Agnes Deckbuilding Guide (Expert)

Auckmid · 4896

Brief Overview

This guide is primarily designed as a tool to help you decide what cards to run in your Agnes deck. As such, most of the guide is dedicated to analysing cards that I believe to be worth consideration on Agnes. Since I almost exclusively play Arkham Horror in a multiplayer group on expert, this is the primary setup I am considering when evaluating the cards and creating decks. However, most cards will function with similar results regardless of difficulty, and this deck can be modified for single player.

I am going to make the controversial statement that I believe that Agnes is the single best investigator in the game on higher difficulties, at least for multiplayer. Even though Mark is more consistently powerful at fighting and Rex is more consistently good at sucking up clues, if Agnes gets the right cards in play, she can turn into an absolute juggernaut in combat, especially due to her ability which can give her guaranteed damage under the right circumstances which is extremely good on high difficulty, while also similarly being able pick up clues very quickly if she gets her investigating cards. Additionally, Agnes’s extremely high will makes her far more resilient to many treachery cards then most other investigators. However, the above scenarios also highlight the biggest weakness of Agnes, in that what she can accomplish varies greatly depending on draws. While you will almost always be able to accomplish something significant, what that something is will be inconsistent. As such, it is best not to rely on Agnes for a single specific function when considering team comps, and to instead think of her as a very powerful wild card.

The decklist to the left is ultimately what I believe to be the strongest deck on Agnes at the moment, I do encourage people to make changes to this list as they see fit, as personalizing your deck is part of the fun of Arkham, and there is a section below dedicated to other cards to consider.

Cards in the decklist

  • Heirloom of Hyperborea: I think this is an absolutely garbage signature card, and a top contender for weakest signature card in the game. The only saving grace is that it is a fairly good skill commit. I will never play this card, and only ever use it for a skill commit.
  • Dark Memory: A really nasty weakness. If you draw this card early in a scenario or while ill prepared to deal with the horror, you usually want to play this card a quickly as possible to avoid taking needless horror and just take the losses associated with this card. However, if you draw this late in a scenario, especially if you have Peter out, you can consider never playing this card and just tanking the horror until you can complete the scenario or resign.
  • Shrivelling: Quite possibly the most important card in the deck. While it is out, Agnes becomes as or more effective in combat as a guardian due to her very high will. You'll need to be careful about rationing the card since it only has 4 charges, but it can make Agnes an absolute monster in combat. I always include this card.
  • Rite of Seeking: Another key card in the decklist, this makes Agnes very effective at grabbing clues. If you are worried losing actions, you can just rite of seeking as your final action in a round, and if you are fine with risking action loss, you can grab a ton of clues in a single round. I always include this card.
  • Peter Sylvestre: While he improves massively after he gets upgraded, this guy is still a key card. Since sanity is an extremely important resource for Agnes, you want to avoid putting needless horror directly on Agnes whenever possible, and Peter is by far the most effective card for accomplishing this. Once upgraded, he also buffs your will which is another massive boon. I always include this card.
  • Holy Rosary: Buffs your will and gives you an additional horror tank. Not much else to say. I always include this card.
  • Painkillers: Agnes very much wants a way to activate her ability on demand, and she also wants more health. Painkillers meets both of these demands, effectively killing two birds with one stone. I almost always include this card, unless for some reason I feel the need for a stronger resource economy, in which case I run both leather coat and forbidden knowledge over this card.
  • Baseball Bat: This card is almost solely in the deck due to it's synergy with fight or flight. The fact that it has the potential to break at any time is annoying, but I do value the +2 fight and consistent +1 damage. Since Agnes will have a fight of 4 with the weapon, it does give her to have an additional tool to deal with weak enemies, even without fight or flight. However, I still only ever run this card in addition to fight or flight, and will usually end up cutting it during a campaign run.
  • Lucky!: This card may not be as crucial to the deck as some of the assets. Having said that, lucky is my pick for the single best lvl 0 card in the game, and I believe simply running this card in a decklist makes the deck much stronger. I always run this card and believe it is heresy not to run this card when given the opportunity!!
  • Ward of Protection: I think this is a very strong card since it can completely negate some very nasty treachery cards. Successfully blocking an ancient evil can completely swing a scenario. The 1 horror can be mildly unpleasant if you don't have Peter out, but it can also be used to trigger your ability during the mythos phase. I always run this card.
  • Uncage the Soul: I really like this card. The two targets for this card are shriveling and rite of seeking. If you are able to play either of those cards with uncage the soul, you get a 3 resource discount, which is the same value you would get with emergency cache, while also saving an action relative to emergency cache since you play 2 cards with 1 action. If you draw uncage the soul before either of your spell assets, you usually don't care that much since, with the exception of Peter, all of your other cards cost 2 resources of less, meaning that you will usually have the resources to play them even without additional resource gain. If you draw this late game or while you have a significant resource build up, where as emergency cache would be a dead card, uncage can still be used a double will commit, which is still very useful. I always run this card.
  • Drawn to the Flame: Even though drawing encounter cards can be nasty, especially later in a campaign, "free" clues is extremely valuable, especially on higher difficulties, giving this card a very high value proposition. I almost always run this card in my starter deck, even though you can consider cutting it as you approach the end of a campaign.
  • Fight or Flight: Even though this is a relatively dead card at the beginning of a scenario, Agnes is inevitably going to stack horror on herself, and once you have a few points of horror, this card will significantly buff your fight and evasion for a round at a very low cost. Very effective in combination with a weapon that buffs your damage, and a useful evasion tool. However, I do not consider this to be a must-run card, and usually will cut it during a campaign after I drop baseball bat/fire axe.
  • Delve Too Deep: This card not only does nothing to help you complete a scenario, it actively makes it more difficult. However, I'm a greedy bastard and Agnes has strong scaling in addition to an extremely high XP cap. Getting those few points extra points of experience can help quite a lot later in a campaign. However, I would never run this in standalone mode, would probably not run this in a mini-campaign, and will always cut it before the end of any campaign. You usually want to play this card towards the end of a scenario when you already pretty much have it locked up, especially if your teammates have resigned so less encounter cards need to be drawn, even though there are some situations where it is worth playing mid-way through a scenario.
  • Guts: Can be used to either help ensure a pass on an important will check for Agnes or used to help a teammate pass a will check. Since Agnes has a very high will, when committing this card to one of your skill checks, it is extremely likely to pass, causing this card to cycle. Cycle is always very nice. I always run this card, even though you can consider cutting it late in a campaign, normally if you want to limit cycle in your deck before the end of a campaign (*cough*Dunwich*cough*).
  • Fearless: Sanity is a very important resource on Agnes. Cards that heal horror are very good on Agnes. Not much else to say. I always run this card.
  • Unexpected Courage: Solid card and useful to have in your back pocket if you ever want help doing a skill check that isn't will. I always run this card, even though it can be cut late in a campaign.

