got the idea.
Duncan specializes in playing non-Basic Attacks, such as
Slash, Leg Sweep, Killer Precision, Belligerent Attacks,
and Master's Head Shot (add in Flurry Strike if you'd
like). With the Rapier, he gets to initially play two of
these a turn so long as he is careful to play his Special
Attack first. A carefully-placed Leg Sweep can make life
even more unpleasant for his victim. Once Duncan plays
the Bagpipes, he can unleash all the Special and
non-Special attacks he chooses.  Use of the Parrying
Blade is just a nice bonus, giving Duncan some Surprise
Strikes in addition to everything else.

Connor MacLeod:  Effectively the same craziness applies
to Connor with the Rapier, but to a lesser degree. He
hasn't the same number of Special and non-Special Attacks
as Duncan, but his Master's Block will add some trouble
to the mix.

Methos:  With the number of Master's Attacks
(particularly Richie's) he can use, Methos can send a
number of difficult-to-defend attacks at his opponent,
utilizing a second non-Special attack. Also, Methos can
Live Forever, and then send multiple attacks back at his
opponent.

Annie Devlin:  Since Annie normally prepares a
multi-attack offense, the ability to produce multiple
attacks without first being struck must seem an exciting
option to those who frequently play Annie. Her Flashing
Blade ability gives her a head start on aggravating her
opponent with a difficult-to-defend string of attacks.
Now, if she is struck by an attack, she is even tougher
to handle.

Hugh Fitzcairn:  Hugh can set up a first turn kill,
utilizing Rapier with Parrying Blade. His ability to play
Fast Talk, and produce a number of attacks is extremely
dangerous to those who are forced to exert for a defense.

Katana:  Though his Taunt does not prevent his opponent
from escaping his attacks with a Special, he can Taunt
six times each trip through his deck. Other than that,
the same idea as Fitzcairn applies.

Fasil:  Not quite as blatantly powerful as some of the
other combos, Fasil can still Backflip, then play his
Special Attack, which will undoubtedly be unblockable and
undodgable. Then he can add in another difficult to
defend attack.

Kurgan:  More attacks mean more damage to the Warrior
Eternal. With his Follow-Up, his opponent should be
facing even more attacks that are not so easy to defend.
Also, a Dirty Trick/Brawler deck using Bleeding Wound
might be interesting.

Richie Ryan:  His ability to use his own Master's Attack,
as well as other difficult-to-defend attacks could serve
him well while using the Rapier. His ability to use a
Seduce or Taunt to increase his chances of producing a
deadly Flurry Strike attack. Who needs Battle Rage?

Amanda:  Amanda gets to make a base number of three
attacks per turn while using the Rapier. She can even use
the Basic Attacks if she wants, as they still do one
damage, but will probably do more damage with difficult-
to-defend, Seduced Flurry Strikes.

Yung Dol Kim:  With a deck full of attacks for
multi-attacking, you should have no problem finding an
attack to play as a block.

Slan  Well, Slan tends to use Basic Attacks a great deal,
but making a second Flurry Strike a Power Blow without an
Exertion is still a nice tactic. Add Flashing Blade, of
course.

Nefertiri:  Seducing the second attack, if it' s a Flurry
Strike, might be a viable option for her. Making it a
Power Blow would certainly make it hurt.

Kanwulf:  Gaining an additional attack is never a bad
thing. He could begin the game by throwing out three
Flurry Strikes. That might get his opponent's attention.

Ceirdwyn:  Why wait until you have an Ally in play before
laying down a string of attacks?

Generic Immortal - The Generic that can play without the
Basic Attacks (Anthony Gallen) could make particularly
fine use of Rapier.

What other cards should I include in my Rapier deck?

Well, if you're playing a deck that includes Rapier,
there are some essential cards you might wish to consider
to augment your strategies.

Firstly, including the Crystals in your Pre-Game
repertoire is probably a good idea. Unless those Basic
Attacks have any purpose for inclusion in your deck, you
might as well include some attacks that do a little more
damage or are tougher to defend. This tactic will save
you space in your deck.

Next, you might wish to consider adding Parrying Blade to
your strategy. The Surprise Strikes that Parrying Blade
offers are almost essential to any multi-attack deck.
They're like free attacks to give your opponent even more
trouble.

Flashing Blade is also an essential Edge to be included
in your Rapier deck. After all, you want to deplete those
dodges and strike with your difficult-to-defend attacks.
Masters Advance might also aid you in depleting your
opponents dodges.

Another Edge you might wish to consider playing is
Patience. While playing a great number of cards, it might
sometimes prove valuable to expand your options by
drawing up to your full ability.

In terms of attacking, Flurry Strikes should almost
definitely be included in your deck. Never again will a
Persona be forced to play a lone Flurry Strike with no
benefits. Also, Dirty Tricks might be able to help
further your goal.

