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Jobu

Not Getting Drawing Thin

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So I understand how it works.

What I don't get is why people consider it so powerful. 

My thoughts are that if you need resources, you can always take some long shot test and get 2 instead of 1 (which is useful in some Survivor decks).  That only works if you have the actions ot spare.  Alternately if you are already crushing a skill test, you can activate it to get a card or 2 resources.   But if you have to spend cards or resources to crush it, then you are more or less breaking even.

So I think I am not using it correctly and/or are missing something.  What am I missing?  Examples would help if its not to much of a bother.

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Well, just one of many potential examples -

My Rita deck had 7 Agility between Peter and Track Shoes. I play Will to Survive so I don't draw tokens. I use Drawing Thin on my Track Shoes reaction to generate 2 resources from Drawing Thin on a double move action without drawing a token. Also, I threw Resourceful into that "skill test" to get my Will to Survive back. At the end of the turn, I've generated 3 Resources, which enough to repeat the process. True Survivor recoups combo... it's not like I'm short on cash.

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Posted (edited)

Or, 

Hi, I'm Jenny Barnes and I have Streetwise in play. I can use Drawing Thin to gain resources and immediately spend them on Streetwise, generating a +1 bonus out of thin air.

 

Hi, I'm Rex Murphy. I used 2 copies of Drawing Thin on this investigation to gain 4 resources. I then spend all 4 resources to get a +8 bonus to this skill check from my Higher Education.

 

I'll think of more.

Edited by Iuchi Toshimo

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Posted (edited)

My mind immediately went to Fire Axe.  Though honestly just changing an action to gain 2 resources or draw a card and maybe succeed an investigation check is still fine even without the combos.  You don't need to actually pass the check.  An action for two resources and no pitched card is pretty close to an Emergency Cache as far as efficiency goes.

Edited by phillos

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Posted (edited)

OK. To show its power, let us compare it, in terms of efficiency, to other resource cards, in various configurations. I'm going to consider cards and resources interchangeable in value, as you can acquire either for 1 action. Obviously this isn't always the case, but I'll also point out that gaining lots of resources is usually better than gaining lots of cards, unless you're assembling a combo or going all out with committing dozens of cards to skill tests, because there's no upper limit on the amount of resources you can have in your pool and because Survivors already have draw options with Lucky Rabbit's Foot (and more on that in a bit). This is theorycraft, of course - in practice you sometimes won't be able to spare a useless action, or you'll fail to assemble a combo, or you'll get hit with Crypt Chill, or whatever, but the same is true of essentially everything in the game in one way or another. "Only works if you have actions to spare" applies to Emergency Cache just as well. See how powerful Preston Fairmont is to see how much you can do with a strong economy, even at the expense of actions.

Baseline: You have a single copy of Drawing Thin in play. To do so, you have had to spend 1 action, 1 card, 0 resources. You take an action that you know is gonna fail just to activate DT (investigate a 3-shroud location, bumping up to 5, you can't pass even if you draw an Elder Sign). 1 action for 2 resources is the same efficiency as Emergency Cache (0); 2 resources for one action, vs. 3 resources for one action and -1 cards. It's also the same efficiency as the action on Dario El-Amin, and if you haven't used him you might not be aware of how strong a card he is - but while Dario also gives the situational stat boost, he also costs 4 resources and takes up the ally slot, and is unique.

Baseline, no action: You have a single copy of Drawing Thin in play, for 1 card and 1 action. You either take an action to activate DT and pass the test even with the +2 difficulty, or use DT on a test that was going to fail anyway and that doesn't cost you an action (e.g. Grasping Hands from the encounter deck). If you have Track Shoes in play (which certainly does have a significant setup cost of 3 resources, 1 action, 1 card), you can manufacture action-free and relatively inconsequential tests every round. You gain 2 resources for 0 actions and 0 cards, roughly as efficient as Emergency Cache (2).

Lucky Rabbit's Foot: You have a single copy of DT and a copy of LRF in play, for 2 cards, 2 actions, 1 resource, accessory slot. If you take an action to take a test you know will fail, you will gain 2 resources and 1 card, again as efficient as ECache (2). If you can do so without using an action, it's instead about as efficient as Hot Streak (2).

