With one in play + other one in discard + other hand full, one can take 2 dmg and replay the other one to replace the damaged shield without the forced effect. This effectively gives 2hp for one click, which is not bad considering this combo is infinite and not using a card from hand.
Item. Armor. Improvised.
Improvised Shield can only be played from your discard pile.
Forced - When Improvised Shield is defeated: Shuffle it into your deck instead of discarding it.
The natural comparison for this card within Survivor class is good old Leather Coat as a damage soak. Let's analyse the differences:
- +1 cost compared to Coat
- +1 damage soak
- takes more occupied hand slot compared to body slot where Protective Gear is the only alternative within Survivor class
- you need to discard it first, where you can play Coat directly for 2 damage and then replay it quite easily with discard recurring cards
- No symbols to commit vs. on Coat
Overall it doesn't look as a worthy rival for Coat, because it takes up a hand slot and the setup is more complicated. The problem is that for reliable recursion of it, you want to stick to one-handed assets so you don't replace big 2-hand assets with Shield and play another asset in place of Shield before Forced effect kicks in. If you're a Survivor fighter you don't want to give up 2-handed weapons when you can get soak somewhere else. For now I think this card can find a place in Survivor decks not focused on fighting as a cheap damage protection and only when you have better alternative for body slot.
This card is absurdly powerful in almost all survivors.
Bulletproof vest, which is the single highest soak item in the game, cost three experience, takes body instead of hand, has one soak more, cost two more resources and cannot be played from discard pile.
The play from the discard pile is outstanding and can't be overstated. Encounter deck makes you choose and discard a card from your hand? Gladly. Discard an asset you control and shield is already on the field? Yes please. Overdrew your hand and need to toss a cars? Me please. Playing from discard for one resource takes away so many other really bad things the encounter deck loves to throw at you.
What about that hand slot? In the rare case you have a survivor that can actually utilize two handed weapons (i.e.Daniela, tommy and Yorrick), Bandolier opens this up. Most of your other survivors though probably aren't going to benefit a whole lot from that other hand anyway and are more than glad to give it up.
Amazing soak, amazing dependability and basically eliminates some of the more annoying features from the encounter deck.
The trash can lid is now a survivor staple.
I am writing this fresh off of deck-building, running across a combo that makes this item far more viable than it might initially seem: Forced Learning.
This card, along with some other Survivor cards, suffers from only being useful when it is in your discard pile, which it is hard to get it into efficiently when not playing Wendy or Ashcan Pete. Having this in your hand means you have a dead card, and more often than not it'll be stuck there for a while.
Forced Learning solves this issue. Now, every upkeep, you get to put a card into your discard pile from your hand, without losing card advantage in the process! And the obvious beneficiary of this combo is Darrell Simmons, who may appreciate extra health soak in some campaigns due to his 6 base health (hello TFA), and also loves to have Winging it in his discard for more efficient clue-gathering. Plus, he can run Scavenging shenanigans as well due to his high base Intellect and tendency to lower difficulty naturally, which also synergizes with Forced Learning.
I'm excited for this, and I may have to update my review if it does not work out the way I'm expecting it to right now.
Looking at it again, maybe I should've put this review on Darrell Simmons, it seems quite specific. Although, Minh Thi Phan can also use all the cards mentioned.