- Erratum: This card’s first ability should read: “Your maximum hand size is increased by 2.” - FAQ, v.1.6, September 2019
Ally. Miskatonic. Science.
Your maximum hand size is increased by 2 while checking your hand size during the upkeep phase.
After Laboratory Assistant enters play: Draw 2 cards.
You start the game with 5 cards, 5 resources, and most scenarios are well over 6-7 rounds. This card will never take 4 actions to play and to suggest it would is absurd. The card has a pretty solid negative in my opinion: a single intellect icon isn't going to impress anyone. Losing a card for a single intellect point is pretty rough. But the benefits are quite nice.
First, she replaces herself and adds 1 card to your hand after she enters play, meaning you don't lose any skill test potential from committing. Second, she increases your hand size which, again, directly improves your potential skill test modifiers through committing cards. Finally, she provides an essential 2 Sanity for our mentally fragile investigator Roland Banks. Sure, Roland runs a little poor, so maybe spending money to draw cards isn't high on your to-do list.
Overall I think this card is a solid include for Roland. Keeping your hand size up and drawing cards is useful to make sure you have Vicious Blow, Evidence! and Shortcut in your hand for the exact moment that you need them. Sure, she is stealing the ally slot from Beat Cop and Guard Dog, but both of those allies have the potential to leave play when the situation calls for it. When your allies are more transient than someone like Leo De Luca (who you really don't want to die) then your deck has room for more allies. More allies with HP means you don't need to rely on evasion, and you can just take a hit once in a while. Who cares about your wimpy Assistant if you've got the police on speed dial?
If you have this card in play and play her again, do the reactions of both trigger because a card named " Laboraroty Assistant" entered play?
Depending if your deck/character (mostly jenny and rogue cards do this) is ressource focuced or not you may lose actions in playing her (she costs 4: draw her, gather 2 ressources, play card), but she's also a good damage/mythos defense (discard an asset or put X damage on your assets).
This card is now a corner stone in my Minh Thi Phan decks based on the combo Laboratory assistant + Dream-enhancing serum + Feed the mind.
Ideally I play the Serum, then the Lab assistant (having 2 copies of Studious help to have them both after the mulligan) to start my engine. Later, Feed the mind allows to draw a lot in a single action and have sometimes 12-15 cards in hand so that Minh has a solution to everything happening.
Of course, you end up drawing The King in yellow but with a hand full of skills, you should need one action to get rid of it !
Fundamentally, this card increases your hand size. So far, there's only 2 investigators where I've found the 8 card limit becomes a problem; Daisy Walker when she's using the Old Book of Lore each turn, and Rex Murphy when choosing to fail elder-sign tests, or using Search for the Truth.
For them, this card could be really useful. However, both can also take Dr. Milan Christopher, whose +1 and paying resources for investigating is probably preferable. He's a much stronger card.
However, at the right time, and with those investigators, this could be a useful ally for a part of the game. I think you have to see this as an ally you might want late in a game, similarly to how a Research Librarian is most useful at the start.
So, in short - possibly useful, but highly situational, and I'd only bother for investigators who can draw a lot of cards.
It's worth noting that in the Dunwich campaign you sometimes don't want to get too far through your deck, so getting a third of your deck into your hand is maybe not the best idea.