Have you been enjoying the new player cards released from The Circle Undone? I’ve certainly been having a lot of fun with some of them. Here are ten exciting combos that are now possible with cards released in TCU.
Drawing Thin + Higher Education /// Drawing Thin + Fire Axe
Okay, so this is actually two combos I’m putting in one entry, but Drawing Thin with these two cards specifically actually makes the test easier. This is because of the way the timings all work. As soon as you initiate the skill test, you can make the test harder and get 2 resources. There is then a free trigger player window, within which you can drop your newly gained two resources into Higher Education or Fire Axe. In both cases, spending 2 resources will increase your skill value by 4. Since Drawing Thin only raised the difficulty by two, this is a net gain of 2 skill value for you the investigator. This means that with Drawing Thin, you can start even on a test, use Drawing Thin, and come out 2 skill value UP on the test before drawing chaos tokens.
If this sounds really strong to you, try it out with Minh Thi Phan, Rex Murphy, or Lola Hayes. These investigators are able to take all the cards needed to pull off both of these combos in the same deck.
.45 Thompson + Act of Desperation (+ Double or Nothing)
These two cards are absolutely nuts together, and so many investigators can run this combo. If you throw a .45 Thompson at something with Act of Desperation, you will get a massive +6 Combat, deal +1 damage, and gain 6 resources if it was in your play area to start. This bonus is so massive, it will hit almost anything. For this reason, I thought, why not throw Double or Nothing in there as well? With Double or Nothing, you will deal 4 damage and gain 12 resources(!!!). Now that’s an outrageous combo!
Enchanted Blade + Dr. Elli Horowitz
I talked about this combo at length in my Big Relic Jim article, but in case you haven’t read that yet, the big thing about this combo is that Dr. Elli will save you two slots instead of one by picking up the Enchanted Blade. This negates one of the largest downsides to playing this weapon. A few investigators can run this combination, but I maintain that Jim Culver makes the best use of it, by a lot.
Meat Cleaver + Fight or Flight
This is a combo that can help you secure some hits more easily, and even get some horror healing out of the deal. Using Meat Cleaver, initiate an attack after taking a horror. This extra horror will give you +1 Combat due to Fight or Flight. If that attack then kills the enemy, you could heal the horror you just took. While a lot of Survivors are able to take this, it would be worth a look in Agnes. Agnes also gets to deal damage to enemies after taking horror from Meat Cleaver, and she usually has a good amount of horror on her anyway due to Forbidden Knowledge, Ward of Protection or even Arcane Research.
Well-Maintained + Act of Desperation // Well-Maintained + Colt Vest Pocket
If you use Act of Desperation on an item that is Well-Maintained, after you throw the item, you will get it back into your hand instead of it ending up in your discard pile. Similarly, Colt Vest Pocket, an item that gets discarded at the end of the turn you play it, will bounce back to your hand instead if you put Well-Maintained on it. This will allow you to get even more “pew pew pew” out of the Colt Vest Pocket.
Eldritch Inspiration + Rite of Seeking
Obviously, Eldritch Inspiration interacts with a lot of cards. That’s the whole purpose of Eldritch Inspiration, so I won’t list every interaction here. But its interaction with Rite of Seeking is notable, because it eliminates one of the biggest pitfalls the card has: the chance to lose all your actions. Typically, Mystic players will not use Rite of Seeking as a first action due to the threat of losing two actions, which can hamper their plans. Eldritch Inspiration in your hand allows you to do this safely. Rite of Seeking only has a few charges to start with, so even blocking an action loss from happening once “fixes” this card dramatically.
Alice Luxley + Evidence!
So, Alice Luxley combos with a LOT OF STUFF. So I’m not going to list every single Alice combo I can think of, because there would be so many combos I would have to make a separate article just about Alice Luxley. But, I will highlight Evidence! because it combos with her in both directions. Let’s say I use a Fight action to defeat an enemy. I then play Evidence! to discover a clue. I can now use Alice to deal 1 damage, which could, in theory, defeat another enemy. That was all 1 action. Let’s say instead I used an Investigate action to discover a clue. Alice Luxley does 1 damage to an enemy, which again could possibly defeat it. I then get to discover another clue with Evidence! These combos can get even more bonkers when you start adding more player cards, or even do it with Roland Banks, whose investigator ability can be a component of this whole combo and whose Guardian/Seeker card pool allows this whole thing to become even more insane.
Wither (+ Dark Prophecy) + Anatomical Diagrams (+ Swift Reflexes)
Anatomical Diagrams alone can drop a good number of enemies in the game to 0 Fight. If you use Wither on them first and get a symbol draw, which Dark Prophecy can help guarantee, you can drop even MORE enemies to 0 Fight. Wither cannot drop an enemy’s Fight below 1, but Anatomical Diagrams can! So, if you Wither a 3 Fight enemy (there are tons of these) down to 2 Fight, and then drop Anatomical Diagrams on it, it will be 0 Fight for the remainder of your turn. This can set up a lot of things, such as a big Storm of Spirits play or Double or Nothing bombs. Note that the Wither does not have to hit in order to allow the Fight decrease to go off. This can allow poor fighters to be able to hit things that they should have no business hitting. This decrease only lasts during your turn, so if another player want to get a hit in with say, the legendary Double or Nothing Shotgun, they could use Swift Reflexes to cut in and get a Fight action off.
Grisly Totem + Rise to the Occasion
One of the biggest criticisms of Rise to the Occasion is that it only ends up putting you 1 skill value over the test threshold for the easiest test you can commit it to. Sure, that’s better than being 2 below it, but that’s still not very safe. With Grisly Totem, you can now play Rise to the Occasion and be 2 over. This is significantly safer and makes Rise to the Occasion much better. If you are Minh Thi Phan, you can even be 3 over with just one Rise to the Occasion! Also consider this for Silas Marsh, who can start playing Rise to the Occasion on dangerous Willpower tests.
Banish + Hiding Spot // Banish + Snare Trap
Why not have some fun with where you dump your Banished enemies? Dump them in a Hiding Spot. The exhausted enemy will not cause your Hiding Spot to disappear, and when they ready, they will be Aloof, giving you an extra turn of safety from engagement. If you got the symbol draw on the Banish, you will have even more safety in your Hiding Spot, as the enemy also will not ready until the following turn. If you don’t want to teleport it into a Hiding Spot, teleport it into a Snare Trap and you can exhaust your enemies for even longer. These combos are worthwhile if you do want to defeat the Banished enemy at some point (for example, to set up an ability like Roland’s), but don’t want it to be a bother in the meantime.
Of course, there are many more combos than these out there, but these are ten I thought were worth mentioning right now. What do you think of these combos? Which ones do you think are the strongest? What other combos with TCU cards are you using now? Let me know, as I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’m currently enjoying Meat Cleaver + Stunning Blow + Peter Sylvestre with Rita to do 3 damage in one hit.
Take the horror on Peter for Meat Cleaver to deal +1 damage, successful attack triggers Stunning Blow’s evade, which triggers Rita’s extra damage on evade reaction (once per turn unless you’ve drawn an elder sign). Peter heals the horror at the end of the round, and you get to heal one of your own horror as well. The fact that Rita only has 5 sanity anyway means it doesn’t take long for Meat Cleaver’s extra fight to trigger (3 or less remaining sanity).
I also pack a couple of rResourcefuls to get Stunning Blows back for reuse.
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