Drawing Thin

There was allot of hype about this card when it was spoiled and many reviewers considered it to be “OP” and a sure candidate for the next update of the “Taboo List”. Because you get the resources independently of the result of the skill test many consider this card to be free resources or card draw. After using this card though its limitations become apparent:

  1. Expending actions to trigger this is from an action economy perspective not worth it most of the time. The only benefit of doing this would be 1 resource, which is quite mediocre considering the price of failure in this game (#BS-Tokens).

  2. Accordingly, you want to trigger this card on test you don’t have to expend actions to initiate, namely skill test triggered by revelation effects of encounter cards or locations and skill test triggered by reaction effects of assets like Track Shoes. This means you can’t trigger Drawing thin at will. You have to hope for the right treachery or have track shoes and don’t care about failing the test or even succeeding and moving to a place you don’t want to go. This of course is a heavy consistency blow to this card.

  3. As any card that deals benefits over time, the efficiency of Drawing thin diminishes the later you get to play it. If it appears late during the scenario you probably won’t be able to take the possible tempo hit to play it and trigger it. This adds up to the consistency problem.

  4. I have to also emphasize the price of failure in this game. The effects of the infamous BS-tokens (cultist, skull, tablet, squid) can go from irrelevant to devastating depending on the scenario and the difficulty you are playing on. At least in 4 scenarios of a campaign the negative effects will be egregious, specially on hard and expert. “If you fail add 1 doom to all cultist in the game”, “if you fail search for X monster enemy and draw it”, “if you fail take 2 horror and burn your collection”…ok the last one was a joke but you get the point.

In conclusion I will say that this card can be awesome in certain circumstances but at least for me it fails to make a big impact more often than not. Using Drawing thin effectively requires good deckbuilding skills and some insight in game tempo and action economy. It is not like good old (pre nerf) Dr. Milan Christopher that you can just put into play and make it rain. For this reasons I wouldn’t support a nerfing of this card.

PD: I tried Drawing thin in the Return to the Night of The Zealot and in the first 5 scenarios of the Circle Undone on hard difficulty with Wendy Adams.

