Thinning the deck

A few months ago I became aware that &quotoptimal play&quot in Fallen London involves thinning out ones’ deck as much as possible, so as of course to draw the cards that benefit you more often. I wasn’t really feeling the time pressure to get anything done, though, so I didn’t really mind slogging through various cards. But now, we are in snow season, and suddenly I am trying to be more efficient- getting an ocelot to try to raise SotC without spending all the actions on a symphony, holding on to the Orphans card in case I want more snow, etc. And so I am interested to look at what can be done to weed out the deck, and so I wanted to list what I knew could be done and see what I don’t know.

I come at this from the perspective of a tier 1 PoSI (~150 in all stats before gear) who has done most of the basic stories that I know of besides getting thrown out of the Court, which I haven’t done yet. Also, I assume this has been discussed before here at some point, but I couldn’t find the right search terms (turns out &quotcards&quot and &quotdeck&quot are not very useful for narrowing down) and I didn’t see it on the previous 10 pages or so, so apologies if this is well-tread territory.

[ul][li]A Present from the Solitary Glim-sculptor, A Visit from a Cloaked Stranger - both of these cards seem to disappear once you accept their Fate-locked option. It is possible that I just coincidentally have not drawn them, however. Losing the Glim-Sculptor costs you gifts of inconsequential amounts of Glim and a free boost to SotC up to a certain point, and so I was not sad to see it go; losing the Visitor costs you a ready source of Laudanum and Tinctures. You can always buy them from the bazaar in a pinch.[/li][li]I am at level 9 on the Certain Plant story. I am given to understand that ripping the plant out will exchange four cards (noted orchid-grower consults, green lodger, green project, sprouting companion) for one (Where Did That Come From?, which restarts the sequence). This is at the cost of being able to participate in the Tournament of Lillies, a source of 10 beetles at a time, a source of 1CP MW, and a card that is pretty much totally useless. I should really just accept that I don’t care about the Tournament and go ahead and do this.[/li][li]The Intimate of Devils cards all go away if you sell your soul. I assume the opening card will come back if I get my soul back- I don’t know if there’s a way to get rid of these cards permanently (does Abstration make them go away forever?).[/li][li]Nuking a Connection below 5 causes its Connection vs Connection cards to stop showing up. That said there’s value to most of the connections at some point or another. So I haven’t done this because I don’t know which one I might not want sometime later. I guess Revolutionaries is one of the safer (and easier) ones to nuke? I use Docks and Widow for the Acacia; Urchins for this time of year and also as an easy thing to trade in for Docks and Widow; Society and Bohemians are important for the Salon; Criminals for Improbable Penance (though this is less important now that I am done needing Bejeweled Lenses for now); and I like having the occasional Menace reductions and Someone Is Coming gains.
[/li][li]Remember the Honey-sipping Jewel Thief goes away if you kick him out of your life forever, which costs you the possibility of getting committed to him (I’m already married to my RL partner), and a source of ostentatious diamonds, which you can otherwise buy for 25 cryptic clues, so no big deal.[/li][li]Similarly, the Artists Model. This costs you a poor source of cryptic clues. My problem is I don’t like being unnecessarily mean to people. It’d be nice if you could tell them to go away without having to insult them. :P[/li][li]Various purchased pets have related cards. It is up to you whether you think they are worthwhile or not. I always hesitate to get rid of them in case there’s a card down the road that wants one to unlock an option.
[/li][li]I assume A Letter From your Aunt goes away too if you do the Fate-locked option. I haven’t done this one.[/li][li]Cards for specific Visitors stop showing up if you no longer have their acquaintance. Given some of their specific storylets and options I am loathe to tell them to bugger off.[/li][li]I suppose NOT buying every damn lodging in the game would keep the deck lean and mean, but it’s too late for that, and hey, scraps are good.[/li][li]Getting a Remote Lodging gets rid of the City Vices cards. I’m not sure if any of those are worth keeping. I do the Decadent Evening one if I’m actually making a push for Notability but I wouldn’t cry to stop getting it; I’m not sure I ever do any of the others.
What else can you do to be more efficient? Thanks!

Rubbery men might be a faction you can get rid of, but it depends on your current levels in the different factions. Don’t forget you can use both the Carnival and connection items to get most connections up to 20, should you need them in the future.

This image might help for deciding which contacts to keep. Otherwise you have location-based opp cards, and it might be worth drawing cards at a place where you either can get a lot of profit, or few cards. I think you can only sell your soul to the devil/deviless once, but getting a stain on it or a rubbery quality (costs 100 fate in Flute street) will also prevent you from drawing those.

If you max the level of your plant you won’t get any cards at all, by the way.
edited by Aximillio on 12/22/2014

If you raise your plant quality up to 19 all the cards will disappear. The Intimate of Devils story is concluded once you sell your soul - you won’t get any of their cards again once your soul has been returned, and you won’t draw the card that turns up while you’re soulless and intimate with them if you let them have it once. That only shows up if you sell it to another devil before concluding their storyline.

If I understand posts about it correctly the Aunt storyline has a few conclusions, at least one of which ends up putting a card in your deck. If you go for that ending you’ll just be trading one card for another one.

Another good tip is to draw cards in the Labyrinth of Tigers or the Forgotten Quarter. Places that don’t have location specific cards are good for drawing, and it’s often just a couple clicks away. Obviously if you want or like the location specific cards of a certain place you’ll want to go there to draw instead.

edited by Sara Hysaro on 12/22/2014

The aunt cards at the end of the story can actually be nice, though =)

Since you want to increase a scholar of the correspondence, you should rather draw at the sidestreets in case you get The skin of the Bazaar

Yeah, I’ve heard one of them has a chance of refreshing your actions. Not sure if it’s all or just 10 of them, though, and while I have heard that it’s better now than it was before I’ve never done it so I can’t speak from experience.

It’s just 10, I think. There’s also one that reduces scandal as well as giving around 130 ppa, I think. Don’t know what the third one is.

You’ll draw “A Visit” regardless if you have the acquaintances of anyone on it–my low-level alt gets it all the time.

I currently do all my drawing at the Sidestreets for Skin of the Bazaar, but once I get either it or the Ocelot one more time I will have maxed that source of gain. After that I’ll probably stick to FQ unless I want something in particular.
As for getting the plant to 19… that requires making it all the way through the tournament, doesn’t it?

Nope! You just need to play the cards that raise it. There’s actually a couple free options for doing so in the high stages of growth. If I needed to get through the tournament to get to 19 I’d still be plagued with the cards, and probably ditch it like you were thinking to do.

That’s good to know! I thought that was required which is why I reverted to 9. Thank you.

For the Artist’s model you can just play the first card which sends her to a storylet in the bazaar side streets and her card won’t appear again. Same with the jewel-thief.

Hell is probably a good connection to nuke if you don’t need anything from there since that will get rid of quite a few cards.

You can’t play the options that encourage the relationship with either the Artist’s Model or the Jewel Thief if you are Committed, though.

Oh right. Well if you’re already Committed then it pretty much makes them stalkers so you can be justifiably rude to get them to go away :)