Cartmanbeck's Best Character Ever—Alahazra

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hello all! I've been reading the "Best Character Ever" blogs for a while. Watching. Waiting. Biding my time until I got the perfect chance to explain why every one of them has been completely and utterly wrong (except Tanis's: goblins are pretty cool, after all.) [I did not add that aside, but I applaud the author's good sense. -Tanis] But even goblins do not compare to the awesome might that is Alahazra.


If those white and red robes remind you of a certain classic video game character... trust me, she's not quite so forgiving.

Alahazra, the iconic oracle, made her first Adventure Card Game appearance in the Skull & Shackles Base Set. She may look weak at first, with her paltry d4s for Strength and Dexterity, but she sees things that others can't, and uses that information to beat down on enemies, acquire cards, and close locations like a boss. You see, S&S Alahazra has a d12 for her Charisma, and she also uses that for her Divine checks. This means that when it's time to cast an offensive spell, she's often going to deal a ton of damage, especially with her final power giving her an extra +2 on all spells that have the Attack trait. She also has a great chance of recharging her spells with that high Divine check... but even when she fails a recharge check, she gets to trade any discarded card with the Divine trait for any other one (so a blessing for a spell, perhaps?) at the end of her turn.

Alahazra's other main power is the ability to recharge a card with the Divine trait to examine the top card of any location. This means that Alahazra can scout for everyone as long as she has a few blessings or spells in her hand that she doesn't mind recharging. (And she starts with 2/3 of her deck being spells and blessings!) In my playthrough of Skull & Shackles, I found that a perfect turn for Alahazra entailed recharging enough cards to look at the top card of every location deck, leaving just a spell in her hand, and then exploring and hopefully killing a monster with that spell.

Now, I'm not going to try to act like Alahazra has no weaknesses. If she's dealt damage, since she starts with no armor, she'll usually be taking all of that damage from her large hand size. With her ability to fish Cure spells back out of her discard pile, though, this generally doesn't end up being a huge problem. Our S&S Damiel was at risk of dying way more often than my Alahazra was. (Though our Damiel player was a fan of living dangerously... this might be an Alchemist trait.)


If Alahazra isn't gazing into the stars, she might as well be destroying them.

For roles, I'm going to start with the Tempest. This role is all about damaging enemies with her spells. In fact, she likes spells that have the Attack trait so much, she can even cast Arcane spells as long as they have that trait! She also adds up to 4 to each of her combat checks when using the Attack trait, so she can dole out some serious punishment.

But while Alahazra's Tempest role is great, her Stargazer role is absolutely amazing! This role gives her several powers that build upon her examine ability, allowing her to recharge cards for other characters or—and this is the important one—encounter boons that she examines at any location! This means that, for the price of recharging a blessing or a Divine spell, Alahazra can examine a card at another location, and if it's a boon, she can attempt to acquire it. If she makes the check, awesome, new boon for her! But even if she fails the check, she has just removed a card from the top of another location deck without risking fighting a monster. By the end of Skull & Shackles, my Alahazra was spending her whole turn recharging blessings to rip boons off the top of every deck, leaving all the monsters for other combatants to face.

The Skull & Shackles version of Alahazra was amazing, the best character I've ever played... and now in the Oracle Class Deck, we're getting a NEW version of her! This Alahazra is tougher and more combat-oriented than the S&S version, so I imagine she'll appeal to a different group of players. Don't worry, though, she still has the ability to examine cards and scout ahead.


Just as beautiful, and even more deadly.

This new version of Alahazra still has paltry d4s for her Strength and Dexterity, but her Constitution is a respectable d8, as is her Intelligence. She still has a bonus to Knowledge, which will be very helpful if you play her through Season of the Righteous, and her awesome d12 Charisma with +2 Divine bonus is still there in all its glory. However, this time Alahazra can shirk other Attack spells to use her own holy fire on enemies, getting a respectable 1d12 + 2d4+2 right off the bat by discarding the top card of her deck. This means you can feel free to load her deck up with Cure spells to get all those discarded cards back without worrying about whether you have the resources to fight.

Oracle Deck Alahazra still has a power that involves examining cards, and in this case it lets her examine an extra card whenever she examines. This pairs incredibly nicely with the promo card that came with the Alahazra mini in Pathfinder Battles: Iconic Heroes Set 3, allowing her to examine yet another extra card. Make sure to pick up an Augury spell!


