Neutral
Asset

Ritual.

Cost: –. XP: 3.

Permanent. Exceptional.

For every point of damage and/or horror you heal in excess of an investigator's current damage/horror, place 1 resource on Soul Sanctification, as an offering. This still counts as healing.

Spend 1 offering: You get +2 skill value for this test. (Limit twice per test.)

Brian Valenzuela
The Scarlet Keys Investigator Expansion #123.
No image
Reviews

This card is probably going to allow 'heal decks' to become a thing.

Right now, there are cards that ask gently to have a 'heal engine.' Cards like Field Agent, Beat Cop (2), Agency Backup, Guard Dog, and Spirit of Humanity allow you to convert healing into positive tempo.

The problem with these cards is that while the combination is positive tempo (You can trade, for example, a card and action from Soothing Melody into 2 clues or 2 damage with the 'pain for gain' guardian allies) you need to hit very exact numbers to actually get those benefits. If you heal 1 damage from beat cop but he doesn't have any lost sanity (or to be honest even if he does a bit) you are paying a card and action for just 1 damage, which isn't great. It is... fiddly.

Soul Sanctification makes focusing on healing allies a lot less fiddly because you now can utilize healing cards to get a fairly good effect whenever you have excessive 'flex-heal' or when you have a heal and nothing to use it on. +2 to a skill test for every point healed often is going to be just a bit less efficient than these little auto pings of damage and clues. You are paying a lot for the ability to just ignore healing the asset (and you need to not heal the asset for 'single target' heals), but luckily it is also good enough to run as its own self contained strategy, which is what I think really seals this as an 'archetype.'

Good heal cards in Arkham tend to heal at least 2 per-action, meaning that Soul Sanctification allows them to become a more flexible activation of Encyclopedia you can bank. And that is a lower end good heal card, you can do MUCH better.

For example, in survivor and mystic, assuming you can hit at least a 6 test value on Earthly Serenity, your looking at 'spend 2 actions, get +12 spread across important tests. If your Daisy, you can utilize medical texts alongside or instead of Dream Diary in order to constantly generate 2 phantom unexpected courage cards every turn which is an extremely competitive use of her free book activation.

Not every deck wants to run this, but it completely changes the value of healing for a lot of characters. Outside of the obvious of Carolyn and Vincent, some other good candidates for this card include Mark, Leo, Daisy, and Skids (especially || front, X back Skids) of all people.

Edit to clarify how strong the impact of this card is, because I nerded out about the conceptual space it opened and burried the lead.

Its easy to think 'its just a skill test bonus' its critical to look at how strong any sort of spammable skill test bonus is in Arkham. Cards like Well Connected and Dream Diary (which Soul Sanctification compares to extremely well) are super valuable because guaranteeing a pass on anything but autofail once per turn tends to be a game winning effect, and more impactful than being able to do something like guarantee an extra clue once per turn, because the main way you lose in Arkham is getting put behind on tempo by negative effects from the scenario. Clue acceleration helps you catch up, but often the best strategy is to just literally never fall behind.

This may be the best card of that genre now. While Well Connected provides massive over-success numbers, it costs you something to fire it twice per turn. While that fits into the decks it wants to be in very well, it limits its generic applicability in some ways. Dream Diary, if you are dreaming the 'correct' dream, is usually an 'auto-sans-tentacles' once per turn for the mere cost of a hand slot, but you can't bank it, meaning that while it applies to the most critical test of your turn, you can't 'burst' with it in the same way you can as well connected.

What makes soul sanctification absurd is that for every 2 healing you can generate, you get a better version of essence of the dream that will stack until you use it, and even 1 healing will match it depending on context. This is a huge deal because it means you can do things like run your 'essence of the heal' for mythos defense without reducing your ability to use it to land a clutch attack, or to solve an important scenario test, or do whatever. The only cost is how hard it is to generate healing.

