Broke-ass Pete's Spooky Adventure

Dedalus · 1740

edit 8/4/17: Don't use scrying. It's way too slow. Use 2xDrawn to the Flame, 2xWard of Protection, or 1x of each instead.

Who needs money to have a good time?

I've used this deck to dominate the core set scenarios on standard difficulty paired with a combat-oriented Zoey, but Pete's no slouch in combat himself. He could even be a good solo choice, though I haven't tested it yet - he's got most of his bases covered without any support.

The deck wins by drastically cutting the amount of clicks spent on superfluous actions compared to other investigators. It's fast, it's lean, and it's pretty good in almost any situation you get yourself into. You've almost always got the cards you need, and you've always got the money to pay for them. How is this? I'm glad you asked!

Money: Arguably the worst action possible in Arkham Horror is clicking for a supply. Every time you click for a supply, you're decreasing the action efficiency of every card in your deck.

For instance, if you were evaluating a card like Dynamite Blast, you'd say that it costs 2 actions (one to draw, one to play) for 3 damage. This is decent efficiency, since it would take an unarmed investigator at least 3 actions to do that much damage. But say you had to click for a supply to play the card. You've now spent 3 actions on 3 damage. If you clicked for all 5 supplies, you've spent 7 actions. This is still efficient if you're crap at fighting or you're blowing up a whole lot of enemies. But in general, it's starting to look like less and less of a good play.

Broke-ass Pete gets around this quite nicely. You can play every single card in the deck, excluding the duplicate assets that you wouldn't play anyway, for 19 supplies. This means each card you draw will cost you an average of .59 supplies. Statistically, your starting supply pool will pay for your starting hand as well as the next three cards you draw on upkeep. The money you got in those three upkeeps will pay for your next five cards. Etc., etc. All the extra supplies you end up with are for...uh... strapping to your Fire Axe to add extra weight? I'm not sure what's going on there thematically, but in practice, it works out really well.

A side bonus is, there's no need to pack the two Emergency Cache that are in every other deck, so you've got more room for two more skills!

Drawing cards: Drawing a card is slightly better than clicking for a dollar, but it's still a pretty boring use of an action. So hey, why do it? You're pretty effective and versatile right away with Duke, so there's not the same pressure to take build-up turns that there is with other investigators. And 9 of your 32 cards (ultimately 11 when you upgrade Lucky!) come with cantrips, with the 2 Rabbit's Foot giving you repeatable card draw. In a pinch, you've also got Scrying there to find a crucial piece of your build, though I prefer to use it on my less efficient buddies or the encounter deck instead.

Moving: Saddle up, Duke! Take me to the clues next door! Seriously, moving plus investigating at skill 4 (5 with the Magnifying Glass) in a single action is some superb efficiency, easily saving you 2 or clicks per scenario and often more. You've also got a Survival Instinct for a free move when you evade, and a Bait and Switch for when you really would prefer to stay put. Ramblin' Pete is plenty mobile.

Investigating: As mentioned above, Duke looks kind of funny using a magnifying glass, but damned if he's not effective. You can also fail your way into clues with "Look what I found!" or just cheat one out with Working a Hunch.

Defeating enemies: The Fire Axe is a beast. A Duke fight at skill 4 followed by an Axe fight at skill 6 or 8, both at +1 damage? Yes please. I've never had any problem with its resource requirements. You're running at 1-3 resources all the time anyway, and when you spend down to 0, the dollar you get on your next upkeep will be plenty enough to keep you productive. If you're up against something really nasty, you could always run away.

Skill checks: You have three attributes at skill 4 while Duke's awake. You get more value out of the cantrip skill cards than the other investigators, since the card you draw also works as smelling salts to wake him back up, and you've probably got more of them in your deck than they do. And if you can get the combo set up, Scavenging lets you toss your duplicate Rabbit's Foot in the bin over and over for a +1 to any skill. If you still fail, just get Lucky!

Things that will cause you problems: Pete can get himself out of a lot of scrapes, but he has a really hard time with high-HP, high-Fight monsters. When you're up against something with a fight of 4, Duke doesn't look quite as good as he used to, and you've only got one swing of the axe before you're tapped out.

I got around this by teaming up with a muttering, kill-crazy Zoey Samaras, but if you're playing solo, you don't have that luxury. I'd switch out the Working a Hunch and one or both of the Scrying for some more combat-oriented cards.

You'll also have one turn a game where your narcolepsy kicks in and you're Wracked by Nightmares. Generally you'll be pretty useless this turn, although after you spend two actions to wake up, you can burn a card to ready your favorite asset for action three. This is not so bad in the grand scheme of things; it could be much worse (cough Searching for Izzie cough).

34 comments

Jan 26, 2017 zozo · 1266

Great write-up, loving the analysis. Thank you! Gonna give this a try. You mention it might work well in solo - any particular changes that spring to mind for rolling solo?

