No Event cards may be played while Garfield is in play. Discard Garfield if
you draw a card.
Well, here is another of a relatively small group of anti-Special cards,
joining the company of Honor Bound, Wargames West, Honor Bound, Renee Delaney,
Charlie, and Turn of Events (CotW #17).
Game mechanics first. Garfield is a pretty direct card. Exerting for cards
is _not_ drawing cards, and does not remove Garfield. The "reshuffle" effect
of Holy Ground/ME is not considered drawing either. The effects of cards like
Holy Ground/SE, Master's Stratagem, Patience, Dr. Alan Neyman, Brenda Wyatt,
and Quality Blade/ME _are_ considered to be drawing cards.
If Garfield is Focussed, then you may draw cards at any time(s) during your
turn without removing him. This includes if you are forced to draw cards, due
to Holy Ground/SE. Since Garfield is Focussed, you can also play an Event.
Garfield is an Ally.
The first thing to remember when using Garfield is that he _only_ affects
Events. All players may use Edges, Situations, Locations, and Objects despite
On the other hand, there appear to be more "generic" Events. Not everyone
uses Quality Blade, or Honor Bound, or Plots. However, there are very few
decks that don't use Police/Remove Situation, or Watcher/Treatment, or Holy
Ground, or Darius.
Of course, Garfield will restrict your ability to play Events along with your
opponent. Still, if you are playing an Event-light, Situation-heavy deck,
Garfield has several benefits. If your opponent has to use Focus to deal with
Garfield, he'll have fewer Foci for your other Situations. You can use Focus
yourself to strategically play an Event _and_ draw cards so that Garfield
isn't removed as a result.
Garfield's primary use is in conjunction with the other anti-Special cards
mentioned above. Garfield won't stop your opponent from playing Specials, but
he nicely supplements cards like Wargames West and Turn of Events. He does in
this in two ways.
The first is that you can only have so many Renee Delaneys, and Charlies, and
Wargames Wests, in your deck. Garfield isn't perhaps as effective as any of
these cards. However, you can have up to six of him.
The second, that his effect acts on _top_ of these cards, is better. If you
have Wargames West and Garfield down, you can play an Object or Situation and
your opponent _still_ can't play any Events on his next turn. He can play
Objects and Situations. However, those typically don't let you heal damage
(Watcher/Treatment), avoid attacks (Holy Ground) or remove Situations (Police
Remove/Sit, Investigation, exempting Simple Mind and Plan Ahead).
If you Focus Garfield in this case, you can even play an Event to do any of
these yourself, and he will still be limited by Garfield if not by Wargames
Playing Garfield with Honor Bound is probably not as good an idea. You will
have to Focus both Garfield and HB if you want to play an Event. However, if
you do want to use both, it isn't impossible. Get Garfield down first so you
don't have to Focus HB to play him. When you want to draw cards, Focus
Garfield. The combination of HB and Garfield makes it very difficult for your
opponent to play any Specials, much less the critical Event ones mentioned
A similar rationale applies to Turn of Events plus Garfield. Your opponent
will have to Focus Garfield to play an Event. And even if he does, he still
has to Exert. Either that, or burn two Focus cards. Meanwhile, if you built
an Event-light deck, you won't really care, and can Focus Garfield when you
want to draw.
Garfield does work well with two other categories of cards. The first are
those who let you raise your hand size above 15, so that you have a larger
pool of cards in your Ability to use rather than drawing. Master's Endurance
is useful here, and there are several cards in Watcher's Chronicles that can
let you draw to a large amount of cards, which you then keep thanks to
The second category is cards that relate to drawing or not drawing. These
include Factory and Shadow of the Mind.
The next question is which Personas should use Garfield. As noted above, any
Situation-heavy deck can do so. There are two Personas who typically meet
this criteria: Xavier and Nakano. Both have powerful Persona-specific
Situations. Garfield can limit Nakano's special ability. However, the
Sorcerer's ability is more of an emergency measure, and not one you build a
deck strategy around. Garfield will let Nakano make it difficult for
opponents to deal with cards like Master's Maneuvers, Mirror Image, Swords to
Snakes, and Shadows of the Mind. The latter in particular is useful since
Nakano doesn't want to draw cards when using that either.
