Seal of the Seventh Sign

Can Akachi Onyele use Spirit-Speaker take Seal of the Seventh Sign back to her hand or does that trigger the "If Seal of the Seventh Sign has no charges, or if it leaves play, remove it from the game." effect?

It's leaving play, so i think it disappears. — SGPrometheus 96
I agree, it should be removed. — Fullgrimm 1
The hand is an out of play zone, so yes, putting it in your hand causes it to leave play. — Death by Chocolate 8
Vantage Point

I had a friend play this tonight when we were playing the second scenario of Forgotten Age, and he had a pretty clever use for it: he took the last clue off of a high shroud location (shroud 5) and put it on a slightly lower shroud location that had just been revealed (shroud 4). Why was this clever? Because the location we took the last clue from was worth a victory point.

Now, you can obviously use this card to lower the shroud of a location and make it easier to investigate for a turn, but I don't think that's terribly relevant. Why? Because, except for a few corner cases where people have extra actions, you are, at best, going to get two investigations with -1 shroud.

I think the best use of this card you are going to regularly get to use is taking clues from locations you don't want them and moving them somewhere else. And I don't just mean from high shroud locations. Some locations inflict a penalty for trying to move on to them or for trying to investigate on them. And I can think of three locations from that scenario alone that would fit the above description.

But the times you will be most proud of yourself will be the times when you spent one resource and net your team a victory point.

This event can save a lot of move actions if there’s a lone clue at the other side of the map. This card had interesting interactions with the rougarou scenario. — Django 1380
That's pretty much how I like using it: net a free VP from a painful location (such as spend 3 resources to investigate. Yar!) — Razoupaf 1
Relic Hunter

Hypothesis: Backpack is what's finally going to start pushing this card into relevance.

Analysis: There are two major issues with Relic Hunter that have always left it in the shadow of Charisma.

The first is that allies are just inherently more useful than most of the accessories. Holy Rosary sits alone atop it's throne for 0 XP accessories, whereas 0 XP allies includes powerful staples such as Dr. Milan Christopher, Peter Sylvestre, and even allies like Alyssa Graham or David Renfield that provide a flat stat boost along with a modest amount of damage/horror soak. Even Beat Cop (0) puts in big work, soaking one damage and one horror while providing the same +1 stat and while also having a useful sacrifice condition.

Those are just allies that provide at least one damage worth of soak and a +1 stat bonus too. That's not mentioning the more disposable ones like Art Student, Research Librarian, or even Arcane Initiate (0).

The second is that accessories haven't had quite the same support that allies have for a good while. Calling in Favors may not have been around for that long, but it's still a massive boon to Charisma decks. Again, even though we've had A Chance Encounter (both versions) for less time than Scavenging they're also just easier to use. The ally support also seems to consistently put the ally into play whereas item/accessory support doesn't.

Now however, we finally have Backpack. It doesn't dig as deep, nor does it put your accessories straight into play, but it does do something else important. It finds you multiple types of cards--and no, I don't just mean it finds you the types item and supply. It will help you dig up Flashlights, Lockpicks, or Magnifying Glasses so you can investigate, maybe help trigger that Scavenging easier? It can also help you dig up a weapon with which to defend yourself--and this is all in addition to helping dig for your accessories to put into play.

The only problem? We still don't quite have accessories on the same power level as we do allies. We don't have accessories with upgrade paths the way we do with allies. We don't even have anywhere close to the same pool of unique cards to choose from that aren't signature cards. There are only three accessories that offer any amount of horror soaking, and one of them costs a fair bit of XP. None of them offer damage soaking, which admittedly is fair from a flavour perspective (that's what body slot items should do). Even with how nuts Key of Ys is when powered up, you still defend it with allies. That card isn't that unfair compared to The Red-Gloved Man given the support that it has from the rest of the card pool.

Conclusion: We have the support we need for accessories in cards like Charles Ross, Esq., Backpack, Relic Hunter, and Scavenging. What we lack are the accessories that are worth supporting with these cards. Until that changes, accessories will be relegated to set and forget all-stars like Rabbit's Foot and Holy Rosary, with brief appearances from Cherished Keepsake or Elder Sign Amulet to help patch up the sanity of investigators vulnerable to horror.

I have to agree with this assessment. I've seen many decks that have used Charisma. But nobody that I've played this game with has ever been tempted to buy Relic Hunter. — cb42 12
I'd add that St. Hubert's Key heals horror when it pops, so it is a bit of a 'last ditch' soak. Personally, I have used Relic Hunter, in both Yorick (Keepsake and Police Badge) and Jim (Jewel, St. Huberts Key and, hopefully soon, Crystalline Elder Sign). But I agree, we're a bit short on accessory upgrade paths. — AndyB 301
I’m a little surprised to see a recent review of Relic Hunter with no mention of St. Hubert’s Key. I’ve found it on par with level 0 unique allies. I’d be happy to in it alongside Key of Ys on Pete or alongside Disk of Itzamna on Daisy. — Death by Chocolate 8
My reason to pass more on St. Hubert's Key really is because investigators that care about both of the stats it boosts are few and far between (Jim, Daisy, and Carolyn -- others who can take it only consider it as copies 3-4 of Holy Rosary). Also, while it does heal some horror when it goes the fact it reduces your max Sanity at the same time means it's a lot more clumsy than Holy Rosary. You can't even get the boosts from St. Hubert's Key if you're already at 2 under your max. I played a Carcosa campaign as Sefina where I used Relic Hunter for Holy Rosary and SHK (which was later replaced by Key of Ys) and I almost always felt better about playing Holy Rosary than SHK. Maybe I'm just biased from having my Keys pop on me at inopportune times, leaving me short crucial Willpower when a Holy Rosary would not have done the same. — Swekyde 6
To Fight the Black Wind

