Joe Diamond - P.I.Staker (Hard Mode) - Now Improved!

StartWithTheName · 14554

- Have you ever fired your gun up in the air and gone Noir?

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This is an updated and much more refined version of my old P.I.Staker Deck which i wrote for my blind run of TCU. Now that im unblinded, ive had the opportunity to try the deck out specifically against the TCU encounter pool a few times paired with work in progress Diana and Preston decks. In addition to the previous version`s testing, its also cleared the first 6 of hard mode Carcossa in this form so im quite confident that it is well balanced now.

The Flashlights are fairly flexible clue tool slot. It gets overwritten very early with Death • XIII so its had limited testing really. The idea was just to be able to hit 6 if milans and mag glasses didnt show early. Other good options are Perception or Fingerprint Kit. Though 2x Fingerprint Kit is too expensive in practice without milan money, which ofc undermines its purpose.

If you are looking for inspiration also check out these two decks:

These were both fantastic decks that I took ideas from during testing. I have no idea how i overlooked Steadfast on the first draft...

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OVERVIEW/TL:DR

- Whats the matter Danny? Havent you ever taken a shortcut before?

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This is a mixed clue and combat Joe build capitalising on his 2442 statline and mixed seeker/guardian card pool to make a true judge Judy and executioner. The rough game plan is to use one hand slot for and one for a weapon, then add passive boosts from Milan & Beat Cop to be able to investigate or fight with a base skill of 6 or 7.

protection is provided via Higher Education paid for via Milan Money and Caches, and several or skill cards. Aim to float 2 resources for Unsolved Case and ideally 2 more to be able to boost to 6 at short notice if you dont have skill pips to burn. Failing that we have Logical Reasoning for repairs and 4 allies with 2 san each who can be spent for the greater good.

The hunch deck is:

Dont put Logical Reasoning or Shortcut into the hunch deck unless they are being recycled via your ability, these benefit too much from holding in hand until an opportune moment.

Its not all murder, murder, murder though. The hunch deck is a mix of draw and auto clues. Early game this means we have access to either an auto clue for a high shroud location, or a draw card to dig for our tools. Late game it means we dont need to chase super high or over spend on Higher Education for high shroud locations. Several of these are position dependent card, so joe needs to make use of his impressive skills as a fun runner, by keepingShortcut in hand and taking Pathfinder early so you can move to a clue on demand.

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UPGRADES:

- Sergeant Popwell was an exceptional officer. Truly exceptional. But he had one thing you haven't got....

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Priorities:

Then some options

Pick these to match playstyle and group composition.

  • .45 Automatic (2) - Similar +2 but on the automatic.
  • Evidence! Deciphered Reality - God I love this card. The key to using Deciphered Reality well is not to wait until it empties the whole board. Use it to get 3-4 clues, which at 2 cost is a bargain. Note that you get 2 clues from your own location, one from the initial investigate action, and one from the bonus effect.
  • Preposterous Sketches Cryptic Research - Removes the clue restriction and changes this to fast which is a massive shift in tempo. You may not be benefiting from the 2 cost discount, but honestly its fine. If the deck was resourced sufficiently before then its resourced sufficiently after...
  • No Stone Unturned (5) - Simply amazing when its free. The 2 cost reduction and change to fast status means this is just too good not to leave in the hunch deck.
  • 1x Magnifying Glass Mag Glass (1). You only need 1 of these. It lets you used 2x mag glasses early game or during Detective's Colt 1911s and pull one back when you want to put another weapon down. Note that the advantage of keeping the spare in hand is to keep Higher Education active or Asset killer encounter cards like this
  • Beat Cop (2) - Nice for 1hp or 3hp enemies
  • Vicious Blow (2) - More damage is more damage
  • Deduction (2) - Nice on on 3p+ where 3+ clue locations are common, less useful on 1-2p.

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DETAILED PILOTING

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MULLIGAN

- You're off the Fkin' Chain!...

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Priorities: - keep,

For Clues: All Eureka!s, And up to +2 passive assets from:

For Combat: All Eureka!s, 1x Cop and 1x weapon,

Mixed: All Eureka!s, 1 weapon (same priority), then follow the clues list.