The worst case scenario is usually that it becomes a very good upgrade on encyclopedia to do whatever your doing: wasting 1 action to generate +2 on two different actions. That is still a very good use of a card and some XP, encyclopedia isn't bad (even outside of Daisy) and the flexibility of converting dead actions into future value is huge. Imagine if every action you didn't take let you pass a mythos card test automatically. That would be an action worth taking most turns on characters with middling mythos defense, and even really defensively solid characters would take it often.

But it can get SO much better. If you can find a way to either get more than 2 healing off a card, or to get healing without spending actions, suddenly you will start generating a LOT of offerings for soul sanctification that start pushing you to the 'never fail tests' category of play, which can be silly.

Its sorta like taking the time to generate 20 resources for a well connected deck. Even though generating 20+ resources isn't a normal goal for decks, the promise of never failing a mythos test and generally passing any critical test on your turn on top is so potent it is worth not just doing that, but making significant sacrifices to do that.

When you make that comparison, soul sanctification is clearly 'easier' to get test value from: you get a +4 for generating 2 healing on 1 action, which is going to be easier and often more repeatable for a deck than generating 8 resources over even 2 actions, but its also more 'bursty.' Well connected takes a lot of effort to 'take off' and then basically rockets to the moon, while soul sanctification 'coasts' more: You never are going to be without it when you really need it and you have a WAY stronger level 0 and early scenario deck than well connected decks, but your going to probably 'smear' the actions you sacrifice to soul sanctification over a scenario more.

dezzmont · 162
Thanks for the write-up! — Innsmouth Conspirator · 39
What gimps this card for me is that it only applies to excess heals for investigators, not allies. There are actually less cards in the game that heal investigators specifically rather than allies. I know you mentioned the combo with Daisy. However, I don't think Daisy wants to spend her time building up a stockpile of Unexpected Courage that she can use twice per test. As a Seeker with an investigator ability that synergizes with Tomes, she has a lot more interesting and powerful options than spending time with Earthly Serenity. The build you say is viable, but it doesn't sound optimal and more of a way to utilize a new and fiddly card. — Innsmouth Conspirator · 39
What makes heal decks more viable now is not this card but Vincent Lee the investigator's deckbuild options. Because he can use any cards 0-5 that can heal, he has a wide library of deckbuilding options. Runic Axe becomes monstrous with him, and he can be a very effective fighter even as a primary cluever. Coupled with cards like Shrewd Analysis, and suddenly Vincent has even more access to a whole gamut of cards he otherwise normally wouldn't have. — Innsmouth Conspirator · 39
The fact a card heals allies and investigators and not just investigators in no way makes this card worse. While it is true you must heal the gator to get the benefit, thinking that makes the card worse with soul santification is like saying Faustian Bargain is worse personal economy because you can use it to give cash to others. Having played multiple Soul Sanctification decks (Daisy and Roland specifically) on both normal and hard, I can say quite definitively its 'worth it.' For example, in Daisy, medical texts becomes 2 dream diary charges per-turn, which is USUALLY better than dream diary on its own. The ability to bank the bonuses is absurd too: You can use them to get pretty much immune to the mythos phase in concert with a dream diary (testing at +6 is a HELL of a drug!) while also letting you ensure every critical action you make goes off without a hitch. Gathering a ton of clues or doing a lot of damage is flashy, but 'I literally don't fail tests this game' is a huge effect that is arguably better than either of those, and soul santification allows it. Vincent (and Carolyn) are obvious candidates for it, but do not sleep on the idea of playing a heal deck outside of them, and I think honestly the 'heal Daisy' deck is a stronger heal synergy deck than Vincent's is.. — dezzmont · 162
it says "investigator", not allies — Lobstrocity · 2

Healing in Arkham has historically not really had a good track record, and as a whole I try to avoid putting much of it in my deck as I can. This was a card that I thought maybe might actually finally give healing more value, if not as a universal thing then at least for investigators like Carolyn and Vincent. Unfortunately, while I do think the card can be an effective option, it's mostly due to one specific interaction and not because it's an overall valuable card.

