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In Munchkin (or any of its various sets) the rules say that "You can discard a Class card at any time, even in combat: "I don't want to be a wizard anymore." When you discard a Class card, you become classless until you play another Class card." It also says the same thing for Races, Accents, etc. for the various game sets.

This wording suggests that the intent is that you can discard an "in play" Class at any time, but it isn't clear about such cards in the player's hand. I would prefer to discard the extra Elf card in my hand so that my opponent doesn't get it during the Charity phase. Can I discard the card rather than give it away?

Note: The rules I am using are the most current rules from the 1st Edition, 23rd printing of Munchkin published May 2012.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

You can't voluntarily discard a card from your hand, you can only play it or give it away. But you can freely discard races and classes in play or sell items in play. During charity you can play cards instead of giving them away if you want to.

So, you can play a race, discard it, play a race, discard it, wash, rinse, repeat. Unless you had some type of curse preventing you from discarding your race; then you are stuck having to give it away to someone else.

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Thanks for clearing that up! –  Tanner Sep 12 '12 at 7:09
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You cannot normally discard cards directly from your hand (unless a card says otherwise). This does not prevent you from playing the race card, whether it matches your current race or not from your hand, to prevent your opponent from getting it. The rules say that charity is the last step ((4)Charity) of your turn (page 2), and under the When To Play section for Classes and Races (page 6) it says:

Classes and Races - These cards may be played as soon as they are acquired, or at any time during your own turn. ...

The FAQ also supports this, giving an example of how you can change races on your turn by discarding races from the table and adding (or not) a race from your hand. It also gives an example of replacing a Class card to avoid charity, and as stated previously the timing on playing Race/Class cards is the same.

Q. When using Super Munchkin or Half-Breed (or Double Agent or Bilingual . . .), can you discard one of your Races or Classes and replace it with another, or just not replace it?

A. You can turn from a half-breed dwarf-elf to a half-breed dwarf-human, or, if you have the Halfling card, dwarf-halfling. This doesn't make you lose Half-Breed. Super Munchkin works the same way for Classes.

Q. Can I replace my current Class with the same Class to avoid charity?

A. You can discard a Class at any time. You can play a Class at any time on your turn. There's no requirement that the new Class be different from the old one. So, yes.

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