Agents of Hydra

Set Size4
Number of unique Cards2
RoleWillpower, Random Discard, Enemy
Threat LevelHigh
# of scenarios2
Appears in: Devil Reef, Into the Maelstrom

My take on this set: Random discard is one of those few effects that impact pretty much every player, no matter what investigator they are playing. No matter if you are built around skills like Amanda and Silas, around events like Diana or Sefina or around assets like Leo or Daisy… ultimately you put a lot of value into the cards in your hand, the resources spent on them and the order in which to play them. And that is exactly where this set attacks by adding four sources of random discard to the deck. All of these cards also potentially cost the players valuable actions, the other other big bottleneck for how much the players can achieve in the time they have.
This is quite the impactful little set that isn’t even used until the investigators are four scenarios deep into the campaign.

Number in the encounter deck: 1

What it does: The Lloigor boasts some impressive stats that are usually reserved for Elite enemies. While it is not Elite, it does indeed rewards players with a victory point for defeating it, though. The Lloigor is an aloof Hunter enemy, following the investigators around but not attacking at first. Instead, any player at this enemy’s location has to discard a random card during each enemy phase. If any investigator has no cards in hand, Lloigor loses Aloof and goes on the offense.

My take: “Ach! Hans, run! It is the Lloigor!” Running away from this thing is sensible, as it’s quite big and takes a while to beat down. Especially if you also need to spend an action to engage it, hoping to take it down in one turn takes some serious firepower and/or teamwork. It is not an elite enemy, and there are some ways to abuse that, but the 4 agility do at least make it put some resistance up against Waylay, the most common anti-non-Elite tech.
Random discard is always something worth avoiding. Even someone with a full grip of cards can be severely impacted by having to ditch the one card they were holding on to. And this overgrown Whippoorwill can even hit multiple investigators at the same time.

Threat level: High to Very High. A consistent drain on cards or a one-time big drain on actions, ammo and/or charges. Either way, this is a card that will take an above average amount of resources to deal with.

Dealing with it: If you want to defeat it, you ideally have either someone with an empty hand of cards to bait it into losing aloof or a card like Spectral Razor or Get Over Here to skip the engagement action. But even if you do, you will likely need a full turn (or more, if the chaos bag isn’t cooperating) to take this thing out. It’s a victory point that you will actually have to earn.
If you want to run from it, that is of course a possibility. Especially Devil Reef is a massive map and you can put a good amount of space between yourself and the Lloigor if you want to. Just be aware that you are running from another big enemy in that scenario and you don’t want to get stuck between them…

Number in the encounter deck: 3

What it does: The investigator has to discard a random card, then take a willpower test. The difficulty of that test scales with the cost of the discarded card. If they fail, they also lose an action. Should the player have no cards in hand when they draw Psychic Pull, the card isntead surges.

My take: I hate this thing. Random discard is annoying as hell. Losing actions is really something to avoid in between all those Hunter enemies that the Innsmouth campaign throws at you. And having three of them in the deck just makes it so much worse on all fronts. Among other things, these are really good at pulling cancel events out of your mystic player’s hand. What a package. Don’t get me wrong, this is a well designed card and i like that it exists. I just wish i wouldn’t draw it ALL. THE. TIME.

Threat level: Medium. Has a guaranteed effect that is already in line with many other encounter cards, but then has a chance to cost another action on top.

Dealing with it: There’s not much you can do here about the card itself except making sure that you have enough cards in hand to feed into this to protect your more important ones. Of course, due to the nature of random discard this isn’t fool proof, but at least that would reduce your chances of having to discard something important.
Important assets should be played rather sooner than later if you know this card is in the encounter deck. Sure, you might not immediately need that weapon, but rather play it now than having to discard it next turn when you do actually need it. Obviously, event heavy players do not have this option, but at least they tend to have more cards in hand in general. Another reason to get those assets into play is that they often cost more resources than events, making it more likely that the willpower test fails when you’d have to discard them.

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