The Desperate Violinist

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet

TheBlackHorror · 2305

(I had to remove Patrice's Violin and Signature Weakness to be able to publish this deck. That's why it does not comply with investigator requirements.)

Looks like this mad scientist is at it again! From the deck creator who brought you wild decks like Keen Eye Leo, Double Blood Pact Machete Jim (okay this one is old), and an improbably popular solo Mateo deck, I present to you...


This deck uses Patrice's deck cycling capability, her card access, and Desperate skill cards to crush every skill test. And like any great musician, she is is not afraid to improvise. I have used this deck in solo and multiplayer to great effect. She is one of the fastest solo investigators to date with virtually no weak spots. In multiplayer she can play the part of a powerful flex, cluever, or support. Whatever you choose, prepare for a wild, wild ride.


  • Lightning-Fast. You literally need 0 cards on the board before you start moving, investigating, and fighting.
  • Highly Adaptable. With the large variety of icons in this deck, you will be able to shift roles and/or perform the actions you need every round.
  • Incredibly Fun. Wow your friends and fellow investigators with the crazy skill tests you'll be able to pull off!


This deck is pretty simple. Just follow the guidelines below to create an experience that will be like music to your ears:

(1) Get Patrice into Desperate range: St. Hubert's Key is all you need. Mulligan hard for this card and this card only. If you do not see St. Hubert's Key, try to get a Mists of R'lyeh. This allows her to evade at a base of 4 with movement capability.

(2) Smash every skill test with a handful of skill cards.

(3) Use Deny Existence and Ward of Protection to stop bad stuff from happening. Ward of Protection can be somewhat situational, but the double Arcane Research allows you to upgrade to Ward of Protection for free in two consecutive scenarios.

(4) Play Improvised Cards (Impromptu Barrier, Improvised Weapon, and Winging It) from your Discard Pile to boost your actions. Once Patrice's Violin is in play, you can use the ability to discard one of these to your Discard Pile, then play that same card from your Discard Pile!

(5) Use Sixth Sense to investigate at base 4 , or base 5 with St. Hubert's Key.

(6) Use Mists of R'lyeh to evade enemies at base 4 , or base 5 with St. Hubert's Key, and dash around the map. Drew a bad-stuff token? Have to discard a card? Boo-hoo, you'll get 5 more good cards next turn!

(7) Card Draw: the neutral skill cards give you an added bonus--card draw. If you use one successfully on your first test, you draw a card--essentially giving you 6 cards in hand. Use another to succeed on your second test, draw a card--and now you're up to essentially 7 cards. Throw in Patrice's Violin's ability to cycle cards, such as discarding an Improvised/Impromptu card to draw a card with actual icons, and you are operating at a very large extended hand EVERY TURN.

This means you will cycle through your deck very, very fast, which means you will find your key assets. Once those are in play, they reduce your deck size, meaning you can cycle through your deck EVEN FASTER.

(8) The high number of skill cards you get every turn means this deck has a lightning-fast tempo. You don't even need any assets in play to start succeeding on tests!


This deck is highly versatile. In solo you can dominate every one of your tests. In multiplayer you can either get things done on your own, or pitch icons to fellow investigators to ensure maximum efficiency.

Depending on your role, you can easily calibrate this deck by subbing in and out some of the assets. I highly recommend Mists of R'lyeh in all builds due to tempo. The downside for drawing a bad stuff token is minimal and it allows her to get a free move action.


This default build is very, very good in solo. Sixth Sense x2 makes this lean more toward clue discovery. This build is good enough to be a main clue-getter for 2 investigators, possibly more. If you need a more fighty build, sub out Sixth Sense x2 for Wither x2 so she can fight at base 4 .


For a more balanced build, just sub out one Sixth Sense for Wither. In solo I cycled through my deck twice, so you will definitely see both. It just matters what you want to use your two spell slots on (I generally found Mists of R'lyehto be more effective than Wither for enemy management).


