Hunter-Killer, a Guardian Tony Standard Deck

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TheBlackHorror · 2947

This is the first in my "Standard Deck" series, where I create highly effective taboo-compliant decks for specific investigators, with a focus on the most recent Dream Eater investigators first. These decks are designed for 2 Players with Standard difficulty in mind and assume you have a current card pool, but include modifications for 3-4 players. Each deck will highlight the investigator's strengths, including both instructions on how to play the investigator and how to pilot the deck, with the aim of teaching you how they work.

Want to try the new Dream-Eater investigators, but are at a loss and don't know where to start?

Try one of my Standard Decks!

Have an Arkham event coming up and you need to bring a couple of decks, but don't have the time or brain space to build them all?

Try one of my Standard Decks! You can create quick standalone builds by following the Standalone recommendations at the end of each deck guide.

Imagine these as pre-fabricated Arkham Horror LCG decks that you can crack open and start playing with.

THE INVESTIGATOR

Tony Morgan

Role: Monster Killer

Strengths: Combat, Action Economy

Weaknesses: Willpower, Sanity

Modus Operandi: 5 makes Tony a born monster-killer, with some ability to investigate at 3 . While it is important to guard his fragile sanity, his action economy allows him to move through scenarios at a very high tempo, meaning he will see fewer cards from the encounter deck. While he likely won't pass many treacheries, use cards like Steadfast, Unexpected Courage, and Tennessee Sour Mash to prevent him from taking too much horror. Cards like On the Hunt help by ensuring Tony draw enemies instead of Rotting Remains. If, however, you are still nervous, feel free to include a Liquid Courage--but be warned, due to Tony's 2 , it is not easy to pull off. Tony will either need help or be forced to use his precious icons. If you do include it, one copy should suffice and you can replace a copy of Swift Reflexes.

However, later you will want to make room for a Well-Maintained Tennessee Sour Mash.

Regardless, in a worst case situation in which you end a scenario with mental trauma, you can always pick up Adaptable or later, Versatile, and add in Smoking Pipes and Liquid Courages.

Investigator Signature Asset: Tony's .38 Long Colt

The Tony's .38 Long Colt's primary purpose is to recharge Tony's Bounties. But this only happens when Tony uses it to kill a monster, so you need to conserve the precious 3 ammo that comes with it.

Ideally Tony should have 2 weapons in hand (and almost NEVER two Tony's .38 Long Colt!)--a Tony's .38 Long Colt and any other weapon, such as Knuckleduster, Switchblade, or .41 Derringer. Use this other weapon to soften up Tony's targets before delivering the killing blow with Tony's .38 Long Colt. This is how he recharges his Bounties!

IMPORTANT: whenever possible, always deliver the killing blow to enemies with a Bounty on them using Tony's .38 Long Colt! He has 5 , so punch them if you must!

Investigator Signature Asset: Bounty Contracts

Tony uses his bounties to increase his cash and earn him extra actions. But be careful! He only has a limited number of bounties and they can disappear fast. Managing Tony's bounties is key to his success.

Managing Bounties

As a general guideline, you want to place a lot of bounties early, then dole them out one at a time later on. First monster to appear that you need to kill--put 3 Bounties on it. It's an easy kill and gets Tony resources early. After that, only assign 1 bounty to monsters you plan to kill. The true power of the bounties is not the resources--it's the free actions. You will only be able to use Tony's ability once each round, so try to avoid killing two monsters with bounties on them in the same turn. There is one exception: bosses and VP enemies. If you know you're going to defeat them, add 2-3 bounties if you can. Your Tony's .38 Long Colts get +1 for each Bounty on his target, so this is a good way to beef up his attack, and if killing the monster doesn't end the scenario, it's also a pretty good payday.

Investigator Signature Weakness: Tony's Quarry

Aside from the one doom it brings, Tony has one of the mildest signature weaknesses in the game, Tony's Quarry. It even comes with a Bounty on it, meaning it saves Tony an action to deal with it! However, most of the time you can just leave it be. Once the agenda flips over and doom is removed from play, it poses absolutely no threat whatsoever--and as long as it's on the table, it can't get reshuffled back into your deck!

