Darrell Can't Stop Photographing Nothing | Deck Guide

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Modified Darrell (0-difficulty) 0 0 0 1.0

TastyToast · 270

Darrell Can't Stop Photographing Nothing


Credit: Cristi Balanescu

The Scarlet Keys brings Survivors two things: Dilemmas, and testing at 0 difficulty. In this guide we will look at how testing at 0 is the best archetype for clue gathering, better even than pure seeker.

Table of Contents:

• Overview

• Main Strategy

• Testing at 0

• Recuring Your Whole Deck

• All the Other Cards

• Mulligan

• Upgrade Path

• Two Special Mentions


Difficulty: ★★★☆☆
Enemy Management: ★☆☆☆☆
Clue-getting: ★★★★★
Encounter protection: ★★☆☆☆
Survivability: ★★☆☆☆
Economy: ★★☆☆☆
Card Drawing: ★★★☆☆

Main Strategy:

Make every investigate test you perform 0 difficulty to leverage the new survivor archetype and Shed a Light specifically to get 3+ clues with one test that is automatically successful.
Check out this deck for the level 0 version.

Testing at 0:

Darrell Simmons' ability gives a test -2 difficulty.

• Survivor's best friend Old Keyring gives the test another -2.

Quick Learner is here to give our 3rd action -1 difficulty for each copy (so that's another -2).

• A new card Gumption comes in to give the test an aditional -2 difficulty.

So there we have -8! difficulty investigate tests, usually that won't be necessary though, so you should keep the Gumption for when you actually need it.

"But need it for what?" I hear you cry.
Shed a Light, that's what. A card that lets you automatically succeed the test, discover 1 additional clue from your location, and 1 clue from any location so long as the test's difficulty is 0. I'm sure you can see that achieving that is not the most complex thing in the world with what has been laid out.

All that sounds like a lot of work though for just one event as the pay-off. Well fear ye not, for our favourite Old Keyring gets an upgrade in this set, and wouldn't you know, it also ties into the 0 difficulty test archetype, with an additional clue if you were testing at 0 difficulty.

Recuring Your Whole Deck:

That all sounds very exciting, and it is, albeit a bit short-lived.
So this is where Survivor recursion comes into play. Scavenging, True Survivor, and Resourceful all come into play here in their own special way.

Scavenging is here to recur the Old Keyrings when they run out of keys.

Resourceful means that we can recur Shed a Light and True Survivor.

True Survivor is so that we can contunually recur Resourceful and Gumption.

So what we have is a way to play Old Keyring actionless when it runs out of keys, a way to get back Shed a Light, and a way to get back Gumption. And we can do this so long as we have the resources to pay for these events and the Keyring.

Luckily, Edge of the Earth brough us the tri-class Talent assets that help pay for approprately traited cards. Crafty lets us use its resources to pay for Insight, Tool, and Trick cards, which are the perfect traits it needs for it to pay for Old Keyring and Shed a Light. We will still need to find the resources to play that on our own, but with Crack the Case and Burning the Midnight Oil we shouldn't have too much trouble.

So what we do on a turn is:
• On your 3rd action:
Investigate using Old Keyring, using your ability and Quick Learner to reduce the difficulty by 6 (committing Gumption if you have to, or it's before your 3rd action).

• Commit 2 Resourceful to the test (and Deduction, Perception if you have them), they will recur True Survivor and Shed a Light.

• Play your other copy of Shed a Light to auto succeed, getting 4 or more clues, using Scavenging to recur Old Keyring if applicable.

• On the 1st action of your next turn:
Play True Survivor to recur 2x Resourceful, 1x Gumption.

• Repeat.

This "little" combo nets us 3 clues from your location, and 1 from another one. If you commit Deduction that is another 1 or 2 clues from your location depending on the level. And since Shed a Light makes you auto-succeed, Deduction has no risk.

So we could be looking at 6 clues for 1 action, at a maximum of an 8 shroud location, and no risk of an auto-fail. Which can also be repeated for as long as you have the resources to do so, as the Resourcefuls will never fail to recur their cards either.

All the Other Cards

I'll try and run through these in some semblance of an order.

