Winifred is a clue beast! Full power let's GO!

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lelel555 · 635

– Dear Chuck Fergus, I would like you to solve one problem for me.
– Ok, boss — said Chuck Fergus — what is your concern?
– I would like to get over there. It is 3 locations away from here.
– That is doable, Sir. — replied Chuck calmly with his deep, rusty voice.
– And I think we can save a little bit on this transport. Don't you think?
– No problem, Sir.
– And Chuck…
– Anything more, Sir?
– I would like to get there immediately.
– That can be arranged, Sir. — said Chuck thoughtfully. — Now, follow me!

Winifred Habbamock by Aleksander Karcz. Copyright by FFG 2019

Credits: Aleksander Korcz, FFG'2019.

Content

  • Intro
  • Main Idea
  • Cards in The Deck
  • Understanding the Deck
  • Upgrade Path
  • Mythos
  • Final Thoughts

Hello there! May I present to you the deck I was recently entertaining myself during Path to Carcosa and some standalones for final tweaks here and there: a Chuck Fergus Agility Matters with Crystallizer of Dreams.

Enemy Management: ....... ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆
Clue Getting: ....................... ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Consistency: ........................ ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆

1. Overview and Main Idea

Install Crystallizer of Dreams and Chuck Fergus (5) and watch the show! Dig up 3+ clues from a location and cycle through the deck quickly!

2. Cards in The Deck

Now, let's discuss each card one by one so we have a proper understanding what we have here.

2.1 Assets

.25 Automatic (2)

Gives us +2 when the enemy is exhausted, which is the usual desired situation here. That puts us up to 5, which is pretty serviceable and deals +1 damage. Please, also note it is fast. You are a cluever and it is not your duty to deal with enemies, but hey, if you're evading enemies, you can scratch it without even spending an action. 4 bullets is enough to help your main fighter from time to time, which can lead to very good fluency and stability in the game.

Lockpicks (1)

staple. With 3 and 5 we have 8 skill value. Having many and icons, we are really consistent in getting clues from this card. Can be found with Backpack.

Crystallizer of Dreams

The main dish of this deck. After we play an event, we can put it under the Crystallizer of Dreams. Then, we can commit it to a skill test as if this event was in our hand. Now, take a moment to reread Winifred's ability. This ability not only gives us boost for the test, but also gets us cards. We'll discuss it later in details.

Backpack (2)

Very good card in this deck. Let's us help find our first Lockpicks or Crystallizer of Dreams. Here is what can be found in your backpack:

Chuck Fergus (5)

The driver boss. The star. The great hero. Please, do me a favor. Treat him with respect while playing. Talk to him, just like in the example at the top. He is not an ordinary Uber Driver. He's your best servant. You can play him for exchanging only 5 experience, 3 resources and an Ally slot.

Now, he cares about two types of events: Tactic or Trick. And when you would like to play such an event, you can decide to do the event:

  • well (you get +2 skill value),
  • cheaply (the event costs 2 resources less),
  • quickly (the event gains fast).

You can choose two. Yes, you can decide to do play Scout Ahead quickly and well. Then, let's say, you move to Graveyard. The +2 skill value still applies for the test there, since it is during the resolution of the event.

Also, another use. Note, that there is a player window after Hunter enemies move, but before they attack. Then you can play Sneak By / Scout Ahead / Breaking and Entering, make it fast and solve the problem.

Liquid Courage (1)

The brain damage will gather all the time. You will fail brain tests and take horror. Moreover, you will cycle through this deck quickly (2 times in a scenario usually), so you will take some horror by this effect as well! If you won't need it, you can also give a hand to your teammate or just have a target for Crypt Chill. In the worst case, it commits for , which is barely useful, but sometimes is.

(Obvious) Tip: perform the test from this card's ability after you played your Pilfer (3), so you won't get it discarded by accident.

Pickpocketing (2)

Draws cards and/or gains resources. Very important resource engine and we will discuss this later. But here please note, this card is fast.

2.2 Events

I will additionally discuss traits and symbols they commit for (see Crystallizer and Chuck).

Ace in the Hole (3)

Fast. This is actually a card that is for fun. Since you will manage to play it 2-3 times in a scenario, I think it gives a really solid value. Probably one of the last on the upgrade path, but hey, who does not want to play 3 more actions? Usually there is something to do. Play an asset, draw a card or even gain a resource. Or perform ability from a card in a threat area of an at your location. Your choice. You will see, what's needed.