Additional Cards to Consider

While this decklist is my current go-to when starting campaigns, feel free to make alterations depending on the situation (obviously cut Delve Too Deep if you are playing standalone mode) or based on your personal preferences or card pool restrictions.

Here are some additional cards to consider:

  • Arcane Initiate: Once you upgrade Peter, he completely outclasses arcane initiate on Agnes. However, even though you aren't running very many of them, getting spells out like shriveling is important, and arcane initiate does help you fish for them, making her worth considering in your starter deck.
  • Arcane Studies/Dig Deep: These cards are worth considering if you are creating a deck purely from the core set and are going to be missing quite a few of Agnes’ expensive cards (rite of seeking and Peter). However, these cards don’t have a place once you expand your card pool beyond the core set.
  • Blinding Light: I don't like this card, and I think that if you want additional evasion options, manual dexterity is a stronger pick. However, this is still an option.
  • Defiance: I prefer unexpected courage to this card, since even on expert, the extra pip on unexpected courage is generally more likely to allow you to pass a skill test then blocking a chaos token. It does shine if there are multiple copies of a nasty chaos token in a scenario, and it does combo if you are also running Baseball Bat, but I find it isn't quite good enough in most scenarios. Still worth considering, especially if you can find room for both this and unexpected courage.
  • Emergency Cache: Nice resource burst. However, I prefer uncage the soul to this card, and think that running both is a bit too clunky.
  • Fine Clothes: Helpful early on in the Carcosa campaign, but not overly necessary and its hard to find room for it.
  • Fire Axe: An alternative to the Baseball bat since it doesn't break. However, Agnes doesn’t have a very strong resource economy while having a fairly heavy curve, meaning that you are going to value your resources highly. As such, recovering from having to dump all your resources for the +1 damage is something that you may have a hard time recovering from. Additionally, your hand weapon is largely meant to be used in combination with Fight or Flight, and you are not going to get any bonus fight after the first attack unless you are sacrificing the bonus damage (unless you are running forbidden knowledge, which synergizes with this card), which can be an issue if you don’t have a lot of horror. The fact that it doesn't break is still really nice and makes it worth considering.
  • Flashlight: Can be useful for getting clues in low shroud locations (2 or lower) especially in single player. However, in multiplayer, you can just let the seeker or a teammate with less competitive deck slots take care of low shroud locations, since it is hard finding room for this.
  • Forbidden Knowledge: Worth considering as an additional way of triggering your ability, especially since it helps your resource economy. However, I consider painkillers to be better, and it can be difficult finding room for both, but still possible.
  • Leather Coat: Agnes does want additional health, but painkillers typically has her covered. You can run this in addition to painkillers if you really want lots of health, or with Forbidden Knowledge instead of painkillers if you really want those extra resources from forbidden knowledge or do not have access to painkillers.
  • Manual Dexterity: My main choice if I want additional evasion in my deck, even though I'm typically fine without it.
  • Quantum Flux: A nice tech card for the Dunwich campaign, even though I think it is rather unnecessary since this is a fairly low draw deck.
  • Resourceful: There are a few survivor cards that you can bounce, and being able to replay Lucky is great. However, it is hard to find a deck slot for it and the lack of a will pip makes it less good on a mystic.
  • Ritual Candles: This is a card that seemed strong in theory, but always seemed to fall short in practice. The main problem with it is that if you are doing a skill check in which ritual candle is not actively changing one or more of the chaos tokens from a fail to a pass, it is doing absolutely nothing, which is going to be the case in a significant number of skill checks. A big note I will make however is that I've only ever tested this card in Dunwich, where there was only a total of 3 chaos tokens affected by ritual candles and I have not yet put this card into a Carcosa deck, where there will usually be 5 chaos tokens affected by ritual candles, giving it much stronger potential value and, as such, it may be worth trying in that campaign.
  • Storm of Spirits: Good for killing multiple enemies in a room, especially if you are playing with 2 or 3 other people, but I think that it is a little too expensive and a little too situational to be put in the deck.
  • "Look what I found!": Strong card when it triggers, but you do not spend enough time investigating to have it consistently trigger. Strong synergy with flashlight.

