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Atut. Accessory

Item. Charm.

Cost: 3.
Test Icons:

After you commit a card to a skill test, exhaust Grisly Totem: That card gains another instance of one of its skill icons of your choice.

We should have thrown it back immediately.
But how could we have known?
Ethan Patrick Harris
Sekretne Imię #119.
Grisly Totem
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: If I use Grisly Totem after committing the card beneath Amanda Sharpe, how long does its bonus icon stay for? A: The bonus icon granted by Grisly Totem does not specify a duration, so this effect should remain until the committed card leaves play. The real question is: when does the committed card enter or leave play? Generally speaking, cards placed beneath other cards (such as the card beneath Amanda Sharpe) are out of play. Cards committed to tests never really "enter play," but while they are committed to a test, their icons are added to the investigator’s relevant skill and their text is active. So, while the card beneath Amanda is committed to a test, its icons and text should be alterable by game effects (as if you had committed it from your hand), just like any other in-play card. But as soon as that test ends, it returns to its out-of-play state, and any lasting effects would drop. TL;DR: The bonus icon granted by Grisly Totem would only apply for the test during which Grisly Totem is used, after which the card returns to its out-of-play state, and the bonus icon would drop. - FAQ, v.1.8, October 2020
Last updated
Reviews

Grisly Totem is a funky card, it's good, but funky. Not an autoinclude even in the relevant decks but an interesting pick still.

Buffing instances of skill blips is a flexible but intermittent bonus, sometimes you just don't have the relevant icon or cannot spare a particular card on tests, however it's unlikely that you cannot muster cards for skill tests at all for rounds on end. The trick is to have a good set of expendable cards and skill cards to go with a Grisly Totem. It's very much like Minh's ability except you need to draw, play and pay for it.

Skill cards, while not required with Grisly Totem, really make it shine. Getting 3 skill pips for a Perception, Manual Dexterity, Overpower or Guts is really cool, more meaningful though are the 1-pip cards that are flexible, you can play Rabbit's Foot alongside Grisly Totem and essentially use it like an Unexpected Courage, an interesting prospect if you also have access to Scavenging and routinely chase clues (it gets real good when you get Relic Hunter). Even more usefully though all the variety skill cards like Resourceful, Eureka!, Inspiring Presence, Quick Thinking and so on, all of these become MUCH more interesting and effective when you can treat their icons as 2's instead of 1's.

While characters tend to have skill cards all over the place in terms of , , and , and therefore might flexibly use the bonus on what's needed, characters tend to have an overabundance of cards and a strong inclination to chuck them at tests rather then play them, this means that a might have less flexible things to do with a Grisly Totem but they can often get more use from it, which is great because unlike dudes there is very little competition for the accessory slot.

When you do trigger the bonus, you often trigger it on top of some pretty clutch tests, a Guts versus a Rotting Remains, any play of Deduction or Vicious Blow, Stunning Blow, you get the picture, it's pretty good.

If you have lots of skill mechanics in your deck that's really when Grisly Totem becomes a priority. Silas Marsh and Minh Thi Phan should take note, they are the perennial "ALL THE SKILLS!" characters with 50% percent of their decks being skill cards, so should "Ashcan" Pete, Roland Banks and Joe Diamond, all of whom tend to bulk up on cool skill mechanics like Deduction, Vicious Blow, Eureka!, Resourceful and/or Inspiring Presence.

Tsuruki23 · 1264

More of a question, really. I feel like this shouldn't work, but I can't find the rule as to why. Grisly Totem used on the card beneath Amanda Sharpe, once the test resolves it should theoretically lose it's extra icon, but I can't find what rule indicates this. Those of you who are rules gurus please help!