Note: Don't put it under the crystallizer. It has no icons, therefore cannot be commited to a skill test. Once you put it under the crystallizer, it's dead.

Breaking and Entering (Trick, )

With Chuck it can be fast, free or well-done. It is also another way of getting clues, just in case. Really good event in this deck, also because you can trigger Pickpocketings.

Easy Mark (1) (Trick, )

I love Easy Mark. Not only, because it's Emergency Cache in every possible way, but also can be made fast. Moreover, commits for both relevant symbols, so we can feed the crystallizer. Really invaluable in this deck.

Pilfer (3) (Trick, )

Again, we love tricks. Usually you want to have it cheap and well-done to save 2 resources and have a huge chance to replay it next round. This is the time to (over)commit two different by name cards from under the crystallizer or your hand. Play, commit, repeat! Succeeding by at least 2 shouldn't be a problem in this deck.

Scout Ahead (Trick, )

Note it can be made fast. So with Chuck Fergus it's better in every way. You cannot push somebody, but – let's face it – you are too arrogant to take care about others! I wasn't a fan of this card at the beginning, but here it shines! And even commits for two foot icons!

Sneak By (Trick, )

Some people say this card is not so good. Maybe. But here it shines. It's soo, soo good. You get 2 resources and evade an enemy. You can still commit cards and Pickpocketings can trigger. You only need an enemy. Hold one for yourself, if you can. One, not two. Two is too much. It is hard to pickpocket a guy when somebody else is watching. One guy is enough.

Again, it can be made fast, even in the player window after a hunter enemy moves, but before it attacks.

2.3 Skills

Now, here is the fun part! Skills. Everyone loves skills. Especially Winifred. You want usually different by name and usually two committed to a test you perform. You mainly use icons, but icons are so important from time to time. Wild icons can be committed to any test (even resource tests, but we don't do that here). This allows to cycle through the deck quicker.

"Watch this!" ()

Your most fun resource engine. Not most reliable, most fun. Of course, you can have 8:2 in a test and still draw . It happens, but it is not that likely. Maybe it's obvious, but note: this card cannot be commited to Lockpicks test, since it is an investigation and therefore a test. Only (and ) icons can be committed.

Now, because of this card, please try to have at least 2 (or better 3) resources in your bank just in case you draw watch this. It is unsatisfying having Watch This in hand and 1 resource in the resource pool.

Anything You Can Do, Better ()

Game designer to graphic manager: how many icons can we fit on one card so it can still look good?

Manual Dexterity (2) ()

It is so much better than its downgraded version. It not only replaces itself, but also draws another card. Also, that another icon is really a solid upgrade.

Momentum (1) ()

Very useful card. I would throw in the second copy. I didn't to fit under the 39xp threshold for standalone scenario. If you want, put a second copy instead of Quick Thinking.

Quick Thinking ()

An action from time to time. Here note that it does not have to be you that performs the test. It can be mystic with their 123 willpower. Then you still have that action. Also, wild icon is still in price in this deck. With taboo it gains "Max 1 per round". This means you can still commit the second Quick Thinking to a test, but you won't get that additional action. If you play without taboo, don't worry about it.

Here it is also a flex spot for some card swap. Throw in some emergency Backstab, Perception, Savant, Intel Report or Nimble. Have fun. Or "You handle this one!". I think now is also a moment to say why I didn't include "You handle this one!" in this deck. The reason is that I didn't see any such value for giving an encounter card to my fighter who will probably also fail the brain test. I had two copies of this card at the start of the campaign, but I quickly realized that I only commit it for a icon.

3. Understanding the Deck

You already mastered the details of each separate card. Now, let's discuss the details of the strategy and some more complex parts.

3.1 Setup and Mulligan

Hard Mulligan for:

In second order:

Events now don't matter. At first you want to play your assets and gain some money. Take your time to setup. Once you get online, no-one will stop you and you will overcome game's tempo easily. Take time to draw some cards, if needed.

Your full board setup includes: Crystallizer and Chuck Fergus. Then Pickpocketings. That's all. Maybe Lockpicks. So setup is quite fast.

3.2 Resource Engine

You can get money from

3.3 Card Draw

  • At the beginning of the scenario you will probably just draw cards. If you can, don't commit a single card. Commit two. Even if it is the upgraded Pilfer, you don't have money right now. Commit it. You want to get Pickpocketings, Lockpicks, Chuck Fergus and Crystallizer online before you decide to play Pilfer.

