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Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

- The Obligatory Cthulhu Set rulebook

The Minions of Cthulhu is one of the 4 factions from The Obligatory Cthulhu Set.

You've joined the ranks of overwhelming almighty inevitable Cthulhu. Descend into the abyss. There is no other destiny left for you.

Other factions from the same set: Elder Things, Innsmouth, Miskatonic University.

Name

Minions of cthulhu.jpg

AEG's website named this faction the Cthulhu Cultists.[1] However, The Obligatory Cthulhu Set rulebook and The Big Geeky Box named this faction the Minions of Cthulhu.

Cards

The Minions of Cthulhu have only 8 minions and 12 actions compared to the usual 10 and 10. The total minion base power (not counting any abilities) is 22 or an average of 2.75 per minion compared to the usual 30 and 3. They are also one of the rare factions to have received a titan from the TITANS Event Kit.

Among their actions, there are:

  • 0 play-on-minion actions,
  • 3 play-on-base actions: Altar to Cthulhu, Complete the Ritual, Furthering the Cause,
  • 9 standard actions (2 that affect one or more minions, in bold): Corruption (2x), Cthulhu Fhtagn, It Begins Again, Madness Unleashed, Recruit by Force, The Seal is Broken, Whispers in Darkness (2x),
  • 0 actions that directly increase a minion's power.

Minions

1x Star-Spawn of Cthulhu - power 5 - Talent: Place a Madness card from your hand into another player’s hand. FAQ

3x Cthulhu’s Chosen - power 3 - Special: Before a base scores, you may draw a Madness card. This minion gets +2 power until the end of the turn. FAQ

4x Servitor of Cthulhu - power 2 - Talent: Destroy this minion and place an action card from your discard pile on top of your deck. FAQ

Actions

1x Altar to Cthulhu - Play on a base. Ongoing: Whenever you play a minion here, you may play an extra action that turn. (errata'd by The Bigger Geekier Box) FAQ

1x Complete the Ritual - Play on a base where you have at least one minion. Ongoing: At the start of your turn, place all minions and actions on it on the bottom of their owners’ decks and swap this base with the top card of the base deck. (errata'd by The Bigger Geekier Box) FAQ

2x Corruption - Draw a Madness card. Destroy a minion. FAQ

1x Cthulhu Fhtagn - Reveal cards from the top of your deck until you have revealed two actions. Place them into your hand and put the rest of the cards on the bottom of your deck. FAQ

1x Furthering the Cause - Play on a base. Ongoing: At the end of every turn, if another player’s minion here was destroyed, gain 1 VP. FAQ

1x It Begins Again - Shuffle any number of actions from your discard pile into your deck. FAQ

1x Madness Unleashed - Discard any number of Madness cards. For each one discarded, you may draw a card and play an extra action this turn. FAQ

1x Recruit by Force - Place any number of minions of power 3 or less from your discard pile on top of your deck. FAQ

1x The Seal is Broken - Draw a Madness card. Gain 1 VP. FAQ

2x Whispers in Darkness - Draw a Madness card. You may play two extra actions this turn. FAQ

Titan

CthulhuTitan.JPG

(available in each Smash Up TITANS pack released with the TITANS Event Kit)

1x Cthulhu - Special: Instead of your regular action play, draw two Madness cards to play this titan on a base with one of your minions. Ongoing: After you play or draw a Madness card place a +1 power counter on this titan. Talent: Draw a Madness card, OR place a Madness card from your hand into another player's hand. FAQ

Minions of Cthulhu.png

Bases

Clarifications

Here are the official clarifications as they appear in The Bigger Geekier Box rulebook:

Cthulhu: You do not place power counters on Cthulhu when you first play it.

Complete the Ritual: Actions played on minions also go to the bottom of their decks. You also place your own minions and actions on the bottom of their deck. Cards immune to the effects are discarded instead.

Cthulhu’s Chosen: This ability triggers no matter which base is being scored. It triggers each time a base scores. Draw a separate Madness card for each Cthulhu’s Chosen you want to receive the +2 power. You can draw no more than one Madness card per Cthulhu’s Chosen per trigger.

Furthering the Cause: You get 1 VP if at least one minion was destroyed during the turn, not 1 VP per minion destroyed.

Madness Unleashed: You must do all discarding before drawing anything. You may not continue discarding Madness cards after starting to draw cards.

Servitor of Cthulhu: If your attempt to destroy this card fails because it is protected from destruction, you still place the action card. Destroying a Servitor on R’lyeh counts either for the Servitor’s ability (during the Play Cards phase, to place an action card) or for R’lyeh’s ability (at the start of the turn, to earn 1VP), but not both.

