Key of Ys

Hi folks--this is less a review than a post to point out that in the new "List of Taboos" FFG released with new Errata, Key of Ys has been "Mutated" to have the Exceptional keyword. That would mean this would cost a whopping 10xp, right? That almost certainly puts it outside of playable for most decks. That seems like a wild over-correction to me... I appreciate the List of Taboos as an incentive to keep deckbuilding fresher... but what do you all think?

I personally would be disposed to house-rule it to keep the exceptional key-word, but shift the XP to 3 or even 4 (which would total 6 or 8 xp). A 10 XP total cost just seems grossly prohibitive.

Malgox · 4
Yes, for me, it's a little like, now you won't play this card! In my groups we never had to have prohibitive rules like that! We have a general guideline, only Calvin can take the key, well we're partial to Calvin! — mogwen · 85
The "Taboos" section in the FAQ includes the Limited, Mutated and Forbidden clarifications... this is entirely optional. I believe you should only use it if you have played enough to require a different challenge. For me its something i will not apply in my sessions. — Adrian San · 1
The Taboo list hits 4 cards that I liked to (ab)use: Machete, Higher Ed, Street Wise and Dr. Milan. I think the Taboo list is great, because it encourages creative deck building. I think the list nerfs seekers and rogues the most. — Alogon · 19
I think the taboo modifications are fair with the exception of Elusive and Machete, because with them, you´ll never gonna pay 2xp to buy them. Because you have Elusive(2) and .45(2), wich are clearly more effective. — Fenrirgarm · 3
I usually don´t play with the Key of Ys, since its release because i think its not well designed. But I think they could simply modify the "placed on you" part of the text, to "Whenever you receive any horror", that way its a strong card, but it forces you to be careful. — Fenrirgarm · 3
I don't know, "only Calvin can take the key" sounds like a pretty prohibitive rule to me! — Death by Chocolate · 10
Yeah, I recognize that these are optional rules--it just seemed pretty harsh... but I like limited powerful cards like this to the investigators that may need them most! Totally applaud that, @Adrian San — Malgox · 4
@Fenrirgarm I totally agree. A better fix IMO would have been to change the Forced ability slightly. — Daerthalus · 4
To >> Forced - When any amount of horror would be "dealt to" you: Place 1 of that horror on Key of Ys. — Daerthalus · 4
I think the change to Key of Ys is fair, as it is a ridiculous card. — Katsue · 3
Ruins of New York

I love the shoutout to 'Valérian, agent spatio-temporel' (not sure under which name it was released in the US) in this card, the destroyed New York of 1986 is one of the alternate future timelines there that the heroes try to prevent in that Graphic Novel. Kudos for deriving the artwork for this card from the cover of "La Cité des Eaux mouvantes".

Shakiko · 3

Gotta say, this card is getting very appealing as a key first weapon in a Leo Anderson deck.

Leo starts with a good Fight value of 4 and will likely have at least one Beat Cop in his deck and hopefully out early, so that's Fight 5. Add a Guard Dog to that for a missed swing and you're doing damage anyway...and have a Survival Knife in the other hand and you're really starting to rock.

With a lot of enemies having a Fight of 2 or 3, even Leo and one Cop will give him a 5 vs. 3 test, and that's easily upped by getting Lone Wolf going with Keen Eye or Physical Training.

And when you get into big bosses, many have Retaliate anyway.

This is an underrated as heck and a guaranteed 2 Damage with no ammo drawbacks.

