Physical Training

Despite doing pretty much the same thing as Arcane Studies (4), this one is a whole lot more worthwhile for two major reasons:

  1. It's not in the same class as Recall the Future, which almost completely overshadows Arcane Studies (4) to the point where if I was going to run that card I'd almost rather just run Recall and Arcane Studies (2).
  2. It is in the same class as Well Prepared, and enables it quite nicely. It's possible that the weapons you run might also cover the 2 combat, especially once you've invested some experience (though not all do), but 2 willpower is a whole lot more difficult to find on assets (currently just First Aid and Armor of Ardennes in guardian assets that you can play under your own control). That means this card may effectively offer a total of +4 in free skill boost to a Guardian's most important skills every round, divided between up to three different tests.
Thatwasademo · 26
Thoughtful! — MrGoldbee · 92
Daisy Walker

Surprised to not see any comparisons between Core Daisy and her Read Or Die version.

The front sides provide you a clear choice: Do you want constant extra actions, or do you want constant stat bonuses? With two or fewer tomes, Read or Die Daisy (Front) is just a purely worse version of the Core card, so to get anything out of it you should plan to have 3+ tomes in play - requiring a deck full of tomes, plus the actions to play them, plus the means to hold more (Daisy's Tote Bag, naturally, plus Arcane Enlightenment). In return for this lengthy build-up, however, you can eventually reach high levels of Willpower towards the middle of the scenario. In a way, this is reminiscent of Diana Stanley, but relying primarily on investigation rather than combat to see you through the early game.

The two versions of Daisy's deck-building are intriguing in their differences. First the overlap: both can take Neutral cards 0-5. Core Daisy can further take Seeker cards 0-5 and any number of Mystic cards 0-2. Read or Die Daisy loses some functionality in both aspects. Her cross-class abilities get dramatically reduced, limiting her to only 5 level 0 cards (though these cards can come from Guardian now as well as Mystic, there is relatively little in Guardian that will appeal to many Daisy decks). Her Seeker options are also dramatically hindered; in exchange for losing access to most high-level cards of her class, she gains access to exactly 3 tomes which the Core version can't include:

Ironically the Read or Die front may combo better with the Core back of Daisy than with the Read or Die back -- in the quest to build Daisy like an investigating version of Diana Stanley, it would be a shame to be limited to only 5 level 0 Mystic cards.

Finally, it seems worth talking about the two Advanced versions of her signature cards (remember that unlike the alternate versions of her player card, the Advanced cards must be used together):

  • Advanced Daisy's Tote Bag gives you a powerful reaction that further optimizes the action efficiency of Core Daisy's use of tomes while also allowing Read or Die Daisy to assemble her library more quickly.
  • Advanced The Necronomicon has the same Revelation and removal text that the Core Necronomicon weakness has, but the effect while the weakness is in play is more varied. Instead of simply auto-failing tests, the Advanced weakness resolves all of the other negative symbol effects. This can at times be worse than simply auto-failing (some scenarios have pretty brutal effects for drawing negative symbols) but at times could result in doing nothing at all (for instance, in scenarios where symbols have a "-X" effect). Moreover, since the value of each negative symbol is known ahead of time, you could hypothetically plan ahead and increase your check value by enough to beat all three negative symbols combined.

Thus, in most cases, using the Advanced versions of her signature cards gives you both a higher ceiling and a higher floor, with the weakness only making life worse for you in certain scenarios.

jmbostwick · 7
Thank you JM! — MrGoldbee · 92
It is a pretty silly extreme, but the Parallel back can only get up to 13 tomes in play while the original back can get up to 14 tomes in play, (but then needs a Familiar or two to actually benefit from the capped Willpower). — Death by Chocolate · 56
(+1 for either of you are playing The Forgotten Age!) — Death by Chocolate · 56
The Black Book

I haven't seen many reviews for story assets so I figure I'd throw in my two cents here. I'm currently playing through The Circle Undone for the first time in my group using Carolyn Fern. While I can't speak to how good it is on other characters, I would like to point out the following interaction I had in my build:

Stick to the Plan, Ever Vigilant, The Black Book

Y'all. Ever Vigilant tells you to play the cards one at a time, meaning with the nut opener you can drop Black Book first, then just sink a ton of horror into the next asset you play using the ability. And then you get to repeat it each turn.

While playing as Carolyn, the built in resource generation from healing horror - and the fact that, of course, you'll be healing horror - means that the chances you actually die from using the ability is slim to none. And you'll still be able to afford other expensive cards sooner rather than later. And the stats that it gives are great for the campaign. I didn't believe anyone when they said you'd need for TCU, but yes, you absolutely do.

