Dynamite Blast

Fast and flexible, this furious force will frighten, fluster, and even finish foul fiends!

I mean, you like the level-0 version a lot; I've seen your decks. A lot of you upgrade to the level-2 version. For just one more XP, you can lay out the same old hurt on a pile of enemies, but now you can do it in any fast action window -- you can kill or weaken a bit enemy just before your Seeker has to pass through that location, you can finish off a VP enemy and still sprint to the Resign location, you can make the Royal Emissary regret moving next to you.

If you like blowing things up, this lets you blow them up just a little faster. If you don't have anything to blow up, the double icons are a nice backup (although spending 3XP for double icons is a bit much).

Probably the best thing about this is that you can use it during the enemy phase after a hunter enemy moves, allowing you to "bunch up" an extra enemy. — OrionJA · 1
Physical Training

Let's compare! All boost and +1 for 1 resource. All are Assets that need to be played, generally costing 1 action.

Physical Training 2 resources to play, icons
Physical Training (2) 2 XP, 0 resources to play, icons
This card is 4 XP, costs 2 resources to play, icons, and gets 2 recurring resources for boosting.

Pros

  • They all boost things most Guardians want boosted; while they tend to have 4-5 , there are a lot of enemies with difficulties that high, so pumping is nice. Similarly, Guardians tend to have 3-4 and there are a lot of 4-5 Treacheries.
  • For the level 2 and 4 versions,resources are turned into bonuses immediately.
  • Recurring resources are great; there will rarely be a turn where playing them won't help, and they can preserve using cards for icons, since Guardian tends to have sort of weak card draw.
  • Levels 2 and 4 combo well with Well Prepared.
  • They are slotless Assets, something that slot-starved Guardians will appreciate.
  • Lots of Assets protect Guardians from Treacheries like Crypt Chill and Corrosion. That's not a happy use, but better to lose your booster rather than your weapon while you are engaged....

Cons

  • They aren't permanent.
  • They don't help with Guardians' really weak and .
  • They are expensive to run, and Guardians have weak economies, although the Nathaniel Cho deck has offered some alternatives, and Big Money Leo is a thing.
  • They are expensive, and Guardians already have a lot of other Assets to spend XP and resources on.

In general, if you want to "pay to pass," all of these are decent cards and give a clear progression to build up to the Level-4 version, which is definitely the best of the lot, assuming you have the XP to spare.

TL;DR AH:TCG is a land of contrasts, and some deck styles and play preferences will like these and others won't.

I like talents... I know some people don't, but I find they work pretty well, at least in multiplayer. The auto refill of 2 resources will save you quite a lot in the long run. And let's not forget how much you need to have easy access to Combat Icons when you're running the al'mighty Shotgun. — LaRoix · 147
Survival Knife

I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the usefulness when paired with Heroic Rescue. You can take the attack that would be directed against another investigator, do an auto damage, and get an attack. Nice simple 3 damage, and a feasible way of killing a pesky 3 health enemy engaged with another investigator (Which forgotten age has plenty of!) though with a risk of collaterol damage to your buddy!

It’s pretty conditional though. Sure, it is great for Hunter enemies that deal damage, but if it doesn’t deal damage then level 0 Survival Knife can’t counter attack, and if the enemy isn’t a Hunter, that means they needed to spend an entire turn with the enemy on their face since Survival Knife only counters attacks during the enemy phase. — Death by Chocolate · 56
It could also help if your fellow investigator foolishly drew an Enemy weakness as an action, but that seems scarely less of an edge case.... — LivefromBenefitSt · 92
The only thing I don't like about this card (and it's upgrade) is that you can only use it during the enemy phase. Yes, all the tricks mentioned apply, but it would be really handy to use this off an AOO. — LaRoix · 147
@LaRoix That'll be the level 5 version, the trigger will just be, "When an enemy attacks you: etc." — SGPrometheus · 250
Shining Trapezohedron

Combine it with Dayana Esperence and low cost powerfull spell like Deny Existence. Shining Trapezohedron will cancel the additional cost (spend secret and exhaust Dayana) and allows you to play Deny Existence each round after passing 0 test.

Śliski · 1
It says "resource cost", though. So you still pay the secret if you succesfully perform the test. — trazoM · 7
Ah... i have misread the card... I have mixed the success part with failure "any cost" part... — Śliski · 1
Wroooong, additional cost cant be canceled. — yarhma · 1
Harlan's Curse

Note that this search only checks the encounter deck, not the discard pile (and victory display). For that reason, it's a good idea to advance "Harlan's Curse" when all 3 Acolytes are in the discard/play (or even just 2 Acolytes in the discard/play when 3/4 player) - this prevents the spawn.

Of course you might be dealing with the other version of this act, so this gambit might have no effect. But if it works well, it can be nice.