Jenny "Campaign-Breaker" Barnes

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Jenny Barnes for coop with clue hound 1 1 0 1.0
Jenny: She's Got Your Number 2 1 0 1.0
Jenny Barnes SOLO 1 0 0 1.0
"Bitch Better Have My Money" 0 0 0 1.0
Jenny Barnes - Hour of the Huntress 6 4 5 1.0
Operation: Jenny carries Jim through Dunwich 0 0 0 1.0
Jenny "The Bank" Barnes (3-players) 0 0 0 1.0
Jenny "First Try" Barnes 0 0 0 1.0
Jenny "Round Two" Barnes 0 0 0 2.0
Jenny Toolbox 0 0 0 1.0
Jenny Toolbox 0 0 0 2.0
Jenny Toolbox 0 0 0 3.0
Jenny Toolbox 0 0 0 4.0
Jenny "Round Two" Barnes - take 3 0 0 0 3.0
Jenny Toolbox 0 0 0 5.0
Jenny Toolbox 0 0 0 6.0
Jenny Toolbox 0 0 0 7.0

ADHiDef · 1388

NO SPOILERS!!!!

She's fiery. She's confident. She's resourceful. She's Jenny Barnes, and she will break your campaign.

I wanted to create a deck that could survive the riggers of the full campaign in solo mode. I had no idea just how well it would perform. It not only crushes in the solo campaign (I've played through Blood on the Alter plus the two side-scenarios), but it also becomes the bedrock of clutch play in multiplayer campaign. I hope you try out the deck, and I look forward to your comments.

Why Jenny?

My overall strategy for this deck was to try and create consistency in a variety of situations. The character class system (combined with deck building restrictions) was intentionally designed to impose efficiency limitations on players – punishing players who ignore their weaknesses and rewarding players for collaborating their strengths (i.e. No one should be good at everything!). However, this is where JB stands out, and why I believe she breaks the game. Stat-wise, JB doesn't posses any particular strength, but with 3's across the board she has no particular weakness either. 8 health and 7 sanity to boot. The Rogue class does, however, excel at mobility: escaping/exhausting enemies and revealing locations to progress the game. Unlike "Skids" O'Toole, she has access to L0 Mystic, Seeker, Survivor, AND Guardian cards. At first glance, Searching for Izzie looks like one of the more problematic of the long-term weaknesses, but of all the character-specific weaknesses, it is actually one of the most manageable. More importantly, Searching for Izzy doesn't directly interfere with your ability to favorably resolve the scenario like Cover Up or Rex's Curse do. Rogue cards like Liquid Courage are ready to help if you do get into Izzy trouble.

Key Cards and The Strategy

Your end goal is to get these cards on the table (mulligan if you don't see at least 1 them): Arcane Studies, Hard Knocks, and Leo De Luca. Can you see it now? Most investigators simply cannot afford (or even have access to) the absolutely broken combination of Hard Knocks and Arcane Studies. Lone Wolf combined with JB's resource ability kicks the combination into overdrive. Lone Wolf is exponentially more powerful in solo-mode, but even in multiplayer, your mission is to reach out into new locations and boldly face new threats head-on, so Lone Wolf is still worth getting out asap. Leo De Luca pushes JB over the edge, transforming you into the most versatile, most productive player in the game. LDL helps you deal with troublesome action penalties like Chronophobia and Searching for Izzie too.

Very early scenarios: "Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge"

The first scenario you play will likely be your most challenging, because you won't have access to extremely important Rogue cards for the long-term success of this deck like upgraded Switchblades. Use your agility and bob and weave enemies while building up resources, and strike only when you're sure it will count.

I STRONGLY recommend you spend the experience needed to purchase Adaptable and upgrade both Knives into 2x L2 Switchblades. Until then, Prepared for the Worst will help you get Jenny's Twin .45s out consistently. Dynamite Blast and Backstab don't require hand slots to deal big damage, and Bandolier is purely a late game card to help you keep Flashlight or any other important hand slot cards on the table without having to ditch your Twin .45's (it can also take a point of damage if needed).

Lastly, you're skill cards help you in the early game with card draw as much as they ease the burden that HK and AS put on your resource supply.

Upgrade Advice -- When the fourth scenario begins, if you have purchased the following cards, then you are golden: 1x Adaptable; 2x L2 Switchblade; 1x Cat Burglar; and 1x Charisma.

45 comments

Apr 24, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

What do you actually swap using Adaptable? Skill cards mostly? The deck seems fairly tight; to the point you wouldn't swap too many things around between scenarios.

