Déjà Vu

I would caution outright buying this on Yorick (unless you are using a boring Flare deck). At first this appears to be a great card for William as it makes Leather Coat(1) and Cherished Keepsake(1) seem like a no-brainer as the fear of them being used up and exiled goes away with Déjà Vu. However you're less likely to actually burn through an entire upgraded Coat(1) or Keepsake(1) and need Déjà Vu on Yorick than you think. You should totally buy the Coat(1)/Keepsake(1) upgrades, those cards are amazing, but hold off on Déjà Vu on Yorick unless needed. Let me explain:

If you have a basic 12xp drawing/cycling engine on Yorick with Emergency Cache(2) and Lucky(2), and Resourceful (to pull back Lucky) and use Cornered (2) to let you commit any item from hand into discard pile, then you will probably see two of either the 0xp Coat or Keepsake. At this point I would upgrade to Coat(1)/Keepsake(1). If you play smart asigning damage to your assets (like Guard Dog and Peter), you can easily cycle between each copy of your Keepsake/Coat by killing monsters and installing the other already discarded copy of Keepsake/Coat from your discard using Yorick's fast character ability. You would be surprised how long you can keep this loop going on Yorick. Sure, you are not getting the entire 4 soak out of the Coat(1)/Keepsake(1) upgrades doing this, but 3/4 aint bad for a 0 cost install item. You shouldn't need to soak more than 3points before you kill a monster anyway (unless it is an emergency).

So when should you buy Déjà Vu on Yorick?

Well, Déjà Vu can be bought after a scenario in which you just exiled cards (to free-buy them back), so you should only really buy Déjà Vu AFTER you exile cards. So Déjà Vu becomes a backup plan. However I've found on Yorick you don't actually get around to exiling cards that often (unless you have a Flare deck - then you'll need Déjà Vu!). If you are mid campaign and just exiled 2 soak cards, re-buying those exiles is still cheaper than outright buying Déjà Vu. For all you know the next 2 scenarios you might not exile any cards, so your total rebuy of exiled soak cards on Yorick can often work out cheaper than 5xp to buy Déjà Vu. Also exile cards can be sort of cheap gap filler cards to get through particular tricky scenarios - you may revert to the 0xp versions even, as 2 soak cards often do enough most of the time for Yorick anyway!

Things to ponder!

Antiundead · 18
Was going to counter with some cool exile card for yorick but turns out all the super powered stuff I thought exiles just doesn't, though test of will (1) looks like an obvious include if you did get the package anyway. — Zerogrim · 171
Lucky Cigarette Case

I'm not exactly breaking any ground by saying Lucky Cigarette Case III is good. But I did want to take a little bit of time to write about what has proven to be a rather dominant card. I've noticed that at my table just about every Rogue deck takes this card. And people are choosing to play Rogues just because of this card. It's that good.

Lucky Cigarette Case III does not need a lot of support to be awesome. You don't need to be a dedicated "oversucceed deck" to make this card great. Passing skill tests by 1 or more is something most investigators will routinely do almost every round. This will draw a lot of cards, with the upside of a fair amount of selection, for just about anyone. Of course, if you are playing oversucceed enablers, like Lockpicks (and why not? These are some of the best Rogue cards in any case), all the better. You can find some extra synergy for the Lucky Cigarette Case here and there among the Rogue class (Trish with her Myriad cards, Winifred with her natural emphasis on oversucceeding, Parallel Skids with his free skill test every turn), but really, this card is good for just about everybody. A Preston deck aiming to avoid the chaos bag probably doesn't want this, but in my opinion that's really about it.

A particularly common setup is to use Relic Hunter to get two Lucky Cigarette Case IIIs in play. It's a truism in card games that a great strength of card draw is that it draws you into yet more card draw, and so on. (This is probably even more true in Arkham than other comparable games because here the penalty for drawing through your whole deck is so minor.) So, you'll find that once you have two Lucky Cigarette Case IIIs in your deck, you're much more likely to get one into play early, and once that's in play, you can use to to quickly dig out the second. Then you'll just fly through your deck.

