Luke Dreams of Ludwig Prinn (Guide)

Card draw simulator

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Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
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Portinou · 551

Introduction & Purpose

Luke's ability is one of the most interesting to deckbuild around, allowing effects and interactions that would be possible with no other investigator.

That being said, I have to admit having always felt that its potential was rarely fully explored, mainly because of his deckbuilding access: he is either thought of as a , then built around Arcane assets, or as a , therefore built around typical -based assets and skills. With a 4 and 3 , Luke needs quite some work to make these decks work, therefore filling his decks with stat-boosting assets, reducing the space for his super fun ability. That's a shame, isn't it?

This deck takes a totally different direction. How about a deck fully built around events, that require no asset or skills to boost your low stats, since they require no test? The problem with events is that they are consumable, once used, they are discarded and unusable until you reshuffle your deck... Or are they? Have you ever dreamt of a disguised in a /? Here enters De Vermis Mysteriis into play for a double amount of event-fun!

This deck is designed to be the cluever of the group, typically in a 2-player game, with a few shenanigans to support enemy management. The deck can easily be turned into a flex or fighter one though, replacing the clue gathering events with evasion or fight events.

Main Strategy

The key-piece of this deck is De Vermis Mysteriis. It will allow you to replay your discarded events on demand, in most cases virtually doubling your hand-size. The key in manipulating this deck is to decide when to use De Vermis Mysteriis, when to use Luke's ability, whether or not using them on the same event and on which one.

One of your goals is to explore the map at lightspeed, abusing your Hiking Boots to teleport to unexplored locations after having used clue-gathering events on connecting locations. Should you need to backtrack to crossroads, your Gate Box and Shortcut will increase your flexibility.

Since you will not boost your , your defense is entirely based on Deny Existence attached to Dayana Esperence. Trust me, these 3 charges are more than you will need on an entire scenario.

Mulligan & Setup

Although the deck is built around De Vermis Mysteriis and Dayana Esperence, you don't need any of them in your opening hand, for a good reason: the strength of both cards scales with progression in the scenario, so do not hard mulligan for them, you will find them soon enough.

The cards you ideally want in your opening hand are:

  • Scroll of Prophecies for fast card draw (or Occult Lexicon as a backup option);
  • Hiking Boots for movement acceleration;
  • One clue-gathering event (any one except Extensive Research);
  • One resource-economy card (Crack the Case or Cryptic Writings;
  • De Vermis Mysteriis, Dayana Esperence or Deny Existence, since you will want all of them in the future.

Assets Breakdown

Let's analyze in more detail the few assets of this deck:

  • De Vermis Mysteriis is the card that makes this entire deck viable. You do not need it at the start of the game, but typically after you have a few events in your discard pile. Of course, the most important control point is the number of dooms on it. You can of course use the book at the witching hour, but it is a really narrowed use of it. Moonlight Ritual is your master card to guarantee you will not flip the agenda in advance, so avoid to pile dooms on De Vermis if you have no access to it. Remember that Moonlight Ritual is an event, meaning that you can play it from your discard pile with De Vermis to remove all dooms on it (including the one you just placed)!

  • Dayana Esperence is your queen, your lady, your protector, your everything! Firstly, she soaks for 3 health and 1 sanity, which is incredibly complementary to Luke's base 5 health and 9 sanity. Secondly, she allows you to play a Spell event 3 times. Please do not make the mistake of attaching anything else than Deny Existence to her. You will not need to play Moonlight Ritual or Read the Signs that many times (remember that these events, contrarily to Deny Existence, can be played a second time from your discard pile), and Ward of Protection, while tempting on paper, would actually slowly kill you due to the pile of horror you would take. You can make a case for Ward of Protection though, depending on the scenario, healing the accumulated horror with a single use of Deny Existence, but my playtests drove me to the conclusion that it is suboptimal. Using Deny Existence with Dayana almost guarantees you on its own to never die when the mythos repeatedly attacks you. Do not forget that you can play Dayana without immediately attaching Deny Existence to her if you have not found it yet, just for the damage soak.

  • Scroll of Prophecies is a really nice boost to kickstart your engine. It allows you, 4 times, to draw 3 cards and discard 1. In most decks, this means a netto 2-cards draw, but with De Vermis Mysteriis, it actually is a 3-cards draw in most cases, since the discarded card, if relevant, will be playable anyway. Otherwise, you will discard a second copy of De Vermis Mysteriis or Hiking Boots, thinning your deck for future draws. Fantastic enabler in this deck.

  • Hiking Boots is here to take advantage of Luke's ability to clear locations consistently with his events, gaining tempo every turn without needing Gate Box systematically. If you manage to combine the boots with Luke's ability to play events as if at a connecting location, you will actually make 2-locations jump frequently without wasting charges from your box. If requires a bit of planning and coordination with your teammate(s), but is easily doable.

  • Occult Lexicon is here because, well, it is bonded to events. The flexibility of Blood-Rite is actually pretty appreciated here: depending on what you need, you can gain resources, draw cards, or damage enemies at any location (with Gate Box) if your fighter needs help. The nicest synergetic thing is that you can re-use Blood-Rite (and/or the events eventually discarded as part of its effect) from your discard pile with De Vermis Mysteriis. You cannot have Occult Lexicon, Scroll of Prophecies and De Vermis Mysteriis all in play at the same time, so I typically play Scroll of Prophecies first, De Vermis second if I have it in hand, and replace Scroll with the Lexicon when empty, except in case of emergency.

