The Scarlet Keys Spoiler Roundup #12

Week 12

We made it! The last week of the pre-announced spoiler season is over. Full list reveal when? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here’s a closer look at the final haul.


Embezzled Treasure was previewed by Obscure Studies on their blog
Surgical Kit was previewed by PlayingBoardGames on their Youtube
Martyr’s Vambrace was previewed by Drawn To The Flame on their Twitch
Disguise was previewed on the r/arkhamhorrorlcg subreddit
Pay your Dues was previewed by Optimal Play on their Youtube
Gray’s Anatomy was previewed by Tengu Un Plan on their Twitch


Martyr’s Vambrace

This is a tight bundle of nice effects. Let’s go over them one by one because there’s a lot to unpack here. First off, it’s soak in an accessory slot. That’s actually not all that common and usually restricted to sanity soak. So that’s a niche already. Then there’s good icons. Notable, but not the first thing to look out for. Next up is the first ability, which gives skill bonuses while resolving revelation abilities of treacheries. This is reminiscent of Tooth of Etzli, with the difference that on the one hand Vambrace also applies itself to intellect and fight tests, but on the other hand Tooth of Eztli applies to treacheries in play as well which isn’t true for Vambraces. The second ability is more or less “Let Me Handle This!” on tap, but limited to investigators at your location.
All of this you get for only 2 resources. That’s a lot of stuff crammed into a single equipment slot for cheap, which is attractive for sure. Is it worth 3XP? That is the more difficult question. For a guardian that plans on being on another members coattails through Safeguard permanently, it just might. The repeatable nature of second ability is the main draw here i think. But if you aren’t planning on staying together all the time, you might end up being better off just running a pair of actual “Let Me Handle This” cards and save the 3XP for something that advances your plan.
A super solid card that bundles lots of effects into a cheap package, so this is absolutely going to find a deck or two to shine in. I like playing Tooth of Eztli quite a bit and i would play a 3XP upgrade of it that costs 1 less and has soak attached. Not quite the same as this card, but as a frame of reference that works for me well enough. A deck that i like to make variants of is a Zoey with Holy Rosary(2) that keeps a healthy amount of blesses in the bag. It would require Relic Hunter, but combining Rosary(2) with Vambrace looks like it could be really good. Similarly, combining Vambrace with Tooth of Eztli would be promising as well. Hell, just combine all three in Zoey. :>


Surgical Kit

Like with the Vambrace, there’s a lot to like here. It’s reasonably cheap at 2 resources. It doesn’t take a hand slot. The double heal action isn’t limited by uses, you can use it indefinitely. That’s all nice, but i think i am most interested in that reaction ability. I don’t think it suddenly makes any unplayable healing cards playable, however using it to pile more value on top of already good healing cards sounds like a great idea. It’s limited by supplies, but by the time the Kit is empty, you drew four cards and healed 4 horror with it. Not too shabby for 2 resources and you do still have the Kit left afterwards for the heal double action. Or you can use an Emergency Cache(3) and refill the Kit and go again.
The double action isn’t super great by itself, but it can heal allies and basically gives the classic “Double Action: Discard this.” to the weaknesses from Edge of the Earth and to Vincent’s personal weakness. Mostly you will want to play this with other healing cards in your deck, so you will hopefully have healing available that is more efficient than this. 2 points per action is sort of the gold standard that i expect. But sure, it’s an extra on top of the reaction ability so this just sounded a lot more negative than it really is.
All of this leaves the question if anyone aside from Vincent takes this card. You could include it as your only healing card and then do a double action to heal 3 damage, 1 horror and draw a card. Up to four times. That does sound appealing enough that it might just be worth 3XP when your campaign has taken a turn towards a lot of physical trauma. Beats Thermos, right? Not sure how much of a bar that really is, but it’s something.
Since this isn’t unique or limited to 1 per investigator, you can even have two of these in play simultaneously. Now that’s some value on your healing cards.
On a final note, i am not a fan of the circumstance that the reaction ability doesn’t trigger on healing an ally. It’s not a huge deal, but it just looks wrong to me when one ability does work with allies and the other doesn’t.

