No one really knows where John came from. He just showed up one day in the Everglades on his houseboat. The gators didn’t seem to pay him much attention. Once in awhile, one would crawl up on his boat, and John would come out and talk to it in hushed tones until it wandered off.
Folks found John strange, but it was clear he wasn't trouble. Just a kindly old coot who kept to himself. All sorts of stories were made up about the strange, swamp-dweller, but none came close to the truth. John Rhodes was, in fact, the world’s most talented alchemist, and wielder of the Philosopher’s Stone.
John had always had an affinity for altering the very threads of existence. He could feel them as they stretched around him, connecting everything to everything else. So, when those lines drew him to a mysterious, glowing stone, he knew it was right and proper to take it with him. The stone allows him to twist the lines, rather than just perceive them, and he can now easily transmute objects into other materials.
John, The Scholar, mostly keeps to himself, though he’s always willing to share a bit of wisdom and a bite to eat with anyone who passes by. However, now and again, he feels the ley-lines pull and twang sharply, which shouldn’t happen. He’ll travel from one place to another, easing the tension on the lines by stopping the odd, extra-planar entity from entering this dimension, or keeping the crazed scientist from pulling the moon into the earth, or halting the nightmarish legions of a comatose little girl. Sometimes, he’ll work with other gentle souls to accomplish his goal - he doesn’t mind a little company now and then. Mainly he just wants to keep things copacetic.
The Scholar of the Infinite
John Rhodes has learned far too much and seen too deeply. He now acts as a gate between reality and the infinite void. He cannot protect himself, but can he protect his allies from what is yet to come?
- References for Cards in this deck and in other decks. See the full list here.
- Link to sources for confirm-able information, separate unconfirmed in a different section, RL Card References in a third, and Art References in a fourth. See This page for more detailed information on how to categorize references
- The Scholar was added as a Promotional Deck mini-expansion during the Shattered Timelines kickstarter campaign on November 19, 2012, when the funding surpassed $100,000.00.
- His Artwork is based off Uncle Iroh, from The Last Airbender anime. >G Forum Post, confirmed by Rabit in post #3
- The Scholar's character card and the "Flesh to Iron" card both portray him with a metallic arm. This may be a reference to the anime/manga series Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa, which features a main character with a metallic arm who is an alchemist.
- On his Incapacitated side, both the Scholar and the background are covered in curved, circular symbols. This is likely another reference to Fullmetal Alchemist, which made prominent use of circle symbols as a catalysts for alchemy. In addition, one of the anime's characters, Scar, had a brother who went mad and tattooed himself with symbols similar to the ones on the Scholar.
- The Scholar's hair is arranged very similarly to that of Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist's central character.
- The Scholar's attitude and appearance are clear references to Jeff Bridges portrayal of "The Dude" in the Cohen Brothers film The Big Lebowski.
- Scholar basically exists because he has the philosopher's stone. On the incapacitated side of Scholar of the Infinite, we see Scholar faced with a choice of saving himself or using the philosopher's stone to save Guise, his mentee. He chooses to save Guise, and does so by pushing the philosopher's stone into Guise's body. Q&A from Gen Con 2016
Variant Pack New Artwork
The All Heroes Variant Pack released with OblivAeon contains new artwork for the heroes and their variant cards.
The Scholar Hero Deck
Incapacitated - The Scholar and the background are covered in curved, circular symbols.
- "Get Out of the Way!" (x3)
- The Scholar deals each non-Hero Target 1 Fire Damage. Then, The Scholar regains X HP, where X = the number of Targets dealt Damage this way.
- Art: The Scholar touching the ground with his right hand as it starts to erupt towards Blade Battalion members;
- Flavor-text: "You'd better hope you can move fast enough!" - The Scholar, Vengeance #2
- Don't Dismiss Anything (x2)
- Each Player may either move 1 card from their trash to the top of their deck, or put the top card of their deck into play.
- Art: The Scholar with a hand on Expatriette's shoulder in the rain;
- Flavor-text: "What I want to find is the truth. What are you looking for?" - The Scholar, Emigrant's Song #2
- Grace Under Fire (x3)
- The Scholar deals 1 Target X Radiant Damage, where X = the number of non-Hero Targets in play.
