INWO Deck -- The Cult of Personality

by Kevin S. Tyrrell


In designing a theme deck for the Society of Assassins, I wanted a deck that would use a lot of Fanatic and Secret groups taking advantage of the SoA's special ability and goal. Even though the SoA lets your Fanatic groups work together, looking through the 21 Fanatic and 12 Secret groups available, the groups still don't work together least one single, consistent theme did not jump out at me. Looking at several alternative sub-themes, though, this Personality predator deck emerged. At what could better fit a Society of Assassins theme but Assassinations!

The Deck







Lead with the Clone Arrangers. Everyone groans at this, since this is the most obvious move for the SoA. But it's hard to get a more powerful secret combination than the Clone Arrangers linked to the Cyborg Soldiers. A Clippered Chip N.S.A. is the only thing that comes close. If someone else gets the Arrangers out first, then you can forget about your special goal altogether. If it does bounce as lead, then lead with Rosicrucians instead, get out your Crop Circles, and find and ATO the Clone Arrangers as soon as you can. If you think Cyborg Soldiering them early will anger your opponents into ganging up on you, keep it as a reserve near the end of the game to insure that they are the highest powered Secret group in play. Early on, link them to Black Helicopters instead so they are more powerful, but not as overtly threatening.

Personality Predator

The Clone Arrangers, Vampires, Voudonistas and Immortality Serum form the basis of your Personality predator theme. A straight attack to control a personality from the Vampires with the Clone Arrangers in play gets a net +8. (But does the person become the vampire of a clone or the clone of a vampire?) Alien Abduction can remove alignments that work against you before an Attack to Control. Immortality Serum lets you steal somebody directly from your opponents, but having it out in front of you unlinked may scare your opponents off from playing personalities althogther.

My favorite way of stealing a personality is to assassinate them with the Voudonistas, then use the Clone Arrangers to clone and take control of them. Zapping away that pesky Illuminati proximity bonus with Sorry, Wrong Number first or combining two assassinations with Spasm of Violence makes the relatively weak Assassination! cards much more viable.

It's the End of the World As We Know It and I Feel Fine

Now that you have a personality or two, many of the other Groups and Plots strengthen those personalities. Make him a Secret Master, give her the Orgone Grinder (Power 6/Resistance 10), link the Dittoheads (+2 Power, x3 Resistance) or Professional Sports (+3 Power) to him, and of course, don't forget Messiah (+10 Power/Resistance w/ 3 churches). If you manage to get all these out before someone notices--highly unlikely--you've got a group with 21 Power and an obscene 40 Resistance who can't be captured or destroyed except by an Assassination at a -20 penalty!

The End of the World is quite useful for the SoA in general and this deck in particular. Three Fanatic churches can make a powerful Messiah. Now boost the churches up by 3 Power each with End of the World, at the same time undermining your Gnomes, Bavaria and other Government or Corporate-based rivals. I've put two of the NWOs in the deck, since it won't stay out for long the first time you'll play it. The Rosicrucians can find one for you in a pinch and if you're into degenerate decks, add a few more. What the hell, they're Common!

Other Strategies

Jihad, Never Surrender and Full Moon are your Fanatic-assisting cards. I especially like Full Moon with the SoA. It's the most powerful Reload in the deck, but, until now, most decks didn't have a lot of Fanatics. I've used Full Moon to reload over 30 points of Fanatic power (all 6 Fanatic groups w/ End of the World) at the cost of a petty Power 7 Illuminati token.

New Blood is in there to boost one of your 5 Violent groups. I usually save it for the assassinating Voudonistas. Reverse Whammy is a great all-purpose anti-Zap! Watch out especially for a Brief Attack of Conscience which'll stymie any of your assassinations. Cover-Up helps keep your Secret groups Secret and count for your special goal.

Trading Card Games is in the deck to compensate for the high Resistance of most of your groups for an easier attack to control from your hand.

But Nobody's Playing Personalities!

The beauty of this deck is that I have won with this it when there have been no personalities in play whatsoever! The Fanatics help each other out and all the Secret groups make you a harder target than your opponents. The End of the World is the key card here by adding up to an additional 15 points of Power to your six Fanatic groups.

Count Dracula is in the deck as a backup. The main theme is to kill and clone people from other power structures, but if no one's playing them, you've got one of your own to play and pump up. Why the Count? If he's in another Power Structure, you can't kill and clone him with the Clone Arrangers, for one. He also fits in thematically with the Vampires, but feel free to substitute your own choice. The image of Count Dracula hailed as the Messiah as he announces Monday Night Football--well, he can't do day games--with a horde of Dittoheads on his heels is a rather ludicrous, but humorous image. I almost went for Lyndon LaRouche, being the only Fanatic personality, but couldn't count on a group that only works half the time. If you don't use Alien Abduction as described above, use it to cheaply ATO Dracula, instead.


Elders of Zion is one of the two Fanatic Secret groups available. Its special ability is helpful to reorganize in a crunch, but is not especially useful to the deck's theme. The Elders of Zion with a Charismatic Leader under the End of the World NWO have an impressive 8/8 of Power and can easily become your most powerful secret group. It can be switched with the slightly more powerful, but equally non-thematic Fiendish Fluoridators.

W.I.T.C.H. can be a powerful group with Fanatic power boosters as well, though it's too common in many decks. Ninjas can be swapped for Voudonistas; the Ninjas just tend to be a more popular group in my circle. Likewise, to make those assassinations more effective, add the Joggers, Urban Gangs, CIA, or Secret Service.

I've always liked the Cattle Mutilators/Templars Plot Predator combo and have included it in other secret-based decks. I almost included it in this deck, except it would have detracted from the main theme and made the deck too group heavy for my tastes.

Four of the six Assassination! cards are included here. Sniper is no good since you have no Government groups, Car Bomb can be substituted for Poison with the same strength, the latter is more useful for the magical Voudonistas, however. Spontaneous Combustion is an Ultra-Rare and is as powerful as Withering Curse against anyone but Count Dracula.

The Personality protection cards I included were Secret Master--another Ultra-Rare--and the Rares Immortality Serum and Sudden European Vacation. There are some more common ones to substitute like Bodyguard, Head in a Jar, Read My Lips, and Teflon Coating to name a few. You can also add Celebrity Spokesman, Sweepstakes Prize or Talisman of Ahrimanes if you want to go overboard in the Personality improvement category.

When I know I'm going up against a Media deck, I usually substitute Bite the Wax Tadpole to counter those nasty Exposed! But as I find with most Zap!, Paralyze, and Attribute Freeze cards, it's often hard to design these into a deck unless you know who you're going up against.

Some may want to include a Visualize Whirled Peas for its +2 Power to Fanatics. It's Yellow, same as End of the World, but its big drawback is that it gives your opponents your special Fanatic equals Fanatic ability. EotW is much better for your purposes.

Finally, Murphy's Law, Power Grab, and Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know are some of those all-purpose cards that show up in most of my decks. Feel free to exchange these for your personal favorites.

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Last modified: February 6, 1997