This is the Forth Ring extravaganza, evolved since release, that I have played to win several local OP kit tournaments and now the Lincoln Sheriff event. It is my take on the obvious 4R control archetype, leveraging its strengths while compensating for weaknesses discovered over iterations of the design.
Without further ado, this is gonna be a long show, so bear with me and be warned...
-The Starting Dudes- Our opening act features: Leon Cavallo with his mesmerizing dance, a simple Brute strong man, 'sharpshooter' Travis Moone, and a hint of danger with knives of Micah Ryse! Oh and Jake Smiley...
Leon "damn dancy clown" Cavallo
Oh I fear for Leon's future, should he be a choice for the kill list at GenCon. He is sure to die. Not without good reason, Leon is mean. He takes out a dude, probably a better dude. If you can get him to the square, and keep him there, you'll take their whole turn from them first action by booting that dude they need to get going. Load Leon up with Paralysis Marks (at least the first two) and proceed to lock your opponent out of the game.
Micah Ryse (exp)
Once a lowly 2 value, Micah now has jumped in stature and makes the perfect blade to defend the home tent and advance our clownly agenda. Attach a cheap Rapier and wait to catch 'em Unprepared if they are armed. He casts Blood Curse on an 8 (this deck pulls 8 or higher) and shoots freakin' lazers! (Soul Blast). Hes pricy, and awesome, so don't risk him solo.
Derp and Shoot-ish
The Brute soaks a whole shootout round, this is probably after you zapped a dude with Micah. Maybe you tied, so there is another dude down. The Brute makes a mistake go away, he falls down instead of Micah. Travis shoots! Sometimes, unless Micah has a rapier. Six cards with three draw makes a good hand most times. Your intended posse is Micah, The Brute and Travis. Try to make this happen, its magic.
Oh and Jake Smiley
He has 2 influence at nightfall so we don't lose the game all accidental like.
-Brokeness- These Clowns are cash poor, starting only one ghost rock. You'll lose poker most the time too, that sucks. No way around it if you want to shoot. Lucky, spells are cheap, costing one at most, and you can make that just casting a spell! That is a circle of money. Hey, add in a cheap deed along the way and a reserves when you stumble across it, you'll be cash flow positive in no time. Not that anything costs all that much, and that what does can be a found on a discount with Bairds Build, Max Baine, or through the General Store.
Note on the General Store Due to 'rulings' you can use this to attach a spell to a booted dude or a dude at a location you don't control. This is huge: 'means you can attach Marks to Leon, in the square, even after hes been dancing (booted). You can use it to zip in that Soul Blast you just drew to Micah before the fight kicks off at their deed they control. The general store: shop there.
-The Main Event!-
Card Flow: Priority each turn is using that home ability. The cash is important, obviously, the deck is broke. More than that though, you need to know what to spend that cash on, cycling the card you can't play into one you can. Very often a spell. This has the net effect of getting you a card in play and out of your hand to be replaced at the end of the turn by another card. This has a snowball effect. Over the course of a game you are going to see many more cards than your opponent. You can find the cards you need and move them into play or back to the deck, to find later.
Dudes Heavy: This deck has more dudes than most fourth ring control. This fits the draw structure and since Max Baine quit Morgan an went freelance we hire him on here. He plays six dudes at a steep discount, and Max can be found, near at will on the cheap using Recruiting Drive. This is key against deedslide: get Max out and use him to play more influence like Smiling Tom and Jia Mein to keep you in the game until Avie can come out and eat their heart.
Recruiting Drive and Control: Normally I am not a fan of the very 'win more' nature of town square jobs. They only further a strong board position. Whats interesting though is that Paralysis Mark creates a temporary strong position, by booting out their dudes. Leon and a mark or two can hold back their resistance to the recruitment, turning a temporary advantage to a stronger board state. The drive allows you to tool box dudes. Discard 'em, Recruit 'em, redraw 'em!
Recruitment drive is key to staying the game against Deedslide and Desolation Row. Deedslide cant resist the job and the discount lets you play an economy and the influence to keep up, then Avie to end it. Desolation row, after the job, is generally 'booted out' or will be once Leon is done. You can then use even a lowly Travis to match their gain by bringing a heavy deed, like the Ranch or the Union, straight into play. This has a huge net effect, as you'll then gain that ghost rock next turn having invested nothing in the deed. The deck can keep up with Desolation and Deedslide in dude production and outfight when that day comes.
The Ranch: Best deed, hands down, in the game. Maybe best card. Its an eight value ('nuff said), it makes money - hell in a deck this cheap and discounted it can be the whole economy. That and its the -only- damn true card draw in the game. Not discard to draw, nope. Plus one card. This is huge, it supercharges the spell game into play. Over the course of a couple turns you'll play a whole hand of cards ahead. Very good to recruit for if you can't draw into it.