Gray’s Anatomy

Level 5 Tome assets have a bit of a tradition now and here’s the latest entry. It’s a powerful ability that gives you repeatable heal or damage boosts on a stick, but no actual source of damage or healing. So you will have to use this in tandem with something else.
Getting 3 points of healing for an action is obviously above the curve and this is one of the best ways to just erase any trauma that might have accumulated on you (and your teammates!). Just think what this does with Painkillers/Smoking Pipe! It can also heal allies, but the boost is not going to be required there all that often.
The damage ability is spicy, since it can enhance any source of damage, not just attacks. Using this for +3 damage, then exhausting a Beat Cop for 4 damage sounds like it’s certainly worth. As the guys on Tengu un Plan noted, it’s also a great way to get tokens on your Soul Sanctification. Note that using this ability will still trigger attacks of opportunity, though! And for what it’s worth, you do have to pass the test for it to do something. And you have to pass it well for it to do something worth doing!
Two important rule clarifications were made by the lead designer, Maxine Newman:

So you can’t just use this three times, stack up the effect on a final enemy then let the Guardian hit it for 10+ damage. Also, the designers decreed that this card can be taken by Carolyn and Vincent despite not strictly being a card that heals.
Seems like a cool card. Not quite as blatantly powerful as Necronomicon or Prophesiae Profana, but can certainly be worked to have an impact worth the 5XP investment.
I sort of want to see Joe with this thing in one hand and a gun in the other now, reading up in the book to check where to shoot, then firing 5 damage bullets. Hot stuff.


Embezzled Treasure

Rogue cards in this set are wild and i am loving it. Embezzled Treasure allows trading your current surplus of resources for an advantage in the future. This is a very good trade, because resources matter the most during the setup portion of the game in the beginning when players scramble to put their assets into play and get ready to meet the mythos. Often, rogues will find themselves in the situation that after that initial rush, the resources start stacking up faster than they need to spend them. Being able to turn those resources into a bonus for the following scenario significantly takes pressure away from that next game.
The rogue is able to give this bonus to other investigators as well, which is even better. Mystics and guardians are especially money hungry in the beginning and will appreciate this help with getting their weapons and spells online. To fully load up the Embezzled Treasure, 5 turn of exhausting the card are required, but it’s not like this card is only useful when fully loaded. Even just one or two resources often make a huge difference and every rogue player should be able to swing that. Should you manage to stack the full amount of resources on this card, you can even split up the bonuses among two investigators to kickstart both of them.
I think this is a very powerful card and i will absolutely try to make room for a copy in my rogue decks for it. Deckspace is of course the only real strike against it, some decks are so tight on room that they might struggle fitting the card in.
This thing isn’t even unique or limited to 1 per investigator. So if you wanted to (and are particularly rich) you could even try and play two of these. That sounds to me like a much bigger ask and probably not the way to go but i’m sure that some players will try to make that dream work.
Oh, and this card is Illicit traited. While that does mean it interacts with what appears to be a larger Illicit theme in this expansion, it also means that Mr. Moneybags himself, Preston, can’t take it. Because that would’ve been too easy.

This is neat. For a level zero card, this does a whole lot. Slip Away is a card i play often and i also really like Slip Away(2) for the occasional recursion. This gives you four Slip Aways on tap in exchange for having to play it in advance for an extra action. That’s quite good and a real boon for evasion focused rogues … and Rita! Yep, it’s a Trick despite being an asset which means that a) Rita can take it and b) Crafty can pay for it and help with evading even more.
Note that Chuck Fergus is limited to events, so he won’t interact with this Trick. I suppose the way to go is take Disguise in your level zero deck and then maybe upgrade into Slip Away(2) later on if you are playing the Chuckster?
Good card that fits well between what’s already available. Very playable without completely outclassing anything already available, just how it should be.


Pay Your Dues

And here’s the Rogue weakness. This one can be rough, as clearing it will cost 3 actions (one for the event, 2 to make up the cost) or a good chunk of your money. Keeping it in hand for a few turns is an option, but the damage will slowly eat away at you. It also clogs up your hand, which can be relevant.
The closest comparison from what we already have in our weakness pool is Internal Injury from Dunwich. That one goes in your threat area and ticks you for a damage each turn just the same. It’s only 2 actions to clear, but also doesn’t have an option to pay for it to go away.
Pay Your Dues is by and large worse than Internal Injury for sure. At least there are situations where you can let this sit for a bit if you are still healthy and/or have soak available.
The investigators who most easily can shrug this off are probably the ones with tons of actions, but even for a Tony 3 actions are not nothing.

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