Delve Too Deep File XIX: Miskatonic Museum Review Part II (Mystic/Survivor/Neutral)

Greetings once again, fellow investigators, and welcome now to the second half of the roundtable review for the Miskatonic Museum player cards! Like last time, Scott and Peter “Unitled” are pitching in with their opinions to continue lending their knowledge in fighting evil elder things, while we have a new surprise guest: JC. Thus, these scores will now be out of 40 instead of 30. Without further ado, lets dive straight in!

Delve Too Deep (37/40)
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KP The Aficionado (10/10): Come on now. The blog is named after this card; did you really expect anything less? Not only is this the card that drew me into the game more than any other, it’s also, in my opinion, one of the most powerful effects in the game. You can do cheeky things like hold this until you’re about to solve the mission, then drop it before the cards can have a major impact on you. You can also just play it while you’re in a solid position and just deal with whatever card pops up. You get an extremely valuable point of experience for your troubles, what will probably the easiest experience ever!

In higher player counts, this card is a little riskier, but at the same time, all the other players will have three actions (instead of two) to deal with whatever comes up. If you’re truly crazy (and also gamey), all players could run this card, and go for a huge amount of bonus experience. In missions with escape conditions, you could even just escape if the going gets too tough. Is it worth abandoning a mission to gain some bonus XP? Depends on the mission, but even so, I truly believe this is the breakout card of the pack. I’ll be cramming this into every single deck I can!

Peter “Unitled” (9/10): Really fun card that shows what kind of experiments the designers are willing to try with regards to the player cards. It’s very hard to judge the relative power of this as I’ve got less of a handle on what experience is “worth” in the game, or how plentiful it’s likely to be in full campaigns. For the beginning of “The Dunwich Legacy“, we got roughly 4 or 5 experience per scenario, so I guess the question is does this make the scenario 20-25% more difficult? I don’t know, but I’m keen to find out!

It obviously has more of an impact earlier in the campaign as you get the benefit for longer. It’s then probably worthwhile swapping out once you start spending experience. Finally, fantastic art and a real Lovecratian theme here. How far are you willing to push your experience of the Mythos to strengthen yourself against the coming horrors?

Scott (9/10): For one resource, everyone draws an encounter card and the players get a victory point. Seems like it should be in every deck it’s eligible for if you’re playing the campaign. If you’re doing a one-off, this is useless.

JC (9/10): This card is SO FREAKING COOL! 10/10 for concept, 10/10 for execution, 10/10 for printing a card that screws over your friends in a cooperative game. The moment I saw this card previewed, I knew this game was going to be something special (KP agrees). It’s going to be pretty tough to gauge exactly when to play it, but it will be glorious when you get away with it (and a different sort of glorious when it backfires horribly).

The only thing holding it back is the lack of any skill icons, which makes it a pretty dead card when the group is in a tough spot. This will forever be a card that I point to as an example of why this card is so awesome, and it will forever have a place at my table.

Song of the Dead (27/40)
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KP The Aficionado (5/10): This card is decidedly average. It’s cheap and has a good number of charges which are too large pluses, but at 2 XP, it’s pretty expensive to upgrade into. Jim likes this card a lot more than Agnes (who has Shrivelling anyway), but even then, he’s more likely to just deal one damage for a charge. Generally, you’re looking at around a 20% chance of dealing three damage, and even then, it’s random; you’re just as likely to overkill a random chud as you are to really contribute against a boss. I already dislike Jim, and unless he gets some powers that somehow improve his chances of drawing a Skull, I don’t expect this to save him, or be an upgrade of choice in other Mystic decks.

Peter “Unitled” (7/10): Obviously this will be immediately connected to Jim due to the damage bonus when a Skull is revealed. Even outside of Jim, it’s a nice, cheap spell at 2 with a whopping 5 charges and means Agnes will be attacking with base 6 before other asset buffs or skill cards. You then don’t waste Shrivelling charges dealing with smaller 1 health enemies (or overkilling 3 health enemies).

Finally, with Grotesque Statue, you greatly increase your chance of getting a Skull, although we’re then at an investment of at least 6 experience.

Scott (8/10): Like a machine gun for Agnes. Holy moly!

JC (7/10): The selling point for this guy is “redundancy”. Getting Mystics a third/fourth card that lets them fight with Willpower (even at 1 damage) can be well worth the experience costs, especially on teams lacking a Guardian. Getting a Skull on any given test, even with Jim, is way too unreliable to plan around, so it’s best to forget about the +2 damage clause and treat it as a nice surprise the one time that it lands. Still, the flavour of this card is great; I’d love to see more “investigator-specific” style cards in future packs.

