Diana - Practicing Safe Hex - Now Even Hexier (Hard Mode)

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
Diana Stanley - Practicing Safe Hex (Hard Mode) 118 96 46 1.0
Inspiration for
Diana - Doing circle undone 0 0 0 1.0
Diana shared 0 0 0 1.0
SEXY HEXT 0 0 0 1.0
Diana 0 0 0 1.0
Diana 0 0 0 1.0

StartWithTheName · 14807

This is the second major version of a Diana deck that i have been playing A LOT recently. Versions of it (including this one) have cleared hard mode TCU twice, and half of hard mode carcosa paired with differnt Joe and Minh decks. And a variant closer to the last published version has cleared labyrinths of lunacy, and both parts of guardians of the abyse (standard mode) ending each with negligible damage or horror.

This version was derived from some of the comments on the last one. Huge shout out to @Yann for his suggestion of making a pure caster version. You can find his wonderful discussion article here.

The result, a bit like the last iteration is still on the complex end. This is definitely not one for people who are new to the game. However it is hopefully one for which the write up will be more intuitive as the last one relied on a lot more token manipulation.

My apologies again for the length of the write up on this one. Its just such a complex deck there's a lot more detail needed. I will try to thin it down in edits when i find time, but im not sure how soon that will be. Hopefully whatever i do next will be more straightforward.

Finally, part of the extra length is due to the addition of a few extra details that ive not previously used, mainly the slots list, the cost table and a few similar bullet point list overviews at the start of some of sections highlighting some details like which spell to prioritise. If you found these useful or cumbersome (and please be honest) i`d like to know so i can include/exclude them on future write ups. I realise the draw and list is unlikely to be needed in another ID of course. But im curious to hear about the others.

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OUT OF ORDER - (Overview/TL:DR)

A fast off the starting block, mixed clues and combat, thematic Diana build (she even holds a dagger and a Candle!). The deck is focuses around card draw and rapid escalation to both find the appropriate spell and boost its base skill really high really early in the game making a highly consistent all rounder mystic thats tough as nails to boot. We basically boost to 6 or 7 super fast, then convert all our actions through via spells (which also add 2), and use cancels to overcome the drawbacks on the spells. With 8 to 10 base skill on spell based tests, Olive McBride can fish out (and the odd ) for things like Sixth Sense (4) despite needing to resolve 2 tokens, while providing 3 soak for big Shriv.

The deck has 12 highly flexible -able cards. Almost all of which cost 0 or 1 to play. This rises to 14 after your first xp and there are 4 less flexible ones too. With your these are cost neutral or cash generating. Combined with Rosarys and Arcane Initiates, close to half of the deck draws a new card and close to half of the deck boosts , all at minimal cost and almost all as fast actions. Setting up spells much faster than most mystics.

Play as many or + cards you can in rounds 1 and 2 (its once per phase not round) and just spam them irrespective of what you are cancelling until you have 3 or 4 , yes even Ward. If you had a fast card that simply said gain 1 penny, draw 1 card and gain +1 you would play it on sight. Cancelling something is a bonus. Xp adds +2 to most spell assets, getting us to 5 or 6 effective from just 2 or 3 /Rosarys and is very achievable on turn 1 or 2. First scenario this might be a turn or so later so we bridge that brief gap with skill pips which can be used on her X333 statline as one shots later on.

Seal of the Elder Sign, Terrible Secret, and Twilight Blade are used to keep space under your ID and keep the train rolling. Even though Prepared for the Worst isnt a perfect tutor, you are milling your deck hard so 9 cards can be half the deck fairly easilly. Its not ideal but its good enough given how important The Blade is. Once you have it, you effectively have a 13 card hand and can replay your cancels making you an absolute brick.

Between all the cancels, super high , and a TON of soak, you wont care about horror. This lets you use Arcane Research to get + spells early, and use Shriv (5) like you have always wanted to. Want to be cocky? Cancel the token horror with "I've had worse…" (2) and gain 3 pennies and a card for your trouble! With this much you can even use Olive McBride to sideline the guaranteeing a 3 damage hit.

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ON WARD AND UP WARD - (Upgrade Path)

PRIORITIES:

  1. Uncage the Soul "I've had worse…" (2) - The MVP (see XXX Section)

THEN GET SOME + SPELLS IN:

Each +1 you can build into a spell, means 1 less card needs playing before you are up and running. If you have played 2 or 3 s (or Rosary/Police Badge) Your +2 spells bring you to 5 or 6. Playing 2 or 3 s around turn 2 is easy, playing 3 or 4 might happen around turn 3-5 ish as you use the easy ones first. Using spells earlier also opens up opportunities responding to them.

More details on how to use these are in Section XXX for Cluing and Section XXX for Combat, including how to deal with horror from Big Shriv, and how to use Shards of the Void without nerfing your bag.

Pick these in whatever order matches your team composition. I usually take Sixth Sense (4) first since you usually need to clue earlier than fight.

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OTHER ARCANE RESEARCH TARGETS:

Note that Arcane Research only works when going from a lower lvl spell to a higher one, not when adding new spells like Seal of the Elder Sign. In an 8 part campaign, you can get 7 sets of 2xp from Arcane Research. With the 7 or 8 from the priorities list, this make 14 possible options so you may as well spend normal xp on the best ones (ie the priority spells). You wont run out of targets.

