How to Pick a Lock (Hard Mode) ~Featuring Finn Edwards

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Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
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RoscoeDaLib · 153

lockpickthumbnail.jpg

This is a hard-mode tested deck that has functioned as the primary seeker for a 4 man group running The Forgotten Age on hard mode assisting in earning the group a total of 30 base XP (not counting bonuses) through the first 4 scenarios.

The deck was not made to function exclusively within The Forgotten Age, and can therefore be used in any multiplayer campaign.

Deck Breakdown

Clue Getting:

  • Dr. Milan Christopher : Core element to the deck that provides +1 to book and providing a continuous stream of incoming resources as we perform our role.
  • Fingerprint Kit : Strong tool to stack with our other static book buffs allowing us to have strong bursts of clue getting when used to maximum potential.
  • Sleight of Hand : Technically, this card could be classified as a utility card in that it can play several cards in this deck. However, this card is strongest when used with Fingerprint Kit. In theory, you will already have Dr. Milan Christopher in play as well from your opening mulligan which means we will be making base 6 book checks for 2 clues. Obviously this combo will get stronger with more XP in the deck to support it.
  • Flashlight : Just a good starter deck card to use for this deck's purpose.
  • Scavenging : I went with this as my one off from Seeker/Survivor as it will allow us to continue to rotate our items that are crucial to success as primary seeker even in the face of game events that force us to discard those items from our player board or from our hand before we get to use them. At base value it allows us to get multiple uses from our 2 copies of Fingerprint Kit. However, this is not required for the deck to thrive so it is fine in my opinion as a 1 off.
  • Perception : High value card that buffs our ability to gather clues and cycles itself with another card from our deck.
  • Cunning : This card can technically be used for it's agility icons, and by all means should be should the situation arise. However, given that in my play through I was the primary seeker - this was used for it's 2/3 book icons due to it's high synergy with Dr. Milan Christopher.

How to Not Die:

  • "You handle this one!" : The core survival card for Finn. With 1 willpower, you basically require this card to not get rekt by the encounter deck. (I also highly recommend playing with as many mystics as possible that have Ward of Protection :P)
  • Say Your Prayers : I only play this game in hard mode which means some unavoidable horror and damage is just a given. Given that, I highly recommend this as your other 1 off card to be the trick up your sleeve to save your skin in the face of a willpower check that can't be dealt with or just ignored via "You handle this one!" or Ward of Protection.
  • Money Talks : This is your last resort card for any checks that present themselves that you are unequipped to deal with. Ideally, you want to maintain a healthy resource pool should you see this card being necessary. So, constantly be aware of what tools are at your disposal and what kind of threats are possible from the encounter deck.

Utility:

  • Lone Wolf : With Finn's skill values you have more freedom to be independent from the rest of your team than more traditional seekers. So, even in a 4 man group I was able to make mass amounts of resources from this card. Obviously, stacking on a location will be unavoidable at times. So, just try to work with your team, and see if you can have them abandon the location before your turn.
  • Lucky Cigarette Case : One of my favorite cards in the game. You might not get a lot of value from this in the first scenario (depending on shroud values on the locations), but after your first round of upgrades this should draw you a card basically every turn making it easier to get to our core tools should our mulligan be unlucky.
  • Think on Your Feet : Remember what I said about being independent? This card just allows you to move instead of dealing with a potential enemy. In a multiplayer setting you should have someone capable of dealing with it anyway.
  • Elusive : This was a card I was on the fence about when I first built the deck, but boy was I wrong. There have been several moments where the ability to teleport across the map was useful.
  • Slip Away : Sometimes you need to finish off the last few clues on a location for a nice 1/2 VP or just to finish the objective of a scenario. Should you find yourself in such a situation with an enemy you don't want to screw around with short term, this card can make that a reality.
  • Unexpected Courage : Solid skill card to throw at anything you or one of your teammates is checking when needed.

Upgrades

(This is my favorite part of the game, second only to building the initial deck. These juicy, juicy upgrades.)

Here I will list the upgrades in order I went with, but keep in mind after a certain point you have the freedom to mix and match whatever you think the deck needs based on your campaign. The only upgrades I consider "mandatory" are Charon's Obol, Lockpicks, Streetwise, Lola Santiago, Charisma.

This is as far as I have gotten so far, and I believe provides enough of a foundation to see what I was going for. As I said, I have no illusions that my path was the end all be all. I also debated in my head over cards such as Adaptable, The Skeleton Key, Lucky Dice, High Roller, etc. However, I just didn't end up going with them.......yet.

Strategy

As far as strategy goes, once you have some base amounts of XP in your deck with Lockpicks and Streetwise you become very powerful.

Mulligan for Dr. Milan Christopher, Lockpicks, and Lucky Cigarette Case in that order. The Lucky Cigarette Case is just nice to have to draw into your other tools. However, never keep Lucky Cigarette Case if you lack either of the other 2 cards in your opening hand. Finally, if you are very concerned about cascading failures early on, you can also mulligan for "You handle this one!".

