Blackjack

Let's give Blackjack a new review, long after it's debut and after the Taboo List has given it a better chance of viability, now Machete cost 2 exp:

I can summarise the benefit of including Blackjack in your deck in one word: consistency. I'd argue that it is the single most consistent weapon in the entire game, as is espouses multiple facets of that virtue:

  • It's cheap, meaning that you'll be hard pressed to not be able to play it from the moment it enters your hand.
  • It's has unlimited usage: no "uses: X", exhaust, or discard conditions.
  • It eliminates the difference between an attack on an enemy in some else's threat area and an attack on an enemy anywhere else.

Arkham Horror has a wonderful unpredictability to it, that often means your best laid plans when crafting the ultimate deck will not survive first contact with the mythos. Everything from the catch-22 of not being able to play a weapon without incurring an attack of opportunity from an engaged enemy, to the unpredictableness of where any enemy will show up, who it engages, and what dastardly text will be written on it to counter certain investigator staples. To those that have been burned too many times by this damnable chaos, Blackjack will offer some reprieve.

Is it a good weapon? Hell no; it's a one cost asset after all. With no zero cost weapons in existence yet, Blackjack represents the bargain barrel deal of armaments. But it's cheapness is a strength in it's own:

  • Discarding assets is a worryingly common punishment that the mythos will mete out; the best counter to this is to offer a cheap tribute that will keep you far more valuable allies and weapons around, like Blackjack.
  • You may want a few extra weapons in you deck to increase the likelihood of drawing one at the start, but if you're already strapped for cash, a cheap card like Blackjack may be able to buy you time until your better weapons show up, and until you acquire the resources to play them.

In the end, this card isn't going to be a part of any fancy combo, nor the centrepiece to any deck, nor the subject of a memorable moment in your Arkham Horror career, but this does not make it a bad card, just a boringly average one.

Lucaxiom · 75
I just can't see how this card is "average" at all. It's easily one of the 10 worst cards in the game. As for the two upsides you point out: if you're looking for a cheap item to protect your more valuable stuff from the encounter deck, there are tons of cheap options out there available to every investigator that--unlike Blackjack--actually are sometimes useful to have in play. As to the point about having redundant weapons, I agree that this is important. But Blackjack fails here. Since it cannot deal +1 damage, it simply cannot effectively fill this role. — CaiusDrewart · 1515
I have to agree with Caius, it's one of the worst possible cards you can include in your deck because it effectively does nothing. For 1 resource you could have had Knife, which at least gives you the option to hit for 2 damage if you need it, or for one more resource you could have had Kukri to hit for 2 if you manage to succeed and have the extra action to spare. Heck, you could have even slotted in Prepared for the Worst and grabbed an actually good weapon like the Thompson or the Enchanted Blade. — StyxTBeuford · 557
I dont see the average either. Never ever have I played this in a deck and not wished it was a Knife — Tsuruki23 · 833
Close Call

So, several cycles later, this card still isn't a must-have, but it's still good, if situational. The main use for it is dealing with enemies with either attachments or tokens that you want to reset: the most obvious is any kind of cultist picking up doom. In that sense, it has gotten competition in the form of Dumb Luck. Dumb Luck costs 0 XP and has arguably better skill icons, but there are still reasons to take Close Call.

For one, Dumb Luck requires you to be the one doing the evading. This is a bigger deal than it might seem, especially when coupled with the second problem, which is that you have to exactly fail by 1 or by 2. Technically you could fail by 0, I suppose. If you really need to get an enemy with doom off the table, having to figure out how to set up the "correct" failure can be a precious waste of time, especially if you accidentally succeed and have to engage the enemy again.

So far, I've mostly played Close Call near the end of the Forgotten Age. Especially in the scenario Shattered Aeons, being able to take certain enemies off the table for a bit can be a very needed moment of relief. And don't forget you can Close Call your fellow investigators' evades as well, so even someone like William Yorick or "Ashcan" Pete who might not be evading much could slot one or two of this in.

wern212 · 23
Joey "The Rat" Vigil

Over-costed as HECK. holy moly. Joey "The Rat" Vigil costs 4 resources to play and a resource to use! If you want to save some item-playing actions just go and get Leo De Luca, by the time the former has saved you 2 actions he actually has cost you the same amount as just playing a Leo De Luca who generates flexible and omni-usable actions in spades.

