I'm concerned about a second core set
By - Vitrebreaker
Honestly I just proxy the extra investigator cards that come from the second core. Sure colour printouts do not look as good, but I'm sleeving the decks anyway.
I actually feel fine doing this as I'm being more responsible not generating all this extra waste with components that have no use.
I really don't understand why FFG don't just make a core investigator card pack. I would have willingly paid for that!
Okay, I'll just come out and say it:
It's fine. It's *completely* fine.
Especially now. If you plan on buying more content, you don't need it. It's nice to have, but these days, there's only a handful of cards in a second core you really want. Like, two or three per class\*.
These days, you can do without it. In the early days, when Shrivelling was the only good combat spell and core had all the good weapons, it was different. But you don't really need it that urgently anymore.
And of course, you can proxy them.
Guardian: Machete and Evidence certainly. Vicious Blow, Beat Cop and Guard Dog are good, Dynamite is nice.
Seeker: Dr. Milan, of course. Deduction. And I'm kind of fine with only having one of the rest?
Rogue: Pickpocketing (maybe?), Elusive certainly, Leo de Luca... Hot Streak?
Mystic: Holy Rosary, Shrivelling, Ward of Protection, Grotesque Statue, Arcane Initiate, okay, there's actually a lot of good stuff here.
Survivor: Scavenging. Lucky, Leather Coat... all just nice, but not vital. Playing Yorrick without those would be weird, though.
And all the base skills.
One thing I keep thinking about is, when is the moment that you don't need the second core set? I mean, I'm a beginner myself and I have a really tough time. I do have the Core set, most of The Forgotten Age (haven't started yet because I'm afraid it won't be fun), a Dunwich Deluxe box and the Miskatonic Museum. I don't really see me making decks that will be good enough for TFA. Then again, I haven't even tried.
Playing on the weirdly named "easy" mode helps a lot; the game is not easy in any way since enemies still do truckloads of damage, but it reduces most of the extreme random outliers of the chaos bag to be manageable. I've played The Forgotten Age with just that campaign set and one core set and it was great fun.
God damn yes ! In the core set, it is said that "easy" is to just live the story. I could litterally have a chaos bag of only 1 star, and still lose. Easy is no joke, and I won't even try standard without a full knowledge of a scenario and a really well thought deck.
Thanks for your advice. May I ask which Investigators you used?
I went with Leo and Ursula, which both seemed to fit best with the theme of the campaign. It was great fun :-) To be fair, the campaign is a lot easier if you pick Finn instead of Leo, since for this campaign evading enemies is often preferable to killing them
Confirming that Finn & Ursula make a great pair for TFA. Just finished a campaign with them (on "easy") and they did well.
Depends a bit on who you play and which cards you have access to. For example, as a general rule, you want four to six weapons assets or combat spell assets etc. on every character who is expected to fight monsters a lot (barring a few exceptions that fight mainly with events). 1 core gives you 1 combat spell, two good guardian weapons and two pretty mediocre rogue weapons. So, to play an effective pure combat guardian, I'd say you need another 2-4 useful weapons. If you get the Thompson from The Secret Name, or the Colt from The Path to Carcosa, or maybe the Survival Knife from the Forgotten Age, you can probably do it.
On the other hand, building a pure combat mystic would be really hard. You have one damaging asset spell, Shrivelling, and that's charge limited. But there's Armageddon, Azure Flame and Wither, all of which can be used for your fighting. Shrivelling is probably still the best of those, though.
In general, I'd say either pick up a few packs that just have good cards in them, or get some of the Investigator Starter Packs. (Sadly, they seem to be sold out everywhere). With those, you should be good.
Thanks, it's really hard to find the mentioned packs in Germany. So I guess I'll pack two Survival knifes and see how it goes.
I can recommend a few good shops (I'm in Germany too, atm).
Have you tried:
The second is Belgian (I think), but they have been very fast every time, and they were the only shop I could find that still had starter decks at the time. Edit: just checked, they are out of starter decks, too.
Another store you might want to take a look at is this one:
Along with despelvogel as mentioned above, these two stores are usually the ones I buy all my Arkham horror related purchases from. I've shopped at both for a few years now and I've always been very happy with the service and the selection of products. (disclaimer: I do live in Belgium, so short shipping times will probably have biased my view somewhat)
Eh, I got everything in under a week from Spelvogel so far, so their international shipping is excellent.
I usually use Fantasywelt. But if you look at their stock today you will see that basically every English Arkham item is out of stock. I have two orders pending with them. But I might look into the other stores.
