Invincible Jim (Recycling Grotesque Statue Deck)

FBones · 7018

This deck shows how Jim can become a monster by recycling Grotesque Statue. Between Jim's special ability (to treat skulls as 0s) and the availability of Grotesque statue, you can quickly get to the point where you almost never fail a skill test.

Jim is really the ultimate scavenger:

  1. Other than Agnes, he is the only investigator with access to Grotesque statue, which can be recycled, and Agnes has lower base intellect and no access to Milan. Note that Grotesque Statue automatically goes to discard pile when used up. You do not have to push it there by playing a hand-slot item. This means you can actually scavenge Grotesque Statue on the same skill test you used it on!
  2. His special ability means that he is going to successfully scavenge more frequently than others. Essentially any skull is going to be an auto-scavenge.
  3. He can defend himself better than Rex, and he can partner with Roland, who is a great companion for a scavenger because of his access to seeker cards.
  4. Jim can recycle Jim's Trumpet for 3 freaking willpower!

The best companion for this deck is Roland, for a number of reasons:

  • He can do the heavy lifting so Jim does not run out of ammo.
  • He has access to seeker cards like Inquiring Mind and Working a Hunch to help Jim investigate before he gets his kit out.
  • He pitches in on clue finding with his own special ability.
  • You can generate a ton of resources with Dr. Milan Christopher and Jewel of Aureolus, and if Roland uses Teamwork, you can give him some dough to help him bring out his expensive allies. (Roland tends to have trouble with resources.)

Roland should be packing 2x Evidence as well, which can be used to help you on investigation if you do not have your kit out.

Note the synergy pairing Grotesque Statue with Jewel of Aureolus. With Jim's special ability, you have a very high chance of being able to trigger the Jewel [2 tries and elder sign can be converted to a skull, so it triggers the Jewel as well]

I've been running this deck through Dunwich on Hard and it is really doing well. I've presented here what the deck should look like after you've gotten your first 11 experience deck, but there is some flexibility:

  • If you grab Warren Rice, you probably want to grab an early Charisma so you can better use your great allies.
  • If you don't have Warren Rice, you should probably go for Relic Hunter (so you can have both Holy Rosary and Jewel of Aureolus out at the same time.

Another great thing about the Jim Grotesque Scavenging deck is that xp continues to get you fantastic stuff... it is not like some other investigators where after your first 10-15 xp is spent there is diminishing returns. There are many high-powered add-ons beyond the 11 pts shown here:

  • Bulletproof Vest (recycle this with scavenging to get infinite health, or use it as a recurring +2 combat to help Roland)
  • Relic Hunter (as described above)
  • Charisma (as described above, note that the ally that gives you +1 agility can be surprising good for Jim because with Grotesque Statue, Jim has a decent chance of evading once his agility gets to 3.
  • Obviously you can buy the more expensive Rite of Seeking and make better use of its bonus to triggers scavenging

This deck shows what Jim looks like after 11 xp. Early on, you will want to consider the following possibilities for your base deck:

  1. Perhaps go with 2x Rite of Seeking so give you more investigation power before you get your kit out.
  2. 2x Delve too deep so you can accelerate xp... it takes a fair amount of xp for Jim to get off the ground since each grotesque statue is 4xp.
  3. Early on you may wish to go only 1 Dr. Milan Christopher and 2x Magnifying Glass, especially if you are not going to pick up Professor Warren Rice and get Charisma. I did that, but found myself short of cash prior to Jewel of Aureolus getting in the deck.

A final thing to note about this deck is how consistent it is. There are 12 cards that are all great to have in your first hand, [I'm including the Ward of Protections here], so you are very unlikely to get a dry start.

Another thing that makes this deck so consistent is that many scenarios cause you to discard cards, and once scavenging is out that means you do not necessarily need to wait to draw your Grotesque Statue or Jewel of Aureolus or Jim's Trumpet, you can just pull it out of your discard pile!


Jul 01, 2017 guybrush · 3

Thoughts on Ritual Candles? Magnifying glass and Flashlight are both pretty useful, but the candles are useful outside of intellect tests and can be used more often in this build.

