This is an overview of the player cards in the Edge of the Earth Investigator expansion. I will be looking at the investigators first, then go over the rest grouped by class. For most cards I will try to keep it short and to the point to not stretch this article more than necessary.
For every group of cards I will nominate the three most useful and the three least useful cards. This isn’t necessarily about raw power, but more about how good they are at fueling a lot of your decks.
Finally, I will give my opinion on how well this selection of player cards stands on its own, answering if it’s worthwhile to get as a first expansion next to the core set and if this expansion + Core is enough to support the investigators contained in this expansion.
These articles do ignore the optional list of taboos. This is because they are mostly aimed at new players trying to figure out which investigator expansion to get next and taboo isn’t a thing that I want to weigh them down with. It’d also make things unnecessary complicated.
The ranking I use for cards is Bad < Okay < Good < Excellent < Staple with each of those spanning quite a range. I use something like “Okay to Good” or “Good to Okay” when I want to specify whether it’s on the upper or lower range of that rank. Please don’t take these rankings too seriously and more as a guide line, cards need to be evaluated in context and compressing these contexts down into just one word is really unprecise. I still find it useful for this overview as a shortcut to put the cards into relation quickly.
Edge of the Earth consists of multiclass cards for a large part. That makes it more difficult for me to give an overview of what cards are added to each class because those multiclass cards are of course added to several classes at once. I will mention each of those cards twice (or three times, in a couple cases) just so that they stay on the radar. I might even be going into what the cards adds to that specific class in case I find that it’s different enough to be worth mentioning. The ranking might also change between classes. Otherwise the second and third mention will just refer to the first instance. This is a bit awkward at times and I apologize for it. But I felt it was important to have all the cards of a class with each other even if those cards already appeared earlier so I can properly evaluate what the set of cards adds to each class.
All five of these investigators share the same deckbuilding rules. They start in one class, but are only allowed to take level zero cards of that class. Instead, they gain access to level 1-5 of a different class, making them appear to change classes over the course of the campaign. Additionally, they can pick up to 5 level zero cards of the class they move into, to lay a bit of a groundwork from the start. Obviously, they can take Neutral cards as well.
This is a very interesting setup for an investigator and changes how to approach the deck and its evolution significantly. There’s an argument to be made that the class they proudly show on their front isn’t their actual class, it’s their side class. Since we would usually assume that the ability to take highlevel cards is the whole point of a main class. How much this argument holds, depends a big deal on the investigator. Bob and Norman can stay a lot better in Seeker and Survivor than Daniela and Lily can stay in Guardian and Mystic.
The classes these investigators move into are: Survivor for Daniela, Mystic for Norman, Seeker for Monterey, Guardian for Lily and finally Rogue for Bob.
All five of them are powerful and well capable of handling things.
Daniela is a tank who punishes enemies for attacking her. She does a great job and is an excellent user for the Survivor weapons. There’s often some handwringing in the community about her not being able to take certain Guardian cards that would be perfect for her, but to be clear she doesn’t need those to be good. Not at all.
Norman can play the top of his deck which is roughly equivalent to drawing extra cards all the time. A Seeker with 5 intellect is incapable of being incompetent and his Mystic access is often used to build on that further instead of just doing the willpower thing.
Monterey is rewarded for staying mobile by being fed a constant stream of cards and resources. This of course just stacks with all the resources and cards that his two classes, Rogue and Seeker, give him. The result is an investigator who is rich without having to work for it much.
Lily has a wild set of signature assets she can choose from (and get more as she gains XP) that give her bonuses to stats and powerful special moves. This makes her very flexible. Out of the five, I would say that she is the one that most closely identifies with her secondary class (Guardian) and treats her first class as more of a splash. But she can be built either way, of course.
Bob Jenkins is an investigator built around the Item trait which appears on many assets. He gets free actions to play them and with his signature he can even play them under the control of other players at his location. Coupled with resource generation from Rogue and a wide array of relevant assets to pass around he’s very potent. Even in Solo. He makes a great clue finder.
Butterfly Swords(2): Good. A repeatable way to deal 3 damage per action is great. Of course this requires two tests and it is on a two-handed weapon and it also exhausts, so there’s some drawbacks to it. But for a level 2 weapon, this is very respectable. Note that you can split up the attacks between multiple targets, in case that is useful (which is rarely the case).
Butterfly Swords(5): Okay. This is not enough of an upgrade to be worth throwing another 3XP at the Butterfly Swords. There’s an extra +1 fight and the timing for the exhaust is better but that’s just not good enough for a level 5 weapon.
Combat Training(3): Excellent. There’s a cycle of upgraded Composure assets in this set and they are (almost…) all great. Two stat bonuses! Soak! The option to spend money on more stats! And it’s fast! And it’s free! And it has great icons! Wow. The only thing stopping it from being a staple is that it’s a 3XP card you have to discard when you have to put a horror on it. But yeah, these are great.
Geared Up: Good. There’s another cycle in this set consisting of 5 Permanent cards that alter your deckbuilding. Geared Up can lead to some silly turn ones that save a bunch of resources and actions, but you have to gear your deck towards it heavily. Note that this has been errata’d to combo with Backpack and Shoffner’s Catalogue and this rating assumes that errata to be in place. (Bad as printed)
Get Behind Me: Good. Strictly a multiplayer card of course, but this card does its specific job very well.
