Big Man on Campus
You get +1 .
After your turn ends: Heal 1 horror from Peter Sylvestre.
A very strong card but one which I feel is commonly misunderstood.
Basically Pete is a highly defensive card.
Looking first at the stats he offers, Pete gives a boost to and once upgraded . When not used for specific class trait abilities such as spells () or rogue/survivor style /evade based events, these tests typically come up in REACTIVE encounter deck tests. That is to say you cant easily plan when you are going to use them. Encounter deck tests are typically associated with horror hits and is typically associated with physical damage, though both are associated with other penalties such as action loss/movement restriction or asset loss. Note that is more common than in the encounter deck so far making unupgraded pete considerably less useful for encounter protection than upgraded pete.
The stats Pete doesn’t cover, and , are more PROCATIVE. You have more control about when you choose to use them and as a result you tend to get more mileage out of them (specific / specs aside). is typically the most progressive given that clue hunting is the primary source of act progression in the game. And while obviously plays a defensive role against the damage from enemies, it can be seen as progressive in the sense that it is common for a scenario to offer you compulsory/boss type enemies which are either plot relevant or at least offer victory points. It is much rarer for the game to offer or tests for progression, though it is not unheard of.
The difference between these two sets of stats is likely the reason for Pete being the only card in the current card pool to offer a boost to two stats simultaneously, and has a lower cost than other stat boost allys, such as Beat Cop or Dr. Milan Christopher. Essentially unless you have spec`d into them for spell casting/evading based builds, they are less innately progressive. They don’t help you win so much as stop you from losing. Part of the lower cost however may also be representing both the unique pip and the survivor trait of coping well with encounter decks.
Looking at Petes second ability, the recurring sanity soak has obvious defensive capabilities. It can be argued that in mystic where you expect to take additional horror from spell side effects it would facilitate a more aggressive play style letting you use spells more liberally. With current investigators, this is mainly Agnes Baker since Jim Culver gets a lot of passive horror healing from Jim's Trumpet but you could argue a similar role if you have used out of faction slots on other characters to be a hybrid spell caster. Outside of these effects, it is simply defensive.
So, what are good uses of Pete?
- Any time you want Pete just for theme. Honestly this is a game. just enjoy it. Despite what i'm writing here there is no wrong way to have fun!
- Any build that expects to take horror more commonly than other builds. Or where sanity loss is particularly cumbersome, such as Mystics or characters with low and/or sanity.
- Any build that is centric. Which means your either packing cards that test evasion (Backstab, Sneak Attack, Close Call or similar) or you’re planning on evading enemies rather than fighting them (usually low combat characters relying on natural evasion).
- Any build where the upgraded Pete’s bonus is important to you, so mystics again (if you can take him – currently just agnes), or a spell hybrid Survivor investigator, or someone where you need that passive encounter deck protection.
Prime examples from current card pool are Agnes Baker (bonus for casting and option to dump horror hits that you don’t want to/cant use for the damage tick safely), or Wendy Adams ( focus). Note also that both of these have a signature weakness which gives 2 horror.
What are bad uses of Pete?
Basically anywhere that using pete comes at the expense of using something better or where using pete prevents another investigator in your party form using him who would get more.
- Characters who`s primary actions will involve and/or and have little to gain from passive encounter protections, such as high will to protect against horror hits,
- Characters where the ally slot is at a premium, such as seekers who really want Dr. Milan Christopher, or guardians who might want Beat Cop/Brother Xavier.
- Anyone who is in a party with someone who could use pete better.
Specific Implications for "Ashcan" Pete:
This interaction was really my inspiration for this review. Short of a hybrid caster spec, the other Pete doesn’t really get much from young Mr Sylvester, yet many players seem to treat him as an auto include. Ashcan's actions are primarily taken through Duke, who benefits more from or boosts. He usually fights enemies rather than evading. He has high (4), beaten only by Agnes, and high effective sanity due to the option to put up to 2 on Duke without losing him - basically giving Ashcan 8 sanity before death – among the highest in the game. Though realistically that’s equivalent to a quite reasonable 7-sanity investigator before you become heavily encumbered by the loss of Duke. Peter Sylvestre is a massive over compensation for problems "Ashcan" Pete deals with perfectly well anyway. You're likely to be better off with an ally that aids progression such as Beat Cop, or Dr. Milan Christopher (if hes not needed for a seeker). Both also give you a one point sanity soak without dying, or 2 if you dont mind sacrificing them. Perhaps if you cant afford the out of faction slot for these, you might take Peter Sylvestre as an in faction ally which is a "generically strong card". Its probably better than Stray Cat, but thats possibly the only reason for considering him. Remember you dont have to take an ally of course. 3 resources and an action to play is not a small cost for something that has limited synergy with your deck. Definitely dont deny him to the team when someone else has more use for him.
Upgrading Peter Sylvestre gives you the boost, which does very little for a non spell hybrid Ashcan. Its like putting Dr. Milan Christopher in Zoey Samaras. Its boosting even more things you don’t really plan to do. It also costs you a whopping 4 xp to upgrade both cards. Something that could be spent on something substantially better.
Is the star-quarterback of the Miskatonic University football team also the star in an Arkham Horror LCG deck? Let's find out.
Peter Sylvestre adds a lasting +1 to your investigator's agility. If I'm not mistaking, he is the first and only lvl 0 ally/asset in the current cardpool who does this, making him a useful asset for a lot of investigators.
His repeatable horror removal ability however is where he really shines. Als lot of other horror removal cards like First Aid, Clarity of Mind and Liquid Courage have limited uses due to them using charges, but Peter can go on all day. This ability is especially useful when playing low sanity investigators. In my games playing as "Ashcan" Pete, Peter Sylvestre really kept Pete out of the nuthouse. Peter's horror removal ability pairs also really nicely with cards that require taking horror to trigger its beneficial effect like Forbidden Knowledge.
The upgraded version of Peter Sylvestre is even better, though he is not as accessible to many investigators due to their deck building restrictions. For an investment of 2 xp and the same resource cost big Peter gets an extra point of sanity and, more important, a lasting +1 to willpower. Especially in solo games, where a single investigator gets to eat all the nasty treacheries the encounter deck throws at them, having a lasting +1 to willpower is really nice. Upgraded Peter Sylvestre is really awesome when paired with an investigator who relies on willpower driven spells like Shrivelling, Rite of Seeking and Blinding Light. Usually ik put Holy Rosary in my spellcaster decks to boost those spells, but why use Holy Rosary when you can get the +1 willpower AND +1 agility AND the horror mitigation ability.
Downside is the fact that Peter fills the ever usefull ally slot, But luckily there is Charisma in an upcoming mythos pack that offers a way to use multiple allies.
I'm no football talentscout, but if Peter is as good on the football field as he is in the right Arkham Horror LCG deck, I'd recommend signing him for sure.