Secret HQ

art (c) Mike Trap


Boom Chaka Laka

Bleech... just when you thought they were gone, the 70s are back.  And as tacky as ever.  There are a couple of features of BCL that I really like, especially the two new mechanics of spending damage as power (Big Daddy Voodoo) and discarding a card for an effect (The Suits).  While not exactly new, I also like the characters with triggered permanent fighting increases (Isis Fox and Taggert).  There are a couple of stand out cards in BCL, but a lot of is about as forgettable as the 70s unfortunately.  A big theme is Cops and Hoods, which I've always thought was a little rigid -- and a terrible match up.  While the Hoods tend to have the better quality cards in general, the Cops have better anti-Hood cards, so you really don't want to see both of them in the same game.

Fire in the Sky
This card is really specialized.  It's no where near as good Imprisoned, but that, what is?  I guess you are hoping to get your power back by playing Vivisection Agenda, but the timing rules make this difficult.  Almost all sacrifices (including Fire in the Sky) are part of the cost, so you need to have resolved the Agenda first.  Stick to Nerve Gas unless every character in your environment has a gas mask.
Rocket Man
While he's not the best, Rocket Man is kinda fun in four player.  He's no beating stick like Shaolin Agent, but he can still get reasonably tough.  Sure, he screams out Dr. Alley Mathews, but I think a Buro Godhammer just may be his best friend.
Without any bonuses, 3 points of ambush is fairly good.  Toss in another point, and this card basically has full ambush.  While this is a clear winner in the Abomination Ambush deck, it might just be good enough to consider in other decks.  While the ability isn't as good a CHAR, it does get around some damage redirection by having two packets -- there is no timing that allows for both to get redirected, so the second packet is always going to hit.  The question is whether the ambush damage makes up for the added vulnerability to damage reduction, and this card at least merits some play to find out.
We Have the Technology
I'm not so hot on this card -- most of the tech non-character cards are sub-par.  There are a few notable exceptions, i.e. Neutron Bomb.  I guess you can use it to help pay for some of the tech sites, but that is sort of counter productive since they are power generators too.  

Dirty Tricks
I like this card.  I'm mean, and I like hosing my opponents.  Use of this card depends a lot on your environment.  If it's cut-throat, you're golden.  This card is going to net you 2 power with Paper Trail, which is going to be the main use for this card, but it's still cool to aggravate people.  Watch out for Resistance Squads (duh).
Fox on the Run
This event intrigues me.  It sure seems like it's got a lot of possibilities, but I just don't know.  But, as an Ascended card, it's got to complete with all the power cheese, which makes its life more difficult.  And to top it off, I can't tell whether this is a dueling card, a multiplayer card, or both!  This is hot on my play list and I recommend that everyone throw one or two in a deck just to play with it and get a feel for it.  Oh, the card itself -- attack, get hosed, attack again.  Sounds good.  This is great in that it will let you hold back on characters, especially if you are fearing a Bomb or Brawl. Not to mention it's a good answer to KHouse, Turtle Beach, City Square and Fox Pass tricks.
Max Brunner
So, if on the odd chance you have Max in play, you get to use all your janky Cop effects on your Pledged characters -- big deal.  If her were a 3c-for-4f Pledged Cop maybe... but he's just junk.
Night Moves
While I don't think this is an awful card, I don't think it's a good card either.  Remember you are pumping out 1c Pledged with your Family Estates, and this card doesn't do a lot for 1 fighting characters.  And, you have Operation Killdeer, which is redundant.  And, the drawback for Night Moves leaving play is really harsh in comparison to the benefit, and can cause you to lose a game (and will paint a big target on this edge).
Nuclear Power Plant
Ahem... Drug Lab?  The drawback on Nuke Plant is a lot stiffer than it seems at first glance.  Your deck is going to be filled with useful sites that turn (like Family Estates) not to mention the gads of power Feng Shui.  And even if you don't play that many, you're gonna want to take them from your opponents and use them.  This card is going to force you into multiple columns.
Political Corruption
Well, I think I'm always going Paper Trail in 4 player, and maybe even 3 player.  That leaves dueling, where this is theoretically a good card, but Ascended are so fast (as dueling is in general) there usually just isn't space for a long-term pay off card.  Hrm, maybe I am playing this in multiplayer some -- it lets you have more power generation without having to worry about defending it.  I would be vary wary of putting out multiples -- that would scream Discerning Fire.  Political Corruption only requires 2 Asc resources, which does make it a little faster/more splashable than Paper Trail.
Serena Chase
I like Serena just in the fact that she's an okay non-Pledged/non-Lodge Ascended character.  She's a variant on Walking Corpses -- you are hoping for a 2c-for-4f, but you have to spend 3 up front and get a rebate.  If you're lucky, you can get a few extra rebates.  Serena is more of a multiplayer card where you have a good chance of finding a target with 3 more sites.  And Stealth is going to give a decent chance of being successful.  Remember you don't have to attack a site (they just have to have 3), so characters often make good targets.
The Man
Boy the Lodge sure has a lot of chairpersons, and this one is going to give the Unspoken Name a run for his money.  Playing cards out of turn has always been a strong ability, especially if you get in a burn for power and effectively negate the your turn ends immediately limiting factor.  Playing sites in the key ability, and sites such as Drug Lab (and probably Nuclear Power Plant) are great ways of keeping the power flowing.  If you've shut down the player to your right with an unsuccessful attack, it might just be the time to play that 3rd/4th Feng Shui site to set yourself up for the win.
The Suits
What is there not to like about The Suits?  Well, a lot since they have some of the problems that Liquidators have, but I still think they are a turn in the right direction for 3 cost foundation characters.  First, you can get a price break on them with Family Estate.  Second, you can do some extra damage when up against Unique cards (which happens often enough), and finally, you can pitch them late game to take a quick peek.  Good stuff all around.
Walk on the Wild Side
I have a strong dislike for cards that have only limited choices for playing, and this sure is one of them.  Add the fact that the effect is pretty schlocky (Really Big Gun and Path of the Storm Turtle) and only works when attacking, and you have something to keep you table free of drink stains.  While I don't recommend playing Really Big Gun, Pump-Action Shotgun is a nice damage bonus if needed (and you can play it on your foundations) and Path of the Storm Turtle is ok for dumping on your Lodge posers.

