Level 21 - Emergency Discards

  • Level 21 strategies should only be learned if you have 380+ games of experience with the group.

Special Moves#


Phantom Playable Cards#

  • First, see the section on the definition of "playable" cards.
  • For a card to be delayed playable, it needs to be playable "through" other clued cards or "through" cards on Finesse Position. In other words, we are allowed to give Play Clues to delayed playable cards.
  • Consider that a slightly different category of card can exist. A card is Phantom Playable if it is playable "through" cards that are visible in someone's hand, but the in-between cards are not on Finesse Position and are not yet clued. We are not allowed to give Play Clues to Phantom Playable cards - at least not until the other cards are clued first.
  • From Save Principle, we know that everyone agrees to not let playable or delayed playable cards get discarded.
  • If possible, the team should also try to protect Phantom Playable cards from being discarded as well, since they are nearly as important as delayed playable cards. For example, it is common for other people on the team to discard in order to let the player with the Phantom Playable card be the one to give a Play Clue to the in-between card.
  • Sometimes, Phantom Playable cards have to be discarded when the team is low on clues or in an otherwise tight situation. While regrettable, this is perfectly okay and does happen from time to time.

The Scream Discard for a Phantom Playable Card#

  • First, see the section on the Scream Discard and the section on Phantom Playable Cards.
  • Normally, you are only allowed to perform a Scream Discard for a critical card or a playable card. But what about a Phantom Playable Card?
  • In most cases, players should also Scream Discard for a Phantom Playable Card, but it depends on the situation:
    • Will it be clear to everyone what is happening?
    • Will the in-between cards get clued right away?
    • Are there other critical cards on chop that need to be saved or will need to be saved soon?
    • Is the Phantom Playable card a 3 or a 4?
  • In summary, it is better for the team to let a Phantom Playable card get discarded in a tricky or tight situation, especially if it is a 4.
  • Another way of saying this is that the team should never "bend over backwards" for a Phantom Playable card. Consider that a Scream Discard always has a small chance to lose the game (if the Scream Discarded card was itself critical).

The Sacrifice Discard#

  • First, see the section on the Scream Discard.
  • It is generally undesirable for a player to have a Locked hand, but sometimes it happens. And sometimes, one card in the locked hand is useful in the future, but not critical (meaning there is another copy of the card in someone else's hand or still in the deck).
  • Normally, you are never supposed to discard cards that have clues on them. And if you do, it implies a Sarcastic Discard or a Gentleman's Discard. However, when a player is locked, they can choose to "sacrifice" one of the cards in their hand that is non-critical. And in this situation, it does not imply a Sarcastic Discard or a Gentleman's Discard.
  • Sometimes, when a Locked player discards a non-critical card, it is a Generation Discard, and sometimes, it is a Sacrifice Discard. The other players on the team just have to decide which one it is based on how well the game is going. Usually, it is pretty obvious which one of the two it is, as Sacrifice Discards are usually very rare and are only done in very dire situations.

The Shout Discard Chop Move#

  • First, see the section on the Scream Discard.
  • Normally, when a player performs a Scream Discard, they are discarding their chop (e.g. an unknown and unclued card).
  • However, if a player has both a known-playable card and a known-trash card, then discarding the known-trash card instead of playing their known-playable card would still communicate a Scream Discard to the next player in the exact same way.
  • This situation is slightly different than the normal case, so we call it a Shout Discard to differentiate it from a more-ordinary Scream Discard.
  • A Shout Discard Chop Moves the very next player in the exact way that a Scream Discard does.
  • A Shout Discard forces the next player to not discard on their turn in the exact way that a Scream Discard does.
  • Normally, a Scream Discard is only allowed to Chop Move a critical card or a playable card. However, unlike a Scream Discard, it is permissible to use a Shout Discard to Chop Move any card that is desirable, even if it is not critical or playable.
  • Normally, a Scream Discard is only allowed if the team is at 0 clues (or if cluing the card is impossible). However, unlike a Scream Discard, it is permissible to use a Shout Discard to Chop Move regardless of the number of clues that the team has.
  • Normally, a Scream Discard would turn into an Echo Scream Discard if the next player has a playable card. Shout Discards can also turn into Echo Shout Discards, but only if the team is completely out of clues and it can be seen to be a "last-resort" move.