THE DECK

Premise: Maximize Action Efficiency using Tony's Bounties by keeping his Tony's .38 Long Colt's full of ammo. This enables him to continuously recharge his Bounties, which gives him continuous bonus actions.

DECK PILOTING INSTRUCTIONS:

Mulligan and Opening Hand

You want your opening hand to consist of (in this order):

(1) Leo De Luca

(2) a Tony's .38 Long Colt or Prepared for the Worst

(3) a Knuckleduster or .41 Derringer or Prepared for the Worst

(4) Emergency Cache

(5) and Lucky Cigarette Case.

Why this order? Because getting Leo De Luca out early means you have the most number of actions in the scenario. Tony is likely to see a weapon soon, and can punch monsters without one.

How to Use the Cards in this Deck

Tony's .38 Long Colt and Other Weapons

As mentioned above, you want Leo De Luca out early to maximize your actions. You also want to get a Tony's .38 Long Colt as early as possible so you can get as many Bounty Contracts as possible. Use Prepared for the Worst to find your Tony's .38 Long Colts. Use the .41 Derringers and Knuckledusters for your offhand weapons to preserve your Long Colt ammo.

Other ways to make your Tony's .38 Long Colt ammo go farther are (a) Sleight of Hand, which can be wickedly effective against an high fight enemy with 2-3 Bounties on it; and (b) Contraband to double the ammo on a Tony's .38 Long Colt that hasn't been Sleighted into play.

OTHER CARDS

  • Lucky Cigarette Case is great in Tony. Due to his high and +2 boosts from .41 Derringer and later the Switchblade, he will succeed by two very often. This provides great action efficiency since he shouldn't have to spend actions drawing cards.

  • Tennessee Sour Mash is a way of banking +2 for when Tony really needs it. The +3 Fight action once it's empty is also decent.

  • Emergency Cache is included for an economy boost, especially in the beginning of a scenario before Tony has collected all any Bounties. But fear not, by the end of the scenario, Tony will be swimming in cash.

  • On the Hunt, as mentioned above, is used to ensure Tony is pulling enemies from the encounter deck and not Rotting Remains, while also getting the most out of his Bounties,

  • Swift Reflexes is a great card. Best way to employ it is this: if you have a Seeker/Cluever that needs to go first, but they are engaged with an enemy, use your Swift Reflexes to intervene and engage that enemy, leaving your Seeker/Cluever free to go about their business. This card literally turns Resources into Actions.

  • Overpower has three typical uses: to boost Knuckleduster, boost bare-fisted Fight actions, and to boost Tony's .38 Long Colt, especially if the target has only 1 Bounty.

  • Steadfast and Unexpected Courage are highly versatile cards that you can use to protect Tony's sanity, shake free of a Frozen in Fear, or supplement a Fight action in the same fashion as Overpower. Unexpected Courage is, of course, useful for any test, for any investigator.

  • Vicious Blow seems like a no-brainer, but it has some very strategic uses. You can use it with the Tony's .38 Long Colt to kill 3-health enemies. You can also use it with Tennessee Sour Mash's Discard ability to turn that +3 1-Damage Fight action into +4 and 2 Damage--make it really count!

Adjustments for 3-4 Player

Depending on the campaign or if you play 3-4 players, you may want to sub in a .45 Thompson in place of a Tennessee Sour Mash.

ALTERNATIVE CARDS

If you are having to build multiple decks from the same cardpool or you want to make some adjustments to the deck to accommodate more investigation, take a look below at some alternative cards. They are separated by function (Combat / Investigation/ Horror Prevention/Healing), then by class (Guardian/Rogue), and listed in order of effectiveness.

IMPORTANT: Tony has a limit of 10 Guardian skills/events! This deck has 8 already, with 2 slots for Extra Ammunition x2. So if you decide to insert more Guardian cards, you will have to take some out. The easiest Guardian card to cut is Vicious Blow x2.

