Hemlock Vale Spoiler Roundup #7

Intro

Last week and this week we got a preview, with multiple cards each time. So let’s catch up on that. First there’s a couple of neat Guardian events. Then there’s the full reveal for the new Mystic investigator.

Sources

Tinker and Hand Eye Coordination were previewed by Tengu Un Plan on their Twitch.
Kohaku Narukami and his associated cards were previewed by Drawn To The Flame on their podcast.

Guardian

Oh, this isn’t bad at all. Getting extra slots usually costs us around 3XP and hand slots aren’t even available that way. So having a way to get extra hand (or accessory) slots at level 0 is quite interesting. Now you do need to draw this first and you do need to pay for it, but i could see this being a legitimate alternative to Bandolier in some contexts. It is of course limited to Tool cards, so unlike Bandolier it won’t help you with carrying a two-hand weapon and a sidearm unless one of them is a tool weapon. But there’s absolutely a niche for Tinker to be relevant. As an upgrade it could even get you some extra value from interacting with Custom Modifications. (EDIT: There are no assets that are both Firearm and Tool around that would make this interaction possible. And unlikely to come later, so disregard that)
I find it interesting that it also can count as an extra accessory slot. If i am not mistaken, the only two Tool cards this is relevant for are Riot Whistle and Chemistry Set, so i am not sure that’s actually going to be terribly relevant… but who knows what else Hemlock Vale might have for us. Neat card, not immediately jumps at me as inherently crazy, but it will probably find a home, even if it just to give Wilson Richards an extra hand slot.

An extra action for a card is fine. This is limited to Tool and Weapon abilities, but considering that extra actions for Guardians are most useful when they offer additional fight actions, that is pretty much what we’d usually want anyways. There are already ways to get actions for cards and they don’t see a whole lot of play. Galvanize is the closest comparison as they both offer you a free fight action on a Fast event. Galvanize also readies an ally, but costs an extra resource. Insight vs. Spirit as traits can also be relevant.
I can see some situations where I’d be happy to have this card in my hand, but am i really going to spend an XP so i can put it into my deck? I am somewhat skeptical of that to be honest. This doesn’t have quite the sort of impact that i want from cards that i invest into. As a level 0 card i would probably find plenty opportunities to just put a singleton into a deck here and there, but asking me to spend XP on it might just be asking too much.
It is an Insight though, so if i can get some value out of that trait, i might give this extra consideration. Fast Insight cards are always something interesting to look at for Joe Diamond for example.

Mystic

Ha. A while back I made an extensive write-up for a Charlie Kane deck that i built, combining his access to yellow curse cards, green curse cards and a stable of synergistic allies. Well, there’s now another investigator in town that can run the core of that deck. And then some!

There’s a lot to unpack about Kohaku, with lots of interesting things all over his cards. I had high hopes for him after seeing the front side a few weeks ago – and neither his back nor his signature or weakness do disappoint. Full access to both Blessed and Cursed is exceptional and actually covers a wide array of bases, allowing him to be very flexible and contribute to everything. His statline is also excellent for this, allowing him to use spells and investigate competently while still having enough base fight to use cards like Riastrad or Holy Spear. With 4 willpower, he’s also a candidate for using the cursed spell suite from Innsmouth, but i would still say that Dexter stays first choice for that.
Kohaku doesn’t get access past Mystic 3 (unless it is Blessed or Cursed as well, of course) but that’s mostly upgraded spells anyways… and i feel like trying the vanilla flavor boring spell thing with Kohaku is just massively missing the point, so that’s not much of a loss tbh.
If his deckbuilding ended there i would’ve been happy, but he also gets Occult level 0. Hallowed Mirror is already blessed, but Occult Lexicon is a fantastic card obviously. For an investigator that heavily invests in curses, the ability to deal testless damage sounds very desirable.
His investigator ability is a bit of a mystery to me still. Obviously the ability to throw a token into the bag every turn a nice thing, but what about spending them for extra actions? Is that something to build around or just something to just use when you really need to? You could go either way and depending on your answer you will want to either run other cards that payoff for drawing curses/blesses or avoid them. Is there a Kohaku build that just creates tokens but doesn’t spend them except for taking 4 action turn after 4 action turn? Maybe…
One huge argument for making use of tokens in other ways than his bonus action is his signature. Allowing easy access to blurse tokens to throw into tests is quite powerful and would do wonders to make all sorts of payoff cards more reliable. It even combines very well with Favor of the Moon or Sun to activate Paradox Covenant at will.
His weakness is an enemy and it’s a very intriguing one. The combination of Aloof, Hunter and Elusive leads to an enemy that stalks you and makes hit and run attacks when triggered. Interestingly, attacking it with anything that uses a test can already trigger it if your bag is very full. You might want to keep a Blood-Rite in hand for this one.

Verdict: A very interesting character that can be built in several ways. That’s right up my alley. I feel like i already have plenty of options on where to take him and that’s just with the Innsmouth card base … we’ve not even seen much from the new set yet which can only increase his options.

3 Replies to “Hemlock Vale Spoiler Roundup #7”

  1. A few things about Kōhaku:

    1. That philosophy in his investigator flavor text is inspiring.
    2. His weakness isn’t the Silver Moth previewed in the leaked German screenshot that showed us Kōhaku’s front. Did we get a look at one of the random basic weaknesses for the box, or maybe a story weakness?

    1. It’s a card in the investigator expansion, so the Silver Moth is likely a random basic weakness for the pool. Wouldn’t make much sense to have a story weakness on the back of the investigator box.

  2. No doubt. You can see “Grundschwäche” on the spoiled picture of the moth, as well as part of the basic weakness icon in the top-right corner, where it also shows on other basic weakness assets.

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