On the Hunt

Dissenting Opinion: I don't like On the Hunt that much and have had mixed success with it. I've got two central issues with the card: the first is that it misses pretty frequently, the second is that I don't like it's cost ratio.

Let's take the second problem. The question posed below from another reviewer is "would you rather draw Rotting Remains or Swarm of Rats?". But that's not quite right. Instead it's would you rather draw Rotting Remains or Swarm of Rats, where the rats has "revelation: lose one resource and one card"?. Faced with these two, I'm not sure I prefer the rats. And that's when the card actually hits!

Sometimes it misses and draws no enemies at all (a terrible feeling, as you've just taken a nice and easy shuffle and thrown it away). Sometimes it hits but you were going to draw an enemy anyway. Sometimes it fishes a hard monster you weren't going to see for a few turns. Sometimes it finds you an enemy that was going to spawn somewhere unimportant and you could have just ignored. Sometimes it even drops an enemy on you that you dislike (like Poltergeist), which might be OK if you are Leo or Skids and are Adaptable (and can leave it out for such scenarios), but most Guardians don't have that luxury (and anyway, there are usually better things to do with Adaptable).

And yes, it helps protect your friends by thinning the deck, but it doesn't lower the chance of them also drawing a enemy by a huge amount, and does increases the overall amount of enemies the group has to face (on average). Enemies are generally the worst treacheries. You're here to make sure they die, but you'd still rather the team as a whole faced as little enemies as possible.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad card. More often than not it does what it's supposed to - find a monster, thin the encounter deck, protect your teammates (sortof), and give you something to shoot at. As another reviewer points out, it also finds XP enemies when you want them, which is kinda nice. But I find than when I weigh all this against its downsides and my experiences from playing it, I hesitate at giving it a deckslot.

A good comparison for me is "You handle this one!", which by contrast I think is fantastic. YHTO always hits, always does something of value, directly protects the team's weak points, and gives the Rogue a resource for his trouble. I'd much rather the Rogue passed me his monsters with YHTO and I just take my own treacheries in the face (especially if he's drawing after me). I'm a hero, I can take it. Just so long as he finds all the clues and gets us both the hell out of here.

I agree. I think this card is grossly overrated. — CaiusDrewart 695
At first I thought this card could be played after you had drawn a treachery (which you would then throw away and get On the Hunt's effect instead.) So that was pretty exciting! But that's not the case. Anyway, I wouldn't play this outside of Roland, and I don't think it's that tremendous even in him. — CaiusDrewart 695
One more usage point: it's obviously important, if you're using this card in multiplayer, not to be the first one to draw encounter cards. If the Guardian fishes out a a big monster first, then the Seeker and Mystic draw mythos cards and both get monsters, that's obviously pretty bad. But if the Seeker and Mystic have already gone, playing this looks better. It makes the monsters more evenly paced throughout the scenario, which has value--you generally don't want monsters coming in clusters. But I still don't think the overall return from this card is very good. — CaiusDrewart 695
Personally, I don't find this card useful if you don't have other effects to combine it with (like Roland's ability and Scene of the Crime) and I sort of agree with the statement that enemies are the worst treacheries, but there are some treacheries which are pretty painful for Guardians (like Rotting Remains and the Yellow Sign) and On the Hunt can protect you from such things. There can also be a few cases that regardless of what cards you have to pair it with, On the Hunt can be a very good card. In Echoes of the Past scenario of the Carcosa cycle for example, On the Hunt can do an amazing job fetching enemies that spawn on locations that are further away and accumulate Doom over time directly into your feet and engaged with you (some of which are aloof) and can save you a lot of time by not having to hunt them down (which is also very thematic for the card in that case). — matt88 7
@matt88: you make some good points. I agree that this card shines in Echoes of the Past--but then that's pretty much the easiest scenario there is! I'm not sure you can really say that On the Hunt protects you from Rotting Remains etc, unless you're peaking at the encounter deck and know the Guardian will draw it. (And if you're peaking with Scrying, you could have assigned it to someone else anyway.) After all, On the Hunt will only affect one draw, and the odds that it saves you from a horror-inflicting treachery are rather low. — CaiusDrewart 695
Obviously I mean peeking, not peaking. Sigh... — CaiusDrewart 695
Yeah, I don't think this card is really about Treachery avoidance, or even thinning the deck, as much as fetching an enemy for Evidence!, Scene of the Crime, Roland, etc.. Getting the enemy isn't the point, it's what you're going to use them for. There are still relatively few cards that work of that, though. — AndyB 269
@CaiusDrewart I don't think Echoes of the Past is a very easy scenario. If you can't handle the enemies fast enough it can snowball really hard against you. But anyway, you 're probably right in saying that one draw from On the Hunt can't save you from drawing bad treacheries throughout the course of the scenario and I can't disagree with that, but at least you are safe for the turn you re playing it. And, by the way, since you put Scrying on the table, I'd like to state that with Scrying + On the Hunt you have at least 4 turns of "safe" draws, assuming all 3 Charges of Scrying and at least one copy of On the Hunt are used (obviously in a way that will not make each other conflict). — matt88 7
This card can be like a weaker version "Ward of Protection", depending on enemies present and size of enocunter. You shoudln't play this card if the enc. deck has less than 9 cards, reducing your chance of drawing an enemy. It also comboes well with "Scene of the Crime" , "Evidence" and some investigator abilities (roland, zoey). — Django 1114
Laboratory Assistant