Mechanics

Of the factions of The Obligatory Cthulhu Set, the Minions of Cthulhu forces you to draw numerous Madness cards, and revolves around their basic nature as standard actions by offering you similarly numerous extra action plays. Throughout the game, you will play so many Madness cards that we might as well say this faction has more than the standard 20 cards. In addition to Madness cards, the Minions of Cthulhu even feature more actions themselves than minions. This abundance of insanity and action cards ties into the ethereal and psychological nature of the mythos. Most of the Minions' cards have strong effects with penalties attached to them, usually drawing a Madness card, reflecting the forbidden and taboo stigma of associating with Cthulhu. You have many weighty decisions to make throughout the game, all combining into one of the most complicated and challenging factions in the game. Embrace the twisting Madness.

The next three sections detail major mechanics of the Minions, in order of prevalence in the faction, to help expose what is possible with Minions of Cthulhu. These mechanics are diverse, but interweave closely together, so you need at least a basic understanding of them to get the most out of Minions of Cthulhu.

Mad Management

Madness is the core and most dangerous aspect of the Minions of Cthulhu. The penalty at the end of the game places you in constant tension. Besides the extra action plays, you have tools, Madness Unleashed and Star-Spawn of Cthulhu, that make Madness useful to you. Probably the worst thing you can do is totally ignore your Madness cards and just play regular actions. They consume space in your hand and deck, and you'll be penalized for having them at the end of the game whether you made any use of them or not. You would be better off playing a different faction. You are never safe when you play Minions of Cthulhu.

Recalling Madness's ability, we already have a choice to make. Obviously, you should consider returning Madness cards to the Madness deck, but that is not always the best choice. The Minions are designed to entice you into playing Madness to draw extra cards. At the start of the game, you haven't found any of your good cards. This is a vulnerable time for you, because of how your actions rely on each other. This is a good time to draw extra cards, or whenever you are lacking useful cards to play. Also, the Minions tend to get stronger the deeper you get toward the bottom of your deck. Read the next subheading for details.

Madness Unleashed essentially "plays" any number of Madness cards all at once, while twisting their ability into something a little more active. You'll need to bank up Madness cards and prepare actions in your hand and/or deck. The lack of limits means you can theoretically put 8 actions into your empty deck with It Begins Again, then discard 8 Madness cards to draw and play the actions all at once. Or instead use it to return Madness cards to their deck, by discarding half and returning the other half.

Star-Spawn of Cthulhu is your one Minion of Cthulhu you cannot Recruit by Force. The others are expendable, but this is your most prized card. It diverts your stream of Madness onto your opponents, freeing your action plays from Madness cards, simultaneously slowing them down and speeding you up. You draw roughly 1 Madness card every 2 turns (if you aggressively recycle cards, you can draw 1 every turn or even more than that), so you may be able to disperse Madness you've been collecting. It also has 5 power, good for breaking bases to win. Choose wisely.

But what happens when you come to the beginning again?[2]

Minions of Cthulhu are great at refilling your deck with cards you want from your discard pile. Usually they get placed on top of your deck, letting you replay them soon afterwards, or immediately if you draw cards with Madness. Since abilities like this get better the smaller your deck, the Minions tend to get stronger the deeper into your deck you go, symbolizing going further and further insane with power. At the deepest levels, you can all but pick out whatever minion or action you desire to reuse again and again and again. With sufficiently many action plays and Servitors of Cthulhu (an infinite loop was once possible by endlessly activating Altar to Cthulhu), you can even replay a single action multiple times in one turn.

To get to that point before the game ends, you have to draw extra cards and slow down your opponents. The Minions are good at both these things!

The kicker is, if your deck runs out of cards, you lose control over all of this, plus any Madness cards caught in the mix. You ride a fine line against disaster near the end of the game. That is why you need to think ahead and retain certain cards that restock your deck. Servitor of Cthulhu and Recruit by Force perpetually recycle one another, along with other cards you want like It Begins Again. With careful planning, you can play Madness to draw cards until you reach the bottom of your deck, then play It Begins Again to get them back in your hand to return them.

The Steady Corruption

The Minions have multifaceted and diverse tools for slowing down the game. We have already seen Star-Spawn of Cthulhu, but Corruption, Furthering the Cause, Complete the Ritual, and Cthulhu's Chosen also slow the game down by varying degrees. You want the game to slow down as much as possible, even indefinitely, because you can farm VPs.

Furthering the Cause and Corruption work together to earn you a few VPs while also deterring your opponents from the base. You get a VP if they destroy their own or each other's minions there. Not your own, though, sorry Servitors.

