Erratum: This card’s ability should read: “When an investigator reveals an chaos token..." - FAQ, v.1.4, September 2018
- Clarification: If a skill test both automatically succeeds and automatically fails, [for instance by drawing and with Olive McBride while playing as Father Mateo], the automatic failure takes precedence, and the test automatically fails. - FAQ, v.1.3, May 2018
After an investigator reveals an chaos token: Cancel that token and treat it as an token, instead. (Limit once per game.)
effect: You automatically succeed. After this test ends, either (choose one):
- Draw 1 card and gain 1 resource.
- If it is your turn, you may take an additional action this turn.
Father Mateo - Back
Deck size: 30.
Deckbuilding Options: Mystic cards () level 0-5, Blessed cards level 0-3, Neutral cards level 0-5.
Deckbuilding Requirements (do not count toward deck size): The Codex of Ages, Serpents of Yig, 1 random basic weakness.
Bonus Experience: You begin the campaign with 5 additional experience (does not affect the number of weaknesses you must take in Standalone Mode).
Sadly, I think the good Father is pretty bad, at least as Mystics go.
Firstly, he seems to be missing a stat point (at least compared to the mono-colour + trait template that Mark and Akachi set,). Although Silas too is missing this point, so perhaps it is deemed that "Blessed" and "Innate" is better than "Tactics" and "Spells", which might be true for Innate, but certainly is not for Blessed.
Compared to Agnes or Akachi, he is considerably weaker. He is missing the 5 willpower, which as we know from Jim is huge, but he is also missing the free damage or the spell charges, both of which are considerably more powerful than his own once-per-game (OPG). Compared to Marie, he lacks the investigation options or bonus actions. He compares more favorably to Jim (the current weakest mystic), but even here he loses out. Jim has more support cards now, and is generally seen to be more of a solo-investigator, and has the any-5-splash. Mateo's low strength means solo can be an issue, as he has very little options for the extra 1 point of damage on 3-health enemies if he can't find his Shriveling.
His unique asset (Codex of Ages), is good if you want to pass a single test, but its expensive, uses a hand-slot, and is especially bad in multiplayer where sealing that Elder Sign for more than 1 or 2 turns hurts the whole group. It has uses, eg, with a big Storm of Spirits play, or a Double or Nothing, but these are pretty situational. Combined with his OPG, which can only trigger on a tentacle, and you have two very niche abilities, neither of which really shine.
Then you have his weakness (the Serpents of Yig)... and by god will you hate this guy. His 3 health means that, unless you have Shrivelling5, it will take 2 shots to kill at least. He is difficult for you to deal with without big spells, his damage is pretty high, and he seals the token. He's worse than the Silver Twilight Acolyte, which is one of the worst weaknesses you can draw, and adding spiky-weaknesses to a spiky-class is never great. Every now and again, you will draw the Serpents in turn 1-3, before you can find your Shriveling or Mists, and it can be crippling.
So you have:
- Bad statline (possibly missing a point)
- No non-purple blessed cards released or announced yet
- Niche OPG and signature card
- Terrible weakness
- Better options available
So where does this leave you? Well, his one saving grace is the +5 XP he gets at start (or in standalone). This is meant to make up for all of the above. You have lots of options here, but they tend to fall on one of the following lines:
(1) is to jump-start whatever build you were planning on playing. (eg, upgraded Shrivellings, Spirit Atheme). This is the approach taken in this solo deck here (https://arkhamdb.com/decklist/view/5564/solo-mateo-cheats-his-way-through-forgotten-age-1.0). This is probably the "best" approach, although if you were looking for the best, why did you pick Mateo?
- (2) is to go for something kooky, that you wouldn't normally plan to afford, like Seal of the Elder Sign, Song of the Dead or Blood Pact, straight-away. This does allow you to explore a new direction, as Mystics normally are tight on XP, and need everything for the basics (Shrivelling + friends). This is the approach taken here (https://arkhamdb.com/decklist/view/5655/the-mostly-holy-father-a-k-a-miracle-mateo-1.0). This is probably the more "fun" approach, just ensure you still have enough game-plan to achieve what you need to. Spending all the XP on the Seal, could also be a little spiky - you might never draw it.