Another alternative is to sub out some skill cards for Grisly Totem x2. Especially once you start upgrading, Relic Hunter can allow you to have a St. Hubert's Key AND a Grisly Totem in play. But do you know what's better than a Grisly Totem? 2 Grisly Totems! They aren't unique, which means you can boost two of your skill tests each turn. Throw in an upgrade like Cornered and you can commit matching skill icons to the tests you need to pass and Cornered all the rest. OR use Cornered to ditch an Improvised card or unneeded skill card and toss a skill card in for certain success!


I also recommend playing with Madame Labranche. Between her and Patrice's Violin, you can easily generate 3 resources a turn. Labranche also allows you to draw even more cards when you still have tests you need to take! If you go this route, do not upgrade to Yaotl. He can be very tempting, but ultimately costs too much in Resources, plus an action to play him, for a highly circumstantial benefit.


Arcane Research will allow you to upgrade to Ward of Protection for free.

Cornered: this card, even just one copy, will mitigate the biggest problem (which was never much of an issue for me in my plays) this deck has: having the right icons for the right tests. At only 2's purty good!

Peter Sylvestre: +1 , +1 , horror healing, etc. Need I say more? He helps in evading the Watcher from Another Dimension AND lets her use her spells at base 5 , or 6 with St. Hubert's Key!

Rise to the Occasion: This is an amazing card! It's at minimum 2 , potentially up to 5!

Survival Instinct: Can I just rave about this card for a minute? This is an excellent card in Patrice, especially in solo. It has the same icons as Manual Dexterity, so is easy to fit in. This not only can save your bacon, you can use it as a great tempo boost. My favorite use? Commit this with a Run For Your Life and any other card with 2 matching icons to test at 10 vs the Watcher from Another Dimension's 5 Agility--or use an Impromptu Barrier for some additional help. When you pass, you not only discard the Watcher, but you can evade all the enemies at your location AND move to a connection location!

Infighting: this card needs more love. This allows you to tank hits from dangerous Hunter enemies, so it acts as a powerful damage/horror prevention. While harder to pull off in Patrice due to deck cycling, you could use this card to attract a bunch of enemies to your location, then the next turn use Survival Instinct and leave a group of evaded enemies behind you. Worst case scenario, this card has amazing icons!

True Survivor: do you know what's better than playing the same great card twice in 8 rounds? What about 4 times using Resourceful? Do you know what's EVEN better?!? What about 6 times? What about 8 times?! Patrice can play her favorite Survivor card twice, pull both of them back with two copies of Resourceful, then pull back both copies of Resourceful with True Survivor...and do it all over again. By the time she's done she will have drawn into True Survivor again. What about 2x True Survivor? The potential is dizzying! Patrice has access to a lot of great Innate cards, one of which is the incredibly amazing Rise to the Occasion, which is Innate, meaning it can be targeted by True Survivor, which can be targeted by Resourceful...which can be targeted by True Survivor, etc. Have fun :)

Stroke of Luck: not only does this card have a Wild icon, you can choose to Exile it only AFTER drawing a token from the bag. Patrice will see this often. Consider it.

Eucatastrophe: not only is this card AMAZING, Patrice will see it more than any other investigator.

Alter Fate: great in certain campaigns where encounter cards in your threat area bog you down. Patrice will see this more than any other investigator.

Counterspell: it's just good.

Defiance: also very good. Never fail a skill test again!

Fearless: could be helpful if horror is still a problem. I ended up upgrading to 1x Fearless and dropping the 2nd level 0 version for something else.

Grisly Totem: these are amazing in this build, but if you want both Grisly Totem and St. Hubert's Key in play you will need...

Relic Hunter: have your cake and eat it too. I mean, have your St. Hubert's Key in play and your Grisly Totem too--or 2 level 0 Grisly Totems!

