Leo Anderson, Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Leo Anderson 0 0 0 1.0
Leo Anderson TCU test 0 0 0 1.0

Assussanni · 531

Happy 2nd Birthday and 100th Episode to Drawn to the Flame!

Knuckleduster, a card offering an unconditional damage bonus which never runs out of ammo. Surely this makes it the best level 0 weapon in the game? I can't for the life of me figure out why more people aren't running this awesome card. To extol the virtues of going toe-to-toe with a Great Old One and punching it until it's dead I present Leo Anderson, fist-fighter extraordinaire.

The Deck

Core to the idea of a punching deck is of course Knuckleduster, offering that highly sought after damage bonus with barely any drawbacks. Just boost your combat high enough (we already start with a respectable 4) and you're good to go. Auto-fail token? Ha, what are the chances of drawing that!

If we are going to be nice enough to give our enemies Retaliate, then it is only fair that we are able to do the same. Survival Knife allows us to hit back during the enemy phase (although sadly not on a missed Knuckleduster attack).

And what is better than retaliating once? Doing it twice with two Survival Knives. Of course we can't give up our Knuckleduster (we've already established that it is the best level 0 weapon) so we'll need a Bandolier to act as our spiked armour.

Leo loves allies and, let's face it, even the best boxer takes a few hits now and then. Beat Cop gives a +1 combat boost which could make all the difference between hitting and being hit. Guard Dog allows both soaking damage from Retaliate and then dishing it out anyway. Having two Guard Dogs potentially means two damage with Knuckleduster whether you hit or miss!

Leo is probably in pretty good shape thanks to the Physical Training gained from taking on the mythos with his fists. Lone (except for my many allies) Wolf, Emergency Cache and "Watch this!" all provide resources to funnel into fight tests. Overpower and Unexpected Courage also provide extra combat icons. The willpower boost could be handy for avoiding treacheries too, we might need our health and sanity for those retaliations!

To that end Dodge, Trusted and Inspiring Presence all allow Leo (and his meat-shields. Wait, I mean friends!) to take more hits.

Finally, Prepared for the Worst helps with finding those all important brass knuckles or a survival knife if you've already got them.

Oh, and Taunt? Well, you are using Knucledusters. This could of course be replaced with some more healing (First Aid, Emergency Aid, Liquid Courage), some more combat boosts (Intrepid, Vicious Blow for a 3 damage punch, Double or Nothing for a 4 damage punch and 6 resources with "Watch this!"... prize fighter indeed), added consistency (Backpack) or just something shiny (Decorated Skull). Or you could leave it for when you're holding two Survival Knives and all the enemies are inconsiderately engaged with your fellow investigators.

If you want a thematic weakness instead of drawing randomly, Overzealous or Doomed fit the bill nicely. They are also pretty nasty weaknesses, which should go some way to offsetting the incredible power of this deck. After all, now that you know just how good a card Knuckleduster is you wouldn't want the game to become too easy, would you? ;-)


With no way to investigate, you will probably want at least one other investigator to come along as your personal trainer, picking up clues and trying to avoid accidentally becoming a sparring partner. Daisy and Minh both look good for this thanks to their high intellect and ability to further boost your combat either through use of Encyclopedia or skill cards. Seekers also offer some helpful card draw and tutor effects for when Leo can't remember where he put his Knuckledusters. Alternatively (or additionally in Daisy's case) a mystic could seal away some of the worst chaos tokens to make sure that you don't get counter punched too often. Carolyn Fern could potentially do all of the above and keep Leo healthy, sane and stocked with resources ("Tell me Leo, why do you feel the need to get so close to these monsters when you have access to so many firearms?").

One Last Thing

This deck was inspired by the discussion on Drawn to the Flame's 100th podcast episode and, in case it wasn't obvious, probably shouldn't be taken too seriously! If for some reason you do decide to give it ago, then remember: all that matters is that you are the last investigator standing, laughing maniacally, the ichor of Yog-Sothoth on your bare hands, surrounded by the corpses of your enemies and, most likely, your friends.


Feb 01, 2019 zozo · 2670


Feb 01, 2019 unitled · 2025


Feb 02, 2019 jmmeye3 · 577

I agree that knuckleduster is underrated. I published a Jenny deck a while back and did some math showing that Knuckleduster + Hard Knocks / Physical training is more economical than .45 automatic, even with recurring a la William Yorrick. The main problem with Knuckleduster is that most investigators need help with combat strength. It’s obviously Bette the higher the base strength. If Mark could use it, I would probably choose it over Machete.

Feb 02, 2019 centralx · 1

I used that Jenny deck with knuckle duster and got repeatedly punched in the face by monsters. I know the odds maybe low for failure, but there is still a chance. I advise playing that card at your own risk.

Feb 02, 2019 jmmeye3 · 577

Yeah should use liquid courage to help with horror.

Feb 02, 2019 Theophilus · 92

I'm so glad my Drawn to the Flame Patron Question about underrated cards led to Peter's answer of Knuckledusters, which led to Frank's suggestion of Leo Anderson, which led to such a masterpiece of deckbuilding! Inspired work!

Now to assemble this deck and go punch some snakes! ;)

Feb 02, 2019 Sixtyten · 13

Hell. Yes.

Feb 03, 2019 The_Wall · 252

Deck is complete after 2 XP for two copies of Mano a Mano!