It may not be comfortable, but at least it's lighter than Shardra's!

The last power listed on Alahazra's card uses a new term you might not have seen before: "invokes". The term will be familiar to those playtesting the upcoming Mummy's Mask Base Set, but this is the first time a card bearing the word is seeing the light of day. A check invokes a trait if it has or is against a card that has that trait, so if either your check or the card you're encountering has the trait, you're good. A bane invokes a trait if it has that trait or if it deals only damage of the type that matches that trait.

As you can see, this "invokes" power applies to Alahazra's first power, letting her burn evil away with her holy fire and then move away afterward. Perhaps you examined the top three cards of your current location, saw a monster that you could easily destroy, but then found an important boon that Alahazra just doesn't have the correct skill to acquire? Just kill off that pesky monster and move away to another location to explore some more, leaving that sweet magic pistol for Lirianne to pick up on her turn instead.

Before I leave you, let's examine one of Class Deck Alahazra's roles. This happens to be my favorite of her two new roles: the Wandering Prophet.


When Alahazra shows up in your village, you should probably ask her about your future. It might just save your life.

Why do I like this role? Well, mostly because it brings back some of that seer-y goodness that I loved so much about her in Skull & Shackles. First off, you don't always have to discard a card to use your holy fire anymore—if it's a spell or a blessing, you get to recharge it instead (and let's face it, most of her deck is going to be made up of spells and blessings). She also gets to move other characters when she invokes the Fire trait, which is useful. But it's those new powers at the bottom that I'm most excited about. First, you get to evade barriers, which are in all honesty a challenge for both incarnations of Alahazra. You can even let other characters evade barriers eventually.

My favorite new power, though, is that examine power. You get to examine the top card of your location deck, at the end and eventually also the start of your turn, at no cost. Combine this with her earlier power (and her headdress!), and you're examining most of the deck in just a few turns. You can plan out every step of your turn before encountering a single card!

Now I know you can agree that Alahazra is the best character ever. She doesn't need brute strength, fancy weapons, or armor. She knows what's coming before it arrives, and can prepare herself accordingly. She can look into the future and see the answer to a question before it is asked... and when necessary, she can rain down some serious divine wrath on an enemy or two. As much as I love Lini, and as much as I'm looking forward to seeing Ramexes in action, the best character ever released (so far) for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is, without question, Alahazra.

Tyler Beck
Freelance Writer and Human Geneticist Extraordinaire

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Alahazra Class Decks Oracles Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Skull & Shackles

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My Sisyphean hell is yelling "peek!" at cartmanbeck for eternity, reminding him to use his examine power before he draws his hand, as I had to do through all of S&S :D

Then he played Leyrn... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Congrats cartmanbeck!

By the way, where will an "additional card" on her power come from? If she examines the bottom of a deck, does it come from the top or the second from the bottom? Or any card in the deck? Or a random one?

Golems make CD Alahazra cry. :(

My gut says there may be a way to break the Wandering Prophet's draw a card power, but I'm not sure yet.

(I always find these amusing, as I don't have a "best character ever". I like many characters.)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

After playing Alahazra through Skull & Shackles, I can agree that she is a powerhouse and excellent team player. Although sometimes, other players weren't happy to see her skim boons off the top of locations, once she got her Stargazer role. Wouldn't it be great to pair Alahazra up with Imrijka or Seelah? Get locations down to monsters and let Imrijka slice through them or Seelah help in the digging.

The CD Alahazra seems like she will need items like Spyglass and spells like Scrying, or one of her powers will be pretty useless. Allies that let you examine cards will also be important. I'm also curious what an "extra card" means when you examine the bottom card with a Dolphin or something. Seems like it would have to be the next card up.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I'd say the additional card would be inherently under the same restrictions as the first, so if you were examining the bottom card, it would become the bottom two cards.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

cartmanbeck wrote:
I'd say the additional card would be inherently under the same restrictions as the first, so if you were examining the bottom card, it would become the bottom two cards.

Yep. All the power is doing is increasing the number by 1.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
I'd say the additional card would be inherently under the same restrictions as the first, so if you were examining the bottom card, it would become the bottom two cards.
Yep. All the power is doing is increasing the number by 1.

