Diana, Eldritch Knight

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Diana - Blue style build, not taboo 1 1 0 1.0

mattastrophic · 853

note: Knife = Enchanted Blade. As of publishing this deck, Arkhamdb doesn't know that Enchanted Blade is out.

This is the Diana Stanley deck I've been developing for The Circle Undone, and which has had good results so far.

The concept:

With a willpower of 1 and a combat of 3, the designers have given us a rather unorthodox Mystic. And since Diana can use Guardian cards, this represents an excellent opportunity to put together a fighting mage. Enchanted Blade seems tailor-made for her, so here we have a deck that takes on the Mythos with a blade in hand, backed up by protective spells.

Since we get bonus resources and card-draw for cancelling nasty effects, this deck includes nine ways to utilise her ability. It's key to note that we are not aiming to turbo-charge our willpower to 6, so we can be selective about which effects we choose to cancel. In addition, we have two copies of Prepared for the Worst to search out both a weapon and her Twilight Blade, enabling us to re-use our cancellation effects.

In order to help get around the low willpower, two copies of Steadfast are included for making willpower tests in the early game, before we get up to 3+ willpower and before we've taken much damage. Take the Initiative and Unexpected Courage also serve as flexible skill cards for dealing with Treacheries, meaning that we aren't pressured to cancel everything that comes out of the Encounter deck. We even have two copies of "Let me handle this!" so we can better cover our fellow investigators with our cancellation shelter.

The basic strategy for this deck is to lean into the Guardian role by getting a weapon down early and slaying monsters, while using cancellation effects to deal with nasty Treacheries and enemy attacks which could slow us down. Since we are not relying on our willpower, instead relying on cancellation to deal with willpower tests, we are free to dig through our deck with no fear of Terrible Secret coming up. We have both Drawn to the Flame and Scene of the Crime for quick clue gathering, and a single Dynamite Blast to take care of specific situations where Machete won't work very well. Since we need very few assets, we can focus our build-up actions on drawing in order to maintain that constant safety blanket of cancellation.

Mulligans: As this deck has 20 events and doesn't rely on a suite of assets, the one key card to start with is either Enchanted Blade or Machete. Crypt Chill can be very problematic, so make sure you've got a cancel for it, or consider saving your Dark Insight. Cards worth mulliganning away include Delay the Inevitable, Scene of the Crime, Hypnotic Gaze, and Dynamite Blast, since these cards usually aren't useful at the start of the game. Cards that are worth hanging onto, assuming you've already drawn a weapon, include Beat Cop, Deny Existence, Drawn to the Flame, Emergency Cache, Ward of Protection, and Steadfast.

Upgrades:

Timeworn Brand is a sweet, sweet weapon to spend our XP on. Since we are running two copies of Prepared for the Worst, we only really need one copy of the Brand, as well. Note that Steadfast represents a mega-boost when going for a big hit with the Brand.

Blood Pact is a resource-less source of a giant boost to our combat checks, though best used sparingly (except during the witching hour when the additional doom won't matter, of course).

Ward of Protection L2 is a key cancellation card, so we can cover our teammates. Once this upgrade is taken, we don't need "Let me handle this!", and they can be replaced by...

Counterspell is a slick cancellation card that can be used reactively to cover a nasty token draw and turn it into a 0.

Ace of Swords helps with boosting our combat using an unused slot.

Vicious Blow L2 and Beat Cop L2 are excellent functional upgrades to the L0 versions.

Seal of the Elder Sign, though expensive XP-wise, fits perfectly into this deck's plans. Diana's Elder Sign effect gives +2, and the Seal iself contributes +1, meaning we can auto-pass a test even from three points below the difficulty, acting very much like a cancellation. In addition, we can immediately draw a cancellation effect into our hand, meaning that Seal of the Elder Sign is giving us the ability to cancel a second nasty effect!

Once we have added Seal of the Elder Sign and Counterspell, Arcane Initiate, even its L0 version, starts looking like a solid supplementary draw engine and horror soak. If you're swimming in XP, consider Charisma as well.

So, there you have it, the Eldritch Knight of Arkham. Enjoy the deck!

19 comments

Mar 21, 2019 Siphon_01 · 35

I like this deck and it looks like fun. Having played the deck already, do you mind adding a mulligan guide? I’m assuming a weapon or prepared for the worst, but which cancels have you found the most useful early game and which to toss back?

Mar 21, 2019 scion of yog-sothoth · 14

Enchanted Blade is already out. Try searching it directly.