And look at those ICONS! Wow! It seems too good to be true.

TL;DR this is amazing if you're playing Carolyn Fern - definitely pick it up. Addendum: we aren't done yet so if you get massively destroyed for taking it in the campaign I'm sorry, I didn't know...

DanPyre · 11
This can be a great pickup with other characters as well, in general characters that have a large sanity pool and rely on intellect, willpower or both will love it. I recently took it in a TCU run with Luke and Tony and Luke used it to sling lots of events without losing tempo. Jim is also a big fan, because taking it adds another Skull token to the chaos bag. — PowLee · 1
It was fantastic in Calvin as well, for obvious reasons. — Death by Chocolate · 56
The question is always -- do you want this enough for another Skull? Skull tokens aren't insanely bad in TCU (in the last 2 scenarious they start adding up), but it's a consideration. But, yes, it fuels Carolyn, who really suffers if no one will tell her their woes.... — LivefromBenefitSt · 92
I would say a Skull is in some ways a net benefit as it dilutes the chance of a bad token slightly, like the autofail or a large negative number. Depends on TCU’s skull effects though. — StyxTBeuford · 2080
I used this with daisy and it was amazing, combine with Ancient stone - Minds in Harmony to heal up. The icons are also great for scavenging! — Django · 2741

I am not sold on this suite of cards, but others seem to love them, so let's discuss why. Three icons is a great boost, for one. 1-2 card draw is nice in Guardian, whose decks tend to be slow (Tommy, I am looking at you). Although, to be fair, spending 2 XP on a card with a chance of drawing two cards by overblowing a test seems... inefficient? 2 XP will get you Vicious Blow (2), which trades an icon and card draw for extra damage, or Leadership (2), if you prefer janky buffing of your fellow investigators. Don't tell me you love this card because of Practice Makes Perfect; all three level-2 Guardian skills are Practiced! Of course, Overpower (2) helps you land Vicious Blow (2) for bonus damage and cards, so, maybe if you have the XP, buy them all?

To be honest I do love this card because of Practice Makes Perfect. Think about it: you PMP to draw this, commit it, succeed by 2, then draw 2 cards PLUS you draw this to commit to the next fight test. From PMP you manage to boost 2 fight tests by 3 each, and if you didnt need most of the boost, you draw up to 4 more cards. Now pretend you’re Joe Diamond and you also have Perception 2 for the same reason (run alongside Deduction, Vicious Blow, and maybe Take the Initiative to ensure you hit your targets). Or maybe you’re Mark Harrigan who can either PMP into this or The Home Front, either way a huge boost. The Practice trait matters a lot here. It will also matter a lot for Amanda Sharpe. — StyxTBeuford · 2080
I agree that the Practice Makes Perfect is a huge selling point, although I wouldn't count on it unless you do have a couple other Practiced Skills because PMP only searches I think 9 cards, is it? Overpower is particularly good for a Shotgun build where every skill icon could potentially be damage. The 2xp might feel a little steep, but it is a boon for any sub-class gators. — LaRoix · 147
I've typically done PMP searches with somewhere around 4-6 potential targets per test- the 10 skills I take with Joe for example only have 6 valid targets as some are for investigates and some are for fights. 6 seems to work fine. For Mark Harrigan you could take Overpower, Vicious Blow, Take the Initiative, and then you also have The Home Front. A solid 7. So yeah, if you're running a PMP build you definitely have to lean into more than just Overpower, but Overpower is still a really good target in that build. — StyxTBeuford · 2080
The thing with fighting is that it’s usually time sensitive. Committing to a test so that all non-af tokens pass may often be worth it. For this reason a card which both gives you an excess of icons, and turns a succeed but two into a small refund is actually quite good. — Difrakt · 767
Another point towards PMP is that, sure Leadership is Practiced too, but you don’t just want Practiced skills for PMP - you want consistency in the Practiced skills you run to fill a similar roll - i.e. strong investigation boosters or strong combat boosters. Overpower pairs well with Vicious Blow (and The Home Front) for consistent, thick, combat boosts. — Death by Chocolate · 56
Boxing Gloves

If you are going with Boxing Gloves, you might as well go all the way. With an extra + and an extra 3-card dig for your next Spirit, who wouldn't like this? To be fair, anyone with a burning need for a hand slot, but you knew that when you started down the boxing path.

It's sad that "Ashcan" and Calvin can't take them, but then, Nathaniel doesn't complain that he can't buy a Chainsaw, does he?