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Posted (edited)

As Allonym said in the currently nineteen page long Dream-Eaters thread:

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Honestly, I think it's best to start up a separate Versatile thread. The conventional wisdom is that unless you are using it for a very specific reason, the downside of +5 cards in your deck is too much to be worth it (to say nothing of the exp), which applies even for investigators with lots of draw power (like Patrice or Mark), albeit to a lesser extent. If you aren't using neutral "cantrip" skills (Overpower, Guts etc.), one way to mitigate that downside is to fill the remaining 4 slots with those skills (or other self-replacing cards) which have a good chance of attenuating the downside of a bigger deck.

However, it would be good to properly get all the discussion in one place - I already intend to use one copy it in my next Mark Harrigan deck, for instance, and it would be good to see what specific ideas people have for its use (and, you know, have a resource for people to look at when deckbuilding).

What'd you reckon?

I reckon that's a great idea.

ahc40_card_versatile.png

Card good? Card bad? Card suitable for specific niches and investigators in a variety of interesting ways?   Discuss.

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Let me talk about why I've been considering paying experience to make a Luke Robinson deck I'm playing five cards larger. It is based on this one, but the important part is that it uses "Rook", Renfield and Calling in Favors as an economy engine. Worth noting: unlike that list I am not running Quantum Flux. 

I have found that I often reach the end of the deck near the end of a scenario. Which, as well as dealing one horror, puts my weaknesses back into the draw pile along with the rest of the discard -- and Luke's weakness usually deals two horror. But with Calling in Favors I have plenty of Mr "Rook" uses even in the late game, and for once "Rook's" weakness-finding downside is not really an upside because the game will finish soon and I would likely not re-draw those weaknesses naturally. Since I would rather get an extra draw each turn even from a dwindling draw pile than stop using "Rook" altogether, I want to postpone the moment when I cycle my discard.

A larger deck would also make it a bit less likely that I mulligan into Astounding Revelation, which is a very bad happenstance.

How about the off-class card? Well, Swift Reflexes is one option. Given Luke's ability and the fast action on Gate Box, he could use Swift Reflexes to perform any action at any revealed location at essentially any point in the investigator phase. Another is "Let me handle this!" Given that I frequently reach seven willpower it would effectively be a third copy of Ward of Protection (2) for will-testing revelation effects; and Preston, who struggles with skill-testing treacheries, is on my team. Also, if Luke happens to be in his Dream-Gate (either version) during the mythos phase, then "Let me handle this!" could straight-up cancel another investigator's drawn enemy if it doesn't have a spawn instruction.

However, making the deck one sixth larger is quite bad for early-game consistency for drawing the assets you need in the opening hand or first few turns. And that's where a Mystic, in particular, feels the rub. In my experience Mystics are strong enough already once they are set up, their issue is getting there quickly and consistently enough to help out. Versatile would also make Calling in Favors more likely to miss, but I could counteract that by including an Art Student as one of the extra cards.

Edited by Spritz Tea

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Posted (edited)

Aha, beat me to it!

So, to reiterate, my general view of Versatile is that unless you have a good reason to choose it, the downside of increasing your deck size by 5 just isn't worth it. You can counter this disadvantage by filling the new slots with cards that replace themselves, but it's not a perfect solution (e.g. if you add 2x Overpower, you then need to make a Combat test before you can get the card draw effect, and if that test fails, no draw).

That said, there's quite a few applications for Versatile:

1: Getting a benefit from increasing the size of your deck (attenuating particularly horrible weaknesses by decreasing chance to draw them; reducing horror taken if you're likely to draw through your deck quickly; synergising with effects that care about the size of your deck).

2: Rounding off odd-numbered off-class slots. General wisdom is to have 2 copies of the cards you want in your deck, to increase consistency of draw - if you're playing a Dunwich investigator, or Carolyn Fern, or Finn, or Marie, you have 5 (or 15 for Carolyn) off-class slots. If you really like those off-class cards, it might be worth your time to pick up Versatile and pick up a second copy of the third off-class card, even at the cost of an overall larger and therefore inconsistent deck.