Shootouts: This deck shoots very well and plays hell with an opponents plans to fight. Before it even begins, Leon's dance will ensure only inferior dudes make it to the show. Then only those chosen few will face Micah, Travis, and the Brute for the main event. Low value shooters make easy targets for a Soul Blast, ensuing they can't soak a casualty. While that one quality shooter who got past Leon gets maligned by Blood Curse or caught Unprepared. The deck reliably pulls a full house, mostly legal, with a little stud and draw. Opponents, with their busted up draw hands, often cheat and are vulnerable to a This'll Hurt. Even should this deck lose a shootout round the Brute or Travis will Take Ya With Me a guy. Possibly that lone big guy who once had bullets but now...
Attrition: Every dude your opponent loses is really like two because of Leon and Paralysis Mark. Take Ya With Me and ties in shootout outs clear the way for a later game lock down as the deck flows into more Marks. When she is ready, Avie can be found to then pick them apart a dude at a time. This is really the endgame, though the show is over often much before.
Avie Cline: Oh Avie, I never knew I needed you. Before, Leon would dance and Micah would scrap, but sometimes no one wanted to play till they were too good and ready. Schemers; inventing their gadgets, buying their deeds, dabbling with the law to come for us in our sleep. But oh no longer! Now, with you by my side, they come one at a time. Transfixed by Leon, they are drawn to you Avie, like so many others, and Micah and murder clowns await...
... uh, yeah. Got a little off track there. Lets just say, Avie wins games.
The show must go on: You'll lose Leon, or Micah. The spells though, they recycle, and a replacement can be found in Jia, Tom or Avie. The act can withstand the loss of a star or two. Just keep playing, stay in it and rebuild. Time is a flat circle. The marks will cycle back around after Leon lost 'em to be placed on Tom, an advantage all in all. Funny how that works out.
-The Final Act-
So that's the routine: Make fights you can win and wear them out. Control the square and their board. End the game having killed most dudes on the other side of town. All at once or turn by turn. It wins having never won a shootout. Those few paralyzed enemy stragglers, just below your 4 to 5 control, by endgame can't keep going.
It wins, but its ugly, and makes no friends. For the love of God don't teach anyone the game while yourself using this deck. They'll never play Downtown again.
|Jul 26, 2015 WhackedMaki|
Jul 27, 2015
Once did have more Avie instead of Richard but with the discard and draw from the home ability and at nightfall means I can cycle him out from my hand until he turns up with Max Baine in play. Basically Slavin is in there as a Max play, just like Eve and to some degree Jia. I never pay full price for them, they just tumble around till I need them against Deedslide.
There was a version, before Max, that played 3x Avie (10 value) 2x Smiling Tom and 3x Steven. With no Ghostly Gun, Max, Richard, Eve, and Jia. I found myself cycling the same guys out turn after turn and in some games would lose out the long game, having not enough dudes to trade in shootouts in a race to the bottom attrition strategy or cover the deeds of a slide.
Max and recruiting drive though are what make this deck special, a whole added trick to the normal control strat. You can easily bury the opponent with high value influence dudes once you get going . Try it - works well.
Don't get me wrong though, you can totally drop Dick Slavin. Hes not good, and a second Max would probably be better, but hey, what can I say: Dick's got a funny name and sometimes comes into play.
As for Micah, sure he is expensive but he has value. Funtime and Valeria eat shotguns and soulblasts all day. They can be counter marked easier and are simply way less reliable dudes. Asides Funtimes does not cast blood cure on an 8. Gotta have that huckster 1... You could play Valeria instead of Micah, but shes gonna get pushed around more and does not develop into the same threat as he does. Given a few spells and a rapier there are not many dudes who can stand toe to toe with Micah's shooting and his soul blast. He is simply the best hammer. Why settle for a shitty hammer?
The deck is built around that one starting ghost rock, you'll have enough to get by while developing the twin threats of a Leon lockdown and the Micah hit squad. You don't need any more money than that to start. May as well spend it all on the finest of clowns!
Jul 29, 2015
I do enjoy a great performance and your thoughts on Recruitment drive echoes mine.
Although I build a bit more controllish deck (rumors f.ex.) - instead of trading dudes - the draw structure are almost the same.
I also have a love for Avie - in both her forms. She fits everything I am looking for as experienced and a great finisher for those who do not dare to come out and face the clowns (Allie Hensman - resistance is futile).
Aug 02, 2015
Thanks for taking the time to flesh out your deck comments. Great help to n00bs like me to understand the logic to your deck design.
Aug 07, 2015
What a great Deck. I'm going to try that out for sure. Maybe I swap a few 8s into Rumors to p*** off people a little more. On the other hand This’ll Hurt in the Mornin’ is such a great and punishing card.... I hate making those decisions ^^
What is Richard Slavin here for? Just to be another 10? I think I'd rather have a second Max or Avie, just to see them more often. Also, why make Micah Ryse (Exp.1) the main shooter? Funtime Freddy and Valeria Batten are also stud hucksters who are much cheaper.