What can you do with all this card draw and selection? Well, whatever you want, really. The sky is the limit. I'll say that there's particular synergy here with the Myriad cards like Three Aces, Astounding Revelation, Segment of Onyx, and so on. Also, once you have a ton of draw, be on the lookout for cards that are useful but cheap in resources and actions. Cards like Shortcut or Quick Thinking, where the primary cost is the card itself, look quite appealing when you draw tons of cards every turn. Also consider ways to efficiently turn a surplus of cards into money--stuff like Cryptic Writings and Easy Mark. I'll also mention Dream-Enhancing Serum. Obviously, when you have tons of selection from a couple Lucky Cigarette Cases, it's not going to be hard to get yet another card out of the Serum every turn. And when you have that much draw, the extra hand size will matter.

Also, don't be afraid to intentionally draw weaknesses with this card. Some investigators, like Trish, have weaknesses that are very mild if drawn in just the right situation. So if the opportunity arises, it can be a nice play to cheaply dispose of a weakness like that.

So, a really great card, almost regardless of what your deck is doing. In fact, as far as my group is concerned, the other Rogue accessories might as well not exist. Is that a healthy balance? Perhaps not. But it's nice to have a card that makes people want to play Rogues, and this certainly qualifies.

CaiusDrewart · 2381
Tony digs the skull. — MrGoldbee · 1042
It's pretty funny how seeker-centric that synergy section looks. — suika · 7580
... for a Rogue (3) card which has all of one Rogue that can effectively make use of those seeker cards :) — suika · 7580
:) — CaiusDrewart · 2381
I did have another section on there about Sefina using LCC to find Double Double without getting owned by Stars of Hyades. But I cut it because the review was getting long. You're right that this review probably does read a little Trishy. LCC is for everyone, after all! — CaiusDrewart · 2381
I understand the rave, but I do like the Crystalizer a lot, too. Of course, it is only good in an event-centric deck, while LCC needs no support to be great. The upgraded Skull is pretty much an Akachi card for me. She will feed it plentyful with her ability, Arcane Initiate and enemies, then likely find the one-off Empty Vessel with it, which is als a great card for her. She needs (prefeably double) Relic Hunter for this, and to much XP for a Dunwich run. But in later campaigns, I would always go for that build again. — Susumu · 127
I would still likely at least pay the 9 XP for 2 Skulls and 1 Relic Hunter in a Dunwich-Akachi. It is still a very strong economy card in her without the Vessel. — Susumu · 127
LCG(3) is a shoe-in for the next taboo I’m sure, and deserved. I imagine it’ll get bumped to 5xp and honestly it’s probably a good thing since it depresses the xp cost of decks anyway — Difrakt · 1000
@susumu: To be honest, I've been really unhappy with the Crystallizer when I've tried it. But I think I must be doing something wrong because other people speak highly of this card. Where have you liked it? — CaiusDrewart · 2381
It was in my solo standard difficulty Carcosa run with Sefina. I had (excluding TPW) 23 events in my level 0 deck and 21 in the final one. I also had zero skills, all along, which is quite uncommon for my builds, but works fine with the Crystallizer. To be honest, LCC might even have been subpar in this deck, because I did not that much oversuceeding. Sure, I had Lockpicks, but with Sef's base skill of 2+4 she is far from guaranteeing an oversuccess without support. She is mediocre in that regard compared to other rogues, that have a base value of 7 or 8. But I was fine of breaking locks. I still got enough clues out of it, paired with events like "Read the Signs" and "Breaking and Entering" and even got most VP locations cleared. If I wasn't playing solo, I would have included "Rite of Seaking" (2) for more clues and likely still be fine with the clues Lockpicks were netting me, so even then I likely wouldn't build more on oversuccess. Not every event has to be double icons to be good for the CoD. For example, "Easy Mark" was a must in this deck. I soon got Chuck, so even one copy could be frequently played fast on turns, I did not need his ability for Backstab or Sneak Attack or other more urgent tasks. Always getting an extra (relevant for Sefina) icon out of it was real candy. Other events, like "Sneak By" I more had for the reason, that they were usefull for playing the event, but great for the icons you get afterwards. — Susumu · 127
Ive user Crystallizer with Tony and it’s stellar there. I also think it might genuinely be best for Trish as you can rely on Seeker draw anyway. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
I think there's a really interesting discussion about the Crystallizer to be had here. I'd say that I must be underrating it or misplaying it a bit, if good players such as yourself and susumu have liked it. I'd just say that in my experience, I think getting to commit an event you've played is so much weaker than just drawing a card. To the extent that I would actually prefer the level 0 LCC to the Crystallizer in most decks, and even if the Crystallizer didn't have a weakness attached I would still feel that way. — CaiusDrewart · 2381
About Trish and card draw: I wouldn't take the attitude that Seeker tech makes the LCC redundant for Trish. First, the LCCIII is as good or better than most Seeker draw; second, Trish can't access the best Seeker draw anyway; third, I think card draw often makes other sources of card draw better, not worse. Obviously there's a limit to this, you don't want your deck to be literally nothing but card draw. But in this game, a deck with tons of draw and relatively few action cards actually tends to be really good, because you can cycle through your deck a bunch of times and play your best cards over and over. — CaiusDrewart · 2381
I think the difference in opinion re: Crystallizer comes from difficulty. Crystallizer's icons are better if you are able make arbitrary skill tests with just a bit of boosting. For example if you play an Intel Report or two Easy Marks on Sefina, and you get a 2 book icons that you can use later to get to 4 Int for investigation on 2 shroud. This might be a good deal on Standard, but won't be something you'd do on Expert. — suika · 7580
It's true, I played only on standard. I'd like to play harder in multiplayer, but my friends still not want to leave their comfort zone, although we are mostly rocking all scenrios, and I think we could definitely need some more challenge. Playing solo on the other hand is much harder on it's own. It took me two atempts to win Dnwich and three for Carcosa — Susumu · 127
... to finally beat them in solo on standard. (Carcosa on the mentioned run with Sefina.) Still, even on standard, I normally won't do a standard investigation with a 2 intelect character. And I normally try to avoid all the special effect tokens, so push higher than just +2 even on standard quite frequently. — Susumu · 127
If you’re running cards like Deep Knowledge and Dream Enhancing Serum, you really dont need LCC, and you can always Relic Hunter for both. Crystallizer gets you double use of cards which is also a kind of draw, so if your base — StyxTBeuford · 12433
draw is high, Crystallizer can heavily increase your effective card advantage, way more than LCC can with 1 card a turn even at level 3. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
The key is running enough events with enough icons- Trish is great for this since she can easily specialize in Intellect icons (and agility secondarily). A lot of events people already want to use with Trish have those icons. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
They Must Be Destroyed!

