It’s Rogue week on this edition of spoiler roundup, so rejoice my fellow burglars and uuuh… people of flexible morality. It’s been quite a chunk of new cards since last weekend, with two more Customizables and a host of rogue stuff, including the full reveal of Kymani Jones.
Hit and Run was previewed by WingingIt on their Youtube
Toolbelt was previewed by Drawn To The Flame on their podcast
Empirical Hypothesis was previewed by the r/arkhamhorrorlcg subreddit
Ghastly Possession was previewed by Optimal Play on their Youtube
Calculated Risk was previewed by Whisperer in Darkness on their Youtube
Kymani Jones was previewed by Maxine Newman on the FFG In-Flight at Gencon
Grizzled and Quick Getaway were previewed by Mythos Busters on their podcast
Thieves’ Kit(3) was previewed by PlayingBoardGames on their Youtube
Oh my. This is by far the best level 0 customizable. How good is it? I think it’s good enough to versatile it into Stella and Wini. This is a Lucky Cigarette Case and/or Rabbit Foot that doesn’t use a slot as a baseline. Pretty great. Of course you can in addition throw more XP at the card to make it even better. Or, in case of this card i would say make it more flexible because at least in my first reaction i feel like the best triggers (fail/pass) and the best payoff (draw) are printed on the level 0 already. More options and payoffs can just give you more opportunities to get and spend evidence tokens. Trial and Error and Field Research look very appealing to me as additional criteria. Irrefutable Proof and Research Grant give additional options to spend the evidence, but i have to say that drawing cards is probably going to be the best option most of the time. So i am not sure i’d really want to spend XP on that. Alternative Hypothesis needs some playtesting if it can be reliably triggered. But if it can, then adding two or three evidence per turn could bury you in evidence and cards…
We’ve seen bits and pieces of Kymani already, with their front being on the back of the Scarlet Keys box and parts of their back being leaked early on. But now we have the full picture including the signature asset and weakness enemy, thanks to an official preview by MJ herself on the FFG stream from GenCon. And i have to say, Kymani looks spectacular. 5 agility is massive of course and so is starting with 5XP. On a rogue, that XP is worth a whole lot, those decks can get very XP hungry. More so than other classes in my experience. Their access to Tool traited cards isn’t immediately exciting to me, most available tools are either investigative ones or weapons and those key off of intellect or combat, both of which Kymani only has a 2 in. But between Kymani and the Toolbelt (keep reading!) there is probably going to be some interesting tools planted in Scarlet Keys specifically for use with Kymani. We’ll see. In any case, i can accept a more narrow deck building in tandem with the 5XP, just like on Father Mateo. Over time, the card pool will provide more tools.
The Grappling Hook is very good, basically offering a bonus action as long as you can take three different basic actions in succession. This reminds me a lot of Axolotl’s Isabel La Fratta, a custom investigator that i had some good fun with. The Grappling Hook offers even more upsides, turning all actions taken into ones that don’t trigger AoOs and letting Kymani investigate with their agility. Beautiful.
For Agent Fletcher i have only one word: Backstab.
That’s actually not bad at all. You’ll only want to use it on your final action, but then it’s going to be 3 (or more) wild icons which for a level 0 skill is stellar. Investigators that take many actions per turn, like Tony, Bob or anyone with Leo De Luca etc., can push this even further but i don’t think that’s actually necessary to make this card playable. I could see this being a thing in Kymani decks, making sure that the investigator ability oversucceeds by enough. Thanks to their Grappling Hook, Kymani’s even capable to take more than 3 actions without any further help.
Yep, this is solid. Will see play for sure, at least in initial level 0 decks before they make room for the likes of Momentum or Savant.
