|Number of unique Cards||2|
|# of scenarios||2|
My take on this set: I really like this set. The twists on the doom mechanics are quite simple, but have serious repercussions for how to deal with them. Like most cultists, these can cause the agenda to advance early, but unlike previous versions they don’t become harmless afterwards. They’ll just collect more doom. In fact, they get another “buffed” round with all of their abilities active after the agenda advances.
Great spin on a formula as old as the core set, these are both more dangerous and a higher priority than what we’ve seen before. I also appreciate that this cycle’s cultist set does not come with a variant on Wizard of the Order…
What it does: The Initiate of Dagon is this cycle’s version of the basic cultist. Like other cultist rank and file before her, she is a small enemy that spawns at an empty location and carries a doom token. However, this one doesn’t come into play with the doom right away, she only gets it if she is ready at the end of the round. While she doesn’t have any doom on her, her fight and evade values are greatly increased.
My take: A great twist on the basic Acolyte. Despite coming into play without a token, she still is going to have a token on her on the next mythos phase, so she is not slower than her predecessors from the Core set. So dealing with her right away is usually what players will want to do – and that is exactly when she is strongest. 4 fight and evade are a significant barrier, stopping just any Seeker from punching her.
Another notable interaction here is that she stays relevant even after helping the agenda to advance because she can just go ahead and collect another doom token.
Threat level: Medium. A serious step upwards from the basic Acolyte and much more likely to live through the Mythos phase.
Dealing with it: If you do have the time, waiting a turn before engaging her can help a lot. The difference between fight 2 and fight 4 is quite big. Ways to deal testless damage also shine here, from Beat Cop over Ancient Stone to Small Favor. Evasion is a way to stall her doom for one turn, but since that will always have to go against evade 4 when it is relevant and since she is able to collect more doom after the agenda advances, you will likely not want to have her stick around.
What it does: The Priest of Dagon borrows some mechanics from the Initiate, but plays very differently in spite of that. Like the previous card, he spawns at an empty location and will collect a doom token at the end of the round if he’s readied. If he is defeated or evaded while still not having doom on him, he instead heals, readies and gains a doom token.
My take: A major pain. Two health puts him out of range to just punch him or ping him with Beat Cop. So unless you are using a melee weapon, you will likely need to spend ammo or charges on defeating him. And if your investigator isn’t able to both evade and fight (something that few investigators are), then you will need to spend two of those tokens. Even if you can use evasion first to get his ability out of the way, you will still end up spending two actions.
Of course, like the Initiate, this guy can keep collecting doom after the agenda advances, making him something that you probably can’t afford to ignore.
Threat level: Medium. A beefed up version of the Initiate. If you can wait a turn for him to collect his doom before defeating him, that will take a lot of the threat away, though.
Dealing with it: If he needs to die right away because the agenda is about to flip otherwise, then you will just need to go through the whole ordeal of defeating him twice. The first attack can be substituted by an evasion, to save ammo or to make use of the high agility on someone who can actually both fight and evade (like Finn or Winifred).
If you do have the luxury of waiting a turn, that is often worth doing because it reduces the Priest to a fairly basic 3/2/3 enemy. You can plan accordingly when deciding where to spawn this guy. Note that any card effects that “discard” an enemy instead of “defeat”ing them will bypass the priest’s ability, but those are quite rare. Handcuffs do stop this guy in his tracks, though.