Cheap Shot

This finds an incredible home with Rita Young, particularly on standard difficulty.

By itself you get the utility of a nigh-guaranteed evade (8) that gives you the option to target low fight values when the evade gives you cause to sweat. For Rita that translates to 1 evade, 1 damage, +1 damage/1 free move. Solid efficiency and much stronger than her flat evade of 5.

With Crafty you're playing it for free and with pay-to-win capability. Boosting to 10 will reliably recur it on against most enemies, and can even safely recur while Drawing Thin against some.

And it even synergizes with Rita's pet quirky skill "Not without a fight!"! Where NWAF is normally a quasi-unexpected courage with mild boosting against multiple enemies, it truly shines with checks that use multiple attributes. With a single enemy, NWAF boosts Cheap Shot to an eye-watering 12. Essentially putting you beyond anything except an auto-fail for relatively little effort.

Is it cost-effective at melting down big health enemies? Absolutely not (that's Sweeping Kick), but Rita's real strength lies in racking up damage and managing enemies turn-by-turn and trick-by-trick. Cheap Shot (2) is the bedrock of this dynamic, reliable evasion boosting with damage included at an absolute bargain in terms of XP.

Maseiken · 1
Cheap Shot is still a combat skill test only, so NWAF will only contribute its combat icons (see Lockpicks for more) — dscarpac · 68
Having looked into it - what an odd thing. I'm guessing 'instead' effects (like most spells) would still allow you to use the replacement attribute, even if 'add' ones don't let you use the secondary. In any case, it's still a good synergy, if not Crazy Good. — Maseiken · 1
Ethereal Slip

I am a bit confused. The reactions on this card seem a bit underwhelming to me. This card can solve issues you have (almost) no alternative answer to. Last scenario I helped our Rex against a Spawn of Hali being two locations away, saving the following:

  • 2x move
  • 1x engage
  • 1x evade

And

  • the enemy is no longer at your location
  • you could fail the Evade

Its kinda situational but with 4 Investigators there will be lot of moments for this card to shine. You could even use this card as explained above to "help" your fighter of the group, since he could fail his fight attempts or/and wants to save ammunition. Its not all about the amount of actions you need to solve an issue but the timing of those actions. When I can save my clue-gatherer with a single action (tho it costs 2 and is a handcard) I will almost always take this chance. Last but not least in hard mode you need to spend cards on your tests in 2/3 attempts anyway. So you would spend cards on the Evade vs the Enemy you could just swap with - amazing! greetings

Unearth the Ancients

Started out skeptical on this one, but mugu and Oriflam's maths made me curious, and now I'm not so sure!

As someone who loved hitting Watch This + Double Or Nothing back before taboo- a 2 card combo that netted 9 resources- I'm fond of bursty economy events. And this one is in fact quite bursty!

You may think "Sure, if you wanna risk a massive Int test." But while high prices and a correspondingly high test do certainly increase the reward (but also risk), you don't need much for a good payoff.

You're a Seeker - Can you hit a (4) Int test? Cuz if you can, then by using Unearth The Ancients at a clue-bearing location:

  • Landing 2 Relics with a total cost of 4 will tie the previously mentioned Watch This + Donut.
  • Even landing 2 NON-Relic assets with a total cost of 4 will still BEAT a fully loaded Ever Vigilant.

The Value

Using the flawed-but-oft-cited economy valuation of Actions, Cards, and Resources being of descending-but-approximately- equal value, we can appraise some economy cards as so:

  • (Gained R + Gained Actions + Gained Cards) - (Spent R + Spent Actions + Spent Cards) ~= Value

So, some values for common economy cards:

For Unearth here: if you can hit two relics, with a total cost of 4, at a location with a clue:

  • (3R + (2 Play Actions + 1 Clue) + 2 Draws) - (0R + 1 Play Action + 1 Card) = +7

I reckon 3-4R of Relics on a clue is the sweet-spot scenario, and happily some of the best Seeker Relics cost only 1-2R (list of Relics below). Meanwhile, regular Seeker assets are basically 1 less value than an equally priced Relic, which is still good. If you can't find an Ancient Stone, go dig up an Art Student!

