Leo De Luca
Le Lion de Louisiane

Truand
Soutien. Allié

Allié. Criminel.

Cost: 6.
Test Icons:
Health: 2. Sanity: 2.

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« Je suis né au Mississipi, mais Louisiane sonnait mieux. »
Paco Rico Torres
Boîte de Base #48.
Leo De Luca
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • If you take an action that qualifies as either of your additional actions, e.g. from Leo De Luca and Quick Thinking, you may choose which additional action you are actually using.

  • On the 'additional action': When spending actions during your turn, the first action you spend each turn takes up the 'additional' designation. If Leo De Luca is discarded mid-turn, you do not lose 1 action from your total pool of actions for the turn. If you then play a second copy of the card, you gain a further additional action.

-- example: "Skids" O'Toole has Leo De Luca in play and is engaged with a Ghoul Minion. First action, Skids attacks the ghoul (this is the additional action from Leo). Second action, Skids moves location, provoking an attack of opportunity from the ghoul. The investigator places the damage on Leo from the ghoul's attack. Third action, Skids moves again, provoking another attack of opportunity from the ghoul, which kills Leo. Fourth action, Skids plays a second copy of Leo, provoking an attack of opportunity from the ghoul, which the investigator takes on Skids. Fifth action (the 'second' additional action from the second Leo), Skids attacks the ghoul and kills it. [No idea why you'd do it this way but hey it's an example.]

Last updated
Reviews

I'm getting the growing sense that the Louisiana Lion is held in far higher esteem than he deserves. Even in my Jenny Barnes deck, he never quite managed to carry his own tremendous weight. In my "Skids" O'Toole and Finn Edwards decks, he might as well have been a blank card for all the good he did.

First of all, a fourth action will not make an investigator 33% more effective - not even close. Investigators run on cards and resources, and any kind of "once per round" economy the investigator has (including the usual card and resource during upkeep) will be spread much more thinly over four actions rather than three - fewer resources to pump into Hard Knocks, fewer skill cards to commit to tests, and fewer charges of Flashlight, compared to the number of actions you have in which to use them. You could always use the extra action to draw a card or gain a resource, but if all you want is some drip economy, why not just run Lone Wolf or Pickpocketing, which pay for themselves much more readily?

Second, unlike most of the other pricey allies, Leo doesn't give any skill bonuses - you'll be taking more actions, but you'll waste a lot more actions on failed skill tests. For example, Dr. Milan Christopher's +1 makes the actions you have that much more efficient, and he's cheaper to put into play and serves as an (admittedly slow-to-wind-up) economic engine. See also Peter Sylvestre, Cat Burglar, and of course Beat Cop.

Third, by occupying the ally slot, he prevents you from playing those other aforementioned allies.

Fourth, he's crazy-expensive, which makes him awkward to play in most situations:

  • Getting him out early costs one more than your entire starting resource pool. Unless you're lucky enough to draw him alongside Hot Streak, this is a crippling opportunity-cost; he's going to be your only significant asset for the first few rounds.

  • Getting him out midgame has a similar (but more manageable) opportunity cost, but he takes so many rounds to pay for himself that he may just barely break even by the end of the scenario, and in the meantime you've deprived yourself of the tools that might have rescued you from a dire situation if you had run a different card and not sunk a small fortune.

  • Getting him out in the late-game is usually a waste. If you only have a few rounds left, you should be able to spend six resources on something more worthwhile than two or three more actions spread over the remainder of the scenario.

And all of that assumes that you aren't forced to discard Leo early because of an Encounter card, which could be a serious possibility depending on the scenario, especially if he's your only asset in play at the time.

If anything, his relative economy actually gets worse for high-XP investigators. In the Rogue class, Streetwise is a fantastic way to pump skill tests, and it plays better with high-efficiency limited-use cards like Lupara, Deduction, and of course Double or Nothing, not to mention the highly efficient pumped "Watch this!". I'd much rather move once and take two amazing actions than move once and take three mediocre ones.

