Guardian
Asset

Item. Police.

Cost: 2.
Test Icons:

If Handcuffs is not attached to an enemy: Evade. Use only on a Humanoid enemy. This evasion attempt uses instead of . If you succeed, attach Handcuffs to the just-evaded enemy.

If the attached enemy is non-Elite, it cannot ready and doom cannot be placed on it.

Magali Villeneuve
The Depths of Yoth #265.
Handcuffs
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: [part 1 of 2, splitting for clarity] I am a bit confused as to how Handcuffs interacts with some encounter cards. The Truth is Hidden says "flip" clues to doom, not "place" doom. Would it still flip the doom on Seeker of Carcosa? A: Flipping clues to their doom side is not the same as placing them. In this instance, the token has already been placed on the card, so Handcuffs will not prevent the tokens from then being flipped over to their doom side. Note that the agendas in Echoes of the Past each read “After 1 or more clues are placed on an enemy in play: Flip those clues to their doom side,” meaning the flipping occurs after the tokens are already placed.

  • Q: [part 2 of 2, splitting for clarity] Mysterious Chanting and Dance of the Yellow King look for a cultist in play. If a cultist or lunatic is handcuffed they cannot ready, but they might be the only cultist or lunatic in play. Are those cards effectively negated? A: As for Mysterious Chanting and Dance of the Yellow King, the answer is… sort of. Mysterious Chanting simply adds doom to the nearest Cultist, so if the nearest Cultist is handcuffed, then yes, it will do nothing. Dance of the Yellow King is trickier. It reads: “… If you fail, the nearest Lunatic enemy readies, moves (one location at a time) until it reaches your location, engages you, and makes an immediately attack.” Technically, the movement, engagement and attack aspects of this effect are not dependent on the enemy readying. While typically only ready enemies can move, engage, or attack, there is no rule stopping them from doing so while exhausted if an effect explicitly instructs them to. So strange as it may seem, if the nearest Lunatic enemy is handcuffed, it won’t ready, but it will still move to you, engage you, and attack. (Note that this would be different if the effect used the word “then” somewhere in it, for example “readies, then moves…”)

Last updated
Reviews

There are already plenty of good reviews for this card, so I just want to add a quick update. Though she can't take the card, Trish Scarborough would be very grateful to any who uses it. As others have noted, you can still engage exhausted enemies and drag them around with you. Handcuffs allow you to haul some hapless bozo around for the entire scenario, making it a lot easier to fire your Scene of the Crimes (Roland, standing over another half-eaten corpse: "Did you do this, too, you sick bastard??" Handcuffed Young Deep One: "Bluurgle... Glorp!"). But all that's pretty situational, and probably not worth the three actions it takes to play the cuffs, then attach them, then engage the cuffed monster.

BUT Trish would just love to frog-march a ghoul minion through a scenario, thereby ensuring that her special ability is in effect at all times: no need to flirt with danger to snag that extra clue.

Not that this is the forum for such things, but an upgraded version of this card that lets you detach it from an enemy, say as a ability, would be great (and maybe some other mechanic to keep you from attaching it and detaching it in the same turn). Then 's would finally have a compelling and reusable evade option. And it fits thematically. You just didn't quite have the evidence to take the suspect in, so you had to cut him loose. (Roland: "You're free to go, Mr. Marsh. But I better not catch you skulking around these caves again! It's for your own safety, you understand: there's a murderous fishman on the loose." Young Deep One: "Gorble!")

