Gotta Investigate Fast [Co-op]

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Ursula Downs in 'The Forgotten Age' 0 0 0 1.0

snacc · 301

The faster you complete the act deck, the fewer treacheries/enemies you need to deal with - meaning the less you need assets. Go commando, burn through those events, and finish the scenario faster!


The trick to maximizing Ursula's potential is to make sure you are triggering her ability every round for a free investigate action. To do this, you'll need to make sure you move every round. Keep that in mind as you progress through the scenario and plan ahead.

For example - there's one action left, with one clue on your location still. You haven't used your free investigate this turn, and you're wondering how to make use of it without leaving this lone clue lying around. With this deck, your options are plentiful:

Momentum is key - liberally use your events whenever you can to speed up your progress.

The ideal player count for Ursula is 2-3 as there are just the right amount of clues for her to be triggering her ability every round without getting bogged down with too many clues on a single location. You can easily take Ursula in 4 player games, but don't try to be the only clue gatherer!

Looking for a solo deck instead? I highly recommend this one.

Core Upgrades (20 XP)

You should perform these upgrades before any others:

After this point you can upgrade it how you like - see the "Further Upgrade Options" section below for suggestions.


Mulligan hard for Magnifying Glass and Dr. Milan Christopher early for the passive boost. If you don't get your sugardaddy then don't worry - Crack the Case has you covered. If you have to start the scenario with your base 4 then just go for it - use skill boosts in the meantime.

If you have both the above cards in your opening hand then prioritise Crack the Case, Practice Makes Perfect, Shortcut and "I've got a plan!". Make sure you put Perception and Deduction back into your deck so Practice Makes Perfect can pull them out and duplicate their use.

Playing Campaign

If you're starting a new campaign, I'd strongly recommend finding room for Strange Solution and Archaic Glyphs if you can. Upgrading the solution to Acidic Ichor will seriously increase your usefulness against VP enemies, and the glyphs can be upgraded into Prophecy Foretold or Guiding Stones to turn Ursula into an utter beast.

Signature Cards

Call of the Unknown
This is a fun weakness. Every round you'll be proclaiming "I nominate X location as my investigation target!". It's thematically-fitting for Ursula, isn't an immediate screw-over and allows you to actively make decisions to mitigate it. Keep moving and investigating and you'll be fine.

Jake Williams
His AoO prevention is great in solo where you can't afford to let enemies stop you from gathering clues. In multiplayer, Jake just isn't as good as Milan. More clues in multiplayer means more resources from Milan.


Magnifying Glass
Fast to equip. Passive +1 . Doesn't disrupt your tempo. Equip both!

Dr. Milan Christopher
You don't need Maleson because you've got a teammate to help deal with monsters. So focus on investigating and let your rotund benefactor fund your escapades!


"I've got a plan!"
Too valuable not to include. I've lost count of how many scary-looking enemies I've one-shot killed with this card.

Connect the Dots
This card really shines in 4-player, where you'll have lots of simulatenously revealed locations with a large number of clues on them. If you're playing 2-player then I recommend you cut this card for an upgrade. Remember, you can commit it to a skill test for !

Crack the Case
This card enables you to carry on paying for the other fast events that will accelerate your progress.

Practice Makes Perfect
Grab a Deduction or Perception from your deck, use it, then return it to your hand for re-use!

Go even faster. And have more opportunities to trigger Ursula's ability.

Vantage Point
Don't get too fancy with this - use it liberally for a -1 shroud modifier for a whole turn. Or if there is a lone clue somewhere else on the map, use it to clean up. This card becomes less useful in 4-player, so it's a good target to cut for an upgrade.

Working a Hunch
Pay for for free clues with all those donations from your biggest fan. If you can't, then just commit it for a !


Speed up your clue-gathering. Excellent synergy with Practice Makes Perfect.

Ursula's 3 tends to struggle with a lot of treacheries, so she needs all the boost she can get.

Inquiring Mind
Incredibly useful triple wildcard. Remember if you're struggling to pass a vital skill test, you can always strategically move a clue to activate this skill card.

