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
Reviews

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 · 8459
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 · 206
* "Lightning Gun" oBsolete. I didn't upDATE my review (I hate, that you can't edit comments here) — Susumu · 206
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 · 8459
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 · 8459
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 · 206
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 · 8459

This card is so overpowered, that you basically take it in any mystic or guardian deck and that's it, all-mighty monsters are no longer any threat to a team.

No charges, no ammo, no special mechanics to balance such a power, just a +2 damage weapon with on average +3 to your main skill, meaning that you do not even need to boost your weapon with a Beat Cop or Holy Rosary to make it effective.

Why would now Akachi use any battle magic, if she never runs out of charges with this card and in terms of the damage it is comparable to the latest version of Shrivelling but without any magical drawbacks? Why would you collect 5-10 cards to make a Shotgun work on Leo when you can just take this endless hammer?

Even old granny Gloria Goldberg will easily become your ultimate monster hunter, smashing monsters with this giant hammer in her hands, because any card that increases your willpower strengthens this weapon too.

In other words, this card is so good that it simply makes a lot of other interesting cards and mechanics completely useless.

My friends and I have already played 3 campaigns with this card, and compared to previous playthroughs, this card actually feels like cheating.

Otki · 7
I very much agree, it is a strong contender for number 1 on the list of cards that should not exist. Just don't use it. — Trady · 108
100% agree. It's boring. Card games are generally fun because of build-arounds and synergies, whereas this card just independently dominates everything without any thought. I won't be using it again — snacc · 529
With the benefit of hindsight (a lot of early reviews were pretty cold on this card) we can see this card might have the 'honor' of being the second card to become forbidden. — dezzmont · 109
If you want a "homemade" taboo that you can apply now, try making the bump mandatory, meaning that every time you hit, you have to move (engage an Aloof enemy), and attack again, and if you hit the bonus, the enemy is bumped 2 locations away, which can be a pain if you need to finish it. — Valentin1331 · 8028
@Valentin1331 that's very creative! I would love to see that as the official taboo. — snacc · 529
A big issue with that is 9/10 times your attacking a non-elite enemy that can survive more than one hit is to remove it from your location, not because you want it dead for its own sake, and bumping it is either as good as a kill (if its a non-hunter and you don't backtrack) or still makes you massively more efficient than having to get a full kill (as while the enemy is alive you still only ever have to invest one attack per-enemy per-turn and the next time it comes back around it probably dies, so you don't even have the 'build up' problem evasion toes as a primary strategy, it just combines the best aspects of evasion with attacking PLUS it usually just instant kills). The change doesn't solve the underlying problem that this trivalizes encounters, and while it does make bouncing enemies more common it ultimately is good enough to bounce an enemy that it would probably still be a 'bonkers strong' weapon if it was 2 damage flat and forced bounced every hit. — dezzmont · 109
They should at least taboo this as exceptional, similar to Key of Ys. At least making the player to think twice before buying it. — liwl0115 · 25
for the fact that this card is turning expert difficulty into easy. — liwl0115 · 25

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 · 9
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 · 167
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 · 18
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 · 9
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 · 42
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 · 42
Hammer's ability to one-shot 2 hp enemies is a big advantage over saving ammo by punching enemies as the latter takes 2 actions (and 2 dips into the Chaos bag; not a small deal for Hard/Expert). 2 hp enemies are the most common "cannon fodder"; there are relatively few "true" 1 hp enemies. In campaigns that throw a lot of enemies at you, I'd rather dispose of multiple 2-hp enemies with one action each than spending twice as many actions (and another Mythos phase) getting rid of them; in the latter case, I'd probably need to use my gun anyways. Yes you can use Vicious Blow or similar, but with Hammer you save that card for an Elite/boss instead so Hammer still comes out ahead. — MindControlMouse · 8

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 · 206
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 · 16
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 · 6
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 · 16
@ Jaysaber: that's great to know. Can you tell, where she confirmed that? The card is for sure strangely worded in that case. — Susumu · 206
@ 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 · 206
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 · 16
So can we now keep bonking the Experiment back to the Laboratory? :P — ratnip · 49
Awww... I just saw the MJ clarification. Oh well... :( — ratnip · 49

I've used the hammer to crushing effect in a playthrough of Innsmouth Conspiracy with Zoey Samaras. Hitting at 8 by default is good enough to get 2 damage reliably, but for the real magic to happen you want at least one, ideally two copies of Reliable attached (each copy gives +2 to hit) and maybe 1 or 2 stat boosts from other sources.