I chuckled at the imagine of Roland dragging along a deep one — Cpt_nice · 69
We played trish and william through forgotten age and i agree this is nice for her abiltiy (williams signature weakness can be arrested as well). It's also nice if the handcuffed enemy qualifies as the closest cultist and no doom can be added to it. — Django · 4207
Handcuffs can also cause Mysterious Chanting to whiff completely if they are attached to the nearest Cultist. Really good card! — Zinjanthropus · 208
I know that its been a while since you posted this, but I just wanted to ask, technically she could run Handcuffs if you took versatile right? IK Versatile is (fairly) not regarded as an incredible pick since it bloats decks, but this seems almost like a perfect use case for it. — Novasoal · 1
Ended up playing a leg actually the same day trying out basically the same strat (Handcuffs on Nathanial Cho) and realized you would never want to actually put it on her since her fight is so low. One day im gonna find a good use case for versatile though! — Novasoal · 1
For versatile I've found it to be really good for norman withers (refill his level 0 cards). — Tacomental · 18

An unusual card for ', but not a bad one. One important detail to remember that you can engage the just-evaded enemy and drag them with you (they won't hit you, because they are exhausted).

This suddenly means that Roland Banks and William Yorick are interested in this card: both have effects that trigger when they defeat an enemy. While this is most certainly a case of police brutality, it opens up interesting lines of play.

Roland can drag an enemy onto a high-shroud location to trigger his own and cards like Evidence! and Scene of the Crime. Yorick can use his own to keep replaying this, moving it from enemy to enemy.

The biggest drawback is that this card needs humanoid enemies to work. Sadly, neither of the above investigators can take Adaptable.

Veronica212 · 195

I asked about handcuffs and other effects. The reply:

Rules Question: I am a bit confused as to how "Handcuffs" interact with some encounter cards. The Truth is Hidden says "flip" clues to doom, not "place" doom. Would it still flip the doom on Seekers of Carcosa? Mysterious Chanting and Dance of the Yellow King look for a cultist in play. If a cultist or lunatic is handcuffed they cannot ready, but they might be the only cultist or lunatic in play. Are those cards effectively negated?

Greetings,

1) Flipping clues to their doom side is not the same as placing them. In this instance, the token has already been placed on the card, so Handcuffs will not prevent the tokens from then being flipped over to their doom side. Note that the agendas in Echoes of the Past each read “After 1 or more clues are placed on an enemy in play: Flip those clues to their doom side,” meaning the flipping occurs after the tokens are already placed. 2) As for Mysterious Chanting and Dance of the Yellow King, the answer is… sort of. Mysterious Chanting simply adds doom to the nearest Cultist, so if the nearest Cultist is handcuffed, then yes, it will do nothing. Dance of the Yellow King is trickier. It reads: “… If you fail, the nearest Lunatic enemy readies, moves (one location at a time) until it reaches your location, engages you, and makes an immediately attack.” Technically, the movement, engagement and attack aspects of this effect are not dependent on the enemy readying. While typically only ready enemies can move, engage, or attack, there is no rule stopping them from doing so while exhausted if an effect explicitly instructs them to. So strange as it may seem, if the nearest Lunatic enemy is handcuffed, it won’t ready, but it will still move to you, engage you, and attack. (Note that this would be different if the effect used the word “then” somewhere in it, for example “readies, then moves…”)

I understand that both of these answers are tricky distinctions, so I apologize for any confusion.

Cheers, ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Matthew Newman Senior Card Game Developer Fantasy Flight Games

Tiktakkat · 38
Between those two answers, Handcuffs seem a lot useful than at first glance. — Tiktakkat · 38

This is a very situational card, as unlike something like Blinding Light or Bind Monster, you need to spend two full actions to evade the enemy (one to play Handcuffs, and another to use its Evade ability). In addition, it only works on Humanoid enemies. Given most campaign's tendencies to bounce between scenarios with a lot of humans and little/none at all, it's hard to justify, with the notable exceptions of The Circle Undone & Murder at the Excelsior Hotel. Even in Circle Undone I only put one in my most recent deck, but if you're a low-agility character going into it like Leo Anderson, Joe Diamond, or Roland Banks and your team doesn't already have a good way to evade enemies, it may surprise you and be the best card in your deck for a scenario or two!

Another minor thing to mention is that this can be a great enabler for a few cards like Interrogate, Scene of the Crime, and Eavesdrop - with Interrogate & Scene you can engage and drag the enemy around with you (while taking no attacks), whereas Eavesdrop will only work for the location that you originally handcuffed them since it references an unengaged enemy rather than an exhausted one.

