Delve Too Deep File V: Wendy Adams

Welcome to the final Core Set investigator analysis on Delve Too Deep. Thus far, we’ve explored the powerful warrior Roland, the risky but devastating Agnes, the slow yet effective “Skids” and the crazy investigator Daisy. Each of these investigators, in one way or another, stands more than ready to confront the evils of the world, whether it be by discovering the clues to solve the mysteries, or by grabbing a trusty machete or pistol and bringing the pain.

Yet there’s one more investigator in the Core Set, one belonging to a faction of survivors. These are the people who have been dragged into this chaotic life and wish only to make it out with their lives. Today, we look at the first of this rag-tag bunch, the urchin Wendy Adams.

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Notable Strengths of Wendy

Wendy’s Willpower and Agility of 4 mean that she’s got the best chance of avoiding the traps present in the game thus far, making her able to avoid major damage from them. Adding to this survival theme, her passive ability is extraordinarily powerful; allowing you to redraw a failed check greatly improves her chances of succeeding when she needs to. The cost of a card can be high, but the cost of failure is effectively equal (-1 action).

Her unique amulet can be absurdly powerful, and allows her to dominate certain late game situations; being able to recycle your most powerful events (especially after gaining experience) over and over can allow you to answer any of the issues you may encounter in the late game (so long as you can afford the resources!).

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Never fail the important skill checks again!

Lucky! is easily one such event. Easily one of the most powerful cards in the game, it acts as a delayed +2 on any skill check. The best part? You get to see if it’ll make you succeed before committing it! Thanks to her naturally high agility and cards like Stray Cat, the Rogue theme of evasion works especially well with Wendy. Having access to Pickpocket gives you a nice supply of cards, which you can continue to use to fuel your ability. Rabbit’s Foot ties nicely into that, allowing you to at least mitigate what would otherwise be wasted actions. Finally, if Wendy’s reasonable Intellect wasn’t enough, access to “Look What I Found” will ensure you can pick up clues when you need to.

Notable Weaknesses of Wendy

1 Combat. That sums up the largest problem with Wendy at the moment. While she has access to the mighty Baseball Bat, she still only reaches a Combat of 3, meaning she’s still more than likely failing to beat even the most mild of monsters. If she encounters a situation where she absolutely needs to kill a monster, this can become a huge issue, much as it can be for Daisy.

Unlike Daisy, however, Wendy doesn’t have stellar clue gathering potential to make up for it. “Look What I Found” is amazing, but if you need consistent successful investigations, you’ll need to rely on Flashlight, much like “Skids” and Agnes. Thus, while Wendy may make an excellent “survivor”, she can often struggle with actually completing the mission at hand.

Finally, Wendy’s weakness can be absolutely devastating if drawn late in the game. Not only does it mess with her Amulet, but it also makes her deck super thin if it does eventually come to her reshuffling. Top that off with the two direct horror, and this can sometimes be overwhelming. Draw it very early, however, and it is probably the most negligible of the weakness cards.

Build Path: Back Against the Wall

Investigator/Signature Cards
Wendy Adams
Wendy’s Amulet
Abandoned and Alone

Assets
Leather Coat
Baseball Bat
2 Rabbit’s Foot

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For when all else fails.

2 Stray Cat
2 Hard Knocks
2 Pickpocketing
2 Leo De Luca
2 Flashlight

Skills
Survival Instinct
2 Perception
2 Unexpected Courage
2 Manual Dexterity

Events
2 Lucky!
2 “Look What I Found”
2 Backstab
2 Sneak Attack
Emergency Cache

Given all that I’ve said about Wendy, it seems odd that I build her to be able to take out things. The fact of the matter is that she needs to be able to participate in combat eventually, and this deck at least prepares her for that with Hard Knocks to help her out in the late game. However, note that fighting is purely a late game option; most of the game will instead be focused around Wendy evading enemies, drawing cards and accumulating resources. In this way, she plays a bit like “Skids”, but is a bit more resilient to treachery cards that attack her willpower, and has generally more consistent skill checks.

Until you draw Abandoned and Alone, try to limit the events you play. The goal of the deck is to eventually get Wendy’s Amulet online, allowing you to replay your powerful events time and time again (you should have such a small deck that redrawing them is quick). Much of the early game is setup for this; be prepared to take it slow and don’t concern yourself with defeating enemies. If there’s something that must be dealt with, use Backstab or Sneak Attack to dispose of it, but otherwise be cautious about fighting enemies. Feel free to dispose of your Stray Cats just do gain an extra action and guarantee an evade; this becomes especially effective when you’ve got the Pickpocket engine online, or when you’re preparing to play Leo De Luca.

When leveling up, you urgently need to pick up Will to Survive and Close Call; they will become your bread and butter in later missions. Replace Sneak Attack with Close Call first. Pick up one Will to Survive and feel free to replace something somewhat filler like Leather Coat. Cat Burglar is cute but not overly necessary; if you feel like enemies are becoming a huge issue and you’re not gaining a lot of experience, consider picking him up and cutting a Leo De Luca and a Stray Cat. Aquinnah is a reasonable choice when you’re struggling for experience as well; she allows you to handle monsters more permanently, but is a little more difficult to play.

If you wish to play an alternative build that’s a lot more about the late game and requires a bit more finesse, you can try the following adjustments to the above:

+2 Burglary
+2 Scavenging
+2 Opportunist

-Emergency Cache
2 Sneak Attack
1 Hard Knocks
1 Survival Instinct
1 Leather Coat

This build means you need to find a place to camp with a low shroud, and need to find Burglary early. Much as described in my “Skids” article, the goal is to have a powerful end game after a very slow early game. Wendy is a little more consistent in the late game thanks to her ability, but is completely inept early game, unlike “Skids”. You want to use Scavenging in combination with Burglary in order to gain resources and cards. Generally, you can chuck Rabbit’s Foot and Wendy’s Amulet into these checks, just to guarantee them and get them back immediately. Opportunist is extra security, and can be used to generate some card advantage as well.

The deck is rather complicated to play, however, and will likely end up a muddled mess. You’d have to be as crazy as me to want to play something so silly yet so potentially powerful!

Conclusion

Wendy is in an odd place at the moment. The Survivor faction isn’t as outwardly coherent or powerful as the others, and this leads Wendy to, consequently, have a bit of an identity crisis. The deck ideas above are both heavily influenced by the Rogue faction, and thus Wendy almost plays as an alternative “Skids”.

With some experience (both in game and playing with the deck) there are some spectacular things you can achieve with this little orphan. However, I find that she’s not quite up there at the moment with the others, and feels more like a challenge mode if you’re looking at it purely from the perspective of winning. That said, she is a lot of fun, and if you like playing the underdog that comes from nothing to combat evil, Wendy is your gal!

*all images are courtesy of cardgamedb.com and fantasyflightgames.com

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