Idol of Xanatos

Unbelievably bad for anyone but maybe, maybe patrice. How did this even get printed?

If I'm going to spend 3 resource and devote a slot to a pure soak asset I expect it to come with 3+ total durability. To make this better than that you'd have to throw away a ruinous number of cards.

The only advantage this has over conventional soak assets is that it takes up only one deck slot and can stick around absborbing potentially unlimited amounts of damage over a long scenario if you have enough draw to feed it. But because it's capped at 3 and can only trigger once per round, it's not even great potection from big burst damage.

Why you'd ever look twice at this if you could Perseverance or Talisman of Protection or Cherished Keepsake is beyond me.

I think you're undervaluing this card. You're comparing something like Lucky Cigarette Case to Deep Knowledge. Sure in small bursts Cherished Keepsake or Leather Coat can be better, but this card (as long as you have the draw power) is limitless. It's like a Peter and Jessica in one and instead of needing 6 resources, and 2 ally slots, you just need cards, which is very easy to come by these days for Survivors. Not to mention all the cards survivors WANT in the discard pile like Improvised Weapon or Winging it. The cap at 3 is negligible because you only draw one encounter each round and most treacheries do only that much damage (and it's not like the comparison examples you provided can tank much more). This card helped me keep Hank alive much better than most alternatives because of its reusability each turn, and once Hank has a weapon down, he does not need much else with his god-like stats. — Nenananas · 242
I don't use Drawing Thing so card draw in Survivor feels very limited to me. Take Heart is great but only gets you so far, I don't much care for rabbit foot, and Lebranche is strong but doesn't suit all strategies. That leaves Scavenging and cantrip skills. Wendy and Pete already have discard outlets, Yorick gets plenty of free plays to reload his soak, and Darrel's evidence can already trivialize a lot of damage sources. — OrionAnderson · 43
Great review. I laughed till I cried. — Maseiken · 1
I've found this card to be pretty strong in Scavenging Minh. With sufficient card draw Idol of Xanatos basically prevents you from ever dying, and discarding an item is actively useful in many cases. — SorryLaurie · 527
Hmm. that does sound like a decent combo ngl. OTOH, I feel like at level 0 it's hard to get this and scavenging down and proc scavenging often enough to really sustain it. Once you have some XP under your belt, using Scavenging 2 to directly put Keepsake, Leather Coat, or better yet the new Hunting Jacket directly into play seems better than messing around with this. — OrionAnderson · 43
The thing is, now that we have Hank, heal-like effects have a better reason to exist. While Talisman of Protection is great because it is fast, it doesn't protect you from 3 burst damage, which is the common case with an autofail on a treachery card. And one combo that you omitted, on top of Improvised cards, is with A Glimmer of Hope. Then all of a sudden, Hank has a 1 action, 1 cost, heal 3 combo. Yes it takes a lot of deck space, but guess what, Hank comes with an additional 5 cards in his deck. Also when speaking about draw, Survivors recently got one really good one: At a Crossroads. Altogether, I wouldn't add this card in all my decks, but I have used it (in Patrice, as you mention) and will most likely use it a few times again. IMO this is the perfect spot, especially for a lvl 0 card: niche and decent in it. — Valentin1331 · 56207

Zamacona is another enemy weakness, and like most, he is a much bigger problem in solo than multiplayer. There's a lot of supercheap technology that deals with him: handcuffs and spectral razor come to mind. Or stir the pot targeting another enemy. With mind wipe, a friendly mystic can make him extremely vulnerable to the countess’s trickery.

Elusive and "Spawn - Nearest empty location" can be a great aid (in case you want him to fall off a train) but if you’re only dealing one damage per attack, he’s going to stick around forever. The pitchfork, a beat cop(2), or drain essence (from someone else in the party) can deal with the Z-lister without having to chase him down even more.