Big Ass Car
I don't know about you, but I get smacked by my wife every time I use 'big' and 'ass' in the same sentence.  This card is a variant on Training Sequence, and like it, you never want to pay full price for this card.  Motor Pool is only a deal on 2+ cost vehicles, so that leaves you Outlaw Trucker and Kar Fai's Crib.  It's still iffy at best, and if you want the toughness, stick with Brick House instead.
Brick House
She's a what?  Not much to say about this card -- it's got a hefty resource requirement, but free toughness:1 that can stick around is pretty good.  
CB Radio
Bad news sports fans, you are not the only person to think of comboing this with Melissa Agulera.  Good news is that this card looks to have some potential.   This card is going to encourage offense, and you are looking to sneak a site here and there by over-committing, and pulling out after defense.  Extra good with Independent, and look for some goofy combo characters like Shaolin Agent and Plasma Trooper.
Fast as Lightning
You may recognize this as an Event form of the ArcanoSeed.  It's a little more versatile in that, as an event, you can surprise your opponent with it (they see the Spud from a mile away). It's less optimal in that it costs power.  I'm not a real fan of this card -- about 80% of the time Back for Seconds is going to be just as good, and it has non-combat uses and lets you get in multiple attacks.  The Ascended also have this card -- it's called Operation Killdeer, and it works on defense.
Fists of Fury
Yet another janky Dragon event that just doesn't hold up to plain old Back for Seconds.  Of course, if you are a real masochist, you can try this with Fast as Lighting and for 2 power and 2 events you can smoke two characters.  Or you could just splash Architects and play Nerve Gas. 
Good Ol' Boys
This set sees the Dragons getting their own Walking Corpses -- well, sort of.  Half of what is really good about Corpses is that they come out second turn.  It's not going to be until mid-game that these guys get to enough fighting to be a real deal.  Late game, you might be able to get a real decent 2c-for-6f, but that puts you in a mono-Dragon deck, and these guys got no useful ability other than getting big.
Isis Fox
This is a card that is screaming to have a deck made around it.  Scrappy Kids and Students of the Dragon are just going to fuel Isis to insane sizes -- well, maybe.  I guess she sort of compares to Shi Ho Kaui in that she starts small and gets a little bigger.  CB Radio also seems like an obvious combo, not to mention that she's the definition of Brick House.
Jack Hades
He should have been named Jank Hades.  There are exactly 2 Vehicle states that are okay with him -- Motorcycle and Stolen Police Car.  And then you are playing too many of them and not enough of Jack.  And he sucks it up without a Vehicle.  You know, there's a reason Festival Circle is a good card, and there are a ton of better (but not insane) Dragon characters that are just better to play.
John Tower
This card has a problem.  It's called Ting Ting.  You know, I really like the new mechanic of spending damage for power, but this card has such an insane opportunity cost, that it's rarely ever going to come up (especially since opponents trigger the ability -- they just aren't going to Op or Gas John Town when he has 5 damage on him.  So, you're left with a 4c-for-7f Independent, and that's just worse than T2 without any appreciable distinction.
Life in the Fast Lane
Best use for this card is keeping your Pabst Blue Ribbon from leaving an unsightly ring on your table.  Trust me on this one -- this card just has bad synergy.  It's minimum of a 3-card combo (a character, a vehicle and this event) that 90% of the time would actually hurt you more than your opponents if you were actually dim enough to play it.  I like blowing things up -- Booby Trap is often an overlooked card that just one of in a deck can be a pleasant surprise.  This card just blows.
Maverick Trucker
The Trucker is a card that looks better than it is.  Guts and Toughness:1 are good, but on a 3 fighting character it just doesn't compare to what you can get for 1 more power (not to mention a bunch of decent 3 cost Dragon characters).  The Vehicle discount is deceptive -- it does nothing for 0 cost vehicles (duh), and the 1 cost vehicles are such crap that you usually don't want to be playing them.  That leaves 2+ cost vehicles, which is where the Chop Shop excels, and you don't need the Trucker discount.
Real Bad Cat
I'm thinking that this could be one of the stars of BCL.  Forget all that Vehicle garbage, this state is tons better.  The real key is going to be Kar Fai's Crib.  +3 Fighting and Independent for only 1 power is a beating and a half.  This is probably the best of the Swords of the Master -- the ability is useful, and the cost-reduction with the crib makes it amazing.
Every now and then you are going to get a power rebate from this new Dragon foundation, but that's not their best use -- it's using Police Station to pump them up.  You're never really playing them outside a deck with Stations, and I'm not sure that you're still not better off with Hackers anyways.  Also watch out for Discerning Fire -- if everything in your deck matches, it's just too easy to get totally hosed.
Spencer's Beauties
The card to compare this to is Zheng Yi Quan.  For 6 power, you get a thug with Guts -- the Beauties are -1 Fighting and don't pump Students, but gain Mobility (iffy) and Independent (good).  I think the Beauties win out but then again, you are only playing Zheng in a Student Deck.  Then again, the Dragons have 2 good foundations that are Students.  I can't see a compelling reason to play any 6 cost Dragon character just because of the ridiculously good 4 and 5 cost ones.  If you are playing the Beauties, make sure you stock up on plenty of Golden Comebacks (and maybe some Back for Seconds, too).
Street Fighter
This is the type of card that is utter trash in our play environment.  This card is Silver Band spread out over two cards (and Silver Band was never that hot).  It's ability is just too vulnerable -- if they take out either Street Fighter or the card it's boosting, you got nothing.  Not to mention that this card is unplayable if you don't have another character in play (unless you want to target an opponents character to boost) -- hrm... if the targeting is a pre-condition, then you can't even play Street Fighter at all if there are no other characters in play.
Finally we have a beat cop that can deliver beatings.  Along with Isis Fox, Taggert is a Dragon character that you expect to gain in fighting over his lifetime.  But unlike Isis, you have to depend on your opponent to trigger his growth.  The good news is that your opponents are going to be turning sites and playing events with regular frequency, and Taggert is pretty easy to keep turned with his Independent ability.  Who knows, he might be the Dirk Wisely of BCL.
We Got the Funk
Superfly Edge?  WTF is that?  I sure looks like someone got way carried away with the bad 70s trip.  The jury is out on this edge, but it's best friend is Ting Ting.  You are almost guaranteed to be able to play her on the turn We Got the Funk unturns.  Note that this card sucks when nabbed by a Cabinet Minister since cards unturn when they change controllers (they get the power, and you get squat).  As far as I know, there are no tricks to get the power twice. 

