Do it all Preston

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
Updated - Nervous Wrecking Machine ENCORE (Hard Mode) 204 171 16 1.0
Inspiration for
The Preston, the Mammonite Utility Tank 2 0 3 1.0
Do it all Preston, my way 0 0 3 1.0
Trading Places - Preston Fairmont (Dark Horse) (solo/MP) 19 12 25 1.0
Do it all Preston 0 0 0 1.0
Money, Money, Money 4 2 0 1.0
Preston Solo 0 0 0 1.0
Yet another 1% trying to buy off the mythos 0 0 0 1.0

masomase · 727

Do it all Preston - version 1.1

A Preston Deck that seeks to answer the question - can the millionaire do everything? My answer is... I'm gonna Trial by Fire with a little help from my friends (Lola Santiago and Leo De Luca)!



The deck is shown here without Trial by Fire as arkhamdb doesn't yet know that it has been released. For the correct deck simply swap:

This is an all-rounder Preston deck that is a consistent damage-dealer and pulls its fair share of clues. Just as importantly, it's extremely fun. As StartWithTheName has pointed out in the extremely fun Yorick deck that inspired this one – you play the game to have fun, right? This deck is great fun to play.

The deck has cleared TCU currently released and the Core Campaign with excellent success in two player, standard. It has also completed an extremely successful solo run through the Core Campaign. I'll seek to refine and add improvements and I am very interested in suggestions.

The answer I have arrived at for turning Preston from a man of measly 1s into a utility man who does whatever is needed is as follows:


Update 1.1: 26.07.19

Update following successful solo run through TNoTZ. Note: core deck remains the same

  • Added ‘Solo’ section to take account of TNoTZ solo run.
  • Updated upgrade section with more information. Intel Report should be retained over Look What I Found! even with Lola in the deck due to general flexibility and Preston's wealth.
  • Added detail to early game section.



Throw away any card that doesn't say Fire Axe, Leo De Luca or Dig Deep.

Early game, you want to find those cards (later also Lola) and get them down. This deck plays a bit like an inverse Ashcan Pete deck. Whereas Duke is ready to get to work right away, Preston starts out very vulnerable to everything, but most especially enemies.

If you haven’t found these cards in your opening hand then Leo De Luca, Take Heart and Drawing Thin are there to draw you into these enemy and treachery solutions. More than is the case for other investigators and even more in solo you face the risk of being pinned down by an enemy with no way of getting out. So do not be afraid to spend a chunk of time drawing cards early to get key pieces in play - you'll more than make up for time spent later, trust me. Still play well of course – think about what you can do for the team and who could help you if you’re in trouble, play other assets or events that will be helpful and take money off your inheritance when appropriate (more below). Trial by Fire, Cunning Distraction, Rise to the Occasion and in solo Small Favor provide you with ‘in a pinch’ enemy solutions.


Later in the game you become a powerhouse of efficiency who can more than make up for a potential slow start (and often your start isn’t that slow if you’ve had a bit of luck).

If you have your Leo De Luca, Fire Axe, Dig Deep, Lola Santiago, Drawing Thin and Track Shoes down you’ll hit a kind of turbo mode and have turns like this:

Mythos Phase: fail an inconsequential treachery for 4 extra resources.

Investigation Phase. Grab a clue for some of your resources, Boost to move two locations for a single action, Buy two clues from your location. Wonder how you possibly have two actions remaining.

Obviously that's a lot of cards to draw and play but the point is (1) you have a lot of draw and actions and resources for drawing and playing cards, and (2) you don't actually need all of these cards down to be very efficient.

KNOW WHEN TO HOLD 'EM, KNOW WHEN TO FOLD 'EM ( ability and managing your resource pool)

Some Preston decks want you to stockpile your resources using the action on your Family Inheritance as much as possible. Others want you to spend all your resources each turn.

Both are valid approaches with pros and cons. The former requires a regular use of an additional action and makes damage dealing harder as you won't be able to make good use of the hugely valuable +2 per resource boost and +1 damage from Preston's 'second signature card' Fire Axe. The latter relies on having a lot of soak for treachery protection and simply accepts you will fail treacheries - and sometimes that can be a big problem.

This deck is about flexibility and adapting to the situation. It gives you plenty of tools to happily spend your resources on each turn (Lola Santiago, Leo De Luca, Intel Report, Cunning Distraction). It also gives you a reliable attack (Fire Axe and evade (Dig Deep) option for sinking your resources into.

But if don't need or want to spend your resources, you can stockpile them to protect against or treacheries.

How often you want to use the on Family Inheritance is largely up to you but I've found it can be very powerful.

