So Much to Play in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Society!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Hello everyone! It's your friendly cyber-neighborhood Venture Captain Tyler again, bringing you a quick discussion about the options that we have as players in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Society. (Note the new branding!). First I'll talk about the stunning number of characters you can choose from, and then I'll talk about the mindboggling amount of content there is to play through.

We have a LOT of character options now. So many that I found it a daunting task when I started typing all of them out. So, instead, I decided to do something a bit more fun… I made a graph! (Yes, I'm a huge nerd, we all are, deal with it!)

Click on the image for a larger, more readable version!

There are a total of 32 class decks and 162 characters you can play in PACS! (I'm counting Aric and the Red Raven as one playable character even though they have 2 character cards.) In the graph, I've listed the characters in the format "Name (Deck or Box)" in order to distinguish where they came from. I've also listed some specific scenarios, adventures, or other means of unlocking certain decks for certain characters. Altogether, the decks, characters, and means of unlocks make up the nodes of the graph.

The edges of the graph represent the way in which a character is available for any given deck. Most of these are yellow arrows with the word "Free" on the label. This means that you can use this character with the associated deck without any additional requirement. Obviously, you can use, the monk Rooboo with the the Monk Class Deck she came in. But the PACS Guide also says you can swap any character with any other character of the same class. For example, the Pathfinder Tales deck includes the wizard Varian, so you can replace him with any of the other 9 PACG wizards: Varian from Curse of the Crimson Throne; Darago, Ezren, Melindra, or Radillo from the Wizard Class Deck; Nyctessa from Hell's Vengeance 2; or Ezren from RotR, Mummy's Mask, or the Core Set. (The Tales deck also gives you free access to 9 rogues and 8 sorcerers—that's 27 "Free" characters to choose from!)

The new We Be Heroes? Free RPG Day adventure includes 4 new goblin characters: Crimsi the ranger, Grenek the barbarian, Pizazz the bard, and Siathorn the druid. The rule I described above means they can be played with the Class Deck corresponding to their respective classes, but thanks to a table on page 8 of the most recent PACS Guide, they can also be played with the Goblins Fight! Character Deck (Crimsi and Grenek) or Goblins Burn! Character Deck (Pizazz and Siathorn). Looking at the graph, you'll notice another connection for Crimsi: the Hunter Class Deck. This is thanks to a beautifully written adventure reward from Season of Factions' Favor Adventure 4: "Each player unlocks the ability to play all characters that have the Ranger trait using the Hunter Class Deck." This is one of several character unlocks that are achieved through completing specific sets of scenarios, with the best example of these being my buddy Mavaro from Mummy's Mask, who can be played with a total of FIVE different decks, four of them through adventure completion unlocks. These unlocks are represented on the graph by maroon or orange nodes with names in the format "S4A4" for Season 4 Adventure 4, or "S5-5E" for Season 5 Scenario 5E.

There are four new characters in the Curse of the Crimson Throne adventure path, three of whom don't have a matching Class Deck. But fear not! Page 9 of the PACS Guide gives us decks for these characters, with Kess the Brawler using the Barbarian Class Deck, Quinn the Investigator using the Ultimate Equipment Add-on Deck, and Hakon the Skald using the Warpriest Class Deck. (Crimson Throne's other character, Varian the Wizard, starts off with three deck options—Wizard, Tales, and Hell's Vengeance 2—so he's versatile from day one.) And don't forget that you can add an Ultimate Add-On Deck to a Class Deck or Character Deck, or add a Class Deck or Character Deck to an Ultimate Add-On Deck (as described on page 8 of the PACS Guide), giving you loads of choices for your card upgrades!

There's one more character on the graph that I'd like to specifically point out: Arueshalae from the Wrath of the Righteous base set. Arueshalae—or Aruey, as I like to call her (please don't tell her that)—was unlocked way back in season 1 for a few lucky convention-goers who were able to pick up a specific convention boon. It allowed them to use her with the Rogue Class Deck—but only in Season of the Righteous. Now, however, there is a new way to unlock our succubus friend, and play her in any scenario!

My friend Aruey, always willing to help out her friends... and smite some serious demon butt.

The Season of the Righteous Adventure 3 PDF was updated recently: the reward for that adventure now unlocks Arueshalae with the Hell's Vengeance 2 deck. This reward is retroactive, so if you have completed all 4 scenarios of Season of the Righteous Adventure 3: Lexicon of Paradox, you have already earned the following reward:

Each player unlocks the ability to play Arueshalae from the Wrath of the Righteous Demon's Heresy Adventure Deck using the Hell's Vengeance 2 Character Deck. When Arueshalae is Tier 3 or higher, you may add the loot cards Spherewalker Staff, Starbow, and Swallowtail Bracers to your Class Deck box.

A huge number of players just gained a new character to play... and she's quite the character, with a cohort and several Owner boons coming along with her. I recommend adding the Ultimate Combat Add-On Deck when playing with her, for maximum arrow-based destruction!

I know a lot of our players out there are concerned with compatibility of the old class decks with the new Core and Curse cards. The folks at Lone Shark and Paizo have heard you, and they've been hard at work on some creative solutions. Make sure you check out the Conversion Guide, especially the Characters and Roles section.

Also, Vic recently made a post that gives us an option for trying out some new cards in our class decks, letting you swap any class deck card for any Core or Curse card that has the same name! You'll need to own copies of these cards, and you'll need to come up with innovative ways to make sure your cards don't end up mixed up with those of the box that you're using to play (I recommend a small sliver of colored Post-It Note stuck to your cards). Or, you can play online with us over in the Flaxseed On Deck play-by-post lodge, where your cards will never get mixed up because they're digital!

Who wouldn't want to try out these cards with one of their favorite characters?

