Survivor
Asset. Ally

Ally. Creature.

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

Discard Stray Cat: Automatically evade a non-Elite enemy at your location.

He never came if you called for him. It always seemed like he had his own agenda.
Stephen Somers
Core Set #76.
Stray Cat
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • You can use Stray Cat to evade an enemy that you're not engaged with.
Last updated
Reviews

At first glance the gloomy Stray Cat seems like a premeditated evade which is not particularly great, but there are some nifty tricks you can do on your turn:

  1. Exhaust enemies who ready in the Enemy phase. There's a free action player window (between Step 3.2 and 3.3) just before enemies attack, so simply discard the Stray Cat to exhaust them.
  2. Exhaust enemies who are engaged with other investigators at your location. Handy to bail them out when you don't have the actions to spare to engage and evade that enemy.
  3. As a bonus, combo Stray Cat's evade with cards that have the same triggering condition: Close Call, Pickpocketing

Pros

  • Guaranteed evade. This can save you many conventional evasion attempts if the enemy is quicker than you.
  • Activated with a free action. You don't lose an action, you only pay for it upfront by playing Stray Cat.
  • Decent install cost.
  • You should combo Stray Cat with other cards to maximize it's value: Sneak Attack, Close Call, Pickpocketing.
  • If William Yorick finds himself engaged with two non-elite enemies, he can kill the weak one, recur Stray Cat with his ability and use Stray Cat's free action to evade the big baddie.

Cons

  • Does not work on nasty Elite enemies that you really want to exhaust.
  • One-time effect only. Hardly worth on it's own, until you know of a certain enemy you want to avoid. In this case it could easily be swapped in with Adaptable.
  • Occupies the Ally slot. You know the darling who wants to take her place! Are you willing to pay 3xp (Charisma) for the company of cat and boyfriend?
  • All current survivors have an Agility base value of 3, which is sufficient against most threats.

Recommendations

Instantly parley spoiler on the Midnight Masks scenario.

Synisill · 244

As a cat person I have always wanted to include the Stray Cat in a deck but it never quite made the cut. I think there was once or twice that it made it in with the hopes that I could use Calling in Favors to search for the ally that I wanted but it got bumped out almost immediately by XP upgrades.

The cat has always been an iffy play because of its one time use AND restrictions on use but I was trying to find an investigator to pair up with Ursula for my first play of The Forgotten Age. The only thing that I really knew was that evasion was good and I knew a little of the Vengeance mechanic. Most of the other types have really poor evasion skills but I got the idea to pair Yorick with the Stray Cat.

And it was an amazing combo. Ursula and Yorick were usually able to clear clues off of locations and even stay ahead of previously evaded Hunters.

It's ALL Actionless

The best part is that the Stray Cat with Yorick achieves the ultimate action efficiency. Once it is in the discard pile it can be played/recurred after any kill without using an action and it can evade without using an action. It can even evade ANY enemy at your location.

It isn't that hard for Yorick to kill enemies but it usually takes 2-3 actions to do it and there are always the chance of bad token pull (retaliate) or special tokens that cause something else to happen. Yorick can instead use his Flashlight 1-2x and move to the next location getting closer to completing the scenario instead of needlessly hacking at an enemy.

Does it makes sense to play the Stray Cat with other investigators or in other campaigns

This was obviously the perfect campaign for the cat but I will definitely keep this in my Yorick decks for action efficiency.

Other possible investigators to use it and none of these are definite since they all have other strong allies to include

  1. Ashcan Pete - I could see this working in solo where he can avoid enemies and sneak through scenarios.
  2. Patrice - I haven't played her yet so there might be too much competition for allies but it is cheap so it can get played easily and it keeps her safe if she hasn't drawn/played the right cards.
  3. Tommy Muldoon or Tony Morgan (Survivor) in TFA (and only in TFA) - Not very good matches for them but they will really need to evade with some regularity in the campaign. But would you push out another ally that works so well for them? Unlikely.
  4. A splash card for Zoey? in TFA - Very unlikely
  5. Minh Thi Phan - It gives her some mobility but it would probably just be easier for her to play skill cards and evade

The rest of the other survivors have high evade skills so it wouldn't help much.

I have never played nor even thought about how to build decks for Preston, Lola or Calvin. I doubt it makes sense.

Overall it worked great for Yorick in TFA but Ashcan Pete is probably the only other investigator that I would try to include it in. And that is only because I want to setup a deck without Peter Sylvestre for Pete. I think it is safe to keep this in your unused cards section. Unless you are playing Yorick.

TWWaterfalls · 265
Tony can't take it because it's an asset. Love the Yorick idea though, that's genius. The only time I ever included this card was as a thematic placeholder for Miss Doyle until I upgraded into her. Don't think I ever used it. Odd choice of card to be included in the core set really. It fits with the theme of Wendy but she has no use for it. — Sassenach · 60
Rita obviously likes Peter Sylvestre more, but Stray Cat being able to auto evade any non Elite at your location means she can trigger her ability off of an enemy engaged with someone else, either to ping it for damage and then maybe later have it engage with her, or for movement. Tony can't take the cat (events and skills only), but probably wouldn't anyway because his ally competition is fierce between Greg, Leo de Luca, and Lola Santiago (he loves sanity soak). Patrice can use the cat to auto-evade the Watcher officially now, though I've found Fire Axe to be a more well rounded solution, and while she doesn't have too much ally competition (Madame Labranche is really the only must have one) she doesn't want to include too many assets in my experience. — StyxTBeuford · 742
I keep forgetting about Tony's restriction but I haven't played him. Isn't Patrice's asset issue the cost? I also haven't played her yet but her deckbuilding is quite interesting so I have looked at it a little. I could see some potential to use the Cat as a free action to evade and then fire - reload - fire the Ornate Bow for 6 damage (and no AOO) with Wendy/Rita but it would only work against non-elites with 4 or more health (or 5 or more with Rita). They exist but are somewhat rare. — TWWaterfalls · 265
The issue with Patrice is more actions. Between Violin and Labranche cost is not an issue at all. Events are nice because they’re often fast or at least have good icons. — StyxTBeuford · 742
I guess it then becomes spend an action one turn to play it and save an action later. Not super strong though for her but possible. Yorick's actionless recursion really increased its value in that campaign. — TWWaterfalls · 265