Dodge(2): Okay. The capability to deal a damage isn’t worth 2XP. Dropping the cost from 1 to 0 over the level zero card is neat, but also not worth the upgrade. I’d stick with Dodge(0) from the Core Set.
Fang of Tyr’thrha(4): Excellent. Four damage? Anywhere? And you can teleport if you want? That’s amazing. A great card only kept in check by how expensive it is.
Gang Up(1): Excellent. Probably the best of the Synergy cards because it just requires two classes in play to be good enough. Since your investigator card does count, that requirement is trivial.
On The Hunt(3): Good to Excellent. Guardians appreciate a turn without drawing an annoying treachery, the free resources and this also does allow you to fish for a victory point if you want to.
Sweeping Kick(1): Excellent to Staple. Very efficient attack card that either kills something or takes it out. Only not a staple because Toe to Toe exists.
Toe to Toe: Staple. A testless two damage for zero resources is great and well worth taking a bit of damage and/or horror for. Relevant traits as well. There are several investigators that synergize with this card further, including Daniela.
Defensive Stance(1): Good. Any skill card able to count for 4 (or more!) icons is worth considering and this cycle of Practiced cards do the trick well.
Brand of C’thuga(1): Good. Allows you to attack for 2 damage three times, putting it on a level with Enchanted Blade. Mostly notable as a nice sidearm for two-handed weapons because it doesn’t need a handslot. That drawback terrifies me enough to stick with Bandolier myself, but most other people seem to like this card well enough.
Brand of C’thuga(4): Okay to Good. Now gets to attack for 3 damage three times or split up the charges in another convenient way. Triggering the drawback now basically means you end the turn. Not sure if a sidearm needs a 4XP upgrade, but the value is there.
Bruiser(3): Excellent. As long as you can swing the initial payment of 3 resources, this is good econ for the rest of the scenario. And once you played your weapons, this becomes a stat booster.
Cyclopean Hammer(5): Excellent to Staple. An incredibly powerful weapon that offers repeatable 3 damage without a drawback. It actually has additional abilities on top. Outclasses pretty much every other two-handed weapon.
Medical Student: Excellent. Doesn’t look like much, but undoing up to 2 damage/horror and then preventing another up to 2 of them is great. Healing is often difficult to justify because it takes up too many actions, but this is very efficient.
Michael Leigh(5): Good to Excellent. Getting free Vicious Blows on tap for investigating is powerful, no question. And so is a double stat boost on a 3/3 body. However, he is expensive. More importantly, he’s very limited in terms of which investigators want him. Both Roland and Joe (the two Seeker-Guardians) usually work the other way round: fight first, then get investigation out of it. This guy needs a good shell to fit into and he’d immediately shoot up in value.
Nkosi Mabati(3): Good. Not good enough without special synergies. But if you are into blesses, curses or skulls he’s does some nice things.
Old Shotgun(2): Okay to Bad. There’s ways to make it work, but that’s more a gimmicky “because I can” thing and not because it’s good.
Prophetic(3): Good. Guardian can use this to heavily invest into Spirit cards. Not bad as such, but also not a common thing to specifically go for.
Protective Gear(2): Good to Excellent. Requires some insider knowledge to know if taking precautions against Hazards are worthwhile, but if they are, this is a good card.
Quickdraw Holster(4): Okay. “Clunky” is the word I would describe most interactions with this card. Like, you can’t play a one-handed weapon to put into the holster when you already have a two-handed one in your hand. That being said, this does some neat things and can give you free actions. Severely hindered by how expensive it is.
Sleuth(3): Okay to Good. Charms and Tomes aren’t a huge Guardian thing (so far) but Tactics are. Not sure they require specific econ built around though. Probably best to leave this one to the seekers.
Sledgehammer(0): Okay. Able to deal 1.5 damage per action with a +2 bonus and only requiring one test. This is fine and makes combat skills slightly more effective, but is also a bit too clunky.
Sledgehammer(4): Good. Smashing for 6 with 3 actions is still only 2 damage per action (the usual rate), but only requiring a single test (that also gets a massive bonus) is good. Of course this is even more clunky and you probably want extra actions somehow so you can move + attack in the same turn.
Snipe(1): Bad. You spend an extra action and get very little out of it. If it was at least an automatic success, it would at least be okay and almost playable, but this is just bad.
On The Trail(1): Okay to Bad. There’s just not a whole lot of value here.
On The Trail(3): Okay. Much better, as you can actually get a net plus out of this one. 3XP is a lot to ask however, considering the conditions that need to be satisfied for this card to do it’s full effect.
Most useful cards: Gang Up, Toe to Toe, Medical Student
Least useful cards: Snipe, On the Trail(1), Dodge(2)
Verdict: This pool of cards covers a lot of different bases, but things that stand out in particular are a couple of strong fight events and a smattering of two-handed weapons. Weirdly, there’s not a single one-handed weapon here which is even stranger when we see Quickdraw Holster being in there.
