Q: For Mandy Thompson’s , what does it mean to “resolve 1 additional target of the search?” A: Search effects typically instruct you to resolve an effect using the card(s) targeted by the search. For example, if you used an effect to “search the top 3 cards of your deck for a card and draw it,” drawing the searched-for card would be resolving the target of the search. If you used Mandy’s here, you could either search the top 6 cards of your deck for a card and draw it, or search the top 3 cards of your deck for 2 cards and draw them both. (You must decide which before initiating the search.) - FAQ, v.1.6, September 2019
Q: I'm considering a Mandy Thompson deck, and I wondered about her reaction ability and cards like Old Book of Lore and Guided by the Unseen, where the find has a cost. Do you pay the cost to activate the card you find once (effectively replacing "Pay XX to ... that card" with "Pay XX to ... those cards")? Or do you have to pay the cost for each instance, "Pay XX to ... that card" becoming "Pay XX for each card that you want to ..."? A: Mandy’s ability to “resolve 1 additional target of the search” can be thought of as treating the additional target just like the original target. To be more specific:
- With Old Book of Lore, the investigator searches the top 3 cards of their deck for two total cards, draws them, and shuffles their deck; then, for each card, they can spend one secret to immediately play it at a reduced cost. (They would not have to play both cards.)
- For Guided by the Unseen, the investigator may search the top 3 cards of their deck for two total cards to commit, then, for each card, they can spend one secret to commit the card. (They would not have to commit both.)
Q: How/can Mandy Thompson resolve her reaction ability to "resolve an additional target" when playing Captivating Discovery? Does Captivating Discovery inherently have any search targets? A: If Mandy Thompson plays Captivating Discovery, she’d either search the top 9 cards of her deck, or, for one clue she placed she could add 3 of the searched cards to her hand instead of 2. (For just one clue, not all three.)
When an investigator at your location would search their deck or the encounter deck: They may either search 3 additional cards or resolve 1 additional target of the search. (Limit once per round.)
effect: +0. Search the top 3 cards of your deck for a card and either draw it or commit it to this test, if able. Shuffle your deck.
This investigator now reads: “Deck Size: 50” and “Deckbuilding Requirements (do not count towards deck size): 3 copies of Occult Evidence...”
Mandy Thompson - Back
Deck Size: At deck creation, choose 30, 40, or 50.
Secondary Class Choice: At deck creation, choose Mystic (), Rogue (), or Survivor ().
Deckbuilding Options: Seeker cards () level 0-5, Neutral cards level 0-5, up to 10 level 0-1 events and/or skills of your chosen secondary class.
Deckbuilding Requirements (do not count toward deck size): 1 copy of Occult Evidence (2 copies instead if your deck size is 40; 3 copies instead if your deck size is 50), Shocking Discovery, 1 random basic weakness.
Mandy is not just a quintessential Seeker, she is the quintessential Seeker squared. She excels in seeking out both clues and cards, which make her one of the most powerful investigators in the game.
A of 3 gives Mandy a decent chance of resisting treacheries from the encounter deck, but with a Hawk-Eye Folding Camera or maybe two, she can easily be up to 5, allowing her to shrug off much of what the encounter deck sends at her.
Her 5 is also something to write home about. Even though Mandy' specializes in fetching cards from investigators' decks, she actually does not need any cards in play before she starts investigating. This allows her to start investigating from Turn 1, giving her a huge head start in tempo. Her ability to pull specific cards from her deck bolsters this already quick tempo, making her a powerhouse Seeker.
1 means she will not be doing anything much in the combat department--not even punching a Swarm of Rats, so you might have to rely on her 3 , which isn't too shabby. It's just enough to evade when you have to, and will make you consider cards like Trench Coat if she is going to need to evade and avoid enemies--especially in true solo.
Mandy's Ability & Card Tutoring
Card Tutoring is a term for searching your deck and retrieving specific cards. Mandy's card tutoring talent makes allies like Mr. "Rook" look delicious. However, as I mentioned earlier, Mandy doesn't actually need any cards out to start investigating...so what cards are you even looking for with her ability?!?
