Ever Vigilant

In case it wasn't obvious, this card has great synergy with Backpack (especially Backpack (2). You can play the Backpack as the first or second asset installed by Ever Vigilant, resolve the Backpack's install reaction (searching the top of your deck for up to 3 more items), and install one or two of the items from the Backpack at a discount with the remaining Ever Vigilant install(s).

Generally, it's most optimal to install items from the Backpack rather than your hand (especially duplicates), to preserve cards that you can commit and free up your body-slot as quickly as possible.

Wastekase · 7
I'm having trouble digesting this. So Backpack lets you play cards as if they were in your hand and Ever Vigilant plays cards from your hand. These are different things, are they not? — Lateralis · 5
The most recent FAQ did a lot to clarify the vagaries of the rules phrase “as if.” At present this card, and farsight from Harvey Walters starter deck plus joe diamond’s hunch deck are still two significant open questions. There isn’t firm consensus on either interaction but my 2 cents is that this is an intended combo. These cards are considered in your hand for — Sycopath · 1
Purposes of “playing cards” which ever vigilant does. It’s not altogether clear how narrowly the as if ruling is — Sycopath · 1
To be interpreted (characters characters, why is go so easy to hit on mobile, characters) — Sycopath · 1

Pretty nasty basic weakness that sends any item that takes a hand slot directly to the discard pile.

This guy, and many combat oriented investigators, hates it with a passion.

The only way to protect yourself is to have an asset in play that increases your hand slots.

Icing on the cake, you can't really discard it if you only have 1 health left, unless you can last until the end of time.

Kwaice · 2
I saw Tommy being quoted and I had this chaotic thought of him shuffling it back into his deck. — toastsushi · 62
You can assign damage normally on it (like you would on any damage soaking assets). The Free trigger ability on it is just there so if you need your hand slots immediately you have the option. — ak45 · 235
For Mystics, this card can actually be quite helpful! They usually have no need for their hands lots and the extra health this Asset is pretty useful since Mystics tend to have low health. — Nenananas · 21
Because it's in your threat area, other investigators can trigger the ability on it, right? I also assume that even though it's in your threat area, it can still soak damage for you because it's an asset, but I could be wrong about that. — ArkhamInvestigator · 214
It's in your threat area, but still under your control, so yes you can just block an attack with it. And, since it's in your threat area, abilities on it are available to investigators at the same location. — Thatwasademo · 26
Also yeah, this card is hilariously easy to deal with if you're not using your hand slots -- mystics have a few hand slot items that are fairly common, but most builds could easily just replace those when upgrading; I also tend to run Preston Fairmont without hand items. — Thatwasademo · 26
Somewhat counterintuitively, Dendromorphosis being in a threat area does not allow other investigators to trigger it's ability. Rather, investigators may trigger abilities on *encounter cards* in other player's threat areas, and Dendromorphosis, having a player cardtype (asset), is not an encounter card. The relevant rules are in the FAQ under (1.2) Triggered Abilities and (1.12) Weaknesses with Encounter Cardtypes. — Spritz · 56
This is definitely a rough weakness (though the impact varies quite a bit, Mystics bit using hands being the obvious example), but it's definitely not a boring weakness. Also, guardians can at least make their weapons Well Maintained to protect them somewhat) — Zinjanthropus · 90
Brute Force

A lot of people have been talking about using Brute Force as a one-off, "in-case-you-need-it" card, and that's true, it's only good in a pinch if you're playing as most investigators. But if you are playing as Silas Marsh? Just throw away one of your weapons, because you won't be needing them as much.

The majority of enemies in this game have around 2 health, maybe 3, and occasionally 4. With Silas's base 4 , he's going to get 7 minimum, which means on Standard he's going to easily succeed by 2 or more most of the time and land 3 damage. And after you land that 3 damage with Silas, use his unique ability to return Brute Force back into your hand so you're ready to punch another cultist.

In the unfortunate case that you lose Brute Force, either through a random discard or because you had to REALLY punch SUPER hard this turn or what have you, there are many options to get it back. This includes Silas's ability, of course, as well as cards like Resourceful and True Survivor.

Resourceful in particular is interesting because I believe that if you commit it with Brute Force, you would be able to use Resourceful's ability to pick up Brute Force from the discard pile, and then use Silas's ability to put Resourceful back into your hand. So for your next fight action that turn, you can commit both Brute Force and Resourceful again, and use Resourceful AGAIN to put Brute Force back in your hand, so you're, again, ready to punch yet another cultist.

I suspect that Brute Force may become less useful the more players you have, but for what it's worth, I tested it in a 3-player Return to Dunwich campaign with an investigating-focused Luke Robinson and a fight-focused Leo Anderson, and with Brute Force along with Sharp Vision, I was basically able to do everything that the other two players were too busy to take care of. By the end of the campaign, I only used my Meat Cleaver to commit to tests. And plus, there's nothing more satisfying than punching a cosmic horror with nothing but your bare fists.

