Leo De Luca
The Louisiana Lion

Asset. Ally

Ally. Criminal.

Cost: 6.
Test Icons:
Health: 2. Sanity: 2.

You may take an additional action during your turn.

"I was born in Mississippi. Louisiana just sounded better."
Paco Rico Torres
Core Set #48.
Leo De Luca
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • If you take an action that qualifies as either of your additional actions, e.g. from Leo De Luca and Quick Thinking, you may choose which additional action you are actually using.

  • On the 'additional action': When spending actions during your turn, the first action you spend each turn takes up the 'additional' designation. If Leo De Luca is discarded mid-turn, you do not lose 1 action from your total pool of actions for the turn. If you then play a second copy of the card, you gain a further additional action.

-- example: "Skids" O'Toole has Leo De Luca in play and is engaged with a Ghoul Minion. First action, Skids attacks the ghoul (this is the additional action from Leo). Second action, Skids moves location, provoking an attack of opportunity from the ghoul. The investigator places the damage on Leo from the ghoul's attack. Third action, Skids moves again, provoking another attack of opportunity from the ghoul, which kills Leo. Fourth action, Skids plays a second copy of Leo, provoking an attack of opportunity from the ghoul, which the investigator takes on Skids. Fifth action (the 'second' additional action from the second Leo), Skids attacks the ghoul and kills it. [No idea why you'd do it this way but hey it's an example.]

Last updated

I'm getting the growing sense that the Louisiana Lion is held in far higher esteem than he deserves. Even in my Jenny Barnes deck, he never quite managed to carry his own tremendous weight. In my "Skids" O'Toole and Finn Edwards decks, he might as well have been a blank card for all the good he did.

First of all, a fourth action will not make an investigator 33% more effective - not even close. Investigators run on cards and resources, and any kind of "once per round" economy the investigator has (including the usual card and resource during upkeep) will be spread much more thinly over four actions rather than three - fewer resources to pump into Hard Knocks, fewer skill cards to commit to tests, and fewer charges of Flashlight, compared to the number of actions you have in which to use them. You could always use the extra action to draw a card or gain a resource, but if all you want is some drip economy, why not just run Lone Wolf or Pickpocketing, which pay for themselves much more readily?

Second, unlike most of the other pricey allies, Leo doesn't give any skill bonuses - you'll be taking more actions, but you'll waste a lot more actions on failed skill tests. For example, Dr. Milan Christopher's +1 makes the actions you have that much more efficient, and he's cheaper to put into play and serves as an (admittedly slow-to-wind-up) economic engine. See also Peter Sylvestre, Cat Burglar, and of course Beat Cop.

Third, by occupying the ally slot, he prevents you from playing those other aforementioned allies.

Fourth, he's crazy-expensive, which makes him awkward to play in most situations:

  • Getting him out early costs one more than your entire starting resource pool. Unless you're lucky enough to draw him alongside Hot Streak, this is a crippling opportunity-cost; he's going to be your only significant asset for the first few rounds.

  • Getting him out midgame has a similar (but more manageable) opportunity cost, but he takes so many rounds to pay for himself that he may just barely break even by the end of the scenario, and in the meantime you've deprived yourself of the tools that might have rescued you from a dire situation if you had run a different card and not sunk a small fortune.

  • Getting him out in the late-game is usually a waste. If you only have a few rounds left, you should be able to spend six resources on something more worthwhile than two or three more actions spread over the remainder of the scenario.

And all of that assumes that you aren't forced to discard Leo early because of an Encounter card, which could be a serious possibility depending on the scenario, especially if he's your only asset in play at the time.

If anything, his relative economy actually gets worse for high-XP investigators. In the Rogue class, Streetwise is a fantastic way to pump skill tests, and it plays better with high-efficiency limited-use cards like Lupara, Deduction, and of course Double or Nothing, not to mention the highly efficient pumped "Watch this!". I'd much rather move once and take two amazing actions than move once and take three mediocre ones.

Therefore, Leo is at his best when paired with cards that can turn actions back into resources (or at least cards), so he can recoup his costs faster. Alchemical Transmutation is a strong combination (provided you have the for it), and Decorated Skull and Burglary are at least situationally useful.

I think the basic principle in play here is that extra actions are generally weaker than optimized actions, and those are more easily achieved with other cards.

