Anything You Can Do, Better – A Winifred Primer

Intro

Thinking about what Deck Tech to do next, i figured… why not just take my actual favorite investigator with my actual favorite deck for them and talk about that? So here’s Winifred, the rogue extraordinaire who can do whatever anyone else can – except better.

As seems to be the case on this site more often recently, this sort of escalated a bit, so it went from just a deck discussion to a more fleshed out primer for the deck with a bunch of options discussed. I’ll use my deck as a guideline and will give you 5 versions of the deck. One each at 0XP, 10XP, 20XP, 30XP and finally 40XP. So you got your upgrade path spelled out for you, options included.

So if you’ve been looking at Skids and Jenny and just haven’t found a reason to care about green cards before, let’s just get on a train with the poster child for the rogue playstyle where simple success is not enough. We aim higher. Oh, now that you got in, I should also mention that this train does not have any brakes. Sit tight.

Winifred Habbamock

So what’s the deal with Wini, then? The cool thing about her is that she can really do all the things competently. Similar to fellow skill based investigator Amanda, Wini can use her skill cards to accomplish whatever is needed at the time, no matter if its fighting, investigating, passing treacheries, evading – if it requires a skill test, Wini can handle it. That does include willpower tests, by the way. Unlike Amanda who starts with a round of 2s in her statline, Wini gets 3s and a 5 in her active stats though. And Wini will add two cards worth of icons to any test on top of that. In exchange she doesn’t get the extreme power spikes that Amanda gets every couple rounds from using a Deduction or Vicious Blow three times …. but don’t worry about power spikes, she gets her own. Yep, Wini spikes. In fact it’s pretty much all she does.

Her investigator ability gives her the freedom to toss two cards into any test and still only be down 1 card (in theory… we’ll get to that in a bit and then have a laugh about it). In fact, from a card economy point of view, committing the second card is free and you’d be a fool not to do it. The amazing thing about her ability and what really unlocks Winifred is that her ability is not limited to once per round. It’s once per test. How many tests can you take in a round? That’s how many extra cards you get to draw. It’s not rare for Wini to draw 4 cards per turn … and as always with her you can aim higher.

She also gets one of the best Elder Sign abilities in the game. If you draw it, you usually just pick up all your committed cards and commit them again next test. It’s not a thing to rely on of course, but the Elder Sign is good enough on its own to offset the faceplant potential that the tentacle token represents.

Continuing with the health and sanity, there is still only upsides here. She has evenly distributed stats, so she isn’t vulnerable to anything in particular. She even gets a bonus stat points over most other investigators like all of the mono-class starter investigators do.

Her deck size is 30 and we can expect to churn through this roughly every 5-7 rounds without outside help.

Her biggest downside is her deckbuilding of course. She’s limited to green cards. Luckily, Winifred is extremely good at making use of rogue specific themes like oversuccess and the skills she has available to her are excellent enablers for her investigator ability. I will also just say here that due to her blasting through her deck so quickly, she is able to use Versatile with very little downside. Versatile for skills is a bit iffy, but if you wanted to do something like a Dream-Enhancing Serum or Occult Lexicon, i wouldn’t judge you at all.

Her signature nukes a test. I suggest not being too precious about it, keeping the cards flowing by committing two per test is more important than holding onto her signature for the perfect opportunity. That being said, it does enable all sorts of oversuccess triggers, it does secure willpower tests and is just generally awesome.

The weakness is a whole lot of nothing. We often test at skill values where a -1 hardly matters. And if you end up actually caring about it, just take an investigate with this committed against your location and basically just discard your weakness for an action. With the amount of cards we draw we also don’t care about missing one card draw here. Since we are cycling through our deck two to three times per scenario, our random basic weakness could be an actual problem that requires solving… but this weakness is laughable. Or maybe that’s just Arrogance on my part.

The Golden Rule

Before i get to the actual deck and the card choices, I’d like to hammer one thing home, the guiding principle that made (at least my version of) Wini click for me. As far as I am concerned, the following could be printed on her investigator card and it wouldn’t make a lick of difference to how i play her.

If you can commit at least two cards to a skill test, do that. No holding back. No exceptions.

