|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 11 March 2011|
Ralibar Vooz went close to the verge and saw that great webs were attached to it at intervals, seeming to span the gulf with their multiple crossing and reticulations of gray, rope thick strands. Apart from these, the chasm was bridgeless. Far out on one of the webs he discerned a darksome form, big as a crouching man but with long spider-like members.
– Clark Ashton Smith, The Seven Geases
It has always been a deck that you've dreamed about, but couldn't quite realize. Chances are, it's what drew you to the game in the first place. There are plenty of card games that allow you to demolish your opponent, but Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game offers an opportunity to do something far more horrible; drive them irrevocably insane. Fortunately, for those of us who enjoy this sort of thing, there is one faction very adapt at mentally deconstructing your foe.
Enter Bloated Leng Spider (Initiations of the Favored, F45.) This is Hastur at its most Hasturian. A Lost to the Madness (The Cacophony, F107) on eight legs. This is a prime subject to design your insanity deck around. Sure, there are some restrictions to work around, but it's nothing you can't handle, even in mono-Hastur decks. After all, you've probably put Dangerous Inmate (Screams from Within, F86) in already, which has to work around the same obstacles. That makes deck-building easier, as your tools are now a lot less situational.
The first thing to think about is increasing the reach of your insanity effects by giving it a better skill range. Demon Lover (Core Set, F84) does a great job here, immediately putting a four skill character at risk. Feint (Secrets of Arkham, F43) is a great backup and doubles as a 'trick' during the story phase. And it doesn't even require you to drain a domain. Still, some minds remain a tough nut to crack.
Willpower can be a problem. That's where Keeper of Dreams (Journey to Unknown Kadath, F109) comes in. As a three-cost character, this fits the resource curve nicely. The turn after you play it, you can have an open domain with four resources available. This makes the choice of discarding a card or not far more difficult. With the spider around, you might not be bluffing when trying to remove willpower. Playing around the Spider is certainly possible, but it means that you are already in control of the game using the power of fear.
Those Who Know No Fear
But it all stops when facing monsters, right? They have terror icons, and they can't go insane. Fortunately, Hastur has a lot of options to deal with those too. The easiest is probably Scotophobia (Core Set, F97) but The Enchanted Wood (In Memory of Day, F37) works too. Depending on how you make your deck, there are plenty of other cards to consider. Finally, if all else fails you just bring your Ancient One to the table. Hastur (The Spoken Covenant, F46) gives you the brute force approach, breaking through willpower or terror like a hot knife through mental butter.
Rounding out your insanity deck are the tricks that keep the insanity flowing. The Thing Behind You (The Path to Y'ha-nthlei, F110) is a good way to replay the spider, while doubling as a method to get an extra activation out of Demon Lover late in the game.
With the regionals around the corner, will this be the year where the King In Yellow shows his true face? Will Shub-Niggurath have an arachnid in her toolbox now? It won't be long until we find out!
Based on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and his literary circle, Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game takes two players deep into the Cthulhu Mythos where investigators clash with the Ancient Ones and Elder Gods for the fate of the world. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Asylum Pack expansions to the core game.
This card is simply wrong in soooo many ways...my opinion: it is too powerful.
I like the suggestions. Hastur is one of my fave factions.
Nice article as usual.