Therefore, Leo is at his best when paired with cards that can turn actions back into resources (or at least cards), so he can recoup his costs faster. Alchemical Transmutation is a strong combination (provided you have the for it), and Decorated Skull and Burglary are at least situationally useful.

I think the basic principle in play here is that extra actions are generally weaker than optimized actions, and those are more easily achieved with other cards.

sfarmstrong · 246
I never had a lot of success with leo in faction. But I never had a lot of success with this faction anyway. Anything they do, another faction do it better. And since we always play at 4 players, another player will do it better. However, it works reasonnably well with Wendy (particularly because of Will to Survive). — MoiMagnus · 60
And that's also one of the best target for Flare. (Assuming you are playing a Wendy-Charisma) — MoiMagnus · 60
He's definitely a good target for Flare, but I'd argue that, even then, I'd rather pull a Beat Cop, Milan Christopher, or even a Cat Burglar with it. — sfarmstrong · 246
Certainly if you are only succeeding with resource or skill boosts, then he doesn’t seem to add as much value, but if you already have high enough stats to succeed raw, an extra action is very powerful. At worst, yes, he’s just a card or resource. In the middle, he’s an extra move. But in any case, his bonus is FLEXIBLE, which is a huge boon. And his 2/2 stats aren’t irrelevant. Milan and Beat Cop 2 are both very strong allies as well. — Death by Chocolate · 946
Don't get me wrong - an extra action is not nothing, and the flexibility is absolutely useful. It's just that it's rarely worth the ally slot plus six (or five) resources. The problem with the "you already have high enough stats" analysis is that that only helps you in situations where you're at an advantage to begin with (which, by the way, you're less likely to be in if your ally slot isn't giving you a skill bonus). The Rogue class in particular has more efficient ways to capitalize on that, such as upgraded Switchblade, Double or Nothing, or "Watch This!" — sfarmstrong · 246
For pure solo, Leo makes huge difference. Almost every scenario (so far) is a race against a kind of a doom clock and he will put you ahead of the pressure a bit. When there is no one else but you, you can hardly afford to waste more then few turns.. and having almost 1/3 more actions generally translates to having the act advanced far before the agenda clocks in - and thus better chances of win (whatever it means for you at the moment). — XehutL · 46
(err than..) — XehutL · 46
@XehutL, I'm not convinced that's the case, for basically the reasons that I set out above - he MIGHT be decent in a vacuum, but once you factor in the opportunity costs he usually slows down investigators slightly more than he speeds them up. If I'm wrong about that in solo, though, I'd be interested to see a review from you focusing on solo play. — sfarmstrong · 246
You said it yourself, rogues are efficient in gathering ressources. So, they can esily sacrifice their starting ressource pool (even their whole first turn) to create a big setup. Ressources will flow enough for you to tackle the chaos bag in normal. That being said, you can manage to have both efficiency AND number of action. I've played rogues a lot in both 1, 2 and 3 players and I never thought Leo being a bad card. — Palefang · 56
I think its a good thesis. @sfarmstrong isn — duke_loves_biscuits · 1002
I think it's a good thesis. sfarmstrong isn't saying Leo is bad, just that he isn't necessarily the best card in the game as others think he might, and if you only have 1 ally slot, you should consider the other "big allies" (Pete, Milan, Cop, Cat) as well, before reaching for the Leo automatically. I certainly prefer Milan in Finn, assuming I'm not playing with a seeker who calls baggsy. — duke_loves_biscuits · 1002
I wholeheartedly agree. I was actually thinking of writing a review saying that Leo was an overrated card, but you made my point for me. Now, I think Leo can be fine in the right setup, but a few strong actions are much better than a lot of weak actions, and with the wrong investigator Leo will be tilting you towards the latter. So he is not nearly the auto-include for Rogues that some say he is. I would almost always prefer Milan in Finn or Arcane Initiate in Sefina, for example. He can be good, certainly, but especially on higher difficulties, he isn't always good. — CaiusDrewart · 2515
I like the argument that you're potentially missing cards and resources. This comes from the fact that you're gaining actions, not rounds (which for example doom token removal gives you). You're not including the other important result of this link though! You're also not drawing encounter cards which are a huge drain on the same aforementioned resources. I just did 4 runs on the first scenario of Carcosa with solo Jim. The first three where bad. Then I included Leo and everything changed. — Nils · 1

I think it's time we take another careful look at Leo de Luca. The general opinion on this card shifts heavily as new cards and new investigators are released, but I'm going to attempt to distinguish exactly what makes this card good, why so many people run him, and when it is smart not to run him.