With so many character options, you'd think that we would run out of adventures to play them in. But you'd be wrong! Here are the currently available adventures for PACS play:

That's around double the content that has been released in regular Adventure Path form! The last of these, released just this month, is a four-scenario adventure written by David Jacobson and myself, outlined and developed by Linda Zayas-Palmer, with rules text from Keith Richmond. Working on this was a blast, particularly since it let us draw inspiration from David's and my fan-made Adventure Card Game adventures that we've run at PaizoCon the past several years, including our own take on Season of the Kobolds.


Up next is Year 6: Year of Rotting Ruin (Uses Core and Curse; 6 adventures, Tiers 1–6)—the first adventure drops at Gen Con on August 1!

And it doesn't even stop there! The Dragon's Demand, Curse of the Crimson Throne, and We Be Heroes? have also been sanctioned for PACS play. Each product page below includes a link to a sanctioning document that details the changes that need to be made for PACS play:

In addition, Linda announced at PaizoCon that we will soon be seeing some standalone PACS adventures that can be played at several different tiers, so stay tuned for more news on that front. There are so many new options for play, my head is spinning!

That's it for me today. I'm sure you can tell that I'm excited about all of the new content and character options that we have available to us now and moving forward, and I'm sure the comments section of this blog will quickly include a rousing debate over the best ways to play some of the characters shown in the graph. (I'll likely start off the comments by expanding my previous list of best secondary decks to add to any given character.) Thanks for reading, and I look forward to playing with as many of you as I can!

Tyler "Cartmanbeck" Beck
Venture Captain, PACS Online Play

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Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Pathfinder Adventure Card Society
Venture-Agent, Online—ACG aka redeux

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Wow! Thanks for putting together that graph to show all the character options Tyler! Also I'm very excited to play with Arueshalae! :D

Silver Crusade 2/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

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Hi everyone!
The graph resolution came out not so great up above, so here is a link where you can download the graph from Google Drive and open it natively in your favorite browser for full resolution fun!
Graph Download
Tyler

4/5 Venture-Captain, South America aka Draco Bahamut

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How do you play online ?


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Hebert Ricardo Magno wrote:
How do you play online ?

Check out the Flaxseed Adventure Card Guild Lodge thread, where you can read up and sign up to play-by-post adventures! There's dozens of card game tables currently being run, and I hear there will be another big player recruitment drive soonish, thanks to an upcoming convention.

If you want to see how PACG Play-by-Post works, feel free to glance at some of the threads being run as we speak!

Grand Lodge 5/5

We STAR SUGAR HEARTLOVE new players in the Flaxseed Adventure Card Guild!!! Come along and get amongst!

And our good buddy wkover penned an excellent intro to ACG PbP post. It's an excellent overview (especially the "If you've never done OP Pathfinder" link under 'Resources'.)

Shadow Lodge 5/5

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I need to finish my run through Wrath with my Arushalae boon. (Not mad, everyone should have a chance to play her!)

3/5

Since you mention available content to replay, I wonder if it is worth flagging that "replayable" means "replayable with the same character"? Since all PACG content is replayable with new characters? (Unless I'm horribly mistaken?)

Silver Crusade 2/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

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That's very true. In this case, one scenario of Dragon's Demand (which is procedurally generated) can be played at any tier any number of times by a single character, so you could THEORETICALLY play an entire 6 tiers worth of just randomized scenarios using it (by adding in the cards from another Adventure Path each time). Doesn't appeal to me, but it might appeal to others!

Lone Shark Games

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The first scenario of Fangwood Thieves is also replayable. For folks setting up sessions for new players at a store or convention, that means you can setup the entire scenario in advance and whoever shows up (some new players, some regulars), it's still playable. And with 6 options, it's still got some surprises even if you've played it a couple times.


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The Curse sanctioning document doesn't appear to be up yet...


TOZ wrote:
I need to finish my run through Wrath with my Arushalae boon. (Not mad, everyone should have a chance to play her!)

Your boon still has value too as it uses a different class deck than the one available to everyone else.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Maybe it's just me, but I'd love it if that chart had a lot more dots on it. ;)

Silver Crusade 2/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

Trust me, as much work as it has been to make, I would LOVE the problem of having to add a bunch more nodes. :)

Ray pointed out that I was missing Zadim's Inquisitor unlock, so that's been updated now.

Venture-Agent, Online—ACG aka redeux

It seems some decks have more unlocks than others. Let's fix this. I propose each non-Ultimate deck to have at least one unlock. Here are my suggestions for unlocks:
• Hell's Vengeance 1: WOTR Seelah (Or all Seelahs from any set or CD. Also bonus points if she's given the Antipaladin trait instead of Paladin). Please please please
• Witch: Siwar from Bard CD.
• Druid: Poog from Goblins Fight! CD
• Summoner: Meliski from Bard CD
• Barbarian: Athnul from Monk CD
• Goblin Fight: Agna from Ranger CD
• Goblin Burn: Grazzle from Oracle CD
• Occult Adventures 2: Zibini from Goblins Burn! CD
• Ranger: Nok-Nok, Goblin Promo from Free RPG Day 2018.
• War Priest: Erasmus from Occult Adventures 2 CD
• Sorcerer deck: Erasmus from Occult Adventures 2 CD
• Fighter: Ak from Goblin's Fight
• Cleric: Bekah from Bard CD

