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|None. Self-made deck here.|
|Dream Eater campaign based on Standard Deck||0||0||0||1.0|
|dustin's luke deck (publishing for tts ignore me)||0||0||0||1.0|
|Mystical Dreamer - A Luke Standard Deck||0||0||0||1.0|
TheBlackHorror · 5953
Mystical Dreamer: A Luke Standard Deck
This is the fourth in my "Standard Deck" series, where I create highly effective taboo-compliant decks for specific investigators, with a focus on the most recent Dream Eater investigators first. These decks are designed for 2 Players with Standard difficulty in mind, and assume you have a current card pool, but also include modifications for 3-4 players. Each deck will highlight the investigator's strengths, including both instructions on how to play the investigator and how to pilot the deck, with the aim of teaching you how they work.
Want to try the new Dream-Eater investigators, but are at a loss and don't know where to start?
Try one of my Standard Decks!
Have an Arkham event coming up and you need to bring a couple of decks, but don't have the time or brain space to build them all?
Try one of my Standard Decks! You can create quick standalone builds by following the Standalone recommendations at the end of each deck guide.
Imagine these as pre-fabricated Arkham Horror LCG decks that you can crack open and start playing with.
Pair with: Any
Strengths: Gate Box Teleportation, Event Jank
Weaknesses: Only above average Willpower (), Low Health
Modus Operandi: Luke is the jankiest of jank, with more rules queries and FAQs than any other investigator to-date. Like a spider at the center of its web, Luke prefers to observe from afar, casting his spells and events at a distance from the safety of an adjacent location or his very own Dream-Gate. He has given new life to cards that have long languished in the dust, like Barricade.
A of 4 is on the low side for a Mystic, meaning he will require some buffing before he can reliably use most traditional spells. But with a Holy Rosary and Hawk-Eye Folding Camera or maybe two, can easily be boosted up to 5, 6, or even 7. This, combined with a 3 and access to Encounter Deck cancellation cards like Deny Existence and Ward of Protection means he will be laughing all the way through the Mythos Phase. Even monsters pose little threat between Shrivelling and his Gate Box.
Luke's 3 looks enticing, but beware--this can be a trap. A single St. Hubert's Key will boost him up to a respectable 4 , but it is also expensive--and unless you're running David Renfield, you will need to beware of your cost curve. Turns out, Events can get expensive! Most of the time you are better off relying on his Willpower for investigation via spells and spell effects--and these days Mystics have many reliable ways to investigate.
2 means he won't be fighting much, but that's just fine. Luke tends to more of a hider, not a fighter! However, his 3 can be very useful, especially if you're running him through The Forgotten Age.
Luke's Investigator Ability (once each turn).
Take a deep breath, because we are about to venture down the mind-bending path of Luke's infamous special investigator ability and "As If" statements, complete with links to the appropriate FAQ section. But don't let that scare you. It's fairly simple, actually. Once per turn, Luke can play an event at a connecting location as if he was at that location and engaged with each enemy at that location. This allows him to play spell events like Storm of Spirits from afar to vaporize all those annoying Swarm rats, or Crack the Case at a connecting location another investigator just finished swiping all the clues from.
This ability is once each turn. That means he can play an event on his turn, as well as another event on each other investigator's turn, if able. This matter for Events that can be played outside of Luke's own turn, such as Crack the Case.
If that event would normally cause an opportunity attack, such as with Barricade, the opportunity attack happens (because he is considered to be engaged with each enemy at that location), but any location effects that would trigger whiff, since he's not actually at that location. Just imagine Luke appears at that location as a ghost or apparition, so he can cast his magic spells or events, but since he's not physically at that location, he can't be affected annoying corporeal effects like falling into a pit trap.
From the official FAQ (pg 9): Example 1: Luke Robinson’s ability allows him to “play one event each turn as if you were at a connecting location and engaged with each enemy at that location.” If Luke plays Barricade as if he were at a connecting location, he would attach it to the location he is considered to be at, instead of the location he is actually at. Doing so would also provoke attacks of opportunities from any enemies at that location, since he is considered to be engaged with them throughout the playing of Barricade. That location has the following ability: “ After an event card is attached to this location, deal 1 damage to each investigator at this location.” This ability would still trigger, but it would not deal any damage to Luke, because he is not actually at that location. He is only considered to be at that location for the purposes of the playing of Barricade.