Hawk-Eye Folding Camera is for passive intellect and willpower boosts, and for an emergency Evidence button should Darrell's Kodak ever run out.

Empirical Hypothesis likewise is for Evidence, but also as a source of card draw. Since one of the options is "Succeed a test by 3 or more" that is very free since we will be succeeding my whatever Darrell's skill value is. So we can pretty reliably get 1 card draw a turn.

Short Supply is so that we can thin our deck a bit so we can find our important tools quicker, and since this deck is about recursion, it doesn't matter too much is some of them get discarded.

Burning the Midnight Oil, Crack the Case and Crafty are all here for economy, as mentioned above.

Deduction and Perception are both increadibly powerful cards, so why not take them, although they are not integral to the core of the deck, more card draw, and more clues is always welcome (especially when you are guaranteed to succeed the test you commit them to).

Forewarned and Dr. William T. Maleson are both here as encounter card protection. Since Darrell doesn't have the best defensive stats, and the whole deck is hyper focused on using his ability, he needs good encounter cards so he can get evidence from them. And as the deck hoovers up clues like nobody's business, dropping a clue is barely a cost. But they could reasonably be other cards, especially in the ally slotDr. Milan Christopher for even more economy is never a bad option.


The cards we are looking for in the mulligan are the cards that are trickiest to recur if they get discarded by Short Supply. Empirical Hypothesis and Scavenging are the 2 big parts of the deck that if you see one of them, you keep it, and hard muligan for them both. It's unlikely they both copies of the two cards will end up in the discard pile, so I wouldn't fret if you don't see one, but they are important. Crafty is similarly important for the resource generation.

Upgrade Path

Check out https://arkhamdb.com/deck/view/2397020 deck for the level 0 version.

Once you get True Survivor in your deck, then this really pops off. But before you get some key upgrades like Crafty and Gumption you will be feeling the pinch.

Map the Area True Survivor is a must buy, you could even take In the Thick of It to get the xp right off the bat, but with Darrell's fragility to the encounter deck, I don't recommend it.

Cryptic Writings Crafty is the next on the docket. You need economy, and this will provide much more than Cryptic Writings ever could.

Eureka! Gumption is my next pick. The extra tet reduction is invaluable, you could even move this up in priority if you are finding Darrell lacking on clue aquisition without this combo.

Quick Learners are very useful in this deck, giving a "free" -2 difficulty test each round. So I would slot them in whenever you feel you can manage the downside.

"Look what I found!" Forewarned is next. Might seem like madness to cut "Look what I found!" in a survivor cluever, but this deck really doesn't need it, and the encounter protection is very useful to you.

Scavenging now. The action compression it gives is very useful, although not strictly necessary as you will have a lot of actions off anyway since you can discover all your location's clues in one action.

Now comes the luxury upgrades Deduction, Perception and whatever else you feel you need. As long as it doesn't interfere with the core of the deck, then anything goes.

Two Special Mentions

A card not mentioned up until now is On Your Own. That provides all the economy you coule ever need. It's not here mainly for xp reasons, but it is an absolutely incredible card for this deck, especially as Dr. William T. Maleson is just here as extra value anyway. You do not need him, and you do need economy.

Now then. I think it's probably high time we mention Flashlight. It's another card from this set that reduces a test's difficulty, and unlike Flashlight it's a , so you can trigger it while triggering other Investigate action. So with all the cards mentioned up until now, and with Flashlight, you can get to a -10 difficulty test on an investigate. That's good, obviously that's good. I chose not to include it her because I have not found any issue with using Darrell's abillity to get the -2 difficulty. However, you could replace Hawk-Eye Folding Camera with Flashlight and then not be limited by evidence for Darrell, and use Empirical Hypothesis for card draw more often than not, rather than for evidence banking. They are both very good options, and I think depends on your playstyle, but it is very valid to play Flashlight in this deck.


Oct 11, 2022 tinynanami · 20

For some reason it say '24 cards (30 total)' Contains too few cards

I've noticed 'shed a light' and 'gumption' 'old key ring' aren't showing. Although empirical Hypothesis is.

