|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|None. Self-made deck here.|
|Ursula Downs - The Forgotten Age||0||0||0||1.0|
A simple to pilot, “hit the ground running” Ursula build focussing on Ursula's natural core activities of: movement, investigating & evasion with a little check support for additional encounter protection.
The rough game plan is to get passive + boosts down asap to enable efficient clueing to free up cash/cards for other deck functions. Several investigate action converters (such as: Unearth the Ancients or In the Know) and bonus movement (Shortcut, Pathfinder or occasionally her ) also allow her to capitalise on this by offering increased efficiency from her ability. and boosters (Hyperawareness/Higher Education) and skill cards/pips provide encounter and enemy handling while a generous cash and draw engine minimise variance.
The deck is light on non-fast assets (including relics). This is mainly to minimise time and resources wasted on install actions to let you get going quickly. It’s also in recognition that the current relics available, while often considered to be generally strong cards, have limited synergy with her statline or ability, so including too many supports for these can slow down the deck. (Ofc as new Ursula synergistic relics are released, I expect this will change).
Ive put these at the top as I know not everyone wants to read the full blurb.
- Charon's Obol. Solid xp booster. With this much encounter protection you should be fairly safe from being defeated. but ofc, now ive said that...
- Higher Education (See Clues and Encounters sections)
- Logical Reasoning Pathfinder (see Movement section)
- Inquiring Mind In the Know (see Clues section)
- Perception Cryptic Research you will need the draw - this deck is deigned to play fast! (see Draw section)
Other upgrades to taste:
- Deduction Deduction (2) - More clues are more clues and you should be able to boost high if needed when the time comes.
- The Chthonian Stone/Tooth of Eztli the XP relic of your choosing (this is a game, pick the toy that looks the most fun!)
- Deciphered Reality Not that important really, but its a great card. Remember you dont have to wait until all locations have clues on this. Getting 3 or 4 clues is still amazing efficiency for a single action. Also note that you can use this from her ability, and that it says the bonus clues are "additional" so you still get 1 from your location as usual).
DETAILED PILOTING GUIDE
MOVEMENT & ABILITY:
Ursula's ability - a Pseudo free action each turn is strong so how do we get the most out of it?
A few points for anyone unaware:
- The free investigate action doesnt have to be spent on the basic investigate a location action. It can be spent on any card that initiates an investigate. action as part of its test, such as Unearth the Ancients, In the Know or Flashlight.
- Despite the action being generated via a ability it does count as initiating a new (non-evade., fight. or resign.) action so it can trigger attacks of opportunity.
In the Know (and perhaps later Deciphered Reality) allow you to use the free investigate action to target a location other than the one you just moved to. I have skipped on Seeking Answers as while it does a similar thing, my experience of it in many other decks have been very circumstantial and more often used for pips.
- Unearth the Ancients combines action economy and efficiency by converting that into an install. Note that while you get a bonus draw if you use this on a seeker relic, It can be used on ANY seeker asset, so its a great way of getting that Pathfinder or Milan out without the tempo hit from paying 3. Note also that you can use the + on Magnifying Glass and Milan and you get the penny back from Milan if he was in play before you played it. Double pips also puts it on a par with a dedicated skill card if you dont need it for the install.
CLUES AND INVESTIGATION BOOSTS
Some quick hard mode maths (sorry!):
On hard we want to be testing 3 above test value to get reliable odds on success and out strip some a lot of the nastier token effects (some scenarios need higher). So getting your base to 5 lets you gives you easy (~75% - 80%) pass rates against a shroud 2. Similarly a base of 6, or 7 are needed for shrouds 3 and 4 respectively. Which implies:
- THE MULLIGAN: You ideally want to build to at least a passive +2 from Mag Glasses and/or Milan asap so MULIGAN HARD FOR THESE. This will get you able to reliably succeed on shroud 3 location which should mean you are covered for the majority of locations. More is always going to be better ofc, but you are unlikely to see both Mag Glasses early so we have a few extra toys.
The Chthonian Stone gives us the option to seal away a nasty token, which can bring the odds of success up and reduce risk of harsh token effects (and for your comrades as too) but it will block that hand slot. Then again it will also eventually return itself to your hand letting you put the second Magnifying Glass down if needed. Or ofc you can just over write it with the Magnifying Glass.
