A Preview of the Champion Card in For the Greater Good
For the Greater Good is coming soon to Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game! With nearly two-thirds of its 165 cards focused on the Agency and its operatives, For the Greater Good gives the faction a major boost. However, it also offers plenty to fans of the game’s other factions.
Each of the game’s seven other factions gains at least one new character and at least one new support; they also gain more potential options from the expansion’s three different neutral cards, which include the new Ancient One Iod, The Hunter of Souls (For the Greater Good, 36).
Thus, even as the Agency’s Government agents pursue new leads in their defense of humanity, these other new characters allow the other factions to accelerate their plans for saving, dominating, or devouring the world. Like the Bedlam Boys (For the Greater Good, 41) and Restless Mi-Go (For the Greater Good, 45), most of them are also two-cost and one skill. However, the similarities between them tend to end there. After all, the monstrous scientists of Yog-Sothoth don’t function like the Syndicate’s criminals. Nor do Cthulhu’s cultists work toward the same intents as Miskatonic University’s bravest explorers and investigators.
Today, we turn our attention more closely toward one of these characters, as two-time World Champion Jeremy Zwirn offers a look at the character card he designed for Miskatonic University and that will soon see release with For the Greater Good.
Jeremy Zwirn on Jeremiah Kirby
Today, I'm very excited to show you my World Champion card and share a few of the thoughts I had while designing it. Having the opportunity to design your own Champion card is truly amazing, and I'm extremely grateful to be forever linked in this way to Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game.
I'm a big fan of the literature of H.P. Lovecraft and have read all of his stories. The Cthulhu Mythos is brimming with interesting characters, items, and locations. As I thought about basing a card on one of these, I was a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities; where was I to begin? I thought about designing a card around one of the notable, named characters yet to appear in the LCG®: Professor William Dyer, Captain Obed Marsh, Abdul Alhazred (author of the Necronomicon), Joseph Curwen, or Herbert West, the infamous reanimator. The idea of designing a card around a powerful artifact, like the Shining Trapozehedron, also intrigued me.
In the end, I decided to make a card that pictured what I would like to be in the Cthulhu Mythos. That decision gave me the freedom to explore my card’s design without the pressure to match its mechanics to a known character. The result is the Explorer and Investigator, Jeremiah Kirby (For the Greater Good, 43).
Exploring New Ground
I wanted my Champion Card to stand apart from those designed by my predecessors. The four previous World Champion character cards in Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game all share a cost of three, three or more icons, and three skill. Three of them are neutral. They’re all good at combat and have Willpower. Instead of following suit, I thought it would be more interesting to give my character just one point of skill, one icon, and focus more attention on the ability.
I learned to play Call of Cthulhu with a Miskatonic University rush deck and am a hardcore gamer, so the faction of “nerds” felt right. The faction is known for its abundance of card draw, so I wanted to create a twist on this mechanic. For a while, I thought about designing a character that always revealed the top card of your deck and allowed you to play it as though it were in your hand. The idea was fun and interesting, but I wanted something more interactive. I'm a fan of mini-games that involve direct interaction with your opponent, and I love highly tactical cards that require you to weigh multiple factors each time you use them. Accordingly, when Jeremiah Kirby enters play, his response triggers a “card draw” ability, but your opponent influences which cards you get.
Meanwhile, since Jeremiah Kirby is an Explorer, I wanted his name to sound like an arctic explorer. Many of the Explorer characters in Call of Cthulhu are named after real explorers. Roald Ellsworth (Seekers of Knowledge, 4), for example, is named after Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth. Taking the cue, I chose to name my card after Jeremiah Reynolds and Sydney Kirkby, slightly modifying Kirkby’s last name because my Golden Retriever’s name is “Kirby.”
Playing with Jeremiah Kirby
In card games, I like nothing more than finding synergy between cards and creating decks where the whole is greater than its individual parts. Jeremiah Kirby is full of potential synergies, and many of those synergies involve other Miskatonic cards. Since he has the Explorer subtype, he can take advantage of all the synergies it grants.