2x Drawing Thin: You have two copies of Drawing Thin in play, because it unaccountably does not have "limit 1 in play", for a total setup cost of 2 actions, 2 cards, 0 resources. If you take an action to take a test you know will fail, you will gain 4 resources, the equivalent of Hot Streak (2) every round. If you can do so without using an action, it will be an extra "click" above Hot Streak (2) - bear in mind it took 4 total "clicks" worth of setup, on top of finding the cards from your deck, so in 4 rounds you'll be the envy of any Sefina Rousseau with Hot Streak under her investigator card.

2x Drawing Thin, Lucky Rabbit's Foot (and Track Shoes): If you have a way of getting this set up and then get to activate it all without using an action, like with Track Shoes, you have the rough equivalent of Hot Streak (4) every round - you're getting 4 resources and 1 card for 0 actions, whereas Hot Streak (4) is 7 resources for -1 card and -1 action. Also note that Hot Streak has a requirement (you need the resources to play it in the first place), and bear in mind that Rogue is the money faction and the second best draw faction after Seeker, so outdoing Rogue as a Survivor in terms of economy is ridiculous. Obviously, this requires a lot of setup: 4 cards, 4 resources, 4 actions. If you set all that up, it'll be two rounds until you start profiting (5 actions' worth of economy per round, 12 actions' worth of setup to offset), but after that point you're leaving every other class in the dust. If you add 2 copies of Take Heart, you'll spend 6 cards, 4 resources, 4 actions, and get 6 resources, 3 cards each round for 2 rounds - profit by the second round.

All of the above requires 0 exp.

2x Drawing Thin, Take Heart, Grisly Totem (3) (and Track Shoes): Getting into exp cards, this combination is utterly absurd. Every round, you take a test for no actions, add Take Heart, return Take Heart after the test resolves, and get 6 resources and 2 cards (or 2 resources and 4 cards, or 4 resources and 3 cards). 6 resources, 4 actions, 4 or 5 cards (depending on how you look at it), and that's a small price to pay.

2x Drawing Thin, Take Heart, Grisly Totem (3), Relic Hunter, Lucky Rabbit's Foot (and Track Shoes): This is the ultimate combination - 7 resources, 5 actions, 5-6 cards of setup. 6 resources and 3 cards every single round for free. It's worth pointing out that Drawing Thin's difficulty increase actually makes Lucky Rabbit's Foot (3) better.

Interaction with Will to Survive: So, leaving aside the utterly abusive decklist I posted a few days ago that plays WtS every round, Drawing Thin works so well with Will to Survive. By knowing exactly how much you need to pass each test, you can know it's safe to use Drawing Thin on a test and still pass it. Conversely, you can use Drawing Thin to increase a test difficulty to just over your skill to guarantee failing by 2 or less, allowing you to guarantee use of "Look What I Found!" or whatever, and never waste Take Heart.

So, it's easy to say "Yeah well, if you can get your resource engine all set up you're gonna be completely breaking the game economy within a few rounds, but that's a lot of cards to get set up together, it's too unreliable, I don't see what the problem is". This ignores two aspects. The first is that parts of any combo help to set up the rest of it - Drawing Thin can be used for draw as well as actions, Lucky Rabbit's Foot works well with it (and/or with "Look What I Found!"), and so forth, so elements of the combo snowball into setup for the rest of it. The second is that the Baseline effectiveness of a single copy of Drawing Thin is still great! You don't have to assemble all the cogs in the machine before you see a benefit, and you don't need to build into all the ridiculous resource engines outlined above - just Drawing Thin in a single copy is better resource gain than anything else in-faction, or anything in Guardian. It costs no resources, it costs no exp. You can build around it, you can use it for pure benefit with Higher Education or Streetwise or Fire Axe, you can use it to enable absurd combos or as the keystone of powerful engines, or you can use it just by itself, and it will always be above the curve.

 

Edited by Allonym

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There's kinda often Encounter cards where I just look at and say, "Yeah. I'm not passing that one." So it's just tap Drawing Thin and getting a free 2 resources or 1 card.

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Or say I'm swinging a weapon at a group of rats and I'm at +6 Fight. Ping Drawing Thin and take the test at +4 instead. Same chance of success. Free money or card.

Basically I think of it as there's some cases where you're hopelessly (or close enough) that you're going to fail. And some tests that you're inevitable (or close enough) that you're going to succeed. All it takes is one of those for Drawing Thin to earn back its cost. And given that basically the whole game is taking tests it's not that rare to find one where +2 difficulty doesn't make a difference.

