Decked! #26: Call of Cthulhu January 2016 Draft Deckbuilding

Returning to the Call of Cthulhu draft held at Black Moon Games, Ray goes over the cards he’s pulled and his strategy for the upcoming matches against fellow players.

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Decked! #25: Call of Cthulhu January 2016 Draft

Black Moon Games hosted a Call of Cthulhu LCG draft recently, and Decked! was there to catch the action. Before we get into the matches of the day, let’s look over Ray’s shoulder to see what he selects from the cards offered to him, and get some insight into his drafting process.

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Call of Cthulhu Necronomicon Draft, January 2016

A Necronomicon draft pack for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game: a stack of white bordered cards with a splash card of a terrifying figure playing a twisted violin.

Total Cards: (40)

Character: (25)
1x Nigel St. James (The Shifting Sands)
1x Son of Yeb (Core Set)
1x Whitton Greene (Seekers of Knowledge)
1x Wizard of Yog-Sothoth (Secrets of Arkham)
1x Blood Magician (Conspiracies of Chaos)
2x Guardian of Dawn (Terror in Venice)
2x Archaeology Interns (Into Tartarus)
1x Unscrupulous Acquisitionist (The Gleaming Spiral)
2x Key-seeker (Curse of the Jade Emperor)
1x Magnus Stiles (Shadow of the Monolith)
1x Wilbur Whateley (The Key and the Gate)
1x Carl Stanford (Seekers of Knowledge)
1x Arcane Initiate (Core Set)
1x Richard Pike (Seekers of Knowledge)
1x The Red-Gloved Man (Whispers in the Dark)
1x Andrew-Chapman (The Key and the Gate)
1x Cub Reporter (Seekers of Knowledge)
1x Matthew Alexander (Seekers of Knowledge)
2x Alternative Historian (Seekers of Knowledge)
1x Cultist of the Key (The Wailer Below)
1x The Day Dreamer (Twilight Horror)

Support: (8)
1x Guardian Pillar (Search for the Silver Key)
1x The Rays of Dawn (Twilight Horror)
1x Medico Della Peste (Terror in Venice)
2x Elder Binding (Aspirations of Ascension)
1x Rabbit’s Foot (The Spawn of the Sleeper)
2x Cryptic Writings (Search for the Silver Key)

Event: (5)
1x Calling the Williwaw (The Key and the Gate)
1x All are One (The Spoken Covenant)
1x Fist of Yog-Sothoth (That Which Consumes)
2x Feint (Secrets of Arkham)

Conspiracy: (2)
1x Unending Festivities (Terror in Venice)
1x Combing the Archives (Lost Rites)

This Sunday, Black Moon Games hosted a Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game draft at their store in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Three of us traveled down from Burlington to meet up with three more players, which makes for the most people I’ve seen playing Cthulhu at the same time in one place, outside cutaways in Fantasy Flight’s live streams. After drafting cards, we played three rounds with the decks we built, first with random match-ups, then pairing manually based on the wisdom of de factor tournament organizer Rod. I got three matches on camera for Decked!, so you can look forward to those posts in the coming weeks, as well as an over the shoulder shot of Ray drafting his cards. My hope is for that to become a mini-series, where Ray explains his thinking on his selections card by card, both for himself and with regard to what he deduced his neighbors were doing.

As for myself, my first pick was a Syndicate card, Carnivale Sentinel, and then I rapidly realized that I was not be receiving any useful Syndicate cards at all from my neighbors — later on, I discovered both Rod and Carlo had built decks with significant Syndicate presence — so I shifted gears toward Miskatonic University when I got an Alternative Historian and Yog-Sothoth for the affordable cultists and sorcerers. Then Carlo passed me Carl “Goddamn” Stanford, as he’s known locally, and I found myself drafting three factions.

My mantra was “Characters win drafts,” as Rod told me once, and I tried to stick to that, keeping in mind cost, icons and useful abilities. Some characters wound up always getting resourced — Richard Pike, for instance, and Magnus Stiles; too narrow an ability and too high a cost, respectively — and most of the support cards wound up feeling like chaff, barring Cryptic Writings — shutting down Henry Knoll at one point, delightfully — and Guardian Pillar proving super helpful the one time I got Unending Festivities into play.