Elder Sign Ability ()
Luke's Elder Sign Ability is about as vanilla as they come--and it's great! Luke's Gate Box's ability is essentially a pocket dimension with limited uses (see below), and you will jump at any chance to get more uses out it.
Investigator Signature Cards: Gate Box, Dream-Gate: Wondrous Journey, and Dream-Gate: Pointless Reality.
Welcome to Luke's very own personal inter-dimensional teleporter and unstable pocket dimension. It starts in play--which is, in and of itself, quite incredible--and acts as a limited form of Elusive that teleports you to a safe-haven. And the Gate Box starts with 3 charges! It's easily one of the best signature cards in the game. I mean, how much XP would you pay for a permanent like this? Move over Key of Ys, there a new MostPowerfulCardInTheGame contender!
To use the Gate Box is a , so it doesn't require an action to use, but it does require a trigger window and it exhausts, which means you can only typically use it once per round. Activating the Gate Box instantly teleports Luke to Dream-Gate: Wondrous Journey.
The Dream-Gate is, well, dreamy! There are 3 notable things to know about this location:
- Enemies and investigators other than Luke cannot enter.
- It is connected to all other revealed locations.
- It has 1 Shroud.
- It leaves play after the investigation phase. Let's unpack each of these. Learning how to use and abuse these qualities are what make Luke shine--and fun!
1) Enemies and investigators other than Luke Robinson cannot enter Dream-Gate. The first rule of Dream-Gate is: you don't talk about Dream-Gate. No one else can know it exists--not friends, not enemies. When Luke enters the Dream-Gate, he does so alone. One of the most common uses for your Gate Box is to escape annoying and/or dangerous enemies. When Luke teleports into this location, he leaves all those pesky enemies behind. This provides a fantastic safe-haven and way to avoid enemies--or save Luke's 5-health bacon in a pinch. Just keep in mind what baddies you're leaving behind to engage your fellow investigators.
2) Dream-Gate is connected to each other revealed location, and vice versa. The second most common use for the Gate Box is as a way to teleport across the map, using Dream-Gate as the nexus. While this is very good by itself, the inter-connectedness of this location also allows Luke to use his special investigator ability at any revealed location. Yes, that's right. He can sit safe and snug inside his pocket dimension and cast spells like Storm of Spirits at a horde of enemies sitting on a revealed location--or use Drawn to the Flame to snag clues from that same location. He can even use Shortcut to Scooby-Doo enemies around by entering a location with lots of enemies, upon which they instantly engage him, then Shortcut to an adjacent location and activate the Gate Box to slip inside his Dream-Gate. All the enemies are now left at that location, leaving the first location free! The potential for abusing Luke's Dream-Gate is nearly endless!
3) Shroud = 1. Who cares about Shroud on a location with no clues, you ask? Why, my dear Watson, Luke cares--because it allows him to investigate using Sixth Sense at the Dream-Gate and potentially investigate at any other revealed location using Dream-Gate's measly Shroud of 1! You can also use a card like Vantage Point to move a clue from a high Shroud location to Dream-Gate, which now has a Shroud of 0! Luke can investigate that with his natural 3 ! That's fantastic in true solo!
4) At the end of the investigation phase: Set Dream-Gate aside, out of play. (If Luke Robinson is here, move him to any revealed location.) Let's face it, as cool as Luke is, he doesn't pay his rent--so he doesn't get to stay in his hidey-hole. At the end of the investigation phase, he gets ejected to any revealed location. This can be a good thing--it gives Luke an actionless move!
Important : Luke gets kicked out of the Dream Gate at the end of the investigator phase. This is VERY important for how you time your Gate Box uses. The next phase after the investigator phase is the enemy phase, so this means enemies will hunt and deal damage--so be careful where you have the Gate Box spit Luke out!
However, this also means that you when you use your Gate Box to enter the Dream-Gate after the end of the investigator phase--such as during the enemy phase--you will not be Forced out until the end of the investigator phase ON THE NEXT ROUND. This makes it good for escaping from enemies engaged with Luke. Apparently Luke's spirit-animal is an ostrich!
