21 Thump Street (Deck Guide)

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StartWithTheName · 44690

StartWithTheName

A 21 CARD SUPER FAST HUNTER KILLER ZOEY

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This started as a bit of a tech demo deck showcasing Underworld Support as an incredible tutor enabler. It turned out to be something of a monster, albeit a really fun monster to play. It has cleared several standalones, and all of Carcosa. I have mainly been playing it on standard as our group are teaching the game to several new players just now, but it overshoots the bag so much, it should be fine on higher settings.

It is designed to find the hammer fast but the principal can be applied to any weapon, or tbh other targets. I would be surprised if there isnt a Double Holy Flamethrower or The Hungering Blade + Mr. "Rook" variant. However I am primarily hoping to show people the interaction between deck thinning and search mechanics. See Muligan section for details of how this all works.

This is a 19xp standalone version. To reset to a campaign starter:

There are some lvl0 ideas in the sideboard. Backpack (0) wasnt that useful when i tried it even with Underworld Support because you dont yet have Stick to the Plan. David Renfield adds a little early campaign cash before you have Ever Vigilant, Well Prepared and On the Hunt (3). He is not needed long term.

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LEAN, EGGS, & HAMMER (TL:DR)

OVERVIEW:

  • CLUEING: ....................... Low, but options
  • ENEMY HANDLING: ...... Exceptional
  • ENCOUNTER PROT: ...... High
  • DRAW CONSISTENCY: .. Exceptional
  • CASH ENGINE: ............... High
  • HEALING: ....................... Self only

PLAYSTYLE:

  • ROLE: ............................. Primary Damage Dealer,
  • COMPLEXITY: ................ Moderate
  • JANK FACTOR: ............... Some Nuance, not a lot.
  • THEMATIC FEEL: ........... Leaping Hammer JRPG character.

SLOTS:

An exceptionally consistent, quick rig, high impact killer based around compounding deck thinning tools meant as a bit of a tech demo, but it is very effective in practice. The deck has a lot of flex, filled here with a lot of jumpy attack/move events because a leaping hammer ninja amuses me, but there's lots of room to adapt to personal taste. Just keep the draw and tutoring high.

Between Underworld Support, STTP, Tempt Fate, and Astounding Rev (triggered by STTP pre mulligan)), the effective deck is 21 non weakness cards so a hard mulligan can see almost half of these. Backpack (2), played action 1 (5 cards now in hand) will search 12 cards from 19. Between these and Prep for the worst on STTP, the hammer, and usually Zoey's Cross, are all but guaranteed turn 1 or 2.

Enchant Weapon, and/or Well Prepared (Note the on hammer) can force a 3 or 4 damage attack once or twice a turn, or if you need more theres plenty of skill cards. These enablers cant be tutored, hence the absurd amount of draw. First map an Enchanted Sledgehammer or Survival Knife is fine.

Lots of events engage enemies from range allowing Zoey's Cross to trigger allowing cards like "Get over here!" to kill 2 hp enemies at range, or On the Hunt/First Watch to kill 1hp enemies like cultists fast on sight.

Clues come from Sixth Sense and Grete Wagner. Note that Well Prepared can use the pips on the hammer, or various singles on other assets, +1s on certain allies, or basically tons of pips on cards. Stacking this also provides encounter protection, but youre not using it that many times a turn.

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DETAILED PILOTING

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FORGING AHEAD (Upgrades)

PRIORITIES:

LATER OPTIONS:

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GRAB AND SMASH (Mulligan & Set up)

THE COMBO

The deck starts with 26 non weakness cards. Put these on Stick to the Plan:

Note that Stick to the Plan is a whole deck search effect, which can trigger Astounding Revelation for 2 pennies and crucially putting it in the discard.

Going into the mulligan, the deck is now 21 non weakness cards. A hard mulligan can see up to 10 of these. Keep:

  1. Cyclopean Hammer
  2. Enchant Weapon
  3. Backpack(2)

Mulligan the rest in the hope of getting them unless you have a good reason. If you got the hammer, the backpack is debatable, but its still pretty good for finding Zoey's Cross and Empty Vessel, or just getting spare weapons out of the deck to stop them being dead draws.