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OTHER NORMAL XP TARGETS:

NOTE: Police Badge is not the most thematic choice, but its safe to skip if you dislike it. This is unfortunately one of the few action boosting options available to Diana, which makes it one of the best movement tools she has and movement is something she lacks unless you flex in Astral Travel. Use it for the early game then fire the action for a late game boost. Or once cash is plentiful late game, you can use to basically spend 3 to gain an action

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DETAILED PILOTING

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INITIATION - (Mulligan)

Keep (in order of priority)

Mulligan the rest in hope of finding the above.

Dont keep Eldritch Inspiration, Defiance or Olive McBride for + unless you have a clever plan. They arnt as cheap/easy/reliable to trigger s from.

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WHAT DOESNT KILL HER MAKES HER STRONGER - (cash, , draw, and +)

Sorry for the screen dump, but this is a complex deck and its worth being aware of its break down.

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TRUE COST TABLE:

The cost curve generated by arkhamdb is a bit misleading with your , skill cards, cash generating cards, and several duplicated assets. Here is a very rough but hopefully more useful way of displaying it.

  • <0: 11111
  • =0: 111111111111111111
  • =1: 111111
  • =2: 111
  • =3: 11111
  • 4+:

Pip fodder (1x of each of the following are included as =0 cost): 11111111

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DRAW, PASSIVE + AND CARDS:

RELIABLE DRAW AND :

PSEUDO DRAW AND :

STUFF YOU CAN ADD WITH XP:

ADDITIONAL NON BASED BOOSTS

.

Why does this matter? Well, mainly because it made me happy when i realised it was possible and I spent ages mapping it all out so im dying to show ppl, but also it means you are never short of + boosters or draw cards. Why? because about half of the time a draw card will feed you another draw card, and when you add the 1 a turn from upkeep you get a happy little chain ... most turns ... basically look at the pretty numbers! ...ooOOOooo!

EARLY CAMPAIGN DECK COMPOSITION METRICS:

  • TOTAL DRAW ....................... 12 (+ 6 pseudo) ~1/3 of deck
  • TOTAL ............................ 10 (+ 4 Pseudo) ~1/4 of deck
  • TOTAL + BOOSTS ...... 14 (+4 pseudo) ~1/3 of deck

POTENTIAL LATER CAMPAIGN DECK COMPOSITION METRICS:

  • TOTAL DRAW ....................... 18 (+ 4 pseudo) ~1/2 of deck
  • TOTAL ............................ 14 (+ 2 Pseudo) ~1/3 of deck
  • TOTAL + BOOSTS ...... 18 (+ 4 pseudo) ~1/2 of deck

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GETTING HIGH FAST

With all that i mind, how do we get to this magical 3 or 4 (equivalent to 5 or 6 with a +2 spell) that you keep going on about asap? (See Upgrading section).

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MORE TRICKS

  • You usually get the boost from your during the test you used the card. Check the timing charts, you check your skill vs test strength at Step 6, but you reveal or resolve token effects at Steps 3 & 4. Which means you use your before you check if you have passed. This works for: Dark Prophecy/Olive McBride/Counterspell (token cancel is at Step 3), Eldritch Inspiration (Spell token effects happen at step 4), and "I've had worse…"/Delay the Inevitable (on horror/damage from Shrivelling/Storm of Spirits also at Step 4)).

  • This means the right cancel in hand is like having a Ritual Candles down. You can act as if the appropriate token your cancel triggers off had a 1 point lower modifier. If you dont draw it, you dont play it. If you do draw it, play the card, adjust your and get a +1 before you check skill. Its like having a baby Lucky!*

  • When using Olive McBride, you can pick which cancel to use after seeing the tokens. Pretty much all of the relevant cancels run off tokens. Olive McBride works off cancelling any token but you decide whether to use her or the normal cancels after seeing the draw. So, in a pinch if you happen to draw 3 high modifier non tokens, you can use your on Olive McBride herself even if you couldnt use a cancel which might be enough to clinch a pass. Think of her as a back up.

  • Use Olive McBride to fish for Defiance tokens Its not perfect, but it helps you trigger a on Defiance more easily (you only get the if you DO ignore the token effect, ie if you drew the right one. Nulifying the modifier when you do so means you also only face 1 token picked from 2 worth of modifier if you get one.

  • Its fine to cancel a positive effect with Eldritch Inspiration. If you draw a with Sixth Sense or Wither, and you have the choice between using Eldritch Inspiration and the spell`s internal ability. A lot of the time you may be unable to benefit from the ability, or you might just think the penny, card and +1 is better, especially with the lvl0 versions of the spells - Wither (0) is almost identical test impact wise and similarly Sixth Sense might only be using the token to get a better shroud. Baring in mind you are trying to use spells for most actions. You will get this option more often than it looks on paper.

  • you have 6 skill cards in the deck if you include Uncage the Soul's pips This helps you deal with early game checks while building up, and is especially important for sc1 before you get +2 spells in.