Most grievously for Carolyn's deck, 'To Fight the Black Wind', presumably a metaphor for clinical depression [or for some convulsive disorder of the bowels?] makes many demands of her admirers in AH:TCG. Nestled furtively within lies power - to overwhelm and destroy!

Consider, first, "1 direct horror" discharged so stickily upon her when revealed [in such moments one imagines a sound as of a strained grunting] - the Forced is satisfied and the redheaded doctor is stricken with the "horror...assigned to an investigator this round" (that is to say, not to an asset). Doom is come. Absent an extravagantly drawful deck, the greater portion of investigators' draws dribble from upkeep. That is too late in the round for undoing Carolyn's distress. Were it an agenda's final round (by doom-allowance) no matter, but in likelihood Carolyn's bosom campaign-ions will submit to the indignity of an entire round per-scenario being taken from them, the price the woman charges for a grouping with her.

Little cost-effective remedy is to be had. Should it be the final horror necessary to defeat her, 'Cheat Death' would solve the problem - but what of that, unless it be thought a practical business to take a 5XP card to intentionally suffer 5 horror and hold your lingerings furtive on just 1 sanity remaining, until 'To Fight the Black Wind' is announced. Creative minds calling upon, say, 'Ancient Stone (Minds in Harmony)' or 'Key of Ys' will find no relief. Timing betrays the former, for that card's heal-on-draw reaction-trigger is realised "when" drawing; thus after the draw but before its' impact on the game-state resolves (that is to say, agenda-attachment and 1 direct horror to Carolyn) - and for the latter, the very distinction between assignment and placement that adjusts the destination of direct horror assigned to Carolyn to be placed on 'Key of Ys' ensures the Forced effect of 'To Fight the Black Wind' still dominates.

Some options:

  • i) Extra draws each time you take a turn with her, reducing the risk of 'To Fight the Black Wind' coming when hardest. Suggested deck options might be: No Stone Unturned/Eureka (when ready to receive it, intentionally pull it into your hand); Lab Assistant/Preposterous Sketches.
  • ii) Purpose to appoint when the card will come, swallowing slots of deck, of assets, of max. 15 Seeker/Mystic, and taking in resources, actions and cards in hand; and all of this for one task only and even that without surety. Say, of Carolyn, that she with 'Scrying' closely examines one's own deck; 'Alyssa Graham' goes down in play to keep looking at the top, riskily adding her own count of doom when the time comes. A mighty strain.
  • iii) Forswear her fully.
  • iv) Shrug the shoulders. Embrace damnation - and the doom-ation in whose company it travels. It's 1 doom.

Rounds yet to be played in the agenda bear the risk of additional doom; more serious, naturally, when attached earlier in its' doom-allowance. Obvious wisdom can be seen in keeping horror-heals ready [via assets in play / events in hand], especially multiple-target heals [e.g. 'Kerosene'/'"If it bleeds..."'] and/or action-conserving heals['Ancient Stone (Minds in Harmony)', 'Fearless'], but also there is prevention to consider - e.g. 'Brother Xavier' to be assigned horror suffered by team-mates; 'Dodge'/'Hypnotic Gaze' for cancellations of attacks, both against yourself and team-mates - and more importantly still that all investigators take account, action-to-action, the heightened consequences of choices that risk horror being dealt to them.

Cluny 32
I'm pretty sure, since direct damage/horror "cannot" be assigned to other assets, Key of Ys won't stick it up, despite its forced effect. — SGPrometheus 96
Assignment and placement are different game-effects. The direct horror from 'Fight the Black Wind' is assigned to Carolyn's investigator card, but placed on 'Key of Ys'. — Cluny 32
I don’t think that Key of Ys actually stops the doom here. The damage is assigned to Caroline, then when it would be placed on her, it is place on the Key. Damage was assigned, but at no point before the end of the round was it ‘healed.’ This could potentially flummox her with any direct horror, not just from the Revelation. — Death by Chocolate 8
The Forced effect provides that doom results from assignment to the investigator, i.e. not to their assets. — Cluny 32
Never mind - after consulting the rules again I acknowledge my error and that you are correct - clearly if assignment to the investigator is distinct from placement upon Key of Ys, then horror being assigned to Carolyn but transferred to Key of Ys does not assist the case without being healed in the usual manner. I have edited my review to accommodate this. — Cluny 32
Sefina Rousseau

After running a Carcosa campaign with a friend on Leo Anderson, I'd have to say I quite enjoyed Sefina but I would not repeat the deck I ran. I tried to lean too hard into the Mystic side of things, and that's a mistake.

