Casino Master: Streamlined "Dare or Nothing" Parallel Skids

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
The "Skids" O'Toole, the High-roller Baller 1 0 3 1.0

Next_Level_Plays · 1082

Streamlining & Optimizations

Hello Skids fans! After testing Parallel Skids for about two weeks now since his release, and since Arkham DB finally updated their functions to address his unique deckbuilding requirements, I thought that it would make sense to post this streamlined Skids Combo deck as a follow-up to my original Skids article.

I have to say that it makes me truly happy that Skids, a character who was historically mocked by the community and counted amongst the worst investigators in the game, has now become a viable, creative and very engaging investigator who provides a lot of variability and interactive combo turns to his players. I have really enjoyed optimizing our favorite Rogue underdog over and over again across the past days, and I am excited to hear what you think about this streamlined end product.

Please find here the fully upgraded Endgame Deck that you are working towards as you advance through the campaign: https://arkhamdb.com/deck/view/913428

Without further ado, let us dive right into it: The All New, All Different Skids!

Deckbuilding Philosophy: Early Campaign

First of all, let us start with the 0xp version of the deck. I have built it suitable for multiplayer/duo format & I played a Nathaniel Cho-Skids Duo through Dunwich on Hard & Expert (Expert being quite annoying and swingy because of Skids' ability tests being more likely to fail), which I found very thematic and cool given their related Lore backgrounds that I further explain below. Given that I see Skids predominantly as a cluer (also due to the Survivor fortune cards he now has access to), you won't find much enemy management in the deck, but rather a focus on clueing with cards like Flashlight, Intel Report & "Look what I found!", with the latter two events being your primary targets for Scrounge for Supplies. You usually want to cut Look What I found as soon as you upgrade into cards like Lola Santiago and Lockpicks, but Intel Report will stay a key engine of the deck throughout the entire campaign. Later on, you will be able to upgrade into Eucatastrophe, which in Skids is a simply amazing fast-speed alternative to Scrounge for Supplies (due to him having one of the game's best elder signs now, allowing him to recycle a 0-2xp card) and an efficient way to keep re-using the aforementioned Intel Report, one of my favorite high-impact cards in all of Arkham.

Since your very first upgrades outside the must-have clueing tool Lockpicks are going to be Lola Santiago, Leo De Luca and Charisma to largely increase your action compression, it becomes clear that you will need a lot of cash to sustain Lola and the frequently looped Intel Reports. One engine to generate this cash is Lone Wolf, a second is the 1-of "Watch this!" that I actually quite enjoyed in combination with his ability, and the third engine is naturally provided by Skids' new ability. If you recall my initial guide, I had explained how there are fundamentally two different ways of playing Skids with his new ability & deckbuilding requirements: Cash-Mode & 0-Bid Mode.

a) Cash-Mode: As you know, Skids' new ability allows you to spend 0-3 resources to initiate a base 3 test (that can be boosted by generic and evade icons) against a test equal to the number of resources that you just spent, and if successful, you're getting double that money back (e.g. if you spend 2 cash, you initiate a 3 on 2 test, and if successful, you gain 4 cash). By making use of your buff cards like Unexpected Courage, Lucky!, Manual Dexterity and others, you will thus be able to repeatedly double your cash-investments over time (unless you're super unlucky), turning Skids into Arkham's most successful Gambler and a Casino-themed Rogue. As a side note, the reason we are playing cards like Swift Reflexes and Decoy over something like Small Favor in the 0xp version of this deck is precisely because they have 2 Evade Pips and can thus help to pass his ability tests, on top of being solid nice-to-have cards that may help you in specific situations. These cards are by no means a must, just nice gimmicks with the right pips to support ability tests, especially in the early scenarios.

b) 0-Bid Mode: The other usage of Skids' new ability is what I'll call the "0-Bid Mode", where you spend 0 cash on his ability, thereby triggering a 3 on 0 test that will not grant you any money, but which in turn can be used to profit enormously from cards that get stronger if you pass a test by a high number, cards like All In, Momentum, Quick Thinking, "Watch this!", and most importantly, Double or Nothing. In theory, you could initiate a 3 on 0 test, then commit Manual Dexterity to it, as well as Quick Thinking, Momentum, All In & Watch This, thereby boosting your value to a 10 on a 0, most likely succeeding by a value higher than 5, and therefore drawing 5 card from All In, another one from Manual Dexterity, gain an extra action from Quick Thinking, gain an extra 3 cash from Watch This, and reduce the difficulty of the next test you are attempting by 3 ... without even having used a single action in this turn. And now imagine combining this with Double or Nothing and you'll understand why I love Skids so much.

