Irregular Evils #45: Updating the Site and my Takes

New Header menu

I am currently in the process of remodeling and updating some things on the site. This starts with a new header menu that is no longer broken down all the way to the last encounter set. That menu was causing issues for a while, both for using it and behind the scenes on a technical level. Linking every single page i put out somewhere in it was reasonable when i started the site a few years ago, but stopped being so like four or five expansions back. So i paired it down significantly. This has two main advantages: It’s now faster and less buggy. And it allows me to actually spotlight some of the content on this site that was previously buried in submenus of submenus. Most importantly, this puts the buying guide and the campaign deep dives to the front of the line where they belong.
I am still changing some details here and there, but i am largely satisfied with the new reduced look of the header.

Update to the Buying Guide

Speaking of the Buying Guide, i updated it with infos on the latest two expansions. And changed the recommendations for the Return To boxes due to the increasingly awful supply situation around them.

Update to the Investigator Set Reviews

The largest part of this site update was going over all of the Investigator Set Reviews and re-reviewing the cards to see if i still agree with my takes. I made a bunch of changes to ratings there. Some of those changes were because those reviews were the early ones i posted and i was still zeroing in on how i define my ratings, like where is the line between “Okay”, “Okay to Good” and “Good”. The Dunwich review in particular had a lot of cards where i didn’t even give such a rating. The last three campaigns (Edge, Keys, Vale) also just had me change my opinions on the cards a bunch after playing with them more since posting their reviews.
Notably, this update moves the Hemlock Vale review from “Hot Take Edition” that i made when the set wasn’t even released yet into something based on multiple campaigns played since i got the set and based on actual hands-on experiences. As with Edge and Keys, i do expect more changes to my opinions of the cards when i do my next round of updates in half a year or a year or whenever.

What follows now is a changelog of all the ratings i changed on the cards in their respective Investigator Set Reviews (formatted as “old rating -> new rating”). Sometimes this was accompanied by also changing the explanatory short text that i post with each card, but often this wasn’t even necessary. I’ll just post this changelog uncommented as it would be too much to go over everything. If you are interested about specifics, you are as always invited to ask and/or challenge me on my takes.

Investigator Starter Decks

Flesh Ward: Okay to Good -> Good
Safeguard(0): Good -> Good To Excellent
Clean Them Out: Okay -> Okay to Bad
Monster Slayer(0): Okay -> Okay to Bad

Arcane Enlightenment: Okay to Good -> Okay
Encyclopedia(0): Okay -> Good
Library Docent: Good to Excellent -> Good
Whitton Greene(0): Good -> Excellent
Burning the Midnight Oil: Good to Excellent -> Staple
Extensive Research(0): Bad -> Okay to Bad

Beretta M1918: Good to Excellent -> Excellent
Lonnie Ritter: Good -> Staple
Mauser(0): Good -> Good to Excellent
Mauser(2): Good -> Good to Excellent
Backstab(3): Okay -> Good
Daredevil(0): Okay to Good -> Good

Arcane Studies(4): Good -> Excellent
Robes of Endless Night(2): Good to Excellent -> Good
Voice of Ra: Good -> Excellent
Prescient: Okay to Good -> Okay

.18 Derringer(0): Good -> Excellent
.18 Derringer(2): Excellent -> Staple
Grimm’s Fairy Tales: Okay to Bad -> Bad
Granny Orne(3): Good to Excellent -> Excellent
Mysterious Raven: Okay to Good -> Okay
Grit Your Teeth: Bad to Okay -> Bad
Will to Survive(0): Okay -> Bad


I’ve Had Worse(4): Excellent -> Good
If it Bleeds: Okay to Bad -> Bad
Taunt: Okay
Taunt(2): Okay -> Okay to Bad
Teamwork: Okay
Leadership: Okay to Good

Art Student: Okay
Higher Education(3): Excellent
Laboratory Assistant: Excellent -> Staple
Deciphered Reality: Bad
Expose Weakness(1): Bad
Preposterous Sketches(0): Okay to Good

Hired Muscle: Okay -> Okay to Bad
Joey The Rat: Okay
Liquid Courage: Okay
Streetwise(3): Staple -> Excellent
Think on your feet: Bad
Double or Nothing: Excellent
Opportunist(2): Bad to Okay -> Bad

Blood Pact(3): Okay -> Good
Jewel of Aureolus: Okay -> Good
Ritual Candles: Okay to Good -> Good to Excellent
Delve Too Deep: Staple.
Ward of Protection: Okay -> Good

Newspaper: Okay to Bad -> Okay
Stroke of Luck: Okay to Good -> Okay

Emergency Cache(2): Okay to Bad -> Okay to Good


.32 Colt(0): Okay -> Okay to Bad
First Aid(3): Okay to Good -> Okay

Arcane Insight: Okay -> Okay to Bad
Charles Ross: Okay to Good -> Okay
Logical Reasoning: Excellent -> Staple

