Mandy Thompson

I just wanted to underline an aspect of Mandy Thompson's ability that can easily be overlooked:

What Mandy's ability does is that, once per round, when an investigator at her location searches their deck (or the encounter deck), they can either search for 1 additional card or search 3 cards deeper. The obvious thing here is that Mandy can support other investigators with her ability using her cards for them, but what can easily be missed is that other investigators can activate Mandy's ability using THEIR OWN cards. That can create some interesting interactions between some cards and Mandy's ability and certain cards can become more powerful. This can lead to the creation of some strong builds that work around Mandy's ability and specific cards, which is really interesting.

I'd like to go through a list of cards that when used by other investigators they (usually) become better if Mandy Thompson's ability gets in the mix:

Anna Kaslow: While Anna Kaslow is really bad for Mandy, as putting her into play at the beginning of the game makes it guarranteed that she will hit her weakness, it's rather beneficial for other investigators to have her in their deck, as with Mandy's ability it's pretty much guarranteed that they will hit 2 tarot cards with her. That's pretty strong.

Prepared for the Worst: This card becomes a lot more reliable when combined with Mandy's ability. Going 12 cards deep increases your chances to find a weapon substantially and it can be huge to certain builds, specifically ones that are built around certain weapons (Becky and Flamethrower comes to mind). The option to get 2 weapons is also nice.

Arcane Initiate: Searching 6 cards for a spell makes it far more likely to hit a spell and on spell-heavy decks the option to dig for 2 spells can also be good.

Backpack: This card is perfectly usable by Mandy as well, but the ability for another investigator to go 9 cards deep with it can be huge, making it far more consistent and increasing substantially the chances to get a specific item that they 've built around (like Crystallizer of Dreams or The Skeleton Key).

Calling in Favors: While the interaction between Mandy's ability and this card is very powerful, Mandy herself doesn't quite have the suitable array of allies to put it into good use (I don't mean it's bad, it's just not great). Another investigator however can make great use of this. Putting into play 2 allies from your deck at reduced cost can be huge in certain cases. Just imagine someone like Tommy Muldoon or Leo Anderson using Calling in Favors on something like Brother Xavier and putting into play an Agency Backup and a second Brother Xavier at the cost of 1 action and 3 resources! That's outright broken!

Flare: That's one of the most powerful interactions. Still usable by Mandy, but another investigator can use it as well. Put 2 allies into play from your deck. Enough said.

Rabbit's Foot (3): Becomes a lot better with Mandy's ability. Looking for a specific card? Go 3 cards deeper. Are you already digging deep? Get an additional card. Nice thing.

On the Hunt: Searching for 2 enemies with On the Hunt isn't really the thing you want to be doing unless you 're using Flamethrower, but the ability to go 12 cards deep allows you to dig for specific enemies. This can be useful if you 're looking for VP enemies or if you want certain enemies to get out of the way. Either way, it's an interesting interaction. Not powerful, just interesting.

Smuggled Goods: This was already good, but with Mandy's ability it becomes way better. Searching for 2 illicit cards makes this really nice for Finn Edwards. How about digging out from your deck those Lockpicks and Pickpocketing on turn 1 and still get to use this again later at some point during the scenario, possibly at the same power level? Simply awsome.

Stick to the Plan: This one is a little weird, but if it works it's actually really great. At every scenario, every investigator starts at the same location, so the one using Stick to the Plan can activate Mandy's ability when searching their deck and stick a 4th event under the permanent. If this actually works it's really nice! Understanding whether this works or not probably requires a thorough aknowledgement of the rules (which I don't really have) and/or some clarification from FFG. The reasonable question posed here is whether investigator abilities are active during setup. This question gets a little complicated if you take into account that most investigator abilities have a once-per-round designator. During setup the round hasn't even begun yet, so there could be an argument made that since the round hasn't begun yet they are not active. On the other hand, if investigator abilities are always active, this may mean that they are also active during setup. A rules expert might be able to put some light into this. Anyway, the thing is that, if this actually works, it's really awsome!

Concluding, I 'd like to state that there are cards that get benefit from Mandy's ability that miss they eye and some cards, as you can see, become a lot stronger with her, and when you have Mandy Thompson in your team you can create some builds that would otherwise be suboptimal or less good. Taking into account this stuff, I think Mandy Thompson has great potential and it's always nice to have her as a teammate. I personally love Mandy, as I believe that her ability is very strong. She's my favourite so far.

matt88 · 814
I think *Stick to the Plan* will not trigger Mandys ability: It triggers before drawing opening hands and the investigators are only at their place at "scenario setup instructions". See Appendix III — trazoM · 1
@trazoM You 're right, just saw it (thanks for that btw, didn't know where to look it up). Since SttP triggers before drawing opening hands, players are not at any location yet and since you are not at the same location as Mandy you can't use her ability to search for a 4th event. I was really hoping this would work though, but perhaps it would 've been too strong, I suppose. — matt88 · 814
Dr. Henry Armitage

Now that the janky applications of this card have been officially ruled out (no, he won't let you solo a scenario without ever drawing an encounter card... and no, he won't make your deck weakness free...), it's time to take stock of what remains. So what does this fusty, jittery, bespectacled old bookworm have to offer?

In short, money. Cheddar. Thick wads of cash. Sacks of doubloons splitting at the seams. Once per turn, whenever you draw a card, you can instantly discard it for three resources. How good is that? Think of it this way: Armitage turns every card in your deck into an actionless Emergency Cache. Absorb the magnificence of that: you now have 30 lovely cards in your deck, doing all kinds of lovely things, which can ALSO be played as FAST Emergency Caches... Armitage is the King Midas of allies: whatever he touches turns to gold. Simply put, there is not a card in the game that can match the income-generation of this creaky old Croesus.

