Mystic
Asset. Arcane

Spell. Song.

Cost: 2. XP: 2.
Test Icons:

Uses (5 charges).

Spend 1 charge: Fight. This attack uses instead of . You get +1 for this attack. If a symbol is revealed during this attack, this attack deals +2 damage.

Maggie Ivy
The Miskatonic Museum #112.
Song of the Dead
Reviews

Trap card!

Even with Jim Culver, who has an extra symbol, because he can turn the , into a , the chance of hitting a symbol is about 30% (more or less, depending a little bit on how your token bag looks like after setup/events). This 30% includes the use of the Grotesque Statue.

Thats a very low chance of hitting with +2 damage . So in my opinion its worse than Shrivelling in allmost every respect. Even for Jim Culver its better to use the Grotesque Statue on the Shrivelling effect to dodge the possible horror dmg (or a guaranteed hit) then to turn this one into a +3 dmg live-the-dream-monsterkiller-machine.

The only use for it like Sheckel wrote is as a weapon with a solo Daisy Walker or for a solo Agnes Baker that for some reason wants to deal with extremely weak enemies.

Actually I enjoy this card while playing as Jim. You can use SotD as opener or finisher, especially for odd health monsters. IMO it is most usefull when paired with Shrivelling in other slot. BTW, in my last session with Jim I scored the 'critical' hit in every fight - it was really memorable chain of luck! :) — XehutL 27
I agree, it's clever to use it as an opener versus 3 hp monsters. And I would even agree that Mystics dont have a lot of pure damage dealing cards at the moment. Still this card is the equivalent of a knife, on a battery with 5 charges for 2xp. Mystics already have already very xp expensive cards (especially Jim who has to spend 8xp to get both the Grotesque statue's in his deck, that his card just seems too expensive. If this card came at a 0xp cost, my opinion could be swayed, but as it stands its just not good. — aramhorror 63
Let up hope for better, 4or5xp version of it somewhere in the future. +1 to base damage and to 'critical' or one or more chaos symbols (aka 'culist' and/or 'tablet') would be really nice. — XehutL 27
It's not only good to use on extremely week enemies, but also when your deck lacks of staying power, especially in damages. Better than nothing, yet, not so good. ('xcept as an opener, perhaps). — Palefang 31

I decided to write my own review on Song of the Dead to expand on my response to AndyB's previous review. A couple of weeks ago, I most likely would have agreed completly with that evaluation of the card, but after having played quite some Agnes and Daisy solo decks, I came to really like Song of the Dead.

Sure, the +2 damage is far too unreliable, so let's just forget about that part of the card text and we end up with a rather cheap, very reliable damage spell that deals one damage to an enemy ... that IMO fills a very important slot for solo spellcasting investigators. You won't use this to deal damage to a boss enemy or a Conglomeration of Spheres, that's what Shrivelling is for, but if you have to deal with all enemies yourself you will encounter several weaker enemies that you don't want to waste your precious Shrivelling charges on. That means either packing a weapon ... or Song of the Dead.

The three investigators that can take that card (after core + Dunwich) are Daisy, Agnes and Jim, so let's look if and how they can profit from Song of the Dead in solo play:

Daisy Walker: if you play a caster Daisy with Higher Education, Song of the Dead should almost be an auto-include. You don't have access to good weapons and all alternate damage dealers like Mind over Matter are far too expensive to waste them on Swarm of Rats or Whippoorwills.

Agnes Baker: Propably not as important as for Daisy, because any Agnes deck should have a way to use her ability to deal with weenies, but that also means that you might be able to kill 2 hp enemies with a single Song charge. In addition, with the Fire Axe you have a good weapon alternative, but that might mean some investment in additional resources to fuel the Axe, so Song of the Dead might be the more reliable solution.

Jim Culver: Song of the Dead seems to be tailor-made for Jim , but ironically I think he needs it the least; with a higher -stat and access to the Machete he can handle lesser enemies quite well without it.

Yep, that's a fair point; I tend to play 2 handed, not solo. In that case, yes, it might be a welcome weapon. That was my initial feeling about it - but playing 2-decks, it feels like there's usually a fast alternative. — AndyB 301

Song of the Dead - how I've tried to like you! When you came along I thought "Yes, another combat spell like Shrivelling, but with a more useful number of charges". But, here's the thing - you just don't do enough damage.

Just like Blackjack, this card has a major weakness in being very action-expensive to kill off most enemies. 1 damage just doesn't cut it next to Shrivelling (at any of it's various levels), and while there is a bonus for symbols, this is pretty unreliable.

The best investigator for this card is Jim Culver; with his abilities, he can get (slightly) more skulls, and he can make use of skulls that would be fails for other investigators. It does feel like it might fit with him.

However, for other spell users so far (Daisy Walker and Agnes Baker), it offers little. It does too little damage per action for Daisy, and Agnes already has other ways of dealing single points of damage.

It's only other use, as far as I can see, is that it does offer a way of doing an odd number of points of damage - thus potentially saving Shrivelling for the coup-de-grace.

So yes, I'm afraid I've more or less fallen out of love with Song of the Dead.

AndyB 301
Funny enough, I lately more or less fell in love with Song of the Dead after initially dismissing it as a poor shrivelling substitute. You can get rid of annoying 1hp enemies (Whipporwills!) without wasting a shrivelling charge and you can deliver that odd damage to a 3 hp enemy. I found it very usefull in both Agnes decks (you offen can kill 2hp enemies with a single Song charge) and Daisy decks (can't really use weapons). — Scheckel 42
I like it to fill the weapons-hole in Mystics for Akachi — Chobabot 1
With Jim and a Grotesque Statue you'd have a 17% chance and then an 18% chance to pull a Skull. I'm not sure how practical this setup is, but at the moment its the best I can think of. I am quite interested in testing it. — miggydoh 38
Yeah, Jim is the only investigator that I think this would maybe work with. Grotesque statue might be useful if it's out (it usually is), but it seems an expensive way to go to just make this work. — AndyB 301
It's a huge work around to get small value, to be sure. It's almost Rogue-ish in the sense that you hope for the crit. — miggydoh 38

Up until Forgotten Age, this had been relegated to the back of my stack of Mystic player cards. With the Player Card options included with Forgotten Age, though, I think this may see play. Between Dark Prophecy, the new "Seal" mechanic, and the upcoming Olive McBride, I'm thinking that Jim may see Song of the Dead as carrying a lot of potential.

Even without Jim, the cards you mention increase the chance of getting bonus damage by a lot, depending on the skulls penaly. — Django 1380