Call of Cthulhu LCG: Rituals of the Order v1

Call of Cthulhu The Card Game box art, circa 2014.With this Call of Cthulhu deck combining Yog-Sothoth with the Order of the Silver Twilight, let’s see how playtesting informs an iterative design process. The original idea was two-part. First, use the Order’s self-discard effects — Sigil of the Order, Dedicated Butler, Unbound! — in combination with Yog-Sothoth’s self-milling effects, particularly the Lost Oracle, to seed the discard with characters. Then, use Magical Theorist to accelerate the number of tokens going on Rite of the Silver Key to play characters from the discard, as well as destroy the other player’s characters with Ritual of the Construct. Meanwhile, the same tomes that are giving the Magical Theorist his oomph are also buffing Sarah Van Shaw, Chauncey Swan as well as whomever happens to be carrying them.

Rituals of the Order v1

Total Cards: (51)

Character: (28)
3x Magical Theorist (The Unspeakable Pages)
2x Sarah Van Shaw (Words of Power)
3x Guardian of Dawn (Terror in Venice)
3x Lost Oracle (The Key and the Gate)
2x Initiate of Huang Hun (Curse of the Jade Emperor)
2x Dedicated Butler (The Order of the Silver Twilight)
3x Servants of Glaaki (Aspirations of Ascension)
2x Chauncey Swann (Written and Bound)
2x Cannibal Ghast (Core Set)
2x Professor Nathaniel Peaslee (The Key and the Gate)
2x Glaaki (Aspirations of Ascension)
2x Faceless Abductor (The Order of the Silver Twilight)

Support: (18)
2x Rite of the Silver Key (The Key and the Gate)
2x Rite of the Silver Gate (The Key and the Gate)
2x Ritual of the Construct (The Order of the Silver Twilight)
2x T’tka Halot (Written and Bound)
2x The Necronomicon: John Dee Translation (The Unspeakable Pages)
2x Eltdown Shards (Words of Power)
2x Hermetic Seal (Terror in Venice)
2x Sigil of the Order (The Order of the Silver Twilight)
2x Dark Passenger (The Key and the Gate)

Event: (5)
3x Unbound! (The Order of the Silver Twilight)
2x Initiation of Glaaki (Aspirations of Ascension)

Deck Created with Call of Cthulhu Deckbuilder

To be clear, I don’t recommend this deck at all. I’m sharing my learning process with these posts.

That was the idea. In playing the deck, what generally happened was Ritual of the Construct and Magical Theorist were almost always resourced to pay for more immediately useful effects, like Faceless Abductor and Initiate of Huang Hun to bounce characters back to their owner’s hand — both mine and the other player’s, because clearing a character of the burden of Frozen Time or the Black is pretty keen — and the Guardian of Dawn backed by Hermetic Seal activating her Day bonuses. There’s a very good argument that while the Initiate is useful, draining all of one’s domains to bounce three characters keeps you from getting any more characters out, or having the option to play non-zero cost effects for the remainder of your turn and the whole of the other player’s. This deck also had a paucity of events to play, so maybe that didn’t bother me as much as it should have, although I often felt hampered by the lack of any abilities to use that weren’t already on the table.

Dark Passenger also proved useful both for playing higher cost characters a little earlier, and making the other player a little more reticent about committing their afflicted character. Lost Oracle also did a bang-up job slowing down the success token race. I can’t say whether I used T’tka Halot to retrieve any milled rituals or spells more than maybe once. The John Dee Necronomicon was a dud card, basically there because I wanted to have tomes to keep Sarah and Chauncey happy and Silver Twilight only has those two volumes, period.

The initial draft of this deck also included Yog-Sothoth, In Whom the Spheres Meet. The hope was to have multiple paths to play Yog-Sothoth early, either through the Rite of the Silver Gate, or by the number of spells in the discard pile. Neither turned out to be very realistic, so I cut him early on, probably in favor of cheaper characters to play early on.

When the deck worked, it worked. But I felt like I was only using a portion of the cards. Magical Theorist and the rituals themselves were almost always the first candidates to become resources. Next time, I’ll post a revised version. The sneak peek is I cut out most of the discard from hand effects, and dropped the emphasis on rituals. They’re a sideline effort that took up too much time and resources. What’s the sense is spending time setting up rituals and feeding them while your opposing player is sending characters to stories and scoring tokens at will?

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