Bless you fast damage! (29XP) | HC 1K Series

Card draw simulator

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HungryColquhoun · 5259

Bless you fast damage!

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I'm continuing my series with a deck every Sunday and using the new Hemlock Vale cards. This deck is a Mystic (you heard me right) which uses an exciting new combo to great effect...


Overview

  • This deck generates 1 per turn and 2 damage as (one per phase) while refilling Sparrow Mask. The engine behind this is Spirit of Humanity, Forbidden Knowledge, The Key of Solomon and Jessica Hyde, with the latter two healing off all damage and horror incurred by the former. Note you don't have to fully assemble the engine for it to start working, Forbidden Knowledge with The Key and Keep Faith works great - as does just The Key and Spirit of Humanity.

  • When you aren't dealing damage you can readily cleric for your group. As Spirit of Humanity puts two tokens in the bag, when paired with The Key you can think of it as healing off its cost and then healing 2 damage/horror on top of that. With Jessica Hyde it's even better, taking the damage from Spirit and leaving The Key to heal the incurred horror plus one extra damage/horror. Even without Spirit, Keep Faith provides chunky healing with The Key.

  • Take Heart, Unrelenting and At a Crossroads draw 14 cards to assemble your combos, while Heirloom of Hyperborea draws a card for every spell. Both Read the Signs •• and Spectral Razor •• are recurable (especially with Favor of the Sun), and the Heirloom can trigger more than once in a turn. Take Heart is still worth keeping even in a bless deck as it hits vastly more than it misses - just make sure to use it on tests!

  • Combo decks need money, so Take Heart, Forbidden Knowledge and Voice of Ra all provide upfront cash. If you play Spirit of Humanity and The Key of Solomon early, you can always reverse the polarity and add tokens for healing plus cash from the Key before waking up the engine.

  • Brand of Cthugha and Clairvoyance do their usual Mystic things, with their charges going a bit further with the inclusion of spell events. Brand was selected in particular as it doesn't waste charges, and so pairs well with the damage this deck is built around.


Campaign starter and planned progression

Two Arcane Research makes this a 29 XP deck. 0 XP deck is as follows (and link here):

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Candidate spells for Arcane Research upgrades are below, and should be upgraded whenever is convenient (Brand of Cthugha and Clairvoyance cost a further 1XP to upgrade):

A recommended order of purchases/upgrades for remaining cards is:


Final thoughts

This deck feels borderline broken with how powerful it is! It deals fast damage, is an extremely potent cleric and can clue flex all in one. The recharging of Sparrow Mask is icing on the cake, and makes you robust against treacheries. People have touched on Spirit of Humanity and The Key of Solomon already, and they've touched on Sparrow Mask being great on Agnes, but I feel that Mystics are inherently a non-obvious concept because they tend towards tech. The bonus engine here is Heirloom of Hyperborea with bless and Spectral Razor plus Read the Signs, getting some real work out of your signature asset!

As an additional deck concept, Carolyn can also use this engine (with Well Prepared with the Key, Research Librarian so you only need one copy of The Key, and Field Agent/Beat Cop to make use of the healing) but that is more combo-ey whereas this works even with half the engine built. Overall for me this deck worked excellently while utilising new combos that have only arrived with Hemlock Vale. Let me know your thoughts, and if there are any combos you're itching to play with The Key of Solomon?

7 comments

Mar 04, 2024 chrome · 54

I like it. The general idea is pretty straightforward, although there was one super counter-intuitive part for me and it is Jessica Hyde. I wouldn't have included it myself, but, after some consideration, it seems pretty fit and clever here

Mar 05, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 5259

@chrome Thanks! I'd say Jessica Hyde is counter intuitive if you consider her a boost first and unlimited damage soak second. This deck is looking at the opposite, with unlimited damage soak being her main function. Generally Mystics have crummy health, so I would say she's not an awful fit for Agnes decks outside of the specific interactions here (though a Leather Coat may cover that off enough).

In addition with Jessica + The Key + Spirit you get net 1 healing, 1 damage and 1 which is well worth it. It means you can run around scenarios on full health/sanity with a bag which is being offset with nice tokens - which is definitely a good thing! Something I didn't cover above is with enough in the bag you can heal off horror from Dark Memory every turn - which is useful if it's popped up at point where you really don't want the Doom.

Mar 06, 2024 david6680 · 57

Honestly, the only thing about this deck that I don't love is all that card draw with Dark Memory. (That is one of my least favorite weaknesses in the game and one of the reasons I don't play a lot of Agnes).

Mar 06, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 5259

@david6680 I take your point, but I think if the deck is strong enough the tempo outweighs the effect of an extra Doom personally, as with Read the Signs and Spectral Razor (and then the permanent spell assets) I found this deck great at flexing. Good cleric-ing alone helps efficiency too, as by healing other investigators you open up less conservative play. Besides, as mentioned above, this is one of the only decks which can keep Dark Memory in your hand for several turns due to the healing - giving you an option not to play it which is usually lacking.

Apr 05, 2024 FlarkeFiasco · 1

Any thoughts on switching this to a main fighter in 2 player? I would imagine you just ditch the clairvoyance and go heavier on damage spells instead, yeah? It seems it could max out at around... 11 damage alpha turns?

Apr 05, 2024 FlarkeFiasco · 1

Also, is it worth running advanced heirloom and advanced dark memory? It seems like the deck doesn't as much care if it can't afford dark memory right away, and the extra soak from heirloom could end up tanking an elder boss hit or something. I'm assuming it all comes down to how much money the deck can consistently have on hand for the 4 cost dark memory

Apr 19, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 5259

@FlarkeFiasco Sorry for the delayed response. Advanced Heirloom of Hyperborea only soaks damage/horror from player effects, and advanced Dark Memory is damn expensive if you need to get it played - so overall I don't think it's worth it.

On going more combat, I would always recommend keeping Read the Signs •• but otherwise yes you definitely can. Likely cards like Sign Magick ••• become more relevant then to up damage (and still leave a hand slot for The Key), taking this to 14 damage (four hits from across Shrivelling ••••• and Brand of Cthugha ••••). I tend to always make my decks somewhat flexy as I play 2P, and I don't like it when there's no enemies on hand and I can't do anything to advance the act, but in higher player counts it's not as much of an issue.