Combat

  • .45 Thompson: If Tony is going to be a dedicated monster killer, he may want to pack some more stopping power. Especially if you know you're going up against a beefy boss. It comes with 5 ammo, which is great news for Contraband! The two big downsides is the sheer cost (6!) and it occupies both hands. Unfortunately, this is not a card you can Sleight of Hand, if you're using taboo rules.

Investigation/Clues

GUARDIAN CARDS

  • Scene of the Crime: This is a great way for fighters to grab easily 2 clues. However, it requires you to start at a location with a monster and clues, so pairing it with On the Hunt is a nice combo.

  • Evidence!: Tony is killing monsters anyway, so why not pick up an extra clue on the way?

  • Interrogate: This one is a little more situational, but if you know you're playing in a campaign with Humanoids, like The Circle Undone, it can be an easy way to grab clues.

ROGUE CARDS

  • Intel Report: Tony can end up with piles of cash, so he can make good use of expensive Favor cards. This allows him to suck up clues (for a price), even at adjacent locations. As long as he has the cash, paying 6 resources to grab 2 clues from up to two locations away is an incredible action-saver. Resources aren't points--so spend them! Worst case scenario, this has , which can help him investigate anyway.

Horror Prevention/Healing

GUARDIAN CARDS

  • Delay the Inevitable: Getting ready to fight that scary boss that deals 2-3 Horror per hit, but Tony can't take him down in one round? It's time to Delay the Inevitable. This allows him to tank a devastating hit, giving him more time to safely take down a big baddie. In Dunwich, it can literally save Tony's or his fellow investigator's life against Beyond the Veil. Let's just say, Daisy was extremely grateful...twice!

  • Take the Initiative: This card is less circumstantial than it may appear. You use it against treacheries, before any investigators have gone, ensuring you get a solid +3 to or , or whatever skill is being tested.

ROGUE CARDS

  • Liquid Courage: As I mentioned above, this card is a little harder to pull off with Tony's low , but at the very worst, each use will heal a horror and cost you a random card from your hand. Pair it with Tennessee Sour Mash for a nice cocktail and a pretty good chance at succeeding!

  • "You handle this one!": This is another great way to protect Tony's low sanity, but it's a little more circumstantial then you'd think. It's great to pass off a Rotting Remains to your fellow investigator, but...is your fellow investigator going to be able to handle it better? What if you're paired with Finn, or Roland? By all means, take this card, but only do so after you've considered who your fellow investigator is. However, in 3-4 player counts, you can confidently add this. But if you're shucking horror-inducing cards off onto your fellow investigator, also consider adding Liquid Courage, so you can help heal all that horror you've been passing off on others.

NEUTRAL CARDS

  • Smoking Pipe: This is another way to manage Tony's horror levels.

UPGRADES

IMPORTANT: upgrade this in conjunction with Another Day, Another Dollar. Each copy of Another Day, Another Dollar should replace one copy of Emergency Cache, but since Another Day, Another Dollar does not affect your deck size, you want to also upgrade a card that does--such as Extra Ammunition.