Post mulligan weaknesses matter again but 5 cards are in your hand. The deck is now 18 cards. Backpack (2) and Prepared for the Worst will see 12 (66%) and 9 (50%) of these respectively. Importantly and as more cards get drawn/removed this proportion grows rapidly. Even drawing 2 cards before playing Backpack bumps it to 12/16 = 75% of the remaining deck, and ofc once there are only 12 cards in there, it will see 100%. And the deck has a lot of ways to draw action free: Tempt Fate, Daring, Overpower, Glory. Between the mulligan, the two search cards, and just having a spare weapon, the odds on not having a weapon turn 1 or 2 are negligible.

(GENERAL OBSERVATIONS AND OTHER USES This only works because we have taken 5 cards out of the deck with Underworld Support and 4 more with Stick to the Plan (including the Astounding Revelation. You can do a similar thing with a 20 card parallel "Skids" O'Toole using Underworld Support, but the Stick to the Plan combo also adds a TON of early economy, and at least 1 Tutor available turn 1 for a massive opening setup. Leo Anderson can also do this without the Astounding Revelation.)

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POUNDLAND! (Combat)

THE OBVIOUS

OK I NEED A SOAPBOX A MOMENT: Ahem. I know a lot of people complain the hammer is too good. I honestly think its on par with every other 2 damage weapon in the game. if anything its given mystic a very expensive machete. In guardian its on par with Lightning Gun and Flamethrower, both of which also need supports. If there is a problem card its Enchant Weapon which for 3 xp turns a lot of weapons into reliable 3 damage attacks. The hammer has a lot of synergy potential which encourages theory crafting. The problem is that Enchant Weapon adds a few too many good things to other cards and they happen to perfectly alight with the hammers needs. But as someone currently using a Holy Meat Cleaver Carolyn deck in my Edge blind run, i can tell you the problem is not the hammer. Fite me ;P. ... er... I mean alternative viewpoints welcomed....Moooooovingg on.....

THE LESS OBVIOUS

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SMASH AND GRAB (Clues)

Its not a heavy cluer, but it can do a little.

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HAMMER HORROR (Encounter Protection)

  • Soak damage and horror on allies, and/or heal it back with Wish Eater You can just tank the harm from a lot of encounter cards so long as they dont have nasty on fail effects.

  • Save Ward of Protection for asset hate Cards like Crypt Chill or Corrosion can take your hammer away. While you have back up weapons and other attack events/skills they will eventually run out. Obviously if you know they are not a risk use them on other things. I actually took Protective Gear for the 3/3 soak at one point, but also loved it for the asset protection as a lot of asset hate are hazards it seems. Without spoiling Edge of the Earth, unsurprisingly there are other hazards in there so you may have it for other reasons anyway.

  • You have massive , albeit once a turn Well Prepared using the icons on the Hammer should be enough to pass a lot of will checks on encounter cards . Failing that there are Guts, Take the Initiative, and Unexpected Courage. Agility checks are a little trickier where realistically you only have Take the Initiative. Or you can get a single Well Prepared pip on a few items (mainly the wild on Zoey's Cross, to combine with Unexpected Courage.

  • Spend On the Hunt and First Watch liberally These can just skip the worst of an encounter phase, and you want the enemy on Zoey anyway.

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As always, thanks for reading. Let me know how you get on and if you have any other ideas for how to capitalise Underworld Support.
17 comments

Jan 02, 2022 chirubime · 8430

This is a fantastic deck idea! However I think in practice it's more of a 24 thump street. Pulling AR, 3 tactics, and 5 card less from underworld leaves only sigs and weaknesses which is at least 24 card deck. Mulligans let you see up to 10 of the 24 cards so that is still incredibly great.

Jan 02, 2022 chirubime · 8430

You mentioned wanting to hear about some underworld support techs. I've been playing it the most in Dexter and Winfried a lot. Making every single card in your deck a different card plays pretty nicely into winifred ability. Dexter with Molly makes tutoring singletons a breeze. The biggest issue there is finding molly first.

Jan 02, 2022 StartWithTheName · 44690

I sort of agree @chirubime, its a 22 card deck really for the purposes of the Mulligan since mulligans overlook weaknesses. There are a few arguments for it being a 21 card deck the same way most decks are referred to as 30 cards because thats what they are pre sigs/weaknesses. Tempt Fate also self replaces on sight, but it still blocks searches, so its somewhere in between.