Investigator Signature Weakness: Detached from Reality
As far as signature weaknesses go, this usually isn't that bad. But sometimes it can really suck, literally sucking Luke out of his location at an untimely moment where he can only sit, twiddling his thumbs and drawing cards. Like most weaknesses, this one has a bad habit of cropping up at the worst possible moment, tearing you out of reality and dropping you in a 6-Shroud nightmare version of Dream-Gate: Pointless Reality.
This place ain't so bad. At least it's not raining, right? Right?!? All in all, this location does very little other than dealing you two horror, which Luke can easily absorb, or soak on Holy Rosary and Mr. "Rook". You can try to investigate it to flip it over to the Wondrous Journey side, but most of the time that 6 Shroud is out of Luke's reach. It is worth noting that this version of Dream-Gate is not connected to any location. Once you get Luke fully powered up to 6 or 7 with Sixth Sense out, you might have a chance to successfully investigate that 6 Shroud, and a halfway decent chance once you have level 4 Sixth Sense. We can all dream, right? (Get it? Get it?!?) In short, you just have to deal with it. At worst it's a just a delay in your plans and two (easily absorbed) horror, and you can still draw cards, play assets, and gain resources while you're stuck there. That's how you play the Luke-version of solitaire.
Premise: Use Luke's investigator ability to grab clues at "connected" locations.
DECK PILOTING INSTRUCTIONS:
Mulligan and Opening Hand
You want your opening hand to consist of (in this order):
(1) Mr. "Rook" to find the cards you need.
(3) Hawk-Eye Folding Camera to get your stats boosted early.
(4) Crack the Case to pay for your cards as early as possible.
Luke wants a Hawk-Eye Folding Camera out early to boost his as soon as possible. Getting Luke to 5 is very important on Standard. The boost gets him to 4, which is fairly decent as well.
Crack the Case is an early economy card, which helps you pay for your more expensive assets like Mr. "Rook" and Shrivelling, plus all the other assets you need to put down (Hawk-Eye Folding Camera, Occult Lexicon, Sixth Sense, etc).
Shrivelling, Ethereal Form, and Occult Lexicon help you deal with enemies. Let's face it, Luke can't run away from all his problems, and this gives him some ability to eliminate or avoid pesky enemies, while saving some precious charges on his Gate Box.
Ideally you will want an Occult Lexicon in one hand and a Hawk-Eye Folding Camera in the other for much of the game. However, if you find both Hawk-Eye Folding Cameras early on and there's no Occult Lexicon in sight, don't be afraid to play both.
How to Use the Cards in this Deck
Luke has a lot of flexibility in what he can do, but this deck leans more into investigation since he can use and abuse Mystic clue-getting events from the safety of his Dream-Gate. However, with only 4 , Luke may require some setup before he is fully operational.
Most of the cards in this deck focus on using Luke's special investigator ability. Any event that can be used at an adjacent location in addition to your own gains a much broader range of application, and is therefore much more useful. Some events like Barricade attain new levels of power in Luke's hands. Don't believe me? Keep reading.
Deck Economy: this is a relatively low cost-curve deck with built-in action economy, which allows Luke to combo a lot of cards without having to save up Resources to play them. Save your Crack the Case for Shroud 3+ locations, holding off until you can investigate with Sixth Sense + Hawk-Eye Folding Camera/Holy Rosary if possible for a high payout. Use Mr. "Rook" to find Uncage the Soul to help you play Shrivelling and Sixth Sense. Once Luke gets a few assets in play, resources will not be much of an issue. What matters is the early game and how efficiently you put your assets into play.
Hawk-Eye Folding Camera: Luke only needs one of these in play, especially early on, to leave his other hand free for an Occult Lexicon. If you've burned through the Lexicon, you are welcome to drop your second Hawk-Eye Folding Camera into play. However, you may want to hold it back as insurance against cards like Crypt Chill that can hit early on.
Occult Lexicon/Blood-Rite: Occult Lexicon gives Luke access to Blood-Rite, which grants him 3 very useful options: draw 2 cards, get 2 resources, or deal 2 damage. This kind of versatility allows him to get what he needs most, when he needs it. The 2 testless damage can also be an incredible life-saver, either for you or for a fellow investigator. Most of the time, however, you will find that you are taking the 2 resources or drawing 2 cards.