Standalone Builds

9 XP

  1. Replace Emergency Cache x2 with Extra Ammunition x2.

  2. Replace Contraband x2 with Contraband x2.

  3. Add Another Day, Another Dollar

19 XP

  1. Replace Emergency Cache x2 with Extra Ammunition x2.

  2. Replace Contraband x2 with Contraband x2.

  3. Replace Knuckleduster x2 with Switchblade x2.

  4. Relace one copy of Leo De Luca with Leo De Luca

  5. Add Another Day, Another Dollar x2

29 XP

  1. Replace Emergency Cache x2 with Extra Ammunition x2.

  2. Replace Contraband x2 with Contraband x2.

  3. Replace Knuckleduster x2 with Switchblade x2.

  4. Replace Leo De Luca x2 with Leo De Luca x2.

  5. Replace .41 Derringer x2 with .41 Derringer x2.

  6. Replace one copy of Tennessee Sour Mash with Tennessee Sour Mash.

  7. Replace Vicious Blow x2 with Well-Maintained x2.

  8. Add Another Day, Another Dollar x2

39 XP

  1. Replace Emergency Cache x2 with Extra Ammunition x2.

  2. Replace Contraband x2 with Contraband x2.

  3. Replace Knuckleduster x2 with Switchblade x2.

  4. Replace Leo De Luca x2 with Leo De Luca x2.

  5. Replace .41 Derringer x2 with .41 Derringer x2.

  6. Replace one copy of Overpower with Pay Day.

  7. Replace Vicious Blow x2 with Ace in the Hole and The Gold Pocket Watch.

  8. Add Another Day, Another Dollar x2

49 XP

  1. Replace Emergency Cache x2 with Extra Ammunition x2.

  2. Replace Contraband x2 with Contraband x2.

  3. Replace Knuckleduster x2 with Switchblade x2.

  4. Replace Leo De Luca x2 with Leo De Luca x2.

  5. Replace .41 Derringer x2 with .41 Derringer x2.

  6. Replace Overpower x2 with Pay Day x2.

  7. Replace Vicious Blow x2 with Ace in the Hole and The Gold Pocket Watch.

  8. Replace Swift Reflexes x2 with Double, Double and Well-Maintained.

  9. Add Another Day, Another Dollar x2

20 comments

Nov 28, 2019 TWWaterfalls · 9

I don't know what I would replace but I really enjoyed playing Interrogate with Mark Harrigan in my last campaign. It might not be the most efficient way to pick up clues but it is a lot of fun hoping that a Humanoid enemy pops up.

I don't plan to get Dreameaters any time soon (still have 9 packs of FA/TCU to get) but Tommy might be my favorite of the newest investigators. The bounty mechanic is a nice twist.

Nov 28, 2019 kai_spa · 1

Greetings. How about You handle this one against those treacheries to protect low Willpower and sanity?.

Nov 28, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2947

I added an Alternative Cards section, if you're looking to adjust the deck a little.

@TWWaterfallsHonestly, I haven't looked at Interrogate except when it first came out. That looks like an useful card in Tony, if you need to lean into investigation. I added it to the Alternative Cards section.

@kai_spa"You handle this one!" is a good Tony card. I listed it under the Alternative Cards section. I didn't include it in this deck because the deck does not assume you will be paired with any particular investigator--and in 2 player, who your fellow investigator is matters a lot! You don't want to pass off treacheries to an investigator who is less well-equipped to handle it. I had 2x of these in a Tony deck paired with Daisy, and rarely used it. However, in 3-4 players, it's definitely a great card to add since it's much more likely you will have an investigator on your team who can handle a particular treachery better than Tony.

Nov 28, 2019 Django · 2049

I've built an event based deck for tony, using Switchblade 2 + Reliable as main weapon.

Combining Crystallizer of Dreams and those 2-6 ressource events with double symbols also works pretty well. Buy 2 clues of another location with Intel Report followed by an test to get another one. Or kill an enemy, use Evidence! and investigate with it.

Nov 28, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2947

@DjangoNice! If this deck wasn't so focused on ammo, I would have suggested Reliable. But that's still an option! I hadn't thought of it for Switchblade (2), which is such an amazing card in Tony! But that would also increase your damage output, since it's more likely you'll be succeeding over 2. I may have to go back and add that to the list of options now.... Your deck sounds cool!

Nov 28, 2019 Django · 2049

Switchblade 2's damage output is unreliable and tony has hardly any access to permanent boosts, besides Reliable and Hired Muscle. So your combo, especially with upgraded .41 Derringer sounds pretty nice.

A skill focused tony deck with 1-2 Lucky Cigarette Cases in play is also very effective to restock and hardly run out of icons.

Smoking Pipe works quite well as horror heal, btw.

Nov 29, 2019 Smeshnik · 7

I like it. Changes I made: in goes "Let God sort them out...", out goes Vicious Blow because I am always hungry for xp.

Removed Contraband 0 for "You handle this one!" because I'm playing 3p games and I find the non-upgraded Contraband too cumbersome. Will checks can be crippling even with Sour Mash down.

