Hands of God || Blessing Cho Archetype Primer

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Blessed Carolyn and her Healing Tomes (19XP) [Deck Guide] 2 2 2 1.0
Hands of God || Blessing Cho Archetype Primer 0 0 0 1.0

birdfriender · 710

Hands of God


Credit: Original art by Patrick McEvoy, edit by me


Blessing of Isis has always been a cool and compelling card, but it's never really had a great home. It has the problem of being only accessible to main class Guardians, while also requiring you to have a good enough to be worth the effort, and also being able to generate enough tokens to reliably trigger it. Before Hemlock Vale, the only main class guardians with good enough Generation were Sister Mary, Parallel Zoey, and maybe Tommy. Unfortunately, none of them have abilities worth doing all the effort for.

Enter Ancestral Token. This is the all-in-one solution that allows any guardian to keep the bag stocked with tokens all scenario long. In 3 player, this easily adds 3 tokens per turn and often more. This means theoretically any guardian can now bring Blessing of Isis online.

So why Nathaniel Cho? Well, first of all he has one of the best abilities in the game. Secondly, he is also well positioned to take advantage of another powerful synergy card: Radiant Smite. In fact, while Blessing of Isis is the headline card of this deck, I sneakingly suspect that Radiant Smite is the real reason to play it.

Table of Contents:
  • Overview

  • Main Strategy

  • Specific Card Choices

  • Mulligan Strategy

  • Other Cards

  • Upgrade Options

Difficulty: ★★☆☆☆
Enemy Management: ★★★★★
Clue-getting: ☆☆☆☆☆
Encounter protection: ★★☆☆☆
Survivability: ★★★☆☆
Economy: ★★★☆☆
Card Drawing: ★★★★☆

Main Strategy:

Specific Card Choices:

Fight Events

  • Clean Them Out secretly maybe the best level 0 event in the deck, allows us to be incredibly efficient about killing 2 health enemies by also taking an econ action at the same time
  • Monster Slayer the other contender for best level 0 event, costing nothing and killing 3 health enemies in one action is extremely efficient, and we are never sad to see this with Boxing Gloves
  • Radiant Smite I said this was possibly secretly the reason to run the archetype and I stand by it. This is very easily a 5 damage event for 1 resource and 1xp which is ludicrously efficient. Sure, it costs us 3 tokens but it adds them right back again, with interest.
  • Counterpunch you'll sense a theme where I rate all the 0 cost Fight events extremely highly and this is no exception, it ranks a bit lower than the previous two just because it does require us to take a hit, but being active in the enemy phase does give us the opportunity to trigger our investigator ability an extra time
  • One-Two Punch normally I consider this one of the weakest level 0 Fight cards for Nathaniel, costing 2 and requiring a successful test before it gets to the good stuff, but in this deck it does give us an extra chance to draw a and trigger Blessing of Isis so it gains a little value.
  • Toe to Toe another 0 cost Fight, unfortunately it competes with Counterpunch for the resource of our fragile health and sanity which means its a little hard to run 2 copies. If you expect to have healing from your team or just expect a low damage campaign you can probably get away with the second, in which case I would cut a One-Two Punch
  • "Get over here!" it costs 2 and doesn't even have a damage bonus, which is a really hard sell. Unfortunately, we do have to play at least one of these as a concession to aloof enemies, losing out on 1 damage is worth it if it saves us a move and an engage action.


  • Boxing Gloves basically Nathaniel's signature, absolutely core engine piece
  • Glory it's the best card draw the class has to offer, and it does get some extra value in Cho from being a Spirit
  • Daring more card throughput, can be committed to any of your Fight tests, but also to the evade on Handcuffs
  • Stand Together it's an econ card you can draw with Boxing Gloves, not much else to it

Blessing Interactions

  • Ancestral Token as stated above, this does 100% of the heavy lifting of generating for our whole game plan
  • Blessing of Isis lets us recur all our best Fight events late in the game, and even opens the door for some interesting one-ofs as we level up the deck
  • Favor of the Sun makes triggering Blessing of Isis much more reliable, and running two copies even lets us force a trigger. Being fast means this doesn't feel bad to play out early even if you don't have Blessing online yet

