Dreamy Ursula By Scott (DUBS)

Saej · 831

Hey friends! It's Scott from the Mythos Busters podcast bringing you a (non-grief) deck that I am super excited about. I've played this deck through two campaigns in the last couple weeks and it is just an absolute powerhouse. Other friends, and some host from that other podcast, have played this deck and achieved similar powerhouse results. Let me know what you think either here or on the Discord server! https://discord.gg/dsNZB3G

General Overview

Wanna play solo? Wanna go fast? Wanna win? Play this deck!

The goal of this deck is to take fewer than three actions to 'set up' and then just get to work getting clues. We do this by simply passing tests. If you are going fast enough you'll trigger Ursula's bonus action almost every turn. That's 33% more actions per turn! It also turns Call of the Unknown into a non-issue. Always remember that the goal is to pass tests, but pass only the tests you actually need to. Sometimes it's ok to just tank a treachery or some location effects. Consider if it is more worth it to just take some damage or horror rather than committing some powerful skill cards. Save those icons for the tests that matter, like getting clues and getting more clues.

Regarding setting up, try to do a 'rolling set up.' Don't take the entire first turn to lay down assets. Prioritize a couple of them (Hawk-Eye Folding Camera, Dr. William T. Maleson, and Fieldwork) and then start moving. Moving gets you actions! So put down two assets, move, investigate (or use Unearth the Ancients as Ursula's bonus action to lay down a third asset). Next turn, play one or two assets, and keep on moving. If you have a Shortcut in your opening hand, this makes the 'rolling start' easier. I tend to use Shortcut early just as bonus tempo, nothing really fancy.

The cost of this deck is low and so resources are a low priority. A single Crack the Case going off is usually just enough to run you for the scenario. If you can get both off at 3-shroud locations (maybe even on the same action!), you'll be flying high. A 'full' asset loadout costs a total of 12 resources, and that's if you get every single one you want out. I find I usually only spend 8-10 resources a game. As far as card draw, that's all handled through skills (Perception, Manual Dexterity, and Eureka!) and Practice Makes Perfect grabbing Perception to double down on it.

Enemy management is always a concern in solo and you have six cards to help you out: "I've got a plan!", Manual Dexterity, and Dr. William T. Maleson. The first two are obvious (kill or evade) but Maleson can be quite key for enemy management. He can shuffle an enemy that you can't deal with back into the deck and dropping that clue can turn on Inquiring Mind to help pass a test on the replacement treachery or evade the replacement enemy you draw. If I had to choose between an enemy that would be tough to deal with or a treachery and needing to get a clue (essentially 'losing' a single action), I'd take the latter every time. And that is exactly the choice that Maleson gives you.

Go fast, pass tests, get clues. If you are unsure of what to do, just keep moving. Enjoy!

Assets

Hawk-Eye Folding Camera - Always keep these in mulligan and get them down ASAP. They trigger quite quickly in solo and just make the rest of the game easier!

Tooth of Eztli - Helps you protect yourself against treacheries and keep your hand size up. That being said, easily replaceable and often upgraded out.

Dr. William T. Maleson - An often overlooked Seeker ally that is super cheap soak and gives you the ability to dodge really bad encounter cards. If the encounter card you drew is going to mangle up your turn more than discovering a clue on your location, drop a clue and draw a new card! I wouldn't do this too often as actions are the most valuable resource in solo. Be judicious.

Jake Williams - He's ok. If you get him early, he can draw a lot of cards and is great for soak. Mid- to late-game he's either soak if you need it or a skill card. You can do some tricky plays by using his special ability to move while engaged to a location with a clue to trigger Fieldwork or Inquiring Mind. Maleson is the priority and I would not upgrade into Charisma for this deck.

Fieldwork - +2 to your next test that you'll trigger often. Pass those tests!

Events

"I've got a plan!" - The only damage offence you have. Save it for problems that just need to go away, like annoying Hunters or boss enemies. Don't be afraid to use it for 2-3 damage if it means clearing an enemy that's going to become a real problem later on.

Crack the Case - You'll need some money and this gives it to you 'fast.' You don't need a whole lot (only 15 cards actually cost resources!) so a 3-shroud location is just fine.