Cards not found on this list are cards that I generally do not consider, but feel free to alter the deck however suits you.


These are the upgrades I take for Agnes, ordered by how I prioritize them. I put cards that exile and are worth considering in their own separate category, since many of them are extremely useful to have in the last scenario of a campaign when exile doesn’t matter. You can pick them up before the final scenario, but be careful about getting too many too quickly, since they will tax you xp for each scenario you play them in.

Highest Priority

Peter Sylvestre (level 2): The +1 will and +1 sanity you get for just 2xp is insane value, making this always the very first card I upgrade.

High Priority

  • Shrivelling (level 3): Some people make the argument that since Agnes already has a significant amount of will, she doesn’t really need the +2 will. This may be true on lower difficulties, but if you are playing on expert, you are really going to appreciate the +2 will, and 3xp is a very reasonable price for this card, making it a strong early upgrade.
  • Rite of Seeking (level 4): Like the entry above, on higher difficulties, you are really going to appreciate that +2 will. However, unlike the level 3 shriveling, this upgrade also significantly boosts for pass effect for the cost of just 1 additional xp and resource, making this a very high value upgrade. However, it has a much lower value in single player since you will not be encountering very many rooms with 3 or more clues, meaning that you may want to hold off on this upgrade if playing alone.

Medium Priority

  • Song of the Dead: This is actually a card I’m not fond of due to how it will typically only deal a lowly 1 damage. However, there is a lack of viable alternatives when it comes to fighting with Agnes, and are probably going to end up cutting your baseball bat/fire axe as you progress through the campaign, effectively forcing you into taking this card so that you have another combat option in addition to the far superior shriveling.
  • Fearless (level 2): Strong upgrade that has the potential of healing Agnes for even more at no resource cost. Good card.
  • Shrivelling (level 5): The +1 will and +1 damage are very nice additions for just 2xp relative to the level 3 version. The extra sanity loss when drawing a bad token can be very unpleasant if you don’t have Peter out, which is why I often end up upgrading fearless before upgrading shrivelling all the way to level 5, but this is a card that you are going to want before the end of your campaign.
  • Recharge: In a typical setup, this card has around a 25% chance of doing nothing besides wasting an action, a card and potentially discarding an asset that you still wanted in play. However, the other 75% of the time, you get massive value if you are adding 3 charges to an upgraded shriveling, upgraded rite of seeking or grotesque statue. This makes it something that you do want to have in your deck once you’ve upgraded all your spells.
  • Grotesque Statue: This is a card I could spend a long time doing a probability analysis on. The short summary of this card is that it is solid, but you should probably prioritize the cards above before getting this. A longer analysis of this card would be that for any skill check, the maximum probability of the reaction on this card changing the result of a skill check from a fail to a pass is around 25%, which occurs when you are doing a skill check which you would otherwise have a 50% chance of passing (50% -> ~75%). As such, since this asset has 4 charges, even if you are maximizing your probability with every single charge, the average number of skill checks that you are going to flip from a fail to a pass through a single grotesque statue is 1. This is not that impressive when you consider this card requires 4xp, 2 resources, an action to play out, and you are never realistically going to maximize your odds with all 4 charges, which causes the average number of skill checks flipped to be, potentially by quite a lot, below 1. Of course, flipping skill checks isn’t all that grotesque statue can do, as it can allow you to dodge a nasty token a scenario might have and it does synergise with song of the dead. However, you should still be careful about prioritizing this card too highly.

Low Priority

  • Blinding Light (level 2): This is actually a reasonably strong card, as it gives you burst damage and an escape tool in your back pocket at a low resource cost. However, Agnes has so many strong cards that this card becomes easy to overlook, though I still include it if I’m wracking up the xp.
  • Blood Pact: Without moonlight ritual, you are under the vast majority of circumstances never going to use the free actions on this card unless the agenda is going to advance next turn anyway. However, if the agenda is going to advance next turn, this card gives you a power-play turn in which you essentially get +3 will and +3 fight, which is obviously very significant. It also doesn’t take up a deck slot which is also very nice. However, I generally believe that there are better things to spend your xp on for Agnes.
  • Moment of Respite: A little too expensive in terms of xp and resources for me. However, healing horror on Agnes is always great, and this card will become more appealing if you start to take mental trauma.

