Linda Plager

EVENT:  Reporter.  All players discard 2 attacks.  (errata'd text)

Whoa!  High power stuff, ain't it?  Still, let's see if we can find a few uses
for this card.

Game-mechanics stuff first.  There isn't much.  Linda Plager is an Ally.
Discards are resolved normally.  The person who played it discards at the
beginning of their next phase - the opponent discards as a "must do" effect at
the beginning of their next (Defense) phase.

As a Reporter, Linda Plager is vulnerable to Sovereign Media and . . . well,
that's about it.  It doesn't look like there are many other anti-Reporter
cards on the horizon.  The Kurgan's Scare will let him ignore the effects of
LP.  In fact, Linda Plager is the _only_ Reporter that Scare is useful
against.  Scare has no effect on Elizabeth Vaughn, since it is used by your
opponent on himself.  And unless you're overly concerned about a Reporter/Kate
combination, you're probably not going to want to ignore the two-point
healing, either.

As an Event/Ally, there is not much that affects Linda Plager.  Death Before
Dishonor, for instance, only works on in-play Allies, which LP is not.  Ditto
for Fitzcairn's Seduce (see Castle News).

So that's what Linda Plager does.  Her weaknesses are considerable.  She
affects you as well as your opponent.  There are better cards that cause more
attack discarding:  Caught in the Act/SE and Bystander/Event.

Yes, there are cards that cause heavier attack-discarding.  However, Linda
Plager is not a bad supplement to them.  If you don't have Intimidate/Anti-
Attack (Luther and Slan), or even if you do, a good way to make sure they
don't take that Hidden counter-attack is to deprive them of attacks.

Unlike Bystander, Linda Plager can't be countered by the use of Rooftop, and
is immune to Run Away Train.

The penalty of discarding two of your own attacks may at first seem a
disadvantage.  However, this can actually provide a subtle advantage.  As well
as making your opponent lose two attacks, Linda Plager gives you a chance to
cycle a couple of other cards.  Unlike Holy Ground, it doesn't help your
opponent.  And unlike Master's Stratagem, it can't be prevented by Situation
removers.

Play Linda Plager, drop a couple of minor attacks (Lower/Upper Center and
Middle attacks), then play Patience and draw three cards.  You can do this in
your defense phase, so if you need an "emergency" defense, this is a good way
to take a shot at getting cards before making that Exertion.  It won't benefit
you against Katana's Taunt.  However, it will help if you lose defenses to Cat
& Mouse/Defense or Charm/Kastagir.

Also, Linda Plager has one peculiar advantage:  this card affects an even
number of cards.  One deck that I have seen relies on a quirk of the Movie
Edition where you can make up to 12 non-Special attacks to one area without
playing a Special.  You can use 6 ULA and 6 Riposte/ULs, and get 12 attacks to
one area (18 if you use Feint/Event as well).

In this case, you want to make few or no attacks to the other eight areas,
"locking" your opponent's non-UL defenses in his hand.  Four Linda Plagers
actually let you discard those eight non-UL attacks that you are required to
include in your deck, while limiting your opponent's ability to attack.

If you were to use this strategy with Bystander/Event, you would have to
either lose only six non-UL attacks, or lose eight non-UL attacks and one UL.

One last use for Linda Plager is in the multi-player game.  She is one of a
select few cards that affect _all_ players.  Play LP on your Gathering Turn,
and typically everyone will be short two attacks until the end of their next
Gathering Turn.  They may not like you very much, but it is unlikely they're
going to want to enter combat with you (or anyone else) either.  Make sure you
have cards like Quality Blade/ME and Patience so you can draw more attacks.

This is a nice defense for Nefertiri, who can only use her power during _her_
Gathering turns.  This provides a incentive for others to avoid attacking her
during their Gathering turns and render her Persona ability useless.

Of course, Bystander/Event also affects all players, and causes a three-attack
loss.  However, this is potentially a disadvantage:  a three-card loss might
be perceived as much more aggressive move.  Being sneaky without appearing
overpowering is a key to winning multi-player games.

So who should use Linda Plager?  We talk above about the strategy of mixing it
with Patience.  The Persona with the built-in Patience ability is Nefertiri.
LP is a two-pronged weapon for her.  It allows her a quick discard/draw of two
cards (or the ditching of some trash attacks), and it causes her opponent to
discard.  Nefertiri/Discard decks are somewhat passe.  However, with the
advent of Factory (see CotW #23), there is still some advantage to using Linda
Plager.

The Upper Left-only deck mentioned above works best with Duncan and Connor,
since blocking doesn't prevent them from making ULAs.  If they use Ruins,
their opponent can't keep an Upper or Left Guard up either.

There are no other Personas that specifically rely on discarding attacks.  If
you are using a deck with Caught in the Act/SE, you might consider using Linda
Plager as well.

So overall, Steve gives Linda Plager a _3_.  She's not as weak as initially
appears to be the case.  She still is somewhat underpowered compared to most
Highlander rare cards, but there are at least a few uses she can be put to.
Whip her out in a game, and you'll at least surprise your opponent.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Ben - Abstain

Jeff - Why would anyone want to play this card outside of sealed deck?  Is an
Ally which effects you and only gets two attacks per player worth giving up
Caught in the Act (a card we don't see very often anyway)?  Not in my opinion.
Just about useless.  (Ed.'s note:  why give up Caught in the Act?)

Rick - There are much better ways to make your opponent drop attacks.  If he's
not attacking, you are only helping them cycle cards.  Now, if you want to
drop your own attacks, use Heroic Deed or Elizabeth Vaughn instead, since you
can immediately draw back some cards to use this turn.

Hank - I've used Linda a few times, but mainly in cheese decks (to keep people
from attacking me and to help me get rid of unwanted attacks)... but in
general, I consider Holy Ground a better card-filter.

Alan - I have never found a reason to use Linda Plager until I saw a quite
creative deck that used it.  Think Lean & Mean and many one-sided attacks . .
.

Jim - Abstain

Wayne - This card helps you cycle cards while hopefully slowing down your
opponent's ability to attack.  There are several other cards which I feel are
probably more effective at doing this.

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   3
Ben                   N/A
Jeff                    2
Rick                    4
Hank                    5
Alan                    5
Jim                     2
Wayne                   4

Average:                3.57

------------------------------------------------------------------