Arkham Horror Files: Episode #006- Joe Diamond, The Private Investigator

Arkham Horror Files: Episode #006- Joe Diamond, The Private Investigator

Hello Fellow Investigators and welcome to another installment of the Arkham Horror Files! After a bit of a hiatus, the series is back and this time we step into the shoes of Arkham's infamous P.I., Joe Diamond.

(Cue Noir Jazz music)

(Cue Noir Jazz music)

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Arkham Horror Files. I'm your host, Nate, lost in time and space and in this series, I choose an investigator from the Arkham Horror LCG, overview their investigator and signature cards and go over card choices and deckbuilding strategies I think work well with that investigator. In today's episode of the Arkham Horror files we'll be examining an investigator that is a personal favorite of mine,

Joe Diamond, Private eye.

Joe Diamond, Private Eye:

Investigator Overview

Joe Diamond is a Seeker class investigator with 2 willpower, 4 intellect, 4 combat, and 2 agility and bears the detective trait. Joe has 8 health and 6 sanity, and has an ability that reads...dkfjas////

Before reading his abilities, It's important to go over Joe's deck building options and requirements. Joe has a deck size of 40 with Deckbuilding Options: Seeker cards level 0-5, Guardian cards level 0-2, Neutral cards level 0-5. His Deckbuilding Requirements include (do not count toward deck size): Detective's Colt 1911s, Unsolved Case, and 1 random basic weakness. Additionally: Your deck must include at least 11 Insight events (including Unsolved Case). During the setup of each scenario, you must choose 11 Insight events from your deck (one of which must be Unsolved Case) and shuffle them into a separate "hunch deck".

We'll discuss the hunch deck in more detail later on in the video but for now let's go back to the front half of Joe's investigator card. As I was saying, before I so rudely interrupted myself, Joe has an ability that reads:

Forced - When the investigation phase begins: Reveal the top card of your hunch deck. Until the end of the phase, you may play that card as if it were in your hand, at -2 cost. If it is still revealed at the end of the phase, shuffle it back into your hunch deck.

And when an elder sign is revealed from the chaos bag it bears the effect:

+1. You may move an Insight event from your discard pile to the bottom of your hunch deck. The private eye has a lot great things going for him. His high intellect and high combat coupled with his seeker and guardian card pool, make Joe an excellent solo investigator, as he can gather clues and defeat enemies efficiently. In Multiplayer, this flexibility allows the detective to fill the role of teams primary investigator, focusing on clue gathering, or be the teams primary combatant, flexing into his guardian card pool.

The obvious comparison to make at first glance, is that Joe Diamond is basically reverse Roland Banks. At level 0, it's possible for Joe decks and Roland decks to be nearly identical to each other. However, Joe can't pick up a shotgun and burst down boss enemies, rather, he's better suited to picking off the weaker enemies with his weapons, and playing cards such as “I've got a plan” or Acidic Ichor to deal with larger threats.

While Joe can combat the forces of the Mythos fairly well, remember he's still a seeker class investigator, so clue gathering is Joe's greatest strength. Seekers have access to some of the best cards when it comes to gathering up clues and card draw. Cards such as Preposterous Sketches, No Stone unturned, and Cryptic Research are all great choices when looking for card draw in your deck. if you need extra clues, Connect the dots, Deciphered Reality, and working a hunch can help you out. Additionally, all these cards bear the Insight trait...I bet you know where this is going...

Joe call it a hunch.jpg

What separates Joe from other investigators is unique secondary deck which you “draw” from called the “Hunch Deck”. As stated earlier, this deck is made at the start of each scenario from 11 insight events, one of which being Unsolved Case. The rest of the cards are up to. Most events in the seeker class bear the Insight trait, and there a good amount of options from the guardian card pool as well. If you're building Joe to be the team's combatant, you can include cards like Delay the inevitable, Emergency Aid, and Logical Reasoning, to bolster your health and sanity pools. You can also use Joe's hunch deck as a clue generator with Scene of the Crime and the previously mentioned Connect the dots, Deciphered Reality, and working a hunch. ArkhamDB user “duke_loves_biscuits” laid out in his review for Joe on the site, some notable observations you may want to consider when constructing your hunch deck, which I'll put up on screen for you now. Paraphrasing Duke here... []

1.) Cards from your hunch deck can only be played during the investigation phase, this makes a card like Forwarned not useful in your hunch deck. Additionally, you cannot commit cards from your hunch deck to skill tests.