Misc thoughts behind these suggestions:
This started with me thinking "What new unlock would make this the MOST difficult for Tyler to update the graph?" and then I decided that if we gave unlocks to every CD then that should make things sufficiently difficult
HV1 - I love this deck, and I think that Seelah would have the proper card support to go evil.
Witch - Siwar would get Flame staff which can be swapped with the core flame staff. This would at least help temporarily alleviate her issue of not enough combat spells. I guess it'd need to be supplemented with an ultimate deck if she wanted weapons though. Really I just think Siwar should have an unlock. Maybe that means putting her in an ultimate deck
Druid - Poog loves animals. Druid has lots of animals.
Summoner - Seems like a good fit. Melinski seems like he'd get some good options from this deck. Similiar to Siwar, I just felt Meliski needed rescued and put into another CD.
Barbarian - Athul wouldn't get spells without an Ultimate deck but otherwise seems like a fun combo.
Goblin Fight - Goblin fight gives access to animal allies and lots of weapons for Agna.
Goblin Burn - would make grazzle have some interesting options for cards to play
Occult Adventures2 - Zibini thematically would work well here. A Fortune Teller playing sign blessings! Also in general think the card lists work well.
Ranger - I had a tough time coming up with someone good for the ranger deck, but the ranger deck has enough dagger/finnesse weapons to make use of Nok Nok and I think it could be a could fit.
War Priest / Summoner - I wanted to give Erasmus more options to build from, much like how Mavaro has several options to build from.
Fighter - Also had a tough time thinking of a good fighter. Ak seems like he'd be good in this deck.
Cleric - Had a hard time thinking of this one, but decided to continue trying to relocate Bards into another deck. Though, not sure if this is really an upgrade or not.


Race Dorsey wrote:

It seems some decks have more unlocks than others. Let's fix this. I propose each non-Ultimate deck to have at least one unlock. Here are my suggestions for unlocks:

• Hell's Vengeance 1: WOTR Seelah (Or all Seelahs from any set or CD. Also bonus points if she's given the Antipaladin trait instead of Paladin). Please please please
• Witch: Siwar from Bard CD.
• Druid: Poog from Goblins Fight! CD
• Summoner: Meliski from Bard CD
• Barbarian: Athnul from Monk CD
• Goblin Fight: Agna from Ranger CD
• Goblin Burn: Grazzle from Oracle CD
• Occult Adventures 2: Zibini from Goblins Burn! CD
• Ranger: Nok-Nok, Goblin Promo from Free RPG Day 2018.
• War Priest: Erasmus from Occult Adventures 2 CD
• Sorcerer deck: Erasmus from Occult Adventures 2 CD
• Fighter: Ak from Goblin's Fight
• Cleric: Bekah from Bard CD

** spoiler omitted **...

Mechanics wise I'm okay with HV1 Seelah, but lore-wise I hate it. I think of Seelah as being one of the most incorruptible characters in all of Pathfinder period and I really don't like the thought of her falling.

Bekah really wants Finesse weapons, so Cleric is a poor fit.

Lone Shark Games

I'm highly receptive and actually looking for unlock suggestions, so I'll cheerfully take a look at these.

That said, it would drastically improve the odds of me getting them into a reward sooner if someone verified the ones that meet the following 2 requirements:
1) There are enough Basic cards to fill every card type for the character.
2) If _all_ card feats are spent on that character, there are enough cards of each type (of any level)

Venture-Agent, Online—ACG aka redeux

I'll cross out the ones that don't meet 1 and 2.

• Hell's Vengeance 1: WOTR Seelah (Or all Seelahs from any set or CD. Also bonus points if she's given the Antipaladin trait instead of Paladin). All Seelahs work, except ROTR would get two non-basic AD-B blessings. Fair point @ Zeroth. I'd be happy with another paladin but Raz doesn't work due to lack of mounts so that leaves Koren. He could work. Warpriest could also work but they'd need to take their owner card from the warpriest deck too
• Witch: Siwar from Bard CD. Doesn't have weapons if a weapon card feat is taken
• Druid: Poog from Goblins Fight! CD
• Summoner: Meliski from Bard CD
• Barbarian: Athnul from Monk CDShe can't pick spell card feat. And she'd get two non-basic AD-B's in her starting deck
• Goblin Fight: Agna from Ranger CD
• Goblin Burn: Grazzle from Oracle CD
• Occult Adventures 2: Zibini from Goblins Burn! CD Gets one non-basic AD-B blessing, otherwise a great fit imo.
• Ranger: Nok-Nok, Goblin Promo from Free RPG Day 2018.
• War Priest: Erasmus from Occult Adventures 2 CDTechnically works but most spells are divine so if he did take every spell card feat, some would get banished when used. Magus would be a better bet in this aspect, though there are already unlocks for Magus.
• Sorcerer deck: Erasmus from Occult Adventures 2 CD gets one non-basic AD-B blessing at start
• Fighter: Ak from Goblin's Fight gets 2 non-basic AD-B blessings at start
• Cleric: Bekah from Bard CDGets a non-basic blessing at start, and no starting finesse weapons. There's one less finesse weapon than her max weapons as well

So a few in there still meet 1 and 2. A few need non-basic AD-B blessings depending on how strict that one is.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Tyler Beck wrote:

Hi everyone!

The graph resolution came out not so great up above, so here is a link where you can download the graph from Google Drive and open it natively in your favorite browser for full resolution fun!
Graph Download
Tyler

We fixed the linked JPG in the blog above so it's legible. (Tyler's original SVG format looks better and has searchable text, though.)

Venture-Agent, Online—ACG aka redeux

updated suggestions for classes that didn't meet 1/2
• Hell's Vengeance 1: WOTR Seelah (Or see above)
• Witch: Celeste or WOTR Enora are the only two characters that meet #2 since every other has at least one potential card feat in weapon or armor.
• Druid: Poog from Goblins Fight! CD
• Summoner: Meliski from Bard CD
• Barbarian: Ekkie (Wotr Promo) - Wasn't a ton of choices with no spell feats to meet #2. Ak from Goblins Fight almost works but would get one non-basic AD-B blessing at the start.
• Goblin Fight: Agna from Ranger CD
• Goblin Burn: Grazzle from Oracle CD
• Occult Adventures 2: I couldn't find a good fit that had only 3 starting blessings and didnt run out of other basic cards. Still think Zibini is the best fit here, and considering 2/3 OA2 characters get non-basic AD-B blessings i don't think that's a dealbreaker here.
• Ranger: Nok-Nok, Goblin Promo
• War Priest: Bekah from Bard CD. Bit better of a choice than cleric. Finesse will be scarce starting out without an ultimate deck, but gets better as you tier up.
Sorcerer: Sticking with Erasmus because he gets two non-basic AD-B blessing in OA2 and only gets one non-basic AD-B blessing here.
• Fighter: Need to think on this one. Still like the idea of Ak here though.
• Cleric: Still not sure on this one.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Race Dorsey wrote:
It seems some decks have more unlocks than others. Let's fix this. I propose each non-Ultimate deck to have at least one unlock. Here are my suggestions for unlocks: [...]