Mar 21, 2019 mattastrophic · 853

@Siphon_01 I've added a Mulligans section above to share my thoughts on which cards are worth shuffling away.

@scion of yog-sothothArkhamdb lets me add Enchanted Blade to decklists, but it won't let me publish a decklist with it. Weird.

Mar 22, 2019 serre · 10

is blood pact worth it? do you use it often? seems like you got quite enough boost with timeworn brand, steadfast,.... and diana can get a high willpower stat. is leveled .45 Automatic not a better choice and swap the machetes. ? for the rest like the deck.

Mar 22, 2019 mattastrophic · 853

@serre Blood Pact is useful for getting our combat up to Mark Harrigan levels without having to spend any resources. It's really for big checks.

.45 Automatic L2 isn't a bad call. We've got the Timeworn Brand as our endgame weapon already.

Mar 22, 2019 brssnyde · 1

This deck name rules

Apr 15, 2019 wern212 · 21

Pretty sure Timeworn Brand + Steadfast only counts the icons on Steadfast, unless I'm mistaken? It's the same thing as Cunning with Lockpicks: only the icons count.

Apr 23, 2019 bern1106 · 2

I love this deck, my only problem with it is Blood Pact and making room for Moonlight Ritual. Any suggestions?

Apr 23, 2019 mattastrophic · 853

I'll probably update the advancement guide with the next pack, but I'm guessing, if you want to really lean on Blood Pact, that the Hypnotic Gaze could go for a Moonlight Ritual. Maybe an Overpower if you've already dropped the Gaze.

In a general sense, the "nonessential" cards that can be easily swapped out are the 2x "Let Me Handle This!", the Delay the Inevitable, the Dynamite Blast, the Hypnotic Gaze, and maybe the 2x Overpower. Make sure you bring in some cancels to make up for losing Delay and Gaze, though. I have 2x Counterspell L2 suiting that purpose.

I'm glad you're looking in the doom direction!

Apr 24, 2019 bern1106 · 2

Thanks for the return. I'm wondering if she doesn't have enough Intellect to be efficient. I'm playing TCU alongside Daisy and I have the feeling Diana's at a bit of a loose end if there's no enemies around. I pull quite a bit on her deck for cancels, but when Daisy went down in The Secret Name, it was basically game over as I was missing 3 clues to put on Nahab. I did manage to get Diana's Willpower to 5 twice, so I'm wondering if Rite of Seeking may have a place in there somewhere. Dynamite Blast I think is a worthy inclusion atm due to Brown Jenkin, who has to be taken down quickly and without wasting an action engaging. I like this deck, and am going to persevere. It's so far the closest I've gotten to defeating Nahab at the Ritual Site.....for three measly clues..

Apr 26, 2019 bern1106 · 2

Small upate, Rite of Seeking is not a good choice, it's too swingy on her Willpower, so ignore that part of my previous post.

Apr 26, 2019 mattastrophic · 853

I was starting to kick around Rite of Seeking L2 though, because of the +2 bonus there. The idea might be to use Drawn to the Flame and Scene of the Crime when her Willpower is low and the Rite later on.

Apr 26, 2019 mattastrophic · 853

Update: Seal of the Elder Sign works better than I thought it did. I updated its entry above.

May 07, 2019 hotelfoxtrot · 161

Curious on your thoughts about a Machete replacement for trying this as a Taboo list-compliant deck.

May 07, 2019 mattastrophic · 853

I've kicked around that question a bit myself. Though its out of the "sword-wielding mage" theme, .45 Automatic is probably fine.

Survival Knife and, heck, Knife don't seem that bad, either.

May 07, 2019 serre · 10

What about Defiance in this deck. It's another card to boost the willpower stat. Can you trigger diana's ability when you committed a defiance to a skill check or do you have to draw a special token before you can trigger it ?

May 07, 2019 mattastrophic · 853

You can't trigger Diana until something is actually cancelled or ignored, as far as I understand. This means that with Defiance, you throw it out into the blue and maaaaaybe it will do something. This deck takes the approach that we aren't desperate to raise her Willpower, so we don't need to spend slots on overreaching into Defiance and Dark Prophecy.

Jun 01, 2019 gibby290 · 1

This may be the most fun deck I've played, thanks for the inspiration!

Jun 07, 2019 mattastrophic · 853

Hi @gibby290!

I'm super glad that you're having a great time with the deck! Thank you so much!