Ravenous Myconid

Beyond the amazing power of its upgrades, this level 0 creature can act as a resource generator. Uncanny Growth has no limit to how many growth it can put on at once, meaning you can turn each point of success into a resource.

Looking at the cost analysis:

Cost: 4 actions (to play, get event, investigate, get resources), 2 resource cost, ~2 cards to commit.

Benefit: 1 clue (~1 action), 6 resources, 1 health/sanity.

Result: -3 actions, +4 resources, -2 cards, +1 health/sanity

which is not worth it, compared to other cards that generate resources.

For a big-Money deck that focuses on high skill value, it might be worth it. For instance, in Jenny, who can take Streetwise, each cycle (get Uncanny Growth, play Uncanny Growth and boost with Streetwise, get resources from Myconid) would increase her resource pool by roughly 50%. Though, woe to the person that draws an autofail (maybe bring Justify the Means?).

Crazly · 154
No Stone Unturned

This card isn't great for seekers, but it is a literal life saver for their guardian friends.

Seeker decks are usually good to go at level 0, where by design guardians are entirely dependent on having their weapons out. A seeker can make reasonable progress against a location without any tools, but a guardian might as well be attacking an enemy with a butter knife with their bare hands.

If you have terrible luck like me, this is basically an auto include in your seeker decks if you have a guardian mob handler. Once their weapon is out the card loses a lot of value, but saving them from milling for four turns to get a damn weapon is huge.

drjones87 · 155
Grift

At level 0, Grift is an incredible option for many rogues. tests are what the class favors, so many rogues will be able to succeed the test presented by the card by at least 6 if they so choose. Grift also has the trait Trick, and can therefore be supported by cards like Chuck Fergus and made fast. This is also an extremely easy skill test, with only the auto-fail token causing failure in most scenarios. This presents an excellent window to utilize cards such as Manual Dexterity or Quick Thinking for additional card draw or actions.

Also, being a parley action, playing Grift doesn't cause attacks of opportunity, as an additional benefit. It's main competitor is Faustian Bargain, which does not require an enemy to be at your location, the notable drawback to Grift, and allows you to share resources with your fellow investigators to help out your team! After experimentally running both, I would suggest running one copy of Grift in most rogue decks alongside a copy or two of Faustian to see which will be better for any individual campaign or team composition! After all, you probably have access to Adaptable. You can always make the switch later!

Nightfuego · 38
Friends in Low Places

Friends in Low Places is quite possibly THE STRONGEST CARD DRAW ENGINE IN ARKHAM HORROR.

That is, if you use it properly. Allow me to explain…

Some quick TL;DRs, as this is an in depth review:

  • Friends in Low Places shines when you have at least 12 cards with a matching trait in your deck
  • It outclasses the best card draw cards in the game when this criteria is met.
  • It is fairly easy to meet that criteria when utilizing the Trick suite of cards.

1. FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES IS NOT SIMPLY A TUTOR.

Do not think of it as an additional copy of 3 or 4 cards in your deck. While it CAN do that, this is almost assuredly a waste of its potential. This card can be so much more than a tutor.

2. PROBABILISTIC ANALYSIS

This is where Friends in Low Places starts to get deep. There will be a brief summary at the end of this section, so if you wish to skip the evidence here, please feel free.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a hypergeometric calculator, it is not as complicated as it sounds. It is simply a calculator that can tell you the probability of drawing a card you want from your deck, given the size of your deck, and the amount of cards you are drawing. An analysis of FiLP from this perspective can be found on this spreadsheet: docs.google.com

This is quite revealing.

For example, let us assume that you have upgraded into Prompt for 2 xp, and are therefore searching 6 cards deep for cards you can draw. This is by far the best first upgrade choice. How many findable cards in your deck does it take to make this card draw as many or more cards on average than the 4 xp seeker option, Cryptic Research?

A simple answer, 12 cards. If you have 12 cards in your deck that share a trait, you have a ~52% chance of drawing 3 or more cards off of one Friends in Low Places. Past that, if you can find 14 cards, you have a ~68% chance of drawing 3 or more cards off of one Friends in Low Places. Of course this comes with a resource cost, but I will explain how we supplement that later.

This means that, to put it simply, for 2 xp, some quantity of resources, and the deckbuilding restriction of having at least 12 cards which share a trait in your deck, at worst your Friends in Low Places is on average as good as or better than the best card unrestricted draw event.

What happens if we add 3 more xp for Experienced? How much better does this make this event?

Searching three more cards has a HUGE impact on your ability to draw cards. For the same 52% chance of drawing 3 or more cards off of one Friends in Low Places, you only need to have 8 cards in your deck with a matching trait. If you have 14 cards with a matching trait in your deck, you will have a 50% chance of drawing 5 or more cards from one Friends in Low Places. That is an INCREDIBLE return on investment, and more than worth building your deck around. Adding one more card increases these cumulative odds to 60.36%.