The impact of this XP boost can be high, especially in the first 1 or 2 scenarios, although towards the end of the campaign you're likely going to notice it less.
Overall, having played the Father in a few campaigns now, I've found him to be weak and a bit boring. I'd like to see him have many more cross-colour Blessed cards to open up his options before I'd want to play him again on Hard.
Mateo's investigator ability is one of the most impactful in the game, because it will change the way your group plays, and even what cards they may put in their decks.
Every now and then, you will come across tests which you cannot afford to fail. Suppose someone draws Rotting Remains with 2 sanity left, or the guardian has one last action to take out a monster with doom. Some particularly nasty agendas have tests that add a weakness to your deck on failure. Normally, you can buff your skill test up to the point where you would pass on every token except the , and hope for the best. Mateo allows you to guarantee that test will succeed. And he can do it from anywhere on the map (except when he's napping).
- does not need to be declared before the test. Can be used to pass retroactively.
- can be used on any investigator's test, even those not at your location.
- is available right from the start of the game. Costs no resources to use, and no actions to install.
- Costs no XP
- not a card, so you don't need to draw it. Cannot be forced to discard it from hand.
- cannot be blocked by cards such as Whispers in Your Head (Doubt) or A Baleful Welcome, although Stubborn Detective and Self-Centered can.
- depending on the investigator, often gives a nice reward for drawing the
The first point is crucial - if you succeed on the test (and if you threw everything at it, it's very likely that you will), Mateo's ability does not get used up, and is available to use on the next test. Even though it is a once per game ability, it really protects your team all the way until you need to use it, and saves your defensive cards like Ward of Protection and "Let me handle this!" for when they are truly needed.
Mateo also enables the group to perform riskier strategies by making high leverage tests safe, such as grabbing multiple clues using Deciphered Reality, or gathering multiple enemies together to unleash a Storm of Spirits. Your guardian can now Shotgun the monsters without accidentally murdering the seeker. Notably, cards that becomes stronger the more you succeed by benefit the most. All In is now safe to play without risking your entire investment, and Archaic Glyphs becomes repeatedly abusable.
The fact that Mateo starts off with his ability ready to use shouldn't be overlooked. Even Seal of the Elder Sign, the ultimate combo card, requires you to both draw the card and be at the same location.
Of course, there are a couple of reason why he doesn't steamroll over every scenario - namely, boosting to pass every token in the chaos bag is expensive, and eventually, you will draw a that you can't accept.
Remember that his ability is a reaction, not forced - so you don't have to trigger it if you don't want to.
Mateo's relatively balanced statline makes him less reliant on using his willpower for everything, although you can certainly go that route if you want. Personally, I like St. Hubert's Key which buffs his willpower and lets him handle the lower shroud locations, freeing up the seeker. Shrivelling is a mystic staple, but if you have a guardian on your team to tackle tougher monsters, Enchanted Blade works very well too, with a fully charged stab having a good chance of taking out Serpents of Yig. It is also cheaper and has no risk of self damage. With his 3 , Manual Dexterity will get him out of most scrapes.
If the team is relying on Mateo to pull off his miracles, it makes sense to take cards that let him continue to do that. Seal of the Elder Sign is worth the two copies, and Premonition and Time Warp complement this role.
Mateo has access to Blessed cards. There aren't too many of them, but the stand out one is Alter Fate. The combo with Dayana Esperence is extremely powerful, and only accessible to Mateo and Marie Lambeau. If you want to abuse it, pack in Enraptured.
Other than Dayana, Arcane Initiate is a good ally choice, for fishing out the high XP spells.
The Codex of Ages is a good card that you will probably end up keeping it in hand until you need that , because the seal effect is too painful to keep up, especially in multiplayer. It's a little expensive, but part of the cost can be made up for by either of Mateo's abilities. Playing it triggers an attack of opportunity, making it not so great for monsters, but excellent on mythos cards like Locked Door or Entombed. Keep in mind that Serpents of Yig prevents you from playing the Codex (although the reverse is not true).