True Detective: The Reboot

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Quasi 0 0 0 1.0
Joe Diamond Is Out Of His League 0 0 1 1.0
Joe Diamond Is Out Of His League 0 0 0 2.0
Joe Diamond Is Out Of His League 0 0 0 3.0
Joe Diamond Is Out Of His League 0 0 0 4.0
Quasi 0 0 0 1.0
Quasi 0 0 0 2.0
Joe Diamond Is Out Of His League 0 0 0 5.0
Joe Diamond Is Out Of His League 0 0 0 6.0
Joe Diamond Is Out Of His League 0 0 0 7.0
Joe Diamond Is Out Of His League 0 0 0 8.0
True Detective: The Reboot 0 0 0 1.0
Quasi 0 0 0 2.0
Quasi 0 0 0 3.0
Fighting Detective. Clues are secondary 0 0 0 1.0

MOTUX · 6260

Note: This deck is designed for true solo (i.e. 1 player deck). While it will still function perfectly fine in multiplayer, many of the deck choices are made with true solo in mind and forgoes cards that extend minimal benefits in solo.

This is a pure solo Joe Diamond deck that turned out to be re-imagining of my solo Roland deck (True Detective) owing to the fact that what worked in that deck works even better with Joe. It is built around (1) recycling our Hunch events via Joe's Detective's Colt 1911s, and (2) testless clue discovery by way of our events, and (3) a hardy set of sacrifices allies to absorb the encounter decks tricks. Move over Roland, there's a new detective in town!

1.0 Piloting

The decks playstyle is defined by two features. First, testless clue acquisition by way of our Hunch deck and friends. Second, using the Detective's Colt 1911s to both manage enemies and cycle our Hunch events back in. Consequently, the key card to find is our Detective's Colt 1911s. To assist us, we have No Stone Unturned, a card that we will upgrade to No Stone Unturned(5) as soon as possible.

Investigating is generally to be handled by way of testless clue discovery. Our Hunch deck features two such cards: Working a Hunch and Scene of the Crime. Due to the unpredictability of the Hunch deck, I recommend using these events every turn possible lest you never see them again. In our main deck we have Art Student to provide some additional testless clue discovery. One of the Hunch decks downsides is that we cannot rely on it to take care of tough locations, which means we must not infrequently conventionally investigate (ie do a test, yuck). Joe's base 4 combined with Magnifying Glass or Flashlight should generally do the trick, though we can also use Vantage Point to move clues around to whatever suits our needs.

Combat is handled mostly by way of our Detective's Colt 1911s; Machete serves as a backup until we upgrade to No Stone Unturned(5) and can reliably find our Detective's Colt 1911s. Vicious Blow provides some additional spot damage when needed. Note that Joe does require additional boosting to pass many Fight checks; at level 0, we rely on our Skill cards to provide a boost though cautious players may wish to start with Physical Training. We will eventually upgrade into either Scientific Theory(1) or Combat Training(1) depending on our needs,

Treacheries are handled by tossing our academic army (Art Student, Laboratory Assistant, Dr. William T. Maleson) to the brink. Treacheries like Rotting Remains can be taken on the chin, letting the Ally take the fall. Dr. William T. Maleson provides additional cancellation for those treacheries we just really do not want to see, while Skill cards like Take the Initiative/Inquiring Mind/Steadfast can be used to punch through a tough test. In our Hunch deck, Logical Reasoning provides us a means to heal excess horror and toss aside awful treacheries like Frozen in Fear; this is not ideal given the Hunch decks unreliability, but if luck isn't on Joe's side then you can brute force the test by way of Take the Initiative or Dr. William T. Maleson.

Calling in Favors is here to cycle out our academic army for their enters play effects, or just get a little more mileage out of their damage/horror soak. It won't always work the way you want it to, but when it does it gives us just a bit more mileage out of our deck.

Note that on the subject of resources, this deck runs fairly cheap and consequently we don't have much need for resource acceleration; the 1 resource per round during Upkeep usually suffices. Further, as awful as it can feel to do this, spending a basic action to gain 1 resource often fills any supplemental needs this deck requires.

1.1 Hunch Deck or Player Deck?

The following cards should go in your Hunch Deck:

  1. Logical Reasoning x2
  2. No Stone Unturned x2
  3. Preposterous Sketches x2
  4. Scene of the Crime x2
  5. Working a Hunch x2

The following cards should go in your Player Deck:

  1. Shortcut x2
  2. Vantage Point x2

The reason why we do not want these cards in our Hunch deck is (1) they are cheap, but also (2) they benefit most from a specific set of conditions. Of the cards in our Hunch deck, Preposterous Sketches is likely the easiest card to cut; Laboratory Assistant and No Stone Unturned generally satisfy our card draw needs. However, as of the moment we don't have many better options (in solo) per the commentary towards the end of this description.

