Dario El-Amin
Unscrupulous Investor

Asset. Ally

Ally. Patron.

Cost: 4.
Test Icons:
Health: 2. Sanity: 2.

While you have 10 or more resources, you get +1 and +1 .

If there are no enemies at your location, exhaust Dario El-Amin: Gain 2 resources.

Colin Boyer
The Unspeakable Oath #151.
Dario El-Amin

This guy is weird. He costs too much money to effectively generate the money and bonuses that he might seem like he is supposed to be granting. There are too many disadvantages. The highly competitive slot, the high cost, the high bonus threshhold.

But then when you add in a powerful resource generation framework for him to inhabit, some Hot Streaks, a few Burglaryes, a little Lone Wolfing, Jenny Barnes's natural ability, Dario will take off and fly you to the finish line like a magic carpet ride.

That really is the gist of it. If you can generate the kind of $$$ that Dario needs, he's really really good, but getting there takes a lot of cards and quite a bit of time, you better have some powerful resource dumps ready for the late game to make all this setup worth it.

Tsuruki23 258
I think the Burglary is not recommended even here.. as Dario can provide very similar action just by himself. — XehutL 27
Dario gets better when you've spend some XP on 2x hot streak, so i'd recommend to start your deck without him and instead add him later with adaptable. — Django 1599
Couldnt agree more. — aramhorror 67

I tried this card on a Jenny Barnes deck in SOLO Play on STANDARD difficulty. My idea was to stack his boosts with St. Huberts Key to get +2 willpower and intellect. Playing him though almost got me killed on the first scenarios of the Carcosa campaign. At first sight he may look playable, fun or even good, but believe me, he is BAD (considering the current card pool). Let me explain:

-He costs too much resources to play, wich makes it even more difficult to gather the 10 resources you need for his static boosts. This also means he is to expensive to effectively serve as a meat shield.

-He is waaaay to slow, specially on the early scenarios. Remember that you don't have Hot Streak from the start, so collecting the 14 resources you need to play him and get the boost will take forever, even if you are playing Jenny Barnes with Lone Wolf. Consider that you normally also have to expend resources playing other assets or boosting your skills with Hard Knocks or other talents.

-His trigger ability "Gain two resources" is not that bad on multi player, but in Solo play it's not very useful. Consider that on average you will be loosing one action per turn fighting enemies or resolving treacheries. If you then constantly use 1 action to gather 2 resources from Dario you will only have 1 action left to advance the game, meaning you will loose to the Agenda.

-There are too many better allies than him (Leo de Luca, Lola Santiago, Dr. Milan, Beat Cop, etc.) and there are many other easier ways to boost your intellect and willpower. The willpower stat is by the way not very important for rougues anyways (except for Sefina maybe) and you are better of boosting it with Talents like High Roller or Moxie.

-Even when I managed to stack this guy with St. Huberts Key, what he provides wasn't worth the enormous effort. By the time you have it all set up you would already have drawn Leo de Luca anyways, wich is a thousand times better. If you are going Jenny Barnes clue gatherer play Dr. Milan instead.

-With his wicked smile he tempts you not to use the 10 resources you have put on him for the static boosts. Soon enough you will find yourself not playing important cards or not overcommitting to important skill tests, just to keep him happy (charged with 10 resources). I warn you, the over commitment to this guy could mean your demise.

In conclusion/Summery: His smile fair as spring, as to put him in your deck he draws you. His tongue sharp and silvery, as to invest 14 resources on him he implores you. Your stats he boosts, as he swears to adore you. Though dues need be repaid, and the overcommitment will ruin you. His slow set up will snare you in bonds, as the Agenda advances glowing’, a fire. To gore and torment you, till the stars expire. XD

Alogon 9
I'm with you on this one. I don't think this card is worth it. — CaiusDrewart 929
There are more support cards for this archetype than there used to be, thanks in part to cards like Hot Streak 2 and Watch This! it is actually pretty easy to get back into a range where you can safely acquire Dario's bonuses. With that said, I don't think many investigators in the pool actually want that, aside from maybe a cluey Jenny. Finally, Pay Day gets a large bonus to output thanks to his action. Just something to consider. — Myriad 543
Dr. Ch. Milan is allot better than Dario El-Amin for Jenny Barnes clue gatherer. I guess if Dr. Milan gets taken by a yellow investigator you may consider consider Dario...but if you already have a clue gatherer in your team why would you play Jenny Barnes with a clue gatherer build? I would just go for combat to protect the yellow investigator. — Alogon 9

