Ward of Protection

Cancelling a treachery's revelation effect nearly translates to putting it straight up to the discard pile.

Nearly.

Some key words aren't part of the revelation effect, currently including Hidden (though it has little effect on its own), Peril (you can't cancel another player's treachery with this keyword, though this is more a Ward of Protection (2) problem) and Surge - yep, you're still drawing another treachery, even if you cancel this one! Obviously except the very rare occasion where Surge is part of the revelation effect such as False Lead or Snakescourge.

Anyway, apart from that small rule clarification, Ward of Protection is in my opinion one of the best cards in the game and I automatically take it with any investigator who can. 1 resource, 1 horror and 1 card is nothing compared to cancelling a treachery that your investigator can't deal with, that would lead to a defeat, or that would simply cost too much. A striking example, in a 4 players game, Ancient Evils would rob your team of 12 actions... Well, not with Ward of Protection!

The level 0 version is obviously a lot less strong than the level 2 version, the later being able to target any investigator anywhere, but it does the job. Ward of Protection is never going to sit more than a few turns in your hand, and if it's sitting in your hands it means that you are not facing any really problematic treachery, so that's actually fine.

On top of being super strong, it comes with a icon. You'd really rather play than commit Ward of Protection, but if you need to there's that.

It is also a totally fine card even when it eats an investigator's wild slot (such as Dunwich's investigators) if you can't be bothered theory crafting / net decking for ages trying to find the very best card for these wild slots. You'll always get value out of it.

Alleria · 51
Peter Sylvestre

We're four cycles in now and Peter Sylvestre has been listening to our horror stories and calming our nerves like the loyal confidant he is since the beginning of Dunwich. I honestly don't know how he does it. It's been a while since anyone's written about him, so I thought I'd take a moment and just list out all the investigators that can take him, and explain which ones he fits best with.

Guardians

Carolyn Fern - Pete is a popular choice in Carolyn decks. While his passive +1 boost isn't used at all, and while Carolyn has a whopping 9 Sanity, his ability to heal 1 horror per turn often makes him a pseudo Lone Wolf. I personally think you're better off running Alice Luxley or Dr. Milan Christopher, but Pete, especially when combined with Forbidden Knowledge, is a tried and true way to afford all that Dynamite. Carolyn also likes his upgraded version, which helps her lean into her Mystic side a bit more.

Zoey Samaras - Pete is sometimes seen as a one or even two of in Zoey decks, but it's not common. The +1 isn't particularly useful for her, but Zoey has a tendency to fight several monsters at once, and Pete can help soak up the horror from such attacks. Still, it's hard to justify him over Beat Cop or Guard Dog, and her limited five off class slots are often better suited to make up for her low (Drawn to the Flame, "Look what I found!", or even Rite of Seeking). Plus, with her 4 she takes horror much less often than many Guardians that would literally kill to have access to Pete (I'm looking at you Mr. Banks).

Seekers

Minh Thi Phan - Peter is rarely seen in Minh decks. This is another investigator who has little use for the +1 and whose lessens the need for horror soaking. Seekers are also generally spoiled for choice when it comes to allies (we got Dr. Milan Christopher, Mr. "Rook", and even Laboratory Assistant, all of whom tend to help enable combos and synergies that Seekers just love so much).

Rex Murphy - Ah, finally someone who can actually enjoy the +1! Still, those five off class slots are precious. Rex also has a whopping 9 Sanity, and like Minh is spoiled for choice ally-wise. As a result he rarely sees play in Rex decks.

Rogues

Finn Edwards - Might as well be an auto-include for Finn. The +1 is put to amazing use with Finn's free evade, but on top of that, Pete helps make up for Finn's frankly pathetic 1. Yes, Finn only has five slots for Survivor/Seeker cards total, but two of them will always be Peter Sylvestre. You will run two and you will like it. (Okay fine yes you could also run Dr. Milan Christopher, but come on, why would you choose some nerd over the star quarterback of Miskatonic University?)