3: Getting level 0 cards for free. If we assume (as we should) that the 5 extra deck slots can be filled with level 0 cards for free, this has its own benefits. The biggest beneficiary of this might be Norman Withers - he can have up to 5 level 0 Mystic cards, and if you want to be a spellcaster from the first scenario, these might be something like 2x Shrivelling, 2x Ward of Protection, 1x St Hubert's Key. But, a few scenarios down the line, you have Shrivelling (3) and Ward of Protection (2), so now 4 level 0 slots have opened up - but filling them with useful cards (like a second St Hubert's Key, 2x Premonition, 2x Uncage the Soul) would cost 1 exp each. With Versatile, you could fill those level 0 slots (and gain an extra one so you can get 2 copies of Uncage the Soul) for 2 xp rather than 4 exp. It'll bloat the deck somewhat but Norman has great pseudo-draw (and some actual draw). This applies to other investigators with limited level 0 slots to some extent, but none to the extent of Norman.

4: Getting a single really useful card from another class. At first blush, this seems like the primary benefit of Versatile, but for the majority of investigators, this isn't actually that big a deal. There's very few level 0 cards that are worth 2 exp and +5 deck size. That said, I can think of a number of things to do with this:

  • Beat Cop (0) for Tony Morgan (since he has such a tough time getting static Combat boosts).
  • Dr Milan Christopher for an investigative Wendy (with her Rogue secondary, she can make good use of the resources).
  • Peter Sylvestre for an agility-focused Skids (also helps him deal with his awful Willpower and low Sanity by providing great soak) or Ursula or Sefina.
  • Drawing Thin for basically anyone (I'd say Drawing Thin is worth 5 exp) - the taboo'd assets are particularly good choices.
  • Mr "Rook" for basically anyone (but especially people who want to use him to manage weaknesses), and he'll counter the problem of having a bigger deck.
  • Well Connected for anyone who's likely to amass a huge pile of resources (e.g. a skill-focused Minh who also uses Dr Milan Christopher and has Drawing Thin).
  • Delve Too Deep for groups who can't get enough exp, especially if they aren't playing with taboos (I can't recommend this, since you're spending 2 exp up front, but I have seen some of the obsessive Delving that people get up to).
  • Double or Nothing for so many different people (it's a card with ridiculous, game-shattering potential).
  • St Hubert's Key for Seekers (I know that Ursula is very salty that the Key isn't a Relic, and Seekers don't really have much in the way of good Accessories - Grisly Totem is great for Minh but not many others, Disc of Itzamna is OK).
  • Track Shoes for Ursula, Skids or Sefina (particularly if going for the Ornate Bow).
  • 1-of cards like Hallowed Mirror or Occult Lexicon (since you only need 1 copy of Versatile to get the full benefit).
  • Cards that synergise with specific investigator gimmicks (Perseverence or Narrow Escape for Diana as they are cancels; Insight events for Joe Diamond).
  • Hawk-Eye Folding Camera for mystics.
  • Lucky Cigarette Case for almost anyone.
  • Events in general for Sefina Rousseau (especially if you can get them in her opening 13 cards - copying a single event multiple times a game gives you a lot of value).
  • Supply/tactic cards for Guardians with Stick to the Plan (since you only need 1 copy).
  • And my favourite...Research events for Guardians with Stick to the Plan.

Next time I play Mark Harrigan, I will definitely be taking Versatile once I have Stick to the Plan and using it to pick up one copy of Astounding Revelation. Since Stick to the Plan searches your entire deck at the start of the game, it will trigger Astounding Revelation and let you start with 2 extra resources (and also filter Astounding Revelation out of your deck, so you really only have 4 extra cards in your deck).

It is also worth pointing out that some investigators have less of a problem with increasing deck size by 5. Mark Harrigan, Norman Withers, Mandy Thompson and Patrice Hathaway draw through their decks quite quickly, and seekers have a huge amount of card draw and card search abilities (as do Rogues, especially once they have lots of exp).

Edited by Allonym

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While our group plans teams and builds decks to complement each other, sometimes our initial strategies call for combos and we build exp shopping lists to build towards those strategies and combos. In addition to the great ideas above, I could also see:

A mystic flavored Mandy Thompson would absolutely adore Arcane Initiate.

I'm betting Scrounge for Supplies would be particularly good in many decks. 

 

But generally we allow our initial strategies to change on the ground during a campaign and Versatile truly interests me as a rescue strategy for a group struggling with game aspects or particular weaknesses. (Like drawing Doomed basic weakness chain so adding Alyssa Graham to the exp shopping list)

 

Just about anyone would enjoy adding Drawn to the Flame if their team is struggling for clues.

I could see some squishy types picking up a Fire Axe.

I could see double Versatile, double Quantum Flux as a potential emergency strategy in a Doomed deck or any deck trying to avoid a particular weakness but get a side benefit. (or even a silly Mandy deck that wants to get like nonuple uses from research cards.)