Generally if you'll end your turn with 2 or more resources on your inheritance it's worth considering stockpiling. With three resources at the end of the round Fire Axe will be still ready if you draw an enemy, and you'll have encounter protection from or tests, especially if you hold Dark Horse (3 resource gets you to or 5) or Rise to the Occasion. Even having more resources than 3 on Preston is generally not a problem for your Fire Axe. In the worst case scenario (a 2 or 4 health enemy pops up in the encounter phase (odd health enemies aren't a problem)) and you have a bunch of resources on Preston, you can take either a +6 fight or an evade action pumping your (and potentially Drawing Thin if you don't care about the result) and you'll be back to swinging for two damage.

On the whole Drawing Thin and Take Heart are huge in this deck. There are plenty of ways to spend your money and these get you more resources or draw you the cards you need to set up.

WE'RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER SOAK: Soak & encounter card protection

Knowing how much soak to include is a bit tricky - certainly not as much as other decks which accept that you'll routinely fail will tests. I found little trouble with fairly regular boosts to willpower from Dig Deep. You also have your - in a pinch cancel for when there's a terrible effect and you have no resources - in You handle this one!. You also have a few different soak tools in the form of a single Cherished Keepsake, Perseverance (which I like, but if you prefer a second keepsake you could you have it) and the possibility of recurring these from Resourceful. And of course there is Leo De Luca.

As you upgrade Lola and Charisma come in. Do note that because Preston is so rich the second copy of Leo or Lola very playable over an earlier injured or dead copy.

It's also worth pointing out that, particularly in TCU, there are many treachery cards that require an action to test or test at the end of the round. Dig Deep and Dark Horse are great for dealing with these that otherwise would present a problem for Preston's stats. You'll be able to use your inheritance to deal with these.

If other investigators have some tools to help you out in a pinch I think you'll be able to slim down on soak and invest more heavily in fun tools (some suggestions are below). If your allies are packing Delay the Inevitable, Logical Reasoning, cancellation or other healing tools you'll thank them.



  • 1 x Cherished Keepsake and 1 x Look What I Found! 2 x Lola Santiago - Lola is a key part of the clue finding plan. Lola and Intel Report together give you an almost complete disregard for shroud, the chaos bag and Locked Doors and other obstructions.

  • Charisma Lola and Leo together mean you've got all of your skills covered.

  • Adaptable is just extremely useful and lets you be flexible with this deck.


  • Ace in the Hole - I'd take this next for a second Look What I Found!. The combo with Trial by Fire is obviously excellent and you draw quite a lot in this deck so you're quite likely to see it. I would hold it if I drew it in my opening hand.

  • 1 x Perseverance 1 x Devil's Luck for more flexibility. Depending on your scenario and how you're playing you might even like a second copy.

  • 2 x You handle this one 2 x A Test of Will - this will depend on your group, but gives you solo cancellation. As with Devil's Luck you take it and hope you won't need it.

  • 2 x Dig Deep 2 x Dig Deep - probably not essential but helpful. Saving the 2 resources to play is good although Preston affords the cost better than anyone else due to his recurring income. On the other hand, I have found 0 cost assets (like Drawing Thin or the Cherished Keepsake can be nice for playing on your turn after you've spent an action using resources for a large boost or playing a costly card. They also of course boost the value of the Family Inheritance . Dig Deep does all of these things. Finally, the extra and pips increase the value of the second copy.

  • Leo De Luca Leo De Luca saves you a resource.

  • Sure Gamble seems like it could find a way in here to ensure you connect when you need to.

  • The Gold Pocket Watch - I mean, if there's any investigator who certainly owns one...

  • Oops! seems a great candidate if you're fighting a lot.

  • Peter Sylvestre - worth considering when you have Charisma as the double boost to stats and horror protection are both nice. Can tend to die to spoiler. If you've got scenario allies in your deck, other characters who want him, or if you're (like me) generally happy without him he's probably surplus to requirements.

  • If you find horror or damage a problem and don't like Devil's Luck remember that Elder Sign Amulet and Bulletproof Vest exist.

  • The Red-Gloved Man - probably don't need him since you have Trial by Fire but he's always such fun, perhaps when you have XP to burn.


For a solo deck make the following modification:

This is the deck that I used for a standard solo run through TNoTZ where I collected all 6 cultists and all VP locations in the Midnight Masks and finished the Devourer Below before the second agenda advanced (admittedly much easier when you collect all 6 cultists). I followed the upgrade path above grabbing Ace in the Hole and a couple of Devil's Luck for the final scenario.