Hit and Run
YES! Oh god yes. I love this style of card. Doesn’t matter if it’s called Momentary Blink, Sneak Attack or whatever, abusing the comes-into-play effects of cards is so very dear to my deck-builder heart, no matter the game. So clearly this was put into the rogue class for thematic reasons, to hang out with its buddy Sleight of Hand. But mechanically it would fit much better into almost any other class, since Rogue doesn’t have all that many good targets for it (yet?). Luckily it’s a level 0 card, so we can throw it into a lot of decks. We could even Versatile for it if we really want. The obvious class to pair it with is Seeker, since the Miskatonic line of allies is all about coming into play for an effect, then being disposable. Hit and Run can double up on those sweet, sweet triggers. Hit and Run for Jeremiah Kirby and draw up to 5 cards, end of turn pick him up again. Next turn, play Jeremiah for another bunch of cards, then Calling in Favors him back to your hand for another ally with an effect. Then replay Jeremiah again and draw even more cards. Like, i am writing this stuff and suddenly feel the desire to versatile two copies of Hit and Run into my Sled Dog Amanda deck because it sounds absolutely delightful to play. It’s already 50 cards, what’s 10 more, right?
The Rogue class itself does have a few interesting targets, which pretty much all have been covered in the reveal video. Of those i especially like the idea of double dipping on Priest of Two Faiths to fill up the chaos bag with blesses real quick.
The other thing that needs mentioning is the combo with Calling in Favors. Flash your Leo de Luca into play, then immediately return him with Calling in Favors for a 6 resource rebate on whatever ally you find in your top 9 cards. Pretty spicy.
I could drone on about this card for longer, but let’s call it a day here. Fantastic card and will only get better over time.
Decent at the very least. As a level 0 with double icons it can afford to be a bit more narrow, since you can always use it as a pseudo-skill. The effect for playing the card isn’t bad, it’s similar to Dodge in that it negates an enemy attack. This does include attacks of opportunity. In comparison to Dodge, this does cost 2 resources instead of 1 which certainly hurts a reactive card such as this one. You do get a free evade action out of it, though.
I see this card mostly useful in campaigns that have a lot of Hunter enemies. When they move into your location during the enemy phase, you can use this to negate their attack and exhaust them to make a quick getaway on the next turn. That’s not bad at all, it will just have to be seen if this competes with existing evasion tech like Cheap Shot or Slip Away. [Edit: Duh, obviously the enemy readies in the upkeep step directly following the enemy phase. So you don’t really get anything out of the evade. Since the Hunter thing doesn’t work, i don’t see myself picking this card over Cheap Shot and Slip Away.] Like those other two evade Tricks, Quick Getaway goes straight into the list of cards that can be used with Chuck Fergus and get quite a lot out of it.
A couple weeks ago we’ve seen the level 0 Thieves’ Kit, a card i was quite excited about. Now we get the level 3 upgrade and it’s a solid one. 3XP buys us an extra +1 skill value here and the chance to gain an additional resource on use when oversucceeding. Not the sort of upgrade we usually expect for 3XP, but since it comes at a very strong level 0 baseline, i don’t really feel like complaining about it either. I don’t see this being a high priority to upgrade, but especially when you can reliably oversucceed (Wini and Kymani both are good candidates for that) the extra income in resources could prove to be significant enough that you do want to go the extra mile on this card. Aside from that, i think i said everything i wanted to say about Thieves’ Kit on the level 0 preview.
I like this. Now, i am not really much into doomplay and i don’t really see the payoff for the first option. I suppose you can use it to accelerate your Abyssal Tome into doing more damage faster. Aside from a use like that, putting doom out for just two skill pips isn’t great, especially in a world where Promise of Power exists. However, the second option on this card is quite enticing. Removing doom is obviously powerful, that doesn’t really need further explanation. But you also get the option to use this card without any doom context at all, to recharge uses on an asset. And that’s also very useful. The amount of uses you get is half the original value, rounded down. So that means it’s not terribly useful on assets that have 3 default uses because you only get one charge back. This includes the majority of spell assets, but notably Shrivelling and Azure Flame both have 4 charges on them. Refilling 2 of them with a skill card can certainly be worth it. A huge upside here is that you can replenish any uses, no matter how obscure. While secrets, supplies, ammo and charges are already able to be recharged in several ways, this does offer a way to get more leylines on your Archive of Conduits, for example. As a skill card, you can use this on other peoples tests to refill their assets as well, of course. So this is a way to help your Guardian to put more ammo on their BAR or whatever.
This card is quite flexible and will likely be worth the 1XP cost often enough. For investigators that play around with doom, it’s even going to be a staple.