And even better, Drawing Thin doesn't take a slot of any type.

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Hi, I'm Wendy and I like to discard cards to redraw tokens. If I use Drawing Thin, I get to draw a card and can immediately discard it if my token pull isn't favorable. That might turn a 60% chance of success into an 84% chance, but if I succeed on my first pull, I get to keep the card.

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1 minute ago, Iuchi Toshimo said:

Hi, I'm Wendy and I like to discard cards to redraw tokens. If I use Drawing Thin, I get to draw a card and can immediately discard it if my token pull isn't favorable. That might turn a 60% chance of success into an 84% chance, but if I succeed on my first pull, I get to keep the card.

Hah, I hadn't even thought of that interaction, since the resource gain is (on the face of it) more efficient. Good catch.

Reinforces my point that the minimum benefit is already great, and it also interacts synergistically with so many other Survivor (and non-Survivor) effects.

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No mention of Live and Learn? Because after all, why lose one action to fail, when you could just succeed it in the same action...

My last deck was a Wendy with Take Heart, Live and Learn, Rabbit's foot(3) before all those new Circle undone cards... I'm so sad of what it could have been, but it was working really well in hard difficulty already.

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Thanks everyone.  I haven't been able to really get any of these to work in a game, even though on paper they seem good.  FYI, I understand all the interactions, I just haven't gotten them to work in practice.  I almost always end up prioritizing success on the issue at hand over the chance to draw a card or resources.  Although I think the issue may have been that I was playing Wendy with low margins and counting on redraw to help me in an unlucky draw.

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Im iffy on this card, though I havent tried it yet. 

In praxis the idea of failing tests and getting money is nice. But I play pretty much only ever on hard and inviting failed token effects is a recipe for disaster with severity levels ranging from dropping clues and taking damage, to summoning enemies and piling up doom.

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12 hours ago, rsdockery said:

Live and Learn's second test keeps the +2 difficulty, doesn't it?

I don't think so, as all the effect of the skill cards are also gone, and all other boost you'd pay, no? So I don't see the +2 difficulty carryingover.

Might be great if someone more experienced could confirm though.

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Posted (edited)
On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 5:32 PM, rsdockery said:

The trigger for Drawing Thin is when you initiate the test. Skill cards and skill boosters all take effect during the test.

Just coming back to this as may play with both cards soon....

So we are saying that using live and learn on a failed test that had Drawing thin used on it would carry the +2 difficulty over into the second test? If that is the case then I assume you would also get another 2 resources/1 card?

Edited by gazzagames

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2 hours ago, gazzagames said:

If that is the case then I assume you would also get another 2 resources/1 card?

No, because all of Drawing Thin's effects take place before you begin resolving the skill test. Live and Learn puts you back to where you were right after you resolved Drawing Thin. You keep the +2 difficulty (because that's an ongoing effect, much like Flashlight's -2 Shroud), but you don't get any of Drawing Thin's benefits a second time.

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So far I've found it to be a very solid card, but not necessarily game-breaking.  Maybe it's just our group composition lately, but I've found there are few tests that I can voluntarily fail for the sake of resources, or that I'm confident enough on passing to take the +2 without risk.

 

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I am in agreement, after playing with it quite a lot.   I'm not entirely sure that "not game breaking"  is the bar that we need to be setting,  but there it is.    

Currently I am playing it in Preston.    Since he rarely needs the resources I am usually using it as card draw.   I'm playing Carcosa campaign so:   no haunted,  maximum brokenness.   I also am running Rabbit's foot,  so with everything down I can draw 3 for an action.  I'm not using Take Heart or Live and Learn.   It's very useful to have since I tend to quickly deplete my hand with everything that I'm playing,  and of course I can search for answers.   My Preston relies on Intel Report, Look What I found, and Lola to get clues, so it's important to be able to dig for those.   

But perhaps it's even more powerful in someone else.   2 resources are generally speaking more powerful than 1 card,   just not for Preston.  

