Weapon Bind

EDGE:  Play in conjunction with a block.  If the block is successful, you may
not attack this turn, and your opponent may not attack on his next turn.
(errata'd text).

We come to the last card of the first "cycle" of Card of the Week, and perhaps
one of the most sorely underrated ones.

The game mechanics of this card are fairly simple, once the errata is noted.
You play a block and Weapon Bind:  you cannot play an attack this turn - your
opponent can't play an attack next turn.

Unlike cards that say you lose "an" attack (Distraction, Dodge), Weapon Bind
prevents you and your opponent from attacking at all.  Thus cards like
Combination and Extra Shot, or Amanda's Persona ability, are useless when
providing an extra attack, since you cannot make any attacks whatsoever.
Weapon Bind's effect is more akin to Pedestrian/Delay 2 Turns and Slan &
Luther's Intimidate.

The difference between Weapon Bind and those cards, however, is a critical
one.  Weapon Bind is an Edge card, making it both less vulnerable and
providing you with a few more options.

Unlike Pedestrian, Weapon Bind is immune to cards like Run Away Train and
Rooftop, as well as anything that bypasses/removes Situations (Police, Focus,
Katana).  Weapon Bind can also be used if an opponent played Renee Delaney or
Charlie, or has Wargames West or Honor Bound in play - unlike Intimidate.

So at the very least, Weapon Bind can be used as part of the arsenal of a
"Opponent Never Attacks" deck.  If the time comes when you are out of
Intimidates and Distractions and Pedestrians, let them take their attack,
block, and play Weapon Bind.

If you're using a "cheese" non-attack deck, you're probably not using most
those cards (a Luther/Intimidate cheese deck?!?).  Weapon Bind is still useful
to you, however.  If they play a Reconnaissance to slip by your Verona
Location and launch an attack, block and then Weapon Bind.

The value of this strategy is that it doesn't cost you the play of a Special
that turn.  You can go right ahead and play an Angry Mob/Careful Planning
combo that same turn.

Weapon Bind is also a handy card in decks non-Connor and Duncan decks where
you want to Power Blow.  Block, make a Power Blow, and you don't have to worry
about Hidden counter-attacks.  This makes it particularly valuable to Slan and
the Kurgan.

So Weapon Bind has some value in decks, both combat and non-combat oriented,
where you don't want to worry about your opponent attacking.  But what other
value does it have?

Weapon Bind's other strength is that it is an ideal "set-up" card.  Ever have
trouble as Xavier playing that Stalk because your opponent keeps bombarding
you with attacks?

What if you're Slan, and you have a Shooting Blade in your hand.  You're
either short on Back Aways or can't play them (due to Master's Advance,
Challenge/SE, etc.), and you can't draw those Upper or Lower Center blocks to
save your life, while your opponent keeps hitting you.  How do you fire your
Shooting Blade?

Weapon Bind lets you "lock" your opponent attack-wise for a turn, and then
lets you attack to any area on your next turn.

In Xavier's hand, Weapon Bind can be a powerful tool.  He can block an attack,
play Weapon Bind, play one of his formidable Situation Specials, then next
turn he can play _another_ Special and Stalk.  This can let him do something
like play Carl or Forethought the turn he plays Weapon Bind, then Twist of
Fate (see CotW #15) and Stalk on the next turn.  His opponent will find it
very difficult to avoid the Stalk attack.

Obviously, Connor and Duncan don't particularly need Weapon Bind, since they
can launch their Special Attacks and Slashes regardless of where they block.
Amanda probably isn't going to have much trouble playing a Slash, Master's
Attack, or a Seduced attack either.  Kastagir and Katana might want to use
Weapon Bind to pull off their own Master's Attacks, although they can attack
through their Master's Guard and Master's Block, respectively.

In Persona of the Month #1, we'll talk a bit about the Kurgan using Slashes.
These hard-to-avoid attacks are downright painful when he combines them with
his +1 damage ability.  But how does he play them?  Short of using the less-
effective Upper/Lower Center Blocks and Parries, the Kurgan is probably going
to have his blocks get in the way of his ability to counter-attack with a
Slash.

Not any more.  He can block, use Weapon Bind, and then on his next turn attack
freely with a Slash.  If he has the Ruins Location out, and/or uses anti-dodge
cards, his opponent is in serious trouble.

As the above example shows, Weapon Bind is good for Personas (other than
Connor and Duncan) who want to set up attacks that cover multiple areas.
Evade is another useful way to do this, but as a dodge it is vulnerable to
many things:  Challenge/SE, Kiss Your Butts Goodbye, and Catwalk in
particular.  Also, out of the 13 existing Personas, six (Luther, Xavier,
Nefertiri, Slan, Khan, Katana) don't have Evade or something similar like
Master's Block/Dodge/Guard, Duck, Jump, Distract.  If they want to use Darius
or the Methos Quickening to play other Personas' multi-area attacks, they'll
need Weapon Bind to set it up.

As was hinted at in CotW #11 (Parrying Blade), there will likely be more
multi-area attacks in the future.  There are really only two good ways to set
these up:  Evade and Weapon Bind.

One final note:  as Alan notes below, Weapon Bind is a good set-up card for
certain cards like Louise Marcus (CotW #9) and Nefertiri's Cunning (in
Watcher's Chronicles).

So overall, Steve rates Weapon Bind as a _6_.  It's a nice addition to those
decks that try to keep their opponent from attacking.  It can provide you with
a breather whether you are playing an attack deck or not.  It is a great set-
up both if you have other cards that penalize your opponent for not attacking,
and if you want to set-up a difficult-to-play attack.  Connor, Duncan, Amanda,
and anyone with Master's Block/Guard/Dodge probably don't need it, but most
other Personas will.  As the game evolves, this card will probably need to be
reassessed and rated a point or two higher.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - This card is only useful if the deck is built around it.  It is also
useful in sealed deck, where defenses are at a premium.

Jeff - Moderately useful in certain decks where a one-turn reprieve will allow
you to set up your game, or in combination with a Renee Delaney or other
denial card.  Not a game-breaker, but not a bad little card.

Rick - So we both can't attack, what's the point?  If you want to stop me from
attacking, use Ped-2 or Verona.  They will last longer.  Still, it could be
used to buy yourself that one extra turn you need to complete a plot instead
of having to play Holy Ground.

Hank - If you're getting pounded on, Weapon Bind is a useful card, and
thoroughly appropriate to the genre.  I like the card a lot.

Alan - A card I have used from time to time, but not on a regular basis,
usually in with Louise Marcus in play:  my opponent can't attack, and so loses
a defense for nothing.  A result I like very much.  I'm sure it will become
even more useful over time, with the release of expansions.

Jim - Weapon Bind is of limited use to attack decks but is useful for direct
damage decks.  It is good to play with a Guard since it will keep your
opponent from using Dirty Trick: Shove to remove the Guard.  You can then use
your Special to play a direct damage card instead of needing to play an attack
denial special.  Weapon Bind can be used by attack to take a break from
fighting as you replenish your attacks, or build up an attack plot.

Chip - I can see this working well in a cheese deck.  Being an Edge card it
won't take up the slot that Special would, allowing you to play those Angry
Mobs, Boom Booms, and such, and preventing your opponent from attacking.  I
haven't ever played with this card but it does have merit.

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   6
Ben                     5
Jeff                    5
Rick                    3
Hank                    8
Alan                    6
Jim                     4
Chip                    5

Average:                5.25

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