Small Favor was included here mainly for an option for dealing with early game enemies when you’re not set up. It does have the drawback of provoking attacks of opportunity. On the other hands, the icons are good and the card can be useful in specific situations (e.g. sniping an acolyte on another location).

In other campaigns I would probably adjust this slot. In TFA, 2 x Decoy seems the obvious replacement and in Carcosa perhaps 1 x Small Favor and 1 x Fine Clothes.


For more damage over clues throw in Small Favor over clue tech. For a fighter Preston I'd also seriously consider adding in Quick Thinking or Swift Reflexes for an even bigger boss-killing Drawing Thin turn.

For more evasion add in a second Cunning Distraction or Decoy.

There are a lot of toys Preston can play with and I'm sure there are many other ideas! I look forward to exploring them and hope you do to.


Thanks for reading!


Jul 25, 2019 Mcpunchababy · 28

I don't think Rise to the Occasion (3) is a viable upgrade for Preston is it? Since he can only take Survivor lvl 0-2. But I would love it if it was possible.

Jul 25, 2019 trazoM · 1

Sadly, Presto may note take the better Rise to the occasion. Nice writeup, though!

Jul 25, 2019 masomase · 727

Thank you both for the correction! I have updated the writeup accordingly. I do need to test this deck with more experience to find the most effective upgrades.

Jul 26, 2019 jdk5143 · 1

Why no streetwise? Or is that do my an assumed upgrade?

Jul 28, 2019 masomase · 727

Totally fair question. The reason why is I wanted a deck that didn’t need Streetwise. This deck can do everything without it. I wanted that mainly because if you’re playing with the taboo list (which I do) 8XP is a LOT to spend.

So... should you take Streetwise? If playing without the taboo list I’d say yes - it probably slots in after your two Lolas and Charisma. You now can permanently and more efficiently boost agility and you can boost intellect when you need it. In taboo, I think for 6XP Ace in the Hole and for 8XP gold pocket watch do more for this deck... but if you have the XP and you want it there’s no doubt it’s great for Preston.

Jul 29, 2019 Joshua_Leo · 1

I like the core idea of this deck, although i find it to have too many cards for dealing with encounter cards. I play a lot of Preston and have rarely died. Although it might seem like Preston is vulnerable i think one perseverance is enough to manage encounter cards.

Also I can recommend running double or nothing. It is just a blast. With trial by fire and fire axe, you get easily up to 11 fight, combined with double or nothing and a resourceful, you can take down a 4 attack 4 health enemy on hard with one action, while retrieving trial by fire and another survivor card from your discard pile.

I can also strongly recommend Decoy, for it is much cheaper than cunning distraction and can help others from 2 locations away saving movement actions. And the elite enemys you can still evade with trial by fire and the 2 agility symbols on Decoy.

I hope this comment doesn't sound too harsh, i realy like where your deck is going, i just wanted to share some experiance with a fellow Preston player.

Jul 30, 2019 JadiimJedi · 13

This build is similar to the way I play Preston as well. I really like Cunning Distraction as you can usually find a situation each scenario where you can evade a monster for a teammate as well as yourself and buy a lot of tempo for the turn.

I also agree with the assessment of Lola vs. Streetwise (we play with Taboo). The main argument for Streetwise is if Preston needs to pass the difficult Book and Feet tests for the team to get through scenario effects.

One difference I like Lucky Rabbit's Foot with Preston. You play a lot of failure cards already and the Rabbit Foot really helps speed up the card draw in the deck. It also allows you to play more singletons and know that Preston will likely find it with all of the raw card draw in the deck.

Lastly, Fine Clothes. Preston should be dressed up for the parties he attends!

As for cuts I agree with the earlier poster that I would cut some of the bag control you have here. They are good, but not necessary for that many slots.

Jul 30, 2019 masomase · 727

Thanks both for the comments! Really interesting to hear your thoughts. I am planning to play this deck through TFA and will try out your suggestions.

On Decoy v Cunning Distraction, I can see how your approach would certainly work. There might be an element of personal preference and of knowing the scenario. I have used Adaptable to swap between both of these cards. I think where you know there’s going to be a multiple enemy drop, or you know evading elite enemies will be helpful then Cunning Distraction seems to me more helpful. With more, smaller enemies in play that you want to evade then Decoy may be the one.

In TFA I will take out You handle this one! and Cunning Distraction for Decoy. You’ve convinced me to try Double or Nothing, a card that usually causes me some hesitation because it can sometimes just sit in hand. Playing it with Resourceful committed is a great call. It would also find another very reliable trigger in picking up 2 clues on a 2 shroud location with your Flashlight (and could still trigger resourceful).