I never had a lot of success with leo in faction. But I never had a lot of success with this faction anyway. Anything they do, another faction do it better. And since we always play at 4 players, another player will do it better. However, it works reasonnably well with Wendy (particularly because of Will to Survive). — MoiMagnus 13
And that's also one of the best target for Flare. (Assuming you are playing a Wendy-Charisma) — MoiMagnus 13
He's definitely a good target for Flare, but I'd argue that, even then, I'd rather pull a Beat Cop, Milan Christopher, or even a Cat Burglar with it. — sfarmstrong 16
Certainly if you are only succeeding with resource or skill boosts, then he doesn’t seem to add as much value, but if you already have high enough stats to succeed raw, an extra action is very powerful. At worst, yes, he’s just a card or resource. In the middle, he’s an extra move. But in any case, his bonus is FLEXIBLE, which is a huge boon. And his 2/2 stats aren’t irrelevant. Milan and Beat Cop 2 are both very strong allies as well. — Death by Chocolate 6
Don't get me wrong - an extra action is not nothing, and the flexibility is absolutely useful. It's just that it's rarely worth the ally slot plus six (or five) resources. The problem with the "you already have high enough stats" analysis is that that only helps you in situations where you're at an advantage to begin with (which, by the way, you're less likely to be in if your ally slot isn't giving you a skill bonus). The Rogue class in particular has more efficient ways to capitalize on that, such as upgraded Switchblade, Double or Nothing, or "Watch This!" — sfarmstrong 16
For pure solo, Leo makes huge difference. Almost every scenario (so far) is a race against a kind of a doom clock and he will put you ahead of the pressure a bit. When there is no one else but you, you can hardly afford to waste more then few turns.. and having almost 1/3 more actions generally translates to having the act advanced far before the agenda clocks in - and thus better chances of win (whatever it means for you at the moment). — XehutL 14
(err than..) — XehutL 14
@XehutL, I'm not convinced that's the case, for basically the reasons that I set out above - he MIGHT be decent in a vacuum, but once you factor in the opportunity costs he usually slows down investigators slightly more than he speeds them up. If I'm wrong about that in solo, though, I'd be interested to see a review from you focusing on solo play. — sfarmstrong 16
You said it yourself, rogues are efficient in gathering ressources. So, they can esily sacrifice their starting ressource pool (even their whole first turn) to create a big setup. Ressources will flow enough for you to tackle the chaos bag in normal. That being said, you can manage to have both efficiency AND number of action. I've played rogues a lot in both 1, 2 and 3 players and I never thought Leo being a bad card. — Palefang 30
I think its a good thesis. @sfarmstrong isn — duke_loves_biscuits 54
I think it's a good thesis. sfarmstrong isn't saying Leo is bad, just that he isn't necessarily the best card in the game as others think he might, and if you only have 1 ally slot, you should consider the other "big allies" (Pete, Milan, Cop, Cat) as well, before reaching for the Leo automatically. I certainly prefer Milan in Finn, assuming I'm not playing with a seeker who calls baggsy. — duke_loves_biscuits 54
I wholeheartedly agree. I was actually thinking of writing a review saying that Leo was an overrated card, but you made my point for me. Now, I think Leo can be fine in the right setup, but a few strong actions are much better than a lot of weak actions, and with the wrong investigator Leo will be tilting you towards the latter. So he is not nearly the auto-include for Rogues that some say he is. I would almost always prefer Milan in Finn or Arcane Initiate in Sefina, for example. He can be good, certainly, but especially on higher difficulties, he isn't always good. — CaiusDrewart 695
I like the argument that you're potentially missing cards and resources. This comes from the fact that you're gaining actions, not rounds (which for example doom token removal gives you). You're not including the other important result of this link though! You're also not drawing encounter cards which are a huge drain on the same aforementioned resources. I just did 4 runs on the first scenario of Carcosa with solo Jim. The first three where bad. Then I included Leo and everything changed. — Nils 1

At first glance, Leo looks like an automatic-include in every Rogue deck. His power, granting an extra action every turn, is a huge benefit. Unlike things like "Skids" O'Toole's ability, it costs nothing per turn, and unlike Daisy Walker, the action isn't restricted. That extra action is fantastic.

The thing is, so is his cost. Make no mistake, a card draw, an action to play, and 6 resources is big. He is the most expensive card in the Core Set. He only has one - so he's not that useful for skill checks. Even the upgraded Leo De Luca, with it's reduction in cost, he's still the (equal) most expensive card in the game.

So... is he worth using?

If you can get him out early and keep him through the game, Leo De Luca is a huge boon. He will, over time, repay that huge initial cost. I've had games where this card has been the entire margin of victory. When you're racing against the clock, he can be brilliant.

If you don't get him out early, though, he's a wasted card. Late in the game he's too expensive to be worth the investment. For example, 6 resources would pay for 3 additional turns with additional actions for "Skids" O'Toole, and you'd still be better off.

And so I find that I end up either taking 2 copies of him (and no other allies) - to try to draw him in setup or as a Mulligan, so I can get him played on the first turn - or I take none, and instead use other allies. It's very much a "Leo" or "Not Leo" strategy.

Rogues can also have access to Cat Burglar, which is excellent, and "Skids" O'Toole also has access to allies like Beat Cop. Both these cards are very good, and make Leo De Luca look like less of an automatic choice - and more of a considered one.

AndyB 269

In my opinion, most companion cards have the strongest permanent effects in game, so it's often hard decide which ones to include. However Leo is easily the best of the companions.

If you compare leo to Beat Cop or Cat Burglar, they basically save you actions. Beat cop allows you deal 1 damage as free action (which is like killing enemeis with 1 HP for free), while cat burglar allows you to disengage from all enemies (with no check) AND move to a connecting location (which is 2-x in 1 action). However they both have strong limitations. This is where leo shines, as you can use the extra action for anything, including the above mentioned things.

  • Regarding hist cost. As he's a rogue card, the owner can use Burglary to gather ressources, if you draw him later in the game.
  • Leo is unique (asterisk in front of his name), like Dr. Milan Christopher, so only 1 player can have him on the board at the same time. So if wendy and skids are part of the same game, only one of them can have leo in play. Here i'd recommend to replace him in skids deck with beat cop. Skid's character ability can compensate for the lack of leo.
Django 1114