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Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
A 0 0 0 1.0

HungryColquhoun · 4800

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I've been posting decks every Sunday with the new Hemlock Vale cards for the past few months, however this will be my final one! I hope you've enjoyed, 12 weeks worth of decks should give a lot of new combos and ideas for people to look over. The setup here thins your deck to just 10 cards, and then uses Prepared for the Worst and some other tricks to find the Cyclopean Hammer very early...


Campaign starter and planned progression

With In the Thick of It this a 29 XP deck. No purchases are made with the In the Thick of It XP initially so you can get to Stick to the Plan faster. 0 XP deck is as follows (and link here):


A recommended order of purchases/upgrades for remaining cards is:

Final thoughts

I love decks which do specific things reliably, and when they can do these things without fail that's even better. Getting Cyclopean Hammer out guaranteed every scenario is amazing, and even if you don't have control over what else is discarded there's enough card draw here to cycle before long. Personally I'm disappointed if there isn't a janky Zoey deck with each new investigator pack, so hopefully this delivers!

Anyway, that's all for the series! Hopefully I lived up to my promise of showcasing interesting uses of Hemlock Vale cards, and you've found some combos you liked along the way. Not sure if I'll do another series yet in the future, they're a fair bit of work! Thanks in particular to Valentin1331 for giving many of these a once over behind the scenes (and for encouraging me to do better in some cases, as there's a lot of unpublished crap you haven't seen)! I will post a wrap-up thread on Reddit next weekend, listing all the decks as well as decks which never left the cutting room floor (I'll provide links but won't publish these). I'll also aim to keep publishing decks from time to time, just not a full series in the near future. Let me know what you think to this Zoey deck below as always, and thanks for reading!


May 05, 2024 kriger · 1

Awesome deck again for my favorite investigator! Thank You so much for this one, and all the others as well! Sad that the serie is over, but I guess all the good things comes to an end ;) A few things I might consider... 1. adding bandolier2 and survival knife 2: passive icon what we need, great combo with the dog, and another target for the enchant weapon...2. Brother Xavier: damage, soak, passive icon...maybe Leo for another bash every turn. 3: well prepared (look at those icons on the hammer and zoey's cross...4: sacred covenant towards the end of the campaign. 5: lone wolf/bank job instead of kicking the hornets 6: holy rosary2 for a passive icon and much less bless tokens.

May 05, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@kriger No problem, glad you liked it! For a lot of your suggestions naturally they cost XP and I like the existing stuff here more - but Zoey is very much a tool box so you can build her however you like with the core combo.

For resource generation in particular, I didn't see a great need - Zoey's ability keeps you pretty flush and Ever Vigilant is a very nice discount as well. Further Kicking the Hornet's Nest provides another trigger for Pushed to the Limit and as you can't be sure what will be discarded with Short Supply it's good to play the odds with a few enemy spawning/recruitment cards - so I wouldn't cut it. For adding more assets in general (e.g. Bandolier plus Survival Knife, or Well Prepared) these are all more you need to install and resource - keeping things simpler tends to get you to your core functions more quickly. For Well Prepared, you're pretty good at passing tests already (especially on the Hammer) so I don't think it adds enough value - what you'd want it to do is use it with a card which supports and more IMHO. Leo De Luca is a little tempting, but he's also very pricey - so I'd pass on him unless you're making big changes to the deck (e.g. ditching Sixth Sense for a resource card, maybe adding in Leadership, etc.).

Hope you enjoy trying it out anyway! Let me know if you have additional thoughts when you've given it a spin.

May 06, 2024 Valentin1331 · 59308

Congrats on this great deck and all the others. My involvement was very limited so all the kudos are for you!

It was nice to see your series giving options for many investigators that I couldn’t find anything for in mine, Zoey being a perfect example, or a fresh take for some investigators that I did a while ago like Kymani and Darrell, and finally a better build on some I’ve tried my best with, like Skids!

Thanks for the addition to the community, it’s been a great read. And I need to learn from you how to keep guides short. I appreciate your concise writing!

May 06, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@Valentin1331 Cheers, and thanks anyway for being a second set of eyes on many of these - very much appreciated!

Keeping guides shorter is always a bit of a struggle for me as well, but the 5 bullet point format on these has helped me a little bit! A bit of a goal for me was keeping these to a 5 minute read or less - which I think I managed for the most part.

Glad I've hopefully added something to the community with this series and given people a few more options. I always like to keep notes on any deck I make as well as make an upgrade path, so realistically it's only a little more work to get it a sensible format for publishing.

Thanks again and I'll look forward to your own next deck guide!

