Seal of the Seventh Sign

First some numbers. If you combine this with Chthonian Stone and a reasonable bag, you might have 4 out of 15 tokens that cost a charge, meaning this will last around 26-27 draws on average.

On the plus side, this card provides a shield against the dreaded auto-fail token that no other card matches. You could potentially protect everyone in a 4-person party, no matter where they are located, from auto-fail for 3 full rounds. From that perspective, it seems like a pretty powerful effect.

The problem, and the reason I find this card hard to like, is the extreme cost for each failure you prevent. You are probably going to prevent 1-2 tentacle draws by playing this card, at a cost of an action, 4 resources, and a 5 XP cost card. That could be worth it to cancel tentacle draws at really bad times. But you can’t control which tentacle draws you are preventing; a lot of the time, the auto-fail you are preventing, would have come during an investigate check or some other task with no great penalty for failing other than losing an action (or worse, during a treachery skill check you end up failing anyway). And the benefit of not losing 1-2 actions is tiny compared to the heavy cost of this card. You really need to prevent an auto-fail with a heavy, heavy penalty for failure, in order to justify the cost of this card.

And while no other card quite does what this does, there are other ways to protect against auto-fail that are an awful lot cheaper. Such as Time Warp, for example. And while the comparison isn’t a direct one, it is worth mentioning that Father Mateo’s special power does a better job of stopping really important auto-fails than this card, yet it isn’t even that great of a power.

It seems like the time to use this card, would be when the party is about to perform a series of critical actions, every single one of which absolutely has to succeed, and the party is spending a ton of resources to make sure they all succeed, and needs to guard against the auto-fail. Kind of specialized in my book for a 5 XP card.

Good negative binomial math on the token draws. Without the Stone you're looking at 5/16 which puts you around 22-23 draws before it leaves, and when on its own the Token would've come up on average 1/17 times, you're likely just preventing one bad draw. Obviously the more diluted the bag the better this gets, so this could work better in the last scenarios where the campaign typically throws in more numbered tokens. I think the only way to make this card work is through sealing/ignoring tokens (Counterspell could help here) and through some method of extending its life (Akachi, Recharge), and even there I think you're better off like you said with Time Warp in the first place. I think the best way to deal with autofails is still to just have testless cards in your deck (your Intel Reports, Drawn to the Flames, etc). — StyxTBeuford · 147
You fail to account for the benefit of test security. — Tsuruki23 · 383
De Vermis Mysteriis

After doing some thinking about this card and weighing the options available, my verdict is that I think this card is actually really bad right now due to lack of good options for this card to recur. Even ignoring the XP cost this card costs 2 resources and an action to put into play, it takes up a hand slot, and once it's actually in play you have to spend an action and place a doom to actually use it. Realistically you're probably going to have to activate this card 3+ times to good effect without causing the Agenda to prematurely advance to justify that up-front cost. Without any kind of doom manipulation, that is not really possible in the majority of scenarios as they're usually 3 Agendas long and the final Agenda usually fails the scenario. Yes, you can run doom manipulation with this, but I'm just trying to establish that this card has a very significant cost to it before getting into why the benefits aren't all that good.

This card seems like a natural fit for primary Mystics, but in actuality I feel like it's pretty underwhelming. The biggest problem by far is that the overwhelming majority of Event Spells either have timing restrictions (Such as Ward of Protection) and thus cannot be recurred or they just plain suck. Astral Travel is already not a good card, but on top of that even in the scenarios where it is actually good you usually only want to play it once. Storm of Spirits is not terrible but it's very situational, there probably aren't going to be a ton of scenarios where you want to play this card a bunch of times. Recharge is generally not played because the drawback for failing severe and fairly likely, forcing you to run cards like Eldritch Inspiration to counteract it. Honestly the best card by far is Moonlight Ritual, but I think it says a lot that the best spell for this card is one that removes its downside. Lastly for Mystics there's Drawn to the Flame which is an actually great card so I can't really complain about that one.

