The Truth Beckons

"This card is no Shortcut," says the previous review.

"True," I say. "it's better." :-)

In Innsmouth, this card got me across entire maps, cheaply. It enabled to us to win the final scenario with a 7 location move in one action. Shortcut? I'd have been doing a fast stroll to get to that place.

Note: it is situational. You need big maps. And multiplayer might help. That scenario winning final move? My team-mates cleared the way to the final location, enabling the move to the final location.

acotgreave · 109
The trick with this will always be that Shortcut is fast and this isn’t, so you need to at least move two spaces to make it even equivalent to Shortcut. But yes, big maps definitely exist in this game and I like this card anyway for anyone wanting to get near an enemy. Trish and Tony both love being near enemies. — StyxTBeuford · 12435
Body of a Yithian

As investigators work differently they can be handled differently.

  • Duke is in the deck, not in play.
  • Preston's permanent is in play.
  • Joe has an unusable hunch deck and Diana has Dark Insight in her hand as those are deckbuilding requirements.
  • Sefina draws 13 cards and Lola chooses a role.

I've asked specifically about Sefina for this and the official answer is here:

Generally speaking, unless otherwise noted, scenario setup occurs during step 10 of setup (see: “Appendix III: Setting Up the Game” in the Rules Reference), whereas Sefina’s ability triggers when you would draw your opening hand, which happens in step 8. There are a few steps specifically in City of Archives that occur before this step (such as removing unique items and Alejandro), but everything else in the setup happens at the normal timing, during step 10. This means that Sefina will have already triggered her ability to draw 13 cards, place 5 events beneath her, etc. (This is why the Body of a Yithian rules explicitly say that cards that were placed beneath your investigator are placed beneath Body of a Yithian!)

vidinufi · 44
Book of Psalms

I was pleasantly surprised at how useful Book of Psalms is for a Sister Mary deck. On the surface, you see a fairly steep cost both in resources and actions, but the more of Mary I play, the more I realize the value of getting those tokens in the bag.

The obvious connection is with the Blessed Blade which I also reviewed and have extremely mixed feelings on. What I can say is without Book of Psalms, you'd need access to Keep Faith in order to ensure you have enough to land your hits. Keep Faith I think is indisputably a good card because it's reasonably priced and Fast. But Keep Faith being good can in some ways make Book of Psalms look bad. It costs you FAR more 's and resources, and the only real added benefit is getting some horror healing, which is nice if you are a since you more than likely have low sanity, but is not a particularly coveted effect.

To put things into perspective though, I want like to stress just how valuable those tokens are, even if you aren't intending to trigger them off of an endearingly finicky knife. It's been mentioned before that are more impactful on harder difficulties, and that having them around effectively counts as an Unexpected Courage. This is true but I want to take it a step further. If you pull a token and then pull a 0, you're probably not going to feel great about "loosing" the . But if you had committed Unexpected Courage to a test and pulled a 0, you're probably just happy to pass. Both tools are doing effectively the same thing (in this case nothing), but having banked some means you ARE going to be passing at least a few more tests than you ordinarily would have. This is particularly useful against certain treacheries where either the amount you fail by is significant or the treachery has a specific window in which it can be tested. can shore up your weaker stats, which is highly useful for . True, it is susceptible to rolling into itself and/or into an , but that's more par for the course for a .

The point I'm trying to get at is that one cannot simply walk into Arkham and expect to pass every test they come to, but there are a HUGE number of skill tests to be made throughout a scenario, and getting a +2 will soften the bag enough so that you can pass against things you otherwise wouldn't have. It gets only better when things like get nasty. It also works better the more you have in the bag, and basically this means that when you are nearing the end of the scenario, 's are suddenly very precious, 's have reached new lows of punishment, and yet the bag is also packed with that counteract the crushing weight of those final few rounds, albeit not always directly.

For an extra resource and what will amount to 4 s in total, this single card can get you 8 , nearly capping you out. It may sound obvious to hear, but there is a significant difference to making tests when you have a large quantity of in the bag then not. And if you don't need them, Sacred Covenant is permanent and only 2XP. You're probably not going to read the whole book all at once however, and drip feeding them works just fine. It cost you an action, but it gave you 2 for (probably) two actions later.

As with any card that takes an action to play and an action to activate, you do have to evaluate how much you can spare on an effect like this, especially in solo. What I found in multiplayer is that taking a moment to generate a few tokens would dramatically impact my ability to trigger Blessed Blade damage as well as get through obnoxious treacheries that our favorite nun is ill equip to deal with. This is doubly crucial because Mary requires more deck slots to support her fragile knife than perhaps any other .

