Don’t let the title fool you, this list won’t actually rank the allies based on how good of a friend they’d be. No, this list will just rank allies that I personally love and are, mostly, staples in a lot of decks. The Ally trait is a really important trait, because of the amount of utility one could provide. Allies really come in all shapes and sizes. Some give a static bonus, while others provide a very useful effect. The worst thing about Allies is that you have to, obviously, draw them. Not drawing your core Ally can really hurt your gameplan to the point of your investigator actually become useless without it. So, to honor all the brave souls that join our investigation, I’ve compiled this list of the best of the best.
Now, when I first started ranking all the Allies, I quickly started to struggle because of the sheer number of good Allies out there. With that in mind, I’ve decided to split this list in two parts. One for this week, one for next week. This week we will focus on player cards, so Allies that you can always add to your deck. While next week I will post the list with only story cards, which are the Allies that will join your quest by means of scenario rewards, resolutions or other story-driven effects.
Before we head on to the actual list, there are two more side notes that I’d like to explain, before people point them out in comment sections. Firstly, I have excluded signature assets from this list. Last week I made a list about the best Spells, but I didn’t exclude signature Spells. I regret that decision, simply for the fact that I’d like to make a list in the future that is about the best signature assets. Which means that this list won’t include Molly, Mitch or the best boy Duke. Let’s also be real, Duke would win this contest. I wanted to give other Allies a fair fighting chance. Talking about other having a fair fighting chance we can segue into the second point: I’ve excluded Mr. Rook and Dr. Milan Christopher from this list, simply because they have been added to the taboo-list and I couldn’t decide which version to add, so I simply choose to not add any of these. Also because you’d expect them there, and probably high. I want these lists to surprise a bit, to invoke emotion and reaction. The main idea behind these lists is to entertain and create wonder. Placing either of these Allies on the top would be too obvious. And hey, if you disagree, that’s cool.. My list, my rules. 😉
Honorable Mention 1: Agency Backup
Agency Backup offers a lot of versatility to a deck. Sure, they cost a lot in both experience and resources, but when they’re in play they will almost always create a good time for you. Mostly, if not exclusively, played by Leo Anderson, the Agency Backup gives you a free triggered ability to either deal 1 damage to an enemy or grant you a clue. If used to its full potential you can deal a total of 3 free damage and gain 3 clues. After that you can opt to either deal a fourth damage or gain a fourth clue. Of course, a card like Inspiring Presence works great here! If that does not convince you, the Agency Backup can also soak damage and horror for your allies!
Honorable Mention 2: Tetsuo Mori
I feel like Tetsuo Mori is the unevolved stage of Agency Backup. Tetsuo Mori doesn’t costs a considerable amount of to put into play (unlike his evolved stage). But his effect is pretty great. Defeating Tetsuo Mori allows you or a fellow investigator to find a specific Item from either your deck or from your discard pile. The best part is that the search through the discard pile is fixed. Whereas the search through the deck is hoping for the best. Discarding an emptied out Weapon is usually a great play for the investigator who has Tetsuo Mori. But it might also be beneficial to allow your Seeker to recur a Fingerprint Kit or even the Lockpicks for your Rogue. Tetsuo just offers a large number of ways to get some tempo back! If that does not convince you, Tetsuo Mori can also soak damage and horror for your allies!
Number 10: Chuck Fergus
If this was a list of the best beards in the game, Chuck Fergus would hit the number 1, 2 and 3 spots. Man, look at that gorgeous and magnificent beard. What a champ! Actually, that would make a great list! I should write that stuff down.
Anyway, Chuck Fergus is a great Ally to have by your side! His high experience cost is nothing but reasonable, because once he drops to your play area your game becomes nothing but a rollercoaster! For an exhaust, everytime you play a Trick or Tactic event you get an added bonus. Rogues love those traits, so getting more value for them is great. Chuck Fergus allows you to add two bonuses; either make it fast, cheaper or grant better stats. Play an Ambush for free and fast? Sounds amazing! Play Slip Away fast and gain an extra 2 skill value to the entire test to ensure you succeed by 2? Wow! You can never go wrong with Chuck Fergus!
Number 9: Peter Sylvestre
Peter Sylvestre has been a fan-favorite card since his debut in the Dunwich Legacy. Survivors were, to be a bit blunt, undefined and raw. Wendy and Ashcan both worked on discarding cards from your hand, both their highest skills were Willpower and Agility on their own and, besides being “lucky”, their cardpool had a lot of unconventional tools. Now, I love Survivors, my second favorite class, but they were rough around the edges when Arkham Horror: LCG started up. So Peter offered great help. Boosting your highest skill value(s) and giving you some great sanity soak. Not going insane is always great in this horror game, therefore adding Peter Sylvestre to your deck makes most forms of taking horror almost redundant to your personal game.
Number 8: Brother Xavier
Why doesn’t Brother Xavier have the Blessed trait?
