Card draw simulator
|None. Self-made deck here.|
LaRoix · 141
I know this probably looks insane, but hear me out...
Lola holds notoriety in that on paper she should be able to do all things and better than anyone else because she can pack the best cards to get it done. But she's (rightfully) been seen as her own worst enemy for two reasons. The first is that her signature ability is really a limitation or an absence of one because what she has instead is the widest, most versatile deck building options in the game. But this perk quickly underwhelms when you realize none of the cards she can take with her can combo together (or can they...?). The second reason is her Crisis of Identity x2 which can completely ruin... literally anything and everything.
I spent more than a week beating my head against her investigator card, trying to figure out how on earth I could pull off at least a single combo. You might think to go neutral, but as if her restrictions weren't harsh enough, you also have to have a total of 21 cards from three different classes in the deck, which is well over half. I feel like all of us tried to get a working deck with her (forget a powerful one), and either got some mild success or had to throw in the towel.
Thus, after many hours of playtesting woes, it is with great pleasure that I introduce your guide for playing the Actress. Solo, multiplayer, taboo or otherwise. You can play this deck exactly as is but this guide is meant to be a modular deck you can customize to create almost any build. I'll have 3 brief guides at the end.
You've no doubt noticed that we have 7 cards from all 5 factions (give or take 1 or 2 cards), and yes, it is intended to keep all the classes. While you may cut one to double up on a faction you prefer, removing a class in it's entirety can be a dangerous move. That might sound strange, but I've found that Lola performs better when she has even a small amount of cards from every faction because it means 2 things: Firstly, she can better withstand a hit from her treachery (eggs in separate baskets) and secondly, she has to switch roles frequently anyways, so as long as the class cards are chosen carefully, it is often better to switch into a new role and use up the cards you have, letting whatever assets you manage to get in play along the way to help keep your head above water. In other words, you should be able to switch classes and have a small set of cards you can play with while you're there, relieving the pressure on how often you need to switch roles.
I realized Lola would play best using cards from all classes simply because her deckbuilding demands it. The designers have us restricted to 3 classes minimum, but she can take more, and since we've already got 3, we may as well benefit from the best cards each faction has and see what we get, even if we only grab a few.
But I had another realization during that mental stupor where it seemed no two cards could combo together. Lola actually works best with neutral cards since she can always use them. Plus, they will never be a target for Crisis of Identity because again, you don't need to role match them. And by the way, the best neutral cards cost massive amounts of exp. And not only those, but many Lvl 3 cards are extremely powerful, and Lola is in the unique position of being able to carry them across faction lines.
I thus set out to develop this paradox into a working deck, with a focus on generating lots of exp, and was quite impressed to find just how exciting Lola can be to play (something I wasn't even sure was possible!).
THE DESIGN PHILOSOPHY:
What I ended up doing was assigning 1 goal to each class that they could accomplish independently. Ideally, it was a goal that class was uniquely equip to do ( for card draw, for information and treachery protection, etc.). But the cards needed to meet other parameters because I knew I could not expect to be in the class at the most optimal time. I also auto included any card that could generate exp (every little bit helps).
Delve Too Deep was obvious, but "Let God sort them out..." was tricky. While it's possible to deal big damage as a or something else, the risk eventually got too high and I realized only a could reliably pull off it's combo. I thus developed a 5 card combo of cards who's goal was to support "Let God sort them out...". And that's when I realized I could apply the same principle to the other classes. Thus you end up with 5 cards from each class (any extras are duplicates), and each faction zeroed in on doing what they do best, abiding by a tier of rules since, again, Lola can't always be there to mother them.
As a small aside, while "Let God sort them out..." was the spark of inspiration, the card itself is excruciating to play. So much so that the deck plays better and more reliably without it, but we'll talk more about that soon.
In general, I recommend thinking of your classes as your very talented kids who want a lot of attention but can take care of themselves when they stop and think about it. Seriously, if you can imagine yourself as a mother of 5, then it just becomes a matter of taking care of the one that has the most needs (or rather the best benefit to give you) in the moment.
So what are those rules? Well, we've already talked about one of them.
Rule #1: Do what your card pool does best. Condition: If a card can generate exp, then that gets priority.
Rule #2: Provide a buff. Passive stat boosts are incredibly helpful because again, we can't always be the class we want. This is why cards like Intrepid, Laboratory Assistant, and Dark Horse are shoe in's. They are active or activate regardless as to what Lola is doing/needs to do.