I am serious. There really are no brakes on this train. With every test we want to get as much out of it as possible… which will in turn give us the necessary means to pass the next test. And the one after that. And each time we gain more and more incremental value on the side. Sometimes its extra resources. Sometimes its a full action. Sometimes all of it. There will be two types of situation: Either we do have our key assets in play. In which case we overcommit because want to trigger oversuccesses to get what those assets offer. Or we don’t have them in play, so we overcommit to draw more cards to find those assets. Always keep the deck churning. You’re engaged with a rat and are considering punching it with fight 3 vs difficulty 1? Who are you, Skids? Throw an Opportunity and a Courage on there, blast the rat, draw a card for your ability, another from the cigarette case, return Opportunity to your hand and look for the next test to obliterate.

This seems not sustainable at first, but actually building the deck and playing her shows that it very much is. Cigarette case and just your regular draw fuel you as a baseline. You can run a good amount of skills that replace themselves, either by drawing a card afterwards or returning to your hand. Some even draw extra. Some commit an extra skill from the deck when played. And each time you do use one of these skills, you win a little bit more. Soon you’ll be discarding down to 8 during upkeep despite the fact that you just committed six cards to three tests over the course of the turn.

Sure, you’ll draw the tentacle once or twice per scenario. But the Elder Sign makes up for that. And with the amount of value you are constantly getting literally everywhere, you can even laugh off drawing the tentacle with Anything You Do, Watch This and Opportunist committed.

The deck on ArkhamDB

Here’s links to the decklists on arkhamdb.com. As i mentioned earlier, there are five lists, one at level 0, then at 10, 20, 30 and finally 40.

Anything you can do, better – 0XP

Anything you can do, better – 10XP

Anything you can do, better – 20XP

Anything you can do, better – 30XP

Anything you can do, better – 40XP

Level Zero

Okay, so the level zero deck already has 3XP in it, but with our soak being what it is and how we are perfectly able to handle treacheries, we might as well make use of In The Thick of It. It comes at very little cost here and offers us access to some very important pieces that improve what would otherwise be our level zero by an insane amount, considering that it’s just 3XP.

So let’s just go over all of this, card by card.

2x Thieves Kit, 1x Lockpicks: We aren’t the main seeker, but we do want to be able to pick up clues when there’s no fires to put out. Thieves Kit is a lot better than Lockpicks for us here, because for one, it doesn’t exhaust. But what’s more important, we can’t commit agility icons to a Lockpicks test. That does mean we can’t throw Watch This or Man Dex into it which is annoying. Still, it’ll do for now.
Options: Turning your agility into your active stat is a key Wini thing and Thieves Kit is simply the best tool for the job. It also gives a whole lot of money which shouldn’t be underestimated! The Kit quickly pays for itself and then also for a dog. I think it’s not up for discussion. Lockpicks is much more of a flexible slot and i could see running a second Pilfer in its stead for example. Or just completely ditch it and play an extra skill or whatever.

4x Sled Dog, 1x Mauser: We aren’t the main fighter, but we do want to be able to defeat most enemies we draw ourselves so the fighter can care about the big stuff. Mauser and Sled Dog both exhaust after attacking, but as one of the best evaders in the game we aren’t bothered by this. In the level zero deck, we can have only two dogs out at the same time, but a weapon that attacks for 2 damage at +2 fight without ammo and without taking up a hand slot while providing soak is still excellent. Oh, and you can use them for movement as well. Getting two of them into play is absolutely trivial for us. Extra dogs can be used as fight icons until we get our Charisma (spoiler: it’s the first thing we buy after what you see above).
Options: It really can’t be overstated how good the Sled Dog is for this deck. It starts at “better than any pistol you could use” and ramps up to nonsensical levels of impact once you get your Charisma. Personally I consider any list that doesn’t have them to be inferior but if you are really adverse to them, replace them with a second Mauser, a second Backstab and a copy each of Gregory Gry and Lonnie Ritter.

1x Disguise: Disguise is a great way to handle non-Elite enemies that don’t just die to 2 damage. Tying something down for two turns buys you a lot of time. Note that you can even use this on Elites as well, perfectly viable just to start at agility 7 before commits.
Options: Nothing does Disguise as well as Disguise does. Slip Away can be an alternative if you don’t think you will be evading often enough to be worth the upfront cost on Disguise.

