Mark Harrigan

I love Mark. I think he is the strongest multiplayer Guardian on high difficulty levels. Allow me to explain why.

First, there's that beautiful stat line. I'm not talking about the fact that Mark has 1 more total stat point than most investigators (though that is nice). What's so special here is that Mark is a Guardian with 5 Combat. He is just really good at his job. That extra Combat makes a massive difference on high difficulty levels, especially in the early campaign. Mark simply gets better results from his Fight actions than other Guardians do. Later in the campaign, when weapons like Flamethrower and Lightning Gun are granting massive to-hit bonuses, Mark's high Combat is less of an advantage. But on Expert it always has at least some use.

Mark's non-Combat stats may seem unspectacular, but it's important to factor in Sophie here. Sophie means that Mark can easily have 5 Willpower or 5 Agility on demand. This means that Mark is not nearly so vulnerable to the encounter deck as he might appear. On the contrary, he is actually really good at resisting treacheries, at least by the standards of the Guardian class. Obviously, you can't use Sophie on every test you ever take. But you'll draw an average of about 2 to 3 Willpower treacheries per scenario (depending a bit on the cycle), so it's perfectly plausible to have Sophie protect you from all of them, or at least all of the ones you care about.

Sophie's best application is defending against the encounter deck, but boosting up to 7 Combat is really useful on Hard/Expert. Also, the fact that Mark can boost any stat on demand means he is surprisingly useful when a location demands some random Willpower or Agility test. Don't forget that Mark can also use Sophie twice to get to 7 in these stats, or even 6 Intellect. You won't want to do this all that often, because that's a lot of direct damage to be taking in a hurry, and if you use Sophie twice on one test you only draw one card. But it's a nice option to have in reserve. I recommend two copies of Second Wind to get the most out of Sophie (while also protecting you from Shell Shock.)

Mark's card draw ability is also strong. It's a lot of free value; damage naturally comes throughout the scenario, you should be making some use of Sophie, and there are plenty of player cards like Beat Cop II, True Grit, and Brother Xavier that can keep the cards flowing while granting you extra value on top of that. Mark's ability makes him one of the most consistent investigators, as he will see almost all (and quite often literally all) of his deck every single scenario.

Mark's 5 Sanity is a weakness, of course. But Sophie boosting up Mark's Willpower is really nice here. So is Mark's card draw--you will very reliably be able to find your horror soak and horror healing cards before the scenario is over. These two considerations mean that, although Mark and Roland seem to have the same parameters in this area, Mark tends to be significantly more durable.

Some advice on deckbuilding for Mark. I do recommend Flamethrower as the strongest Guardian card out there. There's also a very cute .45 Thompson + Act of Desperation build out there. That's a good time, but a repeatable 4 damage per Fight action is much better.

Stick to the Plan is very important for Mark. He tends to struggle with resources (more on that later), but having a guaranteed Ever Vigilant in your opening hands goes a long way towards mitigating that. I think Prepared for the Worst and Extra Ammunition are good choices for the second and third cards under Stick to the Plan, assuming you're going for the Flamethrower build.

Some players see Mark's great stat line and the further boosting offered by Sophie and conclude that skill cards are unnecessary, but I think this is in error. If Mark is drawing nothing but assets and events, he just won't be able to pay for them all. He'll have to commit quite a few of them to skill tests--and if you're going to be doing that, it's more efficient to run some actual skill cards. Steadfast, Take the Initiative, and Vicious Blow are all very good for him, as are Guts and Overpower.

I sometimes run Flashlight and/or Scene of the Crime in the early campaign. But assuming my teammates are competent clue-finders (and if they're not, why am I playing Mark?), it doesn't make sense for Mark to do much cluefinding. Much better to focus on keeping the board clear of monsters and keeping everyone safe and healthy. That's a crucial role in a multiplayer game, and I don't think anyone does it as well as Mark.

CaiusDrewart · 1498
Flamethrower

Although this card is powerful, one thing to note is that Flamethrower does not work on exhausted massive enemies, since massive enemies aren’t considered to be engaged to any investigators, as per the rules reference. So if your teammates have an evasion strategy going, it might be better to take a good old fashioned Lightning gun.

I don't find this a compelling reason to prefer Lightning Gun, myself. Why not Flamethrower the enemy on your turn for massive damage, then have your teammate evade it afterwards? (In the rather unlikely event that it survived the Flamethrower attacks, that is.) — CaiusDrewart · 1498
Miss Doyle

Miss Doyle is a cool cat, but perhaps the cats of Ulthar are not what the doctor ordered?

TL:DR. A little expensive in resources, it's luck dependent and it's really a 4 XP card since you're going to want Charisma too, Patrice Hathaway is a crazy cat-lady though and is rarely seen without her furry friends. Generally high card-draw decks should consider this card when they level up.

