Master's Endurance

SITUATION - While Master's Endurance is in play, you are not required to
discard down to your Ability
during your Draw/Discard Phase.

Well, _here's_ a card that at first glance appears useless, particularly as a
Master card.  Even Master's Domain is of _some_ use.

At first glance, and up to the Movie Edition release, all Master's Endurance
does is let you potentially keep cards the same turn you take damage.  If
you're at 15 Ability and take a hit that reduces you to 13, you don't have to
discard down at 13 at the end of your turn.

Of course, the question there is, "So what?"  You're probably going to play a
card or two anyway, leaving you with about 13 cards in your hand.

This does highlight one feature of Master's Endurance:  in these days of
massive single-turn damage (Bloodlust, Flurry Strikes, Sedarius), this
disparity is greater.  If you are hit for six, you're probably _not_ going to
play six cards and reach your new Ability/hand-size of 9.

This can be useful in an end-game, particularly if it leaves you with a
defense after your Ability has been reduced to 0.  You can hang on to that
Upper Guard, for instance.  Still, it's by no means an assurance of
usefulness.

So at best, pre-Watcher's Chronicles, Master's Endurance would have been worth
a 2 or so, tops.  However, times change, and each new expansion hopefully
breathes new life into old cards.  Let's see what WC does for Master's
Endurance.

Just one thing.  Cat and Mouse/Draw (CotW #43).  This new card lets you draw
one card for each Cat and Mouse in play.  Get enough cards and you'll be above
your Ability.  Master's Endurance lets you keep those.

Master's Endurance and the Cat and Mouse/Draw combo aren't bad.  It's not
going to give you a lot by itself, though.  If you're lucky, you get all six
Cat and Mouses down, and you might eventually end up with three or four extra
cards.

That's not bad - cards are _power_ in Highlander.  The more you have access
to, in your hand, in Dojos, or through card cycling, the more effectively you
can respond to your opponent's actions.

Still, this strategy could use a boost.  There's two tactics that can do this.

The first is using a relatively recent promotional card:  Measure of a Man.
This Event/Special lets you draw a card for every Situation: Plot you have in
play.  This means once you've built up a stack of 4+ Cat and Mouse/Draws, you
can start playing MoaM to draw _more_ cards.  If you're playing 2-3 cards a
turn, and drawing four, and keeping the extras, you'll end up a bit ahead.

The other tactic here is to use Xavier or his Quickening.  Instead of being
limited to six Cat and Mouse, you can now have twelve.  Not all twelve need to
be Cat and Mouse/Draw.  No matter what types of CaMs you have on the table, if
the eighth one you play is CaM/Draw, you draw eight cards.  Play 2-3, and keep
the extra five thanks to Master's Endurance.

So mix six Cat and Mouse/Endurance-Discards and six CaM/Draws.  This can start
off slow, but once the sixth and greater kicks in, your opponent is going to
be hurting (even Nefertiri types for the Endurance burn version) _and_ you'll
have a large pool of cards in your hand to draw on.  Or mix CaM/Draw with the
other three versions of Cat and Mouse to your tastes.

In addition to this, add Measure of a Man and you have a real potential to see
30+ card hand-sizes.  Even those Cat and Mouse/non-Draws that didn't let you
draw cards now count towards drawing new card thanks to MoaM.

If nothing else, this provides a decent use for the ill-considered Xavier
Quickening for combat-type decks.

This also raises the possibility of using Measure of a Man without Cat and
Mouse/Draw, but the Xavier Quickening.  Keep zapping away at your opponent's
attacks, defenses, and/or Endurance with those three types of Cat and Mouses
(up to 12 times), while playing MoaM to draw extra cards and Master's
Endurance to use them.

Who should use Master's Endurance?  In the above scenario, Xavier is the
obvious choice.  This can enhance cheese decks, but it can also be a major
pain to an opponent if you switch to combat-oriented Xave decks.

Any Persona using Xavier's Disguise can do well, but those who have Plot
augmentation (the Kurgan with Disguise, Annie with Escape, and Kalas with
Forgery) will do best.

So overall, Steve gives Master's Endurance a _5_.  It received a boost from
Watcher's Chronicles and the most recent batch of promos.  It forms part of
one very dangerous combo, but is otherwise still limited.  I wouldn't rank it
the worst Master card currently, though.  Watcher's Chronicles does raise it
above Master's Domain in utility.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Jeff - A somewhat overlooked card; except that it's been overlooked for good
reason -- it's not that great.  Seems to be useful only if you're playing with
Heroic Deed/Save the Day... and when was the last time you saw that being
competitive?

Rick -

Hank - I've never used this card.  Since you can't draw past your Ability,
you're stuck with the cards you have 'til you get down to your "real" Ability
anyway... and I've always found _something_ to toss, unless
it's near the end of the game.  I have better uses for Master slots.

Alan - Not an overly-useful card; certainly not one I would waste a precious
Master slot on, as there are other Master cards I find more useful.
Definitely the weakest Master card available.

Jim - Master's Endurance is only of moderate usefulness. It only works if you
lose ability which is what everyone typically tries to avoid.

Wayne - I have never found an effective use for Master's Endurance.  It seems
to be more of just a nuisance card than something you would play in a
tournament.

Prodipto - This is a particularly good card for Nefertiri.  She can draw up to
her ability _before_ the ability loss, and then save having to discard down.
In a deck with Bassett and Hotchkiss, Nefertiri can put her opponent at a
severe disadvantage early on in the game, and _draw all her attacks back up_
before the end of her turn.  It's also not a bad card to have if you are using
a lot of mutually damaging events such as Angry Mob.

Allen - A neat effect, but normally useful only if you are taking damage.
This often translates into "only useful if you are losing."  I dislike
including cards in my deck that are only useful if I am losing.  With the
advent of Watcher Chronicles, however, Master Endurance gets a big boost when
used with Cat and Mouse: Draw and/or Dojo.  Holding 20 to 25 cards in your
hand is nothing to sneeze at.  If you are not utilizing one of these combos,
however, there are better Master cards.

Ratings Overall:

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

Average:                4.13