Note that you could also pull all of this off outside of your own turn in any of the fast action windows, and you could (of course) also split your investments across different ability tests, rather than putting all into 1 test. Having such "overachieving" high impact turns periodically throughout the campaign also makes it natural to include Lucky Cigarette Case in this deck, which can further profit from this strategy, and also works well with Lockpicks. As a fun side note, one of the best partners to play with Skids is actually Father Mateo, since you'll be able to prepare your ultimate combo turn, and if you then execute your 10 on a 0 test, Mateo ensures that no autofail token will screw up your plans.

As a general heuristic, you usually spend the early scenarios of a campaign more focused on the Cash-Mode and the insane combo of Flashlight and Lola Santiago, before then also starting to use the 0-bid strategy more and more, as you upgrade your deck into combo cards like Daredevil 2.0, Double or Nothing and All In. Lean cards like Lucky!, Unexpected Courage, Perception and Manual Dexterity further help you pass investigation and cash-flow tests. Note that depending on how courageous you feel, you actually don't necessarily need to always initiate a 0-bid test, but you could also go with a 1-bid test if you wanted to gamble for the double-cash gain. Another cool thing about Skids is that as part of his new deckbuilding, he can upgrade a Fortune or Gambit card for full XP and keep the old version in the deck, meaning that he can have 2x Lucky! [0] and 2x Lucky! [2] in his deck at the same time, thereby having access to 4 Lucky simultaneously! Especially on the harder difficulties, you'll really learn to appreciate having Luckies up your sleeves. With all that luck on Skids' side, let's hope that he'll also draw lots of elder signs to get the party started!

Please also note that you can freely combine the old and new front- and backsides of Skids as you see fit (e.g. using his old Guardian deckbuilding but his new frontside abilities), even though after testing, I must say that I have a strong preference for the all-new Skids, both fun-wise/in terms of game experience, but also in terms of power level, which includes using his updated On The Lam signature card.

Deckbuilding Philosophy: Late Campaign

As for the upgrades, I would like to especially highlight Daredevil, because this card truly provides the deck with the consistency it needs to achieve its high-impact combo turns reliably. When taking in Daredevil, I usually cut 1x Quick Thinking for it (which you can't commit twice to the same test anyways), simply because hitting Double or Nothing, Momentum, All In & "Watch this!" are often way more important.

What you'll also find in the late game list (https://arkhamdb.com/deck/view/913428) is that I included way more 1-ofs than in my previous article list, where most of the high-impact cards like Lola and Luca were still 2-ofs. The reason I made this change is because your drawing speed in the late campaign is so insane with the combo of All In and Double or Nothing plus the Lucky Cigarette Case & Lucky 2.0, that you'll get your hands on everything that you need very quickly anyways. In the 0xp version, you naturally still start with 2x Lone Wolf and 2x Flashlight, but I would cut 1 Lone Wolf towards the late campaign. I kept the 2 Flashlights in the deck though because they can be amazingly combined with Lola, granting 2 clues with one single action. So with this Lola combo, your Lockpicks, Eucatastrophe and Intel Report, you will clue your way through the game with a great reliability and speed, often testless or with 7 base values, which allows your team to quickly clear the map from clues. You can also just loop your important tools again with Eucatastrophe, and this guaranteed-clue loop is further sustained by your enormous drawing speed and extra actions that are provided by Leo de Luca, All In, Quick Thinking, and this deck's most important card, Double or Nothing. Please note that you do not necessarily need to use your ability always for the 0-bid strategy, as you can also commit all your combo cards to the investigation of a location with 0 shroud (following Momentum or Flashlight), so that your Double or Nothing gives you an extra clue from this location, on top of all the other benefits described above. In this situation, you can still use your ability for cash generation on top of that, thereby assembling more resources that Lola can turn into further clues.

You probably also saw that I named this decklist "Dare or Nothing", a word play hinting at the deck's synergy between All In, Daredevil and Double or Nothing, which is also a reference to Skids' new alias "All or Nothing". I also like how this expands on Skids' previous lore, with him being an ex-police who turned into a kind-hearted criminal to be able to pay for his mother's hospital debts, and who thus got involved with the criminal underground of Arkham, which we are familiar with ever since the Dunwich scenario 1B in the Casino. Through his talent for poker and gambling, he eventually drew the attention of the syndicate, who offered him some small crime jobs to pay for his mother's bills, during which Skids got arrested and put into jail. It is also for this reason that I picked Nathaniel Cho as his partner, since Nathaniel's lore focuses largely on his vendetta against the O'Bannion gang that murdered his brother, who was Cho's big idol. Mirroring the loss of Nathaniel, Skids' mother tragically died while he was in prison, without him being able to ever say farewell. I can thus totally see a Nathaniel-Skids Duo taking on the O'Bannion gang, with Cho as the fighter keeping them off & searching for his brother's murderers, and Skids as the cluer running around the room to find evidence and hints that will help him bring the syndicate to its knees. The deck I built thus integrates Skids' lore in a thematic way, in the sense that he has nothing left to lose now (a card I would have loved to be able to play in Skids theme-wise), and now adopted an "All or Nothing" mentality, as Arkham's new crime fighting Daredevil, with a vengeance-driven Nathaniel Cho at his side.