1x Backstab, 1x Pilfer: Burst damage and burst clues, both with double icons making them flexible commits as well. Don’t commit Pilfer though, it’s much too good for that. You have only one of these in the deck, but you can expect to play them two or three times per scenario anyways. With Pilfer, that’s a lot of clue flexing done already.
Options: I think these are both essential. Getting to do things with agility is fantastic for Wini. Still, even with the surprising amount of resources this deck churns out, the resource cost is not nothing so i included only one of each.

3x Easy Mark: The deck is somewhat hungry for resources and i find Easy Mark to be absolutely essential for Wini to afford her things. Getting this into the level zero deck was an absolute priority for me because it is just so much better than the next best alternatives at level zero. Faustian Bargain gives us curses – while we test high enough to blast past them, they can and will cost you LCC activations or oversuccess actions from Quick Thinking. I am really not a fan of that. Emergency Cache doesn’t have icons, that’s a big no-no for Wini. Sneak By is awkward to use, but at least it’s a step above ECache. Meanwhile Easy Mark gives us money, which we care about. It gives us cards, so the train doesn’t stop. And it has two excellent icons for when we need them. With our card draw, playing two or even three of them in one action is also a common occurence. It’s an extraordinarily good card for Wini.
Options: Again, essential. The only discussion worth having is over if you should get them from your Thick of It XP or not. So let’s talk about options for those 3XP. The first one is Charisma which would enable your full Sled Dog team right from the start. That’s certainly powerful and if you anticipate a lot of 3 and 4 health enemies in scenario 0 it’s a real contender. I don’t see any other reason not to run Easy Marks from the start. If you somehow don’t (because you start Charisma or something else you brewed up, or maybe you don’t want to or can not run In the Thick of It) play Faustians for a scenario then immediately spend your first XP on these after that scenario, no matter what.

2x Watch This: More money. Doesn’t quite have a wild icon which ends up being relevant for Lockpicks and basic intellect tests. By now you probably aren’t surprised to hear that i believe that a true Wini player always pays 3 resources into this, no matter the odds or if it’s your last 3 resources. This by the way, is my favorite card in the game. My favorite card in my favorite deck, with my favorite investigator. This really is a self-indulgent deck tech.
Options: I don’t see any. You do need money, you need reliable skills. Watch This is where those two things meet and the only way to be more perfect would have been a wild icon.

2x Daredevil: Automatically triggers your investigator ability while only costing you one card from your hand. Finding Savant with it stinks a bit, but it’s still a Courage that drew you a card in that case. As far as worst cases go, that’s pretty sweet. It also has recently been buffed by the taboo list, so now when it reveals your weakness, you draw yet another card. Noice!
Options: I don’t see an option here either. In Wini, they add a wild while drawing two or three cards, one of which gets committed to the test. That’s just incredible.

2x Manual Dexterity: Unlike any other event or skill in the list, this only commits to one type of test, but since its agility and we end up using that a lot we absolutely have to play these. A skill that draws a card is magnificent for us and keeps the train ahead of schedule.
Options: Not really? At some point we want the upgraded version anyways, so we might as well start out with the core version.

2x Opportunist: So, success by 3 is not a given. But this returns to your hand often enough to be worth it. That wild icon makes it a great enabler, something to just throw into a test together with whatever else you actually wanted to do to get your card draw on. If you get it back, awesome. If not… doesn’t matter, had card draw.
Options: The list of skills for Wini is really tight and cutting stuff somewhere is incredibly difficult. Opportunist is quite good for her, but i could see arguments that a +3 oversuccess is too unreliable. You could get away with playing only one or even zero of them if your replacement is particularly great.
So, since we finally found a skill that is not untouchable, let’s talk about options for the skill package.
Option 1: Nimble. A very good skill and the one that i would most like to fit in here. The reason i didn’t is that it only commits to agility tests and its reward is not always desirable. It is also sometimes a disappointing result to get for your Daredevil. But holding one of these in your hand and using it at the right time is incredible. Think about swapping an Opportunist or Quick Thinking for a Nimble, it’s a tough call. I don’t think a second Nimble is all that good though.
Option 2: Momentum. Will go into the deck later, but if you don’t think you want Savant, they could be an early pickup. I don’t think they are important quite yet though.
Option 3: Three Aces. Even after the taboo that removes them from the game, these are quite cool. Wini has the card draw to assemble the combo and actually can use them just as wild icons. The question is what to cut for them. You need an XP, so one Savant has to give at least from the start deck. And after that it’s either the Quick Thinkings, the Opportunists, the Courages or one of two of these. Reasonable enough.

