Mr. "Rook"

Out of curiosity, I decided to pick apart each basic weakness in the game, and how effective Rook is at mitigating the timing of them:

Core Set

Amnesia - This one could go either way. If you have Amnesia in your deck, you should aim to play the assets you can before playing Rook. If you expect to draw lots of cards (and since you have access to Rook you likely do), the earlier this is played the better. Take note of when Higher Education needs to be online for you, and figure out when best to time Amnesia. If the 1 card left in your hand is Cryptic Research, you should be alright.

Paranoia - Already one of the most benign weaknesses, but with Rook it's trivial. Extra points for playing Rook with exactly 3 resources left in the pool.

Haunted, Psychosis, and Hypochondria - Action 1: play Rook; Action 2&3, goodbye weakness. Not a bad opening play at all, or anytime you have an extra turn to deal with it. Rook definitely helps with these.

Mob Enforcer - Best played right after an Emergency Cache to help Parley him effectively. Great timing here.

Silver Twilight Acolyte - Best played after you get some weapons out. You can also time this on a round the agenda would advance anyway to mitigate the doom for 1 round. Definitely be cautious about this one- it could be a short scenario if you happen to whiff on killing this guy. Low combat investigators should probably keep this one buried as long as possible, especially if playing solo.

Stubborn Detective - As above, make sure you have a weapon for this guy. Joe Diamond and Roland Banks can maybe afford to be a bit riskier with him (fitting, as they are stubborn detectives themselves). Be cautious with Finn Edwards, as he can more easily evade the detective and can probably even generate some Pickpocketing economy with him, but will lose the free evade action each turn. I'd say for low combat solo investigators you're better off keeping the Detective buried as long as you can- even evasive investigators don't want this guy chasing them all scenario long.

Dunwich Legacy

Indebted - Obviously this doesn't go in your deck, so Rook can't mitigate this at all. This means that if you draw a weakness, it'll always be your investigator specific one until a scenario makes you add an extra weakness to your deck. Downside here is no choice from drawing 2 weaknesses at once, but the upside is you only have to prepare for one possible weakness every time.

Internal Injury and Chronophobia - See above for the equivalent Core Set two action weaknesses.

Through the Gates - By drawing it early you wont get blindsided if the top card of the library happens to be some important asset you have in play (e.g. Lightning Gun). The only other way to make use of the timing on this is to set up the top card of your library. Something like Scroll of Secrets for example could really help here.

Path to Carcosa

Overzealous - No one likes drawing two encounter cards, even if they get to choose when it happens. This one depends heavily on the investigator and the player count. If you have the opportunity to be in the vicinity of other investigators who can commit to tests, then play Rook. If you're playing solo and the encounter deck is full of enemies, then Roland Banks can actually get some value from this, though he'll still probably have at least one skill check out of the two cards. If on the other hand you have an encounter deck full of Hexes and Terrors, and you happen to be Finn Edwards, you don't play Rook unless you have a stockpile of Guts and Logical Reasoning.

Drawing the Sign - See above for the equivalent Core Set two action weaknesses.

The Thing That Follows - This one should be kept buried as long as possible, so Rook doesn't help here.

The Forgotten Age

Dark Pact - You definitely don't want to draw into Dark Pact ever, no amount of timing really helps with it since it's not a Revelation based weakness. You can't mitigate the doom on The Price of Failure either, so at best you can use Rook to time the damage so that you have time to heal it instead of being assaulted all at once towards the end of a scenario. Overall though I'd say Rook hurts more than he helps this one.

Doomed - I love the idea that you can use Rook to kill your investigator faster and start fresh. Draw Doomed twice in scenario 1, draw into Accursed Fate twice in scenario 2, then The Bell Tolls in scenario 2 or 3, starting fresh in scenario 3 or 4. It might even be faster than that, I'm not sure- getting to the death card in scenario 1 seems very unlikely to me though. Some people will get a kick out of that, but at the end of the day if you're trying to mitigate your basic weakness, Rook is the single worst thing you could do for yourself.

The Circle Undone

The 13th Vision - See above for the equivalent two action Core Set weaknesses.

