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A collection of 36 decks for casual play

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#1
MaikH

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This is a collection of 36 decks from a full playset (3x Core Set, 1x everything else). The best thing is probably that you can build them all at once without any need for proxies or switching cards from one deck to another between plays. A potential problem is that I've only ever played Call of Cthulhu casually, so I don't know anything about strong tournament archetypes, great combos and the overall shape of the meta.

I've started playing with the collectible game, though, so there's a lot of experience at the lowest level. Digging out my old CCG decks last year was a good reminder how good this game is, and also of how I never got around to get into deck-building for the LCG. So I started putting some stuff together, with the vague aim of having another dozen decks to play with. And then I could not stop ... this might sabotage the idea of using the pre-built decks I'm about to present to you, but deck-building for CoC is tremendous fun. Things got out of hand, and the result is this deck collection.

Design goals were a general balance, which is hard to gauge without lots of testing, and avoiding unfun matchups. This excluded combo decks that needed specific counter cards to balance. Also, I've tried to use three copies for cheap characters, which makes for less reading and more playing. On the other hand, unique cards are really unique for the most part - there are some exceptions when they're crucial to how a deck works. With a single exception, all decks take the restricted list into account - I doubt that you'd win any tournaments with them (if you can find one for a defunct game), but it was a good guidance to avoid overly powerful decks.

All decks have been played at least two times, and nothing went immediately wrong. With 630 possible matchup, however, I've obviously far from being able to tell you how much Rock-Paper-Scissors you'll have when pitting these decks against each other and whether there are overly weak or strong examples. Accordingly, I'd love to hear about play experiences, and I'd also welcome input from more skilled players, especially if I missed a deck archetype that they consider fun to play.

Links to the individual decks are below, along with a few words about each deck. One last note: this is based on 1st printings for the early expansion cycles and for Secrets of Arkham, so I've only got singles for a couple of cards.

Cthulhu

Cultists Basically a reenactment of the Call of Cthulhu novella, this Cultist collection is dangerous enough even before they awaken the Great Old One.

Serpents There are just about enough Serpent cards that you don't need to weed out a lot of them. As a side dish to the main theme, the Cyclopean Stone and lots of sacrifice ensure that the lidless eyes will always be alert.

Ancient Monsters Monsters and Ancient Ones as big hitters, and Functional Psychopaths culling the herd in their wake. A couple of nasty, but expensive event card surprises round things out, and the Por XV prophecy gives you a chance to pay for all of that.

Deep Ones This is one of the subtypes where deckbuilding consists more of throwing stuff out. My guideline was to make it different from my CCG deck and to keep within the aquatic theme for all cards, not just the characters.

Hastur

Lunatics Lots of self-inflicted insanity, and a couple of cards that profit from it. Deciding which of your Lunatics is stable (i.e. useless) enough in a given match to be trusted with one of your attachments is one of the challenges here.

Byakhees Building this was pretty straightforward, but I like the idea of undecipherably strange verses fueling the power of a trio of young poets.

Artists Centerpieces here are the Surrealists and the Patrons of the Arts. The former requires some draw power, the latter a portfolio of Madnesses to play with.

Terror Probably one of the more swingy decks, this one should have it rather easy if the opponent has no Willpower or Terror icons. I've tried to bolster it with several options to spread some insanity even against more robust opposition, however.

Lunatics at Night A venice-themed team of Hastur and Cthulhu. I found it difficult to gauge the right amount of Night cards in a fixed meta, and here I watered down the deck with the Miskatonic Lunatics, which needed to be included somewhere.

Miskatonic

Explorers Indiana Jones as a CoC deck. Lost Civilizations, brave Explorers and strange Prophecies await you, so time to brush of your whip and hat.

Tomes and Spells Bookworms with a mystical bent. While the many tomes and the characters that get more capable from possessing them are strong on their own, things really get into gear when the Magical Theorist can do powerful Rituals on the fly.

Faculty and Students These decks are two sides of the same coin, representing the student body and the faculty members of Miskatonic University. Students sideline in Research events and are mostly rushing towards an early win, as the young are wont to do. The Faculty features powerful investigators and several campus locations to bolster them.

Venice Dreamers Miskatonic and Agency Dreamers unite in Venice under the watchful eyes of the Guardian, with a couple of Day cards to fight the bad dreams. The White Ship is half useless here (no Dreamlands locations), but was too good a thematic fit to exclude.


