18 folks competed in the latest OCTGN Servitor Series league, and it was an uphill climb the entire way.
I almost went with the Fourth Ring for this OCTGN league. Only the new miracles from There Comes a Reckoning pulled me back at the last minute to choose Law Dogs, as I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to test them out.
This was not the exact deck I used for many of my league games, because I wasn't particulary excited about Intercession, but I forced myself to choose K's and use it for the top 8 matches. Point Blank is an obvious great pairing with Intercession, and I wanted to see how it worked instead of my 10's using Unprepared, and the other good miracles/goods/dudes/deeds on 10.
Long story short, I am not convinced either choice is better than the other. Unprepared is far more reliable, and saves me from some awful weaknesses of the deck like Soul Blast, Shotgun, etc. I found Point Blank was still very hard to pull off, even in conjunction with Intercession. I also didn't draw it in my play hand much, so it is a little difficult to judge, but I'm neither disappointed nor excited with that change. Maybe if you expect more goods/spells, go with 10s, otherwise K's are a fine choice.
Check out the previous versions for more details, otherwise here are the top 8 matches, all best 2 of 3:
Round 1 vs Zeetoois and his Den of Hucksters: https://dtdb.co/en/decklist/2598/den-of-jokers-octgn-top-8
Game 1: Very early (turn 1?) shootout where I end up taking out his Travis with Censure. Zeetoois builds some deeds, and I send a lone Steven to see if I can take someone out. I lose by 1 rank, so he is discarded and Zee stands strong in the town square. I send in a bounty hunter vs Barton, resulting in a tie, since he has no grifters for his home, causing him to lose Maria.
Soon after there is a big fight with everyone in the town square. Tolarios is hit with unprepared and 'Slim' comes in to make everyone a draw. Zeetoois reveals a cheatin full house, which I This'll Hurt in the Mornin' down to a 2 pair! Normally this would have been game over for Zee, but he uses Theo's ability and attached joker to bump back up to a rank 7, and we trade my pedro for his Makaio.
I have the upper hand with dudes, but Zee is playing lots of deeds, and I only have 4 influence (one of the major weaknesses of my deck). His Jose gets a soul blast, which is very bad news for my deck, and eventually it all ends with Zee running a kidnappin vs Thunder Boy, which happens right before time is called. We go a couple of rounds, trading dudes, and eventually, in a rare event for my deck, I reveal a cheatin 5oaK, and he the same (but he's up to 11 with barton), and after playing The Winning Agenda , thats 4 casualties for me and enough to seal the game. Zeetoois victory! 0-1
Game 2: I got out of town deeds early, good economy, and zeetoois couldn't find a deed to save his life for quite awhile it seemed, so suffered in economy for awhile but did eventually get a few on the table. However he got an early Soul Blast, which destroys my deck. I searched up a quick Shield of Faith to counter it, but it would depend on who won lowball.
Eventually maria + 5 bounty + soul blast headed out of town as well, and the Judge Harry Somerset (Exp.1) struck alongside hattie and Abram Grothe (Exp.2). The law dogs won there, and as the 55 min mark came near, we ended on another kidnappin. Zeetoois sent several dudes to kidnap Abram, but couldn't get through the wall of dudes, studs, and casualty reduction. Another good and hard fought game ending at time. 1-1
Game 3: This felt like playing against a slide deck - Zee got a ton of deeds out early and often, and it's not long before my pathetic 4 influence is in jeapordy. I search up an Amazing Grace to help with what is becoming a very nuanced game of chess, with a couple of close shootouts tossed in. On the last turn I feel Zee made a mistake by refusing a call out with Barton (or some other stud), leaving him a dude short for chess moves. He ends up running an Election Day Slaughter with just Travis, and seeing a path to victory with Travis about to be booted at home, I let it pass and sacrifice willa. I end up with more control than his influence, and him having no more dudes to contest (thanks in part to Amazing Grace). Win before time, 2-1.
Very tough games, with cards like Makaio Kaleo, Esq. Soul Blast and Unprepared to foil my plans. Zeetoois did a great job making sure bounty generally stayed off his important dudes, and I feel like 90% of the shootouts Thunder Boy and Hattie were useless because of his bounty moving shannanigans. All around fun, tense, great matches showcasing both shootouts and heavy chess.
Round 2: SereneJ with Horse/Gadget Regulators https://dtdb.co/en/decklist/2605/morgan-regulators-copied-with-gratitude-with-a-few-altera
Unfortunately Rockergamer wasn't able to play out their top 8 match, so Serene got a bye into this match. Looks like they were both playing similar decks, so I was destined to face the dreaded Yagn's Mechanical Skeleton, Maggie Harris, Calling The Cavalry brutal shenanigans either way!
Also unfortunately I forgot to take great notes, but both games were very similar. He'd get a ton of horses/yagns out, and I'd get a bunch of miracles, able to soak up the initial first rank 11 from his Calling The Cavalry, then slowly outpace him in the long run. Each game it looked like I was going to lose, only to slowly inflict just enough casualties to keep hope alive, and eventually get critical mass of miracles to be a solid, never-taking-casualties well oiled machine.
Round 3 Finals: The dreaded Gencon World Champ runner up - Shekky Ducky with Desolation Row https://dtdb.co/en/deck/view/32021
He whooped my ass twice during the league, so I wasn't particularly confident going into this. But I did have a different deck than those games, so maybe the K's would help? It doesn't matter who you are, this is a tough deck to face. CPs quickly get out of hand, and my starting 4 influence wasn't going to help much there. As always, it was lots of bloody shootouts, early and often.
All 3 games were recorded, so if you want a play by play check them out - all 3 are very exciting, absolutely full of tough decisions on both sides (although the last game was 2.5 hours! maybe watch that one with x2 speed...)
My first two games I started with 2 Get Behind Me, Satan! in hand, which is very lucky, but I only won one of those games so even that wasn't enough for game 2. Both our decks can be extremely resilient, with my casualty reduction, and his Cheatin' Varmint , It's Not What You Know... , Inner Struggle , and Mario Crane. My deck is extremely reliable at getting legal full houses, and often 4oaKs, while his either gets a rank 6 or rank 9. My plan is to simply keep getting those legal rank 7s and 8's, and cause damage when he can't find a straight flush (or the hard rank reduction cards). I think the only reason I ended up winning is because my casualty reduction hits every day, where his only work if they are in hand. Despite that, cards like Inner Struggle did a LOT of work while on the board (I had some unfortunate streaks of lowball cheating), and made for 3 long, hard fought games - all 3 of which I expected to be half hour or less, since his deck is usually do-or-die... win fast or lose fast.
Overall very evenly matched decks, ending with an EPIC 2.5 hour game where somewhat early on Shekky was down to only a couple of dudes, no allie, and didn't look good for him, but he was able to very steadily climb his way back to having tons of GR and more dudes on the table, putting us nearly back to square one. I did end up getting one of my main win conditions, Judge Harry Somerset (Exp.1), and I think it was only a matter of time from that point, but there was never a time when I felt I could let my guard down for even a moment. Very tense all 3 games!
I hope everyone else from the league can post their lists, and look forward to hearing about the other matches and decks I wasn't able to see!
Until the next set is released, I don't have any plans to tune this deck any more, and will likely shelf it while I move onto other ideas. Clearly blessed have what it takes to compete against a wide variety of decks, and TCaR only improves that. If the variety of (usable) blessed dudes can improve and starting posses can be a little more flexible, they will be a real force to contend with.
|Jan 27, 2018 Zeetoois|