  • Note that with the Timeworn Brand you will be able to get to 6 without the cops which leaves plenty of scope to focus on clues with the rest of the hand until quite late in the game.

Eureka! takes priority as it effectively can be used to self replace for a choice of 3 cards rather than 1. It may (rarely) deny you the on Death • XIII, but its well worth the trade off.

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HUNCH DECK

- What's a matter, you got brain freeze?

- No, I've got brainwave.

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Hunch deck randomness operates differently to your main deck. Regular cards sit in hand letting you position to make best use of them, where hunch cards need to be spent asap before they disappear. This means the 2 cost reduction and effective free card draw needs to compensate for the fact you are often forced to play them with suboptimal timing otherwise they are inefficient rather than a bargain. If you are interested, i have some musings on the theory of hunches here

This particular hunch deck is designed to help build up a high base early game, or provide autoclues for high shrouds while we look for them.

Never Start with Logical Reasoning or Shortcut in the hunch deck. They benefit too much from choosing when to play them. Since Joe is vulnerable to horror (low & sanity) You dont want Logical Reasoning to be unavailable when you are close to dying. Holding it in hand lets you wait for a safe (enemy free) turn to play it. Similarly Shortcut is important for setting up Scene of the Crime or Evidence! when it shows (See Clues section)

If you get the opportunity to reuse Logical Reasoning or Shortcut via Detective's Colt 1911s or the , then go for it if the game state feels right. Getting a second use from the card is different to blocking its first use. Just be careful not to over dilute the proportion of clue based cards if you are reliant on them.

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HARD MODE MATHS

- Hey biggun'. Playtime's over.

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On hard we want to be testing 3 above test value to get reliable odds on success and out strip some a lot of the nastier token effects (some scenarios need higher). So for example getting your base to 5 lets you gives you (~70% to ~80%) pass rates against a shroud 2. Similarly a base of 6, or 7 are needed for shrouds 3 and 4 respectively.

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COMBAT

- Have you ever fired two guns while jumping in the air?

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This build isnt a dedicated enemy handler, but it can hold its own very well.

  • Get to 6 on attacks This puts us 3 above a 3 enemies. The starting weapons add +1, hence the Cops. With a little xp we can get Timeworn Brand and/or .45 Automatic (2) for built in +2. The value of this in terms of tempo (not needing to find 2 cards) is huge. And late campaign as higher tokens are added to the bag, these will let us reach 7 base with both Cops & Brands

  • Regular +Damage Each of our basic weapons (including the upgraded ones) have the standard target of +1 damage built in. For the majority of 3hp enemies, were just going to have to suck it up and attack twice, though we also have Vicious Blow and can buy Beat Cop (2) and Timeworn Brand with xp for a little burst as needed

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CLUES

- Well, I wouldn't argue that it wasn't a no-holds-barred, adrenaline-fueled thrill ride. But there is no way you can perpetrate that amount of carnage and mayhem and not incur a considerable amount of paperwork

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The priorities:

The Rest:

  • Eureka!, Deduction, Unexpected Courage, Take the Initiative, Inquiring Mind, and in a pinch Higher Education All offer back up pips for higher shroud or while we dig for the passive buffs. Keep an eye on the modifiers too. Try not to rely too much on Higher Education, you will need that money for checks (see Encounters and Weaknesses Section)

  • Hunch Deck: A large amount of this is devoted to autoclues, which can be used to clear high shroud locations or locations with investigation caveats or hazards. Very very minor spoiler warning for TCU: this helps with the new haunt mechanic.

  • Bonus Clues: Deduction, Working a Hunch, Scene of the Crime (with an enemy), Deciphered Reality (requires xp) allow us to get more than one clue in one action. Evidence! also sort of tags a clue onto an action that woudlnt have one.

  • Pay attention to positioning: Try to end turns on locations with clues. Scene of the Crime is first action only and Evidence! required an enemy on a clue. Both of these will appear at random, so you want to be set up to get to the clue on demand to utilise them well. Note that both Shortcut and Pathfinder let you move fast before you take an action to help align with the hunch decks whim and Shortcut can let you drag an enemy to a clue without taking an attack of opportunity.