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IGNORANCE IS BLISS - Keeping the Train Rolling

Once you hit 5 cards under the ID, youre draw engine will briefly stall. This will happen pretty much every game. Its fine especially if you have the spell you need down. But once you hit this you sort of want to keep clearing a little space to get the cash and draw flowing again.

  • Get your Blade down ASAP. This is the only deck ive ever put a Prepared for the Worst in that has less than 3 weapons. You deck usually jams up when you have about 20 cards left in the deck. At this point youve had about a 1 in 3 chance of seeing the blade by chance (its slightly better due to the mulligan). Each Prepared for the Worst gives you about another 50/50 shot. It also shuffles your deck if the blade was going to be more than 9 cards later. Its not perfect. But its still worth it given the benefits of the blade. Reusing those cancels (especially "I've had worse…" and Dark Prophecy (with Sixth Sense (4) is a huge bonus too.

  • Get Seal of the Elder Sign when you have the chance. Straightforward enough. Pretty much guarentees a test pass and lets you take a card of your choosing from under the ID leaving space for you to it again immediately. Tides you over while looking for the blade.

  • Use Olive McBride The more you use her the more often you will see s. You will be using her once youre is high anyway for bonus clues (See section XXX). This is just a bonus of that method.

  • Use Terrible Secret It lets you cull a card or two of your choice. Use it to make space equal to the number of cards in your hand you recon you can soon. Unless you have your Blade down and perhaps want to keep something special back.

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YOUR NOT SO TERRIBLE SECRET - (Dealing with and benefiting from it)

You are deliberately drawing hard. You are going to see this. It really isnt that bad.

  • You WANT to cull cards from under your deck a bit See Section on keeping space open (just above) - This actually helps you.

  • You have a ton of soak, its not direct horror Olive McBride has 3 san, Arcane Initiate has 2 as does Holy Rosary. You can put the horror on these.

  • You can chose to do a little of each You usually want to cull a card or two to make space (see above), and remember that you only needed 2 or 3 cards under your ID at the start of the game for your +2 spells to be working at 5 or 6 base. So you only need to take 2 or 3 horror. You can pick the amount of horror to take. You can also let some of this through with the plan to heal it back later via Deny Existence (5), or just safe in the knowlegde you have that many cancels in the deck and such high potential for encounter tests that you wont take that much horror later.

  • Your Achillies Heal! Deny Existence can be used to "ignore" the horror from Terrible Secret. It is applied as a single lump blow just like (Rotting Remains does, so a single card can block it. And it can be "ignored" even if it says it cant be cancelled (see the FAQ on the Terrible Secret card entry). This hilariously means Deny Existence (5) can be used to not only block the weakness, but actually heal you for up to 5 san. This is sometimes worth breaking the "fire all irrespective of use" rule if you dont have the soaks in play. Though bear in mind if you have the Blade down, you can still use a spent Deny Existence from under the ID, and that Twilight Blade will appear before Terrible Secret in most games if you are using Prepared for the Worst. Similarly Arcane Initiate can find the Deny Existences.

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OLIVE YOU CLUE - (Clues!)

If you want to be more cluey, swap Mists of R'lyeh/Wither for Rite of Seekings, and potentially bring St. Hubert's Key over Holy Rosary (Needs you to add pips).

CLUE TOOLS .................... 4 Major (Inc. 2 evergreen), 4 Minor: ~1/4 of deck

This should be fairly obvious but there are some tips:

  • Sixth Senses ability is similar (and stacks with) Ritual Candles. Because you can potentially pick the shroud you want to use AFTER seeing a token. So if you have a valid target with a lower shroud where these tokens would pass on, you can act as if their modifiers were in range. Pair this with the notes on the timing of cards, and tokens become beneficial.

  • Use Olive McBride and Dark Prophecy with Sixth Sense (4) (and Wither (4) see below). Once youve got to 6 or 7 via s and Rosarys, the +2 built into the spell gets you to an effective 8 or 9 . tokens in TCU at least tend to be around -3 and -4 ish, but with Ritual Candles, even needing to resolve 2 tokens can turn 2 tokens into a total of -5 quite easilly, and/or snipe a convenient shroud. This goes a long way so long as you arnt targetting 2 high shroud locations at once. Without meaning to stating the obvious too much Dark Prophecy does a similar thing once can be reused via Seal of the Elder Sign and Twilight Blade, but is fine either at lower setup or for 2 high shroud locations. It can even boost your mid test (see timing tricks section).

  • Drawn to the Flame both gets you clues and fishes for things to from. Its good early game for both growth and an early clue tool when digging for Sixth Sense. Its good late game as both an auto clue and 2 clues for 1 action. Diana can handle encounter cards.

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WITCH SLAP - (Enemy Handling)

Tools Available:

ENEMY MANAGEMENT... 5 Major, 4 Minor (inc. 2 evergreen): ~1/4 of deck

Most of this will be obvious if you have read the above. But there are a few tips and tricks.

  • You are a mixed clues and combat flexible player. You are not a combat powerhouse capable of carrying the team. The biggest problems with the latter is that Diana doesnt have a huge amount of movement or action cards to get over to other players and most of her high damage options are spells with limited uses. You can however carry your own and pack a punch for a boss fight when needed. I know Diana Stanley was a fighter in another game, but please dont use this deck as a purist fighter, and if you do dont blame me. This is not that game and I didnt do it. Can politely I ask that we dont turn the comments section into a series of questions about how to maker her a fighter. Thats not what this deck is doing and I would rather the comments were available for ppl to ask questions about the deck. /endgrump.

