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Adam S. Doyle
I Divoratori di Sogni #27.
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This is a very interesting card. You can't talk about this card without talking about this one here The Stars Are Right which gets shuffled into the encounter deck after it is played. Arkham Horror LCG now has various types of cancellation options to choose from within the game. It is almost getting to a point where I would restrict myself to the number of cancellation effects except when playing Diana Stanley. But, I wouldn't classify this as cancellation.

In all technical sense, this card doesn't "cancel" an effect. When it comes down to it though, you are not drawing an encounter card on the turn that this causes you to draw it's counter-point card The Stars Are Right.

Ward of Protection is the standard often referenced when discussions begin with cancellation effects. So, let's see what this does in comparison even though there are many others. By comparing these two cards we can see the differences and benefits of each.

Ward of Protection is actionless, whereas this card will cost you an action. Ward of Protection on the other hand costs you a resource and a sanity (offset often with other cards that protect you or help you with Agnes Baker, but it is still a cost) whereas Stargazing has no resource cost associated with it. In that sense, the action is somewhat offset by wards other costs. You also will get this action back later when you run across The Stars Are Right and gain a resource and card. So, you could argue that it is actually action efficient. It could be another investigator that decides to take these bonuses, so it has some flexibility there as well.

Ward is useful at almost any point in the game though, whereas this card is only useful when there is enough encounter cards left in the deck (you could get lucky of course and put it on top). So, you might draw this and find yourself not able to play it. In smaller player games such as solo, this could be the 10th card down for instance and there are only 9 turns left in the game. So your action would be wasted if you were to play it. In larger player games, if you see this early then great, you will likely see it being fruitful in your game. But in the larger player count, you also dig into the encounter deck and might find it unplayable for a couple turns mid to late game. So there are some dead-opportunities associated with this card in either situation. These cases that could happen are one of the draw-backs of this card.

It's icon is something that is nice to see here but ward also has this going for it.

Some might argue that you don't know what encounter card you would have drawn in its place with The Stars Are Right. This is where using the term 'cancel' associated with this card isn't appropriate. It is basically saying that in the future, you just don't draw an encounter card that phase and you will get your banked action you spent earlier back (or something will since it is targetable).

Ward of protection is there to keep you from that "Oh sheeet" moment. This doesn't protect you from the cards you know are in that deck waiting for you. It at best delays those cards one turn later into the game.

I think that this is a nice support card for mystics to slow the dangers that are ahead of you and I think I feel better about it in multiplayer scenarios rather than the solo play and just relying on lady luck.

Bronze · 183
It's not especially powerful I think, but it is great fun. You're going to want to include a copy for sure. Also, I wouldn't sleep on the fact that you get to choose which investigator gets the benefit. That could be huge if it gets drawn at the right time. — Sassenach · 179
If you can get it early it becomes solid action economy in solo (since you're seeing one less encounter card that game, you save roughly 1 action overall). I think it'll work best in off class Mystics who are either weak in combat or weak in will. Patrice might like it, as even if she gets it too late to be worthwhile it gives her a wild icon to pitch. Sefina I believe can copy it, though if I'm not mistaken you only get 1 copy of The Stars are Right per Stargazing in your deck, so you'll be making the original card a dead effect. Mandy's Will is just okay and she's quite afraid of enemies, so it could work for her as an early upgrade. — StyxTBeuford · 12942
There are two copies in the box, and it's a bonded card so it wouldn't go in the deck anyway. I do kinda wish this could be played 3 times though, it would be incredible with Dayana Esperance. — Sassenach · 179
Right but to have two copies of Stars are Right set aside, you need two copies of Stargazing in your deck, otherwise you'd only have 1 copy of Stars are Right set aside. — StyxTBeuford · 12942
Has there been a ruling on that ? All that it says in the rules is "if your deck contains a card that summons one or more bonded cards, those bonded cards are set aside at the start of the game", which can be interpreted differently to the way you described it. I don't see that it would necessarily preclude one copy of Stargazing from being used twice. — Sassenach · 179
I think that's how I would play it for now. It makes sense that if you buy one Stargazing your bonded cards only include one copy of Stars are Right. — StyxTBeuford · 12942
The Stars Are Right has bonded to this, but not the other way around. If you had one copy of this and played it twice through various shenanigans, you would add two copies of The Stars Are Right to the top 10 cards of the encounter deck. — The_Wall · 275
If you would play it twice, second time you can bring another #The Stars Are Right. You don't need 2 copies, but it easier to pull out waiting to shuffle your deck otherwise. — Bany · 14
@StyxTBeuford that is not true. Check wordking. You are searching for 1 copy of The Stars Are Right only and exactly when you are playing this card. Not before. There is no preparation phase what so ever. The card is being brought from bonded pool and remove from the game when drawn for a Revelation trigger. Rest bounded cards are still for a use ;) whatever you will get same event to play or it is another copy if it. — Bany · 14
This card is kind of necessary for a thematic Norman deck! — Krysmopompas · 353
I play this in solo fairly often when I have access to mystic cards. I also like to play Parallel Fates (2) and these cards work pretty well together. Most of the time since you are only drawing one encounter a turn there are always plenty of cards in the encounter deck. What is far more frustrating is when you play this, and then a turn or two later you are instructed to shuffle the encounter deck. — RobertLefebvre · 1

This card slow down the threat a lot!

