Pendant of the Queen

This card is S tier as scenario tech. With a deck that can assemble it, it's one of the strongest tech against dangerous Hunter enemies (and one of the few that works against Elite), and its teleportation ability is invaluable in any scenario that requires extensive backtracking.

Outside of its use as scenario tech, I'd rate the post-taboo pendant as a B+ card in multiplayer. A hot take I know but hear me out!

Without support

The pendant is always 3 testless clues globally even without support, and that's already better and cheaper than Working a Hunch. But unlike Working a Hunch, there's a few strings attached:

  • Assembly required: You need to assemble the pendant before doing anything. In a slower-drawing seeker deck, Segment of Onyx are dead draws that gum up your hand, costing you valuable time in scenarios that demand speed.
  • Limited uses: Even in a fast seeker deck, it's only 3 uses, so it doesn't work as a deck-cycling payload. Fast decks also lack for deck space due to the amount of draw they need to pack and have a hard time fitting the Pendant in for just 3 uses.

So while in theory 3 better copies of Working a Hunch can fit into any deck, it's actually quite rare to see decks taking the taboo'd pendant without building around it because of the above limitations.

Building around

Recharging the pendant creates some interesting deckbuilding puzzles with a strong payoff if you manage it: one extra testless clue a turn isn't that amazing for the support needed to enable it, but that's made up the additional safety margin the pendant adds by the other two options it gives.

  • Eldrich Sophist: The bog-standard way to enable such a build is Eldritch Sophist with a battery like the The Red Clock or Runic Axe, which has large opportunity costs in terms of slots or XP, resources, and play actions. It's a Rube Goldberg machine that functions only with all its many pieces in play and tends to result in a relatively slow deck*.

  • Recharge Tech: The alternate way is to pack recharge tech (Winds of Power, Recharge, Enraptured, etc.). The drawback here is that recharge tech is expensive and a little clunky to use, being balanced around their ability to affect mystic spells with higher action compression like Rite of Seeking, and still being limited to 1/round usage even if you cycle your deck (unless you use The Raven Quill). This is most optimal if you have other cards to recharge (hello, Luke Robinson), but it also does mean that you get also less milage out of the pendant.

The Queen of Nothing at All

In conclusion, the pendant's compression and flexibility strongest in solo, where it's ability can single-handed clear location instantly or solve an enemy for good. In multiplayer, the pendant mainly acts as a very strong insurance against the unexpected. It bails your team out of situations you haven't prepared for and saves you from a careless team wipe.

In other words, it's a bit of a crutch.

But the better your deckbuilding and your piloting is, and the better your team is, the less likely it would be that you would actually need bailing out. If you're aiming to win more, win harder, and win faster, and you can trust your teammates, you're often better off ditching the pendant to be a leaner and meaner seeking machine.

* relative to another deck that uses those slots and XP for better action compression, faster clue power, and or utility/team support in other ways. The difference is magnified on Hard/Expert where you can't mindlessly cycle cantrip skills.

suika · 8957

I'm in the minority in finding this an underrated card. Some points in its favor are:

  • it never runs out of charges, leaving you defenseless

  • it lets you conserve charges on other fight spells, defeating 1-health enemies or contributing to odd-health ones

  • it doesn't exhaust like Sword Cane

  • it's cheap

  • it's level 0, so it's playable as a splash card for someone like Pete

  • it offers utility on its own. Compare to the various "weaken the enemy" events that are too specific to merit deck space like Anatomical Diagrams, Expose Weakness, Makeshift Trap, or Map the Area

  • it fights with instead of . This isn't unusual for mystic spells, but it's really important for characters with low combat such as Norman when faced with a pesky Rat or hell bird. Effectively it's like a weapon that has +2 skill bonus and permits icons to be committed

  • great synergy with Sign Magick (3), granting an action to attack with a free "one-two punch" effect

  • one great use case is with Jacqueline, who is nearly guaranteed to reduce the enemy's stats. This is a huge boon for landing attacks for the remainder of her turn. Can somewhat improve success against elite enemies.

  • also Pete can use this to "soften up" an enemy before spending valuable actions with Duke

In all, it's a niche card to be sure. In many cases you'll want to replace it with Brand of Cthugha (1) or upgrade to the amazing Wither (4). But it is far from a useless "binder fodder" card.

