Joe Diamond and Alice Luxley: By the Book

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet

Lucaxiom · 514

TWWaterfalls recently wrote a review for Alice Luxley and highlighted the catch-22 nature of her ability and the difficulty of finding an investigator that can exploit her value to the max. I had recently played two campaigns with her in a Joe Diamond deck, that utilises her and Fine Clothes to make a police themed, humanoid-counter deck, that I now outline below:

A Hunch A Day...

Using Alice Luxley is all about not taking (too many) attacks of opportunity while triggering her exhaust effect. You might think evasion is the key to doing so, but I contend that a deck with Alice in it is already splitting its focus on both investigation and combat; adding evasion to the mix spreads a deck too thin, and leaves one unable to deal with all bu the easiest of tests.

Instead, lets use a suite of cards that either explicitly grab clues without provoking attacks of opportunity, or grab clue in a fast window. Enter Working a Hunch, Scene of the Crime, and Interrogate. These six cards add the functionality to get the ball rolling, and can provide some serious action compression when paired with Alice; either a test-less clue and testless-damage as a fast action, or two test-less clues and a test-less damage in one action.

With Detective's Colt 1911s or Joe's effect, you can return said cards back into your hunch deck, which does happen often in a campaign, meaning you're not limited to just six triggers of Alice's effect. As we're expecting to use her multiple times, we'll also include Inspiring Presence to allow the chance to trigger her ability twice in one round, as well as keep her alive.

Your Sunday Best

While Working a Hunch and Scene of the Crime are universally useful (especially when discounted by 2 thanks to Joe's hunch deck), Interrogate is a bit more specialised and harder to pull off; a 3 is not easy, especially without the inclusion of a non-fight booster.

To remedy this, I'm going to lean into the parley action, and also include Persuasion and Fine Clothes in the deck. Joe Diamond has the and to pull off the parley test, and Fine Clothes turns these moderately difficult tests into trivially easy ones, allowing a success on -3 or above with his base stats.

Interrogate and Persuasion don't start in the hunch deck (nor does Crack the Case, for obvious reasons). With Preposterous Sketches and No Stone Unturned, not seeing these cards in any scenario is rare, so despite the many combo pieces you'll need to pull off this deck's mechanic, you'll have a fighting chance to do so.

Ok, Maybe A Little Bit Of Evade

One nice thing about Persuasion is that it still offers functionality against elite enemies, giving an evade that, well, was the original idea for making Alice work. Alongside this, Handcuffs is the one card that offers an evade option for guardians, substituting for , so no commitment to boosts necessary.

I considered Handcuffs as not a great card since the most common humanoid enemies (the base game's dark cult's cultists), enter play with doom on them, meaning Handcuffs doom prevention mechanic acts too late. Still, campaign specific cultists generally don't have this problem, and a backup evade can still be useful if combat isn't going to cut it (like with 4 attack, 2 evade enemies that are worryingly common). It even works on elite humanoids, albeit temporarily.

And The Rest

The remaining cards aren't required for the deck's theme, and can be swapped out with other cards to your heart's content. Vicious Blow, Deduction, and Emergency Cache are staples, same with .45 Automatic.

Blackjack's inclusion has a bit more reasoning; another way to trigger Alice Luxley without incurring attacks of opportunity is to have enemies engaged on someone else, which is a situation you might want to arrange, and as such, may want insurance against damaging your fellow investigators. It's also one of the few weapons with a lvl2 variant, which is the highest lvl Joe can take.

With only five weapons, Prepared for the Worst seems relevant. The tools I've chosen to pair with Detective's Colt 1911s are Magnifying Glass and Hawk-Eye Folding Camera. Crack the Case for extra resources, and finally Logical Reasoning to prop up a low score.

Weaknesses

As might be obvious, this deck is seriously specialised against humanoid enemies. This does make its efficacy both campaign and scenario dependant, but as a rough rule of thumb, the latter into a campaign you are, the fewer humanoids you face and the more monsters (and ancient ones) you face. In my own experience with this deck, I opted to swap out Handcuffs, Persuasion, Interrogate and Fine Clothes at around the midpoint of both campaigns I've played; police procedure, while great on cultists, ain't so grand on sanity-fraying eldritch monstrosities; who would've thought? Alice is a mainstay however; she will stick by you till the end.

The other main problem of this deck is not much alleviates a low score. Hawk-Eye Folding Camera and Logical Reasoning assuage some of the downsides and were enough for my own experiences, but without the likes of Guts or Take the Initiative, you make find yourself saddled with a persistent Frozen in Fear or waylay-ed by a particularly bad Rotting Remains. Inspiring Presence and Prepared for the Worst aren't strictly necessary, and can be substituted by these cards, should you so wish.

Upgrade Paths

Other than incidental, direct upgrades (.45 Automatic (2), Blackjack (2), Magnifying Glass (1), Deduction (2), and Vicious Blow (2), totalling 18xp), we're going to take the Tarot suite of cards to replace the policework suite. This involves:

This is 17xp total and very do-able early on. Not only is Joe a great recipient of class specific tarot cards due to his stat-line, but he also greatly wants Ace of Rods for it's additional action. You don't get an additional action to play cards from his hunch deck, so you're going to see yourself with only 2 actions per turn a lot, something that Ace of Rods contends with.

Of course, there's the OG guardian card that provides additional actions; Police Badge (as if you could escape the police theme of this deck). Boasting a boost as well, I recommend getting this and Ace of Rods early on as they shore up some weaknesses of this deck quite nicely.

Getting more than 39xp (18 + 17 + 4 = 39) is unlikely, and yet if you manage that somehow (or are playing standalone mode with 49xp), consider improving your hunch deck with the likes of Logical Reasoning (4), No Stone Unturned (5), or Deciphered Reality, as late game inclusions.

In Conclusion

A thematic, specialised, and very unique take of an Arkham Horror LCG deck that seeks to make use of Alice Luxley and Fine Clothes to create a combo-heavy Joe Diamond deck. I hope you enjoy the intricate web of deck pieces that combine together to form a viable (on normal difficulty at least) deck. Please provide feedback, insights and recommendation for improvements. Also, If anyone can tell me how to make text bold and underlined on this website, that would be much appreciated.

5 comments

Jan 13, 2020 Schwaig · 30

Nice writeup, cool idea with the Parley-Theme.

Did you consider a second Ace of Swords or Death • XIII instead of Ace of Rods for your upgrade path? After all, unless you draw the Ace of Rods in Setup, you are trading 3 ressources and an action for an additional action later during the game and a +2 bonus on a skill test. I would prefer the additional permanent stat boost over that and since they Tarots are non-unique ...

Personally, I also found Evidence! a very nice addition to the hunch deck, but I also tried to push Joe a bit more towards fighter than your build maybe...

Jan 13, 2020 Lucaxiom · 514

Apologies, I should have specified; you get two copies of each of the cards mentioned in the Upgrade PAths Sections, for a total of six tarot cards.

Jan 16, 2020 TheBlackHorror · 4025

Cool deck idea! Love it!

Jan 16, 2020 Lucaxiom · 514

Thanks TheBlackHorror. I just want to take some time to say thanks for you standardized decks: They been a staple read since my time on ArkhamDB.

Jan 17, 2020 TheBlackHorror · 4025

@LucaxiomThank you! I really appreciate that! :)