 

Versatile is definitely on the shopping list - not necessarily as something I want for my particular strategy, but in case it is needed for the good of the group. And here's hoping I never need to buy it unless I intended so to begin with. 

Side Note: I recently put an Astounding Revelation in my Roland deck after buying Stick to the Plan. Haven't had a chance to try it yet, but we have three more scenarios in our campaign, and it sure looks good.

 

 

 

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my first thought was that many mystics might want to use Liquid Courage,  especially if they are going for high level shriveling and/or Arcane Research, which can tax sanity quickly.   Agnes, for example, seems a very good candidate for this.  This item is cheap, slotless, and will almost certainly provide 8 sanity worth of healing for a mystic, since they should be able to pass a Willpower 2 check very easily.  

 

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Like I said in the original thread, I plan to use it to tech against the Doomed cycle.  With three scenarios to go, I've drawn Accursed Fate once, meaning two more draws and I'm done.  I could retire and go with another gator but that's no fun.  I'd rather try to stay alive long enough to get eaten by Azathoth.  So I'm using this to a) pad the deck and b) add some protection against my own draws with some Alyssas and some Scryings.

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2 hours ago, awp832 said:

my first thought was that many mystics might want to use Liquid Courage,  especially if they are going for high level shriveling and/or Arcane Research, which can tax sanity quickly.   Agnes, for example, seems a very good candidate for this.  This item is cheap, slotless, and will almost certainly provide 8 sanity worth of healing for a mystic, since they should be able to pass a Willpower 2 check very easily.  

 

I can see the cost argument (since Mystics have economy problems), but at Hard or Expert level, it's not going to be trivial to pass even a 2-willpower test every time. If we assume the baseline is around 6 (base 5 plus Rosary, or base 4 plus Rosary and Tarot, though HEFC can give further boosts once set up, David Renfield exists, you could stack bonuses with Relic Hunter, Agnes has Peter S (2), etc.), there's still multiple failing tokens in the bag, plus the symbol tokens, many of the effects of which can be really nasty on hard/expert. And if you go in with skill commits or whatever to help you pass, the economy benefit evaporates.

Using Versatile to increase your deck size by 5 to add a single Liquid Courage seems like a long and cumbersome way to go about it when Fearless (2) exists, but the bigger problem to my mind is Thermos, which is automatically online for 2 testless horror healing if you have Arcane Research x2 - certainly significantly more expensive in resources, but without the exp or other costs.

1 hour ago, CSerpent said:

Like I said in the original thread, I plan to use it to tech against the Doomed cycle.  With three scenarios to go, I've drawn Accursed Fate once, meaning two more draws and I'm done.  I could retire and go with another gator but that's no fun.  I'd rather try to stay alive long enough to get eaten by Azathoth.  So I'm using this to a) pad the deck and b) add some protection against my own draws with some Alyssas and some Scryings.

Doomed is one of the basic weaknesses we've removed from our pool so I haven't thought about counters for it in ages, but I can see that. Alyssa Graham is an excellent (albeit very cumbersome and expensive) counter. Plus a stat boost which is great for clue gatherers.

2 hours ago, Iuchi Toshimo said:

A mystic flavored Mandy Thompson would absolutely adore Arcane Initiate.

I'm betting Scrounge for Supplies would be particularly good in many decks. 

[...]

I could see some squishy types picking up a Fire Axe.

I could see double Versatile, double Quantum Flux as a potential emergency strategy in a Doomed deck or any deck trying to avoid a particular weakness but get a side benefit. (or even a silly Mandy deck that wants to get like nonuple uses from research cards.)

Arcane Initiate jumped out to me too initially, for free searches every round, but between slot pressure with Mr "Rook", doom when she enters play, a relative lack of actual Spell targets in a deck (unless you use basically all your off-class cards for Spell events, or you use the Seeker spells like Archaic Glyphs or Occult Lexicon/Blood Rite) and the relative ease of Mandy getting to use her ability essentially every round anyway, I don't think it's likely to be as impressive as it first appears. I also like the idea of taking Dario on basically anyone who can use his stats and has any hope of achieving the resource threshold - his ability is really solid. But in general, I do like the idea of using Versatile to circumvent the "only events and skills" restriction of Mandy and Tony's off-classes - a Rogue Mandy with Leo de Luca would be solid, and Venturer is excellent for Tony.

Scrounge for Supplies is a card I really suspect will generally be far less impressive than it might seem, especially as a card you upgrade into (since it only targets level 0 cards). That said, Versatile to increase your deck size and give you specific cards would be good for a "Dredge" style deck, like an Ashcan Yaotl/Scavenging/Resourceful deck, so I can see Scrounge fitting right in there (and things like the Desperate cards would be good targets for Scrounge).