Gammrar · 3
It's a good answer to Nat Cho's signature weakness as it gets rid of him in 2 actions and 1 test instead of 3 actions and possibly 3 tests. And it prevents him being a problem for the rest of the scenario — NarkasisBroon · 9
If Trish engages a handcuffed enemy she can use her ability all day — Django · 4207

This has an interesting use case for investigators. The majority of the time any would likely remove the threat from the board instead of evading it. There are already quite the number of limitations to this card. But even if the targets in a particular scenario are plentiful, you need a reason that you would want the humanoid permanently evaded rather than disposed of.

There are plenty of cultists that accumulate doom, but they are usually easy enough to remove from the board except for maybe Brotherhood Cultist. That makes dealing with him much easier. I think that the real use case for handcuffs would be in multiplayer formats or scenarios where the deck shuffles itself from the discard pile often. If are placing handcuffs on the enemy, then they will remain in play and never get shuffled back in. So you will only see that threat once. While not as good as adding it to the victory display, this can still be helpful for some of those pesky humanoids you might hate seeing such as Seeker of Carcosa.

Even non-fighting splashes for a card would likely have many other options to consider over this one.

Bronze · 167
Do note that Seeker of Carcosa does still pick up clues while Handcuffed. — Death by Chocolate · 1170
The wording is rather strange. "IF" the attached enemy is a non-ELITE, it can not ready and doom cannot be placed on it. — buzard · 1
The wording is rather strange. "IF" the attached enemy is a non-ELITE, it can not ready and doom cannot be placed on it. What if the enemy is Elite? What effects are there, or are not there? I'm assuming you can attach to an Elite, but there is no effect. But then the card should say "non-Elite enemies only". — buzard · 1
@buzard You can use this on an Elite enemy simply to evade it. The other effects won't occur (the card will still be attached to the Elite enemy but will have no effect). — matt88 · 2561
Thanks. It's always interesting to be able to play a card so many different ways. — buzard · 1
What about if there is already doom on affected enemy? Will it stays or it should be removed? — Bany · 14
How does this interact with lots of scenario and treachery cards: — Tiktakkat · 38
The Truth is Hidden says "flip" clues to doom, not "place" doom. Would it still flip the doom on Seekers of Carcosa? What about Mysterious Chanting or Dance of the Yellow King - if a cultist or lunatic is handcuffed they cannot ready, but they might be the only cultist or lunatic in play. Are they effectively negated because of the wording and limits? — Tiktakkat · 38
Does Handcuffs take two actions to play? One to put it into play as an Asset, then one to perform the Evade Action? — dragonwarriorfan · 13
It's two actions. One to put in play, one to activate the effect. It's no different than, say, a weapon that says "Fight" followed by special effects, or a Tome ability. — crymoricus · 225
Does it go to the discard pile if the handcuffed enemy is killed, or back to play area to be used again? — crymoricus · 225
Would like to know this myself — docd · 1
Discard pile. — Myriad · 1137
IIRC a fair few encounter cards tell you to place doom on the nearest cultist enemy, or if none are in play to spawn one. In these scenarios not only do you keep two pesky 'spawn at empty locations and accumulate doom' enemies forever out of the deck, but you don't spawn additional doom or enemies when drawing such an encounter card. If you engage it so it trails around with you, it's also useful to negate any "put doom on the closest enemy" effects from scenario cards after a poor token draw. — BlankedyBlank · 16

Pretty fun tech card for Parallel Roland! He can accurately 'cuff enemies thanks to Directive - Due Diligence then proceed to drag them around the map like cans on a just married car. Keeping a waifu around provides great emotional support for Roland, since he can use Due Diligence again for a minimum of +4 Evade, +2 Investigate, and +2 Parley once per turn for the rest of the game. It also gives an incredible buff to Scene of the Crime, since it will now always rip 2 clues from whichever location you start your turn from (turn it into a fast action with Directive - Red Tape for extra fun).

