I truly apologize if you read last week’s blog. Maybe you were hoping for a Top 10-Lidy focusing on light-hearted subject or a list that actually focuses on the best of the best. Instead here we are again, a Top 10 focusing on something we’ve all developed a very special relationship with: Random basic weaknesses.
For this list, I’ve tried to look at all the random basic weaknesses in the game. The list wasn’t that daunting, luckily. There are a total of 36 different random basic weaknesses in Arkham Horror: LCG right now. The goal is to make a list where all the weaknesses on it hit hard. A list where every weakness makes you groan when you draw it. Nothing sucks more than constructing a solid deck, covering most of the game (from enemies to clues, from treacheries to enemies) to only then draw such a detrimental weakness that you might as well just rebuild your whole deck and start over.
What this means is that a card like Unspeakable Oath (Bloodthirst) isn’t on this list. Any combat focused investigator would love to have this weakness. It doesn’t hurt their deckbuilding in anyway and at worst they draw a card that has no impact. But also Indebted isn’t on this list. A rogue can alter it’s deckbuilding easily to circumvent this, or just take Another Day, Another Dollar. No, this list focuses only random basic weaknesses That Just Suck!
Number 10: Stubborn Detective
How ironic is it that we start this list of with an enemy? Well, at least Stubborn Detective has the great clause of “Bearer Only” next to Prey. But that doesn’t mean the Detective isn’t annoying. Most investigators have a fast way of dealing with this guy; He is easily killed or evaded. But losing your whole ability can be really frustrating if that is what you built deck around, which most people do. Per usual for enemy weaknesses; the Stubborn Detective hunts. Meaning that if you evade him, you’re best bet is to run far away or find an alternative way of dealing with him permanently. Also; How this guy managed to follow me all the way to Mexico and then to the centre of the Earth is still baffling to me, but then again: He is really stubborn.
Number 9: The Tower XVI
“IF THE TOWER XVI IS DRAWN IN YOUR OPENING HAND DURING SETUP, YOU CANNOT REPLACE IT. IT MUST STAY IN YOUR OPENING HAND.” Oh, come on! I get it, game, it’s a Tarot-asset, so where the other Tarot cards start in play for free, the Tower has to stay in your opening hand.. Just to mess with the general rules of weaknesses. But this sucks. I have to pay 4 resources, which is already worse than Indebted, to play this card. That all means that I; 1: Lose an action; 2. Lose a card; 3. Lose 4 resources; 4. Or be forced to not commit cards. Not being able to discard this card for free is just adding insult to injury. Other weaknesses at least give you a head start by giving you a relaxed first turn. Play some starting assets, prepare for the worst to come. Not the Tower.
They could replace art on this card with a giant middle finger and nobody would notice the change.
Number 8: Kleptomania
I’m going to level with you real quick: I love this card. I like the design and the idea. As a “Rogue-main”, Kleptomania is something I really can get behind. All of this doesn’t mean it’s really impactful and can seriously hurt your game. Losing an action only for an investigator to lose something that they probably need is so hurtful. I wish it would just end there, if only this card ended there. But it gets shuffled back in to your deck. I hate weaknesses that get shuffled back in to your deck. Imagine losing an action to Kleptomania, only to redraw it in your next upkeep phase!
It might seem unlikely, but then again; drawing 3 autofails in a row is unlikely, and yet we have all been there.
Number 7: Silver Twilight Acolyte
At first glance, I never thought this card was that bad. But the more I encounter it, the more I hate it. This card has 2 positives; It has the “Bearer Only” clause and it doesn’t have retaliate. But then here is a whole list of sucky-suck things about the Acolyte. He hunts. He has 3-Health, which is always annoying (I already ranted about this in my Top 10-List from last week, which you should definitely read if you haven’t). It has 3 Evade, which is a little too high to just (consistently) evade. Oh, right, and it adds Doom! Remember how you hated Ancient Evils? Say hello to recurring Ancient Evils which deals damage and costs actions to deal with. Ugh, makes me sick.