I initially thought about Fire Axe (or Cleaver, or Machete) to provide a solid weapon for any investigator, but really I think the existence of Timeworn Brand really makes that far more niche - investing 2 exp and deck bloat to get a Fire Axe is less attractive when you could save up 5 more exp for a Brand. If the Timeworn Brand does see a Taboo I could see Versatile for a one-stop combat solution being a good choice. Guard Dog might work as an alternative, however, since it's both soak and testless damage in a single ally.

Quantum Flux is a really nice option, thinking about it. Very much an extremely niche choice, but an excellent choice for that niche.

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Some other notable combos:

  • Wendy with Premonition and Wendy's Amulet enables a recursion combo where she can keep playing Premonition on every single token draw.  This is because Premonition bypasses the timing window on Wendy's Amulet's Forced effect, and therefore still enters Wendy's discard pile when the chaos token on it gets used up (and then Premonition can be immediately played again from the discard pile for free due to the Amulet).
  • Guardians who take Stick to the Plan can add Astounding Revelation to their deck to begin each scenario with 2 additional resources (since Stick to the Plan searches your deck and triggers it during setup of each scenario).  Some Guardians can do this even without Versatile, so this would really only be helpful to Guardians who don't already have level 0 Seeker access (Mark, Leo, Tommy).

I would probably only consider adding Versatile on draw-heavy investigators like Minh, Mandy, or Mark.  In those cases, I'm mostly just adding it for the +5 Deck size, not really for the extra off-class card.

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Tempted to use versatile to add burglary or track shoes to my Ursula deck but the 5 additional deck size means that i might not even get to see it get drawn. Ursula card drawing ability isn't that great even though she is in the seeker faction. The 2 exp could be better spent elsewhere.

The only character i feel comfortable adding versatile would be Patrice. Even the supposed con is a pro for her. The question is which card is worth the 2 exp for her. Maybe the hawk eye camera or the mirror.

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I'd definitely consider Versatile for Patrice - I'm looking at running the Desperate build of her, so adding Versatile after adding Cornered and Yoatl allows me to put the 4 skill cards I've dropped back into the deck to keep my average icon count high.

I'd probably go with a Double or Nothing as the out of class card for now, but it would depend on the decks I was playing alongside.

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3 hours ago, dysartes said:

I'd definitely consider Versatile for Patrice - I'm looking at running the Desperate build of her, so adding Versatile after adding Cornered and Yoatl allows me to put the 4 skill cards I've dropped back into the deck to keep my average icon count high.

I'd probably go with a Double or Nothing as the out of class card for now, but it would depend on the decks I was playing alongside.

Like I said in the previous thread, I tried Versatile with Patrice using Lone Wolf as her off class card to help with her resource issues.  In our group, she is on her own a lot! It takes no actions on her part, once it’s in play, is cheap and can be a game changer especially if she can get it out early.  Since thinking on her feet is her super power, having 2 resources show up almost every round, makes it far more likely to afford cards before they disappear. It also makes it almost a sure shot to be able to play Lantern, Improvised Weapon, or other cards from her discard pile when she needs them. 


I really like some of the many options you all have thought about. A couple of the new cards in Dark Side of the Moon could actually be synergistic. 
 

Edited by Mimi61

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Am I crazy for considering Magnifying Glass in Patrice? It's cheap and Fast, so it's an asset she's at little risk of missing her opportunity to play; she probably wants her Violin in her other hand, and so doesn't really mind only having one copy. 

Of course, it presupposes a Patrice who wants to use Intellect rather than Will to investigate. But I seem to recall two of her most vocal fans ^ discussing Hemispheric Map for Patrice, so Intellect must be useful.

Edit: Magnifying Glass works with one of those Dark Side of the Moon cards too. Not that one, the other one.

Edited by Spritz Tea
An idea

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42 minutes ago, Spritz Tea said:

Am I crazy for considering Magnifying Glass in Patrice? It's cheap and Fast, so it's an asset she's at little risk of missing her opportunity to play; she probably wants her Violin in her other hand, and so doesn't really mind only having one copy. 

Of course, it presupposes a Patrice who wants to use Intellect rather than Will to investigate. But I seem to recall two of her most vocal fans ^ discussing Hemispheric Map for Patrice, so Intellect must be useful.

