As promised, here is the second version of the Rituals of the Order deck I posted last week. Stripping out the rituals and cards that worked with them them — Magic Theorist to add extra tokens based on the tomes in play and discard effects like Dedicated Butler and Sigil of the Order to get high cost characters into the discard pile — left me something like 11 slots in the deck to fill. At one point in the revision process, I was agonizing over which of two cards to add, because I knew I was up against the 51-52 overage, and then discovered I was more like eight cards away from 50. That was practically permission to experiment freely with interesting events that I wouldn’t normally have considered.
Rituals of the Order v2
Total Cards: (51)
2x Sarah Van Shaw (Words of Power)
3x Guardian of Dawn (Terror in Venice)
3x Lost Oracle (The Key and the Gate)
3x Initiate of Huang Hun (Curse of the Jade Emperor)
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)
3x Faceless Abductor (The Order of the Silver Twilight)
2x Zanni (Terror in Venice)
2x Rite of the Silver Gate (The Key and the Gate)
3x T’tka Halot (Written and Bound)
2x Hermetic Seal (Terror in Venice)
2x Dark Passenger (The Key and the Gate)
2x The Deodand (The Shifting Sands)
3x Unbound! (The Order of the Silver Twilight)
2x Initiation of Glaaki (Aspirations of Ascension)
2x Fleeting Guise (Terror in Venice)
2x Mind Swap (Denizens of the Underworld)
2x Secret Handshake (The Order of the Silver Twilight)
2x Fine Dining (The Order of the Silver Twilight)
Deck Created with CardGameDB.com Call of Cthulhu Deckbuilder
Fine Dining, Fleeting Guise, Mind Swap and Secret Handshake are all events I decided to experiment with. In my few plays so far, Secret Handshake proved really clutch in several instances, as it’s a cheap boost to a Silver Twilight character, and can be pulled back from the discard with T’kta Halot, along with many of the rest of this deck’s events. Fine Dining is also a fun one-two with Professor Peaslee: swap characters with your fellow player, then wait for the right moment — possibly when you’ve faked them into committing to a story you don’t especially care about — to literally feed the traded character to someone for a healthy swathe of icons and invulnerability when they least expect it.
It’s not really Call of Cthulhu if people aren’t struggling with lost knowledge that ought to have remain lost, so I wanted to stick with Sarah Van Shaw and Chauncey Swann as characters who benefit from the presence of tome support cards. Although looking at the deck list again, at the same time I ditched most of the tome cards that would boost them. So that’s going to need further tweaking. I’ve been really annoyed that Silver Twilight only has two tomes of their own, and Yog-Sothoth’s are not great that I can see at the moment. I’ll have to work on that more, because Sarah’s a champ when she’s got a book in hand. Chauncey less so, though I certainly do enough bouncing to hand with the Initiate of Huang Hun that I ought to be taking advantage of those opportunities to sift for support cards. More than half of the supports in this deck are Silver Twilight, so it’s probably worthwhile, although might not be more if I do increase the number of tomes. The John Dee Necronomicon has a lackluster effect, so I’d be looking to Yog-Sothoth’s tomes, which are more plentiful, at least.
Zanni’s another recent addition I’m less confident about. Maybe it’s a lack of practice, but in the few plays so far, I’ve found myself forgetting to use him when appropriate, then glaring at him in annoyance on the occasions when I did notice him and he would not be helpful. He has an interesting effect, forcing extra characters to a story. I’m guessing he’s meant to be a sacrificial lamb, possibly one that unexpectedly grows into a beast, and that’s a mindset I’m still learning to make use of when appropriate. Normally, I play very conservatively, reluctant to lose characters and resources. But as one person likes to point out, “The winner has three story cards, not the most characters still alive.” It’s just finding the ways to make sacrificing a character for the block productive, rather than a waste. I’m still working on that for now.