Rule #3: Don't get in the way. In other words do not be a disruption to what the other classes are doing. This is why 22 cards in the deck cost either 0 or 1 resource (11 each). Dark Horse will reward Lola for spending her only remaining resource while many other cards cost nothing so as not to impede on the DH buff. This is also why nearly all the cards can be (and are better when) played from the discard pile. They don't disrupt the cards who are digging through the deck like mad, and they allow you to steadily collect your cards which often need to stay in your hand for a while so you can be ready for "Let God sort them out...".
But generating exp doesn't come just from your cards. You also need to get VP's from locations and enemies. That does complicate things, but the more opportunities to get VP (especially in scenario #1), the better.
So what is the 5 card combo for each class? Well for starters, they're not so much a combo as they are just a set of 5 cards that you can rely upon regardless on what's going on in the scenario. I'm going to break down each class, but remember that Lola needs 7 cards of at least three classes. I also couldn't make the deck function without 3 neutral cards. And I also do prefer to have duplicates. What I'm trying to say is, the 5 cards you see for each class is just the base. Ideally, you'll want duplicates of a good number, if not all, of the cards in the list. I've worked things around into a deck that you can try yourself that I think works most effectively. But this guide is meant to serve you as a modular skeleton that you can use to build other Lola decks out of. Don't like the cards? Cut them! Don't want to bother with the combo? Re-spect the cards into something that satisfies your needs and objectives. And on many points I will offer suggestions for ways you can change it that are not too disruption to the overall smoothness of the deck.
I just wanted to lay that out up front since the deck on the left does not follow the guide 100%. Rather, it is a deck I built as a result of using this guide. And that's what I'm trying to get across. This is a deck you can use as if, but it is mostly meant to serve as a guidebook, and expects you to make little edits here and there to meet your liking.
Finally, there are some key distinctions between solo and multiplayer that I will note, but the class has the biggest adjustment so let's start with them.
5 card combo:
Decision #1 is deciding whether or not you want to try to play "Let God sort them out..." because while it is possible, it is extremely difficult to perform. To pull off a 6 damage turn, we're going to need to deal damage effectively and on the fly. The Colt Vest Pocket is our weapon of choice. You're going to play this through Sleight of Hand to save yourself an action. And then you'll commit Quick Thinking and use Daring Maneuver to ensure you get the bonus action. The Vest Pocket will deal 2 damage a hit, so we only need to succeed by 2 or more at least once to get QT to trigger. That extra action is for "LGSTO...". Why do we want this? Because we're greedy for that exp. However, the combo itself is strong even if you ditch "LGSTO...". You can slip the Vest Pocket into play earlier with a spare SoH, get yourself out of a jam and retrieve the gun after. And why the Colt? Well I originally chose it because it discards at the end of the round so I figured I may as well pick the gun that can never get hit from Crisis of Identity. You are welcome to swap out other weapons for the combo but I don't recommend them and here's why: .41 Derringer has slightly better but it can't guarantee that +1 damage. You might think to rely on Daring Maneuver, but we also can't afford to miss a single shot since it only has 3 ammo. Now .45 Thompson will work just fine and if you don't want to use the Taboo list, then this is probably a better choice. But if you're doing Taboo, Colt Vest Pocket is the way to go. Plus it fits better thematically. The cards are pretty heavily concerned with generating that 1 exp (which says a lot about that card's worth in comparison with Delve Too Deep), and honestly, I don't think it's worth it in solo. I play tested this deck for weeks and the number of times I was able to play "Let God sort them out..." in solo was like 0.2%. Most of the time, I would think to myself that if I had just ignored it, I could've focused on getting the VP within the scenario itself. I do think it's playable in multiplayer, but otherwise swap it to double up on the rest of the combo cards, and perhaps take the .41 Derringer since you won't need the extra actions so desperately. Thus the is essentially a repeating boss killer. If you decide to run "Let God sort them out...", then be prepared to have these cards consume half or more of your hand-size throughout much of the game.
Note that I really don't think it's wise to play "Let God sort them out..." in any deck, let alone this wacky jank. You're better off just playing On the Hunt that we'll talk about later. But if you're really greedy, you're funeral.