Yaotl: Know what's better that Yaotl in Pete? That's right, Yaotl in Patrice. Why? Pete doesn't draw 5 new cards every round, so he doesn't have nearly as many disposable icons to pitch every round. This does, however, require you to get Charisma. After playing with Yaotl in this specific deck for awhile, I don't feel like he is as great as everyone wants to believe he would be. He costs (3) Resources to get out and his ability is highly circumstantial. I think you're better off going with Madame Labranche.

...and many, many more! Also consider Time Warp and Miss Doyle

9xp Standalone Version

Due to Patrice's high card draw, the more XP you dump into her deck for Standalone scenarios, the more often you'll see her weaknesses. Therefore, the optimal deck should minimize the number of weaknesses. I recommend the following 9xp deck. It has everything she needs to be an incredible powerhouse!

Cornered x2 (4xp)

Charisma x1 (3xp)

Yaotl x2 (2xp)

What to remove? That depends on the role your investigator is playing in their group and whether you are playing her solo or multiplayer.

  1. In True Solo, replace the following cards: Guts x1, Winging It x1 (you only need to keep 1), Prophesy x2.
  2. In Multiplayer, if you will be more clue-focused, replace the following cards: Guts x1, Overpower x1, and Prophesy x2.
  3. In Multiplayer, if you will be more of a flex, replace the following cards: Guts x1, Sixth Sense (you won't use it much anyway), and Prophesy x2.


Even if you do not use this deck, I do want to share some general advice for any Patrice build. Regardless of how you build, you need to be mindful of 4 main things:


Let me introduce you to an idea that is central to Patrice: Average Hand Icons per Round (AHIR). As a general rule, the more usable icons you have in hand each round, the better Patrice will do. As I explain below, you cannot rely on having your key assets out in any reasonable amount of time--and there may be games where you have few opportunities to put them in play. See below for why.

1a. Watch your Icons!: I cannot stress this enough. The single most important thing about building a Patrice deck is to WATCH YOUR ICONS! Patrice cycles through her deck within usually about 8-9 rounds, without draw help. This means you want to commit every card possible in her hand every turn, except for the assets you are going to play that round, which means you want to ensure your hand is filled with usable icons. It can be tempting to include a lot of No Icon cards, but even with only 8 (Take Heart x2, Lucky! x2, Emergency Cache x2, Winging It x2), this means on average you will only have 4 cards with icons in hand--make that 3 if you are holding the Watcher or another hidden card. So be mindful of just how many of these you include! Ask yourself if you REALLY need them. For example, I didn't include Emergency Cache in this build because (a) it takes an action to play and; (b) Patrice doesn't really need it. Both Take Heart and Lucky! were left out because in this deck Patrice doesn't typically fail a test unless she draws a Tentacle. I'm not saying don't include these cards, I'm just saying to always watch your icons! When you're playing your Patrice deck, keep an eye on how frequent your icons appear in your hand and use that as a way to calibrate your deck. Whenever you include ANY card, always look for good icons. If it doesn't have good icons, then it better have good reason to be in the deck!

1b. She Likes It Wild: Patrice LOVES wild icons! Cards with plenty of wild icons like Last Chance, Unexpected Courage, Prophesy, and the level 3 Rise to the Occasion are amazing in her. But even in this deck, having single wild icons cards can help, such as with Defiance. You can use Wild icons for any test, so the more, the merrier. However, just be careful not to fill you deck with too many single-icon cards. If you can use double or triple icon cards, then do that instead!

1c. You Don't Have a Plan: The Improvised cards (Improvised Weapon, Impromptu Barrier, Winging It) are a bit of an exception. They can clog your hand with no icons, but since they can be played from the discard pile, they essentially extend your hand size and allow Patrice to keep them for when she wants to use them. Besides, they can be discarded by Cornered or her Violin.


