Silas Mar(sh)-ching to glory

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Silas Multiplayer Deck 0 0 0 1.0

mihnea13 · 467

This deck was tested with both novella and Innsmouth Silas, and did pretty well solo in most campaigns. I was too much of a coward to try Path to Carcosa with Silas Marsh's of 2 and Sanity of 5, but check out the Additional Upgrades section. The deck works mostly the same in both Silas variants, but if you plan to use novella-Silas Marsh add in 2x Fire Axe to replace Sea Change Harpoon. Don't worry about losing Silas's Net: it's expensive, you will not afford the hand-slot for it, you don't need the boost and playing solo you'll rarely end up with multiple enemies engaged.


Generalist slightly geared towards enemy management. Use traditional means of dealing with enemies and various shenanigans to cheat the game out of clues.

General info

While I find Silas Marsh very fun to play, this is not an uber-powerful solo deck, especially in the early campaign. But if you take care of his Sanity and invest XP in some strong Skills and the means for their Recursion, things will improve a lot. After spending the initial 10XP or so, it's very fast to set up, low on cost and you can establish a tempo that lets you win most scenarios before Horror catches up to you. Expect to fail tests more often than other investigators, but Silas Marsh's strength is in passing the important tests, regardless of the Stat involved. Most skill icons in the deck are , so along with Grisly Totem you get a lot of flexibility.

Enemy management: 4/5

First, with a maximum of 6 (from Peter Sylvestre and Track Shoes), evade anything that doesn't need killing. Assuming you do that, there should be enough damage output to take care of Hunter and VP enemies. But don't abuse your Meat Cleaver, especially not before you see Peter Sylvestre. The major priority for upgrading is 2XP for 2 copies of Brute Force. After that, with recursion from Resourceful and a lucky pull or two, you'll find damage output is adequate.

I'm not a big fan of Sea Change Harpoon but it works in a pinch. Note that you can commit a Skill card for +1 damage and then take it back without losing the extra damage. But to me it feels like a waste of Silas Marsh's ability.

Clue gathering: 3/5

Old Keyring will do a lot of work. Its major advantage over Flashlight (besides the lower cost) is that it's a target for both Resourceful and Scrounge for Supplies...and you'll probably need to recur it. Belly of the Beast is pretty unreliable, so will be replaced sooner rather than later. I find True Understanding much better than I'd have thought, so I urge anyone who dismissed it as a card for traditional Seekers to take another look at it for Silas Marsh. While it's a bit tricky to use when you have a of 2, it can net you a clue while increasing your odds for a test suited for Silas: a Treachery that tests your , the occasional Parley that let's you test or something like a Locked Door. If you end up failing the test, no worries, just take True Understanding back to hand and wait for another opportunity. If all your clue-gathering tricks are spent, just investigate at 6 with Inquiring Mind+Grisly Totem.

Encounter protection: 2/5

This is Achille's Heel for Silas. I'm rating it a 2/5 instead of a 1, because at least tests should be safe. My advice is not to worry about 'wasting' cards such as Inquiring Mind, True Understanding or even Quick Thinking if it means you dodged some horror. Especially without Peter Sylvestre in play. Otherwise, encounters are great targets to Take Heart on.


First priority: Old Keyring, Peter Sylvestre and Grisly Totem (in that order).

Second priority: Take Heart, especially when starting out at a location with a shroud of at least 3. It's a great way to boost your early-game economy. If you end up drawing the +1 during the Investigation, you get a lucky clue and Take Heart back to hand. I've found that seeing 2x Take Heart in my opening hand is a fantastic start.

Not seeing a weapon early is not terrible, cause you can rely on evasion for a while. Track Shoes is not that useful of an Asset in the early game, so mulligan it away. It's expensive, you probably don't really need the double movement and the boost can wait. Later you'll have extra money lying around and the extra movement will be nice (vital even, depending on scenario). The shoes also get better once you get Drawing Thin, as a safe test to plan a fail on.

Upgrade path

With Drawing Thin as the resource-engine for playing Eucatastrophe, you now have the means to get clues using basic Investigate actions and also recover from unlucky . Just hope you draw a token with a negative modifier of 2 or more!


Oct 20, 2020 Taevus · 430

Resourceful will need to be in the discard before the test explained in the Recursion Engine section. Cards committed to tests aren't in the discard pile until the very end of the test (step 8).Still a crazy good combo.

Oct 22, 2020 mihnea13 · 467

Indeed, I mentioned that in step 1 of the sequence :) Thankfully there's no shortage of tests you can chuck a Resourceful at.

Oct 22, 2020 Taevus · 430

@mihnea13 Cool. It read like it was all part of the same big test. Great deck.

Oct 22, 2020 mihnea13 · 467

@Taevus I see, I wasn't very clear on that point indeed. Tnx!

Nov 23, 2020 evoker · 1

Hi, lovely deck. I wanted to use this for a campaign using the novella version of Silas but I don't understand what you mean by replace his Harpoon with 2 Fire Axes. If you remove his net and harpoon, you need to add Dreams and Prowess. That leaves no room for the Fire Axes. Do you mean I should replace the meat cleaver with the Fire axes?

Nov 23, 2020 mihnea13 · 467

@evokerHey! What I meant was that, since you lose the damage output (low as it is) from the Harpoon you should put 2 Fire Axes into the deck (or at least 1), which replace some other cards. I'd most likely take out Quick Thinking.

Nov 23, 2020 evoker · 1

@mihnea13 Thanks a lot for the super fast reply and for this great deck. Can't wait to try it tomorrow. I'll follow your advice and remove Quick Thinking.