- If Jeremiah Kirby leaves play, Roald Ellsworth lets you draw two cards or retrieve any one card from your discard pile.
- If you have James “Cookie” Fredericks (Seekers of Knowledge, 8) in play and fewer cards in hand than your opponent, you can order your responses to first trigger Cookie’s response, then trigger Kirby’s response to take a total of three of the top eight cards from your deck into your hand.
- Moreover, Jeremiah Kirby is a prime target to drop into play with the lynchpin of Explorer decks, Ultima Thule (Seekers of Knowledge, 26). As long as your opponent doesn't disrupt this combo, you'll net two cards each turn, and if you have Roald Ellsworth in play, that turns into four cards each turn.
Synergy is such a beautiful thing!
Explorer isn't Jeremiah Kirby's only subtype; he's also an Investigator. Thus, two Anthropology Advisors (Core Set, 25) will let you play him at no cost and give him two additional Investigation icons. Since he boasts such a powerful enters play ability, if you’re reducing his cost to nothing, you may sometimes want him to be destroyed just so that you can play a second (or third) copy of him. He’s a great target to commit to a story where you’ll need to take a wound after losing a combat struggle, or you can equip him with a Khopesh of the Abyss (Touched by the Abyss, 16) and wound away. Having Infirmary (Words of Power, 28) in play makes these viable options to keep the cards flowing.
The cards from Miskatonic University aren’t the only cards with which Jeremiah combines nicely. One of the best examples is Tom Capor’s Champion Card, Hall of Champions (Written and Bound, 20). I’ve always enjoyed the design of that card and wanted to make a card that synergized with it. Finding Jeremiah Kirby with the Hall of Champions will give you two cards and, potentially, three success tokens at a story. That’s not bad, especially since this could happen every turn, especially if you use cards like Archaeology Interns (Into Tartarus, 97) or Surprising Find (Touched by the Abyss, 109) to manipulate Jeremiah Kirby back to the top of your deck.
Playing Against Jeremiah Kirby
Every player of Call of Cthulhu has cards they love to use. Who doesn’t like cards that destroy your opponent’s characters or make them go crazy?
Everyone has their favorite cards to play, but who has favorites to play against? For me, Jeremiah Kirby is one of those cards; I actually enjoy playing against it more than with it! The way he creates interactions between known and hidden information can lead to intriguing scenarios.
For example, imagine your opponent starts the game and plays Jeremiah Kirby on his first turn, revealing Lucas Tetlow (Seekers of Knowledge, 9), Jeremiah Kirby, Matthew Alexander (Seekers of Knowledge, 7), Dwellers Below (The Sleeper Below, 11), and Flooded Vault (Terror in Venice, 10).
Which card do you choose first to put on the bottom of his deck? There are many factors to consider: what cards do you have in hand, and what might your opponent have in hand? If you have some non-Location support cards in hand, that Lucas Tetlow might be problematic. What cards have been resourced? If your opponent resourced a Matthew Alexander, does that mean he already has one in hand and doesn’t need another copy? What support cards is your opponent running? Flooded Vault could unearth anything from a Khopesh of the Abyss to Ultima Thule, and you have to consider all the possibilities. Does your second choice influence your first choice? If your opponent chooses to keep Flooded Vault, should you send that second copy of Jeremiah Kirby to the bottom of his deck so he can’t trigger card draw off it after a Khopesh bursts out of that Vault to attach to the first copy.
I thoroughly enjoy thought processes like these, even if the outcome isn't in my favor. I love trying to deduce what my opponent is thinking and using that to my advantage. I can't wait for a scenario like this to happen in a tournament. Acknowledgements I want to thank FFG for the opportunity to design this Champion Card, and I want to thank Brad Andres and Damon Stone for working with me to design a card I'm proud of. I'm really looking forward to playing with (and against) Jeremiah Kirby, and I hope you are as well!
For the Greater Good is now just a couple weeks away. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for our final preview, when we meet some of the Hunters who make their debut in this eighth deluxe expansion for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game.