Hope.

Zeal.

Augur.

These are the cards Miss Doyle brings to bear, one randomly from the start, the rest will show up, eventually.

The cats are good, no question about that, if you ever had Duke in your play area you will know that replacing your base value is fun and good, the variety of cats makes then attractive to a variety of folks, all the will love Augur for the 1 / turn replacement, it's a great starting point for and some characters will search aggressively for this one cat and never use the discard outside niche circumstances. Hope is somewhat less universally liked since much of the faction sports base values at 4 or 5 already, he's going to get discarded as soon as another cat hits the discard pile, if not sooner. Zeal is also going to see a lot of discards, her replacement is marginally useful without bonus damage to capitalize on, however an autohit attack is a sparkly wonder indeed.

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Executing the "furry flurry" is great fun, I speak of course off those moments where you've got 1 cat in play and at least one in the discard, that moment where you throw a cat at an enemy to finish it off, another cat at another enemy to distract them, a third cat at the nearby mysterious wallpaper, to latch onto and scratch it off to reveal the elder sign underneath, bonus points if you rock 2x Charisma and more cats to make this a 5 cat combo move.

Luck IS a factor for the cats, you'll routinely be herding them only to realize you've got the wrong one in play and none in the discard, this is especially annoying when you play Miss Doyle and come up with Hope or Zeal without any enemies to use them on or no intention to, "I could Hope this guy and keep moving, or I could hit it with my Meat Cleaver and not worry about it henceforth".

Another downside to the cats is their tendency to kill draws. You don't draw Miss Doyle once, you draw her 3, 4, 5+ times per scenario! Once she is in play and you're flexing the cats, finding specific cards you need will be a little harder, it might be worthwhile to try and be set up before you play her. I'dd go so far as to say that the cats are a liability, a Weakness, if you put them in a full on deck, Agnes Baker stay away!

Note that the shuffle mechanic is a "may", you can drop the cat in your discard to have it ready for future combos.

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The cats are actually very fluid once you find them, characters with deep discard piles and rapid draw speeds (Minh Thi Phan, Patrice Hathaway, Silas Marsh) will like them best, the cats are most consistent if you can get them into play for free via their inbuilt mechanics. That said their self-play based mechanics are rarely "feelsbad" moments and wont leave you stuck, since their Fast keyword lets you brute force the most immediately useful cat onto the field if they wind up in your hand.

This also means: The cats are expensive. You pay a relative fortune at 3 resources for Miss Doyle and a random cat, and paying 1 resource here and there (probably 1 or 2 times per scenario) makes it a bit harder to run this thing with certain ever popular builds. There is also the hidden cost of Charisma, Miss Doyle is a 1-off, therefore you really want some other ally around as well (probably Peter Sylvestre, Mr. "Rook" or Jessica Hyde), making Charisma a necessity.

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The cats get quite a bit of perfectly decent support in-faction, you can entice a cat with the contents of your trash bin, getting the combo going if all the cats got discarded, and you never know when you'll run into a cat. Zeal can deliver an autohitting Stunning Blow and Hope can distract the whole room with a Survival Instinct, with the right class combinations you might even land Deduction or Vicious Blow in this manner. Note that as allies you can hit them with Calling in Favors, which is a pretty neat trick to get a different cat or some bigger friends into play.

Patrice Hathaway is definitely the intended audience, her ability finds kitties at breakneck speed, and the kitties in turn go back in her deck and help her slow down, also ensuring that she'll keep finding kitties even faster as her deck shrinks! All the stats are useful to her, although you might find yourself gagging on Zeals furballs. Preston Fairmont and Calvin Wright also like the cats, for obvious reason, these latter two would still need to find ways to up their draw power to make the cats consistent and not gimp their decks.

The low-key "Huh, more useful then I thought" character with Miss Doyle is William Yorick, he really benefits from all the different cats and can play a few tricks with his innate ability to control which cat is in play, notably you can discard the one cat several times and get it back repeatedly, this is especially useful with Zeal and Augur. Also, you'll get the same kind of "Huh, more useful then I thought" thought if you play the cats in a Dunwich campaign, that campaign more then any other attacks your deck and has a high chance to find your cats for you, it's like Lupara in Forgotten age, the perfect hunting ground.

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All in all Miss Doyle is a fine card, I bet you can find some particular interactions where she's gamebreaking, but the happenstance nature of her cats reigns in her power a lot, she'll be a stable in Patrice Hathaway, for whom finding single copies of an ally is not an issue and fishing for the other cats is no issue at all, rather all the "dudded" draws from drawing cats will be a boon for her.

The weirdest bit about this card is that, because of the luck elements, she actually feels a lot more like a card, although she is definitely most useful in the faction.

