Lone Zoey and her Sorceress Companion

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MOTUX 878

This is a solo Zoey build, yes a solo Zoey build, and it actually works out fairly well thanks to Alyssa Graham and Zoey's Keen Eye. Alyssa perfectly compliments everything Zoey needs not just to survive but also combos with Guardian cards like Evidence! and Ambush. Is Zoey the best solo investigator? No, but she is more potent than she may otherwise be thought of as. In particular, the knowledge Alyssa provides is absolutely liberating and provides all sorts of interesting decisions. All in all, I've found solo Zoey to be at least as effective as other card dependent solo 'gators (e.g. Agnes).

Piloting Instructions

Let's start by talking about our splashes as they are integral to our strategy.

  • Alyssa Graham: by far the all-star of this deck, and turns out to be Zoey's perfect ally for four reasons. (1) Her +1 boost is sorely needed. (2) her 3 sanity provides a great horror soak. (3) We can scout the encounter deck which, in Zoey, is information we can put to good use. Do we commit Evidence! for its icons or save it for an enemy? Do we plop down Ambush? Should we re-position ourselves or adjust our board state? (4) Alyssa's can safely dispose of game ending cards (Poltergeist) and board state wreckers (Corrosion). Eating the doom is well worth it in those situations.

  • Lone Wolf: combined with Keen Eye, we should be able to boost our by +1 every turn. This is obviously not something we should do every turn. Rather, we should stock pile our resources and boost our / as required (preferably when we can get more than 1 use out of it).

  • Magnifying Glass: needs little explanation, the +1 is vital for Zoey. Consider slotting in a second copy over two copies of Lone Wolf.

So what's our strategy? Get Alyssa Graham and a Flashlight/Magnifying Glass out ASAP. Boost our as required via skill cards. If it looks like you will take two (or three) investigate actions then boost via Keen Eye. If we have Alyssa Graham out and Evidence! in hand, watch the encounter deck for an enemy and plan accordingly; if it looks like an enemy won't show up then just pitch it for its .

Dealing with enemies doesn't need a lot of explanation; this is Zoey we're talking about here. Both Zoey's Cross and Machete are fantastic "weapons", especially when combined with Vicious Blow; use them in whatever combination is the most efficient. Avoid spending resources on Zoey's Cross and especially Keen Eye (to boost ) unless it's necessary or investigation is no longer required.

Mulligan Guide

You are mostly looking for:

  1. Ever Vigilant(1)
  2. Alyssa Graham
  3. Flashlight > Magnifying Glass
  4. Machete > Zoey's Cross > Prepared for the Worst
  5. Lone Wolf

Dig hard for Alyssa Graham and an Investigate tool. If you draw Prepared for the Worst, especially if you have Ever Vigilant, keep it. It's also worth hanging onto Perception.

Upgrade Guide

See here for what the fully upgraded deck looks like

  1. .45 Automatic x1 Ever Vigilant(1) x1 (1XP)
  2. Overpower x1 Ever Vigilant(1) x1 (1XP)
  3. Keen Eye(3) (3XP)
  4. Dodge x1 Police Badge(2) x1 (2XP)
  5. Emergency Cache x3 Emergency Cache(2) x2 (2XP)
  6. Fine Clothes x2 Ambush(1) x2 (2XP)
  7. Overpower x1 The Red-Gloved Man(5) (5XP)
  8. Desperate Search x1 Police Badge(2) x1 (2XP)
  9. Vicious Blow x2 Vicious Blow(2) x2 (4XP)
  10. Relic Hunter
  11. Charisma
  12. Desperate Search x1 "I've had worse…"(4) x1 (4XP)

The upgrades are fairly straight forward. Police Badge's combos with Keen Eye to give ourselves a potential monster turn. Ambush can wipe an enemy off the map (if Alyssa Graham is out). The Red-Gloved Man is another emergency panic button to help our out and soak some horror. Ever Vigilant helps out our economy (saving resources for Keen Eye) and actions; worse comes to worse, pitch it for its .

Alternatives, Substitutes, and Omissions

Alternatives and Substitutes

  • Swap out Fine Clothes for a second copy of Prepared for the Worst and Dodge. Fine Clothes is necessary in early Path to Carcosa, limited value in The Dunwich Legacy (Scenario 1), and is useful but redundant for solo Zoey in Night of the Zealot (Scenario 1). All in a all, unless you're playing Path to Carcosa, do this modification.

  • Dark Horse: a pretty good fit in this deck, and combined with Lone Wolf and Keen Eye we boost our to 4 every turn. The problem is deck space and consistently pulling that off. Swap out a Magnifying Glass for it.

  • Lantern: good alternative to Magnifying Glass, but Magnifying Glass is cheaper, Fast, combos with Flashlight, and works on other Investigate actions.

Omissions

  • Rite of Seeking and Drawn to the Flame: Zoey's standard investigating kit is too expensive, slow, and limited in solo. The shear number of 1 clue locations means these cards will generally be wasted.

  • Delve Too Deep: another classic Zoey card. The reality is, how many times will we use this card over the course of a campaign? Once? Twice? And then pay 1XP to swap it for a level 0 card? No thanks. Delve Too Deep is a big tempo hit to early-campaign Zoey which is when she struggles the most with tempo. Pass.

  • Sleight of Hand: the problem with this one is a lack of good targets. Yes, it turns Machete into a Switchblade(2) and combos well with Flashlight but that's not enough to justify its inclusion over and above what we already have.