  • GET THE BIG SHRIV You know youve wanted to do this since it came out. Diana is perfect for it. With +3 built in, it reaches 10 at max so it rarely misses. You are fine for horror hits. you have a TON of soak (Olive, Rosary, Initiate). You can also cancel it with Delay the Inevitable, "I've had worse…", Eldritch Inspiration, Counterspell. Thats upto about 1/3rd of the deck that can be used to mitigate this. Notice that "I've had worse…" actually earns you 3 pennies, a card and +1 if you use it. Suddenly the Olive McBride trick for token fishing can be used to guarentee a hit (ie sideline the if you draw it) so long as you have a way of dealing with the effect and occasionally boost your econ engine!

  • You can use Delay the Inevitable over and over again with Twilight Blade. The blade only stops your while playing a card. Once Delay the Inevitable is in play you are no longer playing it. So when you spend it, you can put it back under your ID with your , get a penny refund and draw a card. You paid 2 to play it, got 1 back and you get 1 penny from upkeep. Or to put it another way, you can dodge once a turn indefinitely. SHOUT OUT TO @Cuherdir FOR POINTING THIS OUT

  • You dont always need to put attack spells into play asap. If you have a damage cancel in hand, you can wait until you draw an enemy, then block the AoO from putting the asset down before you use it, or just use Storm of Spirits from hand. This lets you wait until you have a better tool (ie wait to see Shrivelling) without too much risk. It also lets you progress the game rather than waste time building a board. Especially if you have unlimited Delay the Inevitables.

  • Using Shards of the Void without nerfing the bag This means you can keep Shards back in hand until you need to attack with it. Once it is in play, spend the zero asap. You have never used the chaos bag with the zero taken out, and if you think you can land it, you can use Olive to fish for a zero for the bonus damage. If you get one, the +2 from a zero on the card kicks in before the test checks skill, so it can be used to offset the other token you picked. You have even reloaded your spell, so it lasts a little longer than Shrivelling.

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WAIT, WHERES THE ENCOUNTER HANDLING SECTION???

  • Your playing Diana, you dont need it.

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As always thanks for reading. Since youve managed to read so far without falling asleep, have some puns that didnt make the cut:

  • Lets look whats under the hood
  • Stop Hitting Yourself
  • Toke on, Toke off
  • Drawing Away from the Flame
  • be careful, all that draw cantrip you up
  • Your Eldritcher than you think
  • safe hex? I've had worse

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35 comments

Sep 12, 2019 matt88 · 850

What's the point of playing Diana if you want to play her as pure Mystic? You 're putting so much effort on cancelling that cancelling itself becomes meaningless. I'm pretty sure that there are better choices of investigators for this kind of build, like Jim or Akachi. I personally like Diana for her versatility and her ability to aid the team by mitigating the powers of the Mythos. With this build, these powers are greatly diminished. I also firmly believe that playing a Diana deck without any weapons other than Twilight Blade is very risky. Lastly, I find a major flaw in this deck: The manner in which you use your cancels does not allow you to save Deny Existance for Terrible Secret and that can be devastating.

Sep 12, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

@matt88, I cant tell if you are joking if so Kudos!

If not:

  1. Youre probably looking for a version of the deck closer to this arkhamdb.com which this deck was derived from after people in the comments specifically asked for a mystic version and more soak. Theres also a decent amount of people who play for theme and I quite like the idea of a "mage" who is sufficiently skilled that she knows how to deal with spell backfires.

  2. I may have over egged the need to cancel things on site. This was something a lot of people didnt understand on first reading of the other version so i played it up here as it was even more important. You are doing this early game to get will high and dig for whatever key tools you need, not doing this all game indefinitely for its own sake. Im hoping to find time to edit this a little later on and reduce the word count, When i do i`ll try to go back and clarify that. There are 14 strong cancels in the deck (with "I've had worse…", spending 4 early leaves 10 or about 1/3rd of the deck. Once you have the Twilight Blade down you can be more strategic with the cancels, but you can still play them more liberally than an average mystic. This is a bit like the logic of Joes Hunch deck. You can afford to play them at less optimal times because they have had their cost reduced and more will appear in time. These powers are not diminished, you are using them more frequently.

  3. This gives Diana a differentiated playstyle over Akachi/jim because she can draw so hard that shes more consistent than most mystics, and you still can cancel things. The deck is also an absolute brick where other mystics frequently have HP issues or need to heal horror. Diana is tough as nails, this is offers a different playstyle. Check out the Delay the Inevitable trick in the combat section. You can tank bosses really well. Big shriv is a great example (also see combat section). A lot of people hold back because the 2 horror can be a lot to take even for a mystic. Diana doesnt have this issue. Police badge is another (This is squirreled away in the upgrades section)

  4. You dont just have Twilight Blade for a weapon. Shrivelling, Wither, Storm of Spirits, Shards of the Void are your weapons. There are actually 9 (~1/4 of the deck) options for enemy management in there (see Enemy handling section). I even have a specific note about this NOT being a pure fighter deck, because this derailed the discussion on the last comments thread a little.