Oops! (11/40)
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KP The Aficionado (1/10): Flavourfully, a fun card. Mechanically, an awful one. You need to have two enemies at your location for this card to turn on, and then you need to spend two resources after failing a test to effectively “succeed” at the test against the enemy you weren’t attacking. Why not just use Lucky! and pass the test? Is two fist icons worth the slot? I don’t think so.

Peter “Unitled” (5/10):  With Survivor cards, we move onto shakier territory for me; my main experience with Survivor cards is including them in my Mystic decks!

Oops! initially brings Lucky! to my mind, not least because of the punctuation. It’s a way to turn a missed attack into a hit, which is farily similar to Lucky!, but with a host of additional requirements. You need to be engaged with the enemy (so can’t be used to mitigate against a missed attack hitting an ally) and, naturally, you need a second enemy at your location to hit instead. As is, this is fairly underwhelming.

What I think saves this card, however, is the two combat pips on the card. Double pips are good on a card, and one which hangs around in your hand and is highly situational is the best place to have them. You could potentially slot this in over Overpower in a Survivor deck, especially if you’re expecting to be facing larger numbers of enemies.

Scott (4/10): Saves an unlucky miss…but only when you are fighting multiple enemies. Costs two to damage that less dangerous enemy as well (and if you’re fighting that many enemies at once, you’re Survivor-ing wrong). At least it has two fists.

JC (1/10): The newest addition to the Survivor’s arsenal of succeed-when-failing tricks…and also the worst. The sheer number of conditions required to even play the card (multiple enemies in your location, at least one engaged with you, you are attacking the one engaged with you, you fail by 2 or less, you have 2 resources to burn) is mind-numbingly prohibitive, and even when the stars align, the card does 1, maybe 2, damage, and not even to the guy you were aiming at in the first place. The obvious comparisons to Sneak Attack and Lucky! do this card no favours either. The double fisticuffs in the top left are nice, but not enough to ever merit a deck slot.

Fire Extinguisher (23/40)
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KP The Aficionado (5/10): This card would be much better if it didn’t exile for its super effect, but as it does, it again grabs an average rating. I like that it’s multi-purpose, but the fact that it’s best effect costs you effectively 1XP to use is a big downside, especially given the ability is not even that strong.

Peter “Unitled” (7/10): One of two exile cards in the set. It’s interesting; I like that it’s a weapon in a pinch until you need it as a makeshift (and much cheaper) Cunning Distraction. Worth noting you would typically pick the lowest Agility engaged with you, so +3 Agility makes passing a given (except for the Tentacle). Still, a single damage weapon isn’t impressive when Fire Axe is also in faction so this isn’t bowling me over. I like the art and the flavour so it definitely gets some hype from me for that!

Scott (8/10): I like any card that has multiple distinct uses, especially one that only takes one hand!

JC (3/10): My issue with this card is that, unlike Flare, you can’t make use of its bail-you-out-of-certain-death mode unless you already had it in play. When you’re surrounded by enough enemies to make the exile effect worthwhile, you probably don’t want to take the attacks of opportunity needed to play it. And in order to have it when you need it, you need to be committing a precious hand slot to a 2 cost, worse version of Knife.

Flare (33/40)
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KP The Aficionado (8/10): Much, much better! Both modes of this card can be game changing; potentially fetching a key ally like Leo de Luca or Peter Sylvestre is nice, but being able to unleash an extremely powerful 3 damage attack in an emergency is gravy. Sometimes, I find myself facing down an enemy with no weapon in play yet; Flare gives me the option I sometimes need to just blast that foolish monster away. Oh, and it’s got a wild icon, just in case you decide you don’t need it in the current game.

Peter “Unitled” (10/10): Now this is a cool exile effect! Shoot the Flare at an enemy or up in the air to attract help and, naturally, you only get one shot. And what a piece of art on it!

I love that this is a solid pick early in the game to try and pull out a cheap Leo de Luca or Beat Cop from your (or another Investigator’s) deck, but stays useful for attacking bigger enemies. Also if you miss on the search, Flare doesn’t get exiled! Just a shame those times you end up hitting an Arcane Initiate with it though…

Is it worth an experience, though? Well, 1 experience would be the cost of swapping in a single level 0 card, and you get a level 0 card for free after you’ve used it. If you’re swapping in cards anyway as Survivor, you could certainly pick this up. Are we even going to see ourselves building Survivor decks which restock on supplies after each Scenario with their earned experience.