Of the three triple-class talents, only Bruiser is firmly in the Guardian wheelhouse. The other two also feature a relevant trait(Tactic and Spirit, respectively) but those aren’t usually built around in Guardian unless you are Nathaniel or you want to specifically do so because of the triple-class talent.
The Guardian pool has some nods towards Daniela specifically, but most of it is of course available to Lily. Lily can’t use firearms, but the fight events and melee weapons are all perfectly acceptable for her to base the deck on.
The support side of Guardian only got some few cards here (such as Medical Student), making this card pool appear very combat focused. This does make sense in the context of Daniela and Lily, but it does feel just a little one-dimensional.
Between the Core and Edge of the Earth, Lily is well supported to start out as an okay Mystic and transition into a strong fighter. That’s good.
Also good: 4 out of the 5 level zero cards make sense in Daniela (Student, Sledge, Get Behind Me, Toe to Toe). And hey, maybe someone even makes Geared Up Daniela a thing and uses all 5.
Archive of Conduits: Good to Excellent. As long as you draw this early enough, this is painless enough to research. You do get only one for your deck, though. That is already the biggest strike against it as the upgrades to Archive are plentiful and cover a wide range of roles. I like the healing one in particular but they all are at least decent.
Forced Learning: Excellent. Once your card pool is deep enough that running 45 cards still means that you are only running good cards, the card selection you gain here is great. Not something to run if you depend on one of two copies of a specific card because in that case it makes your mulligans more unlikely to find that card.
Hiking Boots(1): Excellent. They are cheap and they offer a skill bonus without taking up a (normal) equipment slot. Getting a free move here and there is the cherry on top.
Jeremiah Kirby: Excellent to Staple. The only reason why this isn’t just straight up a staple is the existence of Christopher Milan. Kirby is fantastic and you don’t need to twist your deck for him either. Your chances are pretty much always better than 50/50 (not quite true because of skills, but mostly) and netting 2 or 3 cards with your intellect ally is already great. Add recursion and it gets silly. And if you do end up twisting your deck for him, he draws 4 or 5 cards reliably which is just exceptionally good.
Medical Texts(2): Okay to Good. Repeatable without charges and fulfills the basic requirement of 2 heal per action as long as you have good intellect, which is almost every Seeker.
Prophesiae Profana(5): Good to Excellent. A lot to unpack on this one, but between the skill boosts, the weird teleport and immunity to attacks of opportunity everyone should find something to like here… as long as they are willing to pay for it in XP and resources.
Scientific Theory(3): Excellent. See Combat Training(Guardian).
Join the Caravan(1): Okay. A fast teleport is good, but conditional on the scenario to be much better than just a free move. Paying more than 1 or maybe 2 for it is usually a big ask.
Unearth the Ancients(2): Good to Excellent. Compared to the level zero from Forgotten Age, this one no longer replaces the Investigate action. Therefore everything on this card is in addition to what you were going to do anyways. This is really good value, saving resources and up to two actions while potentially even drawing up to 2 cards as well.
Written in the Stars: Okay. A bit of a Norman plant that is hard to justify putting in your deck when you don’t know what you’ll reveal.
Survey the Area(1): Good. See Defensive Stance(Guardian).
Medical Student: Excellent. See above(Guardian). Fits very well into the Seeker “Miskatonic Allies” thing.
Michael Leigh(5): Good to Excellent. See above(Guardian).
Sleuth(3): Good. If you care about Tomes, this gives you the resources to play them. Best if those tomes also have skill tests attached to them to get further value out of Sleuth, which is a bit rarer.
Antiquary(3): Good. Seeker mostly cares about Relic here. Basically in a similar space like Sleuth, with plenty of targets for which to pay the costs, but only few to enhance the tests.
Crafty(3): Excellent. Almost every Seeker event is an Insight and Tool is a very prominent trait for every class. Crafty is a great way both to pay for those cards and even help with investigations through some of the tools.
Gene Beauregard(3): Excellent. She’s expensive, but with two relevant skill boosts and a killer ability, she’s allowed to be. Can be used to push enemies away or to manipulate clues to where they are easier to pick up (or to make little piles out of clues to pick up all at once).
Divination(1): Okay to Bad. Allows picking up two clues, but only twice. That’s a rather bad rate that’s not worth investing into.
Divination(4): Okay. Better now, since it allows you to snatch 3 clues in one go and while Mystic has a few 5XP spells that do that (and are better), that’s still a bit of a novelty in Seeker. Since it allows using your intellect, you can throw your Deductions into this to pick locations clean. Can also be used to grab 2 clues three times, but that’s not worth 4XP.
Pocket Telescope: Okay. Very scenario dependent. Can sometimes spare you a move into a location, but it’s best in scenarios with randomly distributed locations that all have the same back.
Eon Chart(1): Good to Excellent. It’s a net gain of 2 extra actions for 2 resources. Limitations apply, but even just using it for movement is fine.
Eon Chart(4): Excellent. And that’s five actions for 2 resources. One of the better targets if you can put more secrets on something.
Protecting the Anirniq(2): Okay to Good. Solid piece of card draw that can sometimes recur an ally if that seems more valuable to you than three cards.
