As existing reviews point out, it's relatively difficult to get value from Bruiser, because few investigators that repeatedly play Armor, Firearm, or Melee cards, relegating the main use case of this to act as a pseudo-static boost on fight checks. It works fine for that purpose, though it's a little overpriced for it.

But there are quite a few investigators who would go quite far with the discount. Allow me to highlight some of them:

suika · 8176
"I'm a bruiser. See my fireman coat?" — MrGoldbee · 1148
It can also boost the skill check on Enchanted Armor, not only on weapons. — Susumu · 165
"I'm a bruiser. See my enchanted armor?" — MrGoldbee · 1148
Hypothetical fireman Preston might be a bruiser it seems. — dezzmont · 69

A major improvement from the original composure set. The new composures included in End of the Earth are, in my opinion, auto includes. 2 constant stat boosts, 0 cost, soak, slotless, a way to spend resources you don't need, and to top it all off it doesn't even cost an action to play. All you need is a way to find it in your deck, and as long as you can protect that 1 damage/horror that will send it to your discard then it can stay in play all game, easier said for Survivors probably. Much like the original versions, I personally think moxie and Plucky are two of the stronger ones as they help protect against treacheries and can help with monsters/clues respectively. Rogues really can get a lot of treachery protection out of moxie especially if you can generate a lot of resources (and which rogue can't). And honestly, who doesn't love the art for this card? Save the puppy!

Tay5967 · 12
Agreed. Way too strong. Even if they didn't give passive bonuses they'd probably still see play as a fast, costless soak. — flamebreak · 19
Meditative Trance

Emergency Aid and Logical Reasoning seem like good benchmarks for healing events. They both cost 2 resources, and they both heal for 2. Meditative Trance has the same printed cost, but will only heal for 2 if both of your arcane slots are filled, which in the end costs more resources, cards, and actions. In a vacuum, definitely not worth it.

Of course, you're not filling your arcane slots purely for the sake of getting this card online--arcane assets do useful things too, and odds are if you're running this card you're also running Dragon Pole. We run into the same issue here as we do with the staff: cards that depend on other cards being in play to be strong are questionable in their utility and efficiency. However, as a healing card you'll be more likely to play it later on in the game anyhow, at which point hopefully you'll have your slots filled. On the other hand, theoretically if your assets are fully set up that means the game is probably going well, meaning you may not need healing.

In addition to the obvious, there are a few not-so-obvious things that make it even less appealing:


  • Unlike Emergency Aid and Logical Reasoning, the healing itself is flexible! This somewhat makes up for the fact that you can only play it on yourself. Maybe you can run it with Solemn Vow and such.
  • Breaking the limits and having more than 2 arcane slots filled takes you into value town. Even just having 3 (from the additional slot you get with Dragon Pole) is pretty good. I'd caution against just taking a bunch of cards that increase your slots, but like the pole if you push it, the effect becomes massively strong (albeit increasingly impractical). I'd probably stop at 5, but if you want to make a deck that allows you to heal 11 damage/horror at once, no one is stopping you.
  • Lack of the Spell trait locks out some good combos, but Insight and Spirit have some okay stuff going on! De Vermis Mysteriis and Prophetic still work, Crafty and Boxing Gloves are there I guess, Calvin Wright can take it but shouldn't, Cryptic Grimoire and Eidetic Memory might be good.

Overall, I'd say this card is only worth considering if you're building a Dragon Pole deck and really chugging your arcane slots accordingly. I'd still like to see more support for this deck archetype as it doesn't really seem all that practical especially at higher XP level play, it's just such a cool effect that as of now takes too long to set up and has fairly meager returns for its considerable expenses.

Lily Chen, Dragon Pole build, helps tank all manner of face eaters. — fiatluxia · 31
"Boxing Gloves" are hard to justify and fit into a Diana deck, but they are not terrible. So I would not totally dismiss them as "being there". Diana has plenty of good to great for her Spirit cards in her pool. — Susumu · 165
On the Trail

This card is a bit underwhelming. 1 card + 1 resource + 1 action for 2 Moves is not break even. And you pay 1XP for this...

Compared to Scout Ahead it is just not good. It is more situational, costs XP and moves you less far.

The 3XP version is even less interesting as you will always feel like wasting it if you don't get 2 clues out of it...

Valentin1331 · 2548
1$ clue in guardian or a 2x move? Good flexibility1 — MrGoldbee · 1148