"Eat lead!"

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this in connection with the M1918 BAR. You can spend 5 ammo to get 5 damage and a ~95% chance of hitting, or 6 ammo to get 5 damage and 100% success. The extra confidence is totally worth it to me, and you're still left with 2 more ammo to use against some annoying acolyte or ghoul minion. Plus, if you're juicing the BAR to 16 ammo with Contraband (which you absolutely should be), the extra +1 ammo is almost trivial.

It must be addition ammo, so any ammo spent to do the fight command does not play into Eat Lead's ability to reveal more tokens. — DjMiniboss 1
@djminiboss I almost responded with the same comment, then I realized that he's using 5 for the BAR's fight action plus 1 for Eat Lead to reveal 2 chaos tokens, which, on lower difficulties, can guarantee success. — SGPrometheus 104
Jewel of Aureolus

It's hard to use this card because you have to forgo other valuable accessories, and pay a big upfront cost with a delayed reward. But once it is in play, it will likely trigger many times. The chance is almost 1/3 for every skill test in many scenarios. Like Jim's Trumpet, it is better in multi-player because it includes your teammates token draws. In this setting it will likely trigger almost every turn. Every time it triggers, you get +1 or +2 net effect. If you always take the resources, it will repay itself after it is activated 3 times and then start generating profit. This works better if your deck can deal with the upfront cost and want money to pay for pump assets like Physical Training. The other strength is the flexibility to give you what you need.

If you do choose to play with this, it makes Olive McBride and Dark Prophecy better.

jmmeye3 63
Dark Prophecy

Some math is needed to see what this card actually does. Please forgive any errors-- I did my best!

  1. Preventing the auto-fail versus causing it. Drawing the auto-fail and no other eligible symbol tokens would be a bad result for this card, since you have to choose auto-fail in this case. So what are the chances of this? I calculated that it is 4.8% with standard NotZ chaos token pool. This is based on the chance of getting the autofail in 5 token draws (31.25%) multiplied by the chance of drawing none of the other indicated symbol tokens with the remaining 4 draws (15.4%). Compared to the chance of drawing an auto-fail with 1 token draw (6.25%). this is a 1.4% absolute risk reduction, which means you would have to play the card on average 71 times before it actually prevents an auto-fail result. This is a little hard to wrap your head around, but easier to understand by remembering that the chance of drawing the auto-fail is already low, and this card does have some risk of forcing the auto-fail. In summary, I don't think this card can be considered a way to prevent the auto-fail token.

  2. Increasing the chance of getting a symbol to activate a player card effect. This includes the following cards (I'm ignoring a few like Ritual Candles): Hypnotic Gaze. If there are 5/16 symbols, this increases the chance from 31.25% to 89.4%, an increase of 58.2%, which means that almost 3 out of 5 times that you play this, it will give you a counterattack that you would not otherwise have gotten. This might be worth it in certain decks (possibly Diana Stanley, whose ability partially offsets the cost). Jewel of Aureolus. Odds are comparable to Hypnotic Gaze, this giving you the +1 card or +2 resources an extra 2 out of 5 times. But this one can be combined with other effects (including Hypnotic Gaze). So if you are already using the Jewel, Dark Prophecy becomes more attractive. Counterspell. This one is a little different, since you don't have to play the card unless you need it. But 2 out of 5 times you play Dark Prophecy you will generate a suitable target for Counterspell over the background odds, in which case you can decide to use the Counterspell. There are 3 outcomes from this: you get get no symbols so you can choose a nice token and save your Counterspell, you force an auto-fail (see above), or you get a symbol token and decide whether to counter it. I think if you are already using Counterspell, this makes Dark Prophecy more attractive. Defiance: If there are 2 skull tokens (or 2 of another symbol of your choice) out of 16 total, Dark Prophecy increases the chance of drawing one from 12.5% to 54.2%, a 41.7% increase which means 2 out of 5 times will create a new hit for you. But the "hit" is basically negating the chaos token, so I don't think this is worth two cards. Song of the Dead: Like Defiance, the Prophecy gives a 41.7% increase which means 2 out of 5 times will create a new hit for you. But this is just not worth it, considering Shrivelling and Shards of the Void are available, which will do as much average damage even if you had a Dark Prophecy for every attack. Jim's Trumpet. Same odds as the previous two, meaning you add a horror heal 2 out of 5 times more than the background odds. I think you'd have to be desperate to think this is worth it. (See below for general use in Jim Culver decks.) Recall the Future: Since you should choose a symbol, often the skull, this has similar math to the previous 3 above, thus granting you +2 skill an extra 2 out of 5 times. Not worth it, especially since the Recall the Future is then exhausted and can't be used for the rest of the turn!