I'll never not want a 2nd Vicious Blow or Deduction, but I'm pretty sure those came with the Investigator starter packs.
Just proxy what you don't have.
I do wonder how many people researching this game, or only bought the core set, found out about this need for a 2nd core, and said screw this. I don't understand anyone who defends FFG on this matter.
And I say that as a person who considers this game my personal game of the year ever since it came out.
From what I understood, multiple core requirements are a relic from an age long gone. At least their new Marvel Champions comes with a much more appealing core set, with multiple copies of most cards and exactly 0 need to buy a second copy.
And yes, vicious blow and deduction come with Harvey and Nathaniel, but some other very useful cards like drawn to the flame or working a hunch don't, which is frustrating sometimes, but certainly not 40 quids-frustrating.
It sure is bizarre that the core seems to be the only box that only contains most of the cards once. Especially considering that a new player might want to combine two investigators that share a color. I personally don't really mind the money (this game is expensive even without buying a second core set). It's just something strange to find out.
Poeple write guides to games when they are first released. Those guides hardy ever disapear from the internet. and people repeat what is in them as received wisdom.
At release time, 2 cores were literally required to play 3-4 players, for a long time it was still a viable option.
Now, especially with the starter invesitgator decks, a second core is down at the levels of a 'return to' box for a campaign you are not planning on replaying, or the novels which come with a single alternate card. Sure it \_is\_ extra deckbuilding options, but so are all the other 50+ packds and sets you can buy, and most of them provide more new player cards per dollar.
The only issue is that for some scenarios with 4 players you may run out of doom/clude tokens with a ingle core. Replacement tokens from etsy can bean option here.
First of all, thank you for the kind and objective answers. I did not want to cause a heated debate, and I really appreciate what you wrote. But I'd like to point to maybe some of you that my main concern is how a lot of "beginner" tips include "you should buy a 2nd set". I think a 2nd set is for competitive play, for a veteran or a hard-core. But if you just begin like me, a full campaign seems to be the most effective way to enjoy the game, and even after that, I really think I'll get to a 2nd campaign before even considering buying a 2nd box. But I might proxy some cards, as some of you advised.
I think the relatively recent release of the Investigator Starter Decks has changed the advice significantly. I started playing in August and the conventional wisdom then was pretty strongly weighted towards "you need two cores." The starter decks came out at the end of August, and now I see a much higher percentage of people recommending that new players try to get the starter decks rather than a second core.
Absolutely. The new investigator decks are a great buy in if you want to expand your card pool. Years ago with maybe one campaign expansion out there, I could see the group think of buying a second core. But now? With all the product out there, [a second core set is not needed](https://geekken.wordpress.com/2020/09/21/what-to-buy-next-for-arkham-horror-the-card-game/).
EDIT: To add. I see a lot of folks saying a 2nd core is great to replace all the chaos tokens that get wear and tear. [Do folks not use coin capsules](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3reIVPh5bo)?
I didn't really see the need for coin capsules when I first started playing, and then I eventually started seeing the wear. I then put the second core's chaos tokens in coin capsules.
Haha I only didn't get coin capsules because I had two cores, so I figured if my first one really didn't hold up, I could buy capsules then and use my second, pristine set. Sure enough, 4 months later, my tokens look terrible, and I've ordered supplies [to make glass cabochon tokens](https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2236102/chaos-tokens-using-glass-cabochon) instead of getting capsules. But I have to make them before I can play Innsmouth, because I only have one set of bless/curse tokens!
I think a second core is only necessary if you want consistency in your decks, or want to push higher difficulties and play more. If you play casually or for story then I wouldn't recommend.
I managed to find a core set's worth of player cards for cheap on Ebay which is ideal but that's hard to come by.
I am one of those sellers! I'm a bit obsessive with having a complete campaign within its box, so once per cycle I'll buy a core set and keep all the encounter cards so I can add to the box whatever is needed for that campaign. It means I don't have to keep moving the one copy of Ancient Evils I have between each campaign box, and sell the player cards from the core set on eBay. I wouldn't be surprised if other players do this too, so keep an eye out for the player card bundles appearing at the start of each cycle.
I get progressively more tempted to try this each time I open one of the Return boxes!
The value problem I agree with; you can use the same money for 2,5 mythos packs. I suppose it depends on how hardcore you like your deckbuilding: if you want to go full optimal you get 2 core sets. The value of the 2nd core set drops greatly the more expansions you get though; I only have 1 full campaign (Forgotten Age) and that gives me enough options already to have fun decks.
