Cost: –.

Dauerhaft. Nur 1 pro Deck.

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Tiziano Baracchi
Fäden des Schicksals #106.
Scharfsinnige Analyse
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: If I'm upgrading two Strange Solutions in my deck, what is the process for the upgrade? Do I: a) Create 2 stacks of the 3 possible variations and pick one from each? or b) Shuffle up all 6 of the variations and draw 2? There's a slight difference in the likelihood of getting a matching pair depending which way I do it and the wording seems ambiguous depending on how we interpret 'option'. A: Since the game has no inherent limit on how many copies of each variant you might have in your collection, the method that makes the most sense to me is to take 1 copy of each variation in your collection and randomly select one of them, then do the same for the second strange solution [option a].
Last updated

This is a very unusual card.

Permanent cards are, by their very nature, kind of strange in that they start off in play, so taking the card doesn't dilute your deck. Normally with cards like Scrapper, the level and experience point cost are barriers that keep every eligible investigator from immediately taking it. Arcane Research, the other level 0 permanent card besides Shrewd Analysis, inflicts mental trauma when you take it, so you have to consider the consequences of using the card before you acquire it.

Shrewd Analysis is different from both of these cases because there is, in most instances, no drawback for taking it. There is no experience cost, no trauma... you just get it.

The ability on the card is not mandatory (since it is phrased, "you may upgrade a card") so taking this card does not commit you to using its ability. It simply gives you an option that wasn't there before. In my opinion, it is really not a good ability, since you sacrifice deck consistency for a discount, and I normally don't consider that a good trade. However, the option is there. In a way, taking this card kind of future-proofs your deck a little bit; if there is ever a card released like Strange Solution with upgrade paths that have a negligible difference between versions, you'll be thankful you grabbed this permanent. However, if you never use this card's ability, that's fine too, because it doesn't cost anything. The only potential drawback is if there's an encounter card that punishes you for number of assets or number of permanent cards. That second situation seems pretty unlikely, but you never know...

For investigators that have limited Seeker cards or out-of-class limitations, I think you should probably never take this card. I don't think it's normally worth it.

Otherwise, I think you should always take this card.

For reference...

Investigators who should always take this card:

Investigators who should never take this card:


  • Lola Hayes can take this card if she wants to use it to take up a Seeker slot without taking up a card in her deck.

Is there a functional reason to justify not taking this card if you have no Seeker slots restrictions? I really can't think of one. Very curious to see if we'll get more level 0 permanents like this one in the future.

Now that Ancient Stone (Minds in Harmony) has been anounced I think carolyn will definitely want shrewd Analysis! — mogwen · 85
I agree! Carolyn Fern definitely wants this card now, but only if she's running Ancient Stone. — ArkhamInvestigator · 140
You say there's no XP cost, but that's not true. Even level 0 cards cost 1 XP. From the rules reference, page 5: "Each card costs experience equal to the card’s level, to a minimum of 1 (purchasing a level zero card still costs 1 experience)." — ddbrown30 · 2
Sorry, I take that back. I didn't realize you could start with permanents in your deck. — ddbrown30 · 2
While Roland could take this card, it would literally just be a waste of your time to find and sleeve it, since he can't use any of the upgrades (they're all Seeker level 3+). — SGPrometheus · 125
I'm trying to figure out how this would be worthwhile for Carolyn in place of 1 (or 2) Delve too deep. Other than getting the second upgrade sooner? — Claire Voyant · 1
@Clair Voyant, this card costs nothing and does not occupy a deck slot. She spends 2XP for two copies of Ancient Stone(1). Then, after solving it, she upgrades one to Ancient Stone(4) and gets the second one upgraded free, saving 3XP. The trick is that only the horror healing version of Ancient Stone is valid for Carolyn's deck, so she's guaranteed to get two copies of it when "randomizing". — CSerpent · 72
Correction to previous: it does take one of her 15 Seeker/Mystic slots — CSerpent · 72

How is this practically applied?? If, for example, I choose to upgrade Strange Solution, which has 3 available upgrades, do I put each copy of those available upgrades (ie 6 cards) facedown on the table and choose 2 of them at random??

