Master's Advance

SITUATION - While this card is in play, your opponent must discard a dodge for
each dodge he wishes to play.

Master's Advance is perhaps the most powerful card in the original Movie
Edition.  It is debatably the most powerful of the generic Master cards,
although Master's Stratagem can give it a run for its money.

Game mechanics questions.  Multiple Master's Advances do not stack.  Whether
your opponent has one Master's Advance out or six, you discard one dodge to
"pay" for one dodge.

Master's Advance is perhaps the ultimate anti-dodge card.  Challenge/SE is
more reliable, but it affects both players.  Lunge from Watcher's Chronicle is
more potent, but can only be used with basic attacks.  With Master's Advance,
unless an opponent wishes to use Focus, they must lose a dodge to play a
dodge:  it's that simple.  Which means one less dodge the next time they need
one.  Focus will let them keep a dodge as they ignore the Master's Advance.
But that's small comfort against a constantly attacking opponent.

Against multiple Master's Advances it is easy to run out of Focuses, or simply
determine that it is useless to try to "Focus out" of the effects of your
opponent's Master's Advances.

Master's Advance works with practically any type of attack deck.  It is
particularly effective when used with any of the following cards:  Dirty
Tricks, Slash, Master's Attack, Ranged attacks, power blows, Kiss Your Butts
Goodbye, Mountain Cave, Dust Storm, Flurry Strike, and Trip/Standard.  These
are all occasions when an opponent is going to want to play dodge cards.

One thing I have observed is that when using Master's Advance, you probably do
_not_ want to use other cards that limit your opponent's ability to play
dodges.

For instance, if you use Catwalk, Master's Advance actually gives opponents a
chance to discard unusable non-Back Away dodges.  This is a _bad_ thing:  if
they can't play those Evades, Ducks, Dodges, and Master's Dodges, then those
cards take up space in their hand.  Which means they can't draw new, more
useful cards.

You _should_, however, use cards that force your opponent to discard dodges.
These cards include Kiss Your Butts Goodbye, Watcher/Hunter, Stumble, and
Caught in the Act/ME.  If they have fewer dodges, they can't pay the price
demanded by Master's Advance.  And if they can't pay, they can't play.

Master's Advance works well with decks that rely on disarming an opponent.  If
an opponent loses her weapon, she can only play dodges for defense.  Master's
Advance quickly makes them run out of dodges.  Combine with Lunge when you
make your basic attacks and they'll quickly exhaust their supply of dodges.

You can also combine Master's Advance with Ruins, particularly if you plan on
making lots of Hidden attacks.  This limits their ability to play 6-9 grid
defenses, and 6-area Guards as well.  You might actually hit someone with a
Hidden attack or two.  At the very least, you're more likely to folks like
Amanda, Duncan, Nakano, or Connor from Duck/Jumping and getting their own
Hidden attack.

And finally, Master's Advance is the perfect card for an end-game.  The way
that the Highlander CCG is structured, you want to reduce your opponent to
zero Ability.  This gives you one last chance to attempt a Head Shot, when
they have no cards in their hand.  In this case, they must Exert for a
defense.  If they draw a dodge in this case, they can't play it.  Why?
Because they have no dodge in their hand to discard!  A disarmed opponent, who
can only play dodges, simply loses her head at this point:  no escape is
possible.

So who should use Master's Advance?  Practically anybody who plans on
attacking.  Personas who use Power Blows (Slan, the Kurgan, potentially Kern,
Kalas, Duncan, and Connor) should consider it, combining it with Lunge.

Annie and Amanda, who can count on keeping an opponent hopping with dodges,
should probably also use Master's Advance.

Any other Immortal who is counting on making Hidden attacks and/or Power Blows
should consider using Master's Advance as well.

So overall, Steve gives Master's Advance a _9_.  It's a very powerful card,
boosted by the errata'd version of Katana.  Combined with Lunge, it can spell
the end for many dodge-types who casually just tossed in six of each dodge
that they had and ran circles around you.

What Our Other Raters Say:

Jeff - One of the first universally-acclaimed "cool cards" from ME.  However,
it has seen a bit of a lessening in the meantime, due in part to the general
cooling off toward Situations during the ME era and now Lunge in the WC era.
Still one of the better generic Master cards.

Hank - Very useful card for swordfighting decks.  There are some Master's
cards which see more use in my decks, but this one's used a lot.

Alan - One of my favorite Master cards.  Useful for those multi-attack decks,
and against Amanda.  It's a rare deck of mine that can't find room for one or
two of these cards.

Jim - A great anti-dodge card.  It is well worth using even though it takes up
a Master slot.  Great anti-Amanda and any dodge intensive persona.

Wayne - One of the better Situations for attack decks.  It is now more
powerful with Katana's ability being re-errata'd.

Prodipto - This is almost a no-brainer for a Master slot, particularly if
you're using Slan or the Kurgan.  Dodges are too valuable a commodity to allow
people to play willy-nilly.  A Master's Advance will force your opponent to
either spend a Special (or an Exertion) getting rid of it, or resign
themselves to losing a lot of dodges.  Unless my strategy requires my Master
Slots to be filled with something else, one of these will usually go into any
deck I build.

Allen - Don't have room for Master's Advance in your attack deck?  Check your
Master's slots to see what you can get rid of.  This is a great anti-dodge
card.  Once you pull all the dodges out of your opponent's hand then they
can't dodge at all.  It's also an almost required tool for slowing down those
nimble types.

Bruce - Formerly very high I my list of cards, with the advent of Lunge, it
just seems to be a way to let my opponent cycle. It can be useful if you want
to take your opponent's head after knocking them to zero.

Ratings Overall:

Steve                   9
Jeff                    6
Hank                    7
Alan                    8
Jim                     8
Wayne                   7
Prodipto               10
Allen                   9
Bruce                   5

Average:                7.67

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