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Charles Dexter Ward · 330
Picturing a cluefocused mystic as an master assassin? You must be childishly assassinophil dude....
Well lets take a short look:
- He appears out of thin air, ready to strike using Gate Box and Pathfinder does provide the ability to reach every location in the blink of an eye without using any at all
- He moves as nimble and quick as a shadow using the movement seeker cardset Shortcut and Pathfinder does provide Luke with good action efficiancy and great flexibility and means that he can save his valuable actions for attacks.
- He gets its enemies by surprise and delivers killing blows from out of nowhere Luke is the only viable sniper in the game using his special ability and Gate Box and events like Spectral Razor to execute attacks, while beeing far away from the enemy.
- He uses the environment to his advantage and executes attacks with high accuracy Using Fieldwork and to attack, which is easily boosted.
- He vanishes into the shadows, when beeing attacked using Gate Box in the enemy phase to dodge any attacks
- He is of delicate constitution and is very fragile and therefore tries to avoid beeing hit, so he aims for fast kills taking Arcane Research and Detached from Reality into account Luke comes out very squishy with 5 health and 5 sanity. Therefore you need to plan your attacks very carefuly and should always have a backupplan.
- Oh and he wears a mask of course
Teased enough? well lets take a closer look then:
This is a dedicated and pure monster killer and aims to fulfil the fighterrole of a group. This deck should work at hard difficulty due to its considerable attackvalue. Its playstyle matches that of a nimble and squishy assassin, as pointet out above. It is purely theorycrafted, as i wasnt able to test it in a group yet and in fact i have many variations of this in my mind.
I came up with this build, when pondering a Luke guide in general and the Sniper set of cards in particular. In fact i was nearly shocked of the sheer number of attack events a luke deck has at its disposal. This decks packs every one possible apart from "I've got a plan!" and comes up with 9 attack events. This number made me first consider Luke as a
Role: Pure fighter with sniper aspect
The mechanic of the sniper aspect is simple: use his specialabilty and attack event to attack from one location away of the enemy. Additionaly Luke can use Gate Box to attack from anywhere. This mechanic should synergize well with Fieldwork as you can choose the location, you want to attack from to some regard.
Each of the attack events come with a specific speciality, which makes for an astonishingly well rounded armory:
Storm of Spirits and Storm of Spirits are used to attack numerous enemies at once. Consider this as your partisan ambush. It synergizes well with Gate Box as you can dodge its backfire damage and with Fieldwork as you can use its bonus for an attack on numerous enemies. Shortcut can be used to collect enemies in one spot. In my other luke build, you can find a detailed example, how to use it look under partisan role
Spectral Razor this is your killing tool for non-elite enemies with 3 health It will also engage the enemy you attack, so you can use it on enemies who are engaged with your teammates and spare the engage.
Knowledge is Power is fast and free of cost. You need to have a combatspell asset in game or on your hand though. It works best with Shrivelling and gains even more power once you upgraded it. This is your flexible tool for emergencies when you miss an action or ressources to kill an enemy.
Blood-Rite this provides 2 testless damage and therefore ist the most precise killing tool in your arsenal. Use it, when missing has dire consequences. Alternativly you can use it to generate some ressources and some card cycling if you need to.
After this i pondered about further possible uses for Gate Box in a pure fighter build.
Possible uses for Gate Box:
- As already discussed it provides the ability execute sniper attacks by using it in conjunction with an attack event and Lukes special ability.
- Reach any location without using any action by using Gate Box and Pathfinder to protect your fellow teammates, if you cant snipe their enemies.
- Dodge any attack by using Gate Box in the enemy phase. This should prove incredibly powerful and provides different uses: You can engage a strong enemy from your teammate, use Shortcut to move either yourself or the teammate away, injure the enemy with regular actions and disapear in the enemy phase using Gate Box. This has the further effect, that you will start your next round in Dream-Gate and can either use Pathfinder to engage again or use one of your sniper events with your special ability to finish the enemy off and go to any other place. Imagine a bossfight with 3 charges on Gate Box and Pathfinder. You are able to attack and tank the boss for 3 rounds without getting hit once by using the discussed tactic.
As Gate Box seems to be crucial too for a pure fighter luke, we need to acquire a way to recharge it. For this deck i choose Recharge as you can use it on your main weapon Shrivelling as well and also on Grotesque Statue should you decide to get it later on.
Unfortunatly the backfire effect of Recharge will destroy Gate Box. The only cards that help with this nasty effect are Eldritch Inspiration and to a lesser extend Premonition and Grotesque Statue. I took Eldritch Inspiration as its the only card to prevent the backfire with 100% accuracy. While this is nearly useless in the first scenario, it will rise in power once Luke gets Recharge and Shrivelling and you only need to use it if Recharge actualy backfires. It works as an insurance if things backfire. But of course Premonition is great too and you can try to squeeze it in somehow. This is also possible later on by buying Versatile
As a pure fighter a high attack value is of high importance. As the mystic assassin does likely has lesser ammo than a classic guardian, it is even more important, that your attacks are acurate. Lets discus : the passive boosts are provided by Holy Rosary and Hawk-Eye Folding Camera. When Luke has both of them in the game and gathered one evidence on the camera he has a of 6. So his standard attackvalue is 6 with Shrivelling, Wither and Storm of Spirits and 8 with Spectral Razor. This can be boosted by +2 with Fieldwork. Later in the game, when his spells are all upgraded his standard attackvalue will be 8 without fieldwork or further boosts. This should be enough to hit reliabe on hard difficulty.
