Run Rabbit Junk (Sacramento 2016 Sheriff Winner, 4-0)

published Dec 14, 2016 | | |
Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet

memento_corgi 43

Background: This is the deck I took to Sacramento's 12-person 2016 Sheriff's Tournament, where it went 4-0 (one game going to time). It's an iteration of a kung fu deck that had a mixed track record, having won a 6-person San Diego Deputy Tournament, but middling performance at a Pennsylvania Sheriff's tournament (mostly a piloting error on my part). I slotted Drunk Masters and the Distillery morning of with no playtesting, which I think showed as I made no use of the home's react all day.

Strategy: For professional and personal reasons, my playstyle is forcing confrontations when I can shape the battlespace and avoiding confrontations when I cannot, which I think kung fu directly enables. As for the deck itself, the goal is aggressive positioning in the early game and occupying my opponent's deeds to starve them out. This will hopefully slow my opponent until I can get enough kung fu pieces in my hand (or discard), and may even force desperation shootouts as my opponent tries to break the barricade. The standard opening is to use Benjamin Washington to reduce the first-turn upkeep of Bai Yang Chen. In the rare moment the deck loses lowball, there should still be enough money to equip any weapon in the deck that made it into your play hand. This makes Bai Yang a scary proposition, but other than the psychological damage, he's relatively harmless at your opponent's home. The real value, to me, is the additional hand size. If your opponent plays a deed adjacent to their outfit, Hamshanks or Yunxu Jiang can waltz over with the threat of backup from Bai Yang. From there you build up, ideally getting those red cards out and a few more dudes. Bottom Dealin' is more valuable in the early game, whereas Comin' Up Roses can be a lifesaver at the end. As a straight flush deck, stud is your friend so I think Peacemaker is always relevant. Odds are your opponent will often avoid direct confrontation, making Mugging and Kidnappin' great as forcing mechanisms.

Tactics: Cards like Rabbit's Deception and Pistol Whip remove heavy shooters or sacrificial pawns to ensure the most amount of influence is on the line for my opponent. Zhu's Ferocity and Sun in Yer Eyes help reduce shooting capability to maximize cheating propensity. Rabbit's Lunar Leap and The Stakes Just Rose bring in shooters who were punted from the current fight or booted from previous engagements. Given the draw structure, this deck is likely to win lowball, so lightning raids via first-action Shotgun/Legendary Holster followed by Rabbit's Deception are always fun.

Performance at Sacramento:

Richard Carter's Abram's Crusaders. Having just listened to Richard on Booted Dudes, I was not stoked to have this as my first matchup. My initial hand was full of dudes, while Richard was quickly able to get some blessings and melee weapons up. Unwilling to send Bai Yang over without a weapon or any kung fu, I mostly turtled until I was able to drop a Pony Express. I kept cycling and adding to my street, while Richard spread his influence to keep limiting my production (although I was eventually able to eek out an uncontested deed or two). There was some low-level conflict, culminating in Richard paying off a Bounty Hunter as the last action of the day at my home. I foolishly didn't Legendary Holster (thinking there'd be time for another shootout where I could ace some of his influence), leading to me eating a Point Blank and a Takin' Ya With Me, but at the end of the action we were tied in totals, and control points favored me.

Sky's Regulators. Sky was unlucky and unable to get any horses in the discard, making Maggie Harris and Jarrett Blake relatively listless at her home. Irving Patterson made the mistake of wandering outdoors while Bai Yang Chen held a shotgun. I was able to boot out Sky's other influence after putting two into Irving's chest, leaving her with no way to contest my control points (had a few deeds and waltzed over to take hers).

David Orange's Oddities. The recursion of these decks is incredibly frustrating for me, as well as the artificial influence provided in the town square. As I told David during setup, it takes a lot of effort to kill those abominations, only to have them swarm back with Ivor Hawley (Exp.1). I thought about swapping Hamshanks out for John "Aces" Radcliffe since I didn't want to contribute to the abomination count on board, but with David sporting The Caretaker at his home and hellbent on not moving it, I wasn't positive I could get Bai Yang across the Town Square and safely at the Oddities' door to ensure the card advantage that makes Radcliffe relevant. Instead, I opted to keep more kung fu options on the table. Turned out to be the right play as I was hitting full houses and flushes in lowball, which meant David could set up the town square into a minefield of abominations. This match-up, and any spirit fortress/totem-flouting shaman deck, is why I run Zhu's Reward. After some chess games on David's side of the town, I had a decent amount of control on my end and used Cookin' Up Trouble to dump a resolution card and make sure Ivor Hawley wasn't available for immediate play if I happened to ace a bunch of abominations. With the coast clear, I ran Kidnappin' on one of the two Pagliaccio in the town square (causing some questions from onlookers, but I maintain this was the right play as my goal was to flush the influence by sending every abomination I could home booted). David opted to oppose, tossing in the other abominations present and booting Karl Odett and The Grey Man into the forray. Combo'd Zhu's Reward off of Zhu's Ferocity and successfully sent both Pags home. After casualties, the grey man was six feet under. David sent Karl home, leaving him no way to contest me coming over and taking his deeds for my own. With the town square finally free of abominations, only Karl contributed to the influence count, which wasn't enough.

Corrin's Law Dogs. As the only other undefeated player left, I was very curious to see what Corrin brought to the table. Was able to get out an immediate John "Aces" Radcliffe and, flush with actions in my play hand, I walked Aces and Bai Yang over to the law dogs' headquarters. They were immediately called out as unwelcome. Turn 1 shootout saw me pistol-whipping out Willa Mae MacGowan and acing Hattie DeLorre. As his first action on Day Two, Corrin threw the remainder of his posse at me, but Bottom Dealin' converted his cheating Five of a Kind into a high card. Corrin then conceded the match.

Dec 15, 2016 Harlath

Well done! Entertaining write-up and nice to see a kung-fu deck do well in a decently sized tournament.

How did the amount of cheatin' punishment feel? Did the home's ability to grab cards help out here?

Dec 16, 2016 memento_corgi

I was definitely comfortable with the amount of cheating punishment, although I may have just been lucky. I don't think I'd count on the home's ability to recur cheating punishment reliably, rather it seems good at helping move bits into your hand to keep the pressure train running (be it future investment, as in goods a la Shotgun, or immediate impact, such as actions like Sun in Yer Eyes).