Guardian
Asset. Hand. Arcane

Item. Relic. Weapon. Melee.

Cost: 3. XP: 3.
Test Icons:

Uses (3 charges).

: Fight. You get +2 for this attack. If you succeed, you may spend 1 charge to empower the blade, dealing +1 damage for this attack. If the blade is empowered and this attack defeats an enemy, draw 1 card and heal 1 horror.

Tiziano Baracchi
For the Greater Good #192.
Enchanted Blade
Reviews

Enchanted Blade(3) is truly one-of-a-kind. Its charges are never wasted, since you would only use a charge if you succeed the test. Card drawing and horror healing off defeated enemies are amazing. Having the flexibility to deal 1 damage on demand is nice. However 3 charges are simply not enough as a primary damage source, and it is better to save the charges for finishing blows anyway. I think the blade is ok-ish on its own, but amazing if you have an alternative damage source.

Pairing the blade with other melee weapons, i.e. Machete or Timeworn Brand, serves two purposes: 1. Temporary damage source and card draw before you draw the main hand weapon, and 2. efficient horror healing afterwards. This pairing is particularly good for Mark Harrigan (and to some extent Roland Banks), who can utilize the horror healing and relatively low boost well.

Pairing the blade with a big gun serves a third purpose, which is to kill 1-2 health enemies which would otherwise waste precious ammos of the big gun. This however requires Bandolier (or its upgraded version), which together with the big gun itself, requires quite a setup. This pairing works best in a deck with good economy.

There is a pairing I found particularly interesting: With Agency Backup. Agency Backup is really good for providing stream of constant damage (and testless clues), but when it comes to monster killing it is the burst that matters. The blade compliments it really well. Tab Agency Backup once (or more with Charisma and/or Mitch Brown), then finish with the blade would be a splendid way to kill a 3-4 health enemy. The blade is also not too expensive to play alongside Agency Backup. If you ever want to try to build a deck centered around Agency Backup, Beat Cop(2) and ally-buffing cards, I believe Enchanted Blade(3) is the weapon of choice.

Side note: Don't pair the blade with Double or Nothing. The "spend 1 charge to..." phrase is part of the "if you succeed..." effect, so you still need to spend 2 charges to deal 4 damage. Also only either the first time or the second time of resolving defeats the enemy but not both, so you still only get to heal horror and draw card once.

ak45 · 375
I think this is a good option if you need to have a hand free for other items like flashlight or whatnot (this will be the case mainly in true Solo). If you are playing as the enemy killer of an investigator team though, I wouldn't recommend expending 6 XP on a side arm. — Alogon · 770

The level 0 Enchanted Blade is a staple that sees play as a two-of in the vast majority of Guardian decks at my table. You can tell the designers worked hard to make sure this upgrade would have special appeal to Guardian players. Everyone knows that Guardians are a bit soft to horror and (Soldiers excepted) a bit short on card draw. This card addresses both issues. And everyone knows how bad it feels to spend ammo only to draw the autofail and miss. That will never happen with this upgrade. Plus, this card is just cool.

All that said, this card basically never sees play in my group. Why is that? Well, the main problem with Enchanted Blade is that it's a mid-tier weapon, and that's a really awkward spot to be in this game. Think of it this way. If you're a Guardian playing the classic Guardian role of protecting your teammates and hunting down monsters, your weapon is very likely the most important card in your deck. It's going to have the biggest impact of any card in your deck on the effectiveness of your Fight actions--and those actions are what makes or breaks your success as a character.

So, when you're shopping for weapons, why would you settle for anything but the best? It makes so much more sense to save up a bit and get the truly amazing weapons, like the Flamethrower or the Lightning Gun. The extra damage and to-hit granted by those weapons just does so much to make your character stronger. Enchanted Blade dealing a measly 2 damage per action (and that at most 3 times) just can't hold a candle to the power of the 5 XP weapons. And, once you have your superweapons, it just doesn't make much sense to spend 3-6 XP on what would basically be a sidearm or a backup weapon. If you have Enchanted Blade and Flamethrower in your deck, and draw them both, Enchanted Blade will probably do literally nothing for you that scenario. That's not a good return on an XP card. It would be much better to spend XP on cards that would complement your superweapon, like Stick to the Plan or Stand Together or Custom Ammunition or what have you.

And yes, I'm aware that Bandolier exists. But if you already have one super-great weapon in play, do you really need to spend a lot of resources and XP to get a worse weapon in play to go alongside that? Probably not.

Enchanted Blade is not the only card to fall victim to this complex. The upgraded Blackjack and the Taboo'd Machete face similar issues. It's not that these are weak cards--Machete was famously dominant back when it cost 0 XP. But they're not as strong as other options for your primary weapon, and people usually aren't willing to spend XP on backups.

That leaves Enchanted Blade with only a very small niche. It is one-handed, so if for some reason you really, really need that extra hand slot (perhaps you're a solo Guardian who wants a Flashlight but is allergic to the Timeworn Brand), you can justify it. But in multiplayer, for the focused Guardian, this card just isn't really up to the task.