Then there's all the Insight cards which are overwhelmingly Seeker cards. To be fair, there are a lot of really good Seeker Insight cards, but the problem is that most of them are Fast play, which means that unless you're playing Daisy and using your Tome action on this card you're spending an action to play a card usually doesn't use one. And I feel like it goes without saying that spending an action to play a card that's balanced around not taking an action is pretty bad. For cards that stick out to me as being worth it there's "I've got a plan!", which is generally a fairly situational card. Generally speaking you're usually better off trying to find cards that allow you to consistently deal with enemies rather than one-shot effects like this. Cryptic Research and both Preposterous Sketches are not too bad. Deciphered Reality is pretty strong in the right situation and legit might even be worth just dealing with the doom. Knowledge is Power is good for activating the tome's effect without having to use an action or place a doom. Logical Reasoning is very situational, but when it's good it's lifesaving. And No Stone Unturned might be legit worth playing without fastplaying it given that getting any card you want is super powerful. However, the majority of the Insight cards that I think are very good are either not good in mystic decks (or are at least not worth spending Jim or Marie's out-of-class slots on them) or cost XP. (Meaning that only Daisy can take them) And for Daisy, if you really want to recur Insight cards you can just play Eidetic Memory. Eidetic Memory doesn't require 2 resources and an action before you can use its effect, doesn't put doom in play, doesn't require you to use one of Daisy's precious hand slots, copies the speed of the card so you can use it on Shortcut and still have full value, and doesn't require you to use Daisy's tome action to make things fast. Sure you can only do it once, but those advantages are so massive that I feel like I'd pick up 2 copies of Eidetic Memory before getting any of this card.

In summary, I feel like this card's upfront cost, lackluster cardpool on most the investigators that can run it, and having to deal with its doom make it hard to justify running. On Marie I'd rather occupy my handslots with Magnifying Glass and Grotesque Statue plus I'd rather have doom on David Renfield as he gives a boost to Marie's most important stat, on Daisy I feel like Eidetic Memory overshadows it, and in everyone else I feel like their cardpool is too weak at the moment to justify running it. That might change later in The Dream Eaters as I anticipate that they'll print a lot more (hopefully good) spell events due to how they synergize with Luke Robinson but for now I feel like this card is too much effort for not an especially large payoff.

Sylvee · 41
Marie can take Blood Eclipse. I created a deck the other day built around the idea of using her as a boss-killer, making sure to steer clear of damage so she can recur it for one huge 8 damage splash play. It's a pretty specific type of build though, and relies on there being partners who can tank all of the enemies until the end. — Sassenach · 41
Marie can't actually take Grotesque Statue btw. In fact, there isn't really much competition for her hand slots. I mostly just run double Hawkeyes with her. — Sassenach · 41
For some reason I thought that Marie's weird deckbuilding specifically allowed Grotesque Statue and a small handful of other things despite not having access to level 5 Mystic cards. I guess I misremembered but even with it not competing for Grotesque Statue I still don't feel like the card is still worth running in its current state. — Sylvee · 41
vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv — Sassenach · 41
Sorry, keyboard is on the fritz. What I was about to say... is that there's an interesting potential synergy with Occult Lexicon that might be worth exploring. The bonded cards, Blood Rite, are either a two card draw or swap two cards for two cards you prefer and gain 2 resources or do that to inflict 2 testless damage, all without incurring an AoE. sometimes this only marginally useful, but there are times where it can be exactly what you need. Since you start with one in your hand when you play the Lexicon, if you can get both books in play then Blood Rite will always be there for you at a moment of need. Not sure that necessarily makes the card more worthwhile though, as it would then create a conflict for hand slots. — Sassenach · 41
I believe with current cardpool, trait distribution and all, Grotesque is the ONLY purple card Marie cannot take, despite being - technically speaking - restricted to 0-3 Mystic cards. Weird, huh. — Eruantalon · 93
Ancient Stone

I think this card is probably most comparable to Strange Solution. Both require one action to use and some form of test. (Strange Solution has the test built into the card itself, while Ancient Stone requires an investigate action (which is not always a test but usually is)). However, Ancient Stone is much more difficult to use because:

  • It requires 1 experience to include into the deck, making the whole upgrading process at least 1 scenario longer.
  • You actually want the test to be difficult to get more out of the upgraded versions.