Metius · 4
I honestly dont think it does as written. I think it keeps the extra icon for the round. — StyxTBeuford · 2349
After the test is over the card returns to its location under Amanda, which is an out of play area. Persistent effects on cards going OOP expire, so no this doesn’t work. (Id considered this with torrent of power) still a good card for Amanda tho — Difrakt · 802
The problem with that reasoning is that the card never enters play, so it's not going out of play either. Also there's no such thing as a "persistent effect" as defined by the game. There are "lasting effects", but they all have a defined duration. Grisly Totem is lacking this duration, so it's an odd case that isn't covered by the current rules. — eapfel · 1
But it does enter play when you commit it to a skill test. Normally you would discard it, but it is placed underneath Amanda instead, so I think it works just as Difrakt says. — PowLee · 9
I'm pretty sure the card below Amanda is considered out of play. Otherwise, say you if you had — Django · 2866
an item below Amanda and fail crypt chill. I'm pretty sure you can't choose to discard the card below Amanda in that case. (Sorry for double post, i accidentaly hit Enter). — Django · 2866
@PowLee Do you have some rules evidence to back that up? There' s no "in play" area that holds cards being committed to a skill test as far as I know. — eapfel · 1
"If a lasting effect affects in-play cards (or cards in a specified area), it is only applied to cards that are in play (or the specified area) when the lasting effect is established." — NarkasisBroon · 1
Never mind. Misread my own quote :-P — NarkasisBroon · 1
Given that Minh Thi Phan specifically states that the icon is added "until the end of the test", it further confuses the issue as to whether it's intended for cards like Grisly Totem and Torrent of Power to also have that duration. Obviously there's no way to track the card when it gets shuffled back into your deck, so it's not intended to be permanent, but I think the cards either need to have the duration added as errata, or something should be put in the rules regarding effects on a card when it moves from one out of play area to another. — eapfel · 1

This is theorycrafting. A review from somebody with experience running this card will provide better insight.

The first names that popped into my head while reading this card were Minh Thi Phan and Silas Marsh. It enhances what they want to do normally. I don't know what else is competing for relic slots for them (Cherished Keepsake? possibility to add Key of Ys later?), but this seems really strong for them. An auto-include unless I'm missing something. The typical Dark House "Ashcan" Pete deck would benefit greatly from it.

Otherwise, it just depends on a) how many skill cards are you running (I know it works on any card, but a skill card is the ideal option), and b) what relic cards you are running. Like most assets, it gains value the earlier you play it. Maybe that's good enough to test it with Dr. Elli Horowitz and run a lot of skill cards. Seekers in general have access to good skill cards. It also works nicely with wild skill icons. On the Survivor side, Dark Horse decks can utilize it.

The biggest weakness of this card is the one-time use limitation. You're only getting one extra icon per turn (I'd imagine this makes it worse on harder difficulties, I only play standard). You also have to have a card to commit that has the correct icons on it. You can limit that weakness through deckbuilding. One extra icon seems weak, but you are already adding icons with the card you are committing.

It's hard to say if this is a deck-defining card like Dark Horse (outside of Minh and Silas), but it should be a decent amount of help if you're going to run lots of skill cards anyway (and/or cards with good skill icons).

It's not unique, so you could have two copies out. As for Dark Horse Duke, I've played various builds a lot. I find if a card costs more than 1, it just ends up getting discarded as Duke food. — cb42 · 25
Correction: Two copies out with Relic Hunter. — cb42 · 25
The OP seems to be confusing the Accessory slot with the Relic trait. (Probably because "Relic Hunter" gives an extra Accessory slot.) But, yeah, this card *isn't* a Relic, and so *doesn't* synergise with Dr. Elli Horowitz. — Yellow_Peril · 1
I'm not fully sold that "a skill card is the ideal option", as you normally play skill cards to shore up weaknesses (e.g. get from 3 to 5 skill) or cycle them (overpower for making that fight test pass unless you draw an autofail) , so most of the time, 1 extra icon does not matter much. — Shakiko · 3
There are plenty of excellent 1-icon skill cards, like Eureka, Resourceful, Quick Thinking, and Double or Nothing. — Katsue · 8