I`ll be honest though, while 22 jump st is the better film, it needs to be watched after 21 jump st which is really the franchise name. I think we can all accept that the main problem here is that there arnt enough idioms in the world that use the number 22 to make a pun from... This has considerable implications for any leo version of the concept in my eyes :D

Jan 02, 2022 StartWithTheName · 44690

There might be something you can do with Dex to tutor out molly via Calling in Favors, or just a ton of draw. It wouldnt necessarily be a turn 1 or 2 guarantee, but it could be fairly early. @chirubime

Jan 03, 2022 chirubime · 8430

Hahaha that is also true, the weakness technically are also looked over during mullies.

As for the Molly thing, yeah i was playing Protecting and Calling with the standard Dex Ally suite, and even playing Scroll of Prophecies. It still ends up being extremely feast or famine.

Jan 03, 2022 StartWithTheName · 44690

Ive had an idea @chirubime - i`ll pm you on discord as it could get a bit long winded.

Jan 04, 2022 alexalansmith14 · 536

New deck from you — auto-like, fav & fascinating reading incoming!

Jan 05, 2022 Skagen42 · 1

Did you consider Lone Wolf for the easy economy and Leo De Luca for more hammertime ? seems like (although expensive) a better fit then David Renfield or Medical Student? Otherwise loving the deck :)

Jan 06, 2022 StartWithTheName · 44690

Thanks `@alexalansmith14 and @Skagen42.

By all means swap things about as you like. Im really trying to showcase the wider method so people can make their own decks, but theres a lot of flex in that. I possibly wasnt clear in the blurb but Im using the transient ally suite here mainly because it lets me use Grete Wagner for clues. Renfield similarly adds passive + which helps a lot for both Sixth Sense and Cyclopean Hammer (before it gets Enchanted). Ofc if you werent looking for a rounded deck that can clue as well as fight (and i find that gets dull), LDL is an option. Pre Stick to the Plan it also really wants a little burst economy to get some of these expensive longer term assets down. Late game it is usually rich from zoeys ability. This doesnt have to be David Renfield, something like Faustian Bargain would also work. I would probably not bother with Lone Wolf as it is both too slow and reliant on not being at the same location as the rest of the group - which ofc you will be at least nearby if they draw enemies.

As for Medical Student I currently put a little healing in most decks partly to deal with the new basic weaknesses that came with Edge (and if you have the hammer, you have those in the deck), partly because recent campaigns have dealt out a lot of automatic damage, and partly to compensate for horror from deck flipping. It could be any heal card though. its just that I was already on the transient allies and well... its new... and its rarely not fun to kill off a silly amount of NPC students in any campaign :) It gets swapped to Wish Eater pretty fast though. Even if you dont need the heals, the token cancelling (and zeroing) is massive in this build.

Jan 09, 2022 Lord Triloth · 1230

So Zoeys going to be in everyones TDE Ironman?

Mainly here for the Hammer is too good discussion. The idea is that hammer gives you reliable 2-3 dmg an attack without exhaust or any other drawback (after you purchased it). Meaning you can kinda solve all enemy problems with one card. Ofc you can optimize the 3 dmg aspect (like you did in the Lily deck), but it doesn’t need this to work. If you build a deck with Flamethrower, you build a full Flamethrower deck. The hammer gives you the flexibility of taking other sources of dmg.

Jan 09, 2022 Lord Triloth · 1230

When Underworld Support was released people thought it’s bad because it decreases the consistency of drawing cards (1/25 is worse then 2/30). But I think the idea you should be going for is giving more value to your upgraded cards (1/25), finding sigs and single copies. And then it makes searches pretty good.