Misc Inclusions

Mulligan Strategy:

The mulligan strategy for this deck is pretty simple, you absolutely need Boxing Gloves and Ancestral Token online as soon as possible, so mulligan hard for them. Priority is:

  • Keep Boxing Gloves or Ancestral Token if you see them
  • Backpack digs 12 cards deep so if you have it in your hand without any copies of Boxing Gloves or Ancestral Token it has a 70% chance to find your Gloves, a 70% chance to find the Token, and 90% chance to find one of either. Don't mulligan this unless you already have both in your hand. If you draw 2 copies of this you can likely get away with getting rid of one.
  • Randall Cho is a bit more complicated, he makes Boxing Gloves a lot more expensive, but he is a guaranteed tutor for them. Its probably pretty safe to keep him but if you want to get really nitpicky about it this is my rough flowchart
  • Any other Item assets I would hard mulligan away basically no matter what, we really don't want to have to manually draw these if we don't have to
  • Any other cards, mulligan unless you get lucky and open with Gloves and Token, in which case prioritize keeping Fight events and get rid of anything else

Other Cards:

There aren't a lot of other cards I would consider for the core deck, and there aren't many cards in the core deck I would cut. That said, some possible alterations you could make are:

  • A second Toe to Toe, as I mentioned above, but only if you are feeling very confident about your health situation, I would cut One-Two Punch for this
  • "Let me handle this!" can be good if you expect your team to be very spread out or particularly vulnerable to treacheries, though it is an event that doesn't help you do your main job of killing things. I would cut One-Two Punch for the first copy, and either a Toe to Toe or Counterpunch for the second.
  • Breach the Door this deck is designed, as is, to be a 100% combat deck, and to let your group handle the clues (for what it's worth, I ran this through 4p Scarlet Keys as the sole enemy handler and didn't break a sweat) but if you do want to be able to flex slightly this is the card to do it. As usual, first cut is a One-Two Punch. For the second copy I'd actually cut a "Get over here!", as the kind of gameplay that Breach incentivizes involves your party grouping up a lot more.
  • Tempt Fate please know that if you include this card you are doing so against my wishes, that said, I'm not a cop. If you are really worried about not having the tokens available for Radiant Smite this card is for you. It does cantrip but that can be deceptive in Nathaniel, its not a spirit so it lowers the hit density on Boxing Gloves and let me be clear that this will cost you a card draw at some point, to say nothing of the actions wasted for your team by the curse tokens.

Upgrade Options:

So, I would consider the deck as described here to be the core shell so to speak of the archetype, and to be likely reachable within 2 - 3 scenarios in most campaigns. I haven't presented a version of the deck at level 0, because I think that it basically looks exactly like any other Cho deck until you get the Blessing core online. It's up to you what you fill, the xp card slots with before you get the upgrades.

Once you have this core complete, there are a lot of different directions you can take the deck in, and I don't think there is a clear upgrade order from this point. One interesting feature of the archetype is that because of Blessing of Isis allowing you to recur cards, you can run a lot more one-ofs than in a normal deck.

