Astronormanical Atlas (Deck Guide)

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chirubime · 6788

AstroNormanical Atlas

Astronomy-Guidebook.jpg

Illus. Jesse Mead

Clue: 9 | Enemy Mgmt: 5 | Treachery: 7.5 | Tempo: 10 | Consistency: 10

It's a running joke that Norman is a professor at the Miskatonic University without access to Higher Education or Miskatonic Archaeology Funding. Up until this point, you had to roleplay being a pariah with little academic support, by playing with little to no card support.

Not anymore. It's our turn to shine, and we dazzle like a star in the night sky. Our destiny as one of the most powerful investigators in the game has finally revealed itself. Here's why:

  • Star Searcher: Most investigators have 1 copy of their Signature card. Norman has effectively 3 copies. Livre d'Eibon is searchable via Research Librarian meaning you a 72% chance of seeing in your opening hand (assuming you take a 5 card mulligan.) If we factor in the other card that's effectively Norman's signature, Astronomical Atlas, you have a 93% chance of seeing at least 1 of the aforementioned cards in your opening hand.

  • Early Powerspike & High Tempo: Norman needs 3 XP to get rolling. That's IT. Once you get your first copy of Astronomical Atlas, you are already a powerhouse. Also, you play very few assets and as a result, you require very little setup. In fact with the new neutral permanent, In the Thick of It, you can start out with 1 Atlas in your deck.

  • Hyper Cycle: Thankfully, you still have your Seeker roots. You will cycle through your deck extremely quickly, letting you troubleshoot the game by effectively playing the game with your whole deck at your fingertips.

  • Self-Reliant Cluever: As a primary cluever for 4 players, you are still self-sufficient when it comes to dealing with sporadic enemies. Mind of Matter and Promise of Power help you pass critical scenario-based tests in all 4 stats.


Click Here for 0 EXP Deck


Stars & Skills

Norman's whole strategy plays around the top card of his deck. If the top card of his deck is an asset or an event, he can play it a resource discount once per turn. You can effectively think of him having a free an additional card in his hand as a result of this. Lets discuss a few cards that are relevant for manipulating that top card and pushing its value beyond just 1 additional card.

  • Livre d'Eibon: Before this card, Norman was disincentivized from including too many skill cards because they would prevent you from using your ability when they are at the top of your deck. Livre let's you unbrick skill cards and commit them to skill tests. Better yet, you can swap the top card of your deck with a card already in your hand that you want to play at a discount.

  • Astronomical Atlas: In addition to Livre helping you unbrick skill cards, Astronomical Atlas lets you skill cards again. When you see a Perception, or Deduction at the top of your deck, use Astro to attach that skill card. Then, when you succeed a skill test in which you commit that skill card, you get to add that skill card to your hand and do it all over again.

  • Written in the Stars: Since you can see the top card of your deck, you know exactly what skill card you can discard. This card effectively turns you into Amanda Sharpe for the turn. Discard a Deduction from the top of your deck to grab 2 clues per investigation. You can also add 3 charges to powerful spells like Shrivelling, Divination, Rite of Seeking, Shards of the Void, and Blur each time you successfully investigate. Tech cards like Shortcut and Cryptographic Cipher to maximize the number of actions you take committing the skill card Written discarded.

Tip! - Normanly when committing to another player's skill tests, you are permitted 1 card. However, because the effects of Practice Makes Perfect, Livre d'Eibon, and Astronomical Atlas are triggered abilities that let you commit cards, you can use these on top of your 1 card to commit up to 5 cards to another player's skill test.


Deck Combos

Setup

  • Play Research Librarian: Search Livre or Astro Atlas. Trigger Astounding Revelation to refund the cost of playing Research Librarian. This lets you play both tomes in your opening turn total exactly 5 resources.

  • Prioritize Astro > Livre. Astro duplicates your card draw skill cards and unbricks them just by itself. Livre does not let you use skill cards again, by itself.

Deduction Loop

  • Astro Atlas: Attach Deduction to Astro Atlas.

  • : Investigate. Commit Deduction via the ability on Astro Atlas. After you succeed, add Deduction to your hand.

  • Livre: Swap the top card of your deck with Deduction so that Deduction is back on top of your deck.

  • Repeat the loop by attaching the Deduction onto Astro again. Note, this combo takes 2 turns to set up, since Astro needs to be ready again to put Deduction back. Afterwards, the loop will refresh every round.

  • You can extend this loop with 2 copies of Atlas to bounce the copy of Deduction, netting you 2 uses on a recurring Deduction every other round. ( Astro 1 commit Deduction Livre place Deduction on top of deck Attach to Astro 2 Commit Deduction from Astro 2)

  • Other great cards to consider are Eureka! for filtered search, Perception for draw, Fearless to heal 2 horror every round, Defiance to block really bad token effects, Enraptured to recharge your Spells.