2x Quick Thinking: At its absolute base level, Quick Thinking gives you an action which you can use to draw a card so it replaces itself. However, it’s much better than that of course. An extra action translates to an extra test… and as we established we get more than just a card out of that.
Options: I think QT is a cut above the Opportunist and even Courage and i would call it the best of the three “touchable” skills. I would still be very hesitant to replace them, they can really solve a lot of problems for you and get you out of hairy situations.

2x Savant: Alongside Easy Mark, the pair of Savants are what you want to get as a priority for your In the Thick of It XP. While they technically can be committed to any test just to keep the train going, its real value is as an encounter defense of course. To defeat cards such as Frozen in Fear, our deck has Savant and Anything You Do as the first line of defense which coupled with the obligatory second (or third… ) skill card will get even our base willpower of 1 up to “anything but the autofail” levels so this sort of thing doesn’t stop us.
Options: Look, willpower is a problem. That too is part of the rogue lifestyle. Savant is the concession to it. I would usually eye Counterespionage (or maybe even You Handle This One) as a reasonable way to deal with that sort of thing, but with Wini why do things with events when a skill can do the same while also feeding the machine.

2x Unexpected Courage: The Old Reliable. Commits to anything, solid skill boost. No special frills, just a nice security blanket.
Options: Reliable is good, but if you want to be greedy, then running a skill with extra effects on top of an icon can prove superior.
If i had to cut cards from the three non-essential skills (Opportunist, Courage, Quick Thinking), i would first cut a Courage, then a Opportunist, then the other Courage, then a Quick Thinking, then the other Opportunist and finally the second Quick Thinking. I find it hard to imagine getting to the point where i am cutting six cards out of this skill package, but who knows what future sets bring!

How to play the deck

Playing this Wini list is super simple. Do whatever is needed at the time. If there’s a big scary Elite, maybe go first and evade it. Otherwise let the fighter go first if they think they can clean house. Leaving you to pick off stragglers or small fry. Don’t need to fight? Pick up some clues. You don’t have clue compression, but you do have skill values that beat those difficult 4-6 shroud locations that often pop up with just 1 clue per investigator on them and that might give your seeker trouble.
Above all, observe the Golden Rule. As many tests as possible and always double commit. Two sled dogs should hit the table very soon, turn 3 should be no problem at all. The Mauser is a backup weapon. If you don’t need it because you got your dogs, it has a valuable agility icon that can feed many tests. The card you want to see most in the beginning is Lucky Cigarette Case. Hard mulligan for it. Then just start picking up more an more steam, and as soon as you start net gaining cards for taking tests, start crafting your hand to be ready for anything.
The only thing that can realistically stop you is the autofail. Our plan is to accumulate so much value with each test that faceplanting here and there is easy to compensate. That being said, there will be times where that damn red token hurts. Maybe you are still only spinning up or maybe you are blessed by Yog-Sothoth that day and draw multiple autofails back to back. A Winifred with an empty hand is miserable. Instead of trying to halfass things, possibly even failing tests because you decide to just test agiity vs shroud with your Thieves Kit and nothing (or worse, a single card) thrown into it, consider this: You can sit there for a turn, just draw three cards, then restart the engine on the next turn with 5 in your hand. This will cost you some time there, but at least you are gaining momentum again afterwards. It’s going to happen to you once per campaign. Twice, if the Elder Gods are particularly interested in you that day. It’s nothing to worry about, it’s the price for just running peak into peak into peak for the rest of the game.

Alright, let’s check out how to upgrade the deck.

Scenario 1&2: The deck at 10XP

Since we started with 3XP, it’s only a 7XP jump to this first breakpoint. For some campaigns, that is attainable in the first scenario. We pick up two absolute essentials here, spending 6XP on Charisma to fully enable the Sled Dogs to go super saiyan and on Lucky Cigarette Case(3), which will allow us to almost pick and choose a card each turn.
The final XP picks up Stylish Coat here. You can wait a bit on this one, actually it’s not an essential card at all and you can probably find good alternatives for it. I do like its interplay with both Mauser and Thieves Kit though and you will get good value out of it.
The card i am cutting here for Coat is Lockpicks. It was only a backup Thieves Kit, i have no desire to upgrade it either.
Options: Charisma and LCC(3) are essential. Stylish Coat isn’t but you will want to work towards shoring up your economy even more to enable some later things and for just a single XP it can do a lot for you down the line even if it’s not super necessary right now.

