Joe Enters the Diamond League|30k Series|Deck Guide

Card draw simulator

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

Valentin1331 · 57732

Joe is the best (private) investigator, and he is here to remind us.


Credit: Cristi Balanescu


Poor old Joe was placed at the bottom of the community ranking made by PlayingBoardGames, so I decided to bring the Private Investigator where he belongs: at the top with Amanda, and all other (except Taboo Mandy).

So buckle up, and let me take you through one of the strongest decks I've played.

Disclaimer: This deck does not aim to go infinite. Maybe it can, but I didn't try. I didn't need to. It already felt really strong while not breaking the game.

Following the success of the 20k Series, this 30k Series will focus on the investigators that are much harder to solve. Expect some jank, some outside-of-the-box thinking and hopefully some love for the underdogs of this game.

Click here to see all the previous decks. I will keep releasing a new standalone-ready deck concept every week on Friday, so stay tuned and keep supporting the Series by pressing the button if you want to see more!

Table of Contents:
  • Overview

  • Main Strategy

  • Hunch Deck

  • Unearth the Ancient Cold Cases

  • Deal With Those Who Trifle With You

  • "The Mythos? I've solved that case long ago."

  • Other Cards

  • Upgrade Path

Difficulty: ★★★☆☆
Enemy Management: ★★★★☆
Clue-getting: ★★★★★
Encounter protection: ★★★★★
Survivability: ★★★★★
Economy: ★★★★☆
Card Drawing: ★★★★★

Main Strategy:

Hunch Deck:
  • The strategy with the Hunch Deck of this build is not necessary to get the most value out of it but to get cards that accelerate your set-up and can be used at any point, making sure that you empty your hunch deck as fast as possible. For this reason, here are the Insights placed in it:

  • Even if you don't need to use the card on top of your Hunch Deck, especially Cryptic Research and Shortcut, try to play it as much as possible to get the card in your discard pile, and include it in the next deck cycle.

  • Once empty, the other cards of your Hunch deck will populate your hand and never leave it anymore.

  • When killing an enemy with the Detective's Colt 1911s or drawing an , you can decide:

    • Once your set-up is ready, place cards like Preposterous Sketches and No Stone Unturned in it and leave them in there for the rest of the scenario to decrease the size of your hand.

    • If your Hunch Deck is empty, place one event you would like to find next turn, such as Cryptic Research.

    • Otherwise, Working a Hunch is always a safe card to add to the Hunch deck to get a fast bonus that benefits from the discount.

  • Unearth the Ancients (2) is not in the Hunch Deck because it can take up to 11 turns to see the last card in it, and you don't want to wait that long to start rolling.

Unearth the Ancient Cold Cases:

Unearth the Ancients (2) is your main tempo accelerator in this deck:

Deal With Those Who Trifle With You:
  • Detective's Colt 1911s is our main weapon for the deck.

  • Once the Colt is empty, One in the Chamber refills it fast, with a boost to your next shot if need be.

    • With the fast cycling build, as it is fast, you can virtually consider having infinite ammo on your Detective's Colt 1911s.

    • You can play 2 One in the Chamber in the same window, allowing you to reload your gun 2 by 2 before cycling these. The +3 skill value also adds up for a big shot.

"The Mythos? I've solved that case long ago.":
  • Orphic Theory deals with "Sticky" encounter cards. You only have 4 uses for each scenario, but that should be enough to speed the game significantly.

  • Forewarned uses a clue to deal with a treachery that could have a much higher impact on your tempo.

  • "Fool me once..." can be attached to any treachery, including (basic) weaknesses. This is icing on the cake for a fast cycling deck.

    • When you discard a treachery (weakness or encounter), simply attach "Fool me once..." to it, and enjoy it being placed in play and staying there until the end of the scenario.

    • If you don't need 2 copies of "Fool me once..." for yourself, you can also use it by dealing with a teammate's treachery yourself. For instance, if a teammate draws Chronophobia, you can spend the yourself and place it in play with "Fool me once..." attached.

  • While potentially annoying, Unsolved Case removes itself from the game once dealt with, so you won't see it with every deck cycle.

    • Don't forget that you can play it even if you have no clues, basically ignoring half of its impact.

Other Cards:

Upgrade Path:

Disclaimer: This decklist is published in the version that I tested. These decks are made to be as versatile as possible, so don't forget to adapt them to your campaign and change the upgrade order around based on your experience.

