The Rules – Deckbuilding

Just a disclaimer going in to the second post about the rules here: most (if not all) of this information is pulled directly from the Learn to Play and Rules Reference books that come with the core game or are available for free from here or from FFG.

Custom Deckbuilding

After learning the basics of Arkham Horror: The Card Game, you might want to explore deckbuilding and create your own custom decks.

Why Build a Custom Deck?

Deckbuilding is a process by which a player may customize their deck to take on the scenarios using original strategies and ideas. This allows a player to experience the game in new ways; instead of adapting their playstyle to that of a starter deck, each player can construct a deck that functions as they desire. When a player constructs an original deck, that player doesn’t just participate in the game; they actively shape how it is played.

Deck Customization Rules

The following are the deck customization rules for Arkham Horror: The Card Game investigator decks.

  • A player must choose exactly 1 investigator card.
  • A player’s investigator deck must include the exact number of standard player cards indicated on the back of their investigator card as the “Deck Size”. Weaknesses, investigator-specific cards, and scenario cards added to a player’s deck do not count toward this number.
  • Each standard player card in a player’s deck must be chosen in observance with the “Deckbuilding Options” available on the back of their investigator card.
  • A player’s deck cannot include more than 2 copies (by title) of any given player card.
  • Any other “Deckbuilding Requirements” on the back of a player’s investigator card must be observed.
  • At the beginning of a campaign, an investigator may only include level 0 cards in their deck.

Rules Reference on Deckbuilding

  • Story Assets may not be included in a player’s deck unless the setup or resolution of a scenario grants that player permission to do so.

Random Weaknesses

Most investigators have a deckbuilding requirement that instructs the player to add a random basic weakness to their deck.

To select a random basic weakness, take a set of all available basic weaknesses, shuffle them together, and draw one at random. This card is then added to the investigator’s deck.

Rules Reference on Experience

After recording the results of a scenario, the investigators are ready to reflect on their experience and purchase new cards for their decks. To do this, follow these steps, in order:

  • Count experience. Each investigator earns experience equal to the total victory value of all cards in the victory display, plus or minus any bonuses or penalties indicated by the campaign guide.
  • Purchase new cards. New cards may be purchased and added to a player’s deck by spending experience equal to the card’s level. While purchasing new cards, observe the following rules:
    • An investigator’s deckbuilding guidelines must be observed while that investigator is purchasing new cards. Only cards the investigator has access to may be purchased. The deck size requirement must also be maintained. Weakness cards and cards that must be included in an investigator’s deck may not be removed while that investigator is purchasing new cards.
    • Each card costs experience equal to that card’s level, to a minimum of 1. Purchasing a level 0 card still costs 1 experience.
    • When purchasing a higher level version of a card with the same title, the investigator may choose to “upgrade” that card by paying experience equal to the difference in level between the two cards and removing the lower level card from their deck.
    • New cards are purchased (or upgraded) individually.
  • Record any unspent experience. 



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