Don't fall into the trap of endlessly spending your actions to search for cards, which help you search for cards, which help you search for cards, etc. You're just wasting actions. You want to search for cards that can make a difference!
Mandy's investigator ability has 2 uses, which can be used by either Mandy or another investigator at her location: when she searches, she can either search deeper (3 additional cards), or more (resolve the effect 1 additional time--so draw 2 cards instead of 1). How do you know which option to choose? That's a good question. See below.
(1) Searching Deeper (Search 3 Additional Cards).
This option simply means that if normally you would search 6 cards, you can now search 9. If normally 9, then 12. Etc. It's a great way to bore into your deck to find the cards you really need.
Choose this option when there is a specific card you want to find. Otherwise, if there's nothing you really need, use option #2 (see below).
Remember: other investigators at Mandy's location can use her ability! Most of the time, their searches (such as with Prepared for the Worst) are more important than yours!
(2) Searching More (Resolve 1 Additional Target).
This option means that instead of choosing 1 card with a search effect, such as with Eureka!, you choose 2. That's pretty good! This gives Mandy (and other investigators at her location) filtered card draw.
Choose this option if (a) hitting Shocking Discovery would be highly inconvenient, or (b) there's nothing in particular you need to search for. This becomes additional card draw with the potential to trigger Astounding Revelation and Occult Evidence.
Generally you will be searching deep at first, then switch to searching more once you have the cards you need.
A Note about Card Draw Card draw--especially in Seekers--is a good thing, right? Right?!? It's less good in Mandy, mainly because it means you might end up drawing Astounding Revelation or Occult Evidence (which personally happens to me all the time). Don't shy away from it, by any means, but Mandy is best served by cards that use search effects to gain cards, rather than plain ol' card draw (like with Preposterous Sketches).
Elder Sign Ability ()
You will never be sad when Mandy's Elder Sign ability crops up. At worst, it's just additional card draw--you can even use her investigator ability to search 3 cards and draw 2! At best it's a lifesaver that allows you to search up to 6 cards (when used in conjunction with her investigator ability) and commit the card you find to the test! Wow! This is really just an innate Eureka!, and another reason to ensure Mandy has plenty of good icon cards in her deck.
Investigator Signature Event: Occult Evidence
Mandy's signature card is singularly unique (pun intended) in that its quantity scales with her deck size. She gets 1x @ 30 cards, 2x @ 40 cards, and 3x @ 50 cards. It's not a fantastic signature card, but it's not bad either. You will know how many copies of Occult Evidence are in your deck at any given time, which allows you to plan to use her search abilities while on a location with a clue. Worst case scenario, if you draw it during upkeep, it's an extra wild icon.
Remember: just because you find a card with a search reaction (such as Occult Evidence and Astounding Revelation) does not mean you have to trigger their reaction ability--that would make it a Forced ability, instead. If you'd rather keep Occult Evidence or Astounding Revelation in your deck, rather than your hand, don't trigger their reaction ability!
Investigator Signature Weakness: Shocking Discovery
As far as signature weaknesses go, this can be pretty rotten when drawn at the worst possible time. But most of the time, it's not all that bad, especially when packing Tooth of Eztlis and Hawk-Eye Folding Cameras, both of which help Mandy shrug off encounter cards. Mystic off-class Mandy has the added boons in the form of Deny Existence and Ward of Protection, which she can use to cancel the worst treacheries drawn by her signature weakness.
IMPORTANT: Cards that search your entire deck literally search your entire deck--the search DOES NOT stop once you find a card you want. This means cards that search your deck (such as Research Librarian and No Stone Unturned) WILL trigger Shocking Discovery if it is in your deck!
I wanted to take a moment to touch on Mandy's off-classes, since both her and Tony's off-class options can be the most exciting AND daunting aspects about them.
