captain ashcan
Captain Ashcan ready to deal 1 damage.  Not pictured: Duke eviscerating monsters off screen.


Have you ever thought, wow, I love Arkham Horror, but I really want to play as a homeless dude who wears boxing gloves so that his dog can fight monsters better? I know I have. That’s why I’m excited to present to you Boxing Gloves Pete. While at first you might think this is a dumb idea, I assure you it is actually not! Behold, as I list out the many good and thought out reasons to play Boxing Gloves Pete.


Turn in your guitar for some boxing gloves so that your dog can kill people better.


  • The combat bonus from Boxing Gloves will apply to Duke. Boxing Gloves + Duke is a 5 combat test that deals 2 damage, where the only cost is Duke exhausting as opposed to using up ammo. This is comparable to Mark Harrigan with .32 Colt.
  • Pete’s “Dunwich splash” allows him to access all out-of-class level 0 Spirit cards, most notably Ward of Protection, a very strong card.
  • A lot of Survivor cards are Spirit cards, both at level 0 and with XP. Very notable choices at level 0 are Live and Learn, Trial by Fire and Perseverance. With XP, notable choices include A Test of Will, True Survivor, Nothing Left to Lose, Will to Survive.
  • Survivor Spirit cards are strong anyway, so you will be happy including a healthy number of them in your deck and you will be even happier drawing them with or without Boxing Gloves’ ability.
  • Pete’s low base Intellect and base Combat make it hard for him to get value out of a lot of hand slot assets. When it comes to Pete, you are not missing out on a lot of better options by using Boxing Gloves here.
  • What it you have to Fight without Duke? The bonus +1 combat from Boxing Gloves can help you out a tad. While this is not your first choice at all, since you are looking at a 3 Combat, this option can be helpful when fighting odd-health enemies and especially 1 health enemies if you cannot or don’t want to exhaust Duke. Survivor cards like Able Bodied, Not Without A Fight, and Rise to the Occasion can make this test possible, as well as Neutrals like Reckless Assault, Overpower, and Unexpected Courage.
  • Even if you don’t get your Boxing Gloves out, the other cards involved in this build are really great anyway. Unlike other combo-oriented decks, you are absolutely not dependent on Boxing Gloves being in play to make the remainder of the deck work.


  • If anything happens to Duke, you are very likely screwed. However, this is generally true of Pete decks anyway. This can be overcome with XP using A Chance Encounter(2).
  • Your hand slots are almost certainly locked outside of Boxing Gloves. This build assumes you are holding Boxing Gloves and nothing else OR you are holding some kind of disposable hand slot asset you can use up when you get Boxing Gloves, i.e., Flashlight, Knife, Lantern, Gravedigger’s Shovel.
  • The deck can be expensive to pilot, especially if you are attempting to use Boxing Gloves to fuel Will To Survive loops.