Chin's Criminal Network
I'm not a fan of Master Chin.  As for his Criminal Network, it's sort of along the lines of Now You Made Us Mad!  You are hoping to gain 1 power, rarely 2, and a lot of the time you are just playing this card for no power at all.  The problem with this type of card is that it is of most use when you are ahead, and not as much when you are behind, which is when you really need the power.  I recommend seriously looking at Pocket Demon and Glimpse of the Abyss before including this card in your deck.
Death Ring
Well, it's an obvious combo with Master Chen (and about the only reliable way to get him in a Faceoff because of the high resource requirements).  Most of the time it's going to be a limited form of assassinate, that can be used out of turn.
Evil Master
Spending 3 power on a state in the age of the Waterfall is a risky proposition.  Evil Master is about as blah as they get.  Sure, it's good for sneaking through damage after interception, but that is more than countered by the fragile nature of the state.  Gimme a solid 4c-for-7f almost any day of the week.  The exceptions are if you can find a really useful character to take advantage of the Fighting bonus, like The Mantis.
Five Fingers of Death
Son of Really Big Gun and Bride of Disintegrator Ray all in one state!  I'm not a big fan of either of those, and you can probably guess that I won't be a fan of Five Fingers.  As for the toasting part, I just hate to spend 1 power and a character to do it, and for damage, Shotgun gets you +3.  If you're toasting, I'd go with the Displayed over this card every time.
Snake Fighter
Gah...  Making Flying Guillotine look good.  In reality, dropping a Guillotine on a foundation is going to get you more mileage than this turkey.  Even if you are focusing on Hoods and have a Dragon Throne out, I'd rather have a Student of the Shark most of the time.
Spies Everywhere
Coasters everywhere?  First off, never activate this ability against an opponent you expect of playing Resistance Squads.  The high resource conditions more than offset the low cost.  I guess you are hoping to get some advantage of knowing what denial your opponent has in hand, but that still doesn't give you info on any face-down feng shui sites they may have, which is just as much a problem.  In general, I find this type of information of minimal use -- it's nowhere near Covert Operation, which gives you knowledge and lets you strip a card, or even Curtain of Fullness, which can clear the way for a winning attack or just generally hose an opponent.
The Mantis
While he's not totally out of control power-wise, The Mantis is kinda cool.  He lives up to the current  generation of assassins like the new Nine Cuts, White Ninja and Sting of the Scorpion.  If you can get his fighting up a little, he becomes somewhat respectable.  The obvious combo in the set in Evil Master, but I think Hell Charger is probably a better way to go -- that way he's gonna be able to use his toughness more (and he takes down 6 fighting dudes).
The Nefarious Master Chin
I like everything but one thing about this card -- it's onerous three-resource requirements.  It's got two average abilities -- about the only thing that makes them interesting is that they are linked, so you can try to maximize them.  I know a straight-up 4c-for-7f with no resource requirements would be insane, but I think two resources is still reasonable given that it has an ability that triggers mostly out of faction.  Yeah yeah, he works with death ring, but it would be a lot cooler if you have some reliability when combining Master Chin with any of the three factions that actually give you a Faceoff event. 
The White Leopard Club
This card has a very effect, but at a huge drawback.  2 Body stinks, and unless you are playing an almost all Hood deck, I'd skip it.  Unfortunately, this is only main shot, so you can't use it to cancel those Pocket Demons when you want to (especially since the Club only fuels them).  When playing against White Leopard Club, it's probably best to smoke it unless you can stick it back row behind a well defended site, as your opponent will quickly grab it back and have it beefy again.
Throwdown in Chinatown
Besides having the best card title in the set, Throwdown is another in the Lotus' growing arsenal of events.  At one time they had Tortured Memories and that was about it -- the last two sets have given them this and Corruption.  Throwdown is a nice alternative to Die!!! -- Die!!! works when you have characters in play, and Throwdown works best when you don't.  Saving up two of these is going to dish out 16 points of damage in a four player game -- that's almost a Neutron Bomb.
Vassals of Chin
I guess you are hoping for a low resource Silver Band with these Vassals.  That is actually a nice feature given that Hoods are spread out over the factions, but this card just doesn't have enough juice to do most of what you want.  And they tend to be of limited uses -- you have to turn some small guys to pump them up, but those small guys will get picked off, leaving you high and dry next turn.  Not to mention that these guys have no ability on defense.