5 card combo:
Scroll of Prophecies is one of the cards you want as early as possible. You can use it to draw 3 cards repeatedly, and then throw away your cards because they can be played from the discard pile. There are also some tricks with it that we'll get to in a moment. Alyssa Graham will help you get clues and she can warn you of the upcoming Crisis. Alyssa will not let you down because even if you can't switch roles in time, you can spawn a doom to bury the treachery as needed. Delve Too Deep is essential for exp, and my suggestion is to simply play them whenever you are a with not much else you can do. Take the hit, free up the card slot; you're going to need 'em. Deny Existence will help protect you. Scrying is the other spell that's nice to have down early, but without upgrading it, I often leave it out for other duplicates. You can use it to organize the encounter deck in a wide variety of ways, but until Crisis of Identity has passed, typically you'll be using this to check your deck to ensure it hits you in the way you want it to. The reason I word it that way, is Crisis of Identity can actually HELP you. With a scry, you can decide not only when the crisis will hit, but also into what you want it to be hit into. The best combo you can do with this is align it so that the crisis will hit your Moonstone. All you need to do then is be a at the point you draw Crisis. If you are, Crisis of Identity will discard your Moonstone (which you then play because you are a ) and then it will switch you to a , making the forced role switch redundant. I know it's only one card, but I was surprised how often I was able to pull this off, to say nothing of how nice it is to control Crisis of Identity. But it is a luxury we cannot always afford action-wise. Unless you've got a team, better to switch it for something else. In short, are great for Lola, focusing on quick role switches to super power up draw effects, exp, encounter deck protection, and support for Crisis.
5 card combo:
There's no getting around it; you need to draw cards and you need to expand your hand size. This is important because beyond stockpiling a combo, what you need as Lola is options. To make the most of your turn, you need to choose the class that helps you deal with the present problem, but also helps you get things done for the rest of your actions. Preposterous Sketches you want to see as early as your opening hand. Use it right away while there are clues laying around and no other assets in play yet. is likely to be the role you start in or the one you will want to switch to after playing a big asset. You can play Laboratory Assistant early too, but I prefer playing her after I've fully benefited from Alyssa Graham (or decided I do not need her). The more important thing I can say about LA is to simply play her rather than hesitate. She can net you two cards but the expanded hand size is really what we want since the combo can consume a hefty amount of space. Speaking of space, Arcane Enlightenment can get you another hand size boost, but the extra Tome slot is kind of useless. However, our only other option is a little finicky. Dream-Enhancing Serum only works if you really go all in on the doubling up of cards as you can't enjoy the unless you are a . And unfortunately, you might be tempted to draw as a just to get it to activate, but I find I usually end up just losing it from a crisis instead. Most often than not, you'll want to only be a to draw cards through events, not to activate cards in play or make skill checks. has the most assets to lose and the most valuable ones at that. Combined with their card draw responsibilities, it can be a difficult beast to draw so much and not lose everything in play.
And this, ladies and gentleman, is the kicker. Unless I read it wrong, you can combo Knowledge is Power to target Scroll of Prophecies (or Scrying). Unless I'm mistaken, Knowledge is Power resolves a or effect, which in my mind, bypasses the role requirements. It is a card that mimics the effect of another card you have, effectively treating it as a one time use of said card. In other words, Knowledge is Power becomes Scroll of Prophecies, and yet, also cannot be hit with Crisis of Identity. Now if you don't think that combo is rule proof, then I would call you a meanie. But by all means, replace them with Shortcuts. While awesome to do, it is not essential to the deck. Now I imagine I'll be making some changes to the pool once Harvey Walters releases, but until then, these are the hand expanding cards we have and they work pretty well. To reiterate, the main strategy with is to play the events to blow up your hand as much as possible, and then drop down your assets after both Crisis of Identity have hit (or you vow to stay out of ) because the second function of drawing all those cards is protecting them so that you are free to switch into roles with cards you can play.
5 card combo:
Survivor is your get out of jail free class. As you play, you will encounter moments when you'll feel like you're getting backed into a corner; that's your cue to just survive. Get Dark Horse and Moonstone up as soon as you can and then play everything else from the discard pile. Don't stress about playing those improvisations from your hand. Essentially, your hand is in the discard pile to save you the hand slots. Just remember that the 1 resource cost is deceiving. Moonstone is without a doubt the trickiest card (in the entire deck) to get into play, but I always seem to manage it somehow. Usually you can do it by exceeding your hand size but that can be harder than you think if you need to play Emergency Cache first or have Laboratory Assistant up. You can swap Moonstone with Tooth of Eztli or Holy Rosary but I do recommend Moonstone as the bonus can be invaluable. Scrounge for Supplies is an emergency card in case you happen to lose something incredibly important like Colt Vest Pocket or Delve Too Deep. As for Dark Horse, I want to stress that believe it or not, there came a game where I denied resource gains to hunt down those last couple of clues for a VP. If it's important enough, you can deprive yourself and power through for a couple turns. While you may not have it active constantly, once you get your most important assets up, you can rely on this quite a bit since many cards in the deck are either 0 or 1 cost events.