Scenario 3&4: The deck at 20XP

The next step in our evolution is giving Backstab and Pilfer their “return on oversuccess” feature so we have an outlet for the money we are generating. How this deck operates now is using your money at first for setting up, which of course requires a decent stack to get your dogs, LCC, Thieves Kit etc. running. But after that, you mostly run on skills. And skills don’t cost anything. Meanwhile, your Kits, Mauser and Coat even refund themselves within short time. So those resources you gain without actually having to give up much for it from stacked Easy Marks and Watch This start accumulating. Pilfer and Backstab give you something to funnel this cash into progression and killing.
The other four XP bump Manual Dexterity up to level 2. The triple agility icons on it help you completely secure the oversuccesses on Pilfer and Backstab and getting to draw even more cards is just going to be sweet.
At this point your deck is pretty much done. We are going to spruce up the skills slightly and add some cool stuff to get to 100% capability faster, but at this point you should already be crushing it.
Options: I believe these upgrades are all essential and i don’t really see pushing them back in favor of coming upgrades either. In fact, the only reason that Stylish Coat made it before is to keep the numbers at nice multiples of 10. In actuality, i would probably do the upgrades to Man Dex first. Then the Pilfer. Then the Coat. Then the Backstab. Thanks to the dogs, the Backstab has a little less priority than the rest. It mostly exists to either stab something while you didn’t get your third dog yet (so like turn 4 or 5), if you autofailed your dog attack or if you really want to nuke something.
Since these were all upgrades, we don’t have to consider options for cuts either.

Scenario 5&6: The deck at 30XP

With Backstab now upgraded, i feel like it’s time to ditch that Mauser and get an actually good weapon into this deck. You won’t need the Beretta every time, but you now have it available to you and it allows you to take over as the main fighter for a while. You’ll pretty much always be plinking things for 3 damage with this as you’ll most often be in double digit skill values. It takes over the handslots, but until you emptied the gun you will have found one of your Thieves Kits again – and you can always just Pilfer things while holding the gun.
I am getting the first Momentum into the deck here. This skill does some nice things for you, like enabling a basic investigate after reducing the difficulty to 0 or set up a nice oversuccess for your LCC(3). Ideally, both. I am cutting a Courage to make room for it here.
Hot Streak(2) and Thieves Kit(3) then cross into luxury territory. The deck works just fine, we have all our tools, all we are doing in the end is improving the money situation even further. The order for these is pretty much completely in the air. Hot Streak is both the highest immediate impact and thanks to your deck cycling two or three times, you’ll get to play it a couple of times. Sadly its icon is complete garbage… to the point where i might want to go to Hot Streak(4) just to turn it into a wild icon.
Options: The Beretta is a bit of a personal preference and i could understand if you are dubious about the double hand slot on it. Lupara makes a fine impression of it if you just want to nail some big elites sometimes, but doesn’t allow you to go into main fighter mode the same way that the Beretta does. Obviously it is not strictly necessary in the first place but i wanted to throw the option out there.
Two copies of Momentum make the way into the deck in total, taking the spot of the Unexpected Courages. I have used these to good effect and i would definitely recommend them, but again – not necessary for how the deck works in the slightest. I could see cutting a Courage and an Opportunist instead of two Courages (and in reality that would probably how i’d do things) but Opportunist is part of the engine so i decided to play it safe here.
Before talking about the final glob of resource enablers, let’s get to the full picture:

Scenario 7&8: The deck at 40XP

This list now has the second Momentum (and loses the second Courage for it) as announced. But more importantly, it throws its final 9XP into two copies of Another Day, Another Dollar and the final Thieves Kit upgrade.
Thieves Kit(3) is pure luxury, but whenever its on the table together with Stylish Coat you will absolutely love it, i promise.
The two Another Day, Another Dollar give you a headstart on your setup. Starting with 9 resources really gets things rolling.
Options: Alright, so the final bit of resource stuff can really be done in whatever order you prefer. Day/Dollar headstarts the setup. Hot Streak peaks your resources. Thieves Kit gradually pays off. By the point you are here to make these decisions you should know what you think you have been missing most because you have already played 5 to 6 scenarios.
Don’t think you need any money at all? Check out All In…

Notable omissions

Here’s a number of cards you might be missing from this list, so let me use this space to talk about a few of them to show up even more options.