MrGoldbee · 1402
I really hate him. He is so much trouble. Not he only stops Alessandra for doing her thing, but he also can take so many actions from you to beat if you don't have the right cards at the right moment. Sure, you can OHKO him with Spectral Razor or Dinamite Blast, but if you don't have the right cards in your hand when he spawns he may take at least 3 actions to kill (hoping you smack him for 3 health, move, engage, attack). Daniela Reyes will usually run cards good for dealing with him, so that's a thing too. He is even harder to digest than Hoods from Rita Young for me. — rodro · 70
Can't you just hit a Backstab for 3 damage? — MrGoldbee · 1402
You could, but Backstab requires you to have it in your hand and risk everything in a 4 base agility test. You are Rogue, so passing the test isn't a mayor concern, but you will lose all your round moving, engaging and backstabing him. And you must deal with him fast because he basically shuts off Alessandra because of Doom. Dealing with him in later stages of a scenario has proven devastating for my group in this last campaign, and usually I blasted him with Spectral Razor because Alessandra can't deal with him fast and she needs to do her Parley action every turn to be good. — rodro · 70
I don't get the point why you name cards to solve him that can't taken by Allessandra. If you want to deal with him easy take 2 string of curses in your deck. Since it's a parley Allessandra can take it and if you play it zamacona get one doom and you can choose the second option to defeat him instantly. The other option beside guns is backstab. And yes you can probably get a lot out of two damage options and Delilah. — Tharzax · 1
You can't use String of Curses on him, he says you can't Parley with him and String of Curses is a Parley card. — Soul_Turtle · 405
Then Backstab seems the best choice if you want to get rid of him fast as Allessandra. — Tharzax · 1
Someone else can String of Curses him :). — MrGoldbee · 1402
But then he didn't get the doom from his forced ability. So Allessandra needs to parley first — Tharzax · 1
Blackmail File

The effect, making an enemy aloof for a round is quite nice -- it is frequently better than conventional evasion. A frequent awkward experience when investigators split up is that a seeker will spawn a hunter enemy while they're separated from the guardian. If the seeker evades, clears the location, and moves out, then there's no inherent reason for anyone to go back in. But if the enemy is left alone they will hunt and attack someone the following turn.

If you make a hunter enemy aloof you can move away and let it move onto and engage your guardian without getting to attack him.

Sadly, I don't see many characters with rogue access wanting to play a 2-cost asset that allows them to spend actions to make will tests vs only non-elite enemies against sometimes quite high skill requirements. So this seems pretty bad. But it probably will show up here and there as scenario tech because you can tuck it into underworld market, boost and discount it with Sleuth, and so on.

I've been considering it as splash for some shenanigans in a Zoey deck where you might want an enemy to engage with you to trigger her signature. — nixmyth82 · 10
Aetheric Current

Kate has two great signature events; generally this is the one you’ll want more. At bare minimum, it resets your clues, giving you between a few and half a dozen +2s in your future. If it only did that and it was a general evade with books, it would be OK. But no… This is noping an enemy. In solo, you might not see it again; In multiplayer, there’s a chance it’ll get dealt to the fighter. In very rare circumstances, like the encounter deck being empty, the enemy goes to the discard pile, because you can’t shuffle something into an empty deck. This is tremendously useful against enemies that explode when they die, certain enemies in The Forgotten Age, or beefy foes with tons of hit points. This was extremely useful in dealing with Horror in High Gear and The Deep One Bull in Innsmouth.

MrGoldbee · 1402
Chemistry Set

Seekers traditionally have not gotten good accessories, especially at level 0. But don't cry for them. Instead of accessories they get very strong slotless assets like Pathfinder, Empirical Hypothesis, Fieldwork, and the like. Now that Hemlock Vale is out, Seekers ... still don't have a good level 0 accesory.

Chemistry set is a weird little jack of all trades of a card. It can theoretically generate a trickly of free draw for doing something you were going to do anyway, like a variant Lucky Cigarette Case or Empirical Hypothesis. It can theoretically be a clue accelerator like a baby Fingerprint Kit or re-usable Working a Hunch. It can theoretically generate resources over time, like a Dr. Milan Christopher or Thieves' Kit or Lone Wolf or something.