You know, the "14 resources to get going" may actually be worth it, in this case. The way I see it, the Unscrupulous Investor has four especially important interactions right now:

  • Jenny Barnes's unique ability plays well with Dario, and I would especially recommend Dario for a Jenny deck. Raising her willpower and intellect from 3 to 4 significantly boosts her resilience and investigative ability, and Jenny's Twin .45s can make excellent use of a giant resource pool.
  • Streetwise is a reliable and efficient way to ensure that double-digit resource pools can be used to full effect. For Rogues who can buy it, Physical Training also deserves a mention for, alongside Streetwise, letting the investigator buy their way to the top of any skill check.
  • Hot Streak allows you to get Dario's stat-boosts as quickly as possible.
  • Now for the non-obvious one: Lockpicks. When you're early in the scenario, Dario and Lockpicks provide a useful turn-loop, where you take one action to investigate with lockpicks (almost certainly successfully), one action to get resources with Dario, and one action for miscellaneous purposes like moving or putting other cards like Lone Wolf into play. Reliably getting one clue and three resources per turn makes it fairly painless to hit the magic 10. (Admittedly, many things can disrupt this loop. Welcome to Arkham Horror!)

It's worth noting that 10 of the resources you're committing to Dario aren't actually spent, so they're more like a war chest that you can sit on until the endgame, and then spend on a final flurry of Streetwise-based investigations and evasions.

My point is that, provided that you have Lockpicks, Streetwise, and Lone Wolf in your deck, Dario actually has a very nice tempo in most scenarios:

  • in the opening, when there are less likely to be dangerous enemies to deal with, he's an effective way to build up your war chest while still getting some things done;
  • in the midgame, he's a persistent and boost, which is a top-tier bonus from the ally slot, and provides the occasional extra resource-bump when you happen to have a spare action at the end of your turn; and
  • in the endgame, he's the reason that you have like 20 resources to buy your way out of trouble, plus some much-needed damage-soak.

You can get Streetwise and two Lockpicks for just 5XP, which is often feasible just one scenario into your campaign, so this is a very attractive starting point for leveling up your Rogue.

If Dario had been available when I played Jenny Barnes, I expect I would have settled pretty early on a Dario/Hot Streak/Streetwise/Lockpicks deck, resulting in an effective, Treachery-resistant clue-gatherer who just happens to be able to transform into an unholy murder-machine with Twin .45s, when necessary.

The deck-building lesson here is that the best way to compensate for having actions that can only trigger once per turn is to get additional once-per-turn actions. Dario is there so that you have something useful to do when you can't use your Lockpicks; your Lockpicks are there so that you have something useful to do when you can't use Dario.

As you said Dario is better with hot streak. I usually swap him in with adaptable once I have 2x hot streak and charisma. — Django 1599

I'm a huge fan of Dario.

Any card that gives you a permanent stat boost is worth looking at. Dario gives you two. Incredible! Also, his ability is sort of a Cache-on-a-stick, improving any free action you might have. Undoubtedly very powerful. But he comes with some downsides.

First, as an Ally, his slot is incredibly competitive. He costs is relatively high, his soak isn't amazing, and his stat-boosting ability is tricky to turn on. But, all of these can be mitigated. If you build around him, he's great:

  • Money. He costs 4 to play, which is high, and then expects you to have enough money to turn on his ability. However, any card that gives you cash to turn on his ability also gives you cash to play him. He himself gives you cash with his ability. So once you throw in a Lone Wolf or a Hot Streak(4) (or a Hot Streak(2)), he is pretty viable.
  • Slots. He competes directly with Leo, of course, but I'm not convinced Leo is always the strongest option. Leo gives you actions but sucks your tempo to the tune of 6 resources. What if you'd like to bounce back pretty quickly? Dario can take 2 actions to play at a net cost of 2 resources, then can give you another 2 next turn to get set up. Regardless, if you'd like to mitigate the slot cost of Dario, Charisma is the obvious answer.

I've played him in a pay-to-win solo Jenny before to great effect. She could afford to win through Streetwise and still keep her Dario bonus up. I've also enjoyed him in solo Jim (with Lone Wolf for money), stacking with St. Hubert's Key to have a very imposing 6 5 3 2 statline. He is much easier to play around than David Renfield as far as econ options go, and he gives you as well.

So give him a try, particularly in solo decks (where 2 stats is massive)!