Personally I like the narrative of the game the most and like to work with the limited amount of cards I have, so a 2nd core set won't go in my collection no matter what.
The investigator starter decks make a second core sweet much less necessary. Buy the content that you will enjoy.
A second core set may have been a necessity back when there were barely a few mythos packs out, but is frankly not mandatory anymore. Between investigator decks and the plethora of available mythos packs, you can perfectly build viable decks with a single core.
Add to this the fact that many cards in the core deck can be proxied by mixing higher and lower level cards (put both leo de luca in your deck and play them as lvl. 0 and voila!), you really buy a second deck for about a dozen cards; hardly a worthy investment.
As a matter of fact, the "mandatory second set" advice is getting less and less popular on this subreddit if you only look at the more recent posts.
My partner and I have been playing for over two years with only one core. We have all campaigns and stand alone scenarios, and we have made it work. Sure it was a little rough when we were playing Dunwich with only one core and the Dunwich deluxe box, but it also encouraged us to think differently about deckbuilding. If we add players 3 and 4 we use investigator starter packs. There is no need to buy a second core to enjoy the game.
And I don't know what people on this thread have been reading, "buy a second core" is still at least the #2 suggestion when a new player asks for advice.
It is almost a discussion from a different era.
A second core was significantly more important when we didn't have alternatives for some of the cards in core.
Some people still feel that way. I used to recommend a second core as an early purchase but now it really depends on how you play.
Value is highly subjective. To me the value is worth it because, even though I own literally everything this game has to offer, I still use doubles of core player cards in every single deck I play. Every one. I don’t think I have a single Seeker deck without Deduction, Shriveling is a staple, even with cards like Wither and Azure Flame around, not to mention Holy Rosary and Ward of Protection go in almost every deck that can take Mystic, Vicious Blow and Beat Cop are Guardian must-haves, and I don’t think I’ve ever built a Survivor deck without Look What I Found. It’s only a few extra cards, but those few extra cards are used in every single game of Arkham I play. There aren’t many cards that enjoy the same frequency of use. The value isn’t in what you physically get out of a second core, but how often you’ll use it.
I've bought every mythos pack of every cycle, and most of the standalone scenarios. I still haven't bought a second core set. If I really REALLY want a second copy of a card in there, which I haven't, I'll proxy it. "Buy a second core set for 3 or 4 cards" is a terrible business model, and a step I will not take.
For the record I actually do use some of the scenario/encounter cards that come with a second core.
TCU has a scenario that asks you to use the Arkham Woods locations from The Devourer Below so I took my duplicates and store them with that TCU scenario.
TFA has Threads of Fate which asks you to use a few locations from The Midnight Masks, similarly I store those duplicates with Threads of Fate.
If I had more copies of Hunting Shadow and False Lead I would store them with each scenario that uses them. I get irrationally annoyed with having to pick out those encounter sets, but for now the duplicate set are stored with the generic core encounter cards as they're used in at least 4 scenarios across 3 non-core campaigns.
This, combined with the fact the reality of the player cards are that they're still 2x staples to this day means they're not going to go unused. Azure Flame does not obsolete Shrivelling by any stretch of the imagination; decks are more likely to run an Azure Flame as a third combat spell than want to run both Flames as their primary choice.
If you're okay with proxying, do that for now. But even with every other product available, I would still want access to a second core.
I've been playing for over three years and never got a second core set.
Didn't bother me when I only had one expansion and it didn't bother me when I had them all.
>The value of buying another core set over some more content does not seem right to me. I won't use the scenarii cards, the tokens or the neutral cards. I can't also just sell back what I do not use since the investigator's cards are needed.
Exactly. It's not worth it and while extra copies of a few cards are nice, not having them allows you to be more creative in your build.
(Obviously it depends on your player count though. How many people are usually playing with your core set?)
I agree with you. I have always advocated for buying new content over buying a second core. We always just proxied for the second player cards we needed until a friend gave us a second core as a gift.
It goes against the advice I was given when I started but I don't think you really need it unless you are playing 3-4 players. With two players, we picked up several expansions first, and only got the second core set after a year or so when we introduced a couple of new players.
The scenario cards were used to have a permanently assembled "Return to Night of the Zealot" set so they weren't wasted, but if you're after Investigator cards I'd say you're better off getting the expansions.
I got a second core for 2 reasons.
