Darrell Survives all on his Own (30xp)

Card draw simulator

Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet

Kalamadorel · 103

Darrell Survives all on his Own


Credit: Aleksander Karcz


Are you tired of taking tests fairly? Pesky Autofail getting you down? Sick of worrying about which tokens you beat and which you don't?

Darrel is here to save the day! For the low low cost of 30xp you'll never have to even look at that chaos bag again. Using the combo of Will to Survive, True Survivor and Resourceful we aim to play Will to Survive as much as possible then pass tests by however much we need to trigger their effects.

The normal 0 Difficulty Darrell deck focusing on cards like Shed a Light and Old Keyring has seen some Taboo increases to make it cost the same as Will to Survive and True Survivor, the advantages of running this version over that are:

  • More reliable triggers of Empirical Hypothesis and Scavenging, even taking 0 Difficulty tests means you still have to succeed by a certain amount, since we don't draw from the bag we can guarantee these successes.
  • More uses of Gumption for Exploit Weakness, since you can get it back with True Survivor.
  • If you're not playing True Survivor and Will to Survive as often as possible, you can be using your On Your Own uses on other events for resources, like any of the improvised cards or Exploit Weakness, this represents a free 1-2 resources a turn if you're not taking advantage of it in other ways.
  • Less Hand slot reliant, 0 difficulty Darrell likes to run Flashlight with it's Old Keyring, which means it's hands are often very full, leaving fewer spots for something you want to keep in hand like Hawk-Eye Folding Camera.
  • Also because it spends so much time using scavenging on Flashlight and Old Keyring this means it has less time to recur soak items like Cherished Keepsake and Leather Coat or economy items like Schoffner's Catalogue.
  • A 0 difficulty deck will spend it's evidence a lot more on bring down the shroud of locations than we will, this means that we have more to spare when it comes to dealing with tests from the encounter deck.

These are the disadvantages:

  • This version is slightly more XP intensive, True Survivor and Will to Survive maybe the same cost as Shed a Light and Old Keyring but then you need On Your Own and that's 6xp, which is far more important to us than the 6xp they spend on Flashlight.
  • Worse action compression, Old Keyring gets two clues by default, Shed a Light then represents 2 more clues on top of that (location permitting), we're mostly reliant on Sharp Vision for action compression though there are 0xp replacement options for Grim Memoir that can help with that.
  • On Your Own means we can't play allies, the good thing is that there aren't very many good allies for Darrell in general so we're not missing out on much. Here's a list of the allies we're missing out own:
    • Dr. Milan Christopher, represents 1 resource per turn at best, which is lower than On Your Own that is 2 at best.
    • Charles Ross, Esq., same as above 1 resource as turn, has the slight upside of helping other investigators via spending resources for them but we can already do that with Schoffner's Catalogue.
    • Jeremiah Kirby, we're not really set up to draw reliably off of him and we don't really need the card draw.
    • Mr. "Rook" not really worth it with the newest taboo.
    • Jessica Hyde or Peter Sylvestre, we already have soak via items, we don't need more from allies.
    • Dr. Charles West III, I think this guy is secretly very good for Darrell, he feels constrained on hand slots so just turning an ally slot into a hand slot is valuable, the investigate trigger seems difficult to guarantee, especially while an enemy is at your location.

Table of Contents:
  • Overview

  • Main Strategy

  • How to Mulligan

  • Turn and Sequence examples

  • Other Cards

  • Upgrade Path

  • Forced Learning!

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

Main Strategy:

How to Mulligan:

Since we're searching out a very specific combo our goal during a mulligan we are looking for the following cards:

  • Always Keep:
  • Consider Keeping:
  • Never Keep:
    • Pretty much anything else, all our items can come back with Scavenging, all our survivor cards can come back with Resourceful.
    • You don't have to loop Will to Survive with True Survivor, you can loop Exploit Weakness instead if you need to beat up a boss and have an easy way to get it's evade or fight in range, usually works best with Gumption.
    • Matchbox and your investigator ability can be used on other investigator's turns, this means you can help a fighter grab clues in a pinch if you have a lot of evidence.

Turn and Sequence examples:

Depending on where the cards are you will need to structure your turn differently. First see where your Resourceful, Will to Survive and True Survivor are, the general goal to end a turn is to have Will to Survive in hand with two Resourceful then True Survivor in the discard.