Overall, I won two matches and lost the third to Rod and his Syndicate deck. I’m pretty happy with that for my second time ever drafting, especially after tanking so hard the first time.

Stay tuned for draft picks and play commentary on coming episodes of Decked!

Decked! #24: Night of the Avatars vs. Toxic Fungi

Brap’s Magic‘s recent Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game tournament winds down with Rod’s Avatars going up against the mi-go and their pervasive toxemia. Will the recently discovered Mi-Go Warrior cheese make an appearance? Watch and find out!

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Decked! #23: Night of the Avatars vs. The Deck with No Name

The series of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game matches from Brap’s Magic continues with the avatars of Nyarlathotep, piloted by Rod, going up against Ray’s alliance of the Syndicate and the Order of the Silver Twilight. This is not the deck from Decked! Tech, but maybe, possibly was inspired by that brainstorming session.

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Decked! #22: Night of the Avatars vs. The Black Network

We kick off the latest Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game tournament hosted by Brap’s Magic with Rod’s first foray into the new avatars of Nyarlathotep from The Thousand Young coming up against Carlo’s Criminals decks. This is a change-up for both players. Carlo has played Yog-Sothoth mill decks in competitions to date, and Rod’s largely played human factions, so they’ve both switched to opposite sides of the fence, playing to different strengths than they normally do.

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Decked! #21: Project MILL vs. Toxic Fungi

Wrapping up this Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game tourney series from Black Moon Games, we see Carlo’s mill deck, packed with Yog-Sothoth’s nastiest discarding tricks, turn up the heat against the mi-go and their allies.

Subscribe to Decked! on YouTube to catch the whole series of games from Black Moon Games’ tournament, and more live-on-tape card game fun.

Decked! #20: The Moon God’s Shield vs. Toxic Fungi

Black Moon Games‘ recent Call of Cthulhu tourney rolls on as Ray’s mono Cthulhu deck tries to play the slow game against Tyler’s mi-go synergies, using Pervasive Toxemia as a tax on committing characters to attack or defend stories. Thanks to Black Moon Games for hosting this Cthulhu LCG tournament and supporting the local game community.

Subscribe to Decked! on YouTube to catch the whole series of games from Black Moon Games’ tournament, and more live-on-tape card game fun.

Decked! #19: Forward the Foundation vs. Toxic Fungi

This game of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game comes from a recent tournament hosted by Black Moon Games in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Rod brings the law and order of the Blackwood Agency and its allies to the table, while Tyler advances the otherworldly plots of the alien mi-go, intent on disseminating a space plague among the peoples of earth.

Subscribe to Decked! to catch the whole series of games from Black Moon Games’ tournament, and more live-on-tape card game fun.

So Long, And Thanks for All the Cards

Earlier today, Fantasy Flight Games announced that Mark of Madness would be the final expansion to Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. This is, of course, a huge bummer, especially coming on the heels of the announcement that the winner of Worlds would get to design a card for Call of Cthulhu, implying there would be a product of some kind in which the card would be included. Instead, it turns out the world champion gets a print run of their card to hand out to friends and family. Maybe this year’s champ will entertain the notion of accepting self-addressed, stamped envelopes from players elsewhere.

None of this affects the game or the cards, of course. The game’s still fun and the cards all do exactly what they used to. I hope to keep playing with my friends, the way it’s always been. We’ll have to work a little harder to get together without the prompting of a local store, wishing to make their money back on a prize kit, and deckbuilding will slow down, but we’ll still play.[1]

Call of Cthulhu was my first deep dive into card games of this sort. I played Magic in the early 90s. I dabbled in Netrunner. But the Cthulhu LCG is where I dove in deep and didn’t look back. I’m going to spend the next couple months deciding what I’m going to do next with the living card game model, or any other flavor of card game.[2] I’ll cop to feeling a little burned — though certainly the writing was on the wall for a long time now — but I haven’t yet seen another game on the market with a similarly appealing blend of theme and rules density as Call of Cthulhu. Right now, I can’t picture getting into another card game nearly as enthusiastically as I did with Cthulhu.


[1] In fact, with the end of the structure of organized play for Call of Cthulhu, surely that means there’s no more restricted list. Welcome back, Y-Train!

[2] And what this means for Decked!, in fact. Right now, the options look like carrying on unphased, finding a new favorite card game, or a massive format change.