- Q: I get that I can reveal a charge-fueled asset spell like Shrivelling, spend the charge from True Magick to use the spell, and then return Shrivelling to my hand. I also get that if I had a chargeless spell like Sixth Sense, I could reveal and use it multiple times on a turn as I don't need to worry about running out of the charge on True Magick. What about a spell like Enchanted Bow? Do I use it the same way by revealing and playing by exhausting True Magick (meaning I could only use the Bow once per turn) and paying the charge if I'm trying to use the ranged ability? Does the fact that it also would take up hand slots if played traditionally complicate this? Essentially, is the spell I play from my hand momentarily overlaying True Magick and the spots it occupies? If so, anything that takes only an arcane slot or an arcane + hand slot would be fine, but the bow would need a second free hand slot in order to work and would kick anything out that was being held. A: To answer your question(s):
- Your inclination appears correct. To use Enchanted Bow from hand via True Magick, you could exhaust True Magick “as if it were” Enchanted Bow, and spend the charge on True Magick to target a non-Elite enemy at a connecting location.
- While revealing Enchanted Bow from your hand to resolve it, you do not account for its slots; those only matter if you put it into play.
Spell. Blessed. Weapon. Ranged.
Uses (3 charges).
Exhaust Enchanted Bow: Fight. You must use either or instead of and get +1 skill value for this attack. This attack deals +1 damage. As an additional cost to initiate this ability, you may spend 1 charge to have this attack target a non-Elite enemy at a connecting location; if you do, ignore the aloof and retaliate keywords for this attack.
This is going to draw a lot of comparisons to the Ornate Bow for obvious reasons. They're two-handed weapons that use alternate stats to attack and have functionally unlimited ammo. The Ornate version is a very specific tool for a very specific style of play; you're spending a serious investment in cash and XP on a weapon that uses two actions to deal heavy damage with one accurate attack.
The Enchanted version is... not that. It's cheaper both in cash and XP, but also all around less useful. You get less bonus to hit, it deals less damage, it takes up more slots, and while you don't have to reload it, it exhausts to attack. And that last part is the real killer.
3 damage is the magic number. Many, many enemies have 3hp or less; 87 enemies have 3hp, compared to only 62 with 2hp. That means for the extra 30% enemies that you'll encounter, one shot will not kill it. And if you're packing a weapon that focuses on or , you almost certainly don't have the to just punch it for that last point of damage. You'll then be relying on a spell to actually kill it (as a mystic), or evading it (as a survivor). And you're filling up 3(!) valuable slots for a weapon that can't seal the deal, leaving survivors with no hands for any other weapons and requiring mystics to dedicate both of their arcane slots to combat spells.
Not only that, it loses out to the Ornate bow on DPS too. If you're fighting a boss and not engaged with it, the Ornate bow can fire, reload, and fire again, for 6 damage in a round; the same as any standard 2 damage weapon. It's awkward, but it works in a pinch. The Enchanted bow does 2 damage per round, full stop. The Ornate bow can benefit from Venturer and other reload abilities, the Enchanted cannot. Multiclass Guardians can't even use Vicious Blow to push it over the 3 damage sweet spot, because you cannot commit skill cards to tests without matching icons.
Okay, so you want to use it anyway, because it's cool. Who can make use of it?
Candidate #1, "Ashcan" Pete. Pete can discard cards to ready other cards, meaning he's the only character that can actually fire the bow twice in a round. 4 damage is sufficient to kill most things, and It also leaves Duke available to investigate, or squeeze in another 2 damage at a slightly lower bonus. A solid option.
Candidate #2, Rita Young. She's a very strong user for the Ornate bow, but if you aren't filling the primary monster hunter role, you might find $4 and 3xp too pricy for a weapon you won't use all that often. Her ability lets you use to squeak in that final point of damage, so you aren't up a creek against 3hp enemies. She can also evade first, use her free move to move to a connecting location, and spend a charge to fire backwards, ignoring Retaliate. Theoretically useful.
Candidate #3, any dedicated monster-hunting mystic that normally runs with Wither. Wither already requires you to double-fist combat spells by virtue of only doing one damage, and the bow slots in nicely at the 2xp median if you don't want to drop 4xp on the upgraded version. It can do an admirable job at stretching Shrivelling charges and is cost-comparable to other options, if you don't care about your hand slots.
Candidate #4, anyone crazy enough to build a character around hunting Aloof enemies. 3 uses of Marksmanship in a single asset that doubles as a weapon is actually pretty economical. Dunwich, Circle Undone and Innsmouth all benefit from being able to snipe aloof enemies, if you don't mind handicapping yourself for the remaining 80% of the campaign.
For me, this was a fun card to build around. It's not the strongest weapon by any means and it has some significant drawbacks (exhausting and lack of damage), but it felt great when it worked. Let's break it down.
Pay attention to TRAITS, CLASS and more:
Spell: All the crazy stuff you're used to (already mentioned in other reviews and comments), like Robes of Endless Night or Prophetic. Don't forget cards like Prescient, Grounded (3) and Shining Trapezohedron. More on some interactions later.
It's only level 2, so off-class Survivors or Mystics might play the Enchanted Bow, too. Being a double class card, it's at least okay in synergy decks. The existing Synergy cards are interesting supplements to the Bow (Join the Caravan for positioning or Gang Up for some proper damage). Especially mentioning Close the Circle, which does the same job as Wither (even better) by enabling mystics with another (fast) fight option for those odd health enemies.
