Do you like killing enemies, discovering clues, and drawing cards for no actions? Do you like free money? And most importantly, do you just like playing weird jank?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be interested in playing ARRR! In addition to being the sound a pirate makes, ARRR stands for Astounding Revelation Relic Roland. “That sounds like a lot of Seeker cards for a Roland deck,” you may be saying to yourself. And you are right. It is a lot of Seeker cards, but that’s why it’s so fun and different. Here’s how it works!
Disc of Itzamna, or How Harvey Walters Changed Roland’s Life
First, let’s talk about a little card called level 0 Disc of Itzamna.
Roland Banks could always take the level 2 version of this card. However, he never really wanted to. Level 2 Disc just discards the enemy immediately, meaning that Roland’s ability cannot trigger off of it – and that ability going off is huge for Roland’s power as an investigator.
Weirdly enough, the level 0 Disc introduced in Harvey Walters’ starter deck is significantly better for Roland than the upgraded version from Core. That’s because this Disc outright deals damage. This means this Disc can defeat the enemy, so Roland’s ability can trigger off of Disc. Even if Disc doesn’t defeat the enemy, the enemy will still be weakened for Roland to get the final blow in.
So, now we are thinking, “hey, there’s a really great Relic Roland might be interested in” but we are not all the way sold on this yet. Well, here’s the big selling point – there are two other Relics in particular that Roland likes at level 0. These are Enchanted Blade and Hallowed Mirror. Enchanted Blade is a fantastic weapon which can flex into dealing 1 or 2 damage, and the Arcane slot usage doesn’t really impact Roland much. Hallowed Mirror simply helps Roland stay sane – a 2 horror heal and a card draw for 0r is just what Roland wants when the going gets tough. Hallowed Mirror and Disc of Itzamna compete for a slot, but we don’t mind this too much, because Disc removes itself from the slot on use.
Now that we know there are a few Relics Roland is really interested in, we can throw in Dr. Elli Horowitz. Dr. Elli can find Disc, Enchanted Blade or Hallowed Mirror, saving you time and resources by getting a card into play quickly. The quantity and importance of the Relic targets are the same reasons that prompted taking Dr. Elli in Big Relic Jim; however, this time the cards in question are different.
In addition, we now have a search effect going on. If we have searches active, we can go for more searches and add Research cards. In fact, this is a particularly good thought because we know that Roland can take Stick to the Plan with XP, and Stick to the Plan triggers a Research at the beginning of the game. It won’t take much more search support to secure multiple research triggers in that case. And, there are search cards Roland probably wants anyway. Practice Makes Perfect can find great cards for Roland, like Take the Initiative, Vicious Blow, and Perception. Prepared for the Worst can find Enchanted Blade and Roland’s signature gun. (I also added .45 Automatics to this deck just to ensure Roland gets a weapon, and of course, Prepared for the Worst can get those too.) This is plenty of searches for you to not just get the cards you need, but also to trigger Astounding Revelations for that sweet cash.
In addition, we are taking On the Hunt. On the Hunt is phenomenal for securing a trigger on Roland’s level 0 Disc of Itzamna. Ideally, this defeats the enemy you hunted, netting you a clue. Next, I have Glory in the deck so you can now also draw 2 cards off of your enemy defeat. This combo is one of the major potential power plays of ARRR, where you deal 2 damage, discover a clue, and draw 2 cards before the investigator phase even begins. If you wanted to, you could look at adding other things, such as Evidence! or “If it bleeds…” here, but I think the card draw from Glory is to good to be passing up.
Naturally, you have lots of flexibility in how you upgrade ARRR but there are a few things we really, really want.
First, we really want Stick to the Plan. Attached to Stick to the Plan, I would put On the Hunt, Practice Makes Perfect, and Prepared for the Worst. Why? As I mentioned earlier, having Stick to the Plan immediately triggers a Research card because it is a full deck search. In addition, SttP removes 3 cards from your deck entirely. All things considered, you have 5 cards in hand, 3 cards on SttP, and 1 Research card in discard. This leaves you with a much slimmer deck of 24 cards. Then, you have two more big deck searches attached to it, to draw more cards and trigger more Researches, meaning your deck is already on the way to become thinner still.
And we want to keep that deck slimmed down and our card draw high because we are going for Segment of Onyx. Between your initial set up, searches, Glory, and cantrip skills, getting all 3 Segments in play should definitely be within reach for you. Pendant of the Queen knocks out whatever you had in the accessory slot, but again, Disc should be discarding itself anyway, so we are not that worried about that part. Pendant is very powerful, so if we can get this online (and we definitely can), we are going to be that much stronger.
The next notable upgrade is the Guardian Enchanted Blade level 3. This card is outstanding. It gives you that same flexible damage output as level 0, but with a higher combat bonus. In addition, you now can’t waste the charges on it. Furthermore, you get card draw and horror healing, both of which are fantastic for ARRR, considering we are wanting to assemble Pendant of the Queen and we have only 5 sanity. I truly think Enchanted Blade level 3 is already one of the best weapons in the whole game anyway, but the way ARRR works means that its bonuses really shine bright here.
These three core components (Stick to the Plan, 3x Segment of Onyx, 2x Enchanted Blade 3) altogether add up to only 13 XP, making it a very affordable core set of upgrades for your deck.
There are a number of other directions you can go from here. Here are some suggestions:
- Well-Maintained. Attach Well-Maintained to your Disc of Itzamna to return it to your hand, so it can be played again. Alternatively, attach it to whatever goes on Dr. Elli. This way, if Dr. Elli is defeated while holding your Enchanted Blade, your Enchanted Blade will return to your hand.
- Ambush. Ambush can combine with Disc to deal 4 damage to an enemy spawning in. It’s a bit of work to set this up, but the potential to immediately kill off a big enemy is fantastic.
- Backpack level 2. Once you have Stick to the Plan, Backpack level 2 played in the first round will search fully half of the remainder of your deck as it searches 12 out of 24 cards. It has a very high chance of finding your Relics, including your Segments of Onyx, and triggering a Research along the way.
- Vicious Blow level 2/Perception level 2/Overpower level 2. These choices lean in to using Practice Makes Perfect. You also can go Deduction level 2, but I think since Roland tends to get clues from killing enemies, he may get more value out of Perception’s card draw instead.
- Surprising Find. If you want to do more with Researches, you can tinker around with Surprising Find. The best part about this card is it is a fantastic deck thinner as it removes itself and then potentially draws another card, making it easy to draw your Segments or whatever else you are looking for. (You may not want to do a full 6 Research cards in this deck however, as you will lose deck space for other important things and you don’t have so much searching that you are likely to trigger 6 Researches.)
- Spiritual Resolve. You may have noted that this deck has 1 ally, and that ally is busy being important and doesn’t want to be sacrificed willy-nilly. As a result, this deck has almost no soak. While expensive in XP, I think Spiritual Resolve is a good solution here. The only other thing taking the Arcane slot for you is Enchanted Blade, and it’s even possible Elli is holding it. Therefore, this should always be playable and help keep you alive.
That’s it for ARRR! I think this is a fun deck exploring a different approach to a Guardian investigator that I hope works especially well on lower player counts. With this deck, you should be able to really do it all! Below you’ll see a link to the ArkhamDB entry to ARRR! Please feel free to make some tweaks based on your preferences. I look forward to seeing how the community adapts this Roland archetype in the future!