GenCon Marshal Event 4R Control - 1st Place

published Aug 13, 2015 | | |
Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Tyler, TX Sheriff event - 1st place 0 1 0

kollatt 440

the deck that i managed to ride all the way to the top! nothing fancy to see here, but the build is tight and the draw-structure is as consistent as i could make it. if you've played in at least one doomtown tournament then you know what this thing is trying to accomplish. stack your hucksters with the most powerful spells in the game and use them to out-maneuver and out-influence the opposition. if they manage to start a fight with you, congratulations! they just stepped into a bear trap! handicap their best shooters with blood curses and smash them with resolutions if they even dare flash a cheatin' hand. things went south and you didn't know they had a SECOND unprepared? the brute will do his best impression of clint eastwood from "in the line of fire" and take one for president leo. if they try to hide, cover their resources and pick off some red chips from afar. end summary.

( i did my best to make it clear why i chose the cards i did, and what my strategies were for different situations. if you have any questions feel free to post them and if i have time i'll do my best to provide an answer. )

Steven Wiles: although normally it might be overdoing it to run three copies of everyone's favorite gun-for-hire, the field was full of heavy-hitting law dog decks. having a steven ready for when things were about to go down was crucial since it's often difficult to pull the hands you need to when they've weakened your shooters so severely. he also served as a bolt of lightning when it was time to count tie-breakers, particularly in the mirror matches when things start to grind on and on.

This’ll Hurt in the Mornin’: this was the MVP of the tournament. although It's Not What You Know... is really the staple cheatin' resolution of fourth ring, it was this eight of clubs that allowed the massive hand rank swings at crucial moments when i needed to kill off the valuable dudes in their posse. save them till they cheat during a particularly vulnerable hand and it can end up winning you the game in one round. there's nothing like watching a full house or four-of-a-kind shrink down to two pair.

Phantasm: i was forced to play two off-value spells so that my chance of drawing one or more hexes in my opening hand was decent enough. originally Shadow Walk filled the slot, and it can be amazing in the mirror match or if you run soul blast. however, i wanted a little bit more game against turtle decks in general so this barely beat out the 10. ultimately the purple ghost allowed me to force a final shootout and win the event, so i feel like it was the correct choice. depending on your build and meta, this can easily become Shadow Walk.

Circle M Ranch: this was the only deed i ran an extra copy of, and for good reason. fourth ring control wants to fix it's hand so that it's ready when bullets finally start flying, and drawing an extra card every turn while you continue to power-up your hucksters is extremely important. combine this card with your home's ability and you'll almost always find what you need to get the job done.

Hex Slingin': because so many players are catching on and doing everything in their power to make the highest available non-cheatin' hand, this resolution can get you over the top regardless of what your opponent is fanning. you can even save these up and go for one massive killshot if the time is right.

Forget: a handy little curse that shuts off some key dudes, including wendy, leonardo, allie, androcles and arnold. at zero cost it's easy to drop them on any available huckster to refill your hand without hindering economy, and it's the ideal fodder for hex slingin's once they've served their purpose. much better than losing paralysis mark or blood curse.

Blood Curse: the most versatile heart in the deck. it can give you the edge in shootouts or help you close out a game when your opponent is cowering behind their home card. auto-include x4.

Paralysis Mark: anyone who's fought with or against the clowns can vouch for this card's power. if you're not playing paralysis mark then you're not doing it right. this is the most skill intensive card in the archetype in my opinion, and knowing when and where to use the 8's ability is one of the most important aspects of mastering fourth ring control. matchups are often determined by how many copies of this card get drawn and who can get the upper hand in the chess match. don't forget this can be used to disable other spellcasting or mad science decks by not allowing them to attach their key cards. separate their dudes and make them easy prey, or camp near their home and lock them down while you build up your side of the street.

California Tax Office: CLUTCH deed. this thing can be amazing, and i nearly went to two copies. against a smart player you're usually not going to catch them off guard ( i say this having suffered the effects myself. it's very easy to forget that it's there ), but it does one crucial thing. shut down Steven Wiles. unless they have a massive stack of ghost rock, this spells doom for the one-cost utility stud. be careful though. if you allow them to take control, you can kiss your own steve's goodbye. a very nasty card when they're pinched for money.

