Rogue
Asset

Connection.

Cost: 1.
Test Icons:

Uses (0 supplies). Limit 10 supplies on Investments.

Exhaust Investments: Place 1 supply on it.

Exhaust and discard Investments: Move all supplies from it to your resource pool, as resources.

Tiziano Baracchi
Union and Disillusion #233.
Investments
Reviews

So I haven't yet tried this card out. I'm planning on running it in a "Skids" O'Toole deck soon, and I definitely want to test it in Preston Fairmont since you can spend one FI resource on this card to turn into 10 resources later that skip Preston's ability by going directly to the resource pool (though I still debate the marginal benefit given that he gains so many resources a turn anyway). However, I am going to vouch for its usefulness given its rather polarized reception, and encourage you to test it out yourselves.

First off, this card is not Emergency Cache. The cards are both economy cards, sure, but they intend to do very different things. E-Cache is all about resources now to help you buy something now. It's a tripled resource gain action, which is very efficient. Investments is about resources later, and not all decks care about having resources later. Do you have expensive allies like Agency Backup or resource hungry ones like Lola Santiago? Do you have resource sinks like Streetwise, Higher Education, or Skids' action ability? These are things that Investments helps with.

Second off, I don't agree that E-Cache is a less useless late game draw than Investments. You either draw this early on and have significant late game sustain, OR you commit it late game for an on an investigate test, which is something that is, for the most part, relevant all scenario long. How often do you really need those extra three resources late game anyway? The majority of economy cards (Lone Wolf, Drawing Thin, Dr. Milan Christopher, etc) are best drawn turn 1, but you will still run them and will still play them mid game (I'd argue that's true for Milan even if he didn't have the +1 boost).

Lastly let's talk about the opportunity cost of this card- again, in regards to its most comparable replacement, Emergency Cache. E-Cache is 1 action for 3 resources. Investments costs an action and 1 resource, and doesn't pay off net the way E-Cache does until you hit 5 resources (5 - 1, and another -1 for the extra action), and that takes 5 turns. Yes, it's slow. But again, it's not about raw power or efficiency, it's about flexibility. If you're reluctant to take the resources off this thing just because it feels bad to make a play that is objectively less efficient than just having played E-Cache, you're not using the card right and giving in to sunk cost fallacy. Let's think about this card at every resource quantity, and what it actually provides you given that you're willing to trigger it at any point, from a piloting standpoint:

  • 1 Resource - You will never do this because it's objectively worse than a 'gain a resource' action.

  • 2 Resources - You probably wont do this unless you really need two resources right now. Most people are willing to wait an extra turn if they can't get all their resources now.

  • 3 Resources - This is now an interesting card. From this point forward you have at least an E-Cache on demand for the rest of the game, similar to having an E-Cache in your hand, except it gets stronger if you do choose to wait. Yes, you already spent 1 action to get this here and you could have drawn E-Cache instead, but ignore the sunk cost. If you need those 3 resources, crack it. Don't be afraid. You would just as well have played E-Cache if you needed to, don't be reluctant to crack this.

  • 4 Resources - This is where I personally believe the card gets good. Again, ignore the sunk cost, this card now lets you afford just about any card in the game for 1 action (given that you got a resource last turn as well). 4 turns into the future isn't even necessarily bad late game, but if it isn't worth the net 3 resources, go and throw this onto an investigate test.

  • 5 Resources - Net 4 is now more potential than E-Cache. You still spent two actions to get them, fair enough. But you spent that extra action for the flexibility of cracking it earlier or later than this if you need to.

  • 6 Resources - I think this is where a lot of players feel the card becomes "worth it", in that its raw power or efficiency beats playing E-Cache. Mathematically this is probably true, but again, don't wait 'till 6 to crack this just because it feels more efficient. If you need it at 5, or 4, or 3, go for it. That extra action you paid allows you flexibility, that's what you're paying for.

  • 7+ Resources - The question at these quantities becomes what you can even spend these on. Obviously if you have resource sinks you don't have to worry about that- again, something I think you need in your deck to run this card well. The question of whether sinking 7 now vs 10 late (or something in between) depends heavily on the scenario, the deck, and the amount of time you think you have left. How much is that one extra resource later worth? How much is impacting the board state now worth? Do you need to pop out a Lightning Gun and take care of a monster now, or do you need those resources to invest into Lola Santiago later?

So in summary, I think people are understandably reluctant to run Investments because, for a lot of decks, it will just be a worse choice than Emergency Cache. But as I said at the the top, the cards function differently. Anyone who can take advantage of waiting for these resources to accrue will run this over E-Cache ten times out of ten. Investments is a terrifically powerful card, but it demands to be used in a very particular kind of deck. I am personally excited to try it out with a couple of Rogue decks I'm brewing, but if you need some current proof of its usefulness, jamjams32 swears by it for his Leo Anderson deck: arkhamdb.com

If nothing else, Rogues have never been afraid of trying 'iffy' cards just to see if they work (this is the faction with Double or Nothing after all). I say if you're on the fence to give it a go and see what happens.