The Whisper Discard Chop Move#

  • First, see the section on the Scream Discard.
  • Occasionally, a player will have known trash in their hand. Obviously, they are expected to discard the known trash first before discarding their right-most unclued card.
  • Thus, if a player instead discards their right-most unclued card instead of the known trash, it must be a signal that something is wrong, exactly like a Scream Discard. This is more subtle than a Scream Discard though, so it is called a Whisper Discard.
  • Whisper Discards are to be treated identically to Scream Discards. In short, this means that they 1) cause a Chop Move and 2) force a clue to be given on the next turn.

The Echo Scream Discard Chop Move#

  • First, see the section on the Scream Discard.
  • A Scream Discard Chop Move is done only as a last resort. So, if the next player has an unimportant card on chop, then the move is usually a Generation Discard and does not Chop Move anyone.
  • However, what if a Scream Discard is done and the next player has either:
    • a known playable card
    • a known safe trash discard
  • Since Scream Discards are only done as a last resort, the clue must have some other meaning. So, it Chop Moves both the next player and the player after that. This is called an Echo Scream Discard, because it "bounces" off the next player and travels to the next player after that as a "double scream".
  • Similar to a normal Scream Discard, all of the players who are Chop Moved are not allowed to discard on their next turn.
  • In the unlikely scenario where two people in a row have known plays / known safe discards, then the Echo Scream Discard will bounce off of two people and perform three Chop Moves in total. (And three people in a row cause four Chop Moves, and so forth.)
  • An Echo Whisper Discard works in the same way.

The Composition Discard#

  • First, see the section on the Scream Discard and the Generation Discard.
  • In rare cases, it is possible for a discard to be both a Scream Discard and a Generation Discard at the same time, for two different players.
  • For example, in a 4-player game:
    • There are 0 clues in the bank.
    • Alice needs to plan ahead for her turn.
    • Bob and Donald both have a critical chop card. Cathy has a safe discard.
    • Alice and Bob both have one known playable card in their hand.
    • So, if Alice plays, Bob will perform a Generation Discard, and discard a critical card. This is not an option.
    • Therefore, Alice must discard. This is a Scream Discard to Bob, and he should Chop Move. It is also a Generation Discard to Cathy, and she should not Chop Move.
AlicektAlice discards:- Scream Discard for Bob- Generation Discard for CathyBobRed 5cmCathyDonaldPurple 5Clues: 0

The Rebellious Discard#

  • First, see the section on the Scream Discard.
  • Part of the Scream Discard convention states that after a Scream Discard, the next player cannot discard. Thus, a player in this situation must completely waste a clue if there is nothing productive to do.
  • However, in some situations, the player who has been screamed at sees that if they give a clue, the next player will be left at 0 clues and will be forced to discard a critical card.
  • Thus, in this situation, the player should Chop Move as normal and then discard their new chop. This second Scream Discard is called a Rebellious Discard, because they are not doing what they are told.
  • For example, in a 3-player game:
    • Red 4 is in the discard pile.
    • There are 0 clues available.
    • Alice has a known-playable blue 2.
    • Bob has a critical red 4 on chop. Bob has no playable cards in his hand.
    • Cathy's hand is Locked. All of the cards in Cathy's hand are critical. None of these cards are playable.
    • Alice looks into the future and sees that if she plays the blue 2, Bob will be forced to discard the critical red 4, since the team is currently at 0 clues.
    • Thus, Alice performs a Scream Discard, discarding instead of playing the known-playable blue 2.
    • Bob knows that Alice performed a Scream Discard, so he marks his chop card as Chop Moved.
    • Bob also knows that, as per the Scream Discard rules, he is not allowed to discard on this turn, and must give some clue instead (in case he has two critical cards in a row).
    • However, in this case, if Bob did that, then Bob would be using the last clue, and then Cathy would not have a clue available and would be forced to discard a critical card.
    • Thus, Bob knows that he must perform a Rebellious Discard in order to provide a clue for Cathy to do something.
AliceAlice performs a Scream DiscardBobBob performs a Rebellious DiscardCathyClues: 0