Apr 24, 2017 ADHiDef · 1388

Good question. As the campaign progresses you will find yourself stronger in some areas than others, so you're right about the Skill cards, but Adaptable gives you that flexibility to choose. I would avoid swapping out any of the out-of-class cards though.

However, the main reason is this: With 3XP, Adaptable let's you swap out both Knives for 2x L0 Switchblades, which you then immediately upgrade into 2x L2 Switchblades all in one go. L2 Switchblade is a great card, but L0 Switchblade is just not good enough to back up Jenny's .45's in this deck. For one more XP, Adaptable let's you get around having to play the L0 Switchblades on your way to getting L2 Switchblades.

Apr 24, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

I hadn't even considered the Knife->Switchblade thing, but the deckbuilding rules don't prevent you from just outright replacing a card by buying another, though. There's no rule saying you need to have a lower level card of the same title to upgrade; just that, as an option, you can upgrade a card by paying the difference... which is irrelevant currently because cards only have a single upgrade as of right now, but I assume it's for future proofing.

Relevant passages from the rulebook:

"The deck-size requirement must also be maintained, so that for each (nonpermanent) card purchased and added to a deck, a different card is removed from the deck."

"Each card costs experience equal to the card’s level, to a minimum of 1 (purchasing a level zero card still costs 1 experience)."

So, what Adaptability ULTIMATELY lets you do is swap out level 0 cards without spending XP - which, for 1 XP, is STILL useful to swap out skill cards as needed, but isn't necessary for 'finishing' the deck.

Apr 24, 2017 Sechen · 47

As long as you're already buying Adaptable, have you considered spending 3xp to upgrade your Arcane Studies+Hard Knocks combo to Physical Training+Streetwise? The fact that streetwise is permanent is awesome, you don't need to find or play it, and with adaptable you can switch arcane studies for physical training without paying a penalty.

Apr 24, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

That's actually a legit idea, Sechen. I'm going to try that in my personal playthrough of this deck. Jenny prints money, so the additional cost on Streetwise pumps is a nonissue.

Apr 24, 2017 ADHiDef · 1388

All good points except the discount feature is not irrelevant since L0 cards are considered to have a minimum cost of 1XP. Since the L2 Switchblade costs two points of experience, and the L0 Switchblade has a minimum cost of one point of experience, you would only need to spend 1XP to swap it out. I've actually submitted a request to this site's feedback address so that they fix this in their deckbuilder.

To directly swap the Knives for L2 Switchblades, you would need to spend a total of 4XP as opposed to the Adaptable method which costs a total of 3XP and gives you the flexibility and future proofing you mentioned. Either way, I'd just make sure you have at least one L2 Switchblade after the first scenario.

Apr 24, 2017 Sechen · 47

I think you may be doing the upgrade costs wrong. It's true that without adaptable it would cost 1 xp to turn a knife into a L0 switchblade, but it costs the same to go from a L0 switchblade to a L2 switchblade as to go from a Knife to a L2 Switchblade. Relevent rules text:

"When purchasing a higher level version of a card with the same title, the investigator may choose to “upgrade” that card by paying only the difference in experience (to a minimum of 1) between the two cards and removing the lower level version of the card from his or her deck"

The difference in XP between a L2 and a L0 switchblade is 2, so getting 2 L2 switchblades is going to cost you 4 no matter how you do it.

Apr 24, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

How does Adaptable give you that XP discount on Switchblades? The way I'm looking at it is this:

Start with Knife (0 xp) Buy Switchblade2 (2xp) Remove Knife as per deckbuilding requirements.

With Adaptable, the cost seems to be an additional xp to slot Adaptable:

Start with Knife (0xp) Buy Adaptable (1xp) Swap Knife0 with Switchblade0 (0xp) Upgrade Switchblade0 to Switchblade2 (2xp)

Without Adaptable, the second method would require 1xp for each Knife switched to Switchblade0 first, which would be valid of a concern if the deckbuilding constraints required you had the earlier level version of an item to upgrade it. Since the rules do not specify this requirement, you're actually 'wasting' 1xp on Adaptable (if you aren't going to use it for something like what Sechen already mentioned.)

Apr 24, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

And Sechen's got it covered =P

Apr 24, 2017 ADHiDef · 1388

L0 cards are considered to have a minimum cost of 1XP

Apr 24, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

Right, but you're never putting in Switchblade0. You're going straight to Switchblade2. That 1xp cost to swap in a level 0 card is irrelevant here.

