INWO: Deck of the Week
Devious Decks for Illuminati New World Order
Illuminati New World Order, and the graphics on this page, are copyright Steve Jackson Games.

[The 13th Circle] [The Deck of the Week] [DotW Archive]

Welcome to the INWO: Deck of the Week site. This is the 5th incarnation of the Deck of the Week, which was originally instututed by Aaron Curtis. The torch passed to Brian Strassman, then to Ralph Melton, and finally to Alex Yeager, who has now passed it on to me. My name is Martin Lærkes, and I'm a member of The 13th Circle - check it out.

This page contains the the current deck of the week, submitted by an avid INWO player, such as yourself. All past winners of the Deck of the Week award can be found in the archive.

Mission Statement
First, let's not kid ourselves. This is no longer deck of the week, or even deck of the month. I've published a few of my own decks for a while, but until I get an actual submission from someone else, there probably won't be any more decks of the week.

I'm primarily looking for clever decks, since ordinary power decks have pretty much been explored by now. I've got no backlog of submissions, so go ahead and show me what you've got. Get writing all you budding deck-authors - your chances of being nominated are better than ever!

Send your submissions preferably in html format (but otherwise txt, doc and rtf will do fine) to me - - and remember to write "DotW" in the subject line.
The submission must (obviously) include both a 45 card deck-list, as well as a write-up on how to play the deck. If you can divide your submission into the following paragraphs - The Plan, Opening Game, Midgame, Endgame, Potential Problems, Variants & Substitutions - then so much the better! Check out past winners for plenty examples. Submissions of Atlantis or Fasces Romanum decks, featured in the Pyramid article Ancient Secrets will be accepted.

If you need some help keeping track of all the cards that will potentially make your deck even better, then you might want to check out Garys card database, or my handy Deck design tables.

Deck of the Week #88
Whispered by Martin Lærkes

Unknown to the average person, the illuminati are at work behind the scenes of the ordinary world, wielding unbelievable power and arranging conincidences. All those unspeakable things are the secrets man was not meant to know, and precious few know those secrets. Those who speak don't know, and those who know don't speak.

Playing the Deck

The Plan
Well, as the contest guidelines said, the idea was to create a deck using the resource The Nine Unknown Men from the completely non-existent INWO expansion Bavarian Fire Drill. The unique resource powers or removes any zap, paralyze or freeze by using its token, so it makes around 40 or so cards more playable. I considered a deck using the zap Security Leak and League for Obvious Decency to shut down a rivals plots entirely, or a deck using almost exclusively paralyzes, and NPCs to prevent your rivals from removing them. However, in the end I went with an old idea of mine, nicknamed Secrets Man Was Not Meant To Know.

The idea is simple: When you take over secret groups from hand, only secret groups and illuminati can interfere. So, if you can make sure that there are only a few illuminati tokens and secret groups out there, there is little your rivals can do to stop you. In fact, if you play Let the Sunshine In, no secret groups may act, cutting the opposition down to just illuminati tokens (and no pesky +10s). Let the Sunshine in would naturally also stop your own secret groups from attacking in the first place, but you can work your way around this by using the few non-secret groups that can attack secret groups.

The 9 Unknown Men are not instrumental to the deck - you could build one without it. But it does allow you to play some zaps and paralyzes that will have your rivals spend their illuminati tokens, and it can also power your Let the Sunshine In. Not bad.

The Illuminati
Adepts of Hermes were chosen for their +6 bonus to control magic groups.

Opening Game
Your lead depends on your opening hand of plots, but it should be one of your 5 non-secret groups, preferably St. Janor, Dracula or W.I.T.C.H.. It is a key objective to not get attacked, if at all possible, so play conservatively. Keep defense cards in your hand, hoping to repel any incoming attacks. For defense, Secret Master is best on Dracula, while Overman is best on St. Janor, since this will make him count double towards Hail Eris. Try to sneak in an extra group draw early if you can - you probably need your whole group deck before you are ready to slurp.

Your objective is to get all 5 non-secret groups into play. You have very few control arrows, so be careful when you make your ATOs, since you need open arrows on all your slurpers for your final turn. Start with Dracula, St. Janor and W.I.T.C.H. Druids should be second to last, as a puppet of W.I.T.C.H. - your final ATO should be Junk Mail. Place it as a puppet of Druids. This will probably alert your rivals to the fact that something is up. And indeed something is.