Manual Dexterity
Ursula's 4 is great, but you'll want to bump this up for the really critical evades, particularly against Alert enemies.

Can really help nail those early high shroud locations if you didn't get your booster assets in your opening hand. Further synergy with Practice Makes Perfect.

True Understanding
Easier to trigger than it looks like. "A scenario card" means anything on an encounter card, location, agenda, or act. Save this card for a treachery to net yourself an extra clue.

Unexpected Courage
The classic versatile skill card. Don't leave home without it.

Further Upgrade Options

A list of potential upgrade options once you've got the fundamentals:

Death • XIII
A great +1 for 1XP. With Studious you will increase your odds of getting this card in your opening hand. (Note: If your random basic weakness is The Tower • XVI then do not take any tarot upgrades, because you'll end up needing to put the tower into play which will replace whatever is in your tarot slot).

Eidetic Memory
In such an event-heavy deck, you should really consider taking this one.

Higher Education
With or without taboo, this is a great upgrade. I try not to rely on it too much though, the 5-card requirement can really encourage you to slow down event usage.

Not an urgent upgrade, but later in the campaign you may want to include this in order to accommodate a useful story ally or a cute kitty. Don't take this if it's only to accommodate Milan and Jake at the same time.

Hemispheric Map
The value of this card is completely dependent on the scenario you're playing. But for most of the time it has at least +1 and +1 , so it's worth considering.

Sometimes losing a clue (i.e an action to pick it up again) is much better than having to deal with certain treacheries.

The Gold Pocket Watch
If you're playing a 3 or 4 player campaign then this is definitely worth picking up. Don't repeat the investigation phase, just skip the mythos phase so your ability can be used again.

The Black Cat
For 5XP this is an expensive option. However you'll find with Ursula that often the elder sign comes at a moment when you can't take advantage of the free move, and it can be a real life-saver to divert that to the black cat instead (I would not have survived Shattered Aeons without it). Excellent chaos bag manipulation and an amazing damage/horror sponge if you can afford the XP.

The Eye of Truth
Expensive but incredible. Later on in the campaign you should have enough XP to include at least one of these, and every campaign has a few treacheries that you'd really rather avoid. Remember it's a practiced skill so your Practice Makes Perfect can make it usable twice!

Notable Exclusions

Art Student
I tried putting her in the deck as fodder for Calling in Favors to grab Milan, but this deck works even if you don't get him, so I couldn't justify her inclusion.

Calling in Favors
As above, if you don't get Milan early then you'll just have to roll with it. Putting this card into the deck just to help get Milan can really disrupt your tempo. If this card was fast then it would be a different matter!

Hawk-Eye Folding Camera
Not a bad card. However you only have two hands, and you know what you should be doing with them. Magnifying glasses give you an immediate boost without disrupting your tempo. And you don't want to wait for them to become active.

Tooth of Eztli
The and for treacheries is useful, but the quicker you are at completing the scenario the fewer treacheries you have to endure. Setting up for the long haul is not the aim of this deck!

Logical Reasoning
A really solid card, and great for healing horror whilst also being a pseudo-Guts. There's no harm in including this card - I just couldn't quite find the room for it.

Equipping this can be real tempo hit. And if you've got the actions/resources to spare, then you're probably not doing badly enough to warrant the boosts.

In solo there are so many 1-clue locations that this almost translates to a passive +2 boost. However this is a multiplayer deck, and you'll be investigating multiple clues per location. Great for solo, bad for multiplayer.

Mind over Matter
As Ursula already has decent agility, you'd really only take this to pass a strength test somewhere. Outside of combat, this is very rare. Treacheries like Locked Door or Entombed both have agility options, and with enemies you'd be better off killing them with a cunning plan.

Unearth the Ancients
There simply aren't enough assets in this deck to justify the inclusion of this card. It can be used from Ursula's ability, though.


Thanks for sticking around to the end, good luck on your campaign and let me know how it goes!