First off, this card costs 6 XP. It is a permanent so it's something that will always be in play, but as a reminder Stick to the Plan as well as taboo'd Higher Education and Streetwise also cost 6 XP. You can also get any 2 card combination of Charisma, Relic Hunter, Another Day, Another Dollar, or Studious for that much XP. Soul Sanctification is a sizable investment of XP, so the rewards of the card are going to have to be on the same level as the cards I've listed as well as other options to be "worth it."

The big problem though is that generally speaking, you should be using your healing on investigators and allies that ACTUALLY NEED the healing, rather than investigators that are already close to full. Healing cards that are already perfectly healthy does nothing by itself, and IMO getting a handful of personal Unexpected Courages is really not a significant enough payoff to spend an action healing people over the alternative of healing damaged cards.

The card IMO really is only great if you have a useful effect that can overheal without having to really invest significantly in making it happen. One example of this is Surgical Kit. If you already have full Sanity and don't need to heal damage on the person you're healing, you can use a supply to draw a card and get a Soul Sanctification offering. It's not exactly the most insane payoff ever, but it's a nice option to have.

The other big card, and the one card that I think makes Soul Sanctification worth considering, is Fickle Fortune when you're playing with 3 or especially 4 players. If you find the card in your mulligan in 4 player, it gives you 24 offerings on Soul Sanctification minus one for each trauma (and it insures that every investigator starts with full health unless they're REALLY banged up) which with moderation will easily last you an entire scenario. Not only that, but you also get to trigger Vincent Lee and Carolyn Fern's investigator abilities on every teammate right off the bat. This can be extremely effective, especially if you pair it with Girish Kadakia and can help insure you're +4 on basically every test you care about. The big downsides are firstly that it costs 12 XP. I think it's still worth it in Vincent and Carolyn, but I think it might be too expensive for everyone else unless you're a Survivor with nothing else to spend XP on. The second one is the doom, but IMO this isn't that big a deal firstly because it lets one player have very effective actions all game, so the tempo loss early will be made up for as the game goes on. And secondly, if you draw the second Fickle Fortune you can use it to remove the doom and use your healing to keep your teammates safe which retroactively undoes the doom you added earlier.

One last effect that I didn't mention is that Soul Sanctification makes it so overhealing still counts as healing, which is important for Vincent and Carolyn as it means you can still get your triggers on fully healthy cards. While this by itself might not be worth 6XP, it's a nice QOL boost that can help a bit. However, it doesn't trigger on allies which can be annoying if you got a Girish in play as you can't use him at full health/sanity to get charges.

Overall, I think this card is good in Carolyn and Vincent at higher player counts in combination with Fickle Fortune, and really not anywhere else. As mentioned before this card costs too much XP and is too inefficient to normally trigger for it to be useful outside of its combo with Fickle Fortune. But that combo is powerful enough and has good enough synergies with the healing investigators that I think it's worth considering at higher player counts.

Sylvee · 93
But also notice that the combo with fickle fortune after mulligan means that you loose one round which is significant. In a four player game this means 12 actions and you can't use the offering on other players tests. — Tharzax · 1
On the other hand, you can probably recur fickle fortune and pick the other option (or just end up drawing your other copy) if you're short on time, so it only means Fickle Fortune is giving you at most one extra round rather than two. — Thatwasademo · 44
Even if you recur fickle fortune you loose the round you could get by the first decision. So this combo is the choice between 3 Aktion or 6x +2 on a test per player. I see the sanctification rather in a deck with medical texts and many (Trish) or free (daisy) actions. — Tharzax · 1

I reached out to FFG through their form regarding this card and got the following, the latter half being specific to Soul Sanctification.

Q: Can you play a card or use an action to heal while at full health/sanity? I.e. Playing Soothing Melody to draw a card while at full health/sanity.

A: No, you cannot normally heal a card that is at full health/sanity.

Q: While you have Soul Sanctification in play, can you play a card or use an action to heal your investigator while your investigator is at full health/sanity?  For example, can I play Emergency Aid on my full health investigator to generate two resources on Soul Sanctification?

