This effect will evade and exhaust all enemies in your location, even those that you're not engaged with (Aloof, and those engaged with other players).
Automatic Success/Failure & Automatic Evasion: Some card effects make an investigator automatically succeed or automatically fail a skill test. If this occurs, depending on the timing of such an effect, certain steps of the skill test may be skipped in their entirety.
- If it is known that an investigator automatically succeeds or fails at a skill test before Step 3 (“Reveal Chaos Token”) occurs, that step is skipped, along with Step 4. No chaos token(s) are revealed from the chaos bag, and the investigator immediately moves to Step 5. All other steps of the skill test resolve as normal.
- If a chaos token effect causes an investigator to automatically succeed or fail at a skill test, continue with Steps 3 and 4, as normal.
- If an ability “automatically evades” 1 or more enemies, this is not the same as automatically succeeding at an evasion attempt. As per the entry on “Evade” in the Rules Reference, if an ability automatically evades 1 or more enemies, no skill test is made for the evasion attempt whatsoever. Consequentially, because no skill test is made, it is not considered a “successful” evasion. The investigator simply follows the steps for evading an enemy (exhausting it and breaking its engagement).
- For example: Patrice uses the ability on Hope, which reads: “ If Hope is ready, exhaust or discard him: Evade. Attempt to evade with a base value of 5. (If you discarded Hope, this test is automatically successful.)” If Patrice chooses to discard Hope, the skill test automatically succeeds before chaos tokens are revealed; therefore Steps 3 and 4 of the skill test are skipped. However, the skill test still takes place. Cards may still be committed to the test, and the investigator’s total modified skill value is still determined, as it may have some bearing on other card abilities. However, if Patrice instead uses the ability on Stray Cat, which reads: “ Discard Stray Cat: Automatically evade a non-Elite enemy at your location,” no skill test is made whatsoever. - FAQ, v.1.7, March 2020
Evade. Automatically evade all enemies at your location.
Cunning Distraction is more often included thanks to it's awesome artwork and the icons than for the ability it provides. Cunning Distraction causes all enemies at your location to be evaded and therefore exhausted, even Elite foes, without drawing a token from the chaos bag. This has a number of benefits. Now that enemies are exhausted, they can't take attacks of opportunity, they can't retaliate, they can't move during the enemy phase (if a Hunter), and they can't attack during the enemy phase. They also won't follow you if you want to move. Everyone gets this benefit. If you and/or a partner is swarmed with enemies, Cunning Distraction is a great get out of jail free card. The enemies will of course ready during the Upkeep phase, this buys you some time. But there is a rub in it.
How likely are you and your fellow investigators assembled at one spot and overrun by enemies at the same time?
How likely is it that you are at a location with three or more enemies at once?
No question, you can play the event when fewer foes pressure you, but five resources seem a steep investment for the short respite you are rewarded with. If you plan to use it against the big baddies, be warned, though: some of them have forced abilities that readies them prior to the Enemy phase; causing them to wallop investigators none-the-less!
There exist other situational cards with similiar impact but lower play cost, like Stray Cat, Survival Instinct, Manual Dexterity or Blinding Light.
- Guaranteed evade. This can save you many conventional evasion attempts.
- All enemies at your location are evaded and exhausted, this includes Elite and Aloof and may free other investigators from engagement, too.
- You should combo Cunning Distraction with other cards to maximize it's value: Sneak Attack, Close Call, Pickpocketing.
- Agnes would rather use this card for skill test commitment.
- High play cost.
- One-time effect only.
- All current survivors have an Agility base value of 3, which is sufficient to evade most threats on easy/standard difficulty.