  5. There is an entire section up there on dealing with her weakness. This includes several tricks relating to Terrible Secret, including the Deny Existence one. I dont mean this in a rude way, but i wont repeat it here for space reasons. It should cover your concerns though.

Finally I don’t post these guides to tell ppl exactly how to play, they are more intended as a description of a possible playstyle and the cards that could be used to interact with it. Its like a list of interacting idea that can be played or taken for uses in other places. If you want to put a hand weapon in there, go for it. If you want to change the wither out its a pretty good target. Its mainly in there as the last back up incase all the charges run out.

Sep 12, 2019 matt88 · 850

@StartWithTheName Thanks for the comprehensive response. It makes more sense now. I didn't consider the draw potential that Diana has with that many cancels. That makes her indeed more consistent than other Mystics. It's also probably a matter of preference as to whether you go full spell build or go for more "physical" means. I haven't read the comments of your previous version of the deck, so I wasn't aware that many people specifically asked for it, so I guess this kind of build must be popular (even though I don't like it -personal preference, again).

I also seemed to have misunderstood how you deal with your weakness. On second and more careful readthrough, I got my answers indeed. Specifically I missed the part where you said that you can split the effect to make more space and put some horror on your assets. That seems like a clever way to deal with it.

Finally, I want to apologize if my previous comment seemed disregarding to you. That was not the intend.

Sep 12, 2019 Yann · 74

Hey :) Thanks so much for the reference (even more so, since my synthesis was essentially robbing all your good ideas ;)

I see you also liked the Delay / Blade trick Cuherdir mentioned. I did not try it yet, but it might become a staple.

Obviously, we made some (minor) different personal choices, but I can add for anyone reading that they should go for the advanced versions of Wither and Sixth Sense ASAP. Those cards are nuts. In mid game they mean you hit and investigate at 8 to 10 without spending a card, nor a charge, and all special tokens grant tangible bonuses. Nuts, I tell you all.

Also, I would be interested to hear from your experience on ritual candles, since I was never sold on that card. You think it is better than, for example, buying into the Tarot ?

Sep 15, 2019 Deadlykipper · 1

@StartWithTheName could you explain "If you dont draw it, you dont play it. If you do draw it, play the card, adjust your and get a +1 before you check skill. Its like having a baby Lucky!*" in the More Tips section please? I thought you had to device to use cards before the token draw? You're can you play them after you've drawn but before checking for success - there's no player window?

Sep 15, 2019 Deadlykipper · 1

*decide, not device (typing in a phone - didn't notice the typo)

Sep 15, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

Cheers @matt88, @Yann and @Deadlykipper.

@matt88 - Dont worry at all. its always hard to gage tone in a comment thread. I genuinely couldn't tell if you were parodying the other decks comment thread or not! I also need to get back into the habit of being concise in comments! I really liked your hunting rifle yorick by the way. it wasnt out at the time but Eucatastrophe would make that rifle almost never miss those s zero your skill then change to a +2 without a jam :). love the 666 rating too. grab a screen shot before it grows!

Speaking of lack of concision! here is another absurdly long reply to everyone ... SORRY!

Cheers @Yann. Yeah these things are always basically a variant on an idea. Ive had mixed experiences with Wither, its phenominally accurate and great for small stuff especially with Olive McBride. Ive had problems with it on bigger things, but it depends very much on whether you are tryign to be a damage dealer or just hold your own. For a while I used Sign Magick and paired it with big Shrivelling so i could save charges (without losing Sixth Sense), then I gave up in favour of Ritual Candles. Not because they are amazing, but it was just that keeping both down didnt seem that important when you could just over write the spell with one with a fresh set of charges. This ofc doesnt hold up if you need to fight a lot. So i have a feeling playstyle and wider party composition plays a big part in the decsion - Which is good really. theres more game there if the decision isnt solvable with one perfect solution :)

As for Ritual Candles overall, I like them on Hard, i find them moderate on Standard. Ofc upgrading them to a passive +1 is better on checks almost all the time. There are a couple of exceptions like picking 2 tokens with Olive McBride or if a token causes you to draw another, The big deal about candles is that (Olive schenanagans aside) it sort of only matters if at least 1 of the token is exactly 1 modifier point outside of what you usually target (which on hard for me is usually 3 above test). This meant that when it first came out, i got super excited on first inspection, and even home printed extra copies so i could have more decks built up at once. I then got really disappointing when i realised how infrequently it mattered that it triggered. That all said, with the advent of Olive McBride, and with so many of the TCU tokens having a -4 modifier, this has brought the card back into its own for me at least in token fishing builds. But your mileage may vary on other campaigns perhaps. The value of it is really in the low cost and the use of a slot that is not as competed as options for a purist +1 slot. its a cheap half way house basically. but if you wanted to upgrade one or two them to Four of Cups, in this version of the deck the Tarot slot isnt used (i seemingly just forgot there was even the option when testing, i didnt even realise it was unused until i did the write up!). There is also a degree of satisfaction of making the deck match the picture on Dianas card. The other thing to note is that Ritual Candles enables you to always be able to trigger Eldritch Inspiration, just cancel the Candles . You'll get a +1 to you before the test ends anyway but its perminant, and you'll get your card and penny. Once candles are in play, you can also use Eldritch Inspiration as a one shot retrospective boost to a test after seeing the token, which is nice to have available on tap once you have Twilight Blade down.