Here's what makes Leo good. Leo is an Ally, with 2 damage soak and 2 horror soak. He gives you one extra action every turn as long as he's out, and he costs 6 resources. On a baseline level, one would say he pays for himself if you were to take 5 or so "gain a resource" actions in 6 turns (if we value his soak for 1 resource and 1 card, which to me is fair). Now if you only get 5 actions out of this guy a game, arguably those actions were on average more valuable to you than "gain a resource" actions, so as long as you are willing to trade resources for tempo, Leo is a great card to run. Assuming you get him out early enough and keep him alive long enough that he nets you more than 5 actions, then he becomes amazing tempo, and really this is what you shoot for. Most people who run Leo will choose to always run two just to increase the chance of seeing him in the opening hand.

In particular, his ability makes him shine in true solo. A single action a turn for one investigator in 4 players is a pretty minuscule boost unless you're someone who's actively handling enemies for everyone, but in true solo it's almost akin to buying 33% more turns. In fact, it's better, because 4 actions a turn means 1 less Mythos Phase per every 3 turns (12 actions would have been 4 tests, now it's 3), which means at optimum you're looking at 25% less Mythos Phases. That's an important thing in true solo, where being bogged down by enemies is a common way for a scenario to just end, and Rogues in particular have the lowest average in the game, so tests hurt them quite a lot as well.

The trap with Leo is his cost: Six resources. Even if you're playing true solo, you shouldn't automatically take Leo thinking he's going to make your game easier every time. Like anything else in a card game, you're looking at opportunity cost- what in Leo's place could you have run that may have also saved you actions? For example, if I'm Zoey Samaras, that Beat Cop is both going to increase my such that I pass tests I might not normally pass, saving me an action each time it does, and it can swing for 1 damage in a pinch so I don't have to waste time, say, engaging a Whippoorwill. Plus since he's 2 resources cheaper, I can spend that on a weapon much sooner than I otherwise would have been able to, like Enchanted Blade. Or say I'm Sefina Rousseau, where I'm running lots of spells and events. It might be stronger for me instead to invest in David Renfield who can both generate resources I need to play lots of events and boost my in such a way to make my spells hit more often. The thing is, until you get Charisma, it isn't really valid for most investigators to run Leo in a deck with other Ally assets, as once Leo hits the table, you have to do whatever you can to keep him there. One of the investigators I mention at the end of this review is a major exception to this.

So when considering whether or not to take Leo, the single most important thing to ask yourself is whether or not you have a way to pay for him. If you can afford him without delaying everything else you want to play too much, he's a great choice. Fortunately, Rogue has a myriad of ways to help you afford Leo. Hot Streak, Another Day, Another Dollar, even the upgraded Leo De Luca which merely costs 1 resource less (so you can play him first turn every time without taking a resource). Cards like Lone Wolf and Investments can help you recoup the cost after you've played Leo as well. And finally, you should more strongly consider him in true solo, where actions give you more bang for your buck (caveat: in multiplayer it hurts less to have one investigator down on resources for a while, so the cost is lower in multi while the benefit is higher in solo). So who should take Leo most often?

  • Preston Fairmont - Leo is practically made for him. He start with 9 resources, and he gets 5 to spend every turn. Both poor and rich builds can easily afford Leo. It is worth noting that extra actions in Preston will often be less valuable, as he can't just spend an action expecting to pass any old test. Instead extra actions in Preston have to be used for economy- either to pull resources off of FI, generate more resources to spend on things like Intel Report or Lola Santiago (with Charisma), or to refill your hand to have more things to spend on later turns. Here Leo is just an insane economy generator for Preston whose fleeting resources can be turned into permanent economy. I still say you should run Leo pretty much every time in Preston.

