Smite the Wicked

I disagree with people with people saying Smite the Wicked is a punishing weakness. If anything, Smite the Wicked, while it is not as tame as Arrogance and Whispers from the Deep, it's one of the few weakness which is very likely to be beneficial to the player.

Spawning a monster is a very punishing effect on average because monsters tend to be deadlier and more time consuming than treacheries, and it is a monster you MUST defeat, otherwise you will suffer a mental trauma, which can lead to quite a conondrum if you only have few turns to complete the scenario and the weakness spawns a very dangerous monster. There is also the possibility of you drawing this JUST before you were about to win and now you have to spend more time to catch up with a monster in order to defeat it and avoid suffering Trauma.

But these situations I have described are the absolute worst case scenarios, because you have to consider this weakness in the context of what Investigator it belongs and how their gameplans go, to understand why it is really not that bad:

1) Zoey is one of the best fighters among investigators, but she can't investigate for a damn without proper tools like Sixth Sense, so her main job is to defeat enemies. She GAINS cash facing enemies too, so she is encouraged to be highly aggresive. Chances are, Smite the Wicked won't affect her too much by spwaning an extra monster because Zoey will already have murdered most of them. And mind you! If she did actually murder every monster and then she draws her weakness, it will just discard the whole encounter deck and reshuffle it, failing to resolve before discarding itself. VERY RARELY a weakness fails to harm you in any tangible way, and unlike signature weaknesses like Rookie Mistake or Caught Red-Handed, it doesn't reshuffle itself when it cannot trigger its full effect.

2) Many enemies are designed to be a roadblock to the player, they are supposed to prevent them from acting and advancing the scenario. That means it is very likely an enemy spawned by Smite the Wicked will impede your progress and get into Zoey's range. Sure, it can definetly land on an Aloof enemy on the other side of the map, but that is a rarity compared to attaching itself to Hunter that will come your way anyway from across the map.

3) Maps that are structured as hallways are a rarity, more often than not, they take the form of a circular, squared or otherwise compact area, so enemies summoned by Smite the Wicked don't usually spawn that far away, especially if Zoey is at the centre of the map when she draws her weakness. Also if any effect that changes the map would cause enemies to get discarded for any reason, then Smite the Wicked would also get discarded. The only situations where this weakness actually get scary, are in Edge of the Earth and Innsmouth Cospiracy, because of how HUGE the maps in the scenarios of those expansions tend to be.

Now with "why I think this weakness is not that bad" out of the way, let's talk about the main reason why I think this weakness can be a boon in the circumstances

Easy answer: it DISCARDS encounter cards while searching for an enemy.

Like I cannot understate how powerful that is: you have absolutely no control when it happens or how it happens, but the whole fact this is has a chance to discard 1 or MORE very nasty trecheries like, say, Ancient Evils, is downright incredible!

On the Hunt is already considered a decent card on its own because it can make a Guardian deal with an enemy instead of a treachery, which is a preferred outcome, its level up version even more so. So what about a version that straight up DISCARDS encounter cards in exchange of a drawback if you don't defeat an enemy?

I will say that this aspect of Smite The Wicked is less noticeable in 4 players because you are likely to go through the encounter deck multiple times, but in situations where there is a low player count of 2 or you are playing Zoey solo, this weakness can and WILL save your hide sometimes.

In conclusion, those are my thoughts on Smite the Wicked: it is a weakness I will be far happier to deal with than the absolute amount of drek that is Searching for Izzie or ACTUAL campaign ending threats like Abandoned and Alone and Dark Memory. The only time where I think Smite the Wicked is truly horrible to deal with is in Forgotten Age, as it has a chance to attach itself to Vegeance enemies, but that has less to do with Smite the Wicked being dangerous on its own more with Forgotten Age being designed like absolute crap.

