A gambling based blasting demolition solution

Card draw simulator

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

ethereal64 · 420


A FAQ back in April comfirms that Rod of Carnamagos can trigger token based effects such as Eye of Chaos and Armageddon.

Now, Rod is an undeniably better enabler then things like Olive McBride, but it still has its own weakness, in that it requires a non-Elite on the board and "only" reveals 5 tokens.

In this deck, I present to you the ultimate solution to any token based effects, reliably searching the entire bag for whatever token you need. As an exemplary, this build can one shot ANYTHING in the game that has a health bar (save for 1 exception which was never meant to be killed in the first place)

Table of Contents:
  • A bust, so what?

  • Sleight of Hand (This time for real, almost)

  • Walk softly, and carry a nuke

  • Dawn Star: yes or no?

  • Any cheat you do, better

  • What about this specific deck?

A bust, so what?

Almost all cards only search the bag for a finite amount of tokens, e.g. Jacqueline Fine for 3 or Olive McBride for 4. 21 or Bust and Henry Wan are the only exceptions which can search the bag for any amount of tokens as you desire.

Of these 2 cards, it's obvious that 21 or Bust is the better option since it doesn't have a built-in stop condition. Yes, you normally don't continue to draw token once you hit 19+ or are busted, but there's nothing forcing your hand, is there?

When you think it like that, the effect of 21 or Bust suddenly becomes "Pay 2 resources to reveal the entire chaos bag". Now, the only problem is: how do we insert this effect into something else's effect?

Sleight of Hand (This time for real, almost)

Nested Sequences introduce all sorts of madness to the game, and making a card fast is usually the way to do it. have Chuck Fergus to turn any Trick cards fast, and for we have... (drumroll please)

Close the Circle!

Remeber, per the April 2024 FAQ, tokens revealed during ST.2 of the skill test count toward the token based effects, and Close the Circle allows us to play 21 or Bust during that time. So, as long as the bag is filled with the tokens we need, we are guaranteed to see each and every one of those 2 times per deck cycle.

In this particular example, the token I want is , and Geas is included specifically for this purpose. Add 10 any time you need, or enjoy a handsome +1 to all skills beforehand, how convenient is that?

Walk softly, and carry a nuke

Except for Harbinger of Valusia who was never meant to be killed in the first place, all other monsters in the game (that can be killed) have at most 8 health, which translate to 32 in a 4p game. That normally would require some serious firepower from your , but with this deck it's as simple as a single action:

  • Setup: Geas (promise of Play), Close the Circle, Armageddon, 1 copy of 21 or Bust and 2 copies of Dawn Star in your hand (and resources to play them)

  • Armageddon. During the skill check player window of ST.2:

    • Close the Circle: Play 21 or Bust

    • As soon as 21 or Bust is being played (i.e. you payed the cost), the promise is broken and Geas throws 10 tokens into the bag.

    • Go through with 21 or Bust's effect until you have revealed all 10

    • Armageddon deals 10 damage (in 10 instances) to enemies at your location.

    • play 2 copies of Dawn Star to ignore each and every revealed, dealing a total of 20 damage (in 2 instances) to enemies at your location. (more about the legality of this play later)

    • Finish with 21 or Bust's effect; since Dawn Star ignores all . you might even make a profit.

    • Continue to ST.3 of the skill check of Armageddon.

    • Assuming the skill test is successful, Armageddon deals 2 damage to your target, uping the damage total to 32.

Dawn Star: yes or no?

I know some of you might doubt if Dawn Star can be (ab)used like I did in the previous example. But rest assured, this IS approved by the rule. The exact rule of Curse token is:

tokens revealed during a skill test have the following effects: "+2. Reveal another token. Instead of returning this token to the chaos bag, return it to the token pool."

And then for skill test timing:

ST.1 Determine skill type of test. Skill test of that type begins. This step formalizes the beginning of a skill test. There are four types of skill tests: willpower tests, intellect tests, combat tests, and agility tests. The card ability or game rule determines which type of test is necessary, and thereby a test of that type begins.

ST.8 Skill test ends. This step formalizes the end of this skill test. Discard all cards that were committed to this skill test, and return all revealed chaos tokens to the chaos bag.

In short, a skill test starts when the type of the test is determined, and ends when all test results are applied. This means that by the time we start our shenanigans during the player window in ST.2, the skill test has already started, and revealed by 21 or Bust do have a modifier for Dawn Star to ignore since this is now already "during a skill test".

And do note that, because is now a fully functional token, all 10 of them WILL be removed from the bag after you resolve 21 or Bust, so you won't achieve additional damage by revealing more during ST.3 of the test. Is this good or bad? That depends highly on how you decide to build around this shenanigan.

I will admit this explanation only take rules as written and damned all consequences. But, if the developers find it's ok to do that, who are we to say no?

Any cheat you can do, better

Now that we understand how gambling can be used to shred Old Ones, what else can we win from the poker table?

