Guardian Mystic
Asset. Hand x2

Item. Relic. Weapon. Melee.

Cost: 5. XP: 5.
Test Icons:

: Fight. Add your to your skill value for this attack. You deal +1 damage for this attack. If you succeed and the enemy is non-Elite, you may move it one location away from you. (If you succeed by 3 or more, you instead deal +2 damage and may move the enemy up to two locations away from you.)

Robert Laskey
Edge of the Earth Investigator Expansion #93.
Cyclopean Hammer

The hammer contends with the Flamethrower as king of all weapons and firmly relegates the Lightning Gun to obsolescence .

Enchanted*, the hammer is a match for the Flamethrower in raw damage. In addition, it:

  • doesn't need to engage, making it easier to beat enemies off allies
  • can shove enemies away into irrelevance or as a pseudo evade
  • is a Relic which helps with with things like Poltergeist
  • benefits massively from Reliable and Enchant Weapon for reaching huge skill values for boss killing
  • doesn't need to be reloaded, saving many actions and resources playing Extra Ammunition and the second copy of Flamethrower

The downside is that you do need to oversucceed to do 3 damage per hit, but skills like Daring and Overpower makes oversucceeding very reliable even before you start attaching Reliables and Enchanting it.

I've also found that the actions and resources saved from not needing to reload or replay weapons means that Guardians become more capable in other capacities, be it from healing or becoming able to pick up the odd clue with the excess resources. At higher difficulties the testless damage and +1 from a Beat Cop (2) was usually too much for me to give up, but the incredible reliability and relatively lower cost of the hammer means that it's easy to forgo the cop for other allies.

This is a particularly huge buff for Sister Mary, who struggled to compensate for her 3 in a class that revolves around monster slaying. Now she can swing a hammer along with the best of them.

Contrary to @Susumu 's existing review, I'm more lukewarm on this weapon for Mystics. Mystics have so many good hand slot choices and just gained a few more. More importantly, Mystics also lack commits for the hammer to oversucceed at higher difficulties — you can't commit Guts to it — and don't have access to Enchant Weapon or Reliable. Therefore, there's less of an advantage over Shrivelling (5) (especially if you're only occassionally fighting), though it's nice to not have to worry about backlash and spell charges.

Still, there's probably an interesting build with Mind's Eye, allowing mystics to attack at double their , or to otherwise use the newly freed arcane slot for Seal of the Seventh Sign or Close the Circle.

* You could also enchant the Flamethrower, but the enchantment will be discarded if you need to play a new copy to reload it, and it's so overkill that it's impractical

suika · 8176
Yeah, if it's true, that the Hammer also deals +2 damage to Elites, this pretty much makes the "Lightning Gun" opsolete. I didn't upgrade my review in this regard, because we just have hearsay, nothing official for that. I did cover, that Mystics need more wild and fist icons than usual. But they got "Promise of Power" and willpower boosts from "Holy Rosary" & friends WILL stack. Some people say, Mystics like Diana, Akachi and Jim should take "advantage" of their 3 combat (compared to Agnes or Marie) and take crappy weapons like Mystic's "Enchanted Blade", too. I consider that a huge trap. But the Hammer looks great to me. In particular with Diana, whom I prefere to play with "Well Prepared", who takes "Daring" anyway, and might consider an "Overpower" or "Viciouse Blow", if they fit into the deck, too. She could also take "Bandoliere" (2), which would free up handslots for other items, and be good for the willpower buff in her, too. — Susumu · 165
* "Lightning Gun" oBsolete. I didn't upDATE my review (I hate, that you can't edit comments here) — Susumu · 165
The clarification is on the Mythos Busters discord, so it's basically official. To quote MJ verbatim: "The non-elite clause is meant to only apply to the movement effect, and is meant to apply to both versions of the movement effect, and not the damage. Or, put another way, the parenthetical effect just adjusts the previous sentence I'll definitely add it to the next FAQ" — suika · 8176
I agree that it's better than Enchanted Blade on Mystics and it can works on Diana, but the problem is that it's not that much better than a combat spell you'll be comparing it to, since those also give a +3 bonus to the check and don't need to oversucceed. It's main advantage is that mystics no longer need to worry about spell recharging and spell backlash. It's not bad by any means and is pretty good if you're fighting a lot, I just don't think it's amazing except for enabling a few niche builds. — suika · 8176
OK, I will update my review regarding the Elite-passus soon. (Also found a whoopsie regarding parallel Roland: he can't take level 5 Guardian.) Thanks for the confirmation! I think for Mystics, it's also a question of the given campaign. In Dunwich sure, I would rather take the level 5 combat spell. In TFA or TCU, with D2D and double AR of course, I would ask: "Why not both?" Makes the deck much more consistent, and won't deny you the XP for RoS (4). Dexter might also like it, with a base skill of 8 and the option for cards, that benefit from oversucceeding. He can buff his strengh with "Blood Pact" level 0 just fine. And for a lot of enemies (with just 2 health), oversucceeding is not even necessary. So you don't have to push every test that far. — Susumu · 165
The main "why not both" reason for me is that Grotesque Statue is really strong and not worth giving up. A Hammer Mystic build should be a build that makes good use of the Arcane slot you've freed up, IMHO. There's certainly a few interesting ideas for that - seal of the seventh sign or close the circle perhaps - though I think those builds fall under "interesting" rather than "strong". — suika · 8176