Exile Upgrades

  • A Test of Will: Ward of Protection is a very strong card, so a card with the same effect which doesn’t cause horror and can be played for teammates for a very reasonable xp cost is obviously going to be good. This is the main exile card you may want to put into your deck before the end of a campaign, since getting taxed 1xp for using this card isn’t that significant, and blocking the right treachery can be game changing. I often run this card in addition to ward of protection.
  • Stroke of Luck: Even though its 2xp cost makes it less appealing to run before a campaign’s end-game, almost guaranteeing a pass on a skill check is incredibly useful, making it something that I’m always trying to put in my deck for the last scenario of a campaign.
  • Devil's Luck: Usually just a poor man’s I’ve had worse. It can still be very useful if it blocks a large amount of damage or horror from a treachery (like quantum flux, this can be used as a tech for Dunwich), or just as a dodge that you can only target yourself with. It can be hard to find a slot for this card though, and I prioritize it below the two cards above.
  • Flare: In the right deck, this can be a really strong card. Sadly, Agnes doesn’t support this card that well unless you have additional allies. If Peter is your only ally, the miss chance on the ally summon is generally too high, and the fight use isn’t quite good enough on Agnes to justify it over other upgrades.

All other upgrade cards are cards that I do not consider. While upgrading something like ward of protection (lvl. 5) will give you a strictly better version of a card that you are already running, this upgrade list assumes that you are going to obtain an amount of experience that is obtainable in a single 8-scenario campaign (<60). If you do not have more then 60xp, you should always have better options then something like upgraded ward.

Multiplayer Update Quick Overview

Note: I do intend on making a separate update for Solo Agnes (praise Sixth Sense!) but that will likely not be for another few weeks.

After two and a half cycles and coming up to 2 years, I am giving an update to the original guide. The changes made to my current preferred base Agnes deck compared to the original are as follows...

Baseball Bat -> Meat Cleaver

Unexpected Courage -> Live and Learn

Fearless(Or Delve Too Deep) -> Deny Existence the other important cards added...

The Chthonian Stone - Important tech option, primarily for the Forgotten Age campaign

Mists of R'lyeh - Another important tech option if you need a more consistent evasion option... like in the Forgotten Age campaign

Premonition - Solid card, worth considering

Take Heart - Solid card, worth considering

Sixth Sense - Solid card, worth considering

Thermos/Arcane Research - Fun little combo

Time Warp - High priority upgrade

Rite of Seeking(2) - High priority upgrade - Typically superior to RoS(4) on 2 player

Ward of Protection(2) - Medium priority upgrade

Four of Cups - Medium priority upgrade

Shards of the Void - Replaces Song of the Dead as a combat alternative to Meat Cleaver + Fight or Flight

Fate or Fortune - Nice exile upgrade towards the end of a campaign or on standalone

There have been other solid cards released as well which aren't being specifically mentioned, but I believe these to be the most important ones.

Multiplayer Update Card Analysis

Meat Cleaver - I could spend quite a long time weighing this card against Baseball Bat, which is the hand weapon I initially included in the list, but it ultimately comes down to this. Meat Cleaver is usually going to be the stronger weapon in combination with Fight or Flight since it won't break on you and it can be used to put horror onto Agnes to trigger her ability, then immediately take horror off of Agnes when she kills an enemy. Additionally, when it is out in play, it gives Agnes a very consistent way of dealing a damage to an enemy. For these reasons, I personally prefer Meat Cleaver over Baseball Bat. However, Baseball Bat's biggest advantage is it's consistent +2 fight on use which does make it an effective option when dealing with low fight enemies, while Meat Cleaver will often only give you +1 fight, which is quite significant in those early encounters.

Live and Learn/Time Warp - These two cards are extremely high value for more or less the same reason. Live and Learn can be used after failing a test on your turn to refund the action and any charges used on the failed test, as well as effectively giving you a free unexpected courage on the redo at no cost. Time Warp can be used after any investigator at your location fails a test during their turn to refund the action, any charges used and any cards committed on the failed test, as well as negating any penalties associated with failing the test. I don't think I can understate just how valuable both of these effects are. Super useful cards.

Deny Existence - Another card which is just super high value. Having another way to shut down treachery cards in the encounter deck is just really good.

The Chthonian Stone - Analyzing how good sealing cards are is something that I could go on about for paragraphs, so I'll try to keep it short for this one. The biggest issue with this card is that in most scenario's, especially early on in a campaign, the modifiers on scenario tokens are rarely worse then -4, even on hard/expert. As such, having one of those tokens sealed on a test where you're 4 above the difficulty will cause your chances of passing to decrease since it increases your chance of drawing a -6/-8/auto-fail. This makes the value of this card extremely inconsistent and usually not worth the high cost associated with it. However, this card is still an important tech option since it can still be worth running in scenarios where there are scenario tokens with really devastating effects

Mists of R'lyeh - You can usually get away without too much evasion with this deck, but if you really want to have a strong and consistent evasion option and you're not too worried about filling up your arcane slots, this is the card for you.