  • Wendy Adams - Wendy, like Preston, has access to the best two pools in the game for generating resources. Take Heart and Drawing Thin go a long way on their own to reducing the opp cost of using Leo, while Lone Wolf can pull its own weight just fine, especially in solo. Additionally, Wendy's token mitigation means that a stray test here or there is less likely to be a waste, so actions in general are more valuable for her than most. The only Ally competing for her attention in my opinion is Peter Sylvestre, whose +1 is handy for Wendy's defensive events like Waylay, Backstab, and Sneak Attack. This will depend on how you build Wendy, but my advice is to take Peter Sylvestre 2 and Charisma as early upgrades, but start with Leo.

  • Leo Anderson - Ah yes, Leo + Leo, a match made in heaven. Leo Anderson can play an Ally at the beginning of his turn at a 1 resource discount, and he has access to other Rogue level 0 cards. Outside of all of that though, a Leo Anderson deck is already running Calling in Favors and later Charisma, so if you don't get Leo in your opening hand, you might be able to Favors him into play from some Beat Cop or Guard Dog on the brink of death. This is the only time I'd run Leo with any other Ally in the same deck at level 0.

  • Tony Morgan - The new Rogue on the block needs a little time to get started, but his action economy is wild. Free actions for fighting, then you take shenanigans like .41 Derringer, Quick Thinking and Ace in the Hole. Make up the cost using Pay Day, and use Ever Vigilant and Another Day, Another Dollar to get started. You'll find that it wont be hard at all playing Chicago Typewriter alongside Leo, and the actions you earn can be used for fighting, positioning, or banking for later a la Borrowed Time on a really important Typewriter test, for example.

  • Jenny Barnes - This one shouldn't be too surprising. Jenny decks are a common home for The Louisiana Lion, and with Jenny's double income it's not hard to see why. She can recoup the lost resources very quickly, and her even stat-line means that there's less of a chance that an extra action couldn't be put to some sort of use. She can do it all, and Leo just helps her do it all 33% more. The only thing is Jenny has access to all level 0 cards, so an Ally like Leo is competing against Dr. Milan Christopher, Beat Cop, and most notably Mr. "Rook".

I also want to outline a few investigators where Leo might look really appealing but is often (not always) a terrible choice:

  • "Skids" O'Toole - Skids' native ability is already about turning resources into actions. Sure Leo gives him the opportunity to take 5 action turns, but you really need to be generating tons of resources for it to be worth running both, alongside all the other things you need to be doing. Skids' usefulness a la Chicago Typewriter has also greatly diminished thanks to Tony Morgan, so I recommend taking Alice Luxley alongside Scene of the Crime and Intel Report, or consider Venturer with Ornate Bow as your main weapon.

  • "Ashcan" Pete - A lot of what applies to Wendy in regards to economy still applies to Pete, but the problem is Pete already has solid action compression from Duke. It's usually cheaper and more action efficient to utilize Pete's Ally slot and off class slots to make Duke's actions better. This means using your off class slots for things like Magnifying Glass to make Duke's investigate & move better, and using your Ally slot for someone like Madame Labranche who can keep your hand full to toss more cards to ready Duke. I would say the off slot is also too precious for all the other Dunwich investigators: Zoey needs things to help her investigate like Sixth Sense and Drawn to the Flame; Rex needs some means of defense like Fire Axe; and Jim is too asset heavy to begin with to run another Ally, especially if he's using Dr. Elli Horowitz or Mr. "Rook".

  • Finn Edwards - My personal opinion is that Finn Edwards benefits more from Peter Sylvestre. It both gives him a boost to , his favorite stat by far, and lets him soak horror from failed Rotting Remains tests. An argument could be made for Leo with Charsima, especially as a means to mitigate impossible to pass Terror cards like Frozen in Fear, but if you're really worried about that you might as well just take Logical Reasoning. In fact, if you want cheaper action compression, you can reliably activate Track Shoes on most turns, and even if you don't you'll love the extra .

