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Search and Detain

Search and Detain

Search and Detain

Type: Plot House: Neutral
Income:4 Initiative: 5 Claim: 1
Game Text:

When revealed, choose a card without any attachments controlled by the first player. Return that card to its owner's hand (cannot be saved).
Number: 120 Set: HtS
Quantity: 3 Illustrator: Anna Christenson
Recent Decks: Targ Mercenaries
lanni - conquest martel
Shadows and Ambush
gj - a song of ice 1.2


This card is very tricky. Let's assume that we win initiative (with 5 INI is likely). We decide that our opponent will be first player. Then we can returned his character without attachment or any attachment back to his hand. This is what we hat basically in Martell (Ghaston Grey (FtC)). If we don't win however it's as well not big deal. Opponent has to choose us as a first player to not return card to his hand. OK we have to choose something but most likely we will have some cheap character or location which will not cost us much.
If we add to 5 INI + 2 for Knights of the Hollow Hill (MotM) we should win initiative, so it looks like quite good plot for this Agenda.
Nov 03 2011 06:22 PM
Don't forget you can play this to get a card back in your had on purpose. Want
Newly Made Lord (TftH) back? Or how about a shadows card with a great come into play ability?
Or Daario Naharis (WLL) ;)
I'm probably forgetting some relatively simple rule/FAQ bit that I know in the back of my mind, but can someone clarify for me what could be used to save a card from being "returned to hand"? I mean, most saves work to protect against kill/discard (depending on the card text of course), but in general, "return to hand" means that, say,for instance, if you have a duped character (or a character w/"bodyguard", for example), the character will go back to your hand, and any dupes or attachments will get discarded. Correct? Most (all?) saves that I can think of don't protect from "return to hand". Please advise/correct me on what I'm missing.
A character with bodyguard could not be targeted by this plot ;) But a Dupe would indeed normally be able to save a character from being returned to hand, and this prevents that.
Yeah you can discard a dupe to save from almost anything. It can be used to save from being discarded, killed, returned to hand, returned to deck. Bodyguard only saves from being killed I believe. However, as Imrahil points out, you can't save from this plot, so the dupes would get discarded.
Also as I pointed out though, Bodyguard WOULD protect a character from this plot, because it is an attachment.
Yes, that is correct. However, bodyguard WOULDN'T save from other return to hand effects.
Thanks for the clarification. Yeah I'm clear that in this instance "bodyguard" wouldn't work anyway, but was just forgetting the fact that dupes could be used to save from "return to hand" effects as well. Thanks!
Is it basically a dead card if you play it with Bran before Ini count?
Since no one is actually the First Player in this phase of the round.
There is never a time in the game when there isn't a first player. During setup you randomly choose a first player and then that is reset every plot phase when you reveal your plot. So in the case of a Bran into Search and Detain pre plot first player would be the first player from the previous turn or the randomly selected player if done on the first turn.
Yeah, I saw someone preplot Bran first turn into Search and Detain and then used Rule by Decree. It was nasty.
Restericted? Since when?

Shouldn't the restricted list here on CGDB be updated? :)
    • Darksbane likes this
you should read the faqs version number from the link you provided and know that it is pretty old
Updated now, thanks for the reminder

Updated now, thanks for the reminder

Great, thanks!
Dec 09 2012 07:27 AM
Hopefully this will follow The Laughing Storm and come off of the restricted list soon enough. It is powerful but has many limitations, you have to win initiative, you have to give your opponent first player (a factor that can prove crucial late in games when this plot is often played) and the target has to have no attachments on it. Not to mention it will be a necessity to combat all of the House Of Dreams decks we are going to see.
Dec 09 2012 07:28 AM
Those of course all apply to using this card as a means of control. Timed right it will also always be a nice mini save from valar.
This card in my opinion should stay on the list. It has too many uses and too good base stats 4-5-1. It can be used offensively and defensively so it is also very flexible plot and even when restricted it has been in the top3 of most played restricted card in the bigger tournaments (not softbanned like many said it would be) so I think that speaks a lot about its power.
As for HoD I don't think it is good to balance the game by using a stronger card to attack a strong card.
Dec 09 2012 02:06 PM
I agree with Ire. When this wasn't restricted it was an auto-include in pretty much every deck, and even as a restricted card it is getting a lot of play.
House of Dreams is such an odd duck. If this were unrestricted, it would become so prevalent that House of Dreams would be unplayable. And yet everyone is still trembling in fear for the Tier 1 build that may come from it. And yet, nobody yet seems to have cracked the Tier 1.5 ceiling with it. The big dogs mostly seem to be holding it at arm's length, and everyone is teching against it.
    • WWDrakey and Ire like this
Dec 13 2012 11:55 PM
Well i agree it has excellent stats and is a swiss army knife of sorts. However, i feel that just because a card is used very often does not warrant it being restricted. If thats the criteria we go by then Valar would have to be restricted as well. I just have always thought of restricted cards that have devastating effects such as Narrow Escape and Fear of Winter. And I know HoD hasnt broken thru yet it seems that it will be prevalent in the coming meta. And i realize its a pipe dream for it to come off the list it was just wishful thinking because i love the card so much and the flood of HoD decks is the only foreseeable way that could happen. Still a man can dream...
Well I think there are two common opinions on how people see cards should be restricted. There is the pure power way, which pretty much is only about how strong the card is compared to other cards of this type and the jaw-dropping effect its ability has cards like Narrow Escape (KotStorm), The Viper's Bannermen (PotS) (who also work really well together if they werent on the list.). Then there is the flexibility view, the card is doing too many things too well which breaks the core game balances (it doesn't even have to be too devastating effect) these are cards like Search and Detain (HtS), Val (cannot find in database thanks to it being a 3 letter card.). Both of these points are bad for games overall balance. While the power cards are raising the decks effectiveness the flexible ones are making the decks run more smoothly and covering simultaneously several possible weaknesses.

Cards are also restricted for being part of a combo, but this is more of a rarity, this happened with
Threat from the East (QoD).

I don't think FFG has ever used "too much played" as a criteria and I haven't seen anyone using that argument. The thing with this card is that it is jack-of-all-trades card... it should be doing many things and it does, but the problematic part is that it is doing them too well. It is in no way specialist, yet it still does very powerful effects (with good stats) without being situational or having an actual drawback.That, if anything, makes it unbalanced. Another thing is that this card also devalues duplicates (one of the games core mechanic) even more (like they already hadn't lost most of their value.)
    • hellwitch likes this

How does this card interact with "Aloof and Apart"? When I play the agenda and this strategy card, and I'm actually chosen as the first player, is it possible for me to choose one of my 4+ costing characters and then not being able to return the character to my hand?


I'm asking because "Search and Detain" has two sentences. I could choose a character (first sentence). Then, after that, I try to return it to my hand, which doesn't work because of Aloof and Apart (second sentence).

It's not formulated in the usual "Do this, to do that"-way and this makes me wonder.