- Q: How does this skill work in combination with the ally Yaotl (which has an ability that gives you skill boost based on the number of matching icons on the top card of your discard pile)? A: The abilities on skill cards are only active while they are being committed to a skill test, unless otherwise specified. In this case Prophesy will only have its printed icon while it is in your discard pile, hand, or any other state other than while it is being committed to a skill test. (This includes an effect that says something like "discard a card from your hand with at least X icons...")
While there are 3 or more doom in play, Prophesy gains (while there are 6 or more doom in play, Prophesy gains , instead).
This is worse than 'Unexpected Courage' as a standalone card. You just can't consistently time important checks to get that extra '?' icon. It isn't hard to use it with two icons though, so it's not that much worse.
But unlike 'Unexpected Courage', 'Prophesy' can be tutored by 'Practice Makes Perfect.' An investigator with access to just the seeker and mystic pools has a pretty shallow pool of practiced skills with 'Perception' and 'Deduction' as the obvious standouts.
With 4 targets in a 30-something card deck, the odds of missing a search with PMP are significant—especially if you've already played PMP once. So if you want to be sure you won't waste that card and possibly fail the skill test, 'Prophesy' is a reasonable addition. For my part, I've done this in a Mandy Thompson deck and have not been disappointed.
I wouldn't look at this card in any other situation though.
Someone explain to me how this card is better than "Unexpected Courage." Or even as good. I can't find a good reason to include it in any deck. It is worse until Doom is at 3, then better when Doom reaches 6. How often does that happen? I'm building a Marie deck and thought it would fit in well with her pro-Doom tendencies, but on analysis it is just a poor version of a common, neutral card. Convince me.
A binder filler, unfortunately. Depending on the scenario, it could be better than an Unexpected Courage or worse, but the reward when it DOES work is not enough to justify it. I'm hard pressed to think of a single deck I would include this in, even a Marie Lambeau Doom deck. There are a few things that could be done to make this card, if not good, at least playable:
Reduce the threshold to get the bonus, maybe to 2 and 5. It would only be worse than Unexpected Courage if there is 0 or 1 Doom, and becomes better quicker.
Remove the word "Instead" at the end. In other words, it becomes an Unexpected Courage at 3 Doom, then twice an Unexpected (???? Icons) at 6 doom.
I don't think either of these options makes it a staple, great card. They just push it into being playable in the Doom archetype.