My two dads! (Dario and David) - dttf competition

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Brownloaf · 331

This is my entry for the competition set by the Drawn to the Flame podcast (It's really good you should definitely listen to it), and the deck's name is taken from the 80's sitcom My Two Dads (It's not as good, but watchable for nostalgia's sake!)

Note - When building this deck I have prioritized cards I really want to play over strength of the deck, there are definitely better choices for some of these cards, but this is a deck I'm having fun with as is performing reasonably well

So the competition is quite Carcosa focused and I decided I wanted to build my deck based around a card I really like and have always wanted to have success but is unfortunately, most often not included in decks due to there being better options - Dario El-Amin! I mainly like this card from a theme standpoint, and understand why it not often used. (At least until Preston came on the scene). To stick with the Carcosa theme, I went with Sefina Rousseau as the investigator, as apart form Lola Hayes (who frankly I didn't really what to play) she was the one who could run him.

This led to a massive dilemma as Sefina Rousseau can also run David Renfield, who is not only also a fellow patron, but is an incredibly strong ally, and a favorite of mine. So I set about making a deck which ran both patrons.

My two dads! - How well do they coexist?
In the sitcom? Not very well, which in turn leads to the main conflict and "hilarity" of the show, as the two men, who were both sleeping with the main protagonist's mother, who unfortunately died before she could confirm which of them was the biological father, compete for the daughter's affections, whilst simultaneously trying to prove they can do a descent job of raising her to the judge, who awarded them joint custody and happens to own the building they all live in. Oh and Giovanni Ribisi was in it!

In the game, actually pretty well as it turns out. First thing to notice is the David Renfield removing/controlling cards that you can't access, if you are only using Core/Carcosa/TCU. No Moonlight Ritual, No Painkillers, in fact the best two options become attacks of opportunity or replacing with another ally. So with David Renfield's main issue being getting rid of him, and Dario El-Amin's main issue being that it takes seemingly ages to get up to 10, they can actually offset each other's weaknesses and work in a quite pleasing synergy. Use David Renfield to get the cash rolling in nice and quickly, then when you want to get rid of him, replace him with Dario El-Amin, and fingers crossed, you're near enough to 10 resources to get him doing some work for you. You can use Calling in Favors to speed up/reduce the cost of the process. Whilst the premise does sound somewhat flimsy it does seem to working more often than not, and going from 2 to 3 intellect is not insignificant. (see results below)

The rest of the deck
Flashlight - necessary - although likely to be upgraded to Lockpicks at some point
Shrivelling - nice with the +1 willpower boost which hopefully you'll get with you "Dad" of the moment.
Sixth Sense - I prefer Rite of Seeking, but guess what! I can't include it!
Dario El-Amin - Dad 1
David Renfield - Dad 2
Investments - Lone Wolf is not allowed, plus is has a very minor hidden use, which is for provoking attacks of opportunity, to either kill off David Renfield (sorry dad!) or get some value out of Narrow Escape. Better than just taking a resource or card.
Calling in Favors - as mentioned above, only one as I found that my hand was getting a bit clogged up with them. It doesn't work all the time so one is fine!
Cheap Shot - It's fine, good for non-hunters or rats
Drawn to the Flame - Never heard of it
Emergency Cache - This is a fairly high money deck so a natural inclusion. Probably replaced with Hot Streak's later
Intel Report - the service cards work really well with Sefina Rousseau and it takes care of one of her weaknesses (investigating). This is actually a great example of where Dario El-Amin's action ability can be really helpful. e.g. Instead of move in, pay 2 the play Intel Report, move out. One could, trigger Dario El-Amin pay 4 for Intel Report (discovering the same clue) and have one action left over. Woohoo!!!
Narrow Escape - I LOVE this card. Doesn't always work, but when it does, nothing makes you feel more "roguish".
Small Favor - see intel report
Storm of Spirits - Really strong Sefina Rousseau card. Great with Uncage the Soul.
Uncage the Soul - speaking of which! The cards are really like an extra of couple of Emergency Cache's. It's very rare they don't hit, and when they do they are an action better than Emergency Cache. It also works brilliantly with The Painted World, combined with the service cards!
"Watch this!" - More money, also quite easy to hit, with willpower or evade tests.
Unexpected Courage - "Sometimes, the most selfless acts can come from the strangest places"

Are there any better options?
Well "Blossom" was a bit better, "Cheers" naturally, and I still think "the Wonder Years" is one of the best programs every made. Of course the bar was significantly raised with the arrival of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" in the early 90's!
Regarding the deck, the elephant in the room has to be St. Hubert's Key. It's just got to be better than Dario El-Amin! Ok so you don't get the ability but, that is somewhat countered by the fact that you don't 10 resources to make it work! It doesn't take up the ally slot, and you get the sanity heal. BUT, as mentioned, this deck is one I built specifically to play Dario El-Amin and David Renfield. Whilst it is true I could run all three, that would somewhat take the shine off the moment when the parts of this deck fall into place. David Renfield running off in a huff, because no one's listening to him as he bangs on about the end of the world, just as Dario El-Amin appears around the corner, offering a sinister handshake, telling you to "be prepared" and "do your best", I just love it!