5 card combo:
Ah, Guardian; I was so wrong to doubt you. This was the last class to make the cut. I originally tested it without them, thinking it'd be way more difficult to have yet another class I need to switch into, but was like that kid on the playground who impressed us all with his wacky optimism. For example, in the Gathering, I was running low on time and I needed to spawn the Ghoul Priest, but I wasn't confident I could evade him. So I used On the Hunt to draw up the Flesh-Eater, which has an evade value of 1. Spawned the Ghoul Priest then swtiched to and evaded them both with a discarded Impromptu Barrier. That freed me to run up and grab Lita Chantler and kill them both with my combo the following turn. Now unfortunately, I couldn't play "Let God sort them out..." because Ghoul Priest ends the scenario if you kill him, but I was able to use the Flesh-Eater's weak agility to evade the priest, AS WELL AS kill the Flesh-Eater for a VP. In short, On the Hunt is a mainstay. You can use it to set up a "Let God sort them out...", grab a VP enemy hiding in the deck, or find a low agility thug you can use to your advantage. is all about switching into it before the round ends.
One of the most significant aspects of Lola is this: it is at the START of the mythos phase when her ability refreshes. So you can dig up a VP enemy, and then switch to and give 'em hell. This is also great for Intrepid. If you don't know what else to do (or if you scryed), you can switch to to help you pass a Crypt Chill and then buff yourself for the turn. This is fantastic because whether you wanted to fight or get clues, you can do either by taking basic actions. In fact, this is, I think, the unassuming part about Lola that trips us up: if you have competent stats, then you don't need a card to get something done. Take basic Investigate actions. Take basic fight actions. Take basic evade actions. Let the buffs keep you in shape and only play a card when you must (because, probably, Lola won't be able to play it anyway). Second Wind will help keep you alive as Lola is quite fragile, and you can get a card out of it too if you're patient enough to wait for the right moment to play it. Survival Knife is probably the best weapon for this deck because it consumes only one hand slot and compresses actions. You can move into a location with a hunter, deal a damage, and then 2 more damage during the enemy phase. This helps take care of a situation without impeding on your tempo. Take the Initiative is similar to Intrepid, though it will leave you hanging for the turn, but it is still good if it doesn't apply to the treachery since it can be used to get a clue or something similar.
I don't have much to say about the neutral cards other than I tried to run the deck without them, but you really do need two Emergency Caches because otherwise Improvisation will cripple under the cost pressure. Use them to get cards like Dark Horse, Dream-Enhancing Serum, and Alyssa Graham up. Fine Clothes is also important to help parley checks but can also keep you alive for cheap in a pinch. Swap out at your own risk. If you really want to swap something in this deck, I'd stress some damage protection. While LA & Graham can soak horror, there's virtually nothing to protect you from damage, and Lola Hayes herself is quite squishy.
Now you're ready to begin building an awesome Lola deck! All you do is net these 5 cards from each class together; double up on your favorites and you're good to go. You can also cut back on certain cards though to get duplicates (essential for running Dream-Enhancing Serum). So I'm going to list a couple cards that did not make the cut, but are worth considering adding if you're cutting back a class or card here and there.
: The best change I can recommend is what I said before about ditching "Let God sort them out..." because that card will make you want to punch a brood of Yog-Sothoth in the throat. If you do, a second pistol would be good, but those may as well be Derringers. Hatchet Man and Sneak Attack (though it's a little costly) are not bad options since you won't really be needing Quick Thinking or Daring Maneuver either.
: If you want to loosen up the number of assets, you could take Eureka!, Deduction, Inquiring Mind, or True Understanding, the last of which is both the best and most difficult to work with. And not just because the card itself is maddening, but because you won't be able to safely switch to before the mythos phase too often. You can during the mythos phase but that's less good because now you can't switch again for the round.
: Winging It rarely makes the cut in the deck because I usually have enough and actions to get the clues I need, and I'd rather have more consistent combat and evasion options. But if you're worried about clues or want to free up a hand or Ally slot. Just remember it's a resource every time you play it so it can, and has, hurt the bank on more than one occasion. You could also try a combination of Survival Instinct and Resourceful to evade. Those are cheaper, and provide some movement options, but they take up a lot of card slots to pull of continuously so that's why I opt for Impromptu Barrier instead.
: You've got a lot of options here, but even though it might be tempting to ditch the boss combo, I would caution against this since that combo can always be played safely. You throw down an expensive gun, and now you're subject to losing it during the upkeep phase. This class really is best being a blockade against the encounter deck, especially where health is concerned. Consider cards like Dodge, Trusted, or True Grit since they can be done during a turn you're "stuck" as a . If you're worried about clues, you could take Evidence! (although I'm not sure you'll have a window to switch roles after the kill) or Scene of the Crime.