“I’ll Take That”: Super solid and i definitely played it in Wini lists before. Even has good icons for her. Couldn’t fit it in here, but it’s a great addition.
.25 Auto: Needs the level 2 upgrade to be worth it – and it is worth it. But i didn’t want to put the XP towards it and knew i’d want to get the Beretta eventually. If you don’t want the Beretta, then taking a .25 or two seems neat. I’d still use the Mauser at level 0, though.
Charon’s Obol: We are running super low on XP here, so i don’t see the need. But sure, Easy Mark + Charon’s Obol is one hell of a 3XP package to get with Thick of It. And you could just put away the extra XP from Obol and treat yourself with a nice little care package of Relic Hunter + Red Clock. Level 5, obviously. Level 2 is for responsible folk that don’t value excess for its own sake.
Overpower/Perception: Ah, i wish i could. The whole “draw a card” thing on a skill is just fantastic. But i sacrifice them here on the altar of The Golden Rule to make sure we have as many wild icons as we can get. If your Wini deck is less flexy than mine and leans harder towards either fighting or seeking, then pack the appropriate Core skill!
Nimble: Already talked about before. Great card, fantastic good case. But only a single agility icon and somewhat awkward to Daredevil into on random investigate tests.
Hatchet Man: Another narrow skill that awkwardly turns up when we play Daredevil.
Three Aces: Daredevil again makes this one a bit more awkward than you want to. Aces rewards keeping skills back in your hand and playing conservatively. We want to feed a giant hungry machine that chuggs cards all day and spits out more cards, not assemble some combo.
Copycat: Dependent on what your teammates play, so i left it out here. It’s certainly good in some situations, though. Since you can switch between roles fairly easily, you can make use of a wide variety of skills that other people run… even if it’s just their Courages.
All In: It removes itself now, but that’s fine. A Courage that draws 5 cards is nuts. Costs 5XP of course, but we are running low XP enough that you might get there.
Opportunist(2): I am honestly a bit lukewarm on this upgrade. Sure, it helps and if you have the spare XP to burn go ahead. But i don’t think it moves the needle all that much on how useful Opportunist is or not. And since i was talking about possibly even cutting one of them from the deck, i didn’t want to give mixed signals here.
Another ally: Through a second copy of Charisma you could play another ally. And there’s a lot of interesting options here, rogue gets amazing allies after all. Something to consider at the stage where your money is set up and you are eyeing All In, Copycat and similar options. You could just drop 6XP on Charisma + Delilah. Or go big with Chuck, making your Pilfering fast. With Wini, there’s always room to grow, we don’t care about ceilings or boundaries.

Closing thoughts

And that’s Winifred. People value Mark Harrigan because he can fight at high skill values while also drawing cards and passing random tests on all four skills.

Wini can do what he can.

Better.


18 Replies to “Anything You Can Do, Better – A Winifred Primer”

  1. This is a superb and super-detailed analysis of Winifred’s capabilities as an investigator. Unfortunately, I only have the campaigns and player cards through The Circle Undone. So, I am definitely missing about one-third of your recommended cards for her deck at your five levels. I particularly appreciated that you provided some options for some of those core cards. Seems like I need to sit down and spend some time with my Rogue and Neutral player cards and explore those options, because I really like Wini too!

    Love this site, and it is my go-to touchstone before I start a campaign and again before I begin a scenario.

    Thanks for all of your hard work!

    1. Thanks, glad to hear it.

      You can absolutely build great Wini decks with your card pool. Her investigator prebuilt deck is not the greatest but it’s at least a solid base. The early rogue cardpool (Core, Dunwich, Carcosa) however has a lot of oversuccess cards without an investigator to use them, so you can use Winifred to “unlock” those cards for you.

  2. Talk to me about Daredevil. I’ve always been dubious about running it because it makes you churn your deck, potentially discarding cards you need without the recursion to get them back.

    You don’t even take the upgraded version, so you clearly don’t think it’s an issue. Can you expand on your thoughts on Daredevil?