2a. Don't be Greedy: So many assets look delicious in Patrice and it is so easy to build her deck with a lot of assets. Don't do it! But how many is too many? Here's some general advice about assets in general. They are powerful, yes, but assets generally require a lot Resources and an action to play. You can easily fall into a trap of endlessly putting down more and more assets, sometimes accruing something like 3 full rounds of nothing but play actions! Even in this lean deck, a full rig is 5 assets (Violin, Peter Sylvestre, St. Hubert's Key, Sixth Sense, and Mists of R'lyeh)--7 with Cornered! 7! That's 2 1/3 entire turns of nothing but play actions! That's a huge dent in tempo.

2b. Tempo - Presto Prestissimo!: One of Patrice's greatest strengths is her fast tempo. First turn: drop an asset into play and start taking tests! Every asset you play takes a chip out of this tempo. As a general rule of thumb I plan my decks so that the investigator can do their job with only 1 asset down and be mostly loaded with 2 assets out. Carefully consider what assets Patrice actually needs to fulfill her function and try to ditch as many as you can for cards with better icons. If you can avoid Emergency Cache, please do! It has no icons and requires an action to play. Meanwhile, between Patrice's Violin and Madame Labranche you can earn up to 3 Resources a turn for NO ACTIONS.

2c. Iconic, but not Really: Remember how I said to WATCH YOUR ICONS? Guess what assets typically don't have? That's right, not that many icons! Most assets typically only have a single icon. So the fewer excess assets you include in your deck, the better icons you will have in hand on average.

2d. Can I Go Out and Play?: Patrice is unique in that she will see every single asset in her deck likely twice. So she has to maintain a pool of resources to allow her to play the asset she needs when it comes up. There are times when she needs an asset and it's in her hand, and she even has the Resources to play it, but the scenario and/or Encounter deck have other ideas. I have had games where I couldn't put Cornered down until the second time through her deck! You must keep this in mind when choosing your assets. Even with 2x Cornered, you cannot rely on them to succeed, especially since you may not see them for 7-8 rounds!

2e. Out of Rotation: Almost contradictory to everything else I've said before, it's important to realize that every asset you put in play is taken out of Patrice's deck rotation! This makes you more likely to draw powerful skill and event cards, like Ward of Protection and makes fast assets like Open Gate and Premonition absolutely delectable. I'm sure someone will use this concept to make a killer Patrice deck!


3a. Keep 'Em Coming!: Due to Patrice's unique deck cycling, she will see cards more often than any other investigator. This means that (a) she is guaranteed to see every card in her deck at least once, usually twice; and (b) she will have the opportunity to use a single card 2-3 times a scenario...which means if you are packing 2x of something like Ward of Protection x2 you may get to use it 4-6 times in a scenario--that's amazing in solo! So this means the faster she cycles through her deck, the more often she will see her most powerful cards. This is a good reason to include cards with card draw, such as the Neutral skills, and keep her deck as lean as possible. I'm sure someone will figure out a way to thin out her deck and leave only a small cycle set left, enabling her to play powerful cards 7,8 and even 9 times.


4. Chance & Circumstance: Cards that are circumstantial in any other investigator become highly circumstantial in Patrice. Because of this, you will want to stick to cards that have a wide range of use, such as Ward of Protection, Defiance, etc. It is for this reason that I did not include the level 0 Rise to the Occasion--it's too circumstantial. As you play your Patrice deck, pay close attention to how often you use certain cards. If something ends up being a dead card or too circumstantial from turn to turn, cut it!


I hope you enjoy this deck and/or found some good advice in the deck building guide. Patrice is my favorite investigator and I want everyone else to experience the amazing fun that is Patrice Hathaway!


Oct 01, 2019 dubcity566 · 23

Thanks for sharing, I like the super lean approach. What difficulty have you been testing this on? Really running this for solo with your only combat card being improvised weapon? That seems challenging to me.

Oct 01, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2305

@dubcity566 I tested this on Standard difficulty. If you were to try Hard or Expert, you could sub in GraveDigger’s Shovel and Lantern, especially the upgrades ones.