Minimize your loss from Complete the Ritual by playing it where you have a Servitor, then use his talent. Based on the wording, you unfortunately must place Complete the Ritual at the bottom of your deck just like everything else. The smaller your deck, the less you lose.

Cthulhu's Chosen is worth 5 power when a base scores, but 3 power for breaking it. Thus bases take slightly longer to break, and you may discourage an opponent from breaking a base where you have this lead.

Strategy

Along the many paths you can take through this labyrinth of powers and penalties, you can lose your way, take wrong turns, hit dead ends, and destroy yourself. On the other hand, many cards have no upper limits to their effects. The Minions strongly reward ambition, flexible planning, and creative thinking. Ideally, you will adapt your strategy on the fly as circumstances change throughout the game. No single game plan is right throughout entire games.

It is ironic that The Seal is Broken gains you 1 VP, but you lose half of it if you don't get rid of the Madness card. The more you slow down the game, the more you can replay this card.

The Minions have less power than the average faction. Of their minions, only Cthulhu's Chosen is any good at winning bases, but you don't have to wait long to play them on the next base if you Recruit them by Force. You need to get Chosens onto bases that others will want to break; he specializes in edging up to third or second place.

Synergy

Factions that help manage your cards or interact with Madness in some way are the best help to the Minions of Cthulhu. Ones who share their focus on actions are also good.

Wizards - This faction is great for getting used to the Minions of Cthulhu. They make managing Madness much easier and help you find good cards, so you can focus on the fun aspects of the Minions. It's an addicting thrill to blitz heedlessly through your deck like a runaway train, but it is more effective to take a measured approach and make the most of your cards before drawing more with Madness.

Zombies - Keeping Star-Spawn constantly on the field is seriously great. Once you find it, you don't really have to worry about managing Madness at all. Reviving Servitors is good too. You get so many options managing your deck, it's hard to decide which one. A funny thing you can do is play Mall Crawl and discard all the Madness cards in your deck. You might get lucky and win Miskatonic University.

Miskatonic University - Play even more Madness cards to dive to the bottom of your deck, then recycle the University's amazing return cards. You get a lot of great abilities like extra minion plays, which the Minions of Cthulhu lack, and Field Trip does what you already want to do. Jump on the chance to win the base Miskatonic University.

Itty Critters - These themes don't have much in common, right? Mechanically, they have a bizarre amount of synergy. Both are excellent at selecting cards with which to refill your deck, and a talent loop lets you replay an action every turn: Critter Champion > Servitor > Rainboroc > Critter Champion. Itty Critters let you return Star-Spawn to your deck, and offer a few very impactful actions like Evolution and Critter Cube.

Elder Things - Fill some of the gaps in the Minions, like Begin the Summoning of Star-Spawn, and break bases much easier. Force everyone else to feel your Madness to slow down the game and counteract whatever Madness cards you end up with.

Bear Cavalry - Make Furthering the Cause as profitable as possible for you, and General Ivan keeps your Servitors alive after they use their talent.

External Strategy Guides

FAQ

Questions on Star-Spawn of Cthulhu

Q: Another player already has ten cards in their hand. I place a Madness card in their hand. Because they already have 10 cards, do I take it back? Is it discarded in their discarded pile instead? returned to the Madness deck? Do they keep it and choose which card to discard during my draw 2 cards phase?

A: It is placed in their hand and they don't discard any card until their next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, they will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if they have more than 10. That's the only moment where they must discard down to 10. At any other time, they keep their hand of cards.

Rule: You wait until your Draw 2 Cards phase to discard down to 10; if your hand is bigger than 10 at other times of the game, that’s okay.


Questions on Cthulhu’s Chosen

Q: The card says "Special" so I can play it outside of my turn, right?

A: "Special" does not mean the card can be played out of turn. "Special" simply means that it's an ability that can be used when its condition is met. Whether it can be used out of turn, activated straight from your hand/discard pile, or if it can only be used when it's already in play (essentially being a synonym of Ongoing), it entirely depends on the wording. In the case of Cthulhu's Chosen, it's not inherently clear, but you can compare it to minions that are "really intended" to be played as Specials, e.g. Shinobi, Spectre, Tenacious Z, Green Trooper. Those all specifically use the keyword "play" to signify that they can be played as Specials. Cthulhu's Chosen doesn't have that keyword, therefore it must be already in play for you to use its Special ability.

Rule: A Special ability will describe how it can be used.

Q: Does the +2 power change anything at all? Don't we only get VPs based on the power we had at the start of scoring?