I see very little reason to run this card over Machete even in Leo Anderson. Machete just seems to be a lot better in many ways. Yes, some bosses already have retaliate, but others don't and there are many strong enemies with high fight value who also don't have retaliate. If this card gave you a +combat bonus to the attack it might 've been worth consideration, but as it is, it is very unappealing. — matt88 · 521
For me, the ability to engage with more than one enemy at a time and still do 2 damage on a hit is great especially early in a cycle. In games with 2 or 3 players where one is just going after clues, it’s even more appealing. Machete penalises you for taking on more than one at once; knuckleduster doesn’t. IMO if you manage your Fight this is a great card. — Krysmopompas · 3
If you'd said Mark instead of Leo (and if Mark could even run this), I could maybe agree with you, but a native fight of 4 doesn't feel like enough. Also, remember that you only get to use the survival knife's reaction during the enemy phase, so you get no benefit from it when you miss your knuckleduster swings. — TheNameWasTaken · 2
Weak card...weak review — Alogon · 19
Weak card...weak review — Alogon · 19
On a lower difficulty where +2 could be enough, and in a multiplayer game where you may have to face multiple enemies on a regular basis (the only reason to consider this over Machete), it may be worth giving this card a second look. I'm not sure how unwieldy the enemies may be in four player, but with three players, we very rarely have a situation where Machete isn't good enough. That said, I don't agree that this is a weak review. — cb42 · 15
I think if this didn't take up a hand slot (y'know... you can hold a gun while wearing these, maybe), I think they'd be as good as people keep trying to make them. With enchanted blade out now, i don't think Guardians even need to consider this. Non-Guardians might like it if they can't get machete, but they'll really miss the extra accuracy. — SGPrometheus · 125
I think it will see more play the day a Rogue with 4 or 5 combat comes out! I look at you, Michael McGlenn, come here! — mogwen · 85
I've been playing it more and it's grown on me too. Not nearly as solid as machete but works really well in niche builds like "bought in blood" Leo (i.e. leo with hired muscles, treasure hunters, etc.) — Dont Blink · 1
The only place I've found so far for Knuckleduster is with Wendy and The Red-Gloved Man. At 6 combat she doesn't miss the lack of a combat boost so much, and TRGM can soak any retaliation (or she can evade first). — Herumen · 1074
having to A) Engage with an enemy and B) make sure it's the only enemy you engage with are big reasons why I don't like Machete as much as others. If your guardian has to run across the map to save a Seeker (for example) from an enemy, you have to move, engage, and fight, hoping you're not dragging another monster you're already engaged with you. I stand by Knuckleduster's 2 Damage being better than Machete, at least on Easy/Standard, the only mode I play on! — Krysmopompas · 3
Alice Luxley

Of course for the majority of investigators this will be compared to Dr. Milan Christopher. She doesn't mix well Mark Harrigan and Zoey Samaras, but she works with the others just fine. Roland Banks, Joe Diamond and Leo Anderson have the options of taking either naturally, as does Carolyn Fern, but all the Dunwich investigators might consider this as well if their focus is a mixed bag or a desire for additional boost in their investigations.

With respect to the effect itself, Dr. Milan Christopher will be doing more work per turn given that he is not limited by the number of times that he can trigger in a single phase (although he probably should have been an exhaust just like Alice).

Alice is a secondary consideration in a larger group of investigators however where one of you can take Dr. Milan Christopher and the other can take Alice Luxley. She also has the capability of occasionally doing points of damage and combos well with Scene of the Crime that doesn't trigger attacks of opportunity. A nice, get a clue and swat that Will O' Wisp into a smear.

There are also secondary reasons to take Alice Luxley in addition to her effect of being able to increase offensive power. That one extra health might not seem like much, but the last two campaigns have been introducing treacheries that target allies with damage assigned to them. Alice Luxley can survive one of these being drawn, while Dr. Milan Christopher will be taken out. It's not as minor a thing as it might sound. Often, you will put down those one health allies to lose them halfway through a scenario, while Alice will remain for the entirety if you are lucky.

Bronze · 69
Leo Anderson can’t take Dr. Milan Christopher. — Death by Chocolate · 10
Angered Spirits

Just a note as this is mentioned on the page for Roland's Cover Up weakness, but is not noted here. The same principle applies:

If Akachi is eliminated (by being defeated or taking a resign action) while Angered Spirits is in play, Angered Spirits's Forced effect triggers, as per the FAQ [V1.0, section 'Rulebook errata', topic "Elimination"]: For the purpose of resolving weakness cards, the game has ended for the eliminated investigator. Trigger any “when the game ends” abilities on each weakness the eliminated investigator owns that is in play. Then, remove those weaknesses from the game.”

This is just as tricky to manage for Akachi as it is for Roland, as she already has a lower health value. In campaigns that result in many physical trauma to investigators (The Forgotten Age, for instance), this can put Akachi at a disadvantage to other mystics if not managed carefully.

soakman · 9