As a note, your deck will inevitably be susceptible to
any forms of anti-attack. Safe Haven, Pedestrians,
Bystanders, and the like will interfere with your ability
to pummel your opponent. Thus, you might want to include
the appropriate remedies to these attack-hosers.

Location selection will be very important to users of
Rapier. Do you want even more attacks, and the ability to
ignore some attack-hosers? Try Dueling Grounds. Afraid of
your opponent running away from you? Try Ring of Fire.
Afraid of your opponent playing too many dodges against
you? Try The Circle (but be prepared with Reconnaissance
and some Evades of your own) or Catwalk/Dead End Alley
depending on your own dodge capabilities. Playing Connor?
Go with the Mountain Cave and really make them sweat
while trying to defend your 3-4 attacks. Playing
Nefertiri? Go with Battlefield or Factory. of course.
Your opponent will be in trouble in either of those
Locations most of the time. With most other Locations,
the usual rules apply. Use a Location that compliments
your strategy.

What to expect out of a Rapier deck

Ordinarily, this section would be entitled  How to
Defeat, but since the Rapier offers few weaknesses to its
user, that's not the most helpful strategy discussion. A
user of Rapier is going to be a dangerous opponent. The
game has the potential to be very quick and very bloody
(more so if both players are using Rapier). The user is
going to be dangerous if they are able to attack freely,
and dangerous in First Blood as well. If the Persona
using Rapier runs out of attacks, is forced to discard
them, or cannot attack, the game is in your favor. A
Persona playing this type of deck may be susceptible to
Direct Damage or Forced Discard.

What Quickenings should I use?

Some Quickenings will be inherently helpful to users of
the Rapier.  Here are some ideas:

Slan:  Adding extra punch to Flurry Strikes is a good
thing.

Kim:  With so many attacks, you ll never run out of
defenses.

Katana:  Exert to remove attack-hoser cards.

Khan:  After Hugh flies through his deck in two turns,
he'll want to take less ability loss.

Kurgan:  Probably the most effective of the bunch, your
multi-attack onslaught will be much more effective. We
will see more first turn kills than ever before.

Masters Advance:  The faster they run out of dodges, the
faster they will buckle under.

Nefertiri Draw:  Playing so many cards in a turn, you can
increase your options by immediately drawing to replace
each card played.

Overall

Overall, I assign Rapier a value of _10_. It is an
invaluable card to many types of attack decks, and will
potentially re-define the nature of the Highlander CCG.
Games will become much quicker and bloodier.  Many of the
Personas can make use of it to create deadly combinations
within the first few turns of play. Watch your heads!

Let's see what the rest of my comrades and compatriots
said...

What Our Other Raters Say:

Steve - The single best Weapon of Choice to date,
primarily because its disadvantage is negligible.
Stratagem away those Basic Attacks, or don't even bother
with them if you can get your hands on those Crystals.
Or use them as Power Blows  - they only do 3/1 damage, as
opposed to 4/2.  That's still better than Amanda.  Mix
well with Annie's ability, or Taunt/Katana, or Amanda,
whoever else you please.  It's still doesn't make Basic
Attacks obsolete (Lunge users, particularly those who
Power Blow, take note), but it comes close.  It's also a
deadly weapon with Parrying Blade, since the latter gives
more non-Basic Attacks (Surprise Strike).  Some nice
supplementary cards (except for Quality Blade *sigh).

Jeff - Rapier is definitely the strongest of the Weapons
of Choice in A&T.  In conjunction with other strong
pro-attack cards, it shifts the balance toward attacking
and away from stall, cheese, and other such strategies.
In conjunction with Parrying Blade, a huge number of
attacks can be made in one turn... without adding in
inherent abilities (Ceirdwyn, Amanda, YDK), Dueling
Grounds, The Prize: Attack, etc.  There are very few
Immortals that it doesn't complement.  Katana?
Taunt/Flashing Blade with Rapier.  Amanda or Annie?  More
attacks.  Slan?  Use Flashing Blade to make sure they
don't get away from both attacks.

Hank - The Rapier is one of my favorite of the new
weapons.  It give the benefit of Amanda (2 attacks per
round) without as much of a penalty (-1 damage only to
Basics).  Combined with the "no Basics" Bob, or three
Crystals (soon to be 6) to swap out Basics for Ripostes
or Flurry Strikes, and you have a Weapon that gives a
benefit with little to no penalty.  It's a one-handed
Weapon, so it works well with things like Pistols, the
Shield and the Parrying Blade... it's got good cards (the
Slices are nice without being abusive)... in my opinion,
Rapier is the best of the WoCs, all positive and no
negative.