Feb 04, 2019 mythosmeeple · 399

[Beaten up Umôrdhoth]: "ain't gonna be no re-match!" [Beaten up Leo]: "Don't want one!"

Feb 05, 2019 Invisiblecam · 1

I agree about the knuckle duster, it's underrated. I recently used it in a Jenny deck just for the fun of it and was really surprised how good it was. I'll definitely consider it more often now and Leo is a good fit for it.

Feb 05, 2019 Django · 4207

Too bad Calvin Wright can't play the Knuckleduster, he'd get stronger each time the enemy retaliated.

Feb 07, 2019 apotropaic · 34

Have you played this deck? Cause I can see it working paired with Finn Edwards. This actually is interesting, especially putting Survival Knife to use. My Knuckleduster build makes more use of Calling in Favors and I think 5 or 6 allies. It also uses Quick Thinking for extra fight moves, and I toyed with having Narrow Escape since it will cancel retaliations, like Dodge, but at 0 cost and a +2 afterward. I think, I'll try this out and tweak it. Otherwise, certain enemies will run Leo's sanity up to six pretty quickly unless they are exhausted. Also, exhausted enemies don't attack during the enemy phase, which is when Survival Knife would trigger. So, the question is which enemies do you prioritize for Knuckledusters and which enemies do you want to attack you during the enemy phase? In my mind running both Dodge and Narrow Escape will make the Survival Knife trigger more manageable. If Narrow will work during the enemy phase, but I'm not sure it does.

Feb 07, 2019 Assussanni · 531

Thanks for the comments everyone.

I played it for the first time last night, and oddly enough chose to pair it with Finn Edwards. Was this because Finn can basically double as a seeker who can also use Knuckleduster? Of course it was.

While The Gathering on Standard is far from the sternest test of a deck I was very pleased with how it performed, netting all 6vp available and with a final K.O. count of 2 Swarms of Rats, 2 Ghoul Minions, the Ravenous Ghoul, the Flesh-Eater, the Icy Ghoul and the Ghoul Priest. I think Leo had one horror on him at the end of the game, and that might have been from going into the Attic (ghouls are fine but apparently Finn has been stashing some seriously scary stuff around his house). The Midnight Masks should provide a better challenge. The question is should I spend 5 experience on Key of Ys so that Leo can do his Calvin Wright impression? (It's true Calvin can't take Knuckleduster, but Leo is a generous man who respects those with the desire to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Fetch your second copy of Knuckleduster with Prepared for the Worst then pass it on with Teamwork!)

Finally, Narrow Escape only works on attacks of opportunity. Sadly, I don't believe that this includes attacks caused by the Retaliate keyword. Otherwise it would most definitely be going in instead of/as well as Dodge.

Feb 07, 2019 Django · 4207

You could also use Delay the Inevitable, as additional retaliate soak. THough you'd have to play it before knowing the result, as there's no player window during skill tests, after drawing the token but before resolving the attack.

Feb 10, 2019 apotropaic · 34

@DjangoDelay is another option yea, that cost though can really take away from boosts. I think I would probably take it but use it more for its icon or if I really needed to block damage.

@AssussanniYou're right, it does not. That +2 though.

Jun 01, 2019 Praetorian1011 · 1

With survivial knife and a tough investoigator this is solid but, some enemies will retaliate with 2 horror damage which is dangerous? Doesnt matter how good your fight is if you draw a tentacle or -6 token?

Jul 01, 2019 vincentlcvz · 1

Hello, would you have any clues and advice for upgrading this deck? i do not know how to spend XP, and which card remove from the game, without breaking the deck flow. Thank you !

Jul 01, 2019 Django · 4207

Stick to the Plan is always good for guardians and does not require a deck slot. If you stick Emergency Cache and Prepared for the Worst to it, you could remove the 2nd copy of both and add 1x Ever Vigilant and stick it to the plan as well.

Put Reliable on your weapon for +1 (using the 2nd free slot from Stick to the Plan)

With enough + you don't need as much ressource generation anymore to fuel Physical Training, so you could replace 2x Lone Wolf with 2x Ace of Swords

Charisma allows you to have more Beat Cops and Guard Dogs in play (in addition to Mitch Brown)

Keen Eye is an alternative to Physical Training, but requires more ressources.

Upgrading Beat Cop to kill some 1 HP or aloof enemies is also very nice. Or Emergency Cache to have more ressources.

Replacing Knuckleduster with Timeworn Brand results in +2 fight and removes the enemies counter on a fail.

Dec 31, 2019 TWWaterfalls · 847

This is just the deck that I was looking for. I just put together a 0XP and a 29XP knives deck (standalone) for some Arkham with a friend (and conventions) this month. Knuckleduster is an one of the options for the 0XP deck because it could be awesome and the other options are mediocre. Survival Knife and Bandolier are definitely in although I didn't think of putting two in play at the same time for the double retaliate attack.

The 29XP deck is going to have Switchblade(3) - Blackjack and Survival Knife along with a couple of Flashlights. I am really interested to see how this ammo-less deck plays out assuming that I don't end up in a scenario with something like Conglomeration of Spheres.

Reliable is also a must have in the 29XP deck. Leo should be hitting a 7 or 8 for most attacks with just a pair of Beat Cop and Reliable available. Ace of Swords isn't coming with on my trip but it would be perfect. No Carcosa nor TCU cards just to limit the card count while traveling.