Premonition - This is a nice card because it can be used prior to an important skill test to let you and your teammates know whether you need to commit to that skill check, and how much to commit if you do need to. While this is definitely a useful effect, it suffers from the issue that Agnes usually isn't running a lot of skill cards to commit to a test if needed, giving her a bit of anti-synergy with this card. Additionally finding the deck slots to include this card can be tricky.

Take Heart - Strong econ card which is worth considering. However, since Agnes has very high will, you're less likely to be failing at skill checks from treachery cards, meaning that if you want to trigger the effect for yourself, you will likely end up needing to to an action to intentionally fail a fight/investigate, making it less useful on her then on investigators who can trigger the effect consistently without spending the actions. This is also another card where it can be hard to just find the deck slots for it.

Sixth Sense - Another card which I could spend a long time going on about and I'll try to avoid. If you want to build Agnes to primarily be just a clue gatherer, take this card in addition to Rite of Seeking. If you are in a team comp which isn't very good at getting clues and you are likely going to need to be spamming the investigate action, take this over Rite of Seeking. If you are playing on solo, absolutely take this card. However, if you are looking to be doing a mix of fighting and investigating, I prefer Rite of Seeking over this card. Since Rite of Seeking is going to be picking up twice as many clues on average, Rite of Seeking has a higher value proposition unless you are looking to spam the investigate action with Sixth Sense (7+ times after playing). Since, this usually isn't the case for me, I typically just take Rite of Seeking over this card, even though this at least partially comes down to personal preference.

Arcane Research/Thermos - Fun combo since it gives you bonus XP long term. However, Thermos can bog the deck down a bit as another high cost card, and starting with 2 mental trauma can be very painful if you aren't able to draw into Peter/Thermos.

Rite of Seeking(2) - Nice stepping stone between Rite of Seeking(0) and Rite of Seeking(4). Additionally, on 2 player, you may want to consider not upgrading past this card since a lot of locations will only have 2 clues, making this card more efficient for those locations then Rite of Seeking(4).

Ward of Protection(2) - As mentioned with Ward of Protection(0), blocking nasty treacheries like Ancient Evils can potentially flip the scenario from a loss to a win, and the upgrade here helps to ensure that it can find it's mark. Additionally, this can be used to potentially save a teammate with lower will from a treachery which would otherwise cause huge problems for them.

Four of Cups - Agnes tests her will a lot. As such, assets with give +will are pretty much going to be good on her by default. However, I typically only one copy of this card because 1) It isn't as strong a card like Holy Rosary or Peter Sylvestre(2) and 2) Since it cannot be committed to skill checks, if you draw a second copy of this card, it will be a dead draw.

Shards of the Void - Even though this card is a bit weaker then equally costed Shriveling(3) for Agnes, it's still a strong combat option due to it's consistent +1 damage which I believe to be Agnes' best option if you want to run another combat spell in addition to Shriveling. Sealing the 0 usually isn't too big of an issue, though keep in mind that immediately releasing the 0 with your first attack is a valid option.

Fate or Fortune - Just like with Ward of Protection blocking an Ancient Evils, Fate or Fortune can potentially save a scenario by buying you that one extra turn. Do to it's high cost, you will likely only want to buy this at the end of a campaign instead of purchasing it multiple times, but it's still a very nice card.


Jan 13, 2018 Auckmid · 4896

Due to the card links appearing as html text when publishing the guide, I've resorted to just using blue text for the card names with no links. If anyone knows of something I might have done wrong to cause that to happen, please let me know!

Jan 14, 2018 CaiusDrewart · 2971

This looks really good. Your thinking and final decklist match up really closely to what I like to do with Agnes. I'm glad to see more people posting on here who play high difficulties.

The only thing I'm not sure about is running Fight or Flight and Baseball Bat over Fire Axe. The former does have a lot more upside, but the latter is more consistent (it's a lot easier to have 3 resources than both Fight or Flight in your hand and a bunch of horror on yourself.) And running Fire Axe and cutting the other two would free up a deck slot for something like "Look what I found!" or Flashlight.

Overall, a great list and writeup. I was considering writing something about Agnes but there's definitely no need now, as I would basically just be agreeing with you. :)

Jan 15, 2018 Auckmid · 4896


Thanks for your words! I do absolutely agree that if you were going to make changes to the given decklist, baseball bat and flight or flight would be the cards you would most likely take out, and I also agree that fire axe is much more consistent. However, when deciding what decklist I wanted to post with this guide, I gave a slight preference to cards that performed well in the Path to Carcosa campaign since it is the current cycle, and the baseball bat and fight or flight combo have some very appealing features in that setting, which is why I ultimately chose them.