I'm not one of those players who thinks Leo De Luca is an autopick, I think the high cost offsets his usefulness a lot, Joey "The Rat" Vigil has all of Leo De Luca's weaknesses and none of that strength, I.E, Joey "The Rat" Vigil is largely doing the same thing Leo De Luca does, but he is way, way, WAAAAAAYYYY worse.

Yes. If you want to nit pick. Joey "The Rat" Vigil does his thing in a window, meaning that you can replace an empty gun or the like mid-combat, this niche is nowhere NEAR good enough to match the omni-usefulness of Leo.

Note that even if Leo didn't exist, Joey "The Rat" Vigil would still be garbage. I MIGHT put him in play for 2 resources, meaning that you'dd play Joey for sheer stats, have no such allies and desperately need one, Joey "The Rat" Vigil should have been that ally.

Tsuruki23 · 833
I agree that Joey's too expansive. But for Preston he's pretty fun, especially with all the cheap survivor soaks. — Django · 2055
Yeah, the Leo comparison is pretty sad here. Even if you activate Joey's ability every single turn without fail, I think Leo's passive +1 action is still far superior. And, of course, you won't realistically be able to achieve anything close to that with Joey. — CaiusDrewart · 1515
Shortcut

I find it quite interesting that the level 0 version of Shortcut does not count as a move action, but because of the bold action designator present on this level 2 version, a single use of it DOES count as a move action (albeit one you get to perform for free and without provoking attacks of opportunity thanks to it being a free triggered ability). There are scenario cards where this matters; any Forced ability that responds to an investigator using a "move action" will occur with this "upgraded" version, but it won't for the level 0 version. (A certain location in the first scenario for Path to Carcosa comes to mind.)

Alice Luxley

At first glance, Alice Luxley invites natural comparisons to Dr. Milan Christopher, but with more careful consideration, it becomes clear that she's a completely different beast altogether.

Ms. Luxley's reaction ability seems quite unremarkable in solo mode, but becomes noticeably stronger on teams - the larger, the beter. The reason is that if you're playing solo and you're at the same location as an enemy, you are most likely engaged with it. Thus you're probably spending your actions fighting (or otherwise dealing with the enemy) rather than looking for clues. As such, Alice's reaction ability is going to trigger a lot less frequently than you'd probably like for that 4-resource installation cost. Now, there are other ways to discover clues that won't trigger an attack of opportunity (Working a Hunch, for example), and sure, it's great to be able to dispatch a Whippoorwill or some other Aloof enemy; but these situations tend to be exceptions, not the rule.

On the other hand, with more players you'll frequently find yourself in situations where an enemy in engaged with another investigator, and this is where Alice's ability really comes in handy.

As other reviewers have mentioned, she's a good fit for Carolyn Fern, but I think she's even better with Roland Banks. With Roland, you can set off a nice chain reaction where you kill an enemy, thereby discovering a clue, and finally using Alice's ability to damage (and hopefully kill) another enemy. Timed correctly, Alice and Roland can do some real crowd control. The nice part about this combo is that since no investigation actions are required, Alice is maybe OK even for solo Roland (but I still think he has better ally options).

I don't know if I'd seriously consider Alice Luxley in a William Yorick deck (with his lower ), but you can see the potential for some fun combos there as well.

bricklebrite · 41
Her ability was rather unimpressive in 2player with carolyn and agnes. In best case i used her abiliy like 2 times in a scenario (but might be tactical error on my side, not planning ahead to leave a clue for next turn or move to a new location) — Django · 2055
The problem with using her in Carolyn is there's not really a solid way for Carolyn to grab clues while dealing with enemies at the same time. You'd ideally want someone who can evade and investigate, or who grabs clues by other means. That's why I'm surprised no one has mentioned Skids yet, as putting Skids at 4 investigate (with Lockpicks access) and being able to Lola/Intel Report clues away and ping Hatched Man'd evaded enemies seems like a great fit for Alice. — StyxTBeuford · 557
I think she was meant for Joe Diamond. “Let’s play Working a Hunch for free from my hunch deck and also deal 1 damage at the same time” or Scene of the Crime. — Ezhaeu · 17