Trouble is, if you compare this to almost any dedicated single-function card, it's miles worse. You'd have to hit the resource gen three times to surpass the humble Emergency Cache, let alone Crack the Case or Rogue economy. You'd have to hit the draw 4 times to outdo Preposterous Sketches. If you want to compare it to draw assets, it gives you one chance per turn to draw if you suceed by exactly 2 when when hypo/cigs give you 3 chances per turn to succeed by 2/3 or more. You have the hit the succeed by 4 2-3 times before it beats Working a hunch, 4 times before it outdoes Fingerprint Kit (although of course it is cheaper to play).

Now, you might say that it's unfair to compare multi-function cards to specialized cards because versatility is a strength that you pay for. But I'm less certain that's true when you don't actually choose what benefits you get. You can't really rely on it to fix a hand size or resource economy problem and you can't stop it from giving you effects you don't need or want like forced draws on an already-full hand or "additional clues" when there was only 1 left in the first place.

So, let's suppose you play it, use it every turn for 6 turns, and trigger it half the time, hitting the benefits once each. You put in 2 resources, a card, and an action, and got back 2 resources, a card, and an additional clue. The net benefit after 6 turns, then, is that you spent an action to get an effectively testless clue. It's like a 0-cost working a hunch that drew a card instead of being fast. Only it's not really a free clue like with Working a Hunch, because you probably had to put some resources into oversuccess intentionally to hit that +4.

If you get it mid scenario, that's probably all you can expect to get from it. If you get it first thing, you can perhaps hope to hit each of its functions one more time. Which is indeed a pretty good return on investment, but nothing out of line with other early asset plays. And besides the up front cost to get it in play, it's also forcing you to take activate action on it which might block you out from using other tools or investigation events that are more effective. And it can blow itself up.

Not even Kate Winthrop really wants this, IMO.

It combos with labcoat, so -1 becomes $2. — MrGoldbee · 1402
Sure, just spend 4 resources, two actions, two cards, and 1 XP and occasionally you can turn a fail-by-1 into a clue and some cash. But I'd still rather play Fingerprint kit (3 extra clues for 4 resources, 1 card, 1 action, no xp) or 2x Working a Hunch (4 resources, 2 cards, no xp, no actions, 2 clues) — OrionAnderson · 43
Once you get Steady-Handed you want to use this because you have better control of what you are getting. Lab Coat can help too in harder checks. I don't really think I'd want to play this without any way to control my results. I find the "science" card set fun because it is all about calculated risk everytime you experiment with the chaos bag, but until I try I don't know how powerful it can be. — rodro · 70
Steady-handed looks pretty good in high-horror campaigns, especially for jittery folks with off-class seeker access like Trish and good old Roland. It's a lovely complement to actually good "succeed by" cards too, like ancient stones, deduction 2, lockpicks, cigarette case, sharp vision, and so on. But I'm not taking Chemistry set in my level zero deck in hopes of redeeming it with steady-handed later. — OrionAnderson · 43
It's a quite cheap tool in an uncontested slot (for seekers), which give your basic investigation additional effects. Compare it with the grim memoir, which also enhance the basic action. I every game as a seeker I use the basic investigation quite often, so the additional effect will be good in my eyes. With steady handed and fine tuning (the second one, the first goes to the thesis) it only gets better. — Tharzax · 1
With Steady Handed, in a standard/hard bag, this card can give you approximately 60% chance of getting an additional clue, per use. As Tharzax said, you can Fine Tune it, and I personally prefer Fine Tuning my Steady Handed as well, to get 2 shots at it each turn. Also as Tharzax says, this turns regular basic investigations into potentially great acceleration/fuel for your engine. I won't say this card is busted, but after playing it in Kate, which is the queen of oversuccess/skill value control, I had great results and loads of fun. Because that's another aspect of this card: it adds a mini game to the Seeker gameplay that I personally found fun and changing from the "Pathfinder -> Basic Investigate x3 -> Hiking Shoes" loop." — Valentin1331 · 56207
@Velentin1331 Even with Steady Handed in play I experienced much less than a 60% success rate at picking up extra clues. Not saying that no one ever gets that kind of consistency, but the bag is it nearly as generous in practice as it is in theory. After a whole campaign using Chemistry Set and Steady Handed my takeaway was that basically any other clue acceleration would have been more reliable than my results with the Chemistry Set. — Pseudo Nymh · 41