Will to Survive and 2x Resourceful in hand, True Survivor in discard:

Initial Status: 5 Resources / 2 Empirical Hypothesis Evidence
  1. Play a Will to Survive using On Your Own.
  2. Investigate using Sharp Vision and both Resourceful this puts you at 10 , which should be enough to +3 any reasonable location, if needed can use Matchbox or use Evidence from an item to bring down the shroud.
  3. Trigger Empirical Hypothesis for +1 Evidence.
  4. Get two clues, Will to Survive and True Survivor back from your discard and any Scavenging triggers you need.
  5. Investigate again or take any other test you need to, use Evidence or Gumption to bring down the difficulty to where you succeed.
  6. Play True Survivor using evidence from Empirical Hypothesis to make it free, bring back both Resourceful and either Gumption or Sharp Vision.

End Status: 4 Resources / 1 Empirical Hypothesis Evidence

If we want to do everything in one turn it will cost us 1 resource and 1 Evidence, this means if we have a glut of resources or evidence then we can take two bagless tests each turn. If we spread it out over multiple turns we will be able to gain both resources and evidence. You should try and test as much as possible on the turn you play Will to Survive and then only test on the other turn if you need to trigger Empirical Hypothesis or Scavenging, you can still take these tests at very reasonable levels due to Grim Memoir] giving +2, your Investigator ability being able to lower difficulty by 2 and Winging It and Matchbox also lowering difficulty.

  • Tips and Tricks
    • You can't use Will to Survive on treachery cards, this is where things like Gumption, your investigator ability and Cherished Keepsake and Leather Coat come in.
    • Hawk-Eye Folding Camera can keep getting evidence past the 3 it needs, you can use any additional evidence it gains for your investigator ability
    • Your can put an evidence on any asset you control this means you can put it on Hawk-Eye Folding Camera to get to the boost quicker or onto Empirical Hypothesis if you want to draw cards with that ability.
    • You take the Field Test upgrade on Empirical Hypothesis, don't be afraid to use that ability if you know you're moving into a 3 shroud location or if you're moving to reveal something on your turn, especially early on it can help you get evidence before you have your engine up and running.
    • Winging It can be used from your discard for action compression and a slight boost.
    • You can keep your deck in a set state for a long time when you're close to shuffling by playing Impromptu Barrier, Improvised Weapon or Winging It over and over again. Not the most relevant but you want to make sure things like Will to Survive, True Survivor and Resourceful are in your hand before you shuffle your deck, it can also keep you from drawing your weaknesses again.
    • If Darrell's Kodak is taken out by a scenario card then you can always get it back with Scavenging.

Other Cards:

We've spoken a lot about the core combo of True Survivor, Will to Survive and Resourceful so let's talk about other cards.

Upgrade Path:

Link to the 0xp deck

 Cost  Total
   In the Thick of It  →  Gumption 1 XP 1 XP
   In the Thick of It  →  Gumption 1 XP 2 XP
   In the Thick of It  →  ☑ Field Research 1 XP 3 XP
Core Upgrades 3 XP
   Professor William Webb  →  Scavenging •• 2 XP 5 XP
   Professor William Webb  →  Scavenging •• 2 XP 7 XP
   Old Keyring  →  Sharp Vision 1 XP 8 XP
   Old Keyring  →  Sharp Vision 1 XP 9 XP
    +  On Your Own ••• 6 XP 15 XP
   Bandages  →  True Survivor ••• 3 XP 18 XP
   Matchbox  →  Will to Survive ••• 3 XP 21 XP
Consistency Upgrades 21 XP
   Perception  →  True Survivor ••• 3 XP 24 XP
   Perception  →  Will to Survive ••• 3 XP 27 XP
   Scavenging ••    Scavenging •• •• 2 XP 29 XP
   Scavenging ••    Scavenging •• •• 2 XP 31 XP
   Empirical Hypothesis    ☑☑ Research Grant 2 XP 33 XP
Luxury Upgrades 33 XP
   Matchbox  →  Eon Chart 1 XP 34 XP
   Mouse Mask  →  Eon Chart 1 XP 35 XP
   Leather Coat  →  Hunting Jacket •• 2 XP 37 XP
   Cherished Keepsake  →  Hunting Jacket •• 2 XP 39 XP

(View at arkham-starter.com)

Use https://arkham-starter.com/tool/upgrade

Link to the full xp deck

Forced Learning!

There's another version of the deck I had in mind utilizing Forced Learning, the idea is that you get to draw two, you choose one card that will be useful in hand and then either an item or something you want in your graveyard. I'm not convinced it's stronger but I think it would be good fun, it also has the fun side effect of opening up more slots for pet cards.

Link to the 0xp deck

Link to the full xp deck

To create your own guides, find the template here.