Nov 23, 2020 mihnea13 · 467

@evokerYou commented just as I was browsing arkhamdb :) Good luck!

Nov 23, 2020 evoker · 1

@mihnea13Since another player in my group is using Peter Sylvestre, what could I use as a replacement for him?

Nov 23, 2020 Taevus · 430

@evoker Agnes Baker is probably the only other investigator that benefits as much from Peter as Silas, with Carolyn Fern in third place. Consider trading. There are a lot of great Allies, the trouble will be horror soak, which can take Silas out quickly. Cherished Keepsake and Cherished Keepsake become more important than Grisly Totem.

Nov 23, 2020 evoker · 1

@mihnea13Thanks! My friend's playing as Carolyn actually but I cannot find a better horror soak. Maybe she can find something else to replace Peter but I have no idea what.

Nov 23, 2020 Taevus · 430

@mihnea13 Well then the good news is that you have someone to help you with your horror. You two should try to stick together. Safeguard can be a great card for Carolyn. Back to your actual question, most go with Madame Labranche when they don't get Peter. She can be good to start with, especially with Fire Axe, but I find that trying to be poor (even with Dark Horse) a bad strategy, so upgrade quick. Granny Orne, Jessica Hyde, or even The Black Cat can be good choices. I wouldn't recommend On Your Own, ask Silas likes skills far more than events (at least until he gets some good xp under his belt). Yaotl can be really fun, but you have to plan a deck around him.

Nov 23, 2020 evoker · 1

@mihnea13I guess I can start with the Keepsake and upgrade to Granny, Jessica or the Black Cat. I actually wanted to try the Black Cat for a while now.

Nov 23, 2020 mihnea13 · 467

I mostly agree with @Taevus. Since your friend is playing Carolyn you'll get a lot of horror healing so you should be fine without Peter. Granny Orne and Madame Lebranche are too niche imo, they're for specific deck types (fail decks and poor decks), which this one isn't. I guess you could take Dark Horse and go poor though. Yaotl is also bad, he doesn't work with wild icons which are the majority in this deck. Assuming Carolyn will be the main clue gatherer, you're left with more of a fighter role so I'd personally just take Jessica.

Nov 23, 2020 evoker · 1

@mihnea13I've already played a poor deck as Lola, and wasn't all that excited. So I'd rather stick with your choices here. All the cards mentioned have weak sanity anyway apart from the Cat. I guess I can play Jessica as a health soak.

Feb 10, 2021 niunuinui · 1

Wonderful deck! And easy to play!

I play this deck solo in the innsmouth cycle and get a lot of success so far(horror in high gear). Maybe that cycle doesn't test Silas's will enough ;>

My suggestions are:

  1. Upgrade into "Look what I found!" and Lucky!. Comining with Inquiring Mind and True Understanding, you'll be great in clue finding. Remember to use True Understanding on Treachery tests to get easy clues. (A single Inquiring Mind simply wins me horror in high gear)

  2. Don't waste too much rounds' ability on Quick Thinking. Most time it is better to use it on Inquiring Mind. ([-1 to get an action +1 to pass the test] VS [+3 to pass the test], bad especially if you only commit one skill per round). Consider use Quick Thinking with other skill and let it sleep in your discard pile, then wait for your to pop.

Feb 28, 2021 Nicarus_noticarus · 1

I like this deck but I don't think it is optimized at 0xp:

  1. I suggest Scrounge for supplies & Belly of the Beast --> 2x Live and Learn
  2. 2x"not without a fight" --> 2x Guts or your favourite Skill Card.


  1. How do you feel about Winging It vs Old Key Ring?
  2. How do you feel about Last Chance?

Mar 07, 2021 atilak · 8

What difficulty you played on? And how many players? We are playing 4 on hard and I find Silas unplayable- This build would not work at all for that.

Mar 07, 2021 mihnea13 · 467

@niunuinuiNice, I haven't played Innsmouth yet (at all) but good to hear the deck works there too. Thanks for the suggestions btw, getting Quick Thinking into the discard and waiting for the Elder Sign so you're sure it nets you an extra action (if needed) is really neat and something I haven't considered. Especially once you get Eucatastrophe in and can force the Elder sign.

@Nicarus_noticarusSure, those are good ideas. I like Scrounge for Supplies as a failsafe for when I can't find my second Old Keyring. But Belly of the Beast is the one card in this deck with the highest chance of being dead in han and I quite like Live and Learn so...yeah :) Re: Not without a Fight!, I honestly like it's consistency (3 types of icons) more than I like the card draw from something like Guts! I personally don't feel the lack of card draw in this deck (mainly because it has strong recursion, which is like targeted card draw). Winging It! vs Old Key Ring: no, the Ring is the biggest clue gathering tool you have. I am not a fan of Winging It! outside deck running Cornered or Patrice. Would be even less consistent then Belly of the Beast imo. Last Chance: not a bad card, although what irks me about it is that it would be the only non-Innate skill :))

@atilakThis was mainly tested as a solo deck on Standard, although I tagged it multiplayer because like most solo decks, works fine with other generalists in the team. I don't know about unplayable but yeah...Hard is tough for Silas. I would stick with enemy management and leave clue gathering to someone more geared towards it.

Apr 21, 2021 BlazarBlast · 14

Hi! There's something I don't fully understand about the recursion engine: If you played Eucatastrophe is because your skill value was reduced to 0, which means that if you want to succeed with Resourceful, the shroud value must be no more than 1..., right?

That sounds very situational. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding the combo?

Thanks in advance!