So, let's say I play a Lookout to examine the top card of my deck - the power kicks in so I examine the top 2 cards; but then I also playe Seer's Headdress to examine the bottom card, and my power AGAIN kicks in, so I can examine the bottom 2 cards also, for a total of 4 examined cards, is that correct?

On the class deck Alahazra - I'm not overly impressed by her, pre-role. The stats boost is nice, but she needs a Power feat to start recharging her 'fireballed' spells, and ever since Seoni I'm not a fan of reckless discards for combat, let alone doing it blindly.

Frankly, the absence of in-built scouting power for a character that fancy themselves 'Oracle' is really ... out of character, and leaves a taste of having been done just for the sake of trying to be 'different' (while I imagine there's plenty of different mechanics that could've been weaved around 'examine' - like 'every time she defeats a Monster', but that's probably Ramexes...)
Post-role, she can spend two power feats to get some nice scouting that taken on its own is pretty cool, but in a world with S&S Alahazra is just underwhelming.

Silver Crusade

Alahazra: Best character evah!

Although I suspect I will be playing S&S Alahazra through the first season I play once I get the oracle deck. Not gonna lie, combining seers headdress and spyglass to examine half a location deck would be pretty sweet. But while I appreciate how CD Alahazra's first power mimics spontaneous casting, I hate discarding the top card of my deck.

But also, two other oracles! Maybe I will love one. #godivineorgohome

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Longshot11 wrote:
So, let's say I play a Lookout to examine the top card of my deck - the power kicks in so I examine the top 2 cards; but then I also playe Seer's Headdress to examine the bottom card, and my power AGAIN kicks in, so I can examine the bottom 2 cards also, for a total of 4 examined cards, is that correct?

Yep—each of those is a separate examination, so you add a card to each.


Longshot11 wrote:
Frankly, the absence of in-built scouting power for a character that fancy themselves 'Oracle' is really ... out of character....

I guess it depends on where you're coming from. In the RPG the name Oracle has nothing to do with oracular visions; they're Divine Sorcerers. They trade a penalty (Alahazra is nearly blind) for a set of special powers (Flame-oriented for Alahazra) and Sorcerer-style spellcasting mostly out of the divine spells. Nothing in her writeups there screams predicting the future; it's all about the burning. Thus spontaneous fire, bringing her closer to her RPG counterpart. :)

I won't be surprised if S&S Alahazra is more popular than her CD counterpart in Guild play for those that know you can do that. Scouting is a powerful power in this game, as is digging Cures...err...Divine Spells out of the discard pile. The scouting power might have fit better with a different Oracle, but that's Iconics for you.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I do really like the idea of Alahazra. In S&S I kept getting her killed for some reason. I'll gladly give future version of Alahazra a try. She's no monk though.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Parody wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:
Frankly, the absence of in-built scouting power for a character that fancy themselves 'Oracle' is really ... out of character....

I guess it depends on where you're coming from. In the RPG the name Oracle has nothing to do with oracular visions; they're Divine Sorcerers. They trade a penalty (Alahazra is nearly blind) for a set of special powers (Flame-oriented for Alahazra) and Sorcerer-style spellcasting mostly out of the divine spells.

Huh. And then the devs tell you not to bring assumptions from the RPG :D I was going purely with the IRL definition of 'oracle', but that will teach me :)


#godivineorgohome indeed. I love S&S Alahazra, but I disagree that she's a spell powerhouse (that's Zarlova). I took her into the Worldwound Monday night (as Adventure 7) and I failed every combat check I attempted (and then couldn't recharge any spells, either). Stupid Corrupted Soldiers. That was probably just my luck though. I'm looking forward to seeing the other two Oracles!

I'm torn between Alahazra and Adowyn for scouting-ness! Especially now that my Adowyn has her role card. :3

Paizo Employee Contributor

*Nods solemnly* Okay, counsel, I'm convinced. I'll allow it.

Seriously, though, I don't know why we've just sort of passed on Alahazra before now; maybe because my friend played her twice in Skull & Shackles, got her killed, and we never took her out of the box again. But now I'll give her another try.


