Neutral
Vorteil

Talent.

Cost: –. XP: 2.

Permanent.

You get +5 Deck Size.

Your investigator's Deckbuilding Options gain: "one other level 0 card from any class (, , , , or )."

"Unassuming" doesn't mean you're unprepared.
Dual Brush Studios
A Thousand Shapes of Horror #167.
Versatile
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Clarification: If 1 or more cards are forcibly removed from an investigator’s deck and returned to the collection (such as when a card is exiled, or when a campaign effect forces an investigator to remove cards from their deck), that investigator must purchase cards so that a legal deck size is maintained. When purchasing cards in this manner, that investigator may purchase level 0 cards at 0 experience cost until a legal deck size is reached.
    • This rule also applies if an effect alters an investigator’s deck size, deckbuilding restrictions, or deckbuilding options such that 1 or more cards must be removed from or added to their deck as a result. - FAQ, v.1.7, March 2020
Last updated
Reviews

Versatile offers every investigator the ability to buy any one level 0 card at the substantial cost of 2 experience and an increase in deck size. I actually think the +5 Deck Size is the greater cost associated with Versatile than the experience because its going to make it harder to find and draw your key assets - weapons to fight with, tools to gather clues with, etc. - not to mention also making it harder to find that special out of faction card you bought Versatile to play in the first place! I don't think its worth buying Versatile without an exceptionally good reason; the out of faction card you buy better offer you something especially powerful for your investigator. There are a hanful of investigators that get something really unique from Versatile or else who I believe are in the best position to take advantage of it:

Wendy Adams - Wendy gains access to Premonition, which combined with her amulet truly breaks Arkham Horror. The Forced ability on Wendy's Amulet is presently ruled to not apply to events that don't go immediately to the discard pile after being played. This means that, with Wendy's Amulet in play, you can play Premonition over and over again at the player window at the start of every skill test and always know exactly which token will be drawn. To dig to find this combo, Wendy has access to Rabbit's Foot, Drawing Thin, and Nothing Left to Lose, among other cards. You still won't reliably find your exact two cards in 35, and the experience cost of the best Survivor draw makes this combo likely a late campaign option at best. Personally, I think infinite Premonitions will spoil the major challenge of Arkham Horror - in having to guess which skill checks are worth your resources, and sometimes being screwed by bad luck you couldn't foresee.

Mandy Thompson - Mandy is a special case on this list. Her sheer power of deck searching means she cares far less about her deck being a bit on the large side. If you are playing Mandy with a base 30 Deck Size and all the generic deck searching cards that are so strong for her - Mr. "Rook", Eureka!, etc. - then you likely will find the card you bought Versatile for in most scenarios. The question remains as to what you should buy. Given Mandy's insane searching I don't think you need as powerful a combo as other investigators considering Versatile, but I'd suggest a powerful out of faction asset to make up for the fact she only gets events and skills in her "off-class".

William Yorick - being allowed to replay assets means that any you buy will get value for as many times as you can afford to play them. In addition to that though, Occult Lexicon offers Yorick a truly fantastic ability with Blood-Rite. Blood-Rite lets you discard assets you'd rather play actionlessly from your discard pile in exchange for the two things Yorick wants most of all: resources and damage. On top of that, Yorick's card pool contains a broad variety of powerful weapons all of which he's happy to play - Enchanted Blade, Baseball Bat, Meat Cleaver, etc. - so you can keep the desity of weapons in your deck high even if you add 5 more cards. In addition to the powerful Survivor draw available to Wendy, Yorick can use Yaotl to mill his own deck to dig for assets.

Calvin Wright - Calvin uniquely benefits from having his health and sanity pools extended because it means his stats cap out at higher values. The number of cards in the game that presently do that is exactly two: Five of Pentacles and Hawk-Eye Folding Camera. Five of Pentacles is already a Calvin staple. Is the camera worth it for 2xp and +5 Deck Size? The willpower and intellect boosts are also nice to double down on deepening his sanity pool. I'm not certain this is worth it, however. Both Five of Pentacles and the camera demand that you mulligan for them because they are far stronger when in your opening hand than when drawn later in the scenario, and all the card draw and deck searching in the world won't help you mulligan your thick 35 card deck. If you want to give Calvin a camera, you might be better gifting it to him by the use of Teamwork.