Practice Makes Perfect - THIS CARD IS SO GOOD. You have four targets, two copies of Perception and Deduction. Don't get too fancy with this, it is just there to get double duty out of your skills. Hitting a Perception is amazing as it is like drawing three cards (success with the Perception, taking the Perception into hand, and then another successful Perception test later on).

Shortcut - Ursula likes to move and this helps her do so. Again, don't try to be too fancy with this. This is just here to essentially pay a card for a free action.

Unearth the Ancients - Don't save this for playing a Relic, just use it for developing your board at a quick pace and save some money. Can be used with Ursula's bonus action and after Fieldwork triggers, so getting a 3-cost asset out as a bonus is very possible. 2-cost assets are totally fine too. Worst case scenario this has two Intellect icons. Pass those tests!

Skills

Deduction - There are probably a couple double clue locations. Here's your solution.

Eureka! - This is here just to keep your hand healthy! No real main targets as the games go to fast that you'll have to make an intelligent decision based on where you are and what you see. Grab what looks good at the moment!

Inquiring Mind - Plan to be on a clue during the Mythos phase if you can. It powers up this, allows you to use it to evade an enemy you just drew, or combo it with True Understanding to grab a clue in Mythos!

Manual Dexterity - Evasion/enemy management tech. Ursula uses evade like it's going out of style, so help pass that test and draw a card to replace it.

Perception - Get clues, draw cards. My favourite target for Practice Makes Perfect.

True Understanding - Useful for getting clues in the Mythos phase, or when testing against Frozen in Fear and other such treacheries. Surprisingly useful, though it is often upgraded out early.

Other Options

Working a Hunch - I thought about this card but I decided against it due to the cost. Yes, I realize it is just two resources, but this deck is pretty lean. It just barely got cut so feel free to add it back in. I'd suggest it replace Unearth the Ancients, True Understanding, or one of each.

Dream Diary - This is the one "Seeker side-quest" that I think fits this deck the best. Succeeding by 3 shouldn't be hard and then you have a skill card that forever returns to your hand! You could easily let fate choose the upgrade through Shrewd Analysis or you can go with Dreams of a Madman. I say this choice over the other two options as we are not playing a "Big Hand" build nor will we have trouble with a location that has a shroud of 4. Essence of the Dream will always be handy to have and so any upgrade will do if you want to save XP; however Dreams of a Madman helps just ever so slightly more as you'd love to deal with an enemy in one test in order to keep moving. Jam this one in wherever you see fit but I would certainly keep both Hawk-Eye Folding Cameras in even though they contest the same slot.

Upgrades

Studious is amazing. Bigger starting hand and the ability to sculpt that hand a bit more. I love to go for two copies early.

The Gold Pocket Watch is a fantastic tool for pushing tempo. If you have nothing on the board threatening you, you could skip Mythos instead of just repeating the Investigator phase. But, if you just evaded a big annoying enemy, it's nice to have a second Investigation phase to make that evade more worthwhile. Either way, awesome card. And easier to find it if you have the Studious above!

Crystalline Elder Sign is fantastic in solo and totally fits with this deck. Cut the Tooth of Eztli and slam this card in.

Relic Hunter - What?! If you are getting the above two upgrades, this makes sense. Regarding double Crystalline Elder Sign, even though sealing the Elder Sign feels weird, I think I'd take a stat line of 5/6/3/6 over a small chance of a free move once in a while. Or just go all out and get double Relic Hunter and just have a huge rig of accessories.

Pathfinder - Free moves = more actions = winning. Great card for many investigators but doubly so for Ursula.

Cryptic Research - A fast way to refill your hand with cards. Cards make it easier to pass tests. A bit pricey on XP but still a great upgrade.

Eidetic Memory - This deck has amazing events, so maybe play them again? This is a late-campaign buy but it can also be your third and fourth copy of Cryptic Research.

Death • XIII - This would be a one-of at most, but it gives you a boost to pass your most common test and it could come out for free! A pretty decent grab if you've got two Studious.

Deduction - I put this here as a last ditch upgrade. You would be basically be upgrading it for specific scenarios that have large clue locations (like Blood on the Altar for instance) or just to add an extra icon.

