Snake Bite

edit- Parallel roland only has 0-3 guardian access, which is silly, but this was silly sooo. Guard dog wins with 6/4? :)

I was preparing another run of RT TFA when I saw this card, and what a puzzle it always gives me. It's simple, if you fail, you either get poisoned, or you kill an ally, but it doesn't say, 'discard an ally asset you control' it says 'deal 5 damage to an ally you control.' Which for some reason gets me thinking.

"Is there a way for an ally assets to survive this attack?"

At the time of this treachery cards making? No. But it's been a few years,a few campaigns,a few hundred cards, can we do it now? Let's see.

I'm gonna see if we can, at lvl 0, just starting this campaign, survive this attack, because OBVIOUSLY we don't want to test agility, and OBVIOUSLY we don't want to get poisoned, so clearly this is the best route to take! :D

Now, looking through the cards, what ally asset has the most HP ~quick scan~.....guard dog. This good boy sits at a whooping 3/1! Sanity doesn't matter, but health does. :)

3,however, won't cut it. So the question is, can we increase this? YES! -Trusted- is a card, it was released with TFA.i believe we can stack two of these, I'm not 100% sure, but it doesn't say so on the card. So putting 2 of these bad boys down, guard dog goes to 5/3! NICE! here we go!

But damn, we got it to 5, but he still will get killed, we need one more. I dont think.... BUT WAIT......THE STAR! the star is a tarot card just added via RT TCU, each asset enter play with 1/1. That brings guard dog to 6/4 which is in the gree......

Oh shoot........3 Exp

If only there was a way we could start the game with 3 exp.....! Enter -in the thick of it- new shiny from EOTE, for the small,small price of 2 trauma(your choice of which bb) you can start any campaign with 3 exp. Pretty decent. So, sadly only guardians up to lvl 3 (sorry Daniela) can run this

But I'm not done. What if for some odd reason, you can't stack 2 trusted, well is there a way. ~quick scan~there is one ally that can reach the hp lvl without 2 trusted...enter ~agency backup~also from TCU, it's cool 4/4 with the above combo give it a whooping 6/6. Nice!........but damn, 5 exp..... what?

I don't think there IS a way, to start a campaign with 5 xp, we got away with 3, but ~in the thick of it~ is limited to 1 per deck. I wonder, the only investigator I can think of that starts with 5xp is father Mateo. But he can't run most of the guardian cards.....! ~quick scan~ ROLAND coughcough* I'm sorry, I ment Parallel Roland.

He can take all guardian cards, (on top of some tactics/insight) he also starts the campaign with 5 exp! Combined with lovely ~into the thick of it~ he can add trusted, the star, and agency backup, waste a bunch of turns to

-get resources

-draw all three cards

-play the star

-play agency backup

-play trusted

-and patiently wait for you to draw snake bite! With all of these cards finally out

-profit$$$$

If,however, you CAN stack trusted, Parallel roland can run 2, and get agency backUP to the largest amount of health/sanity an ally can have from the very first game.

7/7

That's the same health/sanity as most investigators(and more than calvin)

This was an interesting experience.it may not be exactly a lvl 0 deck, but it is legal....I think. It was very funny to play around with. But to be completely honest.... is it practical?

No,no it isn't. Because to be honest.... Snake Bite! Could of just said 'discard an ally asset you control'

edit

(Also, why does this version of the federal agent NOT have access to agency backup >:( oh well, this was still fun to think about)

Roland only has Guardian cards to level 3, so no Agency Backup for him, weird as that is. — SSW · 131
Oh shoot, well damn, I overlooked that. — Therealestize · 7
Well, guard dog is king, I guess :/ — Therealestize · 7
If you have three XP at your disposal, Grete Wagner (3) is an alternative to Guard Dog + Star. — Tamsk · 1
Protective Gear

This varies from campaign to campaign how good it is, but there are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind regardless:

1: A lot of hazards target multiple players, so even though your less likely to be the one to draw the hazard, each cancel you make 'counts more' in higher player count games. This is a mixed bag to be sure, but one player spending 1 health and 1 sanity soak to cancel something that may say.... cost 4 actions across the team once a game still is better than canceling that for 3 health and 3 sanity to save 3 actions.