I think these examples show well enough when Versatile is likely to be good. It's not really worth it if all you are doing is buying some generic value card from out of faction; it really has to be a card with a unique effect that is particularly powerful with your investigator that you wouldn't be able to substitute with in-faction cards, and even better if you have access to plenty of card draw to dig through your bloated deck to find your cards.

aeongate · 62
I quite like the idea of giving Calvin Dynamite Blast and turning him into a suicide bomber. It may not really be worth it for all the reasons you already set out about the drawbacks of having a larger deck, but it would be hella fun and if you do manage to draw it early it's an instant +3 boost to fight and evade. s — Sassenach · 121
Notably, Roland or Zoey with Stick to the Plan + 1x Astounding Revelation will thin your deck by 4 cards during set-up, almost entirely offsetting the deck size increase from Versatile. — Herumen · 1272
I've found this useful for buying Leo De Luca for people who don't have access to him. Especially in longer scenarios. — khoshekh · 1
Notice that when Mandy takes two copies of versatile, then she gets one additional copy of occult evidence, do it can Be used as late ultra upgrade, when your deck is fully upgraded half the road of the campaign. — Drostt · 1

The actual strengths/weaknesses of this card have been articulated very well in other reviews. However, this card does something that I think many players will actually enjoy and value that isn't necessarily to do with how powerful your deck is.

I'm a pretty casual player, and I often find myself trying to make a deck being aware of the strong cards. However, at the same time I also really want to try out a different theme or some new interesting cards without knowingly gimping the deck too much. For example, I might be looking at a mystic deck with some core spell assets, but I do really want to try out some of the less common event spells too. However, deck slots are scarce and I run out of space for the fun cards. Sure, I could really figure out a deck without the staples and roll with it, and there's great fun in the challenge of that. But other times it's nice just to have the staples AND some fun stuff, particularly as someone who doesn't actually play the game lots and so has fewer opportunities to try things out.

Versatile allows me to get more cards for fun things like this, even though yes this is actually generally a downside to the card. (Admittedly, being co-op I could always house rule higher card limits, but I like playing to the rules to be honest).

The second thing it does is let you take any level 0 card. This may not be super powerful but can be nicely thematic and flavourful and add to the narrative, which is something that I think some players will get a kick out of. Perhaps Joe Diamond likes a cheeky swig from a bottle of Liquid Courage. Or maybe Ursula Downs never goes on an expedition without her trusty Survival Knife. Or maybe Nathaniel Cho just gets a bit vicious sometimes and uses a Baseball Bat. I think these options would appeal to some players and it's nice to have cards the enable this kind of thing.

Octo · 54
This is a great point, and why I like the card. I like to try out new cards and not run the same things over and over again. Also, when building a deck, I don't like to include cards that just don't make sense with the character. Why would Diana have a Colt .32? Or a Police Badge? — dlikos · 1
That's easy. She's a member of the Silver Twilight Lodge. They're above the law and could easily obtain guns and badges from corrupt cops. — Death by Chocolate · 14
Well pal, if you don't choose something really powerfull from another class, it will be far better trade 4 good cards for 4 funny, than pay 2 exp for excuses to use the funny ones. — Venti · 1

About Versatile

This card potentially adds some insane combo potential, though the increased deck size makes your deck less consistent so it's also less likely to draw the card(s) you've chosen. It's better for investigators with lots of draw/ search effects, be it through their classes or their own ability. It's also better for assets, as you benefit from these longer than one time use of skills or events (though some investigator abilties may change that like Silas).

My favorite targets

Leo De Luca: Gain another action but his ressource cost is pretty steep.

Mr. "Rook": Search your deck for important cards and get your weaknesses out early, so they don't surprise you later. He's considered OP for a reason and is very likely to hit the taboo list. Be aware he's unique, so conflicts with other investigators.

Peter Sylvestre: To compensate low sanity of your investigator.

Dr. Milan Christopher: Useful for any high investigator. Mystics can use him too, though they don't benefit from +1 .

Scavenging: It's great for any clue-er but useless for the class it's in, as all survivors have medium to low int. Most clue-ers are almost guaranteed to trigger it every round. Use it to recur an item with many matching symbols or ?. Reload items with charges, secrets, etc. by discarding and replaying them, like Ancient stones or Grotesque Statue. This also works for mystics with Sixth Sense and similar spells.

Alice Luxley: Similar to scavenging, least usefull in the class she's in. Kill some Rats while investigating or help your fighter. Her high ressource cost could be a problem.

Magnifying Glass: Cheap boost while investigating

David Renfield: Gain lots of ressources if used right and +1 . I recommend Calling in Favors or Smoking Pipe get rid of his doom.

Lone Wolf: Another source of income if you're alone or small team. Mostly useless with Safeguard.

Fire Axe, Meat Cleaver, Baseball Bat: 2 damage weapons not on the taboo list, each with their own disadvantage.

Drawing Thin: Ressources or cards if you can afford to fail some tests or you don't care about the higher difficulty. Can add more secrets to Ancient Stone 1 if you beat the higher difficulty (use Hyperawareness or similar cards to beat the difficulty)

Teamwork: Opens some crazy combos by switching ressources, (XP) items and allies.

Hallowed Mirror: Everyone can heal HP/ Sanity now.

St. Hubert's Key: +1 and but pretty expensive.

Solemn Vow: Combo with Jessica Hyde and/ or Peter Sylvestre to heal other investigators.