Astounding Practice

  • Because you can see the top card, you can use Practice Makes Perfect when you see a Practiced trait skill card to guarantee its effect.

  • Livre: Swap an Astounding Revelation in your hand onto the top of your deck when you have access to Eureka! or want to use Practice. Now, Astounding Revelation will never be a dead draw!

Written in the Stars

  • Livre: Swap a desired skill card from your hand to the top of the deck.

  • Play Written in the Stars to discard that card from the top of your deck.

  • Play Shortcut for moving you to a new location with more clues during this round.

  • Play Mind over Matter to convert all non- tests you take this turn to match the skill card you discarded with Written.

  • Best targets are Deduction for extra clues, Enraptured can be considered pseudo-clues as they replenish your Divination, and can also be used to recharge your Blur.

Willpower Icons

  • We run Divination largely for clue compression and giving you the freedom of choosing investigate actions to be either based on or . This helps you find tests to commit Guts and Fearless to. You can use Written + Enraptured to recharge your Divination back up.

  • If the charge strategy is too much for you, just play a lvl 4 Sixth Sense in this card's place to give you tests to commit to. This also frees up lvl 0 deck space taken up by Enraptured.

Tip! - This build is playing St. Hubert's Key putting Norman's stats at 6 health / 6 sanity. If you end up taking In the Thick of It, 6 health / 4 sanity. Because of how fragile he will be, you absolutely will want to keep your Deny Existence for a critical burst of damage or horror that would wipe you. Aggressively seek out the use of the "Deduction" loop with Fearless and bank the card back on an Atlas with Livre as often as you can. Deny Existence Lvl 5 upgrade is a really good upgrade to consider, and getting 2 of those would help you with how reckless this deck can be.

Foresight

  • This will most likely be subject to change as we don't have rulings on this card. However, it is generally accepted/understood that should you draw a weakness from the top of your deck via your Forced ability, you can use Foresight to cancel it. Because of this, always save 1 copy of Foresight for your basic weakness. There are 2 copies, the other one can be used to play assets and/or when you start accruing more than just 1 basic weakness in your deck.

  • Livre: Put an asset or event you want to play on top of your deck from your hand.

  • : Perform a skill test that you can commit a cantrip like Perception, Guts, or Eureka! to, in order to draw the top card of your deck.

  • Play Foresight to name that card and play it fast.

  • At the moment, we do not know what the interaction with The Harbinger will be like. You definitely cannot draw Harbinger from the top of your deck because it prevents you. Where it gets tricky is what if you searched Harbinger from your deck via something like Eureka!, Mr. "Rook", or No Stone Unturned. Many have seen the "search and draw" as a singular effect and can't be interrupted by Foresight choosing to have resolved half of the effect before the other half of the effect. So the least charitable interpretation of Foresight suggests that, calling Harbinger prior to a "search and draw" effect allows you to cancel Harbinger. We don't actually know. So depending on future information, Foresight could become better or worse when it comes to dealing with Harbinger.


Enemy Management

  • Occult Lexicon: At lvl 0, you can play this card to help you deal with enemies since you might not have the deck space for fight Spells. You will always have an excess of cards and resources to pay for this effect.

  • Shrivelling: If you can manage to squeeze this card into your deck, great. You can recharge this with Enraptured.

  • Mind over Matter: Lets you fight and evade using your highest stat.

  • "I've got a plan!" + Occult Invocation: Options for doing burst damage. Refer to Occult Lexicon for Invocation's discard cost. Play whichever one you prefer, I prefer I've got a plan, so that's why its in this deck.

  • Blur: Gives you 1-2 actions back depending on which level you have. Mists of R'lyeh works as well, but I don't love the possibility of discarding a card since you often bank your cards in your hand for certain combos. Blur works well with Written discarding Eureka since you can transition from using to evade to investigate with . It also gives you extra actions to deal with Harbinger.


Upgrade Path

The more icons, the earlier you need it in a campaign. When upgrading, make sure you have cleared a card with more icons before going to a lower tier if possible.

  • Astronomical Atlas: This is a skill-based deck. Astro increases the speed you access cards by changing the top card of your deck, and enables loops, and repeated use of skills. A must first buy.

  • Blur + Divination: We run a lot of based skills. Fearless is really vital to staying healthy with this build. This gives you proactive ways to take tests. Blur's extra action(s) is so vital for extending Written in the Stars and finding actions to use on Harbinger.

  • Fearless, Deny Existence, and Ward of Protection: This part is all about making you a more robust investigator, so that you don't die prematurely.

