Card of the Week #3 - Battlefield

LOCATION:  While on the Battlefield each player must discard a defense card at the beginning of his turn or he
takes 1 damage.

What does Battlefield do for you?

First of all, realize that you typically have a choice when Battlefield is out.  If you don't wish to discard
that Master's Block, you can always choose to take the point of damage.

However, if you have no defenses in your hand, you're going to take the point of damage.  Typically, this is a
critical moment in the game.  If you don't have any defenses, you're going to take one point of damage _and_
be defenseless against your opponent's attacks.  If you're at this point, you've almost certainly lost unless
you can get rid of that Battlefield immediately, or draw some more cards.

The Movie Edition Quality Blade is useful against Battlefield, because as a "must do" you may choose to use
it before being forced to discard by Battlefield.  The card you draw may be the defense you need to discard and
avoid damage.

With Patience, you can discard the defense, then immediately draw two cards (one to replace the defense,
the other to replace Patience).

Other cards such as Master's Stratagem and Holy Ground will be useful the turn after they are put into play.
However, since they are "may dos" they will not help you this turn against Battlefield.

One thing you can _not_ do is Exert for a defense to discard.  You always discard from your hand, never from
an Exertion.

If you are targeted by multiple defense-discard effects, such as Dangerous Ground or Cat & Mouse/Defense, you can
choose the order that you discard since those are also "must do" effects.  Always discard to the Battlefield
first:  you're not penalized if you can't discard to the other effects.  In the case of Kiss Your Butts Goodbye,
if all you have in your hand are dodges, discard them to that card:  better to take one point of damage from
Battlefield than two from KYBG.  Remember, however, that as an Event, the KYBG damage can be countered.

Battlefield is powerful because it is a rarity in Highlander:  a non-Event that causes damage.  Because of
this, the damage loss can not be avoided by cards like Police/Counter Damage or Greenfield Hobby.

And finally, the timing of Battlefield works well in favor of its owner.  Since Battlefield's effect occurs at
the beginning of the turn, you can put it into play and the first person who is affected is your opponent.  Even
if your opponent removes it, they will still be affected by it that turn.  The only exception to this is if they
play Reconnaissance first thing.

Those are general means of coping with Battlefield.  The question is:  how do you incorporate Battlefield into a
deck?

Generally speaking, a defense-heavy deck is the best place to use Battlefield.  If you have a high percentage
of defenses in your deck, Battlefield is the ideal Location for you.

Battlefield is also the Location of choice if you employ a defense-discard deck with cards such as Dangerous
Ground, Cat & Mouse/Defense, and Kiss Your Butts Goodbye.

Also, if your deck uses a high number of attacks, Battlefield is a good choice.  This makes Battlefield a
good choice for Amanda or Yung Dol Kim.  Their opponents normally have to play two or more defenses each turn.  If
they're losing another defense to Battlefield, they will soon be out of defenses.  For the same reason, any
Persona who uses Extra Shot or Combination in conjunction with Flashing Blade will also benefit.

Since Battlefield causes discarding from the hand, another Persona to look at is Nefertiri.  Her ability is
useful twice-over here.  If she does not wish to lose a defense, she simply discards it to the top of her
Endurance and immediately draws it back.  If she has an unnecessary defense, or she is in an emergency situation
when she needs new cards, she discards the defense to her discard and then draws a new card from her Endurance.

The fourth Persona who works well with Battlefield is Kastagir.  His Master's Guards allow him to maintain a
defense longer while still attacking.  And if he is low on defenses, it is more cost-effective for him to Exert
for a defense, since he can stop as soon as he gets it.

Kastagir can also severely weaken his opponent with Battlefield combined with another of his Reserved cards:
Charm.  If there is a Battlefield out and Kastagir plays a Charm or KYBG followed by a Master's Attack, his
opponent could be in serious trouble.

Another reason that Kastagir works well with Battlefield is because of the "Location-enhancer" that works with it.
Battle Priest, despite being Restricted to three, is perhaps the most effective such card.  It is one of very
few cards that cause Ability loss, rather than damage.  And one of those other cards is . . . Boom-Boom, a
Kastagir card.  Using Battle Priest and Boom-Boom, Kastagir can do seven points of ability loss that can
only be healed, not prevented.

Also, unlike some Location-enhancing cards (such as Hidden Shrine, Explosion, and Collapse), Battle Priest
doesn't remove Battlefield from play when it is used.

Reconnaissance can help you avoid the effects of this card.  However, Battlefield is more of a slow eroding
effect when compared to Locations that put you in immediate trouble such as Catwalk or Ruins.  Use of
Reconnaissance in this case is more a matter of delaying the inevitable, rather than an emergency measure.  Better
to build your deck around Personas who can benefit from Battlefield, rather than include it and play short-term
cards to ignore it.  If your opponent is using Battlefield, better to remove it as soon as possible,
rather than simply ignore it for a turn.  However, if you normally use Reconnaissance in your deck, better to play
it and avoid the Battlefield at a critical moment rather then not to play it at all.

So taking all of this into consideration, Steve's rating for Battlefield is a _7_.  It is a powerful Location,
particularly when supplemented by Battle Priest.  The problem is, it is only really suitable to four known
Personas at this time:  Kastagir and Nefertiri, and to a lesser degree, Amanda and probably Yung Dol Kim.  If you
use Battlefield with any other Persona, the results may be somewhat mixed.  And if you meet one of those four
Persona, you are in _big_ trouble.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - [Abstained]

Jim - Battlefield is an excellent card. It's probably the best location for Amanda, and can be used effectively
with a variety of other Personas.  As long as you have decent amount of defenses you are willing to discard and
aren't playing a Lean & Mean deck vs. a much larger deck, BF works well. The main reason for using BF aside from
forcing your opponent to discard defenses, is to hit them with Battle Priest. Any card that does Ability Loss to
your opponent and doesn't hurt you is a good thing. Adding in a few Reconnaissance cards can help reduce the
discards you make to BF.

Jeff - Awesome for Nefertiri, Amanda, or Kastagir; pretty good for any other attack deck (with Cat & Mouse:
Defense, of course).

Rick - The Location of choice for Amanda decks since it also keeps her off the Catwalk.

Hank - _Great_ location for Nefertiri, or good for attack-heavy Bassett or Powerblow decks.

Alan - Can't really give a high rating to a card which can damage you as well :-) However, it *is* a good card
to have out if you wish to whittle your opponent down, in defenses and/or Ability.  Played in conjunction with
Battle Priest, and maybe even Watcher/Discard Dodge, this can make for an unpleasant deck...

Ratings Overall:

Steve         7
Ben   [Abstain]
Jim           8
Jeff          8
Rick          8
Hank          7
Alan          5

Average:      7.17


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