I have some recommendations too, but not from the angle of enabling more unlocks for certain decks, but rather to enable certain characters to be played in ways that they otherwise cannot be in OP.

Note I haven't checked whether they have adequate basics.

  • Hell's Vengeance 2: Any Seoni
    Whilst WotR Seoni has been significantly weakened with the Recovery rules removing her ability to re-use attack spells in a turn, she still features a Corruption-based Role which... doesn't have any boon support whatsoever in any Ultimate Add-On deck or Class/Character deck aside from Hell's Vengeance. This would give that role some potential use, while expanding options available to other Seonis (including Core).
  • Cleric or Oracle: Varril from Inquisitor CD
    Honestly, Varril's low reliance on weapons and the strong focus on Divine/spellcasting seems to better suit him to more Divine-Caster roles than what the Inquisitor Class Deck provides.
  • Goblins Burn!: Fumbus from Core Set
    Limited items, unfortunately, but otherwise an obvious fit.
  • Hell's Vengeance 2: Any Merisiel
    It's got a lot of knife weapons; it has a bit more support in the weapon department for Core Merisiel (at least) than Rogue or Pathfinder Tales does, arguably.
  • Ultimate Combat: Any Valeros (or any Fighter?)
    Quite frankly, the Fighter Class Deck hasn't aged great, and there simply isn't any more recent Class/Character decks featuring a Fighter character to replace (unlike for Clerics, Rogues, Wizards and Sorcerers - and kind of Rangers with the Hunter Class Deck). For any Valeros using Ultimate Combat, it's a strong bet that over time his character deck will become comprised of 90-100% UC boons and 0-10% Fighter Class deck boons. Not a very good feeling when the Class Deck you're forced to take isn't actually giving your character much of anything.
    I recognize that Core Card Replacements might somewhat change this statistic, since the Fighter Class Deck shares way more same-named cards with Core/Curse, but I'd still like to see a bit more love for one of the most iconic, er, iconics.

  • Cleric: Poog (Goblins Burn!)
  • Alchemist: Mogmurch (Goblins Burn!)
  • Oracle: Zibini (Goblins Burn!)
    You can also apply this reasoning to the Goblins Fight! characters and the Goblins Promo characters (as Redeux did above), but with the new suite of Goblins being playable with both Goblin Character Decks and regular Class Decks, it seems odd that the older Goblins don't have any other Class/Character deck options unlike their modern counterparts. Zibini with Occult Adventures (as suggested above) seems even more fun, though.
    Incidentally, I consider Poog much more akin to a Cleric than a Druid (despite his references to animals; he's better at killing or eating them than working alongside them, by and large, and his Melee weapon usage is far closer to the Cleric deck's specialty). Reepazo is the Goblin 'Druid', but I don't want to see any unlocks from her until and unless her character powers get an overhaul to be less oppressive.

    Additionally, two more distinct ideas I'd really like to see for types of Unlocks are the following...

    First; unique Role options. This can either be character-inspecific (such as "Choose one of your PACS characters. That character may replace their role card with the Blackjack role card."), partially character-specific (such as "You may select the Hero of Sandpoint role card as if it were a role card for any Valeros character.") or completely character-specific (such as "You may select the Delver of Mysteries role card as if it were a role card for Core Set Ezren.").

    Like enabling new Class/Character decks, new role options provide more potential builds for characters, incentivising their use - and it seems fair that you could create role cards that refer to some achievements or discoveries made during a particular Season. The specific mechanics of the character-inspecific Blackjack Role completely open the floodgates for a single role to potentially be applicable for multiple characters, in particular.

    Strictly speaking, this idea of a reward is not far removed from the Mythic Path reward at the end of Season of the Righteous.

    Second; Class + Add-On Deck Combinations, or unique Add-On Deck options. Rewarding some characters with not only a Class Deck Unlock, but additionally allowing them to use another Class/Character Deck as if it were an Add-On Deck. Whilst keeping the right quantity of basics is tricky, this does seem like a very elegant way of handling 'hybrid' characters (such as "You may use Hakon with the Bard Class Deck or the Barbarian Class Deck. If you do, you may treat the other as if it were an Ultimate Add-On deck for Hakon.").

    Alternatively, solely enabling certain Class Decks to be treated as Ultimate Add-On decks for specific characters can enable similar expansion of builds and enabling of new strategies, without having any issue of missing adequate basics and the like. For example, allowing Darago (Wizard CD) or Nyctessa (Hell's Vengeance 2) to use the Summoner Class Deck as if it were an Add-On deck, due to their monster-drawing mechanics and caster focus. This could also allow WotR Seoni to use HV2 as an Ultimate Add-On Deck, rather than the unlock I suggested earlier, or Fumbus to use Goblins Burn!.

  • Silver Crusade 2/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

    Okay so let's start the conversation about which secondary decks are the best for different characters, shall we?

    I'll start with all the new Core and Curse characters, I think.

