- Q: If I use First Watch to deal encounter cards to investigators, are those dealt cards considered to be in the encounter deck for the purposes of other card effects, such as On the Hunt? A: Cards dealt to investigators by First Watch are no longer in the encounter deck, nor are they yet in play or in the encounter discard pile. That said, all cards dealt via First Watch must be drawn and/or dealt with before moving on to the next phase, so using On the Hunt in this manner would not avoid it. - FAQ, v.2.0, August 2022
Fast. Play when you would draw an encounter card during the mythos phase.
Instead, search the top 9 cards of the encounter deck for an enemy, spawn it engaged with you (instead of its normal spawn location), and shuffle the encounter deck. If you cannot, draw the top card of the encounter deck.
Dissenting Opinion: I don't like On the Hunt that much and have had mixed success with it. I've got two central issues with the card: the first is that it misses pretty frequently, the second is that I don't like it's cost ratio.
Let's take the second problem. The question posed below from another reviewer is "would you rather draw Rotting Remains or Swarm of Rats?". But that's not quite right. Instead it's would you rather draw Rotting Remains or Swarm of Rats, where the rats has "revelation: lose one resource and one card"?. Faced with these two, I'm not sure I prefer the rats. And that's when the card actually hits!
Sometimes it misses and draws no enemies at all (a terrible feeling, as you've just taken a nice and easy shuffle and thrown it away). Sometimes it hits but you were going to draw an enemy anyway. Sometimes it fishes a hard monster you weren't going to see for a few turns. Sometimes it finds you an enemy that was going to spawn somewhere unimportant and you could have just ignored. Sometimes it even drops an enemy on you that you dislike (like Poltergeist), which might be OK if you are Leo or Skids and are Adaptable (and can leave it out for such scenarios), but most Guardians don't have that luxury (and anyway, there are usually better things to do with Adaptable).
And yes, it helps protect your friends by thinning the deck, but it doesn't lower the chance of them also drawing a enemy by a huge amount, and does increases the overall amount of enemies the group has to face (on average). Enemies are generally the worst treacheries. You're here to make sure they die, but you'd still rather the team as a whole faced as little enemies as possible.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad card. More often than not it does what it's supposed to - find a monster, thin the encounter deck, protect your teammates (sortof), and give you something to shoot at. As another reviewer points out, it also finds XP enemies when you want them, which is kinda nice. But I find than when I weigh all this against its downsides and my experiences from playing it, I hesitate at giving it a deckslot.
A good comparison for me is "You handle this one!", which by contrast I think is fantastic. YHTO always hits, always does something of value, directly protects the team's weak points, and gives the Rogue a resource for his trouble. I'd much rather the Rogue passed me his monsters with YHTO and I just take my own treacheries in the face (especially if he's drawing after me). I'm a hero, I can take it. Just so long as he finds all the clues and gets us both the hell out of here.
There are a couple good uses for this event:
For all Guardians: Dig for VP enemies in the deck. This is especially valuable in lower player-count games, when the odds are pretty good that one or more VP enemies will go undrawn.
So as Roland or Yorick in a low player-count game, I think this is worth serious consideration. Beware of spawning something really nasty for yourself like a Poltergeist or Conglomeration of Spheres, though.
There are so many things great about this card. It filters monsters from the encounter deck and redirects them to your mob handler. It spawns aloof enemies engaged with you, severely nerfing their revelation effeft. It saves the Guardian from drawing a bad card during mythos.
And finally, the upgraded version gives you an off global emergency cache when you kill whatever got stuck with it. Or, if you can't find an enemy, it gives you a pass on the encounter deck.
Use it, abuse it, don't look back.
Edit: Some folks say that forcing you to draw aloof enemies is a bad thing, but I couldn't disagree more. Even though aloof enemies won't be damaging you, they will be hindering you in other ways, especially in the newer scenarios. Generating doom, making objectives harder, etc. Clearing them out is a nice benefit. Even the older cards (wizard of the order, acolyte), forcing them to spawn engaged with you dramatically reduces their game effect.
Mandatory monster handling card imo.
It also doubles as protection, many fighters have the ability to kill off basic foes in just an action or two, but those same fighters might fear and passionately hate drawing mythos cards that force sanity damage or some penalty. Case in point: The first line of this review.
-The gathering Spoiler below-
Final note: Also useful to ensure that you've got something to do. For a fighter type character those "dead" rounds with no enemies are bad, they leave you with nothing to do and may cause enemy spawns to be more condensed later, which makes it harder for you to respond to them all. This card lets you guarantee that you've got something to nibble on while your friends do the heavy lifting, a good example for the usefulness of this effect is the very first Arkham LCG scenario The Gathering. Once you're out of the study you can head for the basement or attic and dig out the appropriate ghoul to quickly dispatch for XP.