Also note, that Winifred's Ability is in a player window. So, let me remind you the Skill Test Timing:

  • The test begins
  • Player Window
  • Committing cards
  • Player Window.

Wini's ability must be done in a player window. So if you draw a card from it, this means you cannot commit it. Even if it is the Arrogance. It is too late.

Here are the cards that can draw you cards

Since your surname is always online (well… almost…), this engine is almost always working. Through out each card that is not needed right now. Pickpocketings are fast and they pay off pretty quickly! Manual Dex is such a good card.

3.4 Example situation

So here is a really doable situation that I had several times in during the campaign.

  • You have Pickpocketings, Chuck and .25 in play
  • Evade with Sneak By (+2 resources) as quick and well.
  • You commit Manual Dex, and Watch This with 3 resources.
  • You draw 1 card from ability.
  • You pass usually by >2 (having 11)
  • Manual dex: +2 cards
  • Watch this: +6 resources (brutto: +3)
  • Pickpocketings: 2 resources and 2 cards
  • .25 automatic: also fight an enemy
  • you commit Quick Thinking and a spare copy of Chuck Fergus
  • you draw another card from Wini's ability
  • you shoot the guy for 2 dmg and gain an action
  • so by now you gained 7 resources, an action, 6 cards, dealt 2 dmg and evaded an enemy while still not spending any action.
  • at this point your friends at the table get mad why your turn takes so long
  • they ask (with hope in their voice): how many actions you still have
  • and you play Ace in the Hole
  • and reply: still… seven!
  • they got mad at you and don't reappear for the next play.

This combo is really possible. I did it a couple of times in that campaign. With that in mind… Guardian of the Crystallizer is not an issue anymore. It's an opportunity.

4. Upgrade Path:

Starter deck can be found here. I moved the whole upgrade path there as well. Purchase Adaptable if you have a campaign-dependent knowledge to through a pair of Fine Clothes or Ethereal Slip. I used Adaptable during the campaign to tweak here and there every time, so I won't paste the deck I started with, but what I what I would like to start with.

5. Mythos

Usually, you pray for en enemy to have something to evade and then be killed by your main fighter. If you draw treachery, then you will probably fail test. Just accept you fail and take horror/damage. Maybe you will need to kill Chuck to renew some soak. Probably. But he'll come back soon.

If you are more frightened by the mythos, consider "You handle this one!" instead of Quick Thinking. But I advise you to learn to accept you tank in mythos. To your advantage, you can speed the game pretty quickly to end game sooner before it kills you with mythos.

6. Final thoughts:

It is a really fun deck! It was a blast to play it! It should shine in 3 players. I played it in 2p, so many times one clue from Pilfer was lost, but it's ok. I also tried a different variant with recurring Backstabs, but there were not so many synergies as here. Here it works, because you get icons from Easy Marks.

I would like to thank Nic M. for deck inspiration and detailed discussion about it. Thank you! ♥

I hope you can have a ton of fun with this deck as well! If you liked the deck, the description or both, I'd appreciate if you press the ♥ or ★. I will smile if you do that! :)

26 comments

Mar 04, 2022 chirubime · 14664

Great write-up. I loveeeee the format you chose especially, it's so cleancut

Mar 04, 2022 minikisto · 269

Looks great! Since you have "expensive" cards (chuck fergus, ace in the hole, etc) Did you think about including Underworld Support? I had a similar deck with Chuck Fergus and some exceptional cards and it's thin as wire :)

Mar 04, 2022 minikisto · 269

For reference :) (with limited pool) arkhamdb.com

Mar 04, 2022 lelel555 · 635

Thank you so much, @chirubime. <3
Tbh, I was inspired by the photo idea from Astonormanical Atlas deckguide you posted.
Btw, a friend of me played both AtroNorman (slightly different version) and Daredevil Wendy, so I've seen both of them. Good job! :)

Mar 04, 2022 lelel555 · 635

@minikisto – Thank you for suggestion. I didn't thought about it. But after some time… no, it wouldn't work. Here are some reasons:

  • you can only include one Easy Mark (1), not 3
  • only one Pickpocketing (2)
  • there is more stability in having two Crystallizer of Dreams and two Lockpicks . You can start your play right away! :)
  • that 5 card difference is not an issue with that draw (assuming you commit 2 cards whenever you can)

Moreover, I once thought about versatile (to get Lonnie and Leather Jacket once to also prevent horror from quick deck cycling. Finally I haven't done that, but it was under serious consideration.

