Amanda Please!

Card draw simulator

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Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
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dgn · 147

Amanda is an extremely strong investigator. She has a reliable onboard draw engine and an ability that lets you get incredible value from powerful skill cards. Her only real downside is her weak statline, which is easy to mitigate using her ability. She's more flexible than she seems at first; see Krysmopompas' very interesting combat-focused deck for example. Howevever, I believe that the strongest Amanda decks are those where she plays to type as a classic clue-gathering seeker.

The primary goals of this deck are to draw lots of cards without spending actions and to frequently take powerful turns where you reuse a single Deduction or Perception for three investigation tests. This deck is built for 3-4 player groups, so we mostly leave enemy management to our teammates and focus on highly efficient clue gathering.

My playgroup uses standard or hard difficulty. We try to collect all available victory and achieve 100% on variable success scenarios like The Boundary Beyond and The Wages of Sin, so this deck is aiming for efficiency and consistency. An Amanda deck designed for expert difficulty would instead focus more on boosting her stats to incredibly high levels because of the terrifying chaos bag.

Card breakdown

Grisly Totem: This interacts with Amanda's ability in a strange way. The first time you commit the card under Amanda, you can use the totem to add an extra symbol. This symbol stays on the card until it leaves play, which would normally happen when it goes to the discard pile or back into your hand. Since cards under Amanda stay there until the beginning of the next investigator phase, the card remains "in play" and keeps the extra symbol. So even the level 0 version of this card gives you an extra icon on almost every test. The level 3 version, which also draws you a card nearly every turn, is incredible. Mulligan aggressively for this.

Magnifying Glass, Dr. Milan Christopher: Mulligan aggressively for these also. Amanda needs static bonuses to reliably get clues with her low base stats, so Dr. Milan is a better Ally choice for her than the very strong Mr. "Rook". He also provides a resource almost every turn, which adds to your pool of resources for...

Higher Education: The new level 0 version of this card is not as broken as the original, but it's still good. It provides a payoff for all the free money you collect and lets you protect yourself from will treacheries when the card under Amanda only has icons. Even with the taboo list, it's worth spending 8 XP eventually to get the permanent version. Remember that with upgraded versions of Deduction and Perception you want to pass by at least 2, so you may rely on Higher Education more than you realize at first.

Cryptic Writings, Crack the Case: These provide a strong resource income without costing actions. Early in the campaign, you will often draw CW during upkeep or at the beginning of investigator phase, making it less reliable as a source of actionless cash. When this happens, just commit it rather than spending an action to play it. Once your PMP/Perception/Grisly Totem draw engine is online, you'll draw it during your turn much more often. To be honest, I'm thinking about cutting at least one CtC because this deck often generates more money than it can effectively spend, even with Higher Education.

Practice Makes Perfect: Perception and Deduction are the best targets for Amanda's ability. PMP helps you find them and lets you reuse them even more than you could with just Amanda's ability alone. You also have PoP and Prophesy (and later Eye of Truth) as backup targets, so it will almost never whiff.

Shortcut: Actionless movement is excellent for most seeker decks because it allows them to maximize the amount of actions spent gathering clues. It's especially important for Amanda because on turns where a Deduction is placed beneath her, you want to be able to access multiple locations with lots of clues without wasting actions on movement. Upgrading at least one of these into Pathfinder is a very high priority.

Perception, Deduction: These cards are the core of the deck, the cards you want under Amanda as often as possible. Try to get as many tests out of these as you possibly can. Deduction is especially ridiculous in 3-player where it often lets you fully clear a location's clues in a single action. Eureka! is also quite good, but unlike the other two it lacks a significantly more powerful upgraded version.

Inquiring Mind, Promise of Power, Prophesy: These cards provide lots of icons, so they are good under Amanda on turns when you need to evade an enemy or do a non-intellect Parley test or something. Each is usable in different situations, so I included one of each. Depending on your group and the campaign, it might be worth tweaking this selection. Unexpected Courage is a bit less powerful but more reliable. Once you've completed the more important upgrades, replace two cards from this category with The Eye of Truth.

Suggested Upgrades

Tier 1:

  • Grisly Totem
  • Pathfinder

Tier 2:

  • Perception
  • Deduction

Tier 3

  • Cryptic Research
  • Studious
  • Death XIII

Tier 4:

  • Cryptic Writings
  • Segment of Onyx + Relic Hunter
  • Eye of Truth
  • Higher Education

Tier 5:

  • Magnifying Glass
  • Forewarned

You can also fit in undiscovered cards like Dream Diary and Ancient Stone if you want to.

Tips

Whispers from the Deep is a relatively painless weakness. At worst it makes you bad at tests for a turn, which often just means you take a turn off to move across the map or set up. However, you can usually avoid even that small inconvenience. If you draw the weakness early in your turn, you can just commit it to an investigation test. Even if you draw it at the end of your turn or during upkeep, you can usually commit it during mythos phase. The only really bad time to draw it is during Amanda's free draw right at the beginning of investigator phase. If you're drawing lots of cards all the time, the chance of this happening is small. Even in this worst case scenario, you can often use Obscure Studies to swap your weakness with a good card and then commit the weakness.