That's it for today! I truly hope that you'll enjoy playing around with Skids' Cash mode and 0-bid strategies, and that you’ll enjoy exploring all the possibilities of combining Skids’ ability with whatever hand cards you may have to unlock powerful sequences and plays. Personally, I am a huge fan of this new Skids, and I think the company did a great job in re-designing him. As a final remark & given his tragic background story, I really do think that he deserves some luck, and I thus wish you all the best with your Double or Nothing gambles!

23 comments

Aug 26, 2020 Next_Level_Plays · 1082

Since I already got some pings about it: Yes, I will also upload the Nathaniel Cho list as part of my ongoing article series! :)

Aug 26, 2020 Ectochemist · 1

Very nice. I’ve wanted to try parallel skids for a while but didn’t know where to start. Thanks for the detailed write up.

Aug 26, 2020 Lethal_Laitue · 262

Nice deck, sweet writing! Thanks for bringing that! I'm building a deck with Parallel "Skids" O'Toole as a cluever on a 4-party Dunwich campaign. Here are some points i wanted to share.

1) Have you considered having more single cards to have greater flexibility?

As I have tested by now, almost everytime you run through your whole deck with Lucky Cigarette+Manual+Perception. So you always get the card you wish for.

2) How did you manage horror?

Skid has low , a short deck and Dunwich can be also card discarding/horror punishing.

3) Have you seen Winifred Habbamock new card, called Snatch or Rob? Would you include it?

It's an event, 4 cost, 0xp rogue card with 1 1 Investigate. This investigation uses instead of . When you succeed, get 2 more clues at your location. It can be upgraded.

4) Would you consider taking the The Skeleton Key?

Easy tests, comboable. Could empty a high shroud/full clues location like the Secret Chamber in Dunwich.

5) Would you consider taking Lucky [3] in Stella Clark starter deck to reach 6 Lucky cards?

Aug 27, 2020 AquaDrehz · 153

Cool idea. I still try to play my deck from your idea too but slighly different approach.

Would like to have your idea soon.

Aug 27, 2020 Lord Triloth · 234

Great baseline for ll Skids builds

I have a few questions about some cards though

What do you think of Gregory Gry in the LVL 0 build? He’s basically a Watch This on a stick, also because there’s no ally in the lvl 0.

I also kinda like Three Aces and Stroke of Luck for succeed by decks, because they both grant you auto success.

@Lethal_LaitueI agree that there isn’t much encounter protection here, even though Eucatastrophe is ok in that regard.

Aug 27, 2020 Lethal_Laitue · 262

@Lord TrilothMy concern is to know if @Next_Level_Playsonly count on the allies to soak horror and if it is sufficient.

Aug 27, 2020 Zinjanthropus · 84

If you want some burst econ, you can also commit Momentum to a test where you have a good chance of succeeding by 3 (like Lockpicks), then use that -3 difficulty on your ability test to nearly guarantee success. This works especially well with Double or Nothing to gain 9 actionless resources.

As a further question, how are you dealing with Beyond the Veil in this deck? It seems like you would pretty quickly draw through your entire deck with stuff like All In and Lucky Cigarette Case. Or does this deck usually go fast enough to outrun that?

Aug 27, 2020 Next_Level_Plays · 1082

Hey everyone! Really sorry for the late reply, work has been busy. Let me please get back to everyone now! :)

@EctochemistThank you very much for the kind words, that is exactly what I am writing these articles for! Hope you will enjoy yourself! :)

@Lethal_Laituegreat to see so many engaging questions! Let me dive right into them:

1) I partially mention the 1-of deckbuilding strategy in the 2nd half of the article, as I am actually a big fan of it. However, I am usually starting the 0xp version of the deck with more 2-ofs, since I really want to find cards like Flashlight or Lonewolf in my scenario 1. However, you could for example replace 1 of the 2 Look What I Found with another card, that's totally fine. Afterwards, when you are upgrading towards the endgame list, I like to upgrade with 1-ofs more so than 2-ofs, simply because the late-campaign Skids draws so many cards that you can afford it. Despite all of this, some cards like Intel Report are just too great not to play them twice across the campaign! :)