Jun 19, 2020 aeongate · 73

This deck is an excellent showcase of what I love about Ursula and I think really plays to the strength of her reaction ability. I am inclined to agree that Fieldwork is somewhat overrated, and is pretty highly costed for somethat that typically only helps with investigating. Might vary from campaign to campaign though, it's definitely valuable for things like cracking a Locked Door with your agility.

Great decklist and a great writeup!

Jun 19, 2020 snacc · 301

@aeongate Thanks man, I appreciate it! Yeah in multiplayer I was just never able to get much value from Fieldwork. I wish you could use it to choose which skill test you're applying it to, like Well Prepared or something. It's a shame because it's just so fitting for Ursula. I'd much rather spend the actions getting clues and spend the resources on fast events like Working a Hunch - and simply finish the scenario faster.

Jun 19, 2020 chirubime · 1105

Was already going to like the deck, but then I saw cute kitty and then had to star.

Jun 21, 2020 Zinjanthropus · 90

I really like this deck concept, it takes Ursula's main defining feature (IMO her fast-paced play style), and takes it up to 11! I'm imagining that you could get clues as fast as pre-taboo Rex, almost!

I do wonder, at level 0, do you find yourself not being able to draw enough cards to sustain the events and commits? I might actually get Cryptic Research as the first upgrade in this deck, for that reason. Maybe even Grisly Totem (3), though it would be a shame to spoil this with too many assets.

In any case, I'm really looking forward to trying this out at some point!

Jun 23, 2020 snacc · 301

@chirubime Haha thanks! Yeah I think that particular cute kitty is pretty underrated personally!

@Zinjanthropus Thanks - I'm not sure anything could hoover clues as fast as pre-taboo Rex but I hope this deck gets pretty close! (and hopefully it's more fun, which is the important thing). You're definitely right with running out of cards - I had put Cryptic Research in the "further upgrade options" part but (for the reasons you described), I might move it to the "priority upgrades" section. Let me know how it goes when you try it out!

Jun 23, 2020 Zinjanthropus · 90

@snacc I totally did try this in a two-handed run of a fan-made campaign with Silas (though switched a couple of cards and whatnot). I did indeed lack card draw in the first scenario, however I also just completely cleaned up all of the clues pretty fast with Mag Glass and Dr. Moneybags a bit later. Oddly enough, it was mostly with no clue accelleration or Deduction (though I think I did find Practice Makes Perfect and Practice Makes Perfect found Deduction, which obviously helps). Didn't get a chance to try Connect the Dots, sadly. Drew it too late and all the clues were already gone. I swapped out Vantage Point for something (can't remember what), but I actually think that would have been more broadly applicable in this case, so I think I would swap out Connect the Dots next time (maybe depending on the scenario).

Second scenario I lost my hand pretty early to a scenario effect and it was a while until I drew Cryptic Research, but it didn't slow me down too much, having an extra action every turn to get clues is actually still just a super strong ability, and I got Milan and Mag Glass on turn 1.

This campaign also has a ton of XP, so I'm pretty set up for the last scenario. Pathfinders, Cryptic Researches, Upgraded Deductions, and Eyes of Truth. Sadly no Kitties, yet, though.

If you're curious, the campaign is Dark Matter, and it's still in development. I have really been enjoying it, though.

Jun 23, 2020 DAAAN · 1

I don't know if you've tried it yet but dream diary: diary of a madman is a fantastic enemy handler in ursula. I'd also add that hawk eye is probably better than mag glass in 2p and def better in 1p. I ran ursula through TFA on solo with diary of a madman in one hand, hawk eye in the other and a crystalline elder sign around the neck. Having a will of 5 and int 6 was great.

Jul 06, 2020 Nenananas · 21

I had the same deck idea I was gonna try when Return to the Forgotten Age is finally released. The first sentence below the image is exactly what I had in mind too. My draft didn't include Milan though since he's an asset that "Slows you down". Although admittedly, if you're going to play one asset, it's probably him. Probably also saves you actions for that occasional investigate check where you fail by 1.

I did include Fingerprint Kit though since the action you spend to pay it is returned by finding additional clues. Thoughts? Is it that you didn't include it because you want to use both hands for Magnifying Glass?