The Tower • XVI - Definitely similar to Mob Enforcer. Make sure you have the resources to pay for this: 3 for Rook, 4 for the Tower, so 7 total. I would argue that Rook is slightly less effective here since you can't shuffle away The Tower when you draw your opening hand, so there's a good chance that you'll deal with it turn 1 action 1 anyway.

Final Thoughts

Overall I'd say Rook definitely helps mitigate most of the basic weaknesses in the game. There are some where Rook is less helpful than you'd like him to be for the Opportunity Cost of putting him in your deck, and there are a couple that are actually much worse if drawn early. Cards like No Stone Unturned and Eureka! are probably better suited for drawing the cards you need without triggering such a weakness. Of course none of this matters much if you're building a combo based deck- Rook is the man for decks that need a specific card or set of cards to work.

Bonus Round: Notable Investigator Specific Weaknesses

Cover Up - Always better drawn early than late. Roland loves Rook.

Rex's Curse - This one should be kept buried as long as possible since it gets shuffled back in anyway. Rex hates Rook.

Searching for Izzie - My goodness this one is such a pain to complete unless it's drawn early. Jenny loves Rook. Just be mindful of the locations in play and make sure you don't block yourself off from wherever it should land (e.g. locations that say "You can't move into X" which need their effect taken away somehow late in the scenario).

The King in Yellow - Stockpile on skill cards, then play Rook. Definitely better than being caught off guard after an important skill check.

Crisis of Identity - I misread Crisis originally, so here's an update: If you play Rook and he draws into this, you have to discard Rook from play along with any other Seeker cards, which honestly isn't so bad- 3 resources and 1 card to grab a card you really need and cancel a Crisis is still good. So obviously you want to do this earlier rather than later, as in before all the Seeker assets end up in play. Also, since there's two Crises in the deck, you have a much higher chance of drawing one along with your basic weakness, so if your basic weakness is really terrible, there's less risk when playing him. Lola is also the kind of investigator who benefits from draw and tutoring effects, so Rook is well suited for her.

Unsolved Case - Again, a lot like Indebted. You'll only have your basic weakness in your main deck, so you only have to prepare for that one weakness when playing Rook (still keeping 1 resource on reserve to pay for Unsolved Case next turn should it come up).

StyxTBeuford · 158
King in Yellow is another investigator specific weakness that could be mitigated nicely here. It can be brutal i you draw it right after you just committed all the cards you need to get rid of it, but if you can grab it when you're ready for it then it's pretty easy to deal with, and the action you have to take to do that will usually be a benefit of some kind. — Sassenach · 41
This is a really great review. Hadn't thought about Rook letting you mitigate weaknesses by giving you more control over when you draw them. Great stuff! — aeongate · 7
Rational Thought (Carolyn): Is also better drawn earlier (or not at all), when there's no horror to heal yet. Worst timing would be, drawing it when someone's in dire need of sanity. — Django · 1819
Raise the Stakes

Q: Can I chose option to lose 5 resources when I don't have that much, but still has some resources ? Sorry for question here but I coundn't find way to put it in FAQ...............................................

el_cyd · 1
Yes. See the second FAQ entry on this card: https://arkhamdb.com/card/02169 — jd90 · 11
You are only allowed to make a choice in a situation like this if it would change the board state as it presently exists. So if you don't have five resources, but you at least have *some* resources, then you'd be changing the board state by selecting that option, so it's a valid option to select. — cb42 · 16
Torrent of Power

Let's review a bit what Torrent of Power of power does:

  • If you don't spend any charge, you only get a icon, making it strictly inferior to Unexpected Courage
  • If you spend one charge, you get a icons boost, making it slightly better than an Unexpected Courage or a Guts in terms of raw icons, but the additional may not be relevant (so it would not be better than Unexpected Courage in this case) and you don't get to draw (so not overall better than Guts)
  • If you spend two charges, you get which starts to look like a huge boost, but at this point the icons start to be less relevant and more overkill
  • If you spend three charges, you get a boost which would probably pass any test, but now we are looking at a really expensive one-shot test pass tool.

