Fire Bones' Rex Deck [Hard Core & Rougarou]

FBones · 17420

Note: this deck was made before Miskatonic Museum. You should definitely add I've Got a Plan to this deck. Probably drop a Manual Dexterity and a Deduction.

I played a version of this deck on Core at the Hard level and also on Rougarou. We beat the Core campaign and also won the Rougarou Scenario. Rex is a monster.

The deck is particularly good paired with Zoey, but it should work fine paired with Roland, Pete, or Jenny---any investigator with reliable, decent attacking.

First, there is one card here that really needs some explaining: Arcane Studies. It is the card that makes this deck go from great to nearly invincible. Lots of Rex Decks use Scavenging or Dynamite Blast, but Arcane Studies is much better to start with. Here's why:

  • Scavenging makes a lot of sense for Rex in general... except there are just not that many great items for him to use at 0xp. Once you put scavenging in your deck, you feel compelled to load it with lots of other items to scavenge, and the result is pretty crappy. Instead, put scavenging in after you have used some XP on the premium items with good icons, like Bulletproof Vest and Elder Sign Amulet.
  • Dynamite Blast is powerful, but on Hard survival is at a premium, and you can make Rex so awesome he does not need Dynamite Blast to win.
  • The one stat Rex + Fire Axe cannot pump up easily is willpower, and there are a lot of willpower checks. With Arcane Studies and tons of cash, there are no chinks in Rex's armor.

Revision: As of Blood on the Alter, Higher Education changes a lot to how you should play this deck. It covers the one chink in Rex's armor and also lets him get higher intellect for investigating. Once you have Higher Education, you can sub out Arcane Studies for a Scavenging. You can also go for Charisma so you get both Dr. Milan Christopher and a Laboratory Assistant out to increase your hand size to make Higher Education easier to use.

With this deck, mulligan hard for Old Book of Lore and Fire Axe. Get the book out and use it to pull out your key cards: Dr. Milan Christopher, Burglary, and either Hyperawareness or Arcane Studies to get the intellect boost. Once you get kitted out, drop Magnifying Glass down and kill the book.

(If you don't get Old Book of Lore or Dr. Milan Christopher initially, you can consider playing Magnifying Glass and then ditching it later. Of course, this isn't an issue once you have the upgraded Magnifying Glass, which can be pulled back into your hand easily.)

Use Burglary liberally. You can get a ton of cash. Use the cash to power Fire Axe and investigations, pushing your intellect up to pop the extra clue.

Upgrade cards:

Note that Cryptic Research is an awesome card, but it turns out to be not quite as useful for Rex in this Deck as I thought. Once you get your stuff out, you end up just not needing lots of extra cards. It is definitely lower priority than Bulletproof Vest.

Once you have the premium items in your deck, you can consider replacing one of your burglaries or fire axes with a Scavenging, depending on whom you are partnering with and how imperative it is for you to get the Fire Axe out early.

Cards to drop for upgrades:


Feb 20, 2017 king_mob · 474

Very clever includes, i like this a lot.

Feb 20, 2017 FractalMind · 36

Nice write up. Thanks for sharing!

Feb 21, 2017 bullettrang · 13

thanks for pointing the scavenging attitude out. I felt into that same mindset but I realize when playing that I almost never used scavenging because I was busy getting killed by monsters.

Feb 21, 2017 arcv2 · 1956

Sweet list similar list that is a bit more event focused w/ Mind over Matter and "I've got a plan!" instead of Overpower and Manual Dexterity, (and a Dynamite Blast over Arcane Studies, hehe).

Have you tried a 1 of Research Librarian to get your Old Book of Lore more often on turn 1 and 2?

Feb 21, 2017 FBones · 17420

@arcv2, I originally had a Research Librarian in the deck but ended up ditching it. It isn't quite as critical for Rex as it is for Daisy, who is basically playing one turn down if she doesn't have a Tome. Those times I did not get my book, I still managed okay. Mostly because the deck is full of Cantrips and high-value assets, so if you aren't getting your books, you are probably getting something else useful.