Shub-Niggurath

Ghouls A horde of Ghouls with a sprinkling of Night cards - the Plague Stone is just perfect for creatures that embody death and decay.

Mi-Go Museum A pure Mi-Go deck would have been too similar to my CCG deck, and possibly too powerful on top of that. Building it around the M.U. Museum of Natural History was a nice thematic twist, and I like the focus on Artifacts.

Cthonians Another Miskatonic/Shub-Niggurath coop, this time suggested by the Cthonian Stone. Archaeology gone wrong makes for a fun theme, and the additional ways to tamper with your deck provided by the good people of Miskatonic U make your Sinkholes a very effective threat.

Shub Monsters Loads of Shub critters sprinkled with a bit of swamp magic.

Dark Young A deck that mostly builds itself. The Altar of the Blessed paired with the Predators of the Night is useful to weed out the weaker opposing characters, and they Hanyat'l prophecy is your main weapon against characters with Willpower or Terror icons.

Silver Twilight

Weapons and Tomes This is built around the Master Artificer, and geared towards showing the brighter, monster-hunting face of the Order.

Empty Hand A Lodge deck dedicated to gain the most from being out of cards at the right moment.

Lodge Rituals Sorcerers prepare the most powerful Rituals of the Order, and their Gargoyles keep up a perimieter watch. The servants and initiates, on the other hand, need to fear their masters more than their enemies.

Syndicate

Criminals The big hitters of the O'Bannion gang can be prophesized into play with Hanyatl's 12:3, otherwise just rely on the many Criminal synergy cards in here.

Lodge Exhaustion This team of Criminals and Lodge members uses exhaustion and character recursion to pave the way to success.

Day and Night A conspiracy of Criminals adept at playing both sides of the Day/Night divide. I also smuggled the Zoogs in here, which fits the mystical theme nicely and allows you to make Zoog bombs with Living Ink.

Tactics Cheap characters clustered Naomi O'Bannion make for a rush deck that relies on her Tactics to keep the initial momentum.

The Agency

Faithful Heroes Heroic agents of the faith gather around the Abbess and her mysterious bodyguard to entangle the adversary in a web of conspiracies.

Hunters The Hunter package from the Agency deluxe, paired with most of the Government cards that did not end up in the deck below.

Government Geared-up government agents make for a pretty brutal control deck, especially since timid opponents can be drawn into the fray with Flare Guns.

Yog-Sothoth

Sorcerers Some useful serving cultists, a big book of spells and the All-in-One on your team - what more could a coven of Sorcerers wish for?

Monstrous Spell The Opener of the Gate and a vast array of Monsters give you the chance to bring Yog-Sothoth onto the table for cheap, everything else is rather straightforward here.

Elder Things The Grand Design is essentially the only card that makes Elder Things more than just a bunch of interesting Monsters. Apart from them, I've tried to keep to a polar/time-shifting theme here.

Sorcerers Some useful serving cultists, a big book of spells and the All-in-One on your team - what more could a coven of Sorcerers wish for?

Yithian Science A generous splurge of cards on the Restricted list is a clear sign that making a fun deck with the 'trigger from discard' effects would be a challenge. I decided to avoid that challenge instead of meeting it head-on, by diluting the Yithians with a rainbow of Scientists. That made it unthinkable not to include Nikola Tesla, so this deck is the only one that breaks the deck construction rules. To salve my conscience, I threw in Glaaki as an additional sub-theme. Tread with caution here, I have no real idea how swingy this deck might turn out to be.

Gugs and Gaunts Starting out with Gugs, this meandered into Dreamlands Locations and got rounded out with Nightgaunts, which complement the theme perfectly.

Multicolour

Nyarlathotep Cultists from all four Old One factions in the thrall of the Crawling Chaos. I initially wanted to go full-on multicolour on this one, but it's probably a good deal more playable in this form.

Neutral

Conspiracies I love how the conspiracies in the Yuggoth cycle tell their own little story, and this purely neutral deck is the result of that. This one possibly plays a bit bland, as I wanted to avoid the many neutral cards whose power seems to depend heavily on the meta.


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#2
Skelton

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Fantastic effort. Thanks for the hard work. This is a good starting point for would be collectors.

#3
blinovitch

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I love thematic decks like these. Since I put my collection in storage, I've been thinking it would nice to have casual decks permanently assembled and accessible. I think I'll pick out some non-overlapping lists and keep them handy.