Jan 26, 2017 Dedalus · 1740

Definitely drop at least one and probably both Scrying. You almost never need to use it on yourself, so its only function in solo would be for encounter deck protection.

I think the hardest part of solo will be making dead the various monsters you meet, so I'd look for some cheap damage. Blinding Light provides a quick and repeatable way to get rid of rats and acolytes, as well as allowing for a stronk attack #3 on your turn without taking up one of your equipment slots. Sneak Attack might work, although this deck is less evade-capable than a lot of the other survivor builds out there.

If you test out a solo game, definitely let me know how it goes!

Jan 30, 2017 guybrush · 3

This deck is absolutly amazing

Pete is so versatile and never actually needs those stupid ressources

I skipped bait and switch and survival instinct for some unexpected courage and cut the scrying for vicious blow, although shortcut is great, too

High intellect investigating makes me want to prefer deduction over WoaH, combos nicely with scavenge as well

Furthermore, ward of protection could be a cool addition since sylvester lets us soak up the horror.

Overall, this deck has a really solid core and is highly adjustable to your needs, I really dig it

Thanks OP

Jan 30, 2017 Dedalus · 1740

@guybrushBait and Switch and Survival Instinct actually never did anything for me other than skill check fodder, so I'm very much in favor of switching them out. I'd be hesitant to switch Working a Hunch for Deduction though - both of them are worth a free clue, but WaH gets it for you 1) guaranteed and 2) at instant speed. The tradeoff is the 2-resource cost, but this hasn't presented a problem yet.

I like the inclusion of Ward of Protection, which I'd put in as a straight-up swap for Scrying. Scrying's effect is powerful, but I had an insanely hard time justifying the 2-action upfront cost of equipping it and then getting its first use.

Feb 08, 2017 Django · 1749

Nice Deck! I'm preparing a deck for a 4 character game and will use yours as basis for mine. I've been sceptic about the axe, but the way you put it, it seems manageable.

Have you tried Old Book of Lore instead of Scrying? Or Burglary as additional source of income?

Feb 08, 2017 Dedalus · 1740

@DjangoOld Book of Lore is right out. You need the magnifying glass, and you need the fire axe, and then you're out of hands. Not to mention the resource cost, which is high for this deck, and the action cost, which is slow for this deck.

Burglary is totally unnecessary. As the description says, this is custom-built so that you don't need money And in general, Burglary is a bad card. See the discussion here: www.reddit.com

Really, after playing with this deck for a while, the only things I'd change from the decklist as printed are:

  • Ditch Survival Instinct and Bait and Switch in favor of a second Perception and a cheap card of your choice (maybe another Leather Coat). After testing the deck, turns out you're a fighter and not a runner. And...

  • As @guybrushsuggested, ditch Scrying and add in Ward of Protection instead. My original hope was to use scrying only on the encounter deck, but in practice it was way, way too slow. Ward of Protection gets you a similar effect at instant speed, and Peter Sylvestre soaks the horror cost. The downside is that you can't help your friends, but Ashcan don't need friends. To borrow a line from Pee-Wee Herman: he's a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

Feb 09, 2017 Django · 1749

Regarding Old Book of Lore, i would not keep it for the whole game, just use it so speed your setup phase and discard it, when you got both the axe and glass.

Feb 09, 2017 Dedalus · 1740

Nope, it's still a terrible idea. You'll set up quickly enough without it. You have Duke, so you're good enough at getting things done even with nothing equipped. You'll be drawing cards left and right from skill cards and Rabbit's Foot. There's absolutely no need to waste actions on looking for cards.

Put it this way: Assume you put Old Book of Lore in the deck to speed up your setup. That means you want to draw it before the axe and glass, so you need to include two copies for consistency. Now you've used 2 of your 5 out-of-faction cards, so you need to cut out some of your tech cards.

Now you mulligan. Assuming you get Old Book of Lore in your opening hand, you'll still need to spend [1 action 1 card 3 resources] to equip it and 1 more action to use it. You've now used more than an entire turn's worth of resources, and you're still aren't guaranteed to have found the cards you're looking for.

And what if you didn't get Old Book of Lore in your mulligan? Now, every time you draw a card, you're hoping to draw anything other than the book--you're hoping to draw the cards that the book was supposed to help you find. Having the book in your deck is actively reducing the chances that you'll draw that card.

Do you really want to commit two tech cards, three resources, and two+ actions to a card that is marginally useful if you have it in your opening hand and is hurting your deck if it isn't?

Trust me. You think Old Book of Lore is awesome because you've seen it kick ass in a Daisy Walker deck. But it only works there because Research Librarian nearly guarantees that she has it turn one, and because her hero ability lets her use it for free. In this deck, the only worse option I can think of is, as you suggested, Burglary :-)

Feb 09, 2017 Django · 1749

Thanks for your explanation, seems i need to reevaluate some of my strategies.

