Read the Signs

Haven't had a chance to play this yet, but at first glance it seems like a prime taboo candidate. The minimum that any investigator who can take it would be investigating at would be 6, but that's really only the off-class or splash card people and it assumes no boosts to either will or int are in play. For most players you're going to be able to get up to 9 or 10 very easily when using this card, which is enough to smash almost any shroud level in the game. As such it effectively amounts to "pay 2 resources to discover 2 clues while ignoring all triggered effects". It compares very favourably to Intel Report in that respect and is arguably superior to Drawn to the Flame since it doesn't require the drawing of an encounter card. Granted, this is not testless and can still fail, but I'd suggest that in most cases failure is very unlikely and the consequences for failure are not very severe. I'm surprised that this is available at level zero, or that they didn't make it cost a little more.

Sassenach · 53
Taboo worthy already? That seems premature given that it's a two cost event that does nothing if you fail a skill test. This is in the same camp as cards like Lockpicks or Suggestion, and I don't see those getting taboo'd any time soon (sure they cost 1 XP, but they're also assets and therefore repeatable). Drawn to the Flame gets you two clues basically guaranteed for no resources and typically minimal cost since most people who play Drawn can usually deal very easily with whatever it is they draw. Diana in particular even desires it for an extra cancel target. — StyxTBeuford · 557
I see your point, but at the same time lockpicks is 3 actions and 3 resources (and 1xp) to net you 2 clues. This is 1 action and 2 resources to achieve the same effect, albeit non-repeatable. But really, the reason I think it may be tabood at some point is that it seems like an auto-include in any mystic deck and probably also in several others (Norman/Daisy, arguably also Sefina) — Sassenach · 53
I have played it, not a great card. — danielmaciel · 1
I disagree that it’s in any way an autoinclude for those guys. In solo you would almost never take this. In multi Seeker are better off just actually investigating and spending cards/resources buffing that instead of relying on one shot effects. I like this card for Sefina and any Mystic that wants more action compression investigates like DTTF, but I really do not see this as an autoinclude. Even Drawn to the Flame isn’t taboo’d, and I think that card is stronger than this one. — StyxTBeuford · 557
#Stynx: This card could trigger Diana’s ability if it ignores a triggered ability. Not sure how often that happens, but you could easily plan it out so I give the edge to this over Drawn to the Flame for Diana. — jmmeye3 · 202
This card is good for mystics that want to focus investigation and I am happy it is out because I want to do pure cluever mystic builds. Besides that I don't think this is an autoinclude (especially in multiplayer). If you plan to build a combat focused mystic you don't necessarily need this. Seekers with acces to mystic tend to have 5 intellect so paying 2 ressources for an extra clue is not that great, I would only use this with Daisy if I am playing on Expert difficulty and the boost can come in handy at the start of a campaign. — Alogon · 264
Lockpicks is a terrible comparison at two clues. It’s an asset and can continue to gain you clues at high reliability beyond that. Read the Signs is an Event - yes it gets you reliable action progression, but it does so once (twice if you draw both {maybe more with specific recursion tricks}), but you still need a way to get the rest of the scenario’s clues. And many Mystic builds are still strapped for spending 2 resources on a card like this. I think it has its place in a lot of builds, but more than it replaces Drawn to the Flame, I think it augments it with the new ability to run four mystic Investigation events for throughout and reliability. — Death by Chocolate · 12
Right, my point was a card like Lockpicks is usually better because it does something similar except it does so all scenario long, while this is a one shot effect. If the former doesn't get taboo'd, I really don't see this one getting taboo'd. And yes I recognize this also could trigger Diana's ability, but that doesn't seem particularly reliable outside of some very specific scenarios. I agree that I mostly see this card being run alongside DTTF for clue compression in some Mystics and in particular with Sefina. — StyxTBeuford · 557
Segment of Onyx

This card is as amazing as it is fun to play. Its overpowered action-compression () and variance mitigation (test less clues/evade) effects are balanced by the fact that you have to gather 3 cards to bring the Pendant of the Queen into play. Because of this and also because it takes allot of deck space, this card should only be used if you are building a deck around it.

What’s the best strategy to use with the Segment of Onyx

The possible strategies you can use to find the Segments of Onyx are search, mill or a combination of both. I consider a pure search build the best way to assemble the pendant, since searching reduces variance or even eliminates it so you will get the Pendant of the Queen faster than the most aggressive mill decks ever could. I would also recommend not adding pure mill cards like Preposterous Sketches or Cryptic Research to your search deck, because through your search actions you will be pulling 1, 2, 3 or even 4 extra cards out of your deck per turn so you will be milling just by searching. Here are some of the best search synergy cards: Mr. "Rook", Astounding Revelation, No Stone Unturned (5), Old Book of Lore. At 0 XP Backpack and Calling in Favors are also good.

What is the best investigator to play with Segment of Onyx?

