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StartWithTheName · 10149
Huge shout out to @Unitled of the fantastic Drawn to the Flame podcast for the original concept with his deck Drawing Thih Available Here
All ive really done here is tweak it, play test it and refine it a bit. I originally looked at this as a bit of janky fun but It turns out to be something of a beast. It is at least also an absolute blast to play and has some real potential for utter nonsense, just seriously effective nonsense.
It's a now a moderately refined deck thats cleared the first half of hard mode TCU paired with my Current Yorik Deck. There are likely still a few tweaks that can be made, in particular im unsure about Cornered vs another Manual Dexterity just now, but I just wanted to get it published as I dont know when i`ll get time to refine it more. It is shown here with a little xp to show the general direction/game plan of the deck long term. For a campaign legal starter drop all xp cards and add:
- 1x Fire Axe
- 2x "I've got a plan!"
- 2x Tooth of Eztli (its better than Grisly Totem (0) early campaign)
- 1x Perception
- 1x Shortcut
You will then have something like this: MinhFinity Stones (Pre Stone Age)
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (Overview/TL:DR)
A deck focused on instant draw generating assets to provide fuel for Minh`s and Grisly Totem, and exploiting Drawing Thin to both get huge numbers of charges on Ancient Stone (Damage version), and deal considerable automatic damage passively while taking other actions.
Day to day clues are obtained through boosting high with bonus clues from Deduction, Working a Hunch and Winging It recursion via Mr. "Rook". This allows Scavenging recursion on spare assets, fueling More Totem Draw, Cornered and/or reloading The Stones.
A large proportion of wild pips enable versatile test passing on any stat, clearing of The King in Yellow, and the passing of tests boosted with Drawing Thin while drawing cards to activate Ancient Stone. This more or less lets you one shot one or two 1-3hp enemies at a location from a single evade or fight test or even just kill them during the test on Track Shoes (which could even be activated actionlessly with Pathfinder) in a cocky driveby shoeing.
STEPPING STONES (Upgrades)
Once the stones are solved:
- the other "I've got a plan!" Ancient Stone (1) - 1xp, then immediately:
- Ancient Stone Damage Stones (4) - 6xp (you get the 1xp back on each stone)
- Tooth of Eztli Seeker Grisly Totem (3) x2 - 6xp
- Perception Death • XIII (1) - 1xp
- Shortcut Pathfinder (1) - 1xp
- Fire Axe Cornered (2) (after Damage Stones only) - 2xp
Later Upgrades (This is mostly speculative and untested):
- Higher Education (8) - even at the new taboo list 8xp this is likely worth it for combos with Drawing Thin.
- Deduction (2)
- Cryptic Research (4)
- Working a Hunch Deciphered Reality (5) this has the same icon advantage (see The King in Yellow section)
- Forewarned (1)
DRAWING MINH (Muligan)
Keep any of the following (in order of priority) and muligan away anything else:
- Death • XIII
- Drawing Thin
- Magnifying Glass (only 1x if you found Death • XIII)
- 1x Damage Stones (not Ancient Stone)
- Analytical Mind
This mainly sets up for early cluing and easy draw options to find more cards quickly. Note that Mr. "Rook" isnt on this list. You dont need him that early except perhaps as soak. see The King in Yellow section.
D-Rrrraaaaaww Powwweeerrr! (Setup and Deck Core Principals)
About a 1/3rd of the deck offer draw and/or cash generation. The draw obviously plays well into the standard card spam Minh schenanagans to get the most from her ability. But there are a few things to bear in mind:
Set up your draw engine as a priority Get Drawing Thin, Grisly Totem, and Analytical Mind down as a priority. Track Shoes to support the Drawing Thin (you can trigger them on the test anytime you move - Also see enemy handling section for some serious nonsense this enables). Mr. "Rook" and Eureka! help you tutor for these early game. Once you are drawing 4+ cards a turn everything else (including your weaknesses) will show up in a few turns.
You will cycle your deck several times a game I rarely do so less than 2 times. Make sure you have Mr. "Rook" down to soak the horror you take when you do so, and if playing Dunwich you`ll want to modify the deck to bring some suitable encounter protection for spoiler such as Dr. William T. Maleson or Forewarned.
You will see all assets, and early but play them wisely you can get away with loads of singletons and still be consistent due to this much draw (5 cards a turn sees 1/6 of your deck!) and Mr. "Rook". You will need to use Drawing Thin to pay for alot of the 3 cost assets here and there. Note that almost all of the assets here are either fast, or action saving in the long term, ie they offer economy/draw, free movement, free test triggers (see below), or recursion. Despite this you will still want to pace yourself in playing them. Basically if its a singleton in the deck its not an early game card and can wait. You really only want to play an asset when you are about to use it.