A: Actually, the amount of VPs each player gets is determined by the power each player currently has when you are handing out VPs, so any before-scoring abilities (including this one) that affect how much power you have on the base will affect the amount of VPs you'll eventually get.

Rule: VPs are awarded according to the current power totals.

Q: Drawing a Madness card and getting +2 power are independent, so before a base scores this minion gets +2 power without me having to draw a Madness card, right?

A: It's indeed worded that way, but the intention of the designer is for you to draw a Madness card to get the +2 power. This card should have been phrased "Special: Before a base scores, you may draw a Madness card to give this minion +2 power until the end of the turn."[3]

Rule: Check Cthulhu’s Chosen's clarification.

Q: The card doesn't specify that its ability activated before its base score but before a base. Can I activate its ability before any base scores?

A: Sure. Before any base scores, you can draw a Madness card to give it +2 power. Then, on the same Score Bases phase, if another base scores, you can draw a second Madness card to give it an additional +2 power.

Rule: Check Cthulhu’s Chosen's clarification.

Rule: If there are no limits, there are no limits.

Q: Before one base scores, can I activate the ability of one Cthulhu's Chosen multiple times?

A: No, just once per scoring base.[4]

Rule: When an ability is triggered, it's resolved once per trigger.

Q: A base is scoring and I have a Cthulhu's Chosen in play. I already have ten cards in hand. Can I activate Cthulhu's Chosen's ability? What happens if I draw a Madness card? Do I immediately discard it? Or do I draw it and immediately choose a card to discard?

A: You draw it and don't discard any card until your next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, you will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if you have more than 10. That's the only moment where you must discard down to 10. At any other time, you keep your hand of cards. So, if the base scored on another player's turn, you don't discard any card and will then be able to play your next turn with more than ten cards in hand.

Rule: You wait until your Draw 2 Cards phase to discard down to 10; if your hand is bigger than 10 at other times of the game, that’s okay.

Q: Before its base scores, during the step where before-scoring abilities in play are resolved, I have the opportunity to use Cthulhu's Chosen but chose not to draw a Madness card, e.g. because I'm already winning. However, an opponent then plays a card to change the scoring and I'm no longer winning. Can I now activate Cthulhu's Chosen's ability? I haven't activated it yet after all.

A: Yes. When you're resolving an ability that says "you may" and you choose not to do it, it still counts as having resolved the ability. In the case of Cthulhu's Chosen, you choosing not to draw a Madness card counts towards its once-per-base activation.

A: Update. Yes, because Cthulhu's Chosen has an optional ability, so when resolving the before-scoring step, after resolving all mandatory before-scoring abilities in play, all the players take turns playing/invoking one optional ability or passing. So if a player plays a card during the latter step, when it's your turn to use an optional ability or pass, you can indeed invoke Cthulhu's Chosen's ability, draw a Madness card and give it +2 power, but only if you haven't previously invoked Cthulhu's Chosen's ability during that same step.

Rule: When an ability is triggered, it's resolved once per trigger.

Rule: When resolving card reactions, resolve mandatory cards that were triggered while in play first, then resolve triggered optional cards in play and in hand.


Questions on Servitor of Cthulhu

Q: If Servitor of Cthulhu has any ability such as Überserum or General Ivan in play, can it still use its talent to place an action card without having itself getting destroyed?

A: Yes. Destroying it and retrieving the action are independent, so you can retrieve an action even if Servitor of Cthulhu cannot be destroyed.

Rule: Effects are resolved entirely.

Rule: "Can't" trumps "can".


Questions on Altar to Cthulhu

Q: It's not Ongoing. So, is it really there for just one turn, or is it a misprinted ongoing action? It seems a bit weird that it isn't Ongoing.

A: The Bigger Geekier Box rulebook gave it an erratum. It now says "Ongoing".

Rule: Check Altar to Cthulhu's erratum.

Q: If I manage to play several minions on a base with Altar of Cthulhu, do I get that many extra actions?

A: There's no "once per turn" or "first minion played" restrictions, so yes.

Rule: If there are no limits, there are no limits.

Q: An opponent plays this card on a base, so if I play a minion there, I get an extra action, right?

A: No. Your opponent played the action, so they control it, and therefore the action only addresses them and the ability must be interpreted from their point of view. So "you" means "they" (i.e. your opponent).

Rule: A play-on-base action doesn't give an ability to the base that any player can use.

Rule: "You" on a minion, action or titan means the controller of the card.

Q: If I play an Argonaut instead of an action on Altar of Cthulhu, do I still get the extra action play?