Early in the campaign, Shrivelling (0) and Rite of Seeking (0) powered by little more than a Holy Rosary will get there more often than it won't. However, around the 4th scenario when the bag has added an extra -# to it's roster and the special symbols are really starting to ramp up you'll find this is falling a bit short. This incidentally is after Mystics would have access to Shrivelling (3). They're going to manage better with a lower investment at every turn due to the buffs on the upgraded spells.

I used Relic Hunter to be able to run Holy Rosary along with St. Hubert's Key, and later Key of Ys. My spells managed to let me down unless I had at least +2 from my accessories and occasionally some support from Arcane Studies (which I should have replaced with Moxie, but that was just a strategic error on my part).

If I could do it again, I would still start with a Mystic focus, using said accessories combined with the level 0 spells. However, I would eventually pivot out of that package into Lockpicks with things like Double or Nothing, Quick Thinking, and Opportunist (2). You can also opt for Sneak Attack (2) as part of your replacement for your offensive spells.

At the start my event selection was Uncage the Soul x2, Backstab x1, Emergency Cache x2, Elusive x2, Storm of Spirits x2, Ward of Protection (0) x2 and Drawn to the Flame x2.

What it should have become was Sure Gamble x2, Hot Streak (4) x2, Ward of Protection (2) x2, Drawn to the Flame x2, Elusive x2, Backstab x2, Sneak Attack (2) x2, and Emergency Cache x1~2. Upgraded Wards are probably the lowest priority, but the stuff I did spend my XP on was not as good as what this would likely have been.

The Painted World however is everything I'd ever dreamed it would be. The flexibility of the card never let me down, and the ability to play multiple copies of Drawn to the Flame and Hot Streak (4) made me feel very powerful. Stars of Hyades was fairly low impact as far as weaknesses go--just don't hold onto your Painted Worlds too long. Use them to get ahead and stay ahead.

I like those post-campaign afterthoughts! And yes, lockpicks in Sefina is great, imagine it coupled with Lola Santiago because Sefina has the resources to pay for testless clues — mogwen 23
I actually use mainly mystic heavy approach and love it sooo much. For tougher willpower tests I use Arcane Research (Moxie is also an option but not so solid; I fuel them with Watch This! and Hot Streak) and Spirit Athame. Never had real issues with willpower tests. — KptMarchewa 1
Yeah, I more or less was fueling my spells with Arcane Studies, but the thing was when I needed to make Willpower checks more than once per turn I was just tearing through resources even with 3 or 4 Hot Streaks played in a game. Ultimately, I think it falls off because it's just not as easy to put together in play as Streetwise + Backstab in practice. In hindsight I'd rather have Flashlight + Streetwise to investigate than Arcane Studies + Rite of Seeking, but both of those would still take a back seat to Lockpicks and Drawn to the Flame which are the real all-stars. Every moment I was trying to force spells through I kept thinking how much easier it would be if I was Agnes/Akachi or even Daisy/Jim. They can't use the high XP Rogue economy that Sefina can (except Daisy with Dr. Broken Resource Gain), but at the same time they don't have as much reliance on talents to require it (again, except for Daisy with Higher Education). — Swekyde 6
Well, we have different experiences about her finances then :P I disagree with comparition with other mystics, economy is minor argument. Two major ones: Sefina thanks to her ability and signature cards is much, much more event-oriented mystic than the other ones. There is a plenty of playables: Storm of Spirits, Ward of Protection, Blinding Light lvl2, PREMONITON... Second: she can take to the deck my beloved Holy Trinity of Rogue Skill Cards (Double or Nothing, Watch This!, Quick Thinking, All In added recently) - imo for a number of reasons the best combo in the game, combined with mystic cards in a way I purely love. — KptMarchewa 1
I mean that's why I compared to other Mystics; Sefina doesn't really want to be relying on the spell assets the same way they do. Rite of Seeking is not how you want to be finding clues. Other Mystics can use the XP version's Willpower boost to cover high shroud locations, but Sefina is going to have to slam resources into Arcane Studies. But by virute of being a Rogue, you already want to slam your resources into everything. Streetwise is better than Arcane Studies (it's cheaper per boost, and cheaper to get in play XP version of Arcane Studies or not), and as a result Lockpicks are going to treat you better than Rite of Seeking. Storm of Spirits similarly felt too costly to boost compared to Sneak Attack, especially when I wasn't getting the splash damage value. Basically Streetwise is just better than Arcane Studies (and also usually Moxie), so plans that rely on Arcane Studies should eventually be replaced with plans that rely on Streetwise. Without the upgraded spells you're just being a worse Mystic than a real Mystic, instead of being the Rogue with some Mystic cards that you should be. — Swekyde 6