  • Bandolier is overkill After the first Sc you wont have Flashlights and you only need 1 weapon in play. Bandolier is a time and money sink that requires the cards to turn up in the right order. It also adds little apart from allowing you to hold a second clue tool. This is the reason that Death • XIII is so important. It sort of combines Bandolier and your second clue tool in one saving endless handslot juggling.

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ENCOUNTER DECK PROTECTION & WEAKNESS

- What's it like being stabbed?

- It was the single most painful experience of my life

- ... What's the second most painful?"

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Joes Achilles Heel is his combined 2 and low sanity since encounter deck checks frequently cause horror. He often takes 3 point HP hits from tests too, but he has a high base HP and since he can fight quite well, he has a lot more leeway there.

  • Try to float 2 cash for Unsolved Case This will show at random and cost you 2 (you still get the hunch deck discount). You can play this without a clue since removing the card from the game counts as changing game state.

  • Try to float another 2 and keep your hand at 5 for checks Higher Education is your main method of dealing with these. Paying 2 to get to 6 isnt cheap but it is reliable since it starts in play. We also have 6 cards with or pips incase you get caught short. The ones can also be used for tests if needed. Note that in the mythos phase no one has spent an action for Take the Initiative so it will always be a full 3 icon protection for encounter cards.

  • You're a Doctor, deal with it Logical Reasoning is your post san shock repair button. Most games you wont use it and it will feel like a dead draw. But the time you need it it will save the game. If it sits in hand too long, it is at least keeping Higher Education open, which is possibly the reason you arnt taking the horror in the first place. In a pinch it can even be for a non horror will check like Crypt Chill etc. Note that Frozen in Fear can be cleared by Higher Education quite easilly, so you will rarely use it for that.

  • Use your allies to soak You have 4 allies with 2 san each. We are seeing more and more encounter cards being printed that target allies directly. Milan will earn you a load of cash, and buffs are important, but if he dies off there is a second copy in the deck, he will invariably leave you with a pile of cash, and we have Mag Glasses and Death • XIII to compensate. Dont worry if you need to spend him to soak san. The deck has methods to compensate. You also have spare hp with Beat Cops if you took too many blows.

  • Recycle Logical Reasoning with and Your Colts. But dont start with it in the hunch deck Logical Reasoning is a card that is too reliant on timing to put in the hunch deck (See Hunch Deck Section). If it shows before youve taken horror its a dead card. Late game however you are very likely to have taken some horror so recycling it can be much more effective.

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- Narp?

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As ever, thanks for reading! I would love to hear thoughts and experiences.

38 comments

Feb 17, 2019 Sixtyten · 13

Brilliant. For the greater good.

Feb 18, 2019 Rancord · 499

Very good update, you basically did the changes I did myself to your version :)

Feb 24, 2019 Smands · 97

You never disappoint! Amazing deck for an amazing character! Tried it today, very powerful and fun :)

Feb 25, 2019 leikos · 1

no prepared for the worst to find ur colts?

Feb 25, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

Hi @leikos, it doesnt need it basically. You only need 1 weapon its got 4, + 2 No Stone Unturned, Preposterous Sketches, Eureka! and Vicious Blow to tide things over if they didnt appear in the mulligan. The good thing about all these other solutions is that when you do find the weapon from the muligan, they perform other functions rather than just being a single or pip.

The chance to recur the hunch cards with the colts is nice, but not that special in practice and you can use all these filtered draw cards to dig them out if you want them specifically basically.

Mar 01, 2019 Vittek · 1

Very nice, but I have one question: why don't you have any "I've got a plan"? That one can get to +3 damage and it can one-shot 4 hp monsters. Wouldn't it help to include it? Not that I'd know what to remove to make space for it, I'm just saying.

Mar 01, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

Cheers @Vittek. "I've got a plan!" was in an early version. Infact it was in the hunch deck for a while. I swapped it out for Dynamite Blast (that you can see in the first published version) for thematic satisfaction. Then dropped it for beat cop when I discovered the combination of passive buffs I wanted. I tend to find Vicious Blow and the one shot use on Timeworn Brand is enough since the deck is primarily a cluer. But if you wanted to go more burst damagey you could certainly slot it in easilly. The obvious slots are Unexpected Courage which is a flex slot really and 1x Logical Reasoning which I often find I don’t play after the first sc unless something has hit a fan.