I would have to agree on the, getting her killed quickly in skulls and shackles comments. I really like her but she didn't even make it to adventure deck 1 when I played her. I plan on giving her another try one of these days. Most likely not in the Skulls and shackles though. I mean I have so many characters at this point (along with everyone else who owns all the stuff they have come out with for this game) that I'm not even sure I'm going to be able to play all of the characters I have in my life time and if they keep coming out with new stuff as often as they do its just going to get worse. Me and my wife may need to start playing 3 characters each when running through adventure paths. Lol


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I've been playing a S&S campaign with three friends and also maintaining a set of "second-stringers" for use in case someone new comes into the group, a character dies, that sort of thing. Alahazra was chosen as a second-stringer because I thought she was an interesting character.

Reading this BCA post, I don't think I've made full potential of her, but I've also managed not to kill her up through Adventure 5, and that's while a couple of the stronger characters have been called up to the main game for various reasons. I've found that she can't be in the thick of the fray -- her attacks seem too few and far between for that -- but there's frequently a location where she can be relatively okay for a while and hand out blessings and Cures for other people's checks. It also didn't hurt that in the early going, she would find and mop up tons of armor she had no business acquiring. She gained proficiency in Light Armors fairly early just because it seemed wasteful not to give it to her.

It feels like a lot of the characters have a style of play, and if you get that style, then you can play the character really well, but if you don't, it's their death sentence. I must come to accept that I will never make any sense of Seoni. (I tried Valendron in our S&S, just as an experiment, and he lasted longer, but well, up came second-stringer Damiel, and RIP Valendron.)

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I have to admit that I'm surprised your favorite isn't more smashy. But: forewarned; forearmed - and knowing is half the battle. I will side with you over Hawkmoon, though - knowing what card comes next is nearly always useful.

Especially when that next card is something really nasty...like...I dunno...Death of Righteousness.

Pathfinder ACG Developer

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But you can't afford to look at every card everywhere, so you might just want to examine cards when people are at somewhere dangerous, like the Family Tomb.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

By AD3, Adowyn proved that you just about CAN afford to look at every card everywhere, especially if you've got a Mastiff in hand. :3


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

As I explained long ago in a thread, my daughter ALWAYS plays Alahazra. She totally knows how to optimize not only scouting and remote acquisition of boons, but also deck handling/reshuffling (for curing the others) and boons redistribution. She pretty much never fights, but we don't care. Best support character ever. Anytime we go adventuring on any base set or Season of whatever scenario we know that if she comes along we will rock the game.

In real life, she is studying 200 miles aways from home so we even built a full Skype process to make sure she can remotely join the game every saturday. We pretend that it's because we like to see her and wants some news on her studies and life, but don't tell her the real reason is we need Alahazra in the group :-)

And we are just dying to have both Alahazra as a character and remote online gaming capabilities in the soon to come Digital game... Guess why.

This said, Alahazar still is only the second best character ever behind Balazar's Hat! And may even be ranked third when a certain Goblin Cleric will join us this summer.

Grand Lodge

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I guess I'll chime in. I'm playing S&S Alahazra in Ron Lundeen's Bloodlust Corsairs, which rocks, BTW.

'Hazra is one of those characters that I had to play for quite a while before I realized just how damned powerful she is.

Maybe it's obvious to everyone else, but I realized I could choose not to recharge a spell, just so I could reliably get to it at the end of any turn by trading in a blessing or other spell. I spend most scenarios with a Cure, and attack spell, and a Find Traps in my discard, examining the H-E-double-hockey-sticks out of the location decks, peeling off crappy boons and helping where I can. Pretty unconventional, but really cool.

Plus, it's funny when she turns into a were-bull-shark, but that's an aside. :)

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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@The Knight: I totally agree, fail-to-recharge is bread-and-butter for her. The most important part of keeping Alahazra alive is to MTC (Manage Those Cures). :)


My guide to Alahazra's awesomeness.

Silver Crusade

I always forget about getting spells from Alahazra's discard pile, and I def didn't realize how awesome her scouting was until I read about it on the forums. But now I love it so.


Another "Favourite character" blog comes and goes, and still no Cleric. :(


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Sounds like you need to contact Tanis about writing one.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
MightyJim wrote:
Another "Favourite character" blog comes and goes, and still no Cleric. :(

Somewhere Alahazra is a hell of a Cleric...