Billy Chow
You're probably thinking the Hand doesn't need another big superleaper, and you're probably right, but this one is actually decent, given you construct the deck around him.  You want lots of chi cards -- Golden Candle Society is great for stopping Imprisoned, and your Violet Meditations are going to stop Killdeers and Brawls.  Note that his ability can be used to stop any event, so you can even hose a lot of alternate power generation.  Increased hand size is also nice to go along with this ability.  Another card that needs some play time -- 6 is a lot of power to spend on a character.
Chinese Connection
Should have been called the Turtle Connection.  As long as you can keep the power flowing (and the Hand usually does pretty well with all the Senshei chambers), you can keep stuff from being reduced to 0 body.  This card is extra annoying when combined with defensive sites like Inner Sanctum, Tangram Alley, Ominous Swamp, Puzzle Garden, and of course, Temple of the Angry Spirits.  Don't overlook the sneaky-tech of given an Architect player 1 power when another opponent is going for the win to fuel their denial.
Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting
The problem with this card is that while you are drawing and playing it, your opponent is drawing and playing characters to take advantage of it.  If you are going to play it, make sure you have an easy way to get rid of it or it will bite you in the ass.  Stone Garden and other innocuous sites that turn are sorta okay, but I like Defiant Bloom.  Think of it as more or less a one-use sort of Death-O-Rama.
Fatty Cho
This is one cop that knows every donut shop on the beat.  If I get enough of the chubby cop, I'm going to try out the turbo-Cho deck using Violet Meds, Proving Grounds and hand size increasers to see how fast and how fat he can come out.  How about first turn GCS x 2 + Art of War + Proving Ground.  Second turn Violet Med + Fatty for 7 Fighting (or 6 if I keep a power to back up a Confucian or drop a Whirlpool).  I think the key to this card is speed over size.  Dropping a 30 fighting Fatty from a Supercomputer isn't the same as second turn beats.
Kung Fu Prodigy
I have a general dislike of states that rely on other states just because you wind up.  Luckily, there are enough good Chi states.  Fortune of the Turtle is a no-brainer, but a couple of the 0 cost Chi states are decent too (Flying Sword Stance and Path of the Storm Turtle).  Unlike Jack Hades, this card makes your good states better and more versatile -- not trying to de-coasterize cards that no one ever plays...
Mad Monkey Kung Fu
Just can't get enough Swords of the Master...  This one is okay, but not spectacular.  I would probably rate it the worst of the lot (this, BK97, Sword and Real Bad Cat).  Part of the problem is that it just doesn't have enough synergy with other cards.  With the evasion characters (superleapers and Blue Monk and Master Hao) you fill find that Butterfly Sword is almost as good, and that the 1 power difference is huge.  In an environment where you are going to be facing at least 5 Final Brawls every game the card might do a little better.
Righteous Bro
Let's get the power stealing ability out of the way -- it's gravy, and frankly, it's never going to come up.  I think you are more likely to trigger Ice Healer than this guy.  So what does that leave us?  A 3c-for-3f superleaper.  That usually isn't paying the bills unless you are planning on some Rigorous Discipline tricks.  And even then, the Hand has so many Superleapers now that you don't have to resort to tricks like this.  Repeat after me -- Blue Monk...
Smoke on the Water
I would say that stuff on the water is left over from whatever they were smoking when they printed this card.  First, note that it's the anti-combo with Superleap, which is often the punch through method for the Guiding Hand.  People are still gonna have pretty good options for intercepting.  Festival of Giants will get your hitters through the horde of weenie defenders and be useful when you are intercepting.  And if you got 1 power, Blood of the Valiant kicks. 
Swinging with the Hand
Temple bullet anyone?  The problem is, Temple usually hurts you the most when it's face down, and this event don't do squat then.  The other non-combat source you are likely to see is Final Brawl, but there are already two infinitely better alternatives than this coaster.  I'm always big on Festival of Giants, and the versatility of Confucian Stability just blows Swinging with the Hand out of the water.
"You Have Offended Shaolin!"
This card has offended my sensibilities!  While Superleap is a powerful ability, the Hand usually doesn't have a lack of superleaping characters on the table.  And if it does need to give a character the ability, Rigorous Discipline often does the job.  Is it my imagination, or are you almost always going to want Blood of the Valiant over this guy?  Sure, the return to your hand gravy ability is nice, but it only matters if you want this card in your hand in the first place.  And the Hand has never had a problem returning events to their hand in the past...

