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Rafał Hrynkiewicz
Восход чёрных звёзд #273.
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(from the official FAQ or responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: In order to use True Survivor, do there have to be three Innate skills in a player's discard pile, or can they use it if there are fewer? And if there are three innate skills, can a player choose to return fewer than three to their hand? A: Generally speaking, when resolving an effect, players must resolve as much of the effect as possible, unless the effect offers them a choice (like “up to 3” or using the word “may”). If they cannot resolve the full effect, they must do as much as they can. So in this case, you could still play True Survivor if you had less than 3 Innate skills in your discard pile, and you would have to return as many Innate skills as you could to your hand. If you had 3 Innate skills in your discard pile and you played True Survivor, you would have to return 3 to your hand.
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The combo pontential of this card is pretty good, when combined with Resourceful, as you can return this card to your hand with Resourceful and Resourceful with this card + two other skills.

Once you have two Resourceful in your hand, you can even recover this and any other survivor card each turn.

Theoretically you could play Will to Survive each turn, if you manage to get 6 ressources. "Watch this!" would cover at least half of them and Will to Survive guarantees you succeed any skill test for Resourceful and "Watch this!".

Django · 4963
Wow. Combine this with Hello, this is Dog deck to basically just auto-win Arkham horror. — CecilAlucardX · 10
Unfortunatley "Watch this!" isn't an Innate skill :( — joster · 39

Innate cards, which are those? It's: Unexpected Courage, Guts, Manual Dexterity, Rise to the Occasion, "Not without a fight!", Resourceful and Survival Instinct. Out of faction there's Eureka!, Inquiring Mind, Opportunist, Quick Thinking, Fearless, Defiance and Inspiring Presence.

Some pretty good cards there, Resourceful in particular has big combo potential, you can recurse True Survivor with it and basicly play infinite skill cards.

To routinely hit 2+ cards with True Survivor you need 6+ of them in your deck, preferably as many as 8, that means that you're using Unexpected Courage, the most flexible of the bunch, Resourceful since it further enhances your recursion and its also flexible. The other 2-4 cards would depend on the exact survivor but generally all of them can put "Not without a fight!" to use. I wouldnt take "Not without a fight!" in a deck if you dont intend to get True Survivor.

This is a big nope In Wendy, perhaps the character where it would be the best. If you can stomach the risk of removing all your hard-earned skill cards when you draw her weakness then by all means try it. Mind you that it's not QUITE as bad as it might seem but just keep it in mind when you plan the deck.

Silas Bishop is going to love this card, it's probably going to be very good complement to his skill-heavy ability.

Dog and "Ashcan" Pete can do lots of stuff with True Survivor but perhaps most notably is the fact that he can recurse Inspiring Presence, a very nice combo interaction.

William Yorick can do a similar combo with Inspiring Presence, reloading upgraded Beat Cops for example.

UPDATE: After trying this card a bunch in Silas Marsh I can say that it's a terrific way to reload your hand, but the tempo is so terrible that having enough time and money to pay for just the one True Survivor is difficult enough. You want to draw and play this thing late in a game, when most of your cards are in the discard pile. If you really want this effect more then once then recurse it with Resourceful.

Tsuruki23 · 2483
Er... I think you mean Silas Marsh, not Silas Bishop. — Herumen · 1712
Nice review. Good points re: Wendy & Ashcan. Another plus with Ashcan is that skills will stack with Duke. Still like it fir Wendy despite her weakness. — Herumen · 1712
Now that we know Silas uses innate skills specifically, this card looks even better for him. — SGPrometheus · 769
But you can reuse the Nautical Prowless with this card and get Resourceful to loop this combo forever — AquaDrehz · 199

Since Stella Clark came out, this is IMHO one of the candidates for a taboo list. Her signature card, already pretty strong when combined with (red version of) Grisly Totem and True Survivor ... laughs at any test-based treachery the encounter deck throws at her ...