Mandy Thompson, the queen of search, should be the best investigator for this build right? Actually, I prefer Daisy Walker because of 3 reasons:

  1. Her Weakness doesn’t cancel searches and she can use No Stone Unturned(5) in turn 1.

  2. She can play Recharge. This is the most important reason why I prefer Daisy over Mandy. Once I have Pendant of the Queen in play and 1 copy of Eldritch Inspiration in my hand then every Recharge becomes a copy of Pendant of the Queen that cost 0 resources to play.

  3. She can trigger the Old Book of Lore more often than Mandy and without losing an action. Once her Old Book of Lore of Lore is in play Daisy’s searching power is almost as good as Mandy’s.

Piloting the Pendant of the Queen

The Pendant of the Queen is inutitive and easy to use, here are some guidelines:

  1. Use the free and test less evade effect only in case of emergency (to save someone from certain doom or scape from an enemy when your bodyguard can’t help).
  1. Use the teleport action only if it would save you at least 2 actions and save 1 charge if you know that at some point you will want to teleport across the map.

  2. Use the free clue trigger only in locations with 4+ shroud or in locations where investigating is risky (locations that drain your resources just by standing there or investigating).

Example of good piloting in a 2 player game:

You move to investigate in a 1-3 shroud location with 4+ clues. While you clean this location of clues, you use your Pendant of the Queen to clean the 2 clues at the 4-5 shroud dead end location your fellow investigator/bodyguard revealed. Using the Pendant of the Queen you saved 2+ investigate actions and 2+ move actions (you don’t have to move in and out of that remote location). This shows the action-compression and variance mitigation power of this card.

Cons of running the Pendant of the Queen

  1. Tight deck space. The Segment of Onyx takes allot of deck space and can compete with other OP cards like Ancient Stone. Nevertheless the variance mitigation of a search deck allows us to play many of our best cards as one-offs, without skipping their powerful effects. In other words I can run only 1 copy of Ancient Stone in my search deck and still the probability of me seen it and using it is higher than in a normal deck that runs 2 copies and no search.

  2. Many cards are needed to make it work. Indeed, but many of those are search cards and the search strategy is strong even if the Segment of Onyx wouldn’t exist.

  3. The only true problem of this strategy is the lack of access to Adaptable of Daisy and Mandy. This means you have to expend XP on some lvl 0 cards once you get the Segment of Onyx or start your campaign with some suboptimal cards, namely 2 copies of Enrapturedand 1 copy of Eldritch Inspiration. This is not great but also not terrible.

Final Words

I really like the mechanics, balance and strenght of this card. If you like seekers (especially Daisy and Mandy) I would recommend trying it. To be fair constructing the perfect deck to go with the Segment of Onyx is no easy task and at the moment there are almost no decks on Arkham DB that focus on exploiting the Pendant of the Queen. Most of the published decks just run it as an afterthought/gimmick and the few that do focus it (1 or 2) are Mandy builds that are just ok. I do plan to publish a full in depth guide and build with Daisy but I still have to do some more playtesting and refinements, so this is as much insight as I can provide right now.

Alogon · 264
I’m on the fence on whether Eldritch Inspiration really makes Recharge perfect (I’ve considered the same combo in Luke for his Gate Box). It certainly removes the risk, but whether it guarantees the charges depends on whether the ‘Otherwise’ in the last sentence refers to the first (trigger condition: reveal a spooky token) or second (effect: discard the relic/spell) clause of the preceding sentence. If the later, then it clearly guarantees, but if the former it should just do nothing. Eldritch Inspiration doesn’t actually cancel the token reveal, so it is not ‘otherwise’ from the circumstances of a spooky token having been revealed. Neither discard nor three charges. Otherwise, I fully agree with your assessments of Segment of Onyx! :) — Death by Chocolate · 12
The devil is always in the detail! I see the problem the same way, the interaction between Eldritch Inspiration and Recharge depends on what the word "Otherwise" refers to, namely the revelation of the b*s token or the resolution of the negative effect (discarding the asset). In Reddit people say that "Otherwise" refers to the revelation of the token, so if you draw a b*s token you aren't getting those sweet extra 3 charges no matter what. Nevertheless I have asked for an official ruling and will edit the review ASAP. If Eldritch Inspiration dosn't guarantee extra charges then the only alternatives are Premonition and Olive McBride :C ... — Alogon · 264
Jessica Hyde

First review!

This card seems made for Tommy Muldoon:

  1. expendable ally;
  2. boost to useful stat;
  3. preexisting damage is not bad at all because for Tommy that damage means resources, so he can play a “fast” Jessica Hyde for net 1 resource, or keep a “slow” one for the soak and boost. Cards with several “roles” are really nice to have in this game since you can tactically adjust to situation.
  4. immediate fodder for Rookie Mistake.
  5. [meta] right cycle, so the designers probably planned it.