  • Gate Box is not to be introduced anymore, I think. Hiking Boots, Shortcut and Ethereal Slip should all allow you to limit your uses of it to emergency and big jumps situations, but Winds of Power will allow you to recharge the Box if necessary.

Events Breakdown

Events are of course the fuel of this deck, most of them will be playable again from your discard pile, just be careful that Fast ones cannot be re-used this way (Crack the Case, Deny Existence, Shortcut and Ward of Protection).

  • Drawn to the Flame, Extensive Research, Read the Signs and Stirring up Trouble provide you with 7 replayable events to gather 2 clues guaranteed everytime (except for Read the Signs if you draw an ). So basically, you can pile 28 clues per scenario, assuming you re-use each of the events before reshuffling your deck. This is of course more than enough. Even though all of the events have the same effect (discover 2 clues), I would recommand using Drawn to the Flame and Extensive Research on the high shroud locations in priority, if you have the choice. The point is to avoid accumulating too many tokens in the chaos bag or failing an investigation test (actually, the only test you can make in this deck) with a base value of "only" 7.

  • Crack the Case and Cryptic Writings are your resource generators. Most events of the deck are free or very cheap, but you will need to pay for your assets and Extensive Research. Since you will gather testless clues consistently, Crack the Case is best triggered on 5+ shroud locations, so do not use it too fast except if you really need the resources now. Ideally, you would draw Cryptic Writings with your Scroll of Prophecies or Blood-Rite, but if not, it still is an Emergency cache, that you can play again from your discard pile if you need it.

  • Deny Existence and Ward of Protection are your defensive options, these staples do not need further introduction, I suppose. I would recommand upgrading one copy of Deny Existence soon, since it will really increase your guarantee to survive.

  • Ethereal Slip is the funniest shenanigan of this deck (in fact, you may want to had a second copy of it to the deck, depending on your team composition), and actually finds its best use in Luke IMHO. Basically, you can move to your Gate Box, pretend that you are wherever you want on the map, and move any non-elite enemy from anywhere to that location. This is so versatile and powerful that you should take it in the deck no matter your role.

  • Shortcut is not your usual Shortcut. With his Hiking Boots and Gate Box, Luke does not need the basic use other investigators make of it. It is here to help with these situations when you want to move 2 locations away, but cannot trigger your Hiking Boots since the location between you and your destination is clue-empty, or when you want to move to an unrevealed location several connections away. In these cases, you can use Shortcut as if you were at the intermediary location (moving through the Gate Box for further locations), to teleport to your destination immediately. Basically, tempo.

  • Moonlight Ritual is very important here, to allow you to use De Vermis Mysteriis multiple times during an agenda without taking too much risk. Since it is a spell (and an insight!), you can trigger it again from your discard pile. I never needed to use the 4 charges over a scenario, but having 2 copies increases your chances to draw one soon enough.

  • Winds of Power is here specifically to recharge your Gate Box. You can play it as a free action when you draw it with Scroll of Prophecies or Blood-Rite, but I used to rather discard it and play it from my discard pile for 1 resource less. However, this free trigger ability is still nice if you need to recharge your Box twice in a scenario.

Level 0 & Not-Included Cards

First, if you want to build this deck, the options for Level 0 are listed in the side deck. A few notes here:

  • Your level 0 deck will be more expensive than the upgraded one, hence the inclusion of Emergency Cache.

  • Since you have no access to Stirring Up Trouble or De Vermis Mysteriis at level 0, you will need alternative options to gather clues, hence the inclusion of Rite of Seeking (which could be any investigate asset), and Holy Rosary to boost your while also increasing your sanity defense in absence of Dayana Esperence.

  • Barricade acts as an alternative for Ethereal Slip, which is cheaper (and you will need your resources for other options at level 0). Depending on the campaign, Barricade can make it to the end, since Luke can use it in a unique fashion, as a never-breaking wall on choke points.

  • Through the use of Arcane Research and Delve Too Deep, you should upgrade the deck to the levelled-up version pretty quickly (by scenario 4-5 in most campaigns).

Now let's talk a bit about options that might be surprisingly absent from this deck:

  • Research Librarian would sound like an obvious choice here. You build a deck around De Vermis Mysteriis, while also playing Scroll of Prophecies and Occult Lexicon, he finds all 3 in your deck. I actually never found him necessary when testing the deck with him. You no do need to find De Vermis Mysteriis to make the deck work for the most part, so that when you will need it, you will have found it already. The other books are mostly here to accelerate the scaling of your power, I never found myself willing to pay 4-5 resources to accelerate the acceleration (if that makes sense).

  • Vantage Point sounds like a great clue-guarantee with Gate Box. However, it only moves 1 clue, and most events here discover 2 clues. Depending on your the number of players in your group, it may or may not make sense. In a 2-player game, moving 1 clue is rarely efficient, since the number of clues on a locaton will be even 99% of the time. In a 3-player game, that's another story, though.

  • Sixth Sense or any other asset is absent. You might think it makes the deck more consistent, but it actually does not. Playing events again and again, not only will allow you to gather more clues than needed in a scenario, but also will do so without you needing to pass a test in the process, and for a cheaper price.

Conclusion

I would not have thought, a few years ago, that I would make an Arcane-free, average deck for a that would actually work, but here we are! As usual, I try to create decks that fully use the investigator ability, while fun and efficient. I hope you will give it a try, and enjoy this not-so-usual road :-)

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