Contrary to the above review, I believe that this card does not justifies the inclusion of fringe spells. Fringe spells were that way because they range from bad to barely average. Now, combining these spells with Torrent of Power sure is a combo, but not a particularly impressive one. Say that you add Alchemical Transmutation to your deck in hope to spend your charges on Torrent of Power: even if you happen to draw both at the same time, it is unlikely that you will need to spend all the charges just for a particular skill test, and will be left on the board with a useless Alchemical Transmutation. In other words, you will have drafted into your deck Torrent of Power (maybe instead of Unexpected Courage) and Alchemical Transmutation (instead of any card that is actually good) just to get a single boost on a single test. And if you don't draw them at the same time, they are actually useless. Worse, Alchemical Transmutation could just be sitting here, clogging you arcane slots (and if you are running Sign Magick for the sole reason of using Torrent of Power, you now have 1 additional card to find to get your combo going, and the price of this card is added to the price of the combo)! Cards that are bad alone are rarely good when put together, and when the combined use is not particularly strong it is just better to skip these cards.

Besides, the fact that you have to spend charges from an asset also means that you are essentially paying to power up Torrent of Power. If you use a charge from Rite of Seeking, you are using one third of the charges of a spell that costed 1 card / 4 resources / 1 action to play, or in other word you are paying an additional cost of 0.3 card / 1.3 resources / 0.3 action to get an additional boost. Compare this to Unexpected Courage that would additionally cost you 0 card / 0 resource / 0 action to provide you with a boost, only missing out a sole icon that may not even be relevant to the test you are trying to pass - not a great deal. On top of that you are now out of one charge on your Rite of Seeking, and Mystics don't like being out of charges on their spells because that's what they use for most of their skill tests, and are essentially sitting ducks without their them.

The nail in the coffin is that you may in the end just fail the skill test (maybe through a ). Yes, you may fail any skill test, but failing a skill test on which you haven't committed anything is vastly different from failing a skill test on which you have committed 1 card and 3 charges, or just 1 card if you had used Unexpected Courage or Guts instead.

So, is Torrent of Power that bad? No, but it's situational, and has to be played correctly. It is best used on assets with charges that are situational but good (meaning that you probably have charges to spare), cheap and have a lot of charges (meaning that spending a charge is overall less expensive), like Clarity of Mind (3), Mists of R'lyeh, and Grotesque Statue (though this last one rarely has too many charges). So instead of playing bad cards and hope to get a value from them through Torrent of Power, you are now playing good cards that you can use to power up Torrent of Power without feeling that you have weakened your deck or that you have to wait for an incredibly difficult test to spend 3 charges to make it worth.

As for specific investigators, Torrent of Power gets better in an Akachi Onyele decks who has additional charges to spare and Spirit-Speaker for even more charges. It is also probably better in investigators decks that could use huge boosts due to their low base willpower (meaning that they would get more flexibility at using more charges), such as Carolyn Fern or Daisy Walker, tough it will be in tough competition for a deck slot as these investigators' job is not primarily to use Mystics spells and may simply not run enough of them. It may also be reasonable for investigators who use spells with a 4 base willpower, including most Mystics or Sefina Rousseau, but I'd probably skip this on Agnes Baker who don't really need such a boost due to her 5 base willpower.

In the end, I believe Torrent of Power is neither good nor bad, but mainly depends on your deck building which should probably include at least 3 different assets with charges to ensure a good versatility. if you want to draft this card, you should probably take the time to consider Guts and Unexpected Courage as well. Maybe you're going to end up running all three, maybe you're going to end up running none, but you should really weight your options depending on where your deck is going.