hi again @Deadlykipper. Yeah sorry that paragraph isnt very clear at all. sorry about that. When i find time to go back and edit this i`ll sort it out. its just been a really busy week. Essentially it has to do with how you work out your odds on passing a test. If you want to know your probability of passing a test, you can count the number of tokens that will pass and divide it by how many are in the bag. If one of the tokens makes you draw more tokens it makes this really hard. but lets ignore that for now. If you are say using Shrivelling and happen to have "I've had worse…" in hand, then if you draw a token you have the choice to play "I've had worse…" which will give you +1 in the middle of the test (before you check to see if you have passed). This means that it can be used to push you into pass range. So, the fact that you have "I've had worse…" in hand, means that you can act (in this case) like the tokens had a modifier that was 1 point more favorable, the same way you can if you have Ritual Candles in play. Or a bit like you can keep Lucky! back in hand and take riskier tests to save spending pips. The cancel cards are acting like a mini lucky or like a one shot Ritual Candles. If you happen to draw say the "0" and pass, you keep the card back. If you draw the bad token you play the card. Does that make more sense?

Dear all Sorry again for length!

Sep 15, 2019 matt88 · 850

@StartWithTheName Hey, thanks for liking that deck!! It means a lot to me, that a high-tier player like you likes it! Eucatastrophe would make that deck a beast, for sure! If I played it now though, I may have made other changes too, given the experience I've gotten since then. Also, can you explain what do you mean by the term "666 rating"??

Sep 15, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

@matt88- look very very quickly at your arkhamdb rating - its perfect! (next to your name) you get it by posting things. I think all it does is let you make more decks, though i do secretly hold out hope i can exchange it for a big teddy bear one day or a goldfish in a bag.... I may have quite small life goals...

Sep 15, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

Dammit it changed.

Sep 15, 2019 matt88 · 850

@StartWithTheName Don't worry, I saw it! :) It was pretty extraordinary indeed!

Sep 16, 2019 Deadlykipper · 1

@StartWithTheNamethanks for the explanation. I discussed it with a friend and we think we understand now. Do you mean: You cancel the token effect before checking success, in the timings chart. So, by cancelling the token, you immediately place it under the ID and this boosts your head for the success check, if needed? Sorry for my ignorance... So many nuances to this game :D

Sep 16, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

yes thats correct @Deadlykipper. The point i was making with the second part of that was that because you can change your skill mid test, then when you are counting tokens that will pass, you can act as if you have a +1 that you will get from the card if you need to trigger it. So sort of just having the option to play the card lets you take risks you wouldnt have otherwise taken. This is the similarity with Lucky!, which is a card that lets you do a similar thing, take riskier choices because you have a back up plan.

Sep 17, 2019 Eruantalon · 93

The powerful exploit of Delay the Inevitable will sure as hell cause the card to be subject to errata of some sort.

Sep 17, 2019 Deadlykipper · 1

@StartWithTheNamesurely playing Delay the Inevitable while engaged causes an AoO? Of you had an attack/damage cancel in your hand to prevent the AoO why not use that for the normal attack at the end of the turn? So what good is Delay the Inevitable in that instance?

Sep 17, 2019 Eruantalon · 93

Well, it's fast so no AoO.

Sep 17, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

Hi @Deadlykipper. Delay the Inevitable is fast so it doesn’t trigger AoOs. It’s not quite as good as a full Dodge as some enemies have (like spoiler) effects on attack. But it has a few extra uses. You could just as easilly sun in dodge if you prefer it.

Sep 17, 2019 Yann · 74

But being usable every turn if you have the blade equipped makes it far superior to dodge to me. I still have not tested it yet but it seems realy superior (and might justify 2x prepared for the wurst on its own)

Sep 17, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

I’ll be honest. In the 10 or so games I’ve played it in I’ve only used the combo a couple of times and I had alternatives if I recall. But it was fun and nice to know you have it available, which Let’s you take more risks. So for me there is definitely value over dodge there (hence why I swapped it in). I’m also yet to have it available during a sustained boss fight like spoiler where it looks like it will shine, especially with the option to play it on comrades.

Sep 17, 2019 matt88 · 850

I don't think that the interaction between Delay the Inevitable, Diana's ability and Twilight Blade is that op. It's strong for sure, but not op. The main issue as to using this combo is that Twilight Blade is a a single card in a 35-card deck, so you first have to find it. This specific deck has its methods to find it quickly, but other Diana decks may not have that privilege.

Sep 24, 2019 AlexSand · 25

Great deck and write up ! I wanted to try solo Diana, I will most likely use this one. I especially love all the small hidden combos, and how several cards I believed rather weak (candle, eldritch, Olive) seems to make sense in this deck.

Sep 24, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

Cheers @AlexSand, please take the solo tag with a little salt, Im not much of a true solo player (I play 2 handed) and although i did actually give this one a very quick test on curtain call hard (it seemed to be ok), its not been tested far into the campaign and really i lack decent experience with true solo to judge things. The solo tag was based on certain parts of TCU where you are separated.