The Deck

  • Illuminati: Adepts of Hermes

  • Cattle Mutilators

  • Count Dracula

  • Druids

  • Junk Mail

  • Rosicrucians

  • St. Janor Hypercleats

  • Templars

  • Vampires

  • W.I.T.C.H.

  • The 9 Unknown Men*

  • Center for Weird Studies

  • Necronomicon

  • Giant Kudzu x2

  • Goal: Hail Eris x2

  • Gremlins

  • Harmonica Virgins x2

  • Let the Sunshine In x2

  • Miraculous Manifestations

  • More Slack!

  • NWO: Global Warming x2

  • NWO: Gun Control x2

  • NWO: Don't Forget to Smash the State

  • ...Or Kill Me!

  • Official, Divine, All-Inclusive Excuse x2

  • Overman x2

  • Power Grab

  • Save the Whales

  • Savings & Loan Scam x2

  • School Prayer

  • Secret Master


  • Seize the Time!

  • Sorry, Wrong Number

  • Sudden European Vacation

  • Waiting Period

Your second midgame objective is to have your rivals spend illuminati tokens on the turn prior to your victory grab. You have lots of plots to encourage them to do this, like the lovely Giant Kudzu, but a concerted attack against a rivals secret group might also be a good idea, and will knock out a secret group in the process. Gremlins can also bounce back a good resource like the OMCLs, motivating the rival to spend an illuminati token to take it over ASAP.

If you do not have your goal when the time comes, then your plan will have to change slightly. ATO Rosicrucians instead of Junk Mail, dig for your goal, and then wait a turn before unleashing your slurpy surprise.

End Game
With Junk Mail in place, the time has come for your all or nothing move. Hopefully there is only 1, or even 0, illuminati tokens out there. Secret groups can be kept out of this turn by using Let the Sunshine In or possibly even a paralyze (or Gremlins on NSA). Now all you have to do is slurp from hand. Due to your illuminati and Junk Mail, you have a massive +11 bonus to control secret magic groups, and the bonus applies to all your non-secret attacking groups.
So, St. Janor will be at 13 to take the Rosicrucians. Dracula will be at 19 to take the Vampires. Junk Mail will be at 11 to take the Cattle Mutilators. If someone interferes, then note that Druids can interfere with any attack on a magic group - even a secret one - so with either Global Warming or Harmonica Virgins, they should be able to get the attack back on track.
Also, naturally, W.I.T.C.H. can change a failed roll by 2.

Finally, Adepts can try to control the Templars ("13 or less"), take over the Necronomicon, or help an attack which is failing. With Center for Weird Studies or More Slack! they may even do 2 of these things. If all went well, you have slurped a lot of groups, and should be very close to your goal. You may already be there. Note that it may be a good idea to spend Hermes token before attacking with St. Janor, so a roll of a natural 2 by Janor can not cost you an illuminati token.

The last element to your victory is Hail Eris. W.I.T.C.H. counts, as will Cattle Mutilators with Gun Control, St. Janor with Overman, and/or Vampires (or one of the others) with the Necronomicon. Notice that if you had to play Secret Master on St. Janor to save him from an attack, you can make him weird again by making him a puppet of something other than your illuminati. This will make the Secret Master permanently illegal, and force you to discard it.

Potential Problems
Well, it's a pretty risky leap towards victory. Hopefully your rivals won't see it coming. If you've set things up right, it's a big leap - possibly too big to anticipate. But this deck is a big gamble. It can take losing a group or 2, but more than that and you're going down the tube. Hey - who said world domination was easy?

Also note that without its goal, this deck will only go to 11 groups, meaning that it is probably best suited for a 4 player game.

Variants and Substitutions
The Adepts of Hermes probably isn't the only way to set up a SMWNMTK-slurper. Library at Alexandria and Junk mail will give a +11 bonus against a lot of Secret Groups, making it possible to maybe build a Network or UFO version of the deck. A secret group or 2 in your power structure will also allow you more attacks, and possibly the Black Helicopters, but it will make Let the Sunshine in harder to fit into the deck.
Naturally, a deck without unofficial cards can't use The 9 Unknown Men, in which case Library at Alexandria is probably be your best substitute. Those extra +5 to every attack should make it even harder for your rivals to prevent your attacks.

A cute alternative SMWNMTK slurper relies on Church of the SubGenius. Create a deck that does little but accumulate illuminati tokens. Then use these tokens to take over lots of secret groups in one fell swoop.

As always, have fun.