EDGE: Play Courage before you make an Exertion to search for an attack/defense. You may keep an additional
attack/defense from this Exertion. The remaining cards from the Exertion are discarded.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of Courage? As with most Edge cards, Courage is pretty straightforward.
There are a few things to remember with it, however.
Courage _only_ applies to the specific Exertion you're making. You can't Exert for a Power Blow, then use
Courage to keep a defense from that Exertion. Courage only works to let you keep an attack when you're Exerting
for an attack, and at no other time.
Also, Courage says, "You may keep an _additional_ attack/defense from this Exertion." This means that you
have to have kept at least one previous attack/defense: the one you actually use. This probably won't be a
problem with Courage/Defense - even if your opponent is attacking, you can always Exert for a Guard and then keep
a Master's Dodge. However, if you're Exerting for an attack, this means you have to play one attack, and then
keep one. If you Exerted for an attack and only drew one, then you can't keep that one: Courage is useless to
you in this case.
Courage says if you are Exerting to search "...for _an_ attack/defense..." If you are Exerting to search
for more than one attack (Battle Rage, Bloodlust, Berserk, Kern's ability), it does you no good.
So what good is Courage?
Well, things don't always go as planned. First of all, you might Exert and get that Master's Block...but there
might be a Master's Dodge, or a second Master's Block in that Exertion. Rather then see that card go to waste,
Courage/Defense will let you keep it.
Also, you may be the target of a Master's Lunge . . . and draw a Back Away during your Exertion. You may not be
able to play that Back Away, but you'll probably want to hold on to it for future use. By the same token, against
an opponent who has just played Kiss Your Butts Goodbye and then threw a Master's Attack at you, that Master's
Block may be useless now, but you'll want it later.
So if you're considering using Courage/Defense, an important thing to think about is how many special
Defenses you have in your deck. Connor and Duncan, for instance, can potentially have two Master Blocks and
three Master Dodges, plus one more of each if they use the pre-game Darius.
With only two Master's Blocks, Katana, Fitzcairn and Richie have a lesser risk of Exerting and getting one of
these, and losing the other in the same Exertion.
Amanda can _never_ have too many dodges, particularly Distract. Since she is allowed six, the odds are good
(particularly if she is playing with a small deck) that she may draw two in any particular defense Exertion.
Kastagir is allowed three Master's Guards. One might think that his power means that he doesn't need
Courage/Defense. However, if an opponent has just played a fifth Cat & Mouse/Defense, and then launched a lower
attack, he'll want to hold on to that Master's Guard if he comes upon it while Exerting.
For Personas who don't have special defenses, Courage/Defense is probably a lesser consideration. In
that regard, it does very little good for Luther or Kalas.
Keep in mind that Courage/Defense will let you keep one more defense if you're forced to Exert against the ever-
What about Courage/Attack? It's very rare that you want to Exert for an attack. If you are running a non-
swordfighting deck, you're not going to want to Exert. And if you are using a swordfighting strategy, you'll put
plenty of attacks in your deck. So when will you use this Edge card?
It comes down to one thing: Special Attacks. These can not be played from an Exertion. However, anything that
affects an attack also affects a Special Attack. Thus, you can use Courage/Attack to keep a Shooting Blade, or a
Stalk, or a Master's Attack, when you are Exerting for an attack.
Why would you want to Exert for an attack? Well, first of all, if forced to Exert by a card such as Avery
Hoskins or Challenge/ME, you have to use that Exertion _for_ something. Under current rulings, you can't Exert
for a Power Block if your opponent didn't make a Power Blow (or if you didn't play a block). You may not wish
to Exert for a Power Blow. And if your opponent attacked, it's unlikely you want to rely on an Exertion
for your defense.
So unless you can Exert for something else (removing a Situation, Angus, Toadies, TSC Troopers), you're going to
have to Exert for an attack. Don't want to lose that Stalk? Play Courage. Want to use that Master's Lunge
next turn? Play Courage.
One final generic use for Courage/Defense. It can get you by in an emergency if your opponent is using Master's
Advance. Normally if you have no dodges in your hand, it's pointless to Exert for a dodge against that Master's
Attack - you don't have a dodge in your hand to discard to "pay" for the dodge you play. With Courage/Defense,
if there are two dodges in the exertion, you can add one to your hand, and use it to pay for the one you use.
So which specific Personas benefit from Courage? A better question might be to ask which ones don't. As was
noted above, Kern gains no benefit from Courage/Attack. If he's short a defense, then he can Exert for a defense,
play one and use Courage/Defense to hold on to another for later. Then he can still Exert for and play all
Any Persona that has Special Attacks or powerful defenses may very well want to use the appropriate Courage. The
ones who don't are Luther, Nefertiri, Khan, and the Kurgan.
A "tower deck" for a Persona like Duncan should probably use Courage. If such a deck is attack-heavy, and it
makes Power Blows and/or Hidden attacks, you may find yourself forced to Exert for attacks. Why? Because if
you're playing an attack every turn, and your opponent is busy dodging many of your attacks, you won't be able to
get rid of defenses. You find yourself playing attacks faster than you can re-draw them. If you intend to keep
pushing your assault, you may find yourself Exerting for attacks. With Courage/Attack you can Exert for an attack
and then keep an attack so that next turn you can use that Exertion for something else (like making a Power
So, what's the final word? Courage probably isn't the most useful card in the current tournament environment.
However, with certain decks (attack-heavy decks, tower decks, forced Exertion) that are not widely seen in
tournaments, either or both Courage can be handy. Having one or two for an emergency, if you have ways to get rid
of useless cards, wouldn't hurt either.
So Steve's rating for both cards is _3_. They work with a few specific Personas, in a few specific decks, and
have a limited emergency application.
What Our Other Raters Say:
Ben - I can't rate this card very highly right now, as I am myself still struggling to find its niche. However,
with the abundance of multi-attack Personas coming up in Watcher's Chronicles, as well as support cards (like
Flashing Blade) to enhance multi-attack strategies, I think you will see this card used quite often in the
future. Maybe we can bring it up for a vote again in 6 months
Jeff - If you use Courage: Attack, why not just play Kern? Courage: Defense is moderately better, but not
Rick - These are two of the better Edge cards that don't see as much play as they should. If you don't like
wasting the extra cards from an Exertion, this card can help cut your losses. In Kastagir's hands, you can get a
really good pay-back.
Hank - I've never found either at all useful in the decks I've built.
Alan - Courage (either version) is not really a card I tend to look at when making a deck, nor does it seem to
be one that many people use (I have yet to play against someone who actually does). My own bias against it stems
from the fact that I tend to avoid Exertions like the plague; when creating a deck, I usually want to Exert as
little as possible. However, if you prepare your deck with Exertions in mind (e.g., you use Avery Hoskins),
then this could be a card to consider using. Not an overly useful card; there are other cards I would rather
(and do) use.
Jim - Courage tends to be more of a card to use when you get in trouble. If you are making lots of Exertions for
attacks and defenses, you're definitely in trouble. The attack version of Courage would be much better if it
could be used *anytime* you exert to play attacks (defenses). This would make it usable for Berserk,
Bloodlust, and most importantly Battle Rage.
Chip - Courage is a card that, in my opinion, is way too reactive. I don't like to play with cards that my
opponent must do something that allows me to play those cards. I have never built a deck that used Courage.