Crystallizer of Dreams

I finally had a chance to try this card out yesterday on my blind run through the first Dream Eaters scenario. I'm playing Tony in a group that doesn't have a dedicated cluever so I'm running both Evidence! and Intel Report to help out on the clues side of things. This card really pulled its weight ! The ability to play an event that nets you clues while then attaching it to the Crystalliser and commit it again for 2 book pips on a subsequent test makes Tony into a pretty reliable clue-getter. Despite being the least clue-focused of our 3 player group I came out with more clues than anybody else while still breezing through the zoogs. Great card. Can recommend.

I do have a question about the interactions with a couple of cards though, which hopefully some of you more knowledgeable folk can clear up. Firstly, how would it interact with Ever Vigilant ? Could you play this as one of your assets after EV is played and then still attach EV to it afterwards or does the discarding of EV occur before the reaction effect comes into play ? Secondly, does the reaction effect only kick in immediately after you play the event ? For example, could you play Well-Maintained onto one of your guns and then a few turns later when it gets discarded attach WM or would that not be allowed ? Delay the Inevitable is another event that could be affected by this if it turns out to be a restriction. I'd assume that it would be fine, but the wording on the card is "after you play an event", which could be interpreted differently.

Sassenach · 50
Ever Vigilant attaches to the Crystallizer just fine but events that don't get discarded immediately don't - the Crystallizer replaces the standard discard that happens when playing an event, but those event's don't have that, so there's nothing to replace. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
@thenamewastaken I think he's suggesting a sequence of: play Ever Vigilant, play Crystallizer (with ever vigilant), attach ever vigilant to crystallizer, which would not work. If the crystallizer enters play after the timing point that it's looking for, it can't trigger, even if the event is still resolving. Play =/= resolve. — SGPrometheus · 167
@SGPrometheus What does "After you play an Event" mean? It should be the timing point after complete execution of the event, right? The discard of Ever vigilant happens AFTER all three assets are in play. This discard can be replaced by the crystallizer, as it is already in play. — trazoM · 1
@trazom I might be looking at this from too much of a Magic perspective, but the only timing point when a card is "played" — SGPrometheus · 167
Part 2: would be after costs and targets are determined and when the effect goes on the stack (not that AH has a stack, per se). The parts you're describing are the resolution of that effect, not the playing of the card. Again, this might not align perfectly with the actual rules, but it aligns with MtG's timing rules, which i consider a gold standard. — SGPrometheus · 167
From Appendix I, I understand that the trigger occurs in step 4. — trazoM · 1
trazoM has it right - an event is considered played after its effects resolve. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
Appendix I says clearly that a card is only considered to be discarded (in the discard pile) when its initieted effect is resolved. This means that "Ever Vigilant" will discard after the chosen assets are in play, triggering "Crystalizer of Dreams" in the process, as trazorM rightly points out. — Alogon · 235
Cool, that's handy. EV has double book pips so that's a pretty sweet combo. — Sassenach · 50
"You owe me one!"

Seems like quite an interesting card with a lot of interactions and not totally clear rules for me, which I hope to clarify here. First of all, it's a Roguish version of Teamwork, but with some advantages. Disadvantages are also present, but they seem pretty minor to me. Let's talk about obvious advantages:

  1. An awesome card in terms of action economy. 0-lvl, 0 cost. You trade one action, which is normally used to play one of your card, to play a card of your mate and to get two cards for the team. Unlike above mentioned Teamwork, it also gives something (two additional cards), not only provides distribution of already existed goodies among players.
  2. Rogues are the richest faction, so it allows to save some resources for poorer mates, while providing the same benefit for the team. E.g. Guardian's Agency Backup: it may totally devastate a guardian, yet can relatively easily be played by many Rogues.
  3. You can support your character's archetype with a card you normally cannot include in your deck. I haven't thought much about it, but Dark Horse for Leo Anderson or some cool weapon for Finn crossed my mind. And now regarding not very clear moments.
  4. "To play a card under you control". Obviously, you cannot play a skill card, and it is clear with assets. But what does it mean to play an event card under your control? Just to apply its effect on yourself instead of the owner? It seems like this card allows to play events as well, doesn't it?
  5. Attacks of opportunity. I read it as even though you're gonna play a card from your mate's hand which doesn't trigger an attack of opportunity (e.g. Dynamite Blast (2), you will get it because the initial event does provoke it and you apply an attack of opportunity before applying the effect of the card. If you play a card that also provokes an attack of opportunity, it will get you hit only once, as I understand, because you are doing one action (and it is the action that provoke attacks of opportunity) with several effects. There was also a question in comments whether you need to pay resource costs of the card you play. I decided to add the clarification to the review, since a friend of mine also asked the same: yes, you do.Tthe rules specifically say: "to play a card, an investigator must pay the card's resource cost and meet any applicable play restrictions and conditions." Sometimes cards allow to avoid paying the costs, then the wording "put into play" is used instead of simply "to play". Here are some examples: Sleight of Hand, Flare
chrome · 3
4. Playing an event ‘under your control’ means you play the event (as if it had been from your hand). Anything that effects the person who plays it affects you. Any tests that happen - you make. 5. Correct. — Death by Chocolate · 12
I'm still unclear as to whether you need to pay the resource cost. Normally cards will specify "paying its cost" when that's the case, but the wording on this card doesn't say anything about that. I suppose it's reasonable to assume that you would need to pay, but it's ambiguous. — Sassenach · 50
They don’t always. Three cards have it as reminder text in parenthesis and italics, but at least as many don’t, as paying costs is an assumed part of ‘playing a card.‘ — Death by Chocolate · 12
you do need to pay all card costs, including resource ones. It's absolutely clear, because the rules specifically say: "To play a card, an investigator must pay the card's resource cost and meet any applicable play restrictions and conditions." Sometimes cards allow to avoid paying the card costs, then the wording "put into play" is used instead of simply "to play". Here are some examples: <a href="03029">Sleight of Hand</a>, <a href="02115">Flare</a>. — chrome · 3
Old Book of Lore

Solid Mandy tech. Given that she can use this to see the top 6 cards in your deck, she can use this to fish for her weakness / free clues relatively cheaply. As most searches cost an action and resources, it seems worthwhile to pay an action for the search.

Bloodw4ke · 2
I think this card is still pretty expensive, even with mandys ability, especially spending an action each turn (or 2 on the first to get anything back). Another point is the 1/turn limit on mandys ability. In multi or if you include many search cards, it's not as useful if her ability was already triggered. — Django · 2027
I've not played Mandy so might be getting it wrong, but does she effectively make this card 1 Action to draw 2 cards? Either that or an infinite "No Stone Unturned"? On its own that doesn't seem shabby at all, but I don't know how that would play with a deck stacked with search already. — Octo · 46
I agree with @Django. Once I had Rook in play, the book became basicially obsolete. However, I could see it in a supportive Mandy build because unlike Rook it can be used on other investigators. — Warforce17 · 152

I will offer a dissenting view. This card looks powerful but I don't think it is outside of some rare situations or possibly a rich investigator that can't fight. It requires an action/test to evade and exhaust the enemy by any of the investigators. It requires a second action/test to defeat the enemy. And it requires 3 resources to attempt the test (success not guaranteed). And beyond those drawbacks it quite situational since it can only be used against non-elite enemies.

Most of my Survivor decks either want to use Dark Horse or they usually a little on the poor side and 3 resources is a lot. I would prefer to just kill the enemy. There are several good examples of high health non elite enemies in the other review but overall there are probably fewer than 10 such enemies in all of Dunwich and Zealot scenarios.

I might however spend 1-2 XP to add it to my deck for Undimensioned and Unseen but beyond that it is just too situational and expensive to be useful in general.

I haven't played about half of the investigators yet but the only one that really wants this card imo is Wendy Adams with 4 agility and 1 combat. She just can't fight even with access to the Rouge weapons (there might be one that uses agility) although Ornate Bow works for her (I think). Rita Young probably prefers to straight up evade and run away or use the Ornate Bow or Baseball Bat to whack most enemies. Situationally it would be great for her but not very often. Pete has Duke and Fire Ax to just kill enemies. Yorick will just kill enemies.

I ran it in a Wendy deck through Carcosa and never used it during the whole campaign (except as fodder for her ability), because I always had something better to use my resources or actions on. I teamed her up with Mark who usually dealt with enemies and in a pinch I could always evade non-hunters, non-elites or I used Sneak Attack (2), which I ran in the same deck. The card would be more playable if it was less resource hungry, or if you could use it on ready enemies. — PowLee · 1
It's a good adaptable target for specific scenarios where it can be quite effective, such as undimensioned and unseen — Weirdmarine · 1
As you say, it absolutely shines in Undimensioned and Unseen. I ran it in a solo Wendy run through that scenario and took out three of the big beasties with it. Way more efficient than trying to defeat them normally. Otherwise, the 'non-elite' restriction makes it difficult because most enemies with high health ratings tend also to be elite, and the only real advantage to this is the action compression you can get from using only two actions to defeat them. — Sassenach · 50
I think an evaluation of the card based on running Wendy alongside Mark, who is pretty much universally considered the best "kill em all" investigator is not at all fair. If you're running this card in solo Wendy, it's faster usually than Evade + Sneak Attack. In solo you just need the board to be clear, and the fact that this instantly kills one enemy regardless of their total health is a huge deal (two tests sure, but less than would have been needed to kill them otherwise most likely). You have to build her for evasion (Sylvestre, Track Shoes, Moon, possibly Trench Coat), but if you do it's a good way to keep the board clear. Also, testing twice in Wendy is not nearly as demanding as testing twice for other investigators, thanks to her main ability and her survivor access. — StyxTBeuford · 436
I will agree that you don't take this card in a Dark Horse deck, but not all Survivor decks should take Dark Horse. — StyxTBeuford · 436
But is Wendy the only investigator that it makes sense for? Or a couple of isolated big health non-elite enemies? — TWWaterfalls · 2
I think Rita could do it also. Finn I dont think wants it because his slots are too competitive. Patrice could also use it if she builds up her agility a little (she likes double icon events the most). — StyxTBeuford · 436
You are still leaving out that Survivors are a relatively poor class (with or without a Dark Horse deck) and 3 resources for a one time event is a really big cost on top of the 2 actions that aren't guaranteed passes. These aren't rouges with cash to throw at everything. I just don't think it is a great card if it is mostly limited to one investigator and even then situationally useful. Because I think Rita would just as soon evade it for a damage and then use her Bow or Bat or just simply run away from it than spend 3 resources on it. I haven't even looked at Patrice yet so perhaps. — TWWaterfalls · 2
Well Patrice can (and in my opinion really should) take Labranche, which combined with her Violin means she can pay for 3 resource events every turn if she wants to. I also don't agree that Survivors are necessarily poor. That's again mostly an archetype dependent on Fire Axe, Labranche, and possibly Dark Horse. 3 resources isn't cheap, but it's not that demanding either. Rita's ability is incredibly good for closing damage, but a card like this is situational but powerful for killing a high health enemy much quicker (for example Hoods). The fact that it commits for two agility icons makes it a low risk include, not a high risk one. — StyxTBeuford · 436
I should also add that Rita vastly prefers taking Peter Sylvestre over Labranche, so a poor build makes less sense with her in my opinion. — StyxTBeuford · 436
I find that Survivors are typically poor because they have very few gain resource cards available except for the ECache and the recently taboo'd card. If you are stuck with collecting one resource per turn or spending actions for resources then I like to use those resources judiciously. Spending 3 for one event that takes two actions (evade and pass the Waylay test) makes it very situational in its use. I still don't see how killing a 3 or 4 health enemy with Waylay is quicker than a normal fight action for Rita. Grab a baseball bat and whack it twice and save 3 resources. I think this card works for Wendy alright, for Rita it is not bad and I haven't played Patrice so I can't comment on her. I am not saying that it is a terrible card (the two skill icons largely save it) but it isn't anywhere close to Backstab/Sneak Attack that have been mentioned as comparables. I have it as one of the last 5 cuts from my current Rita deck. If it stays in the deck then it will probably be cut after the first campaign. Also it seems like a bad idea to use it against Hoods since he attacks when evaded. — TWWaterfalls · 2
Well Rita can't take Backstab or Sneak Attack as they're tactics, not tricks. Waylay is nice as an option to fight with Agility on evade value instead of Combat on fight value. Typically Rita can get to 7 Agility with Sylvestre and Track Shoes, while her best weapon options (Meat Cleaver, Baseball Bat) push her to 5 Combat. Having the option to test against either value or to use your higher stat is sometimes worth it. Yes you're better off hitting the Hoods with a normal weapon, I agree, but you don't always have or draw a weapon, so an evade + Waylay into Hoods takes care of the problem and only hurts you once. For enemies with high fight and high health, Waylay is absolutely a worthwhile include. It's campaign specific for sure, but again because of the two icons it's often an easy replacement for Manual Dexterity. — StyxTBeuford · 436
For what it's worth in Rita I'd probably replace it at some point with Ornate Bow. — StyxTBeuford · 436
Logical Reasoning

This seems like a great upgrade for multiplayer Carcosa campaigns, especially as run by Carolyn Fern...get 3 clues first, have everyone else join you on your space, then one action and 2 measly resources from you, and everyone on the square gets healing and resources. Using this early in Dim Carcosa in particular would really help.

Krysmopompas · 10