#4
MaikH

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I love thematic decks like these. Since I put my collection in storage, I've been thinking it would nice to have casual decks permanently assembled and accessible. I think I'll pick out some non-overlapping lists and keep them handy.

 

Glad you like them! Just to emphasize this again, because it might not be as clear as it needs to be: there are no overlaps between the decklists above, so you can build them all at once (from a full collection, that is).



#5
blinovitch

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I missed that. Even better!



#6
BaraBob

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This is so awesome I might have to try track down more of the expansions now.



#7
xchan

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This is so awesome. I got myself a complete collection during the Xmass sale (although I wont be able to pick it up until Golden Week when I go visit my parents) and was planning on building decks to try the solo variant. This will help a lot.

Just curious, how many cards are left unused?

#8
MaikH

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This is so awesome. I got myself a complete collection during the Xmass sale (although I wont be able to pick it up until Golden Week when I go visit my parents) and was planning on building decks to try the solo variant. This will help a lot.

Just curious, how many cards are left unused?

 

The decks contain a tad more than 1800 cards (some of them have 51 cards), and I'd guess that's roughly half of the card pool. Unused cards are mostly additional copies of expensive or unique cards, a lot of neutrals that were obviously designed to steer the meta, and even more stuff that I just could not squeeze in. This is about the same ratio of used/unused cards as for my Warhammer:Invasion decks, and feels quite okay to me.


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#9
xchan

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So by title, you would say that more than 2/3 of the card pool are featured? That would be even more awesome!!

 

I can't wait to get the cards and try them out!



#10
MaikH

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So by title, you would say that more than 2/3 of the card pool are featured? That would be even more awesome!!

 

I can't wait to get the cards and try them out!

 

Now you've made me curious ...

 

... okay, a somewhat dependable count (within a ±5 margin, probably) gives me 1018 different cards by title in the 36 decks. With 1569 different published cards for CoC, 2/3 was a good guess, I'd say.


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#11
SapperD

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Thanks for this great resource MaikH! I love themed decks and to be able to throw together a bunch of decks that don't overlap in the card pool is fantastic. Unfortunately I don't have four of the Summons of Deep asylum packs (come on FFG and just POD these all ready!) so I'd have to look at swapping those cards cards but that should be fairly easy to do.



#12
Tragic

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This is a collection of 36 decks from a full playset (3x Core Set, 1x everything else). The best thing is probably that you can build them all at once without any need for proxies or switching cards from one deck to another between plays. A potential problem is that I've only ever played Call of Cthulhu casually, so I don't know anything about strong tournament archetypes, great combos and the overall shape of the meta.

I've started playing with the collectible game, though, so there's a lot of experience at the lowest level. Digging out my old CCG decks last year was a good reminder how good this game is, and also of how I never got around to get into deck-building for the LCG. So I started putting some stuff together, with the vague aim of having another dozen decks to play with. And then I could not stop ... this might sabotage the idea of using the pre-built decks I'm about to present to you, but deck-building for CoC is tremendous fun. Things got out of hand, and the result is this deck collection.

Design goals were a general balance, which is hard to gauge without lots of testing, and avoiding unfun matchups. This excluded combo decks that needed specific counter cards to balance. Also, I've tried to use three copies for cheap characters, which makes for less reading and more playing. On the other hand, unique cards are really unique for the most part - there are some exceptions when they're crucial to how a deck works. With a single exception, all decks take the restricted list into account - I doubt that you'd win any tournaments with them (if you can find one for a defunct game), but it was a good guidance to avoid overly powerful decks.

All decks have been played at least two times, and nothing went immediately wrong. With 630 possible matchup, however, I've obviously far from being able to tell you how much Rock-Paper-Scissors you'll have when pitting these decks against each other and whether there are overly weak or strong examples. Accordingly, I'd love to hear about play experiences, and I'd also welcome input from more skilled players, especially if I missed a deck archetype that they consider fun to play.

Links to the individual decks are below, along with a few words about each deck. One last note: this is based on 1st printings for the early expansion cycles and for Secrets of Arkham, so I've only got singles for a couple of cards.

Cthulhu

Cultists Basically a reenactment of the Call of Cthulhu novella, this Cultist collection is dangerous enough even before they awaken the Great Old One.

Serpents There are just about enough Serpent cards that you don't need to weed out a lot of them. As a side dish to the main theme, the Cyclopean Stone and lots of sacrifice ensure that the lidless eyes will always be alert.