Alogon · 23
I agree with this. I feel like it's a really powerful card, but only as part of the right combo, whereas e.g the Key of Ys is/was just enormously brilliant all the time. I think in some ways the card it's most comparable to is Double or Nothing. Both cards encourage you to try and get as much as possible out of a single skill check, but the main differences are that Double or Nothing wants you to pass the skill check at increased difficulty while Drawing Thin wants you to fail, the maximum payout from Drawing Thin is lower and Drawing Thin can be used every turn. So, since it's much easier to guarantee that you fail than guarantee, I can see why Drawing Thin looks so attractive as the missing piece, so to speak, of the survivor fail-to-win combo. That said, though, I don't think it's the only way to use the card. The most use I've got out of Drawing Thin is in a Finn deck with Lockpicks and Lola Santiago. I think that gets around the two big costs of the card , in that you're not spending actions just to trigger Drawing Thin (because you want to investigate anyway), and you're aiming to pass the check so the consequences of failing aren't a problem. And base 10 investigation skill is often high enough that adding +2 to the test difficulty doesn't make a practical difference to the odds of success. In that case , it's all upside. So I think that because Drawing Thin is only really really good within combos, and because those combos are quite diverse it's going to be tricky to nerf it without making it useless. If it does end up on a taboo list, I'll be interested to see if the designers strike that balance :) — bee123 · 9
Must say when I first saw this card I thought it was hugely OP, or at least it really needed to cost a couple of xp to make it more realistic. Having used it a bit in a variety of decks I'm less sure of that now though. The best results I had with it were with Wendy in combination with either Trackshoes/Peter Sylvestre or Lockpicks. It's massively useful there because you can trigger it during a test that you're likely to succeed at even with the extra 2 difficulty. I haven't tried it yet, but I'd imagine it would also be great for Agnes in combination with Pete Sylvestre(2) , Holy Rosary and Sixth Sense. In that scenario you can just plough through any shroud 3 or lower location and likely get a clue + 2 resources every time. If you're aiming to use it as a 'fail to win' card it's not so hot though. It's basically take an action to gain 2 resources, which is not terrible exactly but how often are you able to just burn an action ? I've run it a number of times in decks without an obviously dominant combo and found that most of the time the returns were way more disappointing than I expected them to be. — Sassenach · 41
I agree with the comments, Drawing Thin shines only within a well thought combo. Having to set up for it to work properly though limits the consistency of the card. I think that in a Finn Edwards deck with Lokpicks, Lola Santiago and Track Shoes this card has the most probability to shine. Nevertheless it must be considered that on hard and expert difficulty, specially during the mid-late campaign, the chaos bag will get so nasty, that you will be burning through your lockpicks allot quicker if you are using them while triggering Drawing Thin. — Alogon · 23
I’ve been running it in Calvin on Normal Circle Undone, and it’s been great. I fail tests often enough anyways that it floods me with resources, and it has a sweet combo with fire axe that lets me make multiple bonus damage attacks with an attack bonus in a round. That said, there are also plenty of rounds that I don’t have the opportunity to use it, especially in the late game after I’ve built up, but it doesn’t really matter by then. In my experience, it hasn’t been OP, but it has definitely been strong. — Death by Chocolate · 10
I didn't consider Calvin because he is...well Calvin, the embodiment of masochism. I think in his case it becomes even more vital to draw Drawing Thin early to make it work, because of his painfully (he literally has to take damage) slow set up and momentum/tempo problems at the start of the scenario. — Alogon · 23
I think it's worth noting that you're very likely to draw Drawing Thin early if you really need it, given that you're willing to mulligan your whole hand. Expected # of Drawing Thins drawn in an opening hand (that seeks through 10 cards given the mulligan; this is a hypergeometric expected value) in a deck with 2 of them is 2*10 / 33, or 20/33. So on average your hand will have 3/5 of a copy of DT, and the variance is 20/33 * 31/33 * 23/32, or about 4/9 , S.Dev is about 2/3, so it's reasonable to expect around 1 copy in every other opening hand. You could go further with this and say that we probably are also running Take Heart and Rabbit's Foot, which will help us draw into Drawing Thin earlier if it isn't in our opening hand, so the expected number of economy cards in an opening hand given we're willing to mulligan for them is 6*10/33 or almost 2, meaning our average opening hand has around two of these cards in them (variance is 60/33 * 27/33 * 23/32, about 1 therefore S. Dev is also about 1, so expect on average 1-3 of these cards in an opening hand). I'd say if you're running DT in an economy deck it's reasonable to expect that you'll draw into them, and with Calvin there's not really any other good early game options for him (aside from Rise to the Occasion and the new card coming in Clutches), so he's perfect for such a set up. — StyxTBeuford · 147
Actually quick correction: the odds are slightly better because it really should be out of 31, not 33 (weaknesses get automatically replaced). — StyxTBeuford · 147
I've played William Yorrick last week with all 3 fail to win cards and had often 2 parts in my starting hand (i mulliganed for a weapon and them). Not sure if this card is OP, but i consider it very strong. I could trigger it nearly every turn to generate lots of ressources or draw cards. This flexibility is also very helpful and hard to decide, sometimes. — Django · 1807
Intersting probability calculations. Sure, with Calvin you may want to hard mulligan for Drawing Thin, balancing the fact that for him is even more important to draw it early. With other investigators the probabilities go down though because you usuaklly want to keep 2 - 3 cards from your opening hand. — Alogon · 23
Two days ago I had a really strong game with Drawing Thin after I drew two copies of it relatively early on the scenario and I also had my talents in play (2 copies of High Roller). When you have 2 in play and a way to transform those ressources into momentum/tempo, using talents or expensive strong cards for example, is when Drawing Thin starts becoming OP. This ideal situation happens very selten though and you still have to do some smart piloting when deciding to trigger Drawing Thin or not. — Alogon · 23
I think it could still be valid with other investigators. It really has to be built around those economy cards, but it makes sense to mulligan for them since they help you draw into the other things you need. — StyxTBeuford · 147
Enchanted Blade

I really like this card in Mark Harrigan, and think that it might be a good option for Roland Banks as well. I think the card combines 3 different effects into one for a pretty cheap price. Over time the card will generally end up drawing you 3 cards and healing 3 horror for 3 resources, but on top of that it's a weapon that gives you +2 to hit and also can gain +1 damage when you need it. The downside of it having such limited charges is somewhat mitigated by the fact that at least for 3 health enemies you still take the exact same amount of attacks to kill, and with a character like Mark you already want to be running Beat Cop, Vicious Blow, and have access to The Home Front so you can make the card 1-shot 3-4 health enemies without having to exert TOO much effort. The temporary nature of the card is made up for by the fact that it draws you cards, so you can reasonably draw into another weapon with that. And the Sanity heal is wonderful, Mark and Roland are both investigators that you're always worried about taking Horror, but most of the horror healing cards in the game are pretty slow and aren't very good, meaning you had to choose between playing weak reactive cards or put yourself at great risk of getting defeated by Horror. With this card you can get some crucial horror healing while not having to divert yourself from your main gameplan. It might be a bit bad to spend 3 XP on a weapon that isn't really going to be your primary option into late-game, but it's a solid rolefiller that I think is worth the XP cost, especially if you have a bit to spend.

