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.
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.
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:
Harvey. He likes to draw, so he likes Ancient Stones. He likes big hands, so he likes Forbidden Tomes. His early accessory options are pretty skint, so he may actually run Tooth or Disc on purpose!
Daisy. 3 of the Seeker Relics are action-havin' Tomes, L2 Mystic has a couple post-token insurance cards. Likes Whitton, and Whitton likes decks with more Relics.
Mandy. Likes draw and sometimes likes big hands. Can find the event and relics quickly.
Minh. Likes Ancient Stones, is probably running Deduction/Eureka/Perception, can get 1 more pip towards the test on one of them, and she can get Live & Learn / Lucky! for insurance.
Ursula, maybe. She likes Prophesiae and Eon Chart, charges all over so she might like Otherworldly Compass, and her fondness of relics means she might already be running Whitton. Also possibly runs Tooth or Disc early.
Monterey, maaaaaybe. Like Ursula, minus the likelyhood of already running Whitton, Disc, or Tooth.
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.