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Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game» Forums » Strategy

Subject: New Player, a Bit Frustrated rss

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Ryan

Wisconsin
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I'm not new to expandable card games, but I have recently started CoC. I have a full play set of the Core game along with Secrets of Arkham. My main and only opponent is my brother who uses the same card pool that I use. When we just had one core set, we were very excited about the deck building possiblities, but since we got the extra cards I have lost EVERY single game. I'm not a sore loser, and don't even mind losing all the time.. however, the thing that is getting frustrating is what I'm losiong against.

My brother took all of the Shug cards, took out all of the non-creature cards, except for a few, and then three in Diseased Rats and the cultist that lowers cost from the neutral pile of cards.. So pretty much he threw a bunch of monster cards together, and now wins every game.

I tried to create more honed decks with card synergy and strategy, and so far nothing comes close to the swarm of endless monsters his deck puts out. I tried an investigator themed deck. It lost horribly. I tried a Yog deck with Hounds and direct monster removal, and it lost. I tried an Agency deck heavy of combat with lightniong guns, hoping to weed through his monsters, and it lost.

I've read a lot of deck building articles on line, but most of them assume you have a larger card pool then I do... so basically, my question to the community..

How do you deal with a deck that is 99% characters? There are just so many characters, I cant defend against them all, much less win any stories. I just need someone to tell me that there is more finesse to deck building in CoC then who has the most characters/monsters in their deck.
 
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Shawn Garbett
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I generally make 50% of a deck characters and monsters. I built several decks that my wife and I play, and she's got a deck I've yet to beat. It's built around "Chess Prodigy", and several other cards that allow the rest of her cards to switch things out. So I currently work toward building a deck that defeats hers. When I do, she'll be modifying her deck, etc.

For me, it's more about the story that one can build playing the game. You play to win, but in the end the cards tell a mythos style story. Which then one can post as a session report here.

To your question, fielding a lot of characters is a strategy that seems to dominate if not checked. I came back and won from near defeat once Cthulhu by resurrecting the discard pile of character as insane, and just overwhelming him with sheer numbers. Cthulhu did enjoy the banquet along the way. There are cards in the deck which clear the board of characters/monsters below certain thresholds. Having these cards counters a deck relying on a cheap hoard.
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Chris Long
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Well my first thought is that Ravager from the Deep should shut him down pretty damn quickly, but more than likely that will just stall out your game.

Another thought is that you'll probably want to run Miskatonic with lots of Investigation. The idea here would be to build up a couple tokens using lots of defense and winning Investigation. Then, blow up the board with Dimensional Rift, play down a new investigation character, and then win the story in one go.

Also, if you go with MU, you'd probably really like to pick up the Summons of the Deep packs. That set has several cards which would really help you out: Chess Prodigy, Sleeping Pills, Rabbit's Foot, Scholarly Plagiarist, etc.

Other cards that could help a lot would be Arkham Asylum to bring your defenders back into the fray immediately, or Dr. Carson's Treatment to also potentially go on the offensive.

Or how about some really heavy wounding? Agency has a lot going for it in this regard. Shotgun Blast and Shotgun in particular will take you a long way. If you need extra domains to power Shotgun, just use Eldritch Nexus. Concentrated Agency wounding combined with Cthulhu destruction and the Ravager should work pretty well. Or you could even combine it with MU to keep the Investigation angle going.
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David Boeren
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Personally, I haven't seen this done before. I think it it WAS overpowered, people on the Call of Cthulhu forums would be doing it or talking about it. They aren't. Nor did anyone show up at the Gencon tournament with such a deck. So, I'm going to say it's a safe conclusion that these decks CAN be beaten. It only remains to figure out how.

Cards that deal with many characters at once should help. That includes Ravager, and mass exhaustion such as Panic.

I think the key is to realize that you don't HAVE to beat his characters. You only need to endure them long enough to win the stories. I'd go with a strategy of grabbing success tokens quickly using Investigation and any special abilities that let you take an extra token. Bring cheap characters. He can only kill one per story and drive one insane. You can restore the insane ones with various cards, or take your own Terror characters that are immune to it. Work on just clearing the way, even if it's just one story at a time. Yeah, big scary monsters are scary, but by themselves they don't actually win stories. Put your eyes on the prize rather than playing it as a game of characters beating up characters.
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Ryan

Wisconsin
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I really do appreciate everyone's response.. and I'm going to try implementing some of these strategies and see how they work out.

Even though I'm losing, I am really enjoying the game. There are so many interesting card interaction and deck concepts. Iys good to hear that a monster only deck doesn't just automaticlly dominate everything else.

Thanks guys!
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David Boeren
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Some additional details on what he's using may help as well. For instance, how many of his characters have Terror? How many have low Skill which might be vulnerable to skill-based effects? Do you have any idea what the cost curve is like? ie - mostly 1-2's, mostly 3-4's, etc...?
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