So, all in all, if it wasn't for Easy Mark issue, it would be under consideration. ;)

Mar 04, 2022 dubcity566 · 70

How many players did you play this with? I'm curious about trying this deck but I only play two players and pilfer isn't as good with only 2 players.

Mar 04, 2022 lelel555 · 635

@dubcity566, I played with only two players. :)
So yes, this means you will loose a clue from Pilfer from time to time, just as I did. But that's no problem, it's worth it. ;)

You can also try to save Pilfers for 2 locations and clear 1 locations with Lockpicks. It takes some gymnastics, but it's doable.

Happy to hear that! Hit me up here how did you enjoy this deck!

Mar 07, 2022 Coolhand · 1

double or nothing pilfer with watch this on it. 6 clues, 9 resource gain, 1 action, commit nimble and you've got 6 free moves and a card draw.

Mar 07, 2022 lelel555 · 635

@Coolhand, yes! Double or Nothing is really good. That's why it got banned in taboo list (that I'm playing with). :)

I think it was Trish who showed me the power of DoN. Three times in a scenario I played DoN+Perception (2) + Deduction (2) with an enemy at my location. It was just obscene. xP

Mar 07, 2022 Weges · 39

No use for Opportunist? Or even better Opportunist? It's sort of made to be used with Wini

Mar 08, 2022 Valentin1331 · 10827

Also a good addition would be the Three Aces, now that it removes itself from the game, it can save you during a test and then make your deck thinner for future cycling!

I agree though on how Opportunist (2) is an absolute staple in Wini! The draw that it brings indirectly (by giving you a recurrable ) could allow you to only get 1 copy of Chuck Fergus.

Mar 08, 2022 lelel555 · 635

@Weges and @Valentin1331, yes, I agree there are so many cool cards for Winifred! The game has developed so much by now!

During my run I tested also some other cards like Backstab, Fine Clothes, Perception, Intel ReportEthereal Slip (this was so cool in Echoes of the Past!). So I'd say this deck has some stability. Pick your poison. :)

Interesting call about Opportunist. I think I'll take Winifred for another campaign with this change.

Three Aces could be nice, but I found that the card consistently pulls me to insanity ;P You also see your weaknesses more often, if they're they're not peril . Card draw is nice as long as you draw the cards you want to see. ;) But I haven't tried that yet. Hit me up if you tested it and it improved because of it! :)

2nd copy of Chuck Fergus is also a soak. I tend to take sligthly too many horrors / damages from mythos and I sometimes had to repurchase him. Also in EotE/TFA it might be a problem, when you have to give some damage to each Ally asset you control.

Mar 08, 2022 Death by Chocolate · 1137

Fantastic deck and writeup! I had thought about this style of Winnie deck, but to see it crafted so clearly is delightful. I had suspected that I would have trouble filling the last few slots, but using Pickpocketing and .25 Automatic for a slim but effective enemy management package is very clever!

I would note that there's a mistake in the backpack section that lists Guardian of the Crystallizer as a card it can find rather than Crystallizer of Dreams. I would also note that Charlie can shut off your surname.

Mar 08, 2022 lelel555 · 635

@Death by Chocolate – I love the nickname for Charlie! Interested about the origins / backstory.

Thank you for your kind words! It's amazing how the positive energy spreads! And for pinpointing the mistake in the backpack section – I fixed it. Thanks!

Interesting, I actually had a problem of cutting cards off! There are so many cool cards for Wini!

Mar 16, 2022 cheezzywizz · 3

Cool deck! I'm excited to try this out in my group's next 4p campaign.

Quick question: In the 0xp version of the deck, you list Pilfer (2) as one of the later upgrades. Though it looks like this deck struggles to get more than 2 clues per turn without Pilfer. This seems to me like a lackluster level of efficiency. Then if you happen to break a Lockpick, your efficiency plummets from 2 clues to just 1 clue per turn. Did you find this to be a problem?