Ice Pick(1): Good. Has steep competition by the Magnifying Glass of course, but if you do think you need the fighting side of Ice Pick, then that’s something to consider.
Ice Pick(3): Good to Excellent. Really takes off with recursion, which makes this more of a Survivor card than for Seeker, but a Deduction/Vicious Blow split card is good even as a one-shot.
On the Trail(1): Bad. See above(Guardian). Seeker is even less interested in moving towards enemies and they do have both better clue tech and move tech available.
Professor Webb(0): Okay to Bad. Replacing your investigations isn’t what you want to do, making him too expensive for too little value.
Professor Webb(2): Okay to Good. Much better, now that his ability goes on top of the investigation. One of the ways in Seeker to get more uses out of your Ice Pick(3).
On The Trail(3): Okay to Bad. See above(Guardian). Again, this is worse in Seeker than in Guardian due to better options being plentiful.
Most useful cards: Gene Beauregard(3), Jeremiah Kirby, Forced Learning
Least useful cards: Divination(1), On the Trail(all), Written in the Stars
Verdict: There’s a lot of real strong cards in the Seeker pool. The allies look especially strong thanks to Kirby, Beauregard and the Medical Student.
I noticed that the multiclass cards here do allow Seeker access to some effects that are usually not part of its identity. This wasn’t really the case for the Guardian cards while the enemy handling on Gene and the recursion on Webb do open some lines of play for Seeker they didn’t have before.
The actual Seeker from this box, Monterey, is very open ended in his deck building and as such can certainly find some nice cards to build around here. I would’ve liked to see a better investigation tool than Divination here but I suppose that you can still put something efficient together on the base of Ice Pick and Eon Chart even if you are just building on a base of Core+Edge. Eon Chart and Hiking Boots let Monterey lean well into his ability even without the staple movement tools from the wider card pool.
Norman doesn’t get a whole lot here, though. Written in the Stars is custom tailored towards him. Forced Learning and Kirby are fine of course, but Pocket Telescope and Prof. Webb don’t strike me as huge assets for Norman. Therefore he’s going to have to mostly stick to Core cards for his first phase if this is your first purchase following the Core.
Underworld Support: Good to Excellent. Reducing your decksize by 5 has a lot of advantages that stack up: Upgrading your cards, finding Exceptionals and mulligans all improve. You need a solid card pool though that has alternatives to your usual staples. How much the limitation to running singletons hits you depends a lot on your personal style. I for example have always built with lots of singletons for on-the-fly options and card draw to hold it together, so this card is just fantastic for me and almost a Staple. Other are far less enthusiastic about it as they lean closer to building their decks close to the “15 cards, each 2 times” ideal.
The Red Clock(2Ex): Good to Excellent. Generically useful bonuses over three turns, then a cashout and it starts over. It’s not difficult at all to make this useful. Can be used with charge manipulation to accelerate, decelerate or even stay on the same effect every turn for fun results.
The Red Clock(5Ex): Good. Yep, that’s 10XP. But this is an accessory that with a bit of synergy from elsewhere can just straight up give you 2 extra actions per turn. Without shenanigans, i’d stick with the 4XP version.
Moxie(3): Excellent. See Combat Training(Guardian). Noteworthy as a great source of willpower for Rogue, a rarity.
The Black Fan(3): Excellent. A capstone card for the “Money Hoarder” archetype and a damn good one at that.
21 or Bust: Okay to Bad. Since you already need at least 2 resources to start gambling and need to hit 20 or 21 to be better than Emergency Cache, this is more fun than good and outclassed by pretty much every other green resource event.
Black Market(2): Staple. In solo, this draws 5 cards for 1 resource. In multiplayer, it does even more. This is an incredible piece of card draw, even if that draw is only temporary.
Cheat The System(1): Good. Is mildly playable at a trivial Synergy of 2, but since it costs XP, I’d want to get 3+ out of it so it beats Emergency Cache.
Counterespionage(1): Staple. Encounter cancellation in Rogue is a dream come true. Paying 4 to cancel something nasty and draw a card is a huge swing in favor of the good guys and the other modes do offer some flexibility.
Money Talks(2): Good. Another payoff for being a money hoarder. This is very flexible and can also effectively cancel an encounter card while drawing a card for yourself. Does need the setup though and might just fail you when you need it in the first handful turns.
Scout Ahead: Good to Excellent. Simple and to the point, this can be used to save yourself 2 actions, which is very respectable for a level zero card that is also so cheap. Good icons are a bonus.
Untimely Transaction(1): Okay. This is a bit too far on the gimmicky side, but can set up some interesting plays.
Savant(1): Excellent. Depends on the investigator of course, but for many rogues this translates to +3 or +4 to Willpower for a test. That includes Bob Jenkins.
Bruiser(3): Excellent. See above(Guardian)
Old Shotgun(2): Okay to Bad. See above(Guardian)
Quickdraw Holster(4): Okay. See above(Guardian)
Antiquary(3): Okay. All three of those traits do have some roots in Rogue. Favor is a weird one here, they are mostly cheap events without tests. A good amount of the Exceptionals are Relics and Rituals and you might find a use there, although them being exceptional means this is also rather unlikely.