    Amiri (Core) - Barbarian + Ultimate Combat - Pretty self-explanatory, I'd say. Lots of nice weapons, including some exclusive and very strong ones like the Katana +1 and Pillaging Mace. Several displayable armors, which are great, and items like the Weaponrack Backpack to help combat her tiny hand size (I just HATE hand size 4 to start!)
    Ezren (Core) - Wizard + Ultimate Magic OR Pathfinder Tales + Ultimate Magic - I think that Pathfinder Tales is clearly the superior deck for a Wizard on its face, with spells like Steal Book (one of my FAVORITES) and Safety Bubble, there are just some very solid choices there, and you can add Ultimate Magic to round it out. However, IF you have access to the Core/Curse cards, I would actually argue that the Wizard deck becomes a LOT better, because it has a huge number of cards that can be traded out for their superior new versions (24 of them, in fact!) Ultimate Magic is still probably his best addition deck though, because the Flame Staff is in there, and its Core replacement is SO much better than the normal card that it makes the add-on a no-brainer.
    Fumbus (Core) - Alchemist + Ultimate Equipment - Fumbus only has one option for now, and Equipment obviously gives him a lot more Alchemical cards to play with than any of the other add-ons, though a case could be made for Wilderness of course. But I mean, Fireworks, right?
    Harsk (Core) - Hunter + Ultimate Combat - The Ranger deck doesn't have too many cards that can be replaced with Core boons (mostly Basic weapons anyway) so I think the weapon choices in the Hunter deck are clearly superior for our bow-loving friend. Even though Ultimate Wilderness would get him a couple of Axes, I think UC is a better choice for him because of the Ammunition items, which just get crazy good.
    Kyra (Core) - Cleric + Ultimate Magic - Straightforward. Cleric class deck sadly only has 15 cards that can be Core-swapped, but Ultimate Magic makes up for a lot of what the Cleric deck lacks.
    Lem (Core) - Occult Adventures Deck 1 + Ultimate Magic - One of the more interesting deck unlocks out there, Lem can replace his brother Meligaster and get access to several really fun, exclusive cards this way. Ultimate Magic is the obvious choice to round out the lack of non-Mental combat spells that he needs to survive, and of course there are several good healing spells in UM as well. I just wish there were more Instruments out there to be had!
    Lini (Core) - Druid + Ultimate Wilderness - This is a no-brainer... Lini likes animals and things that let her use Survival, and these two decks are the best ways to do so. If you'd like her to be a bit more healing-focused, grab UM instead of UW.
    Merisiel (Core) - Pathfinder Tales + Ultimate Equipment - Tales has a bit of a lack of Knives, but it does have several Acrobatics-based weapons which are good for her. Ultimate Equipment will give her Knives in spades, and just look at that Cloak of Daggers you can give her! :)
    Sajan (Core) - Monk + Ultimate Equipment - A total no-brainer, thanks to Acrobatics-based and just generally well-themed weapons for a Monk.
    Seelah (Core) - Paladin + Ultimate Combat - Though an argument could be made for UM instead, I think the displayable armors in UC give it a significant edge, as she starts with THREE of those in her deck.
    Seoni (Core) - Sorcerer + Ultimate Magic - The Sorcerer deck actually has the second-most Core-replaceable cards in it at 28 (the Witch deck has 29) so Seoni has a LOT of great spell options if you have access to those cards. If you don't, sub in Pathfinder Tales for Sorcerer.
    Valeros (Core) - Fighter + Ultimate Combat - Displayable armors and great weapons make this an obvious choice.

    Hakon (CotCT) - Warpriest + Ultimate Magic - Even though he doesn't start off with the Arcane or Divine skills, Hakon has proficiency, so he's not banishing spells left and right. There are so many good spells in UM that I'd be hard-pressed to choose a different one, though Intrigue could be argued for.
    Kess (CotCT) - Barbarian + Ultimate Equipment - Since she doesn't need weapons or armor, Ultimate Combat is all wrong for Kess. Equipment, though, gives her access to a Staff of Minor Healing, Gem of Physical Prowess, Dryad Sandals... the list just goes on.
    Quinn (CotCT) - Ultimate Equipment + Alchemist - Straightforward option to get more alchemical items and even a few allies. There are so many options here though, I'm sure there will be a heated debate. :)
    Varian (CotCT) - Pathfinder Tales + Ultimate Magic - UM is an extremely solid choice for Varian, thanks to its plethora of excellent spells. Intrigue could also be fun, though!


    Dumb question, but where can I get Arueshalae's cards?

    Silver Crusade 2/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

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    GreatKhanArtist wrote:
    Dumb question, but where can I get Arueshalae's cards?

    They are in adventure 3 of the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path:

    Demon's Heresy

    Venture-Agent, Online—ACG aka MorkXII

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    Tyler Beck wrote:
    Kess (CotCT) - Barbarian + Ultimate Equipment - Since she doesn't need weapons or armor, Ultimate Combat is all wrong for Kess. Equipment, though, gives her access to a Staff of Minor Healing, Gem of Physical Prowess, Dryad Sandals... the list just goes on.

    For Kess, I'd be much more likely to take Ultimate Wilderness for 2 key cards: Amulet of Mighty Fists (B), and Amulet of Furious Fists (5). There's also lots of allies in there to make use of, although the armor selection is lacking.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Mark Koopman wrote:
    Tyler Beck wrote:
    Kess (CotCT) - Barbarian + Ultimate Equipment - Since she doesn't need weapons or armor, Ultimate Combat is all wrong for Kess. Equipment, though, gives her access to a Staff of Minor Healing, Gem of Physical Prowess, Dryad Sandals... the list just goes on.
    For Kess, I'd be much more likely to take Ultimate Wilderness for 2 key cards: Amulet of Mighty Fists (B), and Amulet of Furious Fists (5). There's also lots of allies in there to make use of, although the armor selection is lacking.

    Wilderness is my call as well


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Tyler Beck wrote:

    Okay so let's start the conversation about which secondary decks are the best for different characters, shall we?

