The Scarlet Keys Spoiler Roundup #8

Week 8

We are about two thirds through spoiler season. Let’s keep going, shall we?


Hidden Pocket was previewed by Obscure Studies on their blog
Quantum Paradox was previewed by Drawn To The Flame on their podcast
Idol of Xanatos was previewed by Optimal Play on their YouTube
Girish Kadakia was previewed by Tengu un Plan on their YouTube


Girish Kadakia

Now, this is clearly a powerful ally. Girish is a very tanky card, with 3 horror and sanity soak and a healing ability. But i don’t think that’s actually what you want to run him for, as Brother Xavier does most of the job for just 1XP and there’s several other less expensive ways to mitigate damage and horror available in the class. That ability to exhaust for +2 to a skill is really good though. Instead of taking a consistent +1 to a single stat like with Grete Wagner or Beat Cop, you take a +2… but to just a single test. As Chuck Fergus has shown, this can be very, very powerful indeed and unlike Chuck this guy is not limited to a specific trait, class, phase or whatever. Actually, you can even use his ability on tests of other investigators at your location. That sort of flexibility is rare on an ability this powerful. There’s also some ways to ready Girish that can make you get additional value out of his ability, like Inspiring Presence (which pulls double duty on making Girish tank for you) or Charlie Kane’s signature ally.
4XP is a big ask, but i feel like the power is definitely here to justify it in some cases. Personally, i rarely run tanky cards like this (unless it’s specifically to help with trauma or to get through something like Dim Carcosa…) but the skill boost ability makes Girish appealing even outside of that niche so i could see him making it into a deck or two of mine, filling a similar role to Chuck in my Guardian decks. Looks like a good card to me, gets the stamp of approval!


Hidden Pocket

Interesting. Getting additional slots at level zero is quite good, especially when we are talking about accessory slots. There are some hoops to jump through here, though. First off, the card you want to use the slot for has to be Illicit. There are (so far) no Illicit traited accessories in the game. In terms of hand items, there is a bunch of weapons, plus Lockpicks and Thieves’ Kit (ArkhamDB Search). The previewed card “I’ll Take That!” can also make things Illicit, so that would be a way to get something like a Lucky Cigarette Case into this bonus slot.
The other hoop to jump through is that you have to attach this to a Clothing or Armor card. Those are mostly items that go into the body slot (insert my usual hangups about Backpack here) and also often items that are used to soak damage, meaning they are sort of meant to go into the discard sooner or later. There are some exceptions though. Looking at the full list of armors and clothings available, the standouts to me are Tool Belt, Hiking Shoes and Track Shoes because they neither take up a slot nor soak. Also, there’s Fine Clothes and Robes of Endless Night in terms of armors that you generally don’t actually want to use for their soak.
This card looks immediately interesting to me as a sort of Bandolier for rogues, allowing someone like Tony or Wini to hold a Beretta while still being able to carry a Colt or a Thieves’ Kit. The requirement for a clothing or armor item is a bit of a hurdle, but could still be worth it. This makes Tool Belt look a lot more enticing to me as well.
The combo with I’ll Take That is likely a bit too optimistic, but if both cards find their way into your deck on their own merit, sure you might randomly end up with two LCC in play or something.
As a final note, since the card leans very hard on certain card traits to be good, this has a lot of potential for the future as well. For example, if an accessory with printed Illicit trait is released (in Scarlet Keys or sometime later), this will be a big boost to Hidden Pocket.
Cool card.


Idol of Xanatos

This is actually pretty decent. 3 resources is a big ask, but the effect is indeed powerful enough to consider. The preview video already mentioned Calvin as someone who might be interested to keep riding that line of barely alive and/or using it with cards like Winging It, Scavenging or Salvage for additional value. Now, i think the 3 resource cost disqualify the Idol of Xanatos for being used primarily as an engine piece… maybe as a level zero stand-in for Cornered. But just using the Idol at face value as a way to stay alive seems really potent to me. Daniella might be interested in this as well as would Patrice. William would be the hottest pick for me to get additional value out of discarding cards. Looking at the other already previewed cards from Scarlet Keys, the combo with Improvised Shield also sticks out, a way to give insane levels of tank at level zero.
An interesting factor here is that it is damage prevention, which is pretty much the best effect you can have (compared to soak and healing, the other two ways of dealing with damage). The final note i have on this card is that the effect doesn’t cost an action, which is a super relevant thing when talking about healing-adjacent effects. The vast majority of healing cards sees little play at all because they are just way too inefficient in terms of actions spent per damage healed. The Idol does sidestep that issue as well.
So yes, i think this is a great card to have. Not everyone will want it, after all that level of tank is often simply not required (or can instead be solved with Jessica Hyde, Peter Sylvestre or judicious application of teddy bears.) But the Idol does fill an important niche and it is quite good at what it does. A level zero card to boot. So this will definitely see play, a neat card for the toolbox.


Quantum Paradox

And here’s the second weakness, an event that only goes into Seeker decks. Similar to Agnes personal weakness you will have to play it at an opportune time and until you do, it will zap you for horror every turn. Now, this one is a lot more nasty than the enemy weakness for Mystics that we’ve seen before. Just at a basic level, Quantum Paradox costs you a draw first (like almost all weaknesses do), then an action when you want to get rid of it and another 4 cards on top. This is quite the severe penalty. While there are certainly some Seekers that can just discard half of their hand without worrying about it too much, there are probably more that will find even having to keep this hand for a turn or two until they even have the required 4 cards in hand to discard alongside playing Quantum Paradox. At that point it becomes a Chronophobia that can’t be discarded easily (and that other investigators can’t discard for you!). At least Quantum Paradox doesn’t deal direct horror…
Yep, i think this is quite the rough weakness and i’ll dread playing it in most of my Seeker decks. Drawing this card from the top of your deck with an empty or near-empty hand is not going to be pleasant at all! This card might actually be reason enough to include some more horror soak in your deck, to enable yourself riding it out for a couple turns.

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