Crafty(3): Excellent. Trick synergy is a major archetype in the wider Rogue pool and this can go straight in that deck. Like in Seeker, there are also some tools in Rogue that allow Crafty to help with investigations.
Gene Beauregard(3): Excellent. See above(Seeker).
Eon Chart(1): Good to Excellent. See above(Seeker)
Eon Chart(4): Excellent. See above(Seeker)
Pocket Telescope: Okay. See above(Seeker)
Blur(1): Good. 2 resources for a net of up to 2 bonus actions and a mild bonus to evade. Better for Mystics, but works in Rogue just fine.
Blur(4): Good. An extra charge translates into an extra action and there’s a better bonus to the evade test. Not a great upgrade, 3XP can do better.
Unscrupulous Loan(3): Excellent. An instant enabler for the money hoarders and/or a way to make setting up in the first turns super smooth.
Precious Memento(4): Good. I’m not completely sure why there are two different versions of this one (unless you have german cards -.-), it’s just very confusing. This squeezes a lot of soak into the accessory slot if you are into that. Really good at its job, but usually that slot is reserved for things that are a bit more proactive.
Snipe: Bad. See above(Guardian). Rogues have more actions, but they still don’t want to throw them away like that.
Ethereal Slip: Okay to Bad. It’s difficult to run into situation where this works, but it can in theory disable an enemy completely (if it doesn’t have Hunter) or give a headstart against it (if it does).
Ethereal Slip(2): Okay. The upgrade makes it cheaper and easier to set up. I do actually appreciate the extra icon for once here, though. On a situational card like this that helps.
Hit Me: Okay. A weird hybrid of Lucky! and Sure Gamble, ultimately worse than either. Can make an at least reasonable Lucky! impression in Rogue if you really want one. Since it can be used on tests you are passing, it could also be used to trigger an oversuccess, albeit at risk of drawing a skull or tentacle.
Most useful: Black Market(2), Counterespionage(1), Savant(1)
Least useful: Snipe, Ethereal Slip(all), Hit me
Verdict: There are two things standing out to me immediately in Edge’s offering for Rogue. For one that is an unusual amount of encounter card protection, ranging from willpower sources to an outright counterspell. This gives the tools to patch up a weakness that the whole class has been carrying around since the inception of the game. The other thing is the support for the “Money Hoarder” archetype, which is apparently supposed to be a Bob Jenkins thing? Not sure how much I agree with that interpretation of how Bob works best, but the cards are very welcome and find plenty of use in other investigators.
Also, the multiclass cards bleed some more investigation capabilities into Rogue, something that they can make good use of.
The 6 cards that Monterey can take out of these include Ethereal Slip(0) and Scout Ahead, both of which play into his movement shtick. Pocket Telescope isn’t great for him in my opinion, but I can see how it somewhat synergizes. He can also play the two gamble cards 21 or Bust and Hit Me… not that I think that he’d want to. The final card is Underworld Support of course which can work with any investigator, including Monty. 3.5 out of 6… i’ll allow it.
Mostly this is Bob’s playground though. He gets a couple items here, but except for Eon Chart which gives him even more free actions nothing that makes me immediately scramble to put it into his deck. Between Core and Edge, he certainly has enough money to play his stuff and of course the Core also provides a handful of good items for him.
Bob being more of a clue seeker than a fighter(although his 3 fight certainly can be built upon) is maybe the reason why there’s no weapons in this Rogue pool. Well, unless you count the Old Shotgun I suppose. There’s also the Quickdraw Holster again, confirming that there’s not a single one-handed gun for it in this expansion.
There’s certainly some chaff in this Rogue pool, but the overall impression is saved by some cards that invite building around them (Black Fan, Red Clock, Crafty), the encounter protection stuff and a couple that are simply very good (Black Market, Eon Chart, Gene).
Astronomical Atlas(3): Excellent to Staple. Obviously fantastic for Norman, but since it basically just draws a card every turn (with extra steps, but none of them take an action) it’s great for other mystics as well.
Close the Circle(1): Good to Excellent. Sort of like a mystic Eon Chart, this is quite good if you can get 3+ charges on it. Allows evading, fighting and investigating with your will, something that mystics love as well.
Down the Rabbit Hole: Excellent. This requires some planning with your deck as you will need to know how your leveled deck is supposed to look at deck creation already. If you do plan that far, then Down the Rabbit Hole can potentially save you a lot of XP. Stacks with Arcane Research from The Forgotten Age for even more savings. A bit annoying: this card is highly non-synergistic with the deckbuilding rules of the characters in this box. Note that many cards and their upgrades are spread across multiple ArkhamLCG products, so this is likely a card you won’t be able to make good use of on a small or even medium sized collection.
Dragon Pole: Good. Gives a consistent melee weapon to Mystic, something the class was lacking so far. Sadly doesn’t come with an upgraded version. Ao this is mostly interesting for early Lily decks, but doesn’t open up a proper replacement for fighting with spells in other mystics.
Grounded(3): Good. The most limited of the composures, but at least it’s the only one that can take both a point of horror and damage without discarding.
