Cat and Mouse/Extra Attack and Draw

SITUATION:  When you play Cat and Mouse, total the number of Cat and Mouse
Plots in play by all players.

(For "Extra attack" version):  After you play this card, you may play an
attack this turn for each Cat and Mouse in play.

(For "Draw" version):  After you play this card, draw a card from your
Endurance for each Cat and Mouse in play.

Watcher's Chronicles adds two Cat and Mouse plots, bringing the total up to
five.  Card of the Week looked at the first three CM plots back in #24.  Now
let's see what you can do with these two new versions.

Cat and Mouse plots are cumulative with any and all Cat and Mouse plots
already in play on the table.  You count the Cat and Mouse that you are
playing when adding up the total number.  So when you play the third Cat and
Mouse, you are considered to have three "in play."

Game-mechanics questions first.  For Cat and Mouse/Extra Attack, this is the
_total_ number of attacks you get during your turn.  So if you play this plot
as the first CM on the table, you only get one attack - same as normal.  You
need at least one CM already on the table before you can play this plot to get
multiple attacks.

Cat and Mouse/Extra Attack is worded so that it is _not_ cumulative with other
multiple attack providers.  If Amanda plays two Cat and Mouse/Extra Attack,
she may make two attacks that turn:  not four.

CM/EA defines the number of slots you have in a turn.  Once you have those
slots, you may handle them normally.  Thus, if Kern played CM/EA, and it was
the second CM on the table, he could Exert for attacks twice (assuming he had
two Exertions available to him).

CM/EA is optional.  This means first that it can't be used to bypass cards
like Pedestrian/Delay-2 and Intimidate/Slan or Luther.  This also means that
you are not obliged to make any attacks at all the turn you play it.  This can
let you play CMs early while saving up attacks for later when there are more
CM/EA in play.

You may use the Draw version of CM at any time during your turn, subject to
the usual limitations on playing Specials.  The draw requirement here is _not_
optional.  Normal end-of-turn discarding rules apply.

To review some general rulings, Director's Cut/Situation can _not_ be used as
a substitute Cat and Mouse.  CM has no "requirement" so DC is useless.

Underworld Contact will negate any single Cat and Mouse effect directed at
you, in the normal manner.  However, in the case of the these two new CMs,
these effects are self-directed.  There is no reason for you to use UC against
them even if you could.  And by the time it is your opponent's turn, the
effects have already resolved and it is too late for him to use UC.

So what can you do with these cards?

Cat and Mouse/Draw is a good "emergency" card.  Like Patience and Heroic Deed,
it can give you a kick of cards if you're short a defense, or if you've just
undergone some forced discarding due to Charm (Fitzcairn's or Kastagir's),
Kiss Your Butts Goodbye, Caught in the Act/SE, etc.

The problem is that you must discard the extra cards at the end of your turn.
But this provides us with a new use for a previously under-used card:
Master's Endurance.  This Master card lets you keep those excess cards.  If
there is already three CMs in play, and you use Schemer to play a fourth and
fifth CM/Draw, you will be six cards ahead at the end of the turn.  And cards
are power in Highlander.  The more you have, the more you can deal with and
defend against.

This tactic becomes even more powerful when mixed with a particular promo
card:  Measure of a Man.  This card lets you draw a card for each Situation:
Plot you have in play.  This only lets you draw for your own Plots, not your
opponent's.  However, if you've put a fifth CM of your own into play and drawn
five cards . . . next turn you can play Measure of a Man and draw five _more_.
And you can keep them, thanks to Master's Endurance.

Nefertiri, of course, can put the extra cards back rather than discarding
them, and in whatever order she wishes.  This means she won't be able to get
at them until her next turn, though.  Unlike Dr. Alan Neyman or Battlefield,
this won't do her much good against Katana's Taunt.

What about Cat and Mouse/Extra Attack?  This plot is tricky to use, since it's
the only Special you can play in a turn.  Strategies that work for Berkeley
Distributors, a discard-to-use Situation, won't work for CM/EA.

The ever-reliable Flashing Blade (CotW #38) can be used to limit the
effectiveness of your opponent's dodges against a multi-attack sequence.  A
well-placed Lunge (CotW #37) does nearly as well.  And Watcher/Involvement can
counter a Master's Block.

Factory and the use of Cat and Mouse/Defense can help here.  Get a Factory
out, then play a third CM/Def, then next turn play a fourth CM/Extra Attack.
Defense deprivation via Battlefield or Charm/Kastagir can also work here.

So who should use the new Cat and Mouse Plots?  Just as before, Xavier is the
obvious choice, since not only can he use 12 Cat and Mouse Plots, but he can
use 12 of the _same_ CM Plot.  If he wishes to, he can use 12 CM/Draw.  Mix
with Master's Endurance and Measure of a Man, and he can have a very large
hand at any given time.

Alternately, Xavier can use six CM/Endurance Burn and six CM/Draw.  He can sit
back and burn their cards and have plenty of his own.  Alternately, he can
substitute CM/Lose Attacks for Endurance Burn, and keep them from attacking
while he brings his own strategies to fruition.