Number 6: Overzealous
Draw 2 encounter cards? No. Just no.
Number 5: Obsessive
Hey, do you like Card Games? Do you like drawing cards? Do you like to have a hand full of 8 cards? Me too, Jimmy! Psych. Now discard 1 card every turn. That Automatic you have been saving for? Discarded. That Crack the Case you can finally play now that you’re going to discover the last clue? Discarded. That Delve Too Deep you’ve been holding for 8 rounds just to play when everybody resigned. Discarded. Game, stop, I want to hold my cards!
Number 4: Amnesia
Hey, do you like Card Games? Do you like drawing cards? Do you like to have a hand full of 8 cards? Me too, Jimmy! Psych. Now discard all your cards (except 1)! That Automatic you have been saving for? Discarded. That Crack the Case you can finally play now that you’re going to discover the last clue? Discarded. That Delve Too Deep you’ve been holding for 8 rounds just to play when everybody resigned. Discarded. Game, stop, I want to hold my cards!
Number 3: Dendromorphosis
This card is so infuriating. Handslots are the most commonly used slots, par Mystics. It’s a weakness you have no control over. You can’t play any hand slots properly when this card is in your deck. While they are likely part of your “core gameplan”. The card itself can be dealt with quite easily; a free triggered ability that deals 1 direct damage isn’t that scary. But not being able to fully operate in the game, because this card could always be the next card in your deck is extremely harmful. Other cards don’t target you this hard. Discarding cards? Okay, I still have my assets. Doom? Okay, but I still have assets to make up tempo. Dendromorphosis? Oh, %$!$#.
Number 2 – Offer You Cannot Refuse
Don’t let this card fool you. You do not want these 2 experience points. This card has the potentiatal to permanently eliminate you. You can try and stop it. You can try and back resources, but you need those as well to play your powerful events and impactful assets. The worst part is, most decks rely on drawing cards. You want your strong cards out and replay them. Offer You Cannot Refuse puts Fine Print in your discard pile, which only prolongs your ineviable draw of this card. Didn’t have the resources? That’s a big problem. This card makes it possible for you to get eliminated in the middle of the campaign. Sure, you can defend against it. I guess it’s not as bad as…
Number 1 – Doomed
An Offer You Cannot Refuse on steroids. There is no stopping this card. At best; you could be permanently removed from the game around the 3rd or 4th scenario. At worst; you could get killed on the first upkeep phase of the last scenario. Everything about this card is utterly insane. Doom, discarding cards, taking damage; this is all losing tempo. Tempo is very important in Arkham Horror: LCG, so losing it will give negative results. But removing a whole, probably filled with experienced, investigator is not only tempo-slowing, but demoralizing to the core and, dare I say it, bad design.
Did you disagree? Probably yes, that’s cool. Let me know why you disagree. Which random basic weakness didn’t make the list you thought should definitely be here. Just to reiterate; I love to make entertaining lists and spark conversation. But please remember, this is all my opinion. Disagreeing is totally fine, but please be nice and respectful when providing feedback or in arguments about this topic. I hope to see you soon for the next Top 10 List!
P.S.: This is list is based on the current releases and will not be updated to include future enemies. The most recent release is “In Too Deep” and “Dark Revelations”.
P.P.S.: My group has a houserule to decide which random basic weakness you get. There are so many at this point, that drawing a random one from a big pile can become a lottery at this point. When we get to this part of deckbuilding, this is what we do; Every player draws 3 random basic weaknesses. We all choose 1 we don’t want from the 3. Then we shuffle the remaining 2 together and draw 1 at random. That is the weakness we get in our deck.
So, for example; I draw Overzealous, Indebted and Paranoia. I discard Overzealous. I randomize Indebted and Paranoia. My partner draw 1 at random, it being Paranoia. So I add Paranoia to my deck. Hopefully this houserule will inspire you. 🙂