Undead and Byakhee
Refresher – How do unique Monsters work?
If you have The Blood Ceremony expansion (part of the Dunwich Pledge Level), then in that set you get 12 Monsters. Additionally, there are 2 in the Dark Ritual box (also part of the Dunwich Pledge Level), the Dark Young and Undead. Soon, we will add the Byakhee!
To use these, at the game start, first, set aside the 15 “generic” monsters you got in the core game. You won’t need those. Then, randomly shuffle your 15 unique monsters together (once we get the Byakhee), then pull the top 3 cards and arrange them on your card display. The card display shows three investigators, three monsters, and three chambers.
When you gain a monster, by whatever means, you get your pick of the three monsters on display. Once you choose one, place it in one of your monster lairs, and flip over another monster – there are always three on display.
Naturally, Herbert West has brought a little buddy along with him – it’s our Undead!
Something clearly went horribly wrong in the reanimation process (just look at the picture!) but our Undead monster is still really useful for defensive purposes.
When you sacrifice it against a raid, it counts for 5 defense, like many other monsters. But it doesn’t then go away – instead, you flip it upside-down, and now you can use it a second time, against another raid later on. Of course, parts of it were knocked off in the first raid, so it’s only worth 3 defense, but hey, that’s 8 total defense spread out over two raids.
Some caveats – you cannot use the Undead twice against the same raid. Also, if you are sacrificing the Undead for some site reward (for example, the Black Goat site that lets you trade in a monster for 2 spellbooks), this eliminates the entire Undead even if it hasn’t been flipped upside-down yet.
But just look at his adorable smile. He’s so happy to be back in the land of the living. Er … semi-living.
The Byakhee can be used two different ways. First, you can simply sacrifice it like any other monster to help block an investigator raid. Used this way, it is worth 5 in defense.
But it also has another, more sinister purpose. Before you place a cultist (i.e., when it’s your turn), you can discard the Byakhee to steal an opponent’s spellbook. You may be thinking to yourself “not much of a trade.” Except that you are actually depriving your enemy of that spellbook as well as gaining it yourself. It’s almost like earning two spellbooks. Also remember you get the spellbook when you discard the Byakhee, which means your placed cultist can immediately use it.
The old Bait-and-Switch – when it’s your turn, steal someone’s spellbook. Then immediately place your cultist on the Silver Twilight Lodge and spend that spellbook for a monster and a chamber. Lo and behold your hated enemy is down a spellbook, and you are up a room (plus while you lost the Byakhee, you gain another monster, so you’re not even down one). Nice work if you can get it.
Shriek of the Byakhee – no one thinks you can unlock that next Elder Sign, because you don’t have a spellbook. But with the Byakhee, you do. Steal that spellbook, then use your cultist to unlock the Elder Sign. No one will be ready for the Investigator Raid you just surprised them with!
Game Over, Man! – let’s face it. Monsters are worth 0 victory points, and spellbooks are worth 5. If you still have a Byakhee near the game’s end, use it to bump up your points!