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

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Joe Diamond - P.I.Staker (Hard Mode) - Now Improved! 85 70 17 1.0
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bits-in-a-ghoul-tummy · 30

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

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:

Working a Hunch Scene of the Crime Evidence! (or Deciphered Reality with xp) No Stone Unturned (or No Stone Unturned (5) with xp) Preposterous Sketches (or Cryptic Research with xp) 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.



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


Grow Beard Higher Education (3) - Vital for encounter deck protection (see below) and opens up deck space for more progressive tools Charisma - Allows Beat Cop and Dr. Milan Christopher to be in play simultaneously Flashlight (or surrogates) Death • XIII Inquiring Mind Pathfinder - Crucial for positioning (See Clues Section), and once you have Higher Education for cover, you are less concerned about skill pips. Machetes Timeworn Brands (5) - Equivalent to Machete passive +1 from a Beat Cop in one card. The tempo advantage of this huge, replacing a previous two card combo with a single tutorable card. Also adds more burst damage from the once per game exhaust action. 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.




  • You're off the Fkin' Chain!... .

Priorities: - keep,

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

Milan > Death • XIII > Mag Glass. For Combat: All Eureka!s, 1x Cop and 1x weapon,

Brand > Machete > Colt 1911s > .45 Automatic. 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.



  • What's a matter, you got brain freeze?
  • No, I've got brainwave. .

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.

Working a Hunch Scene of the Crime Evidence! - (or Deciphered Reality with xp) No Stone Unturned - (or No Stone Unturned (5) with xp) Preposterous Sketches - (or Cryptic Research with xp) 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.



  • Hey biggun'. Playtime's over. .

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.



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

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



  • 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 .

The priorities:

Get to +2 on investigations asap via some combination of Milan, Magnifying Glass and Death • XIII (hence the mulligan). 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.



  • What's it like being stabbed?
  • It was the single most painful experience of my life
  • ... What's the second most painful?" .

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.