- Art: A silhouette of the Scholar holding the philosopher's stone above his head with energy coming from it;
- Flavor-text: "If life gives you lemons, make a lemon cannon." - The Scholar, Stranger in a Strange World #9
- Keep Moving (x4)
- Search your deck for an Elemental card and put it into play. Shuffle your deck. You may play a card.
- Art: The Scholar running from an Enraged T-Rex;
- Flavor-text: "Come on! Seriously! Give me something to work with here!" - The Scholar, Vagabond's Tale #5
- Know When to Hold Fast (x2) : Draw 5 cards. Immediately end your turn.
- Art: The Scholar relaxing in a chair with a beer in his right hand;
- Flavor-text: "What do you mean, 'lazy'? I'm preparing. Planning. Strategizing." - The Scholar, Virutoso of the Void #11
- Know When to Turn Loose (x2)
- Discard your hand. The Scholar deals 1 Target X Lightning Damage, where X = the number of cards discarded this way.
- Art: The Scholar holding the philosopher's stone in both hands releasing energy at Akash'Bhuta;
- Flavor-text: "In a lot of ways, this would have benefited from planning." - The Scholar, Virutoso of the Void #12
- Offensive Transmutation (x2)
- The Scholar deals 1 Target 2 Infernal Damage. A Target dealt Damage this way cannot deal Damage until the start of your next turn.
- Art: The Scholar, with his right hand glowing purple, putting his right hand up to Apostate's chest who looks withered;
- Flavor-text: "Stop. Just stop. Don't you think you've done enough?" - The Scholar, Nightmist #8
- Proverbs and Axioms (x2)
- Each Player draws 1 card. Each Hero Character card may either regain 2 HP or deal themselves 3 Psychic Damage and use a Power.
- Art: The Scholar talking with the Wraith in the what appears to be the middle of a swamp;
- Flavor-text: "Listen, I didn't come here to talk about legacy. Who are you?" - The Scholar, Mystery Comics #28
- Transmutative Recovery (x3)
- The Scholar regains 2 HP. Draw 2 cards.
- Art: The Scholar laying with his eyes closed against a tree with the philosopher's stone next to him;
- Flavor-text: "Never underestimate the value of forty winks. Or eighty." - The Scholar, The Savage Haka #40
- Alchemical Redirection (x2)
- Redirect all Damage that would be deal to Hero Targets to The Scholar. At the start of your turn, destroy this card.
- Art: The Scholar absorbing energy into his body and the philosopher's stone;
- Flavor-text: "A lot of people die - that doesn't mean you're going to die." - The Scholar, Vagabond's Tale #3
- Flesh to Iron (x3)
- At the start of your turn, either discard 1 card or destroy this card. Reduce Damage dealt to The Scholar by 2.
- Art: The Scholar holding his right arm up which has turned to Iron standing next to the Dreamer;
- Flavor-text: "Show me your worst. I have weathered more than you could guess." - The Scholar, Nightmare World #5
- Mortal Form to Energy (x3)
- At the start of your turn, either discard 1 card or destroy this card. Whenever The Scholar regains HP, The Scholar also deals 1 Target that much Energy Damage.
- Art: The Scholar's body is glowing yellow;
- Flavor-text: "Pay attention: I am not a ghost. Do not be alarmed." - The Scholar, Tome of the Bizarre #36
- Solid to Liquid (x3)
- At the start of your turn, either discard 1 card or destroy this card. Whenever The Scholar would regain HP, increase the amount of HP regained by 1.
- Art: The Scholar in a liquid form being stabbed by Ambuscade from behind which just goes through him;
- Flavor-text: "Qu'est-ce que c'est?!" - Ambuscade, Temporal Targets #5
- Bring What You Need (x2)
- Power: Reveal the top 3 cards of your deck. Put 2 in your hand and 1 on the bottom of your deck.
- Art: The Scholar looking at a tennis racket in a room filled with a beach ball, rug, and guitar;
- Flavor-text: "Ah, simple treasures. They tell the story of a man's life." - The Scholar, Vagabond's Tale #1
- Expect the Worst (x2)
- Whenever The Scholar would be dealt Damage, reduce that Damage to 0. At the start of your turn, The Scholar regains 2 HP and destroys this card.