Buffalo Soldier
I like this little guy.  Sure, he sucks up the brawl himself, but the rest of your army leads on.  He also puts a damper on Operation Killdeer, which can be surprisingly useful when you are attacking with a couple of Consumers and have a hefty Entropy is Your Friend out.  If you are a real masochist, play with Training Camp to get these guys back, or maybe just In Your Face Again and hope to get lucky.
Che Gorilla
Big and dumb, that's how I like my monkeys.  And this one can get pretty big.  It's pretty easy to see when someone has a Che in their hand -- they will be counting everyone's smoked piles, biding their time until the payoff is right (usually about 9-10 fighting).  This guy is a promo, so it will be time to send in your power points -- I don't think he's as good as Yung Chang, but he's still decent.
Curtis Graham
The Monkey Who Would Be King got a new friend in BCL.  Notice this guy's low resource requirements, and his nifty provisions.  Just when I was getting used to including a Dump Scrounger or two in most Jammer decks, she gets some serious competition.  Expect Curtis to have a big target on his head, so you might want to pack a few cards to keep him around.  Who's the Monkey Now? and Close Call (both played for free with Genocide Lounge hopefully) jump right out, but the possibilities are endless if you go multifaction (which this guy's resources let you do).
Disco Inferno
If you can separate the horrible name from the card, it's actually pretty good.  The hefty three resources means that it's a mid-game card, best suited for a mono-Jammer deck.  4 damage feels about right -- you can snipe off weak sites as denial, and you can also cut the body of a site in half right before you hit it.  Another card perfect for use with Genocide Lounge, cause if you got the Lounge in play, you got the resources.  I expect this to be one of the sought after uncommons in BCL.
Doctor Zaius
This card has the sort of ability that you wish was on a card with just a few more points of Fighting (like Xin Kai Shen).  Yeah, you can combo him with a Homemade Tank, but most people are going to see this coming and not.  Again, Monkey Who Would Be King and Curtis Graham are more useful as mid-range, and Doctor Zaius is probably going to wind up in everyone's card box next to Red Don.
"Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?"
Well, do ya?  Not only does Barbie say 'math is hard' -- she also says this is going to do an average of 3 damage.  Three damage to a single character for 1 power isn't the greatest, but you are going to hit for 4+ some of the time which makes it a little better.  Where this card does fit is in the Genocide Lounge deck -- this deck keeps looking better and better with the flood of 1-cost Jammer events that are actually useful off turn and as sneaky stuff.
Funky Monkey
When he's not ho'ing out Koko Chanel, Funky is trying to be a variant on a 3c-for-6f.  Unlike the god-awful Street Fighter, you don't lose his main ability if they smoke the character getting the bonus -- he can give that +1f bonus on every player turn, so spread it around as needed.  The can't steal power is mostly a gravy ability, but can be useful if Blessed Orchards are popular in your area (they are in ours) or you are in a multiplayer game and fear a Bite.
Outlaw Bikers
I guess the standard equipment for Outlaw Bikers was Pump-Action Shotguns back in the 70s.  I really can't see playing many vehicles on these guys
Will the Jammers finally get a break with two good 1 cost Foundations?  Maybe.  It means giving up on Tech, but Tech has been a lost cause for the Jammers since day 1.  Note that this card, like it's buddy Just Another Consumer, hates face-down Feng Shui sites, but what ya gonna do?
Simian Liberation Army
Even more Walking Corpses, but this one I don't like.  The problem with the SLA is that they tend to get stopped by a 1c-1f foundation character, nullifying their Corpse-ness.  Once in a while, you just might gain power from smoking an 8+ fighting character, but it's so infrequent that it's not a consideration when building a deck.  Unless you are going all-monkey jank, take a real close look at the Simian Sneakers -- they just blow this guy out of the water. 
Stick it to the Man!
This is an intriguing card -- it's going to do nothing if your opponent doesn't mess with you, but if they do, it can be a 0-cost hose the hoser card.  The obvious use is in a Proving Ground deck, giving you some extra protection against Whirlpool of Blood, letting you go turbo.  Confucian Stability is going to be another good target for Stick it to the Man, especially if you have some good states (like say, Homemade Tank).  This is really a meta-game card -- if there are lots of Whirlpools, Confucians and Fields of Tentacles, this is definitely worth trying out a few in a deck to see how far you get. 
Street Gang
One of the big themes of BCL is cops vs. hoods, and the Jammers get a Hood foundation to go with their miscellaneous hoods from previous expansions.  These guys are ok-ish, and they do make a nice 2 of in a deck if you have a heavy environment of non-combat damage (cough Temple cough).  The 1 cost foundations are still generally better, and for 2 power, you get the amazing Portal Jockey, or the ok Resistance Squad if you really need Tech.
The Discombobulator
While this card has a powerful (and reusable) effect, it just darn expensive.  Whirlpool does a pretty good job of shutting down turning sites, as does Sabotage.  This leaves us with unturning sites to discombobulate, which basically means Temple of the Angry Spirits, to which there are better cards to use against it (like Punks). 