  • Stick to the Plan is as great here as it is in any Guardian. I would also recommend a copy of Ever Vigilant if you do, just to make your turn 1 setup a bit cleaner
  • On the Hunt is another interesting option if you do take SttP, as it lets you get your whole engine rolling faster, cancels annoying spawn mechanics, and can be recurred with Blessing
  • Counterpunch level 2 Counterpunch is a hell of a glow-up, not only does it get a hefty fight bonus and an additional damage, it even lets you effectively cancel an enemy attack
  • "Get over here!" another huge upgrade to one of our core level 0 cards. I would strongly consider this even if you did opt to cut the level 0 version, as the addition of fast means that this not only compresses an extra action (or potentially even 2 if you are also using the extra range) but it also allows you to trigger your ability in the Mythos phase.
  • Sacred Covenant this changes in value with the number of players in the game, in 2p I wouldn't bother but above that it provides insurance against your party members hogging all your tokens
  • Sweeping Kick incredible value for 1xp, especially if you already have Stick to the Plan. Think of this less as a Fight that you add your to and more of an Evade you add your to. Or don't, if that doesn't make sense. What I'm getting at is that the evade is the powerful part here, it makes you a lot better at boss killing as you no longer need to do it all in one turn.
  • Fang of Tyr'thrha is always a weird choice in Cho, it's not a Spirit so he can't draw it with gloves, but it is a Fight event so it does trigger his ability. In this case, the ability to recur it makes it a potentially appealing one-of
  • Stand Together it gets you cards as well as resources, and that's enough to be worth the upgrade in Guardian, not a lot to say
  • Upgraded Boxing Gloves, everything you like about the original, but more. It's fairly xp expensive so I wouldn't prioritize it, but its a very good upgrade.
  • Nephthys kind of a luxury upgrade, but what a luxury! I would consider this to be an alternative to Sacred Covenant and largely good in the same circumstances. It gives you another way to turn all the you generate into value, but she costs a lot of xp and a decent chunk of resources.

Cards I would recommend against:

  • Upgraded One-Two Punch if I can convince even one person not to take this card then this whole post is worth it. It's so much xp. Yes it does 6 damage, I know, but you can do so much better for 5xp. Radiant Smite does 5 damage and only costs 1xp, Stick to the Plan costs 6 and draws you potentially 3 Fight events. Look I'm not saying never, but this is the most luxury of luxury upgrades and honestly I'm not sure I've ever felt like it was worth it.
  • Brand of Cthugha this is a good card for Nathaniel normally, but in this deck we are already very asset heavy and running this heavily runs the risk of just having a critical density of events.

Other than that, have fun! Most things that are normally good in Nathaniel are still good. But feel free to experiment. I would love to hear about any interesting card choices people found in the comments.

To create your own guides, find the template here.


Jun 09, 2024 Valentin1331 · 60898

Amazing! I played an almost identical deck and it did great! Glad to finally see another twist on NaCho.

The only difference was that I added Breach the Door to get some clues during low intensity moments. It really helped gaining tempo over the Mythos.

Jun 10, 2024 knoxb · 1

I love this deck & can't wait to try it! Just fyi though, you can't force a trigger with favor of the sun as it's unique

Jun 11, 2024 birdfriender · 710

@knoxb oh you're totally right, I thought I remembered it being unique but I couldn't see the unique icon on ArkhamDB

Jun 15, 2024 StartWithTheName · 66195

i mean even just 10/10 for the photoshopping on the art at the top alone here mate :)

Jun 19, 2024 Uffruption · 97

Incredibly cool deck! What are your thoughts on Ofuda as an alternative to "Get over here!"?

Jun 19, 2024 birdfriender · 710

@Uffruption that's an interesting idea, I actually didn't test that at all. My reservation would be the fact that its not a spirit card, but on the other hand it is an Item so Backpack can grab it. If you try it, I'd be interested to hear how it goes.

Jun 20, 2024 pelgromlr · 1

Just the inspiration I needed for my first Nathaniel Cho deck! :-) I always wanted to play Cho, but the idea that a boxer could fight Lovecraftion horrors with his fists, just never sat right with me. However, a boxer 'blessed [by God]' might just do the trick ;-)

Jun 21, 2024 housh · 164

Love this deck idea!

Jul 14, 2024 Yodee2 · 1

opinions on running geared up with this? would geared up work on backpack targets? Seems like we have lots of items in this and most of the time the first turn doesn't have much urgent enemies to fight off

Jul 14, 2024 birdfriender · 710

@Yodee2 hmm the main downside I can see is that it would turn off Randall as a turn 1 Boxing Gloves option. I am generally a bit hesitant to run Geared Up just bc it feels so punishing when you miss with it, but I think it could maybe work. On the other hand, I think you definitely want Stick to the Plan no matter what in Cho, so all you're really saving running Geared Up is 1xp for Ever Vigilant.