    I'll start with all the new Core and Curse characters, I think.

    Quinn - Alchemist + Ultimate Equipment - ..

    I thought Alchemist at first as well. Then I realised that almost all of the Alchemical items didn’t have recharge rolls, so I think they would still be banished :-(

    WKover suggested Rogue deck would be a good call.

    Lone Shark Games

    Alchemy items should be going into the recovery phase so Quinn can save them (if low enough level). If that isn't happening (after conversion guide), please let me know.

    4/5

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    I'm playing Quinn with UE + Rogue right now in Curse of the Crimson Throne


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    Mark Koopman wrote:
    For Kess, I'd be much more likely to take Ultimate Wilderness for 2 key cards: Amulet of Mighty Fists (B), and Amulet of Furious Fists (5). There's also lots of allies in there to make use of, although the armor selection is lacking.

    I'm playing Kess + UW right now. Crocodile Skin Madu (B) and Mammoth Hide Armor (3) both recharge to add dice to Melee checks, which is solid. They can even be used together (Madu played freely). Otherwise Kess has more armors than she knows what to do with - particularly since her damage-absorption power means she isn't discarding many cards to damage anyway.

    Keith Richmond wrote:
    Alchemy items should be going into the recovery phase so Quinn can save them (if low enough level). If that isn't happening (after conversion guide), please let me know.

    Quinn's power says:

    You are proficient with Alchemical. On your check to recharge an Alchemical item whose level is lower than #, you automatically succeed.

    The problem is that the recharge abilities in the Alchemist deck are for discarded cards, not the items themselves.

    For instance, Alchemist's Fire says:

    For your combat check, banish this card to use your Dexterity or Ranged skill + 2d6. You may additionally discard another card to add your Craft skill; after playing that card, succeed at a Craft 9 check to recharge that card instead of discarding it.

    So the recharge check isn't to recharge the item itself. It's to recharge the discarded card. So Quinn's power doesn't work, unless I'm misreading it. Almost all the items in the Alchemist's deck work this way. (Also Quinn doesn't have Craft and his dexterity is low, so these items aren't necessarily great for him anyway.)

    Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

    What wkover said.

    Quinn's auto-succeed power would work really well with any alchemical items we might acquire during a scenario, but doesn't seem to be helpful for any of the alchemical items in my class or add-on deck (although I've only really looked at potential upgrades for a tier 1 character, and haven't yet checked to see which ones have new Core versions).

    It's certainly not a power feat I intend to take at tier 1. When I get to tier 2 I'll take another look.


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    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Tyler Beck wrote:

    Okay so let's start the conversation about which secondary decks are the best for different characters, shall we?

    I'll start with all the new Core and Curse characters, I think.

    [...]

    My counter-opinions are as follows....

    Super-short Summary:
    I disagree with almost every suggestion of Ultimate Combat. It increases the combat math of characters who already have incredibly high combat math, and has some of the weakest selection of allies and blessings of any Add-On deck.

    I highly recommend Ultimate Intrigue for several characters where it was otherwise not mentioned - it has a suite of some of the best boons across a variety of card types, and can massively enhance a host of noncombat checks. Often I advise it in place of Ultimate Combat, since melee-based characters often can leverage great noncombat benefits from using it, but Intrigue also has better allies, better blessings and arguably better items and armors. (Note, the 'better armors' argument only really applies if you're using Core/Curse card replacement to get Displayable armors from your main Class Deck.)

    Amiri (Core) - Barbarian + Ultimate Intrigue - I've said it before and I'll say it again; I don't think Fighters and Barbarians don't really need to spend their one-and-only Add-On Deck choice on Ultimate Combat to make their already strong combat options higher. Ultimate Combat does relatively little besides giving you items, allies, blessings and weapons to better your combat math, and leaves you just as weak in every other area (except for the amazing Brawler's Mask, and some strong armor - though even then they're not much better than Core/Cure Armor Replacements).
    Ultimate Intrigue gives Amiri weapons that let her leverage her Melee skill to give her amazing Diplomacy skills and - in AD6 - flawless anti-barrier skills thanks to the Backsword cycle. It also provides very strong armor, ally and blessing options - way better than anything Ultimate Combat provides overall.

    Ezren (Core) - Hell's Vengeance 2 + Ultimate Magic - I've played all of Season 4 with MM Ezren with this mix, and I'm confident that Hell's Vengeance 2 is overall better than Pathfinder Tales or Wizard if you're also using Ultimate Magic. Most of your spells will be from Ultimate Magic either way, but Hell's Vengeance 2 provides a very small amount of absolutely invaluable cards, including Hungering Staff (way better than the aforementioned Flame Staff), Ukobach, Glamour, Advocate's Armor and Steal Soul. Altogether some of the best cards that any Ezren will ever get a hold of are only really available in this very Character Deck. However, the overall HV2 spell variety won't suffice without Ultimate Magic.

    Fumbus (Core) - Agreed, but this is basically non-negotiable because UE gives you Ring of Elemental Command. Forget the alchemical items - that Ring gives you 1d6+ (or more, depending on your role) with every check that Fumbus makes, combat or noncombat, due to his implausibly powerful power feat (which should always be your first hero point) of "+1d6 to checks invoking fire/acid/poison".

    Harsk (Core) - Hunter + Ultimate Wilderness - Once again, I just don't like Ultimate Combat. Harsk with the Hunter Class Deck shouldn't be failing combat checks - his combat math is one of the highest in Core with bows or axes - and he can't fully leverage the best 'melee-matters' effects that Combat offers. Wilderness gives him a far better selection of allies, as well as letting him delve into the powerful world of Plants, from Angelstep to Snapping Flytrap.

    Kyra (Core) - No comment; straight agreement.