I would avoid the hunch deck for it as you really want it in tap even if that means paying 3. The cost curve on this varies from being problematic if you don’t see Milan to being negligible if you see him early. But at least the pops on "I've got a plan!" are . which will play a similar role to the Unexpected Courage in covering you while you look for a passive boost. It doesn’t cover sadly though. So you may find you need to sacrifice an ally or two on the first sc at a guess. But that’s probably ok.

Mar 05, 2019 JadiimJedi · 13

Great deck list and also a great write up with your reasoning for each card slot. My own 2 cents: with all of the open slots we have now I like spending 1-of slots for one of those slots we are not planning to use anyway. In this case I would advocate for Tooth of Eztli or Fine Clothes instead of Unexpected Courage depnding on which campaign you are playing.

One other question did you try Alice Luxley yet with the free clues? 4/10 in hunch deck are free clues that do not generate opportunity attacks and generate damage.

Mar 05, 2019 Smands · 97

@JadiimJedii like the addition of fine clothes for certain campaigns, and Eztli fills a weakness for the character although I’ve never found the item to be value (unlucky I guess). Alice luxley looks real good, but she isn’t released yet - she is scheduled for the Wages of Sin pack :)

Mar 05, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

Cheers @JadiimJedi & @Smands.

Yeah. Both those sound good for the flex slots. I’ve not tried the tooth. But with Higher Education paying to pass will checks you should get a bit of draw from it. Even if it wasn’t strong - Tbh, once I have the core of a deck working I like to put something fun in the flex slots even if it’s not “powerful” per se. It’s a game after all and should be enjoyed.

Re Fine Clothes and Alice Luxley, I am working on this thematic interrogating joe deck which uses this core but subs in the guardian cards that turn enemies into clues:

arkhamdb.com

The rough idea is to make the hunch deck able to get a clue when an enemy is engaged with you, which will fire Alice for a little action compression any time you do. Note that Delay the Inevitable can be used as a pseudo dodge, or just played on sight to thin out the deck since it’s fast anyway. it may help in the next mythos phase or not. Just don’t pay to renew it.

I’m hoping to publish it in due course once a) I’ve tested it a bit more, and b) I’ve thought of more 24 puns.

Atm it run a little low on cash and the fine clothes do little apart from a cheap soak in a lot of places. Tho they do aid Interrogate the days the stars all align and it’s actually possible to play it!

Mar 14, 2019 Cambeul · 1

Now that the next expansion The Secret Name is out, have you thought about using Crack the Case for more economy?

I used it instead of Evidence I seem to be able to trigger it more often.

Mar 14, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

Thanks @Cambeul

Ive not tried it as its not out yet here in the UK, seemingly its on the boat still.

My instinct is to put it over Emergency Cache since it satisfies a similar role but saves the action to play it. Evidence is in there to get clues. While its something of a least worst remaining clue option, and one of a limited quite set of options. But the key to getting the most out of the hunch deck is in getting it all to do one thing rather than a big spread of things. This means you are less reliant on the randomness of the draw in terms of your longer term planning. If i could get it working (and one day lets hope we have the card pool) id have the whole thing give 1 auto clue per card and ditch the efforts to get to a high base int altogether for example. Free up a load of deck space.

Mar 15, 2019 Cambeul · 1

my other thought as to why I like it is it is another Fast Card, and I seem to be able to trigger more reliable, there by thinning my deck out and not having it be shuffled back into my deck more often.

So if you ever hit your Elder Sign, or Signature Gun trigger of putting other Insights back into the Hunch Deck you get to see them more often.

And agree, if I could play 10 Working a Hunch in the deck, that would be awesome.

Mar 17, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

yeah it looks really solid as a card in general. I guess the question is whether you want it in the hunch deck (2 cost discount, but appears at random), or in the main deck where you can keep it in hand to play on demand. The odds on it appearing are similar in both decks (depending how much draw you pack). Evidence has a similar problem mind - being able to hold it back until you see an enemy at a clue.