Jenny Barnes - Rogues aren't exactly known for having great allies. Their only 0 XP ally who provides any kind of passive buff is Dario El-Amin, and the only other one with good utility costs 6 resources. So Jenny, being Jenny, doesn't necessarily mind Pete, however like the other Dunwich investigators she really needs to think carefully about her five off slots. Pete is great for her if combined with other agility passives like Track Shoes and The Moon • XVIII, and the horror healing for Jenny isn't nothing. However she'll often one way or another replace him with Lola Santiago down the line, so typically it's worthwhile to pick something else for those off slots anyway.

Preston Fairmont - Passive boosts are not Preston's style. While Preston has a tendency to fail tests, his deck-building is ridiculously tight and doesn't really have room for healing most of the time. You need to set up your economy engine, you need to get Well Connected or Dark Horse up ASAP. On top of that, because he starts the game with 9 resources in tow, Preston is the only investigator who can play Leo De Luca turn 1 without taking a 'gain a resource' action. There's just no room for you in Preston's club, sorry Pete.

Mystics

Agnes Baker - Pete is a natural pick for Agnes. Usually Mystics need to rely on to do basically anything, but +1 allows Agnes to evade many monsters she can't kill with her main ability or Shrivelling, as well as protecting her from even more treacheries. On top of that, you need the horror sink in order to maximize the amount of horror put on Agnes in the presence of baddies (by minimizing the horror gained when alone). Don't take all the horror from that autofailed Rotting Remains if you can help it- give Pete a few remains, he'll totally forget about them next turn because that's just the kind of guy he is. Run two every time, and upgrade him before anything else because the +1 and +1 Sanity is literally the best upgrade Agnes could ask for.

Jim Culver - Like the other Dunwich investigators, Pete doesn't see much play in Jim decks because of how precious those five slots are. Jim also has additional methods of horror healing and his luck is often strictly better than anyone else's due to his passive ability, which combined with 4 makes horror not a large issue for him. He also can't take good advantage of the +1. His ally slot often goes to Olive McBride to take advantage of the modifier, or to Dr. Elli Horowitz since she can apparently play his Trumpet for him?? Elli is quite talented with all the Relics she just knows how to use.

Marie Lambeau - The +1 is actually not a bad fit for Marie decks, however the horror healing competes with much of what Marie wants to do. She needs allies who bring Doom in play, and unfortunately there's nothing Doomy about Pete's youthful physique. Arcane Initiate, David Renfield, and Alyssa Graham are all vying for a spot in a deck that will inevitably bury them when Baron Samedi shows up. This jazz club is just too crowded.

Survivors

"Ashcan" Pete - Like other Dunwich investigators... oh wait a sec, Ashcan's a Survivor! And he doesn't compete for a slot with Duke! And his +1 rounds out Aschan's statline to all 4's with Duke in play (which is thematically fitting as well as mechanically satisfying). Heck, we could even call our deck The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Now, while Peter Sylvestre's horror soak tends to not be as big of a deal with Duke in play, there are still many Ashcan decks that like to run him. Most notably, the Desperate strategy which uses St. Hubert's Key and/or Meat Cleaver to get Ashcan's sanity down to 3 to play all the fun four icon cards. Sylvestre helps out a ton here by offering a permanent 1 soak per turn to keep Aschan AND Duke alive (because honestly once the doggo is gone there's not much hope left for Aschan). He's also often seen in Dark Horse decks alongside Madame Labranche, though I personally feel something like Track Shoes would be a better choice for a way to bring down your resource pool early while gaining +1. Outside of all of that, Aschan Pete is not the most natural choice for Sylvestre. Look for Survivors (or Finn) who really need the horror soak and boost first.

Calvin Wright - Calvin absolutely adores the horror soak Pete provides, as it helps sustain him when he's on the edge of death (which is exactly where you want him). This allows Calvin to use cards like Delay the Inevitable and Perseverance to protect his health, and Ward of Protection to deny health impacting treacheries you can't afford to test. The +1 is strange however, as it can work if you build Calvin towards evasion (which given the fairly lukewarm pool of weapons available to him is not a bad way to build him). A little physical trauma and maybe a Trench Coat, plus Pete in play, and before you know it Calvin can just evade before taking any actual damage. That said, Calvin decks are incredibly tight, and other allies like Madame Labranche (with Fire Axe) and later Yaotl will sometimes take priority, especially in Dark Horse decks.