Shrivelling: This is for destroying enemies. With the Hawk-Eye Folding Camera, disposable Mr. "Rook", and 9 Sanity, Luke can soak a lot of horror. You will notice this is one of the only combat options in the deck. That's okay, he has several other ways to ignore enemies. But for those times when you just need to zap something--shrivel it! Leveled versions of Shrivelling may be some potential early upgrades, especially if you are leaning into more combat-focused.
Sixth Sense This card lets Luke investigate using his which, after a boost or two, should be somewhere around 5 or 6. A bad-stuff token draw can mean investigating at a location connected to yours--exactly on-theme for the rest of the cards in this deck. That also means Luke can make investigation checks in his Dream-Gate in an attempt to pull a bad-stuff token and cheese a revealed location with a high-shroud location--and use the Dream-Gate's measly 1 Shroud! Overall, this gives Luke solid investigation power. And the best part? Unlimited uses!
Holy Rosary: This is an old Mystic standby--a cheap accessory that boosts Willpower and offers some horror soak for Shrivelling. With just this asset down, Luke is ready to roll at 5 . Once you get a Hawk-Eye Folding Camera set up, you will have some more latitude in assigning horror to Holy Rosary. There are 2 in the deck and in most scenarios you will go through his entire deck once, which means you should see both. Just don't shoot yourself in the foot too soon. Try to keep Luke's at between 5 and 6.
Mr. "Rook": The questionable secrets-dealer is Luke's fixer and best friend. Rook helps Luke find the exact card he needs at the right time, especially your lone Occult Lexicon. If you get him out early, you may want to look for a Crack the Case for an early resource windfall, or perhaps you need one of your precious spell assets, Shrivelling or Sixth Sense, or an Uncage the Soul to play said precious spell assets. Whatever it is you need, Rook is here to help you find it. Since Rook helps you draw the weaknesses in your deck as well, always keep in mind which and how many weaknesses are still in your deck when you search. Remember that Luke's signature weakness, Detached from Reality can rip Luke out of whatever location he is sitting in, spoiling your plans; and that certain basic weaknesses, such as Amnesia and Paranoia can be very, very harmful at the wrong time. Use this knowledge to your advantage. If you are in a good spot, search 9 and try to trigger both weaknesses. Once they are out of the way, you can search 9 cards with impunity!
As a general rule of thumb, use Rook to search 6 cards if your weaknesses are still in your deck, and search 9 when they are not. Searching only 3 is essentially filtered card draw, and I would only recommend doing this if your deck is very small and you still have a weakness you don't want to see in your deck. You are going to draw your weaknesses some time during the scenario, and Rook gives you a lot of influence in just when and how you see them.
Barricade: This card isn't bad...but it's not great--except in Luke's cool hands. Luke can attach this to adjacent locations to block hunting enemies from moving through bottleneck locations. The main weakness of this card is that it is discarded when an investigator moves out of that location. But if there never is an investigator at that location...it never gets discarded! Luke can use his Gate Box enter his Dream-Gate from one end of the map, drop a Barricade at any revealed location on the map (they all connected to Dream-Gate, then move into a revealed location on the other side of the map, leaving hordes of Hunter enemies in the dust. If you want to pull off a move that is really dirty, you can pair Luke with an investigator who uses Lure, which can be tossed into a dead-end location. Once all the enemies are in the closet, Barricade them inside and go about your business. At higher player counts, this can more effectively remove enemies from the Encounter Deck than plain ol' monster-killing.
Crack the Case: For Seekers, this is the more action-efficient version of Emergency Cache. With Read the Signs or Sixth Sense Luke can clear off some potentially high-shroud locations, so this can be a big money-maker. You can even cash in both off the same high-shroud location! Even a 3-Shroud location would mean 6 resources! What about a delectable 6-Shroud location for 12 resources? Not only is Crack the Case Fast, Luke can distribute the resources gained among any investigators at his location! Luke doesn't even have to be the investigator to clear the clues off! Oh, and since this is Luke we're talking about, hedoesn't even need to be at that location either! Luke can sit in his Dream-Gate and cash in on any revealed location's clearance, and then divvy out the pot to each investigator there. Now that's tasty. If you have a Holy Rosary and a loaded Hawk-Eye Folding Camera or two, you can even investigate while in Luke's Dream-Gate, to trigger a Crack the Case or two AND flip it over to the Dream-Gate side!
