Disclaimer: Pre-Scarlet Keys release review.
TL;DR: If you have 4 or more Allies in your Deck, combine it with Calling in Favors and you're increasing greatly your Deck value!
Motivational Speech is to what Uncage the Soul, Crack the Case, Schoffner's Catalogue, Faustian Bargain are to their respective classes: a replacement of Emergency Cache that interracts with what the class is supposedly doing.
Let's compare them:
- Uncage the Soul: these are probably the 2 closest, get a 3-cost discount on a card from your hand. You gain 1 action compared to Emergency Cache, but you lose in versatility.
- Crack the Case: this is one of my favourite cards, it can bring more than 3 resources if you time it well, and new cards like Shocking Discovery will probably help triggering it, but compared to others, it is not upfront money. You have to first succeed at investigating before you get the resources to pay for your assets, which often are here to help you investigate...
- Schoffner's Catalogue: it does not bring action compression, and asks for 2 resources to play it, so what's the catch? It's a slotless Item, which means you can Scavenge/Resourceful/Salvage/Yorick it.
- Faustian Bargain: is the perfect themed one, get more money, at the risk of bringing 2 test failure at any point to your team. It is also part of the one class that has the best capacity at generating more actions.
Are all these cards any good? Yes, they see play in most decks that can use them. So what about Motivational Speech?
Besides the thematic aspect, the fact that it is a Parley action is better than it sounds since the rules say that the only actions that do not generate an Attack of Opportunity are: Fight, Evade, Resign, and Parley. You can now keep that Ally in your hand a little bit longer without being afraid of getting an enemy during the Mythos Phase.
It's no surprise that you will need some Allies to make it work, hopefully of cost 3 or more. By chance, have a lot of that.
The obvious ones:
- Beat Cop (0) and (2), Grete Wagner that becomes all of a sudden less daunting, the new Field Agent, Guard Dog, and Agency Backup if you're that type of person.
The less obvious ones:
- Sled Dog is often considered more janky than really OP because it involves a loooong set-up time. Well this could be highly supported by Motivational Speech, making it more viable!
- Brother Xavier that all of a sudden becomes a cheap boost with a time bomb included. He is now outclassed by all the released Allies in many cases, but this could help seeing him around again.
- Tetsuo Mori that is now free, soaks and gives you stuff even from your Discard Pile! These 2 are going to be amazing together!
Some notable off-class ones:
- Dario El-Amin to increase the chances of playing him and having the boost immediately
- Gregory Gry for pure value
- Henry Wan for the meme
- Leo De Luca so that you can finally play him turn 1 without clicking for a resource.
- Delilah O'Rourke and Lola Santiago to keep your resources to pay for their abilities
- Tristan Botley because, let's face it, the 3 blurse never happens...
- In Dark Horse Decks or poor Decks, since most key Allies are 3 or more: Peter Sylvestre, Jessica Hyde, Granny Orne (3), Aquinnah (3) and Miss Doyle. The exception is Madame Labranche, the one Dark Horse Ally.
So, who would be playing this for sure?
- First one to come to mind is Charlie Kane of course, the Ally guy. This will be to him what Deny Existence is to Diana Stanley.
- Tommy Muldoon of course will want this since his also interracts with Allies, and as they shuffle back in his Deck, Motivational Speech will always come in handy to play or re-play a previously defeated Ally.
- Anyone having or planning to get 1 or 2 charisma. Combine it with Calling in Favors, and you have a good set-up engine.
Who will be less interested?
- Ol' man Leo Anderson will probably think twice before getting it since his is already covering Ally playing.
- William Yorick since it only cuts the cost of playing an Ally from your hand, not from your discard pile.
These 2 may still want it, especially as they are incentivised to add a lot of Allies in their decks, but it is a bit anti-synergetic.
Conclusion: While Allies are not as key for as Spells can be to , I would still consider this card in most of my main Decks that can access it as the Allies are with Hand slots the ones I always fill up, and are very often 3 some of the most expensive cards.