    Lem (Core) - I don't necessarily disagree, but there's a lot of ways to build Lem. Occult Adventures has some nice weapons (Javelin of Lightning), decent mid/late game items and creative spells (especially in the lategame), but it also has really bad blessings (sorry, I consider the Signs objectively awful, especially compared to basics in the Ultimate Add-On decks), really bad early-game items (if you don't have the Perception skill), questionably bad early-game spells (if you don't have the Perception skill or Intelligence-based Arcane), few good armors and a lot of allies which are, again, REALLY themed towards having the Perception skill.
    However, the quality of cards in the Bard Class Deck is also lacking, so eh.
    Ultimate Magic is a safe bet, but Ultimate Intrigue provides way more noncombat options. Use Diplomacy for any noncombat check, use Diplomacy in combat (can also be done with Occult Adventures), Confusion, better allies, better blessings... Plus, I think Cockroach Coat is one of the finest early game items in any Ultimate Add-On deck, and it works great with an acrobatics Rapier from Core-switching.
    If anyone's interested in seeing such a take on Core Lem, I just started a Legendary Dragons' Demand PACS adventure with him.

    Lini (Core) - No comment; straight agreement.

    Merisiel (Core) - I haven't done all of the analysis, but I'd be tempted to look at Ultimate Intrigue again. Cockroach Coat is an amazing card, as a fire-and-forget card that can often add +1d4 to all of your combat checks now. Plus, Ultimate Intrigue lets Merisiel use Stealth for any noncombat check, and also has some very desirable blessings and allies (though admittedly, so does Ultimate Equipment).

    Sajan (Core) - Mostly in agreement. If you're going with a Strength-based build, though, this is one of the very few situations you will see me actually advise Ultimate Combat. It lets him leverage Melee for noncombat checks, it has a couple of Monk-specific weapons (including the 'autokill undead' monk sword) and - unlike Harsk or Amiri - Sajan does usually need boosts in combat to consistently pass (hence his blessing mechanics), so a lot of the boons providing bonuses to your combat checks when you explore with them or reveal them or reload them actually pay off for him.

    Seelah (Core) - Paladin + Ultimate Intrigue - Once again, Ultimate Intrigue features the Backswords to let Seelah leverage her strong Melee for other types of checks, but it's strong focus (particularly in late game allies) for rewarding Charisma checks is excellent for any Charisma-based caster, like Seelah. Plus, Seelah has a vested interest in taking cards that push her charisma checks a bit higher, because she can leverage them for any before-acting check.
    The argument of using Ultimate Combat primarily for its Armors is not a strong one in my opinion - because the Paladin Class Deck already offers armors that can be Core/Curse exchanged for displayable armors which are often better than Ultimate Combat's. Take, for example, Paladin Class Deck's Full Plate armor - which with Core can often be recharged from display to reduce all damage taken to 0.
    That said, Ultimate Combat is also absolutely fine here. It grants Stone Skin (one of the best early game spells), Dwarven Earthbreaker and Brawler's Mask. I'd sooner use Ultimate Combat on Seelah or Sajan than I would on Harsk or Amiri, for certain.

    Seoni (Core) - Sorcerer/Pathfinder Tales + Ultimate Intrigue - Seoni doesn't need combat spells, so Ultimate Magic doesn't provide her with too much that she can't find elsewhere. Ultimate Magic has some strong items (which have been explicitly weakened with the new ruleset, like Binder's Tome); it has some very strong spells (like Fire Snake), but Ultimate Intrigue offers much better allies and blessings. Instead of Fire Snake, it has the almost identical (if not better!) Quick-Change Mask, and the other charisma-matters ally and item effects are leveraged phenomenally by the pure-Charisma-emphasis of Seoni!

    Valeros (Core) - Fighter + Ultimate Intrigue - Pretty much the same argument I always make. You don't need more combat support - and Core replacements already give you displayable armors here. Ultimate Intrigue instead provides more noncombat support and better cards across every card type outside of Weapon and Armor, which is usually where you're going to be struggling.
    ...However, the Ultimate Combat Weapons are clearly a lot stronger, and Valeros has a vested interest in taking extra Weapon Card Feats.

    I won't comment on the Curse characters for now - I've done less cohesive analysis of their character and role powers. But I will agree with others that I'd try to use Kess with Ultimate Wilderness before Ultimate Equipment, to better leverage unarmed-combat matters. Besides, Staff of Minor Healing won't ever interest me as much as Angelstep, even on a character without Survival or Craft. Unless you intend to use the Staff of Minor Healing 3.5+ times per scenario (in which case that Staff has used up 3 of your draws, effectively shrinking your effective hand size on average) then it's not going to be as impactful as a single, one-off use of Angelstep.

    Lone Shark Games

    Ah, yes. I was thinking of a different version of the rules for Quinn/Alchemy conversion than we went with. It's not ideal, but not 100% bad. Thanks for the cite!

    Silver Crusade 2/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

    Thanks for the feedback Yewstance! I was trying not to assume that people would have access to Core/Curse replacement options, since that is a much larger investment than just a pair of class/add-on decks. I still like Ultimate Combat for some of these characters though... Especially Harsk, as I think the Ammunition boons are really helpful for him.

    Silver Crusade 2/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

    Let's see about a next step...

    Ultimate characters!

    Hayato (Ultimate Combat) - UC + Pathfinder Tales - Hayato likes mounts for one power on his Ronin role, so you might think Paladin first, but Warpriest has some interesting weapons, allies and blessings, and in a post-Core world, you're going to want to use Hayato's Yojimbo role so that you can help out your allies, instead.

    Reiko (Ultimate Equipment) - UE + Rogue - Pretty clear that you're going to want Rogue for the Poisons. (Alchemist only has 3 Poison items in it!)

    Aric (Ultimate Intrigue) - UI + Pathfinder Tales - No question, the allies and weapons in Pathfinder Tales complement Aric/RR best.