Earth Wind and Fire
Expensive...  For the price of a Neutron Bomb, what do you get?  You are hopefully smoking one character and healing all your characters and sites.  Healing is good as a 0 cost effect (Healing Earth and Sacred Heart Hospital), but when is the last time you saw Beneficial Realignment get a lot of play?  And the targeted damage to/smoking of a character costs 1.  Combine the two and you get a card that's really hard to play, but it might be worth sneaking 1 in a deck to try it out (maybe Feeding the Fires will help the cost some).
Ice Shaman
The usefulness of this character is going to depend a lot on your groups play style.  He starts off pretty simply as an almost 2c-for-3f, and gets better the longer you can keep the shaman in play.  A couple in an Ice-based deck is a must, and it might be nice one-of for almost any non-Fanaticism deck.
Ice Totem
This is a generally useful card, especially if you have some good quality hitters that are going to avoid being Mentored or plain out zapped by an Event (i.e. T2, G2 or Ice Queen).  The comparable card is Blanket of Darkness -- which is more useful?  Generally, I am favoring the Blanket because it will interact better with some of the smaller trick hitters like Butterfly Knight.
Ice Vixen
Boy, can Monarch cards in BCL do anything but heal?  The bummer of this card is that your opponent is going to heal it when they play Shadowy Mentor on it.  Otherwise, you are playing it with Spirit Pole and maybe some Ice Commandos for variety.  0 cost states are the best of course, and Ice Vixen would look pretty good with an Amulet of the Turtle.
Silver Jet
This fall, you are cordially invited to Red Wedding, the marriage of the Ice Queen to Silver Jet. Anyone who has cause why this marriage should not take place, open fire now or forever hold your peace.
Soul Doctor
The fifth Ice/Healing card in BCL is the Soul Doctor, the 4th Ice foundation.  I'm real iffy on this card -- I like 1-c foundations, but I also like lots of magic.  This card has an okay ability mid-game, but there are just so many other healing cards that it's hard to squeeze this one in.  And for 2 cost foundations, I like an Ice Warrior vNew or two just because shutting down events can mean the difference between winning and losing (as can healing, but not as much so usually).