Alleria · 51
Enchanted Blade also uses charges. Again, in the lvl0 version these are limited and you probably wouldn't want to spend them unless you absolutely have to, but it's another non-marginal source to tap from if need be. I've been playing Akachi with Enchanted Blade(3) a fair bit lately. It hits the board with 5 charges when she uses it, and it's mostly there for either swinging at 1 health enemies without spending a charge or powering up for a 2 charge, 3 damage hit. Either way you have at least 1 'spare' charge from it, or 3 if you like while still leaving room for one big shot later in the game. — Sassenach · 41
Two things : — Okami · 8
1) With Akachi, Song of the Dead comes with 6 charges (and can be usefull to deal with Angered Spirits anyway). 2) Torrent of power can be used to help your teammates against tricky teacheries, a +7 Willpower bonus may save their lives. It happens to me on the first game. — Okami · 8
Sassenach - Enchanted Blade is indeed a good candidate for fueling Torrent of Power, though this is mostly relevant for Akashi, who's probably the best investigator for using Torrent of Power regardless. - - - Okami - Song of the Dead is one of these fringe, sub-par spells that you're probably better off not drafting at all (except maybe if you go for some weird skull token strategy with Jim idk). Besides, my group has ran Akashi for 2 campaigns and feeding Angered Spirit has never been an issue, so I'd advise against drafting al (sub-par) spell for the sole purpose of getting rid of it. — Alleria · 51
De Vermis Mysteriis

So this card is extremely interesting to me, maybe one of the most interesting cards in this cycle so far. It provides a new effect in mystic, being able to recur your events, but comes with some significant restrictions.

I think first of all I want to discuss the value of the effect here. It can sort of be considered to be a form of card draw, since you are getting access to a new card. But if you have multiple events in your discard pile it can also be card selection, rather than just gaining an extra card you get to choose from several. Then, with the same action as drawing the card you get to play it. So in a sense it can be considered to be compressing an upgraded draw action and a "play an event" action into a single action. Then you add on the resource cost reduction, and it can sort of be considered to be 3 actions worth of effect in one action. However, I think this is actually underselling the power of the card. Because you aren't just getting to draw and play a card but you are also getting extra uses of a given effect. If you are building around this card and playing lots of powerful Spell and Insight events then you may be doubling the number of times you get to use the most powerful cards in your deck. That's much more powerful than just drawing a card. So obviously, this effect has to come with some downsides or it would be busted. The downsides are pretty significant, so I want to break them down one by one.

Firstly, putting a doom on itself to use the ability means one of a few things: Either you are waiting to use this during the midnight hour, you are losing a turn to use it, or you are combining it with something like Moonlight Ritual to handle the doom. Most likely you are probably wanting to do some combination of those things, and think this flexibility with how you handle the doom makes this cost a little less steep than it initially seems. Most scenarios will give you at least 2 free uses of this card during the midnight hour, with many giving you more than that. 2xp, 2 resources and a pre-emptive action to get to recur 2+ events is already fairly reasonable though not amazing (and of course bear in mind that you might not be able to draw in time to use all those midnight hours). Some knowledge of scenarios helps here as there are some scenarios that have significantly more than 2 midnight hours (Depths of Yoth comes to mind) so there may be campaigns that this over-performs on in this regard.

Adding to these considerations around the midnight hour, you can also add the fact that sometimes you just have spare turns on some scenarios, or have events that are worth more than a single turn. This is probably a less common scenario due to some properties of the specific events this can be used with (I'll discuss this in a minute), but it bears mentioning. The Pallid Mask in particular has a very long last agenda, with your time instead being constrained by the specific act 3.

Managing the doom on this card with Moonlight Ritual can also be worthwhile, this lets you go ham on using this card every turn and then clear it off right before the agenda advances. Amusingly, Moonlight Ritual is Insight and spell traited, so you can actually use this to replay your ritual and clear off all the doom including the one you just placed. Worst case, you can also manage the doom by just playing an asset over this too. If you are building around this plan then you're going to want to be running a lot of events that are generically powerful, so that you can expect to fire one off every turn without having to contort your gameplan too much. This is a little easier said than done because of the sort of cards that are Spell or Insight traited, but I'll get to that.

The next restriction is the symbol. This makes the card a little awkward, as Fast cards now take an action, cards with Fight or Evade now provoke attacks of opportunity. The former case isn't the end of the world, making Fast cards slow is sort of off-set by the cost reduction, but you'd still rather be using this on cards that take a full action normally. The latter though makes those cards a lot less appealing, get out of dodge cards like Banish are suddenly a lot less safe, and trying to repeatedly fight using spell events is going to run out your health pool very quickly. This also importantly means that reactive cards like Ward of Protection can't be recurred, which is a shame because those are some of the more powerful cards to play multiple times.