Poor girl. Seems like she’ll be sacrificed by Tommy a lot. At least empirically in my game, Tommy (played by my partner) has sacrificed more people than all the “bad guys” combined...

krzhang · 3
She seems tailor-made for Calvin to me. Static boost to combat plus the ability to regulate damage for the rest of the game once she hits the table ? That's very powerful. Team her up with Peter Sylvestre and he becomes almost invulnerable. — Sassenach · 53
I think Calvin and Yorick like her best. Calvin with Jessica + Sylvestre is ridiculously strong. Yorick would love to play 4 Beat Cops if he could, but Jessica is a close second. — StyxTBeuford · 557
I think those combos are good too. I do like my reason (5) though, if we are trying to read the minds of the designers =D — krzhang · 3
Taunt

Does this card have a place in a deck that isn't Zoey's? Yes, in one very specific case, which I'll get to in the last paragraph:

Taunt shares a theme with certain other fast cards; Shortcut, Working a Hunch, and Sleight of Hand, come to mind. Cards that involve a fast version of a basic action that any investigator can do, such as moving, discovering a clue, playing an item card, or engaging an enemy, as the above examples provide.

Thing is, some basic actions are more valuable, and needed more often, than others. Take the humble move action; every investigator is going to be moving between locations, in every scenario, from start to finish, regardless of class, role, or objective. It guarantees the usefulness of Shortcut, made even better when it's use can be applied to any investigator at your location, nor just the card holder. Same with discovering a clue, same with playing a item asset.

Engaging an enemy just isn't one of those actions. For an engage action to be taken, there must be an enemy at your location that's either exhausted, or engaged with another player. Even then, only the latter really calls for an engage action to be taken, and EVEN THEN it's completely optional, as all engagement does is eliminate the risk of the other investigator taking damage, either by your hand, or the enemy's. It makes justifying a card slot solely to be able to taunt faster very difficult, as it doesn't actually help perform a guardian's primary role, and non-guardians will be more likely to want to AVOID enemies, not Taunt them. So then why, other than being Zoey Samaras, would you want to include Taunt in your deck?:

To eliminate the downside of Flamethrower... yeah that's pretty much it. Flamethrower harshens the downside of not being engaged with an enemy, which makes engage actions more valuable, which makes Taunt more valuable. If you're running Flamethrower, consider running Taunt.

Lucaxiom · 75
How many players there are in your party probably makes a difference. I ran this with Zoey and one other investigator and I never used it and swapped it out after a few missions. Four players though means more enemies, so maybe more useful? Also, being Fast means you avoid an attack of opportunity engaging a monster when you're already engaged (I think that's right?) which can be helpful. However, I don't think either of those really change much, and I agree that this card generally just doesn't cut it. — Octo · 46
Well, sometimes if you engage an enemy, it does more then just eliminating the risk of the other investigator taking damage. If you swing machete, it's +1 damage for every attack. Sometimes you just need the action to engage to kill the enemy and can't do it without Taunt. Of course you don't see machete as much as before taboo... Another thing is, if you are not sure, whether you are able to kill the enemy with your, let's say, last action, then engaging the enemy will also enable your seeker to use his/her turn instead of having to run away and fail with it. So I think it really depends on your group composition. — trazoM · 1
Small remark: one case of use was forgotten: aloof enemies. So in some scenarios, taunt is quite useful tanks to that — MoiMagnus · 13
Mk 1 Grenades

This is not a review so much as a response to the FAQ entry on the interaction between Mk 1 Grenades and Marksmanship. It ends with a statement that “the bonus +1 damage from Marksmanship would be dealt to the attacked enemy, and not to the other enemies at the location.” This is not necessarily true, it should be clear that the Grenades won’t deal ANY damage ‘to the other enemies at the location’ or even ‘the attacked enemy’ if you targeted an enemy at an adjacent location. Mk 1 Grenades damage ‘each enemy and each other investigator at YOUR location’ INSTEAD of its standard damage. Because it won’t deal any damage to the attacked enemy from the attack, it can’t deal additional damage for the same reason that Deduction can’t discover additional clues when used with Burglary or Unearth the Ancients.

If FFG wants the Mk 1 Grenades to work with Marksmanship, they would need to say ‘each enemy and each other investigator at the attacked enemy’s location.’ Or have Marksmanship work like Luke’s ability where you Fight as if you were there.

(If Marksmanship is used on an enemy at your location, of course the additional damage will apply if the condition is met.)

It does not make sense to differentiate between different locations. The standard damage effect is replaced in both cases, so I would say that the additional damage should not apply in both cases, if there is no (any additional damage is dealt to the attack enemy) clause. But there is. So it is what it is. — ak45 · 68
This looks as a completely unintended consequence of the wording. The FAQ implicitly answer that the interaction should work as expected (damages can be done at another location), and not as written (which would be "damage only work at your location"). Within the text of Grenades, "your location" and "the enemy location" are synonymous, hence interchangeable. While I agree that for interactions purposes, it would have been better to write "at the enemy location", I think it would have been more confusing as a wording than "at your location" — MoiMagnus · 13