Sylvee · 41
The XP cost is a tad high, but this is probably one of the best "backup" weapons out there. Not only is it good enough until you draw your main weapon, but it actually helps you get your main weapon with a little card draw! — cb42 · 15
Can Carolyn Fern add this to her deck since it heals horrors or the no weapon lvl 1-5 is still prioritized? — Bradley8822 · 1
The weapon restriction takes priority. — StyxTBeuford · 147
Mr. "Rook"

Out of curiosity, I decided to pick apart each basic weakness in the game, and how effective Rook is at mitigating the timing of them:

Core Set

Amnesia - This one could go either way. If you have Amnesia in your deck, you should aim to play the assets you can before playing Rook. If you expect to draw lots of cards (and since you have access to Rook you likely do), the earlier this is played the better. Take note of when Higher Education needs to be online for you, and figure out when best to time Amnesia. If the 1 card left in your hand is Cryptic Research, you should be alright.

Paranoia - Already one of the most benign weaknesses, but with Rook it's trivial. Extra points for playing Rook with exactly 3 resources left in the pool.

Haunted, Psychosis, and Hypochondria - Action 1: play Rook; Action 2&3, goodbye weakness. Not a bad opening play at all, or anytime you have an extra turn to deal with it. Rook definitely helps with these.

Mob Enforcer - Best played right after an Emergency Cache to help Parley him effectively. Great timing here.

Silver Twilight Acolyte - Best played after you get some weapons out. You can also time this on a round the agenda would advance anyway to mitigate the doom for 1 round. Definitely be cautious about this one- it could be a short scenario if you happen to whiff on killing this guy. Low combat investigators should probably keep this one buried as long as possible, especially if playing solo.

Stubborn Detective - As above, make sure you have a weapon for this guy. Joe Diamond and Roland Banks can maybe afford to be a bit riskier with him (fitting, as they are stubborn detectives themselves). Be cautious with Finn Edwards, as he can more easily evade the detective and can probably even generate some Pickpocketing economy with him, but will lose the free evade action each turn. I'd say for low combat solo investigators you're better off keeping the Detective buried as long as you can- even evasive investigators don't want this guy chasing them all scenario long.

Dunwich Legacy

Indebted - Obviously this doesn't go in your deck, so Rook can't mitigate this at all. This means that if you draw a weakness, it'll always be your investigator specific one until a scenario makes you add an extra weakness to your deck. Downside here is no choice from drawing 2 weaknesses at once, but the upside is you only have to prepare for one possible weakness every time.

Internal Injury and Chronophobia - See above for the equivalent Core Set two action weaknesses.

Through the Gates - By drawing it early you wont get blindsided if the top card of the library happens to be some important asset you have in play (e.g. Lightning Gun). The only other way to make use of the timing on this is to set up the top card of your library. Something like Scroll of Secrets for example could really help here.

Path to Carcosa

Overzealous - No one likes drawing two encounter cards, even if they get to choose when it happens. This one depends heavily on the investigator and the player count. If you have the opportunity to be in the vicinity of other investigators who can commit to tests, then play Rook. If you're playing solo and the encounter deck is full of enemies, then Roland Banks can actually get some value from this, though he'll still probably have at least one skill check out of the two cards. If on the other hand you have an encounter deck full of Hexes and Terrors, and you happen to be Finn Edwards, you don't play Rook unless you have a stockpile of Guts and Logical Reasoning.

Drawing the Sign - See above for the equivalent Core Set two action weaknesses.

The Thing That Follows - This one should be kept buried as long as possible, so Rook doesn't help here.

The Forgotten Age

Dark Pact - You definitely don't want to draw into Dark Pact ever, no amount of timing really helps with it since it's not a Revelation based weakness. You can't mitigate the doom on The Price of Failure either, so at best you can use Rook to time the damage so that you have time to heal it instead of being assaulted all at once towards the end of a scenario. Overall though I'd say Rook hurts more than he helps this one.

Doomed - I love the idea that you can use Rook to kill your investigator faster and start fresh. Draw Doomed twice in scenario 1, draw into Accursed Fate twice in scenario 2, then The Bell Tolls in scenario 2 or 3, starting fresh in scenario 3 or 4. It might even be faster than that, I'm not sure- getting to the death card in scenario 1 seems very unlikely to me though. Some people will get a kick out of that, but at the end of the day if you're trying to mitigate your basic weakness, Rook is the single worst thing you could do for yourself.

