Nonbo Taboo Mandy|30k Series|Deck Guide

Card draw simulator

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

Valentin1331 · 47963

Who needs combo when you are a seeker with such a statline? Mandy proves that it's all about who you are.

Mandy-Thompson.jpg Credit: Andreia Ugrai


I never was a fan of Mandy because her gameplay felt too tedious, and searching my deck takes me out of the actual story told by the game. Yet when I saw that she was tabooed, I decided it was time to revisit her and see if she still holds her spot at the top of the ladder.
This deck is very different from what I usually do. I like to build my deck around combos, and this deck is all the opposite. Every card is pure value, independent of the game state.
So you won't find Pendant of the Queen shenanigans for the simple reason that, in the current state of the game, she is probably the worst investigator with seeker access to assemble combo pieces.

But the real question everyone asks is: Is Mandy still good?
I finished my last 2 tests of Midnight Masks with 6 cultists and 4 dooms before the end of the scenario. It was never shiny, but it consistently pushed the game forward at a rhythm that felt steady yet not broken. This deck made Mandy win my heart.

Following the success of the 20k Series, this 30k Series will focus on the investigators that are much harder to solve. Expect some jank, some outside-of-the-box thinking and hopefully some love for the underdogs of this game.

Click here to see all the previous decks. I will keep releasing a new standalone-ready deck concept every week on Friday, so stay tuned and keep supporting the Series by pressing the button if you want to see more!

Table of Contents:
  • Overview

  • Main Strategy

  • Playing as The Researcher

  • Thinning Your Deck

  • Tempo Acceleration

  • "You have gorgeous (stat)lines, Mandy."

  • Other Cards

  • Upgrade Path

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

Main Strategy:
  • Search the cards most adapted to your situation.

  • Thin your deck with a steady flow of cards and fast events.

  • Accelerate the tempo with multiple double-clue options

  • Pass any test the Mythos throws at you with your ideal stat line and some support skills.

Playing as The Researcher:

Search Cards:

Usually, building a Mandy deck starts with typing x:search in ArkhamDB's Deckbuilder and adding every single option. This deck chooses a different approach, more based on steady search engines:

  • Guided by the Unseen is a contentious one. It is arguably the best to pull all your Research-trait cards, but it is tedious to use in practice.

    • The FAQ stipulates that you can use it on literally any test at your location, and since it doesn't exhaust, you can do it for every single test once it hits the table, twice per test when you have both.

    • If playing the game physically, you could choose to only shuffle your deck at the end of an action or the round. It is not perfect, and it increases the number of cards you will find through the searches, but if this makes it easier/less strenuous to play, then it's an option.

    • This insane frequency of search actions will undoubtedly pull most of your search cards. During mulligan or setting up, this card should be your priority.

  • To increase the pace at which you set up your game, Mr. "Rook" is well-balanced in this deck. He digs far, finds your weakness early, and once he is empty, he is a good meat shield. He is a second priority for mulligan.

  • Because of the high number of Practiced skills, Practice Makes Perfect is a good one-of.

  • Eureka! is the last little boost of research that is always good to have in Mandy.

  • Finally, if you still end up drawing Research cards, and you want to place them back in your deck, you can use Glimpse the Unthinkable (1) to put them all back in one go.

Search Targets:

  • Occult Evidence is one of the most important of course.

    • Make sure always to spend your Mr. "Rook" search action on a location with a clue in case you find it.
  • Astounding Revelation can be used in two ways:

    • To refill your Grim Memoir. I wouldn't recommend doing it on Mr. "Rook" as 3 actions should be enough to get what you need most and then use him for his soak.

    • My favourite option is to get the resources which pay for our set up and later for aggressively cycling Winging It.

  • Surprising Find can be added to the deck instead of Nature of the Beast and True Understanding.

    • It is usually a counterproductive card, as it may draw you the cards that you'd like to research. Still, since most of your searches are during tests with Guided by the Unseen, it's efficient to dig through your deck.

Thin Your Deck:

50 cards is a lot, and it is good to pair search effects with a solid draw engine to get a decent chance to find your essential cards.

  • Grim Memoir leverages the 5 base of Mandy for a steady stream of cards.

  • Grisly Totem (3) grants you one card each turn with the number of skills in the deck and Guided by the Unseen that can find them for you.

  • At a Crossroads is always good, especially when you can choose when to get it, thanks to the search effect.

    • Once you have enough draw, the additional action against one of your less valuable cards is also incredible.
  • All the skills that are cantrips or even add another card like Unrelenting and later in a campaign Perception.

  • And let's not forget Mandy's superpower allowing her to pick another card each time she searches. That is not so often in this deck, but it is useful when using Mr. "Rook" or Eureka!.