Alan -

Prodipto - Definitely one of the most powerful, and
arguably _the_ most powerful Weapon of Choice, the Rapier
has a number of benefits going for it.  The extra attack
is far more valuable than the minor impediment
(particularly with Crystals) of having to lose a point
from your Basic Attacks.  Other non-Special Attacks are
not affected in any way, making Slashes much more
efficient with Rapier in play (editor's note: only Upper,
unless you're using the Kurgan Q).  Additionally Slices
allow for additional multi-area attacks.  Quality Blade
and Swashbuckler are nice support cards.  While I'd never
use Bleeding Wound myself, some people may find it
appealing as well.  Personae who should definitely
consider the Rapier (aside from everyone) are Amanda,
Annie, Ceirdwyn, Fasil, Kanis, Kastagir, Kern, Hyde and
Methos.

Allen - The Rapier is one of the best weapons of choice
from Arms and Tactics. An extra attack is a very nice
upside and makes playing slashes much easier.  This is
true even if you only play one attack per turn, but
Rapier is most useful when you intend to throw several
attacks in the same turn.  If you aren't lucky enough to
be Annie or Hyde, Rapier helps improve the quality of
your attack patterns.  Flashing Blade helps
multi-attackers, but Twist of Fate can leave you swinging
at a single dodge.  Slice, however, is undodgeable when
played in multiples. If you can play L. Slice, R. Slice,
Lower Attack, then your opponent is likely forced into
using multiple defenses.  Rapier's main strength lies in
the weapon itself.  Quality Blade can let you use a basic
attack after playing an inconvenient block, but if you
build your deck well this shouldn't be an issue.  Given
Rapier's downside for basic attacks I usually skip
Quality Blade.  Likewise I usually skip Trap.  With
opponents casually throwing 3 or more attacks per turn,
forcing them to lose one doesn't often seem like an
efficient use of my special card.  There are certainly
easier ways to try and disarm you opponent, especially
since I use so much dodge suppression already.
Swashbuckler can be nice, but I prefer cards which give
me a more constant and predictable number of attacks per
turn. Bleeding Wound, however, especially when played
with Dirty Tricks, can be a real coupe.

Bruce - If you were only able to have one WoC in your
collection, it would almost have to be either Rapier or
War Axe. Rapier's "penalty" is minimal especially if you
just cycle away the Basic Attacks or use any of the
current methods to not play with them in the first place.
The ability to play an additional non-Special attack
during your turn not only provides obvious offensive
potential, it creates an opportunity to cycle your hand
and balance cards based on an opponent's strategy. While
it doesn't have a clear power card like War Axe's Quality
Blade, most of its cards compliment Rapier fairly well.
Bleeding Wound can help you get your attacks through or
waste their Situation defense. The Slices are, if nothing
else, superior to most basic attacks. Swashbuckler gives
you a reason to put dodges back into your deck. Only
Quality Blade plays into Rapier's weak spot and even it
could find a use in many Rapier decks. What Rapier has is
versatility and the ability to fit into almost any deck
strategy that does not rely on Basic Attacks or a
specific WoC. What it lacks, if it really lacks anything,
is a clear reason to build a deck entirely around it.

Stealth Dave - Rapier is, IMO, one of the most powerful
and useful Weapons of Choice currently available, second
only to the War Axe by a slim margin.  Rapier has
arguably the least harmful "penalty" of all the Weapons.
With the existence of A&T Remove 5 Cards and Crystals,
you can build a deck with any Persona that has only one
Basic Attack, and Rapier's penalty has no real effect on
Amanda or the Bob that doesn't have to include Basic
cards. While Rapier's cards aren't necessarily
outstanding, they do provide very good support for the
weapon.  The best thing about Slice is really the fact
that it is a non-basic attack since it can easily be
blocked by Basic Blocks and Guards.  Bleeding Wound is
nice since there isn't much out there that stops
Situation damage (even Methos has to take it ;), and
Swashbuckler can really speed up those attacks.  Quality
Blade?  Eh.  Chances are you're trying to get away with
as few Basic Attacks as possible any way, so I don't see
a whole lot of use for that card.  All in all, Rapier is
a powerful contender as multiple attack strategies become
more and more popular.

Charles - Rapier is a pre-game that lets you play an
additional attack and its only drawback is that Basic
Attacks do 1 less damage...I think it is awesome! It
should make its way into every multi-attack based deck as
well as any deck that relies on finesse. Ditch that
dragon-headed katana, Conner: the Rapier is a real man's
weapon! The WoC cards that enhance this weapon provide a
decent boost as well. Swashbuckler and Bleeding Wound
will annoy any opponent that has run low on defenses, but
Swashbuckler is, by far, the more annoying of the two.
Pair this weapon with Fitz and his Fast Talks become
ungodly powerful, pair it with Kanwulf and you have a
great multi-attack deck (with or without a lot of
Specials), pair it with a Battlefield deck... well you
get the idea.  I believe Rapier is the most powerful Pre-
game since the creation of the TCG Rip.

Ratings Overall

Steve                   9
Jeff                    8
Hank                    9
Prodipto                9
Allen                   8
Bruce                   8
Sdave                   8
Jonathan               10
Charles                 8

Average:                8.56

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