Hellstrom Gadget-Dogs: Two-Fisted Justice

published Aug 31, 2017 | | |
Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet

theledgerman 15

Howdy Pardners! For your consideration, I present the top 4 deck I piloted at the Evil is a Choice tournament at Gen Con. I had hoped to post this sooner while my memory of the matches was still fresh in my mind, but unfortunately that wasn't meant to be, so I apologize if this is a bit thin on the match details.

In general, this deck did a lot better than I thought it would. The key to the deck was building up to having one or more dudes with a Hydro-Puncher and a second melee weapon in order to generate a stud presence. Once this was established, it was fairly straightforward to wait for some decent action cards and then start getting aggressive.

The hardest part of running this deck usually revolved around deciding whether to boot a dude and/or boot a gadget for the ability on the dude/gadget vs. holding back to be able to use Darius Hellstromme's ability in order to collect the control point. As three of my five matches before the cut to the top 8 went to time, having those one or two extra control points from Hellstromme was valuable.

My two losses (one in swiss and the loss in the top 4 match) both came from Prodigy (shakes hydro-puncher fists at sky). His deck was designed to go off with Showboating, but I was able to more or less keep up between call-out’s with The Arsenal and Kidnappin'. However, at least in the top 4 match, I was unable to keep up with the eventual flood of deeds and lost in the end to his massive number of control points. Otherwise, the deck stood up fairly well to a number of different builds.

In hindsight, the main thing the deck was missing was ways to force callouts. The Arsenal is great for this, but the deck currently has no ways to make dudes wanted. Maybe a job for Andrew Burton, Framed or The Evidence, but what to cut? Similarly, a few more Kidnappin's would probably have been nice to include. Finally, sitting on 8’s, a number of opponents assumed I had Cheatin' Varmint. The deck is notably absent of cheatin’ punishment, although I’m not sure it was really an issue.

A few deckbuilding notes: My original posse included Travis Moone instead of Jacqueline Isham. I was concerned about having mediocre opening hands as it was critical to start putting gadget weapons on dudes as soon as possible. However, at the last second I ended up adding Jacqueline to the deck in favor of a second Outgunned and started her almost every game with almost no issues. If there was no opening hand gadget, there was likely one in my discard pile for Janosz Pratt to grab in case of an aggressive opponent. On another note, the draw structure was originally 3x16 at values of 7, 8, and 9, but I decided to loosen it up a bit in order to include a couple of extra weapon gadgets (Aetheric Shockwave Inducer) for the purposes of playing to Hellstromme’s strengths, and a couple of Unprepared’s (because Unprepared) and an Outgunned (because bullet rating was not going to be an issue and to mitigate the weaker draw structure). Having a weaker structure meant winning more lowball hands, which also ended up being important. For example, being able to trigger Janosz before my opponent had a chance to boot him or blank his ability. In another aspect, Ambrose Douglas is going to be an auto-include in just about every deck I can put him in - having a discard outlet with the ability to generate an influence that you don’t have to pay for during upkeep is fantastic. Finally, in my second match against Prodigy, I ended up starting "Thunder Boy" Nabbe instead of Jacqueline, as I knew I would need the influence to keep up. This definitely hampered my economy, but it was doable given the slow opponent and may have worked if I had seen more Kidnappin's.

4 comments
Aug 31, 2017 Redgar

Good showin', pardner, and thank you for postin' your decklist!

I've been lookin' at ways to make a Holy Wheel Gun/ Hydro-Puncher Law Dogs Arsenal work, and gosh darnit it would appear as though you've cracked the case!

A few questions, if I may:

a) Mortimer Parsons. Did you find he was a reliable asset, or did his trait cause you problems?

b) Outgunned. Did you find this reliably triggered when you drew it? Were the Aetheric Shockwave Inducers relevant in this regard?

c) Deeds (and economy in general). There seems to be a sharp trade-off here between influence and econ, and I see your note re: starting "Thunder Boy" Nabbe in your last match against Prodigy. Did you find yourself frequently short of influence or cash, or were you able to reliably throw down influence or deeds as required in most matches?

Aug 31, 2017 Harlath

Thanks for uploading this and for the comprehensive report, particularly your thoughts about forced callouts/jobs and the control point boost from Darius Hellstromme in matches that went to time.

Entertained that nobody caught the absence of cheatin' punishment. :)

Stewart Davidson might be a good addition once TCaR is out? Helps make opposing dudes wanted to trigger your home, albeit he costs one more than Philip Swinford.

I liked the Aetheric Shockwave Inducer and Outgunned combo.

Well done on your fine performance, enjoyed watching your matches.

Sep 01, 2017 theledgerman

Thanks, all, for the comments on the deck!

@Redgar Mortimer Parsons was primarily included since he was i) a Law Dog, ii) in the 6-slot, and iii) a Mad Scientist. I honestly don't think I played him to the table once during the 8 rounds of the tournament. That said, he might have made a reasonable substitute for Zoey, although at a cost of one less ghost rock to start the game. I don't think his trait would have been an issue, though, as there were not that many times where cheating was necessary. Outgunned was very reliable and I can see pushing the deck in that direction. You can put Aetheric Shockwave Inducer on another dude (not the shooter) and the bullet bonus still counts towards the total bullet rating of the posse with no need to make a pull. As for economy, this deck greatly benefits from getting out a deed in the first day, but it can sneak by with just a couple of ghost rock. Janosz Pratt, in particular, helps by reducing the cost to invent by 2 in a shootout. In general, starting with -1 ghost rock due to Darius Hellstromme is tough and props to those who found a way to start the Legends that came with a -2 ghost rock penalty.

@Harlath Stewart Davidson is interesting, although I did like having Philip Swinford on board for his trait. I also don't know about having to pay, but in longer matches, I can imagine finding a way to scrape together an extra 1 or 2 ghost rock to make things happen.

Sep 01, 2017 Prodigy

This deck would have absolutely destroyed me if you'd had a way to place bounty on my hucksters. As it was, you made good use of the Arsenal to force my hucksters home booted, and in conjunction with squatting on my general store made if sometimes hard to get spells on my dudes. Grimme helped me a lot, there.

Well done, and great to see an often neglected outfit do so well!