Elder Things

Set Size6
Number of unique Cards3
RoleEnemy, Deck Discard
Threat LevelLow to Mid
# of scenarios2
Appears in: Forbidden Peaks, City of Elder Things (v1, v2)

My take on this set: After Elder Things have been a mainstay in the chaos bag since the inception of the game, finally the Arkham LCG gets some of them on actual enemy cards. The two in this encounter set do somewhat mirror the enemies in Creatures in the Ice, with Scavenger being close to Manifestation and Guardian being close to the Phantasm. The main difference is that the Eidolons would put Tekeli-li cards into your deck with their abilities while the Elder Things search them up. They do so by discarding cards off the player deck and drawing all weaknesses among those cards.
To be perfectly honest with you, these enemies don’t seem particularly noteworthy to me, especially since they seem to be quite a bit weaker than the Eidolons we already handled at this point of the campaign. These aren’t bad or irrelevant at all, of course. But from such a noteworthy creature from the Mythos i expected a bit more than a pair of Hunters, one of which is just … bland?

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The Elder Thing Scavenger has a 3 in all of its stats and is also a Hunter. The 1 damage and horror on attack rounds out the somewhat generic look of this creature. What sets it apart is its ability which will discard 3 cards from the top of the player’s deck on attack. Any weakness discarded this way has to be drawn immediately.

My take: Ultimately this isn’t a terribly exciting card. Difficulty 3 for fighting or evading it puts it at the base line spot of “Not too difficult, but also not trivial” and the 3 life mean that it doesn’t go down just from any single attack. The ability is of course meant to dig through the player deck for Tekeli-li cards, but to be honest i think this ability is actually in the players favor. Discarding cards off the top of the deck doesn’t really do much on its own (or can even be beneficial) and when this finds a weakness it means that this weakness doesn’t get to replace a draw later. Similar to Mr. Rook’s “drawback”, this is just additional card draw in disguise. Unless you are packing Doomed, i guess…

Threat level: Low to Mid. The player’s will need to put a little effort towards dispatching this creature, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Dealing with it: When you first meet these, you already had to deal with the Manifestation of Madness from the Creatures in the Ice set, another enemy with exactly the same stats but with a more potent Forced ability on attack. So however you dealt with that, you can just do the same with this.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The Guardian Elder Thing works similar to the Scavenger, but trading 2 points of evasion for an extra point of stamina. This encourages evading it over attacking. The Forced ability further works towards that same line of play, making the player discard a card from their deck for each point of damage dealt to the Guardian. Any weaknesses discarded this way have to be drawn.

My take: The same thing i said about the Scavenger’s deck decay ability goes for the Guardian as well. I don’t think this ability has any teeth at all, for the most part it’s beneficial to the players.
The stats of this enemy point heavily towards evading it over defeating it and in the City of the Elder Things this would be preferred for sure. However, in Forbidden Peaks this is going to be difficult because there’s nowhere to run in that scenario. Evading the Guardian will just set you up for being attacked later on when the Elder Thing hunts into your location again. This means having to defeat it which is at least a bit of a nuisance as well – at 4 health this will usually require two or more actions, which is relevant in Peaks for sure.

Threat level: Low to Medium. Medium in Peaks. Fine if you can evade it and forget about it, but if defeating becomes a necessity, it at least puts up some resistance.

Dealing with it: This is a non-Elite with low evasion and high health, so Waylay is a card that comes to mind immediately. Such silver bullets aside, the decision on how to deal with this enemy should usually be a fairly obvious one depending on how much room you have to move around.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Rise of the Elder Things spawns the topmost Elder Thing enemy from the discard pile engaged with the player. This enemy (and all other Elder Things already engaged) gain +1 fight and evade until the end of the round. If there was no Elder Thing in the discard or spawning an enemy fails for some other reason, the card surges instead.

My take: There’s a total of five different Elder Things that can be returned by this card. Two of them, the Guardian and the Reawakened Elder Thing have only 2 evasion even when boosted by this card. The third one, Benign Elder Thing, should be handled with a willpower parley test which is not increased in difficulty by Rise of the Elder Things. That leaves the last two as potentially more dangerous than if you had drawn them from the deck naturally. Increasing fight and evasion on the Scavenger from 3 to 4 is fairly noticable and can give that enemy some extra staying power for the turn. On Constricting Elder Thing from Forbidden Peaks, the evasion goes from 2 to 3. This can also be relevant.

Threat level: Medium. Mostly acts as yet another copy of an Elder Thing enemy, contributing to how much fighting players need to do in Peaks and City.

Dealing with it: Since there are only two of these in the deck, i don’t think it’s really worth playing around by keeping enemies on the board instead of defeating them or something. Elder Things also don’t have an ability that triggers on coming into play, so for the most part, this can just be treated as an additional enemy card. The one notable exception is Benign Elder Thing, if it ended up in the discard somehow.

One Reply to “Elder Things”

  1. “The one notable exception is Benign Elder Thing. Evading it after removing its doom will leave it in play so it can not be recurred by this treachery later on.”

    The parley ability on Benign Elder Thing doesn’t merely remove doom (which, correct me if I’m wrong, you seem to be implying) — it outright removes the Benign Elder Thing from the game. It’s rather difficult to create a situation where you have no doom on a Benign Elder Thing in play (Fortune or Fate, basically), and really Rise of the Elder Things is just one more reason to parley (RFG cannot be recurred) over taking the doom.

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