Oct 11, 2022 TastyToast · 270

@tinynanami Hmm, that's strange because I can see them all, and I can see them when I'm logged into a different account. Maybe try and refresh arkhamdb, including deleting the cookies? The cards are very new to arkhamdb, so maybe that has something to do with it.

Oct 12, 2022 Eruantalon · 104

This is bonkers! It just feels so satisfying as every card fits with synergies and you even added Crafty! I'm gonna play this deck next alongside Zoey to smash them monsters.


Oct 12, 2022 Wittebaard · 305

Cool deck, I'm really loving Darrell's play style so far. Personally I would switch out Perception for Guts since Darrell will succeed at investigations anyway and he might need some backup for aweful brain tests.

Oct 12, 2022 Pugtato · 1

I like the core idea of the deck. It makes excellent use of Shed a Light and discard recursion. Since you already have Forewarned and Dr. William T. Maleson, it might be worth considering a Press Pass since you have an uncontested accessory slot, it has good synergy with Quick Learner, and of course the flavor of including it in a Darrell deck. Another thing to note is the slight anti-synergy of Old Keyring and Crack the Case. It might be better to take something like Drawing Thin.

Oct 12, 2022 chirubime · 26201

OOh that quick learner + press pass combo is delicious @Pugtato

Oct 13, 2022 SgtWinter · 16

• Play your other copy of Shed a Light to auto succeed, getting 4 or more clues, using Scavenging to recur Old Keyring if applicable.

this won't work, since when you auto-succeed you succeed by 0, thus not meeting the +2 threshold for Scavenging

other than that I really like the idea of the deck!

Oct 13, 2022 TastyToast · 270

@SgtWinter When you automatically succeed at a test, you treat the test's difficulty as if it is 0, thus succeeding by whatever your modified skill value is. "If a skill test automatically succeeds, the total difficulty of that test is considered 0." This can be found under the "Automatic Failure/Success" section of the Rules Reference.

May 14, 2023 Sveetlana · 1

Thanks a lot for the deck idea! I had so much fun playing it in the new campaign the Scarlet Keys. With Darrell's ability to make tests easier I didn't even buy Quick Learner although in some scenarios there were locations with a shroud value of 5. For them I used Map the Area event to make all the tests' difficulty lower by 1 at that location. And for resources I had Milan Christopher which is boring but still effective. Plus I didn't hesitate to take In the Thick of It for the sake of extra 3 XP (anyways we had a healer on our team so no bother). This should definitely be a deck for the hard mode!! It's really strong!

May 14, 2023 TastyToast · 270

@Sveetlana So glad you had fun with the deck, I had a lot of fun putting it together. You are so right about using this on hard/expert difficulties, if you aren't drawing tokens from the bag, then the difficulty increase doesn't matter nearly as much.

Jun 16, 2023 OmegaS^2 · 1

Just wanted to express my thanks for the detailed deck guide! I recently completed a Carcosa run that used this guide as a template (had to make some changes to accommodate my incomplete card pool).

I ended up never getting Quick Learner into the deck, but I had little trouble decreasing difficulty without it. And at 2p we struggled a little with enemy management sometimes, so on more than one occasion my first action needed to be a risky evade that Quick Learner would have interfered with.

I ended up prioritizing the Flashlight upgrade over the Keyring upgrade, both because of the evade difficulty decrease and because at 2p the clue density meant Keyring plus Shed a Light was overkill in most cases. In retrospect I'm not confident that decision was correct, since it made me more reliant on Shed a Light than I was always comfortable with.

I'll note I ended up keeping Eureka until the end, just to increase the density of Innate skills for True Survivor. I was having a little difficulty ensuring I always had 3 targets in my discard pile.

Also I wish I'd grabbed Forewarned sooner. I spent too much of the campaign thinking of Maleson in terms of encounter deck manipulation rather than soak. This meant myself and my teammate (Finn) got pretty rocked by willpower treacheries until I finally added Forewarned and started cancelling effects (this is also where I was really feeling the lack of Hawk-Eye Folding Camera in my cardpool to boost willpower).

But all in all the guide was really helpful for focusing my ideas/thoughts around test at zero as Darrell, so thank you!