For many players, Rite of Seeking 4 is a super wonky card. For a card that is supposed to be a direct upgrade, it doesn’t always seem that way for reasons such as these:
- Costs more to play than Rite of Seeking 0 and Rite of Seeking 2
- Gives the exact same Will boost as Rite of Seeking 2
- Gives the exact same number of charges as Rite of Seeking 0 and 2
- Still has the same penalty for drawing a symbol token
- Can very often try to take more clues than there are left on the location in 1 or 2 player, leading to a waste of your power
- Can very often leave clues behind on a location, particularly annoying if you are trying to clear Victory Point places (i.e. pulling 3 clues off a location with 4 clues or in 2 actions, pulling 6 clues off a location with 8 clues)
All things considered, it’s quite clear that if you are playing with 1 or 2 players, you don’t really need Rite of Seeking 4 – from here on called Rite4. Most locations don’t have enough clues on them to warrant the power and cost of Rite4, and if you are trying to investigate with your Will, Rite2 gives the same bonus.
At a four player count, Rite4 is quite useful as you can scoop up large bursts of clues. However, unless you bring someone else along who can get clues, you may find yourself falling a bit short on getting enough clues.
There is though one magical player count where playing Rite4 turns into an utter nightmare for the Elder Gods. That player count is exactly 3 players.
The Math Behind 3 Player Rite4
Rite4 attempts to take 3 clues at a time. The majority of locations in the game only get clues on them equal to a mere 1 or 2 clues per investigator. Depending on your player count, a one clue per investigator location will get 1, 2, 3, or 4 clues, while a two clue per investigator location will get 2, 4, 6, or 8 clues. In both cases, the only time the number of clues is divisible by 3 is when there are also only three players.
The fact that it takes exactly 3 clues in 3 player is also very useful, because Rite4 can very, very easily wipe most locations, which in turn secures you experience off of Victory points locations.
You may be thinking, okay, sure, Rite4 wipes locations in 3 player. But Rite2 does the same thing in 2 player. You are not wrong. But consider this. Let’s say you have a 1 clue per investigator location. In both cases, your Mystic uses Rite of Seeking and passes, getting all the clues on that location. In the 2 player example, you have 5 actions remaining on your team. In the 3 player example, with Rite4 taking all the clues, you have 8 actions remaining on your team. That’s so many more actions available to get things done! This is why Rite4 in 3 player is an absolute beast of a card. You completely laugh in the face of the game’s scaling difficulty, because you get the extra required clues needed for the extra player in the same amount of actions as if the game had fewer players.
What to Combo With 3 Player Rite4
So, we are pretty sold on 3 player Rite4 now. Hooray! But what do we combo with it? Well, it depends on what the rest of the Rite4 deck has going for it. Mystics are pretty capable of fighting on their own now, and have plenty of spells to deal with enemies. However, if the Mystic is already dedicating resources, slots, and actions to investigating with Rite4, the Mystic is going to really want a Fighter who can help. You probably also want a back-up cluever, just in case you don’t draw your Rite4, can’t get it in play when you need it, or somehow fail your draws. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and all that good stuff.
All this being said, I think one of the best mechanics to combo with 3 player Rite4 is, surprisingly, clue dropping. Yes. If you have a Mystic who is inhaling clues with Rite4, go ahead and drop clues on that location. You can afford it. I’m talking about effects like:
These cards usually don’t get any love, because nobody wants to drop clues on their location. But remember what I said about how many more actions you have left after your Mystic cleans out the location? You absolutely can pick up those dropped clues again, particularly if you are using certain investigators, like Roland or Rex. You will want to avoid picking up the clues with Rite4, because you don’t want to blow a full charge for 1 clue. But, considering you are getting approximately 9 clues with 1 card already, your team should have no problem recovering a few straggling clues. (By the way, while we are on the topic of Roland on a team with Rite4, I would like to point out that one charge of Rite4 completely neutralizes Roland’s signature weakness in one action.You Roland players are all very welcome.)
Another thing to combo with Rite4 is Double or Nothing. I’ve always been a huge believer in Double or Nothing with Mystic cards, and HOOOOO BOY if this combo right here is not the number one reason. Six clues in 1 action. I don’t know if I even need to say more than that. Just insane if you can pull this off.
Finally, I think one of the best mechanics to combo with Rite4 is resource sharing. Rite4 is very expensive. Uncage the Soul doesn’t cover the cost, Emergency Cache doesn’t cover the cost, Forbidden Knowledge doesn’t cover the cost. Your Mystic is going to want to play way more cards than Rite4. You may want to consider chipping in. Here are some ideas:
Charles Ross, Esq. may be a bit of an odd choice, because obviously it doesn’t help you play Rite4. However, it DOES help you play things like Holy Rosary, Spirit Athame, or Painkillers (Agnes thanks you). Teamwork and Stand Together can give you resources in a much more obvious way. Stand Together also helps give you card draw, which Mystics really, really need and can have a hard time accessing.
