|Number of unique Cards
|Low to Mid
|# of scenarios
My take on this set: I’m not a fan of this set. It’s supposed to represent one half of the central conflict in The Circle Undone, the coven of witches that oppose the lodge of the Silver Twilight. But where the Silver Twilight Lodge set does offer an intriguing spin on the Cultist theme and game play mechanics that prop up whole scenarios, the Coven set has little impact on gameplay. Their gimmick of discarding cards from the encounter deck doesn’t do a whole lot and has little payoff in other sets. It also lacks a clear tie to what it represents thematically, unlike the doom shenanigans on the cultists.
Sadly, this encounter set is a major miss for me, i think it fails at establishing the witches as a major faction worth caring about. Thus, i fell like the Witches Coven is mostly represented ingame by scenario specific cards like Anette Mason herself and the Witchcraft set.
What it does: Coven Initiate’s statline of 2/2/2 is unimpressive, but she does come with a revelation effect. When she enters play, the top two cards of the encounter deck are discarded. If those were the last cards in the deck, the investigator has to draw the topmost Hex treachery from the discard pile.
My take: I’ve played through TCU a couple of times now (it’s one of my favorite campaigns) and seen a bunch of Initiates enter play. I have however never seen that ability to pull a Hex back from the discard pile actually fire. Discarding two cards is just not enough to matter in the vast majority of cases and the probability of those two cards being the last ones in the deck is minimal. There’s also only little payoff for the discard itself: For every Diabolic Voices that could be spilled into the discard, the ability might as well dump a Daemonic Pipings.
In the end, Coven Initiate is little more than a vanilla Ghoul Minion. Maybe even less.
Threat level: Very low. They are easy to kill and do very little in addition to being filler enemies.
Dealing with it: An investigator that is currently affected by one of the Hexes from the Witchcraft set (or from the scenario specific ones) might want to evade the Initiate to fulfill the “exhausted Witch enemy at your location” condition. Everyone can just dispatch the enemy with whatever weapon is around. Or just punch her to save ammo.
Defeating the Initiate will power up a later Priestess of the Coven, so depending on how much you feel threatened by this, you could consider evading the Initiate instead and just leaving her behind.
What it does: Priestess of the Coven is a much more dangerous enemy than her little Initiate sister. At three health, she’ll usually take an extra attack. But the more important thing is how she gets extra fight and evade from witch cards in the discard pile. Fully powered up, her five fight and evade are much more impressive and thanks to Retaliate, attacking her becomes a much more risky plan as well.
My take: How much of a problem the Priestess is going to be depends wildly on how far into the scenario you are when she appears. If she’s feeding off a full discard pile, she’s a resonably powerful enemy that can take a turn to take down and still threaten some damage through the Retaliate. Drawn very early, she’s only slightly more dangerous than her sisters and can be evaded and left behind.
Threat level: Mid to High. She has the potential to be a big threat, but the conditional nature of her stats limit her impact often.
Dealing with it: Evading her is somewhat unsatisfying, due to the scenarios in which she appears. In Witching Hour, she’ll move towards the Circle in the last act and catch up with the investigators there. In Wages of Sin and Clutches of Chaos, investigators will often want to backtrack and can not just leave evaded enemies behind cleanly. All the while, the Priestess will grow over time if she’s not at full power already. When trying to defeat her while she’s at full strength, it’s best to find a way to deal all three damage in one blow – both to conserve an action, but also to minimize the risk of retaliation.