TomLady · 10
I dont mean to sound critical, and I’ve been guilty of doing this too, but I kind of want reviews on this site to pivot away from taboo v non-taboo and just talk about the cards more generally. I agree this card is very good in Stella because of her signature, though it’s worth remembering you can also Resourceful for them since they’re non-neutral, whereas you’d need this for Silas if you ever end up not pulling back Nautical Prowess. This card is honestly not all that broken just because Survivors have quicker and cheaper ways to recur powerful skills. — StyxTBeuford · 12942
Neither Rain or Snow in itself is very strong due to the fact that it cancels all effects of the failed test. I do agree, that when activating Grisly Totem, it may sometimes quite difficult to fail (4 wild icons!), but once in a while you do anyway (and even so, still freaking NOTHING happens!). Thus if you have 2x True Survivor and the Totem, you are almost guarranteed to be able to play NRNS 9 times at least. The card is not broken per se, but with Stella, I dare claim it is. — TomLady · 10
What's the meaning of Grisly Totem? There are no combo with Grisly Totem & NRNS. Also, True Survivor is 3 cost event, which is quite expansive. I think that the main problem is not true survivor, but powerful economy source such as Drawing Thin, or Totem with Take Heart. — elkeinkrad · 473
There is ... Grisly Totem adds another wild icon to NRNS for a total of four and if the test fails, you get it back (and still no negative effects of the failed test occur). Granted, it's once a round as you exhaust it, but still... and yes, with Drawing Thin, the 3 res cost is a non-issue for getting three amazing skill cards back from the discard pile. — TomLady · 10
Can you get NRNS back though? Grisly Totem's bounce is an effect of the failed test, and NRNS cancels all those. I don't think you get to pick and choose which effects to cancel and which to keep. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
Well if someone can put a proof to the contrary, it could prove me wrong, but as of now I wonder why couldn't you? The NRNS cancels the effects of the test, not the test itself, doesn't it? Grisly Totem is just a reaction trigger. This could really use for an offical ruling. Even though it wouldn't work this way, I still maintain that NRNS + True Survivor is too powerful. I think if Stella had just two copies of NRNS, she would be just fine. — TomLady · 10
Anything with "If this test fails" is considered an effect of the failed skill test, it does not matter that if it comes from a triggered ability. — toastsushi · 68
Considering similar case with Take Heart (which has been FAQ'd), you can choose the order of resolving GT and NRNS, since they both take effect in the same step, right? The result of the test is still a failure even though its effects have been cancelled. The test itself still took place, hasn't it? — TomLady · 10
However, NRNS also cancels totem's fail effect, so that you cannot return NRNS if you want to cancel the failed effect. — elkeinkrad · 473
Basic totem effect is reaction ability, but after you trigger that ability, it remains delayed effect, "If that skill test fails, return that card to your hand — elkeinkrad · 473
thus, the ability of returning skill card is "failed effect" and will be canceled by NRNS. sorry for posting splited by 3:) — elkeinkrad · 473
Elkeinkrad is correct, if you Grisly NRNS and the test fails you can choose the order to resolve Grisly and NRNS, but if you resolve Grisly first, NRNS is no longer in the test so you can't resolve it, and if you resolve NRNS first, Grisly's effect is cancelled because it's an effect of the failed test. So it's one or the other — NarkasisBroon · 10
Don't get me wrong, I really have no intention of being annoying and would admit I might be mistaken, but I still don't see how it couldn't work. The test still occurs and it has failed, right? Only the effects are discarded: such as nasty thing on a treachery or some consequence of pulling out a particular chaos token, right? How is the card reaction ability part of an effect of the failed test? Once again, I am NOT trolling you, just would like a elaborate explanation, because it seems unclear to me and could use an official FAQ. — TomLady · 10
As a side note: hypothetically, if NSNR said "ignore" instead of "cancel" (otherwise retaining the same wording), would GT ability kick in, according to you? — TomLady · 10
Anything that follows "If that skill test fails" or "If you fail" or any similar wording is a consequence of a failed test. Cancel or Ignore would make no difference. — suika · 9296
It doesn't matter if the effect is beneficial or harmful. All effects are canceled. The way it works with Take Heart is that you resolve Take Heart first, then resolve NRNS, which then cancels every other effect of the failed test (except Take Heart, which has already resolved). — suika · 9296
To add to suika’s explanation, this is the same game mechanics that causes Double or Nothing to double ALL effects of a successful test - both the original effects of the test itself and any additional effects tacked on from skills etc. — Death by Chocolate · 1388
(I will refer you to the Skill Test Results and Advanced Timing (added in FAQ, section 'Game Play', point 1.7) — Death by Chocolate · 1388
"ST.7 Apply skill test results. The card ability or game rule that initiated a skill test usually indicates the consequences of success and/or failure for that test. (Additionally, some other card abilities may contribute additional consequences, or modify existing consequences, at this time.) Resolve the appropriate consequences (based on the success or failure established during step ST.6) at this time. If there are multiple results to be applied during this step, the investigator performing the test applies those results in the order of his or her choice." — NarkasisBroon · 10
Grisly Totem (red) and NRNS are examples of things which "contribute additional consequences or modify existing consequences, at this time.). Anything that gets applied at step 7, is just as much an effect of the failed or successful test as discovering a clue or taking horror. As others have said, Grisly Totem's reaction doesn't take place in step 7, it takes place much earlier, but it sets up a lasting effect that triggers in step 7. It is just that lasting effect (return to hand) that is an effect of the failed test — NarkasisBroon · 10