Apr 24, 2017 Sechen · 47

Not quite. The rules are slightly ambiguous about this, but it was confirmed explicitly by the designer that, while it costs a minimum of 1 xp to change one card to another, the card's xp value is just the number of pips.

twitter.com

Apr 24, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

To again illustrate, the upgrade path isn't Knife->Switchblade0->Switchblade2. It's a straight up Knife->Switchblade2. That only costs the 2 pips printed on the card. There's no rule stating that you need the lower level version to upgrade.

Apr 24, 2017 ADHiDef · 1388

I don't see that anywhere in the FAQ. Would you please direct me to the designer's comments on this?

Also, the Streetwise+Physical Training combo is the correct and intended path to take. I would personally prioritize Charisma and Cat Burglar for the second round of XP spend. These cards proactively increase your survivability. Great discussion!

Apr 24, 2017 TipsyGamer · 11

If you're buying Adaptable anyway, it might be worth starting with 2x Machete and swapping those off-class cards out once you can afford the L2 Switchblades. Not sure which of the off-class cards you cut to make it work til then... Bandolier & Dynamite perhaps? It's a shame not to have access to weapons with reliable +damage

Apr 24, 2017 ADHiDef · 1388

Just saw the twitter link. my bad. Thanks!

Apr 24, 2017 ADHiDef · 1388

@TipsyGamerWhatever you do, do not cut Dynamite Blast. It's guaranteed slot-less damage. Prepared for the Worst is a life saver and Arcane Studies is mandatory, so Bandolier is what you should cut if you wanted to make room for a different out of class card.

Apr 24, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

After playing with the deck some, it does present one weakness: It's slow to set up, even after being upgraded.

I propose a slight change in upgrade path:

  1. Streetwise (3xp)
  2. Adaptable (1xp)
  3. Swap 2x Knife for 2x Switchblade (4xp)
  4. Charisma (3xp)
  5. Swap 1x Hard Knocks for 1x Cat Burglar (1xp)

That's 12xp - very doable within two scenarios.

The first scenario break (when you buy Adaptable,) I propose swapping 2x Arcane Studies for 2x Physical Training.

The second scenario break (when you buy Charisma,) I propose swapping the remaining Hard Knocks and Elusive for 2x Pickpocketing.

Pickpocketing seems like it would help with one of Jenny's biggest issues: her set-up speed. It has natural synergy with Cat Burglar and it isn't unique, so you can have both of them up at the same time. Since the rules for reactive abilities specify each ability, rather than one reaction per window, you get two cards if both Pickpocketings are up. With Leo De Luca feeding you actions, it won't be too bad to set this up either.

After that, upgraded Emergency Cache and swapping out Liquid Courage for Elder Sign Amulet seem to be pretty obvious upgrades. Upgrading Leo De Luca is also probably worth it for efficiency, but only when you run out of things to buy. Jenny prints money. The discount is nice, but hardly necessary.

Apr 25, 2017 pepso · 1

AFAIK Cat Burglar doesn't evade, just disengage. Thus, no reaction triggers from Pickpocketing.

Apr 25, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

Hm. Yeah, the wording doesn't mention evasion at all. You're likely right on this one, although it's probably worth asking on Twitter. I wonder what you'd grab instead, though. 2x Double or Nothing, perhaps?

Apr 25, 2017 pepso · 1

I actually run 2x Double or Nothing in my Jenny deck which is similar to this one and it has been working out really nicely.

I have 1 copy of Pickpocketing even without Cat Burglar because most of the time it's pretty easy to evade with boosters anyways, but my mobility suffers a bit (I don't even have Elusive).

Apr 25, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

What do you do about the fairly long start up? I noticed in Masks that it cut into my time pretty hardcore.

Apr 25, 2017 pepso · 1

Oh yeah, I probably wouldn't play that version in a solo game. I usually play 4P, so others can pick up the slack for me until I get my stuff up and running.

Just today I managed to pull off 5 supply Jenny's Twin .45s and Contraband next round in Extracurricular Activities so that was pretty awesome, even if a bit slow.

Of course my Jenny's Twin .45s got eaten next mythos phase by Pushed into the Beyond because this is Arkham Horror and I almost flipped the table, but if you can make it work, she's a killing and test-breaking machine.

Apr 25, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

Cthulhu

Nothing says 'get shit on, kiddo' like this token.

Apr 25, 2017 FBones · 5181

I'd be curious what the results were of trying to play this deck on Hard.

Apr 25, 2017 ADHiDef · 1388

I haven't tried her out in solo on Hard yet, but I think she would still fare better than most (if not all) other investigators would. I'm consistently able to buff her to beat -3's, and as the late game rears its ugly head, I've positioned myself to beat -4's on those clutch final tests. In Hard mode, you have to contend with -5's or worse depending on the scenario. I imagine that getting to Streetwise+Physical Training combo should be your top priority. I would also ditch the Burglary for another copy of Backstab.

