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Carlos Palma Cruchaga
Пир в Хемлок-Вейл. Сыщики #123.
Техника выживания


(from the official FAQ or responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: Does a basic investigate count as a skill test on a location? A: Yes, an investigation test counts as a skill test on a location for Survival Technique. You cannot use the second ability on Survival Technique when taking a basic investigate action, as this is not considered a "skill test on a location." (February 2024)
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At the time of writing (before Hemlock Vale Encounter Cards are added to the database), a rough search shows that 17 treacheries attach to locations and test some skill and 21 treacheries attach to locations and have a // ability, which likely involves a skill test. Combining and eliminating duplicates and duds in both results gives us 18 treacheries that actually has "a skill test on a treachery attached to your location". Add the 2 new "attach to location and test" treacheries from Hemlock Vale (edit: there are 3 but one can usually only be tested from a connecting location) and that gives 20 valid treachery targets for Survival Technique, more or less.

As for locations, depending on search criteria anywhere from ~150 to over 450 turn up so let's just say it's more difficult to give an accurate estimation.

Notably this can boost the basic Investigate test on Searching for Izzie, but given that Jenny cannot actually use Survival Technique without advanced jank and less roundabout ways such as Flashlight (3) or commiting skill cards being available, it's more a curiosity than a legitimate answer to that weakness.

But back to the topic of treacheries from the encounter deck. Even if one may think "Sweet! Now I can get +2/+4 on my Locked Door test!" or likewise, Alter Fate (1) from the same faction takes care of most problems of similar calibre with the same one action and testlessly. So ultimately, my final verdict for the second ability on Survival Instinct is that be glad if it comes up but don't count on it to save your run.

The first ability is where the real meat is at. Being able to recycle the likes of Shrine of the Moirai and Barricade (3) is obviously very good and in the latter case potentially scenario-breaking, but I believe the best "attach to location" event that synergizes with Survival Technique is Breach the Door.

Breach the Door is a decent card that allows monster killers to help with clueing duty in 1-2 locations per game, Now Survival Technique asks: What if you can do it more than twice? Better yet, what if you can use BtD to reduce the shrouds of multiple locations to 0, multiple times per game?
Shed a Light already showed us how broken 0-shroud locations can be and it got instantly chained. But aside from that. a bunch of other cards also interact with shroud, with Lola Santiago being the most prominent example. It is a combo so amazing that it's worth building around, from the econ to repeatedly replay BtD, Farsight to play it fast, ways to tutor for both cards and whatnot.

I think two investigators in particular would want to take a long hard look at the ST-BtD combo:

  • Charlie Kane. Has access to both cards and Lola Santiago. Get Bonnie Walsh in play and maybe add an Inspiring Presence to your 0-difficulty investigation test to overwork poor Ms. Santiago into giving you 3 testless clues for free per round. He could have trouble oversucceeding on the Breach test, but hey, that's what his allies are for.
  • Kate Winthrop. Has access to both cards as well as Ravenous Myconid (Sentient Strain), Farsight and Barricade (3). When your location's shroud is 0, Myconid can block any non-weakness treacheries you draw even at 0 growth (because 0 shroud is equal to 0 growths and the cancel itself already changes game state). Combine with Barricade (3) to build a command center that's also a literal fortress where nobody except an Elite boss can get in. She can also stack +2s with her Flux Stabilizer to help with the oversuccess.

William Yorick, "Ashcan" Pete (normal and parallel) and Tommy Muldoon can also take this combo (edit: Daniela Reyes can too! Thanks to MrGoldbee for the catch), and could probably play it to decent effect though definitely not as spectacular. Probably involves way too many role changes to be worth it on Lola Hayes though.

