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Jail (almost) useless in FFA

Jail, for those who are wondering, says “Opposing units played from hand go to jail instead of arriving. When a unit enters jail, any unit already there is released and arrives in play. (Jailed units aren’t in play. They’re discarded if Jail is destroyed.)”

So, assuming all your opponents play at least one unit on their turn, it would release the unit for the previous player who would then be able to ready said unit on their next turn. If I’m understanding that correctly, it makes the Jail pretty pointless in FFA matches.

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It means it’ll have more impact on whoever’s turn is before yours. Reduced effect, but I wouldn’t say useless.

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You have mostly understood that correctly, but it does still disrupt the timing on arrival effects, like seer, and because such cards can’t make choices outside their owners turn, the effect would fizzle. Also, it would affect the player immediately before you in the turn order more than other players, in that you’d have a turn to interact with their board before that unit goes into play. Lastly, Jail returns them to play, but that player doesnt get to immediately patrol them.

Basically, jail still causes a speed bump, but it is diinshed compared to the ideal 1v1 match.

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Yeah, I guess it helps if you’re going to attack the player who goes immediately before you as you said.
I suppose it still works well against other players who play a unit with Haste who would otherwise be able to attack straight away.
Still, Jail seems like a good candidate to worker the turn you draw it in FFA.

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Its not just preventing hastey attackers, but also lessens their patrollers.

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Interesting. I didn’t realize that Arrive effects that happen on your opponent’s turn fizzle. To me, some of those aren’t even a decision (i.e. Arrive: draw a card). But, if that is the design intent, then I’ll play it that way.

They only fizzle if there is a decision. So, Scribe still draws, but Taxman does nothing.

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Sorry, but do you mean Tax Collector? If so, that arrive ability is not a decision–you either get a gold (if your opponent has one), or not. If you mean Gunpoint Taxman, then there is no Arrive keyword.

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Tax collector has a decision only in FFA, where you have to pick an opponent.

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Dohp. Yes, makes sense. Thanks for all the replies, folks.
Just goes to show how much of this game seems one way from reading the text, but you don’t really understand the full implications/power until you put it in play and see for yourself.

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Is that true? I think it still counts as “a decision” even if there was only one opponent (eg, if it came back from a Prynn suicide)

The phrase “an opponent” would suggest that, yes.

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I mean, I’m not certain it would function or fizzle in 1v1. Super niche edge case imo.

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Also, jail could be really annoying if it gets destroyed while your unit is in it, something u can normally avoid by either not destroying it or letting a chump get discarded but here could do some damage to a gameplan…

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My 2c aligns with others here; it’s far from “useless” as it does still stall patrollers and arrives effects, and still does impact the player immediately before you. I would say it’s about as effective in FFA as in normal for that precise reason: you are affecting every other player’s ability to patrol, which is nothing to scoff at, but indeed you’re less effective than 1v1 at diminishing attackers. I would probably worker it about as often as in normal play (which is pretty often already, it’s expensive and situational).

It’s certainly not on the level of Sacrifice the Weak and Hooded Executioner (which are straight BUSTED in FFA), but I don’t think it’s almost useless in FFA. It’s an already relatively weak card that’s about as weak in 1v1 as FFA, imo.

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Is Jail weak in 1v1? It always struck me as a pretty good sometimes card

is situational. It’s good with the proper set up, but expensive and slow (also easily breakable) in other circumstaces.

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