Well Prepared is an article series that takes a look at “problem solvers”: player cards used by the investigators to solve specific challenges the encounter deck throws at them. Each of the articles will pick a couple of cards from that class and look at their application and where they are most useful. There’s an article for each of the classes and another one for the neutral cards, this is the fourth one.
Mystics are a versatile class by nature, being able to do almost anything as long as they have the correct spell for it is one of their hallmarks. In addition to those cards that define their role in the group, they also get some more specialized one-off spell events. With Ward of Protection they have one of the most broad catch-all solution for treacheries at their fingertips.
Level 0 cards are notable for being available right from the start. They can be used by a wide array of investigators natively and if really needed they are even unlockable through Versatile. Investigators with access to Adaptable gain further benefits from knowing their way around the relevant level zero cards.
Ward of Protection: Let’s get this one out of the way. Ward is so broadly useful that they aren’t really something that you include to counter specific encounter cards, but something you include because you got access to the Mystic card pool. There’s not a single scenario in this game where having Wards isn’t great. I originally wasn’t even going to mention it on this page for that reason but i feel like that would’ve earned me some snark so there you go.
Deny Existence: Almost as universally useful as Ward, but becomes especially good as a counter to treacheries that can potentially cause to lose a lot of life, sanity or cards. Good examples would be Beyond the Veil or Diabolic Voices. I would consider this card in pretty much any campaign, but for Dunwich it becomes a must have. It’s even a good Versatile target for some characters that are weak to Beyond the Veil and want to shore up their outs against it when playing Dunwich.
Fearless: Actionless healing is good. Fearless might only have a single icon, but some incidental horror healing can go a long way in Carcosa at least. The upgraded version adds the much needed second icon and another point of healing, making it a more universally useful card.
Promise of Power: Like Steadfast or Inquiring Mind, Promise of Power can be used to deflect an otherwise troublesome treachery. An impressive 4 wild skill icons can turn any test in your favor and as a skill, it can even be used on other investigators at your location that are currently trying to snap out of being Frozen in Fear or similar.
Spectral Razor: Another card that is so universally good that it almost doesn’t belong on this list. As mentioned with Backstab, this type of one-shot event can come in handy whenever such burst damage is needed. The three damage threshold is particularly relevant in Forgotten Age, but that’s by far not the only application. Unlike Backstab, this card is pushed to the brink of what’s still reasonable to print on one card though, so this end up less as a situational answer card and more like a staple card in its class.
Storm of Spirits: The other damage event in Mystic offers area damage for those that need it. This card costs enough to make it more situational, but it can certainly be worth including for killing of swarming enemies or scenarios where enemies stack up in some locations, like the Graveyard in 1000 Shapes of Horror, the Palace in Dim Carcosa or anytime the replacement cultists from Return to the Forgotten Age turn up. This card offers an upgrade that makes it break the 3 damage threshold, which widens its appeal considerably.
Level 1 and 2
While these cards can not be Versatile’d into just any deck, they are still available to a good amount of investigators. Up to level 2 is classic “side class” material, and some investigators gain access to level 1 skills and events. This is also where the XP cost is low enough that spending some on specific answers can be worth it even if the card is maybe not useful in all situations.
Guts(2): Willpower is by far the most tested skill on treacheries, especially on those that stick in play like Frozen in Fear and the Circle Undone hexes. Guts is a good card to hold onto to neutralize such a card and as a skill card it can even do so for other players.
Mind Wipe(1): A very narrow card that can be used to cheese a few tough non-Elites. The most prominent example are the Broods of Yog-Sothoth which can lose their invulnerability for a turn when Mind Wiped. Personally, i don’t think narrow cases like that are worth spending XP on, but it is an option. There’s an upgrade for this card, but to be frank it’s just really bad and not worth precious XP.
Level 3 to 5
Anything above level 2 is only available to characters of that class (and Lola!), so the number of investigators able to pick these options is limited. These are also a bigger investment in XP, these need to have utility throughout the campaign to be worth it.
Ward of Protection (5): Unlike the level 0 Ward or its level 2 upgrade, the level 5 Ward is not quite as universally useful. Since it loses the ability to cancel other people’s treacheries when compared to the level 2, this upgrade is much more of a tradeoff. But that tradeoff can certainly be worth it, as there are a lot of enemies that are worth just dismissing without an action. Ward(5) does hit Elite enemies, which is a huge upside over many other enemy handling tools. It also discards them instead of defeating them. While this would deprive the players of any victory points on that enemy, it can also be used to bypass Vengeance in the Forgotten Age. Canceling a Boa in the first turns can swing a whole scenario around. As another bonus, this cancels the whole card instead of just the revelation effect. This means it also negates Surge, which can definitely be nice. I think this upgrade is a lot better than it generally gets credit for..