Playing Mandy in 2 player? Give Mystic off-class a nod. This deck uses Mystic as an off-class, since it gives her the most all-round versatility, especially with Read the Signs, Ward of Protection, and Deny Existence. With a Hawk-Eye Folding Camera or two and a Tooth of Eztli out, she will be facing encounter cards with 4-6 , 5-7 , and 4 . This allows her to shrug off a lot of encounters and makes her a great target for a rogue player to pitch to using "You handle this one!". She can then use 2x copies of Deny Existence and Ward of Protection to ignore the treacheries she cannot pass. In my experience, this allows her to ignore the encounter deck and just concentrate on grabbing clues.
Playing Mandy solo? You might want to pick Rogue for her off-class. Rogue offers her a lot of enemy avoidance with action compression. Cards like Think on Your Feet and Slip Away let her put a pin in enemies while she zooms around using cards like Shortcut and Elusive (10/10 would recommend) to effortlessly suck up clues. One of your top Rogue picks should always be Quick Thinking. Mandy can commit this to an investigate test and succeed by 2 with ease, allowing her to take an additional action! Also consider the favor cards like Decoy, Small Favor, and Intel Report. The first two allow her to buy her way past enemies, while Intel Report allows her to buy clues from an adjacent location. At worst, each of the favors has 2 icons.
Playing Mandy in 4-player? Consider Survivor, which has the highest clue-potential of any other off-class, if you take Fortuitous Discovery x3, Resourceful x2, Winging It x2, "Look what I found!" x2, and Lucky! x1 (though I would personally go with Lucky! x2 and "Look what I found!" x1). Winging It gets shuffled back into her deck, and because of her card-draw, she will see it several times. Don't worry about how to discard it--Mandy often has lots of cards in hand! "Look what I found!" is a little harder to pull off, but not as hard as one might think, especially if she is working at her base 5 . It also has . Lucky! is an all-around great card that can help you with anything. As for Fortuitous Discovery and Resourceful?
Imagine this: you use Mr. "Rook", Eureka!, and maybe even No Stone Unturned to eventually find all 3 copies of Fortuitous Discovery. When you play the 3rd copy, Mandy can nab 3 clues. But if she plays it with Resourceful committed, she can also grab a different copy of Fortuitous Discovery from her discard pile. Meaning, she can play it AGAIN at maximum effectiveness. With 2 copies of Resourceful, this means she can play Fortuitous Discovery at maximum clue potential 3 times!
The other thing that prospective Mandy players puzzle over is her deck size. As a general rule, fewer cards in your deck is better, since this ensures you are more likely to see your best cards and, if you recycle your deck, enables you to see your best cards up to 4 times in a single scenario. Higher card counts dilute the effectiveness of your best cards, especially since you are limited to a maximum of 2 for most.
With Mandy's card draw, you will see and find every card in a 30-card deck likely a few times. Go with this deck size if you want to use and reuse specific cards--such as building specifically for the Pendant of the Queen. With Mandy's card draw ability, a measly 30-card deck lets her use, abuse, and reuse powerful cards with limited uses like Mr. "Rook", Fingerprint Kit, and most notably, Pendant of the Queen.
Mandy's search ability and card draw allow her to operate a 40-card deck as easily as another investigator runs a 30-card deck--and better. I personally prefer this deck size, since it gives you the option of including a few more cards than the often-limiting 30-card limit restricts you to. It also gives you the freedom to include a wider range of utility cards than usual. Going with a 40-card deck also gives Mandy 2 copies of Occult Evidence, literally doubling the number of her signature cards in her deck. As a frame of reference, a 40-card Mandy deck will usually draw through her entire deck once in a scenario, and possibly a little more. I mention this because deck size can be an easy way to combat Beyond the Veil. I played this deck in a 4-player Return to Dunwich, and our Guardian player used First Watch to give me ALL of the Beyond the Veils that came up. With a Deny Existence in hand and a sizable deck, it made life much easier for the other investigators.
If you want to include ALL the toys and ALL the cards...go with 50. Mandy still does quite well. However, you will find that you have to include a lot of redundancies, which make that additional 10 card bump up from 50 far less effective than you'd think. You do get 3 copies of Occult Evidence, but it's not reason enough on it's own to go the full 50. With 50 cards, Mandy may almost draw through her entire deck in a single scenario, which means it might be an option you want to consider if taking a non-mystic Mandy through Dunwich as Beyond the Veil protection.