Binary Spirit
The initial round of 2 cost characters for the Purists were pretty much dreck -- even the 2 cost foundation was questionable.  I think Binary Spirit makes the cut, though, as a utility character.  Too bad it requires a magic resource -- other than Acolyte, the Purist foundations are pretty much unplayable.  I like this card for aggressive beats, discarding to heal, but you can also improve your card flow if you have to.
Rama Singh
Bleech.  I guess you can play the Rama-lama-Smart-Missile deck, but boy, is that gonna stink.  The goal is to have your opponent not trashing your Edges.  Esteban's so much better, it's not funny.  And saving up to 4 power for a beating stick is always a better idea than bozo here.
Strange Magic
Well, the cost is right on this one, and two resource requirements shouldn't be a problem since it's a mid-game card.  You are hoping to open up someone's first site for some sneaking beats.  You also have the advantage of being able to play characters after Strange Magic to make sure it doesn't leave you vulnerable.  What you do need to watch out for is the domino effect -- you are potentially opening up a lot of sites, and you opponents may get as much if not more benefit from this event.
Time Keeps on Slipping
If you can ignore losing a turn, this card can get you a boat-load of power.  The intent of the card is to work with Pocket Demon, so just ignore all the timing stuff that doesn't look like it works -- just pretend it just does.  Having some defensive events and sites can make your life easier, too.  Note that this card doesn't get you any more money out of Quantum Sorcery, but you still can use it normally on an opponents turn.

Thwak!  Finally a respectable rival to Fusion Rifle.  And it's going to be a lot of fun on Superleapers.  Like any weapon state, you usually don't want to many of them unless you are playing an Ex-Command or Ice Commando deck, so use it sparingly.  Doesn't really so hot with Kung Fu Prodigy -- too bad.

Big Daddy Voodoo
Who's your daddy?  This guy sure is.  He has a cool new mechanic that allows you to spend damage on him as if it was power for Hood cards -- this includes the sites and Rackets, not just characters.  He has a lot of possibilities in almost any Hood deck  This guy is going to need some play time to fully evaluate, but I think he will be one of the stars of BCL.