Now getting Unearth + 2 Relics + A Clue'd Location + Passing A Test isn't a freebie. Odds aren't terrible, tho- as a seeker, you're probably headed for clue locations anyway, and shroud is irrelevant. Good draw helps you find pieces- luckily again, you're a Seeker. And if your deck happens to be stacked with Relics, great.


Seeker Relics

Currently, we have 17. Remove Pendant Of The Queen, and we get:

Of these, the Eon Charts, Forbidden Tomes, and Ancient Stones seem like the big winners. Each costs 2 or less, and are strong late-campaign items. And if I'm reading this right, upgraded Ancient Stones can immediately trigger off Unearth's draw from playing a relic.

Tooth and Disc are okay in early-campaign, but really only on gators with few L0 alternatives, like Harvey and Ursula. At 3R apiece they're nice savings, but can push the test difficulty.

Maybe Ursula or Monterey would run Compass. ... Maybe.

Prophawaffa and Pnakalakka are very nice if you're confident you can land the massive test. You could dodge that risk entirely, though! By playing a copy of... Pnakotic... nevermind.

Lastly, using this for Segment gains no actions (it's already fast). You do gain +1R and +1 Card for playing it this way though, so it may be worth tacking on.


Insurance vs. the test

If you pump or commit, you're eating into the very economy you're trying to save. High power skills like Inquiring Mind may still be worth it if it swings the odds by a lot, and value-neutral skills like Perceptions, Deductions or Eurekas are almost always worth it on any test they can push into all-but-autofail territory.

Elsewise, post-token insurance is nice, of which there's not much unless you have Survivor access. If you do, Live And Learn is a great level 0 savior against autofail.


Who wants it?

I wouldn't build a deck around it, but some gators might already have a deck that would like having it:

As for unlikelys:

  • Joe, Rex and Amanda - No real significant synergies I can think of.

  • Level 2 Seekers: There's very few L0-2 Seeker Relics, or assets that are better than what their primary class provide.

  • Lola - Anti-synergy! Of the few relics she can take, most are activated, meaning she'd need to stay in role with them, which is a liability for Lola.


So! It does take some planning (but not as much as you may think), a test (but not as big as you may think), to get a good bit of value (possibly a lot more than you'd think), out of Unearth The Ancients. If you can confidently handle INT tests around 3 or 4, and you've got Seeker assets that need playing- Relics especially- you can cleanly match or beat the value of many beloved staples.

And if worst comes to worst and that danged autofail shows up, remember: this wasn't a wager! You don't lose the assets, just the card and action, same as any other event. You're ultimately no worse off than Nacho whiffing a Monster Slayer.

HanoverFist · 484
No real synergies in Amanda? Turning a play action into another investigate to proc big skills is great in her, regardless of what you're putting into play. — SSW · 167
Hm, I think I see what you mean... in her case, generating a test (the investigate) from where there would normally be none (the plays) is actually an advantage, to gain one more proc off of a placed profit-generating skill like upgraded Deduction or Perception?? — HanoverFist · 484
Sled Dog

I posted this in a reply, but I've been playing it with William Yorick in Edge of the Earth, running Short Supply Charisma and In the Thick of It. From the start that meant that my chances of getting at least 2 dogs up for +2 to hit, 2 damage (or 2 moves) were pretty danged good, and turns out that was right. In Yorick these are great. You draw a dog in upkeep? Commit it for an icon on your next fight test, defeats the enemy and play it from your discard pile. Or maybe there's a dog or two already in there thanks to Short Supply. Honestly to have these dogs as a baseline for moving and attacking, while adding in and out other assets as needed - these babies are perfect for Yorick, and relatively easy to get into play. You do have to watch your resources, but even with an item-heavy build (that Willie likes), 2 copies of Schoffner's Catalogue and 2 copies of good ol' Emergency Cache, you're in pretty good shape!

Krysmopompas · 277