Healing Words(3): Good. This does its job well enough.
True Magick(5): Good to Excellent. Like many level 5 cards, it’s held back by its costs, but the flexibility of throwing out a spell of your choice each turn without running empty and without having to put down more spells is enticing and reasonably powerful.
Foresight(1): Okay to Bad. Norman can use this as economy, but other investigators would need to combo this with something and the payoff is just not there for that.
Meditative Trance: Good. Heals two points without excessive setup. With excessive setup, it can go a lot higher.
Parallel Fates(2): Okay. In low player counts, this stacks the encounter deck for several turns which can be good.
Winds of Power(1): Okay. Note that playing it through the trigger still requires paying 2 resources.
Occult Theory(1): Good. See Defensive Stance(Guardian)
Brand of C’thuga(1): Okay. While this is a good sidearm for Guardian, this use case doesn’t exist for Mystic who can already use all sorts of spells instead. The conversion to strength is also mostly irrelevant. For Mystic, this is mostly just a bad Shrivelling. I like the reduced resource cost a lot, though.
Brand of C’thuga(4): Okay. Same here.
Cyclopean Hammer(5): Excellent to Staple. The hammer on the other hand is even better in Mystic than in Guardian, due to a lack of other high level twohanders.
Divination(1): Okay. If you want to investigate with intellect as a Mystic without Seeker access, this does the job.
Divination(4): Good. If you are in the very specific market that Divination supplies, you might as well get the one with more charges.
Nkosi Mabati(3): Good. See above(Guardian). In Mystic, he has some fierce competition from Olive McBride from The Forgotten Age.
Blur(1): Excellent. A cheap and efficient way to turn a Mystic into an evadey character.
Blur(4): Good to Excellent. An expensive way to do mostly the same, but a smidge better.
Enchanted Bow(2): Good. A bit gimmicky, but that ability to shoot into connected locations is sweet. Note that it doesn’t use a charge on your location, so this sort of behaves like a melee weapon. Held back by the slot requirements.
Earthly Serenity(1): Good. 4 healing for 2 actions is our going rate and the added flexibility puts this into the better than average category.
Earthly Serenity(4): Good to Excellent. More charges, but the most important part is the lowered difficulty, meaning it gets easier to get as much healing as possible out of your action.
Talisman of Protection: Okay. Mystics will probably not want to sacrifice an arcane slot for this but you can play this on your teammates, too.
Prophetic(3): Excellent to Staple. Oh boy, spells. That’s like half our cards in this class we do tests with. And that are notoriously expensive.
Sleuth(3): Okay to Good. Not a card that is going to be of interest for most mystics, but Charm and Tome are certainly traits you could build around if you wanted to.
Antiquary(3): Good. Ritual as a trait is picking up traction in the wider card pool recently. Meanwhile, Relics is also something that Mystic might be dabbling in.
Ethereal Slip(0): Okay to Bad. See above(Rogue)
Ethereal Slip(2): Okay. See above(Rogue)
Protecting the Anirniq: Okay to Good. See above(Seeker). Sacrifice from The Forgotten Age beats this card in most instances, so if you have that, this drops to just Okay for Mystic specifically.
Most useful: Astronomical Atlas(3), Prophetic(3), Cyclopean Hammer(5)
Least useful: Foresight, Brand of C’thuga(all), Ethereal Slip(all)
Verdict: There’s not much here in terms of supporting a specific archetype like it was done for money hoarding in Rogue. The exception are a couple cards that clearly exist specifically with Norman in mind, with a focus of dealing with the top of the deck. Thankfully at least one of them, the Astronomical Atlas, is of large interest to other investigators as well.
A big chunk of the cards is taken up by the obligatory Mystic spell suite including upgrades which has been done in multiclass this time, one spell for each teamup with one of the four others. These are interesting in how they differ in appeal depending on which of the two classes looks at them.
A couple of nice build around cards are also present. All of True Magick, Enchanted Bow and Prophetic can be elevated to the centerpiece of a deck. Sleuth and Antiquary can as well, but that’s going to be a bit more difficult.
Due to the multiclass cards bleeding some class specific effects into others, Mystics now have two decent weapons that do stuff they weren’t able to do before. Enchanted Bow allows sniping into other locations. And Cyclopean Hammer is just a monster of a card.
As mentioned, Norman has some specific support here and that’s certainly enough to make him work. Lily can take 5 of the Mystic cards. Dragon Pole is clearly engineered with her in mind. Meditative Trance even has her on the artwork, but it works for her just like for any other mystic. Down the Rabbit Hole is just completely unplayable for her. Talisman of Protection and Ethereal Slip are both cards that exist. I suppose if any Mystic uses Talisman for themselves, then Lily would be it.
This cardpool has a relatively high base power, with many cards being Excellent or at least at the upper end of Good. I would’ve liked to see a bit more of an extended focus on a Mystic archetype, instead of just nodding towards some (Arcane Slots Matter, Charge Manipulation, Token Manipulation) with a card or two and then choosing to not elaborate further.
But in total this looks like a rock-solid addition to a card pool, no matter the size.
