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Charles Dexter Ward

Charles Dexter Ward

Charles Dexter Ward

Unfortunate Fool
Type: Character Faction: Hastur
Cost: 3 Skill: 3 Icons: (C)(A)
Game Text:
Disrupt: If Charles Dexter Ward would go insane, choose another character instead. That character goes insane, if able.
Set: KD
Number: 29
Illustrator: Aaron Acevedo


Nov 21 2012 09:10 AM
2 Wards at the same story and a lost Terror struggle lead to an infinite loop (the receiver for insanity is switching between both Wards). They negate each other and the player who lost the Terror struggle in the beginning has to drive one of his characters insane.

(Source: Rules answer from Damon Stone, http://www.fantasyfl...&efpag=0#749213 and/or FAQ about infinite loops)

So, when Charles looses terror struggle or in any other way would go insane, you can use the disrupt to force any other character in play to go insane?

correct he can redirect to your opponent. Still a pretty nitch card that I often cut in my hastur decks. 

    • xxxLSK likes this

With that though, can be used as a nice bouncer for targeted insanity effects from several events and Deranged Diva fex.

What happens if I attach Forbidden Sutra to Ward? Ward's Disrupt effect means that I actually haven't paid the cost of the Forbidden Sutra, if I wanted to use the Sutra's Disrupt, and thus it fizzles, right?

    • RichardPlunkett and tdnordine like this



I could be wrong about his, but I think you could probably use that combo to drive as many characters as you wanted insane, since you could attempt to disrupt Charles Dexter Ward's response with the Forbidden Sutra.

    • RichardPlunkett, tdnordine and Daevar like this

Woah there... differing opinions on this one?


I mean.. what are you meant to do about this, then? There are *some* counters, I guess (non-triggered effects and struggle effects, but why would you have him killed working at a story), but without special tech it comes down to having some characters with decent skill and icons (terror preferably...) when going up against him, because almost every single Support and Event card becomes entirely useless (or more like: detrimental) when playing against him.


Hm... I want this to work because I finally got my hands on some Mark of Madness at long last, but on the other hand it seems *really* nasty.


With Shocking Transformation or Flooded Temple the combo doesn't even seem to be too far-fetched, although it would be T3 at the earliest, I guess.

    • tdnordine likes this
Dec 08 2015 12:19 PM

It's a very good combo. It falls short of great only in that the individual cards themselves aren't stand-alone great cards.



Many decks have high resistance to insanity, via terror or willpower, and playing against Hastur, insanity tricks are no surprise, so they will prefer those characters to the others while making resourcing and mulligan decisions.


Any support removal or direct character removal works to break the combo, although it doesn't stop it triggering one lot of unlimited insanity first.


For some decks, If you have the ability it might be prudent to blast this guy the moment he is played, before they can drop forbidden Sutra on him.

    • tdnordine and Daevar like this
I don't think you can combine this with the sutra for infinite insanity because you would need infinite effects to trigger the sutra. You can trigger the sutra once and only once for each effect, so dexter could be triggered once as well.

That said, cards like The Dance of the Yellow King ( if given a little help to get it started) and The Door That Will Not Close DO seem to offer infinite insanity when combined with dexter. I'm currently trying to make a deck that features the latter card, and I have dexter in it for this reason (though I'm not sure he will make the cut).
I'm more wary of the seemingly infinite "counterspells", anyway.

Let me get this straight, I'm more of a casual, so I might have some terms wrong here:

A "triggered card effect" ' as opposed to non-triggered effect (passives) and game effect - is any effect written on a card following an "Action/(Forced) Response/Disrupt:", correct? So how are you to kill the combo once it's there? (combo meaning Ward w/Sutra and any other character (T/Willpower or not is irrelevant) he can target with his Disrupt as to not go insane)

The usual vanilla support killers like Thunder in the East or Burrowing Beneath will just get canceled. Same happens to character removal, per wound/destroy or sacrifice doesn't matter, as long as it's not a struggle/story effect.

There's Frozen in Time (as usual) and probably some other effects, but really not that many.

Am I wrong somewhere in this?

That being said, I think Richard and I are thinking of two completely different applications of this, I haven't even thought about the unlimited insanity off of a single trigger (I'm more about the cancels, the insanity is just the cherry on top), but I, too, think you'd need infinite triggers. Please walk me through this, if that's not the case.
    • tdnordine likes this

You don't get repeatable cancel from the Charles Dexter Ward + Forbidden Sutra combo.  It remains a one-shot deal.


If you don't drive Charles Dexter Ward insane, you haven't paid the cost for Forbidden Sutra, and therefore you can't cancel a triggered effect.


You can use the combo to piggy-back targeted insanity off of other effects, or you can cancel one effect.   I also think GrahamM is correct in that this can be looped to drive multiple characters insane, but at the cost of not cancelling the original effect...

    • Daevar likes this
Yes, so then it's exactly like I thouggt it woukd work out, at first (failing to pay the cost), but now I can see the repeated insanity trigger, Richard was on about, so it's still interesting.

I still don't think there is a repeated insanity trigger with Sutra + CDW.


If the opponent plays a triggered effect, say a Shotgun Blast directed at CDW, then I could use the Sutra on CDW to cancel the Shotgun Blast.  CDW would go insane as the cost to use the Sutra's ability, the Sutra would go back into my deck, and the Shotgun Blast would sizzle.