Oooh, a customizable skill. This is quite good in terms of encounter protection. Naming common treachery traits such Terror or Hazard is going to turn this into a great insurance against some of the most impactful things coming from the encounter deck. Hex is a good choice for Circle Undone, obviously.
You can also name enemies with it and this is likely to pay off as well, since most campaigns have some sort of enemy type they focus on. If nothing else then Monster, Humanoid and Elite are great picks.
The card allows picking up to four traits, allowing this card to come close to Stella’s signature with very little investment.
There’s some bigger upgrades on here as well. Nemesis is particularly useful if Elite is one of the chosen traits as it spreads some of the help to the whole team. The survivor could use Grizzled to evade the Elite and afterwards one or more teammates get to kill it more easily. That’s a neat trick. Mythos-Hardened allows taking treacheries out of the encounter deck forever which makes a mockery out of the “collect 3” treacheries in Circle Undone, but is also just generally useful in higher playercounts where the encounter deck cycles multiple times. There does need to be a skill test on the treachery though, so no removing Ancient Evils. Feel free to bin Frozen in Fear though, nobody needs that sort of negativity in their lives 😀 Next up, Always Prepared returns Grizzled to your hand from your discard pile whenever you draw an appropriate encounter card, ready to use it immediately. That’s just sort of insane and is likely to trigger multiple times per scenario. Everyone who played Stella knows how great it is to have skills with 3 wild icons readily available. Grizzled can, if you chose the traits well, make a nice impression of Stella’s signature skills. Patrice gets a lot of value out of Always Prepared as well, of course. Oh, and you get to recur the card even if the treachery doesn’t have a test on it. You can just keep it for later.
Seems like a real nice piece of encounter protection. Does it compare favorably to Dig Deep(4) in that role? I’m actually not sure. Remains to be seen.
Final note: Grizzled can be used against weaknesses. Most weakness treacheries don’t have tests on them (with Carcosa’s Lost Soul being a notable exception) but if you have a particularly nasty weakness enemy, then this card could help with that. Especially since most of those weaknesses have common traits like Humanoid anyways.
A card search for Tool finds 26 cards (which is not including the Multitool and the Thieves Kit which are also coming with Scarlet Keys). Of those, there are a couple that are situational enough that you might not want to have them lying around all the time and take up a slot, like Riot Whistle, Pocket Telescope or even Silas’ Net. The list of tools also includes Sledgehammer and Chainsaw, both notable for being weapons and for taking up both handslots. One could imagine a Survivor that uses Tool Belt to switch between “attack mode” and “search mode” by swapping their Chainsaw or Sledge with their Keyring or Lantern as needed. I also quite like the idea that was suggested on the reveal podcast of using this with Thieves Kit and Lockpicks, so you can do the once per turn strong investigate with Lockpicks and the rest with the Kit while still having a free hand for a gun or something like that.
So i definitely see some potential here for the card to be worthwhile, i do have two hangups about it though. One, the number of tools isn’t terribly large and also both spread across classes and often redundant in their use (most are investigation tools). A given investigator can probably use like 10 different tools, so that limits who even has enough cards available to make this sing. Survivors are the only ones who get tool weapons, so they are the only ones who can do the “attack/search mode switch” i talked about (well, i suppose they share the Sledge with Guardian, but Guardian doesn’t have anything else in terms of tools to switch with Sledge, so that point is moot).
The other issue i have here is that it competes with Backpack(2) for the body slot. And Backpack is fantastic. My initial thought is that Backpack probably does more for your tool deck than Tool Belt does as it makes you find those gadgets in the first place.
Now, to be fair the first problem can easily be solved. There might be a bunch more tools coming that make this more attractive, either directly in Scarlet Keys or just over time as more expansions get released. The second problem… i will leave that up to playtesting, i suppose. I kinda want to like this effect, but after being burned by Quickdraw Holster before, i am going to be a bit more pessimistic now.
I suppose you can use it in Kymani to store away your Grappling Hook for when you need it?
Altogether a card that i am not all that excited about, but it is fine. It has a unique effect and might turn out to be a piece in a puzzle i am not seeing right now. Might also become more interesting as further previews might show up with more Tools that can work with the Belt in an interesting way.