When you got any treachery card, it cost as following

  • 0-1 action for average test that may make you discard, lose Health or Sanity
  • 1-2 action when you draw the enemy if you can kill it. But cost more if you can't

But put this card provide you the The Stars Are Right it return you

  • 1 action - Tie you playing action
  • 1 resource - count as 1 action
  • 1 card (From drawing) - count as 1 action
  • Additionally eliminate action cost from the treachery card count as 0-2 action

In short, this card pay back you around 2-4 action as soon as you found it.

Especially when the treachery card is punishing on late scenario.

AquaDrehz · 199
This card is soo good in late game when the treachery cards really punish you. I normally take this going into the final scenario whenever I go mystic. — Calprinicus · 5452

Existing reviews for Stargazing understate its power. A comparison to Ward of Protection is in some ways fair, as both are low level Mystic events that mitigate the debilitating effects of the Mythos Phase, but they do so in very different ways, and are ultimately quite different beasts. User Bronze is right to point out that, where Ward protects your party from a particularly nasty treachery, such as Ancient Evils, Stargazing instead reduces the number of encounter cards you draw, replacing one of your next 11 encounter deck draws with The Stars are Right. Ward of Protection is a comparatively costly silver bullet to shut down a punishing treachery, and Stargazing is all-round Mythos Phase protection and fantastic value proposition. I think it is ultimately clear that Stargazing has a place in more decks than Ward.

User AquaDrehz rightly points out that the action economy for Stargazing is exceptionally favourable. You draw one fewer encounter card, which saves you whatever cost you would have spent dealing with that. This is a variable reward, but while some encounter cards can be shrugged off, others (e.g. Frozen in Fear) can eat several actions or outright threaten to defeat a vulnerable investigator (e.g. Rotting Remains). Many enemies you draw will do both! Preventing just a single encounter draw can be a substantial action advantage, but on top of that, The Stars are Right makes Stargazing effective action economy too. You trade an action and a card for an action, a card, and a resource. That might not sound amazing, but the ability to move actions from one turn to another is often useful, and The Stars are Right can grant any investigator the reward. Stargazing is a bit like an Easy Mark in that it replaces itself and grants a meager resource benefit, but it also lowers the threat of the encounter deck and re-gifts the action spent to play it. This is incredible value!

The catch is that the reward comes later, and is only guaranteed while there are enough encounter deck draws left before the end of the scenario. In a 2-player game, you are guaranteed to draw The Stars are Right by the 6th round following your playing Stargazing. That is a while to wait for your reward, and you will also have to beware of effects that shuffle the encounter deck, which could put The Stars are Right completely out of reach. These effects usually come from advancing agendas, and you can play around them in many of the scenarios where they come up. While Stargazing clearly has a larger window with more players and in longer scenarios, most scenarios have plenty of time to Stargaze, and you won't hate missing it in your opening hand as much as the Tarot assets. In short, Stargazing's conditions are not as restrictive as you might have thought. Solo play is really where that condition becomes truly cumbersome as 11 rounds is too long to wait.

While playing through Return to Path to Carcosa, I occasionally found myself playing Stargazing even when the team weren't totally guaranteed to draw The Stars are Right due to the encounter deck shuffling or the scenario ending before we could draw 11 more cards from it. The value you gain from drawing The Stars are Right is so great that it is sometimes even worth gambling on! It also just feels incredibly good to draw something actually positive and helpful from the encounter deck, which usually has you reaching gingerly across the table for whatever punishment the mythos has in store for you. Stargazing is going to be a staple of my Mystic decks for the foreseeable future.. which is kind of fun to say given that its Augury traited!