Deck Size: How to Choose?
Choose a 30-Card deck if you want to use, re-use, and abuse a few select cards over and over again, namely Pendant of the Queen, Mr. "Rook", Fingerprint Kit, and Archaic Glyphs. You will cycle through your deck quickly, allowing you to get a second or sometimes even a third pass at your best cards.
Choose a 40-Card deck if you want a larger toolbox with greater versatility. This gives you some breathing space to include extra cards, such as a the in-game mini-quest cards (Archaic Glyphs, Strange Solution, Ancient Stone, etc), as well as more off-class cards. Mandy can handle a 40-card deck as easily as any investigator handles a 30-card deck--and then some.
Choose a 50-Card deck if you want to include everything. I personally don't recommend this, since it dilutes the likelihood of you finding your best cards, such as Mr. "Rook", but Mandy being Mandy, she can still do just fine. Just make sure to include plenty of card draw and icons.
This is an excerpt from my Mandy Standard Deck, if you'd like to check it out: arkhamdb.com
I just wanted to underline an aspect of Mandy Thompson's ability that can easily be overlooked:
What Mandy's ability does is that, once per round, when an investigator at her location searches their deck (or the encounter deck), they can either search for 1 additional card or search 3 cards deeper. The obvious thing here is that Mandy can support other investigators with her ability using her cards for them, but what can easily be missed is that other investigators can activate Mandy's ability using THEIR OWN cards. That can create some interesting interactions between some cards and Mandy's ability and certain cards can become more powerful. This can lead to the creation of some strong builds that work around Mandy's ability and specific cards, which is really interesting.
I'd like to go through a list of cards that when used by other investigators they (usually) become better if Mandy Thompson's ability gets in the mix:
Anna Kaslow: While Anna Kaslow is really bad for Mandy, as putting her into play at the beginning of the game makes it guarranteed that she will hit her weakness, it's rather beneficial for other investigators to have her in their deck, as with Mandy's ability it's pretty much guarranteed that they will hit 2 tarot cards with her. That's pretty strong.
Prepared for the Worst: This card becomes a lot more reliable when combined with Mandy's ability. Going 12 cards deep increases your chances to find a weapon substantially and it can be huge to certain builds, specifically ones that are built around certain weapons (Becky and Flamethrower comes to mind). The option to get 2 weapons is also nice.
Arcane Initiate: Searching 6 cards for a spell makes it far more likely to hit a spell and on spell-heavy decks the option to dig for 2 spells can also be good.
Backpack: This card is perfectly usable by Mandy as well, but the ability for another investigator to go 9 cards deep with it can be huge, making it far more consistent and increasing substantially the chances to get a specific item that they 've built around (like Crystallizer of Dreams or The Skeleton Key).
Calling in Favors: While the interaction between Mandy's ability and this card is very powerful, Mandy herself doesn't quite have the suitable array of allies to put it into good use (I don't mean it's bad, it's just not great). Another investigator however can make great use of this. Putting into play 2 allies from your deck at reduced cost can be huge in certain cases. Just imagine someone like Tommy Muldoon or Leo Anderson using Calling in Favors on something like Brother Xavier and putting into play an Agency Backup and a second Brother Xavier at the cost of 1 action and 3 resources! That's outright broken!
Flare: That's one of the most powerful interactions. Still usable by Mandy, but another investigator can use it as well. Put 2 allies into play from your deck. Enough said.
Rabbit's Foot (3): Becomes a lot better with Mandy's ability. Looking for a specific card? Go 3 cards deeper. Are you already digging deep? Get an additional card. Nice thing.
On the Hunt: Searching for 2 enemies with On the Hunt isn't really the thing you want to be doing unless you 're using Flamethrower, but the ability to go 12 cards deep allows you to dig for specific enemies. This can be useful if you 're looking for VP enemies or if you want certain enemies to get out of the way. Either way, it's an interesting interaction. Not powerful, just interesting.