Link to the 0xp deck

 Cost  Total
   In the Thick of It  →  "Fool me once..." 1 XP 1 XP
   In the Thick of It  →  Unearth the Ancients •• 2 XP 3 XP
Core Upgrades 3 XP
   Dream-Enhancing Serum  →  Unearth the Ancients •• 2 XP 5 XP
   Deep Knowledge  →  Cryptic Research •••• 4 XP 9 XP
   Deep Knowledge  →  Cryptic Research •••• 4 XP 13 XP
   Perception    Perception •• 2 XP 15 XP
   Perception    Perception •• 2 XP 17 XP
   Take the Initiative  →  Orphic Theory 1 XP 18 XP
   Take the Initiative  →  Forewarned 1 XP 19 XP
   Daring  →  Eon Chart 1 XP 20 XP
   Daring  →  Eon Chart 1 XP 21 XP
Luxury Upgrades 21 XP
   Cryptic Writings  →  "Fool me once..." 1 XP 22 XP
   Overpower    Overpower •• 2 XP 24 XP
   Overpower    Overpower •• 2 XP 26 XP
   Cryptic Writings    Cryptic Writings •• 2 XP 28 XP
   Crack the Case  →  Orphic Theory 1 XP 29 XP
   Deduction    Deduction •• 2 XP 31 XP
   Deduction    Deduction •• 2 XP 33 XP
   Eon Chart    Eon Chart •••• 3 XP 36 XP
   Eon Chart    Eon Chart •••• 3 XP 39 XP
   Vicious Blow    Vicious Blow •• 2 XP 41 XP
   Vicious Blow    Vicious Blow •• 2 XP 43 XP
    →  Studious ••• 3 XP 46 XP
    →  Studious ••• 3 XP 49 XP

(View at

Link to the full xp deck

To create your own guides, find the template I have created here


Jun 24, 2023 drassain · 1

I Love this serie. I wait every week for your new deck like when I was a kid waiting for the weekly episode of Dragon Ball :-) Thanks for the work you do!

Jun 24, 2023 heppu · 2

The tabooed version of the Eon Chart (that this deck uses) does not work with Unearth the Ancients, as it only let's you take basic actions.

Jun 24, 2023 Valentin1331 · 57732

@drassain that dragon ball comparison is the funkiest I’ve had since I started but also somehow the nicest! Thank you so much, and hopefully, like Goku, it’s only getting stronger!

@heppu you are right, Eon Chart is not used here to play Unearth the Ancients directly but rather in between playing it, to move mostly, but also sometimes to get another clue.

Jun 25, 2023 drassain · 1

I would like to try this deck in the next campaign I play. Is it possible that it would be a good idea to add Custom Modifications with Extended Magazine? I'm just saying this so that I don't run out of combat in a scenario with too many enemies.

Jun 25, 2023 Valentin1331 · 57732

@drassain That is a good call to do more fighting! To be fully transparent, I didn't think about it, as I was more focused on clues. But that's a really good idea to make the fighting more consistent, especially before you purchase the core elements of your draw engine.

Jun 25, 2023 mattastrophic · 3083

I really like this low-asset, event driven style of play, good job!

Jun 26, 2023 Semiotics · 1

This is a really cool deck! I absolutely love Unearth the Ancients and have used it to great effect in an asset driven Ursula. It's cool to see it doing different work here. I'm notorious for playing with enormous tableau's, so I really like seeing a take on a deck that's so focused on skills and events.

I might also look to find some room for Ancestral Knowledge...probably less practical than the Studios, but maybe more fun!

Jun 27, 2023 Weges · 79

Have you thought about Farsight and Ever Vigilant? Many events are already fast, but it's basically a synonym for Cryptic Research when playing a Preposterous Sketches from the hunch deck. It does contest the arcane slot. Ever Vigilant being there to play more fast and cheaper with Farsight.

Jun 27, 2023 Valentin1331 · 57732

Hey @Weges, thanks for the comment!

I have to admit I didn’t look at Ever Vigilant, but I did look at Farsight.

The reason why it is not here is a bit the same principle as Minhfinite, effects that exhaust are inherently weaker in this type of deck that goes really fast and achieves a lot in a turn. It is the same with otherwise excellent cards like Pathfinder. One action/turn is not enough to justify the card slot and experience.

The deck goes big hand yet doesn’t use any of the advantages of doing so, which is a shame, but it is the current state of the card pool.

@Semiotics that’s a good call for Ancestral Knowledge, I actually play tested it in this deck and I took it out for 3 reasons:

  1. I didn’t really need the 5 additional card slots.
  2. It is an absolute challenge to stay on the Standalone 19xp threshold and Ancestral Knowledge didn’t fit in this.
  3. It actually anti-synergises with Practice Makes Perfect by taking some Practiced skills out of your deck.

Of course it won’t ruin the deck, but I thin you could do better with that XP

Jul 01, 2023 Scientiavore · 1

This is why you're my favorite publisher on the site. I've played quite a bit of Joe Diamond(I've always said he's underrated, effectively having 3 extra actions per turn is crazy good), and you still somehow managed to show me some new tricks and a new perspective I hadn't considered before. Your understanding of the game is top notch, and you come up with some really creative stuff.