Travis Moone: i originally debated playing a Funtime Freddy package with Soul Blast and Mirror, Mirror over travis to have more resistance to the Judge Harry Somerset (Exp.1)/Andrew Burton combo that so many dog decks seem to like. after testing a few times it felt too weak against other fourth ring decks if you didn't manage to luck out with a hex in your first hand, and i also wasn't a fan of the card disadvantage that funtime forces on you. travis also costs one less ghost rock, and every buck counts. travis moone still remains the go-to grifter for the clowns.

as a final note, i do want to say that as good as i believe the deck is, it's not unbeatable. some of my games along the way i won by the skin of my rear, and i didn't go undefeated until i managed to slip into the top 8. even then i lost the first game of the finals before tightening up my play. i've had a lot of experience with this set of cards, so if fourth ring control isn't clicking for you then you might need to spend a little more time becoming comfortable with it. play patiently and never get pulled into fights that you're not ready for. if you decide to add 10's to your deck, remember that you'll be weakening your draw structure, and keeping mine tight meant i had more game against the big shooter decks that can often force confrontations before you're ready. more importantly, don't play the deck if you don't enjoy it. having fun with your card choices makes it easier to focus, not to mention it allows you to have a good time! :]

8 comments
Aug 13, 2015 Gozik

Why do you run 3x16 structure in control deck? What will you do if opponents eveade shootouts? You lose every lowball and 9 cheating resolutions will stuck your hand.

Aug 13, 2015 mplain

Well, this is definitely NOT the clown control deck that I expected to win GenCon...

Clearly there's something about the meta there that I just don't understand.

You're playing almost pure 3x16 with9 cheatin' res, probably because you expect to fight aggro a lot, but at the same time your starting posse is rather weak in shootouts, and your off-value spells are Phantasms and not Soul Blasts. This just doesn't add up, half the deck is aggro and the other half is control...

Aug 13, 2015 kollatt

i found that even though the gameplan was to gain control through paralysis mark and blood curse, the deck needed to shoot well DESPITE the relatively weak posse, so being able to pull full houses and four-of-a-kinds with minimum studs was a must ( many of the decks were indeed highly aggressive lawdog decks ). phantasm was explained, as it's a value that won't make me miss pulls and it closes out games where they decide to turtle at home. few of my opponents evaded shootouts, and the ones that did lost through attrition as my hucksters eventually became too maxed out to beat. because most of the other decks had tight structures we often traded lowball wins. i never had an issue with resolutions clogging my hand because it's easy enough to toss one away with the home ability if it's not useful, and i always had the edge on shootouts that went longer than a round or two by constantly having them available.

Aug 13, 2015 Whizzwang

Nice solid deck, I like it. Inspired call on not using Shadow Walk (Phantasm is so under-rated it's scary - this card is an absolute MONSTER when played properly)

Given how tight your draw structure is, how often do you find yourself cheating? Especially against a bullet reduction LD deck w/Tommy (who pretty much negates any bonus you'd get from a Hex Sling).

Aug 13, 2015 kollatt

i find that i didn't have a hard time avoiding cheating because i had a lot of re-draws each hand, but of course it does happen on occasion. i never got particularly wrecked by any resolutions however. the brute soaked up a lot of mishaps if things didn't go my way.

Aug 13, 2015 tbowers13

I agree that Phantasm is way underrated, but how do you use it to get to dudes that are turtling at home? If they're booted you can go in and move them adjacent, but how often do you find booted dudes at home in a turtling deck? If you use the first ability they just move back home again after you pull them to an adjacent location and you never get the chance to call them out.

Aug 13, 2015 Whizzwang

You find booted dudes everywhere when you;re running 4 Paralysis Marks :)

Aug 13, 2015 bithlord

He's running paralysis mark. It's pretty easy to find booted dudes that are turtling at home in that event.