The Scarlet Keys Spoiler Roundup #11

Week 11

As far as the known schedule for previews goes, this is the second to last week of Scarlet Keys spoiler season. Let’s dive right back in.


Ceremonial Sickle(4) was previewed by PlayingBoardGames on their Youtube
Research Notes was previewed by Los Archivos de Arkham on their Twitch
Breaking and Entering(2) was previewed by Miskatonic University Radio on their Twitch
Soul Sanctification was previewed on the r/arkhamhorrorlcg subreddit
Astral Mirror was previewed by The Whisperer in Darkness on their Youtube


Research Notes

That is a neat little enabler that has a couple of ways to use it. By itself it doesn’t do a whole lot since it doesn’t allow you to drop clues yourself, so you are going to need cards that do that for you. Forewarned, Dr. Maleson and Quick Study do this from the current card pool and we have already seen Captivating Discovery for Scarlet Keys. You’d usually have to pick up these dropped clues one by one again, Research Notes allows you to pick them up all at once and let’s you do so with a rather easy intellect test. This by itself could be an interesting anchor for a deck (Daisy could even use the bottom ability with her extra Tome action), but you can get even more out of it. You aren’t restricted to picking up clues from the same location you dropped them on. So nothing is stopping you from putting clues on a low shroud location, picking them up the conventional way and use the evidence later on some high shrough Victory location that would otherwise be a pain to clear. Considering that Darrell is in this expansion, he might have even further uses for the evidence created by this card.
Note that the first ability only triggers on abilities from player cards. So you don’t get to put any evidence when resolving treacheries like False Lead or after pulling a cultist token in The Last King.
So this is an interesting card, i like this sort of thing. It gives extra value to a bunch of existing cards and allows putting them together in a coherent fashion, possibly spawning a new deck archetype. If i’m not mistaken it’s only four cards right now that drop clues, so that would need some more support in the future (either more from Scarlet Keys or in future expansions) to really take off but it’s a good start.


Breaking and Entering(2)

Breaking and Entering joins the ranks of self-recurring Tricks and Tactics together with Backstab(3), Pilfer(3), Cheap Shot(2) and Slip Away(2). That’s very solid and yet another way for rogues to consistently leverage their agility to find clues. I am a big fan of the other four cards i mentioned and do play them often (yes, even Backstab(3)). Getting another card for that deck to consider is very welcome. These cards are best played in a deck with Chuck Fergus, so the amount of XP that these cards eat up does start to pile up. Despite that, I can see Breaking and Entering(2) replacing Slip Away(2) or Cheap Shot(2) in those decks.
To make a long story short, Breaking and Entering is a good card and the upgraded one is as well. Nice one for the agility rogue toolbox. Not a head turner, but a super solid option to have. From what i gather, most people like the basic Breaking and Entering a good bit more than i do (i just think it’s okay, but nothing too special) so i suppose my opinion on this upgrade is also one that is a bit more restrained than that of most others.


Ceremonial Sickle(4)

Ceremonial Sickle(0) was one of the cards we got to see in week one, now here’s the 4XP upgrade for it. For 4XP we get an additional fight icon if we commit it and also an upgrade for both of the ability options. If you pick the first option, you now get +3 skill value instead of +1. And if you pick the second, you now get to remove all doom instead of only one on defeating the enemy. Also, you get to ready the Sickle on defeating the enemy.
All other things, including the base bonus to the fight/will test and the resource cost stay unchanged.
This seems a bit of a meager upgrade to me? It’s not really bad, but seems just very … safe. As far as a card that removes doom from play can be safe, at least. I am not terribly sold on the level 0 sickle already, so maybe i am not the right person to appreciate this upgrade, but i see very little here that would make me want to play this over one of the more conventional combat spells in anyone but Amina. That to me makes this look like a card that is tailored specifically for one investigator without much use outside of that one deck. I find that very unappealing in a card in general.
I suspect this card is fine in Amina, though. The ability to play this through her ability for zero resources, then attack something first, then finish it off to remove both doom is powerful. But i’d actually worry about even being able to hit with that finishing attack. Amina attacks at skill 4 with this if she picks the latter option, so without something like a Promise of Power in the sleeve this is not a sure thing at all. Sort of risky to gamble on something like that with 2 doom on the line.
We’ll see how this one plays out, but i’m quite skeptical of this one.