A: Yes. Playing an Argonaut, whether as a minion or instead of an action, still counts as playing a minion. It IS a minion after all.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Altar to Cthulhu says "Play on a base", which means that it is not a standard action.

Rule: Definition of "standard".


Questions on Complete the Ritual

Q: Isn't this supposed to be Ongoing? Otherwise, its effect can't happen at all.

A: The Bigger Geekier Box rulebook gave it an erratum. It now says "Ongoing".

Rule: Check Complete the Ritual's erratum.

Q: An opponent plays this card on a base. My turn is next, so at the start of my turn, Complete the Ritual is activated, right?

A: No. Your opponent played the action, so they control it, and therefore the action only addresses them and the ability must be interpreted from their point of view. So "your turn" means "their turn".

Rule: A play-on-base action doesn't give an ability to the base that any player can use.

Rule: "You" on a minion, action or titan means the controller of the card.

Q: If I'm the one who plays Complete the Ritual, are my minions immune to it?

A: No. The card tells you to remove all minions on the base.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: I have to play this on a base "where I have at least one minion". Can I play it on a base where there are only minions I own that I don't control?

A: No. "Where you have at least one minion" means "where you control at least one minion (whether or not you own it)". Minions you just own but don't control don't count.

Rule: "Having" cards at a base means you control them.

Q: An opponent plays Complete the Ritual on a base where they have only one minion. If I get rid of their minions there, is Complete the Ritual discarded?

A: No. "Play on a base where you have at least one minion" is only a requirement for playing the card. Once it's in play, it remains there until something explicitly removes it.

Rule: Non-standard actions remain in play as long as the card they are connected to remains in play.

Q: My minions can't be destroyed, so are they immune to Complete the Ritual?

A: No. Complete the Ritual "places" minions, it doesn't "destroy" them.

Rule: Specific words are not synonymous no matter how similar they seem.

Q: My minions can't be affected by Complete the Ritual, what happens to them?

A: Since the current base leaves play, the remaining cards on it that weren't placed on the bottom of a deck must be discarded, so your minions will be discarded and that's not Complete the Ritual affecting them, but a general rule when a base is removed from play.

Rule: When a card leaves play, discard its attachments.

Q: What happens to actions played on the minions?

A: Despite its wording, The Bigger Geekier Box clarifies that they go to the bottom of their owner's deck as well.

Rule: Check Complete the Ritual's clarification.

Q: What does Complete the Ritual do to monsters?

A: Since Complete the Ritual places the cards under their owners' deck, the monsters are not affected by it. However, because the current base leaves play, the remaining cards on it that weren't placed on the bottom of a deck must be discarded.

Rule: Cards that refer to a card’s owner do not apply to monsters or treasures.

Rule: When a card leaves play, discard its attachments.

Q: Where do I put the targeted base?

A: It's swapped with the top base of the base deck, so it ends on top of the base deck.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Complete the Ritual says "Play on a base", which means that it is not a standard action.

Rule: Definition of "standard".


Questions on Corruption

Q: Does this mean destroy any of your minions, any minion in play, or a minion in your hand?

A: Any minion in play.

Rule: "A minion" means "any minion in play".

Q: After playing this card, I (somehow) have more than 10 cards in hand, do I immediately discard down to 10?

A: You don't discard any card until your next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, you will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if you have more than 10. That's the only moment where you must discard down to 10. At any other time, you keep your hand of cards.

Rule: You wait until your Draw 2 Cards phase to discard down to 10; if your hand is bigger than 10 at other times of the game, that’s okay.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: - If Diva copies it, Diva is considered as indirectly affected by the action and is destroyed. Note that you don't draw a second Madness card for Diva, because that part was already resolved before the part that you can copy.
- If Dancing King copies it onto a minion (it can be itself), that minion is considered as indirectly affected by the action and is destroyed. Note that you don't draw a second Madness card for that minion, because that part was already resolved before the part that you can copy.
- If We are Family copies it, the minion it is on is considered as indirectly affected by the action and is destroyed. Note that you don't draw a second Madness card for that minion, because that part was already resolved before the part that you can copy.
- With Funky Town, you can only copy it if you're the one who played the action and if it destroys one of your minions, but if Funky Town does copy it, the minion is considered as indirectly affected by the action and is destroyed. Note that you don't draw a second Madness card for that minion, because that part was already resolved before the part that you can copy.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Cthulhu Fhtagn

Q: If I reveal a card I don't own, what happens?

A: There are two different paths for the revealed card:
- If it's an action, it goes to its owner's hand, that's because the other players can see who owns the card and the card changes location.
- If it's a minion, it goes to the bottom of its owner's deck, that's because the other players can see who owns the card and the card changes location.