As for the deck, I think upgraded backpack could be really good here. It's effectively card draw, while also helping to ensure you get some of your important assets out early (and it'll help you pull off unearth the ancients combos early on more reliably). Ice picks (given how fast this deck cycles) with upgraded magnifying glass, emergency cache (including upgraded versions), and ever vigilant could all be good options if going this route. I could also see a more item-heavy deck being good with cards like strange solution and heavy furs.

In regards to insights, I personally think scene of the crime and logical reasoning are worth considering. 1-2 testless clues for an action is really strong, and I find logical reasoning will usually remove terror reliably in multiplayer (although if worst comes to worst, healing yourself for 2 horror for an action can also at times be useful due to Joe's low sanity and willpower). The upgraded versions of logical reasoning and no stone unturned can also make for some pretty worthy considerations (depending on player count and campaign).

I also think lvl 3 scientific theory is really strong on Joe Diamond and definitely worthy of consideration for pretty much any Joe Diamond deck.

Jul 04, 2023 Ghostleader · 1

Fool me once... does not effect Unsolved Case

Jul 05, 2023 DerBK · 1558

@Ghostleader: It does affect Case. Fool Me Once doesn't specify 'non-weakness'... and weakness events do indeed count as treacheries.

Jul 05, 2023 DerBK · 1558

Oh wait, you mean because it's not discarded and FMO can only be played if the treachery would be discarded. My bad, you might be right actually.

Jul 05, 2023 Valentin1331 · 57732

@Scientiavore first of all, thanks a lot; that is really appreciated :)

  • I considered Backpack, but the reason why it didn't make the cut is that it would become a wasted card once you find your items, which happens relatively fast anyways because of the massive draw power. The criteria to make it to the main deck (excluding the Hunch Deck) was to:

    • Have a card that would either stay in play and bring long lasting value
    • Or bring value at every single cycle
    • This excludes for instance Backpack, but also good cards like Grisly Totem (3) or Farsight for instance.
  • As weird as it may sound, as I added it in probably every investigator, I didn't think of Ice Pick (3)... It makes perfect sense in the upgrade path as an alternative to Magnifying Glass as it is a tool, really good catch on this one!!

  • For other items, that's exactly what I was trying to prevent in this deck, which is what I would always end up with in Joe: an overloaded, slow, clunky deck. Instead, I prioritised less flashy yet tempo-worthy events with a limited number of high-impact assets.

  • For events, you are right, Scene of the Crime is probably one of the best insights for Joe's Hunch Deck, but this deck took a different approach. It is not about the strongest cards, but rather about which one would be the easiest to take out of the hunch deck to empty it as fast as possible, and place the best back with your gun/.

  • In regards to Logical Reasoning, I actually considered adding one copy and one copy of Bizarre Diagnosis to be able to also support your team through the Mythos, but I didn't opt for it because of deck space (it's too hard to cut OP cards), but it would make perfect sense in the deck.

  • For Scientific Theory (3), you are absolutely right, it is a really strong card in Joe, yet again I didn't feel like I needed it because of the fast draw, all the skill cards and the Magnifying Glass/bonus on the One in the Chamber. I am also a bit constrained by the experience threshold. But again, it's still a really strong card and would fit in the upgrade path easily.

@Ghostleader you are right, and Unsolved Case case kindly removes itself from the game already, so no need for "Fool me once...", but it works like a charm on Random Basic Weakness.

Aug 01, 2023 BeestonAH · 1

@DerBK Also, while Fool me once works on weakness treacheries, Unsolved case is not a treachery. Not all weaknesses are treacheries. for example Abandoned and Alone is, but Unsolved case has no "treachery" tag type.

Aug 15, 2023 garysax · 1

Running this deck now and it is totally sick. You are such a huge resource for all of us who play but are mediocre deckbuilders!

Aug 18, 2023 jultou · 1

Just completed Forgotten Age with a very similar deck (I don’t have full collection yet) and it worked really well. The level 0 deck was tough for the first scenarios: not that good to deal with enemies or getting clues and no drawing power yet. But after around 15xp the engine started to work well!

At some point in the campaign because of too many thraumas I went with 2x scientific theory for soak but also helpfull to pass difficult tests and burn unused ressources.

Oct 17, 2023 drassain · 1

I am playing this deck in Insmouth and is very incredible and very funny. Thanks for this serie of decks.

Nov 25, 2023 alberttrombone · 39

Amazing deck and very fun to play, thanks! I've been testing it in true solo with Circle Undone and.I've experienced some trouble when dealing with Willpower and Agility tests... besides adding Criptic Research, Forewarned or "Fool me once...", any ideas? thanks!