2) Here, I can also answer @Lord Trilothto some degree. As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, this is a list that is usually played in Duo with a Guardian, and Guardians provide amazing support for the team, such as Hallowed Mirror, Tetsuo Mori and "Let me handle this!". If your Guardian has troubles making space for these cards in their decks, you could also play "You handle this one!" in Skids instead, but for me, the Duo played better when the Guardian took care of Skids' safety, and Skids was just going crazy with combo turns and clueing. Will hopefully get to upload my Nathaniel Cho and/or Mark Harrigan lists in the next few weeks :)

3) Definitely an interesting card for Skids, but I think the cash is better invested with Lola + Flashlight & Intel Report, and if you play this deck on a higher difficulty, you actually don't want to spend your evade buffs for an investigation test with Snatch, but instead use those buffs for your ability tests to make sure you overachieve despite the tougher chaos tokens.

4) Similar to my third answer, I do not think you need the skeleton key because you already have quite crazy clueing with Lola-Flashlight and Report-Eucatastrophe. Also, the deck is already very demanding in terms of xp upgrades if you look at the "endgame list" I provided, so you really want to focus on the most important cards first :)

5) I have been thinking about Lucky 3.0, and on one hand, you can almost never have too many Luckies, but on the other, it's an opportunity cost that implies not upgrading something else earlier, which brings us back to the same problem that I mentioned in answer 4. I would need to test it first, but overall I would say it is definitely a cool choice for the deck, but it might be overkill. I have had similar thoughts about the new Look What I found 2.0.

Aug 27, 2020 Next_Level_Plays · 1082

@AquaDrehzThanks a lot for the kind feedback! Please share your approach and experience with us! :)

@Lord TrilothI actually tested Gregory Gry and really liked him! I eventually didn't include him in the 0xp build because it wasn't necessary in Dunwich, but I can absolutely support putting him into the deck early on, even though he is going to be replaced very quickly with Lola and the upgraded Luca. I would still play Watch This on top of him though, because it becomes really good later on when you start doing combos.

As for your passion about Three Aces and Stroke of Luck, I can definitely see what you mean, but I frankly couldn't free up the space anymore for Three Aces, and Stroke of Luck didn't seem as relevant anymore when you move more towards test-less clueing in the late campaign. Nevertheless, also tying this back to our previous discussion, having Stroke of Luck or Aces in your deck to pass some dangerous encounter tests can clearly be nice, I just personally didn't think I needed them, but that might be related to my risk-open play style.

And yes, you are totally correct for spotting that Eucatastrophe is to some degree an encounter-deck management card. I most often used it precisely for that purpose, with clueing and enemy management being less of a problem due to our amazing clueing cards & Skids' Guardian partner taking care of enemies.

Aug 27, 2020 Next_Level_Plays · 1082

Last but not least, I really like your inputs, @Zinjanthropus! The play you are describing with Double or Nothing, Lockpicks, Momentum & the Cash-Mode is an amazing next level play for sure, especially if Lola is in need of some cash! :)

As for Beyond the Veil, you are absolutely correct that this was my #1 heart attack stressor during Dunwich. You very often draw through your entire deck, which puts you at risk of dying to the Veil. What you can do here is asking your guardian to play cards like "Let me handle this!" or you yourself play "You handle this one!", which you can also cycle in and out with Adaptable if you'd like to. Another important aspect is timing: if you are already drawing a lot of cards, make sure to draw even more to get your deck to reshuffle before the mythos phase and potentially drawing the Veil. I have sometimes spent some of the free actions from Luca simply for that, drawing out my deck when there were only like 3 cards left, so I could reshuffle and be safe. Finally, as Skids has 8 health, one madman strategy you can go for is simply taking the 10dmg, and soaking it with your guardian's Tetsuo Mori or your own Leo De Luca or Lola Santiago, before then immediately afterwards reshuffling your deck so you can draw quickly into Luca or Lola again.

Aug 28, 2020 Zinjanthropus · 84

Thanks, @Next_Level_Plays!

That's a good point about "Let me handle this!". I hadn't really thought about that. It definitely seems like it would be hard to find space for "You handle this one!" in Skids' tiny deck. And it's true that two allies will narrowly give you enough buffer to survive, as well.