Trinity_ · 198
I agree, this card is incredibly good! It is balanced in that you can only play it a maximum of twice in a game, which while being enough, does have that hard and fast cap. It is also good synergy with Drawn to the Flame as well as other cards that have you drawing encounter cards for the simple fact that you're more likely to get Stars Are Right to trigger. — LaRoix · 1634
This card feels so much better than it actually is in my opinion. It is good, but it is no Ward. Drawing one less card from the encounter deck is good, but cancelling one of the worst cards in the next 11 draws is much stronger action economy most of the time- you choose both what AND when you cancel, on too of Ward also being fast, all for a resource, a card, and a horror (and as Diana you refund the first two). In multiplayer I can see most Mystics wanting this card anyway, but Ward 2 is still the much higher priority pick, and it scales across all counts very well. — StyxTBeuford · 12942
Top* — StyxTBeuford · 12942
I believe you are plainly wrong that Ward is stronger action economy. Diana is obviously a special case because of her ability, so ignoring her for a moment: Playing WoP is comparable to drawing a treachery with "Revelation: Discard a card, lose a resource, take a horror". While getting to turn something nasty like Ancient Evils into a treachery like that is often fantastic, The Stars Are Right is an even better encounter card to draw because it is actually positive tempo! Ward's upside is not action economy, but in being able to target specific treacheries and lessen their blow. They are actually very different cards, and while I cannot say that Stargazing is flatly better than WoP, I think it is clear that it is a more broadly applicable card for just always being good tempo. WoP gets priority for the specific role of targetting awful treacheries and protecting vulnerable teammates from them. — Trinity_ · 198
I think you're undervaluing the ability of targeting itself relative to action economy. Ward 2 guarantees I can save it to target Frozen in Fear on my Rogue, which potentially saves as many actions as there are rounds left. Stargazing does not. Both are otherwise action neutral. One gains you a resource, one loses you a card and a resource, but neither is equal to an action. Stargazing only wins if you value every treachery card equally, which you should not. — StyxTBeuford · 12942
My experience with Stargazing has been that most scenarios shuffle the encounter deck before you can draw it. It is pretty great in scenarios that don't reshuffle the encounter deck, though. I would think it's a lot better in higher player counts, though, as you get through a lot more of the encounter deck before reshuffling. — Zinjanthropus · 224
I think all of you miss 2 facts that make ward better: 1. Stargazing is random. So if only 1 doom is missing ward will always work against ancient evils (or grasping hands or rotting remains if they'd kill you). 2. There's a limited amount of each treachery in the mythos deck. Stargazing delays them, while Ward removes them. — Django · 4962
That’s exactly what I meant by the targeting being valuable in and of itself. — StyxTBeuford · 12942
Trading an action now for "the most useful investigator's" action later is such amazing value that it's really worth emphasising. — Rooftop · 1
I'm currently playing this in Luke Robinson, and I pretty much only play it while in dream prison. Trading 1-2 of Luke's least valueable actions in the game for 1-2 actions of the most useful investigator when they come up is a brilliant deal. — Rooftop · 1
Recently had a game where both times, The Stars are Right was a tempo boost. For clearing a treachery that prevented movement, our gator most suited to do the task needed the action economy to take care of other dangerous options. And for our Dexter to attach The Skeleton Key. — Lemmingrad · 21

Your friendly neighborhood Buttermancer here to strongly recommend against running this card in The Circle Undone, given the huge amount of deck milling mechanics in that campaign. You'll whiff right past it at a million miles an hour. Probably twice after the encounter deck shuffles. You might draw it if you have encounter deck peeking shenanigans, but even then not reliably enough to make playing it worth the action.

In campaigns where the encounter deck is not flying off the table out the window, it looks pretty intriguing, probably strongest at 2 players given its unique requirements and effect. To elaborate, for one player, ten cards in the encounter deck is basically guaranteed, but play Stargazing halfway through a scenario and shuffle it into the bottom and you probably won't see it before the scenario is resolved. It does cancel 100% of spooky card bad stuff when it lands.

Two players probably have plenty of cards in the encounter deck and will draw the card within 5 turns, reasonable if it's at all early. It will cancel 50% spooky card draw for the team on the turn it lands. After that, it gets worse. It will be drawn very soon but only cancel a third of the encounter deck, and it will be drawn almost immediately but cancel the effect on 1/4th the team. It's actually a pretty good play on Farsighted (Mandy and Daisy can fit these, and Daisy has big hands potential synergy in Forbidden Tome).

I love this card. It's very popular in my 4-man group, and I'll usually take two copies pretty early. In a 4 player game, the action you get can be big enough to free up multiple other players, like evading a massive enemy. Great card. — SGPrometheus · 769
Not cancelling the entire encounter phase in higher player counts isn't really a huge drawback in the way this review suggests, because it also doesn't cost every player a card and an action to do, just the one who plays it. It's not like we say that Deduction is bad because it only gets one clue and not one clue per investigator, for instance. — Thatwasademo · 53
That said, there is one thing that you actually should be aware of at higher player counts: That "max twice per game" restriction. Even if your group is four mystics you can't all take Stargazing (and be able to play all the copies). Still, there really aren't any issues with running one or two copies of this card among the entire group in a three or four player game: even if you happen to draw it when the encounter deck is low, you'll reshuffle soon enough. — Thatwasademo · 53

Worth noting this card can have extra value in Return to The Forgotten Age, where the updated explore mechanic means you'll either get to this card faster, or possibly even shuffle it into the Exploration deck for a nice surprise while exploring. If it goes into the Exploration deck, it's also protected from encounter deck shuffling and can be searched using Exploration deck supplies.

Time4Tiddy · 236
I have not played the "Return to" version yet, but are there special rules, what happens, if you draw an event from the exploration deck? Otherwise I would say, the effect would wiff. Even, if it doesn't, it would still likely be considered an "unsucessful exploration", you would get the benefit from the card, but loose an action compared to when you would draw the card from the encounter deck. — Susumu · 347
I don't see why it would wiff - it doesn't when it's in the encounter deck, which is also not designed to pull Events from. You do get the unsuccessful exploration, but you immediately get another action, which you can use to explore again, 1 resource and 1 card richer. — Time4Tiddy · 236
Consider that you would have pulled a treachery from the Exploration deck instead of this card, the action loss is happening either way, and would have a more negative outcome. — Time4Tiddy · 236