|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 04 November 2011|
Today, we are happy to share a tournament report from Jim Black, former world champion and champion of the Arkham Nights 2011 Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game tournament. New players can learn much about how the big green can swallow its competition from Jim’s deck list and strategy guide, while investigators of all levels of experience can explore Jim’s recap of the tournament for hidden truths and deeper meanings…
Arkham Nights 2011
Last year, when Fantasy Flight Games announced the first ever Arkham Nights and its celebration of all things Cthulhu, I was psyched to go. Unfortunately, it was the same weekend as a good friend's wedding, so I did not have the chance to go. When I heard that Fantasy Flight Games was going to host Arkham Nights again this year, I knew I had to do everything possible to go. “Everything possible” turned out to be a drive of twelve hours up and twelve hours back–solo. Still, I had a great time interacting with everyone and playing Mansions of Madness, Elder Sign, Arkham Horror, and (of course) Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game.
The tournament was held on Saturday afternoon. My deck list is below. For those of you who have read my deck lists and tourney reports from LCG Days and Gen Con Worlds, you will note that not a whole lot has changed about my deck for Arkham Nights 2011. The deck has weaknesses, but is consistently strong in game play, going a combined 9-1 at the three tournaments listed above (not a bad tournament season, all in all). While I have found decks that can beat it, I have not found one that can beat it consistently. And until I do, I probably won't change much about it.
Degenerate Serpent Cultist x3
Brood of Yig x3
Keeper of the Golden Path x2
Emerging Deep One x3
Guardian Shoggoth x2
* Carl Stanford: Deathless Fanatic x2
* Descendant of Eibon: Master of the Black Arts x2
Dreamlands Fanatic x3
Deep One Rising x2
Ravager from the Deep x3
* Hydra: Mother of the Deep x2
* Yig: Father of Serpents x2
* Cthulhu: Lord of R'lyeh x2
Sword of Y'ha-tallo x2
Called by Azathoth x2
Khopesh of the Abyss x2
Y'ha-nthlei Statue x2
Thoughts on the deck
The theme of the deck is destruction, obviously.
The ideal starting hand has a Degenerate Serpent Cultist (The Wailer Below, 63), a 2-cost character–ideally Brood of Yig (Whispers in the Dark, 4)–a destruction card like Deep One Assault (Core Set, 56) or Sacrificial Offerings (Core Set, 59) that I can play quickly if need be, and a Dreamlands Fanatic (In the Dread of Night, 47). I will mulligan if I don't see at least a couple of low cost characters (cost two or less) and a destruction card.
The only card I will never resource, even if I draw it at startup, is Yig (Screams from Within, 85). His versatility and ability to bolster other characters makes him worth holding on to and waiting until I have five resources on a domain to play him.
The deck can play fast or slow, according to what you draw and what your opponent has out. Play patiently if you have to; this deck has plenty of late game powerhouses.
Trever was playing an Agency deck, containing a bunch of Attachments and centered around Prize Pistol (In Memory of Day, 22).
A Government Exorcist (The Spawn of the Sleeper, 1) won him a story and a Confident Rookie (The Path to Y'ha-nthlei, 101) with two attachments was a pain for a turn or two. But, unfortunately for him, he drew a lot more Attachments than characters–and no Prize Pistols. That played right into my deck's strength as I drew enough destruction to wipe out his characters and render his Attachments moot.
Round 2: Chris M.
Chris and I had actually played a Mansions of Madness game together earlier in the day, so I knew he was a sharp player. He was playing a Syndicate/Miskatonic University deck.
I got a good jump on him, thanks in part to a Degenerate Serpent Cultist armed with a Khopesh of the Abyss (The Shifting Sands, 16), allowing me to race to stories and secure a victory very quickly.
Patrick and I had met before at the LCG Days Call of Cthulhu tournament. He's a good guy, and I always enjoy playing a game against him. He was playing a Yog-Sothoth deck (which he confided had not changed at all since the LCG Days tourney).
He played one character the first three rounds and by the time he got Things in the Ground (Secrets of Arkham, 31) into play, the game was lost. He needed characters out to stall me and allow him to set up his discard engine and they never came.
Final: Chris M.
The final was a rematch. That tends to happen in Swiss pairings–you end up meeting the good players a second time.
This match was the complete opposite of the first one: even after a mulligan, I had very little to play. Not so for Chris: he broke out Dutch Courage (Core Set, 73), Chess Prodigy (The Horror Beneath the Surface, 25), some other characters, and a Field Research Station (The Wailer Below, 68), which allowed him to add an Investigation struggle to a story. He won his first story in two turns and won his second fairly quickly after that, thanks to two Chess Prodigies and that Dutch Courage. And thanks to many attachments, my The Sleeper Awakens (Spawn of Madness, 8) were rendered useless. This was a recurring theme of this tournament. I had slipped them in, thinking they would be a surprise, but they were resourced every time I drew one. I recovered enough to get one story and hold him back enough that I finally got Cthulhu: Lord of R’lyeh (The Wailer Below, 64) out and managed to put some wounds on his Chess Prodigies. Still, even as Cthulhu ate three guys every turn, he put out enough fodder to keep feeding him without losing his key guys. I also managed to keep putting success tokens down, though it was a fight because he was just waiting to lock Cthulhu down by winning the Arcane struggle, allowing him an easy path to victory.
It all came down to one final battle. He had two tokens on his third story, and I had four tokens on one story and three on another. If he top-decked an Open for Inspection (Core Set, 34), another Field Research Station, a Necronomicon (Secrets of Arkham, 9)–anything like that–he was going to win. He didn't, but he went to the story with everyone anyway, knowing that I would win next turn even if he defended with everyone. I told you he was sharp: he had nothing to lose, and you never know when your opponent will make a mistake. I defended with everyone I had, including Cthulhu, Yig, and someone else. He won both Investigation struggles obviously, but the skill struggle was mine 13-11 (or something very close to that). For the lack of two skill (Chess Prodigies are Fast, so he would win ties) or a way to create a third Investigation struggle, he came up short. I won on the next turn, much to my great thrill and relief.
It was a battle worthy of the final match, and I thank Chris for bringing a good deck and a keen mind into it.
I would like to thank everyone who participated, Damon Stone for his work on Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, and Fantasy Flight Games for hosting the Arkham Nights 2011 events. I had an awesome time!
Thanks, Jim! Congratulations to both you and Chris for making it to the final table. You’ve done both the Ancient Ones and humanity proud.
Thanks, too, to all the attendees of the Arkham Nights 2011 Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game tournament. It was a pleasure to host you. We hope to see you all back again next year!
In the meantime, keep checking back to our website for new revelations about Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, and experience the dread with other members of our community forums.
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.
Thanks for the article Jim! Wish I could have gone along. Maybe I'll join you next year!
What was the timer ? One/two round winning ?
How many people ? What was the tournament format ? How was the meta ?
It's a good account of one player's afternoon but it's lacking in the tournament description.
Thanks for the write up, Jim.
Blah, I blame my loss against you on bad card drawing. Mill decks rule your face. YOUR FACE! :D