Besides that, Brother Xavier is just a bit weird. But that’s exactly the reason why he is so great! Adding the willpower to, for example, Skids or Roland can make the difference between an unpleasant mythos phase and one where you shrug off the encounter cards. Not only that, but if Brother Xavier were to die he has the potential to take an enemy with him. I honestly think that an upgraded Brother Xavier would be great! Let him deal damage to all enemies at his location, lower his resource cost, maybe give him a second static skill boost. Ah, a man can dream. If that does not convince you, Brother Xavier can also soak damage and horror for your allies! … huh, weird.
Number 7: Lola Santiago
Also, really quick: Lola Santiago gives your two favorite skills a boost. It gives you a free triggered ability to gain a clue for resources, which you automatically generate since you’re a rogue. And she is an archaeologist. That doesn’t mean anything, but I think that’s pretty cool.
Number 6: Charles Ross, Esq.
I feel like a lot of people underestimate Charles Ross, Esq. The Seeker class is filled with great Allies, like the aforementioned Mr. Rook and Dr. Milan, but most people like to include the reliable Art Student or Laboratory Assistant. However, for me Charles Ross, Esq. is just superb! He allows you to gain reduction on the cost of your Item-assets, which you probably have a lot of as a Seeker. Furthermore, he can spread the love by giving other investigators said reduction. Everybody loves spending resources for their Item-assets! The fact that his ability can stack is quite amazing. If you’re spending some time at a specific location, playing your (much needed) Grisly Totem for free sounds pretty good to me!
Number 5: Arcane Initiate
When I made this list I wasn’t expecting to include any non-unique Allies here, but lo and behold! The Arcane Initiate is such a great Ally for Mystics, I couldn’t bring myself to exclude them. Sure, they have the potential of adding doom to them, but that’s usually not a problem that can’t be solved. Heck, the upgraded Arcane Initiate can even forego that choice and just enter the game slightly mentally scarred. But the true power is their ability. For a free triggered ability, you can search your top three cards for a Spell. Any Spell. Wow! Most, if not all, Mystics work on these wonderful arcane wonders and some even have Spells as their signature cards. Making the Arcane Initiate even better for them. These Initiates might not be all powerful, but they certainly have the ability to make their investigator just that!
Number 4: The Red-Gloved Man
The Red-Gloved Man is shrouded in mystery, which already makes him one of my favorite cards. But his whole gameplay is just so thematically correct! He basically allows you to be a God for one whole round (or two if your party happens to have the Gold Pocket Watch). The base value of all your skills becomes 6 and not only that, but the Red-Gloved Man gives you some great soak values. So even if you were to take some hits, you could always let him soak them. I just love playing The Red-Gloved Man and keep recurring him with A Chance Encounter in certain survivors.
Also, a quick shout out to the Conspirator trait. I truly wish we saw more of those, it just exudes mystery to me!
Number 3: Granny Orne
A recent addition to the Arkham Horror: Living Card Game, but Granny sure made an entrance. Bundled with Stella Clarke, her primary goal seems pretty obvious. Making sure that you fail by a certain amount to trigger your Fortune cards. Or in the case of the upgraded Granny, you can just choose to pass. Oh wait, you can even choose to let it work on an investigator at your location. That seems insanely strong. Not only that, but Granny Orne gives you always useful static skill boosts and her sanity value is nothing to scoff at. Granny Orne came in hard and she made damn sure we all know she meant it and that she is here to stay!
Number 2: David Renfield
Great boost to your main stat. Quick resource generation. Low sanity so you can quickly kill it off to get rid of the doom. What is not to love about David Renfield. This guy can quickly make your games go insane. Playing him on turn 1 can grant you 8 total resources in 4 rounds. That is insane to me. Now if only gaining resources doesn’t sound great to you, also note his static boost. Sure, David doesn’t do anything fancy, but there is a certain elegance in his simplicity! Also, I just really love resources as a Rogue main. Plus, Mystics are pretty expensive.
Number 1: Leo de Luca
Oh boy, do I love Leo de Luca. He costs a large amount of resources, but an early Leo de Luca can make your game gain so much tempo! Dropping a Leo de Luca on turn 1 is probably one of my favorite things to do in Arkham Horror: LCG. Especially the upgraded version. I love to add this card to all my decks and then grab two copies of Another Day, Another Dollar and then spend the rest of the game just going everywhere and doing everything. Maybe I’m a bit biased towards this card, since I’m a Rogue main. But having 4 actions every turn sounds great to me. Add Quick Thinking and Borrowed Time on someone like Tony or Finn and you could have a total of 9 actions in one round. Now, isn’t that the dream?
Did you not like the position of The Red-Gloved Man? Where is Alice Luxley? Are you sad that I didn’t include other specific Allies? Probably yes, that’s cool. Let me know which inclusion I missed and why? Which Spell is your personal favorite? Which Ally is here that shouldn’t be here?
Hopefully we will all be back for next week’s list!
PS: This list is based on the current releases and will not be updated to include future Spells. The most recent releases are “Into the Maelstrom” and “Parallel Agnes Baker”.