My concern with Rabbit’s Foot was already having quite a few assets to play. I agree the upside is potentially very good – one is likely to be able to activate it often. I’ll try it out too.

I do think the You handle this one! slot is flexible if you feel confident (and I agree you generally are with this deck) against treacheries. With some XP I have enjoyed upgrading these into A Test of Will. Preventing doom placement (e.g. Ancient Evils) at just the wrong time can be the difference between winning or losing. Of course, it’s another card that can sit in one’s hand unused for a whole scenario, but hopefully that’s because you’re doing well in the scenario.

Jul 31, 2019 The Nazgul · 1

What an awesome deck! Really well thought out and a great explanation. I will watch your future postings with great interest!

Aug 03, 2019 Dreadreaper · 2796

Have you tried "You owe me one!" in the deck? How about Double, Double?

Aug 03, 2019 Joshua_Leo · 1

Interesting Ideas, that I tried myself, but actually "You owe me one!" is good but only if the other players build there decks for it. Double, Double I first thought to be awesome in a Preston Deck, but what would you even double, mainly Look what I found and Intel Report. The thing is, the 8 EP and the card are in my oppinion better used elsewhere. As Preston you can gather more than enough clues without Double Double, between Flashlight, Look what I found, Trial by Fire, Resourceful to bring the last two back, Intel Report and Double or nothing. That is enough for 1,5 players and if you are the main clue gatherer you even have the time to do draw actions(or every turn on the move with trackshoes) with 2 Drawing thin, Rabits foot and take Heart to cycle your Deck quickly, so you can play your events more often. Therefore Double Double is in my oppinion not worth the 8 EP, the card, the action and the 4 resources to play.

Aug 03, 2019 agktmte · 1

I just finished TCU also playing Preston with Leo De Luca and Lola Santiago and found Flare to be incredibly powerful.

I did not focus on damage because that was taken care of with other members in the group, so I did not use Fire Axe after the first scenario (but I did use it in scenario one because at level 0 it is very useful for him as a stat booster to help with fighting).

After I got some upgrades I basically just spend 2-6 resources per turn doing stuff like Intel Report, Decoy, and Small Favor along with upgraded Sneak Attack and then used Winging It and "Look what I found!" and Flashlight.

Anyway, I found the Exile package of Flare and A Test of Will to be very powerful in Preston on Hard mode.

I did not think of the Track Shoes, Take Heart, Drawing Thin package for increasing card draw, but I really like it and wouldn't mind giving my Preston another go utilizing these tools.

Aug 12, 2019 masomase · 727

@The Nazgul cheers!!!

@Dreadreaper no I haven’t so thanks @Joshua_Leo for the input! What you say sounds totally fair to me particularly in terms of XP cost v likely reward. I haven’t tried it personally so can’t offer anything more insightful.

@agktmte thanks for the comments on Flare. I think that’s a great shout. I’ve had Flare do great work for me in an Ornate Bow Wendy who likes Leo and Pete(2). One of the things I’ve found in Preston is that starting with Leo early versus not can make quite a big difference to your effectiveness. Obviously Leo is just generally useful to anyone but my working theory got it being more annoying for Preston is that he doesn’t take near as much of a tempo hit from playing Leo as other investigators due to his inheritance. So there are generally fewer bad times to play Leo for Preston which means as early as possible is very powerful.

At any rate, after not seeing Leo early in a couple of scenarios I adaptabled in a single Calling in Favours for precisely the situation where you see Lola but not Leo early on. I found this to be quite successful and I think in time I may add in a section to this write up on using adaptable. Of course if it works out perfectly it heals Lola, discounts Leo and you can just replay Lola.

I think Flare is a totally logical solution which has the same outcome of increasing your consistency in getting two of your key cards (Lola and Leo) into play early on!

Aug 19, 2019 AlexSand · 32

Hi, great deck :) I tried it with little variations on solo hard TCU, and it did perform incredibly well.

Main change I did was to enter Rabbit's Foot ×1, it felt really helpful to draw the key cards faster, I would even consider a second copy.

I did buy Streetwise early, in hindsight it was indeed not mandatory. I also went for a second copy of Charisma and entered Cat Burglar, he provided some soak and a good safety net when enemies starts to pack or when the axe doesn't show up early. He definitely saved me at least to get out of "wage of sin"

Aug 20, 2019 masomase · 727

Hey @AlexSand awesome to hear feedback about your experience and the changes you made and I'm glad that you had success! I kind of love the idea there - Preston isn't willing to engage in any illegal activities himself... but he has the money to pay for help and he turns a blind eye to where the guy he hired actually 'acquires' those rare objects.