2: A lot of hazards target speed, and a few target will. Quite a few also just don't allow you resist them at all.

3: A lot of hazards target your stuff, do lots of damage, or steal your actions or slow you down in some major way. There are a few not so bad hazards, but for the most part they pretty spoooooky.

This combined with the relatively good soak to cost ratio if you just use it as soak, the fact its a rare horror soak in body, and body isn't a common slot work for it: The ability to say 'nah' to the encounter deck is huge. The big things that stick out are its an XP card and guardians tend to be XP hungry (Though survivors tend to have plenty to spare) and both guardians and survivors are the most likely to have good uses for their body slots due to having the flamethrower for guardian, and leather coat for survivor.

Guardian wise, Leo Anderson might want this. As someone with lots of allies they don't exactly need soak, but they often really struggle with hazards due to their terrible speed resulting in them having to dump resources out of hand or let their friends die to handle some jungle fauna. Maybe that is why his entire previous expedition died? Due to the fact Leo is already asset heavy this may be tough to fit in, and while Leo has great econ options he also tends to run expensive, so its a tossup. Probably for sure in Lost Age though.

For Survivors, Calvin always could use more soak tools, and this lets him double up a slot for that, maybe freeing up the trinket space from sanity soak to something else. And eating a hazard early could really mess him up. Again, if its already a hazard heavy campaign he may want it.

Overall, it feels like the soak is nice, and definitely a big reason you take this, but you never take it JUST for the soak. The soak is the value add for when your not getting hazards. Your character probably should care about both (if it just canceled 3 hazards a game it would be terrible after all), but if the campaign really lacks hazards (which is rare but happens) you shouldn't take this.

There is one more thing worth mentioning though: This is a 2 XP card, meaning its accessible cross class. This opens up a lot for certain characters: Skids, Diana, Joe, Agnes, Mhin, and Preston can all take this, and it actually is somewhat interesting on some of them.

Skids is very poor, sure, but we also know his sanity is super fragile, and having access to soak for that can help him out a lot. The tempo hit from a lot of hazards is also very spooky.

Diana can use the last activation of this as a cancel, and unless she uses Robes of Endless Night or runs Bandoleer this serves as her main use of a body slot and makes an already tough character able to say no even more 'no-y.'

Agnes likewise really can take lots of horror as her base version, and wants things to damage as her parallel (though her parallel is likely going to want to use a leather coat to do this, she can use the sanity at least to tank her weakness).

Finally, for Preston, bypassing tests is a big part of his play, and this lets you do that quite often. Preston is rich as well and has the least trouble playing this of any character with access to it, meaning he might legitimately be the only person who wears a fire suit around say... The Silver Twilight Lodge manor. With awful stats mythos phase can be rough on him when tests come about unless he expends resources in some way to bypass them, which means that being able to say no to a test with a degree of failure downside really can save his bacon. Finally, and most critically, there is an extreme synergy with Darkhorse Preston due to him being able to take a Fireaxe with it, which definitely means someone is going to name a deck "Firefighter Preston" and toss Flare and Fire Extinguisher in there just to complete the set.

dezzmont · 40
If we're talking about which investigators might want this, Tommy seems like a much more obvious choice than Leo out of Guardian. It's an asset that damages itself to do something good and has more total health+sanity than its resource cost, so it recycles really nicely. — Thatwasademo · 41
It certainly isn't bad in Tommy! It competes with the coat there but both net 2 if you use em right. Coat is easier to use and doesn't overlap with pawterson, while the gear protects his allies. Still, a lot of hazards make Leo's 1 speed REAL rough and often specifically will hurt his allies too. I would in a campaign I knew hazards were about take this on Leo more often than Tommy. — dezzmont · 40
Firefighter Preston, yesssss... — anaphysik · 50
Buried Secrets

Buried Secrets is, in most cases, a mild weakness. Resolving it takes a single by testing a stat that Monterey is inherently good at. Even if you fail, you get to decide if you want to try the test again or take 2 horror and shuffle the weakness back into your deck. You know it's a generous weakness when even the worst case scenario isn't all that bad.