Finally, a Weapon, I would put into a 's hands. I was never a fan of any version of Enchanted Blade, even for Diana, Akachi or Jim, who have 3 , because trading to fight with instead of is still not a great thing to do for them, and spending an arcane slot for it even more awful. (Of course, there are other tools like Sword Cane or in some decks maybe Spirit Athame for , but I wouldn't see their main use as a fighting weapon.) I think, the Cyclopean Hammer will shine exceptionally in the hands of Diana Stanley, who gets an awesome card for Well Prepared synergies to boot with it, which also makes it easier for her to over-succeed by 3 on the test on this card. A disadvantage, compared to Shrivelling or Azure Flame will be, that have to rely more on or pips. Overpower becomes a consideration for them, possibly also Vicious Blow for Diana. This needs extra deck space, compared to a build, where you only rely on . Also, if I understand the syntax of the card right, you will deal the extra damage from over-succeeding only to non-Elites as well, on par with Spectral Razor. (Another interpretation would be, that on over-succeeding Elites would go flying as well, but that would be really strange and sounds silly to me.)

That's not to say, won't like it. They all come with at least 3 , several of them have 4. Of course, in this class, it has to compete with Flamethrower, with it's unpaired amount of damage. Sister Mary likes her Holy Spear, but she could wield the Hammer as well, and it might even be as good and less clunky. On the plus side, the Hammer improves the value of cards like Brother Xavier, Bandolier (2) or Police Badge, because suddenly get another offensive stat, they can buff with these. A minor consideration, but much more important for than , are enemies like Poltergeist or Wraith, who can be squished with the hammer quite easily. But it's really minor, in particular Poltergeists are only to be seen twice in Carcosa, and the first time in the first scenario, when no can currently have a Cyclopean Hammer.

The card is of course expensive in XP and Resources. In particular for , who get an XP discount from Arcane Research on cards like Shrivelling, which cost (at most) 3 resources. But it has not the spill-over effects, we usually see on cards, and unlimited uses (except on a Conglomeration of Spheres), so I think, the card is not overpriced. Some people like to put Spectral Razor on Dayana Esperence, and that's twice the resources (unless you discount the spells with Robes) for 3 uses of a similar effect. (You don't need to over-succeed, you can engage enemies, but can't bounce off non-Elites.) I'm very much looking forward to the release of this box to try it out!

Susumu · 165
I actually thought that the clause in parentheses was meant to replace the previous text (that is, if you succeeded by 3 or more, you would deal +2 damage to any enemy, and then if the enemy is not Elite you could send it flying up to 2 locations away). Hard to say, the wording makes it quite hard to tell. — Lasiace · 11
MJ has confirmed that the damage is a separate clause to the movement. So you can hit Elites for +2 damage, but they cannot be moved. — Jaysaber · 5
A neat synergy that I just thought of is attaching a copy or two of Reliable onto this weapon. If my understanding is correct, unlike Well Prepared which specifies that the icons have to match, Reliable boosts ALL your skill values, so each copy would effectively be +2 fighting stat when used on this (+1 will and +1 fight). If this is the case then that's some good value, especially since you want to be oversucceeding with this card anyway. There also appears to be a minor synergy with Righteous Hunt, where you could use it as a free movement by sending them towards your intended destination. If you oversucceed to knock them 2 spaces away, or you're Zoey, or both, that could be decent action compression in some situations. — Lasiace · 11
@ Jaysaber: that's great to know. Can you tell, where she confirmed that? The card is for sure strangely worded in that case. — Susumu · 165
@ Lasiace: Reliable would sure be another option. It does not add more than "Well Prepared" though, because both add 2 to the skill value. The movement with "Righteous Hunt" sounds clunky to me. You need a non elite enemy with at least 4 hitpoints to make that work. Sure possible occasionally, but nothing I would expect to line up the way, I want to use it. — Susumu · 165
Yep, the main advantage of Reliable would just be that it wouldn't exhaust, the effective bonus per test would still be the same (though to be fair, not exhausting is a big deal, but being able to use Well Prepared on any test is also a big deal, so different reasons to take them, or both.) The Righteous Hunt thing is definitely not something I would ever actively try to set up - I mostly just thought of it while making a Zoey deck, since the hammer will be one of her best weapon options, and she would have considered Righteous Hunt anyway as tech against her weakness. More of just a neat niche tech than anything. — Lasiace · 11
So can we now keep bonking the Experiment back to the Laboratory? :P — ratnip · 48
Awww... I just saw the MJ clarification. Oh well... :( — ratnip · 48

I think I'm a little less hot on this card compared to some of the other reviews here, and I'm not seeing this as a new "king of weapons".