The Circle Undone

The 13th Vision - See above for the equivalent two action Core Set weaknesses.

The Tower • XVI - Definitely similar to Mob Enforcer. Make sure you have the resources to pay for this: 3 for Rook, 4 for the Tower, so 7 total. I would argue that Rook is slightly less effective here since you can't shuffle away The Tower when you draw your opening hand, so there's a good chance that you'll deal with it turn 1 action 1 anyway.

Final Thoughts

Overall I'd say Rook definitely helps mitigate most of the basic weaknesses in the game. There are some where Rook is less helpful than you'd like him to be for the Opportunity Cost of putting him in your deck, and there are a couple that are actually much worse if drawn early. Cards like No Stone Unturned and Eureka! are probably better suited for drawing the cards you need without triggering such a weakness. Of course none of this matters much if you're building a combo based deck- Rook is the man for decks that need a specific card or set of cards to work.

Bonus Round: Notable Investigator Specific Weaknesses

Cover Up - Always better drawn early than late. Roland loves Rook.

Rex's Curse - This one should be kept buried as long as possible since it gets shuffled back in anyway. Rex hates Rook.

Searching for Izzie - My goodness this one is such a pain to complete unless it's drawn early. Jenny loves Rook. Just be mindful of the locations in play and make sure you don't block yourself off from wherever it should land (e.g. locations that say "You can't move into X" which need their effect taken away somehow late in the scenario).

The King in Yellow - Stockpile on skill cards, then play Rook. Definitely better than being caught off guard after an important skill check.

Crisis of Identity - I misread Crisis originally, so here's an update: If you play Rook and he draws into this, you have to discard Rook from play along with any other Seeker cards, which honestly isn't so bad- 3 resources and 1 card to grab a card you really need and cancel a Crisis is still good. So obviously you want to do this earlier rather than later, as in before all the Seeker assets end up in play. Also, since there's two Crises in the deck, you have a much higher chance of drawing one along with your basic weakness, so if your basic weakness is really terrible, there's less risk when playing him. Lola is also the kind of investigator who benefits from draw and tutoring effects, so Rook is well suited for her.

Unsolved Case - Again, a lot like Indebted. You'll only have your basic weakness in your main deck, so you only have to prepare for that one weakness when playing Rook (still keeping 1 resource on reserve to pay for Unsolved Case next turn should it come up).

StyxTBeuford · 147
King in Yellow is another investigator specific weakness that could be mitigated nicely here. It can be brutal i you draw it right after you just committed all the cards you need to get rid of it, but if you can grab it when you're ready for it then it's pretty easy to deal with, and the action you have to take to do that will usually be a benefit of some kind. — Sassenach · 41
This is a really great review. Hadn't thought about Rook letting you mitigate weaknesses by giving you more control over when you draw them. Great stuff! — aeongate · 6
Rational Thought (Carolyn): Is also better drawn earlier (or not at all), when there's no horror to heal yet. Worst timing would be, drawing it when someone's in dire need of sanity. — Django · 1807
Raise the Stakes

Q: Can I chose option to lose 5 resources when I don't have that much, but still has some resources ? Sorry for question here but I coundn't find way to put it in FAQ...............................................

el_cyd · 1
Yes. See the second FAQ entry on this card: https://arkhamdb.com/card/02169 — jd90 · 11
You are only allowed to make a choice in a situation like this if it would change the board state as it presently exists. So if you don't have five resources, but you at least have *some* resources, then you'd be changing the board state by selecting that option, so it's a valid option to select. — cb42 · 15
Torrent of Power

Let's review a bit what Torrent of Power of power does:

  • If you don't spend any charge, you only get a icon, making it strictly inferior to Unexpected Courage
  • If you spend one charge, you get a icons boost, making it slightly better than an Unexpected Courage or a Guts in terms of raw icons, but the additional may not be relevant (so it would not be better than Unexpected Courage in this case) and you don't get to draw (so not overall better than Guts)
  • If you spend two charges, you get which starts to look like a huge boost, but at this point the icons start to be less relevant and more overkill
  • If you spend three charges, you get a boost which would probably pass any test, but now we are looking at a really expensive one-shot test pass tool.

