Katja Eastbank

This is not a card added casually to a deck. It's a main ally for a specific niche use. If the draw ability was a free trigger, this would be a good card that could fit in more decks. However the action hit to draw a card that was already drawn (either during the investigation or upkeep phase) is a huge action sink. Also offers no skill boots as other 2-3XP allies do.

Actions are the most valuable resource in the game, and spending one to draw an already drawn card is detrimental to the player's ability to advance the game. The benefit of holding onto the card must therefore outweigh the action cost of choosing when to draw it. It's probably intended for Dilemmas since they trigger immediately on drawing them.

But this comes in a class with all the recursion tools to play/recur cards from the discard pile. If it's used to hold cards in excess of the maximum hand size, why? A niche card that may have some specific use cases (Patrice perhaps) but otherwise is detrimental to most investigators who could better spend an action keeping ahead of the Agenda. She would've been better if she held only one card but it was a free trigger to draw it.

KingsGambit · 13
I think, Valenin's comment under another review is spot on: Could be very good, if you build a deck around the improvised set and other cards, you want to discard, like "Fortuitous Discovery" (unfortunately not "Moonstone"). You can replace them with something else, when you draw them, then use Katja for soak to get them into the discard. — Susumu · 271
I think you're undervaluing the additional draws. You can see Katja as a forced learning that doesn't require a 15(!) increase in deck size. That's no small thing. You'll go through your deck much quicker and just keep exactly what you need. As you stated, you can for example keep the recursion cards and then just get back what you need. And you'll need to make less room for each card because in combination with Short Supply, you got access to pretty much any card in your deck. The disadvantage is that you can only do this 5 times before having to invest actions, but the upside is she comes with 2 health/sanity as well. And she's also optional, meaning you don't have the same problems as Forced Learning where you get to decide between 2 good cards or when you've drawn a weakness. — Nenananas · 223
I do see the sweet spot in between your 2 comments. In a deck that does not necessarily need an Ally (and there are quite a few in Survivor I think), she can be an strong accelerator to your set up. Add 2 copies of your main assets, and if you draw the second copy, slap it on Katja to get another card. Once she's full, use her soak and get the second copy on the table and start again. An example of how it could work: you are power drawing for a key asset, with Katja in play, you get to see 6 cards instead of 3, which is 20% of your deck, and almost 30% if you used Short Supply. The negative aspect of attaching it an improvised card to her though is that you want this card in your discard pile ASAP to use it... Long story short, I follow arkham-becons on his review. — Valentin1331 · 25252
Anna Kaslow

With the introduction of hyperphysical shotcaster, boosting 1 stat is a lot valuable then before. Tarots are one of the more slot-efficient ways to stat boost.

Putting 1-level tarots x2 + the fool(3) + anna + charisma makes any deck able to +2 in their primary stat without taking up any important slots + cost reduction every turn.

Could be used in:

  • rogues that use thieves kit/lockpick engine that loves boosted evasion
  • survivors that can use scavenging to recur hyperphysical shotcaster
  • guardians with runic axe looking for reliable ways to proc elder or bandolier/shotcaster jank

Not worth in:

  • mystics usually have lots of other ways to boost willpower, and after upgrading spells that's enough anyways
  • seekers should just invest exp in draw power to draw into other techs
gyrjsrla · 8
I see your point, but in most classes, there are many other ways to boost your primary stat without spending (1*2)+3+4+3 = 12xp (assuming you get 1 copy of Anna) "just" to give you +2 to a stat. In your examples, the Rogues could go with the Moon x1, Lola Santiago or Delilah for the same result and a better ability, Survivors depend too much but also have their fair share of allies with Granny Orne, Peter Sylvestre, Jessica Hyde, etc... and Guardians have Beat Cop and Grete Wagner that now are supported by Motivational Speech. Also the new lvl 3 composures are sometimes very valuable for that matter too. — Valentin1331 · 25252
Underworld Market

Are you allowed to put Finn's signatures in the Underworld Market Deck? 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200

SE13SEB · 26
You should consider asking these questions somewhere else. The 200 character requirement is in place partially because these are meant to be reviews of the cards, not rules questions about them. — SSW · 190
As a complement, BoardGameGeek's forum or Reddit are good places to ask these questions as other users can find them easily with google later :) — Valentin1331 · 25252
Okay thanks guys, will do! — SE13SEB · 26
Pocket Telescope

There's a lot of back and forth here so just want to clear this up, if the Q&A above is accurate, it's clear that:

  1. Attacks of opportunity do NOT occur when the targeted location for investigation has an enemy. This is because attacks of opportunity occur when you spend the action, which happens at your current location before the investigate.