Ancient Monsters Monsters and Ancient Ones as big hitters, and Functional Psychopaths culling the herd in their wake. A couple of nasty, but expensive event card surprises round things out, and the Por XV prophecy gives you a chance to pay for all of that.

Deep Ones This is one of the subtypes where deckbuilding consists more of throwing stuff out. My guideline was to make it different from my CCG deck and to keep within the aquatic theme for all cards, not just the characters.

Hastur

Lunatics Lots of self-inflicted insanity, and a couple of cards that profit from it. Deciding which of your Lunatics is stable (i.e. useless) enough in a given match to be trusted with one of your attachments is one of the challenges here.

Byakhees Building this was pretty straightforward, but I like the idea of undecipherably strange verses fueling the power of a trio of young poets.

Artists Centerpieces here are the Surrealists and the Patrons of the Arts. The former requires some draw power, the latter a portfolio of Madnesses to play with.

Terror Probably one of the more swingy decks, this one should have it rather easy if the opponent has no Willpower or Terror icons. I've tried to bolster it with several options to spread some insanity even against more robust opposition, however.

Lunatics at Night A venice-themed team of Hastur and Cthulhu. I found it difficult to gauge the right amount of Night cards in a fixed meta, and here I watered down the deck with the Miskatonic Lunatics, which needed to be included somewhere.

Miskatonic

Explorers Indiana Jones as a CoC deck. Lost Civilizations, brave Explorers and strange Prophecies await you, so time to brush of your whip and hat.

Tomes and Spells Bookworms with a mystical bent. While the many tomes and the characters that get more capable from possessing them are strong on their own, things really get into gear when the Magical Theorist can do powerful Rituals on the fly.

Faculty and Students These decks are two sides of the same coin, representing the student body and the faculty members of Miskatonic University. Students sideline in Research events and are mostly rushing towards an early win, as the young are wont to do. The Faculty features powerful investigators and several campus locations to bolster them.

Venice Dreamers Miskatonic and Agency Dreamers unite in Venice under the watchful eyes of the Guardian, with a couple of Day cards to fight the bad dreams. The White Ship is half useless here (no Dreamlands locations), but was too good a thematic fit to exclude.


Shub-Niggurath

Ghouls A horde of Ghouls with a sprinkling of Night cards - the Plague Stone is just perfect for creatures that embody death and decay.

Mi-Go Museum A pure Mi-Go deck would have been too similar to my CCG deck, and possibly too powerful on top of that. Building it around the M.U. Museum of Natural History was a nice thematic twist, and I like the focus on Artifacts.

Cthonians Another Miskatonic/Shub-Niggurath coop, this time suggested by the Cthonian Stone. Archaeology gone wrong makes for a fun theme, and the additional ways to tamper with your deck provided by the good people of Miskatonic U make your Sinkholes a very effective threat.

Shub Monsters Loads of Shub critters sprinkled with a bit of swamp magic.

Dark Young A deck that mostly builds itself. The Altar of the Blessed paired with the Predators of the Night is useful to weed out the weaker opposing characters, and they Hanyat'l prophecy is your main weapon against characters with Willpower or Terror icons.

Silver Twilight

Weapons and Tomes This is built around the Master Artificer, and geared towards showing the brighter, monster-hunting face of the Order.

Empty Hand A Lodge deck dedicated to gain the most from being out of cards at the right moment.

Lodge Rituals Sorcerers prepare the most powerful Rituals of the Order, and their Gargoyles keep up a perimieter watch. The servants and initiates, on the other hand, need to fear their masters more than their enemies.

Syndicate

Criminals The big hitters of the O'Bannion gang can be prophesized into play with Hanyatl's 12:3, otherwise just rely on the many Criminal synergy cards in here.

Lodge Exhaustion This team of Criminals and Lodge members uses exhaustion and character recursion to pave the way to success.

Day and Night A conspiracy of Criminals adept at playing both sides of the Day/Night divide. I also smuggled the Zoogs in here, which fits the mystical theme nicely and allows you to make Zoog bombs with Living Ink.

Tactics Cheap characters clustered Naomi O'Bannion make for a rush deck that relies on her Tactics to keep the initial momentum.

The Agency

Faithful Heroes Heroic agents of the faith gather around the Abbess and her mysterious bodyguard to entangle the adversary in a web of conspiracies.

Hunters The Hunter package from the Agency deluxe, paired with most of the Government cards that did not end up in the deck below.