Nov 29, 2019 Sassenach · 53

My Tony deck is running Crystallizer of Dreams with Evidence! and Intel Report. Haven't played too many scenarios as yet but so far it's proved to be a phenomenal combination. It offers the potential for him to be both a badass killing machine and a surprisingly reliable clue-getter all in one package. I've also added in Switchblade(2), which is a sensational card for Tony. Oh, and I discovered that you can combo Ever Vigilant with the crystalliser to great effect. Play EV, deploy the Crystalliser for zero resource cost and then attach EV to it afterwards for a nice little double book pip.

Tony is a very powerful investigator I think.

Nov 29, 2019 TWWaterfalls · 9

I have the same thoughts about Contraband 0. It would wreck the tempo of the turns even if I was playing it with Jenny who is super rich. The upgraded version is better but I would still prefer Extra Ammo. Both with Tony are probably best though to keep his Colt's fully loaded.

"Let God sort them out..." is almost a definite include for any killing machine that can take it. Or at least once I get the card (not for awhile). There is a card in there for Extra Ammo for Rogues (Swift Reload I think) that would do what is wanted from Contraband without the tempo loss.

Nov 29, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2947

All great suggestions! I'm sure we will see more good Tony cards with each new Dream Eaters pack that comes out. And yes, Tony is very powerful. I've had many scenarios where he just dominated. Monster killers don't typically have good action compression--but Tony does. I'm also curious to see what good Survivor and Seeker cards we will see in this cycle for Tony.

Nov 29, 2019 Difrakt · 625

This looks good for 3-4p but I don’t think there are enough enemies in 2p for a guardian to be this specialized. Tony is actually a really good carrier (and financier) for the testless clues events like evidence, Scene of the Crime, and Intel report and he should probably have at least a few of these cards in 2p

Nov 29, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2947

@DifraktThis deck is specifically for a Monster Killer role, which means you would pair it with someone who is a Cluever, hence why I have not included those.

Believe it or not, I ran a version of this through Carcosa, paired with Daisy, and was still on the verge of running out of ammo! In 3+ players, you will definitely want to add 1 or 2 .45 Thompsons.

If you want to build a more flexible Tony in which he will be shouldering a portion of the clue-getting, then by all means include those other cards: Scene of the Crime, Evidence!, and Intel Report. You can remove Vicious Blow to include Scene of the Crime and remove Swift Reflexes to include Intel Report.

However, this specific deck sucks up a lot of resources, so you may find yourself too cash-strapped to play them. All the resources generation in this deck goes to refilling Tony's .38 Long Colt's.

Lastly, in my experience, Tony's 3 allowed him to investigate 1-shroud shroud locations easily, 2-shroud locations with some success (depends on the what's in the Chaos Bag), and occasionally get lucky at a 3-shroud location. It makes a big difference from 2 !

Thank you (and everyone else) for the comments! They are very instructive to players who want to try out Tony or build a Tony deck for the first time.

Nov 30, 2019 Django · 2049

Dec 02, 2019 Zinthos · 1

Is the Sleight of Hand + Tony's .38 Long Colt + reaction Tony's .38 Long Colt combo to get one in play for 1r legit? Sleight of Hand puts one copy into play, but doesn't 'play' it. From the rules: "A card that has been put into play is not considered to have been played or drawn." It sucks, but I don't think you can trigger the reaction ability on the first Colt.

Dec 02, 2019 Difrakt · 625

@Zinthosno it is not. You can still use the sleighted long colt to get a bounty, but you cannot trigger its reaction since it was never played.

Dec 02, 2019 TheBlackHorror · 2947

@Zinthos``@DifraktThanks for the clarification. I will fix that. On the flip side, that does prevent you from getting "taxed" when you Sleight a hand item into play while Torturous Chords is in your threat area.

Dec 03, 2019 Morik · 1

No, it does, because you "play" SoH.

Dec 03, 2019 Difrakt · 625

Long Colt doesn’t have a reaction trigger for playing Sleight of Hand.

Dec 04, 2019 gibby290 · 1

@TheBlackHorrorThis is awesome work...I hope you do this for each investigator, VERY helpful for my wife and I

Dec 05, 2019 atlas985 · 1

Just stopping by to compliment you on the idea AND the deck, I'm starting a new campaign soon with a friend and I was looking for nice decks to try out. Hope you'll go on with this format for other investigators as well!