koaexe · 27
You forget the 5 Fight survivor, Daniella! — MrGoldbee · 1419
Nice review! I hadn't realised about the combo with Breach the Door until someone else mentioned it to me recently, but it's definitely a cool one. Definitely want to build a deck around it at some point... — HungryColquhoun · 5326
Nothing requires Jenny to actually search for Izzie herself. She can certainly delegate the job to Minh or Darrell or whomever. — OrionAnderson · 48
Of course, I have tried to build this Kate deck already. I gave up on Farsight because I needed to drop clues for the Combat Test, and Press Pass was more experience-economical to get this one extra action. Other interesting things are that Kate can actually take Shed a Light, Seeking Answers (2) is a great way to leverage your 0-shroud location, and Stirring up Trouble gets you 2 clues for free. But in practice, the deck was horrible to play and assembling it was slow and tedious, especially compared to how fast other seeker decks can be. Here is the link if anyone is curious: https://arkhamdb.com/deck/view/3670649 - Now to mention this combo in particular, I agree with MrGoldbee that Daniella is probably the best user I can think of, as she usually fights enemies outside of her turn, doesn't have loads to do during her turn, and doesn't usually need much experience to reach her ceiling, so Shed a Light, OK(3) and Survival Technique are easy to get. — Valentin1331 · 60952
Thanks a lot for the catch and feedback! I have updated my review to include the stuff I missed. Regarding Searching for Izzie, I guess I just wanted to point out it is also a skill test on an "attach" treachery as a curious observation, but ultimately that weakness is defined more by its action tax than the basic investigation, so it was probably an unnecessary tangent. — koaexe · 27
Also, glad to see another great deck from Valentin! I was actually inspired by your thoughts in #deck-tech of the Mythos Busters Discord to write this review and it is amazing to see you improving on this concept. I'm now on my second run of Hemlock Vale as Kate and I'll definitely try to pivot into your deck to see more of it in action. — koaexe · 27
Oh please, don't! This deck link I have posted was more a thought experiment to see if abusing Breach the Door and the Myconid was possible. Turns out that in practice, it is really not so fun and doesn't even work so well, so don't waste your time with this! — Valentin1331 · 60952
Certainly, I understand what you mean now. Went through Written in Rock last night and it was rather miserable. I was perpetually broke and most of the time didn't have more than 2 clues to place. Now I see the problem is that without some really powerful multi-clue action you're just using your actions such that others can do your job for you. I still think ST+BtD is worth trying, but perhaps only in Daniella as you and MrGoldbee suggested. — koaexe · 27
I like that Tommy Can put BtD on Stick to the Plan to make the combo MUCH more consistent, and it's thematic for him too. — Death by Chocolate · 1394

I seem to be missing something about that card... Everyone says this is so good combined with the pitchfork but I don't understand why. Assume not having survival technique but the pitchfork, then you would make one attack and then need one action (where attacks of oppurtunity are possible) and you have it back. Coupled with survival technique you would spend a fast action to get it back on your hand and then spend an action to play it (paying 3 resourses). This does not help. What am I missing?

Xetolosch · 2
You spare the one action to pick it up. That's ok in general. The skill bonus is also nice. Where it shines is when you are playing Wilson, who can perform the fight action with his signature as a fast action. — Tharzax · 1
I have to add that you can use the second ability of the fork with survival technique to put the fork as a fast action into your play area. There you can use the fork for a second attack. In total that are 6 damage in one turn for a two card combo which is great. And on top it's repeatable without additional costs. — Tharzax · 1
I don't get it either... I see why Wilson likes Pitchfork, but I don't see how Survival Instinct helps at all without a third card like Ad Hoc. What is this "second ability" on Pitchfork that makes playing it Fast? — Hylianpuffball · 26
@Tharzax: how? That's what I don't get, it only allows you to put the card in your hand and then you still need an action to play it... — Xetolosch · 2
You are right it's not a good combo if you need to play and pay again. Rather stick to other cards you can recur like breach the door, map the area and shrine of morai etc. — Tharzax · 1
o have I got this right that the interaction with pitchfork is that the second ability on Survival Technique puts the pitchfork into your play area ready o be used again? — FantasyMan · 14
What you missing is that this combo only works with Winston. With Winstons ad hoc you can discard Pitchwork to attack with it. On successful attack is attaches to your location. You pick it up again with Survival Technique. So this mean you get a free 3 damage attack each turn with this combo. — vidinufi · 64
it would be a good combo indeed IF wilson could get the card, but i don't think he can (survivor 2, talent and science aren't in his pool) — Tof · 1