Who Wants Rite4 in the First Place
So, the final question is, who is even playing Rite of Seeking 4?
Only 7 investigators are options: all the Mystics (Agnes, Jim, Akachi, Mateo, Diana, and Marie) and Norman. Now, while I just spent all this time talking about how amazing Rite4, I still maintain not all of these investigators want to run it just because they could. Let’s talk about who definitely doesn’t need to run it first and who does after.
Marie doesn’t really need Rite4 to be a good cluever. She can investigate very reliably with her high Intellect already. Toss a St. Hubert’s Key on her and Alyssa and she already has 6 Intellect, not even having used any of her Seeker cards. If she wants to wipe locations, she actually can do so with the Archaic Glyphs upgrade Guiding Stones, and she can use her spell action on that too. Compared to Rite 4, Guiding Stones is cheaper in every way. You may need some assistance to ensure you get a good amount of clues per charge, but with all the stuff Marie has access to (i.e., Premonition) and with teammates to help, you should be fine. Marie can also use Enraptured during her Guiding Stones test to get another charge on the Guiding Stones. So that’s fun.
Same as above, minus the bit about Guiding Stones. Norman already has tons of access to clue getting with his Seeker level 0 cards and his natural 5 intellect. It’s basically a huge investment for Norman just to do something he already can do very, very well naturally.
Early on in each scenario, Diana is going to have a hell of a time passing the Rite of Seeking test. Later on, she’ll pass it in spades, but Diana has other ways to get clues in her card pool. You’d be better off using Scene of the Crime, Drawn to the Flame, and Evidence! on her and stacking some Intellect boosters. Typically, you want to rush through the beginning of a scenario as fast as possible to allow for a cushion of time towards the climax of each game. Rite4 Diana will take a very long time before you can reliably pass tests. Not her best option.
Mateo can actually start with Rite of Seeking 4 in his deck, which is just a little bit bonkers. While Mateo does have a pretty good base Intellect, it’s not quite high enough to warrant using it over his Will. However, something you could do is use Enraptured on some regular investigates of your own to get more charges on your Rite4. That’s pretty good.
Jim has two secret weapons here. First, his skulls help him pass Rite of Seeking 4 very easily. Mystics tend to do Rite on the last action anyway, so the action loss trigger will not matter. Dark Prophecy or Grotesque Statue can help you secure you get 9 clues each time. Secondly, Jim is the only person on this entire list who can run Double or Nothing. Remember how I said Jim can use other cards to help him pass Rite4? Well, now you can do that same thing, but this time, you are getting 6 clues instead of 3. Can’t go wrong there!
Without Rite4, Agnes is going to have a hell of a time picking up clues efficiently. With her base Will of 5, Agnes is going to find it very easy to pass these tests naturally. If she doesn’t pass, she has access to Survivor cards like Lucky! or “Look What I Found!” to help her recoup her losses. Similar to Jim, Agnes will find it very, very easy to get 9 clues on each play of Rite of Seeking 4 (for reasons we will discuss in a second with Akachi.)
In my opinion, Akachi is the undisputed queen of using Rite4. The fact that she gets an extra charge on it cannot be understated, as she goes from 9 clues to 12 clues. She also can bounce Rite4 back to her hand with Spirit-Speaker, allowing her to play it AGAIN, getting her another 12 clues off of the same copy of this card. Basically, Akachi with Spirit-Speaker can get more clues than you could possibly ever need off one copy of this card. If she ever draws an Elder Sign or manages to get an Enraptured to succeed, well, that’s a charge on Rite4 and 3 more clues available. I realize at this point, I’ve made it sound like it’s a given Akachi will pass every attempt at Rite4. That’s because it practically is. Like Agnes, Akachi’s base Will of 5 plus the bonus of Rite4 means she tests at 7 with no other effects. On Standard, that’s already anything but autofail to pass on most locations. Toss in a Holy Rosary or Spirit Athame and you’re even better off. Basically, Akachi (and Agnes) with Rite4 will inhale clues all over the map and what’s more (unlike Agnes) she will be able to get charges on it over and over.
In conclusion, Rite4 is a bonkers card for 3 player games. However, that being said, it is still only optimal on certain investigators. I most strongly recommend Rite4 on Akachi and Agnes. Provide some support to your Mystic to keep them safe and well stocked on resources, and you should find yourself well on your way to unraveling the Mythos of Arkham.