Welcome to Additional Clues. In this series, we will be looking at specific cards and seeing what extra secrets we can pull from the esoteric texts printed on them.
Today, we’ll be looking at Heroic Rescue. Heroic Rescue is a 1 resource cost, Spirit Tactic Guardian event. It’s fast, and you play it when a non-elite enemy is about to chomp on a friendly investigator in your location. Instead, that enemy chomps on you, engages with you, and then you punch it in the tentacles for one testless damage.
Introduced in Echoes of the Past, this card has not had tons of hype around it, falling largely into obscurity. And for pretty good reason – the niche it tries to fill is highly occupied within the Guardian card pool. It directly competes with Dodge, and is arguably less flexible than Dodge. For example, Heroic Rescue cannot be used on yourself. Heroic Rescue also requires you to take damage. You only deal 1 damage to the enemy, which, honestly, is not a lot.
There are also other cards in other factions that are going to compete with what Heroic Rescue tries to do in canceling or manipulating enemy attacks. For example, Hypnotic Gaze in Mystic, Narrow Escape in Rogue, and the freshly released Infighting for Survivor from the Dim Carcosa pack. Heroic Rescue is like that one card on that singing show that is doing that song was sung literally every season before she got there, and now the whole audience is bored because they’ve seen this before and they know they are going to see it again.
However, I’m going to argue that Heroic Rescue, or HR, is a set-up card, and it’s true power is in being able to combo the engagement and the enemy attack into more of your Guardian tools.
A Closer Look
This card basically does 4 things to the enemy. Remember in all of this the enemy must be non-Elite, which is an unfortunate limitation of this card.
First, it makes the enemy not attack the investigator it was going to attack. This can be used during the enemy phase, but it can also be used to draw attacks of opportunity. This can become pretty significant if your clue-getter didn’t want attacks of opportunity on them after a monster spawned on them.
Second, it engages that enemy. That makes it functionally on par with level 0 Taunt, as it grant you a free engage. We are now getting some action economy, since Guardians typically prefer to be engaged with the enemy they are fighting. By engaging it, the enemy is now not engaged on the investigator it was on previously. That investigator will no longer have to evade it. Again, this is action economy.
Third, it makes the enemy attack you. This may sound bad, but if you are properly set up with Guardian tools this is where the magic is going to really begin.
Fourth, it deals one damage to the enemy. Any time you get to deal free damage against an enemy, it’s significant. Even if the enemy in question has 4 health, that’s still 25% of the damage against the enemy off of 1 card.
Now let’s look at some of the tools Guardians can use to make quick work of their Heroic Rescue targets.
HR + Mark – After the enemy attacks you, draw a card.
Yes, just being Mark, on its own, is enough to make Heroic Rescue tack a fifth thing to the already long list of stuff this card does and make Heroic Rescue a card draw tool. We are assuming of course that the enemy is dealing damage, not exclusively horror.
HR + Mark + True Grit – After the enemy attacks you, draw a card, and the damage doesn’t go on your investigator card.
It doesn’t have to be True Grit – tons of Guardian cards do the same thing – but True Grit is such a classic Mark Harrigan staple I felt it was worth mentioning.
HR + Mark + Guard Dog – After the enemy attacks you, draw a card, assign damage to your Guard Dog, deal 2 testless damage to the enemy.
We’re not even done yet.
HR + Mark + Brother Xavier – After the enemy attacks you, draw a card, and if the enemy would deal enough damage to kill Brother Xavier, deal 3 testless damage to the enemy.
Hello, can you get Mark Harrigan on the line? Thank you. Hi, Mark, My name is Heroic Rescue, and I heard yourself and Brother Xavier were interested in killing things that were going to harm your fragile teammates while doing no tests and also getting card draw? I would like to apply to join this team, thank you.
Obviously Guard Dog and Brother Xavier work on other investigators, they just lose out on the card draw from Mark’s passive ability.
HR + Zoey – Zoey gains a resource, effectively making HR pay for itself.
Oh yes, Zoey is going in on this too.
HR + Zoey + Zoey’s Cross – Kill the enemy before it attacks if it has 1 health. Kill the enemy you engaged with after it attacks if it has 2 health.
On smaller enemies, like Whippoorwill, Zoey will kill them with Cross after they are engaged, discarding the enemy and making them unable to continue to fulfill the rest of the text on the card, as there is now no attack outstanding to be resolved.
On two point enemies, Zoey’s Cross does an additional point of damage that combos with HR’s 1 point of damage. And again, if for some reason you don’t want to test anything just Mano a Mano it for a third point. After all, HR is fast and does not interfere with Mano a Mano’s requirement to happen on the first action.
HR + Roland, when targeting an enemy with one health – Discover a clue on your location.
HR + Aquinnah (pref. level 3) – The enemy attacks itself instead of attacking you. You also deal one damage to it from HR. It will likely be dead now.
This is a combo for Yorick, and it is powerful. Again, you get a pile of damage off on the enemy for no tests and nothing even touches you. You also saved tons of actions by not having to engage or evade.
Of course, there are other combos, but most of them repeat the mechanics from the OTH combos. As was discussed on the On The Hunt article, once the thing is dead, you can toss all kinds of cards on to it, such as Evidence! or “If it bleeds…”. You can look back at that article to get more ideas for your HR combos, as they are fairly similar. You can also toss in cards like Dodge or Hypnotic Gaze to cancel the attack from Heroic Rescue, but since most of the combos require you get attacked in the first place, these are more edge case as far as combos go.
Heroic Rescue has its place among many deckbuilds, but a few words of caution must be said. First, it only works in multiplayer. It is not possible to use this card in solo as there will never be a valid target for it. You might also not be interested in using it if other people on your team are capable fighters, as they might not care as much if the monster is on them. Second, it doesn’t save you. In fact, it does quite the opposite to you, by making the enemy swing at you. Third, it has many limitations. For example, the enemy must be non-Elite, it must be attacking another investigator while you are also in the same location as that investigator, and you will need to have 1 resource on hand to pay for it at the time. However, as far as combo starter cards go, HR does not require a lot of set-up to make work for the amount of benefit you get, especially if you are Mark. Unlike OTH combos, you know precisely which enemy you would be targeting the moment you play the card, so there is far less up to chance.
Is it better than the competition? I don’t know if I would say it’s better as much as it is different. Dodge is still and will always be very strong. Overall, though, I think Heroic Rescue is definitely a card to take a look at in multiplayer games, especially if you are Mark. Yorick can also make it work well, as he can soak the damage onto his Leather Coat or Cherished Keepsakes, and recur those items after he kills the enemy, allowing him to not take any damage or horror. He also has access to Aquinnah, which is one of the strongest combos listed. So yes, give it a look for your next adventure!