I also originally had Mind over Matter in the deck, but found I just didn't have a use for the card when I had it in my hand. I literally had 14 resources at one point. So between Fire Axe and the other pump cards I just didn't use the card. That is one reason this version of the deck has 2 Emergency Caches, once I realized I didn't need certain cards, I was having trouble finding things to meet the 30-card requirement.

I don't have Miskatonic Museum, but I've Got a Plan looks pretty awesome! I would totally put that in this deck if I had it!

Feb 21, 2017 FBones · 17420

One further note on this deck. A common tactic I use is to burgle and invest 2 resources (Using Hyperawareness or Arcane Studies). This generally means you are investigating at a 7 or so. Assuming you have Milan, when you succeed you get 4 resources, so a net of 2 resources (considering the 2 you invested), and you generally succeed by 2, allowing you to get a clue anyway, and scavenge and item on later scenarios if you have slipped scavenging into the deck.

Feb 21, 2017 Django · 4747

How do you use the axe? To push fight, or do you stay near 0 ressources to get +1 damage?

Also, what would you remove for Scavenging?

Feb 21, 2017 FBones · 17420

Just to push fight. I normally have loads of resources, which is why Mind over Matter just isn't very helpful. With the axe I can attack with 8 (very helpful on Hard!) for 3 resources, which is better than what I can get with Mind over Matter + pump cards.

It's a tough call as to what to remove for scavenging, and I think it has to depend on which investigator you are playing with (in terms of how crucial it is to get a Fire Axe early). I'd probably ditch a Burglary, but I would want at least 1 Cryptic Research in the deck to help speed my way at that point. If you were in 3-way play, then dropping a Fire Axe would make more sense.

I think when I played Rougarou with Zoey I dropped a Fire Axe for scavenging, and things went fine... not sure I'd always do it that way, though.

Basically, I recommend delaying Scavenging until you are sure it is worth it.

Feb 24, 2017 useenmycarkeys · 1

Why not use Physical Training instead of Arcane Studies? That way you can cover all four stats with resources.

Feb 24, 2017 Django · 4747

He's covering fight with the axe, while only needing Hyperawareness or Arcane Studies in play, to boost his intellect.

Feb 24, 2017 Django · 4747

I'm not sure about Scavenging, as it's a mid to late game card, when you've got some items in your discard pile. However, many scenarios don't need you to investiage later anymore and you're likely to have enough ressources for talents, too.

Feb 25, 2017 FBones · 17420

@useenmycarkeys, I like having two "pump" cards for my intellect, so using Arcane Studies lets me use only 1 Hyperawareness. As @Django indicates, I don't really need a pump card for attack, for the Fire Axe is very efficient for that.

Feb 25, 2017 FBones · 17420

I've found Scavenging useful in rough-and-tumble scenarios if I need to retrieve a Bulletproof Vest or Elder Sign Amulet.

That said, it really depends on how much xp you have to buy premium items with and whom you are partnering with. If you are going with just 1 Burglary or just 1 Fire Axe, knowing that it might mean more babysitting at the beginning of the scenario, then it can make you even more invincible later... but I would say that if you are borderline on it, keep the scavenging out.

Maybe I'll do some more experimentation on this, because I think it is really a difficult question. Maybe I'll try it out on Carnival, which I have not played yet.

Feb 25, 2017 Django · 4747

Does this site have spoiler tags...?

I played carnevale yesterday in a 4 man group. I was playing jim and rex, the other player had agnes and zoey. But we barely won. Zoey had to die to advance the act (she was swarmed by monsters), while agnes got mad the turn before the rest won (thanks to Bulletproof Vest and Smoking Pipe they had another turn). However if anyone had failed their test in the last turn, the rest would've died too.

