Patrice, Animal Lover

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet

Gws · 28

Patrice loves her cuddly little furballs. Sure, the dog can get a bit wild at times, but so long as you’re the one who rescued him from the dumpster he won’t bite. The neighbors sometimes complain that Patrice is a little loose in the head, but so long as no one tells her the horse isn't real she can keep maintain her tenuous grasp on reality. Anyways, they usually stop complaining about how crazy she is when she has their back in a pinch. When she starts breathing shallow and gets that wild panicked look in her eyes, fish her teddy out of the trash and she'll calm right down.


This is a very skill-heavy build of Patrice that looks to get set up quickly and then get to work, with three core components that meld together quite nicely:

The already powerful suite of skill cards available in survivor and mystic are joined with the Desperate cycle (enabled by Arcane Research and In the thick of It for a whopping 4 starting mental trauma) to give you a truly ridiculous number of skill icons to throw around (see the Analysis section below). As a result, Patrice is ready to go from turn 1 and can easily convert her large volume of cards into passed skill checks. She just gets things done.

Dark Horse and a handful of 1-cost events (many of which are fast) lets Patrice settle into a powerful rhythm of drawing a full hand of 5 cards and seeing whether or not she wants the resource to play one of the drawn events.

Summoned Hound and Miss Doyle both set your base values when making tests. As a result, when combined with dark horse you frequently feel like you are playing with a 5/6/6/6 stat line and up to five actions per turn (in the best case you're taking three actions at 7/8/8/8 with two extra actions left over!). The hounds are never played; you only ever put them into play with A Chance Encounter, which avoids bringing the Unbound Beast into your deck.


This build has low damage output, so it is pretty limited in how much it can contribute to enemy management. With this build you almost always have enough to handle yourself, but bailing out the seeker or taking out the boss is going to take a miracle. Sometimes things line up perfectly with your big hits, swapping, evasion, and 1-damage attacks. More often, when bosses show up you play a supporting role. Gather clues, pass the miscellaneous location test, evade the boss when you can, and pump everyone else up with your wealth of skill cards. You can usually also contribute a damage or two of your own, but that's not your focus when the big bad shows up.

You simply die to large volumes of testless horror. When you give yourself 4 mental trauma, you know what you're getting into. With 4 and a giant pile of skill cards, you can usually avoid enough horror to get by with the limited soak of your keepsake. In campaigns with larger volumes of testless horror, I recommend upgrading the keepsakes early and paying the XP to keep them around.

The only economy card in the whole deck is her violin, so you are basically always broke. Enter dark horse, a staple. And yet, even getting dark horse and the pets in play can be tough (I find this pretty typical of dark horse builds, since you're trying to assemble your suite of assets but run no economy to do so). You start with 5 resources and need to get to 12 total to get everything online (14 if you count the violin, although if you hit that you're set for economy for the whole game). A tiny bit of help from teammates goes a long way here, 2 extra resources in the first six turns is perfect. With 2 extra resources you can deploy the fourth core asset by turn six, which neatly coincides with seeing 45/45 cards in your deck thanks to short supply. If your teammates are light on support, I recommend one or two take hearts, which can be used on teammates later in the mission. You can also just take the resource action twice over the course of six turns, I just hate to have that be part of my plan since it competes with the main gameplan of going fast starting from turn 1.


So just how good will you be at passing skill checks? Some math is coming, so for those of you who hate math, the answer is "Great!" For people like me who have sold their sanity for access to better numbers (such as a +2 every scenario), the answer is...

Well, what sorts of skill checks are we talking about? Let's look at a reasonably common situation. You need to pass a skill check in the stat this deck is weakest in and for some reason it's not a fight action that you can just make automatically successful. For example, you've wandered into some woods that only listen to the power of your fists and need to test (2) to get some clues. What are the odds that you can test at a comfortable value of 5+? We'll say it's the second time through your deck and you played out two allies already (which ones doesn't matter since they all give 1 ) and we commit whatever we can to the test. You don't have dark horse online and it's action #2 so you have yet to learn. You can't ward it away since it's not an encounter card and I'm going to ignore retrying since even I'm not a glutton for that much math. Having painted ourselves into this rather awkward corner, what are your odds of getting to a decent skill value at the sort of thing this deck isn't even designed to do?

Your odds of having 3+ combined / in a 5 card hand from the 43 remaining cards is 80%! Heck, you're more likely to have 7+ of any given icon in hand than 2 or fewer (27% compared to 20% with two allies in play). So, you're about as likely to test at a value of 9 as you are to test at 4 before even taking assets into account.