  3. Avoiding tokens that are worse than the indicated symbols. This is presumably the main use of this card. Let's use the standard NotZ chaos token pool, and using The Gathering symbol definitions with 2 or less ghouls in play, in which the -3, -4 and auto-fail tokens are worse than the negative symbols. The chance of getting one of these in 1 draw is 18.75%, while the chance of getting at least one token that is not one of these is 100% (since there are only 3 in this example). So this reduces the chance by 18.75%, meaning that one out of ~5 times it would prevent a negative result. But one should keep in mind the fact that you have to select a negative symbol, which could be only an auto-fail (4.8%, see above). This effect is more useful when there are lots of really harsh numbers (like on expert mode) but when the effects of the symbols are relatively mild. Often the symbols are at least as bad as the negative number tokens, which would make this effect less useful. The exception is Jim Culver, whose modification of the skull token swings this in your favor. Otherwise, I'm not impressed with this.

My conclusion based on all of this is that this card is mainly useful with Jim Culver and perhaps occasionally in a deck that uses cards with good synergy (Hypnotic Gaze, Jewel of Aureolus and Counterspell, etc). This card should not be used in most decks and I don't think you should base any deck around it.

jmmeye3 63
Yeah, I bent over backwards trying to fit it into a Jim/Olive deck (a quest which already feels like my own personal King in Yellow) but even without costing a resource, spending a card to give you a slightly better chance to activate another card is too much, no matter how cool the design and concept is. I'm hoping we maybe see a 1 VP version that just guarantees a skull and maybe pings you for a horror as well. — housh 41
Good for Jim if he plans on using Song of the Dead (his elder sign is also a skull!). Alternatively to combo with defiance lvl2 (a key test and/or Diana maybe?) — Eruantalon 69
Recall the Future

I do think that this seems like an under-utilized card. I think that people think initially that it is an interesting card, but don't like the way that it makes the investigator feel when it isn't actually "doing anything". When you don't pull the chaos token from the bag that you called, the card feels as though it is not doing anything for you and it was a waste.

It is always doing something for the investigator, and only at the end of the game can you really look back and see exactly what it did in that one instance of the game. But it is best not to look at it from that perspective, because some games you will use it many times and some you might not see the token at all.

It should just be analyzed statistically as to what it is doing for you every game at the pre-game stage when it is operational. Statistically it should be increasing your chances of success on every pull by 1 or 2 tokens (sometimes 3) which would usually account to 2/15 (roughly depending on the bag) or a 8-13% better chance of success on every pull. Until you actually gain its benefit of course for that round. When you have 2 on the table your chances go up for every pull even further.

Sometimes I think it is a good idea to look at a card from a different perspective and all of a sudden the card feels better. For instance (and this won't directly relate, but I think it is a decent way of thinking about a similar effect)...if the card read that you would gain +1 in all of your stats until the card was exhausted I think that it would be looked at in a much better light. It really is doing something similar to that. Usually by calling a token with this card you are eliminating 2 tokens, and usually by getting a +1 on a test you are eliminating 2 tokens (sometimes many more at the right level with bad tokens etc.). While this example is better with the +1 instead of the called token in most cases, in many situations it identical to what the original text of the card is doing. But it feels better to think of it "doing something" proactive instead of reactively.

I know that I want to come back to this card and spend xp on it again, and just wanted to discuss it a bit. I think it is a good card that just doesn't give you the satisfaction for the work that it does.

Bronze 57
Survival Knife

Can I counterattack with this, then prevent the damage with Delay the Inevitable or Deny Existence? I think the answer is yes, because all 3 effects can be used in any order after the damage “is dealt” before the damage “is applied” according to the rules reference.

jmmeye3 63
I believe there's a clause somewhere in the RR about not being able to react to something if you cancel it. Still, the effects you mention only cancel certain parts of the attack, so you may be right. — SGPrometheus 104
No. The cards you mention are all used *when* you are dealt damage, and survival knife triggers *after* the damage is dealt. Before -> when -> after — ArkhamDio 182
I agree with Dio. I think there was a similar question about Armor of Ardennes in the official forum and Matt replied that prevented damage/horror does not count as dealt (that's not the same as healing it, btw). — Django 1560
Yeah, I guess that's right. On reading the dealting damage section more closely, this is the critical part: — jmmeye3 63
"If no damage/horror is applied in this step, no damage/horror has been successfully dealt. Abilities that prevent, reduce, or reassign damage and/or horror that is being dealt are resolved between steps 1 [assigning damage] and 2 [applying damage]." — jmmeye3 63