Daisy is my favorite investigator because she’s the best at two things: finding clues and searching through your draw pile to select the cards you need.
This review will focus on card choices that synergize with Daisy’s abilities and play style. If nothing else it can help new players appreciate some options available that play to her strengths. I’ll assume familiarity with the Core, Dunwich, and the Harvey Walters starter (which is a very affordable way to improve your card pool), and I’ll mention where other cards are found.
For what it’s worth I advocate a “light on assets” style for seekers. Given Daisy’s high and the inevitability of finding key cards, I feel decks for her ought not to be loaded down with many expensive assets. Instead they should feature impactful events and skills. Effort should be made to advance the act deck before treacheries and agendas take their toll on the investigators. So that attitude somewhat colors this review.
Here are some thoughts about card choice for Daisy [as of late 2023, before the release of the Hemlock Vale set].
”These Are A Few of My Favorite Things”
Old Book of Lore is the quintessential card for Daisy. As a tome, it gives Daisy a fourth action every turn, which is very very powerful. It must be a draw action (unlike the versatile Rogue card Leo De Luca), but that’s not a major drawback. And you aren’t likely to pull three weaknesses at once, so it’s a very safe draw. The upgraded version Old Book of Lore (3) grants free resources and free actions to play the cards as well!
Grim Memoir is a new option from Scarlet Keys, and it should be more popular with lower-intellect seekers. It sort of crams more instances of Perception into a deck. It’s a reasonable alternative for Daisy’s innate tome action. The inability find multiple clues with an action makes it less useful at high player counts. Even so, the free draw and test bonus is certainly worth considering from a pure efficiency standpoint.
Astounding Revelation (in the Dream-Eaters set) grants free resources if you stumble upon it doing a search. Or a freebie way to recharge secrets, potentially opening up greater benefit from secret-fuelled cards like Feed the Mind, Cryptographic Cipher, or Grim Memoir. In either case, Daisy’s constant searches means you’re very likely to draw them for free via searching rather than during the Upkeep Phase.
Research Librarian is a soak ally whose major benefit is to fetch the all-important Old Book of Lore. In any deck that includes Revelations he’ll find one of them when he enters play. Then he can valiantly die like a red shirt on Star Trek.
Whitton Greene is an ideal ally for Daisy. Whitton aims to be your partner who grants free searches that pull relics, tomes, and Revelations. This is a stark contrast to the Librarian, who you want to immediately use for soak. The experienced version of Whitton (2) improves Daisy’s and searches through more cards. But if you’re not using lots of those things then opt for the more generic Milan Christopher as your partner ally.
Charisma (3) or Miskatonic Archaeology Funding (4) solves Daisy’s “soak ally vs partner ally” dilemma, letting you have multiple allies in play. This can avoid the early game dilemma of being reluctant to play Whitton or Milan because you're hoping to draw the Librarian to fetch your key tome. Or being reluctant to overwrite the Librarian with a better ally before he’s found a valiant death. In short: these makes the most out of much-needed soak. The drawback of Archaeology Funding is small enough that most prefer that, but prevents throwing allies under the bus efficiently.
Scroll of Secrets (3) is an underrated tome from The Circle Undone set. Awhile ago this was tabooed to have its trigger changed from to . Importantly, it can be used to remove weaknesses from the bottom nine cards of your draw pile without requiring any sort of combination. And note that Daisy tends to “kick the can down the road” with weaknesses seen by Old Book of Lore, so there really is a high chance of removing weaknesses. That’s in addition to searching to get three free cards.
Daisy's Tote Bag (from the free print-and-play release Read or Die) is the advanced version of her signature card, which must be paired with the advanced weakness . Given that the weakness isn’t that much worse, it’s worth considering that playing tomes saves several actions in a deck with lots of tomes. And avoiding opportunity attacks is nothing to sniff at.
Ward of Protection is a staple to defend against stuff like Ancient Evils, Crypt Chill, or whatever you can’t cope with. Almost certainly use two copies in every deck.
Down the Rabbit Hole (from the Edge of the Earth set) is an overlooked path to free experience. So many of Daisy's staple cards can be upgraded: Deduction (2), Disc of Itzamna (2), Higher Education (3) Mind over Matter (2), Occult Lexicon (3), Old Book of Lore (3), Perception (2) Scroll of Secrets (3), Ward of Protection (2), and Whitton Greene (2). This lends itself to decks that don’t change options much, but your card flow sure goes faster.