I suspect the relative advantage of each will depend greatly on play style and long term planning. Its one of the great design features of the Hunch deck. Very few of the insight cards come without caveats. So you have to build the main deck to be able to set up the Hunch deck to get any real leverage out of that 2 cost discount since they all arrive (and disappear) at random. Not easy to say without trying each, and i recon it might even differ between the two depending on personal playstyle.

Either way, its a card ive got my eye on. If Emergency Cache had a pip on it so it wasnt a dead draw late game or if you have Milan in play already, id be drooling.

Mar 17, 2019 Myriad · 652

Any other thoughts on the Secret Name's cards? I can see applications for the new blade and the grisly totem. The totem specifically could have some pretty wonderful applications in this deck.

Mar 18, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

Yeah, the Enchanted Blade looks like a solid substitute for .45 Automatic since its only there to fill in while you look for a longer term solution (Timeworn Brand/Machete). Its 1 cost lower and the deck loves +2 attacks. the loss of 1 ammo probably isnt a big deal especially since the deck doesnt make use of the firearm support cards or the arcane slot. I can see it fitting in a similar slot in a lot of guardian decks that use the .45 Automatic as a back up weapon tbh. If you run out of charges, having +1 (without damage) while you look for a bigger weapon isnt amazing, but its more than an empty .45 Automatic has.

Id be curious to compare it to the .45 Thompson for the same slot actually. 5 ammo and +2 looks nice though i wouldnt be keen to drop the Magnifying Glasss from play if its avoidable since theyre somewhat of the decks bread and butter. You can only get away with autoclues for so long.

I love the Grisly Totem in general, it just looks really versitile. yet despite this id be reluctant to add another high cost asset to the line up. Plus if i had the deck space for an accessory id love to get a Tooth of Eztli in here. While the +1 isnt really enough to land a pass on an encounter card alone, with Higher Education in play you`ll get the draw from it fairly often, which could provide you with plenty of those wild pips just in the form of skill cards instead. Plus with Joes sig weakness in his other deck hes less worried about drawing hard (basic weakness permitting!)

Obviously all these thoughts come with the same pinch of salt as everything i said above. Ive not played with any of these in Joe. Though I can confirm the .45 Thompson is great fun in Yorik with Act of Desperation after a little proxying a few weeks ago.

Mar 19, 2019 Cambeul · 1

I like the idea of the Enchanted Blade too, but I doing Dunwich with a side trip to Egypt so the Spheres that destroy melee weapons and Sarcophagus that attack you if you use a melee attack are being a pain :D

But the the Blade and its Charges are not too bad, especially if you are fighting mobs with odd amount of hit points like Rats or something, it hurts using Ammo on one of those.

Mar 28, 2019 damirius · 332

I've ran pretty similar deck through PtC, just finished last scenario yesterday. Played in 3 players with Marie + Calvin. Biggest difference is that I've ran Charles Ross, Esq. and Fingerprint Kit instead of Dr. Milan Christopher and Flashlight, other than that few different skills, mainly Overpower instead of Steadfast. Also 2x Fine Clothes instead of 2x Beat Cop, but that's just campaign specific.

I must say that Charles Ross, Esq. isn't bad at all, it quickly payed for himself in every scenario and I was happy to kill him afterwards, with Dr. Milan Christopher I always have some sort of "mental block" when I needed to kill him. Other than that, since I was focusing on pulling clues through hunch deck I was doing less investigations (compared to regular seekers) which I also think is a good argument to bring Charles Ross, Esq. over other allies. Originally I was thinking about bringing Venturer along, which can work with both .45 Automatic, Fingerprint Kit and his unique Detective's Colt 1911s, but I thought that would be a lot of upfront costs and I decided against it. I still think that Dr. Milan Christopher is probably the best of the 3, but I guess there's some room for experimentation. I've also skipped Charisma, but took Beat Cops later on, haven't used them much, but that's mainly my problem, they are really good and needed addition to the deck, just didn't have the time to play them. As scenarios went by, I was focusing more and more on clues, while rest of my group dealt with high hp enemies. Had some problem with sanity soaks because of it, but we pulled through.

