Flashing Blade - Alan Murrell

EDGE:  Dodges will not avoid multiple attacks you play this turn.

Here is probably my favorite card from Watcher's Chronicles.  First, let's
deal with the game mechanics.

Although it is not obvious from the wording, you can play Flashing Blade
without having to make any attacks whatsoever (i.e., if you need to get cards
out of your hand).  However, no benefit comes from it unless you play two or
more attacks during your turn.  Simple enough, eh?

So, just who benefits from Flashing Blade?

Well, let's take a look...

Amanda:  She lacks Combination/Extra Shot (editor's note:  unless she uses the
"generic" Quickening).  However, her special ability allows her to make two
attacks per turn.  Flashing Blade will make her opponent play two separate
defenses against them (assuming they're going to two different separated
areas, of course!).  This card will definitely help Amanda out.

Extra Shot/Combination:  Any Persona with the "standard" Extra Shot and/or
Combination that allows a second attack will benefit, since these are the
cards Flashing Blade was primarily designed to help.  So, instead of your
opponent using one dodge to get out of both attacks, he will have to use _two_
separate defense (again, assuming they're going to two separated areas).
Flashing Blade is particularly nasty with Extra Shot, since a worst-case
scenario is that your opponent Exerts past five cards, and finds a defense,
and the best-case scenarios is that he Exerts past five cards and finds _no_
defense, thus taking damage.

The Prize (Attacks):  Anyone who uses The Prize/Attacks can get use out of
Flashing Blade.  Of course, there's no added "benefit" (e.g., Hidden attack,
defense from Exertion, etc.), unless a Special is used (e.g., Trip), but at
least your opponent will have to play two separate defenses!  Or three if
you're Amanda.

Master Race:  Same as The Prize/Attacks.

Kern:  Kern is probably the best Persona to be able to utilize FB.  With his
ability to play multiple attacks from an Exertion, and to "extend" those
Exertions through the use of various cards (Bowie Knife, Heather, Collect), he
can become quite nasty.  Imagine fifteen or so attacks coming at you, each
able to do two damage, _and_ you can't dodge multiple attacks . . .

Although it is probably obvious, it should be noted that Flashing Blade is
useless when used in conjunction with cards or a Persona ability that already
have the "dodges will not avoid multiple attacks" clause.

Now that we've covered the usefulness of FB, now is the time to get into some
strategy with it.

Well, first off, I think standard strategy dictates that when making multiple
attacks, you should make them to two different areas (unless one of the
attacks is Hidden, in which case you may want to bluff your opponent, but I
digress).  One thing to keep in mind when using Flashing Blade is this:

If I play, say, an Upper Right Attack and a Middle Right Attack against you,
you can stop them with _one_ Upper Right Block (or one Right/Upper Guard).
However, if all you have available are dodges, then you will have to play
_two_ dodges to avoid both attacks (one per attack).  This is key to using
Flashing Blade.

Now, with this in mind, really, the only strategy I have found is that you
_should_ include at least two, preferably three Master's Advances in your
deck.  With the Master's Advances out, and making multiple attacks whenever
you can, you eat through your opponent's defenses pretty quickly, particularly
those dodges.  And if you have a Location, such as Catwalk out, then your
opponent's options are suddenly quite limited.  Although your opponent _can_
use those non-Back Away dodges to "pay" for the Back Aways...

Now, what can you do against Flashing Blade?   Well, admittedly, not a heck of
a lot.  Being an Edge, it can't be countered by Forethought, or removed by
Xavier.  However, it _can_ be countered by ripping a TCG, or even better,
Rachel Ellenstein.

So, with all of this in mind, Alan gives Flashing Blade an _8_.  It is one of
the most useful cards in the game which should go into _every_ swordfighting
deck.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Jeff - Another great Edge card, this one making any multiple attacks mini-
Battle Rages.  Great with Amanda (especially) and other multi-attack types.
Play it with Berkeley Games for real fun.

Rick - Abstain

Hank - Flashing Blade is going to prove more and more useful as time goes on,
and more Immortals have cards or abilities that involve multiple attacks.
It's a great example of what "Edge" cards should do, adding a new degree of
complexity to swordplay.

Steve - I'm not quite as impressed with this card as other reviewers.  It's a
good card, make no mistake.  However, Lunge is more versatile.  Most of the
things you can do with Flashing Blade, you can do with a well-placed Lunge.
Rather than play a Flashing Blade before having Kern Exert to make five
attacks, just play a Lunge and modify the third attack.  Instead of playing
Flashing Blade + Extra Shot, play a Lunge on the first attack of Extra Shot.
And so on.  However, as a supplement to Lunge, FB combines to totally crush
the "single Dodge/Back Away/Master's Dodge/Distract avoids all attacks"
syndrome.  Also, FB works on non-Basic attacks, while Lunge doesn't.

Jim - Flashing Blade is an excellent card for use with multi-attacks which are
not already endowed with the anti-dodge enhancement FB provides.  Flashing
Blade is a good card to use with the standard Combination and Extra Shot, but
also works wonders with cards such as Berkeley Games, Master Race, and The
Prize/Attack.  It also works well with Amanda, Kern, and other Immortals who
have the ability to inherently make more than one attack.  Flashing Blade can
be combined with Master's Advance to make dodging very costly.

Wayne - Flashing Blade makes multiple attacking viable.  This is another good
card to help bring the sword back to this swordfighting game.  I like this
particular card.

Prodipto - Flashing Blade is going to be an incredible boost for attack
oriented decks that don't rely on the 3-B's (Battle Rage, Berserk, Bloodlust).
Cards that are going to benefit a lot from this will be Berkeley Games,
Combination, Extra Shot, Master's Advance, Master Race, and The Prize:
Attacks.  Flashing Blade will also give a boost to Amanda decks, as well as
adding a nasty twist to Kern decks.  This is an Edge that should be in almost
any attack deck.

Allen - Flashing Blade is another of the WC cards which attempt to give you
better odds of scoring sword damage on your first pass through your deck.  The
use of FB is obvious; play it when you intend to attack more than once.  Used
with Extra Shot you almost guarantee that your opponent must exert to defend.
Make the second attack a power blow!  Use in conjunction with Lunge and
Master's Advance and you can really convince your opponent that he should plan
to stand and fight.  Amanda, Combination, and Berkeley Games all get boosts
with Flashing Blade.

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   7
Jeff                    7
Rick                  N/A
Hank                    8
Alan                    8
Jim                     9
Wayne                   8
Prodipto                8
Allen                   9


Average:                8.00

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