"If there are no copies in play or set aside, advance."

This wording confuses me, it feels like if they wanted this act to advance when all broods everywhere are dead, they would have stated this as "no copies in play AND set aside". Therefore, if there is a single brood in play and you defeat it before any other spawns (even if there are still broods in set aside zone), you get to advance the act.

But this doesn't feel intended to me. Waiting for broods to spawn doesn't feel correct either.

What's the correct rule here? English is not my main language so I could be interpreting this wrong. Using or/and in a sentence like this would mean different things in my language, but it could be a simple grammatical rule in English? (using or instead of and in a negative structure maybe?)

Aesyn · 11
or maybe using "nor" instead of "or" would be better? I think the correct answer — Aesyn · 11
I think the correct answer is that you need no copies in play nor set aside, since there are some setups you already start with no copies in set aside. — Aesyn · 11
Waiting for broods to spawn is the right thing to do here. Sometimes, particularly in solo, this might result in one brood never spawning (because you need to draw a certain treachery for that). In that case, it is better to resign. Note, that you can advance, if all copies had been spawned, but some forgot about their victory points due to "Mind Wipe" and went to the encounter discard pile instead of the victory pile. — Susumu · 127
Checked again, there is actually no difference between advancing the final Agenda and resigning in this scenario. However, if there had been 2 or less sacrifices, you will need to draw "The Creatures' Tracks" once to spawn all of the set aside broods. — Susumu · 127
You do not advance until all the broods are defeated. You spawn or set aside a combination of broods, and there are mechanisms that spawn them into play from the set aside area. You keep playing until you resign or until you spawn and defeat all of them. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
The “or” here is therefore intentional. “And” would imply you advance when either area is empty. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
Forbidden Knowledge

The important thing to understand about this card is that it is a special purpose card, not a general resource card. It is only meant to be he used by characters who want to inflict horror upon themselves. Otherwise, the reward for this card is absolutely not worth the horror it inflicts upon you.

In the Core Set this was the special friend of Agnes Baker, I treated it practically as one of her signature cards. Then Carolyn Fern came along and added another user for it. If you are feeling a little wild you could try to use it to lower your sanity for cards that require sanity of 3 or less. But for ordinary characters, just ignore this card.