Once youve been through your deck, and played your assets the deck speeds up big time. You will usually end the first cycle of the deck with 5-8 cards in hand and 5-8 in play, leaving around 20 ish in the deck. At this point you are also likely drawing around 5 cards a turn including upkeep (so about a quarter of your remaining deck). These will almost all be skill cards/events (and weaknesses) as the low pip cards (the assets) are mostly in play.
Pray your basic weakness isnt Doomed or Through the Gates or similar - Yeah.... I have no solution to this. Youre going to draw these a lot. If you get doomed, try to get the following achievement: Doom yourself to death in 1 scenario. #lifegoals.
Day to day investigation is done the usual way:
Get yout basline high via Magnifying Glass & Death • XIII. This basically lets you reliably get clues off low or medium (1-3) shroud locations unsupported, then use a pips on high shrouds (4+). Note that for once Milan adds little to this as you can get enough money from Drawing Thin and you have plenty of pips spare with this much draw. But if you must add him, take Charisma rather than dropping Mr. "Rook".
Bonus Clues & Rooks Wings: Deduction, Working a Hunch and Winging It provide us with bonus clues. Note that Deduction and Winging It also add a 1 skill point advantage to the test letting you cover 4 shroud locations easily. You can get Winging It into the discard by simply playing it on any investigate action (you have enough money from Drawing Thin), or let it discard by over drawing or using Cornered. Notice how once youre deck is below 9 cards, that anytime you shuffle Winging It into the deck after playing it from the discard, it will always be in reach of Mr. "Rook". And with Cornered you can keep dropping it into the bin while putting the other Winging It back into the deck...
You can then use this solid investigation baseline to fuel other deck functions:
Totem Recall: With high , you will naturally exceed by 2 for Scavenging every so often (basically when you draw a 0, -1 or ). This can be forced by spending a card to just boost high if needed to get back an item you suddenly need. While these assets typically only have 1 pip, between Grisly Totem, your ability, and Analytical Mind you can then turn any recalled item into a 3 pip card, which lets you draw 2 more cards, and probably trigger Scavenging again next turn. This is a great use for the second copy of Magnifying Glass once Ancient Stone is down - or the second copy of Ancient Stone which has pips giving you a potential +4.
Cornered neutralises Drawing Thin. It gives you exactly 2 boost compensate for the 2 boost to the test strength. Now that item you Scavenged, or that spare Winging It can be 2 resources or a card draw without diminishing your odds of passing, and you can recur these as described above.
Higher Education more than neitralises Drawing Thin. Pay 1 into higher ed, get 2 back (or a card).... Even at the new taboo list price of 8xp this is likely worth the investment once the (core of the deck is in place)
HIGH AND MIGHTY (Getting Big Stones)
Plan to identify the Ancient Stone towards the end of your first cycle of your deck or later to ensure you have both Drawing Thin in play. These contribute to the test strength for determining "X" - the number of uses your Damage Stones will have:
You Want "X" Nice and High You can find a 4 or 5 shroud location on most maps easily. Use both Drawing Thins to boost the shroud to 8 or 9, which is 11 or 12 with the +3 from the Stone themselves. Keep an eye open for Obscuring Fog which can turn a 2 or 3 into a 4 or 5 or take a 4/5 even higher. You can also see if a friend can give you a Double or Nothing. Then just throw the kitchen sink worth of pips at the test like you would for The King in Yellow (in fact this might be a good time to clear it, remember you can probably find the thing with Mr. "Rook"). 2x Rise to the Occasion can add 6 , Inquiring Mind can do the same if a clue is there, you can get 2 more from Grisly Totem and your , or two more per Unexpected Courage or Working a Hunch. Or if you have Higher Education you can just money bomb the test. Note you get the cash and card from Drawing Thin before the test so they are available to spend/commit in time.
Clues on the Location are Optional but Nice. You can still investigate a location without any clues on it. Obviously you are getting a second clue from the Ancient Stone so its nice to have the benefit, but the main advantage of this is getting the option to use Inquiring Mind to go really high.
A STONE COLD KILLER (Enemy Handling)
Pre Stone Age
Prior to getting the Damage Stones you wont be such a bad ass Until at least sc 3 you need to rely on Fire Axe and "I've got a plan!" (see upgrade path) for kills. This is fine. you cycle your deck that fast "I've got a plan!" will come back, and Fire Axe can be combo`d with Drawing Thin at the start of each swing to give you 6 and 2 damage a few actions a turn before you even add any pips. Its much slower than the stones and a massive resource hog, so you wont be very efficient, but it's enough to see off an enemy at a time.
Or you can just evade. Spend any of the wild pip cards, the Manual Dexterity or Eureka!, Pump it high with Grisly Totem and your as needed, Track Shoes also help, and you can reliably get to 6 quite easilly. You may need to use Drawing Thin on 2 or 3 enemies if you need to use Rise to the Occasion in this instance.