Results - "Carcosa" Spoilers but "Return to" spoilers avoided!!
Curtain Call:
Really pleasing play through. My two dads plan worked perfectly, didn't manage to keep the emissary down at the end, but if he wasn't at the lobby I wouldn't have been able to play 2 x narrow escape and investigate the Man in the pallid mask successfully! 3 xp, resigned, David into Dario happened!!!

The last King:
David was nowhere to be found. Luckily Dario was, hit 10 resources fairly quickly, then he became a great help! Resigned, 3 interviews, 0 slain, 5xp. Nice!

Lunacy's reward

Echoes of the past
For the purposes of testing I ran this twice, once with liberal Doom/David play, once with conservative David play. The first (risky) attempt was a disaster of doom play, consisting of David shaking his head, as the agenda flew past with a "I told the world was bloody ending, didn't I?" look all over his smug face! Playing it safe won, it meant that David did very little work, just there for soak really (That's what you get for patronising me Dave!!). Dario was unbelievable!! The thing about this scenario solo if that it helps to centralise yourself at the end of your turn in case of seeker of Carcosa pops up. So I did find myself with a few spare actions to trigger Dario's abilities. Hit 10 in no time! He was great, until Mr Peabody booted him out!! A favourite parent is definitely emerging, and it's not the one I was expecting! R1, 3xp

Unspeakable oath
David back on form. Collected silly resources all through agenda 2. Then Dario took over and I was set up for the game. Lost Dario towards the end, but that just freed up those resources for me to "service" my way to victory/survival. 2 actions remaining. Nice one chaps! R3, 3xp, Dads working in perfect harmony!!

Phantom of truth
Conviction Phantom means Dave was a rock star!! Picked up silly resources. Unfortunately despite Dario making an appearance very few combat spells appeared and I ended up getting knocked out by horror, as I was swamped by monsters. No Resolution, 4xp, 1 mental trauma, Dads tried their best, but things just didn't work out!

The Pallid Mask
This went really well, David took centre stage again here, with agenda 2 being enormous. Financing the service events to great effect. Had some lucky placements, and elusive (taboo) popping up at the crucial moment. Good times!!R2, 4xp, A very Dave-centric episode!!

Black stars rise
The deck is bursting with money by this point, David can be a bit risky here, unless you are trying to advance an agenda, so Dario took the reins. Fun moment here was drawing 4 weaknesses during setup! Made it through (above!) with a bit of time to spare. R2, 3xp, 4 doubt, 4 conviction, 4 chasing the strangers, 2 mental trauma
This deck is singing, even though I know there are better choices. I've really struggled in the past with Dim Carcosa, and am terrified to discover what they have put in for return to. I add another "another day another dollar" and take the plunge, hoping for a dramatic season finale!!

Dim Carcosa
Well it was more a sudden end than a dramatic one. 4 damage from one treachery card sealed the deal. I would say I was about half way there when it ended. Not only were the "Dads" hard to find, but they were finding new weird and wonderful ways to disappear at key moments. Defeated by damage, driven insane, lost the campaign.

Just like at the end of all episodes of the sitcom, I find myself liking both these guys equally. They've both pulled their weights at different times, and having 4 desirable ally cards in the deck means Sefina is highly likely to see one of them. I think a lot of it comes down to David and the doom limits on agenda, with some curious exceptions in this cycle (echoes/phantom). I was not expecting to be saying that overall I've found them equally strong in this campaign, but that's how it's been for me. If the dttf imposed shackles were suddenly cut loose, which I guess now they are, the first change I'd make would be to include Charisma, and have them both on at the same time. Then also include Moonlight Ritual, which would become Sacrifice later on, to take care of David if he gets over excited. I think then this deck could hit a really powerful place if then Lola Santiago was brought onboard, although I would then have to rename the deck, so it's probably not happening!!!


Nov 08, 2019 SolarJ · 10

Great write up! Laughed out loud at the 'any better options?' section. Lots of time for the Wonder Years!

Nov 09, 2019 acotgreave · 33

Great deck and write up! I like the narrative of your campaign run-through.

Nov 10, 2019 Brownloaf · 331

@SolarJ``@acotgreavemany thanks. Had a fun evening writing it up, and it turned out the deck was actually functional!