Rita Young - This is one heck of a dynamic duo. Rita should be the absolute first choice for Peter Sylvestre among all the Survivors. +1, especially when stacked with Track Shoes (which Rita pretty much always runs) is beyond amazing. Rita can use that for her slew of ridiculously good evade based events: Belly of the Beast, Waylay, Slip Away, and Impromptu Barrier. You can turn that into fighting potential with Ornate Bow, which is miles better than any of her other weapon options. But that's not all. Peter's horror soak is amazing for Rita's 5 Sanity, and his upgrade helps get Rita's to a solid 4 to help protect her Sanity long term. Finally, Rita is another good candidate for a Desperate build alongside Meat Cleaver. She doesn't need Run For Your Life, but she'll happily run Say Your Prayers, Desperate Search, and Reckless Assault. Pete helps pretty much no matter how you choose to build Rita, and the fact that they both attend Miskatonic University makes it that much more thematically satisfying to run these two star athletes together.

Silas Marsh - Most of what I said about Rita applies to Silas as well- he's a great pick for Silas. While not built as well for evading, Silas is still a good choice for Desperate cards and Meat Cleaver, and not even a bad shell for Ornate Bow (though it conflicts with his high somewhat). Arguably he needs the horror soak more than she does with his 2, however he wont be evading as often. Given Silas' nature to include more skill cards and now Grisly Totem to help with skill checks, I'd say Silas doesn't need the +1 nearly as much. Still, an absolutely essential include if there's copies available of him for you to take. And yeah the upgrade should be high priority as well.

Wendy Adams - Even with Fire Axe and Dark Horse, Wendy has a lot of trouble fighting. Though Preston Fairmont also has 1, he can always trigger +6 on the Axe every turn if he wants to, while Wendy just can't. So most Wendy builds have to lean into evasion. Enter Peter Sylvetre. Stacking with cards like Track Shoes, The Moon • XVIII, and Trench Coat, Wendy can be made into an incredibly capable evader. While she doesn't need the soak nearly as much as Rita or Silas, she still appreciates it. Wendy is literally on the art for Waylay so you know exactly what to do.

William Yorick - Out of all the Survivors, Yorick enjoys Pete's company the absolute least. Sure, the +1 puts Yorck at a respectable 4, and sure he needs a way to deal with his low Sanity. However, Pete's competing both with other allies that enable Yorick's recursive ability as well as cheaper soak assets that can be more easily recurred. Yorick simply doesn't need Pete's comfort as long as Mr. Pawterson is in play, and when his Teddy Bear loses all of his fluff and at least one of his eyes falls off he can always dig up another one with the help of Beat Cop. Yorick is a strange creature.

There's also Lola Hayes, but I'm not well versed enough in playing Lola to even attempt to evaluate him there. My understanding is that only being able to trigger his ability on turns where she's a Survivor makes him a harder sell, and that Lola decks are usually combo based, so there's no room to run Pete.

So who are the best investigators to take Peter Sylvestre? Finn Edwards, Agnes Baker, Calvin Wright, Rita Young, and Silas Marsh. If you're playing any of these five, seriously consider running Peter in your deck, and if you're running any of them except Finn, definitely give him an upgrade.

StyxTBeuford · 154
Nice review, I agree with all of your assessments! — jmmeye3 · 115
Able Bodied

Easy to control. Upping and downing the bonus is mostly up to you. 1 item in play typically means a pair of Track Shoes or a weapon. Characters who depend on the 0-cost items, Leather Coat or Cherished Keepsake wont be able to use this at all.

The characters who really shine with just one item in play include:

Cautionary advice, the buff goes down to Unexpected Courage level as soon as you have just 2 items, so be exact with your deckbuilding when you decide to include Able Bodied, no unnecessary items!

Tsuruki23 · 384
The fact that Matt Newman included this card in the same set as Track Shoes is a sign that he wants to push our sanity even before we play the first scenario. Do you lean into Track Shoes, especially with its free tests that ask you to run Rabbit's Foot along with all the other "fail economy" cards? Or do you pack light and rely on your skills to pull you through? It's a tough call. That said I still think this card is still good at two icons- like steadfast you trade late game flexibility for early game power. If you don't happen to find the items you want to have in play, Able Bodied has you covered for a little while. — StyxTBeuford · 154
Steadfast

This skill is either good or terrible, depending on when you draw it. Tougher investigators who resist damage will like it better than the softer bunch, obviously it's the softer bunch that stands to gain the most by drawing Steadfast early.