May 06, 2024 Drostt · 57

The other amazing thing is this deck achieves it's goal after earning extra 9xp. It's usually 2 scenarios, and that means everything after that is a little bit like luxury upgrades, and you can modify anything you want after getting your hammer and SttP. Maybe I would spend 1xp in the beginning for Ace of Swords so I can start my 1st scenario with extra sth. (Zoey's 4 can seem a little akward sometimes).

May 06, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@Drostt Yeah it definitely powers up quickly - which is great for dominating early campaign - and outside of the core combo you can tailor it however you like (Ancestral Token is such a great card that leaning into more made the most sense to me!).

For buying Ace of Swords sooner, it's a reasonable idea although Enchanted Blade, Runic Axe and .45 Thompson all come with at least a +2 boost so I found it worked fine enough without it (especially as the campaign starter has 19 icons for committing). Realistically it all becomes a bit moot when you get the combo of Cyclopean Hammer plus SttP anyway, and I'm always wary of the situation where I'm just 1 XP short of a big upgrade between scenarios!

May 06, 2024 dr31ns5mf · 1

This decklist looks great. What do you think about switching out Sixth Sense for Astounding Revelation ? It limits your ability to get clues but it would thin your deck even further as soon as you have stick to the plan and it would provide you with two extra resources right from the start.

May 06, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@dr31ns5mf Thanks! I did originally have Astounding Revelation in this deck, until Valentin1331 pointed out the interaction was removed during a recent FAQ - see (1.26) Searching During Setup in the current one: images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com

If it was still allowed it would have definitely been nice, as it would have thinned your deck down to 9 off the bat, however thinning to 10 is still very good!

May 07, 2024 Valentin1331 · 59308

Just realised this deck could also very well lean towards some sweet Synergy trait stuff. As it is right now, it is already a sweet home for Gang Up and Call for Backup, and it could definitely use a splash on Empirical Hypothesis (or Shrewd Analysis if you just want the colour).

May 07, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@Valentin1331 Yeah I think that's a reasonable suggestion, someone suggested it over on Reddit too. I'd say it's easy enough to dial down On the Hunt ••• for people that are keen which provides the necessary XP. I'm always personally more of a fan of cards which add permanent lasting capacity to do a thing (e.g. Enchant Weapon, Nephthys, Guard Dog •• all adding persistent extra damage) or if I'm running combat events I want a lot of them. I guess the good thing about the deck is the main combo is unobtrusive so you can pivot in other directions easily.

May 07, 2024 Krummey · 1

Maaaan this looks fun

May 07, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@Krummey if guaranteed Cyclopean Hammer is your jam, then yes it's pretty fun! It's definitely the most consistent I've ever been able to get a weapon out before (i.e. without fail).

May 07, 2024 dr31ns5mf · 1

@HungryColquhoun thanks for pointing that out. I wasn’t aware of that. It’s a shame it was changed because the mechanic was really fun but I get that it is probably a bit OP.

May 07, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@dr31ns5mf Yeah some people were taking Versatile to get Astounding Revelation with Stick to the Plan (e.g. anyone who can't take it naturally like Roland Banks), so clearly it was a pretty centralising force!

May 12, 2024 StartWithTheName · 65511

Oh i love this. A real innovation on the super slim deck zoey build. Took me a while to understand how it works, but i get it now. Not too much xp to get to combo working either, basically 6 (STTP) for any weapon, 11 for STTP + a big weapon (in this case hammer, but tbh can be whatever your wanting to play with). So i guess in a campaign that means its map 2 for 6xp, maybe map 2 or 3 for 11, depending on the campaign. And honestly thats really solid for a combo deck. A lot of decks have map 1 blues, and the easy solution to that here is to just have back up weapons in the early campaign that you xp over. You might want a little mitigation against asset loss (Corrosion or similar), but theres plenty of space for that.

I think with the bless angle you either lean in hard, skip hammer and go for Blessed Blade (4)/Holy Spear and Parallel Zoey or tbh just lean in on smashy, hunter killer zoey stuff. I would add more draw with the savings, but tbh please dont see these as criticisms. they're just thoughts. I think the general engine/build/concept here looks really fun and shows people a concept they can adapt to their own playstyles really easilly as theres a lot of flex slots here to play with.

Nice one!

May 12, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@StartWithTheName Thanks for the praise, obviously you're a bit of king of slim Zoey decks so I definitely appreciate it!

