Joe: Don‘t bring guns to a potion fight |Expert; TCU; MP

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Rancord · 623


This is Joe as the main cluer in expert TCU. As Enemies have lower stats in TCU (but nasty effects), and you are sometimes separated from your team, Joe is not in every aspect outclassed by Mandy or Minh. His low WP is a bit of an issue in TCU, but its possible to handle that.

Roles and Main Takeaways of this Joe build:

  • Your job is to get clues all the time. You have limited fighting capabilities and those are mostly for emergencies or helping out with a boss.
  • Mulligan for a tool to deal with enemies you draw and a permanent int boost (Tarot with upgrades). Anything else is not important as you have also assistance from your Hunch deck
  • Your unique weapon is a basically a +2 skill card as the 4 cost and +1 fight only will not make it fly on expert in the way this deck is built
  • You are not the fighter of the group. Your fighting tools are only here to protect you from enemies stopping you to get clues, when your allys are away or busy.

Pros and Cons

  • + Having an extra card every turn
  • + Able to pack more events with costs
  • + Gets more test-less clues than other
  • - Low Willpower and Agility make him really bad against Encounters
  • - Low Sanity along with Low Willpower
  • - Guardian Assets drive up the cost-curve

Card Selections

Core: This cards make sure your deck can do the goal I outlined before

  • Magnifying Glass I do not think I need to get into this. 4 int is low and even harder on expert, without perma-boosts.
  • Alice Luxley test-less damage is really good, and Dr. Milan Christopher has a problem with Centuries of Secrets in TCU. One of the 2 is core, I prefer Alice in TCU, and Milan everywhere else.
  • Enchanted Blade You need +2 fight to be on +3/+4 against most of the enemies in TCU. Also getting rid of specters is a nice bonus. Use it only as your defense and not to aggressively clear enemies
  • Occult Lexicon More cash creation/filtering or test-less damage. While hand-slots are rare its just a one of and certainly worth the inclusion on expert.
  • Crack the Case With your hunch deck you can score some clues from high shroud locations to cash in. Especially later with Higher Education it is important to have multiple sources of money generation.
  • The 10 Insights: Scene of the Crime, Working a Hunch, Preposterous Sketches, No Stone Unturned are basic for me. I added Connect the Dots for occasional benefit and Delay the Inevitable as it might save you, but at least its fast and thins your hunch deck.
  • The Skill package: I took 5 +3 for expert, but you can go higher with getting an additional Inquiring Mind. With the draw from hunch deck and at expert need for +3 (with tablets) at low xp, and +4 with Elder things, you need skill cards to bridge the gap till you draw enough boost. Deduction should hit the +3 on 3 shroud early and once you buy Higher Education it is a good action compression.

Tech: This are cards I took in to fill gaps or because of TCU/expert

  • Guard Dog More test-less damage, is only here for Witching Hour and Goat Spawn
  • Emergency Cache Generally there should be enough cash, this is to make sure that you can refill if you go out at the wrong time.
  • Strange Solution While Archaic Glyphs are also a good option for Joe, I decided to use Strange Solution in TCU. As I already use fight-boosting skills and most enemies have 3 hp in TCU,
  • Shortcut Its a filler card for me, but I like it more as it combos with Scene of the crime and sometimes Sketches or inquiring Mind.
  • Mind over Matter A one-of is good enough normally, but as there are a separations/circle tests and unkillable spectres and also curses you can get rid of by exhausting witches.
  • "I'll see you in hell!" As in act 3/4 the Goats and witches can suddenly pile up and there is quit some things that attack your sanity and limited soak, you can use this an emergency button, to allow your allys to finish the scenario and guaranteed the physical instead of mental trauma (that's exactly what happened in our run, and it allowed a positive resolution)


Make sure you start your play with a permanent int booster and go for clues immediately. If your allys would not be able to help you with an early enemy, also play out an enemy handling tool.

Try to investigate at +3/4 depending on what the tablet/elder Thing token is. Use your skill cards liberal and do not waste your time with to many actions that are not getting clues.

Try to use your hunch deck every turn, as it is a free card. You will draw your weakness eventually, but as long as you prepared that it could appear any turn you are usually fine.

You pair best with a fighter and a hybrid that can do successful investigate actions: A or usually, but certain could also work. If the clue gathering is only tied to effect cards, it might be to big of a burden for Joe to carry alone, because certain weaknesses or encounters can easily waste a turn of a single investigator.


Priority 1: Upgrades that are essential to your job

  • 2x Death • XIII for Guard Dog With Higher Education at 8 XP, you need some early boost. You also have enough draw and Occult to drop down the second copy without a loss. If you can start the game with +1 or +2 int in first turn with all your cards it makes a huge difference in your success rate.
  • 2x "I've had worse…" for Emergency Cache+ "I'll see you in hell!" Both cards are no longer needed, and it provides you safety and additional cash at fast speed.
  • Higher Education its 8 XP but still insane and with the Hunch decks you should be able to stay on high card count pretty easy. On expert you will need a reliable boost to not waste time trying to draw into the right cards.

Priority 2: Those all make your job a bit easier, and round out your deck better.

  • 2x Strange Solution This will be your main fighting tool later. You have enough skill cards to boost it and at 6 you are fine against the low fight enemies TCU features.
  • 3x Segment of Onyx for Shortcut and a skill card. The card is really powerful, testless stuff i insane on expert, and Joe has the deck to find all 3 pieces.
  • 2x Cryptic Research This card is just really good and can replace Preposterous Sketches or Perception.

Why not more fighting tools?

There is certainly the option to go for Charisma/Beat Cop and replace Death • XIII with Ace of Swords instead of Cryptic Research once your core works even in this deck list if you prefer it that way and add Emergency Cache for more ammo on Strange solution. which is from 23 XP to 35 XP you can upgrade that which is possible in the s5-s7 range, and you could even bring Vicious blow in then if you need the extra damage for 2 XP. I would consider it, if your team realizes mid-campaign that more fighting power is needed.

The reason why I stay away from having more fighting tools is, that to make it work for good tests on expert you need to invest way more resources (card slots/xp/cash). This will make you worse at clue gathering, cause you will have more turns where you can't investigate high enough, as you have given up slots for fighting.


Nov 07, 2019 TheStormwolf · 1

Deck looks great and nice write up. I'll see you in hell is a genius tech-card for that first scenario!

Nov 08, 2019 Darvete · 134

I think the deck is good, but I wonder if timeworn brand might be a better alternative to strange solution. Both let you fight with a combat of 6 except time worn brand lets you fight infinitely and the secondary ability is pretty handy. I guess the resource cost difference between the two is pretty noticeable and timeworn brand costs 1 extra exp, although I don't think the handslot is an issue with how few hand slots your deck uses. What do you think?

Nov 08, 2019 TheStormwolf · 1

`@Darvete Another argument for using the solution would be the abundance of 3 health enemies in TCU. Brand costs you an action more to deal with most enemies, which you'd rather spend to investigate.

Nov 08, 2019 Rancord · 623

I want to focus on getting clues with this deck. On expert I need to boost some of the rare fights I do. As I dont want to do many fight actions I dont include a perma fighting weapon