That's where i tested scavenging, however this map isn't very investigation heavy (there's lots of clues, but you don't really need them), so i couldn't make much use of it, as i already gathered many ressources with Burglary in the early game and zoey distributed them with Teamwork.

However one good thing about Scavenging compared to talents, you can also use the recycled items to commit to other player tests, which cannot be done with talents.

Mar 07, 2017 FBones · 17420

I just played Carnivale the other day as well. Zoey & Jim. We came out on top, but it was definitely touch and go!

I think in 3- or 4-player games, scavenging is an easy include, you can drop a fire axe. But in solo or pair play, I'm less willing to play with just 1 fire ax---but I think that is the card I chose to drop when I did go with scavenging.

Maybe next time I play this deck in a high-level scenario I'll consider using scavenging in place of arcane studies, but only if I have several Will-power items I can pull.

Mar 07, 2017 Django · 4747

I removed Emergency Cache from my deck. Most cards here are pretty cheap and between Burglary and Dr. Milan Christopher, you'll soon be swimming in money, anyway.

Or do you need it as quick boost for the axe (i don't have the axe in my deck either, as other players fight)?

May 02, 2017 FBones · 17420

Wow, the recent expansions have really made Rex even more powerful. I've Got a Plan and Higher Education are extremely good for him!

Once you get Higher Education, you can drop Arcane Studies. I'd try to get Charisma so you can have Library Researcher to allow you a bigger hand limit.

May 22, 2017 ironmule · 1

Played an experience modified, version of this a couple days ago running through The Essex County Express and Rex was a beast. He blew threw the clues that are meant to slow you down and I left all combat to my friend.

Granted different setups might have been different but damn, was it easy.

Jul 11, 2017 willsaid · 1

How would you pair this deck with Zoey? What deck did you use for Zoey? Having a hard time decking Zoey since there's a lot of overlap (Fire Axe, Shortcut, Guts, Manual Dexterity, Unexpected Courage, etc)

Jul 11, 2017 FBones · 17420

@willsaidthis deck requires 2 cores, so Manual Dexterity, Guts, and Unexpected Courage should not be an issue. You should have enough of those for each investigator to get 2.

It should be straight-forward to construct Zoey. Just give her tons of weapons so she can protect Rex prior to his getting his kit out. Maybe throw in some healing as well to help keep Rex alive.

For Zoey's Out-of-faction cards, I'd suggest something like: 1 x Liquid Courage 2 x Delve Two Deep 2 x Ward of Protection

Good includes for Zoey beyond weapons and standard stuff are: Teamwork (Rex can give her his cash or an extra Fire Axe) Stand Together (to help Rex keep his card count up)

Also, Rex will want to play Strange Solution [not included in this older deck list.]

One big note: now that Higher Education is out, there is no need for Arcane Studies, go for a scavenging instead.

Aug 23, 2017 Sydtrack · 1

What would you change in this deck now that we have all of dunwich legacy released?

Aug 23, 2017 FBones · 17420

There is no longer any need for Arcane Studies since Higher Education lets you push up your will power.

And of course Strange Solution now has more value.

I would add Strange Solution and "I've got a plan!" and Inquiring Mind, remove Hyperawareness, Unexpected Courage, Overpower. If you need more space, I'd probably drop Deduction as well.

And instead of Arcane Studies I'd start with 1 Scavenging.

Aug 23, 2017 Django · 4747

What's your experiecne, combining Dr. Milan Christopher and Fire Axe? Can you get the damage bonus reliably of do you often have more than 3 and must decide to "waste" them with Higher Education?

Aug 23, 2017 FBones · 17420

@Django, sadly, when I played this deck there was no Higher Education. But yes, Rex does run into an issue where he has so many resources that he only gets 1 damage from Fire Axe. I've seriously had over 10 resources on him.

But I paired him with Zoey, so the Fire Axe was just so he could take care of himself when he had to.

Aug 23, 2017 Django · 4747

I see, that's what i suspected from our 2 player games, hhe player with milan hat lot's of ressources.