Also, maybe we won't find our 1xMagnifying glass, but we will probably find one copy of candles if we play two and scavenge the other.

Jul 01, 2017 FBones · 7018

@guybrush It is a completely legitimate concern that you may not find a Magnifying Glass or Flashlight in your first draw. You will almost certainly find at least 1 of the 7 cards that help you investigate [1 x Magnifying Glass, 2 x Flashlight, 2 x Dr. Milan Christopher, and 2x Alyssa Graham], and the vast, vast, vast majority of the time, you will find at least 2 of these early on [and you may get Professor Warren Rice as well, making it 8]. But you could get 2 or 3 allies and no cheap tools.

But keep in mind that this is really only an issue in your first 1 (or maybe 2) scenarios, because the very first thing you are going to buy is a Grotesque Statue, which also obviously helps you investigate, so after the first 1 or two scenarios you are really going to have 8 or 9 investigation-helping cards, and 4 or 5 of them are going to be cheap. Extremely high likelihood of getting out a cheap item and an ally.

So.... what about those first 1 or 2 scenarios? You can switch a Dr. Milan Christopher to a Magnifying Glass to make it more likely you get a cheap item and an ally early on. That is actually how I played it originally. But I think the better solution is just to rely on your skill cards, your partner's skill cards and boosters [Roland can pack a ton of useful icon cards for you, and there is also Rite of Seeking + Guts. The extra cash from Milan is too important to forgo.

I don't think Ritual Candles are the answer.

Ritual candles are nearly worthless for Jim, unless you have made a bunch of decisions that have added further special tokens to the pool. Natively, there are only 3 special tokens in the chaos bag that Ritual Candles can help you with, 2 and 1 . If you draw a as Jim, you are almost certainly going to win your skill test anyway because = 0 for Jim. That means that the Ritual Candles are only going to help you on a single draw.

I think it is reasonable to go after Professor Warren Rice, and doing that adds a to the bag, but even then Ritual Candles are only really going to matter on 2 tokens out of 17. Put another way, Jim only gets half the benefit of Ritual Candles because the should generally be successes anyway.

I did a long mathematical analysis of Ritual Candles for inspectors who are not Jim, and the upshot is that a Ritual Candles in practice it gives an investigator roughly the equivalent of 1/2 added to his skills. [You can read the analysis here:

To do a quick-and-dirty calculation here for Jim: let's say you got Professor Warren Rice and so there is 1 and 1 in the chaos bag, meaning you will get one or the other about 12% of the time, and lets say that ~1/3 the time that +1 lets you win the skill test. That means the Ritual candles will make a difference [for Jim] about 1 time in every 25 skill tests. Let's say you have your Ritual Candles out for 12 turns and you do 1.75 skill tests a turn, that is 21 skill tests, so you expect them to make a difference about 1 time per game, but they cost you an action, a card, and a resource, so for Jim it really isn't worth it.

Note that the vast majority of the time the +1 to a is not going to make you win by 2 to trigger scavenging. On high shroud locations (3 or 4), you can commit skill cards. On low-shroud locations, you will already be winning by 2.

Jul 05, 2017 crayok · 1

The biggest drawback i see for this deck is that it's 2-Core. What would you change in your deck to make it 1-Core compliant ?

Jul 05, 2017 FBones · 7018

@crayok Sadly, I don't think this deck concept really works in a 1-core situation. However, I have made a series of decks specifically for 1-core + Dunwich. Look in my decklists for "1 core + Dunwich series"

Jul 06, 2017 Trilamb · 1

Would be interested to see the exact Roland deck you think would pair well with this.

Jul 06, 2017 FBones · 7018

@Trilamb here you go:

Aug 27, 2017 vikingskarsnik · 2

I would like to try thid deck out! I was wondering what do you with all your resources? I'm guessing you will be getting a bunch with Milan and the jewel? Maybe a card that uses resources could be included?

Aug 27, 2017 FBones · 7018

@vikingskarsnik I'm working on a new version of this that is doing very well. I'll post it soon.

The Jewel can either be used for a card or for resources, so you can choose which one you would rather have. Since there is only 1 Jewel and 2 Milans, the hope is more that you can get at least one of them out to help pay for things, like re-playing your statues.