Shortcut - Only if you know a specific scenario has a 'hub location' (like The Miskatonic Museum for instance) and you'll get multiple uses out of it. Otherwise the free fast move of the level 0 version is better in my mind.

Let me know how your campaigns go! Either here or on the Mythos Buster's Discord server. I go by Saej there too, check it out! https://discord.gg/dsNZB3G Feel free to @ me at any time to discuss my child this deck.

25 comments

Apr 23, 2020 zozo · 1762

I am the 'some host from that other podcast', and I can honestly say this is one of the most fun and fast decks I've ever played. It consistently smashes scenarios by simply racing them out and it's a joy to pilot! Great write-up!

Apr 23, 2020 zozo · 1762

bloodfeud4eva

Apr 24, 2020 TWWaterfalls · 424

Ursula is one of my favorites because of how fast she is to setup. I still go Elli and Bow but I loved playing the Crystalline Elder Sign in my last campaign. I even got two of them into play one scenario.

I still want to love the Hawk-Eye but I have gone back to the Magnifying Glass since it is a Fast action and cheap. I might try the Hawkeye again with my next Daisy deck. It should be perfect for both of them.

Apr 24, 2020 SolarJ · 10

I think Maleson is my favourite ally... balance is just right and the soak for the cost is perfect. The steampunk/h.g.wells theme of the self sacrificing inventor has a soft spot for me.

Apr 24, 2020 mattastrophic · 1462

3/5 Needs moar Fingerprint Kits.

Apr 24, 2020 mattastrophic · 1462

But more seriously, Unearth the Ancients to drop in Fingerprint Kit would be a pretty slick play!

Apr 24, 2020 zozo · 1762

@mattastrophic I like that as a play, but I'm not convinced. This is a solo deck, so you're adding an expense in the Kit for not too much benefit. For the couple of times you need a double clue, Deduction (and Practice Makes Perfect sets you up nicely. Maybe in Dunwich I'd be more tempted to sub it in.

Apr 24, 2020 mattastrophic · 1462

Oh yeah, I'm quietly thinking about multiplayer, where Ursula could drop the I've Got A Plans for Fingerprint Kits pretty safely.

Apr 24, 2020 Saej · 831

@mattastrophicYeah, I looove Unearth for dropping Fingerprint Kits. I ran that in Ironman TFA last year. Such a huge economy saver. But yeah, in solo I don't tend to run the Kits. If you wanted to adapt this to a two-player build I'd definitely throw the Kits in. Probably replace the True Understandings? Though that would be a shame as I think True Understanding is criminally underrated, and was so by myself before I realized the power of it. Especially in solo.

Apr 24, 2020 Zinjanthropus · 10

This seems like a very good deck.

One useful thing to remember (not mentioned in this) is that if you've got Jake in play you can take your first move or investigate action without taking an attack of opportunity. this is useful both for letting you use Fieldwork when evading an enemy, and also for spreading enemies out to keep yourself from getting mobbed. I find that getting mobbed by enemies is usually the worst thing for Ursula in true solo. Shortcut (though not Pathfinder, sadly) also works for this, but you can't do it over and over like you can with Jake.

Another card that really helps out with enemy management in true solo is Archaic Glyphs: Prophecy Foretold. Over the course of several true solo TFA runs with Ursula, I found that that was probably the most important enemy management tool. Being able to condense an evade and an investigate action into one is extremely strong, especially considering that Ursula can use her extra investigate for this (either in combination with Jake/Shortcut, or to move into a location with an enemy that still has clues).

Also, can definitely confirm that double Crystalline Elder Sign is worth taking Relic Hunter for.

Apr 26, 2020 Dreadreaper · 3075

What are your thoughts on Mr.Rook over the current ally? He costs 2 more, has same soak, but lets you fetch any card in your deck basically. Also better synergy with unearth the ancients.

Apr 28, 2020 Invisiblecam · 1

I think this deck looks solid and i am going to give it a try. I often play two or three handed but think this deck got a lot of potential to speed through most scenarios without getting into to much trouble.

I like decks that don't rely on resources to much, i have a Minh deck that often ends up with lots of resources because once i have got the cards i need i don't often use them . I have a feeling that this deck will have a similar situation.

