Reflecting on Living the Thug Life with Cthugha


“Soldiers of Certo often go to pick up eggs to get food, but some of them become food themselves for what is born from these eggs.”

– Rukh Egg flavor text.

Sometimes soldiers get eaten by the baby Rukh but sometimes all that’s left of the Rukh Egg is something unfathomable.

“Something was stirring deep within that fiery atmosphere; something monstrous that roared an insatiable anger against the chains of the Elder Gods which had bound it there for an eternity…. Unable to resist, utterly powerless to control his movements, he was diving headlong towards that ravening chaos, that age-old intelligence which was Cthugha.”

—John Glasby, “The Dark Mirror

I love H.P. Lovecraft and the countless others he has inspired that later went on to play in his world of Elder Gods and Cthulhu. One of the first Force of Will cards I saw was Yog-Sothoth, the Dark Myth and considering I had just finished reading Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror, this instantly drew me into the game. Given my interest in the Cthulhu mythos, naturally I wanted to build around these cards. So without further ado, here is the list that I have been playing.


Ruler/J-Ruler – Reflect, Child of Potential/Refrain, Child of Convergence

Stones Resonators Spells
4 Magic Stone of Scorched Bales 3 Guinevere, the Jealous Queen 3 Thunder
4 Magic Stone of Hearth’s Core 4 Rukh Egg 3 Necromancy of the Undead Lord
1 Little Red, the Pure Stone 3 Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant 1 Laevateinn, the Demon Sword
1 Magic Stone of Moon Shade 4 Lancelot, the Knight of Mad Demon Blessing of Athena
4 Cthugha, the Living Flame 2 Flame King’s Shout
4 Athena, Titan of Revenge
3 Adombrali, the Unfathomable
2 Hastur, the Unspeakable
1 Susanowo, the Ten-Fist Sword

The Resonators:

Rukh Egg: I am always looking for a Rukh Egg in my opening hand. Being able to search for a fire resonator is extremely useful for firing off fast starts or late game pressure by searching up the piece you need. A Rukh Egg is delicious and wholesome snack for Cthugha, Adombrali or even Hastur. Yum! I ran four of these to make sure I could feed my friends.

Guinevere, the Jealous Queen: This is a card that I have mixed feelings about. While extremely powerful and useful, sometimes I found myself wishing she was something else. However, she lends consistency by banishing your Rukh Egg (if you don’t have a Cthugha or Adom to Incarnate) or Cheshire to search or shuffle as needed as well as draw cards. She also helps us get Necromancy in the graveyard for additional pressure. I only ran three of these because while a fourth might draw us more cards, I would rather just run another threat.

Cheshire, the Grinning Remnant: The only one grinning will be you after Cheshire gives you the gas you need to finish the game—thanks to her card draw. She is also great for blocking if you are behind—and desperate—but usually she ends up being food for Adom or a sacrifice to the Jealous Queen when Lancelot’s eyes wonder to that Booty Cat. Why did I only run three of these? Mainly because I only own three but also because this is harder to cast so again, I would rather run another threat.

Lancelot, the Knight of Mad Demon: Swiftness, Swiftness, Swiftness. I want all of the Swiftness. Lancelot is the notorious threat in the deck. People are always expecting him. He has served me well as counter bait so that I can setup a different play. He is pump-able and can kill a blocker most of the time too. I ran four of these because—well, it’s just the right thing to do.

Cthugha, the Living Flame: “Then shall Cthugha come in fire and flame to claim that which has rightfully been His from the beginning of time.” –John Glasby, The Black Mirror Cthugha is so amazing. This card has really impressed me with how powerful it is. This is the card that I want in my opening hand, second only to Rukh Egg. I’ve had some crazy starts with this card. On more than one occasion I’ve had Cthugha, Cthugha, and Rukh Egg in my opening hand. 1700 points of damage later, (thanks for that +200 boost Reflect) I pass the turn. This really is one of the most powerful cards in the deck and must be sold in a pack of four!

Adombrali, the Unfathomable: Adom is my good pal. He helps prevent me from extending into Sign to the Future, can shoot pesky blockers, shuffle my deck and draw me a card and just sucks the life away from opponents occasionally. While he doesn’t have Swiftness, he is all around a solid pal to bring to the table. I ran three of these and was never disappointed.

Athena, Titan of Revenge: Athena is a house if she hits the table. This is one of those instances where I usually play out Lancelot to draw out the counter. Her ability to deal damage is a great way of getting around the new Excalibur and we already run Reflect to bounce Alice or Hastur can take out Alice too. It’s a great ability but the fact that she grows because of it makes this card a force to be reckoned with. This card has greatly impressed me in the matches I’ve played with her in it. For now I have been running four of her but I may bring that down depending on my results.

Hastur, the Unspeakable: Enter: Destroy target resonator with no addition. Hmmm. Remove a blocker or a pesky Alice? Yes please. I ran two because I don’t want to see them that often but I want more than one just in case.

Susanowo, the Ten-Fist Sword: Susan here has an unfortunate name for a boy. Ever hear the song “A Boy Named Sue?” I bet he got bullied on the playground a lot. That’s probably why he carries ten swords and is willing to jump in on the action for less when there is a big bad bully in play—like a dragon. I ran one of these, just in case I needed a little extra push and the rest of my team couldn’t get me there. This also doubles as a removal spell.

Spells and Stuff:

Thunder: You are playing red? Auto include! I didn’t run four though, only three because I needed more room for the following.

Necromancy of the Undead Lord: Great to pitch this to Guinevere and pesky to get rid of later. Feel free to use your Horn or waste a Xeex to get rid of this card. I won’t mind. That means there is one less counter that I have to worry about when it comes time to drop Athena or something. I ran three of these with great success.

Blessing of Athena: Blessing is really good. We are almost always going to be ahead on life making 500 loss of life negligible and that +500 boost is really good. I ran three of these for now but that may fluctuate based on its performance and the Meta.

Flame King Shout: This card helps to clear out some blockers and still get a threat on the board. Great deal! I ran two of these because the card is just dead against decks like mine that have bigger resonators or against control decks.

Laevateinn, the Demon Sword: Give Refrain swiftness so you can judgement and use its bounce or search ability same turn? Sounds good but I only ran one though because otherwise it’s useless. Well I shouldn’t say useless because it can get banish your Rukh egg to get a threat or Cheshire to shuffle the deck if you don’t like what is on top.

The stones are pretty much self-explanatory but a little greedy and will leave you open to Split. Hopefully, you will have them down on life so a Split would kill them as well.

Reflect/Refrain: Obviously the main mode of this ruler is to pump your resonators to push more damage through. The second mode most frequently used will be the filtering away dead cards and hoping to draw more threats. I like having the option to flip and bounce a blocker, or search up another threat to end the game. I know—we are all tired of seeing R/R at the top but he is really good and really good for this deck. I’ve tried other rulers and they just don’t compare.

If you want to see this deck in action, check out this video where Alex and I play test against an All in Gill deck.

Overall it’s a really fun deck and I recommend it if you are looking for something fast yet easily adaptable mid-game and post sideboard. Let us know what you think in the comments below and stay tuned for more from all of us here at Library of Will.


Ps. The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft can be read online here or listened to on YouTube here. I recommend this audio version—it was quite enjoyable.

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