Note that these odds do not include cards that draw more cards in their resolution, such as cards like Manual Dexterity or Easy Mark. This has the potential to allow you to cycle through your deck RAPIDLY.

TL;DR; If you are searching 6 deep with this card, you want to have 12 cards that share a trait in your deck. If you are searching 9 cards deep, you will want to have AT LEAST 8, but if you have 14, you will be drawing 5 cards on average for each FiLP.

3. HOW DO WE HAVE THIS MANY SEARCHABLE CARDS?

There are a few EXCELLENT available traits for Rogues that offer the card density we need. For example, Trick is a personal favorite of mine. Chuck Fergus is an incredible card that allows you to essentially take an additional action EVERY TURN, as we cycle our deck extremely rapidly, and get additional benefits, such as reduced resource cost on events (more resources in our pocket is more resources for the next Friends).

Some great Tricks to include in your deck include:

RESOURCE GENERATION/ECONOMY

Easy Mark : Three tricks, that draw you additional cards and gain 2 resources for every one you spend to draw them, potentially at fast off of Chuck Fergus or off of each other is incredible! These are almost entirely free to include in your deck.

Grift : A new addition from Hemlock Vale, this card is potentially a free 6 resources, at fast off of Chuck, with a generated easy skill test that you can use to trigger the success trigger on Lucky Cigarette Case or your skill cards, such as Manual Dexterity and Quick Thinking.

"I'll take that!" : The fewer resources we have to spend to set up, the more resources we can funnel into Friends in Low Places to keep the party rolling.

Cheat the System : Automatically pays for itself, and can pay for more of your cards at fast given you have other off-class cards in play. Synergizes well with Crafty for additional resources, or with Charon's Obol or even off class permanents, such as Short Supply or Down the Rabbit Hole. (TY NarkasisBroon)

INVESTIGATION/EVASION

Breaking and Entering : This card has always been incredible, and the ability to do it at fast, and for free off of Chuck Fergus is incredible. Your skill value on many Rogues will be quite high, and the ability to return this card to your hand when it is upgraded is incredible. Additionally, the evasion ability it offers is incredibly useful. There are few ways to evade enemies off of other investigators at your location without spending an action to engage the enemy. The team support ability is nearly unmatched.

Pilfer : Pilfer is a great card, albeit resource intensive. I usually include one Pilfer, as we cycle our deck extremely rapidly and will find the level zero variant again, or we may just succeed high enough for the upgraded version to return to our hand. It makes for an excellent resource vent as well once we near the end of a scenario.

Sneak By : Sneak By is potentially both a fast evasion off of Chuck and a fast two dollars. When it isn’t necessary, it’s still a great card to commit to skill tests.

UTILITY

"You handle this one!" : This card not only protects you from any will tests or particularly bothersome treacheries, it also gains you a resource at fast! Incredible value!

Scout Ahead : This card is very scenario dependent, but I have found that it is almost always worth running one copy. The action compression offered by Scout Ahead is very powerful in most rogue decks.

Ace in the Hole : We can cycle this card so rapidly that nearly every turn we will be playing it. 3 free actions is amazing, obviously.

Vamp : This card is quite good at doing several different things. Being able to make it fast is excellent.

THERE ARE OTHER EXCELLENT TRAITS FOR SPECIFIC INVESTIGATORS, before you choose, take a look through your deck! Chances are you might find something excellent. For example, Sefina can use Friends on Trick or Spell (or both!), and Preston will probably forgo Trick entirely in favor of Favor!

NOTES: The Versatile Upgrade

If you are upgrading into Versatile for the increased card draw, there are many great traits to choose. For example, for Sefina, Spell if you have started with Trick is almost always incredible. Sefina’s signature, The Painted World, can be more copies of Friends in Low Places, and if you choose Spell, it can find itself! Incredible synergy. If you don’t have a great choice, Innate is almost always an excellent choice. Quick Thinking and Manual Dexterity are both incredible cards that are in many rogue decks, and adding 4 available cards to your Friends in Low Places search from 12 cards to 16, with the Experienced upgrade, gives you a 70% chance to draw 5 or more cards off of each Friends in Low Places.

4. GETTING CLEVER

Clever is almost certainly the second upgrade you take on any deck running Friends in Low Places. The utility it offers is unmatched. For example:

Dealing With Weaknesses:

You can place your weaknesses at the bottom of your search, however this is not the best way to deal with your weaknesses using Friends. With the deckbuilding cost of running one copy of Black Market, you can place a black market on top of your deck to draw for upkeep, followed by your weaknesses. At the start of the following investigation phase. You play your Black Market, removing your two weaknesses from your deck for the duration of the turn, allowing you to draw around them, potentially even drawing through your entire deck, reshuffling it. This places your weaknesses back into the contents of your whole deck, putting them off indefinitely. You can also use this to “stack” your black market. You know what cards you will reveal off of your black market, so if you need to give another investigator money, but they’re at a different location, you can allow them to play your Faustian Bargain. If your investigator is not suited for combat, just toss your Ace in the Hole into the black market for your fighter to use!

