- NB: ArkhamDB now incorporates errata from the Arkham Horror FAQ in its card text, so the ArkhamDB text and the card image above differ, as the ArkhamDB text has been edited to contain this erratum (updated January 2022): Erratum: The additional cost on this card should read: "As an additional cost to play this card...". - FAQ, v.1.9, June 2021 [see also Crystallizer of Dreams]
The Hungering Blade
Calamitous Blade of Celephaïs
Item. Weapon. Melee. Relic. Cursed.
Limit 1 per deck. As an additional cost to play this card, you must search your bonded cards for 3 copies of Bloodlust and shuffle them into your deck.
: Fight. You get +1 for this attack for each attached copy of Bloodlust. This attack deals +1 damage. If this attack defeats an enemy, place 1 resource on this card (from the token bank), as an offering.
So this card (and it's coupled weakness Bloodlust) is a bit confusing, so I'm going to give a quick summary here so that you don't have to switch between the two cards's pages:
- The Hungering Blade by itself give no extra and does +1 damage. It's closest equivalent is a .32 Colt: same cost, same lack of extra , same damage. Just without limited uses and you're allowed only one copy in your deck.
- To get the full power of this card, you need to kill six enemies with this amount of damage and draw the three Bloodlusts that got shuffled into your deck; doing so takes your Colt and upgrades it into .45 Automatic, then a .45 Thompson, then a Roland's .38 Special (clue included).
- HOWEVER, at any point you have a Bloodlust attached to The Hungering Blade, you may expend one Bloodlust to give your attack a further +1 damage; I'm fairly certain this cant be done after the skill test, so this is equivalent of -1 for +1 damage.
This actually reminds me of the good old core set Knife; two options for an attack, one standard, and one with extra damage but you discard something. And just like Knife, not utilising the secondary attack is a waste of the cost to play it. If you're using The Hungering Blade, then you should have a decent chance of succeeding combat checks from the moment you equip it, otherwise you'll be hard pressed to get those offerings. The extra then is a nice bonus, but not something you should be relying on, especially since +1 damage is more valuable than +1 attack.
Now about the horror incursion. Despite being the most suited for extra damage without extra , Mark Harrigan CANNOT take this card; doing so would be suicide alongside Shell Shock. Given that the other 5 investigator cannot take it, and anything less than 4 would leave one struggling to get offerings in the first place, the list of viable investigators shrinks to the rest of the guardians (that aren't Carolyn Fern), Joe Diamond, and William Yorick: 6 total. Even so, NONE of the investigators mentioned above have higher than 6 sanity, and given the random nature of your deck, you are subject to the whims of fate with this card (I mean, even more so than usual).
With "The Scarlett Keys Investigator Expansion" The Hungering Blade gets quite nice new synergy support.
Great synergy exists with Hunter's Armor with the "Hexdrinker (3)" upgrade. It says "Hexdrinker. After 1 or more damage or horror is assigned to Hunter's Armor from a treachery effect, you may exhaust it to draw 1 card." This compensates for the dead draw of Bloodlust.
This might be quite effective with tanky builds for e.g. Tommy Muldoon.
I initially dismissed this as an option in Nathaniel Cho but after giving it a shot, it might be a decent option in him. It has the same use case as Mark, with Cho not really needing the extra from weapons. It also works alongside Boxing Gloves, if you're willing to run Bandolier so you can have both. The fact that it's a one-off weapon is also mitigated by the fact that Cho doesn't really need weapons over his fight events, and his unique card can search a weapon.
Is this good? Well, the obvious downside is that as soon as the blade's out, you need to kill with the blade, and not kill with fight events. Cho's fight events range from 2 damage utility events - Clean Them Out, ["Get over here!"], and the lower levelled Counterpunch and Heroic Rescue - 3 damage events like Monster Slayer, Mano a Mano and the levelled Counterpunch, to the big guns of Dynamite Blast and One-Two Punch. So if an enemy has 3 health, do you use a 3 damage Cho event or a 2 damage one followed up by a Hungering Blade hit? Or do you not waste the event and just hit twice with the blade? In that case, is there much point in running the blade at all when you could just hit with an event then make a normal punch? Obviously the more enemies on you, the better - you can finish off a 2-4 health enemy with an event followed by a blade hit, then kill a 1-2 health enemy with a blade hit to get 2 charges, but whether this is going to happen frequently is questionable.
If you have the blade but not the gloves, you can save up on fight events while just killing with the blade. If you have the gloves but not the blade, you can use the events faster and search into more, thinning the deck to make the blade a more likely draw. But if you don't draw either, you're in trouble without weapon searching tools.
I think there may be a balance between fight and utility events that can make this work, depending on the scenario. My main problem with building Nathanial before I got Dream Eaters has been that there's only really one deck for him - load up on fight events and ways to draw boxing gloves. But The Hungering Blade makes me think there are some more niche builds that might have a place in him. I enjoyed the build on my first try, but I think a little more testing is required. Still, it's a deck I'm happy to test.
Decent card for a sustained combatant who happens to have great draw speed and deckspace for tank allies and items. (I.E Mark Harrigan's name is written on it).
With a tanky build that can handle a bit of extra horror pain and incentive to wield a non-ammo weapon, several haracters can make use of this thing. The / characters all have great tanking properties making them naturals at using The Hungering Blade.