A: Yes—Soul Sanctification makes a specific exception to the rule I stated previously. With Soul Sanctification, you are able to "heal” your investigator even if you are at full health/sanity, and place any excess points healed onto Soul Sanctification as an offering. Emergency Aid would place 2 offerings on SS.

gByakko · 2
So the card does what it says it does? Who would have guessed? — SSW · 190
Oh, be nice, the card is complex, and it's not like there was never confusion around Charles Ross, Lonnie Ritter, and Geared Up; explicit clarification is helpful. — Hylianpuffball · 22
I've seen some debate on whether you could heal a full health/sanity investigator while Soul Sanctification was active so following the grim rule, my group opted for "not able to" until we got an official answer. I'm glad we can. — gByakko · 2
So you assumed the card doesn't let you do the thing it explicitly lets you do, making it completely worthless, and then played with it anyway? — SSW · 190
This clarification was needed because the card does not explicitly let you heal full health/sanity investigators. You can't initiate abilities unless their effect can change the game state, and that check is to be made without evaluating interactions with other abilities. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
And the card wouldn't be completely worthless without that clarification because it would still allow you to do two healing on an investigator with one damage to pick up one charge. — Gfo1979 · 1

This card has a pretty insane combo with Fickle Fortune.

The idea is that you have at least 1 copy of Fickle Fortune in your discard, and 2 copies of Resourceful in hand. Then, wait until the "Witching Hour" (the turn when there's one doom left on the agenda threshold).

Action 1: Pass a skill test, committing both Resourcefuls to it. Have each Resourceful pull Fickle Fortune out of your discard, healing your entire team for 3 damage and 3 horror.

Action 2: Play True Survivor, returning the Resourcefuls again

Action 3: Same as action 1.

You've just healed 12 damage and 12 horror, for a total of 24 Unexpected Courages. And not just for you - for every investigator with a copy of Soul sanctification. So in a 4-player game, this combo would generate 96 Unexpected Courages for your team. Which should be more than enough for your team to pass every skill test for the rest of the scenario.

If you had more than 3 actions, or other ways to recur them even more during this turn, you can probably get the number even higher.

After you pull off the combo, you can just do it again on a later turn, but select the second option, to cash in your Fickle Fortunes for entire extra rounds. Considering your entire team will be fully healed at that point, the direct damage and horror isn't much of a downside.

Neofalcon · 15
Limit 2 dilemmas a turn. — MrGoldbee · 1315
And only one soul sanctification in game because it's unique. — Tharzax · 1
It also adds doom and would only add charges to the user's Soul Sanctification. It's when *you* heal, not when you are healed by someone else. — SSW · 190
Welp. Wrong on just about every count. — Neofalcon · 15
This is why you read cards before posting about them, guys. — Neofalcon · 15
This is still an extremely strong combo if the scenario allows an early witching hour, as even just giving yourself 48 unexpected courageous is extraordinarily powerful, and you will be able to skip two doom later in the scenario. But you do need to be careful about drawing them unintentionally from your deck and triggering the doom/damage early. — Death by Chocolate · 1258
Also recurring fickle fortune doesn't trigger it. It activates when you draw it, not when it enters your hand. — spannertheodd · 1
A+ for effort, lol. — Innsmouth Conspirator · 39
Actually, the dilemma do trigger through recursion, according to faq. To be fair, the combo is neat but requires a lot of xp to get going, and also assume you don't draw the autofail, unless you commit resourceful on an auto-succeed test (which survivors can do now). However, only one person can get Soul sanctification and you'd probably always getting one extra doom on the agenda the first time you draw it (unless you're very lucky or you draw the ally that combo with those cards before the dilemma). It's extremely strong as a kind of deck enabler and can be accessed to any survivor, but require a good portion of deck and xp dedicated to it. 18~ish unexpected courage (because people are never full life realistically) is extremely good value and requires little action to setup. However, it gets hard countered on single agenda scenarios. It's probable the dilemma with heal will probably get tabooed as "this can advance the scenario", since the dilemma card is a lil too strong by itself for a 3xp card. — mugu · 35