Tempo Acceleration:

All this is good, you may say, but what's the point of all this research and drawing?
Well, the answer is simple: and events and skills.

Clue acceleration:

This deck benefits from a variety of ways to increase your yield in clues:

  • Deduction adds another clue.

  • Working a Hunch uses extra resources to get a fast clue, especially good on higher shroud locations.

  • Sharp Vision leverages your high to easily scoop another clue on low shroud locations.

  • Nature of the Beast gets you a clue from any location against any one of your teammates drawing an encounter card. Chances are big that this is no threat at all.

    • Knowing that you will find this card eventually, you can be strategic and leave a clue or two behind during your progression, ideally on a high shroud or a VP location.
  • True Understanding can use this additional encounter card or any other scenario test that you should be able to pass with your stats and reward you with a clue.

  • But the real engine in this deck is Winging It. As much as you can afford it, play it as soon as it is in your hand, or if it is pretty full, keep it as a victim of the hand size limit of the Upkeep.

    • By playing it aggressively and with your search/draw capacity, you can easily get +4 to 10 clues in each scenario with this little duo.

Basic Tempo:

Tempo is not all about clues. Being able to ramp up resources quickly, move fast or deal 3 damage in one action is also what will make the game feel much easier.

  • "I've got a plan!" and Occult Invocation are among the best fighting events, all classes combined for dealing with a few of your own enemies with remarkable reliability. You can even use them to give a welcome push to a boss; no one will be mad at you.

    • If your teammates really insist on dealing with all the enemies themselves (because they are Yorick and want recursion or simply have to prove something to the table), you can opt for some healing options instead with Bizarre Diagnosis and Logical Reasoning to keep that bruiser alive.
  • Shortcut is always helpful, whether to push an ally to another location or bring yourself to where your fighter is so they can kill what bothers you.

  • Unearth the Ancients (2) to push some assets on the table while not wasting time.

    • Don't forget that you can commit the cards you want to play with Unearth the Ancients (2) to that very same test if they are eligible.
  • Crack the Case and Burning the Midnight Oil reward you for doing what you do best: getting clues.

"You have beautiful (stat)lines, Mandy."

A true Arkham Lover will recognise a perfect statline, 5 in your primary stat, 1 in your useless stat and 3 in both defensive stats.

  • Guts and Manual Dexterity, pumped by Grisly Totem (3) make for a solid 6 in your defensive stats.

  • The deck has tons of , , and icons to use.

    • Once I find my Occult Evidence, I usually don't spend actions placing them back in the deck. Instead, I commit them to a scenario test, leveraging their icon.
  • True Understanding is a great way to leverage this capacity to pass scenario tests reliably.

Other Cards:
  • In the Thick of It is good to get some early boon. Because the Mythos is not a bother, I recommend balancing your start by taking 2 mental trauma.

  • Magnifying Glass is always great and works well in this deck that tests book vs shroud regularly.


  • Besides the upgrades of Perception and Deduction, one of the potential options in this deck is to invest a bit in Empirical Hypothesis:

    • Field Research offers another option to get evidence.

    • _Since we now have 2 options, we can invest in Alternative Hypothesis to have a chance to collect 2 evidence per turn.

    • Finally, to bank in on this flow of evidence, Irrefutable Proof gives us some constant fast clues.

  • No Stone Unturned (5) is also the best search option in the game, so it can be worth adding to the deck.

    • Make sure you first hit your weakness; after that, it's a 2-cost, fast draw of any 2 cards of your deck.

    • It means that it can also be played during a treachery test, for instance, to find one of your defensive skills.

  • Upgrading your Magnifying Glass also helps with bouncing it in and out to accommodate for your Grim Memoir, or add another card in your hand to get a chance to reach the maximum hand size and discard Winging It during the Upkeep.

  • The "I've got a plan!" upgrade is also lovely as it comes with +2 , which is convenient for throwing it at biggies at the end of a campaign.

  • An alternative upgrade is Farsight, which helps to place your Occult Evidence back in your deck once you drew them for a fast flow of free clues with your Guided by the Unseen search (though you only have one left).

Upgrade Path:

Disclaimer: This decklist is published in the version that I tested. These decks are made to be as versatile as possible, so don't forget to adapt them to your campaign and change the upgrade order around based on your experience.