Feb 13, 2017 BiasOldZombie · 1

Ever thought about a second ally with charisma and flare coming out? If so which one? Beat cop and guard dog come to mind for health soak.

Feb 14, 2017 Django · 1749

I played a modified version of this deck (Dogmaster Pete) and included the Guard Dog. I like the dog for his action efficency, killing 1 HP enemies on the fly, however at 3 ressources he's rather expensive for this deck.

Feb 14, 2017 BiasOldZombie · 1

That's what I'm running now with Dr Morgan as the other health soak. It runs good. The resource cost is rather much. I'll try to include flair to see if it midigates the cost at all.

Feb 15, 2017 StartWithTheName · 9348

Nice deck. Might be a bit late to the discussion here but I'm curious about your use of Working a Hunch as a splash. I'm used to seeing Drawn to the Flame in a similar out if faction role in other decks which is cheaper in cash terms and gives two clues. Was it something you considered but decided against? I guess it's not fast and risks an encounter card like

Feb 15, 2017 Dedalus · 1740

@StartWithTheNameThe main reason Drawn to the Flame wasn't under consideration was, my stabby Zoey partner was heavily invested in drawing towards flames and the card wasn't available. But it's really a matter of preference.

I'd probably stick with Working a Hunch for three reasons:

  • I rarely found myself entirely locked out of clues in a location with the investigate skill of 5, skill card/reusable rabbits foot boosts, and two copies each of Lucky! and "Look what I found!"

  • In the harder campaigns, actions were my most limited resource, and Drawn to the Flame inherently costs one more action than Working a Hunch, although it also grants you an extra action worth of benefit. The real killer is the soft action cost of whatever actions you spend dealing with its consequences.

  • In the hardest campaigns, a random encounter off the encounter deck can really ruin your day.

That being said, Drawn to the Flame is a perfectly good include. It would lower the overall cost of the deck, which I'm obviously for. It just comes down to how much risk you'd like to take to get the extra clue.

@Django and @BiasOldZombieI like the Guard Dogs in theory, but I wouldn't cut Peter Sylvestre for them; his static +1 skill boosts are too worthwile. You could get around this by using Charisma but I'm not sure which cards I'd cut to make room for both it and two dogs.

Feb 15, 2017 Django · 1749

Charisma has the "permanent" trait, these cards do not count toward deck size and are always "in play".

They also cannot be discarded. So you'd only need two slots for the dogs, unless you also plan on using Flare.

Feb 16, 2017 DirtyDubs · 1

Interesting deck. Only have 1 core myself so I'd be losing a 'Rabbit's Foot', 'Scavenging', 'Look what I found' and a 'Lucky'. Might see if there any substitutes whilst still keeping the idea of how your decks runs in tact.

Feb 16, 2017 DirtyDubs · 1

^^ Don't really see a way off maintaining the decks idea with a single core. In adding some of the other regular cards like emergency cache you're immediately losing actions etc. Hmm

Mar 05, 2017 Barouf · 7

I have just finished the first campaign solo in standard difficulty with this deck.

It was really fun !

I only swapped Scrying with Ward of protection. Scrying is fine in the first scenario (event better) but really too slow in scenarii two and three. Also replaced one Scavenging with a additional Perception.

Using Lita helped a lot in scenario 2 to get almost all cultists. I wouldn't have done better with Peter Sylvestre.

Regarding upgrades, I took 2 upgraded Peter Sylvestre and Will to survive (replacing the knife). Will to survive is great to kill the hunter with Duke. You just need to stash 4 credits and two cards to ready the dog just before the hunter spawn.

I wouldn't play it in hard difficulty thought. Lots of skill tests was at +1. It's ok in Standard with cards like Lucky! or Look what I found!". And with the Rabbit's Foot even when you fail it doesn't seem like you wasted an action.

It's a very versatile deck that can be played to face any situations. It's great solo but can fit really well in multi as well.

@Dedalus : Kuddo for this !

Mar 13, 2017 theSlex · 1

Been playing this deck through the core scenarios and am loving it!

@Dedalus- May I ask how to typically get Peter Sylvestre into play? You start out with Duke as your single Ally and he takes care of my Investigate and Fight actions for me. Do you willingly sacrifice him to get Peter to the board? Do you trickle damage/horror to Duke first?

Mar 13, 2017 Dedalus · 1740

@theSlexDuke doesn't count against your ally limit! He doesn't have the Ally icon in the bottom-left of the card. See the rules reference on 'Slots' for more info.