Other than that, I must say that Fingerprint Kit was not worth it. It's expensive and it takes up one hand slot, which is OK with Detective's Colt 1911s, but you will not have that one ready at all times. Lots of clues were being discovered with hunch deck cards and more often that not there was not much value in it, so I would for sure skip it and take either Flashlights like you suggested or some more weapons, then upgrade it into something else if needed.

As for upgrades, Pathfinder feels really great, I've left Inquiring Mind in which I've found really helpful till the end because I was positioning myself on the clues all the time in any case. Pathfinder + Shortcut + Scene of the Crime is amazing and in multiplayer you will always find use for them. I've also "rushed" to No Stone Unturned which was a big boon for me but for my whole group also. And of course for PtC, Deciphered Reality for last scenario is bonkers. It was unlucky for me that I got the first one (had 2 in the hunch deck) as 8th card, but still managed to pick up 11 clues in one go (with 2x Deduction) and with other one I got 6. Since we played Doubt route, this almost won us the game in itself.

All in all, this is a great deck and it's loads of fun. Joe rocks!

Apr 01, 2019 ChrisSF · 1

I like this deck. Just curious if you would make any adjustments for solo play since you mentioned you were playing this paired with Preston and Diana.

Apr 01, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

Thanks @damirius, its nice to hear your experiences. I like the idea of using any ally to replace Dr. Milan Christopher as im simply getting bored of him. If i had another way of fueling Higher Education for encounter protection i would be a happy man, and a penny saved is a penny earned so they say so Charles Ross, Esq. sounds like a good call. We can also grab Crack the Case too if needed.

Im curious to hear what setting your using? the Beat Cop and to some degree Dr. Milan Christopher are providing little +1s to get to 6 in their respective stats repeatingly. But it strikes me that Fingerprint Kit + Magnifying Glass do the same as milan + glass, and in the recent packs weve had plenty of +2 combat weapon options to circumvent the cop possibly. Ive just not tried it. Ofc the tarots offer an alternative in each case too.

@ChrisSF i must admit i dont have a huge amount of true solo experience, so my advice may be poor. I marked this as solo ish due to the (SPOILER) the start of TCU being fairly solo esk and it seems to stand its own there perfectly fine. I dont know how it would progress with xp though. There will also be an extra clue or two on locations in 2p that wouldnt be there in 1p, so the Deduction possibly isnt as important. Crack the Case is an obvious swap for Emergency Cache in general, but i can see it fitting well in 1p since actions are a little more tight at times. I expect Forewarned may be higher priority too to keep awkward encounters off the table perhaps. Though as i say please take all that with a pinch of salt. im sure there are much better solo players out there who might have insights (see what i did there) to offer.

Apr 02, 2019 AndyB · 375

No luck catching them swans, then?

Apr 02, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

its just the one swan actually

Apr 03, 2019 Cambeul · 1

I have been thinking of adding Delay the Inevitable to my Hunch Deck, just because it is fast and I can thin my deck out quicker. I wanted to my Hunch Deck to be all Fast Actions without slowing me down. And if I have the resources I can make it stay around longer.

I also going to be dropping Fingerprint Kit as it is expensive, and I think it nets me 1 bonus Clue overall. For a replacement I was thinking either Forewarned because because Treachery cards can be annoying, or Mind over Matter as sometimes I just need to pass an Agility Test to get to safety.

Other ideas were Archaic Glyphs, either the Bonus Clues would be good, or even the ability to Evade an Enemy (while still getting a Clue), they don't take up Hand Slots so don't mess with any of your other weapons.

Strange Solution, would really want the Combat version as it is better than your other weapons (Colt 45's, Machete/Time Worn Brand), you fight at a base of 6, which is like your weapons +1 or +2 fight bonus, can still be boosted by things like Beat Cope or the Tarot Card, and you do 3 Damage per hit. Can be reloaded with Emergency Cache xp3, and does not take up a hand slot.

Apr 03, 2019 damirius · 332

@StartWithTheName Yes, without charisma, I was more or less focused either on fighting (and getting clues through my hunch deck) with Beat Cop and Machete/.45 Automatic or on clues with Charles Ross, Esq. and Fingerprint Kit/Magnifying Glass. Couldn't pull both in the same time, especially in later scenarios when bigger stuff comes from the encounter deck. I think that without Beat Cop and/or Ace of Swords in front you there's no point of going against big enemies, but still you can take small ones without any help for your fellow investigators. I would also like to note, that usually you can start as pure cluever with Charles Ross, Esq. and transition to more fighty cluever by the end of the scenario which is usually time when more and more enemies start showing up (ofc it depends on the scenario).