StyxTBeuford · 751
I don't understand why you say we should ignore the sunk cost. You wouldn't say that about any other card that costs an action and a resource to play when evaluating its value. It's not a fallacy to point out that this card is borderline useless if you don't draw it in the first three turns. — Sassenach · 60
From a deckbuilding standpoint you should care about opportunity cost- always figure out if this is the best card for its slot, or if something better could have been put in its place. From a piloting standpoint you shouldn't care about the cost. If it is most optimal for you to crack it for 3 resources than it is to wait a turn, you should crack it, and not doing so because it's suboptimal to having run E-Cache in its place is purposely hurting one of the selling poitns of the card, which is its flexibility. — StyxTBeuford · 751
Sure, but when people criticise this card it's because they don't think it's worthwhile from a deckbuilding perspective. Who cares how you pilot the deck around it if there are better cards to begin with. — Sassenach · 60
You missed the point I was trying to make. Yes, we're trying to consider this card in regards to deckbuilding, but one of the important considerations about making this card work is remembering that you need to take advantage of its flexibility while you're piloting. It's going to play worse than it could if you make yourself wait till it hits 5 or 6 resources every single time. There are times where you should wait, and times where you shouldn't, and being willing to trigger it in either case goes a long way to making this card do its job. — StyxTBeuford · 751
That's the kind of thing you have to resign yourself to doing in advance, as in before you put it in your deck. If you don't, then it's going to be a much worse card to slot in. — StyxTBeuford · 751
Yeah, assuming it’s in your deck you should take the resources as soon as you think they’d make a difference. That’s fair, but it’s still a big assumption. And you do compare it to E cache, so I feel like it’s reasonable to argue with that a bit. I disagree that it’s meaningfully more flexible than e cache or lone wolf and I disagree that it suits the money sinks better. The thing is , with Lone Wolf or Emergency Cache you can have and spend the resources on the spot or you can let them accumulate in your pool and spend them later. So Lone Wolf in particular can do everything Investments can and somethings it can’t for one fewer action. And Lola, Well connected, high roller etc are things to use throughout the scenario not just at the end. So there’s an opportunity cost there too. — bee123 · 16
I mean, if you're playing solo, Lone Wolf is almost strictly better for pretty much anyone except Preston (aside from the Paranoia weakness). And even in Multiplayer it'll likely net you more resources per game. That's why I drew a closer comparison to E Cache, because chances are you'll run Lone Wolf anyway if you're considering running this card- really it's competing against E-Cache for the spot. But you can only have 1 Lone Wolf out at a time, whereas you can technically have two of these on top of 1 Lone Wolf. Unlikely that you would, most likely you'll draw one of the four and put it out as your main money maker for the rest of the game. As for the assumption that the resources would make a difference, it again depends on how you build your deck. I'm not saying you should always run this over E-Cache, I'm just saying we should try slotting it in different decks and see if it makes a difference. — StyxTBeuford · 751
I agree with this. In some cases resources can be more valuable than actions, and if you're running a resource hungry Rogue and Leo de Luca I can see that becoming a problem if you care about where you spend your resources. Having a balanced ratio between resources and actions worked quite well in my Lola Santiago build, but I still had to wait for cards to spend my resources on. If you're running solo or a 2-player game you should definitely pick Lone Wolf instead, but if you want burst resources or you feel that you can get more value out of resources than actions in a 4-player game I'd say give it a try, but remember that your deck has to have cards that take advantage of those burst resources mid-game/late-game. — applejuice4spill · 1
I've been using it as my main economy for my Leo Anderson deck, who had a lot of expensive guns and allies (Agency Backup) and it was amazing. Mulliganed for it pretty hard, played it turn one and used it to buy my second expensive gun when the first one started to run out a few turns in. Never a case where I would have found E-cache more useful. — Eldan · 2

When you see this in your opening hand, you can easily expect this to pay off. Will it pay off in a manner that is helpful in the end game depends on how your deck operates. If there is no need for resources for your build late game this card might not be for you.

It makes sense really to take it off when you need it but not really before five or six resources are on it really if you can help it.