There are better effects than the ephemeral nature of the mechanic to be sure, but at lvl 0, Book of Psalms can accelerate your quantity that then enables so many other effects. The value of a token is, I might argue, much greater than a 's use of them which tend to be more one and done. If you're bringing healing, you can do much worse than Book of Psalms. I think my opinion on this card is more favorable than its companion because there are ways to leverage and manage the tokens, meaning they have additional value far beyond passing a skill test here and there, which in itself is good. When I think of a , I think of Reliable... okay not the card but the state of being dependable. The Blessed Blade is the antithesis of reliable due to its pitiful boost and demand for a full bag of to be at all helpful. By contrast, Book of Psalms just gives you what you're asking for, and even throws some horror healing to sweeten the deal.

The other card to be mentioned at lvl 0 is Hand of Fate which I was also surprised to see how often that saw play, but my issue with it is I need an enemy and a hefty chunk of resources to play it. Generally, I would play Book of Psalms turn 1 and start blessing the bag whether we need the horror healing or not, and in this way, the book gets Sister Mary's much needed tempo right out of the gate. I think it's a great fit for her, and a much better alternative to cards like First Aid. If we get an upgrade in the Return to TIC, I would love to see the speed increased, perhaps to a , though I get the feeling that is a bit overly optimistic. More likely, it would increase the number of dropped in the bag, which I'd unquestionably purchase.

LaRoix · 1447
Blessed Blade

With Into the Maelstrom arriving later this month, I wanted to share my thoughts on this card, having used it with Sister Mary as the primary fighter and primary weapon for my 4 player campaign. My feelings on the card were mixed when I first saw it and I think they've shifted around only to end up in a similar sentiment (so forgive me if my review comes across as a touch contradictory). I do want to state that with each new cycle I always play a new investigator from the corresponding deluxe box and I always include as many new cards from the cycle as I can manage. I like the idea of my first experience with a fresh campaign matching somewhat with developer intentions. Given the / mechanic with this cycle, it has been a particularly interesting experience to say the least.

I played the Blessed Blade in conjunction with the Book of Psalms (which is how I perceive the designers intended, at least on some level) so I'm going to be holding it to be a sufficient monster killer rather than an offhand tool. As many others have pointed out, the Blessed Blade is little more than a shiny Knife which is a very bad thing if you're the main fighter in the group. My strategy was to use Olive McBride (until Favor of the Sun released) to help me find and trigger those tokens reliably, and for the most part, I think this worked reasonably well. Going a step further by adding Enchant Weapon to the mix and you're landing 3 damage blows with fairly good consistency. Sure, there were the odd instance when Olive would miss the and grab me a -4 instead, but these felt more in line with pulling an than the cards not performing "as intended" if we may call it that.

Already I think you can see the first of two problems though. You NEED Olive McBride AND Enchant Weapon before this thing can start pulling it's weight (to say nothing of the you also need, but thankfully Mary and the Bible manage this expeditiously, Rite of Sanctification notwithstanding). The XP and resource cost for Enchant Weapon is forgivable since you're more than likely spending the same amount (if not more) on something stronger anyway. You'll want Sacred Covenant as well but that's cheap and permanent. So having a weapon reliant on other cards in your deck to be of any use at all (and that is, unfortunately, not an exaggeration), is a very long winded way to go about the most basic playstyle in the game.

To digress for a moment, I think this is what ultimately bothers me about this card. The "if you pull" condition is inundated with luck and randomness, and those mechanics don't suit how 's approach the chaos bag. 's want results, and they get them through very plain, simple, and therefore unsurprisingly, expensive methods. For example, I was perplexed the card didn't ask you to remove a token to trigger the extra damage, thematically imbuing the blade with holy magic (exactly why Radiant Smite is such a useful card). Or perhaps it gives you a when you engage an enemy instead so at least mechanically you get the potential damage that you need BEFORE you have to chew through your attacks, missing all the way (and you will miss, and you will miss often without ). You could even make a one-time grotesque effect by making it so that you can reveal 2 tokens for an attack instead of 1, but you must resolve the higher number among them or a if it is revealed (hey, as it currently stands, you're already failing on easy modifiers like -2's so you may as well up the odds for a ).