Once I was able to achieve this, pretty much every enemy in the game became a massive joke, as I was essentially using a lightning gun at 13-14 skill value every swing, dealing 3 damage every time, with unlimited ammo.

This freed my deck completely from having to run economy cards + extra ammo generation, usually the biggest problem for big gun guardian builds. Instead I filled my deck with encounter deck manipulation, ensuring I was always able to draw enemies from investigators around the table.

In short - too strong if you can hit 3 damage reliably.

Crash · 7072
so instead of running lightning gun and ammo cards you run this and boost cards, seems fine, 12xp is a lot. I'd say seeing the hammer as a 3 damage weapon that requires set up isn't the strong side, its the 2 damage weapon that just never misses without set up that's scary about it. — Zerogrim · 236
Can you elaborate on your encounter deck manipulation cards? I'd say the new On The Hunt, First Watch, Maybe Scrying? — Valentin1331 · 8028
I ran First Watch, Fool Me Once, Let Me Handle This. — Crash · 7072

Probably my most hated card so far. (just started new with eotd and tdl) Seen it before but just had first hand experience with Zoey Samaras an that is a moment of shameful when I upgraded this card (Its just my self judgement tho) here are my opinions.

  • it is too good. Hard to not take this hammer when you build logically. Could say this single card kill other builds indirectly.
  • personally, multi faction card should be a bit weaker than main faction card.design wise, most are fine but this hammer definitely outlaw.
  • it is off designed. Mystic card should have some chance of negativity . Look at the art again and tell me this weapon does not looks evil. Literally untranslateable runes particle falling of it. Yet still such a constantly boring and safe weapon.
  • Suggestion : Should be taboo version which add some Mystic style negativity. Maybe something like

"If you reveal (well ,you see the runes on and hammer) you take 2 direct damage and autofail" (yes,damage since it is half card and it grew evily heavier so you hurt yourself in the process)

Pawley · 4
Lots of people seem eager to suggest a taboo that adds multiple lines of text to a card that's already very cramped. Personally I think it's fine, and very hard to rework in a way that's more complex than chaining it up an exp or two. — SSW · 167
I do like the added flare of gaining negative effects! — Therealestize · 29
Yeah, just an idea. I do realised about the text and I'm not a fan of wall of ant text either. I have already edit several time to make it as short as possible. — Pawley · 4
If I wanted to add a spooky mystic tax to this card, with a simple, short effect, I would add "remove a random card in your hand from the game" or "take 1 damage or horror" to the ability cost. — Death by Chocolate · 1105
Eh, I dunno. It's expensive in XP, resources, and slots. If you are playing 4-player with a dedicated monster hunter, maybe you'll always want it, but there are a lot of great pricy weapons out there. *shrug* I'm gearing up for a campaign where Lily is probably going to upgrade into this, but, after that, it will likely sit in the box for a long while, because there are a lot of other investigators I want to play, and only a small number of them would even consider this card. — LivefromBenefitSt · 882
Perhaps the taboo should be "when you attack you can use yor willpower instead of your strenght" — LordWolfen · 1

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 · 441
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 · 236
Ah. You’re right. I still think it’s a good card for her to leverage her Will scaling ability. — seasonedcoma · 441
Not all guardians or mystics will suit this weapon, but it's so terribly broken that I'm playing a solo campaign, but playing both akachi and mark harrigan and akachi easily does double the damage Mark does. It leaves timeworn brand almost obsolete (hits easier if you have VOL3+, can move enemies, which is devastating against non-hunters and if lucky can do even more damage than timeworn brand). But the biggest gain is for mystics. Guardians had good choices and many decks will resist to add this weapon to have a free hand for torchlight or similar, but many mystics can now make hamburgers without fearing to run out of charges on their offensive spells. — druchii7 · 1

I'm pretty sure everyone one has tear this thing in apart, and it is quite a formidable weapon by itself, when we add in supports cards, it does become ridiculous. It should be taboo, but I don't think it should be forbidden.