I am looking forward to trying this deck and i might pair her up with Leo or push myself and use Mateo for a another run at The Forgotten Age. EIther way thanks for sharing.

Apr 28, 2020 gothicmink · 1

Thanks Scott for sharing your "fast" Ursula ! Saw your runs and really wanted to try it in solo. I think I'll squeeze in a Dream Diary though, the identified version helps PASS TESTS, as you put it :)

Can't wait to try Maleson also, not as just soak I mean :)

Thanks for the write up, your insights are very much appreciated!

Apr 29, 2020 Saej · 831

@DreadreaperAs much as I love Mr. Rook, I don't think he fits as he doesn't keep the same tempo as Maleson. Maleson can just stop terrible cards in their tracks. Try it out though and let me know how it works out!

@InvisiblecamGlad to hear, let me know how it goes!

@gothicminkYeah, Dream Diary was such a late cut for me. I'm not even sure it was correct to cut it. I definitely think it is a strong contender for a spot in this deck. Are you going with the Dreams of a Madman? Or just letting Shrewd Analysis make the decision for you?

Apr 29, 2020 gothicmink · 1

I think I'll go with Dreams of a Madman! I also feel like evading reliably will be crucial for solo Ursula. Dreams of an Explorer was really good in a Mandy deck I played recently and helped identify the Ancient Stone (Knowledge of the Elders) with 8 secrets on it (!!!). And I think I'll stick to one copy, so I won't need Shrewd Analysis, even though I really like surprises and free XP :)

I'm wondering what to cut to make room, either a copy of Tooth of Eztli or a True Understanding, even though I really like how they work with Dr. William T. Maleson, helping you deal with treacheries while avoiding enemies. I'll think about it while finishing my run through Return to Dunwich with solo Wendy!

Apr 29, 2020 Saej · 831

@gothicminkI'd probably cut a Tooth. I usually upgrade out of the Tooth the second I can so it really is low-hanging fruit for a cut.

Apr 29, 2020 gothicmink · 1

That's what I figured :) Thanks for the feedback, the shows and all !

Apr 29, 2020 Dr_Shigogo · 1

I'm a fairly novice player so can't give any great advice on card combos etc. but I can't get a line from 'The Drawing of the Dark' by Tim Powers out of my head when playing this character (who is awesome, especially with Pathfinder, In the Know and Crack the Case x2). Saint Ursula indeed! Read the book...

May 06, 2020 SergSel · 1

@SaejHi, thanks for the deck, I tried it in Dream Quest mini campaign and it performed very well. My campaign report arkhamdb.com

May 06, 2020 Saej · 831

@SergSel Just read your write-up, glad you liked it and found great success!

May 08, 2020 Dethvir · 1

Y

May 09, 2020 Saej · 831

@Dethvir...because? ;)

May 14, 2020 mihnea13 · 1

This looks very interesting. It's kind of mind-blowing to me that you have a maximum of 8 potential damage in the whole deck, and that's assuming everything goes well! (you see both copies of I've Got a Plan!, you sit on 3 clues, no auto-fail token etc). I was fully expecting you to suggest the Bow as an upgrade. Did you not have problems with scenarios where you must kill an Elite in order to win, or where locations are set up in such a way that you can't really dance around hunter enemies? Or is that a necessary sacrifice in order to make the playthrough as fast and lean as humanly possible? :)

May 17, 2020 Invisiblecam · 1

After trying this deck a few times now and I can honestly say I was impressed. It's a good example of cutting you darlings and moving fast as you can.

Cutting your darlings can be difficult especially with the card pool forever growing. I find it infuriates me with some investigators like Luke for example. This Ursula deck got a job to do and is committed to finding those clues.

Full disclosure I played her with Leo so I didn't play her true solo. I am looking forward to play her again when the return to the forgotten Age is released, probably with Winifred and a third investigator.

May 24, 2020 Saej · 831

@mihnea13Damage output is low, for sure. You need to consider the campaign you're in as far as how you'd like to augment the deck. I have found that 2x "I've got a plan!" plus all the agility works well for most campaigns. You can also use Inquiring Mind to get the last point of damage needed on a 5-health boss. Otherwise, using Strange Solution or Ornate Bow can work as upgrades. Though, as you said, you can often win before you need to face off against a boss. Speed is key!