I want to add a special note here that none of these are a hard rule. Deckbuilding requires innovation, planning, and the consideration of a ton of variables including: player count, investigator choice (yours and your compatriots), specialization vs generalization, campaign, upgrade path, opportunity cost, and even theme and desired play style. The above investigators I mention as being apt to take Leo are the ones who, on a baseline level, can either deal with the cost the easiest or take advantage of his ability the most, or both. The ones who I mention as not necessarily being a good place for Leo are ones where I see him commonly run to little effect. I do not think however that a Finn or Skids deck, for example, cannot work with Leo de Luca. It's up to you, the player, to determine how best to utilize each investigator's ability, and whether or not Leo de Luca gets you there.

StyxTBeuford · 12540
Great review! I want to build a wendy deck recently. Your opinion is really helpful thank you so much — icanflysohigh · 1
I just want to preface this response by saying that I agree with most of your insights, and appreciate all of them, including the ones I’m about to disagree with. I’m going to hard disagree on Preston. While Preston CAN run Leo easier than any other ‘gator, unless you’re running him as a Trial by Fire deck, the individual cost for him to get value out of his actions is too high to truly benefit from another - especially compared to the value of an early investment in Lola Santiago instead. The two exceptions (beyond the TbF archetype) is either late campaign when the card quality of the deck is already quite high and you can splurge on a Charisma, or in a support Preston where your Guardian can Teamwork Leo over to your Cluever. I also disagree that Leo is any worse in multiplayer than single player. While he only applies a fraction of the overall bonus action relatively, he also COSTS a fraction of the overall resources and ally slots among the ‘gators. Further, for several of the ‘gators such as Finn, Skids, or Zoey, you suggest that they need to spend the slots on ways to mitigate their statistical weaknesses, but in multiplayer you have a lot friends to cover for you more efficiently and allow you to build a more specialized deck, and Leo helps you do your good thing more. — Death by Chocolate · 946
I think the predominant way to run Leo in Preston is to use Lola as your first upgrade followed by Charisma. I’ve found that an extra action in Preston, while often not as valuable, is still worth it for even the card draw. In moneybags Preston it’s is something you absolutely need to consistently take resources off of FI. For multiplayer in regards to Finn or Skids, I still think the opp cost of Leo is too high compared to what other allies cam bring, but you’re right that you have more freedom to set things up which can make Leo worth running. This is more aimed at where people will often choose to run Leo when they probably shouldn’t. — StyxTBeuford · 12540
I may have phrased some of the stuff regarding people who probably shouldn't take Leo too strongly. In general it's a case by case basis, and an extra action a turn for Zoey might be worth having if, as I said, you can pay for it. All of the points I tried to make about Leo are that he's great if he doesn't delay everything else you need too much. But either way I took your insights and edited the review accordingly because I agree. — StyxTBeuford · 12540
It occurs to me that for however comprehensive this review may be, it's soon going to be out of date. Versatile will soon be released, and this will mean that any investigator can take Leo. This obviously begs the question of whether he'd be worth including in any of them who can't currently take him. Since it would only be a one-of, and since you'd need to add 4 other cards to your deck to include him, it would want to be somebody with very good draw and resource generation abilities. A Minh deck running Drawing Thin could be fun. The extra action each turn could easily be turned into 2 extra resources a turn using DT, allowing Leo to pay for himself in 3 turns (or less if you're running double copies of DT) and this wouldn't compromise anything else that Minh would normally be doing because she wouldn't normally have 4 actions to play with. Leo would be a great complement to Norman as well. You could play Split the Angle every turn without it costing any tempo. Obviously the resource cost is a little more of an issue here though. — Sassenach · 140
Versatile wont be out for a few months, but that’s partially why I wanted to do this review. To decide if Versatile is worthwhile, you have to have a basis for why Leo is worth including and why he is hard to include. Im not going to put up a review of any card and say “lets look at this with every investigator because Versatile exists”. If there’s an edge case where he’s really strong that people find, I’ll mention it, but let’s start at square one. — StyxTBeuford · 12540
Well, yes. Obviously we can't start reviewing every card as if it can be taken by every investigator, that would be exhausting ! In Leo's case it might be justified though, given that he's universally accepted as one of the strongest cards in the game. You can arguably make a case for including him in any deck. I'm intrigued to see if I can find a way to fit him into a Patrice deck. Without having played her I don't know how easy it would be to ensure that you have the resources to hand for the one opportunity you'll have to play him, I suspect that could be very challenging, but if it can be done then it could be hugely powerful. The biggest problem that I can foresee with playing Patrice is sparing the actions to play your assets when you draw them. Leo could essentially solve that problem. — Sassenach · 140
I think the better way of going about Versatile is to just mention the best combos in the review around Versatile. For Patrice one really cool thing I’ve heard is to use Lucky Cigarette Case. There’s also the absolutely broken Premonition + Wendy’s Amulet combo. — StyxTBeuford · 12540