    1. Wini doesn’t need recursion, you go through your deck in 5-7 turns anyways so nothing is ever truly lost. Deck churning isn’t anything to be terribly afraid of, you can even look at it as a form of recursion because it gets cards from your discard back into your deck where you can pick them up again quite fast. Half of this deck (not counting the Daredevils) can be targeted by Daredevil, so you are probably not going to discard many cards anyways. The chances to not hit a green skill within 3-4 cards are very small.

      Winifred simply uses Daredevil very well. Just for playing that one card in your hand, you get two cards committed to a test which triggers her ability. So you commit two cards without your card count in hand going down.

      You can do the upgrade, but i don’t find it necessary. I do actually like the recent taboo change on the level 0 that makes you draw the weaknesses you find as well. Even if it draws weaknesses, it’s still card draw! That’s a weakness that won’t replace a later draw during an upkeep, so finding it with Daredevil is a nice bonus whenever it happens.

      1. Fair enough. I’m sold :D

        I also wanted to ask, how would you pair this deck with another investigator? In 2-player would the other investigator also need to be a generalist? Or could this fill either dedicated role?

        Or would it be even better as the flex in a 3-player?

        1. Also, sorry for the double post, but have you ever considered doing a let’s play, or a blow by blow battle report kind of thing?

          It might be interesting to share the deck “in action” so people can see what it looks like the way you play it.

          1. I played a full campaign of RtTFA for my Cursed Charlie Kane deck and documented two of the games action by action.

            https://derbk.com/ancientevils/the-gaze-of-kane/

            Under Untamed Wilds and Depths of Yoth in that article you can find links to two text files with details on how those scenarios went. It has Charlie and Kymani in action – Kymani does have some overlap with Wini there (i played an oversuccess deck with Pilfers and Backstabs with them too) so that might even be interesting in the context of this deck.

            I don’t think i will be doing something like that all that much, though. While it was fun, it really was a whole lot of work. I suppose i could do a video, but part of my whole thing in the Arkham community is kinda that i do the written stuff… there is already so many others that do playalongs on YT or Twitch.

        2. Personally i play the game two-handed solo and my decks will almost always end up being some sort of flexible. My fighters are able to pick up some clues on the wayside with the likes of Scene of the Crime while my cluevers can also handle some small fry themselves. I think that is just generally an efficient way to go about it. Obviously it isn’t always such a nice 50/50 (or 45/55) split between the roles as with this Wini deck here and more like (80/20) but i do lean heavily towards some generalist capabilities in my decks.

          Wini herself can be adjusted in whatever direction rather easily. Run an extra weapon and Overpowers. Or some Lockpicks and Perceptions. Just swapping out four or five cards has a huge effect when you see your complete deck within a couple turns. So you can run her next to pretty much anyone. Could be a generalist like Stella, but with just some cards adjusted you can easily run her next a Nathaniel or a Mandy, too.

  3. I’m building Wini for my next campaign, this helps a lot!
    What do you think of Chuck / Crystallizer / Trick Event Wini build? I find it tempting to use an event twice each turn (once as event, once from Crystallizer as a skill) and then recur it for next turn. Maybe it’s a bit greedy and takes too long to set up?

    1. I believe Crystallizer stops those event from returning to your hand. I am not a rules guru at all though.

      Chuck is really good either way, though. Backstab, Pilfer, Cheap Shot are all good cards to play repeatedly with him. And you can even use him to give Easy Mark fast to be even better.

      1. Ah, just found a FAQ entry that handles this:

        Q: If a card such as Cheap Shot is returned to my hand, what areas am I allowed to retrieve it from? If it is shuffled into my deck, can I still return it to my hand? A: In general, unless otherwise specified, players can “return” such a card from any play area, so long as it is in an area that allows the card to be found and identified. For example, if Cheap Shot is in the discard pile or attached to another card (such as a Crystallizer of Dreams) and you are able to find it, you may return it to your hand from that area. However, if it is in a place where its position is impossible to determine (such as shuffled into your deck) or facedown in a place where you are not allowed to look at its other side (for example, as a swarm card), you would be unable to return it to your hand, and therefore that aspect of the effect would fail. Additionally, if Cheap Shot is removed from the game, unless specifically stated otherwise, no game effects can interact with it in any way until the end of the game. – FAQ, v.1.8, October 2020

        I didn’t expect a facedown card to be able to return to your hand there. But if that’s what has been ruled, it looks like you got yourself a nice hook for a deck there.

