Dude • Draw 2 • Influence 2 • Cost 5 • Upkeep 1

Shootout: One or more of your Deputies in any location(s) joins your posse at a Government deed (moving if necessary).

"Kings rise and fall all the time. My only concern is to see tradition live on in Gomorra."
Law Dogs • Mirco Paganessi • New Town, New Rules #3
By on

Rafi Hamid is a solid card for the Law Dogs which opens up interesting deck-building options. 5GR and 1 upkeep for 2 bullets and 2 influence is on the expensive side, since you can play Olivia Jenks for the same stats and get a 2GR discount. What you get for the extra cash is a nifty ability that lets you move deputies into shootouts at any Government location. Rafi himself doesn't even have to get involved, he can just move in another bigger, nastier deputy while he hangs out at another location.

The quality of this ability obviously depends on the quality of deputies and government deeds. Deputies aren't a problem; while every Law Dog isn't a deputy, over half of them are, including almost every big shooter. The real key here is the government deeds. When Rafi first came out, the only government deeds were the expensive (and bad) The Town Hall and the mediocre Town Council, which meant Rafi had no chance to make it into a deck. Fortunately, in the last two expansions, a pair of incredible government deeds came out which are easily good enough to put in a deck on their own, giving Rafi functionality without watering down your deck. These deeds are:

Hustings - An excellent deed which makes life hard on decks which want to sit at home, like Morgan landslide, or slower hex and gadget-based decks. If they don't want their influence to be gutted, they have to boot themselves or leave home, exposing them to shootouts they're not ready for.

The Mayor's Office - Another very good deed which allows you to drop the influence of enemy dudes in Town Square, or up the influence of your own dudes at home, as long as you can place the deed next-door. It does pretty well in a lot of matchups, but shines when reducing a dude from 1 influence to zero so they can't take control of deeds.

With these deeds, it's fairly easy to put Rafi into a deck and expect his ability to come into play. When you're only playing with your own government deeds, Rafi's ability only comes up so often, but it is fairly powerful. Your government deeds will be hard to assault, since you can always send a weakling like Philip Swinford or Lucinda "Lucy" Clover to the deed, and use Rafi's ability to move in deputies who are already booted, or move in some unbooted deputies in without booting them, so they can still use cards like Pistol Whip and Make 'em Sweat, or their own printed abilities, like Xiong "Wendy" Cheng. And if your opponent is running their own government deeds (which isn't too unlikely since Hustings and The Mayor's Office are great cards) then Rafi becomes a monster, allowing you to threaten those deeds with your entire board of deputies, even while they're booted and at other locations.

Because of his ability, Rafi needs to be played in a deck that's not afraid of getting into shootouts. Since you'll probably be playing Hustings and forcing them to leave home or boot, cards which create shootouts like Kidnappin' (which is also a 7 value) or Bounty Hunter work great, since you can force their people to boot or leave home, start a shootout with them, and move in a lot of deputies as needed. In addition, the government deeds are on A, 2, 3, 4 so cards which want low pulls like Faithful Hound and Legendary Holster work well with them.