Open your turn with a Lockpicks investigate action to hopefully get a clue and proc a usage of Lucky Cigarette Case. Then supplement any other investigate actions when necessary with Streetwise. With Dr. Milan Christopher in play (assuming a successful check), Streetwise is functionally pay 1 for plus 3 book.

Once you have Charisma and Lola Santiago in play with Dr. Milan Christopher, your Lockpicks becomes a base 11 investigate action, and your standard investigates are base 6 (base 7 with Fingerprint Kit). Borrowed Time, Ace in the Hole, and Pay Day can combo for ridiculous turns and resource income. So, make sure you don't upgrade into Pay Day until you have the other 2 cards.

8 comments

Feb 24, 2019 RoscoeDaLib · 153

Because it had never occurred to me until last night - if you draw Finn's Trusty .38 and have Scavenging there is a very unique interaction between the two where you have a repetitive 2 agi (1 anything else) card to pitch over and over.

Feb 26, 2019 PureFlight · 367

Is it really worth it to use Sleight of Hand on Fingerprint Kit for a single use? I mean the kit is great but I'm not convinces a resource and a card slot is worth a single supply.

Feb 26, 2019 RoscoeDaLib · 153

Sorry, I'm confused by your question. You should use Sleight of Hand with Fingerprint Kit when you can use all 3 supply. Fingerprint Kit only returns to your hand at the end of your turn not after 1 action, and Sleight of Hand is not an action. Also, Sleight of Hand can be used on Finn's Trusty .38 in a tight spot should you need to kill something, but that should be very rare if ever. If you are still not convinced of it's value - Sleight of Hand is by no means "required", I just found it very nice in several situations for 6 clues off 1 resource.

Feb 26, 2019 PureFlight · 367

Apologies, didn't mean to be vague. Fingerprint Kit exhausts, so I don't think there is a (non-ashcan) way to ready it and get more value from the Sleight. That doesn't negate the rest of the deck's cluevering power though.

Feb 27, 2019 RoscoeDaLib · 153

Yeah sorry, 4 for 2 not 6 for 1. I'm a doofus.

Feb 27, 2019 duke_loves_biscuits · 362

I like the deck. It's very similar to how I run Finn. As above, I don't think Sleight of Hand works with Fingerprint Kit, but Double or Nothing does, and you often have lots of money to go Nova on a big check. In 4-UP, Double or Nothing often also has value helping a Guardian or similar with kill.

I think a particular call out needs to go to Sure Gamble. It's bonkers how good this card is. It's on a par with Seal of the Elder Sign, and crucially unlocks Will and Fight for Treachery defense (aka "Defense Against the Dark Arts").

Other cards I have used are Hot Streak (2) and Pickpocketing (2). Hot Streak (2) I think is much better than Pay Day, even with Borrowed Time and Ace in the Hole, though running all four is solid as well. Pickpocketing (2) is more directly analogous to the Lucky Cigarette Case. Is it worth 4XP to go from one to the other... not sure? I also think The Moon • XVIII is pretty good.

For combat, I think "zero combat cards other than the .38" (your choice above) is completely fine, and I challenge Finn players that say you must run combat. For just a toe in the combat-waters though, I think Sneak Attack / Sneak Attack (2) are both solid, and add some bite to the deck for very little investment (slot-wise and strategy-wise). Beyond that, and perhaps 1x Lupara, you're probably diluting the "Seeker Finn" concept too much. Choices here depend on your teammates and if you are "Primary Seeker", or "Secondary Seeker".

I've not tried Scavenging, as in the past I've stuck with Deduction, or any number of solid Red utility cards too numerous to list. The new Fingerprint Kit makes more of a case for Scavenging though. I'll give it a whirl.

I've also tried out High Roller, Lucky Dice and The Skeleton Key as you mention. I'm not enamored with any of them much for this deck (the dice are OK). I think there is more than enough "quality XP" with all the other choices you list before any of these.

Feb 27, 2019 RoscoeDaLib · 153

We have 1 or 2 scenarios left and I've just upgraded into Emergency Cachex2, Relic Hunter, and Lucky Dice. I've basically hit the point where I'm desperate for a viable upgrade other than just another Charisma for the campaign specific ally in my deck ---> Alejandro Vela. I might drop Unexpected Courage for The Moon • XVIII.

Mar 18, 2019 Siphon_01 · 27

Running this deck through Dunwich with a Zoey partner right now. I quite like it and the upgrades are spot on. Sitting on 24 exp after Essex. That being said, I’m not a fan of Slight of hand or Money Talks in this deck. Slight of hand I pitch more often then I use it and I’ve yet to actually use money talks. Maybe it’s the fact I have paranoia as my random weakness or that I like using streetwise all the time, but I very rarely have enough resources to make money talks useful, and it has no icons so it’s a dead card. I would definitely remove money talks if I were to start over with this deck.