Hyperawareness and Higher Education let you pay to go a little higher. Note that if you have Milan down, he can refund one of the resources you spend on each test if you pass. This is particularly important in the first scenario before you get Higher Ed because it changes the permutations of cards needed to reach the magic +2 for shroud 3 locations allowing the Hyperawareness + Dr. Milan Christopher combo incase a Magnifying Glass didnt turn up.
Perception, Deduction, Eureka!, Inquiring Mind and Unearth the Ancients are all good cards for hitting higher shroud locations. They all offer either 2+ pips and/or bonus clues/draw when you use them. Ofc feel free to use Eureka! or Deduction on lower shrouds as needed, especially Eureka! which can be used liberally for the filtered draw (such a strong card!).
- Fieldwork Ive used this a lot in Ursula and while its good, it isnt the panacea for her that it looks like it is on paper. It will help you on one or two actions on some turns. While it is great support for her in general its not strong enough to fully substitute out your Magnifying Glasses. It does however offer wild +2 to any type of test which makes it just as good for or checks where needed (see below).
ENEMY AND TREACHERY HANDLING ( & TESTS)
With high base and reasonable , Ursula has a good base to build on to handle encounter skill checks and Evade enemies. As before we are looking to test 3 above the test strength on hard so her base stats wont be enough except in very easy cases. They at least offer a little protection (if unreliable) when you have no boosts available and this may be a 30-50% on early campaign 3 tests for example. Again a test strength of 3 or more is common, so you're looking to be able to reliably go up to at least 6/ for the test at short notice, or simply take the impact of the fail. Pick you're fights here. We have a lot of one short or expensive options, but hard mode is about rolling with the punches and they will run out in time or burn tempo if you over spend on boosters. If the impact of failure is minimal, just let it through and save your war chest of counters for a more dangerous test.
The options follow a similar pattern to those in the investigate section:
Tooth of Eztli offers the only passive + or that we have brought with us and its only on treachery cards. These passive buffs are ofc nice to have but not that essential with so many alternatives in the deck. The draw is also very nice but at 3 cost its a big tempo hit which means its not an early game card unless youve drawn alot of cash early. This makes a second copy potentially a common dead draw, hence the 1x include rather than 2x.
Dumping Enemies in spent locations and using Fieldwork for evasion: Fieldwork has also already been noted for potential use on any test, but it required some co-ordination. To use it to evade an enemy you are already engaged with you either need to take an AOO (attack of opportunity), use Jake Williams, or play Shortcut. Shortcut is fast and as such doesnt trigger AOOs similarly Jake cancels the first AOO. Both effectively let you just take the enemy with you to a new location. This has some considerable potential to let you dump an enemy in a location you dont intend to come back to after, which can be particularly important if you dont want to kill it (#vengeance).
Fieldwork to clear test at end of turn checks. Some encounter cards like Frozen in Fear require you to test at the end of the turn. If you want to use Fieldwork for this you need to make a move action as your last action, but NOT use the free investigate action as Fieldwork triggers on the first action you take after the move.
Logical Reasoning This is included more for party support and optional horror healing if you've been hit by Call of the Unknown too often. But in principal you can use it to clear a terror encounter card or pitch it for its double pips. Alternatively this slot is really a bit of a flex slot. Feel free to bring something else that caught your interest. I often use Preposterous Sketches.
- "I've got a plan!" Finally, our only damage button for those enemies that you cant simply evade or leave to your comrades. If you want a little more damage, consider swapping Logical Reasoning or Inquiring Minds for Strange Solutions with a view to upgrading them to Strange Solutions ( edition)
With so many good talent assets for Ursula, you can find your hand waning and turning off Higher Education if you dont keep it topped up. Draw also helps with general deck consistency so ive included plenty:
Draw Skill cards, we have 8 Cantrip skill cards here. Use Eureka!, Perception and Guts liberally to simply self replace, but hold Manual Dexterity back for crucial evade or encounter tests unless you#ve got Hyperawareness down.
- Get Cryptic Research (see upgrades). Replacing Perception with 3 cards on a fast action is a big deal. Once you have Higher Education you shouldnt need the double icons as badly. Afterall drawing 3 cards will usually get you back into Higher Education range.
Anyway - Thanks for reading and good luck on your next expedition!.