Laboratory Assistant + Calling in Favors is so strong to get allies into play. Work even better with Art Student and Charisma

In Roland Banks deck Laboratory Assistant and Calling in Favors are used to jumpstart the deck get cards into your hand and allies into play Beat Cop or Guard Dog

I like it, but what happens if you draw the Beat Cop first, and the Assistant and Calling in Favors thereafter? Then you are stuck with dead cards with terrible icons. — duke_loves_biscuits 54
Yes, a fine combo, especially with the upgraded Beat Cop. I think Art Student is better though; a clue is usually better than two cards and the handsize effect here is useless 99% of the time. But I can see how the right sort of deck might be interested in both. — CaiusDrewart 695
You can „heal“ upgraded beat cop with favors. Both lab assist and art student are great Horror soaks. — Django 1114
Ritual Candles

What about two of these, two Protective Incantations, and 2 Recall the Futures? That covers a LOT of ground. It seems to me that a setup like that could be very viable for Sefina, who can rely on Rogue for pretty much everything else, including funding the Incantations. It's also extremely cheap -- even in the xp needed to purchase -- and Sefina can get to them pretty quickly. I'm a big fan of Suggestion + Pickpocketing 2, and it ruins that, but with such incredible odds of succeeding at any test in general, and with Sefina at a natural 4 in Agility, it seems to me like the trade off could be very worth it. Heck, I might even still run Pickpocketing 2.

I think Sefina without arcane slots will be pretty much useless. Those evades, Backstabs and Sneak Attacks are simply not enough to do the job. Heck she definitely needs at least 1 arcane slot. Maybe consider running 1 Incantation instead? That could be better... — matt88 7
Counting on drawing multiple copies of so many cards seems unwise. — CaiusDrewart 695
Oops!

With the release of Heart of the Elders--and specifically the card Live and Learn--Oops!'s stock has definitely gone up. I'd seriously consider running this in a combat-oriented survivor deck over Overpower in a multiplayer setting now if I had to choose between the two. It's still a situational card, but pairing this with Live and Learn on a failed attack lets you damage another enemy at your location, then follow up immediately with a second, action-free attempt with a higher odds of success on your original target. This means you're potentially getting two damage-dealing attacks for one action. That's a serious tempo boost right there. And unlike previously suggested strategies using this card, with Live and Learn you can afford to take a swing at the bigger baddie knowing you're gonna get a second shot at it with a better chance of success if you fail.

Is this kind of combo going to line up every time? No, probably not. But it's a juicy enough proposition to warrant serious thought about running this card if you're building an investigator who'll be looking to knock some heads together.

I guess Oops! + Live and Learn adds up to kind of a janky Storm of Spirits? Not the worst. — CaiusDrewart 695
Take the Initiative

This is an incredible card. Lets break down why:

It has 3 wild icons. Extreeme value with complete flexibility, whether it's to kill and enemy, evade it or just grab a clue it's great card-to-bonus value.

But there is a downside, two actually, every action taken in a round kills one icon. Thus if you go second the card is effectively blank. This is actually the smaller downside, the other being "Commit only to a skill test you are performing". One of the strengths of skill cards is the fact that you can chuck em at a buddy, this is especially true for Unexpected Courage, a card that occupies the same deckslot this one does.

The first weakness, loosing icons, is largely mitigated by the fact that the card can be played at full value in response to events and cards drawn in the mythos phase. Rotting Remains for example.

So. 1 extra icon at the cost of only being playable selfishly. That's not a terrible trade.

This card is good. If you can fit an Overpower or Unexpected Courage then consider this one instead.

Tsuruki23 137
I agree that this is a fine alternative to Unexpected Courage for the reasons you suggest (though I usually wasn't running Unexpected Courage anyway.) But I think Overpower is far, far better. — CaiusDrewart 695
The more players the less useful is this card. It also conflicts with Mano a Mano and scene of the crime. — Django 1114
I agree that this card is very useful in the Mythos phase and in my opinion this is one of its strengths. I would personally put this in a Carolyn deck to either use it in the Mythos phase or try to evade an enemy (as that I will do with my first action) while also having my stats buffed via Peter Sylvestre (2). — matt88 7