  • Foresight: Saves you the action of playing over Blur and Divination when you play over the other card as a way to refresh charges and recur it when your deck loops. Also, saves you the trouble of dealing with your basic weakness.

  • Defiance, Guts: Now you can get the better skills. Seal of the Elder Sign is on the table for your teammates since your elder effect isn't all that for a skill-based deck.

  • Versatile: A conversation about Versatile. You can offset the bloating of the deck. It also let's you put back in lvl 0 cards after you've already upgraded out of your initial ones. This is a very important usage of Versatile for the Edge of the Earth class-evolving investigators. Also, you can find really useful skills to combo with your engines like Inspiring Presence, "Watch this!", Quick Thinking, Leadership. Inspiring Presence + Written in the Stars is like at 4 fast hits of Beat Cop, 4 fast searches of Arcane Initiate a round, 4 fast Mr. "Rook" searches, 4 Dr. Milan Christopher resources generated, 10 David Renfield resource generated. Now if you use Blur as your first action... that's up to 5 times you can ready an exhausted Ally that round.

32 comments

Sep 19, 2021 sweetpumpkinboy · 24

I saw you tease this in leaks and spoilers in MythosBusters and oh boy am I excited for the bomb you just dropped! Thanks for going in depth as always.

Sep 19, 2021 kinzuuu · 687

Yo, this deck is cool af, I've been getting bored of the cookie cutter Mystic decks that all run the same things (spell assets, Ward of Protection, and Deny Existence with Arcane Research lol) so this might be a nice change of pace.

I also didn't know that little fact about bypassing the skill commits for teammates, PMP is so good. Nice.

Sep 20, 2021 Holy Outlaw · 175

Where did you learn that Practice Makes Perfect can be committed to another player’s skill test in addition to other cards? It seems to me that the “if able” clause in PMP explicitly prohibits this.

Sep 20, 2021 Holy Outlaw · 175

The “eligible” clause on Livre d'Eibon and Astronomical Atlas also appear to prohibit this strategy. Have you learned of a ruling to the contrary?

Sep 20, 2021 davilimap · 204

There's no rule that prohibits you from committing more than one card to another investigator's skill test, so the stated interactions with PmP, Livre and Atlas do work. The rule about committing cards to other players' tests is permissive, giving you an opportunity to commit one card to the test, but not preventing you from doing so. If an effect tells you to commit something to a test, then you can do it. It's like Ever Vigilant letting you play multiple cards in one action, nothing stops you from doing so, the card itself just lets you. I'm pretty sure it's also how it works if you commit Copycat or Daredevil to another investigator's test.

Sep 20, 2021 Holy Outlaw · 175

“Permissive,” not restrictive. I get it now. Good to know.

Sep 20, 2021 chirubime · 6788

I think this was in part due to poor word choice in my writeup. I will be changing the "you are allowed a maximum of 1 card" to "you are allowed to commit 1 card during that step of the skill test". Thank you Davi for explaining, for I simply could not.

Sep 20, 2021 mugu · 8

I ran a similar list (with fighting spell assets, like the ones in the Side Deck) and it's pretty solid. Norman became extremely efficient at low xp count. You'd just wish he could run the upgraded deduction. I wager true understanding should replace one perception in the final version of your deck to be truly "versatile" in the cards you can commit.

Also, I'm not really sold on the divination tech lv 1. Evading and fighting should give you enough opportunities to heal back yourself with fearless, baring autofail. There are always a decent amount of will test with treacheries. Running a second fearless (2) seems better.

Sep 20, 2021 chirubime · 6788

@mugu I sided True Understanding into the side deck. Playing True Understanding or not is absolutely a personal choice and is a fantastic card to include in this deck. I simply preferred the card draw from Perception over it. Depending on player size, team comp, personal pref, definitely pick the right skills for yourself.

Regarding the Divination tech, you should try it. I imagine the reason why you're not sold on it might have to do with player count and how specialized you are playing your investigators. If you're playing in a situation where Norman needs to be able to 50/50 fight/clue, then take a fight spell, but this is more of a 4 player dedicated cluever with some emergency enemy management sort of deck. There are always clues to find, whereas enemies are less consistently expected. Shrivelling also has the potential to cost you horror when the purposes of teching the Divination is to give you options to recover horror.

Divination makes your Enraptured a pseudo-Deduction. In a turn where you discarded Enraptured with Written in the Stars. you gain back 3 charges while spending 6 charges out of the 7 available to you.

Running a 2nd Fearless (2) can certainly help you recover horror, but I've explained the way that 1 single skill can really be stretched into extreme degrees of recursion via the "Deduction" loop, and thus, you only need 1 copy for that to work.