  • Ritual Candles naturally comes to mind. An average bag consists of something like 7 symbol tokens, for 2 candles that +14 during this test already. If there's anymore or in the bag then things quickly grow out of hand.

  • "Positive token effect spell suite": ok I made this name up, it's really Sixth Sense, Song of the Dead, Wither and Shards of the Void. Of those, Shard desrves a special mention as the combo fishes all 0s for you to seal (including the one released as a cost of its ability), which in an average bag means +4 and +2 dmg at least.

  • Miracle Wish: it's a meh card, but maybe (just maybe) with 10 charges it could prove to be worth it?

  • Tristan Botley: pay 2r to get 5r and an action in return, seems like a nice trade?

  • Prescient: name whatever comes to mind and you won't miss on the recursion (unless in some VERY VERY niche case)

The reality is, anything that is based on a specific token can be triggered by this combo, but you only get 2 chances per deck cycle, so I only listed those that worth the trouble. Feel free to come up with your own ideas.

Note that the core of this combo requires both 1 for Close the Circle and 0 for 21 or Bust. Dexter is the best fit but others can make do with some tweaking, e.g. Close the Circle can be replaced by Friends in Low Places (Prompt + Swift), off-class can take a Versatile, or just play any one of the 3 neutral investigators. Geas serves as a generator, replace it with anything that you see fit (a teammate, maybe?).

What about this specific deck?

Now, although this deck is only an exemplary, it's still a fully functional one in itself. mainly a cluever deck with panic buttons to deal with occasion enemies that aren't worth wasting the nuke for.

Almost half of the deck is spell (13/33), so Arcane Initiate is here both as a soak and as a draw engine; when the doom is becoming inconvenient. use your magic trick to discard her and profit 3 cards from the process (by playing Protecting the Anirniq)

To create your own guides, find the template that @Valentin1331 have created here


Jul 12, 2024 lovertai · 32

I wonder if Parallel Rex can make this combo too. Can he use Honed Instinct and Spirit of Humanity (deal damage to self) to play 21 or bust? It seems cool!

Jul 12, 2024 Adny · 1

why it doesn't work:

  • dawn star's timing point is step 3 of a skill test
  • blurses don't have any modifier/ability outside of step 3 of a skill test (what you are saying is, if you pull an autofail in 21 or bust, you fail the skill test, which is obviously wrong)

Jul 12, 2024 Drostt · 57

Ok so it's so confusing but at the end it's valid, but it's crazy.

From rules:


Some abilities cause values or quantities of characteristics to be modified. The game state constantly checks and (if necessary) updates the count of any variable value or quantity that is being modified.

Bless and Curse Tokens

tokens revealed during a skill test have the following effects: "–2. Reveal another token. Instead of returning this token to the chaos bag, return it to the token pool."

or tokens revealed outside of a skill test have no effect on their own unless otherwise specified by a card effect.

If you played 21 or Bust normal way, the curse tokens would have no effect, but as you play it during a skill test they do have the effect and you count them towards the 21 or Bust result value.

Or in fact you don't cause you play Dawn Star

So this combo works by the rules. The comment about autofail isn't valid 'cause and only modify the result of 21 or Bust not a skill test. This is game inside a game, but because of the rules specific spelling, it works. If the rules were spelled slightly different, like: and tokens have no effect outside of ST.3 then it wouldn't work, but then Rod of Carnamagos wouldn't work as well.

But anyway you need to be a munchkin of Arkham horror to want to play it.

Jul 12, 2024 Drostt · 57

And no, Dawn Star timing point isn't step 3, it just says "play after revealing tokens during skill test" You play it during skill test after you reveal tokens, but for 21 or Bust. There is no specific single step of a skill test when you have to play it. And what's more funny, for Rod of Carnamagos it wouldn't work, cause you don't ignore anything there.

Jul 15, 2024 RyanMuQ · 584

You perform the true magic :)

Jul 18, 2024 chirubime · 26206

Nesting 21 or Bust into a test is pretty innovative way to maximize curse suite Spells.

I have two general questions:

  1. Did they rule on what Dawn Star actually does yet? As written ignoring the modifiers of a token isn't the same as ignoring a token, so Dawn Star ignoring the modifier of a token, only to count how much damage you do based on what you ignored means, as written, is always 0 damage.

  2. Assuming the first works as you intend, this one is more iffy. Can you ignore a curse token twice? Like you don't use 2 copies of Deny Existence 5 on the same copy of Rotting Remains to heal 6 horror, so how do you even use the 2nd copy of Dawn Star to double up on "for each ignored" effect?

Jul 18, 2024 chirubime · 26206

Quick follow-up, Prescient is one of my favorite cards. I'll definitely be using the Close the Circle trick to play Voice of Ra for any mystics without rogue access and enabling symbol triggers for Jewel of Aureolus, Ritual Candles, Prescient, Read the Signs, Spectral Razor etc in the future :D