Of course, one hardly needs to spell out the uses of an enormous resource flow: every player has their own fantasies. Expensive assets, fodder for your Streetwise, the world's buffest Money Talks, whatever you like!

Oh, and just in case all that wasn't good enough: in a pinch, here's your third copy of Unexpected Courage.

Solemn Vow

Weird, but useful.

TL:DR, if tanking is your thing, this is now in your deck. Period.

Edit: By tanking in this review I mean the classical term used for roleplaying and videogames, a character who interposes himself between friends and danger and does everything he can to take on as much pressure and pain as he can handle, so that everybody else might do their jobs in peace.

Certain characters are really good at just, taking pain. That's what they do. They'll even do it intentionally for one reason or another. Obviously the characters I speak off are the + combinations Tommy Muldoon and William Yorick. Leo Anderson can do it too but he's not quite so good at it, those other guys don't care if their soaks die, Leo Anderson cares a lot!

Via beefy allies like Guard Dog, Madame Labranche and cheap soaks like Leather Coat and Cherished Keepsake these guys can take twice as much pain as anybody else and keep coming back for more. They can even leverage it into game advantages by taking on the pain for others, with cards like "Let me handle this!" or Heroic Rescue.

Solemn Vow is the new capstone card to this strategy. The key issue with the other cards is that they only apply when the cards are drawn and enemies attack, raw damage and horror however, those are easy as pie to find, and Solemn Vow makes it possible to just funnel all of that bad stuff onto the tanks and their soaks. You might even have a deck totally dedicated to the funneling and management of damage via soaks and healing, using First Aid and/or Painkillers to move the hurt around and make it go away on a choice soak or heal-able target.

It's fast, it's free, you can adjust the number of copies in case this strategy is important, it has 2 icons so the unused copies double as a defense mechanism for the tank himself.

So yes, Tanking, now a far more viable strategy than ever. Even if the "selfless tank" events we've got already didn't exist Solemn Vow single handedly grants viability to this whole strategy.

Tsuruki23 · 812
Armor of Ardennes? Peter Sylvester? — Django · 2027
The thing is that tanking is, in of itself, not a winning strategy. You survive, but what do you do? This card lets you do the survival FOR your friends, I.E why this card is required — Tsuruki23 · 812
This card is Carolyn Fern's new favourite. Basically it's a new way of "healing horror" for her, as she can use Peter Sylvestre to soak horror for all the team, while gaining resources in the process. It basically functions as a new horror-healing card for her. The only difference it has from other horror-healing cards is that she is the one that gains the resource instead of the one being healed and it has no limited uses. What's even better is that it costs no actions and it comes at 0 XP. — matt88 · 814
There's a lot of people that can take maximum advantage of stuff being piled onto them. Tommy is the obvious one since he was in this pack, but Carolyn if she's running Peter Sylvestre is another. It's also a Spirit, so Calvin can take it and boost his stats even faster. I'm a big fan of this card. — StyxTBeuford · 436
Love the idea of this card. Hate that the way it is written gives away all control over its use. — Kael_Hate · 1
Thoughts on this card for Mark Harrigan? Given his ability of drawing a card each phase he takes damage, seems like you can get an absurd amount of cards by soaking everyone's damage... — NorthernPolarity · 1
Blood-Rite

Because of the many possibilities this card opens up -- and the fact that you have to play a bonded asset to access it -- it often confuses people. They try to calculate whether drawing two cards for an action is worth it, or how often they are going to want to trade a card for a resource. The damage-dealing capacity of the card, which involves both discarding cards and paying resources, only makes things murkier.

Nevertheless, this is an outstanding card. One usage along justifies it -- all the rest simply gives you more flexibility. For simplicity's sake, try reading it this way:

"Spend an action. Discard the top two cards of your deck and deal one damage to an enemy at your location."

That's basically what would happen if you used Blood-rite to draw two cards and discard them both -- using one discard to gain a resource, and the other to spend that resource and deal a damage. The only thing that could derail that plan would be drawing a weakness, and even then, you could probably still pull it off with an additional discard from your hand.

How many level zero cards let you deal guaranteed, almost costless damage like that? Sneak attack costs 2 and requires that the enemy be exhausted. Beat cop makes you discard a four-cost asset. Guard dog costs 3 and requires you to get hit. Dynamite Blast is amazing, but requires you to take out a second mortgage on your house. Zoey's Cross is great, if you're Zoey. And none of those are Seeker cards.

And of course, this is only ONE possible use of Blood-Rite. Want to do two damage? Pay a couple resources, and still keep your hand level. You really like the cards you drew? Discard two other cards instead. Absolutely love everything in your hand? Don't discard anything, and simply revel in your good draw luck. Strapped for resources? Good thing you have this poor man's Emergency Cache.

There is no doubt that this card is a rocking level zero event. The only question is whether you have a hand free to tote around Occult Lexicon as you wait for your two additional copies of it to appear.

An absolute must have in Mandy by the way. She can find all the copies easily and cycle through her deck quickly to get more. — StyxTBeuford · 436
Ever Vigilant

Pretty mediocre card in the average deck, but certain decks will launch the power of this behemoth into the stratosphere.

The average spends a few actions playing assets, and a good number on taking resources, Ever Vigilant saves you 2 actions and 3 resources when you hit 3 cards, economy cards are varying degrees of good, but this cards is very literally just a conditional Ace in the Hole, a 6 xp finisher for 1 xp!

The trick is finding the assets to play, it's not unusual to have 30-50% of your deck made up of assets, but drawing some of those, 3 of those, as well as a copy of Ever Vigilant, that can be a tricky challenge indeed.

Insert for the combo goodness:

That's it, these are the main combos, and they are VERY, VERY good.

You get bonus points if you:

Tsuruki23 · 812