Abandoned and Alone is fine if you pace your discard pile. Spawning doom enemies far away is worse. — MrGoldbee · 1370
Discarding cards from the encounter deck hurts you just as much as it helps you. Sometimes it will discard Ancient Evils, but sometimes it will just get you closer to drawing Ancient Evils instead. Statistically speaking, discarding any number of encounter cards from the deck doesn't change your overall odds of drawing Ancient Evils (or any other deadly encounter card) in X encounter draws; it just increases the variance. For example, in a 30 card encounter deck with 3 Ancient Evils, if you expect to draw 30 cards, you'll always draw all 3. If you discard 5 cards from the top of the deck, the average Ancient Evils draws is still 3 but now you've also add the possibility of drawing 0, 1, 2, 4, 5, or 6. The variance is increased but mathematically the average is the same. — Soul_Turtle · 334
@MrGoldbee Abandoned and Alone's effect of removing cards from your discard pile would be scary if you were playing as any other Investigator class but a Survivor, and especially Wendy with her amulet. What makes that weakness scary isn't that effect, it is the large amount of direct horror it inflicts, even if Peter Sylvester makes it less dauting, — HeroesOfTomorrow · 28
@Soul_Turtle I'm not saying Smite the Wicked is ONLY beneficial to the player, I stated as much that is a chance rather than being guranteed, but it's a rarity for a weakness to actually be helpful sometimes rather than exclusively harmful. — HeroesOfTomorrow · 28
On The Hunt replaces an encounter card draw. Drawing this weakness replaces drawing any other player card. The two are not comparable at all — snacc · 926
Don't underestimate the "location furthest from you" part either. In some scenarios it's a non-issue, but some of the "get-from-the-starting-point-to-the-resigning-point" type scenario can make back-tracking difficult enough that Smite the Wicked is just not do-able if you draw it late, and Zoey doesn't have loads of sanity to spare.. — bee123 · 25
Like all "Task" weaknesses, it is depending on when you draw it. Drawing it early should give you time dealing with it, while late it can become auto-trauma. At least, Zoey has 6 sanity, and not 5 like Roland, the wimp. And it is among the easiest tasks to deal with for the character. It still is very swingy. At best, it can totally whiff, e.g. in "Miskatonic Museum" or on a "Swamp Leech" in Rougarou (see FAQ above). It can even spawn Nyarlathotep, instead of adding him to your hand. But it can sure cost games, if it spawn a doom enemy on an unconveniant location, like the Wizard of the Order in the Engine Car, while you are still far behing on the Essex County Express. — Susumu · 315
Ups, not all "Task" weaknesses. You rather want to draw Ursula's and the replacement from Carolyn rather later than early. — Susumu · 315
@snacc On the hunt does not replace an encounter card draw, it give you an option on what to draw from the encounter deck: I honestly the comparison is actually fitting, because as I said, getting an enemy instead of anything else benefits Zoey for the most parts (in comparison to other weaknesses), even if it means getting an "extra" encounter card. The fact it can discard some treacheries is the icing on the cake — HeroesOfTomorrow · 28
@bee123 Sometimes I wonder if people read my review or just skim through them: I did mention spawning the furthest location from you can be problematic, especially in specific campaigns, but for the most parts, the maps you play on aren't THAT big, and there is the possibility that the enemy will come for you anyway if it is an hunter (which is one of the most common enemy keywords by the way, so statistically speaking, most of the enemies Smite the Wicked will attach to WILL be hunters). That is not getting how the bite of "spawning the furthest location from you" is far less stingy if Zoey draws it while she is in the middle of the map. I will say this weakness can be more punishing than Roland because it can actually DO something in the final scenario beside causing trauma you no longer care about, but trauma got a whole less scary now that is no longer permanent with Observed too. — HeroesOfTomorrow · 28
@Susumu Funnily, in the Essex Express the complete opposite happened during my playtrough: the Wizard of the Order spawned all the way back at the start because my group managed to rush through... And he immdediately fell into the void. That is why I think Smite the Wicked is not that bad: I said as well, it can be auto-trauma in the absolute worst case scenario, on average? It is probably an annoyance. And the fact it can be a complete non-issue or even beneficial to you, makes it an easier weakness to deal with overall, because on average a weakness will hurt you no matter what, if there is a chance it doesn't, then you got a huge boon in your hands. — HeroesOfTomorrow · 28
snacc's remark was apt. With "On the Hunt" you do not draw an additional encounter card, because you just draw an enemy instead of a totally random card. (That is: if you can find one.) StW you draw from your deck and resolve to draw an additional enemy. Now, as far weaknesses go, I agree it should not concern Zoey too much in most cases. But things have the potential to go south, if they line up bad with this weakness. Sure, in ECE, if you draw your weakness late and attach it to the Wizzard in the rear, while you are well ahead, it will be no issue. But even though, Hunter is a common keyword, it is quite uncommon on doom generating enemies. If these spawn farthest from you, this can make them quite a bigger thread, than they usually would be. Regarding your "icing on the cake", I don't get it. It is totally out of your control, which cards get discarded. Sure, you can get lucky and something particularly nasty gets discarded, But it can also discard rather tame treacheries, reshuffeling the encounter deck an additional time, and you get earlier to a nasty card, you thought you have dealt with for a while. Scenarios are balanced around the fact, that on average you see specific cards so and so often, so jinxing with that, can work in either direction and is not more likely to be a boon than to be a bad. It just adds chaos. — Susumu · 315
aaaand the new version of Smite the Wicked just dropped, and it actually makes the weakness genuinely concerning now potentially — HeroesOfTomorrow · 28
Counterpoint: Essex County Express — StyxTBeuford · 12879
Ruined Film

"Welcome to today's group, I'm Dr. Fern. Now, you've each experienced different, yet equally devastating personal disasters. Perhaps sharing would help?"