Django · 2653
A few corrections: Carolyn and Finn can already take Milan, though they have limited deck space for L0 seeker cards. Also, Scavenging can only target item assets, which does not include Wither. — Zinjanthropus · 20
Drawing thin is now taboo, it’s a fair card to take but it’s 2 to 3XP — MrGoldbee · 37
I feel like this card was actually made in response to myriad. The extra off-class cards is cute, but what I really care about is having enough room for spiritual resolve and solemn vow. — SGPrometheus · 220
@Zinjanthropus: Thanks, i removed Carolyn and Finn. Regarding scavenging, i meant that Wither triggers scavenging, not that it can be returned to your hand. — Django · 2653
@MrGoldbee: Drawing thin is 5 XP with Versatile and taboo, but in some decks it can be worth it. — Django · 2653
In that case, I think you mean Sixth Sense, rather than Wither ;) — Zinjanthropus · 20
I meant the one that let's you investigate. Wait you're right. Thanks again. — Django · 2653
Often in this game, your difference between losing and winning can be in a single skill test. So lucky, for example, can be at least so strong as a "upgrade" on some asset that occupies some slot. — Venti · 1

So, now every investigator is able to blur the lines regarding classes not just those came with Dunwich Legacy, but there is a catch: The card has an experience cost attached to it so in campaign play you have to buy it later, you cannot start with it. The issue with that is, it also increases your deck size by +5 and deckbuilding rules have to be obeyed at any given time. Now, as far as I do understand it, this means you not only buy Versatile for 2 XP, but you have to immediately buy 5 level 0 cards for 5 xp as well ("Each card costs experience equal to the card's level, to a minimum of 1 (purchasing a level zero card still costs 1 experience). The number of pips beneath a card's cost indicates the card's level.") There seem to be no kind of "auto fill" like with cards lost due to exile.

So if I am right here, versatile increases your deck size, you have to spent all XP to fulfill the +5 deck size at once. I wonder, if am overlooking something currently, because evidently it would require hoarding XP and careful planning what seems to be a bit overdone just for a single level 0 card of any class.

thakaris · 46
Maybe applies Exlie rules from Dunwich: — Dark Oracle · 11
No way. I'm sure it will be considered similar to exile cards: " you must purchase cards so that a legal deck size is maintained (when purchasing cards in this manner, you may purchase level 0 cards for 0 experience cost until a legal deck size is reached)". But it needs confirmation, indeed. — Okami · 21
You are right, it should work like exile, but exile rules only apply to - well - exile. This is not the case here so as far as I do understand it, it won't apply in this case. — thakaris · 46
For now I'd play it like Exile, but you're right, rules as written you wouldn't be allowed to buy Versatile unless you have 7 XP to spare. — StyxTBeuford · 1501
Cards with Myriad will allow you to add up to three cards, for the price of one. — Csys · 1
This issue is technically ancient, but has never properly gotten included in the FAQ. Blood on the Altar resolution can bring you below the deckbuilding requirement without explicitly allowing you to purchase replacement cards without spending xp (i think this was informally answered outside of the FAQ however) — Difrakt · 749
Father Mateo overrides this issue ;) — Balin · 27
Rules are very clear, you cannot be below deck size. So you can purchase Level 0 cards for 0xp each untill you reach correct deck size. — VARRAKK · 1
If you receive 2 exp from scenario and that is your only exp, when you buy this you are on 0. BUT you must make a legal that so there is no other way but to fill up the slots with 0 level cards. I don't see any other logical reason. The question however arises if you have some 4 or more exp at this time.. can you spend 1 exp on a 1 exp card and then fill out the rest with 0? I think you can. I don't however think you can decide to not spend any excess cards and still fill out the slots with 0 level for 0 exp. — ReiNijs · 1
I have asked Matthew Newman this question, and that is what he came up with, this seems to be very interesting: We’ll be adding this to the next iteration of the FAQ, but the rule about repurchasing cards when you exile a card and must purchase a new card to maintain your deck size applies here, as well. Essentially, anytime a card effect causes your deck size to be under your investigator’s required deck size, you may purchase new level 0 cards at 0 experience cost to make up for this. This includes both effects that remove cards from your deck (such as when you exile a card), and also effects that increase your deck size. — thakaris · 46
Preston Fairmont, meet Charles Ross. You'll get along brilliantly. — Wasindear · 1
I like this card (as i do with most of the permanent cards). Imo the bigger deck size isn't a disadvantage all the time. Atm i run my second campagin with Rita (first was Dunwich reloaded with lots of side-quests, second is Dreameaters) and i'm at a point, where i don't really know how to spent my xps, because the deck is so full of good cards, that removing cards is a hard choice. With this i have more space again to pack some xp-expensive and fun new cards into my deck....along with Tetsuo Mori, who fits perfectly into this deck and who got out in the same story pack. Great combo ! The old survivor rule: Crisis as opportunity ! — Darkangel23 · 1