Parrying Blade

OBJECT:  You may only have one Parrying Blade in play at a time.  While
Parrying Blade is in play, you may play attacks as blocks.  If you are
Disarmed, you may still block with the Parrying Blade, but you may not attack.
(Restricted to 2)

Parrying Blade is one of a number of Objects added in the Movie Edition.  In
this reviewer's opinion, it is one of the most useful.

First of all, this is one of several cards that duplicate  a Persona's
abilities.  Just as Alertness/Hidden lets Slan or Duncan gain the "See all
Hidden attacks" ability of Connor, Parrying Blade can give Amanda or Luther
the ability to use Yung Dol Kim's skill at playing attacks as blocks.

Let's make sure we understand what this card does.  It lets you play attacks
as blocks.  This does not mean they _are_ blocks.  Thus, cards that cause you
to discard blocks and/or defenses (Kastagir's Charm, Cat & Mouse, Battlefield)
do not affect this card.

This also means that in circumstances when you _want_ to discard a defense
(Battlefield), you can't say that an attack is a block, and get rid of it.
And finally, your attacks are still attacks, and therefore subject to cards
such as Linda Plager and Caught in the Act/SE.

The above provides one strong advantage when using Parrying Blade.  If you are
playing against a defense-draining opponent, you have an emergency cache of
attack/blocks to fall back.  If Connor plays Darius + Kastagir's Charm, and
then his Master's Lunge, this can give you a reason to use that Thrust or
horizontal Slash you've been holding on to.

Unlike Kim's ability, Parrying Blade gives you another advantage:  the ability
to block when you are disarmed.  This is not quite as good as an Improvised
Weapon/Object, but it is better than the Dragon promotional card.  Why?
Because not only can you play attacks as blocks, but you can still play blocks
normally while you are Disarmed  (see the FAQ, Q11.5).  This gives you a way
to get rid of attacks which would otherwise stack up in your hand as you wait
to regain your weapon.

Parrying Blade is an Object, which makes it relatively immune to removal.
Only two cards currently remove Objects:  Thief and Misfortune. If you are
playing with an Object-heavy deck (using, say, Khan with his Armor, or Amanda
with Ancestral Blade), Parrying Blade will probably be a lower priority target
for your opponent.  Unless your opponent is playing with a disarm-type deck,
or has plenty of the above two cards to spare, once you play a Parrying Blade
it will probably stay in play.

Another mixed blessing of Parrying Blade is, unless you're using Slashes, it
doesn't provide you with very large coverage.  This is good in one sense:  if
you play a URA to block your opponent's URA, you have _eight_ areas that you
can counter-attack to.

Someone using Fasil's ability via Quickening ("If you successfully block an
attack, your next attack that turn may be Hidden.), or a large number of
Ripostes, can do quite well with Parrying Blade.  Instead of blocking and only
being able to attack to one of five-six areas, you can attack to eight areas.

In fact, if Iman Fasil is a heavy attack-type Persona, when he is released in
a future Movie expansion he could be quite formidable when using Parrying
Blade.  Block to one area, make a Hidden area to any of the other eight.
Ouch.

Why is the limited coverage of an attack/block via Parrying Blade bad?  Trying
to block a Hidden attack becomes very difficult if you play an attack that
blocks only one area.

So which Personas benefit from the use of Parrying Blade?  Any deck that has a
lot of attacks in it.  This includes Amanda (with her Persona ability), the
Kurgan (with Bloodlust), Slan (with Berserk), anyone with Battle Rage (Connor,
Nefertiri, Duncan, Richie, Khan), Annie, and Kern.

In fact, Kern probably benefits the most from Parrying Blade.  He has other,
presumably more powerful Objects (Hogg and Bowie Knife) that an opponent will
try to remove first.  And he can enlarge his Exertions to such a degree that
his odds of drawing the proper block _or_ attack-as-block are very high.

Any Personas that use extra attacks for the Extra Shot and Combination cards
in their deck can also benefit from the use of Parrying Blade.  Amanda may
benefit, but typically she prefers to dodge.  Parrying Blade can still provide
her with a useful "emergency" block or two, though.

Parrying Blade can be a useful card in conjunction with Connor's or Nakano's
Master's Disarm.  Unlike Improvised Weapon/Object, Parrying Blade is _not_
considered a weapon.  If you Disarm yourself via Discard Weapon, you can block
(using either attacks or blocks), and then take their weapon.  If your
opponent refuses to attack you can use the Parrying Blade to play Guards and
wait them out.

As was noted above, Parrying Blade is also effective if you use Slashes.
Anyone who uses the "generic" horizontal and vertical Slashes can do well
here.  However, Connor and Duncan, with their corner-to-corner Slashes, gain
the benefit of additional block coverage when using a Parrying Blade.

Annie Devlin's Master's Attack becomes much more powerful with a Parrying
Blade as well.  However, she cannot attack to any areas she just blocked so
her attack options are rather limited the turn she uses Master's Attack as a
block.

If a future effort is made to release more attacks that cover two or more
areas, Parrying Blade could prove useful in decks that use those cards.

So overall, Steve gives Parrying Blade a _6_.  It's a versatile defense card,
can provide you with protection against several debilitating strategies such
as defense-loss, and has several strategies you can build around it.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - Undoubtedly a great card, and a great sealed deck card.  Unless you are
trying to trim your deck down very slim, almost always worth playing with.

Jeff - Half of Yung Dol Kim in a can.  Not really my favorite anti-disarm
card, but useful in heavy attack decks, such as Kern or Kurgan.  Or if you
want to ditch attacks, but can't bring yourself to play something as cheesy as
Basset & Hotchkiss.  =)

Rick - This card never hurts in a deck.  It's an Object so it hangs around
longer than most situations.  It lets you expand your defense options with
attack cards in heavy attack decks.  Best of all, with it you can block an
attack then play Master's Disarm (Connor or Nakano).

Hank - Fairly useful for attack-heavy decks, but not particularly powerful or
game-changing.

Alan - Admittedly, as fond as I am of Objects, this isn't a card I have used
very often.  It is, however, quite a useful emergency card (particularly with
Slash):  if your opponent attacks to an area none of your blocks cover, then
there's a good chance that you'll have an attack to that area.  Unless you're
Connor or Duncan, you wouldn't have been able to use that attack that turn
anyway . . . may as well get *some* use out of it (such as keeping your head,
perhaps ;-) )  Also, when you have to Exert for a defense, you have a better
chance of getting an appropriate defense, since attacks count as blocks in
this case.

Jim - Parrying Blade is a good card to use in attack decks, particularly when
your the deck is attack-heavy.  I like using Parrying Blade in Slan and Kurgan
decks. Using Slash as a block against another Slash can be fun.  I usually use
Parrying Blade in attack decks which are light on Guards, like if I'm using
Ruins as my Location of choice.

Chip - If you are trying to master a nasty Bassett & Hotchkiss deck and don't
have room for all those pesky blocks, this card can help tremendously.  Since
the Parrying Blade is an Object it has a good chance to stay in play for a
while, allowing you to use those attacks as blocks.

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   6
Ben                     7
Jeff                    5
Rick                    8
Hank                    5
Alan                    7
Jim                     7
Chip                    5

Average:                6.25