Mystic
Asset. Accessory

Item. Relic. Blessed.

Cost: 3. XP: 3.
Test Icons:

Seal (+1 or ).

You get +1 , +1 , +1 , and +1 .

Priceless in every sense of the word.
Matthew Cowdery
The City of Archives #235.
Crystalline Elder Sign
Reviews

Existing reviews have outlined briefly the conditions under which Crystalline Elder Sign is good and bad perfectly well: it is best when played by a solo investigator making at least some use of all their stats, and worse the more investigators you play with, or when you mostly just use willpower and/or intellect and St. Hubert's Key would suffice. I'd like to delve just a little deeper into why this is the case, and why Crystalline Elder Sign is good when it is, because 3xp is a hefty investment and you should get every bit of value you can out of that.

Removing a +1 or token from the chaos bag is bad because it removes one token that would have been a success for you on skill tests where you were at least even with the skill test. By getting +1 to all your stats, however, you make new tokens that would have otherwise been fails into successes. For instance, after sealing the +1 on Hard Standalone Threads of Fate, with three or more doom in play, you improve your success on a skill test that you would have been 1 over from 6/15 to 9/14 on a skill test you're now 2 over, thanks to the +1 stat boost. Your odds of success in this case go from 40% to just over 64%. This is pretty good! There will be similar cases in every scenario, and this improvement will be across all your stats meaning it is for every single skill test you take after you play Crystalline Elder Sign.

The downside is that sealing the +1 or hurts your teammates too. Now, removing one success token won't have a huge impact on any test where your teammate was already at a reasonable advantage, but that effect adds up across multiple skill tests, so you better be pretty justified in how many benefits you reap from your boosted stats. As mentioned, you really have to use your combat and agility at least sometimes to justify Crystalline Elder Sign over St. Hubert's Key, and this is a problem for most Mystics who want to turn their problems into ones they can solve with their superior willpower by the use of spells. One standout exception to this rule is Jim Culver who can leverage his average combat with Enchanted Blade and its upgrade along with his -modifying ability to make the chaos bag more amenable to making marginal skill tests, including incidental intellect and agility tests from investigating and drawing treacheries.

There are other cases where Crystalline Elder Sign contributes even more. Sealing a +1 or slightly increases the odds of drawing the special tokens that many Mystic cards look for. This is particularly strong for Shards of the Void, Song of the Dead, Sixth Sense, and Wither, all of which gain powerful bonuses on revealing 0s, s, and and . On the other hand this is a downside for the Mystic classics Shrivelling and Rite of Seeking. One fun corner case where Crystalline Elder Sign's sealing is good: removing the actually benefits Daisy Walker should her weakness The Necronomicon be in play. Shame she's just short of it being in her card pool!

Other reviews have already stated the conclusion of mine: play Crystalline Elder Sign in lower player counts and when you are actually regularly testing combat and agility. Ignore it when St. Hubert's Key or Holy Rosary will suffice.

aeongate · 24
I still think even in solo this card is bad. Costs XP, uses an accessory slot, makes the bag worse. In solo you dont need to test every stat, even as a Mystic, and buffing a stat to 3 is only okay on Easy. Just stick with Rosary or Key imo. — StyxTBeuford · 614
I used this in 2 player TFA with Diana and 4 Player Marie in TCU. Was Great Upgrade to Huberts key to boost their evasion in addition to Int and will. Also it’s not unique so in Standard you can have 2 in Play — Django · 2147
Crystalline Elder Sign demonstrably makes the bag better in solo in virtually every scenario, because getting +1 skill value is virtually always better than there being one more +1 in the bag. I also think we're getting close to enough good Mystic cards that lean on combat - the Enchanted Blade is fantastic, and Summoned Hound gets a boost from it too. — aeongate · 24
Again, even in solo there's few Mystics I would reliably want to have testing ever stat. Akachi, Diana, and maybe Marie sans combat. But that's not really the issue. For a similar resource price you could take St. Hubert's Key which boosts your two more relevant stats anyway, and unless you are fighting with blade or evading raw that seems like the better choice solo. +1 Will if you're using mostly will is better if you don't have to make the bag worse. Factor in the added utility of Key/Rosary and the XP cost of the CES (which could have been used to purchase a Seal of the Elder Sign and autosuceed a test you're down on in a bad stat, for example) and I feel CES just pales so much even solo. — StyxTBeuford · 614
I think Summoned Hound is maybe the best use for it mentioned — StyxTBeuford · 614

Let's get one thing out the way first--this card is just terrible compared to Key of Ys. Granted. But most cards in the game are going to be terrible compared to Key of Ys, so let's not make that a serious factor in our evaluation of this card. +1 to all stats is an extremely powerful effect, even if Key of Ys might make it seem paltry in comparison.

Still, for a lot of Mystics builds, you don't really care about all of your stats. Plenty of Mystics never use Combat and rarely use Agility. You might not even care about anything except Willpower, to be honest. Which means this card is just much, much worse than Holy Rosary or St. Hubert's Key.

If this card has a niche, it's surely in solo play. There a Mystic is most likely to need all stats, and the card's drawback of sealing the Elder Sign is the least painful.

But in multiplayer, I just see very little reason to play this card instead of those other Amulet options. Even if this card were 0 XP, I would still prefer the Rosary and/or St. Hubert's Key. Since it's 3 XP, it's not remotely attractive.