Jan 09, 2022 StartWithTheName · 44690

Thanks @Lord Triloth

Yeah im hearing a lot of similar responses re Cyclopean Hammer being 2-3 reusable damage. I guess my argument is that only 2 damage of that is reliable other than on very low combat enemies. Hitting 3 damage against a 4combat enemy is equivilent to trying to hit a 7 combat enemy. In most guardians without finding and playing an additional card or two, where a lot of lower xp melee weapons do this with a single card. Machete, Switchblade, Butterfly Swords, Fire Extinguisher to name a few (or Timeworn Brand does this for 1 hand slot and the same xp in neutral). If you are willing to go to a second card in the combo, then all the big guardian weapons hit 3 damage an attack with reliable hits (Lightning Gun, Flamethrower, M1918 BAR...yeah ok sorry Shotgun, I love you and weve had great times, but you dont count). In those cases you need to add ammo, and specifically Custom Ammunition usually - which is on Stick to the Plan. So my argument is that 2 and 3 damage combos come at close to the same price and have been there since the early card pool. The hammers problem may be that it combos too easilly with its supports, the most notable being Enchant Weapon and Wish Eater (because a cancelled token is effectively a 0) and both of which are easy takes. I dont mind wish eater being common because it feels earned and is very satisfying to play. I love the emersion it adds making you actively want to hunt things down then actively want to take risks to trigger bad tokens. I guess i would argue that both Wish Eater and Enchant Weapon combo with any of the cards ive listed as comparators. All thats happened is that there is no ammo restriction, but tbh its very easy to keep a flamethrower or LG going all game with ammo instead of an upgrade and the odd punch/Zoey's Cross. I actually think its just part of the grand design. My other argument is that Enchant Weapon may be different here. its like having a second weapon in play that tirggers fast and makes your other attack land. It can make even Knuckleduster into a reliable 3 damage attack. Im currently running what has been an obscenely murderous carolyn through edge using Meat Cleaver. For 3 xp, 2 cards are doing what people accuse the hammer of doing all day at 5xp. Going back to the synergy potential of the hammer being too easy to access. I suppose it basically asks you to spend a 2-3 pip skill card to get the bonus damage, and Daring, Unexpected Courage and Overpower are easy takes in combat decks, though this is still deck space? Though skill cards do at least evoke athleticism as a experience over ammo reloads. To me this just feels on par with wider design but with a new angle.

woof - sorry that was so long! On to the fun stuff!

I have been loving Underworld Support. Its value come in realising that taking 2 copies of a card isnt because you want that card in particular, but that you want some card or other that does what it does. If you want 3 fight events, bring 3 fight events. UWC says take 3 different ones rather than 2 of one and one of another, but they are a much higher proportion of your deck, so maybe you just need 2 of them now... and you already had 2 types anyway.. But you are right on the nail when you talk about upgrades. When you upgrade one of them, you have just upgraded a larger proportion of your fight events than you would if there were 3. Ive ran a couple of UWS decks now and both times ive found that they evolve into their end game builds a little after mid campaign. While its a little firstrating to find you have little to gain from late campaign VP, you are basically set up to the same standard you aimed for long run. Youve just shifted the xp forward in the campaign. And ofc there are benefits from search effects.

There are costs as well ofc. You will see weaknesses earlier, and I am a little nervous about the interaction between Tekeli-li and any high draw/low deack size deck, so there may be a reason Underworld Support (and Forced Learning and Short Supply) came out with Edge of the earth. Be prepared to weather these I recon.

Anyhow - Sorry for the screen dump reply. Im hoping this deck encompassed a lot of these effects to showcase them as a theorycrafting concept. In case it helps I still remember your .45 Thompson finn deck from snakes on a train ;) Thanks again for giving that a bash!

Jan 10, 2022 FlarkeFiasco · 1

I love the underworld support inclusion with stick to the plan. It synergizes so well! I would rather call this deck the "skinny highlander shell", because you can honestly run UWS+STTP in... well, a few different investigators. And in each of them, they can benefit from tiny deck + main operative weapon to work around.

In the case of Zoey, I thought "is there any way to NOT just use Cyclopean hammer", because I like to save that strong card for when I really NEED it, otherwise, I just feel ill end up playing it and seeing it too much.

Allow me to emphasize your comment on the hungering blade + Mr rook. I like hungering blade because it's limit one per deck. No problem, we were running skinny deck to only have to buy one weapon anyways. It adds weaknesses that you can pull instead of the bad ones you want to leave in (sweet, bloodthirst on command, plus a host of other things I can go grab, like backpack2 if I miss it on Mulligan, or zoey's cross if my backpack doesn't hit it). Also sweet! Also, you can still run enchant weapon, which is arguably very strong because of zoey's plus brain, but more importantly, strong because small deck and Mr rook = high chance of drawing your upgrade, and only needing to run one copy (even if UWS says you can't run two, you wouldn't want to).

Also, hungering + enchant weapon + zoey's cross gives you a wicked amount of different damage permutations you can run. It honestly just seems like a really FUN deck where you have to make a lot of decisions about how you're using your bloodlusts, how many rook charges you have left, and how many actions you want to spend on your attacks. Throw in a calling in favors and you have yourself a fairly high damage output once you replay Mr rook. That's going to get you a lot of high value cards from your deck. And guardian recently has put a lot of great events in there-- Fang, on the trail, on the hunt, etc.