2.) Since Joe's ability reduces the cost of cards from your hunch deck by 2, you generally want to play 2 cost cards over anything else.

3.) In the same vein, cards with fast are also great in your hunch deck, a fast card that costs 2 or less is completely free when played from your hunch deck.

What you choose to include in your hunch deck will ultimately depend on the scenario, your deck, and the group you are playing with.

Joe Signatures.jpg
Colt 1911's.png

Moving on to Joe's Signature cards we have Detective's Colt 1911's. A 4 cost asset with an intellect, combat and wild skill icons. This card has the item, weapon and firearm traits, comes into play with 4 ammo, takes up 2 hand slots and reads:

Up to 2 Tool assets you control do not take up hand slots. And has an action that states:

Spend 1 ammo: Fight. You get +1combat and deal +1 damage for this attack. If this attack defeats an enemy, you may move an Insight event from your discard pile to the bottom of your hunch deck.

This signature card is decent. 4 cost is in line with cards like .45 Automatic but with better skill icons. The first line of text allows you to keep holding your Flashlight or Magnifying glass, with these in play, which is nice. Being able to recycle insight cards into hunch deck can be helpful in niche situations, but by and large it has felt like flavor text. Again, decent card, but not the most exciting signature card.

some cases are best left unsolved…

some cases are best left unsolved…

Joe's signature weakness, Unsolved case, is a 4 cost event with the insight and mystery traits and reads:

Place 1 of your clues on the location with the highest shroud. Remove Unsolved Case from the game.

Forced - If Unsolved Case would be shuffled into your hunch deck: Add it to your threat area instead. For the remainder of the game, it gains: "Forced - When the game ends: Joe Diamond earns 2 fewer experience for this scenario."

When analyzing this card, it's important to remember that it begins play in Joe's hunch deck. With Joe's forced ability, this event really costs 2 resources. This weakness can be pretty easily played around in just about every scenario, barring maybe The House always Wins,by just not spending your last 2 resources. Often you're just losing 2 resources and an action, which isn't going to ruin your game and if you do happen to drop a clue back down on the board, The private eye has plenty of ways to get it right back. The fact that this weakness isn't in your standard deck also has the added benefit of not robbing you of a draw during your upkeep, or draw action. In stand-alone mode this weakness is laughable and in campaign mode, losing 2 xp won't be the end of the world. Overall this weakness is one of the easiest to deal with in the entire game.

tying up loose ends.jpg

Rounding out the rest of your deck, will depend on the game mode and role you've chosen. In Solo mode, it's important to have a good balance of clue gathering and combat, whereas in multiplayer, you'll likely heavily focus one way or the other, but can still do a bit of the other when needed.

Joe may seem like an unstoppable investigator during the investigation phase, and this is generally true. During the Mythos phase however, The private eye is at the mercy of the encounter deck. A meager 2 in both willpower and agility likely means Joe will be failing most tests on encounter cards. Higher Education can be a way of boosting your willpower if you have the resources, but when it comes to agility, your options are limited. This can make traversing through the jungles of Mexico a most deadly encounter for the detective. Fortunately, in most cases Joe can take the hit on the chin and continue forward.

All in all, Joe is a strong, flexible investigator. His hunch deck can generate a ton of value throughout the course of the scenario. Joe's flexibility make him capable of fulfilling either the teams primary clue gatherer, or monster hunter well and switch between when needed. With a Machete in one hand, and a Flashlight in the other, Joe can be among the best solo investigators in the game to date, so long as there aren't any snakes involved...


Noir Flavor Text Reading:

Song used: Mark Maxwell-Angel Eyes

Image Used:

Other credits:

Card images provided by

Other Images found on FFG's various Arkham Articles.

Other Audio produced by myself

Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a cooperative Living Card Game® set amid a backdrop of Lovecraftian horror and is owned by Fantasy Flight Games. © 2016 Fantasy Flight Games. Arkham Horror, Fantasy Flight Games, the FFG logo, Living Card Game, LCG, and the LCG logo are ® Fantasy Flight Games.

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