ChristopherA · 49
In a eldritch sophist or ariadnes twine build this card is a good secrets battery, more efficient than truth from fiction — niklas1meyer · 1
I don't disagree that the card has a "special purpose" but I don't consider it a card to be ignored. There are a number of very powerful advantages to the way this card can drip feed you resources, most notably if you are running Peter Sylvester, Dark Horse, Fire Axe, and/or any talents. It's more useful than Emergency Cache or any other resource generator in bulk because you can maintain the level of cash that you want far better than other cards permit. You also get a total of 4 resources so it's already more than more other resource generating one off's at level 0. Finally, Agnes and Carolyn both like it as you pointed out, but so does Jim who can heal with his trumpet and has access to survivor tech. Patrice falls into that as well. Sister Mary has a massive sanity pool and access to two healing classes. And if the card can find a home in so many investigators, I find it difficult to "ignore". — LaRoix · 1446
That's all well and good, LaRoix, but I think ChristopherA's review, which I think is generally right and is helpful for newer players. The fact is you shouldn't just throw this into your deck because you want a better economy. That's a trap for newer players as the horror is not worth it. And while there can be specific reasons (like Dark Horse) to prefer a steady stream of resources over a bunch at once (as in Emergency Cache), most of the time, the latter is better, another strike against this card. — CaiusDrewart · 2381
While I agree that Forbidden Knowledge shouldn't be taken naively by new players, I agree with LaRoix's counterpoints in their entirety. There are A LOT of situations where the four horror inflicted is negligible and the controlled drip of resources is useful. — Death by Chocolate · 730
If the horror doesn't benefit you in some way, you may as well play Emergency Cache and get a free 4 horror heal for 1 resource. — suika · 7580
This card is also useful for anyone running Renfield as an "on demand" way to remove him from the board while making extra money. Can be used on Arcane Initiate as well but needs two turns. — Time4Tiddy · 155
It’s a secret battery for seekers (many of whom can take it), it acts as 8 resources for Carolyn with Peter Sylvestre out, it becomes 4 testless damage with Agnes, it destroys doom allies including the resource generating Renfield. There’s lots of reasons to run this card and I straight up disagree that it should be overlooked by new players or veteran players- cards like these are very much Johnny cards, and Johnny players like myself love using them. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
Another use is to put horror on yourself to activate low sanity triggers like Meat Cleaver and the Desperate skills. Forbidden Knowledge works well with Pete and Patrice for this reason. Dark Horse builds also vastly prefer on demand drip resources like this, Labranche, and Patrice’s Violin, over burst like E Cache, as it lets them feed the resources into something like a Fire Axe test when needed. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
Or as discard bait from the E-deck. — MrGoldbee · 1042
Anyone that can take Forbidden Knowledge can take St. Hubert's Key, the much better enabler of Cleaver and Desperate strategies. And you still need a way to take the 3 horror after killing off Renfield with this if you want any value out of this card. — suika · 7580
I heavily disagree that Hubert's Key is a better enabler. It's significantly more expensive and takes an accessory slot. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
Desperate skill decks usually don't require too much resources, but more importantly St. Hubert's Key let's you be at the 3 sanity threshold without risk of dying to an autofail on Rotting Remains, whereas you'd need another source of soak if you're running Forbidden Knowledge. — suika · 7580
I would say, that depends on the character. I like "St. Hubert's Key" very much for Diana. But it is not enough horror on it's own to enable Desperate Skills early game, when she needs them. But with double "Arcane Research" this is a perfect pairing. Now for somebody like Patrice, being desperate early is less important, and "Arcane Research" less useful. So I can see, that "Forbidden Knowledge" might be the better fit. But that is hardly the question. I agree, that this is in general not a resource card. If you want it, you normally (outside of some "Dark House" decks) want it mainly for the horror, and take the resources as a bonus. But the comments have proven so far, that there can be quite a lot of reasons, you want the horror. I would agree with the review, that Agnes and Carolyn are probably the best users of this card, but there are others. — Susumu · 127
Also the Key is much less interesting for Patrice, because it just pushes her low 2 intellect base skill up to 3. For that, it is indeed wasteful with resources. — Susumu · 127
We're getting a bit off topic here (a lot of good contributions in this thread), but I'd just say that I think Patrice is an uncommon investigator who might want to work with a low Intellect stat even on high difficulty levels. Partially because she is a Survivor, but it's not just test reduction and fail to win stuff for her--she can use her abundance of icons to pass investigate checks straight up if she wants to. And she might want to, depending on what she's planning for her Arcane slots. — CaiusDrewart · 2381
*test difficulty reduction, I meant to say — CaiusDrewart · 2381
To derail it even further, two of the most common Patrice allies are the Hound and Doyle who would set her Int to 5. — suika · 7580
Yes. You've got to love how an all-animals build is not just a meme but actually really strong for Patrice. — CaiusDrewart · 2381
The possibility that you would want to use this card to intentionally get resources slowly, as in a Dark Horse build, is reasonable, though a little obscure. I see a lot of good suggestions in this thread for additional reasons why characters would intentionally want to take horror, beyond the specific ones I mentioned. But I remain unconvinced that the extra resource from this card (compared to emergency cache) is really worth 4 horror (and taking 4 turns to get it) just because you are a seeker with high sanity, or a survivor who might (but might not) draw a Peter to ignore it. Certainly not enough reason for me to change my general purpose deck-building advice. — ChristopherA · 49
I run this in my Alyssa Graham decks for the double duty. I don't run it often other than that except for the obvious decks like Carolyn or Agnes. — TWWaterfalls · 728
Physical Training