Campaign Notes and Tips (POSSIBLE MINOR SPOILERS)

Night of the Zealot

  1. The Gathering: I don't recommend burning your house down. We don't need Lita and the +1XP is nice.

  2. Midnight Masks: Use Ambush to intercept The Masked Hunter. You'll probably just want to kill any cultists rather than Parleying them. This one is tough.

  3. The Devourer Below: Like Midnight Masks, try to lay an Ambush down in the Main Path before you advance the Act deck.

The Dunwich Legacy

  1. First Scenario? Go The House Always Wins then Extracurricular Activities. Hopefully the experience you acquired in the former will allow you to investigate all the locations in the latter and topple The Experiment.

  2. Miskatonic Museum: if you spy a card that spawns the Hunting Horror with Alyssa Graham consider eating the doom and send that card to the bottom of the deck.

  3. Blood on the Alter: don't let Alyssa die. Also, as painful as this may be, just kill Silas Bishop; we don't have the tempo to clear the The Hidden Chamber.

  4. Where Doom Awaits: Stack your hand to pass those tests!

  5. Lost in Time and Space: You made it this far?

Path to Carcosa

  1. Curtain Call: If you draw Act 2A: The Shores of Hali you may as well just quit then and there because you're going nowhere fast. Unless you have some insane luck and / cards in your pocket it's just not going to fly. The other two Act 2A's are no slouches themselves, they either put you on a clock or place a lot of pressure on you, but this one takes the cake.

  2. The Last King: dump your Fine Clothes after this scenario.

  3. Echoes of the Past: take note of Historical Society locations that prevent you from boosting your and avoid them.

  4. Unspeakable Oath: get Zoey's Cross out over any other weapon. You don't want to waste time/resources on something that'll get undone by a Straitjacket.

  5. The Phantom of Truth: hope you went doubtful Zoey!
5 comments

Jan 11, 2018 zozo 679

This is a great approach to a fascinating deckstyle. I played Zoey solo when I first got Dunwich, way back in January 2017 (or maybe even December 2016!), and found her to be powerful but (to state the obvious) lacking in the . I really like this as a thematic and carefully balanced approach to solo Zoey, and I can't wait to try it.

Incidentally, you have Alyssa's sanity listed as '4' near the beginning... alas, only the Red-Gloved Man boasts such a formidable mind!

Jan 11, 2018 Django 473

A friend of mine played zoey with a similar deck. I think the main difference was, she used 2x Magnifying Glass, 2x Dr. Milan Christopher and 1x Alyssa Graham for her flex slots and called the deck "Clooey". With both allies and one glass, she has 5 and free hand for a weapon.

Milan is also pretty good at fueling Keen Eye, once you have the XP.

Regarding upgrades, wouldn't it be better to get Charisma before the illusive man?

Jan 11, 2018 MOTUX 878

@zozozoo oh no! A slip of the keyboard strikes again.

@Djangothe reason for getting red gloved man prior to charisma is, unless story assets are a concern, charisma wouldn't do anything but the red gloved man would. I considered Dr. Milan Christopher but I think his resources would be a little redundant (and not useful on scenario 1), and Alyssa provides a lot of bang for your buck. For example, while I was playing Curtain Call Alyssa spied 3 Fanatic's; at that point there was no point investigating and instead bracing for the enemy. Alternatively, during The Gathering and Midnight Masks if I saw Obscuring Fog I knew I had to move quickly or get out of the way. The information Alyssa provides should not be underestimated.

Jan 14, 2018 CaiusDrewart 384

Interesting approach to have Zoey investigate directly instead of running cards that get clues without investigating Intellect. A really cool concept, though I'm not sure it will fly on Expert. Maybe Keen Eye is so powerful it would work. Have you tried it?

Your deck will be better for Where Doom Awaits then most solo Zoey decks, that's for sure. (Although it will still be hard!)

And yeah, Curtain Call is a horrible scenario for Zoey. There's the Act you mentioned, and also Poltergeists. If you draw your Fine Clothes you might be OK but if not, that's likely a quick death.

I don't think I agree that Drawn to the Flame is generally wasted in solo. Rite of Seeking, yes--you'd need to find a bunch of multi-clue locations, which might be tricky. But for Drawn to the Flame you only need to find one, and the vast majority of scenarios will have that.

Jan 14, 2018 MOTUX 878

@CaiusDrewart I've played it on Hard and it's been pretty successful (with a few close calls!) but not on Expert. That's a whole other can of worms that I'm not quite prepared to tackle at the moment. My only observation is that Expert favours testless damage/clues or ways to avoid tests (treacheries) and this deck doesn't have any way of doing that beyond Zoey's Cross. That being said, I have done things like get Zoey's up to 7 (with no cards committed) to pass certain investigate tests. Expert may not be out of the question.

My other issue with Drawn to the Flame (besides lack of targets) is that it's a one shot. Magnifying Glass, Alyssa Graham, and Lone Wolf (via Keen Eye) can help our investigating across the scenario but Drawn to the Flame is a one and done. If Zoey had 1 or 2 extra splashes I'd definitely try to find space for it, but as it is I feel it doesn't add as much compared to the splashes in the deck. I will say Drawn to the Flame would be a better splash in Scenario 1 over Lone Wolf, whose resources will go to waste until we get Keen Eye.