As mentioned earlier, here’s my pass at a Deep Ones deck intended to introduce Call of Cthulhu to a new player. Two players have tried it so far. They both definitely got it and had positive play experiences — I hope in part because I’m learning to be more mindful of pointing out the connections between cards, such as the various ways to play Cthulhu earlier or more cheaply — but I think the deck still needs work. One of the players remarked it was pretty basic: play Deep Ones, go to stories, maybe sacrifice some chumps to off the other player’s characters with the Khopesh of the Abyss, or feed to Carl Stanford.
The Stars Are Right
Total Cards: (52)
3x Cthulhu (The Wailer Below)
2x Seeker of Mysteries (Secrets of Arkham)
2x Lord of Y’ha-nthlei (Secrets of Arkham)
2x Lord of the Silver Twilight (Core Set)
2x Carl Stanford (Secrets of Arkham)
2x Aziz Chatuluka (The Shifting Sands)
2x Deep One Rising (Secrets of Arkham)
2x Young Deep One (Core Set)
2x Innsmouth Troublemaker (Core Set)
2x Deep One Stowaway (Perilous Trials)
2x Lurking Deep One (Aspirations of Ascension)
2x The Cult of Bathos (Into Tartarus)
2x Devil’s Reef (Aspirations of Ascension)
2x Shadowed Reef (Core Set)
2x Cthaat Aquadingen (Ebla Restored)
2x Communal Shower (The Thing from the Shore)
2x San Giorgio in Alga (Terror in Venice)
2x Khopesh of the Abyss (The Shifting Sands)
2x Scylla’s Well (Into Tartarus)
2x Underneath the Surface (The Twilight Beckons)
3x Deep One Assault (Core Set)
2x Primal Fear (Secrets of Arkham)
2x Solar Eclipse (Terror in Venice)
2x Touched by the Sleeper (Core Set)
2x Slave to the Undivided Mind (The Gleaming Spiral)
Deck Created with CardGameDB.com Call of Cthulhu Deckbuilder
Additionally, he pointed out there weren’t a lot of beefier characters, aside from Cthulhu and Deep One Rising. That’s in part because there’s a paucity of higher cost Deep Ones — Robert Friendly excluded — and maybe my bias leans toward more characters that can be played earlier in the game. It does leave one short on stronger game finishers. When I revamp this, I’ll have to be less discriminating against Cthulhu faction characters who aren’t Deep Ones.
When Toby played this deck, we got to battle back and forth for Day and Night a bit, which was a change. Usually, it seems that one player prepares for one side of that game state because it specifically benefits the deck, and the odds of it becoming a point of contention are minimal. With San Giorgio in Alga, though, the Deep Ones player is motivated to keep it Night for the deck-filtering effect. And when against Company Men, they’re motivated to keep the fight up or various Agency buffs kick into gear.
That particular Agency-Cthulhu pairing caused Communal Showers to fizzle, too. It’s primarily useful against the typical multi-faction mix. When you go mono a mono, as it were, its utility is nil. Probably worth replacing with a more broadly useful support card. I think the same is true of Solar Eclipse. It’s a neat event, and can make a Deep One unexpectedly terrifying, but I’m not sure it has enough utility. Any time I’ve seen it come into my hand, it sits there for the duration of the game, or gets resourced, so I can play something more interesting or immediately applicable.