However, if you can pull off the early legwork to get this going, a properly-researched Ancient Stone can be upgraded into some really powerful tools. With a lot of secrets on it, Ancient Stone (Heart of the Elders) can deal a lot of testless damage to monsters, which is amazing in this game. Ancient Stone (Minds In Harmony) is also one of the most efficient ways of healing horror in the game, which makes it a great option for Carolyn Fern (particularly if she has Shrewd Analysis).

There's been some discussion around using Double or Nothing to create an absurdly high skill test. While this is fine, Rogue cards and Seeker cards rarely show up together for the same investigator, so that can take some coordination and it might not be worth the extra effort, since the stars really have to align. However, I have found some success in using 2 copies of Drawing Thin to increase the difficulty by 4, which is still a sizeable amount. Drawing Thin is useable by Minh Thi Phan and Rex Murphy - two investigators that can get a lot of use out of the Ancient Stone - so I think there's good combo potential there. That's to say nothing about how Drawing Thin lets you draw cards before a skill test when you activate it, which means it will be useful even after you use it to boost up the Ancient Stone test number.

Overall, while this is a tough card to play and get set up, I think it is probably worth the investment. I think the new Drawing Thin makes it a lot better, particularly if you are also running Higher Education in non-Taboo scenarios.

Technically the test is built into the card for Ancient Stone too, but there are some location effects which may cause it to not be an Int test. — Death by Chocolate · 10
Before the Taboo list it was relatively easy to pull the Double or Nothing combo with Higher Education, atleast in multiplayer. I used to get the stones with 14-16 secrets after the 3rd scenario of a campaign. Since now Higher Ed costs 8 XP you can't pull this off so easily. Now I am satisfied with 12 secrets and I usuallly get it after the 4th scenario and without using Higher Ed. I think the nerfing of Higher Ed and indirect nerf to the stones is good, since having this with 16 secrets after the 3rd scenario was OP. — Alogon · 23
Investments

When you see this in your opening hand, you can easily expect this to pay off. Will it pay off in a manner that is helpful in the end game depends on how your deck operates. If there is no need for resources for your build late game this card might not be for you.

It makes sense really to take it off when you need it but not really before five or six resources are on it really if you can help it.