Standard attackvalue of 6 at the start and 8 with upgraded spells, going up to 8 and 10 with Fieldwork
Lets discuss the other cards:
Shrivelling and Wither are your bread and butter spells, the aquivalent for a guardians weapons. Upgrade them early with Arcane Research is advised. Both have a little synergy with Eldritch Inspiration. althaugh i took every combat event and spell available for luke, i fear Luke might run out of attacks in a long scenbario with high monster density. Using Recharge on Shrivelling might help a bit with that. Consider Dayana Esperence to get more out of your attack events and Shards of the Void as a third attackspell, if this is the case.
Passive boosts: Holy Rosary this also helps taking horror
Hawk-Eye Folding Camera together with Fieldwork this provides you with some basic clueing option, when there is nothing to kill. The later also helps charging your camera. Otherwise stick with your groups cluegatherer until you have one evidence. Aim at one evidence for the boost. More evidence is luxuary and not really needed. This can be cut on normal difficulty, see the discussion for other options further down.
Fieldwork This should prove very valuable and provides a strategic element to your movement and is very flexible, as it can be used for any test. While this looks very useful and fun, Iam not entirely sure about this card. It may be cut on normal difficulty
Mr. "Rook" Actually the ally slot is highly contested. Arcane Initiate is cheaper and provides more carddraw, David Renfield provides ressources and passive boost and later Dayana Esperence is just a great in this build. On normal difficulty i heavily consider playing Arcane Initiate and Mr. "Rook" or David Renfield with Calling in Favors.
I went for Mr. "Rook" because of its its universal usability and as i dislike the doom on Arcane Initiate. Mr. "Rook" helps getting setup, it helps getting your Recharge and Eldritch Inspiration combo and last but not least it helps mitigating the loss of 3 actions from Detached from Reality if you use it at the end of your turn and manage to draw Detached from Reality. The later is significantly worse on a pure fighter build than on on a cluegatherer. If it is drawn, when your teammates are swarmed or engaged, you will not be able to help them at all.
Drawengine: Mr. "Rook"
This Luke deck is quite expensive with a cost of 44 for all of your cards. because of this some ressource generation is needed:
Crack the Case actualy can be switched for Emergency Cache for more reliability. Crack the Case is fast and can be used with your special ability and even Gate Box on your main cluegatherer and has the potential to generate more resources than Emergency Cache
Blood-Rite can be used for ressources if really needed.
These incredible flexible techcards are of special note: Logical Reasoning and Uncage the Soul. Every guardian would lick its lips for ressource generation and healing that can alternitavly be used to add 2 attack pips.
High against encounters
Gate Box against the attacks from enemies
Your weakspot are encounters Deny Existence is your only line of defense here. It is generaly used to protect yourself from the loss of health. As you have lots of soak and healing against horror damage with Logical Reasoning and Holy Rosary.
Thoughts about variants:
Fun cards i would like to add:
Anatomical Diagrams: This could really be good for decent non elite enemies and also can be used to help your fellow teammate to evade
Arcane Initiate or David Renfield and Calling in Favors. Both are exellent allies and you can use Calling in Favors to get rid of them and get more use from Mr. "Rook". The deck would have more damage soak this way too. You can consider Versatile and Astounding Revelation as way as some diversity like Scrying
Variant: Risky doom management path:
Insert Arcane Initiate and David Renfield and Calling in Favors and perhaps Moonlight Ritual. Later on go for Blood Pact and maybe Sacrifice and De Vermis Mysteriis. also consider Ward of Protection instead of or in addition to Deny Existence This provides Carddraw, Ressources and a passive boost just with 2 cheap allies. Later on you can abuse Blood Pact and maybe De Vermis Mysteriis for stronger and more sniper attacks. But of course these great powers come with some significant risks:
This should generate a whole new thematic layer to the deck with the constant danger of activating the agenda through doom manipulation. Anyway as this a pure fighterbuild, you will want to engage enemies often anyway and therefore have a reliable method to get rid of doom loaden allies in addition to Calling in Favors, Moonlight Ritual and/or maybe Sacrifice
Variant: Awesome draw engine:
Insert Arcane Initiate and Calling in Favors as well as Crack the Case for Astounding Revelation 1x. Get Versatile really fast together with Recharge to add Astounding Revelation 2x and get back Eldritch Inspiration 2x. Take On the Hunt with versatile for the assassinationeffect with Gate Box. Also get Charisma and as you already have it consider Dayana Esperence later. This way you will have a much more potent Drawengine and great actionfree ressource management with Astounding Revelation, which also can serve to recharge Mr. "Rook" or Dayana Esperence
First priority is to get at least 1 Recharge, you also might want Pathfinder quickly. Apart from that concentrate on upgrading your spells. I advise to focus on upgrading to Shrivelling before any other spell, as this will benefit your Knowledge is Power too. Dont restrict yourself to upgrading spells only with Arcane Research, as this would slow you down too much. I likely would get Grotesque Statue at some point, as it handles for the crucial tests like a Storm of Spirits attack, increases the reliability of Recharge and also happen to increase the odds of to recharge your Gate Box. For similiar reasons consider Seal of the Elder Sign.
Possibilities for late game:
You might consider Versatile to add more cards.
The best possible out of class targets might be
Please feel welcome to help theorycraft and comment this deck, its still completly untested and iam unsure about a great deal of cards. This is going to be my next deck for groupplay and i might change a lot of stuff afterwards.
If you like have some look at https://arkhamdb.com/decklist/view/18529/pathfinding-sleepwalker-1.0, where you will find a support oriented cluegatherer luke and where i am going to post a general deckbuild guide for luke with links to great exemplariliy builds
Iam also planning to post a third Lukedeck, which will be a cluegatherer focussing on mythos manipulation. Watch out for the Cutter of Nightmares, Mythos police
In any case have some fun with this great great game!
Charles Dexter Ward