On to the fun Stuff!
You can have up to 6 cards in play that let you draw a card on demand and deal damage via the Stones without taking an attack of opportunity:
- Analytical Mind by committing exactly 1 card to a test
- Drawing Thin (Up to 2 in play) which are usable on any test.
- Mr. "Rook" - can be fired as a fast action (note if you draw a weakness you actually drew 2 cards for the purposes of Ancient Stones),
- Seeker Totem (Up to 2 with Relic Hunter). Note that this is the only one that only draws if you pass the test.
You can also get bonus draw from:
Notice that most of these draw single cards allowing you to exactly match the HP of an enemy when using your Damage Stones without wasting extra charges). There are a few options and tips for dealing damage:
Fight/Evade or Parley Just pick whatever doesnt risk an attack from retaliate or alert. You dont necessarily need to pass the test unless you are relying on draw from Grisly Totem to deal the damage. Note that you have an pip from Track Shoes, and you can draw from Manual Dexterity or Eureka! making evasion more useful in most cases.
Retali-LATE! You can initiate an attack on an enemy with retaliate (or evade vs an alert enemy), tigger Drawing Thin to draw BEFORE the test, killing the enemy before its keywords activate. The test then fizzles as the enemy is dead but i think you still need to draw a token risking token effects. Or at least thats how ive been playing it, certainly i have checked that the retaliate/alert can be mitigated.
Engaged with 2 or 3 enemies? - Evade one kill the others Just evade the one with the highest HP, then split the draw damage over the other one(s). For one action, you are now free of all of them.
Aloof enemies can be killed by investigating or natural draw. They are an enemy at your location. You can just get on with getting the clues and fire the draw tools while you do so. Note that the card you draw in upkeep counts as a draw so it can snipe a 1hp aloof if needed. (Im looking at you Whippoorwills!).
Drive By! Track Shoes let you move into a location (possibly for free with Pathfinder) then initiate an test to attempt to move again. This allows you to fire Drawing Thin, Analytical Mind, or Mr. "Rook" in a window mid test to kill an enemy off before it even engages you. For the most part you dont care about failing the test, but if you want to move as well, you can just throw enough pips into the test to pass, which also makes Grisly Totem/Manual Dexterity or Eureka! possible in the test instead or as well as of Drawing Thin. Notice that with Pathfinder this could let you move to a connecting location, kill a hunter thats about to jump you, and move back to where you were without spending an action. Want to be even cockier? play Working a Hunch as you pass through :) im yet to do this but its funny.
Dont forget to reload you have 2 sets of stones, so you can over write them. You can also Scavenge them back to hand. Note that if the second set didnt show somehow (despite Mr. "Rook"), you can use Magnifying Glass (which is fast) to discard an empty stone from play ready to be Scavenged. Still you wont find your doing this that often if you have 10+ charges on it, thats 3 fairly big enemies or a load of smaller ones per stone.
You can actually dual wield stones if needed which means 1 card drawn can deal 2 damage, one from each stone. How would you like to walk into a room with a boss, fire 2 Drawing Thin, 2 Grisly Totem, Mr. "Rook", and some Manual Dexterity/Eureka!s and deal 10 - 16 damage from Track Shoes.. then move back out again, without even engaging it, and entirely ignoring its base or , retaliate or alert skills? You can then play a Magnifying Glass to discard one of the stones, investigate your location to Scavenge it back and play it over the other stones so they're ready to be Scavenged back first action next turn... and repeat...
DRAWING KING (Dealing with The King in Yellow)
You are drawing through your deck multiple times a game, so you will see this a lot. Almost all of the skill cards have multiple wild icons. Plus Grisly Totem and your can add 2 more of any type neutering the 6 icon requirement. Now all you need to do is find 3 matching cards, which shouldn't be hard with all that draw. A few notes though:
Use Drawing Thin - why not, since you are going to be going obscenely high on the test anyway. These also allow you to play Rise to the Occasion if you couldn't before. Note also that you get the card from Drawing Thin BEFORE you take the test, so if its better than what you planned to spend, you can actually commit it to the test.
Dont use Mr. "Rook" to dig 9 cards deep until you can clear The King in Yellow. A little obvious perhaps, but worth stating this. Mr. "Rook" will force you to draw it. Try to have at least 2 matched cards in hand that you dont mind wasting on The King before you do this, you can find the 3rd with Mr. "Rook" if needed.
Cornered doesnt count, you discarded the card, you didnt commit it so it doesnt count towards the 3 cards spent.
Working a Hunch has icons. This was chosen specifically to cover The King in Yellow after early test runs struggled a little at times. It is one of several events available that can do this ("Look what I found!" for example is another that could be subbed in easily and still have other uses), but it's a good one to wait to play after you clear The King in Yellow each cycle just to make sure you have options.