1. Nearly everything else except random mythos packs was out of stock at the time
2. I will play 4 players... Whenever the pandemic is over and I can actually see my friends again
I disagree, but maybe it is because I play exclusively with 4 players. Having 2 core sets is very important for deckbuilding options, having full playsets of core cards and double playsets of most neutral core cards gives curcial flexibility.
I agree with you. We bought core set last year and then we were gradually buying more content over the year.
Now we have 3 full campaigns, 3 starter decks and some standalone scenarios.
We also play with Taboo list and usually on Hard difficulty unless we do a blind run then it is Normal.
So now when we play and for example if I want to take two Beat Cops in my deck, I just put the normal one and exp one, so now I have two of them.
With other cards such Guard Dog for example for a second copy in our deck we usually take an extra card that has similar resource cost and icons. And we drop a little peace of paper in front of the card saying that it is a second copy of Guard dog.
So far we hadn’t had any troubles with our deck building or playing on higher difficulty, but then there are only two of us. Maybe if a third person would join then we would have to buy a second core set.
I tend to agree. The 2nd core set is a bit of a completionist trap people fall into. If you're on a limited budget, you get so much more out of buying a new deluxe/cycle and proxying any 2nd core set cards you feel are essential.
I completely get it though. I can't play one of these games without feeling like I have to have absolutely everything. It's a very understandable desire imo. I also think the extra tokens and encounter sets do come in really handy once you have a bunch of cycles and play a ton.
To be fair you're pretty much answering your own question. A 2nd core is only essential if you think it's essential. If you're happy to play with 1, you'll struggle to draw some of the more important cards when you need them, and playing even 2 handed will be super restricted in what cards each deck can use, but if that's ok with you, go for it.
If you enjoy deck building at all though, a 2nd core is pretty invaluable, and most players would tend to want a 2nd. You could always just proxy it, that's what I've done for now. The only other issue is tokens. Lots of scenarios after the core set start getting more token hungry, and if you played a big money deck, resource tokens can run out. It's not always going to happen, but it can.
As a veteran FFG LCG Fan, I can see your point but still appreciate that Arkham Horror as the first LCG only needs 2 core Sets.
Where Netrunner needed three and was already better than any of the first LCGs such as Warhammer where you needed 4 core Sets to run competitively.
Still, as soon as you go into the Jungle a second core Box is inevitable.
Well, as a former Magic player, I actually really enjoy I can play the game with 36€, and play decently under 100€. So I get your point !
You'll use the tokens after a year's play has seen them get all worn and bent.
You'll use the encounter set cards when the originals are used so much they are basically marked when shuffled into an encounter deck.
What kind of monster doesn't sleeve the encounter deck?!
Not actually judging but in all seriousness if this is a main reason for getting a second core I'd recommend prioritising getting a pack of decent sleeves for a fraction of the price of the core set.
fwiw, i bought my core set because i wanted to my friends to play with me and having the extra player cards really helped. this was before the expansions came out so it might not be necessary anymore.
Preowned is a thing. A 2nd core set will set you back maybe 20 dollars.
Can I just as where in the EU are you and where are you buying from?
I'm buying in English but I've stalled because Philibert hasn't had anything in stock when I've had the cash to buy it for months.
Right now, I have two core sets and the Dunwich expansion but none of the mythos packs for the cycle. I'd really like to get those before buying anything for another cycle.
I might have to wait until the next time my brother visits from the UK and hope everything lines up to buy some over there, so he can bring them over for me as having them posted will cost a fortune post-Brexit!
I live in the UK and I just managed to get the whole Dunwich cycle in UK. It’s been a mix of Zatu, Amazon and DarkSphere to get the complete set. Amazon was definitely the priciest, but I had a gift card from work
I am French, and I bought the french version. Philibert actually has no stock issue in french, but I've looked and the english versions are often missing, indeed.
Honestly, I only got a second core set because I play with more than 2 people. I'd probably have started expanding my collection into cycles earlier if I played solo or with only 2.
I think the folks on this sub are an unrepresentative sample of Arkham players. Absolutely awesome community of lovely people, but they tend to be super keen, and much more likely to recommend a second core as a consequence.
I've never gotten a second core, I don't build hyperoptimised decks and have played through Dunwich, Carcosa, Forgotten Age. I've had a great time, and never felt constrained in my deckbuilding with 2 players.
I think if you want to get hardcore with your deckbuilding and have a crack at the higher difficulties, grab a second core. If you just want to build fun decks and have fun, I'm not convinced it is necessary.
