Delaying Death, One Enemy at a Time

Card draw simulator
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aneo9988 · 302

Desperate times call for desperate measures

This Calvin Wright build is for playing him on a knife's edge; you want him at 3 sanity to use his desperate cards, and 1-2 health to be ready to fight or evade anything.

Calvin Wright


Don't be scared to fail the initial treacheries, the first rounds should be used to set up Calvin to tank later on. You want Delay the Inevitable or Perseverance in hand, Peter Sylvestre or Madame Labranche in play, and Track Shoes or your trusted Fire Axe if possible. Mulligan away any desperate cards you get.

Try to get Calvin to 3 health and 3 sanity as quickly as possible, as you set up, focusing, of course, on lowering his sanity to use your desperate skills. But remember, the encounter deck is usually enough to do this, especially with Ward of Protection. Don't take attacks of opportunities or hits from powerful enemies unless you've finished setting up, or have at least a Fire Axe, Fight or Flight, or Waylay, with ideally one damage/horror soak or preventive card out.

Damage and Horror


Fight and Evade

Note: with The Secret Name, substitute the Fire Axe for the Meat Cleaver!!

Use Fight or Flight to make the chaos bag almost irrelevant, and Waylay to ignore all health on non-elite enemies. Pitch Resourceful to get these cards back.

Focus Calvin on the synergies between Madame Labranche, Fire Axe, and Delay the Inevitable. You want Calvin to have two resources by the end of the Mythos phase for Delay the Inevitable, if you still have it in play, or for Perseverance when the going gets rough.

If Peter Sylvestre is out instead, have fun running away from everything with him and Track Shoes.

Leave the clue finding for your fellow investigators as Calvin hacks away at the indescribable horrors, and waylays the rest. But if a clue needs to be snatched, a simple Rise to the Occasion will get it for you, or save that innate courage to deal with the encounter deck, along with a little prayer.

Remember that your desperate cards can also help your fellow investigators too!

Health, Sanity, and Trauma

When you're at a good 3 sanity, overcome all adversity with desperation. Again, you want to get him at 3 sanity as quickly as possible, but only when you have at least one soak or horror preventing card in hand or in play. This build loves digging through your deck, so whenever you have a moment, draw cards to pull these out, or of course, Waylay or Fight or Flight.

You want to distribute trauma as evenly as possible, to avoid bad treacheries that can kill you when you don't have any soaks or damage/horror prevention out. Otherwise, tailor the trauma to the campaign you're in and what your fellow investigators can do for you.

Some of your players may want to heal Calvin. You can roll your eyes at them, but try not to go below 3 damage and 3 horror on him, no matter how much they worry. And if he is defeated, it means more trauma for you and an easier time in the next scenario.

Voice of the Messenger


After this, go happy! At 19 exp, this is flexible enough to build Calvin with any of your favorite Survivor cards. Switch Madame Labranche for Aquinnah (3), if you like. Laugh at the chaos bag with Against All Odds (3), or at the encounter deck with Alter Fate (3).

Blood Eclipse (3) is a dangerous, but fun card to use, especially if you can use your soak cards, or are at 4+ health. Save it for the elite, victory point enemies.

Now that The Circle Undone is out, give him a Five of Pentacles or two, to make Calvin unlock his inner +6 skill fiend with 6 damage and 6 horror on him. Just remember, your desperate cards only work if he has 4 horror on him now.

If you're consistently dealing with high health, elite enemies, consider giving Calvin an Ornate Bow. Additionally, the Timeworn Brand is always nice to have.

But leave your core level 0 cards untouched:

  • Fight or Flight: guarantee your success for a round (excluding )
  • Resourceful: keep reusing your favorite Survivor cards.
  • Emergency Cache: you need the money.
  • Perseverance or Delay the Inevitable: You want two copies of any combination of these cards; along with Devil's Luck since you will be an inch away from death for most of the scenario, especially when you have trauma.
  • Fire Axe: You want a weapon. For consistency, even with other options added, leave the Fire Axe in there as long as possible, so you'll never be without that or damage boost.
  • Waylay: great to deal with annoying 3+ health enemies, but if you've brought in an Ornate Bow or Timeworn Brand, consider removing it.
  • Track Shoes: provides a good + boost and mobility, but can get rather expensive in experienced decks. If your Calvin fights with his fists more, consider removing it.

Keep whichever desperate cards work for you.


Be comfortable at 1-2 health and 1-3 sanity. Use soaks and preventive cards to cheat death. Casually be at a +5 or +6 and before committing any skill cards or playing any events. And have fun reaching 9+ and when you do.

Calvin and Joao

Feb 11, 2019 Django · 1767

How about replacing Madame Labranche on upgrade with Yaotl to re-use the top (desparate) card in your discard?

Feb 11, 2019 aneo9988 · 302

That combo works pretty well! I tend to like Aquinnah more to help deal a lot of damage to those pesky elite enemies. But Yaotl is great, especially when you can hold off on discarding cards for some time.

Feb 12, 2019 veneretio · 134

I think it's important to make room for Baseball Bat. Calvin builds with just Fire Axe too often are inconsistent at getting a weapon and suffer from a lack of action compression.

Feb 13, 2019 Django · 1767

Isn't the bat's a problem? How about Timeworn Brand?

Feb 13, 2019 veneretio · 134

Baseball bat is not a long term solution. I agree Timeworn Brand, Bow or Old Hunting Rifle are all better options. But until you have the XP to afford those, you need some form of consistency for fighting. Baseball bat offers that until you can upgrade it out.

Mar 11, 2019 grafwaskderg · 1

how about adding dark horse to the deck if ur already playing the fire axe-madam labranche-delay theinevitable- combo

Mar 26, 2019 championstyle · 13

I am also concerned by the overall lack of weaponry in this deck. The odds of pulling the fire axe/meat cleaver seems low. If you were to run both weapons, what would you remove?

May 04, 2019 aneo9988 · 302

I'd probably remove Madame Labranche or Waylay for a second weapon. I haven't had too much difficulty having one weapon in the deck, especially since you spend the early rounds drawing for it. Or, you make him an evade machine until you can play it.