Let's break it down:

  • Buried Secrets has a revelation effect, so it goes into your threat area immediately after being drawn.
  • The ongoing effect is that you, the Monterey Jack player, can no longer move if your current location can be investigated. If it can't, (Locked Doors for example) you can move but the no movement-clause will kick in as soon as you reach a location that can be investigated.
  • To make Buried Secrets go away, you have to spend an action and pass a single investigation test. If you pass, the weakness is discarded and that's that. Remember that you can investigate locations without clues on them.
  • If you fail, you may take 2 Horror and shuffle the weakness back into your deck. Or you can let it be and just try again. That's mighty generous for Arkham Horror.
  • Buried Secrets is your threat area, so any other investigator can activate the . If they fail the test, they get to decide if they'll take the horror damage or not. If they do, the weakness will be shuffled into your deck (not theirs). Having friends around will milden Buried Secrets even more.

In almost every case, you will draw this weakness while unegaged and on a 2, 3 or 4 shroud location. Then you can simply pass a single test with the odds highly in your favor, and be on your merry way. (Or you get get a friend to help you out, either a smart one one with a decent chance to pass the test - or a dumb one with two spare Sanity).

But if you're unlucky, there'll be an enemy engaged to you, one that needs to be evaded first. The guardian is three locations away. You'll fail the first evade, pass the second and then you have to spend your last action getting rid of Buried Secrets, and the enemy will re-engage in the enemy phase. So you'll need to spend yet another action evading it before you can move on next round. And you'll get no extra card and/or resource from Jack's investigator ability and you'll be muttering "Man, this weakness sucks!". But the very next round, your friend Harvey Walters will draw his Thrice-Damned Curiosity with 15 cards on hand, take 5 damage and be insta-killed. And you'll be thinking "-Man, Buried Secrets isn't that bad after all."

olahren · 1241
Buried Secrets is mild, but Thrice-Damned is probably milder. — SSW · 131
The real problem with Thrice-Damned Curiosity isn't the actual effect it has while you're playing, it's the chilling effect it has on Harvey by punishing him heavily for what everything else about him wants you to do. This weakness, on the other hand, just makes you waste one successful investigate action on a 4 intellect character, which doesn't really stop your gameplan as a seeker-rogue at all. — Thatwasademo · 41
You know you can just use cards in your hand, right? Drawing cards does not equal keeping them in your hand. — SSW · 131
Telling Harvey to play cards is like asking Preston to spend money. — SGPrometheus · 590
Survey the Area

A Practiced card that can't be used with Practice Makes Perfect ..but potentially still very good as it is likely to be very helpful for evasion occasionally while still being at least +2 to investigate for most people who can use it and even better for some.

Timlagor · 3
Can it not be committed to a test through Practice Makes Perfect, because it has no icons while in your deck, and so has no appropriate test to be committed to? That's rough... — Flamy · 4
Fire Extinguisher

The discard effect on this weapon is certainly interesting, with it's automatic evades and pairing nicely with Scavenger. Thing is though, that's just an extra little novelty of this deceptively good weapon.

Consistent +1 damage on attack, without any restriction, cost or drawback, is pretty rare. It's only found on 5 other weapons, those being: Holy Spear, Cyclopean Hammer, Sledgehammer, The Hungering Blade, and Timeworn Brand. All of them cost more resources to play, four of them cost more exp, and three of them take up 2 hand slots. This weapon not only gives that consistent extra damage(with a small combat boost even), but it's cheep (both resources, and exp) and keeps your other hand free. It's a bit funny, comparing a random fire extinguisher to an ancient relic sword of legend, but yet...here we are. The biggest drawback to this weapon is the lack of combative investigators with access to 3 pip Survivor cards. Daniela Reyes, with her inherit 5 combat, is the most obvious choice but it's also a great weapon for the other Survivors who like to pick fights (Yorick & Silas). If you're looking for easy access to reliable +1 damage, and your playing an investigator who can actually use this, this is a very...very solid choice.