Link to the 0xp deck

 Cost  Total
   In the Thick of It  →  Glimpse the Unthinkable 1 XP 1 XP
   In the Thick of It  →  At a Crossroads 1 XP 2 XP
   In the Thick of It  →  At a Crossroads 1 XP 3 XP
Core Upgrades 3 XP
   Dream-Enhancing Serum  →  Guided by the Unseen ••• 3 XP 6 XP
   Dream-Enhancing Serum  →  Guided by the Unseen ••• 3 XP 9 XP
   Empirical Hypothesis  →  Grisly Totem ••• 3 XP 12 XP
   No Stone Unturned  →  Unearth the Ancients •• 2 XP 14 XP
   No Stone Unturned  →  Unearth the Ancients •• 2 XP 16 XP
   Practice Makes Perfect  →  Nature of the Beast 1 XP 17 XP
   "I've got a plan!"  →  Nature of the Beast 1 XP 18 XP
Consistency 18 XP
   Take Heart  →  Unrelenting 1 XP 19 XP
   Take Heart  →  Unrelenting 1 XP 20 XP
   Inquiring Mind  →  Sharp Vision 1 XP 21 XP
   Inquiring Mind  →  Sharp Vision 1 XP 22 XP
   Working a Hunch  →  Alter Fate 1 XP 23 XP
   "I've got a plan!"    "I've got a plan!" •• 2 XP 25 XP
   Empirical Hypothesis    ☑ Field Research 1 XP 26 XP
Luxury Upgrades 26 XP
   Mr. "Rook"  →  No Stone Unturned ••••• 5 XP 31 XP
   Practice Makes Perfect  →  No Stone Unturned ••••• 5 XP 36 XP
   Deduction    Deduction •• 2 XP 38 XP
   Deduction    Deduction •• 2 XP 40 XP
   Perception    Perception •• 2 XP 42 XP
   Perception    Perception •• 2 XP 44 XP
   Empirical Hypothesis    ☑☑☑ Irrefutable Proof 3 XP 47 XP
   Empirical Hypothesis    ☑☑☑☑ Alternative Hypothesis 4 XP 51 XP
   Magnifying Glass    Magnifying Glass 1 XP 52 XP
   Magnifying Glass    Magnifying Glass 1 XP 53 XP

(View at

Link to the full xp deck

To create your own guides, find the template I have created here


Jul 22, 2023 HungryColquhoun · 1067

Nice, I like it! While I do like whacky combos, sometimes just a solid performer deck is good too (and I think what people don't realise is that highly consistent decks which don't have many combos are much more of a design challenge than you'd think - because everything has to be finely tuned). I've always been put off Mandy because of the taboo, but it's good to see there's still great decks people can make with her. Good work!

Jul 22, 2023 Eruantalon · 101

Oh man! I just played Mendy (well, my wife did) and we didn't manage to come up with such an inspired deck. Got to put it on the list.

BTW - I was toying with the idea of Mendy big hand deck with lots of events u can make fast with Farsight... Just dont think we have the cardpool yet to have enough impacting events to justify the whole setup, what do u think?

Jul 22, 2023 mattastrophic · 2880

Well done!

As you've pointed out, there are so many low-XP cards that many can take, enough that her ability could be blank and she'll still ace scenarios!

Jul 24, 2023 gByakko · 2

Clean, lean, and efficient- I like it. I think optimization for consistency and efficiency is a fun building alternative to the super combo-oriented decks at times. Echoing the sentiment- I had little interest in Mandy, but this looks like a fun variant.

Jul 24, 2023 Valentin1331 · 47963

@HungryColquhoun @gByakko @mattastrophic thanks all for your feedback! Agreed with all of your messages, a deck that can be taken and doesn't need high prior knowledge of what's in there to function well was actually good, and it was nice to play without always being in the waiting of the combo kicking in, hoping to catch back the tempo lost during the setup. And this is all possible because of the ridiculously strong card pool, supported by access to the best low xp splash () and this insane stat line. This feels a bit like a Forced Learning deck should be like.

@Eruantalon I'd be curious to see your decklist. I have tried some things before ending up with this deck concept, and the least I can say is that it failed. I tried to pack a lot of "remove from the game" cards to thin the deck for a second/third cycle, but I would draw all my research cards, and I wouldn't draw my search cards. Complete crash on my first attempts.
For Farsight, it is a bit complicated because most cards like to be played fast as you draw them. Yet, it is possible to replace both Guided by the Unseen with Farsight in this deck as the draw is making it easy to trigger, and there are many reasons to. I would then add a few high-yield events like Extensive Research, for instance.

Jul 25, 2023 mattastrophic · 2880

@Valentin1331 Perhaps a Forced Learning deck is in order for the 40K Series?

Jul 25, 2023 Yazstromo · 2

Fantastic deck - exactly what I'm looking for in a Mandy deck. One small detail I noticed is you recommend Alter Fate as an upgrade, but that would take Mandy past her limit of 10 cards.