Deny Existence: This is an incredible card that gives Luke the ability to resist huge damage hits like from Beyond the Veil, discarding a large hand of cards from a treachery effect, etc. At the very least it lets him tank a huge hit from a beefy enemy or boss for one round. A more typical move might be dragging a non-Hunter enemy away from a location, popping into his Dream-Gate, then stepping back out at the first location--leaving the troublesome enemy behind him. Using the Deny Existence to ignore attacks of opportunity should not be underestimated in Luke. This is also a fantastic card to keep in your back pocket for a rainy day. At 0 Resource cost, it is also an attractive candidate to attach to Dayana Esperence so Luke can play politician--deny, deny, deny everything!
Drawn to the Flame: Luke will typically have 5 to 6 , meaning many treacheries are easy to pass. Monsters? Dream-Gate. All others? Ward of Protection and Deny Existence. So when Luke has the option for a card that can give him 2 testless clues at his or any connecting location--or any revealed location if he's sitting in his Dream-Gate--for the low, low price of a single encounter draw, you take it. You might even cackle like a mad scientist.
Ethereal Form: Here's a newer card that you might still be dubious on. Why is it in here? Well, this let's Luke ignore enemies at a location while he investigates or does his thing. It also acts as a rainy-day card to save his bacon. A bunch of baddies blocking the way, with no revealed locations on the other side? Go Ethereal, walk past all those baddies, and laugh maniacally. Ethereal Form offers a great alternative to Mists of R'lyeh, and in many cases can be much more action-efficient. Just wait until Luke upgrades into Dayana Esperence and he can use Ethereal Form over and over again!
Knowledge is Power: This is a quintessential Luke card. It only has a few targets in the 0 XP version of the deck, but gets significantly better as you level your spells and possibly upgrade into a tome or two. Knowledge is Power is Fast and allows you to cast a spell from your hand or from your board without using a charge. It may not seem like much, but trust me, it's really, really, good. Knowledge is Power is perfect for level 5 Shrivelling, saving you a precious charge while also not consuming an action, giving you the potential to unleash all 4 charges on a big baddie for 12 damage in a single turn!
Read the Signs: On the surface, this card is just a "get an extra clue off one investigate" kind of card. But it is so much more than that. It lets Luke add his Willpower to an investigate test, meaning he is testing at base 7, which means he can investigate some very high shroud locations (very attractive for an early Crack the Case). With some loaded Hawk-Eye Folding Cameras and a Holy Rosary, he will be able to take this test at anywhere from 8-10! You can laugh at Shroud values as your crush those tests AND grab 2 clues AND also ignore effects that happen when you investigate a location, such as those with the Haunted keyword. Don't be afraid to use this card to investigate an especially high shroud location, even if there is only one clue on it. Oh, and since this is Luke we're talking about, I should also mention that this is an Event and a Spell. That means Luke can use it at a connecting location, or any revealed location from his Dream-Gate (!). And since it's a Spell, Dayana Esperence can let you re-use this card over and over again. Hot dang! Just let your fellow investigators reveal locations so Luke can investigate them from afar!
Shortcut: There are few cards that are as unequivocally good as Shortcut. Keep this card in your back pocket until late in the scenario, when every action counts. Remember that you can Shortcut other investigators as well, which can be a very handy way to drag enemies around without incurring opportunity attacks. And once again, since this is Luke, he can use it on investigators at connecting locations--or any revealed location if he is sitting in his Dream-Gate. Luke can just move investigators around the map like queens on chessboard!
From the official FAQ (pg 9): Luke Robinson instead plays Shortcut as if he were at a connecting location. This would allow him to move to a location connected to the chosen location. If there are 1 or more enemies at that location, they do not move with him, because even though the event is resolved as if Luke is engaged with him, those enemies are not actually in his threat area, and therefore do not move when he moves.
