Agnes's Grandma reads her Fairy Tales

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Fail Engine Agnes 2 0 0 1.0

Ebrey · 134

The Inspiration

When reviewing the Stella cards for Optimal Play, I noted that several of them might be good in Agnes, though I wasn't sure it was worth the bother. When my friend Raphael suggested doing an all witch Ironman runthrough of The Circle Undone for Ironman though, it seemed like the obvious deck to play!

The Combo

  1. Fail tests
  2. Use Granny Orne to try to you fail by at least 2, at a specific number.
  3. Name that number with Crystal Pendulum to draw a card.
  4. Heal a horror or two with your Grimm's Fairy Tales.
  5. Ideally, combo with Take Heart and/or Drawing Thin for more resources and cards.

That's a LOT of value for failing a test! It's well worth wasting actions to investigate or punch enemies, but there's also Track Shoes in the deck to give you free fail actions. Since it was TCU, I had to watch out for haunted effects, but you'd be surprised how often it was possible to find locations without haunted or with a harmless haunted effect.

Aside from the fun combos from the Stella deck, A Test of Will 0 is extremely good for Agnes. My will was often 7-9, and I never failed an A Test of Will test the entire campaign.

This build also generated some insane stat lines. Agnes' 5 agility (with track shoes and Pete) was really good in For the Greater Good, and her 14 combined will + agility was great for circle tests in Union & Disillusion.

I didn't get a ton of clues, but if you wanted to make her more of a cluever you could replace the azure flame with a clairvoyance or sixth sense.


The most important upgrades are Drawing Thin, Charisma, and Pete 2. Other than that, just keep upgrading your spells with Arcane Research. During the games Drawing Thin comes out early, you'll have tons of money, so I also added a Dig Deep 0 to spend that (or commit it for icons in games where I'm not rich).


Oct 27, 2020 chirubime · 2544

I love this build Stephen! I tried the Grimm/Drawing Thin/Take Heart/Track Shoes package on Agnes before and found it very enjoyable and fun to play.

However, I found the engine to be such a slow-burner at the start. With mystics already relying on spells for proactive plays in the game, setting up secondary healing/economy engines prior to those proactive plays definitely impedes how long it takes for her to come online. Particularly without any real consistency cards to reliably search/tutor combo pieces. Was the lone Scroll of Secrets able to give you enough consistency?

Also the Crystal Pendulum + Granny combo is ingenious! It's like Rabbits Foot + Rosary rolled into the 1 the way you're playing it.

Oct 27, 2020 Ebrey · 134

@chirubimeIronically, the taboo version of Scroll of Secrets is not in the TTS mod yet, and it cut Scroll of Secrets out of my deck for the first 5 scenarios without me realizing it!

Generally, I found a useful spell early on and was able to contribute, even if the combo was far from assembled. That's the nice thing about Agnes - her 5 base will means she generally just needs a spell to start doing stuff. Some games I didn't find Grimm's till late and nearly went insane, but I never quite did. The 2 A Test of Wills let me cancel important treacheries to help out the group too.

Probably better as a 3p+ build so you can take more time off to build up the combo.

Oct 27, 2020 chirubime · 2544

You're absolutely right that you don't have to be locked into setting up the combo and THEN playing your spells. I guess I was more curious if you struggled to find the right spell for the right situation without Initiate. Then again this deck has so much draw power maybe, it just draws all of the spells anyway :D

Oct 29, 2020 Django · 2884

Agnes has access to a lot of great assets, most decks i've seen for here were overloaded with them.

Most parts of the combo make the deck more consistent, but if you already have relevant spells you don't need all of it. It also helps you get spare copies of empty spells, which is nice.

What do you think of Clairvoyance instead of Rite of Seeking to trigger agnes ability (though the chance is much lower)?

Oct 29, 2020 Ebrey · 134

@Django I think clairvoyance is a strong choice in other mystics, but worse in Agnes. Most of the time, if there's an enemy on her location she's going to want to attack them rather than investigating, so it's using up her precious sanity for no gain. Of course, if you're able to reliably find Pete Sylvestre that changes things, such as a deck that plays flare to find him early!

Oct 29, 2020 Django · 2884

I agree that you dont want to Clairvoyance if you're engaged with an enemy and the additional sanity loss (without using agnes ablity) is a problem. When i played agnes long ago, i tended to end scearios with only 1 or 2 sanity remaining (for use of her ability).

Hows your experience with Grimm's Fairy Tales and fail by 2 or more? How reliable you can you use it?

Oct 29, 2020 Ebrey · 134

Drawing Thin makes it much easier to trigger Grimm's... the best tests are investigations, punches, or track shoes tests. Just watch out for bad haunted effects and retaliate.

Oct 30, 2020 Django · 2884

True, but i think Drawing Thin is OP so i try to avoid it.

Maybe we'll get an upgrade for Grimm's Fairy Tales that just cares about failing or heals 1 horror per point you failed by...