I had thought about Well-Maintained mitigation for Crypt Chill, Corrosion and similar - but usually Crypt Chill is the main one to watch out for and you'll very often have other stuff to discard. In terms of Parallel Zoey, she can't take Holy Spear so TBH I'm less keen on her for bless ironically (I think she's best running The Key of Solomon with Blessed Blade, and that's about it...).

Ancestral Token is such a win for all Guardians as Valentin1331's review of it covered so well that I think it does have a nice home here (doubly so with the horror soak it provides), plus the Purified and Cyclopean Hammer combo is a nice when when you pull it off as the Hammer lends itself to big over-success. Honestly though, there's a shed-load of ways this could be built outside of the core combo and no real wrong answers - hopefully people go bonkers with it!

May 16, 2024 zfan2614 · 1

I had designed a Zoey deck with Underworld Support and Short Supply last year, this combo is really cool! But I don't know there will be a new card - Pushed to the Limit, so I use Scrounge for Supplies to retrieve my main weapon - .35 Winchester.

This is my deck: arkhamdb.com

and I wrote a article to share my deck with friends (in Chinese ) : vocus.cc

May 16, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@zfan2614 Sounds cool! I think Pushed to the Limit has really elevated what is possible with this style of deck as it allows you to recover high XP weapons, plus it's a Tactic unlike Scrounge so it can go on Stick to the Plan. In someways this Zoey deck is similar to my own Tommy one I posted a year ago, which used Salvage to recover Flamethrower with Short Supply and then other stuff to recover Salvage - but as this deck can't fail I like the Zoey deck more! Link for anyone who is interested:


May 17, 2024 zfan2614 · 1

@HungryColquhoun Actually, it is your article inspired me to design this deck. And I also design a Tommy's deck with the same combo, but my main weapon is Becky. It is good enough — nice value and damage, it also can reload itself. I'm not worried about running out my bullet !

May 18, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@zfan2614 Good stuff, glad that this deck inspired you to make others!

May 18, 2024 StartWithTheName · 65511

Sorry for the slow reply @HungryColquhoun!

Re asset loss mitigation, i tend to go for more general tools like Ward of Protection or "You handle this one!" etc. and cards like On the Hunt/First Watch skip as many treacheries in favour of enemies as possible - which ofc plays into your team role anyway. I agree re Well-Maintained. Its a silver bullet with no secondary benefits on maps without asset hate. I think it gets more milage in firearm builds for the backup use as a reload. The other thing I do for asset hate is just having a backup weapon to play if i lost the main weapon. Blessed Blade (4) here is a really obvious choice with the other bless tech. Ofc you also have Machete, which is solid too. Its value just tapers off at later maps.

This links me Parallel Zoey. You can have the Parallel front with the regular back. I tend to avoid these permutations as some of them appear to have had minimal play testing and can be the unfun type of OP. But tbh i dont think thats the case with the Zoey options. Plus, the only way you can get Underworld Support into P Zoey is by taking the original back. At which point i honestly find Blessed Blade(4) up there with the hammer - 2 damage base, you can get +1 damage by spending 3 bless tokens. You are less accurate with +2 than +, but you are not reliant on succeeding by 3, so its like needing 3 less on the test. You can get 2 tokens into the bag using The Blade itself, and 1 from your ability, albeit on the previous fight. But maintaining momentum on the blesses in the bag is both very viable and just fun to do.

Im not sure how Parallel Zoeyss ability interacts with Nephthys, rules as written, it looks like the blesses go onto Neppy as they are removed during a test. This sounds like an oversight ofc. But if they do, its a powerhouse. If they dont then as you point out Ancestral Token is enough to put them back in anyway. I have a feeling it may be nerfed later. When ive used it getting 2-5 blesses from it, 1 from Parallel Zoey, and 2 from Blessed Blade (4) most turns is a really machine even without Neppy.

Sorry for the detour there. I was just trying to explain my thinking on "go hard on bless and take P zoey" comment. Keen you know that wasnt a criticism ofc. Just a really fun observation. It looks like your combo can make a very reliable Blessed Blade build is what i was saying. Im running a lean deck P zoey atm but missed the opportunity to add in Short Supply & Pushed to the Limit. But its been a blast so far

May 19, 2024 HungryColquhoun · 4800

@StartWithTheName That sounds like a really cool alternative! Honestly I just never run decks where I mix and match the front and back with parallel investigators, as I like building around the new ability and deck building restrictions from the thematic side of things, however in terms of legal jankiness it sounds top tier (and that was the idea behind this deck!).

I think for Hemlock Vale where I played this, I'd still potentially recommend this variant given over-success can be useful there. However for all other campaigns I fully endorse the Parallel Zoey front normal Zoey back with Blessed Blade - great thinking!