It also removes the event from the game, this basically makes sense for this sort of recursion card and I dont think there's a whole lot else to say about it.

This also only works on Spell and Insight cards, which is quite a long list particularly in Mystic. So this gives us a set of restrictions on the sort of events we want to include to synergize with this card: spell or insight cards that are still functional and worthwhile as a and which are ideally worth losing a turn for. There's also the minor point that in theory you can re-play cards that you've committed to tests rather than ones you've played, so like I suppose if an event has good icons thats worth considering.

I've gone ahead and compiled a list of noteworthy cards by class:

Guardian

Emergency Aid - This seems potentially very worthwhile, saving yourself or an ally from death is usually worth more than a turn, and this can be used as a throwaway event for a midnight hour usage.

Scene of the Crime - You will suffer AoOs if the enemy is engaged with you, but you can use this when an enemy is engaged with someone else, or an aloof enemy. It is even more restrictive than De Vermis Mysteriis normally would be, because of the bold restriction. However, you're likely already playing this card in a lot of guardian decks so its all upside.

Mystic

Astral Travel - if you were playing this card anyway you'll probably want it for 1 resource less. There are some scenarios where jumping about the map is saving you a lot more than 1 turn worth of actions, particularly in Carcosa. However, for a lot of scenarios where Astral Travel is good its only actually good once. Escaping the Doom of Eztli for example. There's the corner case where you commit Astral Travel to a test to evade an enemy and then use the book to play it from your discard and get out of there, which is fun.

Drawn to the Flame - This is definitely one of the more powerful cards to play repeatedly. Unfortunately you dont get to make use of the resource discount here but getting 2 testless clues multiple times in a scenario is very powerful and may often be worth losing a turn if the shroud of the location is particularly high, or the punishment for failing a test particularly severe.

Moonlight Ritual - I mentioned this above but this feels like a bit of freebie include if you are planning on going ham with the book.

Recharge - Hey now we're getting somewhere, what's better than extending the shelf-life of your spells once? Doing it twice! My feeling is that if you want Recharge you probably want it multiple times. Obviously if the first use discards your spell then you might not have a target for the second one, which does mean this card has diminishing returns somewhat. I think there's also the slight cross purpose where Recharge wants you to have use spell assets but Mysterious Vermin wants spell events, but I think this balance can be negotiated.

Storm of Spirits - Usual caveats about AoOs apply here, though this is one that you are actually a lot more likely to be using on a monster engaged with someone else, since you likely want to use it when there's multiple enemies in play.

Rogue

None, sorry.

Seeker

"I've got a plan!" - AoOs etc. this card is great for helping out with boss killing, though it does come at a hefty resource cost so playing it a bunch of times might not always be viable. When you do have the money for it though this will potentially threaten 8 damage from one card which is Not Bad.

Cryptic Research, Preposterous Sketches, Preposterous Sketches - Probably only worth it during the midnight hour but 3 cards for an action is a perfectly good rate, and if you're building around Mysterious Vermin then it can help you to find it in the first place.

Deciphered Reality - Yeah so this is good. When I talked about cards that are worth losing a turn to replay, this is basically what I was thinking about. Of course you need 7 resources to play this twice which is not pocket change, but the payoff is 2 clues from every location in the game, which is obviously ridiculous.

Logical Reasoning - Same basic points apply to this as to Emergency Aid, when it saves someone from death its usually worth a turn, and its fine to chuck out on the Midnight Hour just to get a use in.

Persuasion - AoOs etc. This card is already scenario dependent, if there are lots of humanoids its usually pretty good. That means you'll know if you want this card, and if you do you may well want a way to repeatedly play it.

Truth from Fiction - So I wrote a review for this card that needs updating, but basically its an archetype card. If you're playing the secrets deck its good, and its probably good multiple times. Incidentally, the investigator for the Secrets deck is most likely Daisy who really likes this tome so hey.

Working a Hunch - Again, this card is likely going to be in a lot of decks anyway. Even at the cost of an action a test-less clue is often worthwhile. It's probably not worth a doom, but its flexible enough that you'll usually be able to fire it on the midnight hour anyway.