2.0 Upgrade Path

See here for a deck with the below upgrades.

See here for a variant that uses Timeworn Brand per the below commentary.

  1. No Stone Unturned x2 No Stone Unturned(5) x2 (10XP)
  2. Machete x2 Extra Ammunition(2) x2 (2XP)
  3. Charisma(3) (3XP)
  4. Overpower/Vantage Point x2 Scientific Theory(1)/Combat Training(1)) x2 (2XP)
  5. Vicious Blow x2 Vicious Blow(2) x2 (4XP)
  6. Magnifying Glass x2 Magnifying Glass(2) x2 (2XP)


The above is very lean, only 23XP, but even with that Joe becomes a very capable solo investigator. Everything after this is gravy and may shift based on your priorities. I've discussed additional cards to acquire below. Regarding the above choices, you are looking to get No Stone Unturned(5) ASAP to turn your Detective's Colt 1911s into a reliable weapon. On the choice between Scientific Theory(1) or Combat Training(1) it will depend more on the campaigns priorities. The former provides an boost which may be superfluous for this deck, while the latter provides which may be necessary in certain campaigns.

2.1 Additional Upgrades

Some additional cards to upgrade into include:

  1. Higher Education(3): the power of this card is well understood and we should have few problems fulfilling its condition.
  2. Timeworn Brand: for additional damage output (see below commentary).
  3. Deciphered Reality(5): a monster card for clue acquisition in solo, however this may be better utilized in a deck devoted to using it.
  4. Pathfinder(1): for additional action advantage.
  5. Well Prepared(2): works well with the Detective's Colt 1911s, however not with much else.
  6. Forewarned: for additional treachery cancellation.
  7. Ace of Swords(1): for additonal +1 boost.
  8. Eidetic Memory(3): to play your Insights out of your discard.
  9. Beat Cop(2): additional damage dealing and boost, works well with Calling in Favors.
  10. Emergency Cache(2-3): the cost curve of this deck is quite low and Joe should have few problems paying for his cards with his standard 1 resource per upkeep income. However, with the inclusion of the above optional upgrades you may require some additional income.

2.2 To Brand or not to Brand...

One issue this deck can have is a lack of damage burst potential. You have your Detective's Colt 1911s and Vicious Blow's and that's it. If you run into a high health enemy or run out of ammo you are in trouble. The Timeworn Brand(5) is a fantastic alternative to deal with such situations and gives you a solid 1 shot smash attack. The problem is that it conflicts with the Detective's Colt 1911s (excepting Bandolier(0-2)) which is unfortunate because they are just so good; however, the value of the Brand's raw attack power may exceed the benefits of the Colts. Indeed, holding either a Magnifying Glass or Flashlight will likely be sufficient, we need not keep both hands free for Tools (or at least, the ones we have access to as of writing). If this interests you, see this alternate version.

Additions and Alternatives

I suggest swapping in the below cards to the level 0 deck.

  1. Physical Training: to help handle tough fight tests at level 0. 2/ Emergency Cache: to pad out of resource curve; consider this especially if you put in Physical Training.
  2. Fieldwork: solid for move + investigate turns, or combine with Shortcut to power up your to fight an enemy.
  3. Seeking Answers: Given the abundance of 1clue locations in solo, this is a good card to knock off high shroud adjacent locations. Perhaps too conditional for your Hunch deck, however.
  4. Guard Dog: works well with Calling in Favors.
  5. Curiosity: good to punch through tough or tests, though it should generally be used for the .
  6. Venturer: to fuel up your guns before you have Extra Ammunition(1).

Some cards to cut:

  1. Flashlight: this one is more so for Hard/Expert where Joe's natural investigating talents may not be enough, and we can't always rely on our ways to cheat clues.
  2. Vantage Point: helpful shroud reduction and clue movement, but this can be superfluous.
  3. Overpower: this one is more so for Hard/Expert where we will often need a helping boost to pass a Fight test.
  4. An Ally (or two): you may decide you have enough soak (etc) that you can forgo one of the allies.
  5. Calling in Favors: helpful, but by no means essential. Removing it can hurt Joe's resource curve, however.