Kalas, Annie, and the Kurgan all have cards that aid them in using Plots:
Forgery, Escape, and Disguise, respectively.  CM/EA helps to give Annie extra
attacks even when she is not successfully attacked - her Flashing Blade-like
ability serves her well here.

The Kurgan doesn't have to hit very often to be effective, thanks to his extra
damage.  A mix of Extra Attack and Lose Defense Cat and Mouse cards can weaken
an opponent, while assuring that the CMs stay out to accumulate.

Kalas can mix Factory with Cat and Mouse and his own Song of the Executioner
for additional card deprivation.  Again, a mix of Extra Attack and Lose
Defense CMs on top of this can take out an opponent.

We commented above on the effectiveness of Battlefield (CotW #3) and Factory
(#23) when used with Cat and Mouse Plots.  The Personas who tend to benefit in
general from these Locations are Kastagir and Nefertiri.

Cat and Mouse/Extra Attack helps Kern, since the second and subsequent ones
can let him either Exert multiple times for an attack, or play an attack from
his hand and then Exert to play some more.  Kern's major weakness is being
stuck with attacks in his hand:  one in his hand means one less for him to
draw in an Exertion.  CM/EA helps him to bypass that.

Other Personas can take advantage of either or both of these Plots.  Their
powers and cards don't necessarily lend themselves as well as the ones
mentioned above, however.

So overall, Steve gives Cat and Mouse/Extra Attack a _4_ and Cat and
Mouse/Draw a _6_.  CM/EA is a bit weaker, and perhaps not the most effective
of the five current Cat and Mouse Plots.  In the right hands it can be
dangerous.  CM/Draw is more universally effective, and in the right
combinations can give a major boost to hand size and therefore available
resources.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Jeff - Whoa.  These two (especially the extra attack one) put C&M on the map.
Imagine a Xavier deck with 6 C&M: Defense and 6 C&M: Attack.  Throw in some
Flashing Blades, maybe a Schemer, and voila... death on a stick.  The draw C&M
isn't as useful, but I suppose it'd be nice to get in sealed deck.

Rick - More Building Plots.  Excellent idea.  I like these cards.  After
playing several C&M Discard defenses, then popping down a C&M Attack, your
opponent better have the C&M draw cards to cope with the onslaught.

Hank - Cat & Mouse Extra Attack is a fun card, especially for my attack-heavy
Xavier deck (works great with C&M/Def and Flashing Blade)... I love it, as I
do all swordfighting cards.  Cat & Mouse Draw is interesting because it can
let you draw way past your current Ability... it's a good anti-lock card, it's
good for card throughput, and (again) it's fun in Xavier decks.

Alan -

Jim - (Attack) A really good Plot for any attack deck.  Especially good if you
can make multiple Power Blows.  Use with Locations Catwalk, Ruins, or
Battlefield.  (Draw) A good Plot to use to defeat lock decks.  Very good for
Xavier to use with Hidden Explosives.  For Xavier I like pairing this Cat and
Mouse with the one that causes Endurance Burn.  A wonderful card for Katana
attack decks that use Taunt.

Wayne - Abstain

Prodipto - (Attack) This card has a lot of potential.  Just about any attack
oriented deck could get a boost out of it.  The one to benefit the most from
this card is Kern.  He could play all his attacks but one, then exert for that
last one, and play all the attacks from the exertion.  Of course a single all-
encompassing dodge or a Master's Block will still avoid the damage, but
coupled with some good anti-dodge cards (Master's Advance, Catwalk,
Battlefield, Lunge etc), this card has a lot of potential.  An interesting
alternative is a Kastagir deck with Charms and Kiss Your Butt Goodbye.  This
card would also work well with Berkeley Games to add some extra attacks if
you're not Kern.  (Draw)  A good card for Nefertiri, since she can draw
several cards, then put some back on her deck (and sort them in the order she
wants to draw them back).  Otherwise it's of fairly limited value if you
construct your deck well.  Medium sized decks will receive the most benefit
from it, since you have a good chance of getting a card you need.  Similarly,
it's not a bad card to play in your defense phase if you don't have the
defense you need, and want to save yourself an exertion.  Overall, though,
there are a lot better uses for the space in your deck than this card.

Allen - (Attack) An intriguing card, especially when the last of several C&M's
you played was discard defense!  I love including one of these in my attack-
heavy Xavier C&M decks.  As with most multi-attack sequences, you need to set
this up with special restricting situations/ locations, or play it in
conjunction with Flashing Blade.  Otherwise your opponent will most likely
avoid your large expenditure of resources with but a single dodge or Holy
Ground.  (Draw) The usefulness of this card varies, depending upon whether or
not you are facing hand-jam.  However, it is always a good late-game card when
you are low on ability.  Nefertiri can avoid the downside almost entirely (by
discarding to the top of her deck, although it will take her a bit to draw
them back), whereas Xavier (obviously) can count on getting more cards from
it.  If you plan on using this card late-game, consider Master's Endurance as
well.

Ratings Overall:

Format is:  Extra Attack / Draw

Steve                 4/6
Jeff                  7/4
Rick                  7/5
Hank                  9/8
Alan                  N/A
Jim                   8/7
Wayne                 N/A
Prodipto              7/3
Allen                 7/6

Average:                7.00/5.57

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