Rule: When a card that others can see goes to the hand, deck or discard pile, it goes to the one belonging to the card’s owner.

Q: After playing this card, I have more than 10 cards in hand, do I immediately discard down to 10?

A: You don't discard any card until your next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, you will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if you have more than 10. That's the only moment where you must discard down to 10. At any other time, you keep your hand of cards.

Rule: You wait until your Draw 2 Cards phase to discard down to 10; if your hand is bigger than 10 at other times of the game, that’s okay.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Cthulhu Fhtagn doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Furthering the Cause

Q: An opponent plays this card on a base, so if a minion there is destroyed, does every player gain 1 VP? It's a base action after all, so everyone benefits from it.

A: No. Your opponent played the action, so they control it, and therefore the action only addresses them and the ability must be interpreted from their point of view. So only they gain 1 VP if one of their opponents' minions is destroyed.

Rule: A play-on-base action doesn't give an ability to the base that any player can use.

Rule: "You" on a minion, action or titan means the controller of the card.

Q: A minion was destroyed on Furthering the Cause's base, so from now on I gain 1 VP at the end of every turn because of that one destruction, right? It doesn't say when the destruction must have occurred.

A: No. You gain 1 VP at the end of a turn if a successful destruction occurred during that turn.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: I destroy a minion on a base, then play Furthering the Cause on it. At the end of the turn, do I get 1 VP even though Furthering the Cause was played after the destruction?

A: Yes. Furthering the Cause isn't triggered by the destruction, rather it asks a question at the end of a turn whether a minion was destroyed here or not during that turn.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: A minion is destroyed while Furthering the Cause was on the base. Before the end of the turn, Furthering the Cause is removed from play or moved to another base where no destruction occurred. Do I still get 1 VP because Furthering the Cause was triggered by the destruction?

A: No. Furthering the Cause isn't triggered by the destruction, rather it asks a question at the end of a turn whether a minion was destroyed here or not during that turn.

Rule: "The end of the turn" means "the End Turn (phase 5) of the current turn" for deadlines and one-time effects that happen at that time, or "the End Turn (phase 5) of each turn" for the rest.

Q: If several minions are destroyed during a turn, either because of the same card, or because of separate abilities, how many VPs would I get from Furthering the Cause?

A: Only one. No matter how many minions are destroyed, as long as there's at least one, you gain just 1 VP.

Rule: When an ability is triggered, it's resolved once per trigger.

Rule: Check Furthering the Cause's clarification.

Q: During one turn, one destruction attempt was made, but it was foiled, e.g. because the minion is immune. Does it still trigger Furthering the Cause and I get 1 VP at the end of my turn?

A: No, Furthering the Cause checks at the end of every turn if another player's minion here was actually destroyed. If not, then no VP;

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Furthering the Cause says "Play on a base", which means that it is not a standard action.

Rule: Definition of "standard".


Questions on It Begins Again

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because It Begins Again doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Madness Unleashed

Q: When I play this, do the Madness cards go to my discard pile or the Madness deck?

A: It says to discard them, so they go to your discard pile.

Rule: If an ability tells you to discard a Madness card, it goes to your discard pile, not back to the Madness deck.

Q: For a Madness card I discard, can I just play the extra action without drawing a card? It says "you may" after all.

A: No. It doesn't say "you may draw a card and you may play an extra action this turn." So, if you choose to do the "you may", you then have to do all of it. Playing the extra action is actually optional though, but the card drawing is definitely mandatory if you choose to do the "you may".

Rule: "You may do X and Y" means you either do both X and Y, or neither X nor Y.

Rule: Extra cards are always optional.

Q: If I discard more than one Madness card, how many cards do I draw and how many extra actions can I play?

A: Short answer: The number of cards you can draw is from 0 up to the number of discarded Madness cards, and the number of extra actions you can play is from 0 up to the number of cards you've drawn. Long answer: For each Madness card you discarded, you get the option to draw a card and play an extra action. Each time you decide to take that option, you must both draw a card and you get an extra action play that you can either bank or immediately play while Madness Unleashed is still resolving. So, the number of times you've decided to take the option matches the number of cards you've drawn, because it is mandatory each time you take it. That number also matches the number of extra action plays you've gained, but since playing them is optional, you don't have to play them all and so the maximum number of extra actions you can play matches the number of drawn cards. For example, if you discard 5 Madness cards and you decide to use the option four times, you will draw exactly 4 cards and can play at most four extra actions. If you've decided to use the option three times, you will draw 3 cards and can play at most three extra actions. Etc.