Finding Any Card

You can use Clever to find cards that DO NOT MATCH your chosen trait in a similar way. You can place them on top of your deck, to be drawn via skill cards or lucky cigarette case. This is an excellent way for Sefina, for example, to find Double, Double on turn one.

Reshuffling

Remember: Clever is a may, not a must. You can always reshuffle your deck if none of the cards you're going to draw interest you. You can also use upgraded Lucky Cigarette Case to reshuffle your draws after a clever search if there’s one card you want that doesn’t match your Friends trait, and the rest can be shuffled away.

NOTES: USING YOUR RESOURCES

In my experience, when showing people this type of deck, one of the things they usually get hung up on is that the deck draws “too many cards”, and they are sad when they have to discard to hand size. Remember: most cards can be committed to skill tests for additional skill value. Friends, in a way, is acting as a replacement for a card like Streetwise in this case. You are spending a resource to gain 1 to 2 skill value for a test, and drawing a card in the process. That is an EXCELLENT return on investment. NEVER be afraid to commit your cards. They will come back when you cycle your deck anyways.

NOTES: SWIFT/BOLSTERING/HELPFUL

These are certainly niche upgrades. To start, Swift, in the case of utilizing Chuck Fergus, is often unnecessary. However, if you are playing Preston, for example, you can use this as a replacement Chuck for your favor cards! You can also utilize Swift and the Trick trait if you would like to fill your ally slot with a different ally than Chuck himself (NarkasisBroon)! Bolstering is mostly useful in a Winnifred deck, however even there it is assuredly unnecessary. You will be drawing so many cards to commit to skill tests, that an additional +5 skill value will not make a difference in how much you succeed by, as you will likely already be succeeding by the maximum value cared about by the cards you are using. Helpful is perhaps useful if you recognize that another investigator you are playing with happens to be utilizing your secondary trait from Versatile or perhaps even your primary trait. For example, Winnifred will often have Innate marked on her Friends. Many other investigators run good Innate skills. You can use your Friends to allow them to draw their skills. Additionally, you can use helpful to stack other investigators’ decks with Clever! This is very helpful if they are running cards such as Scroll of Secrets, which will allow them to discard their weaknesses.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In order of importance, I would recommend you upgrade into Prompt, Clever, Experienced, Versatile, Helpful in MOST cases. You can follow this track to your investigator’s experience limit as well. If you have access to Rogue 0-2, Prompt and Clever are incredible to have access to. Choose a trait which you can run 12 copies of. Item almost never meets that requirement, for example. Additionally, it’s smart to choose a trait which will find resource generation, whether that be in the form of "Watch this!" - like skill cards, Easy Mark - like events, or even assets such as Alchemical Transmutation. This card is an incredible engine, and I am surprised it has not been hit by a taboo yet.

Nightfuego · 38
Agreed. With 10xp in, FiLP is the best card in the game right now. It gives overwhelming power that makes you feel giddy if used properly. Personally I like prompt clever experienced swift because then I can have my choice of ally instead of relying on Chuck Fergus. A particular trick is like is making my swift card easy mark so that I effectively get even more draw out of FiLP. Like if I look at 9, see 5 tricks including easy mark, and have an easy mark in hand, that's 7 cards drawn fast, and I spent 5 resources but I gained 4 resources. (And in those 7 cards I drew will also likely be cheat the system, ace in the hole, etc) — NarkasisBroon · 10
That's a very fair take!!! I just like Chuck a LOT because I really don't care for the majority of allies available to rogues, and he's great at doing a little bit of everything. Although, that said, Bianca has got me thinking now! — Nightfuego · 38
Oh. You should mention cheat the system in your resource generation section. At the absolute minimum it pays for drawing itself, thus thinning your deck. If you have even 1 off colour card it starts generating you fast resources very quickly. You can even put in crafty to help buff your tricks in general, and then cheat the system is 3+ resources — NarkasisBroon · 10
Definitely! I used to use it in the now-defunct Daredevil Wendy deck a lot. It's really good. I think Crafty is definitely really good if you're taking Swift over running Chuck. It also does synergize really well with Cheat the System. I'll make a note! — Nightfuego · 38
Persistence

This card functionally reads as "You get +1 skill value to 2 different tests" due to it being immediately available from the discard pile.

This means it will work wonderfully with anyone who cares about on-commit effects such as Minh Thi Phan (with her Analytical Mind), who already loves cards like A Glimmer of Hope. With Persistence, she essentially gets to commit it once for +2, then again for another +2! (The same can also be said for anyone using any variant of Grisly Totem).

It could also work in a Patrice Hathaway deck. She loves wildcard skills that allow her to improvise to whatever situation she finds herself in. Secondly, she loves cards that can be played from the discard pile, considering how quickly she goes through her deck.

It's a shame Winifred Habbamock can't take it, though.

snacc · 944