Incidentally, knowing that rule makes one of the Dunwich scenarios much easier than it could be if you misplay it. No spoilers, but there's a dude you have to carry around with you that would be easy to mistake for an ally. He doesn't have the icon either, so you don't have to dump your football boyfriend to hang out with him :-)

Mar 13, 2017 theSlex · 1

@Dedalus Wow, do I feel like a dunce! Thank you for the clarification and the spoiler-free heads up about Dunwich. You rock!

Mar 31, 2017 AndreasE · 1

Really fun deck to play! Switched Bait and Switch and Survival Instinct for two Vicious Blow for a bit more damage against tougher enemies. Managed to beat the Essex county express with doggo dead on the third turn. Got lucky and avoided big enemies though.

Apr 23, 2017 StartWithTheName · 9348

Sorry for the extremely delayed reply @Dedalus. Completely see the argument and there certainly are a number of similarities between the cards. Looks like the deck is still going strong. I love the fact that so many people describe the deck as fun to play. Strength of the deck aside (and i`d say its strong), thats way more important than anything here. you should be proud of your art!

Jun 21, 2017 LiquidAvatar · 1

Does the bonus from Duke and the Fireaxe stack? My understanding is that you use an action to activate the Fight ability on one of those cards, which gives you the bonus that that card provides... they don't apply all the time.

Jun 21, 2017 Django · 1749

That is correct, you cannot use both together, that includes the axe's second ability.

However you use the axe when duke isn't ready (like you need him for something else, the enemy hsa too many HP or pete's weakness is in play).

Jun 21, 2017 LiquidAvatar · 1

That's what I thought; so that means that, in the fighting section, he should have said that each of the attacks are at +1 damage, right? Or, am I missing some awesome way to stack another +1 damage onto those attacks?

Jun 22, 2017 Django · 1749

No, you are correct. He's always attacking with a total of 2 damage, when using duke or the axe.

The game has only a few cards that increase damage that can be combined with other attacks. In fact i remeber only two, Vicious Blow and Double or Nothing.

The indicates that using this effect takes a separate action, so they cannot be combined with other actions.

It's possible the author of this deck thought, the axe's damage bonus stacks with any other attack, if he does not have any ressources. However it only works, when attacking with it.

Jun 22, 2017 Dedalus · 1740

Oh hey, that was a typo. They're both at +1 damage, not +2.

Jul 12, 2017 Kaldarion · 1

What about switching out the knife for some painkillers?

Jul 27, 2017 Batterybrain · 1

@Dedalus What would you recommend adding in if you only have one core set. I can't have two leather coats, magnifying glasses, rabbits foot,

Aug 04, 2017 abellote · 1

First thanks for the build, great deck. I've just ran through the first two scenarios of the Dunwich campaign and it was very smooth. I'm now thinking on ways to use experience to upgrade the deck, any suggestions? I've upgraded both Magnifying Glass for the free versions and was thinking on upgrading Peter Sylvestre. What you guys think?

Aug 04, 2017 Dedalus · 1740

@abellote "Ashcan" Pete can't use level 1+ of out-of-faction cards, so the magnifying glasses are a no-go!

I carried my character from the core set campaign over into Dunwich, so I had tons of xp and plenty of time to try different options. Here are the things I tried and what I thought about them.

0-xp cards that I swapped in as they were released:

Dark Horse: You'd think this would be exactly what the deck wants, but it ended up being really hard to use correctly. It left me too broke to use Lucky!, Fire Axe, and the other tricks I wanted to use.

Rise to the Occasion: Didn't work for me either, but I got it late. I found it hard to meet the trigger condition and still have it be effective. Your mileage may vary.

Upgrades I tried

Peter Sylvestre: Get both of these first. 100% priority #1.

Lucky!: These are great, and you want two, but they can wait. Maybe get a Will to Survive first.

Will to Survive: One of these at the right time is amazing. And if you don't have the money, the icons are pretty good too. If you're only doing a single campaign xp is hard to come by, get just one and use it to replace an Overpower.

Flare: It's hands-free, so I tried it for a while just to have a backup fight method. I never wanted to use its ally tutor ability, since I almost always mulliganed for Peter S. It's probably not worth the card slot.

Scrapper: I kept meaning to buy this when I had extra XP to burn, but I never did. It's permanent, doesn't count against deck size, and has a useful effect, so there's no reason not to get it when you can afford it. But it doesn't synergize well with the deck. Use your xp elsewhere first.

Stroke of Luck: I bought two for the final scenario of Dunwich. They're extemely useful. Replace your skill cards or leather coats.

Aug 05, 2017 abellote · 1

Wow, thanks again @Dedalusfor the tips and time to write it down.

I didn't notice the Magnifying Glass upgrade restriction on Pete.

All are great options for upgrading the deck. Will try some and let you guys know how it went.

Mar 15, 2019 Pressganger · 1

I use a variation of this same deck! Great write-up, solid performance in both solo and party play. 5 Stars all around!