Physical Training, Hyperawareness, Hard Knocks, Arcane Studies, Dig Deep are part of a cycle, and partly share a common review. These cards are really, really inefficient, yet they have unique capabilities and I at least consider whether to take them every time I make a character. They have two main purposes:

  1. Making use of excess resources. Most characters are tight for resources early on, but many times a character will reach the point where they have what they need, or they can't afford the actions to play any more cards, and they start just building up resources. These cards ensure that you can never have too much money, because if nothing else your one resource per turn becomes a flexible, storable +1 each turn. If you really have run out of other ways to spend your resources, a card to turn resources into bonuses can become a very effective play. However, it is important to be aware that just because your character tends to have a few resources hanging around at the end of the game is no reason to take this card, you would be better off taking a skill card. Just playing the card alone will use up 2 resources before you even gain a benefit. You really need to have a character who would otherwise end up with at least 6 extra resources at the end of this scenario, before you start to get excited by this type of card. That is entirely possible for certain characters, but most characters won't end up in that situation. You need to be very aware of what kind of resource economy your character has, and that your character really does spend substantially fewer resources than they earn over the course of a scenario, before you put this type of card in your deck. (Some characters make money more quickly than one per turn, and have stronger reasons to take this card).
  2. Flexibility. Sometimes you have other ways to spend your resources, but this card gives you the flexibility to spend a bunch of resources on two very different skills, in any amount and any way you choose. Normally skill cards are way, way more efficient than this kind of card, but a single skill card isn't going to give you, for instance, +7 on a test of your choice, and this card can. Inefficient though this card may be, if you have it in play and you are forced to make an extremely critical skill check, it is quite comforting that there is almost always something you can do to improve your chances – you can make the decision that a resource you otherwise would have spent on something else would be better spent giving you a +1 on this test. So you don’t really need to have nothing at all to do with your resources, in order to play this card. But you still need lots of available resources. A character who is tight on resources (which is quite common) just should not use this type of card; even though the flexibility might be useful, you can’t afford the action and 2 resources to play it.

If you do play one of these cards, when it is worth using? A really good situation is when +1 skill would turn 3 tokens (about 1/5 of the bag) from failure to success. So if turning a failure into a success isn’t worth 5 resources, you shouldn’t be using this.

Now for the review specific to Physical Training: In theory this could be the best card of the cycle, because combat and willpower checks can be the most vital, with the worst penalties for failure. But guardians tend to be cash strapped and unable to use this card even if they would like to. You might find it usable if you tend to complete your character and not need any more money after that (a machete fighter perhaps), or if you are someone like Skids who needs the help and has access to extra resources.

ChristopherA · 49
Even though I go back and forth on the talents myself, I do like the comfort element you bring up. For me I just hate having to pay 2 resources just to get the thing in play so the 2xp upgrade is generally what I use. Those are even great mock skills in case you never get the action to play them. — LaRoix · 1446