Bronze · 73
Since it says the supplies move "to your resource pool" instead of "gain that many resources", I'm fairly certain Preston can use this without having to pull the trigger on Family Inheritance right after- the resources should just go straight to his pool. Also worth running this alongside Lone Wolf and even Hot Streak in any deck that wants resources. I'm thinking Jenny or Preston with Cunning, Money Talks, and Well Connected, or even just to more consistently get extra actions from Skids. — StyxTBeuford · 147
I can't see this card getting very much play tbh. The glaring issue is that this is a card which can only ever be useful if you draw it early, and even then it's going to be a slow burn. It costs you a resource and an action to play it and then only grows by 1 resource per turn thereafter. You then need to spend another action to recoup the money. If you play it turn 1 then do that on turn 3 to pull in 3 resources you've effectively spent 2 actions to gain 2 resources, which you could have done anyway. Do it on turn 4 and you've spent 2 actions to gain 3 resources, which is worse than Emergency Cache. Realistically this card will need to sit gathering interest for at least 4 turns after it hits the table, probably more. Which means of course that if you don't see it by about turn 3 or 4 of the game then you're going to have to seriously question whether it's worth playing at all and all it's worth is a book pip. To a certain extent the same applies to most economy cards of course. Drawing Thin is fantastic if you hit it early but can be pretty meh if you don't. At least that can give you a big boost right away when you play it though. With Investments you don't have that advantage, if it's not in your starting hand or drawn shortly afterwards at a time when you have a spare action to play it then it it's a throwaway card and you're likely to want to see almost anything else that's in your deck. — Sassenach · 41
I can't help thinking it would be much better if it didn't cost an action to recoup the money. If it were another free trigger/exhaust action to do that then it would still be inherently limited (you could either build the fund or pay it out but not both), but the lack of an action cost to cash in would mean this could be played later in a scenario and still be worth it. — Sassenach · 41
I think you're underrating the card quite a bit. You're right that it's not a good draw late, so if you have the ability to feed it into Cornered or Wendy/Ashcan's Ability it'd work out better for you, but it's not so much about resource gain. I think it's more that you pay one action to allow you to defer one "gain a resource" action for later so that you can play one particularly pricey asset later on. It even has the advantage of being playable in Dark Horse since it holds resources that aren't actually a part of your pool, which might allow those builds to run higher cost things. I think most importantly it affords you freedom to sink resources into checks using Streetwise or Scrapper (and Rex could even use it with Higher Ed) without having to worry about being unable to pay for any asset. As soon as it hits 4 resources (and 4 turns is not very long at all even late game), pretty much every card you could want to play is merely 2 actions away. For a money build I don't see any reason not to run it in addition to Cache/Streak and Lone Wolf. — StyxTBeuford · 147
You can play arround emrgency cache4 and contraband2 — toriano · 2
This card is not bad, it is terrible. As alredy mentioned by a previous commentator if this doesn't appear in your opening hand or first 3 draws it is pretty much useless, hell even if you get it quite early you may not want to waste 1 action and 1 ressource on it because you need to play other important assets ASAP. So to make it work you need to draw it early, have the window of opportunity to play it, wait 6+ Rounds to make a decent profit and have such a limited card pool that you can somehow justify puting this in your deck on the firs place :D ...and by the way using Investments with e-cache (4) doesn't make any sense lol, why would you put your ressources on this card if you can just put them directly on your ressource pool? Why would you waste a Contraband on this card if there are many better targets and if playing it costs you anyway 4-3 ressources? and if you play them all together then you are getting a maximum of 7 ressources by expending 3 cards, 4 actions and 6 XP , which is terrible... — Alogon · 23
Sefina finds this card a more useful choice, given the size of her opening draw. Take two copies in your deck and she has a 60% of drawing at least one of them. — Cluny · 38
You could trigger this card in immediately for 10 ressources if have venturer in play, play ecache 4 and contrand on it. Not sure it's worth it, because you spent 4 actions, drew 3 cards and spend 5 ressources (not counting venturer). — Django · 1807
Try and Try Again

Ever fail so hard you win?

Take Heart + Try and Try Again = Fail

Drawing Thin + Rabbit's Foot = Even Better

(My review needed to be two hundred words to post. So I wrote a useless blurb on the bottom of my review. Honestly this process seems kinda of silly all things considered. I mean If someone can articulate a thought in a concise way without a long winded review wouldn't that be superior.)

redtitan · 7
There's been several discussions about this. Unfortunately, Take Heart and Try and Try Again do not combo together. Try and Try Again is a response to a skill test failing that occurs in Step 6, when you determine success and failure. You apply the results of failure (e.g. Take Heart) in Step 7. So you could return Take Heart in Step 6 using Try and Try Again, but you wouldn't get any benefit from Take Heart in the process. The upgraded Grisly Totem on the other hand does apply during Step 7 and will combo with Take Heart. — StyxTBeuford · 147
Isn't the wording similar as in Grisly Totem, so Matt Newmanns response that Grisly Totem triggers in Step 7 applies to "Try and try again" as well? — Django · 1807
Sry, ignore my last comment. I hadn't read the detailed answers to Grisly Totem. — Django · 1807