Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Character Guide: Black Jack

Black Jack

Character Name: Black Jack.

Inspired by: "Black Jack" Ketchum, member of the Hole in the Wall Gang.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Neutral.

Ability: "during phase 1 of his turn, he must show the second card he draws: if it’s Heart or Diamonds (just like a 'draw!'), he draws one additional card (without revealing it)."

Activation: During his drawing phase.

Cards enhanced by Black Jack's ability: Duel, Volcanic.

Cards more effective when played against Black Jack: Prison.

Ideal Roles for Black Jack: Good for all.

Characters who counter Black Jack well: Jesse Jones.

2-player value: Decent if you have some health. 50% turns you will get more cards, but with your opponent knowing one of your cards at this juncture in the game, it can be really bad too.

General Strategy for Black Jack: With drawing 1 more card approximately 50% of your turns Black Jack can store up more cards he needs, as well as play more cards. Depending on Black Jack's role, he may want to gather a more defensive or offensive blue card base (and offensive combos) before he attacks (if the other players don't make him respond immediately). Then Black Jack can store up for a Volcanic, wait for when he draws a lot of bang during a draw phase and then unleash the fury on a weaker opponent. Since the second card in Black Jack's hand is shown to his opponents, unless he has a good reason for storing it, I often would have him play it to show that the revealed knowledge gain from having to show it was not as valuable. They would have known anyway. They can do unfortunate things with that knowledge--Black Jack doesn't want an Indians! panicked from his hand. Similarly, if Black Jack is over his card limit and the card shown wasn't that useful, he should discard it so that his opponents don't learn anything else about his hand.

Playing against Black Jack: Since Black Jack's ability activates during his drawing phase, Jails are more effective against him, as well as cards or abilities that snatch cards from Black Jack's hand. You may want to attack Black Jack early on, so he does not start building up card combos or create a strong card base. Put Black Jack on the defensive so he can't easily set up a stronghold and try to overwhelm you. Duels early on are nice, as well as Indians!, especially when you are dealing with a defensive Black Jack. Pay attention to the second card that Black Jack must show every drawing phase--it tells you one of the cards in his hand, and can let you know how effective a variety of actions can be against him--Indians!, duel, BANG!, Panic, Cat Balou, etc. This showing is even more useful to you when Black Jack has almost no cards in his hand, from depleting his cards or being restrained by his card limit. Of course, it is also better when the second card shown is black (clubs or spades) for then you know a higher share of his hand.

Dodge City Characters that Counter Black Jack Well: Belle Star (the extra card Black Jack gains to play in front of him won't do him any good on her turn)

General Strategy Adjustments: Dodge City makes Black Jack a better character I believe, and this is because he has many new cards (especially the green cards) that he can play in front of him. This allows Black Jack to build a stronger base before pursuing his objectives and before his opponents will likely attack him. When he draws 3 cards, it also makes it easier for him to play the cards that require discarding a card to play them. He may be able to use excess cards (cards over his card limit) to play these cards.

General Strategy Against Adjustments: Follow the same general strategy against Black Jack as outlined above. Always pay attention to the card he must show you on his drawing phase, and from their plan how best to attack him.

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