I admire the passion of this case for Dario, though I'm not sure I'm convinced. I wonder if Milan might not be stronger for these Jim builds? No Will boost, but Milan is much faster, much more efficient at making money, and doesn't require you to have 10 resources just sitting there, unused and unhelpful. — CaiusDrewart 929
Only one Milan can be in play in the entire game, so in higher player counts, alternatives matter. — Chitinid 11

As my nickname here suggests, I'm a rogue deep in my heart, therefore every upcoming green card piques my interest. Sadly, so far Dario El-Amin only brought me disappointment. Breakdown goes like this:

  • to gain his bonus, you have to pay 4 upfront, spend an action and fill your ally slot AND sit on 10 resources. Now, one might say that in rogue class, having 10 resources is a cakewalk, with all those Hot Streaks and Lone Wolves, right? Well, in theory, yes. In practice though, you really need to be able to spend them to either gain more actions or pump your stats during skill checks - you need the cash flow, not the trust fund. What Dario does effectively need you to do then, is to treat 10 as your new 0. One might still think that's easy, since
  • you can use Dario as an action, to get 2 resources every round. Without him, one action can give you only one resource, so doubling that looks like a value proposition... Untill you realize that to get it, you have to: spend 4 resources, an action, fill your ally slot and spend another action... It's just too much and one might call it "slow"... It's a snail move. Rogues ain't no snails, we wanna go fast. Which brings us to the elephant in the room. Or, err, lion. Lion in the room.
  • Since the Dawn of Core Set, rogues have access to arguably the strongest ally in the game, namely Leo De Luca. Played early in the game it's a gift that keeps on giving, everyone loves him and we know that for some time now. Sadly, every green ally printed since then is always going to be compared to him, and so far none have proven to be worthy. In my games in last few weeks, every time I had Dario in play, I wished he was Leo instead. Which is really depressing, because
  • Dario's bonus is excellent when it's there. My old man was looking forward to boost his that was kicking him down all the way through Dunwich, and even Sefina thought she might be able to reach mystic-like state, but to no avail. On that note, Sefina is probably most likely to effectively use Dario's bonus stats, because she can paint herself a juicy hot streak of Hot Streaks. That one additional is also very nice, even if not as substantial. But that's the problem with Dario in general: he seems nice. He wants you to think that he is this friendly companion, but can he take a hit for you, with his 2 health/2 sanity? He offers exotic boost of two stats, but in that regard his business proposition is merely a distorted and mutilated echo of what Peter Sylvestre has brought to the table.

By now I hope I've proven that Dario is not good enough to be the new number one ally in rogue decks, but can he be number 2? I wish I could tell you that he's good enough to warrant taking Charisma for him, but that'd be very optimistic on my behalf, and I have Hospital Debts to worry about, so optimism is not really my thing. I do, however, hope that his time will come at some point, only on the basis of his promise and flavor, even if those things were - so far - very deceptive.

Your analysis seems very solo play and skids centered. Thats hardly seems fair for a card that makes a nice fit in Jenny/Sefina decks. — aramhorror 67
Your analysis of my analysis seems very assumption centered! I wouldn't really bother writing anything if I only played this card in one deck/investigator - so that assumption doesn't fit here. In Jenny's deck his requirement was hurting the cash flow same as in Skids, as for Sefina though... Willpower stat seems tempting, and as I already hinted, he was most consistent in her deck due to Painted World + Hot Streak combo. With that said, it was never as amazing as it would seem to be. Tempo loss is really not worth it, both in solo and group play. He's flavorful (especially if you're aiming for a thematic deck) but deceptive, because to have him in your deck is almost never as good as good ol' Leo, and believe me when I say that I came to that conclusion with great sadness - I had high expectations and I did my fair share of testing in last two weeks. With that said, I still want to try him in something more exotic, namely Rex with Milan and Charisma. Like I said, I do hope his time will come, for now though there are stil better options than him. — Skid_the_Drifter 65
Having tried him in a Jenny/Lone Wolf/Charisma/Leo deck, I agree - it's difficult to keep above the 10 resources to keep the bonus active, and Leo knocks spots off him. I'm not abandoning the Jenny experiment yet - but he's definitely not a top flight ally like Milan, Peter or Leo — AndyB 317
I added him to my sefina deck after i got 2x hot steak and hes absolutely crazy for her. With holy rosary and dario she has will 6, so her spells really rock. His action is also great to fuel Streetwise, if your out of lockpicks. With one charisma, she can have both leo and dario out (or use Calling in favors to get both out quicker). — Django 1599
What about having him in a leo anderson deck? He's going to be one cheaper to get out and he can consistently provide resources, a problem that guardians seem to suffer from a lot. You're probably not going to be able to use his stat boosts, but his two health and two sanity will still be a good sponge. — majiming 1