My drive to write this review didn't solidify until I played the Lair of Dagon which spawns Acolytes and Dagon Cultists like they're going out of style. Both of those enemies only have a single hit point, so I don't need the damage from the token. But I DO need to successfully land a hit on my target, which was all but impossible without them. This second problem, put everyone in a bind, forced to fix my blunders until I was able to cast Magic Weapon about 5 rounds into the game. Most 's don't want to feel like dead weight for so long at the onset of a scenario.

Having your primary weapon do absolutely nothing but incrementally add a single token to the bag each round creates an extremely slow burn. This is in part a problem because Sister Mary only has 3, but she is the ideal user for this weapon nevertheless because of her native synergy with . Sure, I could take Beat Cop to help my low , but Olive helps you land those tokens, and if you hit one of those, you're typically getting enough from the +2 skill value the provides. And the is what you need to secure +1 damage so why wouldn't you just go big?

To switch perspectives a little, I must reiterate that once the cards are on the table, you can handle most enemies in a similar manner you would as any other . The difference is as a gun wielder, you're reliant on ammo, and ammo can afford to wait several turns before it arrives, while this set up can not. I think its bigger sin (haw haw...) is how useless it is at lvl 0. Just commit Overpower or Daring, you say? But how many more cards can a single weapon demand before it starts pulling it's weight? Is it so much to ask to want a half decent chance to land a single point of damage as a .

My point isn't to stress how bad this weapon is because it isn't bad. If anything, my playthrough has proved the opposite. This is an incredibly powerful tool in the right hands and with the right deck, such that you WON'T need any other weapon to combat the mythos with until campaign's end. At some point, you are pulling consistently, and therefore, you are getting the and the damage boost you need. My issue is how long it takes to get there and how many other cards it is reliant on before Mary has flexed enough to actually start fighting. If you want to buck the tried and true approach then be prepared to deal anywhere from 0-1 damage for an entire turn's worth of attacking when an enemy spawns engaged with you first draw of the encounter deck. Again, this problem arises in part because Sister Mary's is below the curve for what a needs, putting a hefty amount of pressure on her to be shoring up a weakness until she can peak mid scenario. I don't think it would've broken the card if her sword gave her +2 since she desperately needs it and seeing as how very few other investigator's will be interested in this weapon (Carolyn and Mateo aside).

It is a bit of a shame the Blessed Blade isn't going to see an upgrade this cycle, but it is a very fitting choice for an eventual Return to TIC. I know some people see the Blessed Blade as a good offhand slot for adding , but I personally much prefer the Book of Psalms. I think the combination of the two works well once it gets going, as wobbly as it is. I can't tell whether the designers were intending a clunky approach, hoping to change up the style, or if this design stems more from a lack of inspiration (there are MANY other cards with the "if an X is revealed" mechanic to be fair), but I think the results are... well, mixed as I began with. If they decide to revisit it in the future, I would encourage them to commit to making the Blessed Blade into a more stable weapon. The simple route of reducing the resource cost and improving the are obvious, but I think a rework of how interacts with the blade would be more rewarding to explore.

Being mixed on a card is usually better than outright love or hate because it encourages creativity when deckbuilding. Yet I do have to stand by the fact that a weapon you play on turn 1 that isn't useful until turn 5 with at least 6XP's worth of other cards is antithetical to the card's purpose as well as to the playstyle.

LaRoix · 1447
I think the intent with blessed blade and book of psalms in mary at least is that they are your off hands, spells being the main hand, bless blade I treat more like the rat killing stick or the softening blow in mary, using at as your primary fighting tool does seem to require a lot of set up as you describe. My main "wow this is stupid" experience came from yorick+favour of the sun+blessed blade, for endless bless generation, automatic hits and guaranteed damage...forever.. at 4xp. — Zerogrim · 174
Tristan Botley

In case you haven't noticed, this guy does not have an ally slot symbol printed on him. Which makes him really great in my opinion. Yeah he is expensive, but you can pair him with other allies without needing charisma

flooze · 1
Dunno where arkhamdb gets its card images, but he does have ally slot in the release article (he didn't when the article first came out but it was fixed a few days later) and I believe he does have an ally slot in print. So I'm afraid he does take an ally slot — NarkasisBroon · 1
I check my copy, and he has ally slot. I guess that the draft omited his slot and fixed, but draft version was upload at cardgamedb. — elkeinkrad · 111
Maxime confirmed he’s supposed to have one as well — StyxTBeuford · 12435
Well it would have been too much I guess. Hopefully someone here can change the image — flooze · 1