Guardian
Asset. Ally

Ally. Creature.

Cost: 3.
Test Icons:
Health: 3. Sanity: 1.

When an enemy attack deals damage to Guard Dog: Deal 1 damage to the attacking enemy.

Fiercely loyal, these trained canines make for perfect companions.
Stephen Somers
Core Set #21.
Guard Dog
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • You can use Guard Dog's ability when you assign lethal damage/horror to it.
Last updated
Reviews

Honestly, I've not used Guard Dog a lot, but it seems to me that it's the Guardian ally for non-guardians. It can efficiently do 3 damage over time, for a reasonble cost, and it's quite nifty being able to invoke an attack of opportunity, soak it up and kill off an enemy.

However, let's face it, if you're a guardian, you probably just want to beat things - so Beat Cop is a more natural fit. And if you've got access to guardian level 1 cards, you could upgrade to Brother Xavier, who offers more, and still does 2 damage. He's better in every way.

So this leaves the place that Guard Dog shines as being with investigators with poor/moderate strength, and access to guardian level zero only. That's pretty much Jim, Rex, and Pete, and the latter two have better allies to take priority.

With Jim, though, Guard dog is pretty good, and it's health/sanity balance nicely compliments Jim's, and gives Jim a good way to do a little damage when he needs to.

AndyB 317
I agree with you; it's a decent but not great card. The lil' doggie seems a bit overpriced compared to the competition. The upcoming Mark Harrigan might want to buy a canine companion, though, since it can trigger his ability to draw a card when damage is placed on a card he controls. — olahren 277
I think the overall effect of Beat Cop and Brother Xavier are stronger, but they come with a cost. And by that I mean the actual cost of playing them. Guardians aren't exactly resource rich. With Zoey I struggle to get the 4 or 5 resources saved up after playing a weapon. But Kukri+Guard Dog is a very strong opening hand in my opinion. And I tend to like to play lean decks. — miggydoh 41
@ olahren Guard dog does combo well the Mark Harrigan, but the doggy will have to compete with brother Xavier, who also combos nicely with Harrigan (more damage dumping, comparable damage dealing ability and willpower boost on low willpower Harrigan) — Heyenzzz 1222
Well, Brother Xavier is both more expensive and probably does one less total damage than Guard Dog, so he is not really "better in every way". — olvenskol 1

Guard dog is most effective at taking out weak enemies with 1-2 health that deal 1 damage. This allows it to maximize its (guaranteed damage) triggered ability and save a few actions.

Take this example in a Roland deck:

  1. Weak enemy (1HP) engages Roland in a location with clues.
  2. Roland has guard dog in play, and decides to draw a card (or just walk around like a boss).
  3. This triggers an attack of opportunity (AoO), and damage is assigned to guard dog.
  4. Guard dog triggers and the enemy is defeated.
  5. Roland's ability triggers, and you discover a clue.

Effectively, you've killed an enemy and discovered a clue while using an action doing something else entirely.

Clarifications

-Timing structure (for the above example): trigger action is declared (i.e. move) -> AoO triggers -> damage is assigned (not dealt) to guard dog, triggering its ability -> enemy is defeated -> Roland ability triggers > damage is dealt to guard dog -> trigger action is resolved (move).

-If guard dog has 1HP remaining, it can be assigned both lethal damage and horror (1 damage + 1 horror) from an attack.

firze 5
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the card reads "When an enemy attack DEALS damage", so the trigger occurs after damage is dealt to the guard dog and not before. — FractalMind 7
@FractalMind, The triggering condition of "damage is dealt" does happen as @firze shows it, but because the Guard Dog's ability is a "When" clause, it happens before the direct effects of the damage are resolved — CSerpent 66
I'm confused with the FAQ statement. If Guard Dog is dealt only horor which is lethal, will its ability trigger? — Catv5 1
@Catv5 Guard dog being dealt Horror is irrelevant to whether or not it’s ability triggers. Likewise an attack being lethal is irrelevant. The ability triggers on ‘when’ which is before the results of the trigger resolve. So after the dog’s ability happens, yeah the attack could kill it. — Death by Chocolate 10

Under the 'Asset Card' section of the rules it states if an asset card has health and/or sanity the investigator may assign some, or all, damage to it. This means if the investigator has other cards to soak damage, or is willing to take some damage themselves, the guard dog could do up to 3 damage to attacking enemies.

Be aware that most cards that boost damage either require 'Fight' or an attack, these will not boost the damage of guard dog.

I think You can only assign 2 damage instead of 3, because as soon as the dog soaks the third, it dies and is trashed, so it can't activate its reaction. — cybercujo 1
You can use it even when you assign lethal damage to him. Since it's "when" rather then "after". — Yury1975 1
Understood. I did't see the difference between "when" and "after". Thanks for the clue :) — cybercujo 1