There is a common misconception regarding Leo De Luca: that you must get him in play early for him to be effective (preferably in your opening hand) and that a Leo De Luca drawn mid or late into the game is useless.

It is true that the earlier you get him, the more extra actions he will give. But the opportunity cost for resources is much higher earlier in the game; spending 6 resources will prevent you from getting other assets out into play, and without other assets or events the effectiveness of each of action isn't very high. It's hard for a rogue to investigate without a Lockpick or Flashlight or to fight without a weapon, so much of the time you'll be using his free action in inefficient ways such as drawing cards or gaining resources.

In contrast, if you put him into play later in the game, the actions he gives can be used much more efficiently. Each Investigate can with a Lockpick is nearly guaranteed to succeed, and can trigger a draw from Lucky Cigarette Case. An evade gives you extra stuff from Pickpocketing. Use the action he gives to play Hot Streaks and Intel Reports. Or it could be as simple as your skill tests being more likely to succeed due to having static bonuses out. The opportunity cost for 6 resources is also much lower in the mid to late game, since tend to over-invest in resources anyway to increase deck consistency (and to run Well Connected/High Roller), and there are few better ways to spend those resources than to get 3-4 extra actions and a 2/2 soak.

So mulligan him away for your Lockpicks, your Ornate Bows, your Berettas, and play him when money's no object. Starting with only Leo tends to be an expensive trap (unless you lucked into Leo along with Hot Streak AND your key assets, but what are the chances of that?).

The real cost is still the opportunity cost of an ally slot. At 0xp the extra action will be difficult to efficiently use, consider other allies to increase action efficiency or give static boosts. Once you've gotten the core of your deck and all the money you can't spend, buying a Leo (1) with Charisma is always worth considering if you've got the deck slots to spare.