Uncage the Soul: this is an economy card with great icons. It lets Luke play a spell from hand for free, or at the very worst, has icons. You will never be sorry to see this in your hand. Use Mr. "Rook" to fish for this in the early game if you have Sixth Sense in your hand. This deck has 2x Uncage the Soul, which allows you to pay for and play a full spell board (Sixth Sense and Shrivelling).
Ward of Protection: Luke is already good at resisting the encounter deck; Ward of Protection just makes him even better and protects him from the most crippling of encounter cards. Use this to cancel Ancient Evils, a treachery that will cause too much damage or cause you to discard a previous asset (like your Gate Box!), or cancel drawing a treachery from the encounter deck when using Drawn to the Flame. Ward of Protection keeps Luke protected and focused so he can do what he needs to do and grab some clues, and is prime candidate to attach to Dayana Esperence.
Adjustments for 3-4 Players
There are two ways you can calibrate Luke for 3-4 player: you can specialize him into more of a monster-killer by upgrading into more damage-dealing spells (there's not a whole lot at 0 XP), which will require some more economy cards; or you can specialize him into more of a dedicated clue-getter.
Specializing into monster-killing will require additional economy, so consider subbing in Emergency Cache x2 in place of Drawn to the Flame x2, as well as Storm of Spirits x2 in place of Read the Signs x2. Later on, you can attached Storm of Spirits to Dayana Esperence for mass-destruction!
Specializing into a dedicated clue-getter requires only a few small changes, such as including Rite of Seeking x2 in place of either Ethereal Form or even Shrivelling. You can also consider including Deduction as well, but this relies on his . You would use Deduction for low-shroud, high-volume clue locations. A single charged Hawk-Eye Folding Camera brings his to a respectable 4, which can help as well. If you're going with Deduction, also consider Enraptured as well, which can add charges to Luke's Gate Box or secrets to Mr. "Rook". Remember, you can always upgrade into the leveled Deduction later on, even if you do not include it in the 0 XP version in your deck.
If you are having to build multiple decks from the same cardpool or you want to make some adjustments to the deck to accommodate more investigation, take a look below at some alternative cards. They are separated by function (Combat / Evasion / Investigation / Advanced).
There is not a lot of combat power you can add to Luke at 0 xp. Most of the combat will gained through upgrades into cards like Shards of the Void, Shrivelling, etc. However, there are a few that can help:
- Storm of Spirits: Not going to lie, this is an expensive spell. However, it is also a highly effective way to slay masses of enemies--which for Luke can be at any connecting location, or any revealed location if he is in his Dream-Gate. This is an excellent way to deal with Swarming enemies. If you're playing the Dream-Eaters campaign with 2+ players, I highly recommend you include this! You can even drop this on Dayana Esperence later on to have it on tap (though, be warned, this gets VERY expensive!).
Luke will not need much evasion, but in some campaigns (looking at you, Forgotten Age), you may want it over outright combat.
Mists of R'lyeh: - A superb evasion spell with added-in action efficiency that helps you conserve Gate Box charges. If you don't need as much investigative power, consider this over Sixth Sense. It is also a valid target for Knowledge is Power.
Trench Coat: Don't laugh. If you're wandering into TFA and you need a little boost to Luke's anemic 5 Health, as well as a boost to evasion, consider ye olde Trench Coat. It boosts him to a respectable 4 when evading and offers some damage soak.
Luke's access to level 0-2 cards gives him incredible clue-getting potential--perhaps some of the best non-Seeker clue acquisition in the game. Especially as the player count increases to 3 or 4, consider leaning into more clue acquisition in your Luke build.
Deduction: this is a cheap and easy way to grab extra clues, but it does use , so you will need to use it on lower shroud locations, or require some assistance from other players. It pairs great with Enraptured.
Rite of Seeking: if you don't need to worry zapping baddies or you just need more clue acceleration, consider including this. It is expensive, but it can give you two clue per investigate test. Remember to always use your last action for this investigate test to minimize the loss of actions upon drawing a bad-stuff token. Rite of Seeking is also an excellent target for Knowledge is Power!