In multiplayer hard mode, your friends will only be leaning on your consistency even more. I'll post my thoughts when I get to hard mode , but I'd love it for someone to post their thoughts on their own hard mode experience with her. Good Luck, Investigators!

Apr 25, 2017 FBones · 5181

You say in the early scenarios, Jenny should be avoiding combat. What is your general strategy in later ones?

I'm generally skeptical of any claim that Jenny is broken on hard, or even that she is at the top of the list. Among those of us who play on Hard [or Expert] all the time, Jenny is considered in the "barely playable" category.

Agnes, Daisy, Rex, and Zoey are considered the top tier, with Roland & Pete a half-step behind (Roland can be cash-strapped, and Pete is very fragile). Then Jim and Jenny are best described as "playable." Below those are Wendy, and then at the bottom of the list is Skids, who is extremely weak on hard because it is basically impossible to consistently use Burglary with his cards.

Maybe I'll give your deck a go sometime and report, but I'd be curious to hear of anyone else's results. The addition of Streetwise is particularly useful for Jenny as it helps her investigate even when her hands are full, but I just gotta say that the consensus is that Jenny is pretty middle-of-the-road, or a tad below average.

Apr 25, 2017 Trilkin · 1215

I hate to add to FBones' cynicism, but I played with this deck some more in a few more scenarios, replaying older ones with a few variations (Kukri instead of Knives, as an example) and honestly, I'm a bit underwhelmed - even on Normal. The deck itself really isn't the problem, but it's more the fact that rogues in general have a pretty lengthy wind up time. Jenny in particular has the dubious honor of having mediocre stats all around. Even in the core campaign, her base stats only break even with most skill checks, so she is reliant on pumps of some sort for just about everything she does.

This becomes less of an issue once you see more cards, but your reliance on seeing, and playing way too many cards to even get Jenny operable definitely makes you push your time limits. It's especially obvious in the core campaign where the encounter cards LOVE to flood you with Doom counters. Still, just to have Jenny operable, you need a weapon, and both talent cards at bare minimum. It's a bit easier once you get Streetwise, but you're putting WAY too much reliance on your mulligan to get you the things you need early. When you're soloing, the early game is honestly the most crucial part since there is nobody there to help bail you out of a run of bad luck. Quite frankly, you need to be lucky on the draw or Jenny ends up seeming defenseless.

Where this deck really shines is co-op with a self-reliant build; probably out of Guardian or Mystic. The late game strength Jenny can bring is enormous, but you sacrifice early game speed to get there which a partner can cover while you're setting up.

Apr 26, 2017 ADHiDef · 1388

@FBones, I can tell you’re coming at this from a multiplayer mindset, because you say Rex is top tier. In solo mode Rex is virtually unplayable. Sincerely, post your solo Rex deck if you can get through Midnight Masks on Standard while earning at least half the available XP and then going on to successfully resolve Devourer Below. I just don’t see how it’s possible with the current card pool. Miskatonic Museum is another one that would absolutely eat him alive. Regarding early vs later scenario strategy: Streetwise + Personal Training was always an end goal, but I didn’t purchase that combo until after Carnevale of Horrors and right before Blood on the Altar. Hard Knocks and Arcane Studies were just that good to me. In the early scenarios, your focus should be on getting: 2x L2 Switchblades, 1x Cat Burglar, and 1x Charisma. You should have no problem getting that by the end of Core Set Campaign. But really, once you have the L2 Switchblades, you shouldn’t be feeling the need to run from fights. And with Cat Burglar, you should become even more confident about engaging enemies, because you can disengage AND move for only one action. Plus, Backstab and Dynamite Blast are your heavy hitters, when you need to take down the big nasties. In solo mode, I find that the more Allies you can get on the table the better off you are. Allies are essential in the solo campaign, they buff stats and soak up horror/damage, so you should purchase the second Charisma sooner rather than later.

@Trilkin. First, thank you for taking the time to try out the deck! I personally find the deck fast enough to be effective, but I agree with you that the deck is slow and would benefit from more card draw. 7 of the 9 skill cards draw you a card if you’re successful. Leo De Luca helps with card draw too, but that’s not really what I’ve gotten very little out of Burglary, so I think it would make a great target for slotting in a Pickpocketing. I keep going back and forth on whether to drop Bandolier to make room for Rabbit's Foot.