Great write-up!!! I feel compelled to note that Silas’ reaction ability makes it so that you lose the skill boost and non-lasting effects of committed — Sycopath · 1
Skills. So in the case of brute force/resourceful you have to leave the card committed to benefit from the bonus damage or recursion. — Sycopath · 1
Yeah, this sounds like a misunderstanding of Silas - if you use his reaction, it's as if the card hadn't been committed at all. The ability is insurance against wasting good skills on autofails or tests you would've passed without them. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
@Sycopath @TheNamesWasTaken Alright so it looks like I completely misunderstood Silas's ability, which is super embarrassing and also sad because I thought I had stumbled onto something good lol. I need to rethink all this. — doctorcello · 3
Combo aside, I still found a pair of Brute Forces to be great in Silas. I ran him as a primary investigator, but between Brute Force and Resourceful, I could help out a fair bit with damage when it was needed. — Death by Chocolate · 56
How do you run Silas as an Investigator? — OrionJA · 1

Shrivelling (the "Mystic Gun") is a staple level 0 card for almost any Mystic that wants to fight at all.

For those starting with the game, this is a good (but not exceptional) card. It allows Mystics to fight decently. Compared to the .45 Automatic...

  • Equal or -1 skill value for each fight. Most mystics have 4 or 5 willpower. A Guardian usually has 4 combat, which means they beat out Mateo or Jim when you factor in the .45's +1, but go even with Akachi or Agnes. Note however that Mystics typically have an easier time boosting their key stat, with cards like Holy Rosary.
  • One resource cheaper. Mystics are usually resource starved.
  • You take 1 horror if you reveal a bad symbol. Mystics usually have high sanity pools, so this is not a huge issue, but it can add up if you get unlucky.
  • Takes up an arcane slot, which is a competitive slot (equivalent to hand slots for Guardians).

Shrivelling comes off about even with the .45.

As time has gone on, we have received few other level 0 arcane assets that allow you to fight with willpower - Azure Flame is very similar, while Wither doesn't give you that coveted +1 damage. Shrivelling remains competitive as a result. Consider Azure Flame if you would prefer to take damage than horror. Or even run both!

Crash · 7
It's also 1 resource cheaper than the .45, with the same amount of "bullets." — SGPrometheus · 250
Oh wait you do mention it. How'd I miss that? — SGPrometheus · 250
Chuck Fergus

I'm a bit confused over how this card works or not works. When does the trigger for When you play an event actually trigger and resolve?

Under Appendix I: Initiation Sequence it says: When a player wishes to initiate a triggered ability or play a card, that player first declares his or her intent. There are two preliminary confirmations that must be made before the process of initiating an ability or playing a card may begin.

These are Check play restrictions and Determine the cost. I see the two points of injection either After declaring Intent or After resolving preliminary confirmations. If it is before validating preliminary confirmations this card makes it possible to play event during other player's turn and during other phases which I'm unsure if it is the intent. But otherwise if it resolves after it creates other problems that you need to be able to pass the preliminary confirmations before actually applying Chuck's changes to the event, thus always needing to have an action left and original resource cost needed.

This also comes together with how do you trigger the play of an event here, if you do it with the play action it makes it even illegal to go forward with it as a fast action as stated both under fast action and play action. Under play action it says: Cards with the "fast" keyword are not played by using this action (see "Fast" on page 11). And under fast: Fast Fast is a keyword ability. A fast card does not cost an action to be played and is not played using the "Play" action.

So I can see this card being either too generous, very clumsy or just mechanically broken depending on how and when, when you play triggers the trigger?

iro · 2
It's a 5xp card that you have to find and get into play and that takes a valuable slot; I don't think there's a way for it to be "too generous." I've been playing it in that mode, allowing me to play tactics and tricks during any free window. It doesn't feel broken; in fact, Leo de Luca frequently feels more useful, but perhaps I'm just not abusing any degenerate combos. — SGPrometheus · 250
I can agree with you there, paying 10 XP for two, and barely an upgrade over Luca. I just like when rules are clear, and from the rules I can find this is sadly very unclear, but I guess the card will be in the next FAQ. — iro · 2
The wording is the same as Fence so I don't see how that is problematic, (From the FAQs for that card: "[it] gives the card fast before it is actually played, so this is taken into account during its initiation sequence"). More problematic is that unlike fast assets, fast events can only be played at specific timing points specified on the card which are not specified on events that gain fast via Chuck. — pneuma08 · 23
From other cards that have been around a while (Fence, the Service assets) it's pretty clear that "when you play an event" means immediately upon declaring your intent, before checking restrictions or determining cost (which would align with the definition of "when" if you consider those two things to be part of the impact of playing an event). The lack of a timing instruction on the Fast ability it grants is a bit of an issue, but I think it's a sensible enough solution to treat it as though it read "That event gains 'Fast. Play during any player window.'" — Thatwasademo · 26