Smuggled Goods: This was already good, but with Mandy's ability it becomes way better. Searching for 2 illicit cards makes this really nice for Finn Edwards. How about digging out from your deck those Lockpicks and Pickpocketing on turn 1 and still get to use this again later at some point during the scenario, possibly at the same power level? Simply awsome.
Stick to the Plan: This one is a little weird, but if it works it's actually really great. At every scenario, every investigator starts at the same location, so the one using Stick to the Plan can activate Mandy's ability when searching their deck and stick a 4th event under the permanent. If this actually works it's really nice! Understanding whether this works or not probably requires a thorough aknowledgement of the rules (which I don't really have) and/or some clarification from FFG. The reasonable question posed here is whether investigator abilities are active during setup. This question gets a little complicated if you take into account that most investigator abilities have a once-per-round designator. During setup the round hasn't even begun yet, so there could be an argument made that since the round hasn't begun yet they are not active. On the other hand, if investigator abilities are always active, this may mean that they are also active during setup. A rules expert might be able to put some light into this. Anyway, the thing is that, if this actually works, it's really awsome!
Concluding, I 'd like to state that there are cards that get benefit from Mandy's ability that miss they eye and some cards, as you can see, become a lot stronger with her, and when you have Mandy Thompson in your team you can create some builds that would otherwise be suboptimal or less good. Taking into account this stuff, I think Mandy Thompson has great potential and it's always nice to have her as a teammate. I personally love Mandy, as I believe that her ability is very strong. She's my favourite so far.
I remember all the times
Needing what I couldn't find
One-ofs in my deck, like Cunning Distraction
Wasting all my time on draw actions
People say that I should choose
Cards that search for what I use
I tried No Stone Unturned but it needs to dig deeper
When you're near you make search cards worth taking
Don't move further away
Now I have no frustration locating
The cards that I want to play
You can use Old Book of Lore
Not just Daisy anymore
And when I want to find those crucial three items
My Backpack searches nine so it's easy to find them
Well your weakness can stop you from searching
Then you're free to do occult researching
Testless clueing all day
Two more allies for the team I'm forming
Well you don't modify Scroll of Secrets
It says to "look at" you see
If you don't want to trigger your weakness
Play your Eurekas on me
You can put 50 cards in your decklist
That's too many for me
But you help me find cards that my spec missed
So I need you
Mandy's new Taboo has changed her enough to make it important to look at her in a new light. While she is still VERY strong, it is important to look at how Mandy's new mandatory 50 card deck pushes her from 'the combo queen' to a more toolbox focused Seeker.
Previously, at 30 cards in her deck, Mandy could churn through it absurdly fast and assemble pretty much any combo she wanted within a few turns. This was because Mandy could thin her deck absurdly fast early with the first part of her investigator ability, with most searches hitting 1/3rd or more of her deck and removing 1/15th of it resulting in her being able to do absurd things like assemble her Segments of Onyx within an average of fewer than 3 searches, or to find a copy of a specific card in her deck very consistently with OBOL around 50% of the time. This meant, in addition to being able to stay ridiculously gassed with the double draw of her ability, she also could create absurdly intricate combos within a very short timeframe that dominated the game.
At 50 cards though, that aspect of her has weakened. After crunching some numbers, the extra 20 cards in her deck doesn't hurt her that much, but the pain is noticeable. In regards to 9 card deep searches, Mandy will now need around 1 extra search to find a specific card she is searching for as often as old Mandy. This doesn't hold forever (as you draw through your deck the odds of finding the cards you want approach 1) but it holds for a fairly long time.
For example, at 10 cards deep into your deck, if you need X card with old Mandy your chance of finding it your first pull is around 76%, ignoring the chance of having drawn it before (which is both REALLY hard to summarize the math of, doesn't always reflect the reality of play because often times you want specific cards based on context anyway, and hurts new Mandy quite a lot, she is way less likely to have those cards in the initial 10), while with new Mandy its only 42% on the first pull and 44% on the second assuming you double drew, and 54% and 56% if you 'wide' draw, meaning about an 80% chance if your really digging. These are actually worse than even the initial odds for a 'generic' seeker who we assume only drew 5 cards into their deck, who has a 64% chance to pull the card, meaning that Mandy actually is now worse at finding specific copies of cards than a 'generic' seeker.