Scott (7/10): Like a heavily nerfed, one-use Dynamite…. but you can also use it for a decent shot at your or someone else’s Leo De Luca or Beat Cop or Aquinnah at a fraction of the cost!  Pretty neat, with the additional chance to piss off other players.

JC (8/10): This guy I like. Most of the time, it will just be a mystery skill symbol (which is great) but it will perform when you need it to. And unlike Fire Extinguisher, you don’t need to commit actions or resources until the very instant you need it.

Smoking Pipe (23/40)
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KP The Aficionado (8/10): You know, I dismissed these cards initially, but I think they’re actually great. It’s not often that I find I’m dying as fast as I am going insane, so this and Painkillers are both pretty handy to most investigators. Of particular note, both of these are incredible with Agnes. In the case of Smoking Pipe, it allows her to recover from all the horrors you put her through so she can use her ability even more. That they’re free actions that can be used during any window makes them even better, in my opinion, than most of the healing cards available at the moment.

Peter “Unitled” (6/10): Nice cheap asset with free uses. I really like it. Obviously fits in anyone with a low sanity score but high health like Roland, especially if you have other ways to soak that damage. Thematically, it should probably be direct damage so that you can’t offload the second hand smoke to your Bulletproof Vest, but I appreciate the additional flexibility as is!

Scott (3/10): Mostly useful only for investigators with high sanity and low health/low sanity and high health.  And with the wider range of cards available to the Dunwich investigators, it’s hard to imagine either of these beating out much else.

Smoking Pipe (6/10): Is transforming three brains into three hearts worth a resource, a card, and an action? Roland certainly thinks so. In fact, I would even say this out-performs First Aid in a Roland deck, especially solo. You save 3 actions and a resource for the full protection – basically an entire extra turn – and I’ve personally never seen a Roland who didn’t have a few hearts to spare. In general, it’s great that all classes now have access to a reactive source of brain healing.

Painkillers (25/40)
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KP The Aficionado (8/10): I find I die more often to sanity than I do damage, mainly due to the fact that many treachery cards seem to inflict horror as opposed to damage. That being said, Painkillers gets extra points to make up that difference by being amazing with Agnes and with Peter SylvestreAgnes is able to destroy things with her mind during more phases than she normally can, and Peter can take the pain of the drugs for you (which makes no sense at all, but hey, it’s a thing). I like these a lot.

Peter “Unitled” (8/10): Much the same as the Smoking Pipe but for high Sanity and low Health investigators like Daisy. Everything I’ve said applies here too, but it has an additional use in Agnes who can use it, like Forbidden Knowledge, to trigger her reaction and damage enemies. You can even use Pete Sylvester (Level 2) to soak up the horror to have pure healing.

Both of these cards make the decision of where to assign your damage and horror more tricky; they can’t heal damage assigned to assets, but taking all the damage you receive directly to your investigator puts you more at risk of a sudden direct damage/horror treachery appearing and finishing you off.

WARNING: I don’t recommend treating your Psychosis with regular Painkillers

Scott (3/10): (As Smoking Pipe) Mostly useful only for investigators with high sanity and low health/low sanity and high health.  And with the wider range of cards available to the Dunwich investigators, it’s hard to imagine either of these beating out much else.

JC (6/10): Nicely protects Daisy the same way the Smoking Pipe protects Roland, though Medical Texts may still be better in most cases since it only uses her “free” action. There’s also the cute interaction with Agnes – at some point I may have to build an Agnes deck with 2 x Painkillers and 2 x Smoking Pipe and just drug monsters out of existence. Overall I’m glad these two cheap, quick, and neutral “safety nets” exist going forward.

Top 3 Cards (by average rating)
1. Delve Too Deep (9.25)
2. Pathfinder (8.33)
2. “I’ve Got a Plan!” (8.33)

Bottom 3 Cards (by average rating)
1. Oops! (2.75)
2. Contraband (3)
3. Brother Xavier (5.66)

Thanks for tuning into Delve Too Deep’s first roundtable review. I’d again like to thank all of the participants for pitching in, and give a shoutout to Peter (and his friend Frank’s) podcast “Drawn to the Flame“. Let me know what your favourite cards from Miskatonic Museum were, and join us next time as we return to Zoey’s adventures in The Dunwich Legacy. Until then, may your skill checks remain untentacled!

*all images courtesy of arkhamdb.com and Fantasy Flight Games.

Join in the discussion!

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/arkhamhorrorlcg/comments/5weq56/delve_too_deep_concludes_looking_at_miskatonic/

Fantasy Flight Games: https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/243589-delve-too-deep-file-xix-miskatonic-museum-review-part-ii-mysticsurvivorneutral/

 

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