Diana Stanley The lucky bastard - Hard - Building Guide

Card draw simulator

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Diana - Practicing Safe Hex - Now Even Hexier (Hard Mode) 595 492 72 1.0
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Yann · 152

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 :)


After the very relevant suggestion and reminders made in the comments, I would replace the underwhelming Dodge by Delay the Inevitable, and replace Uncage the Soul by Dark Prophecy

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


Lesser options (at least 4 cards)

10 Cancel effects


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

Up to 5 filler cards

Easy 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

Simple upgrade plan


Upgrade possibilities for filler cards and lesser options, if you have too much XP (or really regret an initial choice ?)


Aug 14, 2019 Cuherdir · 661

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 · 152

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 · 661

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 · 152

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...

Feb 02, 2021 Susumu · 132

You wrote: "Uncage the Soul (gets better if you selected Hypnotic Gaze / Storm of Spirits, this deck is cheap)" This is not really correct, because Uncage the Soul is not a fast card, therefore you can't play Hypnotic Gaze with it. Storm of Spirits you could, but would have the disadvantage of getting Attacks of Opportunity, if you are engaged with enemies, which is likely in most cases, when you want to play this spell.

Feb 02, 2021 Yann · 152

This is very relevant reminder, and I clearly overlooked it. I corrected the writeup accordingly. In fact, the targets for that card in this deck are so few I think it should not even be played. Thank you very much for this usefull contribution :)

Feb 02, 2021 Susumu · 132

You still have two good targets in the deck, Shrivelling and Sixth Sense. And are and never bad on a level 0 Mystic card. Still, the deck is quite cheap, without Rite of Seeking, and Diana is comparable a rich mystic due to her special ability. So it sure is not mandatory in this deck.

I would swap Fearless with Daring by the way. And (because of Arcane Research) Shrivelling with Azure Flame. But you released the deck before Jacqueline Fine, so it's natural, you didn't consider that card. I released a Diana deck last November, with a quite different approach, but not tested on hard: Desperate Diana gets Well Prepared, if you are interested. It's also centred on Mystic cards.

Feb 03, 2021 Yann · 152

Indeed, i did not look at the new cards since last year. Your suggestion certainly have to be tried ! Let us know how your approach worked in hard difficulty :)