Minor spoilers for the Carcosa campaign

-In the first scenario, if you fight the Royal Emissary with baseball bat and fight or flight with at least one point of horror on Agnes, skulls will always pass, giving you a fairly effective additional way of dealing with the Emissary. Additionally, if you get a baseball bat in your opening hand, you'll have a high chance of being able to kill early Fanatics as long as you don't immediately take horror since skulls will be passes.

-In the second scenario, while there are quite a lot of enemies in the encounter deck, being able to effectively kill the elites is incredibly valuable, and having one or two power rounds with baseball bat and fight or flight can allow you to solo even the tougher elites, which can put you in a strong position for the rest of the campaign.

Having said all that, I wouldn't be as likely to run those 2 cards in other campaigns or in future campaigns when going in blind, and would be more likely to put in cards like fire axe, flashlight and "look what I found" instead.

Jan 18, 2018 ilza · 1

I think the usage of Baseball Bat over Fire Axe coincides with the deck not running Forbidden Knowledge. Most times I want a econ card in my starting hand (since Shrivelling, Rite of Seeking as well as Pete is quite expensive) so I'm not really fond of only having two econ cards in the deck. But running Forbidden Knowledge as well as Uncage the Soul makes the econ quite good in the midgame when you've achieved your setup. I can see good arguments for running 2, 3 or 4 econ cards in the deck.

"Look What I Found" is the worst cluegathering card available, and not all group setups will require Agnes to run 6 cluefinding cards. Likely on the cutting block if you're grouping with a seeker but a lot better if you have to do a larger part of the cluefinding.

Arcane Initiate is similar to the discussion about econ. Considering the low amount of draw in the deck, I can see a good reason to run a third ally and here the Initiate makes sense.

Jan 25, 2018 Bubble bath Cthulhu · 20

Thanks for this guide. I'm a beginning player and it taught me a lot about strategy and how to build a deck. Agnes had fun crushing some scenarios with Roland.

Apr 25, 2018 Holmelund · 2

What is your thought on Clarity of Mind? Its cheap cost and ability to heal both you and other Investigators Horror seems like a nice addition to Agnes

Apr 26, 2018 Auckmid · 4896

I'll be doing an update to this guide for the cards from the last 3 sets of the Carcosa cycle. Agnes didn't get any good level 0 cards in these sets, but did get some nice upgrades, with the biggest new addition being Time Warp.

@Holmelund - Clarity of Mind is actually a card I tried in my Agnes deck when I first started playing Dunwich for the reasons that you mentioned. The reason I don't run it any more and don't think it's a card that should be considered is that it is simply too action intensive. In order to get the full 3 horror heal, you have to spend 4 actions in addition to the 2 resources, which ends up being too taxing.

@Bubble bath Cthulhu - Glad you found the deck helpful! I do like the Roland + Agnes duo.

@ilza- The low econ is a bit of a weakness of the deck since even if you get the assets you want in your starting hand, it may take a few turns to build up the resources to play them out. As such, I see running fobidden knowledge, fire axe and leather coat as a package in place of painkillers, baseball bat and fight or flight as a very competitive alternative. The weakness of this is that even with FK, fire axe can end up eating resourses that you want to put towards getting other assets out, and it's hard to effectively use fire axe more then once per round.

I do agree that arcane initiate can hava a lot of power with this archtype, especially later in a campaign. The main issue with her is that if you only have one ally slot, you really want Peter to be the ally in play, and spending the xp on an early charisma can be a bit annoying. However, running Peter and arcane initiate together is something I'm going to experiment with.

May 14, 2018 acotgreave · 759

I'm trying this out tonight! Your justification of Baseball Bat was enough to get me excited.

May 16, 2018 acotgreave · 759

Played Curse of the Rougarou with this deck, (Ashcan Pete came along too). Oh we had such a blast with this. The Baseball Bats didn't come out until almost all hope was lost. Fortunately I also had Fight or Flight, so Agnes, nearly insane, armed herself with the bat and dealt the final blows to the beast. Great fun.

Jul 09, 2018 Wyndam · 14

A friends ran this deck this weekend and I was super impressed with it. Baseball Bat + Fight or Flight is truly a wonderful combo. She was outclassing our Guardian during some fights even. Her only gripe with the deck was the lack of resource generation, but I don't know what I would remove to slot in some Emergency Caches!

Aug 26, 2018 Nezuminotabi · 4

I really likte the deck so far, but was wondering what you would say to changin Baseball Bat with Spirit Atheme. The downside is you do not get the consisten +1 damange but can in theory free up exp for other upgrades as having Spirit Atheme almost covers for a upgraded Shrivelling (3). But seeing that Spirit Atheme didn't even make it into your mentined cards makes me wonder...

Sep 26, 2018 Auckmid · 4896

@acotgreave: Glad you enjoy the deck!

@Wyndam Even though it's one of the more recent cards, Take Heart is a card that I like quite a lot if you're looking for a bit more help with resource generation. Fearless, unexpected courage and delve too deep are probably the cards which are the most cuttable if you are looking for an extra econ card. Glad it's seeing success!