  2. I believe in reading that, it can be assumed that attacks of opportunity do NOT occur when the target location has a massive enemy either. For the same logic above, attacks of opportunity happen before the application of an actions effect. Meaning there's no additional check for AoO on the targeted location.

I've still seen some doubt about massive enemies, but based on the Q&A here I don't see why there would be any doubt.

EDIT: Does seem to still be some confusion about massive enemies, really because the FAQ description of "As If" seems to be at least a bit at odds with the Q&A here.

jrec15 · 1
It's quite different between massive and non-massive enemy. As I know, non-massive enemy does not AoO because it is not (physically) engaged. As an example, Luke provokes AoO since he is engaged. The case of massive enemy, there is no timming to engage and whenever the investigator is in a location, they are treated as "engaged with the enemy." Therefore, for massive enemy case, it is possible that the massive enemy is engaged with the enemy when initiating the ability. Since the FAQ states "as if" alters the game states **from its initiation**, AoO may be provoked. — elkeinkrad · 410
But didn't you pay the costs an then initiate the effect? Luke is a bad example because his ability triggers before you pay the costs — Tharzax · 1
It's important here that the ability you are being instructed to perform "as if" you were at another location is not itself an action, it's just the Investigate action designator (yes, yes, I know, but action designators are invoked by abilities or parts of abilities that aren't actions all the time). If Pocket Telescope for some reason said on two separate lines "=>: Investigate." and "You may perform the above action as if you were at any revealed connecting location.", then you would be performing AOO at the new location (and not at the original location). — Thatwasademo · 44
@elkeinkrad I see you're point I just feel like this line trumps all else "Attacks of Opportunity occur immediately after the cost of initiating the action, but before the application of the action’s effect" It seems to me there is no additional check for AoO during the application of the action's effect, so massive or not I don't see how an AoO could trigger when fulfilling the investigate, as that as only the application of the action's effect. — jrec15 · 1
Ok reading more into it I do see how the FAQ states "as if" alters the game states **from its initiation**. Meaning since the "as if" here is being at that location, massive enemies may engage. But I really feel like the Q&A here is just at odds with that description then. FAQ says as if can alter when AaO occur, Q&A here indicates more so that AaO only ever occur when you spend the action. Those kind of conflict each other — jrec15 · 1
Improvised Shield

I am writing this fresh off of deck-building, running across a combo that makes this item far more viable than it might initially seem: Forced Learning.

This card, along with some other Survivor cards, suffers from only being useful when it is in your discard pile, which it is hard to get it into efficiently when not playing Wendy or Ashcan Pete. Having this in your hand means you have a dead card, and more often than not it'll be stuck there for a while.

Forced Learning solves this issue. Now, every upkeep, you get to put a card into your discard pile from your hand, without losing card advantage in the process! And the obvious beneficiary of this combo is Darrell Simmons, who may appreciate extra health soak in some campaigns due to his 6 base health (hello TFA), and also loves to have Winging it in his discard for more efficient clue-gathering. Plus, he can run Scavenging shenanigans as well due to his high base Intellect and tendency to lower difficulty naturally, which also synergizes with Forced Learning.

I'm excited for this, and I may have to update my review if it does not work out the way I'm expecting it to right now.

Looking at it again, maybe I should've put this review on Darrell Simmons, it seems quite specific. Although, Minh Thi Phan can also use all the cards mentioned.

Shandras · 2
Forced learning only allows you to discard one of the cards you draw with it, not any other you might have in your hand — Django · 4428
True, overlooked that in my first rush of enthusiasm. Still seems to work OK for the most part, the anti-synergy with extra draw is about the only concern I have. I'll try it out some more. — Shandras · 2
Maybe we'll get a level 1 shield with a '?' icon someday? That's about the only thing that would make me even consider playing it. I mean, even then it would be worse Leather Coat (hand slots are far more valuable than body slots) but then you could at least get it into play without relying on a secondary discard effect. — olahren · 2502
Unlikely, olahren. Improvised cards are meant to need ways to get them into the discard pile. Which isn't that hard in survivor anyway. Wendy, Duke and (to a lesser degree) Patrice have it build into their ability, and there are cards like Cornered and "Short Supply", that can help. I agree, though, that the hand slot is in most decks too expensive for this card. — Susumu · 271
I think these cards are meant to enable stuff that discards, not the other way around - most of the time, you wouldn't consider Forced Learning because it dilutes your deck too much to make up for the powerful filtering effect, not to mention the horrendous interaction with weaknesses. With cards like this though, you can add more power to that to potentially make it worth your while. I do agree this is not the most powerful card of the bunch, but in that context, it's more playable than I (and probably most people) gave it credit for. — Shandras · 2