True Understanding (from the Forgotten Age) is overlooked as a way to generate free clues while doing scenario-specific stuff like parley tests or overcoming treacheries. Free clues for stuff you’re already doing are a gift.
Staples that are awesome but have no special affinity for Daisy: Deduction, Delve Too Deep, Perception, Pathfinder (2), Burning the Midnight Oil, Enraptured, and Crack the Case.
Enemy Management Options For Daisy
When it comes to dealing with enemies via conventional evade or fight actions, Daisy has terrible stats. She usually has to opt for alternative, niche methods:
Persuasion (from the Forgotten Age set) is an underrated trick that works well against a surprising number of enemies. Regardless of how much health the enemy has they leave the board if you can pass a moderately challenging test.
Mind over Matter was made for Daisy. She can punch low-health enemies to death or evade tougher ones. It can also counter treacheries like Locked Door, No Turning Back, or Through the Ice that enter play and test her weak stats. It lasts for an entire round, so one failed test doesn’t waste the card. Every Daisy deck should probably have two copies of this staple.
Explosive Ward (from the Scarlet Keys set) is a simple way to deal 2 testless damage. If you want to build around it consider Binder's Jar and Eldritch Initiation, both in that same release.
Occult Lexicon (from The Circle Undone) gives access to 3 copies of Blood-Rite, which is a powerful spell. It deals testless damage, draws cards, and cycles dead cards out of your hand all at the same time. It’s upgraded version Occult Lexicon (3) lets you deal more damage and if it leaves play (for example, because it was bumped out by Daisy's signature weakness) the spells remain in play.
Occult Invocation is a poor-man’s version of Blood-Rite. A solid option for those using a smaller card pool.
Spectral Razor (from Dream-Eaters) does up to 3 damage, but Daisy’s stats don’t often make the test easy! Viable if you enhance your , but a sketchy choice otherwise
I've Got a Plan! is just okay if it’s one option in a suite of cards to manage enemies. But you’d better have a few other options in case you don’t happen to have a bunch of clues and cash on hand. And hoarding those isn’t always an option.
Overrated Cards Often Seen in Daisy Decks
Mystic combat assets like Shrivelling are not in Daisy’s wheelhouse. Daisy’s willpower is just average. These assets are expensive, they run out of charges, and they can self-inflict horror or worse. Instead try any of the enemy management options mentioned above.
Disc of Itzamna (2) gets a similar unfavorable view. It's expensive, used only once, and you must pre-install it. If you're playing with a small card pool and fetch this relic via Whitton Greene it could be worth playing, but generally you've got better options.
Any evade that’s not Mind over Matter is probably not worth it in terms of resources, actions, and deck space.
Shortcut is no substitute for Pathfinder. It’s a Roland card that safely moves him to a clue location while engaged with an enemy.
Working a Hunch is another Roland Banks card. Daisy has a high , she should be playing more impactful cards
Medical Texts is just awful. Even in a very small card pool you’re better using allies for soak. In a larger card pool consider Earthly Serenity (1) if you must have healing. Or if you plan to run Charisma (3) then try out Medical Student, who has a little healing and also soak.
Encyclopedia (2) isn’t worth the experience cost. The 0 experience version could be worth considering if Daisy decides to eschew combat cards on account of a guardian connected at the hip via Safeguard. Then she supports their fighting for entire rounds.
None of the versions of Strange Solution are worth playing. All of them demand a steep 4 XP, and the only real benefit is they don’t use any slot. Restorative Concoction is a mediocre healing card. Acidic Ichor has been tabooed to a 2-damage attack. Freezing Variant is little better than Mind over Matter. And Empowering Elixer no longer makes sense as an economy card when Burning the Midnight Oil and Crack the Case save actions and are available from 0 experience.
Eureka! (from the Carcosa set) is usually redundant for Daisy, and it doesn't move the needle much for skill tests.
Higher Education (3) is a great card, but not the high priority most players make it out to be. It is powerful, but not mandatory as an early upgrade unless you have a certain combo (cough Guiding Stones (3)). Or are playing a campaign with monotonous treacheries (cough Dunwich Legacy). Very useful, but overestimated by most given Daisy is starting at a 5
Research Notes (from Scarlet Keys) can be amazing, but it’s suited for investigators who have lower or affinity for evidence tokens.
Thanks for reading! What other cards do you think deserve mention as being especially good for Daisy?