Card Focus: Fox Pass
Feng Shui Site
1 Power, 5 Body
Unique. Turn to change one attacker's target to any Character or front-row Site you control.
Fox Pass? Why Fox Pass? Why now?
Fox Pass is probably one of the most powerful, most versatile of the defensive Feng Shui sites, and veteran players are likely to know of several tricky methods to use it to good effect. New players however, frequently see Fox Pass, and only consider the most basic of its uses. Hopefully this article may be useful to less experienced players, and also point out some new combos to old hands alike.
The Basic Use: Moving Attacks Around
The most simple use is to change what is getting hit by an attack. The most effective use is to change an attack on a site to an attack on a character, preferably to sacrifice a chump weenie, or force a character into an undesirable fight. Your opponent is attacking for the win with superleaping Sun Chen? Force him to take a Drug Lab, or force him to fight your Palace Guards, or force him to get into a fight with your own big hitter (maybe someone who will survive unscathed, like an Infernal Army.) Your opponent is going after one of your key low-fighting utility characters? Deflect the attack to another character or a site.
You can also control which sites you lose. Send attacks against big sites that have the body to take it, or deflect attacks away from low-body sites with useful abilities (like say, your Fox Pass), and onto sites you want to see reduced to zero body, like a Nine Dragon Temple, Fortress of Shadow, or even a Donner Lake that's about to become a liability.
Using Fox Pass to redirect attacks to Destroyer is always fun, since he'll do four damage and come back. Jammers playing with Genocide Lounge will be able to send attacks to the Lounge and watch it spring back into play, or send attacks away from it if it's in danger of being toasted.
Next Up the Rung: Stopping Attacks
It's one thing to send your opponent's big stick towards a different card. It's a better thing to stop their big stick all together.
Experienced hands will know this trick- if the target of an opponent's attack ceases to exist, the attacker stops attacking. If you can sacrifice your characters, either to themselves, such as with a Darkness Warriors, or a Suicide Squad, or to another card, like the Thing With a Thousand Tongues, the Keeper of Hearts, a Vivisector, or other effects, you can first change the target of the attack to the poor schmuck, then sacrifice them. Suddenly, the attacker is no longer attacking, and you've got whatever boon your sacrifice gave you.
Combining this with interception may allow you to do one better. If your opponent attacks with two or more characters, you may use one character to stop two: change the target of one of the characters to one of your guys, then have that new target intercept the other attacker. First your character will fight the second attacker during interception, then if still alive, it will get to fight the other during combat, as it is now the target of the attack. If your character was a weenie and died (hopefully taking another attacker with it), that second attacker now has no target and ceases attacking. If it was a big stick, it may do enough damage to take out two characters during one attack.
What about probing attacks? Consider the following setup- an opponent with tons of power plays a small character and attacks your lone character, which will result in them killing each other. Change the target of the attack to the site behind your character and intercept. The characters will still kill each other, but the target of the attack- the site, will take no damage, and thus it will be a failed attack. You've just stopped your opponent from dropping a big stick and making a follow up attack!
Advanced Maneuvers: Drawing Aggro
Generally, you want your opponents to be beating on the other guy. But what if you've got cards that only help when you're being attacked. Fox Pass can help you make that happen.
Force an attack against you to be able to play cards that allow you to gain a benefit. Probably the greatest example here is Heat of Battle, but you might force an attack to smoke a big character so you can benefit from Cannibal's Banquet, or ensure that your Ba-BOOM explodes when you want it to. Set up opportunities for Mysterious Return, Unexpected Rescue, or Surprise, Surprise. You'll often find overlap with some of the strategies in the first section, but here you're pulling attacks that targeted other players, and sending them after yourself- same rewards, but greater risk.
Fox Pass can force an attack against your Mount Erebus (hopefully by the player on your right). Seize it on your turn, and your Fox Pass may be able to help you protect it. During an attack for the win, when all your characters are turned out and it seems desperate, you can change the target to one of your cards.
Generally speaking, changing the target of the attack is a lot like redirecting its damage. However, there are some key differences- redirecting damage is better at stopping attacks, since the redirection is considered a new source. But cards that can't have their damaged reduced or redirected are considerably much more common than cards that can't have the target of their attack changed, and cards that effect the later (like Petroglyphs) often also effect the former.
Fox Pass may not be as potent in a given instance as Kinoshita House, City Square, or Devil's Mountain, but it combines aspects of them all into one card, making it extremely useful and versatile. This article only scratches the surface of the tactical possibilities of Fox Pass, but hopefully it will get you thinking about new ways to use an old card.