None in this set


Big Rig
Hrm... a 4 point Amulet of the Turtle, but at the cost of 1 power.  I think this is going to wind up in the eventual coaster pile.  If you are playing a vehicle deck, you are probably playing Dragons, and there is just better stuff.  The timing in this card is a little weird, so you don't wind up doing as much as you could.  Might be okay in Battle-Matic deck, and I'll have to try it before I write this card off completely.
Car Wash
This card is a little too combo intensive for me, especially when you put it side by side with Sacred Heart Hospital.  Of course, when your opponent seizes it from you, they wont be using it.  Still, it's really hard to find room for this when it has to compete with Chop Shop and Motor Pool.
Chop Shop
Don't expect to be chopping up Big Ass Cars and Motorcycles for spare parts -- this card is for tanks.  Who knows, Tank Warfare might even be playable if you get the Shop going.  Note that the sacrifice is a cost, so if someone zaps you with a Field of Tentacles, your Tank is gone and you get no power.
Subtitle should have been Unplayable Hood Bruiser.  I like Luis so much more than this guy it's not funny.  And for general play, White Ninja is more solid in the 6 cost low/no resource slot.
Da Boys
Shaolin Agent mark 2?  Uhm, no.  Most of the time this guy is going to be a 4 cost 6-8 fighting with zero abilities.  And that's a no-gooda.  Even though this character requires no resources, it's not fast and is too dependant on your opponents.  And if you are beating them mercilessly, they won't have many cards in play.  And if they have lots of cards in play, Da Boys ain't gonna help much.  Seriously look at Luis or Big Daddy if you are making a hood deck, and any of the generic 4c-for-7f faction characters are going to be better in almost all decks.
Heavy Machine Gun
I've found this card just too hard to pull off -- it is a pretty hefty effect, but is just one point of damage more than the Nunchucks.  One or two in a Vehicle based state can be a nice surprise, but don't plan on using it as a key part of your strategy.  Having too many states in your deck is also going to cause you a shortage of characters.
Magnum Justice
This is another card I'm down on.  I don't like throwing away my characters as take out.  There just aren't that many good cops -- most of the ones you are playing are 2-3 cost, and often you want to be taking sites, which this edge isn't going to be helping do much (other than get a couple of damage in by maybe being un-intercepted.  Wouldn't you always rather play a Police Station?
Mr. Simms
Ever hear of Cheap Punks?  They are a much better unaligned 2 cost Hood character.  Compare this guy to Street Gang -- yes, their ability only gets to zap sites, but they have the crucial advantage of providing you a resource that will let you develop and play more cards.  I can just see it now -- d'oh!  I opened another Mr. Simms -- anyone want to trade me an old Nine Cuts for him?
As down as I was on some of the other cop cards in this set, I sort of like Partners.  It's a nifty trick to get +2 fighting for 1 power in a state (which would be pretty good) by adding a significant opportunity of requiring two Cops in play.  While I hate legacy effects (stuff that sticks around for turns after the source has left play), this state uses it to good effect by reducing some of the fragility of having it depend on two characters (unlike Street Fighter, who sucks it up if they remove the character he was giving a bonus to).
The Big Boss
Another blah Hood -- I guess you are trying to make Chin's Criminal Network work or something.  I just don't see you getting much out of it.  Even if you have a Dragon Throne out, 1 free Vassal on every one of your main shots isn't going to get you very far.  And playing 4 power just to get to replay a good hood (like Mr. Big or Luis Camacho) just ain't worth it.  Big Daddy Voodoo is a better way of economizing and maximizing your Hoods.
Zodiac Lounge
This card almost feels like a Battleground Site in disguise.  It's got a somewhat powerful ability, but only if you have a lot of characters and something to attack.  I kind of like the idea of Inauspicious Return with it.  Unfortunately, the site's low body just makes it too easy to take, especially considering that the ability only works when attacking.  And boy is it going to suck when you draw hordes of little guys and have to face a Zodiac Lounge that your opponent has seized. 

The ability on this card is straight-up worse than Gambling House, which is to be expected since it has two more body.  Since I like gaining power, I'm always going to go with the House first.  I'd probably go with Phlogiston Mine second, and then Disco as a third power generating site.  Note that you can reveal this in response (like the Mine) and can gain power from Events on a rare occasion.  
Pinball Arcade
This is about as bland as they get. Even the Fire King scoffs at it.  I guess it depends on doing 1 extra point a turn (providing you made a successful attack) the equivalent of gaining power -- I don't, so I think this card is heading to coaster city.
Roller Rink
Roller Rink screams out Dark Travelers and Displaced.  Maybe a few other really fragile specialty characters like Malachi and Hermes will work okay.  Getting this card damaged, but not vulnerable to an easy seize usually involves Killing Rain and it sitting in the back row, which just adds an extra headache to this card.  I think in the long run the benefits of Roller Rink are going to be questionable.



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