Back to my experience,  it's very strong,  but it's not like it makes the game un-loseable.   In fact,  I even sort of lost a scenario once because of it.  I was at like 2 remaining horror with a Moment of Respite in my hand,  took my first action to use drawing thin + rabbits foot to draw 3 (looking for some help for a team mate who was in a spot),   but pulled Stubborn Detective, which I was unable to evade or kill.   I could easily take his damage, but it meant I couldnt play my Moment of Respite.   Pulled Horror damage on the next mythos card and was defeated.   D'oh.  Ok,  sure I admit that's a corner case and most of the time it's well worth it,   I just thought I'd share an amusing story.

Fact of the matter is still that it's very undercosted.   At 0,  it's a no-brainer for anyone who can take it.   The value of the card is far beyond what it costs.   It's not game-breaking...   but it's far, far ahead of the bell-curve.     Maybe it's that way because the designers felt that Survivor class needed some help (I certainly do).    Currently it's super-strong.   If any card (post-taboo list)  is too strong,    I'd certainly say it's this one.  At least by a cost/benefit analysis.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Iuchi Toshimo said:

A recent deck on Arkhamdb uses Ancient Stone (damage when you draw cards) and Drawing Thin (to draw cards) to kill enemies before the token pull of a fight or evade action. Still seems pretty broken from here.

Isn't Mr Rook broken as well?  He doesn't even require an action to fire Ancient Stones.

Edited by CSerpent

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8 hours ago, awp832 said:

I'm not entirely sure that "not game breaking"  is the bar that we need to be setting

I wasn't really suggesting it was - I'm all in favor of reining in too-good cards whether they break anything or not.  But that's the claim that a lot of people are making.

I think it's important to look at what the card actually enables.  Is it efficient?  Certainly.  What does it enable?  I've been playing it with Rita and honestly find that I don't have anything to use the pile of resources on.  That's just not Survivor's schtick.  There are likely some who would see a lot more benefit from it (Yorick comes to mind, and maybe Agnes) but even then I'm not sure that it rises to the level of needing to be fixed.

Honestly, I think there's a high probability that it turns out to be a trap card, and it convinces you to fail tests you could otherwise pass in order to get resources you might not need anyway.  The outcome from that is often going to be obscured because the full impact may not be apparent until much later, and you won't blame Drawing Thin when you go down.

2 hours ago, Iuchi Toshimo said:

A recent deck on Arkhamdb uses Ancient Stone (damage when you draw cards) and Drawing Thin (to draw cards) to kill enemies before the token pull of a fight or evade action. Still seems pretty broken from here.

How is this broken?  It's a multi-card combo with limited charges that relies on a 4 XP card that you can't even get until the third scenario of a campaign.  Honestly, it's a pretty inefficient use of the Stones, as if you pull the multi-trigger you're going to be burning secrets for one damage rather than getting bigger hits out of larger card draw.

And honestly, looking at the description of the deck list it seems anything but broken.  The instructions for solving the Stone alone makes my head hurt.

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Posted (edited)

While it's certainly important to be aware of the potentials of a any given card, I personally will not deem a card game-breaking or overly strong if it requires intensive set-up and combo restrictions and synergies to cause any significant damage to the play experience.

Firstly, I just won't choose to break my game (which is all the solution I personally need since I don't really have to worry about competing players trying to break the game to 'beat' me). Secondly, there absolutely should be rewards for critically thinking, analyzing, and constructing niche decks. That is part of the appeal of coop deck construction. If such niche and situational combos did not offer anything useful, decks would fail to be interesting to build.

I have absolute faith that Matt and others are paying attention to these conversations, and that's really all the assurance I need that they aren't going to break the game and would likely issue errata or something if it would.

As Buhallin pointed out, Survivors rarely even need resources. Until they do, Drawing Thin is a good card to splash into other factions and has some unique combos that can be powerful. At the end of the day, resources and cards in hand do not win scenarios unless you leverage them with other combos to pass tests.

When you can fail a test, gain resources from Drawing Thin and then use them to forever prevent doom from being added (thereby stopping the internal timing mechanism of the game) WITHOUT relying on specific niche card synergies to do so, I will call Drawing Thin game-breaking.

Edited by Soakman

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I'm a little surprised that Drawing Thin didn't have a "Limit 1 in play" restriction, or a 1XP cost, for that matter.

As it is, I'm going to try it in my Zoey deck for our group's play of Return to Dunwich, as hopefully it'll help with the fact that my deck is a little expensive at present...

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