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I will say this, I think someone playing Alahazra really well would perhaps be my favorite character to have with my monk. My preferred partners would probably be: Alahazra, Damiel, and someone to throw Speed/Agility on me.

Silver Crusade

Alahazra could totally throw speed/agility on you!


I want to do one for Jirelle. Albeit, I agree that Alahazra is simply an amazing character. She makes everyone better


I thought everybody agreed on that SAJAN is the best character ever, right?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Myfly wrote:
I thought everybody agreed on that SAJAN is the best character ever, right?

Everybody? If everybody is Hawkmoon, maybe. LOL

I will agree that CD Sajan is one of my favorite characters to play but CD Harsk IS my favorite. (Vanguard)


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Just got around to playing S&S Stargazer Alhazra in WotR...

She is ripping it apart.

AD 5 scenario 1 has the heaven location, and man did she shred the locations once that one came into play. By the end of my first turn I'd taken 13 cards and recharged them for scouting then banished another 5.

By the end I had 35 cards in my deck 4 in discard 2 buried and 7 in hand.

I get the feeling she was never meant to be in WotR because she just ends up entirely ignoring nasty at location effects by draining the boons and having another character swoop in and hit banes that are in her way.

It's not unlike commanding an army with unparalleled intel. Then directing appropriate forces where they are needed to bash monsters or disarm barriers, or to sometimes pick up valuable equipment Alhazra can't pick up herself.

It's not that she is a different character to play. She changes the entire game and how the other characters are played as well...

It used to be we'd hit places that we had a chance of satisfying the closing requirements. But now it is that Alhazra and sometimes Adowyn gather intel and dispatch everyone else. A trans formative effect.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I had a great time playing Alahazra in S&S and and drooling over the class deck version of her. Our group is about to pick up Season of the Shackles for the first time so this deck is perfectly timed.

Ryanshow, how in the world did you pick up enough divine cards to blow through 18 cards in 1 turn? (Was it something to do with that scenario's particular setup?) I've done some serious shenanigans with Alahazra's boon encountering but always got tripped up on weapons (STR or Dex) and armor (Con). While blessings and divine spells were easy to pick up when they did appear, I only encountered them a small portion of the time.


There are a ton of blessings to be had in that scenario. Also, if he was hanging out at the Sacistry location, he'd be able to roll his divine die on any check to acquire.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Ashram316 wrote:
There are a ton of blessings to be had in that scenario. Also, if he was hanging out at the Sacistry location, he'd be able to roll his divine die on any check to acquire.

Exactly. The tons of blessings helped along with picking up an ally or two that allowed for more explorations and drawing more cards. Also it helps that at this point her divine check is a base 11 + d12 + 1 for the evangelist in my hand.

I actually can't wait to run into that one barrier that lets you add onto a check at the "cost" of drawing a bunch of cards.

Alhazra laughs at drawing from her stacked deck of divine cards.

"You have only increased my power!"

Silver Crusade

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So I feel the need to come here and observe that I was originally underwhelmed by CD Alahazra, but after playing her, I have realized that she is a BOSS. I've played her twice now, and she is right up there with S&S Alahazra in characters I enjoy playing.

Load her up with scouting boons and a Seer's Headdress, and she's scouting decks like a pro. Her last power helps her move around and scout more decks---as well as letting her move to a different location after closing one. I was hesitant about her "discard the top card of your deck" power, but I've realized it means I can freely explore after a hand wipe, because I have a combat option against anything that's not immune to fire or attack.

The only downside I find to playing her is the max 3 item slots. There are so many good item boons in the oracle class deck that it's really hard to pick just a few.

Adventure Card Game Designer

Eliandra Giltessan wrote:

So I feel the need to come here and observe that I was originally underwhelmed by CD Alahazra, but after playing her, I have realized that she is a BOSS. I've played her twice now, and she is right up there with S&S Alahazra in characters I enjoy playing.

Load her up with scouting boons and a Seer's Headdress, and she's scouting decks like a pro. Her last power helps her move around and scout more decks---as well as letting her move to a different location after closing one. I was hesitant about her "discard the top card of your deck" power, but I've realized it means I can freely explore after a hand wipe, because I have a combat option against anything that's not immune to fire or attack.

The only downside I find to playing her is the max 3 item slots. There are so many good item boons in the oracle class deck that it's really hard to pick just a few.

Very glad to hear it!

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