0 XP Cards that Synergize Well with Boxing Gloves Pete:

  • Improvised Weapon. This is the star combo for Boxing Gloves Pete. It can be chucked with Pete’s ability to ready Duke. From the discard pile, it deals 2 damage. You get a -1 difficulty on the test, and Boxing Gloves gives you +1 combat when fighting. With these two bonuses combined, this is a 2 point swing on the test in your favour. So, for example, if the original Fight test would have been 2 against 2, Boxing Gloves and Improvised Weapon makes it 3 against 1. The optimal damage combo therefore would be: 1) Fight with Duke, 2) Discard IW to ready Duke and fight with Duke again, 3) Fight with IW, if possible.
  • Winging It. Same concept as Improvised Weapon, except you finish off with an investigation for 2 clues instead. Likely requires some Intellect bonuses to be successful, but being able to gain 2 clues is very useful, so I still take this with me. This will situationally make your shroud a 0.
  • Resourceful. Resourceful can be committed to either of Duke’s triggers and it can find you a card which can be used to ready Duke. It also can enable Will to Survive loops where you recover Will to Survive with a Resourceful commitment during a Will To Survive empowered test.
  • Dark Horse. Dark Horse is another option to get skill points that will help Duke. Combined with Boxing Gloves, this can give you a Combat value of 6 on Duke. Of course, this also requires you to play around Dark Horse.
  • One-Two Punch. This is a tech choice, but if there are enemies with low fight and high health, Pete with Boxing Gloves can potentially deal 3 damage to the enemy and save a Duke trigger. This involves two fight tests, one at 4 and one at 5. It is also a Spirit so it can be grabbed by Boxing Gloves. You can switch this with Spectral Razor if you prefer, but you cannot draw Spectral Razor with Boxing Gloves.
  • Ward of Protection. A high quality Spirit card and a prime target for Boxing Gloves’ search ability.
  • Moonstone. Toss Moonstone to ready Duke and get some Will and Agility while you are at it.
  • Peter Sylvestre. Since Boxing Gloves Pete should run Ward of Protection, this will heal the horror from that. Combined with Moonstone, this gives you 5 Agility, allowing you to evade quite effectively.
  • Emergency Cache. This will help you pay for Boxing Gloves, Peter Sylvestre, or Moonstone. It will also help you pay for Will to Survive with XP.
  • Able Bodied. This deck has 2 Items total in it, meaning you will frequently be able to get the full effect of this skill card.



XP Cards for Boxing Gloves Pete:

  • Jessica Hyde(1). Jessica + Boxing Gloves gives Duke a fight of 6. The soak of course is also fantastic to have when you are fighting enemies.
  • Peter Sylvestre(2). Just like the level 0 Peter Sylvestre, only even better.
  • Granny Orne(3). Not only are you getting +1 Will and +1 Int (which Duke can use), but you are also sort of getting an invisible +1 Combat as well. Why? Because if you fail by 1, an exhaust on Granny Orne can make you succeed by 0 instead. That’s a pretty fantastic deal!
  • Charisma(3). You have a lot of good ally options to choose from, and your hand slots are spoken for. Consider Charisma to compensate for this.
  • Brute Force(1). You can use this on a regular Fight (without Duke), and with Boxing Gloves, you will Fight at 6 and potentially deal 3 damage! You will have a lot of other cards to commit that increase your Combat so the bonus damage is more achievable than you might think.
  • Will to Survive(3). This card can be pulled from your deck with Boxing Gloves and recovered from your discard pile with Resourceful, meaning you can have a lot of access to this card during the scenario.
  • True Survivor(3). This card also enables your Will to Survivor loop and it can also be pulled with Boxing Gloves! True Survivor will return your Resourcefuls to your hand, and your Resourcefuls can then grab your Will to Survives again.
  • A Chance Encounter(2). If you are concerned about losing Duke, A Chance Encounter(2) can recover him from your discard pile for only 2 resources.



  • Boxing Gloves Pete, Sans Boxing Gloves
    • In this variant, you would take all the cards you would take for Boxing Gloves Pete and then remove the Boxing Gloves and replace them with something else, likely Spectral Razors (for combat) or Magnifying Glasses (for investigation). This would then be basically a Spirit Pete deck, but that’s not half as exciting or funny to say as Boxing Gloves Pete.


Special Campaign Notes:

  • Dunwich: Conglomeration of Spheres will not discard Boxing Gloves, because you never attack with Boxing Gloves itself. Therefore, this will help Pete get fights off on it without Duke, at 3v1. Furthermore, since this build runs Improvised Weapon, you should have a pretty easy time killing these.
  • Dream Eaters: Being able to deal 1 damage is more relevant in Dream Eaters due to the Swarm cards. Boxing Gloves can help you pick off Swarm enemies like Zoogs even without Duke.


That’s my initial review of Boxing Gloves Pete! This is a build that is just for fun. While you cannot physically play this deck currently as Boxing Gloves is an unreleased card, you certainly can play it in Tabletop Simulator! I have gone through 3 scenarios with this deck and it has really held its own, so I stand by this being an entertaining but viable build.


You can see my preview of the deck here: