[COTD] Spiritual Resolve (9/15/2020)
By - AK45526
This card is surprisingly good. I like it a lot for Mark because he's so fragile (if you want to avoid Sophie flipping, he essentially has 5/5 health/sanity) and has the draw power to get the other copies - and it's great for taking damage from other players to trigger his draw via Solemn Vow or Self-Sacrifice or whatever, and soak up the horror from Painkillers to keep using Sophie. If you want to lean hard into using Sophie, Spiritual Resolve is a great choice.
For a more combative Carolyn Fern build, Spiritual Resolve is likewise appealing - taking "Let Me Handle This!" and First Watch lets you tank all the hits for the team and her ability means that it eventually ends up not costing a great deal - with her Seeker access she also has enough draw to get through her deck quickly. More appealing for a Foolishness build that is a bit more fragile but either way it can put in solid work and help soak up all the horror if using a Meat Cleaver; she's also one of the most likely users of Blood Eclipse, which might actually be halfway worth using with the recent level 1 version.
It has potential for Roland if not using disposable allies and for Nathaniel with his low sanity and tendency to jump in the way of attacks - particularly if you don't have much in the way of experience (playing Dunwich, or a campaign hasn't gone according to plan) - 5 exp for a pretty comprehensive soak solution is quite inexpensive.
I don't see it being very useful for most Leo builds, since he has an army of allies to soak up hits and can drop new bodies into play without using an action thanks to his ability. It also doesn't seem all that good for most Zoey builds since she has good health/sanity and high willpower and lacks draw power, unless you're going for a heavily tanky build like the Carolyn build outlined above. Finally, Tommy doesn't get much from the healing ability because he wants to kill off his assets for his ability, and has more inexpensive options like Leather Coat and Cherished Keepsake, but I could see him using it without using the free triggered ability as a way to have huge soak cards for big resource/ammo swings with his ability if other slots like Ally and Accessory are spoken for with non-sacrificial cards. Time will tell if it ends up having any real use for Sister Mary but I feel like many Mary builds won't easily be able to spare the arcane slot.
Additionally, Spiritual Resolve is a pretty good tech card to counteract lots of trauma - e.g. a TFA run without >!Bedroll!< if >!you get poisoned!<, since it's more or less slotless at the moment and 5 exp and 3 resources is a pretty good deal to not have to worry too much about health or sanity, though the card economy hit can be substantial.
That said, the designers have hinted that one of their goals for the Innsmouth Conspiracy player cards is to create more non-Mystic cards that use the arcane slot (and we're already seeing a bit of competition for the Arcane slot in Guardian), so this might well experience slot pressure over the next cycle.
Overall, it's a little niche and not for every build but it's good value for what it offers - loading up on lots of soak can essentially allow you to avoid spending cards/resources or actions on avoiding damage/horror in other ways (no need to commit to a Rotting Remains test, or happy to take attacks from enemies to play more efficiently or use cards like Counterpunch, Lesson Learned and Survival Knife), letting you be far more reckless - after all, health and sanity are resources to be spent, so having lots of extra soak can essentially give you greater leeway. I recommend that you give this a try if you're curious - I have found it to be very effective in the right build. It's a nice upgrade from True Grit/Something Worth Fighting For if you aren't reliant on the inherent ability to soak for other players, combining them together in a single card with a self-healing effect.
I like the art as well, it's quite evocative and contrasts nicely, flavour-wise, with all the art of tough two-fisted heroes powering on through with their gumption seen in a lot of other cards (True Grit, Lesson Learned, "I've Had Worse...", Second Wind, etc.)
Shame Calvin can’t take this card.
I'm expecting some time in the future to get a true "tank" Guardian who excels at taking damage for other investigators. Tommy already kind of can play this role, but with cards from Nathaniel's pack like Lessons Learned and Counterpunch, I see more and more how a character like that could be played. I think for 5XP a character who excels at taking damage taking 3 copies of this card is actually a pretty good deal, especially considering it takes an Arcane slot instead of body slot.
Speaking of Tommy though, although I have not played this with him yet, I do want to try it. At first it seems anti-synergistic with his ability because you don't really want to heal his assets, you want them to die off. But even ignoring the free trigger to heal this asset, it's actually pretty good for Tommy running Solemn Vow. He can essentially heal other investigators while packing on damage and horror on Spiritual Resolve, hopefully recycle it and get 5 or 6 resources out of it and shuffle it back in. His ability helps pay to keep putting it back out instead of healing it, but in the event you really need some extra soak if you have an extra copy in your hand you can just discard it to get a "second wind."
It sounds fun but at the end of the day you can definitely spend 5XP better. But I am hoping that one day we get a Guardian who truly embodies the spirit of this card.
It is worth noting that it’s 5XP for 3 cards, all of which have great soak and take an uncontested slot. That makes it surprisingly cheap, and I think one of Tommy’s best upgrades when ignoring the heal aspect. It’s also obviously great for Mark.
So, I took this card on Carolyn Fern through Carcosa, and I'm very, very glad I did! It provides a boatload of soak, and it effectively pays for itself - so if you draw all three of them, you can end up with 7 damage and horror soak for the low, low cost of...gaining a resource?
Costs an action, of course, but overall I was very impressed!
I kind of want to try this in Tommy Muldoon, not to be able to heal it, but rather so as to have access to three relatively cheap cards that soak a *lot*, that pay for themselves and keep shuffling in?
How do you end up with +1 resources? If you use the free trigger on Spiritual Resolve twice, you end up gaining 2 resources total, against a cost of 3 resources (plus 1 action and 3 cards)...
The answer, unfortunately, is "by fundamentally misunderstanding Carolyn's ability" - we thought the resource gain was per Horror healed, rather than each instance!
I took it on mark and his power level spiked. It's so good on him. Fixes both dmg and horror issues, and his draw power keeps it healed easily
I could see myself including this card if I took Carolyn Fern through multiple campaigns, but only because trauma is rough to deal with if you play more than one campaign with the same person.
It's a boatload of soak, and it succeeds where Armor of Ardennes failed by being able to soak horror, but it's rare that I have allies in play and lose because of a lack of soak.
It's kind of a cute card for Mark, as you tend to naturally draw into the others to keep the healing flowing.
There's kind of a goofy Tommy build where you take this and Solemn Vows and just soak spam everyone, as this gives him +3 resources if you kill it off cleanly.
Is it good? It's not particularly great. I wish maybe it were 2s across the board and maybe only 3 XP or something, it's a pretty hard bargain at 5 even though you might as well be invincible once you have it going.
Not even ***Spirit***
A friend of mine played it in a Tommy deck and it was really good. Yes, he does have other options for soak, but ideally you don't want to be running too many soak cards in any deck, even Tommy. This gave him pretty much limitless soak and could be relied on to turn a profit. You obviously don't want to use the free trigger ability because that would be counterproductive, but Tommy doesn't actually need to.
I just don’t myself see the need for this much damage soak. If you could direct damage from other investigators to it, or heal allies with it maybe, but who needs 7 more health and/or 7 more sanity??
If we see more ‘flagellant’ cards like blood eclipse which directly turn damage and horror into tempo then maybe, but in any other context this is wildly excessive.
It seems to me like this is a card which exists for a game where allies weren’t already an inherent source of soak.
Mark Harrigan. Especially if you play him in campaigns that like to hand out lots of damage and horror from treacheries and unavoidable effects. It seriously saved my bacon in Return to Shattered Aeons. And the fact that I get to draw a card every time I damage it goes so well with the option to discard copies to cure the damage.
In my experience Mark is better with healing than he is with soak if only because it gives him flexibility with Sophie. I myself would probably not run this for that reason, though it’s an option