Now, this combo typically costs 3 actions to pull off, since you need to Play Handcuffs, make the Evade check, then re-Engage the enemy. This is incredibly slow, but you can mitigate the issue somewhat by playing Ever Vigilant + Red Tape to play the Handcuffs as a fast action (provided you have not and will not be playing any other cards this turn). If, for whatever reason, you do not want to re-engage the enemy you can still use the aforementioned combo to effectively turn Handcuffs into a 1-Action kill, which helps out Parallel Roland a lot since he is locked out of some of the Guardians' best weapons.

Overall, 5/5 - would drag a snake man through the jungles of Mexico again

GoldPooka · 3
There’s also taunt and riot whistle to avoid the engage action — Django · 4207
Riot Whistle doesn't ignore the engage action. It gives you an extra action for engaging. it's an important distinction because it can still provoke AoOs from other enemies and count as an action taken for various situations (Pay Day, Take the Initiative, Scene of the Crime, etc.) — Death by Chocolate · 1170

Looks really bad to me. Two actions, 2 resources AND a non-boosted test on a specific enemy type to lock down a unit. Locking down a unit is essentially killing it, but probably a bit better since it doesn't go into the discard pile to recycle and come back. It has also has a bunch of niche uses like Trish Scarborough or Tommy Malloy that others have mentioned. On the flip side based on the FAQ, there are few, rare situations where the enemy can still hurt you while in play.

Surprisingly in faction I think this card is most similar to Monster Slayer. Both require a Strength test, and some resources to insta-kill an enemy. Handcuff requires an additional resource and action but costs 5 exp less. Unfortunately Monster Slayer (5) is pretty bad and I'm guessing probably never used. I'm thinking it might see more play around 2 exp.

I say this because Fang of Tyr'thrha exists at 4 exp. That essentially kills the enemy at any revealed AND lets you teleport, AND gives you stat boost. Out of faction, survivors have Dumb Luck which also removes an enemy from the board after a skill test with a generous margin and that only costs 2 exp.

If you look at Heroic Rescue vs. Heroic Rescue, for 2 exp you pay 1 less resource and can use it in adjacent locations (which I'll indirectly proxy as 1 action to move). Going from handcuff to a hypothetical 2 exp Monster Slayer, it has the same upgrade value, you would pay 1 less resource and use 1 less action.

Personally I'm not a fan of Handcuffs though, 2 actions to 2 resources to kill something seems way too slow and inefficient. I compare it to Spectral Razor which only takes 1 action, has an easier test, gives you a free engage and will kill most things already. Guardians likely have better ways to deal with enemies and only targeting humanoids (and non-elites) really makes it hard to slot into your deck if youre going in blind.

fates · 18
Eh, I get the fun in pointing out how a card is bad, but I think it's generally more useful to look at a card and ask "when would this card be useful?" "What combo piece is missing?" In the case of handcuffs, you might want them in a game where paralyzing a huminoid enemy is useful -- I would see using them on Wizard of the Order, Tommy Muldoon, Mob Goons, Mob Enforcer, and others. Can you just kill them? Sure, although most of them will take at least 2 actions to defeat, and then they might be redrawn, pulled out of the discard pile, or whatever. Also, you might be palying Roland or Tommy and just want to handcuff a perp. It's not a card for all situations, but precious few cards are. — LivefromBenefitSt · 908
Poor rookie cop, LifefromBenefitSt booked the wrong Tommy! I took them in a "Return to TFA" run as Nataniel (hence Tommy MALLOY), and was overly pleased with the card. "Vengeful Serpent" is probably the best enemy to use them on, due to action efficenty. And there are plenty of other Serpent or Cultist adversaries, against which they are less good but occasionally useful. — Susumu · 217
it's also quite strong in Innsmouth, where it can essentially remove an annoying enemy with a 4/5/2 statline. I like using If — PowLee · 13
"The Strange Case of Too Many Tommys" — LivefromBenefitSt · 908