Stabby Leo, Knifemaster (Final form)

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Leo - Bill Forgotten 3P JBS 0 0 0 1.0
LeoLeoLeo dagger Magister - 0XP 10 7 4 1.0
LeoLeoLeo dagger Magister - a lot of XP 2 2 0 2.0

Dedalus · 2906

Stabby Leo, Knifemaster:

A guide to unlimited, unrestricted 10.

Stabby Leo is not going to get you clues. He's not going to evade a creepy organist. But he's going to stab. He's going to stab hard, and he's going to stab well, and he's going to protect your team from all the beasties that need stabbing.

Playtested through all of RTNoZ. It's an extremely solid guardian deck that pushes out reliable, consistent damage. This represents the deck after a full campaign of experience. For a guide of how to spend your experience to get here, see these posts:

The main stabbing engine

The plan is to get your Switchblade out as soon as possible. While doing that, you boost your fight to crazy high levels. In my testing, I was consistently able to get up 8 by the second or third round. With your whole kit in play, you're up to 10, and Opportunist brings it to a repeatable (though unreliable) 11.

You won't put out single, big-damage actions like your Lightning Gun or Shotgun guardian brothers. But in exchange, you get efficiency and reliability. You don't need to devote your deck slots and resources to expensive weapons and ammo cards; you never have to decide whether or not to conserve ammo; and your plans are less likely to be sunk by an ill-timed auto-fail or -5. And given the Rogue suite of action economy cards, you're still able to put out massive DPS, whittling away your enemies with hundreds of small attacks.

An example (10 damage in one round despite mostly terrible token pulls)

A Ghoul Priest spawns on you with 10 health. You've got most of your kit out, so your Switchblade swings at a respectable 9: 4 from your investigator, +2 from the switchblade's card text, +2 for the two copies of Reliable that you've attached, and +1 from a Beat Cop that you cheated out while engaged due to your investigator ability.

First action: you swing with your switchblade, get a lucky break, and pull a -2. Succeeding by more than two means you get your switchblade's extra punch. Two damage! 8 to go.

Second action: Tentacles. Swing and a miss. The retaliate damage hurts, but two of it go on your Guard Dog, who bites back and puts him at 7 health.

Third action: Another swing. The -5 means you succeed, but you don't get your extra damage. If you had a Daring Maneuver in hand, you could play it to convert it to an additional damage, but you don't. This leaves him with 6 health.

Fourth action: (You've got Leo De Luca!) You get one more swing. The -4 doesn't put you above the success threshold for your switchblade, so only one more damage. He's got 5 health left.

Enemy phase: He attacks you. The dog takes the damage and dies nobly, biting him on the way down. 4 health to go.

In response, you whack him with the Survival Knife at a 7. You boost it with Quick Thinking to make it 8 and pull a -2. Two more damage. Two to go.

Fifth action: Quick Thinking's critical success passed, so now you get one more swing with your switchblade at 9. Might as well add a Vicious Blow just to make sure that damage pushes through no matter what you pull...


Obviously that was just a thought experiment. You need the right cards in hand and on the board. But you've got a lot of built-in reliability to ensure you find those tools.

Stick to the Plan cuts your effective deck size by 3, boosting the odds of finding an important tool on any given draw.

Prepared for the Worst is part of the plan you're sticking to, so you only need one copy. If you aren't able to pull a Switchblade from your mulligan, you get a guaranteed chance to dig for it.

And you've got a lot of redundancy in the tools that get your base fight up: 2x Reliable, 2x Beat Cop, 2x Hired Muscle. You've got 2x Calling in Favors that can tutor for those cards (assuming you don't use them to dig Mitch Brown or Leo De Luca out).

The cards don't always come your way when you need them. This is Arkham Horror, after all. But you've got lots of options for when they don't.


One nice part about the deck is its action economy. Switchblade and Reliable are both fast. Your allies are played actionless at the top of your turn due to Leo's ability. In Magic Christmas Land, the only click you ever spend on an asset is for equipping Survival Knife.

It's also easy to get by on a very small amount of supplies. The biggest spend in the deck is on Leo De Luca, followed by the Beat Cops. I frequently found myself getting Leo out, then giving all my upkeep money to Hired Muscle. I would spend the entire rest of the game with only one or two resources in my pool, and it never hindered my ability to play effectively. Once you've got Leo and a cop out, you only need a maximum of 2 resources to play any other card.


You want a Switchblade, a Leo De Luca, and a Mitch Brown. Literally anything else gets thrown back.

Flex slots, card explanations, and risks

Deck slots are very tight. There's not really room for skill cards, so the only thing in the deck with two matching skill icons is Mitch Brown. You should never, ever contribute Mitch to a skill check.

As a result, you'll be struggling on a lot of non-fight skill tests. Usually, these tests will come from the encounter deck. The risks there are balanced out by your decent willpower and the absurdly large health and sanity cushion that your allies provide for when you fail.

This means Calling in Favors is a must-have. It pulls double duty as a healing card and a tool to find your crucial named allies. Inspiring Presence helps too, by providing actionless healing and versatile skill icons, but I could see turning it into an upgraded First Aid kit given enough experience.

