Agnes June Baker, Ward and the Cleaver

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Siphon_01 · 40

IMPORTANT: Baseball Bat will be replaced by Meat Cleaver once ArkhamDB says it is released.

“Golly Gee dear, it’s just some raw calamari. Don’t be so squeamish.”

Overview: This deck is designed as a strict fighting/enemy control deck focusing on the horror manipulation abilities of the new Meat Cleaver survivor card released in “The Secret Name” expansion pack. Normally, I’m loathe to leave out any clue gathering from a deck, especially with easy access to the amazing Drawn to the Flame, but this deck aims to ride a cleaver’s edge between too sane and not crazy enough, and DttF had to go. As such, the goal is to ride the line of 3 sanity with Agnes, using the cleaver and Fearless to heal horror, while putting out extra damage with the cleaver and her signature ability. As a bonus at 3 sanity Agnes gets access to the desperate suite of cards and her Fight or Flight is at a massive +5.

As such this deck should be pared with a dedicated clue gathering investigator. I do suspect an investigating Marie Lambeau might be a fun deck to play as a compliment to Agnes and maybe even a Minh Thi Phan who can toss a card over occasionally.

I should comment here that the ideal for this deck is to swing back and forth between 3 and 4 Sanity, not 2 and 3. Attack at 4 sanity, take a point of horror to boost damage on Cleaver, do one point of damage to monster via signature, swing at plus 2 combat and two damage, then hopefully kill your target, heal back to 4 sanity.

This deck aims to play differently then your average Agnes build. Is it better? If you are playing hard or expert, I would say no, it’s not better or even tied. If you are playing Standard or easy, then yes, I think this deck competes with the usual Agnes builds. This deck is built for standardand that is the level I would play it at.

“Now Ward. It’s almost supper time. Bring me the cleaver.”


Early campaign priorities: • Meat Cleaver > Shrivelling> Mists of R'lyeh

Late campaign priorities: • Upgraded Shriveling > Meat cleaver > Mists

Everything else should be chucked if you don’t have any of those cards and I’d even consider dropping a mists to find either the cleaver or shriveling. Once you have one of those cards, you should then look for the following… Peter Sylvestre > Forbidden Knowledge > Lucky

Breakdown of why each card is included:

Meat Cleaver: The reason this deck exists. The cleaver allows for a few things. First, it allows for near on-demand access to her signature ability when she is doing what she wants to be doing, namely chopping things to pieces. Second, it can be used to easily handle 1 and 3 health enemies with no waste. 1 health enemies usually have a low fight and can be chopped up for some sanity gain. 3 health enemies should be pinged with the bonus damage from her signature and then killed with the cleaver for a net loss of 0 sanity. 3 health enemies will often require a card to be chucked in or a lucky to succeed on the initial attack.

Shrivelling: Shriveling charges should be used for 2 health enemies or enemies with a fight skill that is beyond 4 (assuming you don’t have Rise to the Occasion in hand.) Later levels don’t change this much, though Shriveling level five opens new ways to handle 3, 4, and 5 health enemies.

Mists of R'lyeh: Because sometimes you don’t need or want to kill something. This is an enemy control deck and sometimes it’s better to just evade the enemy and leave a location you don’t ever intend to return to. If the monster isn’t a hunter and isn’t worth victory points, Mists is effectively the same thing as killing it. Maybe even better if you are worried the encounter deck is going to flip.

Heirloom of Hyperborea: Use it for its icons. You want to wear the Holy Rosary.

Holy Rosary: Provides horror soak for stray encounter cards/monster attacks when you are riding the line. A bonus to willpower for Agnes is never bad either.

Peter Sylvestre: Peter serves the same purpose he always serves in an investigator. An additional reusable horror soak. Since our goal is ride the line of 3 sanity with Agnes, Peter’s ability to provide a 1-point buffer soak each round is very useful.

Forbidden Knowledge: Hit yourself for 1 horror to pop some rats or birds. Gain a resource for your troubles.

Deny Existence: Use it to save your butt when you flub a test assigning you horror when you are riding the line or if you could not finish off an enemy and have to take horror you would rather not.

Fight or Flight: This card makes Agnes a beast for a whole turn. Pop it when you have 3 sanity remaining and Agnes is swinging for three attacks at 9 combat and potentially doing 1-2 damage per swing depending on how low you want to go. Fight or Flight even works well at higher sanity. Pop it at 5 sanity and 3 horror and you are still swinging for three attacks at 6 combat.

Lucky!: I’ve found this is an early game fight card for 2 or 3 combat enemies. Most people know how the math behind this card works by now, so I won’t repeat it all here.

Ward of Protection: The other glory card in the deck. Combined with Agnes signature and the way it can be used every phase, this card works wonders to help with 4 health enemies. Ward of protection can be used to handle a tough treachery, pop an enemy for 1 damage, then turn around and use her cleaver for another 1 damage, plus a swing at 2 damage.

Fearless: Use to save your hide when low on sanity. Ideally using this puts you back to 3 or 4 sanity.

Reckless Assault/Say Your Prayers: Both activate when Agnes is at 3 sanity. Since she will often be taking self-inflicted horror damage, these can be used more often and quicker then you think. Reckless Assault should be used when you need a hit and kill so you can heal a horror. Say your prayers is a life saver when you are riding at 3 sanity.

Rise to the Occasion: This is the card you chuck vs the 4 fight monsters. This card will put you at 5 combat plus 1 from the cleaver is two above on standard. It also helps if you need a “hail Mary” clue gather on a tough shroud location.

Unexpected Courage: Used for what it is always used for. Versatility on must pass tests.


Priority Upgrades:

Recall the Future x 2 (for Lucky) – Fills the same slot of Chaos bag insurance for draws. Get two, name different tokens based on modifiers and find you land your tests that much more often.

Shrivelling 3 and 5 - provide much heavier hitting power for later campaigns.

Ward of Protection 2 – Save your partner, do damage. Gotta love it. Go to 5 if you keep finding yourself in trouble at 1 or 2 sanity.

Peter Sylvestre upgrades - Extra Willpower and bonus horror soak. Nothing wrong with this.

Then season to taste with what you like. I like…

Charisma x1 (I like this for story assets or if you go for Red Gloved man so he doesn’t nuke Peter)

Relic Hunter x1 (this is low priority, but maybe you want to use your heirloom or run both a rosary and a Crystalline Elder sign at once)

Crystalline Elder Sign (for 1 rosary) and seal the +1. This cards seems to get a bad rap, but sealing the +1 in a duo game and getting a bonus willpower and combat for this build is useful and not too painful.

The Red-Gloved Man x2 (for a skill you don’t like, Fight or flight, or Deny Existence if you have been running safe so far) - another way to fight effectively or use it when you need to investigate instead.

Mists of R'lyeh upgrade (depends on partner set up and campaign. I’d make this a priority in TFA.)

•. Moment of Respite (for a say your prayers. When you drop to 1 sanity, pop this and back up to 4 you go for more cleaving.)

“Eddie was a cultist dear. So, I split his skull. Now eat your dinner, you have school in the morning.”

Let me know what you think!


Mar 19, 2019 Chew · 49

I was looking for an ideal partner for Carolyn and this deck is finally it. Dealing horror to yourself on demand with extra benefits, and allows Carolyn to use her ability and generate resources? Yes please!

Mar 19, 2019 Siphon_01 · 40

Glad you like it. I’ve been tinkering with a partner deck for this one with Min/ Carolyn and will publish it when it is complete and provide my thoughts on using them together.