Tarot-Tastic Testing

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Tarot Sefina 18 12 11 1.0

Sassenach · 50

Please note: The two copies of Alyssa Graham in this deck are proxies for Anna Kaslow, which can't be published yet because it's unreleased.

So I was listening to one of the recent Drawn to the Flame episodes the other day where they spoiled the Anna Kaslow card. I thought I'd have a go at building a deck that could make use of it. Initially, this didn't seem all that promising I must admit. Anna Kaslow allows you to have 2 additional tarot slots, which is potentially pretty awesome. There are obvious problems with it though...

1) Anna takes up your ally slot. You're effectively giving up 1 slot to open up two more, and it's the most valuable slot in the game. You can get around that of course by buying Charisma, but this still costs 3xp, and setting up a strong build focused on having multiple tarots is going to be expensive.

2) As above, this is going to cost a lot of xp. Anna is 4xp to purchase and if you want her to be reliably useful you probably need 2 copies. That's 8xp before you've even bought any tarots, which cost 1 each. Consider that to fill 3 slots reliably for most investigators you're likely going to want 5 or 6 cards in your deck as a minimum. If you don't then you run the risk of never seeing them, or at very least you need to then have other cards you can use to tutor for them, which costs you actions and/or resources.

3) 'Spare' tarots are dead cards in your hand. They don't have any pips so if you do carry 6 of them to reliable manage to draw them and get them into play then half of those cards are going to be completely worthless unless you're playing Wendy or Pete and can throw them away for some benefit. That's a sizable chunk of your deck given over to cards that only give you a small static boost.

4) Tarots are only really good if you draw them in your opening hand. If you do that then you get a major tempo boost right out the gate by saving an action and 3 resources. If you don't then they cost you an action and 3 resources to get into play for what is a nice but not exactly game breaking bonus. To a certain extent the same applies to Anna herself. If she's in your opening hand she's awesome. You save 3 actions (the action to play Anna, the action to draw a tarot from your deck and the action to play it) and 6 resources. If she's not though then you have to spend an action and 3 resources to save two actions and 3 resources when you eventually play her, which is still nice but nowhere near as good.

So is there a build where the Anna/multiple tarots makes sense ? The answer is yes ! I've been playing around with this Sefina build and I think it works really well. I haven't actually played the deck yet and I must admit I didn't put a huge amount of effort into choosing which events I should be using, so no doubt there are a lot of much better players than I who could quibble about the deck composition overall. Where it does seem to shine though is in taking advantage of the early tempo bonus that comes from the tarot reaction ability. The idea here is to have 2 copies of Four of Cups and 1 copy of The Moon. The former are more important because I plan to try and rapidly get up to 6 or 7 willpower from static boosts and then lean heavily into spell assets for both clue gathering and combat.

This deck is the minimum xp version that can be built - 2 copies of Anna and only 3 tarots for 11xp in total. I didn't want to include any spare tarots for the reason I set out already, they're wasteful cards that give you nothing while costing xp and deck space. As luck would have it though, that doesn't matter so much for Sefina because of the way she draws her opening hand. 13 cards is slightly more than 1/3 of your entire deck, and with 5 cards in total to target from that draw you have an excellent chance of getting at least one of them in your starting hand. I simulated a bunch of opening draws to test this out. Originally I wanted to get up to 50 to give a big sample size but I must admit I got thoroughly bored after I hit 25 so I quit there. The pattern was already clear though. Here's what I got:

Complete bust: 2 times (8%). This would suck, but it happened a negligible amount of times.

Tarot only: 6 times (24%). This is not great, but still pretty decent. You get a tempo boost to the tune of 1 action and 3 resources right out the gate and a permanent static boost to one of your skills from turn 1.

Anna only: 7 times (28%). This is a little better because it saves you 6 resources and 3 actions (I'm counting the draw of the tarot as an action even though technically it's not if it happens in upkeep phase, because you still get to draw an extra card instead).

Tarot + Anna: 10 times (40%). This is where it really brings home the bacon. You get to instantly play a tarot, then play Anna then search your deck for another tarot and also play that for free. It saves you 4 actions and no fewer than 9 resources and leaves you with a static boost of two right out the gate. That's huge. I'd add as well that 6 out of those 10 instances involved there being Anna + 2 tarots in my starting hand. This gives the same tempo boost so I've lumped them together into the same pot, but it's obviously even stronger because it allows you to search your deck for a tarot while keeping the third in your hand, allowing all of them to hit the board in turn one.

Like I said, I've yet to actually roadtest this deck in a game so maybe it will turn out to suck, and undoubtedly I'll end up tinkering with the overall deck composition a bit. I do really like the idea of it though. Almost 60% of the time you're saving at least 3 actions and 6 resources from turn one and only 8% of the time are you gaining nothing from the deal. This setup seems like it virtually guarantees a stat boost at the beginning of every scenario.


Aug 15, 2019 Economy_Weather · 6

Nice deck, I simulated 10,000,000 draws to give you some more accurate opening hand probabilities:

No Anna, no tarots: 8.9%;

Tarot only: 31.2% (1 tarot 18.3%, 2 tarots 11.0%, 3 tarots 1.9%);

Anna only, no tarots: 15.9% (1 Anna 12.2%, 2 Annas 3.7%);

Anna and some tarots: 44.0% ( 1 Anna, 1 Tarot 22.0%, 1 Anna 2 Tarots (the dream) 11.5%, 1 Anna 3 Tarots 1.7%, 2 Annas 1 Tarot 5.8%, 2 Annas 2 Tarots 2.6%, 2 Annas 3 Tarots 0.3%).

Not really much more to add, like you said it's still a stat boost about 91% of the time. Although someting that might be interesting is that 11% of the time you are starting with 2 tarots with no Anna, giving you a dead card, and 1.9% of the time you're starting with 3 tarots in hand and no Anna, giving you 2 dead cards.