The best part of LCG is that you know exactly what you buy.
So whether to buy a second core or not purely depends on whether you want to spend that much for those cards.
So my suggestion is: keep playing until you feel you really want those cards.
It's a game. it's a luxury product and it can suck out a lot of your money.So indeed, you do not NEED the second core set, or expansions, or the first core set. You choose how much money you spend on it.You feel bad when you find out you need a second core set, and I'm glad FFG got rid of that in their latest LCG (Marvel LCG). It was the reason I stopped with the LOTR LCG. They perfectly know that you need to buy the whole core set again, and it's a waste of resources and materials just to double up their sales.
So, what happens if you choose to spend the extra money?
1. it's easier for deckbuilding. Less card choices, more consistency, you can build around with more strategy.So in the end, beating the game became more in reach with a second core set.
2. It's easier to netdeck. You want to find inspiration on decklists online, and all of them start with having at least 2 core sets.
3. the netural cards are limited, and you probably want a few of them in multiple decks.
How did I change my own mind about it? I see the core set as a 2 player game. You can play with 3-4 players if you have a second copy of the game.
But it still is far from consumer friendly. They should have at least produced an upgrade set for that purpose.
The chaos tokens will see a lot of damage, so having a spare set was useful. I did bought protection for those because they game demands them to get damaged very quickly.
So about why the advice is so prevalent, it's because it's very good advice for someone who wants to flesh out their collection and deckbuilding early into the game. This sub and other forums aren't widely populated by casuals answering questions. You'll still find people who don't necessarily know what they're talking about on any sub, but this game has more than 18000 players. All this just to say you're seeing a small subset of players on any one forum. It's no bad thing! It's just why the advice is more prevalent online than most people might actually follow
I got into the game maybe two weeks ago now. I got a core set and after playing a week we got dunwich and the second core set. I personally don't regret it at all, but I love deckbuilding and working up my collection, and honestly pinting proxies would cost me more than the £25 the second core set did. The value of the core set for a lot of players is that it actually give you the option, early on, to say "No thanks, I don't want to play a First Aid, I'd rather two Machetes"
Mathematically, the entire dunwich cycle adds \~89 playable cards (not counting weaknesses and unique cards for each of the 5 invetigators). A second core set adds \~78 playable cards, discounting the same. That's not far from the same amount. They are all duplicates of cards you already have, but duplicates are really important for deckbuilding
That said, my boyfriend didn't feel the need at all and wouldn't have gotten a second himself, though he does appreciate the extra cards
Essentially there's two reactions to a second core set. Either "Oh nice, more cards!" or "Eh, it's just more cards." If you know which camp you're in, you know which choice you should make. There's just a few extra things I'd recommend factoring in if you're on the fence
* You already have the yellow starter deck, so you have more than enough cards for yellow that you don't need the second core set's contributions. Anyone who has all 5 starter decks has no need whatsoever for a second core set. They still lose some options, but not nearly enough that they would feel stifled. Even with 4 players, one core set and the starter decks are more than enough
* If you don't have the starter decks and want more than two players, a second core set is non negotiable
* The scenario cards and tokens are still good for quality of life. The third scenario in the core set is made up of a lot of cards from the earlier two (if you've played it you know what I'm referring to - I'm being coy for the sake of people who haven't). With a second core set, you have the cards to have all three scenarios ready to launch without having to fidget through them. It's a small benefit and wouldn't sway my decision if I was on the fence, but the majority of cards aren't useless. I imagine you can use the extra tokens to maybe assemble a second chaos bag if you want to try multiple difficulties without fidgetting, but I'm not sure.
At the end of the day, there's nothing at all wrong with choosing to skip the second core set, but I do believe it's still holds as good advice for beginners, even if you need to get a little beyond the beginner step to actually see why it may be a good idea. Its a kickstart, and if your collection doesn't need kickstarted, you don't need it
I agree, and still I succumbed to the second core.
The first box was mainly intended as a litmus test, for me and my wife. I told myself that I would ignore every suggestion of dual cores. If we found the first few games enjoyable, my plan was to order the full cycle of Dunwich and to proceed in release order. However, it didn't take more than two full scenarios for me to feel restrained by running singles of strategic cards. We are still learning by every game we play, and are still running on easy. A bit too often, while it isn't impossible, it feels like a game of luck rather than skill. Coming from the MtG community I much prefer consistency over chaos. Luck is ok, but I think I want my chaos to originate from the doom bag (or possibly the encounter deck), rather than the investigator deck. Failure is ok too, as long as there is some possibility to make a plan, even if it is by a long shot.