If you want more Neutral cards, then knives and flashlights will do the job. All the skills are good and I imagine you could easily ditch a class for some of those if you really wanted. Lola loves neutral cards. It just so happens that the really good ones cost exp.
I mentioned how you could use Knowledge is Power to play Scroll of Prophecies which is a great little trick (assuming it's legal). If it is, then Sleight of Hand should work similarly, allowing you to get Scroll of Prophecies down for cheap, draw up some cards, and then pick it back up when you're done. You can sleight other things into play but they don't make as much sense, and honestly, I would probably prefer to save it for the Colt Vest Pocket. I just thought I'd make a note of it.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
So what do the stats look like to play? Well if you have Graham and Mag Glass up, then you've got 5 (6 with Dark Horse) which should be enough for most shroud values. If you've got to pass a treachery, you can go in with 5 from Moonstone and Intrepid (6 with Dark Horse) AND THEN have 6 (or 7 with Dark Horse) to improvise an escape (counting the -1 you get). Combat suffers the most with only -1 from Improvised Weapon or +1 with the Colt, but that's why we play Quick Thinking and ideally have Dark Horse running. I did try with Double or Nothing but it was difficult to pull off and besides, it's on the taboo list.
Crisis of Identity can be a real pain though and no Lola Hayes deck can not account for it. I've suggested ways you can prepare, but there are a couple of reminders. cards are never in trouble because they're largely events and skills. cards can be targeted, but Graham is the only one you might actively try to protect (but remember you can get by with LA instead). Scrying is useful but slow and Scroll of Prophecies is better played through Knowledge is Power, or played for however much it can manage. 's have no assets other than Survival Knife which is non-essential. Finally and need the most protection. Often I think through my entire turn carefully once some of those assets hit the table. If you can get both Crisis of Identitys to hit early, or prepare with Scrying, then great; prioritize Dream-Enhancing Serum and investigate as a . If not though, play as many assets as you can in one go after your events are spent, and then don't touch the role again until the crisis has passed. As for , plan out your turn to ensure you won't have to end as a and remember to hold off on Scrounge for Supplies until you can identify a critical card you absolutely must have back. Although to be honest, this card ends up not feeling very worth it in most cases. I hate having to switch roles only to spend an action to grab a card I probably can't play. But it is important if you're starting with say, Extracurricular Activity (which you should not be because you want to do House Always Wins so you can "LGsto..." those Conglomerations of Spheres.
The last thing I want to mention before we get into upgrade paths is to remember that this deck can really curve ball you. Sometimes I drop Alyssa Graham and Magnifying Glass and I clear the scenario in record time, while other times I deliberate round after round, as I gradually dig through the deck. The good news is it works either way. And if all goes well, you should have a bonus 3 exp to play with. Doing even one scenario this way can be a huge boon for building the kind of deck that might suit your play style. And on that note, here are my 3 recommended upgrade paths for the Performer:
UPGRADE PATHS/ACTRESS BUILDS:
THE TYPE-CAST BUILD:
You're getting the swing of things and finding the audience likes the energy you bring to the table. For those looking to deliver the same, but always enjoyable, performance, this archetype focuses on upgrading cards already in the deck as well as purchasing invaluable permanents to help make life easier.
Total Exp Cost: 30ish, depending on duplicates
STARVING ARTIST BUILD:
As an actress who has to fight tooth and nail to be noticed, you seek roles that challenge you in dynamic ways and offer the potential for critical reception even if they are strange or difficult from reading the script. This style is all about farming massive amounts of EXP to adapt to scenarios as well as develop your deck into a whatever you personally like.
The rest is up to you. Make whatever deck you like and phase out the exp cards whenever you're satisfied.
Total Exp Cost: 12
OSCAR WINNER BUILD:
You've won the most prestigious award for acting in dramatic roles on more than one occasion. As such, you've since learned what roles you prefer and what roles you deserve. There are some levels you no longer need to stoop to, so this path emphasizes removing a particular class from the deck in favor of more other class cards and particularly neutral cards as you settle into a life of luxury.
Adaptable x2 (you'll want two of these so you can phase out a class or two, and focus on neutral cards. Since I don't know which class(es) you are thinking of cutting, I'll list all the good lvl 0 neutral cards in no particular order, and then upgrades, that I recommend for Lola. Remember, Neutrals are her favorite cards because they can always be played/activated.
The Black Cat (nerfs the Chaos bag, protects you from damage, cheap to play. What more could you want?)
Total Exp Cost: 23
Thanks for reading and I hope you give this deck a try! Let me know how it goes and if there are changes you can recommend from playing it!