That's another nice thing about Mateo, is that he can alter your fate in addition to saving you from the . I actually ran that team, but it was TFA, so Alter Fate was a bit less high priority (though it's still good there). My main takeaway was that Shards of the Void is a really awesome card (especially with the 3 0s in the TFA standard bag), and sealing is a bit overly action intensive for a 2-handed team, but is very fun if you can manage to get a few tokens sealed and try to fish for s with Olive and Grotesque Statue.

Aug 28, 2020 Zinjanthropus · 84

Unfotunately I can't edit my comment, but it's also worth mentioning that Mateo (with Olive, Grotesque Statue and Premonition) is really good at gambling in the Clover Club Cardroom (I did do All or Nothing with that team).

Aug 28, 2020 Lethal_Laitue · 262

@Next_Level_Plays Thanks for your insightful comments. It seems that Parallel Skids needs a lot of XP to achieve a final form. I was wondering if Charon's Obol is the right thing to do. But considering Dunwich's Beyond the Veil card it seems risky. Indeed this character has a real All or Nothing feeling! :)

Aug 28, 2020 Next_Level_Plays · 1082

Honestly, with all the Gambling-theme & all the xp he needs, I would seriously just throw in Charol’s Obol haha

Aug 28, 2020 Next_Level_Plays · 1082

  • Charon, but point still stands :P

Aug 28, 2020 Next_Level_Plays · 1082

@ZinjanthropusI fully agree with you, I actually really like the idea of Mateo-Skids and a Guardian for a 3-player run :)

Aug 28, 2020 DjMiniboss · 33

Although the upgrades looks great, I'd point out that there's no real way to leverage money until you upgrade into Lola. Is there a reason there are no money payoff cards in the initial deck?

Aug 28, 2020 Lethal_Laitue · 262

@DjMiniboss Parallel Skid has a built-in money maker.

a) Cash-Mode: As you know, Skids' new ability allows you to spend 0-3 resources to initiate a base 3 test (that can be boosted by generic and evade icons) against a test equal to the number of resources that you just spent, and if successful, you're getting double that money back (e.g. if you spend 2 cash, you initiate a 3 on 2 test, and if successful, you gain 4 cash). By making use of your buff cards like Unexpected Courage, Lucky!, Manual Dexterity and others, you will thus be able to repeatedly double your cash-investments over time (unless you're super unlucky), turning Skids into Arkham's most successful Gambler and a Casino-themed Rogue. As a side note, the reason we are playing cards like Swift Reflexes and Decoy over something like Small Favor in the 0xp version of this deck is precisely because they have 2 Evade Pips and can thus help to pass his ability tests, on top of being solid nice-to-have cards that may help you in specific situations. These cards are by no means a must, just nice gimmicks with the right pips to support ability tests, especially in the early scenarios.

Aug 28, 2020 DjMiniboss · 33

I'm not sure if you understood my point: making money isn't relevant if there's nothing strong to spend it on.

Aug 28, 2020 Lethal_Laitue · 262

@DjMinibossSorry mate. I was probably halfway sleeping.
There are Intel Report and Decoy that you can reuse with Scrounge for Supplies. But I agree. I personnally put Hard Knocks in mine.

Aug 29, 2020 Next_Level_Plays · 1082

Great question `@DjMiniboss! For scenario 1, repeatedly playing Intel Report is usually sufficient to pass it, and then starting from scenario 2, you’ll have Lola & Lockpicks as priority upgrades. There is also Decoy that you can use, but you could definitely do something like -1 Decoy +1 Hard Knocks or -1 LWIF +1 Luca (0xp version) etc.

Aug 31, 2020 AquaDrehz · 153

@Next_Level_Plays @DjMiniboss

Played in a scenario and my skid deck strongly support clue gathering.

arkhamdb.com

Then I got a idea to build a deck around Double, Double to get Jackpot on the fly. Then you have too many many to spamming Lucky! Lucky! (2) and more Lucky! (3)

arkhamdb.com

Let me know if you got any idea

arkhamdb.com

I'm planning on incoming Chuck Fergus and Pilfer(3) more than Lola Santiago

Aug 31, 2020 Zinjanthropus · 84

@AquaDrehz I'm not the OP, but I think Double, Double is really good in Parallel Skids. Like Preston he can do the Double, Double + Scrounge for Supplies combo. I actually built a Parallel back standard front deck that was about taking 4 Hot Streaks and Leo De Luca to take 5 action turns, and leaning on 4x Lucky! to pass tests. It had Double, Double in it for those 3 cards.

The only issue is that the deck had a pretty normal number of cards, so it's kind of hard to find the one copy of Double, Double, but Lucky Cigarette Case (3) helps.