Just FYI, Wither's debuff only lasts until the end of the current player's turn, not for the rest of the investigator phase. So using it to reduce stats in multiplayer doesn't really work, it only reduce it for the rest of Jacqueline's turn. — Soul_Turtle · 334
Everything combos with with Sign Magick (3). — MrGoldbee · 1369
I'm going to be honest - I think even Wither (4) is niche. You'd almost always rather be running a spell with charges. One of the main problems being the conditionality for the "extra damage", and the fact that it doesn't last more than the rest of the turn. — DjMiniboss · 44
@Soul_Turtle thanks for pointing that out; I made a correction to that sentence — An_Undecayed_Whately · 650

"The most damage" can be 0 damage; meaning an undamaged Manifold enemy can replicate. Also if there is only one damage to distribute you can move that damage onto newly spawned enemy as it goes with the rule "distribute the damage that is on both enemies so that the remaining health on both enemies is as equal as possible".

Njagas · 1
You can only move the damage onto the newly spawned enemy if it had equal printed health to the enemy with the most damage on it, not if it had less. — Thatwasademo · 49
(otherwise you'd be able to make the remaining health more equal by putting it on the original enemy instead of the new one) — Thatwasademo · 49
It says to distribute the damage until both have about the same remaining health, so I think you must move the damage even if the new enemy's total health is less than the original one. — Gsayer · 1
Double, Double

This is a very rogue card. It's a card asking for you to take a gamble. You're gambling that you see this card in your opening hand (or at least within the first few turns) or waste 8 xp.

From a minmax perspective:

This effectively gives up to +1 card* +1 action** once per round, at the cost of 8xp for a single copy that can't be tutored, 4 resources, 1 card and 1 action.

Considering that a lot of the time you can't actually use this every round, that's expensive as hell in terms of XP. You absolutely need several cards worth playing twice, and the economy to play those cards. Double playing Intel Report costs you 8r for 4 clues, a hefty chunk of change even if you're Preston. A doubled Faustian Bargain or Hot Streak will recoup the costs for only one such doubled play.

In-faction, rogues don't have many strong, cheap events that they can abuse with this, especially if you're playing with Taboo where Black Market and Ace in the Hole are Once Per Round. One of the best card to double be Friends in Low Places with the Swift upgrade, letting you play two different cards each round from your deck. A doubled Sneak Attack/Small Favor/Backstab is useful for the occasional assist kill, but is too situational to recommend building your deck around.

To maximize what you can get out of the card you must look at off-class access. Trish with her access to the very strong low-level seeker events like Burning the Midnight Oil, Extensive Research, Deep Knowledge, Stirring Up Trouble, Shortcut, etc. makes her an excellent candidate. In Survivor, Scrounge for Supplies and Salvage recursion power is worth considering, as is "Look what I found!". Guardian and Mystic pools are, at the time of writing, harder to use, though gems like Dynamite Blast, Stand Together and Drawn to the Flame do exist. If you can get synergy, Call for Backup is very strong to double play.

In my opinion as someone who hates gambling, this card at its best when played as 1) a capstone luxury purchase for an events-based deck with good draw*** and 2) in a support deck built around playing other player's cards with (Black Market and "You owe me one!") - playing Extra Ammunition/Recharge twice for your guardian/mystic, or Soothing Melody twice to heal up to 4 horror/damage, or letting your guardian dig twice with Prepared for the Worst (2), or "borrowing" your seeker's Cryptic Research or No Stone Unturned,

* playing the card again isn't the actually same as drawing it again (not all cards are equal), but it's a close enough comparison

** only if the event wasn't Fast

*** so that you can find Double, Double early

suika · 8957
Pendant of the Queen

Tabooed or not this card is ridiculous. For the love of God, please change that evade to "non-Elite" enemy. Even then it should be at least 3 XP (Sorry Luke). It's easy to find; it's easy to get in play; it's 3 bonus testless actions.