suika · 8001
That's why my friend and I called him a "trap card", you don't play him in your starting hand. That play will screw you over for the entire game. — Wdblazer · 1
I strongly disagree. Getting him out in the first round gives you that many extra actions over the game that you can spend as many as you like to just get ressources or draw cards. It's often completely meaningless what you do in the first rounds, that's why people spend the time to setup in the first place. Don't get me wrong: Leo's always great - as long as you can pay for him. In my experience that's often easier at the start than in the midgame where you pay for all your other rogue tricks. — Elfaron · 1
I think you can all be right, depending on the situation. If you're running solo in a hard difficulty, you'd probably rather put out skill boosts than get some extra actions with base stats. But in 4 player, where you can count on other 'gators to get clues and handle monsters, I'd slam Leo on turn 1 and set myself up to power through the last act. — Hylianpuffball · 11
The point is not to have as many actions as possible. The point is to have as many effective actions as possible, and if you open Leo first, you'll be wasting a lot of actions that could have been used to advance the board state had you set up with actual assets. You could play Leo and then take a bunch of actions drawing cards, or you could have played a Lucky Cigarette Case, investigating committing Perception and draw cards while advancing the game. Playing out other assets also gives "actions", otherwise you won't have taken these assets in the first place! Even boring old static boosts makes it less likely that you'll fail a test, and thus saving you an action you would have wasted by failing the test. On higher difficulties this is most apparant, but the logic applies to standard as well. — suika · 8001
Leo is a force multiplier and he scales by how effective your actions are. If you were just going to play him and use a bunch of actions gaining resources, you may have been better served playing Lone Wolf or even Investments. — suika · 8001
Okay, but: (a) You can easily run both? and (b) If you use Leo's additional actions for money, once you have all the money you need *you have Leo still in play*. — Thatwasademo · 40
Resource, Leo, Resource, Lone Wolf is a fine turn 1 that sets you up to have both plentiful *and* effective actions by turn 3 (if not sooner) — Thatwasademo · 40
Don't mulligan away your tools and weapons for Leo, but don't shy away from playing him turn 1 or mulliganing filler cards for him either — Thatwasademo · 40
My point is that not exactly that starting with Leo is bad (in fact, I did say the best case is to start with him and enough resource generation to play your key assets). My main point is that getting Leo out mid or late game is still good. — suika · 8001
Okay, it seems my disagreement is more with Wdblazer than you then. — Thatwasademo · 40
So I wrote a review of Leo not too long ago, and I actually stand more now by what I said than I did back then. I think Leo is a great ally, and I think he is also massively overplayed. Here's the issue with Leo- playing him makes your immediate actions afterward much less effective. 6 resources and a card and an ally slot for an ally with no static boosts and no action enhancing abilities- and mediocre soak to boot- is a heavy price. The return is absolutely worth it if you can bounce back from the tempo hit quickly and if you play him early enough. Some investigators have really solid set up economy, like Preston Fairmont. Others run really low curve decks, like Winifred Habbamock. These are investigators where Leo shines for me. On the other hand, some investigators have weaknesses that a good soak ally would do well to mitigate, or are heavily dependent on specific boosts to make their actions more consistent. Tony Morgan does well with Leo in my experience, but he also does well with Lonnie thanks to her soak potential and combat boost. Trish actually uses her intellect for almost everything, even evading, and so Milan Christopher works exceptionally well with her. Finn likes to use his agility for a lot of things and has very low will and medium sanity, so Peter Sylvestre works very effectively with him. I wont say it's true for every deck regarding these investigators, but in many decks I've found a more focused ally that makes your actions more effective is preferable to Leo's action increase, because they tend to be less expensive immediately and let you set up to be more effective sooner. They also tend to be more helpful if you draw them late, as Leo's extra actions in the last few rounds of the game are pretty much eaten by the resources, cards, and action to play him. Without any secondary ability or boost, he basically doesn't solve any late game crisis you might face. — StyxTBeuford · 12540
In summary, yes the opp cost of Leo early is harder, but the impact of Leo is heavily diminished late, way more than this review gives credit. Hence why my philosophy with him is to only run him in decks that can bounce back from setting him up early. Fortunately, Faustian Bargain makes this much easier. — StyxTBeuford · 12540
I agree with those two above comments. I'd just add that the difficulty level is also relevant. Leo is probably at his very best on Easy because spare actions are so much more useful (because they can so often be turned into successful investigates), and because the passive stat boosts given by other allies is less needed. On Expert, where action quality and stat boosts are critical, Leo often underperforms. Not that he's unplayable, he can still be great in the right deck, but he's harder to make work. — CaiusDrewart · 2515
For Trish and Finn, the 4 Intellect Rogue/Seekers, I think Leo has a really hard time competing with the taboo'd Milan on a higher difficulty (let alone the Taboo'd Milan). The extra Intellect is so so important. — CaiusDrewart · 2515
As a final note, I find it odd that the review mentions Lockpicks as a card that works with Leo. Lockpicks is a great card but it exhausts! It's actually a prime example of why Leo's extra action, while good, is not as good as it initially appears. — CaiusDrewart · 2515
Because you can have two lockpicks out in play. Play/evade/move, investigate, investigate, move, is a common turn in duo as a clue-focused rogue. — suika · 8001
@Styx: completely agree with your review, except that 1) Leo pays for the action playing him and 2) 6 resources mid/late game that you're not spending anyway is basically free! As a rogue, it's odd to not end up late game with a pile of resources from Watch This/Faustian Bargain/Lone Wolf. You don't need to break even with him because you weren't going to use those resources anyway. — suika · 8001
Mid/late-game use just Leo as an expensive Ace in the Hole spread out over a few rounds; that's hardly the worst use of resources. Like I pointed out in the review, the main reason you won't play him is the fact that other allies are better a lot of the time. — suika · 8001
I disagree wholeheartedly that you necessitate using your endgame resources on Leo. Rogues have some of the best resource sinks in the game, like Streetwise and Lola Santiago/Delilah O Rourke, which make those end game resources very helpful late game. I would not spent 6 resources on Leo late game where the additional actions are unlikely to help more than the investment would hurt. — StyxTBeuford · 12540
That's a tautology, of course don't play him when you need the resources more. Whether resources or actions will be helpful will vary deck by deck, scenario by scenario, though I should point out that any deck that included Leo should have bought a surfeit of resources anyway! — suika · 8001