Definitely not crazy. I actually had a similar thought. It's the best use for Versatile I've hit upon for Patrice so far. But...I don't know if it's a great idea. I think I'd prefer to spend the 2 exp on Lantern (2) and not have to increase my deck size - which would cost an action to play, but would also give you a testless damage option.

That said, I can see other benefits for Magnifying Glass - if you're attacking with Willpower (Shrivelling and Wither), having two Magnifying Glasses can stack and they also work with events like Winging It. I'd give it a try for sure.

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Mandy is definitely right up there with Patrice for handling what Versatile does to you, but I'm actually struggling a bit to find any one-ofs that would be worth it.  Leo or Alice seem like good choices, although you're probably looking at it being 5 XP now since you'd need a Charisma too.

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The out-of-class options for Patrica are... interesting.

According to ArkhamDB, as of the release of Dark Side of the Moon, there are 149 level 0 cards across Guardian, Rogue & Seeker.

We're looking for cards which are universally useful (or nearly so), and if a check is required, probably rely on Willpower above anything else, given it is Patrice's strongest stat. 

I'm not sure which, if any, of these would be viewed by the community as strong enough to justify Versatile on its own - though in Patrice's case, I think the extra turn before cycling the deck is worth something alone - but these are some I'd consider:

  • "Let me handle this!" - you've restocked your hand of cards to throw at a check, and you get an extra +2 on the check. More situation with Patrice than a Guardian, as it relies on you having it in hand when needed.
  • Crystallizer of Dreams - this will depend on your deck type, but if you lean into Events more than Skills (so probably a non-Desperate Patrice) this might be worth a shot
  • Dr Milan Christopher - especially if playing without the taboo list, and if your deck leans towards Investigation. Probably need to be adding Versatile after your second Charisma, though (Peter & Yoatl for the first two slots). Also, need to be sure your Seeker isn't using him.
  • Fieldwork - probably not high on the list, but useful enough and non-situational enough to probably be worth a slot.
  • First Watch - 3 or 4 player games only - similar principle to "Let me handle this!", having a turn where you can balance the threats based on what people can safely cope with can be a big boon, regardless of turn.
  • Hawk-Eye Folding Camera - again, more of a recommendation for non-Desperate Patrice builds that investigate, but I really like this card. Could depend on build, but I know my Patrice only uses 1 Hand slot at present.
  • Leo de Luca - Same thinking as Dr Milan, though an extra action is generically useful. He is expensive for a Survivor deck, though.
  • Liquid Courage - Gotta keep your Sanity juuuuust right... hic.
  • Lone Wolf - Hadn't thought about it until looking at this thread, but more resources are always handy.
  • Magnifying Glass - Solid choice for an Investigating Patrice
  • Shortcut - As who doesn't want a little extra mobility?
  • Something Worth Fighting For - One for Desperate Patrice Builds - helps you stay in the "3 or less Sanity remaining" sweet spot, while helping offset the risk of a horror hit driving you insane.

After looking at the cards for Dark Side of the Moon, I'd also consider using Versatile as a way to add in two copies of Moon Stone after adding a copy of Relic Hunter - as St. Hubert's Key is critical to the deck working, and Moon Stone can't be used for icons, it doesn't have a place in the deck until I have a spare Accessory slot. Equally, while it is useful, I don't want to spend 2XP on two copies of a 0XP card - and remove icons from my deck - if I can spend 2XP on Versatile, get an out-of-class card, two copies of Moon Stone and two other cards into my deck.

Also, I've now heard back from Mr Newman regarding Versatile and the XP cost of adding level 0 cards to your deck - and I quote...

Quote

We’ll be adding this to the next iteration of the FAQ, but anytime a card effect causes your deck size to be under your investigator’s required deck size, you may purchase new level 0 cards at 0 experience cost to make up for this. This includes both effects that remove cards from your deck (such as when you exile a card), and also effects that increase your deck size.

 

Hope that helps! Cheers,

So, it is as most people thought it would work, but it is nice to get the clarification on place (and in the next FAQ).

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I took Versatile for Mandy T. and then as the off class card, Peter Sylvestre, WHAT?? WHY?? Her basic weakness is Kleptomania....and yes, she has 2 x Charisma and Calling in Favors..and she's going through TFA..

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Kleptomania is a pretty serious problem for Mandy, or really for any Mr "Rook" deck — that is one of the most sensible uses for Versatile I have seen!

If it is or becomes the kind of deck that cycles multiple times a scenario, this puts you better off that you would be with a normal weakness.

And Kleptomania becomes a nearly perfect defense against Lost in Time.

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