Finally, there's the social element to be considered here. If you're playing multiplayer, you're taking away quite a bit of fun from other players when you seal the Elder Sign token. Not only will your teammates perform a little worse, they will also lose some of the most exciting and dramatic moments in the game.

CaiusDrewart · 1544
I don't think this card is that terrible. It surely has limited uses but it's not completely useless. Getting +1 to all skills unconditionally (unlike Dark Horse and Key of Ys) is a powerful effect for any investigator and that justifies its cost. The only problem is that it's a 3-level Mystic card and that makes it available only for investigators whose main class is Mystic, which, in turn, leads to the issues you mentioned above. So, while this card is almost useless to most Mystics, I do have a pretty good use (and the only one) for this card: In a Dark Horse + Fire Axe Jim deck and to be honest, I really want to try it out!! — matt88 · 987
And by the way, you can also seal +1, not only the Elder Sign (unless you 're playing on Expert mode). That said I agree it's best for solo, or in a 2-player game. — matt88 · 987
@matt88: I think we're on the same page here--I agree that +1 to all stats is a powerful effect, and I don't think this card is worthless. That said, I do think this card is a bit of a stretch in multiplayer. Even in your Dark Horse/Jim example, I would probably rather run St. Hubert's Key and get the two most important stat boosts for 3 less XP, while also not having to seal a good token. (Though I could definitely see this in true solo there.) — CaiusDrewart · 1544
@matt88: And yah, you can seal the +1 on lower difficulties, which would make this card slightly more attractive there--not only because obviously sealing a +1 is better than sealing an Elder Sign, but also because I think taking away a good token from the bag is a little less painful on lower levels. — CaiusDrewart · 1544
While it's true that mystics in general probably won't care about this, Lola can also take it and it's great on her because she's quite likely to use all of her skills. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
I agree, for 3xp it is not worth both the accessory slot AND elder token seal in almost every mystic's build at the moment (IMO even for pure solo). But perhaps there might come some "unseal" effect in the future, such that might be combined here for a sure shot. — XehutL · 33
Note this is not unique so 2 can be in play depending on difficulty over several investigators or relic hunters. — Django · 2147
And maybe some day with more sealing effects the Chaos bag will be empty or contain only the elder sign? — Django · 2147
@TheNameWasTaken: That's a good thought on Lola. She can definitely use this better than most Mystics. That said, in a 3-4 p game, the cost is just too brutal here. She needs to do something else. But for solo Lola, I'm in. — CaiusDrewart · 1544
@Django: Yah. For a high level, though, there's only the Elder Sign to seal. Since the seal is part of the cost, you're limited to one of these puppies. — CaiusDrewart · 1544
@CaiusDrewart If I'm playing a Fire Axe Jim deck, I'll be using Fire Axe as my main tool to deal with enemies, so I really want that Combat boost. Plus the St. Hubert's is more expensive and reduces Sanity. The Crystalline Elder Sign comes at greater cost of course, but It's vital to the build. — matt88 · 987
@CaiusDreart I meant: I think it's vital to the build. — matt88 · 987
@matt88: sure, that seems like a fine build to me. No arguments. All I have to say against it is that I would probably restrict it to solo. It would seem crazy to me to run that build in multiplayer. — CaiusDrewart · 1544
Yes, that card is pure amazingness in Lola - I tested it just after announcement of the City of Archives. Take a note that changing failing chaos token into passing is much more impactful that pulling a token out of the bag. In the first case you increase your odds by ~6% per each token, so if 4 tokens more let you pass the test you have ~24% more chance of positive result. If you just pull always passing token out of bag, it depends - if you have 50% chance to pass that lack of one good token is ~3% probability swing, when you have 80% - ~1% swing, when you have 10% - ~5% swing. If you know that you don't fear about taking that item even in large multiplayer, especially when you have +1 in a bag and CES carrier uses at least 3 stats well and frequently (Lola, Ursula and certain Jim decks come to mind atm). — KptMarchewa · 1
And yes, that item is a terrible option for mystics who use Will as their main stat - Rosary is a waaaaaay better. — KptMarchewa · 1
I like this on Ursula running Dr. Elli Horowitz — crymoricus · 192

I think this card becomes a straight upgrade to St. Hubert's Key in 1-2 gator teams. And I think pretty highly of Hubert, so that's saying something. This takes Jim, Mateo, and Akachi to new levels, and Agnes won't complain about being able to save Shrivels with a Baseball Bat, Fire Axe, or Knife.

It is much less good at higher player counts. 4 gators means 4x as many checks, and losing the (+1) token can be a real drag on your team when they have to take a treachery on the chin.

Conversely, this is a bomb solo card and will probably go into every solo mystic I play until the end of time. Oh, and Lola likes this one too.

I love this card and its ability to make well-rounded investigators quite powerful.

PureFlight · 514
Yeah, love this for solo Jim Culver! He's well-rounded enough to benefit fully from its bonuses and can use 2 of them with Dr. Elli Horowitz (or Relic Hunter), especially since his lackluster Elder Sign ability makes sealing the Elder Sign no big deal. Running 2, though, does increase his chances of drawing the Autofail, but he's got other ways of mitigating that... — Herumen · 1221