Category Archives: Call of Cthulhu: LCG

Miskatonic University: Age of the Explorers

Of all the factions in the Call of Cthulhu LCG, the varsity jackets and tweed coats of the Miskatonic University’s esteemed student body, faculty, and staff have always always appealed to me most. Maybe that’s because I myself am currently a part of the higher education machine, finishing my Masters in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing here at Michigan State University. Hey… MSU, MU?

Anyway, there’s just something about the crew that really gets me excited. If I had to put my finger on it I think it’s because they don’t really seem formidable. I’ve met my fair share of frail, look like they’d get knocked over by a sneeze from the back of the room, but their minds, that’s where it counts. Miskatonic, they don’t have any horrifying monsters in their corner, they scare easily, they’re not big on the fisticuffs, but man do they have gumption. They’re inquisitive, scrappy, and they don’t know when to quit.

Ever since I busted open the CoC core set I’ve wanted to play solo, or mono, Miskatonic. At first I teamed them up with Hastur, you know, cause they need the terror icons, but I just picked up Seekers of Knowledge and that expansion really changed my outlook on MU. I’ve realized that the academics have their own cool ways to combat the terror struggle that can result in success token combos. Case in point, the Ghost Hunter and Catacombs Docent trigger each other for a couple of success tokes. Awww yeahhh.

Ghost Hunter from Call of Cthulhu LCG
Ghost Hunter
Catacombs Docent from Call of Cthulhu LCG
Catacombs Docent
Call of Cthulhu lcg Arctic Ethnologist
Arctic Ethnologist

The Age of Exploration
Seekers of Knowledge added what is now my favorite class of character: the Explorer. The synergy between these five characters is really compelling, and it’s something that I’d would love to try to build a deck around.

The main card behind the Age of Explorers is the rugged Arctic Ethnologist, who is an absolute beast in a solo MU deck. He’s a cost 2 Explorer/Scientist who enters play with 1 Arcane and Investigation and 2 skill. Relatively blasé to start, but if you’re running a solo MU deck and there are other Explorer cards on the table? Well get ready for awesome! If you control only MU cards he gets a combat icon, and if you control other Explorer cards, they get an extra arcane icon. AWESOME buffs for a cost 2 character.

And while there are only five Explorers right now, they all give awesome additional benefits. Brette Wulffsen? She costs 3, has 1 x combat/investigation, and gives all Explorer cards Toughness +1. Now our Arctic Ethnologist has just become a two 2 tank! Not only that, but while she is in play and one Explorer is committed to a story you choose the way the icon struggles are decided. There’s definitely some synergy here.

Matthew Alexander
Matthew Alexander

Then we get to Matthew Alexander, who honestly may be my absolute favorite Explorer yet. The guy costs 3, has 1 combat/arcane/investigation gives Explorer characters +1 skill, and essentially you should never, ever has to pay his full cost. Why? Because whenever a character leaves play from a card effect, and you control an MU card (solo Miskatonic though so duh), you can put him into play from your hand. You don’t have to call him back at the end of the phase, nothing. He’s out there, boosting your Explorers and doing work.

What’s even more awesome? If you have a copy of him in your hand and a copy of him on the table and he’s targeted by a card effect that would bounce him back to the hand/destroy/sacrifice him? Play him from your hand! You can also do it whenever one of your opponent’s characters enters or leaves play from a card effect, I’m looking at you Yog-Sothoth.

Roald Ellsworth
Roald Ellsworth

The final Explorer here is Roald Ellsworth, who again is beastly. He costs 3, has 1 arcane/investigation, but once he’s in play all Explorer characters gain Willpower. That means all your rough and tumble Explorers are getting immunity to insanity, booyah! Wait, hold onto your butts, there’s more! Whenever an Explorer card would leave play, you can either draw two cards, or put 1 card from your discard pile into your hand.  The fact that it doesn’t say destroyed or something that Roald and Infirmary still nets you cards! Oh my gosh, can you imagine the card draw you could potentially get from this and Ultima Thule?

Card Draw
There are some seriously awesome card draw combos built into Seekers of Knowledge, and the Explorers can really take advantage of this. If you don’t draw any Explorers though… Meh, we’ll worry about that when we come to it. Alternative Historian costs 1, 0 icons, 2 skill, but allows you to draw one card. College Prospect is a 0 cost, 0 icon, 1 skill character built for rushing, and upon his inevitable demise, you get to draw 2 cards. And aside from those two weenies, the Explorers themselves have some fun card draw skillz.

Let’s present an admittedly ridiculous situation (or maybe not) where you’ve got Catacombs Docent, Ghost Hunter,  Roald Ellsworth, Atlantis, and the A Voros Hal’l prophecy card out when your opponent kills off an Arctic Ethnologist.

Well first let’s drive the Ghost Hunter insane to net us one success token, and because we sent the Ghost Hunter screwy we can drive Catacombs Docent insane as well, bringing in another success token. So that’s two success tokens off of one dead character, but wait, there’s more! Because Arctic Ethnologist is an Explorer, Roald’s Disrupt triggers and allows us to either draw 2 cards, or pull 1 from our discard. Then A Voros Hal’l Jon triggers because of our dead Ethnologist and you get to draw any 2 cards from your deck. Finally, Atlantis triggers off A Voros Hal’l allowing us to draw another card.