  • 3 icons is a godsend to many characters, treacheries and all that, Diana Stanley's early magic, you get the drift.

  • 3 is something less interesting, the skill is often better saved for a treachery, but such a big attack boost can be the solution to a big problem.

If drawn early, the card can mount a defense for you against cards like Rotting Remains, which is great, but as time passes and your life goes down the defense weakens. You don't need to have taken too much hurt to be downed to just 2 icons per skill, in which case you're rocking a limited Unexpected Courage, further down the line it's just garbage.

In my honest opinion: If treacheries are your biggest worry as a , grab Guts and Take the Initiative, they are more consistent. If the icons excite you however, then by all means try Steadfast, even so, Unexpected Courage or Overpower might be more consistent.

Just to undercut my point though, choosing between Steadfast or Take the Initiative or Unexpected Courage is really just splitting hairs, if Steadfast floats your boat, then just enjoy!

Tsuruki23 · 384
Even at 2 icons you’re never sad to see this card. The scaling for the early game I think makes it a better choice than Courage nine times out of ten. Also might be better than Take the Initiative for fighters, but if you’re running it mostly for protection then Take is probably better. — StyxTBeuford · 154
Henry Wan

This card is usually terrible, and needs support to be worthwhile. See the argument below to help understand why this is true. Support would be: campaigns/games with less of the negative tokens AND cards that can cheaply and repeatedly alter the outcome of a token draw (such as Wendy Adams).

The cumulative odds of continuing to draw favorable tokens, using the standard difficulty Night of the Zealot chaos token pool is:

  1. 0.6875
  2. 0.458333333
  3. 0.294642857
  4. 0.181318681
  5. 0.105769231
  6. 0.057692308
  7. 0.028846154
  8. 0.012820513

This suggests that on average, you will get slightly less than 2 tokens before failing. Assuming you pass each draw, the chance of not drawing a negative symbol on each token draw is:

  1. 0.6875
  2. 0.666666667
  3. 0.642857143
  4. 0.615384615
  5. 0.583333333
  6. 0.545454545
  7. 0.5
  8. 0.444444444
  9. 0.375
  10. 0.285714286

Strategies and outcomes:

A. If you always stop drawing after 1 token, you will succeed 69% of the time, which is terrible because you get less than one resource or card per action.

B. If you always stop drawing after 2 tokens, here is the likely distribution:

  1. Around half the time, you will pass 2 tests in a row
  2. Around 1/3 of the time, you will draw a fail token right away and get nothing.
  3. Around 1/6 of the time, you will pass the first test and fail the second and get nothing This averages to little less than 1 resource per action, which is still awful.

C. If you always stop drawing after 3 tokens, here is the distribution:

  1. Around 70% of the time, you get nothing because you fail either 1, 2 or 3, and the other 30% of the time you get 3 resources, a little less than 1 resource per action (terrible).
jmmeye3 · 115
Poor Henry. He's just not good enough to catch a break. This basically confirmed my instinct about this card. He might be worth a gamble if it was gain resources and draw, or maybe if it was a free trigger instead, but an action is just too much to spend on that level of risk - even with, say, Wendy it's not worth it to use her ability since you would need to pitch a card, trading a -1 successful draw for a <1 average gain. As it is, he only has some stupidly near-broken potential if you could somehow manipulate most (or all?) of the bad tokens out of the bag. — pneuma08 · 21
I think the one thing you could say about Henry is his ability gives you the option to gain a bunch of resources now, which if you really meed that many resources you probably built the deck wrong anyway. His soak isnt bad for the price also, but that’s a terrible reason to run any ally. Rogue allies are not particularly strong anyway, so it says a lot that Wan is probably the worst one. — StyxTBeuford · 154
Sorry, I made a typo. Instead of “This suggests that on average...” it should read “This suggests that half the time...” The website did not allow me to edit the review. — jmmeye3 · 115
Good review for a terrible card. I think the only reason to take Henry is to troll your friends. — cb42 · 15