Survivor

Alter Fate - It's a little tricky to make this work, it's not reactive in the same way as Ward of Protection that makes it totally unusable, but it is still dependent on the encounter cards you draw to be useful. You wont be saving as many actions as you usually would using Alter Fate, and you may have to pay a doom too as you cant rely on drawing those encounter cards during the midnight hour. Overall its got a low floor and a fairly low ceiling, but in some campaigns every investigator that can take Alter Fate will take it and its sometimes going to be useful to recur it.

In terms of investigators that can play this card, Item and Tome traits dont open this up at all so far so its only characters with default access to Mystic level 2 cards. I think the noteworthy ones are:

Jim Culver who's broad access to level 0 cards makes him a fairly interesting pick. Of course, he can only pick 5 but perhaps a relic Jim with Unearth the Ancients could be fun, of course he has to find a way to pass that test so maybe not... plus the Mystic relic pool is fairly handsy which competes with the book for slots.

Marie Lambeau. Marie loves this card, not only does she have access to a lot of the better cards to use with it but it also gives her another reliable and powerful way to get doom in play to activate her ability. I think this card is likely to become a staple of Marie decks, and may skew her deck building a bit more towards spell events for her ability.

Daisy Walker another home run Tome for Daisy in a cycle that's been full of them. Daisy has access to Deciphered Reality which is probably the most powerful thing you can do with this card. She also is the poster girl for the secrets deck, meaning she might want this card for Truth from Fiction. In general though, her card pool probably has the largest variety of strong insight and spell events, and now she can play them with her Tome action.

Norman Withers its a weird one for Norman, he in theory has access to some strong cards to use with it but he's very xp hungry when it comes to mystic cards so its hard to imagine him having any spare for this. Unlike Daisy he has to pay the full cost for the action too.

Sefina Rousseau she runs a lot of events, many of which will work with De Vermis Mysteriis. She doesn't get any toys from rogue deckbuilding though so she's restricted just to the mystic ones. However, all the mystic events that work with this card are level 0-2 so she really has the same access as the pure mystics, with an additional incentive to load up on events. I think this card may well find a home in some more mystic focused Sefina decks.

Lola Hayes, so you do actually have to be in the class of the event you are playing in order to use this, which again restricts it just to Mystic cards. But again, this means Lola has basically the same access as main class mystics so maybe thats not so bad. Plus, discarding a tome full of doom to her weakness makes it not feel so bad.

Luke Robinson, the spoiled investigator from The Dream Eaters also looks like he might want to glance in this cards direction.

I think in conclusion, this card is clearly very powerful in its effect but the significant costs and restrictions on it limit it to specific decks and specific investigators. I think the power of this card is only going to grow as the number of generically powerful insight and spell events grows.

birdfriender · 125
Unearth the ancients can’t play Mystic cards. Otherwise a very thorough review. I agree with your final point that the card isn’t great yet but will be. Too few of the good spells work with the book’s restrictions at the moment - although I think Daisy is the one who makes a case for it with some pretty strong high level insights that are great to recur. — Death by Chocolate · 10
Can this let me get the VP from a discarded Delve Too Deep? — NewPalpatine · 7
Knowledge is Power

What a card, right?

I've played just a few times with it, using Norman Withers and it was absolutely fantastic. Saves an action and a charge in one go. The obvious scenario is of course to use a standard military-oriented spell (Daisy or Norman option) and be happy about the economy. But there's more. It's fast. Which means that you can do all those things while having an enemy on your back and not causing any attack of opportunity:

Having it in your hand, along with Mists of R'lyeh can save you some time and money too. In this situation you may decide not to setup at all and just rush your way through a scenario, until an enemy shows up.

Interaction with Blood Pact is also something fun to consider. This card then essentially becomes a better version of Steadfast

So what else to say? A fun card to play and plan around.

Onetribe · 169
I may be missing something, but what's the Blood Pact interaction? BP adds doom to itself, not a spell, so you don't get a free boost. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
Blood Pact is a Spell asset, so Knowledge is Power can be played to trigger its free trigger ability without paying its cost (and the doom is part of its cost). — Death by Chocolate · 10
Oh, that's what I missed. Thanks, makes sense now! — TheNameWasTaken · 3