This isn't going to hurt her terribly on any individual search; its still safe to play Mandy when she needs to find maybe one or two specific cards, but Mandy no longer is going to be as good at making 'strict' combos where you need a bunch of specific options in specific orders, because those misses once you get to the 'middle' phase of building your combo and your 'hits' drop from 1/3rd of your deck to maybe 1/8th will add up. She is also worse at finding that specific card you want, and her ability to exploit cards like old book of lore late game has dramatically shifted away from using it as a 'finisher' to search for combo pieces once your deck gets thin, because your deck in a realistic game of Arkham, even with a relatively fast cycle strategy, just won't get thin enough where your able to assemble that combo in a timeframe its relevant: Mandy sure can get to the point where your old book of lore dig for 6 will find you a combo piece every turn... but a combo that takes till turn 7 or 8 to get started isn't really practical.
Mandy's niche now is that when she is searching for options with generalist tutors, she can more readily assemble a toolkit to handle future problems. Even in regards to situations where she can add in 'sidegrades' for a given option (ex: Tossing in "I've got a plan" to supplement Occult Invocation to have twice as many combat cards with not even twice as much deck) she doesn't actually find them much faster at many break points, but if you have a lot of interchangeable tools getting two options every tutor rather than one isn't even akin to doubling your draw, but also allows you to more effectively prep for specific events without distrupting your tutor as much: Sure you need to dig once more to find X in most situations, but now while your digging you can snag a combat event to let you snipe an enemy on a guardian autofail, or a shortcut to come in clutch on a 'race to the exit' scenario later.
There is also a more subtle change: Mandy now scales much less aggressively with XP, which also was a problem with her pre-taboo self, because she was so good at forcing XP cards to consistently enter your hand. Now, not only is she struggling to find XP cards as consistently, but because she is trying to run multiple 'sidegrade' copies of tools she wants to find, she has less XP to spread out overall, making Mandy have a lot of focus on the 'low level zoo' Seeker cards. She certainly can utilize big chunky cards, but Mandy probably will shine a bit better spreading her XP out more, and due to the fact her scaling is a bit awkward and her deck's overall XP density is inherently lower than other seeker's, with a lot of her value focused on level 0 situational 'magic bullet' cards like events, you might want to consider her as a 'replacement cluever' for late campaign character deaths.
In essence, Mandy is much less about overwhelming the scenario, and is far more a 'toolbox' character now who is fairly good at assembling multiple situational cards without slowing down her core strategy too much. She no longer is about assembling the Pendant of the Queen and keeping it infinitely charged with charge manipulation shenanigans (in fact, pendant has gone from one of her iconic cards to her probably being the worst seeker in the game at assembling it, though it isn't so bad you shouldn't ever consider it, because the fact its a 1 XP gamewinning tool that synergizes with your ability to pick up useful cards 'on the side' means the fact its slower and less consistent doesn't matter as much) so much as being the seeker who says 'I can handle that' pretty much every turn. She is a lot more scrappy and reactive because her payoff is now based on you thinking ahead to what you might need rather than power-looping your deck to repeatedly chain together combos or fast cycle out deduction+working a hunch and reshuffling every turn.
Overall, the Taboo is good in terms of reigning her in while keeping her a valid character. I doubt we have seen the end of Seeker degenerate combos, but its unlikely Mandy will be the one to do them from here on out. Harvey (who struggled in Mandy's shadow) now have a niche because of this new limitation. But new Mandy isn't bad in the slightest. The only real downside is that 50 card decks are a bit more awkward on collections and storage, but that isn't exactly the end of the world considering Taboos mostly exist for 'superusers' anyway.
I have a mistake that I write a review in wrong card. I delete the details and write review in another card. sorry about making meaningless thread. (placeholding text for 200 words placeholding text for 200 wordsplaceholding text for 200 words)