Rule: Extra cards are always optional.

Rule: Extra cards can always be played immediately.

Q: I play Madness Unleashed. I discard one Madness card in total, so I draw a card and get one extra action play. If I've drawn a Madness card, can I discard it to draw another card and get another extra action play?

A: No. You first have to discard all the Madness card you want to discard, before you can move on to deciding how many cards you want to draw.

Rule: Multiple parts of a card’s ability must be done in their stated order.

Rule: Check Madness Unleashed' clarification.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Madness Unleashed doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Recruit by Force

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Recruit by Force doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on The Seal is Broken

Q: After playing this card, I (somehow) have more than 10 cards in hand, do I immediately discard down to 10?

A: You don't discard any card until your next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, you will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if you have more than 10. That's the only moment where you must discard down to 10. At any other time, you keep your hand of cards.

Rule: You wait until your Draw 2 Cards phase to discard down to 10; if your hand is bigger than 10 at other times of the game, that’s okay.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because The Seal is Broken doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Whispers in Darkness

Q: After playing this card, I (somehow) have more than 10 cards in hand, do I immediately discard down to 10?

A: You don't discard any card until your next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, you will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if you have more than 10. That's the only moment where you must discard down to 10. At any other time, you keep your hand of cards.

Rule: You wait until your Draw 2 Cards phase to discard down to 10; if your hand is bigger than 10 at other times of the game, that’s okay.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Whispers in Darkness doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Cthulhu

Main article: Titans

Q: The card says "Special" so I can use it outside of my turn, but why does the card also say "instead of your regular action play"?

A: "Special" does not mean the card can be played out of turn. "Special" simply means that it's an ability that can be used when its condition is met. Whether it can be used out of turn, activated straight from your hand/discard pile, or if it can only be used when it's already in play (essentially being a synonym of Ongoing), it entirely depends on the wording. In the case of Cthulhu, the condition is "instead of your regular action play", this means that you can only activate it when you have a regular action play available, which is only on your turn and more specifically on your Play Cards phase. It cannot be played out of turn, because, outside of your own Play Cards phase, you don't have any regular action plays to give up.

Rule: A Special ability will describe how it can be used.

Rule: “Instead of your regular action play” means instead of the normal action play allowed during your Play Cards phase; if used to play a non-action card, no restriction on action plays apply to that card play.

Q: Cthulhu can only be played on a base with "one of my minions". Can I choose a base with a minion I own that I don't control?

A: No. "Your minions" are minions you control, whether or not you own them. A minion you own but don't control isn't yours.

Rule: "Your minion" means "a minion that you control".

Q: Since I need to draw Madness cards to play it, does Cthulhu get +1 power counters from those two drawn Madness cards?

A: No, you draw the Madness cards before Cthulhu comes into play, so it didn't "witness" you drawing the madness cards.

Rule: For an ability to respond to a trigger, its card needs to be in play when the triggering event happens.

Rule: Check Cthulhu's clarification.

Q: If there's a restriction on where I can play an action (e.g. The Dread Gazebo, Magic Ward), does it also apply to Cthulhu if I play it instead of my regular action play?

A: No, such a restriction only applies when you play an action. If you convert your regular action play into a titan play, you're playing a titan, not an action, so the restriction doesn't apply.

Rule: “Instead of your regular action play” means instead of the normal action play allowed during your Play Cards phase; if used to play a non-action card, no restriction on action plays apply to that card play.

Q: What happens to Cthulhu when the base that it's on scores?

A: It remains on that base until the step where you discard all the cards on the base. At which point it leaves play and is set aside. Any +1 power counter on it is removed.

Rule: During the Score Bases step where the cards are discarded, all the cards on the scored base are discarded simultaneously.

Rule: If, for whatever reasons, a titan must leave play, it's actually set aside near its owner's deck and any +1 power counters on it are removed.

Q: A base is chosen to score. I have no minions there, but I have Cthulhu there. It is similar to a minion, right? So I can still get VPs from the base if 0 is among the top three total power, right?

A: No and no. Cthulhu is a titan, not a minion. To be eligible to receive VPs, you must have at least one minion or at least 1 total power on the base. If you have no minions and your total power there is 0, then you can't receive any VPs from the base. Now, if Cthulhu had any +1 power counters on it or gave you any total power (e.g. on Kaiju Island), then you would have at least 1 total power and be eligible. Otherwise, no.

Rule: A player must have at least one minion or 1 total power on a base to be eligible to receive its VP reward.