Bandages: Good to Excellent. Above the curve as 3 healing for an action and since it’s an item it also has lots of recursion potential.
Bangle of Jinxes(1): Good. This basically gives you Unexpected Courages on tap.
Fire Extinguisher(3): Good to Excellent. Solid weapon by itself and comes with a nice panic button that can even nuke multiple enemies.
Plucky(3): Excellent. See Combat Training(Guardian)
Schoffner’s Catalogue: Excellent to Staple. A more limited Emergency Cache as a baseline, put over the top by Item synergies and recursion.
Short Supply: Staple. The best of the five permanent talents, at least insofar as it’s really easy to get value out of this and the drawback is almost non-existent.
Blood Will Have Blood(2): Okay to Good. This can draw a bunch of cards for cheap, so this can hold your deck together if you anticipate tanking enemy attacks regularly.
Burn After Reading(1): Good to Excellent. Allows you to funnel XP into clues which can be okay for some survivors. The doom removal costs at least 3XP, so it’s only something for the final couple scenarios.
Fend Off(3): Good. The timing restriction and the resource cost hamper this a bit, but it’s solid removal. Very expensive, especially for Survivor standards
Jury-Rig: Good to Excellent. Three charges go a long way and this has a good amount of targets, most importantly weapons and investigation tools.
Dauntless Spirit(1): See Defensive Stance(Guardian)
Strength in Numbers: Excellent. Even at just Synergy 2 this offers three wild icons and it only goes up from there.
Bruiser(3): Good to Excellent. See above(Guardian). Survivor weapons are usually cheap, so this isn’t needed as much to pay for them. Still great for the skill bonuses, though.
Prophetic(3): Good. There’s Fortunes and Spirit cards in Survivor, but not common enough to make this a consideration for most Survivor decks.
Crafty(3): Good. Same deal, there’s Tools and Tricks, but usually not as a deck focus.
Sledgehammer(0): Okay. See above(Guardian)
Sledgehammer(4): Good. See above(Guardian)
Protective Gear(2): Good to Excellent. See above(Guardian)
Ice Pick(1): Staple. Without the Mag Glass to keep it down, this becomes the staple investigation tool in Survivor. The fighting part is more relevant here as well.
Ice Pick(3): Staple. Survivor recursion can make this card absolutely absurd and the centerpiece of your deck.
Unscrupulous Loan(3): Excellent. Compared to Rogue, this is on the one hand more potent because you don’t have as many alternatives for money, but on the other hand it’s also more dangerous because you have a harder time of paying back the loan before the game ends.
Professor Webb(0): Okay to Bad. Survivor has so many options to recur items, even Scavenging from the Core is better. I suppose you don’t need to oversucceed with Webb, but that’s scraping the barrel.
Professor Webb(2): Okay to Good. The improved version could be played alongside the other Survivor options without feeling bad about it if you want to go really deep on the theme.
Enchanted Bow(2): Good. See above(Mystic)
Precious Memento(4): Good. Survivor is more interested in defensive cards like this than Rogue is and for someone who wants to go hard on defense (like Daniela might), this is really good.
Talisman of Protection: Good to Excellent. Another card that makes more sense in Survivor. Defense is more of a thing here, but more importantly the arcane slot is less of an issue for them than for Mystic. Also another Item for the recursion engines.
Earthly Serenity(1): Good. See above(Mystic). Requires decent willpower to be efficient of course.
Earthly Serenity(4): Good to Excellent. See above(Mystic). Same here.
Hit Me: Bad. Already a borderline card for Rogue, but Survivor can just play actual Lucky instead of a worse Lucky variant.
Most useful: Ice Pick(all), Short Supply, Schoffner’s Catalogue
Least useful: Hit Me, Professor Webb(0), Blood Will Have Blood
Verdict: There’s barely a bad card in sight in this set of Survivor cards. Only Hit Me is best used as a coaster, the rest is all a boon to the card pool. Sledgehammer, Fire Extinguisher and Enchanted Bow offer new toys for fighty Survivors, while Ice Pick is just a fantastic card for fighters and clue finders alike. The recursion archetype is the clear winner here, with Short Supply supercharging the deck and making it sing from turn 1. Meanwhile, plenty of items are there as interesting recursion targets for Scavenging and Bob is an investigator that can actually use it to good effect (Sadly not the level 2 version from Dream-Eaters, but the next investigator expansion will have that one covered). The items are of course not just interesting for recursion, they are good on their own merit as well.
Like all classes, Survivor gains some interesting resource generators through the three triple-class talents. But they also gain even more thanks to Unscrupulous Loan and Schoffner’s Catalogue.
Staying on the topic of Bob, he can take eight level zero cards here. He’s probably not interested in the Sledgehammer and definitely not interested in Hit Me, but the rest are all great or at least solid for him: Bandages, Jury-Rig, Webb, Schoffner’s, Short Supply, Talisman of Protection. Add Scavenging, Leather Coat, some rogue money and you’ve got a deck. Probably needs some intellect boosts from somewhere to really take off, but that can be figured out even on a small collection.