Astral Mirror

Anything that moves around item slots is going to be playable somewhere because it just fuels so many different strategies. What we have here is a Bandolier-like effect for Mystics and offclass Mystics, as long as they are willing to sacrifice both their body slot and their arcane slots for it. The body slot is often not a big ask for Mystics, mostly that requirement is there so that Astral Mirror can not be combined with Bandolier for a six-handed Mary or Diana. But actually, considering that you can gain additional arcane slots, you can go a lot deeper than just six hands with this if you really want to…
Giving up arcane slots is a bigger ask for Mystics, so this is once more a card that is tailored more towards Amina who isn’t a traditional spell user, but more into using all those doomplay Charm items that go into her handslots.
Aside from Amina, this is of huge interest to offclass Mystics, though. Since it’s level 2, Daisy can take it to carry even more tomes around. Mary can finally afford the hand slots for Book of Psalms, Ritual Candles(recently buffed to work with blesses!) and similar paraphernalia while still carrying a Holy Spear or Lightning Gun. Sefina and Patrice both can be built in a way that doesn’t use their arcane slots either, so they might be interested as well.
This is quite powerful even just with the regular two arcane slots that you start out with. The flexibility of using this card to turn additional arcanes into additional hands is enticing, too. This card will see play, no doubt about it.


Soul Sanctification

This is another pretty interesting enabler. It allows you to use healing cards on investigators even when they don’t have any horror or damage. That alone is already fairly powerful for Vincent and Carolyn specifically, as they can just use their ability to create skill cards or resources more freely. Of those two, Carolyn is particularly interested because resources just stack up better if you can create more of them. Vincent’s On The Mend is sadly limited to one per player, but he might still want to look at this card..
In addition to removing the brakes off of those two investigators, Soul Sanctification also collects offerings for each healing used that wasn’t spent to actually heal an existing point of damage/horror. These can be traded in for skill bonuses on any test the healing investigator takes. Having a couple skill bonuses in your back pocket can be tremendously useful and the +4 bonus you can get here is large.
Some interesting cards to combo with this: Ancient Stone (Minds in Harmony) can be turned from a horror healing card into a skill bonus battery. The nice thing here is that you aren’t spending any extra actions anywhere. Spirit of Humanity can throw two curses in the bag for 2 offerings on this card. This seems like a fine trade. Logical Reasoning(4) can heal up to 6 horror in one action, potentially putting a bunch of charges on Soul Sanctification. In a similar vein, Meditative Trance can go fairly high if you really want it to. I’d also be inclined to put this card into Jim Culver, just to get more value out of the trumpet. I’m also pretty sure this finally makes Book of Psalms playable. It was always on the cusp but this could be the extra push needed. And then of course there are several assets that allow you to heal for 2 points at the cost of an action. Those can be used now to bank offerings if you don’t have anything pressing to do with your action.
It’s a fairly open-ended card and unlike Research Notes, it doesn’t affect only 4 cards, it affects dozens. It looks pretty good to me, but i wonder how often i am going to want to spend 6XP on it. Since it’s permanent, it’s excellent to build around though.
Note: There’s currently some discussion around how/if this card works as we think it does. Rules as written specify that you can only play a card if it changes the gamestate of the target. The uncertainty is if “this counts as healing” does cover this properly. If it doesn’t that would mean that you can not play healing cards on fully healed investigators after all with this and would only get tokens for overheals. Personally, i think the “counts as healing” clause covers this, but we will probably have to wait for a designer to chime in and clarify.

4 Replies to “The Scarlet Keys Spoiler Roundup #11”

  1. First off, thanks for your weekly takes on these I have greatly appreciated your insight! I’ve been following along for this whole spoiler season.

    One clarification regarding Soul Sanctification. Unless card effect targeting rules are changing with it that you still can’t generate excess healing from full health/sanity invesigators.

    The current rule states that in order for a card effect to fire the card’s target’s state must change, not just the game state in general as is commonly thought. If it was still the latter your interpretation would be correct.

    Soul Sanctification does not change this rule. Unless FFG clarifies differently, it seems pretty straight forward that there is never a full health/sanity investigator that could be a valid target for any healing effect and thus could never generate excess healing.

    The “this still counts as healing” part is a likely so that any card effect tracking healing counts the placing of the excess healing as an offering on Soul Sanctification as healing.

    1. I am aware of the discussion around this. I decided to go with what seemed to be the majority take at the time. I would want to wait for a clarification on this one, wouldn’t be the first time that design intention and rules as written clash with each other.

      I should probably include at least a reference to this in the article, though. Will do.

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