Axe
Axe 贯石斧

Range: 3

Ability:
When the target of the player's attack escapes the attack, the player can then discard two other cards to cause the attack to hit.

斧,甫也,甫,始也,凡将制器,始用斧伐木,巳乃制之也
释名,释用器
Clarification:
  • Only after the attack has be escaped can the player force the attack through.  If the Attack is voided from the Black SheildWood Armor, or a power such as Da Qiao's "Displace", the attacker does not have the option.  The Eight Trigrams does count as generating an escape however.
  • To force the attack through, the attacker can discard both hand cards and equipment.  The Axe itself cannot be discarded however.  This is because the ability of this Axe is being used at that time.
Notable Combinations:
  • Characters that have a dangerously strong attack greatly enjoy the benefits of this weapon.  Since their attack can normally be pushed aside with an Escape, a guaranteed hit can turn the tables on the opposing side.  The effects are varying, but the more crippling it is, the more it wants to be escaped, and the Axe becomes more useful.  Xu Chu, Ma Dai, Xu Sheng
  • People trying to dispense of a hand will enjoy the abilities this weapon has to offer.  Not only do they get to throw those cards away, but they also damage their target in the process.  Zhuge Liang, Lu Xun, Zhang Chun Hua
  • Some abilities activate when equipment is lost.  Opponents tend to let the equipment stay where it is then, avoiding the ill effects it brings.  With the Axe though, control is brought to the other side of the board.  If a target blocks an attack, equipment can be thrown to pound the attack through.  This causes damage and activates the ability as well.  Sun Shang Xiang, Ling Tong
  • Younger Zhuge Liang is under more pressure when the Axe is being used by his foes.  Since his defense is always the Eight Trigrams, it counts as an Escape.  A determined opponent with cards to spare won't hesitate to pound through with damage regardless if it was stopped by his ability or escaped from the hand.  
Final Remarks:
The Axe is a very useful weapon for getting damage in.  A player can guarantee that the Wine in their hand can be put to use.  No matter how hard the target tried to resist, there is nothing they can do to stop a determined attacker.  The price that the Axe has however is in the cards.  To attack and then pound through the defenses will cost three cards.  Combined with the fact that someone only draws two per turn, it is a net loss.  Meaning that eventually an attacker will run out of cards and not be able to attack the defender, also leaving himself vulnerable to counterattack.  For this the Axe is very useful, but difficult to keep up in the long game.  

Relation to History:
There are numerous generals that use an axe in battle.  However there is not one that is placed above the rest as is the case with many of the swords.  This means that the Axe represents the more general weapon discipline, not one particular blade.
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