Or, Option B, I could use the Sutra on CDW to ostensibly cancel the Shotgun Blast, but then "cancel the Sutra's cancel" by instead using the Sutra's insanity cost to trigger CDW's ability.  The Shotgun Blast is still waiting to resolve, and CDW has made another character go insane.  However, I don't think I can use the Sutra to ostensibly cancel the Shotgun Blast again because the Sutra reads "a triggered effect just played."  If it didn't say "just played," then maybe you could just keep Disrupting the Shotgun Blast with the Sutra and CDW repeatedly because I guess the Shotgun Blast just keeps waiting to resolve indefinitely.


That's just my interpretation.  I could be wrong.  It just seems to me that one card (such as Sutra) can't respond/disrupt multiple times to one effect (such as Shotgun Blast).  It seems to me it would be 1 Disrupt per Sutra per Shotgun Blast.


I'd love to hear from someone on this if I'm incorrect.  I'm just going off what seems right in my head.

You don't try to cancel the Shotgun Blast. You try to cancel your own CDW's response.

EDIT: well the first time you try to cancel the Shotgun Blast but all the others you do on CDW

Let me give a more full explanation.


I'm not gonna use shotgun blast as an example, since it would presumably be killing CDW assuming what I say is correct. Let's say your opponent is triggering Archaeology interns, and had Lucas Tetlow in play.


You attempt to cancel with Forbidden Sutra's disrupt. When you go to pay the cost, you trigger Charles Dexter Ward's disrupt to drive Archaeology Interns insane. Before this resolves, you trigger Forbidden Sutra's disrupt to cancel CDW's effect. To pay the cost of Forbidden Sutra, you trigger CDW's ability to drive Lucas Tetlow insane. 


Now, your Forbidden Sutra cancel on your CDW disrupt to drive Archaeology Interns insane fizzles, because you did not drive CDW insane, so Archaeology Interns go insane. Then your Forbidden Sutra cancel on the Archaeological Interns also fizzles.


I don't know whether their response still resolves

Oh, wow.  That's complicated, but I think I see it now.  Whew, that makes my head hurt! :)


I think you're right, but for my deck, I'm going to stick to my kindergarten combo of CDW + The Door That Will Not Close. :)

Dec 09 2015 12:24 AM

Sutra text: Disrupt: Drive attached character insane to cancel a card effect just triggered.


I believe it can't cancel costs, only results, so it can't trigger against itself meaningfully, since the insanity cost would have to have been paid before you get to the part that can be cancelled. But the CDW effect is certainly a card effect, and you can attempt to cancel it.


GrahamM is correct in most regards, but a list might make it clearer. I think the trigger sequence goes like this:


1) Opp triggers interns.

2) you declare a Kutra disrupt against interns and start paying the cost

3) you declare a CDW disrupt against (2)-Kutra to change the insanity cost to a new target (Interns)

4) you declare a Kutra disrupt against (3)-CDW and start paying the cost

5) you declare a CDW disrupt against (4)-Kutra to change the insanity cost to a new target (Tetlow)

6) Tetlow goes insane, resolving the modified cost of (4)-Kutra, which then fizzles (cost not paid), allowing (3)-CDW to resolve uncancelled.

7) Since (3)-CDW works, Interns go insane, resolving the modified cost of (2)-Kutra, which then fizzles (cost not paid), allowing (1)-Interns effect to resolve uncancelled.


There is a clear infinite loop option in there, so this sequence lets you send everyone you want insane. You get to choose the order, though they actually happen in "reverse" order. The original effect isn't cancelled.


But can't you just re-trigger Kutra vs the original event?

Popular consensus among people I know is that you should not be allowed to do that, see a brief discussion at Ellsworth


So unless you allow multiple disrupt vs the same event, I believe CDW+Kutra cannot generate unlimited insanity and also cancel the instigating event. So if someone shotgun blasts him, he dies, or he alone goes insane, from a "proper" Kutra use.


I should note that all the wound re-direction cards (eg lindquist) have a no-attachments or no-relics clause. So I suspect, from a design perspective, CDW is suppose to have one too.

    • Daevar likes this

Why wouldn't you allow multiple disrupts vs the same event - as long as different instances of triggers are around. The initial trigger only seems to be relevant once and thereafter it's the same trigger, but different instances. Different instances allow for multiple interaction, do they not?


That aside, The Door That Will Not Close already seems to be easier to combo with CDW, so a no-relic clause might not even be enough. Without Fated or something, CDW just screams "To infinity and beyond!"...

Dec 09 2015 09:04 AM

Certainly you can use multiple different disrupts vs a particular event. There is a question of whether a particular disrupt can trigger more than once off the same trigger condition. (Responses are explicitly prohibited from it, and there are situations that seem broken if disrupts can). My comment above and this one likely make more sense if you read the discussion on the Ellsworth page.


(and in the above sequences, all the Kutra and CDW disrupts are each triggered against different things, so they are all fine either way.)


Meanwhile, as you say, CDW and Door That Will Not Close is excellent.

    • Daevar likes this

Thanks for the pointer, I actually took it for granted, that Disrupts are under the same one-per-trigger-condition restriction as Responses are. Apparently that's not (officially?) the case, but I guess we (our group or even most of us players?) wouldn't play it any other way instinctively. Well, I *guess*.


That being said, CDW's trigger conditions are different ones anyway (well, if you trigger it to "disrupt" each new instance of his own disrupt, and don't try to re-disrupt the shotgun blast or w/e multiple times).

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