Aug 27, 2017 FBones · 7018

@vikingskarsnik, I was hoping to have more results before I posted the new version, but as a quick version, you take this basic concept but focus less on straight investigating. The idea is to use Leo De Luca instead of Dr. Milan Christopher because the extra turns really help.

What I was finding was that having the grotesque statues were great for almost never failing skill tests, but I was using too many turns having to replay them. Having Leo De Luca really fixes this because with him on the board you have plenty of turns.

In the new version of the deck I don't have Dr. Milan Christopher or Alyssa Graham or Magnifying Glass. Instead I have 2 Rite of Seeking, 2 Leo De Luca, only 1 Holy Rosary and 2x Drawn to the Flame.

Another idea with this change is that you don't have to scavenge that often. Simply getting your Grotesque Statue once or twice through scavenging is more than enough, so there is less of that component.

My other splash cards are 1x Lucky!, 1x Scavenging, and 1x Rabbit's Foot. The Rabbit's Foot is to help balance in those cases where things are going wrong. I also have 1x Arcane Initiate to help get Rite of Seeking and Ward of Protection in my hand early if possible.

The bIggest danger for this deck comes in Where Doom Awaits, where there is one point where you have to investigate using base intellect without using Flashlight. You have to be able to do this 2-4 times in the scenario, and I expect to rely on Grotesque Statue + skill cards. We'll see how it goes!

Aug 29, 2017 vikingskarsnik · 2

So I tried your deck out (the original one, with dr milan). I played the Dunwich campaign with a friend (me as Jim, he as Ashcan Pete) and during this campaign I mostly had one core box (now I have 2) and we also bought new zero cost cards as they came out. Safe to say my deck wasn't competitive enough and we lost badly in 'where doom awaits'. So we decided to rebuild our decks with the exp we earned during the campaign and included our extra weaknesses and story allies and then try 'where doom awaits' again.

So I took your deck (with 18 exp I upgraded one shriveling and dumped the delve to deep for an upgraded rite of seeking). It went really well. I started with Milan and got rid of him for Alyssa once I got the jewel out. Scavenging and grotesque statue didn't come into play. Magnifying glass was a real help. I took care of the clues, while my friend evasion tanked the big enemies.

So standard 'where doom awaits' -> R2 with 3 exp, and probably the most fun I've had with the game yet.

Aug 29, 2017 FBones · 7018

@vikingskarsnik, glad to hear it! Pretty great that you managed to survive without the statue! What did you think of the Jewel? It becomes particularly useful with the statue because you get two shots at a special token each time.

Aug 30, 2017 vikingskarsnik · 2

It was really good. It clicked every turn, but in all fairness...we have some extra tokens in our bag :D so the chances to trigger are higher than normal :D.

Aug 30, 2017 LarryHo-Teep · 1

@FBonesI am going to give your deck a run, but for the first time I play it, it can't have any xp cards. I thought of trading the 2 x Grotesque Statue for 2 x Knife and the Jewel of Aureolus for a second Rite of Seeking. Your thought? Could other cards do a better job?

Aug 30, 2017 FBones · 7018

@LarryHo-Teep, are you playing solo or with a partner? If a partner, which investigator?

Aug 30, 2017 LarryHo-Teep · 1

@FBoneswe will be 3 players. My friends have yet picked their deck.

Aug 30, 2017 FBones · 7018

Two possibilities:

You can use this deck and replace Grotesque Statue and Jewel of Aureolus with 1x Delve Too Deep, 1x Delve Too Deep, and a second Overpower to help your fighters.

Or you can use the mystic-only version of this deck that I think is better because you get the benefit of Leo De Luca. I just published this so you can take a look. This deck has been doing very well on Hard with Roland.... and that is pretty impressive because Hard is challenging if you do not have a seeker.

Jim Deck:

Roland Deck:

These are built defensively to keep Roland sane on Hard difficulty. Feel free to cut off some of the defensive components if you are playing with a Seeker or on Standard.

Aug 19, 2019 brdanner · 1

How can you recycle the grotesque statue. I do not see it?

Aug 19, 2019 FBones · 7018

Use scavenging to bring it back.