Xavier can hide behind the double anti-Event barrier of Forethought and
Garfield, and he can use Plan Ahead as a non-Event way to remove his
opponent's Situations. Xavier _does_ have to play an Event to complete most
of his Plots, so he will either have to save his Foci or use Cat & Mouse.
Who else should use Garfield? Any particular deck that relies mostly on
Situations and Objects. The Kurgan is a good choice here: he can easily use
a Situation-heavy Plot deck to wreck havoc on an opponent. He has the added
advantage of Disguise: Garfield helps to protect Disguise from removal (since
an opponent has to use two Foci to Police either card), and limits an
opponent's ability to escape to Holy Ground against the Kurgan's attacks.
One caution, however: for any Power Blow-oriented Persona (primarily the
Kurgan, Slan, and Connor), Garfield is not a whole lot of help. A lot more
people use Ancestral Blade rather than Continuity, and Continuity rather than
Stamina. Garfield isn't going to stop your opponent from using Ancestral
Blade or Continuity to thwart your Power Blows.
Nefertiri decks are not necessarily Event-light. However, since she can draw
up to her Ability multiple times, she gains additional advantage from using
Focus + Garfield.
Any anti-Special deck might benefit from Garfield, when used in conjunction
with other such cards. Again, this tends to include Slan and the Kurgan
(because they can inflict lots of damage without playing Specials), and Connor
(thanks to his Master's Block/Lunge/Stance combination).
So overall, Steve gives Garfield a _6_. He is not the best of the anti-
Special cards: he's neither as reliable as Renee Delaney, or as persistent as
Honor Bound. Unlike Turn of Events, however, he is an absolute barrier to
Event play. And the Event-only clause means you can build a deck around him,
while your unprepared opponent could be stuck with a large hand of Events they
can't play at a critical moment.
What Our Other Raters Say:
Ben - I give it a 7 because it's a useful card, in the right deck.
Admittedly, the deck in question is a lock deck, but Garfield is a real
sleeper. A single Garfield on the table forms a lock that stops most attack
decks, which rely on Events, but lets a Plot deck keep right on rolling.
Jeff - Garfield is less useful than its promo relative Turn of Events (boy,
where have I heard that before: Second Wind/Nexus? Continuity/Ancestral
Blade?). However, it shares the same problems - namely, that it is all but
useless against the majority of cheese decks since they are Katana. Tack on
the fact that you can't draw up without Focus, and this one adds up to another
Rick - This card can be dangerous in Nefertiri's hands. Since she can draw up
at any time, she can lock you out of Events but draw up to remove Garfield and
then play her own Events the same turn.
Hank - Less comprehensive than Honor Bound, and harder to keep in play.
Drawing cards is important to almost any strategy. I could see it used with
Focus in a Nefertiri deck, but the few times I've used it in other decks it's
been fairly worthless to me.
Alan - A good anti-cheese card (except against Katana, of course), but has a
fairly big drawback, in my opinion (I *love* drawing cards at the end of my
turn!). Nothing that a few Focii can't get around.
Jim - Garfield is a good card for slowing down Event decks. It is especially
useful against Lean & Mean direct damage cheese decks. Since Garfield goes
away if you draw a card, it works well with Factory. I rarely use Garfield
due to the limitation on drawing a card. I prefer using Quality Blade/ME
which requires a card draw and Master's Stratagem which permits an optional
draw. I use Honor Bound and War Games West to hamper cheese decks. I would
only use Garfield in Lean and Mean deck with 6 Focus, to get a single one-turn
delay, in which case Renee Delaney is a better card.
Wayne - Garfield is a very useful card for someone with situation-heavy and/or
attack decks. It's a good anti-cheese card and it helps prevents Police, Holy
Grounds, or Watchers from being played. Its usefulness is somewhat diminished
because you must have an ample supply of cards in your hand and you can't play
Event cards yourself. I rarely use this card because of these reasons and
Katana simply exerts to remove it.