At first glance, Leo looks like an automatic-include in every Rogue deck. His power, granting an extra action every turn, is a huge benefit. Unlike things like "Skids" O'Toole's ability, it costs nothing per turn, and unlike Daisy Walker, the action isn't restricted. That extra action is fantastic.

The thing is, so is his cost. Make no mistake, a card draw, an action to play, and 6 resources is big. He is the most expensive card in the Core Set. He only has one - so he's not that useful for skill checks. Even the upgraded Leo De Luca, with it's reduction in cost, he's still the (equal) most expensive card in the game.

So... is he worth using?

If you can get him out early and keep him through the game, Leo De Luca is a huge boon. He will, over time, repay that huge initial cost. I've had games where this card has been the entire margin of victory. When you're racing against the clock, he can be brilliant.

If you don't get him out early, though, he's a wasted card. Late in the game he's too expensive to be worth the investment. For example, 6 resources would pay for 3 additional turns with additional actions for "Skids" O'Toole, and you'd still be better off.

And so I find that I end up either taking 2 copies of him (and no other allies) - to try to draw him in setup or as a Mulligan, so I can get him played on the first turn - or I take none, and instead use other allies. It's very much a "Leo" or "Not Leo" strategy.

Rogues can also have access to Cat Burglar, which is excellent, and "Skids" O'Toole also has access to allies like Beat Cop. Both these cards are very good, and make Leo De Luca look like less of an automatic choice - and more of a considered one.

AndyB · 878

In my opinion, most companion cards have the strongest permanent effects in game, so it's often hard decide which ones to include. However Leo is easily the best of the companions.

If you compare leo to Beat Cop or Cat Burglar, they basically save you actions. Beat cop allows you deal 1 damage as free action (which is like killing enemeis with 1 HP for free), while cat burglar allows you to disengage from all enemies (with no check) AND move to a connecting location (which is 2-x in 1 action). However they both have strong limitations. This is where leo shines, as you can use the extra action for anything, including the above mentioned things.

  • Regarding hist cost. As he's a rogue card, the owner can use Burglary to gather ressources, if you draw him later in the game.
  • Leo is unique (asterisk in front of his name), like Dr. Milan Christopher, so only 1 player can have him on the board at the same time. So if wendy and skids are part of the same game, only one of them can have leo in play. Here i'd recommend to replace him in skids deck with beat cop. Skid's character ability can compensate for the lack of leo.
Django · 3736
Beat cop is awful. 4 resources and an action for what? Plus one to my fight? Oh and goodie I can discard him as a free action to do one damage? I think that is horrid. If there was a card in the game that cost 4 resources and was fast just to do 1 damage to an enemy no one would play it. I think beat cop is garbage, but I guess that is just me. — Durpstatus · 1
If course no one would play a card that costs 4 and does 1 damage. Because that's only half of what Beat Cop does... It also soaks 2 damage and 1 horror, and the most important thing, passively buffs your combat, which is huge for investigators who want to fight and only have 3-4 base combat... — neescher · 230