Central Theme: Cthulhu’s Faction is focused on destruction. Of all Factions, your Units are the most effective in a fight. On the other hand you are limited in obtaining Elder Signs, so you need to use your combat strength to ruin your enemy’s bases and keep them from taking the lead. Your Spell Books and abilities, even unused, cast a baleful influence on your enemy’s activities. Submerge, Dreams, and Y’ha Nthlei all cast a pall over the map hindering your opponents.
Early Game: In the early game, you get Spell Books quickly. Get Cthulhu out on turn two or three, even if he is vulnerable to an enemy attack. After all, you can re-Awaken him. It is far easier to get your two “Kill/Devour” Spell Books once Cthulhu takes the field.
Late Game: In the late game, use Submerge to strike critical enemy areas. With Regeneration or Absorb plus Cthulhu’s Immortal ability, you can hurl your forces into battle with impunity. Cthulhu only rolls six dice, but an Absorbent Shoggoth gives you beef, plus Cthulhu’s Devour ability is better than a free Kill.
- Devolve: Keep a Deep One in your Pool to render you immune to Capture. Just Devolve a threatened Cultist immediately.
- Dreams: This means that your enemies dare not leave a Cultist alone on a Gate. You may not often use Dreams vs. experienced players, but it affects their behavior throughout the game.
- Absorb: Turns Shoggoths into major combat dice. You only need one Shoggoth per attack, so long as he has “food” available. Remember that Cultists and Deep Ones are also useful to soak up hits so you may not want to Absorb them all.
- Regeneration: With this, Starspawn inure your army to harm, making them the flip-side to Absorb’s massive damage output. Cthulhu accompanied by two Starspawns is well-armored even against enemy Great Old Ones.
- Y’ha Nthlei: like Dreams, this inhibits the enemy. Your foes are less likely to conquer your Gates, and you don’t care as much if they do.
- Submerge: A critical Spell Book in the late game. Once Cthulhu’s army submerges, not only is he safe from harm, but other players react in desperation. If you attack an Ocean Area, you can Submerge again after the strike.
Thwarting Great Cthulhu: Cthulhu has strong Units, but not many of them. Each loss is a setback for him. When he hurls his might against an Area he is going to win, but you can mitigate this by not putting all your eggs in one basket. Killing Cthulhu himself isn’t particularly effective (unless you are Crawling Chaos, since Harbinger then gives you two Power or Elder Signs), because next turn he’ll be back at R’lyeh, ready to Submerge and make your life hell.