This was the deck I brought to the Middlesboro, KY Sheriff's event. Before you ask, I say it took 3rd and 4th because another player from Knoxville took the deck as well and earned 3rd. I took 4th. Fortunately, we never had to play each other during the day even though we had the same record after most matches.
I was very confident in this deck being a contender because the previous versions of it hadn't lost a single tournament game. I had lost a few times in testing, but never in a tournament.
Version 1: http://dtdb.co/en/decklist/854/knoxville-friday-night-gunfight-winner Version 2: http://dtdb.co/en/decklist/932/knoxville-friday-night-winner-mk2
Round 1 vs. Desolation Row (with some spells)
My opponent was a newer player, but she understood important parts of the game. I pulled Puppet in my opening hand, so I used Funtime Freddy to offer a Soul Blast or a Paralysis Mark. She correctly chose to let the Soul Blast go to my Boot Hill.
She only started two influence, but I didn't have early reduction against her. I didn't oppose any Outfit jobs and she kept deterring me away from my Surveyor's Office by pushing Angélica Espinosa in. I wasn't able to use my outfit much because I couldn't find a safe location to cast a spell without getting shot. She finally ran the job and used Hunter Protections in the same turn. With most of her gang booted, I walked across and took control of Maria Kingsford with my Puppet to reduce her influence and take the control point on Maria Kingsford for the win.
Round 2 vs. Morgan Horses
I heard this opponent was an experienced player from Classic. I knew he might put up a fight. I've fallen to Landslide early before because I didn't realize what was going on, so I played my first few actions cautiously. #phantasm and Paralysis Mark helped me keep his dudes with horses away, but he got Lane Healey out early for lots of influence. Having suffered from Run 'em Down! I kept having to move my dudes on top of dudes with horses instead of moving to adjacent to them. This provided him an advantage over an early Blood Curse assault. His Irving Patterson was ripe to get killed by a Soul Blast, but I made the mistake of moving him to a Cattle Market and forgetting his +3 value. So he lived to fight (or buy deeds) another day and I could have lost that fight badly for that mistake.
I was finally able to muster several Blood Curse and drop his influence low enough to take control of a few other deeds and leave several of his dudes helpless to take them back. It was a good game. Each move of a horse or a Phantasm mattered.
Lesson learned: reread locations, even if you think you know what they do. If you haven't seen them in a while, you might have forgotten something.
Round 3 vs. Will's (the eventual winner) Law Dogs
We had played this matchup many times locally. His Law Dogs deck had pretty much been built and modified based on the things he had to deal with encountering this deck. The decks have traded several games, but neither was clearly dominant. We knew this could be brutal, and it was.
I had played a Steven Wiles to early to 'protect' Leon, but in retrospect, it was a bad play and I should have anticipated losing Leon from the start. He got an early Ol' Fashioned Hangin' and went for Leonardo "Leon" Cavallo. It was his favorite move against my deck. I chose not to risk anything but Leon and The Brute. He used Xiong "Wendy" Cheng to kick Leon out of the fight, leaving The Brute to fight for Leon's life. I decided the added risk was worth it and brought Valeria Batten in with a Shadow Walk/Soul Blast against Tommy Harden. In retrospect, I should have known I was going to do my best to not cheat, I should have gone for the guaranteed ace against Philip Swinford. I got lucky and took Tommy out of the game.
We drew hands and I mustered a fabulous two pair. I lost by five and had to lose both Valeria Batten and The Brute because the Brute couldn't make up the difference with his trait. Sadly, that pretty much made the game a wipe thanks to his few deeds and the CP he earned from Ol' Fashioned Hangin'. I had a Cheatin' Varmint in hand, but was 1 GR short of playing it for the 2 hand rank drop since he wasn't cheatin. I'm considering moving back to 4x It's Not What You Know... after that.
I completely forgot Carter's Bounties on the table. I could have moved Leon back into the fight and given myself the opportunity to discard Leon instead of losing him for good. To be fair, I showed him my hand after the game, it would have gone quickly in my favor if I just survived the fight. Nicodemus Whateley, Rumors and a Blood Curse could have ended it against his remaining 4 inf.
Lesson learned: Pay attention to your OWN locations as well. Nothing like knowing one mistake cost you a game you could have capably won. I know better than to risk influence I don't need to. Keeping Valeria Batten out of the fight could have kept me in the game, but I wouldn't have gotten an opportunity for an easy kill like that again.
Round 4 vs. Gadgetorium nonsense
Here I was playing against another player I play with week in and week out. He decided less than a week before the event, he wanted to try something that other players might not expect and it worked. It got him paired against my control deck; a matchup he isn't fond of. We had tested this gadget deck earlier and decided a few Fancy New Hat would help keep him in the game against control. He got two out early and started stacking Jacqueline Isham with all sorts of goodies: Asyncoil Gun, Fancy New Hat, etc.
I won every lowball for four turns and didn't really have a reason to but anything. As a result, I was able to play Nicodemus Whateley, Avie Cline, Eve Henry and Steven Wiles all in the same turn to push for those Nicodemus Whateley CPs. He attempted to move towards Nick and Leon was there waiting on him in Town Square. Since Leon wasn't important to the win anymore, I started a fight solely to use Unprepared and lock down Jacqueline Isham. He was able to start a fight against Nick, but I had several dudes at the same location to protect him. I soaked up some losses and eventually took down the contenders.
Round 5 vs. Morgan Horses
Another Local. He decided on this deck by coin flip earlier in the day and had gone completely undefeated so far. If I won, we both entered the eliminations rounds, if I lost, I was out for good.
We both were able to pay for lots of dudes. We even played and kept Steven Wiles on both sides of the table for half the game! In the end, that was my real problem. I started the game with two Rumors and a Nicodemus Whateley and I held on to them like Gollum and his precious (except that one time he lost it and started a world war as a result). I didn't cycle my hand well because I only got a few spells the whole game. I also had to play like he could kill me with a Run 'em Down! at any time.
We went to time and he was able to use a Run 'em Down! to kill a 3 inf dude on the table and send Nicodemus back home. If I could have kept my dudes alive, We probably would have gone to the tie break on bullets. It was a tight game the entire game.
Lesson learned: Regardless of how awesome an opening hand of 2x #rumors could be, I should be willing to play them all just to get a new hand on the next turn, even if it won't win me the game. Also, playing against your own team most of the day sucks. :)
I was out of the elimination rounds because that was my second loss. I still mustered 4th thanks to strength of schedule. I then got to watch my deck get beat by Law Dogs again and then see those Law Dogs win the whole event.
Congrats to Will for playing nine games in one day and coming out on top. I learned a few things at this event and this deck will change before Gencon, so don't think you know it if you face me. :)
Check out Will's event perspective here: http://dtdb.co/en/decklist/1211/middlesboro-ky-sheriff-event-winning-deck-hang-em-high-f