Diana Stanley The lucky bastard - Hard - Building Guide

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Yann · 73

Focused cancel & deck

This is a try to maximise on Diana's high, but late, in order to be effective on hard difficulty. Many other excellent guides have already been written for her, with well justified choices. So I rather try here to propose a synthesis, with almost equivalent options within clearly defined categories. This helps to preserve personal tastes while keeping a clearer picture of the deck's orientation.

Of course, please feel free to criticize in the comments to help enhance this guide :)

Modifications

After the suggestion made in the comments, I would replace the underwhelming Dodge by Delay the Inevitable.

Deck-building logic

One of the strongest qualities of the class, is that they have cards to do anything with . However, and especially at higher difficulties, Diana's unreliable makes using those cards a real challenge.

Thus, many other excellent Diana building guides complement the swingy with oriented cards (Enchanted Blade, Timeworn Brand...). However, in my opinion, a base stat of 3 is not enough to be reliable, on hard difficulty. So, I choose to concentrate on setting up a usable 5 or 6, powering the adequate spells, and achieving that consistently. Both points being equally critical: the spells are useless without , and alone does nothing either.

To enable this, I would recommend no less than 10 « cancel » effects and the Arcane Initiate, which is really crucial to achieve consistency through drawing cards. As a side effect, to make the Arcane initiate efficient, we need 12ish spell cards (1/3 of the cards to statistically hit a spell each turn on the early game).

Also, the more you up the difficulty, the more you need skill cards, and the less you can afford assets. It seems to me that 10ish skills and 10ish assets are a good starting point. Summing this up with the 10+ cancel effects, this leaves us about 4 flex (preferably fast) event cards.

Basic plan

10 Assets

10 Skills

Auto-includes

Lesser options (at least 4 cards)

10 Cancel effects

Auto-includes

Lesser options (at least 6 cards, containing at least 2 spells)

Up to 5 filler cards

Mulligan strategy

  1. If you don't have Arcane Initiate, mulligan all
  2. If you have her but no utility spell, mulligan everything else
  3. If you have her and one utility spell, mulligan everything else that is not a cancel effect

Upgrade plan

Up to taste, in no particular order, with two notable exceptions:

  • Arcane Initiate is mandatory first pick in 3 or 4 players games because suffering 1 doom = loosing 3 actions
  • On the opposite, I think that all 5xp upgrades should come at the very end : since each 5xp card is no game changer, getting two 2xp cards instead is certainly better for the deck in terms of global power and consistency.
  • The advanced Wither and Sixth Sense are nuts. Go for them without waiting for Esoteric Research to pay for it (see comments of this excellent other Diana write-up)

Straight upgrades

Upgrades for filler cards and lesser options

Upgrades for Esotérique Research

4 comments

Aug 14, 2019 Cuherdir · 45

Very nice guide, one question: did you find Hypnotic Gaze consistently useful or too expensive?

I guess you chose it over something like Delay the Inevitable solely because it's spell traited?

Aug 14, 2019 Yann · 73

Hi :) And thanks :)

Yes, you are right : I favored the spell, to enable more Arcane Initiate hits. But to be fair, I disliked both and they are the first card to be replaced by upgrades (and thus, we can choose whatever card since it won't be seen long ;).

Both cards cost at least 1 resource too much, and are not that easy to play for anything better than "prevent 1 damage", which is quite underwhelming, especially for the price. They are only played to reach a critical mass of cancel effects, which is especially needed as long as you don't have the +2 versions of the utility spells.

Aug 14, 2019 Cuherdir · 45

At its worst, it's a more expensive dodge.

I like Delay for its interaction with her Twilight Blade. You can play Delay using her Dagger and as it doesn't cancel right away, you can later on use her ability on Delay making her a viable, real tank against any strong enemy for several rounds and to be able to draw a card for a resource.

Aug 14, 2019 Yann · 73

Ohh that's a spicy interaction I did not see ! It will happen once every 3 games, but still good to know.

Until now, I did not play Prepared for the Worst. But if you take them from the start, that interaction might see play more often. I'm still not convinced to like the card, but I will definitely try that !

This might tip the scale in it's favor with respect to Hypnotic Gaze, which, as you said, is basically 1 dodge for the price of 3...