    Enora (Ultimate Magic) - UM + Occult Adventures 1 OR Pathfinder Tales - The uniqueness of the boons in OA complements Enora very well. However, if you are going Bookworm for her role, Tales is the clear winner.

    Zova (Ultimate Wilderness) - UW + Hunter - Clear because of Animal allies and Aspect spells.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Keith Richmond wrote:
    Ah, yes. I was thinking of a different version of the rules for Quinn/Alchemy conversion than we went with. It's not ideal, but not 100% bad. Thanks for the cite!

    After double checking the conversion guide, my interpretation of most old the old alchemical items is that they would get banished by Quinn as they have no recharge roll, is this correct or am I missing something?


    There is a minor snag for Valeros Core with Fighter/UC - and that is that his FCT is Sword Weapon, not just weapon. Most of the better weapons in the deck are non-sword weapons, and as such he is not guaranteed to get it in his opening hand, and he probably draws them a lower percentage of the time than if he had FCT weapon.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    zeroth_hour2 wrote:
    There is a minor snag for Valeros Core with Fighter/UC - and that is that his FCT is Sword Weapon, not just weapon. Most of the better weapons in the deck are non-sword weapons, and as such he is not guaranteed to get it in his opening hand, and he probably draws them a lower percentage of the time than if he had FCT weapon.

    I'd completely forgotten that... but I will notch it in another tally in favor of Ultimate Intrigue, where all of the good (non-ranged) weapons are swords. Come to think of it, some of the ranged weapons in Intrigue might be playable with Valeros, even - there's some neat effects, and he does have the Ranged skill.

    But yes, the most compelling weapons in Ultimate Equipment are (in my opinion) the spears, lances and hammers, by and large - not the swords.


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    Tyler Beck wrote:
    Reiko (Ultimate Equipment) - UE + Rogue - Pretty clear that you're going to want Rogue for the Poisons. (Alchemist only has 3 Poison items in it!)

    I don't think Poison is even the best way to play Reiko.

    Pre-role, she doesn't get anything special from Poison except the ability to reveal instead of having to recharge a card. This is useful, but you have to essentially hold a card anyways to get the benefit unless you have Blue Star (or another Poison), so that slot is "consumed" either way. You either have to use a reveal Poison that doesn't give +1 hand size or an Alchemical Poison that does, but doesn't reveal.

    Reiko can't use pre-Core Finesse Melee weapons without a specific role and feat combo and Bows are a problem for her (lack of Strength). Rogue class deck has a lot of those.

    She also doesn't have Disable, Survival or Craft, so she is very poor at using Poisons period (again, unless you invest in Ninjutsu Master + a feat, and even then she's not great).

    If you're going for Ninjutsu Master Reiko, I'd say Sorcerer class deck. She doesn't get any good weapons and has to rely on the UE weapons most of the time, but in exchange she gets the ability to use the Boots of Elvenkind to get d10 to all combats on a reveal. I'd take that trade. There's also some utility spells that are useful like Scrying, Unearthly Aim, Swipe, Dominate, and Wand of Treasure Finding. In addition, Ninjutsu Master Reiko shifts her reveal to Arcane so she doesn't worry about immunity and there's quite a few Arcane items and spells.

    The Monk class deck is a possibility if you want to go Saboteur, but I think Gunslinger is actually a better fit. Great supporting allies (Old Salt and Black Arrow Ranger) and fantastic items (Masterwork Tools, Sniper Goggles and Poisoned Bullets if you really want to keep the Poison use). In addition, she can reposition if she manages to find the villain and evade, then move, and continue to explore without wasting a turn (she is a tad low on explores with this strategy though), but still have weapons to support combat checks. Good weapons with low investment, though the possibility of misfires can be annoying.

    Silver Crusade 2/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

    Great analysis, zeroth. This is exactly the kind of thing I hoped to see in this thread! You've converted me on Gunslinger for them. I like the image of Reiko using guns, and Lirianne asking her who taught them, and Reiko giving her a completely blank stare. Lol

    Fun sidenote, I was told that originally Reiko was supposed to be a genderless character, but the "her" pronouns were used in the blog write-up about them, so then Female got added to their character card when converting to ACG. I like to think of Reiko as genderless, not because of any gender issues or fluidity, but simply because they have never indicated a gender and never been without a mask in any situation, ever. :)


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Agreed on Reiko. There's a lot of neat things you can do with her, but filling her item slots with 3+ weapon poisons is going to be a painful build no matter what those poisons are.

    I honestly find most Poisons-Matter character to be pretty clumsy and weak with poisons for a variety of reasons (which I've written up in other places), with a special dishonorable mention to Emil who's stuck in a character deck with a ton of weapons that can add poison whilst he doesn't actually have a single iota of synergy with any of them.

    The only weapon with the Poison trait in his character (where he does, arguably, have synergy) is a melee weapon... and he's a ranged fighter. Yay.

    =================

    Also, a small fix to an earlier thing I said.

    Yewstance wrote:
    But yes, the most compelling weapons in Ultimate Equipment Combat are (in my opinion) the spears, lances and hammers, by and large - not the swords.

    Venture-Agent, Oregon—Corvallis aka HikariStarshine

    Something I'm not seeing a mention of here, that seems Very Relevant Indeed: Using the We Be Heroes? goblins for organized play seems like it's going to run into a major issue the moment you earn role cards, as they do not appear to actually *have* role cards. Is that going to be addressed somehow?

    Venture-Agent, Online—ACG aka MorkXII

    James Sinnett wrote:
    Something I'm not seeing a mention of here, that seems Very Relevant Indeed: Using the We Be Heroes? goblins for organized play seems like it's going to run into a major issue the moment you earn role cards, as they do not appear to actually *have* role cards. Is that going to be addressed somehow?

    Yep! See the end of this blog post here.

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