What gimps this card for me is that it only applies to excess heals for investigators, not allies. There are actually less cards in the game that heal investigators specifically rather than allies. I know another reviewer mentioned a combo with Daisy involving Earthly Serenity. However, I don't think Daisy wants to spend her time building up a stockpile of Unexpected Courages that she can use twice per test. As a Seeker with an investigator ability that synergizes with Tomes, she has a lot more interesting and powerful options than spending time with Earthly Serenity. The build is viable, but it doesn't sound optimal and more of a way to utilize a new and fiddly card.

What makes heal decks more viable now is not this card but Vincent Lee the investigator's deckbuilding options. Because he can use any cards 0-5 that can heal, he has a wide and versatile library of deckbuilding options. Runic Axe becomes monstrous with him, and he can be a very effective fighter even as a primary cluever.

My problem with it is that it doesn't do anything on its own for 6 exp. Why are you healing in excess anyways? At that point you probably should stop wasting time healing. — fates · 33
You can consider excess healing now to be 'draw a mid tier card' or perhaps 'generate an essence of the dream.' For many healing sources, this is actually a very worth overhealing for. — dezzmont · 162

Six exp to lose an action overhealing a card for a +2 to any check later.

Imo this card is DOA. By nature it's wanting you to waste time overhealing, which is the most precious resource in Arkham. And at 6 exp there are so many other, better, cards you can add it becomes very hard to justify this even with the Permanent feature.

drjones87 · 107
For decks that aren't already running healing cards this is probably right, but in Carolyn or Vincent this is a strong add. Now when your friends are at full health/sanity your heal cards aren't just dead weight but can be leveraged for very versatile self buffs. Its not the most amazing card ever printed, but it's a good add within its niche. — Pseudo Nymh · 4
You can heal a lot more than once an action. :) — MrGoldbee · 1315
That is why one of its best combo is with Spirit of Humanity. Also you have to look indeed at Vincent and Carolyn that can now also use cards that use both damage and horror and see an additional bonus to them. — Valentin1331 · 25318
By its nature it isn't asking you to "waste time" to overheal. Its offering you the ability to convert excess health into a new capability: Passed tests. If this is worthwhile depends on how much you can overheal. It is very easy to push 2-3 charges a turn for only one action. — dezzmont · 162
I don't see much opportunities to overhead much. Most cards heal up to 2 damage/horror per action. If you overhead an ally this results in one offering. And usually I consider healing as a way an investigator stays in play so I prefer the full healing rather than the bonus. So if I consider to use this card I would take card which give a good amount of overheal at a good action cost like earthly serenity or medical texts supported by gray anatomie with daisy. — Tharzax · 1
This can't generate offerings from healing allies. The trick is to not think of healing cards as healing cards at all when you have soul sanctification, in the same way you need to stop thinking about resource events and assets as a way to fund playing cards in a Well Connected deck: You are explicitly transforming healing into a skill passing engine, and the 'old' value of healing doesn't matter at all in that context. It now is a question of 'how good is X card at generating offerings?' And the answer is "A lot of them are really really good at it." — dezzmont · 162
I see it the other way that most healing card aren't good in creating offerings due to their action economy (mostly 2 offerings/action) and the growing importance of healing during a scenario. For 6 xp I would rather stick in converting resources into skills with streetwise. — Tharzax · 1
Lets look at a comparison with streetwise then! 2 offerings is a +4, that is on par with Promise of Power, probably one of the best skills in the game, with no downside. Compare to an action to gain resources. Lets say we have a good one and use Hot Streak. That comes out to +5 resources, which with Streetwise comes out to +6 and some change. Streetwise did better, but it also is proccing off an event. Repeatable resource gain actions are much weaker, stuff like Pickpocketing to gain resources also gains you cards which is a huge upside, but when funneled into streetwise is at best a single +3, which is worse than soul sanctification. They are both great cards, but are in different archetypes. At the end of the day, if you could spend 1 action a turn to draw a 0 downside promise of power every turn, you probably would. As for healing mid scenario, its best to think of damage taken as not 'stopping' soul sanctification, but costing you an offering, especially because you very often can spend offerings to prevent damage. Oddly, sometimes its better not to use sanctification to stop damage, because you might need to spend 2 to stop 1 damage and your better off just healing 'past it.' But either way, having to offset damage is only a problem if you can't consistently heal. It definitely isn't a card for every deck, but I sincerely recommend trying it, as its much better than it might read. — dezzmont · 162