Bronze · 102
Since it says the supplies move "to your resource pool" instead of "gain that many resources", I'm fairly certain Preston can use this without having to pull the trigger on Family Inheritance right after- the resources should just go straight to his pool. Also worth running this alongside Lone Wolf and even Hot Streak in any deck that wants resources. I'm thinking Jenny or Preston with Cunning, Money Talks, and Well Connected, or even just to more consistently get extra actions from Skids. — StyxTBeuford · 751
I can't see this card getting very much play tbh. The glaring issue is that this is a card which can only ever be useful if you draw it early, and even then it's going to be a slow burn. It costs you a resource and an action to play it and then only grows by 1 resource per turn thereafter. You then need to spend another action to recoup the money. If you play it turn 1 then do that on turn 3 to pull in 3 resources you've effectively spent 2 actions to gain 2 resources, which you could have done anyway. Do it on turn 4 and you've spent 2 actions to gain 3 resources, which is worse than Emergency Cache. Realistically this card will need to sit gathering interest for at least 4 turns after it hits the table, probably more. Which means of course that if you don't see it by about turn 3 or 4 of the game then you're going to have to seriously question whether it's worth playing at all and all it's worth is a book pip. To a certain extent the same applies to most economy cards of course. Drawing Thin is fantastic if you hit it early but can be pretty meh if you don't. At least that can give you a big boost right away when you play it though. With Investments you don't have that advantage, if it's not in your starting hand or drawn shortly afterwards at a time when you have a spare action to play it then it it's a throwaway card and you're likely to want to see almost anything else that's in your deck. — Sassenach · 60
I can't help thinking it would be much better if it didn't cost an action to recoup the money. If it were another free trigger/exhaust action to do that then it would still be inherently limited (you could either build the fund or pay it out but not both), but the lack of an action cost to cash in would mean this could be played later in a scenario and still be worth it. — Sassenach · 60
I think you're underrating the card quite a bit. You're right that it's not a good draw late, so if you have the ability to feed it into Cornered or Wendy/Ashcan's Ability it'd work out better for you, but it's not so much about resource gain. I think it's more that you pay one action to allow you to defer one "gain a resource" action for later so that you can play one particularly pricey asset later on. It even has the advantage of being playable in Dark Horse since it holds resources that aren't actually a part of your pool, which might allow those builds to run higher cost things. I think most importantly it affords you freedom to sink resources into checks using Streetwise or Scrapper (and Rex could even use it with Higher Ed) without having to worry about being unable to pay for any asset. As soon as it hits 4 resources (and 4 turns is not very long at all even late game), pretty much every card you could want to play is merely 2 actions away. For a money build I don't see any reason not to run it in addition to Cache/Streak and Lone Wolf. — StyxTBeuford · 751
You can play arround emrgency cache4 and contraband2 — toriano · 2
This card is not bad, it is terrible. As alredy mentioned by a previous commentator if this doesn't appear in your opening hand or first 3 draws it is pretty much useless, hell even if you get it quite early you may not want to waste 1 action and 1 ressource on it because you need to play other important assets ASAP. So to make it work you need to draw it early, have the window of opportunity to play it, wait 6+ Rounds to make a decent profit and have such a limited card pool that you can somehow justify puting this in your deck on the firs place :D ...and by the way using Investments with e-cache (4) doesn't make any sense lol, why would you put your ressources on this card if you can just put them directly on your ressource pool? Why would you waste a Contraband on this card if there are many better targets and if playing it costs you anyway 4-3 ressources? and if you play them all together then you are getting a maximum of 7 ressources by expending 3 cards, 4 actions and 6 XP , which is terrible... — Alogon · 335
Sefina finds this card a more useful choice, given the size of her opening draw. Take two copies in your deck and she has a 60% of drawing at least one of them. — Cluny · 39
You could trigger this card in immediately for 10 ressources if have venturer in play, play ecache 4 and contrand on it. Not sure it's worth it, because you spent 4 actions, drew 3 cards and spend 5 ressources (not counting venturer). — Django · 2221

Investments is the most recent addition to the finance generation machine, it's very similar to the existing asset Lone Wolf. Evaluating Investments without alluding constantly to Lone Wolf is impossible, so prepare for some reasoning and math ahead.

Investments needs to be found and played early, this is not new by any means, but the real interesting bit is that Investments requires an extra action to cash in the money, until which point the resources are out of your reach, not to mention that if you trigger investments the money generation ends.

This is a hugely negative point in direct comparison to Lone Wolf where the gains are immediate and action free, stopping to cash in the investments can be hard! In the middle of a fight for example where 7-10 extra resources might be very helpful, you just don't have time and space to go get your money. This is very much the crippling issue that makes investments fall behind Lone Wolf.

On the positive side for Investments, Lone Wolf tends to go offline for 20-40% of the time in duo games, and the problem gets MUCH much worse in 3/4 player games, in this case Investments rises up the ranks and replaces Lone Wolf easily, but I'dd still go for Lone Wolf in duo rather then Investments.

So I broke down Investments versus Lone Wolf a bit, but what of other resource cards?

  • Investments generates up to 10 resources for 2 actions, a resource and a card (and lots of time).

  • Emergency Cache generates 3 resources for 1 action and a card (immediately).

  • "Watch this!" generates up to 3 resources for 1 card and some risk (immediately).

An advantage that "Watch this!" and Emergency Cache hold over both Investments and Lone Wolf is the speed, a burst of cash that's equally useful in rounds 1 and 10. The speed thing makes it so that Investments does not replace Emergency Cache for me.

So, Investments compares "poorly" to the classical Emergency Cache and looses out to Lone Wolf in many cases, is Investments just a bad card? No it isn't, no its not. It's a viable replacement to Lone Wolf in multiplayer and in a resource heavy deck, for example a deck that relies on Lola Santiago to gather clues, it's good for what ails you. It feels especially good to cash in the money, even if it's just 6 or 7 resources, to then go on and complete the last locations with a combination of Lola triggers and Intel Report, a big money move that only characters can pull off.

Tsuruki23 · 885