ErrantChuck · 385
It's funny that this is fine but then we have cards like Infighting and Tennesse Sour Mash (survivor) which they slapped non-Elite on because "oh no! imagine canceling Elite attacks (*cough* Dodge) or evading an Elite using a Combat skill test instead of an Agility! (*cough* Stunning Blow) That would just be too powerful, even for an xp card!!" — Nenananas · 238
Agreed. I suspect they need a second tier of enemy to get the finesse they want with encounters. This card, as is and well-played, is essentially a "pause-the-final-boss-of-any-scenario-for-three-turns" card. — ErrantChuck · 385
By that standard, an evade check pauses the final boss of any scenario for an infinite number of turns. And it's not like evade checks are particularly hard to make. — suika · 8957
Perhaps you are missing the fine print: you don't have to be at the location of the enemy to evade with with the Pendant. — ErrantChuck · 385
While I do agree with suika that evasion is surprisingly good at defanging bosses, that wouldn't make your point about Pendant's absurdity any less true (just because A is strong doesn't mean B isn't), especially because this isn't a comparison of equals; evasion requires an action (generally) and a test, Pendant requires neither. Evasion is a very strong boss-stopper, Pendant is literal point-and-click removal. — NightgauntTaxiService · 188
So Finn is the most ridiculous investigator in the game. He gets a free evade AND he gets a ton of cards and resources and from evading. Broken much? Why don't the devs tabooing Finn's evade to not work on non-Elite enemies? Remote evasion is cool and all but it's also mostly unnecessary vs final bosses. — yinwhite · 8
Fr though, Finn is up there on the investigator tier list; not many stronger than him. His only downsides are low will and a pretty annoying weakness — Nenananas · 238
You're right, Finn does get a free evade action like Pendant. However, the Pendant's evasion is testless, unlike Finn's. — NightgauntTaxiService · 188
I don't get this fixation on testlessness. Is everyone playing on expert where making evade tests is such a big deal? — suika · 8957
Even easy mode has the autofail. While it is a low chance that you'll draw it, being able to completely avoid the chance of doing so, especially on a test that might very well mean the difference between living and dying, is extremely valuable. — NightgauntTaxiService · 188
The consequence for failing an evade is most commonly just losing an action to evade again. If you have a 10% chance of failing the test, making the evade testless is worth 0.1 actions. — suika · 8957
Not sure about your thinking re: actions as divisible units suika, but can you name a better action (currently in the game) than a "fast testless evade of -any- visible enemy in play"? — ErrantChuck · 385
Sure I can: 3 free actions fast. Skip mythos phase. Skip all encounter cards for a mythos phase. Remove a doom from the agenda. Fight at +4 dealing 4 damage. 3 testless damage fast. X testless damge fast. 4 testless damage. I can go on but I'll leave it here. But a more straightforward answer would be that I pendant's ability only a little stronger than +1 action per round on any difficulty below Expert, apart from a very few scenarios where remote evade or teleport can cheese the scenario. — suika · 8957
And how many of those actions only cost 1 XP and have 3 uses? — ErrantChuck · 385
None of them because they're all so much stronger than a testless evade that it's bad faith to make the comparison in the first place. 3 testless evades is good don't get me wrong but it's just a nice insurance policy that you don't need most of the time. — suika · 8957
"Bad faith." Lol. Testless evade vs an Elite enemy and you don't have to be at their location. It's a crazy card. I standby my initial statement: taboo the Elite part, bump it to 3 XP cost (and get rid of the current taboo restriction). — ErrantChuck · 385
It is nice to see people defending this card while it is completely busted or they have never seen it played to the full power. Most Seekers draw like crazy and can stunlock an elite enemy with this WHILE ALSO making sure they spend the last charge when they are down to something like 5 cards in their deck, so they make sure to get it out ASAP in the next 2-3 turns and get another 3 amazing effects. Most Seekers that actually play this don't assamble it just once and have 3 free clues or evades or teleports, they assamble it 3-4 times in a single scenario, so we just stopped playing this shit until we decided to just nerf it and do what the original comment said; we made it not work with Elite enemies. This card is broken on so many levels but the fact that it is not a Finn-level of power is pretty obvious. Imagine if Finn had an ability that once per turn he can choose to discover a clue, free evade without a test on any enemy, or free teleport anywhere?!?! The mere flexibility makes it insane, not just the effect — Blood&gore · 281
It feels like we're just arguing in circles here. Suika's right, a free evade action isn't as broken as some of the shenanigans other cards can get up to (Ace in the Hole, A Watchful Peace, Hallow), but it's still very, very strong, especially since, as Blood&gore pointed out, Pendant doesn't just evade enemies. Rogue got evasion handled? You can still use Pendant to save move actions or vacuum up clues. I personally think you're underestimating the value of a free, testless evade, suika, but even if you're right (and your ratings indicate you probably are), Pendant's still a teleporter and clue-sniper. It's Seeker in a nutshell: able to do 95% of the game, and 50% of it well. — NightgauntTaxiService · 188
@Blood&gore It's literally taboo'd to not work like that anymore. Still a very powerful card, but it's not quite as easy to break as it used to be. — Soul_Turtle · 334