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Say a player is level 6 and faces a level 10 monster, the player decides to play a one-shot +5 card, making the player level 11. After that card is played, another player enrages the monster making it level 15.

The player in combat cannot defeat the enraged monster and is forced to run. Does the player have to discard the one-shot item, even though it was not used to defeat the monster?

Seems to make sense that the player must discard all one-shot items played even if they were unsuccessful. However I do not believe this was specifically covered in the rulebook.

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    I think your answer is better than mine because you found authoritative evidence from the official FAQ. I added my answer to yours, and I think you should accept that one instead. (Note: I cannot delete my answer because you accepted it.) – Rainbolt Aug 5 '15 at 16:09
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Once you play a card, that's it. It is no longer in your hand. You can't pick it back up and put it into your hand. From the Munchkin FAQ under Miscellaneous Questions (emphasis mine):

Q. If I announce I'm going to do something, am I locked into that decision or can I change my mind? For instance, I was a Wizard and declared that I was going to fight a monster, but then the monster was enhanced further. Can I change my mind and Charm it?

A. You're NEVER locked into a final decision unless a card or rule says so. (However, there are no "take-backs" once you have played a card or rolled a die.)

If you start to play a card and then immediately change your mind, then you haven't actually played the card, and you aren't locked into your decision. However, if you play your card, and then one of your friends plays an Enrage, then the game has clearly progressed beyond the point where you can change your mind.

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Once you play a card, that's it. It is no longer in your hand. You can't pick it back up and put it into your hand.

You might get some sympathy from your friends if you start to play a card and then immediately change your mind. In that case, you never actually played the card. However, if one of your friends plays an Enrage, then the game has clearly progressed beyond the point where you can change your mind.

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