Apr 26, 2017 FBones · 5181

For solo play the best investigators are Zoey, Roland, Agnes [who can suffer from card inconsistency more than others], and Pete.

One issue of note: Switchblade is going to be much less useful on Hard because it will not be landing the extra damage as often.

May 01, 2017 AkaanQ · 625

@ADHiDef You should give Rex another try, he really is that powerful even in true solo mode. He can rush the act deck before the agenda and encounter decks throw anything at him. When playing the Dunwich campaign with Rex solo, House Always Wins is the only scenario giving me troubles (because clues cannot be discovered in the traditional way during act 1). (Beware, spoilers ahead) On Extracurricular Activity, I reliably defeat the Experiment and earn 4XP. In the Miskatonic Museum, I keep evading the Horror and empty all locations to earn the 5XP. In the Essex County Express, I once managed to finish the scenario in only five turns !

May 23, 2017 FBones · 5181

I tried Jenny on Hard and even if with all her economy, she is no "campaign breaker." I paired her up with Agnes (one of the strongest investigators and a reasonable match since neither is a dedicated clue-gatherer.

Jenny really lacks efficient clue-finding on Hard---even with Streetwise. I played her and Agnes in the Casino [The House Always Wins] first and used the XP to buy Streetwise, Adaptable and Hired Muscle, switched out some cards using Adaptable to adjust for the presence of Streetwise, and took on Extracurricular Activity. My conclusion is there are just too many shroud 3 and shroud 4 locations for her to keep up her end of the clue-gathering burden on Hard Difficulty---and she definitely is not anywhere close to "broken".... even with Streetwise to help her get clues. Paying 2 resources to reliably get each clue is not sustainable, especially if she wants to save up for Leo or her pistols.

I also found that she is a bit fragile, not having efficient means to heal damage on hard. One issue is that she wants to get Leo out early, but you don't want to use Leo as a damage soak.

Of course, if you play the scenario as though you already know all the shrouds and send her to the easy locations to investigate, it would probably work out, but that is essentially cheating.

I'm going to test out a new configuration that might make her more playable opposite Agnes, but it is quite different from the one proposed here.

May 23, 2017 FBones · 5181

Hmmm... I have been playing without flashlight, mostly because it is slow and Jenny needs both hands for her pistols. I think I was biased from a mathematical analysis I did of Jim. It turns out that [on Hard], flashlight is nearly useless for Jim, but the chaos token probabilities shift when you move away from Jim because you no longer have skulls set to 0.

I'm going to try again with flashlights.

Jul 10, 2017 sodiumbrella · 1

Soo, no one has mentioned yet that Lone Wolf is limited to one per investigator and this deck is using 2? Is there something I am missing?

Jul 10, 2017 FBones · 5181

@sodiumbrella, the "Limit one per investigator" refers to how many can be in play at once. (I agree it is not clear).

Jul 10, 2017 sodiumbrella · 1

@FBonesAh, makes sense. Thanks!

Feb 20, 2018 Fenrirgarm · 3

Since you have only 3 weapons, I think Bandolier could be exchanged with Scavenging, that way if you run out of charges (in your Jenny's Twin .45s, yo can discardit playing other hand slot and recover it later.

Mar 15, 2018 vincentlcvz · 1

Hello how could you begin with Leo de Luca in the deck construction as it is a forbidden card? Jenny can start the game with 0 to 5 level card, Leo is a lvl 6. Thank you

Mar 15, 2018 vincentlcvz · 1

in fact, this deck does not follow the deck construction rules at all :( Is there a rules that i missed?

Mar 15, 2018 Sechen · 47

The level refers to the number of pips under the cost, which is zero or 1 for leo depending on the version. 6 is the cost in resources, not the level.

Mar 11, 2019 Fewzz · 1

This deck is old, any chance you would do a update on it?

Mar 19, 2019 Tiltowait · 14

+1 for ^^Fewzz's comment. We are playing a campaign and even assuming Jenny is generating 3 resources a turn, have an effective 6 rating means you fail most of the time.

Mar 19, 2019 Tiltowait · 14

Actually I should add we are running characters who only test at a +4 or more and we still fail 75% of the time...by the second scenario of a campaign.

May 06, 2019 carl67lp · 1

I'm still working through the subtleties of the game, and deckbuilding in particular, so forgive my ignorance: Why start with two knives, to be upgraded to switchblades, when you could just start with the switchblades in the first place?

May 06, 2019 FBones · 5181

@carl67lp, The level 0 switchblades suck. Knives are better because you can make good use of them by throwing them once you have something better to get out.