Hot on the heels of our initial thoughts post, this is the first appearance of the new hotness in your favourite almost-weekly-ish Read the Flipping Card column. And we’ve chosen to highlight a lovely bit of neckware in the form of Wendy’s Amulet.
So let’s crack straight on by exploring the card with our first picture of an Arkham Horror LCG card!
I really, really, really hope not… Oh yeah, there’s no errata.
Unpacking Wendy’s Amulet
Let’s get some of the facts out of the way first:
- The card is unique, so only one in play at a time, but there’s no deckbuilding restriction so you could go with 2
- The card can only be in Wendy Adam’s deck
- It takes up a neck slot
- It costs two resources to play (pretty average really)
- It has two ‘any skill’ icons if you choose to chuck it for a skillcheck (matched by very few cards in the core)
What it allows you to do is play the topmost event in your discard pile as if it was in your hand. This would mean that:
- You still need to meet any requirements for the event, such as paying the resources, any trigger conditions need to be met, actions expended etc
- It is just the topmost event, so the order they are placed in the discard pile matters; the rules say that you can’t reorder the discard pile (though a future card might allow it)
- It’s only the Wendy Adam’s player’s discard pile; other players are out of scope
- Playing the event is NOT the same as using the event card to commit to a skill test; that is you cannot use Wendy’s Amulet to take the topmost event card and use it’s skill test icons as part of a test
The amulet grants you some great flexibility to recurse the events in your discard pile, so long as they are the top-most event.
There are some downsides:
- If you play an event it MUST go to the bottom of your deck rather than discard if the amulet is out
- It competes for other neck slot cards, particularly as this is a card you’re likely to want to get out on the table
- It’s only the top event card, so order of play of events does matter and adds some complexity to the game
- The event played from discard goes to the bottom of your deck (which incidentally makes the next topmost event the new topmost event and available for amuletisation)
Now there are a number of ways that the game allows you to get events into discard: firstly, you can play them without the Amulet out. Secondly, you can use them to commit to skill tests which gets them into discard even if the amulet is out (as committing to the test is different from playing the event).
It’s also worth bearing in mind that if a player decks out (i.e. runs out of cards in their deck), then they reshuffle their discard and create a new deck (Rules Reference p.9, under ‘Draw’). This, combined with putting events on the bottom of the deck might support a plan of cycling through the deck playing high impact events. That playstyle’s not supported in the core, but might become viable at some future point.
To my mind, the main purpose of the amulet is to provide some confidence when using event cards to boost skill tests; you don’t lose the chance to play the event so that skill test boost effectively comes with no cost.
That gives Wendy a lot of flexibility as she can quickly ramp the willpower or agility tests to really high levels, or overcome some of the risk associated with her low fight score. Events might not then be played as optimally as otherwise (because you’re going to try to recycle them where you can) but the events don’t seem to be time-sensitive in the core.
Consider this sequence:
- In the previous round Backstab was discarded to cancel a chaos token
- In this round Action 1 play Emergency Cache, gaining 3 resources
- Action 2 play the Amulet, paying 2 resources
- Action 3 play Emergency Cache from discard, gaining 3 resources and putting it at the bottom of your deck
- Backstab is now the top-most event and could be used in the next turn through the Amulet
This shows that clever play will be rewarded with the Amulet and players should consider their plays across multiple turns to get the most from the necklace.
The synergy with Wendy is also pretty clear: discard those events for her ability and cancel a chaos token without losing the ability to play the event. This gives much stronger control over the order for the events in discard as well.
In addition, if her amulet is out then an Elder Sign from the Chaos bag grants an automatic success.
What makes this card better?
It’s early days in the game, but clearly good events increase the utility of the necklace. Specifically good events in the survivor or neutral class.
In addition, an ability to quickly cycle through the deck would mean that you would be able to see those events again, thus allowing you to obtain the impact of the event. And access to the skill test bonuses.
All very speculative at the moment given the age of the game of course.
That brings us to an end of the first RTFC for Arkham Horror. If you’ve got something to add to the discussion, hit us up in the comments here or over at our Facebook page.