@Nezuminotabi The issues I have with using spirit athame are that it doesn't increase your attack damage at all and that it exhausts, both of which are severe problems. A large part of the reason why I include baseball bat in the decklist is that it gives you a damage buff to combo with fight or flight, in addition to giving you an extra option when dealing with weak enemies, which spirit athame isn't nearly effective at doing. While the buff to spell related skill checks is nice additional perk that spirit athame has, I think that it's simply too expensive for what it does to include in the deck.

Dec 12, 2018 Whisky · 1

Thanks for the great write up. I was looking at an Agnes deck for an upcoming Standalone Event and this looks like a great deck to roll with. Any tips for what a standalone version of this deck would like look like? Am trying to keep it under 29 XP. Also, any cards from the TFA cycle which you would now add?

Mar 25, 2019 Crimthann · 1

Thanks for the in-depth write up. I am new to the game and all the explanations and extra info is super helpful. I am having a blast with this deck.

I have been looking at the cards released in The Secret Name and was wondering how you would rate the Meat Cleaver? Usually +1 resource cost, -1 fist, and can add a free damage with taking the horror, potentially regaining it with the kill. I am finding it very appealing.

Mar 28, 2019 Auckmid · 4896

I am going to make an update to this guide at some point, it's mostly just an issue of finding the time atm. However, for the moment, I'll just quickly point out the cards that have been released since this guide was released that I view as most significant to Agnes...

-Ward of Protection (2) - Medium priority upgrade (multiplayer only of course)

-Time Warp - High priority upgrade (Amazing card)

-Seal of the Elder Sign - Low priority upgrade

-Mists of R'yeh - Important tech option

-The Chtonian Stone - Important tech option (For FA campaign specifically)

-Live and Learn - Core card (Great addition)

-Premonition - Important tech option

-Take Heart - Important tech option

-Shards of the Void - Medium priority upgrade (makes Song of the Dead obsolete)

-Deny Existence - Core Card

-Four of Cups - Medium priority upgrade (one of)

-Meat Cleaver (replacement option for Baseball Bat)

There are also other cards that got released that I didn't mention here, such as Arcane Research + Thermos, that are fun to play around with, even if I don't necessarily think they are the best cards.


Sorry for the late reply. I know this will be well past your standalone event (hope you enjoyed it!), but for a 29xp standalone deck, I would prioritize upgrading Peter, Shrivelling, Rite of Seeking, Fearless as well as taking two copies of Time Warp if that is a card in your collection. Taking a single copy of Four of Cups is also something that I enjoy since extra will is always very nice and getting it in your opening hand feels great, so I would also recommend that if that's a card you own.


Meat Cleaver was a well designed and is a great card on a lot of investigators. I'm going back and forth a lot on whether I prefer it to Baseball Bat (which would be the card it would replace in for). Here are my overall thoughts...

Disadvantages of Meat Cleaver (relative to Baseball Bat): During the earlier parts of a scenario, without Fight of Flight, Meat Cleaver is only going to bring you up to 3 fight while Baseball Bat would bring you up to 4. This point of difference is massive when it comes to fighting the 2 fight enemies which are very common in early scenarios, making Baseball Bat much more reliable as a fallback weapon when you're in a pinch. Additionally, since activating the second damage on Meat Cleaver causes a horror, activating it without Peter is something to be cautious of if you aren't specifically looking to take horror.

Advantages of Meat Cleaver(relative to Baseball Bat): When you attack and kill enemies with Meat Cleaver, it gives you a way of transferring horror from Agnes onto her assets (coughPetercough) which is great. Additionally, if you only need to deal 1 horror to an enemy, it can give you a free horror heal. As such, combined with Fight or Flight and your ability, you can reliably kill a tough 4 health enemy in 2 swings while taking no net horror, which is also great. And, or course, Meat Cleaver doesn't break, which is a very appealing feature.

The tl;dr of this is that Baseball Bat > Meat Cleaver at dealing with enemies earlier on in a scenario, but Meat Cleaver > Baseball Bat later on in the scenario once you have your important assets out, a fair bit of horror on you and/or fight or flight. I would probably have to spend quite a bit of time trying it out before I could conclusively say whether I prefer Baseball Bat or Meat Cleaver. However, it is absolutely a card I would recommend trying out.

Jun 17, 2019 BeCurieUs · 17

I have been playing with some of the suggestions here and it works REALLY well. We have managed to really power clear some of the stages with help from this build. I ran a rex build before this and I have to say this is just as powerful at finding clues with the bonus of also being able to fight effectively, not run one of the worst curse's in the game and be able to counter bad spells that come up. She can do so much. But it does take skill learning how aggressively to mulligan. You really can't start the game with no spells, maligning all 5 cards is the best option if this is the case. Don't try and hold onto any "ohhh this is nice"...if you don't have a spell, use that in the mulligan pitch!

Very nice would recommend!

Mar 20, 2021 flompiestompie · 7

Shouldnt there be a way to heal horror?