It's a card, so it can be recurred with Resourceful. In my games, Enchanted Bow worked well with discard pile interactions like Resourceful, Short Supply, Prescient and the newly upgraded Uncage the Soul. So you could just discard it with Explosive Ward to deal 2 testless damage, if you're feel like don't needing the Bow anymore or want to recuring it later.
EXHAUSTING (and SLOTS):
You have to ready the Bow (or bypass the exhausting itself) to attack several times in one turn. Therefore you don't have a ton of options, apart from "Ashcan" Pete. If you're able to put doom on the Bow (Marie's elder sign effect, being Amina Zidane or commiting Ghastly Possession, you could use the expensive permanent Sin-Eater to remove doom from the Bow and ready it this way.
Then there is the customizable The Raven Quill, which does several things for you. „Spectral Binding“ frees all of its three (!) slots, „Energy Sap“ puts more charges on it and „Supernatural Record“ finds it everywhere and plays it. „Interwoven Ink“ can solve the exhausting issue and ready the Bow, but only if Raven Quill is attached to another asset than Enchanted Bow (if I read this upgrade correctly).
Other ways to alter the frequency of attacks are (as mentioned in the comments) Akachi's Spirit-Speaker, True Magick or upgraded Sign Magick (but you have to solve the Slot issue, because you would need three hand slots in total). Another great idea is Knowledge is Power, which can work like True Magick (or additionally to True Magick's effect) or gives another shot with the played Bow while being exhausted. Upgraded Uncage the Soul is some wild idea: with it, after your first attack you could simultaneously discard and play it again from your discard pile, so it would be ready to shoot again for your third action.
Just 2 DAMAGE:
There aren't a lot of ways to increase the damage output, but here are my ideas:
Funny enough, (even if you're already using the sniping effect of the Bow), you may just play Marksmanship to get +1 damage (but it's a little expensive at 2 resources and 1 XP). I also thought of Hatchet Man (by evading first) or Bestow Resolve to allow commiting Vicious Blow (or Stunning Blow, simple to exhaust the foe). Bestow Resolve is especially nice, because investigators at connecting locations (where you as a „Sniper“ may sit) can also use this trick to help. Another option for big damage support in Multiplayer is combining the Bow with Gray's Anatomy. Michael Leigh also comes to mind.
Attaching Enchant Weapon (coming from yourself or an another investigator) for double „Enchanting“ fun is also nice while it gives +1 damage every round and boost your skill further during those important shooting tests.
If you're stuck with just 2 damage per turn, don't worry. For some enemies, that's already enough (especially aloof enemies, which tend do have 1 or 2 health). Of course, you'll need an idea how to handle 3-health enemies and bigger. Solutions could be fighting with events (that's what I did, with Parallel Agnes), spell assets (Brand of Cthugha is great for choosing how much more damage you need), fighting with your fist, being good with evading or using other tricks to kill (e. g. Garrote Wire) or exhaust (e. g. Pendant of the Queen, Stray Cat) the enemy.
ATTACKING, CHARGES and the fancy „SNIPING“ effect:
The true reason for anyone to play this card. Sniping (aloof) enemies from connection locations feels awesome! Aloof enemies aren't very common, but from time to time you'll see one (e. g. the Basic Weakness Accursed Follower with 2 matching health or in multiplayer Tony's Quarry. Then there are Acolytes or other hiding culstist at connection locations, which are very common and nice smaller targets to shoot.
Easy to miss: Targeting a (non-elite) enemy to ignore Aloof and Retaliate are only possible, if the enemy is at connection location! So with aloof enemies at your CURRENT location you have to engage them the old-fashioned way (or just move to a connection location). Good supplements for defeating enemies at connection locations are things like Dynamite Blast (for missing points of damage) or Grete Wagner (3) (for collecting Clues).
What about the charges? Obviously, you could refill them with stuff like Twila Katherine Price, Recharge or Winds of Power, but in my games (True Solo) this wasn't necessary. Remember, you may use the Bow with its normal attack (also against Elite enemies) even without spending charges. Of course, it's one more charge in total for Akachi, which might make the difference.
If you're only attacking once per round (which you probably do), make it count! Chaos bag manipulation will help (like Snipe, tricks like Live and Learn (don't worry about Retaliate!) or shenanigans like Time Warp and Recall the Future as well.
If you need to boost your skill, choose Daring (the Bow doesn't care about added Retaliate). You may attack with agility (nice for commiting Nimble and reposition yourself) or willpower, with +1 skill value. It can be nice to have this choice (like in multiplayer by managing the Making Preparations dilemma).
Evading, quick moving and repositioning yourself obviously are useful (or outright necessary to survive). There are a lot of options and helpful tools like Track Shoes (awesome card on its own and even better withe the Bow), Shortcut, Elusive, Mists of R'lyeh, Shroud of Shadows, Eon Chart, Archive of Conduits, Cat Burglar, Think on Your Feet, Bait and Switch... I also was close to finally play Lure (2) in combination with the Bow, but it didn't make the cut (same for the Predator or Prey dilemma, which could backfire).
By the way, one more nice supplement in my games was Power Word to use the non-elite enemies to collect clues, exhaust or damage themself and another, untill my Bow killed them after some turns.
All in all, I really like those semi-great cards and find was to make them interesting to play. Try the Bow!
This card is amazingly useful in return to TCU. That campaign is filled with two health foes, but worse, enemies that explode when you kill them in your space. And the finale has foes that spawn way out of your way, and possibly several clues away because of the level’s gimmick. It might be a bit overcosted and it’s definitely situational, but this could be the difference between a safe turn and an agenda advance when you’re at the edge of the universe or just trying to make it through the western Massachusetts train system.