Survey the Area

When i first saw this cycle of skills i was, like many others, not impressed. But a strange thing happened and i have to say that i changed my mind about them. Story time : my friend was playing Monterey Jack and i was playing Lily Chen and sometimes we would find ourselves at the same location during the mythos phase. There are many threacheries that require you to test AGI or INT and usually have some nasty effects, and while i was sweating how will i pass this damn INT test he just said "i can give you +7". What? I said "you know you can only commit 1 card right"? And he just flashed me with this bad boy and it all made sense. These cards are not like our normal skill cards that give us a small boost for a test and usually come with a bonus effect that is the main reason why we took the card (not the boost itself), these cards are go big or go home boost style where on standard that means that only the autofail makes you fail. Ever since then we have managed to squeeze them in here and there, and they have worked wonderfully.

Blood&gore · 84
Yes! I noticed this in Occult Theory's review too. These cards feels like it basically let one investigator take over the test in place of another using what they are good at, as the stats came from investigator committing it. Great for covering 2 will / 2 agility investigator against random tests as the difficulties are usually 3~4, getting from 2 to 6~7 would be right at Standard's sweet spot. — 5argon · 1256
The other thing these cards bring is consistency. Inquiring Mind is good, but requires a clue be around. While Survey the Area limits which skills you can use it on, it'll always give you the flat number bonus (which can be improved with allies and such). — LaRoix · 1574
Gang Up

I'm not a big fan of the "by our powers combined" set, but I'll grudgingly give credit where credit is due, this is a good but expensive card.

3 Cost is steep, this is the major issue for this bad boy, but here's what you get:

First up, it's a fight action, so 1 damage base, that then means that with just 2 classes in play it's a 1xp, 3 cost attack at +2 for 3 damage. If you could take a 1XP Backstab with a +2 on it, people would most definitely do that. Already ignoring the whole setup thing of gathering all the classes, even with just 2 classes in play, the usual minimum a character can muster, this card is playable.

Everything on top of that is gravy. Do you manage to plop down a third class via a Dual class card? A fourth class through judicious dual class design or a triple class card? Are people trading cards with Black Market, Bob Jenkins, Teamwork or similar effects? The third class is relatively easy, Enchanted Blade by itself will get you a third class for most characters. Remember that your character is a card and it's included, so if a dude like "Skids" O'Toole plops down Enchanted Blade that means you've got 3 classes in play for an effective +3 and 4 damage and that right there by itself is gold. 4 Damage attacks are rare and powerful and worth the hoops to jump through for.

Can you max it consistently? That'll be rare. But a partial trigger for just +3 or +4 damage is excellent.

Tsuruki23 · 2233
Hi ! Like david6680 said in the previous reviews . It seems that you don't need to "setup", you control all the cards in your hand, deck and discard pile. ( https://arkhamdb.com/rules#Ownership_and_Control ) — Yopiman · 1
While you do control all cards in your hand, deck, and discard pile, cards only interact with other cards in play unless they specify on the card (see Ability in the RRG) so I'm afraid you do need to do set up, unless you have permanent for each of the classes. — NarkasisBroon · 9
This is also the reason that if a treachery card says "discard an asset you control" you can't just look in your deck, find an asset, and discard it — NarkasisBroon · 9
I don't understand why this is still confusing some people? The rules are very clear about what card text can interact with, and it's the exact same language on cards like Whitton Greene, which no one is confused about. I really don't understand where this is suddenly tripping people up. — MiskatonicFrosh · 137
Occult Theory

I tried this with Daisy Walker and +5 is useful. There are many things you can't afford to test twice like sticky curse treachery that needs an just for a chance to have a go.

Or plainly for Ward of Protection-like experience on fail-by tests that can be used to help others while grouped up. Baked in the game rule it limits helping commit to 1 card, meaning that it is an ideal use case of a card that gives a lot of icons in one.

In a pinch that you really need Deduction to activate on high shroud location the +3 side can also be used. In turn this can save deck space since it is like 2 utilities in one. It is quite a swiss knife for her.


Speaking generally for all other cards in this series, there is no need to worry about incompatibility with other skill shenanigans. This series of cards are "power helping commit" (not for yourself) that gives a ton of icons and can flex to 2 icons all in one. You should play like it is designed, that is to help others so only your single commit is enough to pass. It can also restore turn flexibility in spending Activate action to have a go at critical scenario tests when racing against doom. e.g. I want to use 3 actions to setup, but I am also the one with high to pass the test at the current location. I can let others test instead and pitch a single skill card, appearing as if I am the one testing, as the card "draws power" of investigator flexing the skill.

In my opinion to justify including one :

  • Willing to stick to others more than usual, at the same time having other same-location team play cards in the deck. (My Daisy Walker will be using Old Book of Lore and Encyclopedia to prop up the other investigators and also having Disc of Itzamna to catch spawns, so Occult Theory feels great to have on hand. Or maybe Guardians that aims to use Taunt, Stand Together, "Get behind me!", Teamwork, etc.)
  • Running out of deck space to include components for your main combo, needed to compress skills to a few cards.
  • or that the card is covering must be able to get +4 at least to worth it, since these 2 stats are abundance in treachery test where likely others can spontaneously benefit from a single helping commit each mythos phase. The stat pairs chosen for these cards aren't random, all cards in this series touch or one way or another (but not both), highlighting the treachery-passing power of each one. Meaning that you should find someone with 4 or 4 to translate to those stats and can include the right card.
  • The other side not or should be able to get +3 at least, otherwise it is not flexible enough to worth the XP.

It is not easy to find someone that can actually get +4 on or while having +3 on the other one. I just look through all investigators and filtered all the +4 / users with at least +3 on the other side (in parentheses), for your reference.

5argon · 1256
Don't forget that these cards count your other boosts in play, like Dr. Milan or, if you really needed to, any money you spend on Hyperawareness before you commit this card. This makes them a lot more useful to investigators not on your list, and Lily Chen likely will have higher stats anyways. — dscarpac · 74
Detached from Reality

I agree with this previous reviews that this weakness is not a problem most of the time, but I can think of two occasions when this can cause a real problem. The first instance is where the act deck instructs players to be at a certain location at the end of the round before it can advance. Drawing Detached from Reality during the Upkeep Phase is a major blow to your tempo, forcing the investigators to waste an entire round until Luke can get back from his trip to the Gate Box.

The second occasion is the fact that for the whole of the next turn Luke is trapped and is not able to help the other investigators without major effort. Especially in solo having a cultist spawn and being unable to defeat it before it tips the agenda over can be very frustrating.

It is a card that does some funny things. Recently , I had it work the other way. I got out of a turn twiddling my thumbs in the Dream-Gate when I drew Detached from Reality in upkeep and in mythos the agenda flipped and moved all investigators to Somewhere Spoiler-y That Had Just Appeared — bee123 · 24