Mar 20, 2021 Holmelund · 2

You don't need it with Peter

Oct 10, 2021 Vortilion · 1

Does Agnes‘ Ability trigger when you transfer horror into Peter? Gave this deck a few runs today, seemed pretty slow. My problem with Agnes is that if you don’t have shrivelling in the starting hand it’s almost auto-loose… ;(

Oct 12, 2021 Vortilion · 1

General question: Is there an overview of how to format text when writing a deck text??

Oct 13, 2021 Auckmid · 4896


Peter does not trigger Agnes' ability.

In the starting cycles of arkham, mystics did struggle quite a bit with consistent combat since they had a very solid combat card with Shriveling but nothing else anywhere near as good. In the present day that issue has been almost entirely shored up with Azure Flame (which was introduced with Jacquline's starter deck), giving the mystics the option of running both for far more consistent combat.

When playing with a more limited collection Baseball Bat, Fight or Flight, horror pinging and naturally decent evade can help to deal with enemies in the early campaign. Even though it's not a great card, Song of the Dead should also be given consideration for a fairly early buy if you have nothing better in the collection. Additionally, when playing in multiplayer (which was what this decklist was primarily designed for) pairing with another flex investigator who can help to deal with enemies through fighting/evading is strongly recommended.

I'm not sure about an overview for text format, even though for some of the formatting in my guide, I included a bit of html

Oct 18, 2021 Jelonek · 1

Nice too see you're still around, Auckmid, and thank you for this guide. Do you intend to update it with your thoughts on the last cycles' player cards? I would like to read your opinion on Azure Flame, Sword Cane, etc.

Oct 20, 2021 Auckmid · 4896


Hey! I might try to do a more comprehensive update at some point, but just to quickly go through the more significant cards from the past couple of cycles:

-Even though I though there were quite a lot of good cards in Dream Eaters, I don't think that there was much for Agnes. Read the Signs, Spectral Razor and Stargazing are all solid cards that I run on other mystics, but I found it a bit too hard to slot them in here.

-Azure Flame was really significant because, in addition to giving an extremely competitive alternative to Shriveling in expert especially, it opened up the option for mystics to run 4 solid combat spell assets in their from the start of a campaign. In my opinion, running both this and shriveling is Agnes' best option if you are looking for consistently strong fighting, which I think it generally a good idea

-Likewise, Clairvoyance is a very appealing alternative to Rite of Seeking on expert especially when the negative side effect procs very infrequently. Unlike with Azure Flame though, I don't think Clairvoyance+Rite of Seeking should be run together and I think Sixth Sense is better then Rite of Seeking if you are looking for a very clue heavy build.

-Granny Orne is a very viable alternative over Peter as your starting ally, even though I still like to rush replacing her in favor of Peter(2). However, with the Edge of the Earth expansion now out, it seems better to just stick with Peter throughout if running Down the Rabbit Hole.

-Grimm's Fairly Tales has the potential of being a high value horror healing card in your starting deck if you end up triggering it enough times without having to waste actions on intentional failure. Combos nicely with Take Heart. I'm personally a little bit torn on whether it's worth running in place of Fearless at the start of a campaign. However, since I think that Fearless(2) is still worth running, Down the Rabbit Hole might make the choice a lot easier :)

-Sword Cane can be a solid option if you're looking to evade a lot like in Forgotten Age, even though for the most part I think that Agnes doesn't need to evade that much and can rely on her decent agility with commits if she does need to evade

-Promise of Power I think is fantastic since relative to Unexpected Courage, it's a guaranteed extra +2 now for that important skill check that you're committing to now at the cost of a potential -2 to a random skill check down the road which I think is a deal that you overwhelmingly want to take.

-If you are looking for a more evasive build, I think Blur is generally the best evasion spell at the moment. However, slotting in an evasion spell asset that's going to be there the entire campaign is tricky unless you're running a less combat heavy build. Also is a little bit awkward if running Down the Rabbit Hole.

-Winds of Power is a solid value card once you have upgraded your spell assets and a more consistent alternative to Recharge.

-And lastly, but probably competing with Azure Flame for most significantly, we have Down the Rabbit Hole. In my opinion, since it's very easy to focus throughout the campaign on upgrading your starting cards without compromising your build path at all, this can often equate to 10-12xp extra generated throughout the campaign even with a few non-upgrade purchases and no real downside, which I think it absolutely insane.

I might have forgotten something, but hopefully this gives something :)

Jan 24, 2022 GIBraag · 1

This is a brilliant guide, but I disagree with your evaluation of Grotesque Statue. The point of this card is not to make an average test of 50% more likely to succeed, but to make that one crucial test succeed almost 100% of the time. The one you pour all your resources into and still has a 10% chance to (auto-)fail.

Using one charge of GS decreases the chance of failure from 10% to 1%, making the test ten times more likely to succeed.

Apr 19, 2022 Dhanos · 2

This is probably one of the best guides I've seen on this page. Great work!

Apr 19, 2022 Dhanos · 2

I would appreciate your thoughts on the EotE cards though. I had my Agnes upgrade to a Cyclopean Hammer. Haha