However milan's ability is optional, so you may choose to stay at 3 ressources instead.

Another question, have you tried rex with 2x Mind over Matter, 2x "I've got a plan!" and 2x acid?

Aug 23, 2017 FBones · 17420

@Django, About a month or two ago I stopped playing Seekers entirely. But I would definitely play at least 1x "I've got a Plan" (2 if playing solo). The reason I did not go with Mind over Matter in this deck is that I typically used that card essentially to evade, and if that is the reason you are using it, then you may as well just play Manual Dexterity.

However, playing solo I would definitely go with Mind over Matter instead, if only to break down Locked Door or other niche uses.

As mentioned in my comment to @Sydtrack, I would definitely put Strange Solution in here. And I think the acid version makes sense.

Aug 23, 2017 FBones · 17420

@Sydtrack, I just noticed that I replied to you (see above) but did not put your name in the response, so you may not have gotten an alert.

Aug 23, 2017 willsaid · 1

@FBoneswhy did you stop player seekers?

Aug 23, 2017 Django · 4747

You stopped playing seekers? You also think they're OP?

Aug 23, 2017 FBones · 17420

@willsaid and @Django, a couple of reasons... mostly I just think it is more challenging to play without them. Especially Rex with Higher Education. They really should limit his special ability to just 1 use per turn. Rex was already mega-powerful with this deck before HE and I've got a Plan.

HE not only makes Rex super-powerful as a clue gatherer, it took away the one vulnerability he had: his mediocre willpower and no way to boost it in faction. It just made Rex a monster.

Secondly, if you are always playing a Seeker, it really limits the deck/investigator combination you run. I've had tons of fun coming up with deck combinations that don't use Seekers. For example, I think Roland & Jim is one of the best (non-seeker) pairs in the game... but you would never know that listening to people's general views on Jim.

Aug 23, 2017 Django · 4747

Yes, that's true. We played dunwich with two seekers (daisy focused on magic and a custom investigator similar to rex but other ability) and it was rather easy, compared to other playthroughs.

Mind you, were too afraid to play on hard, but were trying all characters in idfferent combinations, at some point. We don't mind having seekers in the team, though.

Oct 29, 2017 Captain Midnight · 1

Looking at Path of Carcosa, would this deck benefit from Fieldwork?

Oct 29, 2017 FBones · 17420

@Captain Midnight, definitely. Fieldwork is just another example of how Seekers seem to get super-powered cards.

Feb 16, 2020 Kyula · 1

since there have been some other expansions have been released, does anyone has some good upgrade ideas for this deck?

Mar 05, 2020 dennisbp · 1

I second @Kyulaany further input would be great

Jun 19, 2020 SpicyLobster · 1

Does @FBonesor anyone have a suggestion to replace "Shortcut"? the two copies I have are used in my planned Zoey Deck for my first playthrough in a few years and was planning zoey/rex game. I see its on the early retire list so figured id drop it from this deck if possible.

Jun 20, 2020 FBones · 17420

@SpicyLobster, what do you mean by "early retire list"

Jun 20, 2020 FBones · 17420

@SpicyLobster, oh, I see what you mean. This deck is so out of date now that I should probably just redo the whole thing!

As an initial guess, Fieldwork may be a good card to add... or just the simple Inquiring Mind.

Jun 20, 2020 SpicyLobster · 1

@FBonesThanks, im just picking this game back up and trying to get back into playing. Ive got the 2 core sets, the full dunwhich and just picked up the carcosa box so looking for a solid 1-2 punch to remind me how fun it is :) I got no idea what makes a good deck anymore.

Jun 20, 2020 Django · 4747

"Good" being subjective, suppose it revolves around efficieny, having fun or both. For me, the minimum for both is to choose the deck focus (combat, clues or both) and built around that. Maybe add some campaign specific stuff (evade for FA and TCU). And cards you think will be fun.

Feb 27, 2023 ShunKazuma · 1

How is this deck for dunwich campaign?