Q: An opponent is playing the Minions of Cthulhu with their titan. Their Cthulhu isn't in play. I have a minion on a base and I haven't played my regular action yet, I can then invoke Cthulhu through its Special ability and play it there, right?

A: No, only the player who has it next to their deck can play it.

Rule: Playable Special cards can only be played by their current possessor.

Q: Its Ongoing ability is annoying. I have to draw a Madness card or play it to draw two cards to give it a +1 power counter, right?

A: Actually, when you play a Madness card, you have the option to either draw two cards or return the Madness card to the Madness deck. So if you play a Madness card to return it to the Madness deck, it also counts as you playing a Madness card and will therefore give a +1 power counter to Cthulhu.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: After playing this card or using its talent to draw a Madness card, I have more than 10 cards in hand, do I immediately discard down to 10?

A: You don't discard any card until your next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, you will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if you have more than 10. That's the only moment where you must discard down to 10. At any other time, you keep your hand of cards.

Rule: You wait until your Draw 2 Cards phase to discard down to 10; if your hand is bigger than 10 at other times of the game, that’s okay.

Q: If I place a Madness card into another player's hand, either because of Cthulhu or Star-Spawn of Cthulhu, does it also allow me to place a +1 power counter on Cthulhu?

A: No. Cthulhu only gets a +1 power counter after you either draw or play a Madness card. Placing a Madness into another player's hand doesn't count as either.

Rule: Specific words are not synonymous no matter how similar they seem.

Q: If I return a Madness card to the Madness deck, either because of a Psychologist or because of the Madness card itself, does it also allow me to place a +1 power counter on Cthulhu?

A: Because of the Madness card itself, yes, because you played it to return it. Because another card tells you to return it, no, because you neither drew, nor played a Madness card.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Rule: Specific words are not synonymous no matter how similar they seem.

Q: If Cthulhu's ability is cancelled, are the +1 power counters placed on it by its own ability removed?

A: No. When you place a +1 power counter, it's a definitive effect, so the +1 power counters remain even if the card that placed them has its ability cancelled (like drawing cards, if you play Enchantress, you're not going to discard the card you drew if Enchantress's ability is cancelled).

Rule: Cancelling (or losing) an effect does not necessarily undo what it did.

Q: Does Mark of Sleep prevent Cthulhu from being played?

A: Yes, since Mark of Sleep makes the player unable to play actions, they don't have any regular action to give away to play Cthulhu. This is similar to Mark of Sleep preventing an Argonaut from being played instead of an action because you don't have any action play to use.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Trivia

  • The artist is Brian Hagan, while the art for Cthulhu Fhtagn was designed by Alex Konstad.
  • The artist for the titan (which was released after The Obligatory Cthulhu Set) is Alberto Tavira, who also designed the art of many other factions.
  • Their divider (available in The Big Geeky Box and The Bigger Geekier Box) features Cthulhu Fhtagn.
  • The chant "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn." means "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.".[5] The shortened version "Cthulhu fhtagn" means "Cthulhu sleeps".
  • The Star-Spawn of Cthulhu, also known as Cthulhi and Xothians, resemble Cthulhu and serve him, though they are of much smaller size.

In other languages

Language Name
Chinese 克蘇魯的信徒
French Serviteurs de Cthulhu
German Schergen Cthulhus
Italian Seguaci di Cthulhu
Russian Ктулхупоклонники
Spanish Sectarios de Cthulhu


The Obligatory Cthulhu Set

Factions: Elder Things  •  Innsmouth  •  Minions of Cthulhu  •  Miskatonic University
Mechanics: Madness  •  Titans (optional, since the TITANS Event Kit)

TITANS Event Kit

Mechanics: +1 Power Counters  •  Madness  •  Titans

Sets

Main: Core Set  •  Awesome Level 9000  •  The Obligatory Cthulhu Set  •  Science Fiction Double Feature  •  Monster Smash  •  Pretty Pretty Smash Up  •  Smash Up: Munchkin  •  It’s Your Fault!  •  Cease and Desist  •  What Were We Thinking?  •  Big in Japan  •  That ’70s Expansion  •  Oops, You Did It Again  •  World Tour: International Incident  •  World Tour: Culture Shock  •  Smash Up: Marvel
Big Boxes: The Big Geeky Box  •  The Bigger Geekier Box
Event Kits: All Stars Event Kit  •  TITANS Event Kit
Promotional: Smash Up All Stars  •  Smash Up Sheep Promo  •  Smash Up Penguins  •  Smash Up TITANS  •  Dead Reckoning Promo  •  Smash Up Goblins  •  Smash Up Knights of the Round Table
Cancelled: World Tour Event Kit

References

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