Mystic
Asset. Arcane

Spell.

Cost: 3. XP: 5.
Test Icons:

Uses (4 charges).

Spend 1 charge: Fight. This attack uses instead of . You get +3 and deal +2 damage for this attack. If a , , , , or symbol is revealed during this attack, take 2 horror.

Brian Valenzuela
Lost in Time and Space #306.
Shrivelling
Reviews

This is an exceptionally strong card. One of the most powerful and coveted upgrades in the game.

A repeatable source of 3-damage attacks is amazing. The number one way the developers make this game hard is by throwing lots of high-health health enemies at you. The number one way to lose is to draw more enemies in a short span than the team can deal with. A card that can repeatedly annihilate 3-health enemies in one action makes the game way easier. Being able to consistently crush the bigger stuff that comes out of the encounter deck in 2 actions is extremely useful, too.

Shrivelling V stands out as a particularly great purchase relative to the other superweapons in the game. Let's compare it to Lightning Gun (itself a very good card!). Shrivelling V is 3 resources cheaper, which is a huge deal, and has 33% more charges! It also has a far better slot situation as one arcane slot is a much smaller price to pay than two hand slots. Yes, you lose some to-hit bonus, but Shrivelling V's +3 bonus is still very good and will get results even on Expert. There is the horror penalty for Shrivelling V, which is harsh but has several workarounds (see below). All in all, I think the comparison is very favorable.

The 2 horror drawback is notable, one of the few "if you pull a special token" effects on a Mystic card that is harsh enough to make you sit up and take notice. But I find Shrivelling V well worth it. First, Mystics have naturally large sanity pools, and two excellent level 0 cards that can soak multiple horror. Mystics also have efficient in-faction horror healing if they want it. Second, since Mystics have really high Willpower, they take fewer horror from the encounter deck than anyone else. All this means that one sanity hit from Shrivelling V, or even two, is often not that a big deal.

Moreover, Mystics have an abundance of cards that cancel a bad token, let you redraw one, or let you draw two tokens and pick one (which drastically reduces your odds of triggering these effects.) You can combine any or all of these with Shrivelling V as the campaign goes on, which really neuters its drawback.

Note in particular how perfectly Grotesque Statue's 4 charges line up with Shrivelling V's 4 charges. I often aim to have both in my deck by the mid-to-late-campaign. If you get them both in play, you basically have 12 damage whenever you want it--damage that you can literally guarantee, even on Expert. Awesome.

To go back to the comparison with the game's other superweapons: compared to something like Lightning Gun or Shotgun, Shrivelling V is much more convenient. From a slot perspective and a resource perspective it's much easier to just pop it into your deck; you can easily still have the money and room to play other expensive and powerful stuff in addition. I'll repeat once more that 4 charges (that's 12 damage!) for 3 resources is just an amazing deal. It really is.

I end up buying this sooner or later (usually sooner) with pretty much every Mystic I play, and I really think it is one of the most important cards in the game for consistently winning at high levels.

Finally, the fact that Shrivelling V is a Spell is very helpful, given its powerful interactions with the likes of Arcane Initiate, Recharge, Uncage the Soul, and Arcane Research.

CaiusDrewart · 2687
Technically, it has 33% more ammo than Lightning Gun, but who's counting. — SGPrometheus · 636
Don't forget both Books of Shadows. The more expensive one grants an addtional arcane slot. — Django · 4140
@SGPrometheus: LOL, you are right. Let me fix that. :) — CaiusDrewart · 2687

Many have tried. None have succeeded. Armageddon puts you at too high of a risk for retaliate. Wither cant kill anything. Azure flame hits mystics where they are weak.

This is the de facto Mystic damage spell card. Cheap and with easily manageable side effects with powerful modifiers and powerful damage.

drjones87 · 60
Azure Flame is really good for Lilly as well as a few other mystics. Wither is amazing in Sign Magick, which is an amazing deck. Shriveling might be 'old faithful' and is unlikely to ever not be the default, but don't blind yourself to the other options! — dezzmont · 117
"Azur Flame" is generally quite a good (albeit a bit boring/ samey) choice. A typical mystic with health 6 and sanity 8 will redcuce his/ her samity down to 6 with "Arcane Research". They also spend a bit horror on "Ward of Protection". So the difference is not that great. Sure, they likely rather heal horror than damage (Fearless, Earthly Serenity, Call for Backup) and mostly have better horror soak on their allies. Core Set Agnes likes horror for extra damage, parallel A. does not like splash damage from spells, because she needs to pay damage as an aditional cost and Akachi has a great Shrivelling combo with "Wish Eater", that does not work on the "bad" tokens for AF. But I would give all of them at least 1 copy AF for consistency, as a defacto "third Shrivelling", and other mystics like Diana clearly prefere AF over it. (She has a 7/5 health-sanity pool with AR and likes to play "Ward of Protection" more than twice a game.) — Susumu · 211
Regarding "Armageddon": it's less straight forward and beginner friendly, but there are definitely good builds to exploit this card, e.g. with some covenants. I played Luke with Paradoxical C. and Favors of Moon & Sun, and it worked really well. (You don't need to resolve tokens from both sealing cards, just wait, until you reveal one of them, then release the other. — Susumu · 211
*But I would give all of them at least 1 copy AF for consistency: Parallel A. probably not, because I would build her more with events. But if I would build a II A. with Shrivelling, she would likely get a third copy of it non the less. — Susumu · 211
I am soooo bored of this card. I refuse to put it into decks. You're dead right: the other spells don't really surpass it, so we end up going all the way back to core set to build a fighter mystic (yes, exceptions exist to this generalisation). I've pretty much abandoned playing Mystics altogether because of this! — acotgreave · 364
Eh, I dunno. Declaring a card "boring" or "essential" shows a lack of imagination. There are some decks where Shrivelling is great, there are others where it is weak, abd, or unnecessary. That's the point of a flexible deck building game, right? There are a lot of staple cards from the starter set that I've seen a lot of -- is Flashligh boring or essential? How about Overpower? Usually, the correct question is "what is this deck trying to do, and does this card help it do that?" — LivefromBenefitSt · 887