Contrary to the above review, I believe that this card does not justifies the inclusion of fringe spells. Fringe spells were that way because they range from bad to barely average. Now, combining these spells with Torrent of Power sure is a combo, but not a particularly impressive one. Say that you add Alchemical Transmutation to your deck in hope to spend your charges on Torrent of Power: even if you happen to draw both at the same time, it is unlikely that you will need to spend all the charges just for a particular skill test, and will be left on the board with a useless Alchemical Transmutation. In other words, you will have drafted into your deck Torrent of Power (maybe instead of Unexpected Courage) and Alchemical Transmutation (instead of any card that is actually good) just to get a single boost on a single test. And if you don't draw them at the same time, they are actually useless. Worse, Alchemical Transmutation could just be sitting here, clogging you arcane slots (and if you are running Sign Magick for the sole reason of using Torrent of Power, you now have 1 additional card to find to get your combo going, and the price of this card is added to the price of the combo)! Cards that are bad alone are rarely good when put together, and when the combined use is not particularly strong it is just better to skip these cards.

Besides, the fact that you have to spend charges from an asset also means that you are essentially paying to power up Torrent of Power. If you use a charge from Rite of Seeking, you are using one third of the charges of a spell that costed 1 card / 4 resources / 1 action to play, or in other word you are paying an additional cost of 0.3 card / 1.3 resources / 0.3 action to get an additional boost. Compare this to Unexpected Courage that would additionally cost you 0 card / 0 resource / 0 action to provide you with a boost, only missing out a sole icon that may not even be relevant to the test you are trying to pass - not a great deal. On top of that you are now out of one charge on your Rite of Seeking, and Mystics don't like being out of charges on their spells because that's what they use for most of their skill tests, and are essentially sitting ducks without their them.

The nail in the coffin is that you may in the end just fail the skill test (maybe through a ). Yes, you may fail any skill test, but failing a skill test on which you haven't committed anything is vastly different from failing a skill test on which you have committed 1 card and 3 charges, or just 1 card if you had used Unexpected Courage or Guts instead.

So, is Torrent of Power that bad? No, but it's situational, and has to be played correctly. It is best used on assets with charges that are situational but good (meaning that you probably have charges to spare), cheap and have a lot of charges (meaning that spending a charge is overall less expensive), like Clarity of Mind (3), Mists of R'lyeh, and Grotesque Statue (though this last one rarely has too many charges). So instead of playing bad cards and hope to get a value from them through Torrent of Power, you are now playing good cards that you can use to power up Torrent of Power without feeling that you have weakened your deck or that you have to wait for an incredibly difficult test to spend 3 charges to make it worth.

As for specific investigators, Torrent of Power gets better in an Akachi Onyele decks who has additional charges to spare and Spirit-Speaker for even more charges. It is also probably better in investigators decks that could use huge boosts due to their low base willpower (meaning that they would get more flexibility at using more charges), such as Carolyn Fern or Daisy Walker, tough it will be in tough competition for a deck slot as these investigators' job is not primarily to use Mystics spells and may simply not run enough of them. It may also be reasonable for investigators who use spells with a 4 base willpower, including most Mystics or Sefina Rousseau, but I'd probably skip this on Agnes Baker who don't really need such a boost due to her 5 base willpower.

In the end, I believe Torrent of Power is neither good nor bad, but mainly depends on your deck building which should probably include at least 3 different assets with charges to ensure a good versatility. if you want to draft this card, you should probably take the time to consider Guts and Unexpected Courage as well. Maybe you're going to end up running all three, maybe you're going to end up running none, but you should really weight your options depending on where your deck is going.

Alleria · 50
Enchanted Blade also uses charges. Again, in the lvl0 version these are limited and you probably wouldn't want to spend them unless you absolutely have to, but it's another non-marginal source to tap from if need be. I've been playing Akachi with Enchanted Blade(3) a fair bit lately. It hits the board with 5 charges when she uses it, and it's mostly there for either swinging at 1 health enemies without spending a charge or powering up for a 2 charge, 3 damage hit. Either way you have at least 1 'spare' charge from it, or 3 if you like while still leaving room for one big shot later in the game. — Sassenach · 41
Two things : — Okami · 8
1) With Akachi, Song of the Dead comes with 6 charges (and can be usefull to deal with Angered Spirits anyway). 2) Torrent of power can be used to help your teammates against tricky teacheries, a +7 Willpower bonus may save their lives. It happens to me on the first game. — Okami · 8
Sassenach - Enchanted Blade is indeed a good candidate for fueling Torrent of Power, though this is mostly relevant for Akashi, who's probably the best investigator for using Torrent of Power regardless. - - - Okami - Song of the Dead is one of these fringe, sub-par spells that you're probably better off not drafting at all (except maybe if you go for some weird skull token strategy with Jim idk). Besides, my group has ran Akashi for 2 campaigns and feeding Angered Spirit has never been an issue, so I'd advise against drafting al (sub-par) spell for the sole purpose of getting rid of it. — Alleria · 50