So after concluding that we do enjoy the game sufficiently, I've ordered not only the complete Dunwich cycle, but also a second core set, *and* both return to boxes (mainly for storage). We'll let the return to content rest until we've drained the main content. Hopefully we can move on to standard difficulty now, and given time, perhaps worse.
There really should be an option to add the cards that are missing without having to invest in a full second set, making it a valid choice even when cost is a consideration.
I'd never advise any player to buy a second core before a cycle as only one of those original scenarios is exciting (unless of course you have 3-4 people waiting to play).
If a person really wants to build a perfectly optimised deck then I agree, they need a second deck. Otherwise I just don't think it's worth your time or money. You can comfortably play 4 player with 1 core and 2 different cycles. Add in one of the investigator starter decks and it becomes even easier. Tokens are easily found (I use old Pandemic Legacy things) so that's never an issue. If I want my decks to function more reliably, I'll just lower the difficulty setting. It has the same effect as using overpowered equipment anyway.
I'm not sure a second core comes close to an investigator starter deck in value. A second shrivelling and Holy Rosary is nice but with Jacqueline Fine I get Azure Flames, Clairvoyances, Scrying Mirrors etc.
I really can't see myself ever purchasing a second core unless I see it around £5 ($6.50).
Feel like I'm not saying an awful lot that hasn't been said before but I'll add my thoughts anyway...
I recently got my second core set for Christmas. I struggled to justify spending the money myself, but prior to Christmas I found myself incredibly frustrated by the fact I only had single copies of certain cards. I also plan to play with more than two people a fair amount over the next few weeks so that also makes a second core set very useful.
In terms of a cost to enjoyment ratio, you are better off getting a deluxe expansion or a second core set. I wasn't particularly excited by my core set, but have been very excited by the deluxe expansion, mythos packs, and even standalone scenarios I have got recently. A second core set costs more, and doesn't add as much to the game as actually new product.
You might think this means I regret getting it, but I absolutely do not. I find the satisfaction of having full sets of every card and being able to use ArkhamDB worth getting a second core set. I am also the type of person who will end up buying pretty much everything. I take a lot of satisfaction with complete sets and could never see myself buying a single mythos pack for example.
It all comes down to personal preference in my opinion. How annoyed are you that you only have one machete? How willing are you to deal with proxies? How much are you willing to spend? No one but you knows these answers
I think this has mostly to do with how you see difficulty and what you think about proxies.
Early on, you more or less needed a second core to even consider any difficulty above standard and would lose scenarios from not finding your one-off cards. For someone that plays on lower difficulties and mostly just enjoy the story aspect then it was never needed.
Worth noting is that a LCG is not a cheap product over time, so the cost of an additional core is a minor thing when you consider buying into the entire game.
To me a second core is a no-brainer purchase. Consider that you'll be paying hundreds of dollars to obtain all of the content for the game. Why not then get a second core to ensure you have a full playset for only $40 more dollars?
In fact, I have 4 cores, since I think things like Deduction and Vicious Blow are that mandatory.
I don’t have a second core set, but own almost all expansions. I never have any problem or wish I owned a second core set.
I eventually bought a 2nd core, but only after I already had the whole of Carcosa and had started on another cycle. I found that I was getting frustrated trying to optimise my decks with only single copies of certain cards. I didn't regret buying it because I was already heavily committed by that point. Truth to tell though, it was probably unnecessary. The more expansions I buy the greater the range of options available in the cardpool and the less you actually need that 2nd shrivelling because you have alternatives. My advice would be hold off on the 2nd core until you have a bigger cardpool and can evaluate whether you really want it. I'm guessing that if you do get sufficiently into the game to start buying a load of expansions then you'll most likely end up getting the 2nd core anyway and will find a way to rationalise it, but you may not.
I don't think a second core is critical but when I saw one on sale at a great price I went ahead and snagged it. Just keep an eye out for one on a nice sale or used.
I'm pretty new too, and have no interest in a second core set. I think it's quite thematic to *not* have every tool you need available in your kit bag!
You could probably find someone who would pay a few dollars for the scenario cards as they're being reused in many cycles and some find it easier to just have an extra set stored with the cycle instead of digging it up every time. The same goes for the tokens, they get wear and tear, so people might be interested in taking them off your hands. :)