Another good use of Obscure Studies is to rescue a Deduction or Perception during mythos phase, right before it would be discarded from under Amanda. By doing this you can effectively trade in your signature card for another copy of one of your best skill cards.

End Credits

Thanks for reading. Please comment if you have any questions or suggestions, and please check out my podcast Miskatonic University Radio where three nerds obsess about this game on a biweekly schedule.

12 comments

Oct 06, 2020 MrGoldbee · 165

Amanda show ruled. So does this deck.

Oct 06, 2020 chirubime · 1953

Guh. Those really Amanda Byers gifs really seals the deal. :')

Oct 06, 2020 chirubime · 1953

i can't even sentences derp.

Oct 06, 2020 gowonnie · 32

i can't find a discord for you guys :(

Oct 06, 2020 chirubime · 1953

I'm really sorry for trying to comment and spamming you with incoherent nonsense. I couldn't even get Amanda Bynes's name correct. Thank you for the gifs, and the deck guide.

Oct 06, 2020 slyjeff · 188

"Since cards under Amanda stay there until the beginning of the next investigator phase, the card remains "in play" and keeps the extra symbol."

This is straight up broken, and I sincerely expect Matt to rule it doesn't work this way. If he doesn't, the clear first upgrade would be relic hunter so you could get two totems down.

Oct 06, 2020 chirubime · 1953

@slyjeff and author! Actually, the Grisly Totem interpretation can go both ways at the moment. While Grisly Totem doesn't specify when the icon goes away, if you were to interpret the icon being present for the whole turn, there is nothing saying that it "ends" at the end of the turn or when it "leaves play", meaning you would actually have to keep track of icons on cards that don't have them written. Imagine if you cycled your deck the next time around and you ran multiple copies of cards, that would be incredibly complicated to keep track of those icons that were permanently added but are invisible.

Plus, the argument that you use to suggest that the icon stays around is because it is "in play" also isn't consistent with the game's logic. Cards underneath both Diana and Sefina are considered "out of play". Based on past precedence, it highly unlikely for the cards underneath Amanda to be ruled "in play", while Sefina and Diana are "out of play".

Oct 06, 2020 dgn · 147

@gowonnie There wasn't an easy way to join before, but we just posted the invite here: mur.fm Hope to see you there!

@slyjeff I'm not sure I'd call it completely broken... there are other cards that are really really good when combined with a particular investigator's ability, and this one isn't game-breaking by any means. But yeah, given that it seems unintended, an errata is definitely possible. That's also a really good point about relic hunter. It's embarrassing to say this, but I always thought Grisly Totem was unique for some reason. Now that I realize it's not, it's obvious that having 2 in play would be fantastic. So I would put Relic Hunter in tier 2 or 3 of the upgrades list.

@chirubime Maybe my rules consultant Ben is too confident about this. According to him, cards under Amanda (or Diana or Sefina) are in play because they are in your play area. He also says that this is the consensus reached by the rules nerds in the MB discord. The "In Play and Out of Play" section in the rules reference isn't completely exhaustive, but it seems to support this conclusion, and I don't see anything in the FAQ to clarify or contradict it. But maybe there's a relevant official MJ/FFG ruling that just hasn't been added to the FAQ yet? In any case, the card definitely leaves play when it goes to your discard pile at the beginning of the next investigator phase, so you don't have to count icons forever.

Even if this interpretation is wrong or there's an errata that changes it, I think Amanda is still a very strong investigator, and I probably wouldn't change much about this deck. Personally I hope they keep it as-is... Even with the most favorable interpretation, grisly totem level 0 for Amanda isn't that much better than, say, Holy Rosary for mystics.

Oct 06, 2020 slyjeff · 188

I think it’s undetermined on the MB discord, but most seem to agree it would be OP. I am finishing my first campaign with Amanda now and she is super powerful without the persistent icon.

I think your build is good, though. Wasn’t meaning to be critical :)

Oct 06, 2020 chirubime · 1953

@dgn I certainly don't have all the answers myself. I believe Ben's reasoning is not accurate if the basis is that those cards are considered "in play". I've linked the FAQ that answers whether cards underneath investigator cards are in play or not: arkhamdb.com

But like slyjeff said, the deck showcases Amanda's fun playstyle and her abilities. That's for sure!

Oct 06, 2020 dgn · 147

@slyjeff @chirubime Yeah, I think my information was out of date. It sounds like the rules enthusiasts have now settled on the other interpretation. I'm a little disappointed but I agree their reasoning is solid.

Nevertheless, I remain Amanda's number one fan. We will punish Ben by making him eat a vegetable.

Oct 07, 2020 slyjeff · 188

Number one fan! I dunno bout that- we can fight!

(But I warn you, my Amanda Has a Timeworn Brand and took out a 7 fight, 12 health enemy in one turn with no assistance- I wouldn’t mess with her. Silas wanted to tell her he found something while she was fighting, though . . .)