Overall, seems like a very strong hungering blade build. It doesn't have the high, consistent 3 damage potential that hammer can eventually hit, but it can dispatch most riff raff, getting online with 3 damage hits earlier (arguably) in the campaign, and then managing the riff raff with cross + enchant weapon.

Any other thoughts anyone has about this build are welcome, I'm going to try it soon. Thank you for the deck idea!!

Jan 10, 2022 lzanoli · 1

@StartWithTheName. A question: You say that with Well Prepared you add both Fight and Will icons from the Cyclopean Hammer, however i thought that since this is a fight action the "matching skill icons" would only be the fight ones, the same way you can't commit willpower cards to improve it (unless I got this one wrong too). I would have expected only static modifiers to affect the will bonus for the hammer. Did I got it wrong? I can't find any FAQ or similar on this.

Jan 10, 2022 Lord Triloth · 1230

Yeah enchant weapon may be a bit of a problem, but Hammer is still quite a monster. Not having to worry about anything but stats for a 3 dmg per attack is pretty good. Is the +1 dmg per attack on Flamethrower better though?

Dude, that deck brings up memories. Farkham was so much fun. And Snakes on a Train was a bit of a highlight imo. Everyone go play that … and go like my deck :)

Jan 12, 2022 StartWithTheName · 44690

Thanks @FlarkeFiasco yeah dont worry. As i say at the start this doesnt have to be a hammer deck. The principal of deck thinning is easy to apply to other builds. I have ran a number of The Hungering Blade/Mr. "Rook" zoeys in the past. Pre Enchant Weapon the critical parts were Well Prepared and Zoey's Cross ( pips) to land the early attacks and build up kills on it. If you wanted to use this shell, you`d end up with something like this:

arkhamdb.com

But as I say, you could also make a handful of like for like swaps to get a holy Flamethrower or Lightning Gun in there. Or just whatever takes your fancy. These all fit around using Sixth Sense and Well Prepared for clues too if you want the flexibility.

I think you are right @lzanoli, I clearly missread Well Prepared. It will only look for pips which match the nature of the skill check. I will have to go through the text and fix things sometime later in the week. At very least the combo still works for a +2 with the hammer itself or a +3 with Zoey's Cross down (and it almost always is). At least I dont find I use the pips on the hammer for the hammer itself very often as Enchant Weapon does most of what i need. I usually use Well Prepared for checks, using the 2 on the hammer. But it is a bit of a shame to notice this after we just finished carcossa but hey-ho its a game.

hehe i did at least like the deck @Lord Triloth :) I thought I left a thank you comment. Anyway I guess my main argument about the hammer is that you cant rely on the 3 damage attack, just the 2. The 3 is there when you add external combos. What the hammer has is accuracy, and both the LG and flamer did this with higher reliable base damage, but an ammo restriction. Once you are willing to look for another card to get the 3 damage on the hammer, you could also have just added ammo (usually Custom Ammunition on Stick to the Plan for another +1 damage when it matters). The problem is probably that the hammer combos better than other things, and that it came out just after an exaggerated combo piece, but it starts at a lower base than most alternatives.

There is also something about that im trying not to say that relates to the nature of enemies in Edge and Innsmouth. So im hoping you can read between the lines here but there may be a very good design reason to have enemy health increasing that looks like its playing out. Its possible that they are intentionally devaluing damage bonuses to open up design space. They are doing a similar thing making movement cheap. Back in core a lot of enemies were 2 or 4 health, which made +1 damage more valuable than more accurate weapons. Once they move to odd numbers of health, or enemies which move to you (so you get more than one at at time), single big hard hits become circumstantially strong, but otherwise on par with smaller ones. Attacks which hit multiple targets Butterfly Swords, Flamethrower or Mk 1 Grenades for example, gain value.

Jan 15, 2022 HarrisonF · 76

When I am doing a Hammer deck, I almost always include a Reliable in there since it is +2 to the hit. Moving you from 9 to 11 makes the 3 damage almost guaranteed against any enemy even in higher difficulties. It is a bit of overkill for the Enchant Weapon hit, but being fast and cheaper, it is extremely easy to get it out and running.