This is a length review and perhaps not terribly positive, but I would still recommend this card, it is definitely not a dud and I greatly enjoy playing it, both as a cat-person and as someone who likes cards that have crazy mechanics.

Tsuruki23 · 794
Cute Cats.I suggest to give it Myriad,so I can see these sweety quickly. — shuiping · 1
Knowledge is Power

Edit: Some Luke and Marie testing, also no need for the Lola shade.

This card is great.

At face level, this is not a bad level 0 card, you can get a bonus trigger from a combative spell like Shrivelling or clue spell like Rite of Seeking without paying any resources to put it in play or even spending an action. Pushing the limits to make 4 attacks in a turn is a great ability on it's own, well worth a card, but when you start upgrading cards and using this to key off-of them it becomes outrageously good.

  • 4 Shots from Shrivelling to deal 12 damage in a turn, normally something not possible without very big guns combined with cards.

  • Trigger Encyclopedia as a fast action, to gain that bonus to a combat relevant ability and use it to win a fight.

The sneaky bit of goodness to this card is the ability to hit cards in your hand as well, you get a chance to oust yourself from scary situations by calling upon assets you havent got in play yet, this is especially useful at the start of a scenario or when the mythos deck is killing assets or resources.

It also gives you leeway to play with an overloaded slot ( characters tend to have an overabundance of Hand items, characters have trouble with Arcane slots). While your hands or Arcane slots are full you can snipe a card in your hand, possibly saving charges on something, whilst also refunding a potential dud draw.

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The biggest issue with Knowledge is Power is it's class. It's a decidedly card that's printed yellow. Which limit's it's extreme power, which I guess is fair, if this card were it'd be a contributing factor to making Akachi Onyele and Agnes Baker the uncontested best characters in the game.

The standouts who get the most from Knowledge is Power are:

  • Norman Withers, he needs to make use of his level 0 to do a lot of work, and this card definitely helps him stay relevant while he is still skilling up Shrivelling and makes him an outright powerhouse once he's got just 10 XP. The way Norman powers through a deck with his ability, you can get all of this goodness set up at breakneck pace.

  • Luke Robinson, he's fresh off the presses so I dont fully know all the options, but he has native access so he can get the fancy Tome shenanigans going that Norman cannot. I still think Norman's raw draw power wins out in the end. Also he can do some interesting teleport spellcasting. Think Mists of R'lyeh blasting an enemy engaged with a friend at another location or Rite of Seeking nuking a location from his pocket dimension.

P.S. Daisy Walker, Rex Murphy and Finn Edwards can do some stunts too, but it's coming at the cost of precious slots or locked to triggering on 0 level spells, sure you can trigger it on a big book like Pnakotic Manuscripts but really, that card doesn't hold a candle to beasts like Shrivelling or Rite of Seeking.

Tsuruki23 · 794
It’s early to say since Luke just came out, but this card does seem good for him since it’s an event. I believe he should be able to use it to make a spell attack an enemy at a connecting location. — ArkhamInvestigator · 174
Yeah the most interesting use for Luke I've found with these is using Mists of R'lyeh or Shrivelling from an adjacent location. You could also use it to directly attack an Aloof enemy adjacent to your location, as you would be playing this event as if the Aloof enemy is already engaged with you. In solo this isn't as useful as you might hope, but in multi I can see it doing a ton of work. — StyxTBeuford · 418
Re: Daisy and Rex (or any other seeker) - getting an extra (and fast) charge off of Archaic Glyphs doesn’t seem either weak or niche to me. — Death by Chocolate · 12
Kleptomania

how will it work with Charon's Obol? Who will get the additional exp? I guess the owner will.Because u should get Charon back when the game ends,and Charon give the owner exp during the resolution of a scenario. Or the thief will get?That's very interesting.

shuiping · 1
Charon's Obol is a permanent so I'm pretty sure it can't be stolen. — Sassenach · 53
A card with the permanent keyword cannot be discarded by any means. — shuiping · 1
Looking at the rules entry for permanent, it says permanent cards can't be discarded, shuffled into investigators' decks or used to pay for effects involving cards being returned to hand or shuffled into decks, but doesn't say anything about moving control between investigators without discarding it. So , rules as written, I'd say it can be moved by both this card and teamwork. As far as the effects of the obol go, the timing point is "during the resolution of a scenario" so it should be back in the deck of its original controller by then and the effects should apply to them. Oddly enough , it seems to me that for the second effect the wording is "if you were defeated during that scenario" so I think it also happens while earning EXP and so would also apply to the original controller. In other words the only effect of stealing the Obol would be satisfying your Kleptomania. That's just my reading though and it might be one for the FAQ, maybe? — bee123 · 15
Where in the rules reference does it say that cards will be back in their decks during resolution? If that was true, Delve Too Deep would be worthless. I vote that the effect of the Obol is on whoever controls it at the end. — Death by Chocolate · 12