Under some circumstances, a card may be gained and then played on the same turn. This allows you to improve your deck and reap the benefit immediately, rather than waiting for gained cards to be shuffled into the deck and drawn on a future turn. The ability to gain-and-play a card allows for greater deck flexibility, as you can wait to gain the card until the turn when you know you need it.
Under most circumstances, gain-and-play must be achieved by using a gainer during your Action phase. Some gainers allow you to gain a card directly to your hand or to the top of your deck, where it may be relatively easy to be able to play it immediately. However, the term "gain-and-play" is more often applied to situations when a powerful engine with overdraw allows you to gain a card to your discard pile during your Action phase and continue drawing until you reshuffle your discard pile and draw the gained card. A common gain-and-play method is to draw your entire deck, gain a card to your empty discard pile, and then immediately draw it.
Several Night cards, as well as the Action card Villa, are almost always gained in such a way that they can be played immediately, even if gained in your Buy phase. The Project Innovation allows you to automatically play a gained Action immediately, even if it's gained to your discard pile.
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