Once you buy Stick to the Plan (which you absolutely should do; It's amazing for improving your deck consistency), your plan is Elusive, Prepared for the Worst, and Emergency Cache. They're all nice-to-haves rather than essentials, and I often found I didn't need them. But with Stick To The Plan, they're not taking up otherwise useful draws, and when you need them, you'll be glad they're there.

Quick Thinking hasn't fully proved itself out to me yet, but I like its synergy with the deck and with Pay Day. I could see dropping one or both copies, but I hesitate to change it out just yet.

Daring Maneuver is another one that I'm on the fence about. I like to think of it as Vicious Blow #3, for when you were banking on a critical success with your switchblade and didn't get it.

Machete is a solid weapon, but by the time you have this much experience, you hope to never have to equip it. If you're kitted out, you get all the benefits without as many preconditions from your switchblade. It's only here to reduce your odds of going entirely weaponless in a scenario.

Which means "Let me handle this!" is the one true flex slot. This could be whatever card you want, as long as it's not too expensive.

I hope you like the deck! Give it a spin and let me know how it works for you.


Sep 19, 2018 FractalMind · 22

Awesome deck there mate! Love the theme!

Sep 19, 2018 matt88 · 1829

I have a question: Since you say you 're okay staying at 2 resources, why do you run Pay Day??

Sep 20, 2018 Django · 2722

If you need more reliabilty and don't need the ressources from Pay Day, it with 2x Lone Wolf and add Keen Eye.

Sep 20, 2018 Dedalus · 2906

In response to @Django and @matt88, here's a detailed breakdown of the economy.

Looks like for an average game (finding one Pay Day and playing it for 4 supplies, and needing to spend 16 on flex costs,) you'll need to click for credits six times.

After doing this analysis, I might even add one more economy card if I could find something to cut. It's risky to run with only four weapons, but maybe the Machete could go.

I certainly would not add anything that increases the cost of the deck. There's definitely no money to spare for a skill pump.

Perfect World setup costs: 18


1 - Switchblade

2 - Survival Knife

1 - Reliable

1 - Reliable

Allies: (assuming you cheat them all out with a -1 discount)

5 - Leo De Luca (with your ability)

2 - Mitch Brown

3 - Beat Cop

3 - Beat Cop

Guaranteed-ish Income: 21

5: Starting resources

13: Upkeep over 13 rounds of play

3: Guaranteed Emergency Cache (with Stick to the Plan)

Flex costs: 0-30+

Obviously, you won't often hit the full shittyness of needing to pay for all 30 of your flex costs. I would say that 16 is a fairly reasonable amount to assume.

2: Elusive

1: Prepared for the Worst

0-12+: Replacing dead allies or recurring them after bringing them back to hand with Calling in Favors

3: Having to equip a Machete before you get properly geared up

3: Replacing weapons that break

0-9+: Paying your Hired Muscle to stick around

Guaranteed-ish Flex resources, with no Pay Days: 6

Flex resources, with Pay Days:

Between 6 (you don't find any of them)...

And 16 (you find both and play them off of an Opportunist bonus action with Leo De Luca out)

Jan 08, 2019 elenneth89 · 58

This build is really interesting.

I'm going to use it with a couple of personal tweaks, like 2x Lone Wolf instead of Guts and Daring Maneuver in the first chapters and Hot Streak instead of Pay Day later on.

Also, if spare XP points available, I think Keen Eye and Leo De Luca would be optional additions much welcomed.

Jan 08, 2019 Dedalus · 2906

@elenneth89 I enjoy it a lot. I'm four scenarios into TFA with it and it's working well for me, other than the fact that I can't run away from things to save my life.

Lone wolf is a good card that I ended up cutting. The major upside is, I often find myself with two resources in hand after upkeep, but need three resources to cheat out allies using the investigator ability. But it discourages hanging out with your fellow investigators, which you want to be doing often as a guardian. I ended up deciding that the burst economy was better and got by on just the three economy cards (two paydays and an emergency quiche).

That said, Keen Eye is a phenomenal addition to an action-heavy deck like this, and the only reason I didn't run it is because I didn't want to devote more cards to resources. You're solving that nicely with the lone wolfs and pay days, although you'll be losing some good utility cards to slot them in. Getting to the five resources for hot streak might be a bit rough too.

And as an aside: I would highly recommend a Timeworn Brand or two if you find yourself flush with experience. It wasn't released when I made this deck, but it's the stabbiest knife in all of Arkham.

Let me know how your campaign turns out!

Feb 25, 2019 mitsotakis666 · 1

This is indeed the most reliable deck I have ever played. It always manages to bring up something useful in an almost magical way. Plus, fighting during the enemy phase is so much fun and so leo anderson! The bunch of tough middle aged men fighting their way through monsters and oozing testosterone is so thematic, especially funny when paired with some female postdoc researcher like Ursula: (Be quiet little girl! Shut up you big oaf!) Anyway, thanks for this,thoroughly enjoyed it!

Apr 14, 2019 elenneth89 · 58

@Dedalus I modified your deck into this. I would be happy to hear from you. Cheers.