I think double or nothing was forbidden because while it was interesting to use, if you tech your deck right. It can destroy scenarios because the effects are doubled, and hell if you combine that card with the hammer, it would make Leo or Dexter quite deadly, Leo more specifically. Because he has access to reliable(1). But the very nature of double or nothing was to be combo with other cards, obviously because it's a skill card. The hammer is a asset.(a powerful one at that. ) that I think we should try to limit it. We should try to encourage other builds but limiting the uses it has. I got some ideas for that.

  1. It gains exceptional.- that's exactly what happen to the key of ys, and it definitely dropped from being an auto include. It will make guardian or mystic really try and build around utilizing and getting this card.
  2. It gains an arcane slot.- I don't know why it doesn't already have an arcane slot. This will definitely limit mystic a bit. Guardian have some arcane assets that are of value, but not many.
  3. Limit 1 attachment.- this will make you choose what attachments you build for and will also limit how much boost it gets from reliable(1).
  4. (Edit)-Exhaust its ability- maybe if we give it a flat boast, like +2 strength for +1 damage,then Exhaust it to add will for +2 damage. A thought.

I think we could taboo reliable(1) to where it only gives +1 period. Which I'm sure that was the intention. But I think we should focus on the hammer. You could also not use it.... but that's just as bad as making it forbidden. I'm not sure.

Hell of a card tho.

making it exceptional also means that you can only get one copy of it--that's the right move I think — liwl0115 · 25
The thing is, Exceptional doesn't really solve the problem the hammer has. If we use Timeworn Brand as our base, then the hammer takes an extra hand, gives an extra +2 or so, and — most importantly — can do a full extra point of damage above the Brand. Having just a single copy won't slow down most 'gators, same with an extra 5xp. I feel like the best fix is actually to just remove the "succeed by 3" ability, which makes it a more-reliable Brand that can push enemies, but takes an additional hand and is faction-locked. — Hylianpuffball · 18
I would agree, but the brand is a neutral, that allows anyone with a good strength score to pick it up. Really the hammer is lv5 g/m because it wants fighters from both of these classes to weld it — Therealestize · 29
Class cards shouldn't be straight upgrades to good neutral cards. Neutral cards exist to solve broad problems that every class needs solved. — dezzmont · 109
I agree with dezz, also Hylian you gave we an idea, what if it gets like a +2 to Strength for two damage, then once per round you could exhaust it to add your will and do the 3 damage if you succeed. That would slow it down I think. — Therealestize · 29
I'm a big fan of making the card take up two hands and two arcane slots. super simple taboo, strongly restricts it's utility without reducing power in a mystic deck, and somewhat limits it's utility in a guardian deck. — Death by Chocolate · 1105
The core issue with hammer is most melee that can hit 3 can't do it on demand with no downside or deck support. It really just needs to cap at 2 damage more than anything so it leans more on the 'secondary' effect which is also strong but sees no use because the damage is so bonkers that landing free evades on non-elites is redundant. — dezzmont · 109
2 hands + 2 arcane is basically not a taboo at all for Guardians and kills the card in Mystic. Guardians are the main class abusing Hammer right now anyway (since so many of them hit 8 or higher combined Combat + Will and Reliable), so I don't think a 2x Arcane taboo really solves the problem. — Soul_Turtle · 1
I agree. The core issue is that repeatable 3 damage needs to come with hooks or caveats and 'success by 2' is far too trivial for guardians compared to 'run bless,' 'only once per scenario,' or 'draw twice as many chaos tokens.' The core idea of this reaching 3 damage is a bad one. — dezzmont · 109