Mar 16, 2022 lelel555 · 635

@cheezzywizz : Happy that you like it! <3

In level 0 deck you still have access to:

  • Lockpicks (you can have 2 of them in your hands)
  • Breaking and entering
  • Intel report (in range)
  • Perception
  • cards under the crystallizer with icon, Just try not to break your lockpicks ;)

You can also try to cycle the deck to rebuy lockpicks.

Apr 08, 2022 yepesnopes · 1

Cool deck! A question though. You mention in the description that " Note, that there is a (fast) player window after Hunter enemies move, but before they attack. Then you can play Sneak By / Scout Ahead / Breaking and Entering, make it fast and solve the problem." but Fergus reaction reads "When you play and event, exhaust Fergus to..." So his reaction happens after you play the event and not before, so how can you play the event in the situation you mention if there is no action window to do so?

Apr 08, 2022 Weges · 39

@yepesnopes about the fast window: I think that has a similar way of working as Shining Trapezohedron, where you don’t need to have resources to play the spell card. You play the event card, then you make it fast with Fergus, so you don’t have to pay the action cost.

It definitely is a weird combination when reading the rules, where it’s stated that fast cards can’t be played using a play action. But with wording the fast part of Fergus would make no sense… grim ruling this to what you suggest would be a choice I guess? I would it explain it this way: you might play a card at any time, but if you can’t pay the cost, or wouldn’t be allowed to play it, the card gets discarded or returned (using the worst outcome). But if you manage to make the card eligible with other effects like Fergus, you may use the card.

Apr 19, 2022 Valentin1331 · 10827

Looking at this Deck again, I am surprised you didn't go for Crafty, which pays for your Lockpicks (why not), but most importantly pays and/or boosts your Tricks. I would add them instead of maybe the .25 Automatic (2) and Ace in the Hole (that could still come later).

With 2 in play alongside Chuck Fergus, you have a fast, free and +2 to your Pilfer (3).

Apr 19, 2022 lelel555 · 635

@Valentin1331 I think I did underestimate those 3-classed pumps. I see your point. They are really really good and would suit this deck for sure! I think the most important thing was the xp-cost of the deck which is already gigantic. Money or score were not problematic.

Apr 26, 2022 Thanee · 58

Nice deck! :)

I also have one question about "Note, that there is a (fast) player window after Hunter enemies move, but before they attack. Then you can play Sneak By / Scout Ahead / Breaking and Entering, make it fast and solve the problem."

What would Scout Ahead do here to solve the problem? The enemy is already engaged with you at that point, right?

Apr 26, 2022 Thanee · 58

BTW, this part here is just hilarious! :D

"● at this point your friends at the table get mad why your turn takes so long

● they ask (with hope in their voice): how many actions you still have

● and you play Ace in the Hole

● and reply: still… seven!

● they got mad at you and don't reappear for the next play."

Apr 26, 2022 lelel555 · 635

@Thanee – good point with Scout Ahead. I think I was thinking then about Massive enemies. Then it works. :)

Haha! Yeah, I laugh every time I recall that! :D Thanks for shining up my day today xD That's how my stella player was reacting to my plays. Also note, that usually his actions after this situation were just a Big Smash from ability on Sledgehammer xP 3-10 seconds and they're done.

May 12, 2022 xarathornx · 1

I am just trying this deck in carcosa campaign..and it does not work...carcosa is low xp...and this deck si dependent on skull and chuck if you don not get both early...it is in serious trouble...5 scenarios in and never it was fully at its best...without both cards you have no draw and no action economy..the events are really inefficient without the 2 core components...it was similarly to playing as fighter and getting no weapons...both skulls and chuck and backpack and lockpicks were in the last 15 cards...so you have no draw no icons...no heal...lose all willpower tests except the one where you use your signature on...liquid courage is too slow..and you will never make the test for the second heal on the lvl 0..

May 13, 2022 lelel555 · 635

@xarathornx Carcosa low on experience? I don't think so. Sorry to hear that it does not work for you. But let me ask you if you really play as described? So you draw as many cards as possible in the early game by committing 2? You have many and icons in your deck, so you should get something early. Don't commit only one card. Sometimes it happens that you draw cards in the total opposite order and it happened to me as well, but the built-in draw engine was always sufficient. And I died only once with that low brain. It happens, you just go further and accept it. Plus it is not that easy deck to pilot. Maybe in conjunction it was not working for you.

May 13, 2022 Thanee · 58

Also, are you playing solo? Because this deck is clearly meant for multiplayer. :)