Government Geared-up government agents make for a pretty brutal control deck, especially since timid opponents can be drawn into the fray with Flare Guns.

Yog-Sothoth

Sorcerers Some useful serving cultists, a big book of spells and the All-in-One on your team - what more could a coven of Sorcerers wish for?

Monstrous Spell The Opener of the Gate and a vast array of Monsters give you the chance to bring Yog-Sothoth onto the table for cheap, everything else is rather straightforward here.

Elder Things The Grand Design is essentially the only card that makes Elder Things more than just a bunch of interesting Monsters. Apart from them, I've tried to keep to a polar/time-shifting theme here.

Sorcerers Some useful serving cultists, a big book of spells and the All-in-One on your team - what more could a coven of Sorcerers wish for?

Yithian Science A generous splurge of cards on the Restricted list is a clear sign that making a fun deck with the 'trigger from discard' effects would be a challenge. I decided to avoid that challenge instead of meeting it head-on, by diluting the Yithians with a rainbow of Scientists. That made it unthinkable not to include Nikola Tesla, so this deck is the only one that breaks the deck construction rules. To salve my conscience, I threw in Glaaki as an additional sub-theme. Tread with caution here, I have no real idea how swingy this deck might turn out to be.

Gugs and Gaunts Starting out with Gugs, this meandered into Dreamlands Locations and got rounded out with Nightgaunts, which complement the theme perfectly.

Multicolour

Nyarlathotep Cultists from all four Old One factions in the thrall of the Crawling Chaos. I initially wanted to go full-on multicolour on this one, but it's probably a good deal more playable in this form.

Neutral

Conspiracies I love how the conspiracies in the Yuggoth cycle tell their own little story, and this purely neutral deck is the result of that. This one possibly plays a bit bland, as I wanted to avoid the many neutral cards whose power seems to depend heavily on the meta.

 

May I include all these decks in my new Tabletop Simulator Mod as well as LackeyCCG Mod?



#13
MaikH

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Absolutely, and I'd be very happy about a bit of feedback on how these play for other folks. It'll probably take my wife and me the rest of our lives to play all possible combinations, so some more data on balance would be appreciated :)

 

 

May I include all these decks in my new Tabletop Simulator Mod as well as LackeyCCG Mod?



#14
MaikH

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After another round of playing all decks at least once, I'd recommend these small changes to two decks, already implemented in the deck listings:

Shub Monsters: -2 Shub Niggurath; +2 Y'golonac
Venice Dreamers: -1 Katherine Twila Price, -1 Norman Blackwood Jr., -1 Night School; +1 Moon Beast Galley, +1 Dream Dagger, +1 Dream Diary



#15
alexbobspoons

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Firstly thank you so much for this, I plan to print out all the lists and make a little booklet to keep with my collection of cards thank you.

 

Secondly.. You mentioned Warhammer Invasion... did you do the same thing for that game too as Id love that collection of decklists too please :)



#16
MaikH

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Thanks for the kind words! The decklists for Invasion are not on cardgamedb.com, but on deckbox.org - I'll have to import them at some point, I guess. Anyway, the BGG post describing them is here:

https://boardgamegee...ks-complete-set

 

Have fun!

 

 

Firstly thank you so much for this, I plan to print out all the lists and make a little booklet to keep with my collection of cards thank you.

 

Secondly.. You mentioned Warhammer Invasion... did you do the same thing for that game too as Id love that collection of decklists too please :)


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#17
alexbobspoons

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Thanks for the kind words! The decklists for Invasion are not on cardgamedb.com, but on deckbox.org - I'll have to import them at some point, I guess. Anyway, the BGG post describing them is here:

https://boardgamegee...ks-complete-set

 

Have fun!

 

HAHA!!! I log in and find we are actually friends on deckbox and I already have your lists hehe well theres a blast from the past huh. I didnt use deckbox much at all and didnt really chat at all but I did do a lot of downloading from your stuff and was accepted as friend.

Funny how things come around :)

Thanks again and nice to see you here :)



#18
MaikH

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Thanks to a hint by user Cadavaca, I've made a necessary update to the Tactics deck: -2 Naval Tactics, +1 Gang Warfare, +1 You're Outta Here



#19
Corwin81

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Fantastic work and superb source of inspiration, thanks a lot MaikH !!!

 

It is really great to have people like you around keeping this game alive :)



#20
Henryrip

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Ray, do you get paid to promote Wasteland, or are you just so damn proud of yourself that you cant help it? -nihil