This analysis is why this deck omits the typical Patrice staple of Cornered. You already test at high values so frequently that the flexiblity offered from cornered fails to justify the cost. Is having cornered in play worth it for those cases where you have to do a something other than the typical fight/investigate and you're not set up and it isn't your third action and you hit the 20% poor luck where you don't have a bunch of skill icons to throw at the problem? Well, in those situations I typically just do something else, which is what I find most fun about playing Patrice in the first place! You draw a fresh hand of cards every turn and get to think what can I accomplish today? Let the top of your deck guide you, take the time to smell the flowers and pet the dogs.


As I said in the overview, the goal of this deck is to start testing from turn 1 and never let off the gas. All the while, you work towards your powerful combination of assets that let you test both more often and at higher values.

Miscellaneous gameplay tips:

Never play summoned hound. The bonded beast will remove your hounds from the game and they will never come back. Since you draw 5 cards a turn, the beast will be coming very quickly. Unless, somehow, there are only a few turns left in the game and you still have not played your summoned hounds (or they got trashed) you should only ever put them into play with A Chance Encounter.

The cats' guaranteed success is great for: (1) Any very hard check (duh), (2) the watcher, who cannot be "automatically evaded" but can be evaded on a check that is "automatically successful", and (3) your first action to eat up the Quick Learner penalty.

Unless you get your violin early on, you will have to decide between playing events and playing assets starting on turn 4 or so. I recommend just playing the events. Yes, in some sense it is a "waste" of dark horse or the second charisma, but the bigger waste is spending your time setting up when you should be getting stuff done. I aim for 3 assets (totaling 9 resources spent on setup), and then focus on getting as much done as possible. Sometimes you'll have a somewhat "dead" turn where you're on the wrong side of the map waiting for your teammates to do something elsewhere or the only tests you want to take are through your animals, in which case you can deploy your fourth asset (and then you still get to investigate twice at 8 !).

There is a window to activate abilities after your third action while it is still your turn, so you usually want to use the hounds at this time to make the best use of quick learning.

Resourceful is typically used to recur A Chance Encounter the first time through your deck, and then whatever powerful skills/events are needed later on.

When you have a choice of what to set up, I recommend miss doyle, then the hounds, and then dark horse. If you've already cleared your weakness (perhaps through a lucky application of short supply), I prefer the dogs to the cats.

Upgrade Path

The decklist presented here is where I expect the deck to be after 5 missions assuming you average 5xp per mission (thanks to the 13 free xp from Arcane Research and In the thick of it. The cards removed to make room for this deck are in the side deck, along with a couple of possible inclusions if you find yourself with additional xp.

Starting (0 total xp earned): Miss Doyle, 1 A Chance Encounter

Early upgrades (8 total xp earned): 2 Summoned Hound, 2nd A Chance Encounter, 1 Charisma, 1 Alter Fate (3) (with 2 xp not being counted due to Arcane Research)

The core upgrades (15 total xp earned): 1 Quick Learner, 1 Cherished Keepsake, 2 Sharp Vision.

Late upgrades (25 total xp earned): The decklist.

Luxury upgrades (36 total xp earned): Almost certainly 2+ re-purchased cherished keepsakes, the second Brute Force, 2 Strength in Numbers (note that Arcane Research means it's always ), and 2 Lucky! (3).

Spell upgrades: All three upgrades are great! Reducing the resource cost of slip makes it play nice with dark horse and this build runs on tight resource margins. Alter fate has the strongest effect, but tends to actually increase the resource demands on the deck (do not ever add the 1 xp version without immediately upgrading it). The ward of protection upgrade significantly increases the odds that Patrice can actually make use of it since she has such a short window where it's available. Overall, I prioritize the first copy of Alter Fate, then Slip, the second Alter Fate, and finally Ward of Proection. I generally hope to upgrade the keepsakes before I upgrade the wards since increasing the breadth on ward increases the amount of testless horror we take. If I know another investigator will want the upgraded wards, I usually let them have it and just accept that each Arcane Research will only net 4 xp. Since the two hounds take up your arcane slots, you cannot run any of the spell assets, but you want the horror so it's fine.

Author's note

This deck came about by noticing the powerful synergy between Summoned Hound and A Chance Encounter, then wondering which investigator would make the best home for the pair. Patrice is actually one of the only gators who can run the combo (the others are Agnes Baker, Charlie Kane, and Lola Hayes), and is clearly the standout from among them.

Of those characters, Patrice:

-Sees the largest volume of cards, allowing her to leash the beast as quickly and consistently as possible.

-Functions before you're set up thanks to her natural affinity for skill cards (Agnes and Charlie are basically non-functional before setup; Lola is lola and I have no idea how to make her work).

-Runs the volume of skill cards that lets you beat hard tests (like 5-shroud locations) when the base-5 check isn't enough to get it done on its own.

Plus, she just looks like she'd enjoy her time snuggling with her pets.

Shout-out to /u/UndeadWeasel9 for pointing out that Horses are in fact animals.