Yeah with the "token fishing" stuff (Olive McBride/Ritual Candles/Eldritch Inspiration etc) it feels like you need to be all in or not in. Thankfully so much of it have extra value in diana as so many of the help activate s, and she boosts will so high she can simply brute force past the extra token from Olive McBride. Jim can do a similar thing at least, and although ive never got it working as well as Jim or diana, Mateo seems set up to do it a little differently with random bonus actions.

The other thing is i really like new ways of playing over stronger decks. I just want the archtype to at least function as intended even if its not strong. You can always calibrate the difficulty to match the deck strength and keep things challenging.

Oct 08, 2019 BeCurieUs · 14

It has finally come to life! I ended up taking your suggestion and playing your other version that seemed like the early beta for this arkhamdb.com

I have to say that it has taken me a while to learn now pilot it (I didn't read well enough to realize you always start with Dark Insight in your hand) and only now realize the power of "wasting" spells to gain better spells! The ability for her to card filter takes me back to magic and blue decks, which are my spiritual home!

I have to say my version had Sign Magick and I hated it. SO expensive and the spells that had charges would get used fast enough that I would just hold my spell till I needed to play out the other one. Just a waste of a card. Particularly so because my random weakness ended up being so debilitating (Indebted SUCCCCKKKSSS)

I also only realized that I might have not have been resolving the negative ability on Rite of Seeking, because everything is so damn complicated on mystics! Like I am sure I remembered doing it a couple of times, but mostly prob not. I just checked the skill test value and went about my business. Same for Shrivelling, but that seems less game state breaking...oops.

With that in hindsight. As much as I love rite for other mage decks, trying out this build with ways to mitigate that downside and turn it into a potential upside seems really fun! We have a Carolyn Fern running around healing like crazy anyway, so the horror from Shrivelling is way less problematic than losing your turn via Rite of Seeking.

Anyway, excited to try a version of this one out and perhaps lean more into Sixth Sense and Drawn to the Flame, which is basically taking me a bit back to how I played Agnes Baker :D

How greedy would it be to run both Arcane Research AND Drawn to the Flame!!! I did a Path to Carcosa run and managed to rack up so much XP by the end I didn't know what to spend it on with ONLY the Flame cards, whereas The Circle Undone has kicked our ass so much that even with Research we have a fraction of the XP!

Oct 18, 2019 ilza · 1

Trying out a very close list in Return to Pth of Carcosa, will be interesting to see how it evolves in the campaign but already after the first scenario it seems very good.

Ended up cutting a ritual candle and both PftW to slot in Open Gate (with the benefit of increasing the spellcount) as well as taking Inspiring Presence over Take the Initiative.

Will have to see what I think about Olive after a few scenarios, she seems much better if you run With over Rite of Seeking. I assume I want to replace her with Dayana later on that should be a really good upgrade for the deck as well.

Oct 18, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

Might i suggest swapping out 1 olive 1 candle and 1 Eldrich inspiration @ilza if youre keen to use the gates. Olive is part late game Sixth Sense manipulation and early game soak or tenuous card. Although Prepared for the Worst can be a dead draw if you find the Twilight Blade early, the times you dont it is a vital part of the core deck mechanic. The soak from the second olive is only a big deal before you get "I've had worse…", and you can only hold 1 Candles with the Twilight Blade out, so the second copy is only helping you see it early really. Eldritch Inspiration is nice late campaign with Big Shrivelling and enables complex some shenanigans that arnt obvious on your first play through, but you have alternatives.

Oct 18, 2019 ilza · 1

I might certainly regret not running Prepared for the Worst as I agree that the quality of the deck increases so much with a Twilight Blade in play.

There is just something like a mental block for me running two copies of a card that when you play it have a 50/50 of just wasting the action, card and resource to play it whiffing entirely. Even the shuffle will only matter if you don't have an active initiate that will reshuffle your deck every turn.

Oct 27, 2019 Vafruvant · 1

I didn't see a comment on here about Grotesque Statue, so I wanted to pose a scenario: the "ignore" word is listed on the statue, therefore it would qualify for her reaction. Much in the vein of unlimited Delay the Inevitable, having Twilight Blade would allow you to replay the card perpetually and consistently allow you to pull two tokens per test for 4 tests at a net resource cost of 1. This combo could, potentially, negate Olive McBride and Shards of the Void combo, streamlining it to a single token instead of resolving a pair. Thoughts?

Oct 27, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

Sorry @ilza i must have missed your second comment.

Yeah im not especially happy with the odds (the 50/50) on the Prepared for the Worst in this build. In the previous build there were other weapon assets so it got a little more value. Still despite the coin flip it has other advantages. For example if you take the 50/50 chance, and the blade wasnt in the top 9 cards, then the shuffle you get means it will at least have higher odds on being in the top 9 next draw. Its also something ive mulled on and play tested a fair bit and I eventually settled on the fact that the blade was too important to the build not to minimise the risk of no shows. I agree though its far from ideal. Maybe in time we`ll get a better tutor. They are currently releasing a load of search stuff for Mandy after all.