What's not in this deck

What's not in the Hunch deck

A number of Insight cards are far too situational especially for solo play. In other words, the odds of (a) having a particular card as your Hunch and (b) being in a situation where said card is used for, is unlikely. These cards include:

What's not in the regular deck

  • Prepared for the Worst: No Stone Unturned fulfills a similar function; less cards searched, but never fails and comes at a cheaper cost when Hunch'd.
  • Fingerprint Kit: locations in solo are by and large 1clue , meaning you are unlikely to get much (if any) mileage out of this card.
  • Connect the Dots: like the Fingerprint Kit, this is unlikely to have much value in most solo scenarios. However, there are exceptions; it can be a good sideboard card.
  • Alice Luxley: we don't need her +1 (at least not at that cost), and her ability is far too conditional in solo; we can't rely on drawing an enemy and revealing Working a Hunch (etc) from our Hunch deck and being at a location with a clue.
  • Dr. Milan Christopher: we don't need his +1 and his cost presents us more problems than it solves; indeed, in solo we may only investigate 4-6 times (even sans cheating clues) which means Milan is unlikely to extend much net benefit. If you need resources, pick up Emergency Cache(0-3).

Shameless Plug

If you like this deck and want to read more about my thoughts on Arkham Horror: The Card Game, please do check out my blog The Strange Solution.


Feb 06, 2019 acotgreave · 42

Great deck - I'll look forward to using this one. One qu: why upgrade Physical Training to a Composure?

Composure, which disappears once it gets some horror on it, is better than Physical Training, which sticks around. Sure, the Composures are a bit cheaper, and Fast, but wouldn't it be better to have PT, safe in the knowledge that it'd be there for the entire scenario?

I'm sure there's a good reason - I'm hopeless at building decks!

Feb 06, 2019 Django · 2879

@acotgreaveThe forced effect of composures does not prevent you from assigning horror to other assets. This deck is built around soaks, so the compure is relatively safe.

Other than that the upgrade choice depends on the stats you want to push. from Physical Training is only useful against encounter cards, but the author of the deck decided to thank these instead.

from Combat Training can be used to evade enemies, which is very helpful in Forgotten Age. In solo it saves you actions to evade 2+ HP enemies without hunter, rather than killing them. So is more useful to you in this deck strategy.

Feb 06, 2019 acotgreave · 42

Thanks Django! I'd misinterpreted the way Composures leave play. Now I see why they're good.

Feb 07, 2019 Django · 2879

Upon rereading my comment i noticed a stupid typo. I meant the author intends to TANK mythos cards, not THANK them.

Feb 07, 2019 olahren · 667

This is a great Joe deck. And it's great because takes into consideration that Joes willpower and agility of 2 makes him a glass cannon. I've dabbled a bit with Joe myself (Return to the Night of the Zealot) with a wonky backpack+assets+Milan build. And I quickly learned to FEAR the mythos phase.

Your solutions all make sense. More (defensive) skill cards, fewer expensive assets (thus less need for Dr Milan) and plenty of sacrifical lambs. After all, dead men can't find no clues.

Feb 07, 2019 MOTUX · 6260

@acotgreavere: upgrade from physical training to a composure, two reasons. (1) skill priority (i.e. if we need / boosting more than we need ), and (2) composures are faster in terms of tempo, though of course Physical Training(2) is quite cheap! Also, what @Django said about soak (i.e. that we're unlikely to lose the composure since we can just let an ally absorb the horror)

@Django Typo's sometimes get the best of me me XD, tank you!

@olahrenglad you found it helpful!

Feb 13, 2019 PatrickusMaximus · 1

Thanks for building this awesome deck! I'm trying it for a solo Path to Carcosa playthrough and so far, it's working really well!!!

Mar 17, 2019 AkaanQ · 1138

Nice deck ! Now that The Secret Name is out, would you replace Preposterous Sketches with Crack the Case for resources generation and feeding Combat Training or Scientific Theory ?

Mar 20, 2019 Django · 2879

Not sure you'd want Crack the Case in your hunch deck, as it prefers a few turns planning ahead like Evidence! or Scene of the Crime combined with On the Hunt.

May 14, 2019 Jercode · 1

Love the deck, my groups is looking to try out the circle undone playing hybrid flex investigators. If you had to tweak this for 4 player play, what things would you change?

May 15, 2019 Django · 2879

I played a similar deck through Guardians of the Abyss and Rt NOTZ. It works pretty well the way it is, except i could never use Scene of the Crime as 4 player spawns more enemies, so "Let me handle this!" is a good replacement and Vantage Point looses a lot of value if there 4 clues instead of 1. Evidence! is a good replacement.

Nov 08, 2019 TWWaterfalls · 586

There is some amazing synergy in this deck. I am impressed by how you picked so many 'boring' options that when combined really become strong.

At first I was surprised by trying to gain as many testless clues as possible considering that Joe is a 4 intellect but I understood that after looking at each of the skill cards. I wasn't sure you could reliably pass combat tests at a 5 combat but you have 12 skill cards that all boost combat. Genius.

I might have to rethink my Joe deck that I am building. Rita and Joe visit Carcosa