CaiusDrewart · 2497
Roland can pair it with his gun & Dr Elli. — MrGoldbee · 1103
big super weapons are nice and powerful at hitting once very well, but survival knife (2) shows that sometimes more is better, I think as more people try the wild power of survival knife we will see enchanted blade and similar powerhouse one handed weapons see a fair bit more play. — Zerogrim · 203
"You can tell the designers worked hard to make sure this upgrade would have special appeal to Guardian players." But that's at least something. Thy Mystics got a weapon, that fights with fist and uses up an arcane slot. I must admit, I was jealouse to the Guardian blade! — Susumu · 156
Survival Knife (2) most certainly fall short of the big guns. — suika · 7774
Eblade (3) does has a niche where once you've gotten your big gun and the support for it, you might consider this as a backup weapon. If you have a standard loadout of 2x Flamethrower + support and 2x Eblade (0) as backup weapon, upgrading to Eblade (3) isn't the worst idea as the draw can help you find your Flamethrower. 6 damage is still rather low though at endgame though especially can't be reloaded by normal means...you'd rather want a 3rd big gun (or the Brand, or the new Holy Spear) instead if XP permits. — suika · 7774
I think one other thing to add to this review is that only Lola and Ursula have access to this and not flamethrower. If this were level 2 it might have a cool niche in secondary guardians, but alas not — NarkasisBroon · 1
You are right in that the threshold between starting weapons and the big guns is too small so the incentive to pick up an improved 2 damager is not very high. However, I will add that the biggest shame with this card is that Carolyn can't take it. The fact that it heals horror is a slap in the face and probably the biggest oversight in the game. — LaRoix · 1489
One other thing, with the new Enchant Weapon in Light in the Fog, some of these low to middle tier weapons maintain some longer validity. You get effectively the same benefit for the same XP and resource cost. The only downside being you'd need to locate two cards in your deck instead of one. — LaRoix · 1489
@LaRoix: I agree that Enchant Weapon is an exciting card that has the potential to make mid-tier weapons stronger. Enchanted Blade III specifically is probably not a great target though, because it's so low on charges and difficult to reload. — CaiusDrewart · 2497
@Zerogrim @suika: I have played with the XP Survival Knife quite a bit. My verdict is that it's fine, it can get the job done, and if you're looking for some variety in your Guardian builds, go ahead and try it. But I would agree with suika that it is far less effective than the big-gun builds. — CaiusDrewart · 2497
@susumu: Haha, I totally agree about the Mystic upgrade to Enchanted Blade. At least for how I like to play Mystics, that card is pretty much a non-starter. — CaiusDrewart · 2497
Ironically, the Mystic version is arguably better for Guardians than the Guardian version. — suika · 7774
The funny thing is I actually like E Blade 3 a lot as a generically useful side arm. This alongside Timeworn Brand works pretty well in TCU for instance. In higher counts, I think you would splurge for Flamethrower, but as far as melee options go, this one is pretty incredible in low count games. The horror heal and card draw, the extra damage, and all of that essentially being a response to a known outcome instead of having to be spend before hand, makes it a very precise and helpful weapon. I think Bandoliering for this is absolutely worth it. — StyxTBeuford · 12523

Enchanted Blade has been hailed as a decent backup weapon to Machete because its damage buff goes off under different circumstances, its relic trait splats pesky Poltergeists, and it uses an arcane slot that wasn't ever getting filled anyway. So how much better is the straight guardian version?

Rather than extra copies of Machete, it might be more apt to think of this 3 XP beatstick as a miniature Timeworn Brand. The constant +2 makes fighting easier in general, and the timing on the charge trigger is simply perfect. Ensuring that charges will not be wasted is fantastic. Then there is that horror heal & card draw rider that might actually tempt you into overkilling something just for some tempo or to help mitigate the traditional blue investigator sanity defecit.

This card also marks the first time that guardians legitimately have multiple paths to weapon upgrades, because previously the big two-handed guns outstripped melee weapons in performance at high XP totals, whereas now it would be perfectly reasonable to dual-wield this and the Brand (especially with Ever Vigilant helping setup). Big guns will still do better in bursts but melee weapons now have multiple +2 options and no ammo constraints so at last the power gap is lessened.

The_Wall · 240

I really like this card in Mark Harrigan, and think that it might be a good option for Roland Banks as well. I think the card combines 3 different effects into one for a pretty cheap price. Over time the card will generally end up drawing you 3 cards and healing 3 horror for 3 resources, but on top of that it's a weapon that gives you +2 to hit and also can gain +1 damage when you need it. The downside of it having such limited charges is somewhat mitigated by the fact that at least for 3 health enemies you still take the exact same amount of attacks to kill, and with a character like Mark you already want to be running Beat Cop, Vicious Blow, and have access to The Home Front so you can make the card 1-shot 3-4 health enemies without having to exert TOO much effort. The temporary nature of the card is made up for by the fact that it draws you cards, so you can reasonably draw into another weapon with that. And the Sanity heal is wonderful, Mark and Roland are both investigators that you're always worried about taking Horror, but most of the horror healing cards in the game are pretty slow and aren't very good, meaning you had to choose between playing weak reactive cards or put yourself at great risk of getting defeated by Horror. With this card you can get some crucial horror healing while not having to divert yourself from your main gameplan. It might be a bit bad to spend 3 XP on a weapon that isn't really going to be your primary option into late-game, but it's a solid rolefiller that I think is worth the XP cost, especially if you have a bit to spend.

Sylvee · 63
The XP cost is a tad high, but this is probably one of the best "backup" weapons out there. Not only is it good enough until you draw your main weapon, but it actually helps you get your main weapon with a little card draw! — cb42 · 31
Can Carolyn Fern add this to her deck since it heals horrors or the no weapon lvl 1-5 is still prioritized? — Bradley8822 · 1
The weapon restriction takes priority. — StyxTBeuford · 12523