All that said, like @Cambeulmentioned, Strange Solution feels strong in this deck (it feels strong in every deck honestly), especially with Beat Cop and/or Ace of Swords. Coupling that with Emergency Cache and maybe Venturer I can see that as some sort of more fighty focused Joe, would probably need to cut Deciphered Reality and/or Cryptic Research to cover their XP cost, at least in Dunwich and PtC since they give a little bit less.

Apr 22, 2019 Ghostpilot · 1

I was looking around at different insights and saw that arkhamdb.com has been errata'ed to pick up a clue at your location as well as at a connecting location.

And you also don't need to have a clue at your current location to investigate one at a connecting location. I think it has real potential.

Apr 23, 2019 Cambeul · 1

@Ghostpilot that is only if you commit Deduction to the Skill Test for Seeking Answers.

It does not pick up two clues by itself.

Apr 23, 2019 Ghostpilot · 1

My reading comprehension leaves something to be desired; thanks for the clarification!

Apr 25, 2019 Holmelund · 2

What a fantastic guide. I used it as a basis for a 29 xp version for a 3 player run of Guardians of the Abyss and not only was it incredibly effective, it was also an absolute hoot to play :) We cleared mission one and are set to enter mission 2.

Apr 26, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

Thanks @Holmelund! nice one. Good luck with the second half. I really love the ending on that one. Wont spoil.

Apr 29, 2019 ilza · 1

What would you consider changing with the impact of the Taboo list?

Machetes could probably be switched out for the Enchanted Blade, but would you adapt anything else to deal with the high XP cost of Higher Edcation?

Apr 30, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

yeah its a bit of a tricky one eh @ilza, though swapping out Machete for Enchanted Blade or more .45 Automatics is an easy fix. Infact the +2 on the enchanted blade is really nice for getting to the magic 6 asap without looking for 2 card combos.

You can still take Higher Education ofc, it just costs more. But tbh I think its good for the game that they make these re-balances and 8 seems fair for HE. The tricky bit then is getting the cash in and keeping that 4 resources floated with milan triggering once a turn. Its probably worth slotting Crack the Case for a little income security. This might also allow you to swap Dr. Milan Christopher for something like Mr. "Rook" or Alice Luxley. All this is untested ofc. Though i have been running Alice in other decks. She doesnt proc all that often, but shes fun and it is a game afterall.

Jun 19, 2019 ErroneousBosch · 1

Having a blast running through TCU with my wife running a Preston Fairmont deck and the following starting modifications:

Enchanted Blade swapped in for Machete Bandolier swapped in for .45 Automatic Hawk-Eye Folding Camera in place of one Magnifying Glass Crack the Case replaces Emergency Cache

Crack the Case might be the MVP here, since it really opens things up on the action economy while giving you plenty of burst resources, and it's usually not difficult to get on a 4 shroud. The Hawk-Eye Folding Camera is darn nice to get out early or even mid-game and let those bonuses stack, especially since is the first bonus. Bandolier is handy for letting you have your Enchanted Blade out and still keep your hands free even if you have the Detective's Colt 1911s out.

Flashlight was my first no-brainer upgrade, as they just sat in my hand the first scenario, and Death • XIII is a really fantastic card that doesn't take up a hand slot.

Sep 08, 2019 Yury1975 · 1

It seems that everyone agree about Death • XIII, but what’s about Ace of Swords? Seems as good strength upgrade in case you haven’t received Death.

And more generic questions about any changes from recent TCU packs, what could be added to this deck besides Hawk-Eye Folding Camera?

Sep 08, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

Thanks @Yury1975, and Belated thanks @ErroneousBosch i must have missed your comment mate, Sorry!

This is roughly my current thinking on this deck post taboo: arkhamdb.com though it has not had much testing. Ive been playing a lot of janky fun Joe decks post taboo rather than middle of the road ones like this.