Pickpocketing(2): Good -> Excellent
Suggestion(4): Good -> Okay

Spirit Athame: Good -> Okay
St Hubert’s Key: Staple -> Excellent
Torrent of Power: Okay -> Okay to Bad

Gravedigger’s Shovel: Okay to Bad -> Okay
Not without a Fight: Okay to Good -> Okay

Forgotten Age

Kerosene(1): Okay -> Okay to Bad
Venturer: Good -> Okay to Good
Blood Eclipse(3): Good -> Okay
Reliable: Good -> Good to Excellent
Scene of the Crime: Excellent -> Staple

Dr. Elli Horowitz: Good -> Good to Excellent
Tooth of Eztli: Excellent -> Good to Excellent
Persuasion: Okay -> Good

Decorated Skull(0): Okay -> Bad
Coup de Grace: Okay to Good -> Okay
Olive McBride(0): Excellent -> Staple
Protective Incantation: Okay -> Okay to Bad
Shards of the Void: Okay to Good -> Okay

Backpack: Okay to Good -> Okay

Circle Undone

Alice Luxley: Okay to Good -> Okay
Delay the Inevitable: Good -> Okay
Interrogate: Okay to Bad -> Good

Hawk-Eye Camera: Staple -> Excellent
Connect the Dots: Good -> Okay
Curiosity: Good -> Okay

The Moon: Good to Excellent -> Good
Tennessee Sour Mash (3, Rogue): Good -> Good to Excellent
Money Talks: Okay to Good -> Okay
Cunning: Okay to Good -> Okay

Prophesy: Okay to Good -> Okay


Safeguard(2): Excellent -> Staple
Self-Sacrifice: Okay -> Okay to Bad

Extensive Research(1): Okay to Good -> Good
Surprising Find(1): Good -> Okay

Burglary(2): Okay to Good -> Okay
Gregory Gry: Good to Excellent -> Excellent
Swift Reload: Excellent to Staple -> Excellent

Summoned Hound: Okay to Good -> Okay
Twila Katherine Price: Good to Excellent -> Good

Scavenging(2): Excellent to Staple -> Staple


Book of Psalms: Good -> Okay
Ancestral Knowledge: Staple -> Excellent
Guided by the Unseen: Excellent to Staple -> Excellent
Deep Knowledge: Excellent -> Staple
Gaze of Ouraxsh: Good to Excellent -> Good
Stirring up Trouble: Excellent -> Staple
Plan of Action: Bad to Okay -> Okay

.25 Auto(2): Good to Excellent -> Excellent
Eye of the Djinn: Excellent to Staple -> Excellent
Tristan Botley: Good -> Okay
Breaking and Entering: Excellent -> Staple
Justify the Means: Good -> Okay

Eye of Chaos(4): Staple -> Excellent
Blood Pact(0): Okay -> Good
Ward of Radiance: Excellent -> Good

Mariner’ Compass: Excellent to Staple -> Excellent
Harmony Restored: Okay to Good -> Okay
Signum Crucis: Okay to Good -> Okay

Tempt Fate: Staple -> Excellent

Edge of the Earth

Geared Up: Good -> Okay
On the Hunt(3): Good to Excellent -> Excellent
Sweeping Kick: Excellent to Staple -> Staple
Defensive Stance: Good -> Excellent
Medical Student: Excellent -> Staple
Protective Gear: Good to Excellent -> Okay to Good
Quickdraw Holster: Okay -> Okay to Bad

Archive of Conduits: Good to Excellent -> Good
Join the Caravan: Okay -> Good
Unearth the Ancients(2): Good to Excellent -> Excellent
Survey the Area: Good -> Excellent
Medical Student: Excellent -> Staple

Underworld Support: Good to Excellent -> Excellent
Black Market(2): Staple -> Excellent
Quickdraw Holster: Okay -> Okay to Bad

Close the Circle: Good to Excellent -> Good
Occult Theory: Good -> Excellent
Prophetic: Excellent to Staple -> Staple

Bandages: Good to Excellent -> Excellent
Schoffner’s Catalogue: Excellent to Staple -> Staple
Blood will have Blood: Okay to Good -> Okay
Jury-Rig: Good to Excellent -> Excellent to Staple
Dauntless Spirit: Good -> Excellent
Protective Gear: Good to Excellent -> Okay to Good

Rod of Animalism: Okay to Bad -> Bad

Scarlet Keys

Obsidian Bracelet: Okay -> Good
Runic Axe: Excellent -> Staple
Bolas: Okay to Good -> Okay
Custom Modifications: Excellent -> Good
Breach the Door: Okay -> Good
Field Agent: Excellent -> Good to Excellent
Girish Kadakia: Good to Excellent -> Excellent