Vantage Point: this is a janky card and requires a little planning. But the basic idea is this: when Luke Gate Boxes into his Dream-Gate, you can play Vantage Point and target your Dream-Gate, reducing the Shroud to 0. Then you can move a clue from any other revealed location to it! It's a nifty way to cheese clues that would otherwise be difficult to get. You can also use it to move clues from higher-shroud locations to lower-shroud locations where you can more easily pull off a Deduction.
Luke can be tough enough to wrap your brain around, and in my Standard Deck series I try to avoid too many janky combos or daunting aspects, such as doom play. However, I must confess, there are some cards that I would consider "standard" in almost any Luke build that I did not include in this deck, mainly David Renfield.
Arcane Research: Luke has 9 Sanity, and with two fully-loaded Hawk-Eye Folding Camera he has 11, not to mention soak from Mr. "Rook". So grabbing 2x Arcane Research and gaining 2 mental trauma for basically 2 free XP each scenario is a pretty good deal. This essentially allows him to upgrade from Ward of Protection to Ward of Protection for free in between scenarios, if you're patient. However, you will likely want to upgrade either your Sixth Senses or Shrivellings first. Before taking Arcane Research, take a look at your spells in your 0 XP deck and their upgrade potential. If you are going to go with Arcane Research, you want to make sure it is worth it!
Astounding Revelation: If you're including Mr. "Rook" and especially with Calling in Favors, including a few copies of Astounding Revelation for additional resource generation can feel great. Even if you can't find the space for it in the initial build, it is a nice add-in if you decide to upgrade into Versatile. Astounding Revelation will help Luke finance more expensive spell assets without having to use David Renfield.
Calling in Favors: Would you like to have an infinite supply of Mr. "Rook" secrets? That's where Calling in Favors comes into play. Even if it does not find a valid target in your deck, it does return an ally in play to your hand, allowing you to replay them later with full health, sanity, and secrets! Calling in Favors gains some additional value if you also include David Renfield in your deck (see below), and can be another delicious way to keep Dayana Esperence on tap and full of secrets!
David Renfield: Luke has a lot to pay for, and David Renfield does that better than almost anyone else. The cornerstone of nearly every Luke deck is the two R's: Renfield and Rook. David Renfield can seem very scary, but he's not all that bad to deal with. You just want to have a plan in place to eject him from play when his Doom level gets too high. The easiest way to do that, aside from incurring an opportunity attack, is to bump him out of the ally slot by playing Mr. "Rook". Since you can have two of each, you can start with David Renfield, bump him out with Mr. "Rook" to get the cards you now have the funds to pay for, then bump an empty Mr. "Rook" out with another David Renfield, cushion your Resource supply, and bump him out again with your second Mr. "Rook". Easy as pie, right? This process gets even easier with Calling in Favors. Renfield can be very important for bankrolling expensive cards like Dayana Esperence and Storm of Spirits, or any event costing 2 or more attached to Dayana Esperence. I should also point out that David Renfield is a decent health soak for Luke's fragile 5 Health!
Open Gate: If you are playing Luke in 4-player, take a look at Open Gate. Mr. "Rook" can help you find at least 2, opening up the map for the other investigators. While scenario-dependent, Open Gate is still helpful, especially when you pair it with the leveled version of Shortcut.
Truth from Fiction: Maybe a lesser include, but this card allows you to fill up Mr. "Rook" or--more importantly--Dayana Esperence. Dayana Esperence can hold some really good spells, such as Deny Existence, Ward of Protection, Ethereal Form, or Read the Signs, so having an additional 2 secrets is nothing to scoff at. If you use both on a Dayana Esperence holding a Deny Existence, you would have 7 uses of it!
Upgrades can be tricky for Luke. You want to have a goal with his role in mind. If he is a monster-killer, then you need to concentrate on combat spells. If he is a clue-getter, then you need to concentrate on increasing his clue acquisition. Whatever you do, don't upgrade his deck willy-nilly. You run the risk of diluting an effective deck with more expensive cards that don't actually make the deck better. Some of the early upgrades you want to look at are Sixth Sense, Shrivelling, Dayana Esperence, and events to put on Dayana. This deck gets the most of out of the level 4 Sixth Sense, which boosts Luke's natural to 6 for investigate tests, making it valuable for gathering clues and triggering Crack the Case early on.