Alice could still be Dr. Milan Christopher with taboo correction, but Alice has the advantage of not dying to Spoiler as fast and you can heal her with Soothing Melody if you get it in time. More often she just dies but youve found other tools by then. Her is ok. You dont get as much return from it as it looks on paper but its still nice to have, plus alice is more thematic than milan.

Im personally not yet sold on Hawk-Eye Folding Camera here yet as im trying to get to 7 quickly to enable very reliable cluing. I see the camera as a more defensive card (the is a big bonus) so slot wise in my mind its more akin to one of the 3 pip skill cards. Obviously if you see it early it can be seen as an tool, and with Studious thats much more viable. Its just those first couple of sc blues i worry about mainly. But I say all this having only used the camera a very small number of times outside of a caster, so id love to hear ppls experiences.

Re Death • XIII vs Ace of Swords, both are viable. I prefer Death • XIII as I am targetting 7 and , and you can get +2 on a weapon more easilly than you can find in single cards. But this really depends on team composition. I prefer Joe as a cluer that can handle his own rather than a killer that clues well. Roland sort of does the latter in a more interesting play style for me.

A crucial difference in a post Taboo world is also that you cant as easily rely on Dr. Milan Christopher/Higher Education to cover encounter checks. You have to block them with skill cards or simply take the blows and heal them back later on or soak them. You can still get higher ed with enough xp and with a few good money cards you can still use it to protect you, its just a much bigger investment these days.

The final big change in my eyes is using Delay the Inevitable inplace of Evidence!. I initially wrote this card off on the basis it looked like it needed careful timing that the hunch deck doesnt provide. But I have since realised that its a great card to simply play anytime you see it and let it fall off if you pass the mythos phase without being hit. With it being fast, it basically gets out of youre deck letting you get to the better cards. It also enables silly plays like investigating even while engaged when you have Alice out. Ignore the attack, get a clue. deal 1 damage. then finish it off with a regular attack if needed.

Sep 08, 2019 Yury1975 · 1

Thanks @StartWithTheName for such detailed response and quite interested opinion regarding many new cards. Will try Delay the Inevitable and Alice Luxley.

Sep 08, 2019 ErroneousBosch · 1

Having gone through most of TCU at this point, I can add these observations:

Hawk-Eye Folding Camera has definitely been worth it. If you can get it out early, it's a really nice stat bump across the board, and that extra sanity has saved me from defeat at least once. Later in the game is situational to bring out, but since it has a , you can at least burn it for that, especially if the scenario doesn't have you clearing clue. Death • XIII is good if you get it in your opening hand, but otherwise rarely worth it. Ace of Swords might be nice, but honestly once you can get Timeworn Brand, you are waling on stuff with little problem, especially with Steadfast for that extra push when needed. Just remember to use your exhaust ability on it at the right moment, since it is only once for the whole game.

Crack the Case is so superior to Emergency Cache, it's ridiculous. Clear a 4 or 5 shroud (which isn't hard in the mid-late game) and you are swimming in resources. And no extra action to play it. Plus as an Insight card it can come back. It almost makes Dr. Milan Christopher redundant.

As for Higher Education, I almost never use it. I often don't have enough cards in hand, don't need it since I can burn a card or two. I do use it occasionally, but I'd actually say this is an upgrade you can skip. Same with Charisma. Handy, but I think I have had both allies out maybe once.

I might post more later when I can sit and look at my deck as it is now.

Sep 12, 2019 Tylerjstratton · 1

I have a silly question - do you upgrade two pathfinders, two time brands and two death IIIv cards. I think you notate when it’s only one copy (magnifying glass) but just checking.

Sep 16, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14554

Hi @Tylerjstratton.

Upgrade however you like. I would always get 2 Main Path because the xp is so low. I would usually do the same for Death • XIII (also low xp) and while you cant have 2 in play, it only has value if its seen early (even if you have to play to play it).

Whether to take 2 Timeworn Brand is arguably a bigger decision. Its very important if you need to fight. Less so if you are part of a team with someone else who is fighting. The reason you only ever need 1x Magnifying Glass (1) is just because you dont need to take the other one back into hand to put a weapon down so youre only really getting a 1 penny discount on the second one. You arent getting the value from the return to hand option.