"No More Adventures..."
Last time around we looked at Adventures, those delightfully nasty cards that can thoroughly mess up your or your opponent's day. We talked about what makes an Adventure worth playing-after all, they do eat up two Actions to play. This time, we'll look at some of the cards that allow you to manage your Adventures a little better and cards that give you a little more control over your own game when your opponent is using Adventures against you.
First, let's take a look at cards that allow you to manage the Adventures in your hand. Easily the champion of these Adventure handlers is Fred and George Weasley. This adventurous pair allows you to treat Adventures almost like Spell cards. When you have Fred and George on the table, you only use one Action to play an Adventure instead of two. That would be pretty nice right there, but this card goes one step further by letting you discard that Adventure when you want to.
Usually an Adventure stays put until your opponent solves it. Sometimes that's just fine. Other times, though, you'd rather get rid of an Adventure you've played. Let's say, for example, that you have a 4 Privet Drive out. Your opponent then can't play Spell cards, but he just comes back with three or four Creatures, leaving you taking damage anyway. He isn't in any hurry to solve the Adventure because he's doing just fine with it sitting there. Fred and George let you swap that 4 Privet out for a Riding the Centaur. In other words, you have complete control over the Adventures you play. You couldn't ask for more from a card (except maybe to let you collect the reward too, but let's not get greedy!).
Speaking of collecting the reward, though, there is a card that allows you to do just that. I'm talking about Draco's Trick, of course, and this is a card that every Adventure-lover needs on their deck. When I first saw Draco's Trick, I missed the point. It looked to me like just another Logic Puzzle. That card discards the Adventure your opponent has played, giving you the reward. In other words, it solves the Adventure for you, and you get the reward. That's simple enough. Draco's Tricks, on the other hand, discards the Adventure YOU played, then gives YOU the reward. Oh, what a delightful mess that can create!
I discovered the power of Draco's Trick during a conversation with a couple of expert players over at the Wizard's store in town. I was mentioning a number of cards that I didn't think were worth much and one of them I mentioned was the Adventure Meet the Centaurs. That's one Adventure that's pretty much guaranteed to cause more damage to the person playing it than the one it's played against, since once they solve it, you play your hand face up the entire rest of the game. Way too high a price to pay for any card, I'd say.
"But," the folks at Wizards informed me with a smile, "if you combine that card with Draco's Trick…"
Light dawned. I got it. First you plop down Meet the Centaurs so your opponent has to play his hand face up. Then you follow that with Draco's Trick and voila! Now they're the ones who will play their hand face up for the rest of the game! That's a trick that will mess up anybody's game!
A couple of other cards will let you discard an Adventure in play. Logic Puzzle, which I've already mentioned, will do that nicely. Apparate, which only requires one Lesson down to play, is another. Flying Motorbike also lets you discard an Adventure and also works against Locations, which can be handy sometimes, say when your opponent has built up a heap of Charms Lessons using Wand Shop.
Characters can be helpful too. McGonagall shines as a starter because once per game she throws out an Adventure played against you. Argus Filch also gives you that ability, with the added bonus of working on Adventures played by either player and the ability to do it over and over. Once you get Filch out on the table, he'll stick by you and keep your opponent from having any Adventuring fun at all.
There are other ways to get rid of cards in play, of course, including Diffindo and my new personal favorite, the Put-Outer, which, being an Item, will work just fine against 4 Privet Drive and other Adventures that stifle Spell cards.
Often, however, the best defense against Adventures is to keep them from being played against you in the first place. History of Magic allows you to root through your opponent's deck and discard all the Adventures in it. Sleeping Potion, along with doing four damage, stops your opponent from playing Adventure cards during their next turn.
Detention, which is itself an Adventure, blocks your opponent from using Adventure cards until they discard two of them from their hand, which often means they never get to play any at all; many decks don't have many more than two Adventures in them in the first place. This one can get you stuck, though, if you don't have a way to dispose of it without your opponent solving it. If they don't have the Adventures to discard, Detention will sit there for the rest of the game, keeping you from playing any other Adventures.
One of my favorite all-purpose Spells is Dungbomb. I tend to load up on these little stinkers in every Transfiguration deck I create, since they very nicely block both Adventure and Creature damage. Now sure, most Adventures don't actually cause damage so that aspect of the card might not get much use, but that Creature protection can be crucial. I've avoided a few rounds of certain death that way when my son had Fluffy, Fang, and the Giant Squid on the table from his Hermione's Magical Menagerie deck. The Adventure protection is a nice bonus.
Of course, in order to play Adventures, you've got to get them into your hand. The best cards to stack your deck with exactly what you need are the ones that aren't specific. Gringott's Vault Key, for example, will let you go find anything in your deck, including Adventures. Other cards fetch Adventures specifically. Alohomora allows you to find either Adventures or Locations in your deck and put them into your hand. End-of-Year Feast lets you pull up to four Adventures out of your discard pile, which therefore doesn't do any damage to your deck.
Finally, there are a few Character cards which make playing Adventures a little more interesting. Harry Triumphant lets you draw up to four cards when you play an Adventure. Ron the Brave allows you, when you play an Adventure, to find a Character in your deck and put it into your hand. And the Weasley Twins actually function almost like a Creature, doing two damage before every turn when an Adventure is in play, the sneaky little troublemakers.
All in all, there are so many ways to use Adventures and so many excellent Adventures to choose from, every deck should include a few. They add a wonderful dimension to the game.
Want more information about particular Adventures? Head over to the Card of the Day and explore a little. Those guys really know their stuff.
Steve Vander Ark
The Harry Potter Lexicon