Counterspell: Luke can use is at connecting locations, meaning he can assist his fellow investigators even when he's not there. This safeguards your tests and typically acts as a lucky charm against bad-stuff tokens (many people never need to use it when it's in hand---your token draws just seem good enough!). In Dayana Esperence's hands, this gains a new tier of power. As long as you can bankroll the cost, you can ensure that no one in your team fails a critical skill test again...as long as they don't draw the tentacle!
Dayana Esperence: Luke is good with Events, right? And Dayana Esperence holds Spell Events...it's a match made in heaven, right? She is a bit pricey, in terms of XP and Resources, but she can turn Luke into a serious powerhouse--it doesn't hurt that she has a hefty 3 Health for soak! Some good targets for her include Ward of Protection, Deny Existence, Ethereal Form, Read the Signs, and if you have included it, Storm of Spirits (though this can get very expensive very fast). There are plenty of leveled Events that are juicy targets for her--just think of level 5 Deny Existence or even Counterspell, which Luke can use at connecting locations!!! Let's just say Dayana and Luke are BFFs...if not more.
Deduction: If you are going the clue-acquisition route, consider this leveled form form of Deduction, which helps Luke scoop up low-shroud clues even better. It may not be your first, second, or even third upgrade, but it does enhance Luke's clue-getting power.
Pathfinder: Do you remember how I told you Shortcut is so good? What about the same card on tap? Requiring no slots, Pathfinder creates incredible action compression for Luke and you will never be sad to see it. At only 1 XP, it's also easy to acquire. Pathfinder, combined with his Gate Box, allows Luke to zip around the map with ease.
Sacrifice: Luke needs both resources and card draw, now if only there was a card that could do both... Enter Sacrifice, which you can use to discard an empty spell assets or a dangerous ally asset (looking at you, David Renfield) who may have stayed past their welcome, and convert them into card draw or resources, or any combination of both. This is a great way control the doom levels on David Renfield. Just keep in mind it only targets assets, so you cannot Sacrifice an empty Mr. "Rook".
Shortcut: In higher player counts, especially 4 players, take a serious look at the leveled version of Shortcut, which pairs nicely with Open Gate (Luke is uniquely positioned to take both)! Just keep in mind that this is campaign/scenario-dependent. But if deployed strategically, it can save a lot of actions and possibly save an investigator's life.
Shrivelling/Shrivelling: this will be some of your earliest upgrades, especially if your Luke build is more combat-focused. Including 2x Arcane Research also helps defray the cost of these upgrades, if you are willing to patiently wait 4 scenarios to get both fully upgraded.
Sixth Sense: Easily one of Luke's best upgrades and one you should look at early, this not only lets him investigate at a base of 6, allowing him to trigger his valuable Crack the Case early to pay for assets, but also to investigate up to 2 locations away if you draw a bad stuff token! Think about it: that is almost anywhere on the map in a lot of scenarios, or 3/4 of the locations in most!
Versatile: More than any other investigator, Luke feels squeezed for deck space. Versatile offers a nice way to include those few cards you had to cut in the end, like Knowledge is Power and Astounding Revelation. If you don't want to add other cards, you can mitigate the increased deck size by including neutral skill cards with built-in card draw that complement his role, such as [Guts] (/card/01089) and Perception. The card draw on a test you're likely to succeed anyway basically negates the added cards to his deck. You can even grab some additional skill icons such as Unexpected Courage, Inquiring Mind, or Prophesy. If you've decided to include Astounding Revelation, also consider one or two copies of Eureka!. So what off-class card do you get with Versatile? If he is going to be off on his own much of the time, consider a cheeky Lone Wolf as a way to supplement his income. Otherwise, you could consider Leo De Luca to increase his actions per turn (though you may also need David Renfield to pay his hefty price-tag). If you've gone with 2x Arcane Research and 2x level 5 Shrivelling, you may even consider a Hallowed Mirror to control horror levels. Or maybe you could do with some extra card draw, so perhaps a Lucky Cigarette Case? Whatever you get, just remember you will only have 1 copy. Rook can help you find that 1 card, but you can't always count on it--he now has to search through 37 cards instead of 32!