Edited because idk what im doing in this forum and i cant delete a review. 200 characters 200 characters 200 characters 200 characters 200 characters 200 characters 200 characters 200 characters 200 characters 200 characters

LunR · 1
Normally you can't trigger an effect if this don't change the gamestate. But put an offering on this card is a game change. So with this card you should be able to heal a healthy investigator. — Tharzax · 1
Here is the review section, not the question section. Anyway, as I know, that's arguable ruling. Could you ask this question into FFG and update into this review? That may be great contribution to this community, I think. You can ask into FFG via https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/contact/rules/ — elkeinkrad · 410
Yes that would still work, that's the big draw for the card. " — Vlishy · 1

There aren't a whole lot of good healing cards, and it doesn't seem worth 6 XP just to take some otherwise bad cards and make them good (you could just play the good cards to begin with). Still, this seems like it will get real value out of the occasional healing card that was already playable. Obviously this should be strong in Carolyn Fern and Vincent Lee. Some other examples for the not-healing-focused investigators:

  • Book of Psalms was already a reliable blessing enabler with healing as a side effect. This will provide significant utility to a blessing deck.
  • Hallowed Mirror is arguably the best dedicated healing card at 0xp. Soothing Melody doesn't cost any resources or cards; two healing for one action is actually a pretty good rate. This lets you benefit (maybe even more than normal!) when you don't have anything to heal.
  • Empty Vessel, like most of these, heals you while also doing something powerful that you wanted anyway.
  • Deny Existence, while expensive in terms of XP, was already one of the best dodges in the game. Again, a substantial improvement on something you weren't really playing for the healing.
  • Lily Chen's Discipline. The active effect is already quite potent and reusable, and guardians can end up with periodic downtime to use it.

What most excites me about it, though, is that it might kind of bail out Shrewd Analysis. Two of the otherwise stronger Researched cards have healing upgrades which are basically duds (Ancient Stone and Strange Solution). Now, if you get one of those, you can spend some of the XP you saved with Shrewd Analysis to turn them into playable cards. All three Ancient Stone upgrades seem actively good now, and all four Strange Solution upgrades seem at least playable (Strange Solution is still obviously the best). I still don't think Shrewd Analysis is optimal, but I still like to see it get some indirect help since it's a lot of fun.

amalcon · 1
The critical thing to remember is that Soul Sanctification is a permanent, meaning that you can think of it as replacing the text of every healing card with 'gain +2 on a future test.' Through that lens, a lot of bad healing cards don't just become better, but become extremely potent engines that can carry your entire deck, because the main reason things will not work out for you in Arkham horror is failing tests. Pretty much anything that can heal 2 damage for 1 action per-activation becomes overwhelmingly strong. It is the equivalent of gaining 4 resources for an action in a hypothetical deck running 2 'pay to boost' cards, which would essentially mean getting the ability to play hot streak every turn for the rest of the game. — dezzmont · 162
One of the most interesting use of it so far has been with Spirit of Humanity in curse based decks. — Valentin1331 · 25318
Works pretty well with surgeon’s kit + painkillers. Allows your painkillers to generate 2 “uses” on soul sanctification and draw 1 card at fast speed If you put the horror on an ally/asset or generate 1 use and draw a card if u put the horror on yourself. 2x sugeon kits in play makes each painkiller activation even better — Daerthalus · 12