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Subject: concentration and free-without or with a discard? rss

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NICK WATKINS
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i am new to this and just played it this weekend.
there are a few cards that give you-like concentration-
pay mana-get the stronger effect of card x and if it give you influence etc +2..

Are you required to discard a card ALSO to get this effect?

the cost of using the card concentration and the mana+ use another card/stronger effect seemed like enough of a cost (2 cards and a mana) vs if you are required to use 2 cards a mana AND a discard for the stronger effect (3 cards!!!)

so can someone explain how the cost is "FREE"?
i can see how it is free if i dont have to ALSO pay the throw another card away.
thank you if this has already been answered, i didnt see an official ruling on it (or maybe there is a section that explains "costs" of spells)

getting flashbacks of magic the gathering
 
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that Matt
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It's "free" because you don't have to pay the mana you would usually need to use the strong effect of the second card.

But that's it.

Any other costs associated with the text will be required.

See threads: The term "free" (in combination with discard/throw away) or Concentration + Pure Magic
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NICK WATKINS
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thanks for the info and link.
its funny to me because while you say the cost of the other card is free -no mana cost- you are essentially just changing the color mana of the casting spell to use another card and to get +2 effect

so i use a green mana to use the bottom effect to not pay the cost of say a red card bottom effect (and yet still have to throw away the card)
is that right?

when i had the second card- i asked -why would i ever play -concentration at the second level?
maybe you can answer that -there must be reason where you have good use of this card -to not pay the mana of the scond card (when all you needed was the mana of the second card)
looking forward to your response and thoughts


cheers
 
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that Matt
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Well, I'm not really the best player of this game, but here are some thoughts:

As a basic action card, this is really about flexibility. (See also: Improvisation.) With Concentration in hand, you can very often able to get the stronger effect of any other card. Its basic ability will get you a red, blue, or white mana (which can be used to charge another card) or alternatively, if you have green mana already, you can use its strong effect.

And the strong effect boosts by 2. Not hugely impressive, but right off the bat it's almost always better than playing it sideways for 1 basic block/attack/influence/move.

Using a Concentration for +2 Move is sometimes the right move, but isn't particularly exciting. I think one thing to remember is that it increases any kind of attack or block. So if you combine it with some advanced actions, or the improved character actions, it can add Range/Siege Attack or Fire/Ice Attack (or Block).

For a straightforward example, you can use just two starting cards and one mana (Concentration strong effect into Switfness) to get 5 Ranged Attack. On Day 1. That alone is enough to take out most of the green or brown enemies.
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Chris Leger
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I thought I'd chime in here, just to add a slightly different perspective.

First off, and this may sound nit-picky, but it really is not meant to be - I wanted to point out that you seem to be being a little loose with your terminology in equating "throw away the card" with "discard the card", neither of which is what concentration says. Concentration says to "play another Action Card" - this can be an important difference in a few cases (e.g. Long Night tactic, Trance spell). It's also important that it's an Action Card and not, say, a spell or artifact (I know you never suggested it could be, I'm just trying to justify that precision in terminology is important). In general it's best to use the terms as they are defined in the game.

I view Concentration in much the same way as tumorous; it is flexible enough that it can be used for any effect, and gives benefits to most. Without this card or Improvisation in the deck your maximum amount of Move, Influence, Attack, and Block would be fixed. With it you can choose to be more flexible and take the extra boost when required. And as tumorous mentioned, the scarcest value in the starting hand is Ranged Attack which is only provided by two+ cards. Turning that 3 to a 5 (or 6 for half the Heros [ ed: Goldyx ]) can really make a difference.

I also think you're downplaying the importance of being able to gain mana of another color - in many games, I find myself paying for the strong effect of Crystallize simply so I can have more flexibility in mana.
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Chris Leger
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I thought I'd add a bit about the relationship between cards and mana in the basic deed deck.

In the basic deed deck, half of the cards (2xRage,2xMarch,2xStamina,Promise,Improvisation) provide 2 of their type of card (attack, block, influence, move) with an extra 2 for paying the corresponding mana (Improvisation isn't as obvious, but if you think of it as playing Improv for what you want, and the discarded card as a sideways addition then it works out). For each of these 8 cards (plus Threaten, and the afore-mentioned nice bonuses to Swiftness), the strong effect of Concentration adds an additional 2 points. So examine these plays:

Rage + Red Mana, Rage = 2 + 2 + 2 = 6 attack
Concentration + Green Mana + Rage = 6 attack

Different ways of using 2 cards and 1 mana to achieve the same result. Hope that helps clarify where Concentration can provide alternatives and is situationally just as powerful as any of the other basic Actions (and with the flexibility often more useful).
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Paul Glickman
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Concentration tends to be best used on Swiftness, in my experience.
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Thanee
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The really strong ability of Concentration is, that you can use a green mana to turn it into any other basic color (generally one you do not happen to have available) without sacrificing a card for this effect.

The discard from Improvisation is part of its effect. Why should that be free, also? It would make it much better than any other card in combination with Concentration. It's just fair, that you have to discard that card also. Improvisation is strong already, because it gives you whatever you just need.

Bye
Thanee
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