- Art: The Scholar surrounded by flames clutching the philosopher's stone in both hands;
- Flavor-text: "He stood, wreathed in flame, but he did not burn." - Fanatic, Mystery Comics #281
- Truth Seeker (x2)
- Power: The Scholar deals 1 Target 2 Melee Damage. Draw 1 card.
- Art: The Scholar smashing the philosopher's stone into the head of Gloomweaver;
- Flavor-text: "The truth is power! Your lies are feeble at best." - The Scholar, The Fabric of Despair #5
- The Scholar of the Infinite's innate power only considers cards discarded by The Scholar himself. The wording on the cards matter for agency. For example, consider Miss Information's card "Missing Resources." Suppose you choose to reveal the top card of The Scholar's deck. Any cards The Scholar then discards will count toward his innate power. However, the revealed card is discarded by Miss Information, and so it does not count toward the innate power. Another example: cards discarded by The Super Scientific Tachyon's innate power do not count.
- The Scholar of the Infinite's innate power deals damage first to The Scholar, then to 1 target. You may not choose another order. The Scholar can choose himself as the second target.
- Police Backup does not care about the agency of discarding, like the Scholar of the Infinite's innate power. It just cares that a villain card caused a hero card to be discarded.
- If The Scholar plays Don’t Dismiss Anything, and he ends up playing Know When To Hold Fast, the remaining effect of Don’t Dismiss Anything still resolves, then he ends his turn.
- Let’s say that the Scholar has “Flesh to Iron” out, and Setback has “Wrong Time and Place” out. Suppose 3 damage is initiated to the Scholar, and thus would be reduced by 2. Because The Scholar WOULD be dealt 1 damage, you only remove 1 token from your Unlucky Pool to redirect it. However, because Setback is NOT The Scholar, he takes the full 3 damage.
- With Advanced Chokepoint on her flipped side, it says “when a hero card would be discarded, move it face down to the villain play area instead.” If The Scholar chooses to discard a card to keep an elemental active at the start of his turn, and that card ends up going to Chokepoint’s play area, it still counts as a discard. The player still discarded the card, then the other thing happened. So Chokepoint still steals the card, but the player gets the positive effect.
- If a target would gain HP but the amount it gains is 0, any triggers that happen on HP gain do not occur. This means "gaining 0 HP" does not cause Mortal Form to Energy to "deal 0 damage."
- Proverbs and Axioms: players may choose to neither gain HP or deal themselves damage and use a power.
- The damage reduction of Expect the Worst occurs at the same resolution step as damage redirection. That means you cannot choose to reduce the damage to 0 and then apply increase damage effects.
Elemental cards are not Limited
- It’s easy to overlook the fact that the Scholar’s Elemental forms don’t have the “limited” keyword on them, meaning that you can have any number of them in play at the same time. There is nothing stopping the Scholar from transmuting into a triple-thick iron form, or a liquid double-energy form, though of course, the number of cards he’ll have to discard each round to maintain such a form could get pretty high.
Mortal Form to energy
- This card reads in part, “whenever the Scholar regains hp, the Scholar also deals 1 target that much energy damage”. even though the damage being dealt is based on the amount of HP the Scholar has regained, it is regular damage in every way and may be modified up or down by other in-game effects. Answers to Debates Questions
- This card deals 1 target 2 infernal damage, and any target dealt damage this way cannot deal damage until the start of your next turn. Some cards deal damage in response to having been damaged (Ambuscade’s “Sonic Mines” for example), and because the two sentences on “Offensive Transmutation” are separated, it may seem like the order of operations would go like this – Scholar deals damage, the target card deals its damage back, and then the second sentence kicks in saying that the targeted card can’t deal any damage (now that it’s too late). However, that second sentence is just meant to modify the damage being done by the first sentence and there isn’t any separation between the two operations. so the correct order would be: Scholar deals damage, which causes the target damaged to not be able to deal their damage, then when the targeted card tries to deal its response damage, it can’t. Answers to Debated Questions