Sep 20, 2021 mugu · 8

Aaaah, I didn't see the interaction between Enraptured and Blur. Yes, it's definitely valuable then. I'm not sure if you could squeeze a second copy of enraptured then, but that would be a bit too ideal of a situation to hope for them not cluttering your hand until you draw your core spells.

Sep 20, 2021 chirubime · 6788

For what its worth, I don't love Divination, and I don't see it as a necessity in campaigns where you are really certain on the number of willpower based tests will match the number of Guts/Fearless ended up in your deck.

I did want to find some sort of value in the new spells as they did feel quite foreign to me upon first impressions. Maybe this is just my own way of trying out new cards :D

Sep 20, 2021 mugu · 8

I don't think it hit arkhamdb yet, but there is a level 4 version of divination with 6 charges and up to 3 charges spent. You may want to update your deck once it's live.

Sep 20, 2021 chirubime · 6788

Yep, but I'm less excited about the lvl 4 divination compared to the lvl 4 blur. the lvl 4 blur gives you extra actions for Written in the Stars and Harbinger. lvl 1 divination already gives you the freedom of switching between your will and int tests.

Sep 20, 2021 StartWithTheName · 40844

Not had a chance to read the full guide yet but I lookforward to it when i do. Love the deck on paper though. Its so nice to see a viable skill build for norman coming out in the card pool after his replacement cards looked like he was going to be a 1 cost asset/event build. I for one did not see this coming when we heard he was "launching proper". Great work!

Sep 20, 2021 HarrisonF · 69

I am using Close the Circle on my Norman deck, combined with Blur or Earthly Serenity, you can easily get to 3-4 charges and then refill them with Enraptured.

This is the full XP version I am looking at:

arkhamdb.com

Sep 21, 2021 chirubime · 6788

@StartWithTheName Wow! Thanks for checking the decklist out. I love your decks so much and they really inspired me to put more effort into mine explanations :D

@HarrisonF Yee! That looks like fun, there's definitely a lot of variations to the skill-based Astro deck. I definitely was enjoying seeing what Pax came up with and you as well when we were discussing in deck-tech.

Sep 22, 2021 StartWithTheName · 40844

Cheers @chirubime, love your stuff too. Im actually in awe of your formatting skills. in particular the little overview metrics bar thingy right at the top. I was trying to find you on discord to get a few tips as i lack IT skills but i couldnt find you.

Sep 22, 2021 chirubime · 6788

@StartWithTheName hahah, there's not much formatting to the overview stats bar is like... just using these as spacers | and manually spacing them. My discord handle is Tofu Mushroom#6686 and on MythosBusters I'm Mint Tea Fan.

Sep 22, 2021 imshittingrightnow · 1

damnnn... I've been playing Norman wrong

Sep 23, 2021 isuscbrmid · 25

thanks to this post, I decided to play norman in the coming campaign <3

Sep 28, 2021 Thanee · 58

Versatile might also be a card that could be considered. Since you cycle fast, the extra cards are not much of an issue, even though it makes your setup a little less likely, of course.

But there are some really nice skill cards in Rogue and Survivor.

Just think about what Quick Thinking could do with Written in the Stars. ;-)

Sep 28, 2021 Thanee · 58

Maybe I should have read your description to the end first. ;D

Sep 28, 2021 chirubime · 6788

@Thanee For the current taboo list, Quick Thinking is max once per round the effect goes off. So it is not an ideal Quick Thinking candidate. However, the skill card loops created by Livre and Astro Atlas is fair game.

Sep 28, 2021 chirubime · 6788

Correction: "not an ideal Written in the Stars" candidate for this taboo list.

Sep 28, 2021 Thanee · 58

Ah, that's too bad. Or maybe... better that way. :-)

Oct 09, 2021 bobbyguardian3 · 1

I eat your decks up! Wish I could bring this to Arkham Nights if only I could get a copy of the edge investigators by then.

Oct 17, 2021 yeojin · 1

This deck is bonkers. I can't believe how cheap it is exp wise. I'm getting flashbacks to Death by Chocolate's Trish Brrr deck.

Oct 20, 2021 Wittebaard · 1

stupid question.... how do I add pictures into my decklist?

Oct 20, 2021 chirubime · 6788

@Wittebaard You can use HTML or Markdown formatting.

The top one is Markdown, and the bottom one is HTML. x

Oct 20, 2021 Wittebaard · 1

Thank you so much

On topic: I love your deck, the Astronomical Atlas combo is insane! Keep up the good work

Oct 21, 2021 Raoul-Duck · 1

Sorry for a stupid question. but can someone please explain the side deck. I don't see anything about it in Norman's deckbilding options - is it a side deck like Joe Diamond's?

Oct 21, 2021 mrsdoubles · 1

@Raoul-Duck The side deck cards are just different card choices the author mentioned. They are just there for convenience probably.