The Devourer Below

Even after all this time, Devourer Below remains one of the most difficult scenarios in Arkham Horror.

Due to the encounter deck recursion and the large number of cards that add doom (roughly half the deck), you're going to at best get 8-9 turns before Umordoth spawns. The other half of the deck that isn't doom cards are enemies, four of which are very hardy.

This would be enough to make this challenging, but the random location debuffs make it dangerous to even explore.

All in all, this scenario should honestly be skipped when introducing people to the game unless they like getting stomped on. Most, even good viable parties, will end in failure on this scenario.

drjones87 · 46
Half the deck is doom cards? What? There's 3 Ancient Evils, 3 Acolytes, Wizard of the Order, and 2 Mysterious Chanting. 9/29 is not half, and it's not even particularly scary doom generation because you can just kill the Acolytes/Wizard to remove the doom. Honestly compared to drawing Umordhoth's Wrath which is the real killer here, you're happy to draw the Dark Cult cards. People say that Devourer is still one of the hardest scenarios today, but I haven't found that to be the case in my anecdotal experience. With the modern cardpool it's very doable to stop the ritual in time. It only uses Core encounter sets, which aren't really that scary these days. It's challenging, but no longer as brutal as it used to be. I even recently played every 2-character Core Set combination through NotZ, Core Set cards only, and won more often than lost (only on Standard though). Personal opinion (feel free to disagree): People have gotten better, Devourer isn't that hard, it's just perceived to be hard since everyone's first experience with it is brutal and then nobody revisits it, so the myth remains. — Soul_Turtle · 1
I agree with Soul_Turtle. The Devourer Below is very doable compared to some of the harder scenarios. — Nenananas · 207
I think blundering and dying through the Devourer Below (or throwing Lita in desparation) is a far more interesting and satisfying conclusion to a new player's introduction than the person introducing it saying "no, that level is just bad, we aren't playing it," and getting no conclusion at all. But besides that, I've managed to beat it most times I've introduced new people, and that's with using the starter decks (Nathaniel, Harvey, Jaqueline, etc.), so not especially optimised. — SSW · 167

So my group has our own small tabboo list that changes cards which literally never see play at our table, and this card is on it. Doesn't really make sense to have a card that you paid money to own but it has never been played at your table, so we changed it so that you can choose to test INT or AGI for this test. It was a small change but we figured it would be a bit better and some investigators might actually take it, like "Skids" O'Toole or Rita Young. Even so, it was played in Rita, but was cut out soon for Pilfer. It worked pretty well at the start of the campaign, and you all know how Rita needs all the help she can get as she is one of the weakest investigators around. So if you want, change it like we did, and you might actually play it once a year or so

Blood&gore · 77
Return to The Devourer Below

This card beautifully encompasses what the return tos are about. A very good strategy for the original devourer below is to just camp at the main path buffing up and kill umhordoth when he spawns.

This card makes that strategy certainly more difficult, almost impossible. As others have pointed out you can win, but its gonna be a melee. Which is exactly what it should be for a prize of +10 exp.

drjones87 · 46
Enchant Weapon

Would Nathaniel Cho get to add another +1 to this card since it is "damage from an event card"?

So, Nathaniel Cho armed with holy Mk 1 Grenades could do 4 damage... or Nathaniel Cho armed with holy Mk 1 Grenades, with Marksmanship, with Vicious Blow... could do 7 damage to all enemies in the same or connected location?

Seems like a must include.

mgorka · 1
Grenade Sez: Any additional damage is dealt to the attacked enemy. — MrGoldbee · 1220
Also, Enchant Weapon isn't dealing the damage, it's modifying the fight action on the weapon, which presumably doesn't count as the event dealing the damage for similar reasons to why his ability needs to say "or a fight ability on an event". But since the fight action in this case is on the Weapon asset, it doesn't meet the second clause either. — Thatwasademo · 42
Far more importantly, though, as MrGoldbee said, the Grenades, like any other single fight ability that deals damage to multiple enemies, specifies what happens with additional damage and it's not dealing that additional damage to everything. — Thatwasademo · 42
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. It doesn't work that way, sadly. Technically you are only doing a test with a bonus equal to your printed . So It just gets you to that 10 spot, still a good place to be.

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
Yup, if you're actually changing the skill used for the test then icons for the new skill and wild icons are matching icons, but icons for the old skill aren't (if you change it to something that isn't a skill like "resource", only wild icons are matching icons). If you're adding another skill then even though that counts bonuses to that skill from abilities, it doesn't make icons for the added skill matching icons. — Thatwasademo · 42
There are two major exceptions, but neither one is a player card effect. First, Circle actions, from one scenario in The Circle Undone, actually make you test multiple skills simultaneously, and all icons for any of those skills are considered matching icons. Second, there are a few treacheries that change the way skill icons work while resolving the skill test in their revelation effects, to encourage you to commit cards (they don't add other skill values though). — Thatwasademo · 42