It’s hard to get across just how fast you cycle through this deck. In solo you see relatively few enemies, so try to use Mists whenever possible. For enemies you have to eliminate, Improvised Weapon is better than you think. With Patrice’s violin you can ditch it from hand, then play it from your Discard. Then it goes back into your deck. Since you cycle through your deck really fast, you will see it again very soon. You have two Improvised Weapons, so you can play two of them from your Discard pile in succession. This allows her to deal 5 damage (2 + 2 + 1) in a given round. Obviously she’s not a killer with this setup, but it it was quite sufficient for me. Very few enemies have more than 5 health in solo.

If you are going into a scenario or campaign in which you know you will see enemies, like Curtain Call, toss in a Wither or two. Your pacing won’t really take a hit.

Because this deck works so fast, she does not draw many encounter cards, so the likelihood of her seeing an enemy is less. And, as I’ve said this before, Mists allows you to evade and move, which is some incredible action efficiency in solo.

Honestly, you could toss in 2x Wither and 2x Sixth Sense and still not feel too much of a tempo hit. The only reason I didn’t do it here was because of icons. This deck ensures she has as many 2-4 icon cards as possible. Which, in my experience so far, maximizes Patrice’s deck cycling.

Oct 01, 2019 Rancord · 422

I wonder how much horror you take from cycling :))

Oct 01, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2305

@Rancord that’s actually a good question! And Peter Sylvestre is the answer! With all the skill icons and a base Willpower of 4 (5 with Hubert’s Key), she is quite resistant to Horror-causing treacheries, which means she doesn’t actually take a lot of Horror. Also, you see x2 Fearless each cycle, and even if that fails 50% of the time, you’re still healing the piddly one Horror you get for every cycle.

Oct 03, 2019 creep · 1

I really like the idea of this deck! Any tips for Curtain Call? I just tried it in CC true solo and... Got stomped, as usual. I hate this scenario.

Oct 03, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2305

@creep where did you run into issues? A scenario like CC can require some specific tech, especially in solo! Trial By Fire may help all around. You may not have enough combat in this deck, so consider tossing in Fire Axes and/or Meat Cleavers. If horror is a problem, try some Cherishes Keepsakes. The Meat Cleavers can also help. If you’re getting mobbed by enemies, throw in another Impromptu Barrier. If you’re having trouble investigating Look What I Found x2 is a great addition (it also has 2 Intellect icons)!

Oct 04, 2019 creep · 1

@TheBlackHorrorThank you so much for your tips! I'll certainly give her another try. She's so fit for the scenario, thematically.

Oct 06, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2305

Added some recommendations for a 9xp Standalone version below the upgrades.

Oct 10, 2019 tehcip · 1

Why no kitty cats? :(

Oct 11, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2305

@tehcipThat's a very good question! First, not enough ally slots. You do not have the resources, nor do you want to lose tempo by playing a Stray Cat. These are used to automatically evade the Watcher. However, I've played at least 15 scenarios with this deck so far and never once have had a problem evading the Watcher. Especially once you have Mists and St. Hubert's Key down, she can easily evade at 9 or 10--that's up 4 or 5 against the Watcher. And then, even if you draw a Tentacle, you can kill it fairly easily with a single Improvised Weapon. In one game Patrice tests at Agiliy 14 vs the Watcher's measly 4 (with Impromptu Barrier). With an upgrade like Survival Instinct (2), you can even use it to evade the Watcher in your hand AND evade all the enemies at your location AND move away in a single action!

Oct 12, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2305

Hey all, I added a general Patrice deck-building guide to the end of this deck description. Even if you decide this deck isn't for you, I hope it helps you in building your own Patrice deck!

Oct 12, 2019 tbigfish88 · 13

Have I misunderstood the following line?

"Get Patrice into Desperate range: St. Hubert's Key is all you need."

The Key gets her to 5 remaining sanity, not 3.

Oct 12, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2305

@tbigfish88Arcane Research x2 lets her start with 2 Horror, so she already starts at 5 Sanity. It's easy to miss!