Lola, Queen of the Silver Screen

Card draw simulator
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mattastrophic · 872

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This is the Lola Hayes deck which is the star of the Lola Hayes Mysteries video series, currently ongoing on YouTube.

Check out the first episode here!

Lola Hayes is perhaps the most versatile of all the available investigators, because she can use great cards from all five classes. She may be limited to Level 3, but Level 3 is the point where the game introduces very class-specific cards, meaning that Lola can dip her toes into the most iconic cards in the full cardpool.

However, her weakness, Crisis of Identity, is very scary in that it punishes having an established board and drawing it while in her most-developed role. But, looking at it another way, if a Lola player can play around her weakness, drawing it doesn't slow her down at all. No trauma, no loss of clues, no horror, her weakness does nothing to her if she isn't in a role that matches her assets.

What this means is that a Lola deck that can really leverage role-swapping and play around her weakness can be a very strong and very versatile investigator. And to get there, it's going to take some solid construction. I've had great results with this deck so far in a solo playthrough of The Dunwich Legacy as the video series shows, and I'd really like to share what I've come up with.

Deck construction: Arkham's Prima Donna

Lola's deckbuilding requirements include needing to have "packages" of seven or more cards from three different factions. Just how this requirement is satisfied will really direct how a Lola deck will play. Here, Lola is taking on the Mythos under these roles...

Starring Roles

Guardian:

Guardian is the weaponry role. The intention is to swap into Guardian when it's time for Lola to fight or when it's time to make a big test with Take the Initiative in the Mythos phase. Either way, it's likely to happen before the first action of the turn, and Lola wants to swap out of Guardian as soon as she can. Guardian also makes a good role to start the game in, because it lets her play a weapon on the first turn then swap away from Guardian, meaning that the weapon is protected from Crisis and is ready to be used when it's time to fight.

Mystic:

Mystic is the utility role, including weaponry, resource gain, a Willpower boost, and a clue-gathering event. This means that Lola will often swap into Mystic when she has a free moment, but won't stay in Mystic unless she's using David Renfield.

Survivor:

Survivor is the skill-testing and event role, and is the default role for Lola to stay in. Drawing Thin and Take Heart can provide some resources or cards during the Mythos phase when she's faced with a skill test where she's unlikely to pass anyways, and the two cards combine very well. Live and Learn is also proving to be a great card for being able to provide a virtual Unexpected Courage after drawing a token and getting a bad modifier. If she's testing at, say, one or two over the difficulty, Live and Learn lets her save on cards and try again at three or four over if she needs to. A fun trick is to combine it with Drawing Thin, Take Heart, and "Look what I found!", in order to profit from failing then try again for a success at +2.

This role also provides Act of Desperation, a great momentum play to gain resources from empty Enchanted Blades and Flashlights while dealing two damage.

Since Survivor is her "default" faction, and since Lola can take any and every Survivor card, it's helpful to consider Survivor event and skill card upgrades first.

Beyond these three Starring Roles, this deck also has an important Supporting Role:

Seeker:

Lola's four Seeker cards are intended to be played on occasion, and then she'll swap away from Seeker once they're on the table in order to protect them from Crisis. Fingerprint Kit comes in via Adaptable once the campaign starts introducing more two-per-investigator locations, or if she's in a multiplayer game. Swap out Flashlight for the Kits. The Kit may not adhere to the idea of not staying in Survivor, but its efficiency, especially when combined with Act of Desperation, is very strong.

Taboos: When in Rome

To keep up with the Taboo list, I would suggest making the following changes:

Play tips: Staying on Script

The deck construction should really guide the play of this deck. Try to end the turn in a role that Lola doesn't have any important assets in play for, which is most often Survivor. Alternatively, try to end the turn in a role matching an important asset in her hand, so that asset can be played on the following turn and immediately protected from Crisis with next turn's role swap. Always be planning ahead, because every role swap opens new possibilities and closes off others.

Take the Initiative is a very powerful card, especially in solo play. Its primary use is for swapping into Guardian before the first action of the turn in order to make an important Fight test when activating a Machete or Enchanted Blade. This within-role synergy is why this deck isn't using, for example, Inquiring Mind.

Try to make every card count. Thanks to Crisis, Lola doesn't like taking draw actions while in a role she has assets down for, so she might not have a large hand very often, but that can be made up by smart play. The exception is the Survivor role, where she isn't afraid to use Live and Learn to draw multiple cards.

Upgrades: Fashion Icon

Since Lola can take cards from any class, her upgrades can really embrace versatility and adapt to whatever group she is in, so there really isn't a set upgrade path for this deck. That being said, here are a few particularly-useful upgrades:

  • Adaptable for maximising versatility. This card even lets Lola swap Starring Roles as a campaign goes on.

  • Charisma for running multiple Allies and adding to their ability to soak damage and horror for Lola.

  • Timeworn Brand is probably the premier Lola weapon, simply because it's Neutral. This means that Lola can be in any role when activating the Brand, it's almost totally safe from Crisis of Identity, and it can be combined with skill pips from any class.

  • Magnifying Glass is a bit more flexible than the L0 version. Also, the ability to pull it back to hand does a bit to help keep it safe from Crisis.

  • Scrapper really helps Lola's survivability, especially for evasion. Evasion is this deck's worst check, so Lola can lean on Scrapper to get away from terrifying monsters.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this deck! I give plenty of additional play tips in the video series linked in the introduction, so check it out and have a look at what Arkham's most versatile investigator can do!

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