"... I was stabbed, shot, dyin'... I swear I had maybe 1 drop of blood left. Suddenly... I had a flashback to the Somme. The bodies... my friends! And... something... Sophie I'm so sorry..."

"nnngh.... I... can't talk. I know the Spell that Ends Everything. Twice I almost spoke it, but resisted... and... it's EATING MY MIND..."

"Who cares if you do. The world is so cursed, it can't get worse. You know... after a life with the church, when I count my blessings, all I think is "There is no god."

"There is. A blind idiot god. I wanted to stop him, I stole 4 spells from the Lodge to... he... he KNOWS. Wants them back, but I can't... I... sob ... we're all gonna die..."


"Mr. Simmons, it's your turn?"

"... uh..."

HanoverFist · 624
Flaw, Spell, Madness, Madness..... blunder, kinda says it all. — Zerogrim · 282
Leather Coat

This card seems like a good value for most survivor investigators, because if you really need the 4 damage can rebuy it with all the experience you havent spent. This card is terrible in tommy muldoon. You dont trigger his ability, and he needs his experience. Survivors with extra experience, yes tommy, no.

really good with scavenging/yorick where you can absorb 3 damage and then overwrite it, with that final point being for extra security. — Zerogrim · 282
Black Market

"Market" might suggests off-class Asset shenanigans and you start planning team gymnastics in order to use this card, which is fun. But it is also simple to enjoy this card without extensive strategy meeting : Just check out your friend's deck if they contains Enemy Phase / Mythos Phase reactive Fast Event cards or not then you can decide on your own to purchase this card. (Effect lasts until your next Investigation Phase.)

It basically widens the card's coverage to the max. Sometimes that card can only be used on self, then Black Market turns it to anyone. Sometimes that card says you can use it for friends at the same location, Black Market makes it even more flexible who would pay the card's cost. Also they became open information, not often you get to say WE ALL have Lucky! / Ward of Protection in Investigation Phase.

5 cards is quite a wide search in a thin deck game like this (5/25 in the first round, but after some time had passed you have better odds.) Check that player's discard pile if what you are aiming for are gone or not before going for it and hope they are not on their hand. Some examples from the Revised Core Set :

  • Lucky! : Ultimate team-wide "insurance" for Mythos Phase, since if players prior tests and pass normally this card would stay for the next player that draws encounter. It is even more flexible than Lucky! (3) that requires same location.
  • Dodge : Already can be used to a friend at the same location, now it works remotely as well. You can also use it right now in Investigation Phase to bypass AoO to do things, or try a risky hit against Retaliate. Some encounter cards order enemy to attack an unfortunate investigator (like checking Prey, or lowest-something, that is not the player) now anyone can stylishly dodge that.
  • "I've had worse…" (4) : Valid complaints about this card that rarely something higher than 2 lands on the player to justify Lv. 4 version. Now that it covers everyone's Mythos Phase draw, much higher chance to nullify nasty fail-by on someone's weak stats and get 3+ resources. (Or to deal with enemy attacking/Retaliating 2+2.)
  • Ward of Protection (0) : Upgrade to almost-Ward of Protection (2), now it does not matter who got Ancient Evils. (But that player must pay small price of 1 resource + 1 horror.) It is even better than the real Lv.2 version if you want to cancel Revelation on Peril card!

PS: "One at a time, reveal cards from the top of any investigator deck(s)" : You can even stop revealing when you found your desired target and switch to someone else's deck for the remaining cards. The more colorful your team composition is, the more choices you can cook up the market to perfection.

5argon · 6232
Playing friends in low places before this with the option to put cards back in any order is great to plan ahead and make sure all cards are played — Django · 4747
"You owe me one!"

The most fun "Gambit" card so far I have played. The goal is to deduce what cards this player is hogging before you see them and having enough resource for that card you are thinking of, and for it to actually be useful right now. But unlike chaos token probability-based Gambit, you can master this one by knowing your friend's deck and their natural progression and improve your chance.

For example if the scenario is already passed by for a while, I can guess that my fully-setup Mystic player may have a redundant spell asset on hand which they'd rather exchange for other cards. If someone is fighting for long time with more and more cards on hand, they probably have Asset or Event that triggers AoO and is unable to make use of while fighting while the Skill card that would be a dud for this are mostly used up in the fight. (Check discard pile to confirm) The Guardian player might be holding Dynamite Blast by now because half their deck already passed and there is none in the discard pile and they also have chronically low resource. There is higher chance to find an Ally on one's hand if they don't have Charisma and also have an Ally in play already. (Should not be too difficult to remember redundancy of allies and how many lacks the Unique star in everyone's deck.) This way you can find some quick soak and also give them a new card that is more useful for them.

Discard pile is likely the biggest source of open information so take note of how many dud cards like Skill and reactive Event like Ward of Protection are in the targeted player's discard pile and you can find more hits. You can also just stare at who loves reviving things from discard pile or take card from play area back to hand.

5argon · 6232