Yes, it has the potential to be a 3 damage attack with infinite uses, but I think "succeed by 3" is a bigger deal (especially on higher difficulties) than it seems. On most enemies, your token-modified skill value would have to hit 6+, which will pretty much always require stat boosts, even with the will+fight modifier.

On hard, I think this weapon will do 2 damage more often than one would hope for with a 5 resource, 5 xp weapon, and I think on that difficulty lightning gun, flamethrower, holy spear, and the lv 5 mystic spells still compete with, or even outperform (particularly in consistency) this weapon. On standard or easy, I can definitely see the appeal of picking up a big weapon that always does a minimum of 2 damage and often times 3, but it's still got more variance than comparable choices.

And yes, Reliable goes a long way to get you the consistency you want, but now you're looking at a 2-3 cards, and the other options have their own synergy cards too. None of this is to say that Cyclopean Hammer is bad by any means, I just don't think you should binder your other choices just yet.

Malafar · 4
I agree. It's a very strong weapon, but I'm not sure it's even the best weapon of the set. With a lot of support - allies, reliable, etc. - you can make it reasonably reliable to hit for three, but you can say exactly the same about ammo cards with flamethrower, or bless support with the Holy Spear, or Recharge with mystic spells. Plus, out of all these options, this Hammer is the most expensive, so cuts hugely into the resources you need to set up its support, and of course just has much less support in mystic in general. — SSW · 148
I think the value of this being able to swing multiple times (no ammo) is a big deal. Even on 3 health enemies it doesn't feel as bad as having to swing twice as you aren't using up ammo/charges. You have less action efficiency, but you're MUCH happier to have this against 1-2hp enemies. — Therebrae · 11
Having unlimited uses is absolutely a big deal. There's a very intentional line between higher action efficiency with limited uses, and unlimited uses with lower action efficiency. Now, we have a weapon that can *potentially* provide the same efficiency of a firearm with unlimited uses: but in the end, it isn't that simple because "succeed by 3" isn't a trivial ask. Since I usually play on Hard, I look at this and think "Holy Spear can do the same or better for 1 resource less, and Timeworn Brand for 1 slot less". That said, I'm not going to sneer when my playgroup decides they want to take this out for a spin, it's still a very solid weapon. Since you mentioned the 1-2hp enemies: Ironically, one of the strategies to get cyclopean hammer's consistency up (Increasing your base fight stat) also works for firearm users to punch low health enemies to death without spending bullets. All roads lead to the same place? — Malafar · 4
It's worth noting that the hammer itself does a lot to help you reach that succeed by 3 target on the right investigator, just like Lockpicks helps you hit its own succeed by 2 target. With a 4+4 or 3+5 base stat line, even with no other static boosts, you probably don't want to count on hitting for 3 but you also generally won't miss and you'll get pleasantly surprised often enough. — Thatwasademo · 41
It also really, really doesn't hurt that if you hit for 2 and don't have the time to swing again you can push the enemy away. This doesn't particularly help against hunter enemies that weren't going to make an AOO against you or your seeker, but FFG does occasionally print enemies without hunter and sometimes your seeker is the one to draw the enemy. — Thatwasademo · 41

This card is absolutely bananas on Lily. Out of the box, she fights at 7, but you probably have a Discipline boosting either or , which puts her at 8 (equal to Leo, Mark, Natcho, Akachi). Once you hit 15 xp, you can either put in the other Discipline stat to baseline fight at 9 or get Discipline to get that "Three attacks for one Action" effect. At 30 xp, you have both. This means she has the potential to do 15 damage in a round every other round or so while fighting at base skill of 9.

This item also turns boosts like Holy Rosary (or the upgraded version) and Brother Xavier into combat boosts that also protect you from the Mythos.

I realize Butterfly Swords are more in line with her theme, but the Hammer provides insane value for her, while also being a Relic for when that matters. Even on Hard, she will regularly test 4-6 above "hard" enemies without commits making passing by 3 pretty easy. It's also a decent target for Well Prepared for further flexible boosts.

seasonedcoma · 355
Its 3 *different* actions, so you'd need two different sources of attacks to do 15 damage in one round with this set up, which just requires two Brand of Cthugha's or whatever. — Zerogrim · 224
Ah. You’re right. I still think it’s a good card for her to leverage her Will scaling ability. — seasonedcoma · 355