Hi @Vafruvant,

Grotesque Statue certainly is an option for the deck archtype as it likes token fisher cards. Ive never actually used it in her so im not sure how well it will perform, but i dont see it being bad. I guess it would fit over the Candles slot if you then use say Dayana Esperence over Olive McBride (olive loses some value without a candle down on hard mode tho shes fine without them on standard).

Sadly you can recur Grotesque Statue with Twilight Blade as it only lets you replay/commit events or skill cards (basically they thought of that), but you can bring it back to hand with your , which means you can use Seal of the Elder Sign for a single reuse. One other thing to note is that if you use your ability on the statues, you cant spend the last charge as it leaves play before you resolve the "ignore" (I dont actually understand the timing on this but i was told as much by a rules guru on the mythos busters discord and hes rarely wrong). Basically you have to it on the 3rd charge you use to get the most value out of it so there may be a decision to be made as to whether you think you have your Seal of the Elder Sign coming up soon.

Oct 27, 2019 Vafruvant · 1

@StartWithTheNameWhoops, missed that part of Twilight Blade, heh. Looking at test timing, looks like the guru was correct. The statue trigger comes before ST.3 in the timing list and resolves the ignore after ST.3. I didn't even think about that, that's a good call. Still three uses, like you mentioned, and might trigger a on said pull, which is actually a strange timing combo, too.

Let's say you are making a test and have only triggered the statue twice. You decide you want to trigger a third time and you pull a on the statue pull. The ignore step is in ST.3 and the resolve is in ST.4. If my understanding of Skill Test Timing (after looking into it post-commenting) you should be able to trigger her after noticing the . This would allow you to put the statue underneath her in ST.3 and pull it back after ST.4, if desired.

This timing methodology opens up (not on this build, as it's caster-focused, but for Diana in general) refreshing .45 Automatic as it ignores retaliate. Unlike the statue, the gun isn't burned when out of ammo, so as long as your last shot is against an enemy with Retaliate, the gun will trigger her and be subject to retrieval from . This would also work for "Eat lead!"(or upgrade) and Marksmanship (with a firearm or ranged weapon), and those could be pulled back with Twilight Blade (though not like Delay the Inevitable.)

This is why I love Diana!

Nov 09, 2019 microforever · 1

How necessary are the pair of Arcane initiate? I am running this solo through Return to Carcosa and so far I have not find them very useful. Are they in there to fish out Six Sense / Shriv?

Nov 09, 2019 BeCurieUs · 14

She can fish out any card that is a spell! She is essentially an extra draw step each turn, which is a crazy good card advantage! They can fish out anything you need, which is why they are powerful!

Nov 09, 2019 Yann · 74

+1. They are absolutely mandatory !

Nov 09, 2019 StartWithTheName · 14807

Hi @microforever - Always nice to hear ppl trying the deck out! Hope its going well.

Arcane Initiate should have a huge number of targets in the deck. As @BeCurieUs points out, she can fetch any card with a spell trait (including events or skills) which means she has the following targets:

= 13 / 35 cards at the start of the campaign (or about 1/3rd of the deck), and most of which are early upgrade targets with the Arcane Research xp. Depending how you spend your xp this can rise to 17/35, or about 1/2 the deck via:

So in principal Arcane Initiate should be a free draw almost every turn until shes thinned most of the spells out of the deck - at which point you may well be wanting her out of play to get the doom off the table. Notice that quite a few of those are cards, or Seal of the Elder Sign which is similarly important for controlling space under her ID (and getting you a card back). So an early initiate can be a real kickstart to the draw engine. I would be very reluctant to run the deck without them.

Nov 11, 2019 microforever · 1

I didn't think about other spells beside the Assets, thanks for all the reply. @StartWithTheNamethe deck is good but solo can be really tough early game. She survived solo Return to the Unspeakable Oath which is pretty impressive. Also I always overlook Mists and didn't realize it provide a free move!

Nov 13, 2019 ilza · 1

I've now taken the deck with a few minor changes through most of Return to Path to Carcosa as well as Guardians of the Abyss and it's very fun to play! Unfortunately my group vetoedhard-mode in favor of standard, but with our only other return to experience being RtNotZ I can understand that they where wary of the difficulty setting.

While you can have some ramp-up in the first couple of scenarios the card draw makes it feel easier to setup than for other mystics. With all the cancels you alliaviate a lot of pressure from the encounter deck for the entire group, and the deck is a beast late-campaign with very efficient Arcane Research spending and the ability to sink close to unlimited amount of XP to good use.

I liked running Open Gate in it as it gave an additional three spellslots for the Initiate, and found that I often had an excess numbers of cards in hand so the fast action to play the gates where very useful. That said, if you don't get a gate very early you might not be able to use them at all and the gates are at their best when replaying scenarios.

Seal of the Elder Sign has been an amazing upgrade for me (with your statline it's pretty much auto-success for a difficulty 5 test of any stat which really helps with weird parley and location tests) and if you prioritize them somewhat early I'm not sure you need to run Prepared for the Worst as they alleviate pressure on your ability as well.

I' not sure about the second copy of Storm of Spirits, even 50 XP into the campaign I've not been able to prioritize more than one upgraded copy and it's easily among my worst cards in the current deck. As I went with Rite of Seeking over Wither and Mists of R'lyeh the second copy should probably have been a Wither instead.