While this contract is designed to encourage creative and innovative deck construction, the huge drawback is the restriction of 1 copy of any card in your deck.
This downside is potentially offset by the bonus Response: Every time you play an event card, you can pick one of three options, card draw, resource gain, or threat reduction. You can actually pick each bonus once per round (for a total of three separate bonuses per round)
Is it worth the tradeoff? Given the limited number of Event cards possible in a deck (even with Will of the West recursion), think this contract appears to have a finite upside. Once you run out of Event cards to play, there is no more bonus. In a "half event card" (25 card) deck, that is only 25 extra bonus, assuming you can draw your entire deck.
However, play testing of this card in proxy (the card has been revealed but not released at time of this review) uncovers one Event card that combos with Council of the Wise to create unlimited Contract bonus potential: Rumour from the Earth.
My full review of this powerful combo (I call it "Rumour from the Wise") is on the Rumour from the Earth listing. Here is a summary of what that combo can do:
It is infintely recursive and pays for itself, offering unlimited free scrying. Or you can pay 1 and use the combo as a resource smoother. It can also be used up to two more times each round to add card draw and/or threat reduction. There are 8 possible ways each round to play Rumour from the Earth with this contract, and you can repeat it every round!
The most comprehensive in-play usage I have seen with the Rumour/Council combo so far in one round is all of this:
(A) see the encounter card for a guarded item (put the guarded item in play, after seeing it will not draw a surge, etc.)
(B) see what encounter card is next for normal staging
(C) see the next shadow card to be dealt this round for combat
(D) get a card draw
(E) reduce threat by one
(F) resource smooth 1 to a different sphere
All for only 3 , and it is repeatable every round since Rumour from the Earth returns to your hand!
Rumour from the Earth is a must have recursion with Council of the Wise, and gives the contract a solid foundation by completely uncapping its upside. (once you draw Rumour)
There are three more recursion Event cards to potentially pair with this contract: Courage Awakened, Noiseless Movement, Swift and Silent. All very powerful with complementary effects to Rumour, although they require Secrecy to pull off.
Council of the Wise is an amazing design by FFG, to make a new contract card like this that upgrades the usefulness of cards up to 8 years older....