Challenge/Series Edition

No dodges may be played until the end of your next turn.

As Jeff Barnes notes below, this card seems to have been overshadowed by the
Movie Edition's anti-dodge cards.  This is definitely true . . . and
Challenge/SE needs to be reassessed.

First, the game mechanic questions.  Challenge does _not_ make an attack (or
attacks) undodgeable.  It does not modify _any_ attacks.  This is important to
understand.  What Challenge does is limit your ability to play dodges from
your hand.  This is, in a sense, no different than the final result of Kiss
Your Butts Goodbye.  The fact that you _can't_ play dodges is not the same as
the fact that an attack is undodgeable.  Why you can't play those dodges (bad
luck, Kiss Your Butts Goodbye, or Challenge) is irrelevant.  The dodges simply
are not available to play.

Because of this, Alertness/Dodge will not help you when you are affected by
Challenge.  The attack your opponent is throwing at you _is_ dodgeable - you
are simply unable to play those dodges that you have.

The price for this power is the fact that Challenge spans three turns:  the
turn its owner plays it, the opponent's next turn, and the owner's _next_
turn.  However, in practice the person playing Challenge will only be limited
by it for one turn.  Unless they are foolish enough to play it during their
Defense Phase, that is.

That is how Challenge works.  How does it work within the confines of
Highlander?

Quite well, actually.  In Series Edition, Challenge was _the_ way to nab those
elusive Xavier and Amanda decks.  If you had a Connor, Slan, or Duncan power
blow deck, you needed to slow those opposing Personas down.  Challenge was the
only way to do it.

Challenge further benefited Slan, since he could play it with Shooting Blade
and have a very unpleasant combination.  Only a Holy Ground (or the far less
used Narrow Escape) would allow any target an escape route, and Carl could
take care of that.

The release of Movie Edition unleashed a veritable horde of anti-dodge cards.
Master's Advance, Kiss Your Butts Goodbye, Advance, and Catwalk are the most
predominant ones.

Are these more powerful than Challenge?  Actually, no.  Catwalk, as a
Location, can be replaced or removed.  Even if The Gathering is out,
Reconnaissance will allow a brief respite.  And since everyone plays with
Locations, Reconnaissance is very much a "must have" in every deck.  You'll
never lack for an opportunity to play it:  on your own Locations, if nothing
else.

Advance doesn't seem to see a lot of play.  Personally, I find nothing more
pleasant than Slan making a Power Blow and using Advance when a Catwalk is
out.  However, Ancestral Blade (and Continuity, to a far lesser degree) has
made this strategy almost useless:  your opponent can easily and cheaply Power
Block.  In any case, Reconnaissance will still let an opponent play the dodge
they need to avoid your most powerful attacks.

Master's Advance?  A powerful card, but it's not a 100% guaranteed
preventative even if your opponent can't remove or Focus it.  If your opponent
has two dodges, then they can dodge.  If they have a dodge in their hand, and
Exert for one to play, they can dodge.  As part of a long-term strategy, you
might exhaust their supply of dodges.  However, the heavy-duty dodge Personas
won't be that bothered, Nefertiri will ignore it almost completely, and it
will probably be Policed before too long.

Kiss Your Butts Goodbye (CotW #8) is powerful, but a two-edged weapon in its
own right.  If you can time it right, use with Nefertiri, or use Careful
Planning, then it can be effective.  The addition of Dojo in Watcher's
Chronicles also makes KYBG a bit more effective.  Still, your opponent has the
same advantage.  And they may be Nefertiri or using Selective Memory.

For 100% reliability, Challenge is _the_ best way to keep an opponent from
dodging.  Once you play Challenge, they can't Focus, or Recon, or Exert to
remove a Situation, or use an Edge card to avoid discarding.  They can rip a
TCG or use Forethought, but that means you won't be penalized either.

So who should use Challenge?  Any Persona that makes Power Blows.  Use
Misfortune and/or Thief to deal with their Ancestral Blades, and Challenge to
keep them on the defensive.

Such Personas include the Kurgan, Slan, and Kern for sure, and perhaps Annie
Devlin and Kalas as well.  If you're running an Exertion-based deck (with
Connor or Duncan, most likely), Challenge is also a good addition.

Challenge is a nice supplement to the standard Master's Attack as well.  This
can give a boost to Duncan, Connor, Katana, and Richie (through card-
borrowing).  Amanda's Master's Attack only does a point of damage, and she is
reliant enough on dodges that she probably shouldn't use Challenge.

That brings us to who should _not_ use Challenge.  Amanda, obviously.  Duncan
may not wish to - it's a balancing act between his own dodge-heavy Persona
cards, and his Power Blow tactics.  Xavier and Katana don't typically stand
and fight, so they probably don't want to use it either.

So overall, Steve gives Challenge a _6_.  I would rate it a point or two
higher, but it will be superseded by a particular card in Watcher's Chronicles
(which I will be rating _much_ higher).  When people complain that they can't
tag a dodging non-attack opponent, I always wonder why they don't use
Challenge.  Recon their Verona, play Challenge, and make a Power Blow, and let
the heads fall where they may.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - Abstain

Jeff - Challenge/SE is one of those cards that was very popular under SE-only,
but wasn't used much after the release of ME (in no small part due to the
release of Catwalk).  However, it's seen a bit of a resurgence.  Coupled with
a Shooting Blade or a Master's Attack, its utility is obvious.  Even without
those, in the right deck it can be very strong.  Think Renee Delaney for
Dodges.

Rick - This is a good card to get them fighting but it can come back to hurt
you.  Obviously, Challenge and Shooting Blade is a good combo and you can get
some additional benefit with Challenge and Master's Attack.

Hank - Challenge is a great card when used in combination with others.  It's a
common staple in my swordfighting decks.

Alan - Abstain

Jim - Abstain

Wayne - This card was a lot stronger before Movie Edition.  Since you cannot
dodge during your turn either, it is very vulnerable to Connor's Master
Block/Head shot or many persona master attack cards.  I prefer KYBG or
Locations to limit dodges rather than Challenge.

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   6
Ben                   N/A
Jeff                    6
Rick                    6
Hank                    8
Alan                  N/A
Jim                   N/A
Wayne                   5

Average:                6.20

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