Alchemical Distillation: Good -> Okay
Grim Memoir: Excellent -> Staple
Captivating Discovery: Good to Excellent -> Okay
Analysis: Okay -> Good
Lab Coat: Good -> Okay
Map the Area: Bad -> Okay to Bad

Damning Testimony: Okay to Good -> Good to Excellent
Hit and Run: Good -> Okay
Kicking the Hornet’s Nest: Good to Excellent -> Good
Calculated Risk: Okay to Good -> Okay
Stylish Coat: Good to Excellent -> Good
Dirty Fighting: Excellent to Staple -> Staple
Breaking and Entering(2): Excellent to Staple -> Staple
Thieves Kit(3): Excellent to Staple -> Excellent
Underworld Market: Good to Excellent -> Excellent
Clean Sneak: Okay -> Okay to Bad

Summoned Servitor: Good to Excellent -> Good
Power Word: Good -> Excellent
Eldritch Initiation: Okay to Good -> Okay
String of Curses: Excellent to Staple -> Excellent
Binder’s Jar: Good -> Okay

Pocket Multi Tool: Good to Excellent -> Good
Idol of Xanatos: Okay to Bad -> Okay
Makeshift Trap: Good to Excellent -> Okay
End of the Road: Good -> Excellent
Exploit Weakness: Okay to Good -> Okay
At a Crossroads: Excellent to Staple -> Staple
Gumption: Staple -> Excellent
Katja Eastbank: Good to Excellent -> Okay to Good

Hyperphysical Shotcaster: Good -> Okay
Refine: Good -> Okay
Tool Belt: Okay to Good -> Okay to Bad

Hemlock Vale

Katana: Bad to Okay -> Okay
Ofuda: Okay to Good -> Okay
Absolution: Okay to Bad -> Okay
Task Force: Okay -> Good
Tinker: Okay to Good -> Good
Cleaning Kit(3): Good to Excellent -> Excellent
Miracle Wish: Okay to Good -> Okay

Microscope: Good to Excellent -> Good
Control Variable: Okay to Good -> Good
Thorough Inquiry: Good to Excellent -> Good
Gabriel Carillo: Excellent to Staple -> Staple
Esoteric Methods: Okay to Good -> Okay to Bad

Bianca Die Katz: Okay to Good -> Okay to Bad
British Bulldog(0): Excellent -> Staple
Fake Creds(0): Okay to Good -> Okay
Scrimshaw Charm: Okay -> Good
Bank Job: Good -> Excellent
False Surrender: Good to Excellent -> Good
Grift: Okay to Good -> Good
Diabolical Luck: Good to Excellent -> Excellent
British Bulldog(2): Excellent -> Staple

Speak to the Dead: Okay to Good -> Okay
Wicked Athame: Excellent -> Good
Rod of Carnamagos: Good -> Excellent
Accursed: Okay -> Okay to Bad
Read the Signs(2): Excellent to Staple -> Excellent
Spectral Razor(2): Excellent to Staple -> Excellent

Matchbox: Excellent to Staple -> Staple
Pitchfork: Good to Excellent -> Good
Pushed to the Limit: Good -> Okay
Stall for Time: Okay to Good -> Okay
Hatchet: Okay -> Good
Persistence: Okay to Good -> Okay
Hunting Jacket: Excellent -> Good

2 Replies to “Irregular Evils #45: Updating the Site and my Takes”

  1. You are still disregarding taboo for your rankings? I noticed, that you rated a lot of cards better, that were mutated from “when you reveal a skull, cultist, tablet or elder thing” (sometimes including auto fail) to “when you reveal a symbol”. In particular with “Voice of Ra”, which went Good -> Excellent, I think without the taboo (and without Olive), it’s still much worse than EC or UtS. (Yes, the arcane initiate can find it, but the risk you get only a basic resource action out of the card is not to disregard.) Without taboo in any Blurse-deck it gets really terrible. With taboo and with Blurse however, AND if you pair it with Olive, it becomes a staple.

    BTW, you listed “Quickdraw Holster” twice.

    1. Yes, this is still disregarding taboo. I think Voice of Ra is usually better than ECache even without the mutation, due to a combination of the Spell trait and the willpower icon on it. It’s entirely possible that this opinion is colored by my playing with taboo, but i did at least try to make an effort to disregard it.

      Quickdraw Holster is not the only one listed twice, Medical Student is as well. Might be others. It’s intentional, in the original eval i give seperate grades for the multiclass cards in each class. Sometimes they are different, for example i value C’thuga higher in Guardian than in Mystic (and EBlade the other way round). Quickdraw Holster is listed in a group with the guardian and with the rogue cards up there.

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