For Daniela, the Survivor pool is flush with defensive cards that allow her to take enemy attacks all day long: Between Bandages, Plucky, Protective Gear, Talisman and Memento she can shrug off anything. Meanwhile she can profit from Fend Off, Blood Will Have Blood and Bangle of Jinxes while swinging a hammer around. So I would call her very well supported, she’s probably the one that works best with just Core+Edge out of the five here.
Very strong card pool for survivors, two thumbs up from me.
Heavy Furs: Good. Gives you Wendy’s investigator ability on an item. That’s certainly useful.
Rod of Animalism(1): Okay to Bad. Charisma exists and while Charisma costs 3XP, it also doesn’t cost a draw, resources or action, it’s is as consistent as it can be and it doesn’t take up the accessory slot. I don’t think Rod is all that great outside of niche uses.
Call for Backup(2): Okay to Good. Obviously heavily depends on your classes, but this can be worth playing. 2XP is a lot for a low impact card like this, though.
Sled Dog: Excellent. To make a long story short, this gives you a weapon, a movement tool and soak all in a tidy bundle. To make a long story way longer than reasonable, it’s the best card in the game and I wrote 5000 words about it.
In the Thick of It: Staple. Incredible card that goes into pretty much every deck. Do you like having XP? Well, there you go. You can now start with Charisma in play. Or one of the triple-class talents. Or with whatever else makes your deck tick. Most of the time, it’s hard to justify *not* running this card.
This box has Sled Dogs in it. Instant 12/10, buy this box before you even buy the Core.
Edge of the Earth is a fantastic expansion in terms of adding player cards to your collection. The sheer amount of cards this adds to each class skyrockets your options more than any other expansion with the possible exception of the 5 investigator starters taken as a whole.
This box doesn’t favor any of the classes in a disproportionate way either, the powerful cards are spread fairly evenly. This is of course in large part a result of all the multiclass cards.
There are a few things noticeable here. To start off, the focus on the leveled cards that the deckbuilding of these investigators suggests is also reflected in the card pool. Any class can take ~30 (non-neutral) cards in this set. Of those, only 5-6 are level zero with the exception of Survivor which has 8 due to its lower XP curve. For comparison, Carcosa has ~17 cards per class, with 8-9 of them being level zero (including in Survivor). Or in other words, instead of half the cards being unleveled, it’s only 15-20% in Edge. That by itself isn’t good or bad, but it might be something to consider when comparing Edge to other expansions. It gives you a lot of options to level up your decks, but fewer to build your initial one.
Looking at those numbers, you can also see the impact that the multiclass cards have on how usable these cards are with 30 instead of 17 per class. It’s not quite twice as many cards per class, but roughly a 75% increase. This is a very good thing for new collections as it will give them immediately just more cards to play with, doing a good job of making the card pool deeper. Or at least appear deeper.
When looking over the classes one by one, it was apparent that the designers took care to include cards for each of the investigators in the set. How much support there is for each of them certainly fluctuates a bit, but they are all supported enough that playing them on Core+Edge won’t lead to disappointment.
I can therefore recommend this set as a first buy after Core and due to the multiclass cards adding so many deck building options i’ll go further and call it one of the best options you have.
In terms of wider archetypes, the Synergy stuff is interesting and reasonably powerful. It’s a rather insular thing, only appearing in this expansion, but what is there is enough to matter. It also gives Lola Hayes from Carcosa a really nice thing to lean into that makes her unique deckbuilding shine.
There’s also a noticeable amount of healing in here and it’s better than usual. I very much approve of this. Healing has a bad reputation due to being inefficient in terms of actions when compared to using assets for soaking. The cards from Edge close this gap somewhat and make this a valid approach to meeting the Mythos.
A huge asset for deck building purposes is the cycle of permanents that have to be included at deck creation. These significantly change how you look at building a deck and open up new fun options to explore… with the possible exception of Short Supply which is just rather generically strong and builds upon things that your deck was probably doing anyways. Still, all five are great to have in your pool and to build around. If you own Dream-Eaters, you can use In the Thick of It and Versatile to put these into any investigator you want, increasing your options dramatically.
Then there is the cycle of triple-colored talent cards, each of them offering replenishing resources to either pay for cards of certain traits or enhance tests on actions with those traits. These are great as something to build a trait-based deck around and all of them are priced competitively enough to be good. Thanks to In the Thick of It, you can even start with one of them in your deck, getting your trait synergies online from the first scenario on. Very cool cards and make traits on a lot of cards matter just a little bit more than before.
The final cycle of cards worth highlighting are the level 1 skills that key off of your lowest or second lowest stat. These are good at fixing up your weak points and especially Savant in Rogue fills a very important role for doing something about their rotten willpower scores. It’s quite unfortunate that these are Practiced traited, yet don’t work with either of the two cards that care about the Practiced trait (Practice makes Perfect from Dream-Eaters, Amanda from Innsmouth). I feel like that’s a bit of confusion that could’ve been easily be avoided by making these Innate instead, tweaking the flavor here and there. Oh well.
But to bring all of this discussion to a close, this expansion is well worth buying. It’s one of the best ones around no matter how deep you are already into the game.
That’s it for the Edge of the Earth player card overview.
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