        My only thought: Maybe it’s better to do this in Sefina than in Wini?

  4. Hey, thanks for the guide! Really feels like you managed to show us the nuts and bolts of Wini. A few things:

    1. Any particular reason for only 1 upgraded LCC (3)? I remember your article on running card advantage instead of multiple copies, but LCC (3) seems good enough to warrant running a second copy, especially given its useful icons.
    2. Any thoughts on Streetwise (3) as a cash outlet instead of Pilfer (3) and Backstab (3)? The events bouncing back to your hand seems less useful to me since, as you mention, you draw so much that you’re able to reshuffle them quickly.
    3. On a much lighter note, while reading this I got the song “The Red Baron” by Sabaton stuck in my head, which is super-fitting for Wini.

    1. On 1: I think keeping an unupgraded LCC around as a stopgap till you get the better one is perfectly fine. It’s main use for the deck is keeping the cards flowing and giving you +1 card for a turn is something the level 1 already does. With the speed you are going through your deck, you will see the level3 soon enough and it’s cheap enough that you can afford overwriting your LCC later. With how light the deck runs on XP, you can totally fit in the second LCC(3) if you really want to, though. I just find it unnecessary myself.

      On 2: I don’t think that Streetwise does much for Wini, because your skill values are already at the moon. I guess that can be a way to get her more suitable for other difficulties than Normal, because as an investigator that relies on successes and oversuccesses, it does notably struggle a lot on Hard and Expert. Personally, i would just question Wini’s viability for those difficulties in the first place, but Streetwise could be a solid attempt at making it work.
      For Standard, entirely unnecessary imo.

  5. Awesome article as usual. I have the same question as kahnjl though. In a 2 player count who would pair her with ? Another flex who can do anything ? Can she be paired with a normal seeker (which will be low on monster management) ?

    In a 3 player count, definitely as a flex.

    1. The deck as presented is pretty much the true flex version, but depending on who you pair her with you can lean one way or the other. If you want to pair her with a seeker, add some extra weapons and some Overpowers. Cut the Thieves Kits and just keep the Pilfers around. Similarly, you could lean more seekery if you were to team her up with a Nathaniel or someone like that by putting in the extra Lockpicks, maybe a second Pilfer, the Perceptions while cutting your Backstab, Disguise, Mauser and just keeping the dogs for enemy handling.

  6. Excellent article which fully grasps what it is like to be playing with Wini, and the awesome amount of power she has.

    I played her in a recent Campaign over on BoardGameGeek not expecting too much, after listening to all the tier list. Looking at her ability, a Succeed by 2 Deck was an most obvious choice, so I slapt one together without too much thinking, and never looked back. I wonder what decks people are building, who want to tell you that it is hard work to get Wini to suceed in anything, it is no work at all.
    She might have a limited cardpool but it is the ost fun cardpoool there is, and it si limited to support exactly her playstyle. By the second half of the campaign I had dozens of nice cards whioch would fit nicely in my deck and was only limited by the fact that I can only play 30 cards.

    1. It’s really quite effortless.

      I think the biggest issue that some might have with her deckbuilding is underestimating the number of skills to run in her. The preconstructed deck that comes with her teaches an awful, awful lesson there and is really quite bad.

      The other thing is that Wini asks you to either pay more attention to the icons on your cards than usual or just cheat the way i do and maximize your number of wild icons. Early decks i built for her sometimes ended up staggering when i found myself with the likes of Overpower, Perception, Small Favor, Intel Report etc in hand… and nothing to pair them up with to trigger the investigator ability. Cards like Intel Report or Sneak By do have good icons, but you really need to avoid to ever commit only single cards to tests, so making some concessions during deck building is necessary. In the example of the deck i built for the article, i would love nothing more than running Overpower and Perception, but that’s honestly asking for trouble.

      Once you got those two things down, you can really do a lot with Winifred.

      1. I agree on the wild icons. I too started out with Overpowers and Perceptions in my deck. and was forced to cycle them out quite fast. The card draw is not really necessary if you have a LCC out and the risk of drawing your gun and then being stuck with Book Icons or the other way round. That might be different if you focus on only one role, but I would test that before I play the deck in a campaign.

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