matt88 · 530
I think so! — CaiusDrewart · 1007
The question is: do you draw from all "options" or from all "cards"? (It's irrelevant for the first upgrade but for the second.) For example Strange Solution: do you draw for the second upgrade among the 3 options (33% chance each) or from the remaining 5 cards (20% chance for the already upgraded version, 40% for each of the other ones)? — Astrophil · 1
I think you do pick *both* upgrades from all random choices — sharingiscaring · 1
How does purchasing the card work? It's got no cost, yet some decks have included it as an upgrade path. Isn't this one that you would have to pick at the start of a campaign? Also being Permanent, presumably it doesn't take up a card slot? But if it's free and doesn't take up a slot..............why would you not take it? I'm confused! — TheBrokenMeeple · 8
@thebrokenmeeple You're correct: it is free and it does not count towards your deck size. The reason someone might not want it is that they don't want to take the 1/3 chance that their strange solutions become the freezing variant. — SGPrometheus · 125
The text says "you may upgrade a second copy of that card at no experience cost". I suppose it means the player can choose not to invoke its ability even if this card is included in their deck. — pariah · 1
@SGPrometheus I’m pretty sure it is only free if you start with it in your deck at character creation. Otherwise it would be the same as buying any other level 0 card - it costs 1 xp. — Death by Chocolate · 10
@DeathbyChocolate Oh yeah, sure sure. — SGPrometheus · 125
Ok, how do you use the effect here on Arkhamdb? I did not find any work around. Do you give yourself „virtual“ Xp? Can you somehow force the card in? Comments appreciated. — Castorp · 1
Bump. How do you apply this in ArkhamDb? — holapenguin · 1
@holapenguin and Castorp: while our may not be pretty, Arkhamdb doesn't appear to actually care how much xp you have when upgrading, and it will let toy spend more than you gained. This will result in your deck description saying things like, "4 available, 8 spent," but, *shrug* you'll know it's correct. — SGPrometheus · 125

So correct me if I'm wrong: Carolyn has only one eligible option when upgrading Ancient Stone: Unidentified and that is Ancient Stone: Minds In Harmony. When I upgrade the stones for which I spent 2 exp. (1 each), I spend 3 exp. and get free 3 exp. upgrade, since like the card says, Minds In Harmony is the ONLY eligible upgrade.

Wolf · 4
As far as I can tell, yes, although Shrewd Analysis will permanently take up one of her 15 mystic/seeker slots, but that is a pretty minor downside. — Death by Chocolate · 10
That's my assessment as well; I mention it in my review of ancient stone. — SGPrometheus · 125

Requires more data for a thorough analysis.

I reserve full review of this card at this time as we still have no idea what the Ancient Stone does. Once we know exactly how that works, it might be more worthwhile.

Right now, it is basically just good for the Archaic Glyphs, wherein either result will probably really help out your investigator.

The Strange Solution has a few results that might just mean you wasted slots and opportunity cost.

Basically, wait and see.

Myriad · 563
I disagree; I think 2 out of 3 results for the Strange Solution are great, and the third one is fine. In either case, saving 7xp is pretty decent for a card that took no experience and no deck slot to purchase; literally no investment. It'll definitely get better with the stones, but I think it's great now. — SGPrometheus · 125
Restorative concoction is fine, but below the curve compared to either other result. — Myriad · 563
If I understand this card right you save 4XP for Strange Solution? — Rothemd · 2
Yes — Myriad · 563
This card seem really limited for me. — AquaDrehz · 1
Fun card in Lola. It makes it so that you only have to include 6 yellow cards in your deck without actually requiring anything else from you. — Sechen · 47

What I haven't seen written is that this is still a good card for strange solution. Four experience points for two random upgrades will save four experience points. Even if acidic ichor is not drawn, it is only two additional experience points to switch them out. It still saves two experience points overall.

The same will happen with both archaic glyphs and ancient stone.

filovirus · 1
Strange solutions and the like actually specify they can only be included by upgrading from the "unidentified/untranslated" versions, meaning to swap out upgraded versions, you would need to buy a level 0 version and then upgrade it again, for 5 xp total each, not 1. — zrayak · 1
zrayak is right, and furthermore the discount for upgrading cards wouldn’t be relevant even without that clause because “When purchasing a higher level version of a card with the same title, the investigator may choose to "upgrade" that card by paying only the difference in experience (to a minimum of 1) between the two cards and removing the lower level version of the card from his or her deck.” The rules do not allow for ‘upgrading’ to a card of the same level. Previously this wasn’t very relevant due to these cards’ clauses, but it is relavent now for the level 3 upgraded dual-class cards. — Death by Chocolate · 10