WHEW! So what’s the final score after Arctic Ethnologist bites it? We get 2 success tokens on any story(ies) we want (that have 3 or less success tokens already) and a 5 card draw. This is some very cool stuff here and I really want to try and optimize the deck I’m working with to include more of this stuff, specifically to include Dr. Mya Badry, who would have taken the place of our dearly deceased polar ethnologist in the previous example and helped us pick up more success tokens. And then if you have Matthew Alexander in hand when you throw down the good doctor, you can play him too!

Basically I wanted to talk a little about the potential I see in the Explorers of Call of Cthulhu. I need to get in a few more games with these guys, and grab a few more select asylum packs, but hey, I’m having a blast thus far. Check back in the near future and I’ll have something else for you to consume. PEACE!

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Hastur and Yog-Sothoth: A Cool Core Set Combo for the CoC LCG

Call of Cthulhu LCG
Call of Cthulhu LCG

Over this winter break I got a chance to wrangle my brother into a few games of Call of Cthulhu. I’ve always had a ton of fun playing the game casually and my brother, after he learned the basics, enjoyed himself, especially when he was able to surprise me, win stories, and destroy my characters. Now I’m not a pro by any stretch of the imagination, but I understand how the game is played (if not all the subtle intricacies of each card) and I wanted to give Hastur and Yog a shot. Together, I think they have some fun synergy that I attempted to exploit and I kinda want to talk about what I was thinking while I played these dudes.

Goal

Yog-Sothoth
Yog-Sothoth

My goal while I was running the Hastur/Yog deck was simple: use spells to decrease Yog-Sothoth’s cost and call him from beyond time and space that much quicker. For each spell card that enters your discard pile, you knock one from Yog’s play cost, turning him from a nigh unreachable eight, to something much more manageable. In the core set there’s only so much that you can work with, but between the two factions we get: 1) A Single Glimpse, 2) Unspeakable Resurrection, 3) Opening the Limbo Gate, 4) Journey to the Other Side, 5) Dampen Light, and 6) Power Drain.

Journey to the Other Side is a one cost, as is Dampen Light and it seems like both are great early if you feel the need to play them. A Single Glimpse is a two cost that forces your opponent to sacrifice a character if able, which can be awesome if they’ve been building resources for that one big character instead of playing some low cost guys. Not likely to happen, but hey, still cool that they lose a character. Unspeakable Resurrection is an X cost, where you must drain a domain of equal or lesser value to revive a character from your discard pile and put it directly into play. Sick stuff there. Power Drain is two cost disrupt which can be used to cancel out an action or a response, also very handy.

So we notice that we’ve got some pretty useful spells here, and if we manage to play all of them before summoning Yog, we only need to pay two for the monstrous entity. Unlikely, absolutely, but the possibility is there and if you decide not to resource the Ancient One, you could be calling upon him sooner rather than later.

Interesting Stuff

Son of Yeb
Son of Yeb

Son of Yeb (SoY) turns out to be a pretty fun card in this combination. He’s a cost two Yog character with one skull. I know, what’s so special about that? Well he’s a cultist, and for each cultist character in play, he gains one more combat icon. So, if I understand this right, immediately when Son of Yeb enters play he gets another combat icon, because you control one (SoY) cultist. He starts at two combat icons. And there are a total of nine cultist characters (including Yeb) in this combination! If you play your cards right you’re always going to be winning those combat struggles.

The downside is that SoY is a variable strength character. He relies on other characters to make him more powerful, and getting rid of other cultists, or heck getting rid of SoY ends that little problem right there. Luckily, Yog has two cards that can bring SoY back to the land of the living, the aforementioned Unspeakable Resurrection, and Gathering at the Stones, both of which will cost you two. Not only that but sacrificing Hastur’s Performance Artist cultist will cancel the effects of a character or support card ability, at the cost of a cultist, which further protects your Son of Yeb.

Hastur and Insanity

Bearer of the Yellow Sign
Bearer of the Yellow Sign

While Yog is a little light on terror icons here, Hastur picks up the slack in icon struggles and in just straight dropping madness on characters. Demon Lover, Victoria Glasser, and Bearer of the Yellow Sign are nice, have terror icons, and the latter two allow you to choose a character to go insane. Byakhee Servant isn’t half bad either. Messenger from Beyond, if you exhaust it, gets rid of one of an opposing character’s terror icons, allowing you to terrify characters who otherwise would have walked away with their sanity intact.

Then again, if you’re facing a deck chalk full of willpower, well you’re gonna have a bad time. Again, neither of these bad boys are huge on combat, though Agoraphobia can help get those strong willed characters out of there, forcing a character without a terror icon back into its owner’s hand. Also, quite a few Hastur cards sport arcane icons, which can help to keep you safer while committing to stories.

Conclusion
I really enjoy playing Yog and Hastur. I think they’re very cool factions, and from what I’ve read it seems that Hastur is probably the most powerful set of cards out right now, so pairing it with anyone is a pretty good idea. I’ve just ordered the Secrets of Arkham and Seekers of Knowledge sets, so I’m probably going to be talking about some other stuff in the near future. I REALLY want to design a solo Miskatonic deck, and that’ll probably be my next entry in the Call of Cthulhu vein. Check back soon folks!