This little pony went 2-3 at Worlds 2018, out-played and perhaps out-decked by some stiff competition which I will attempt to recount below. But first, the theory:
This deck is a continued evolution of Chess Spurs which was my first published deck and first to place highly in an organized competition. To boot, I absolutely adore cheating at chess (Morgan Stables) and the card-cycle is icing on the cake. This deck's aim is to exploit board shenanigans to isolate key targets and then cash in using Jasper Stone. After fielding it in Europe, which I consider the highest level of real-world competition globally, I am unsure if this deck is still worth continuing to shape into tournament form. Though I could claim "bad luck," I think I was simply beaten outright by three of my five smart opponents.
That said, I encountered the most troubles trying to use "soft" spot removal (calling out with Run 'Em Down!) to crack at people in their homes (scientists and hucksters), and ended up playing that card only to later ace one or more of my own dudes. At the same time, my opponents were quick to expose the achilles heel: Being unable to "show up" for more than one shootout a day by leveraging the negative "no collaboration" trait of the servitor.
Finally, I think a ploy I attempted backfired: Instead of warming up with a few casual games prior to the "big day," I kept this deck locked up, hoping to preserve it's "secret," and inadvertently lost touch with how to make strategic adjustments in a foreign environment.
All in all, I had an absolute blast playing, and am excited to give Stone a solid "go of it" with some of the best players this side of the pond.
Round 1, Andy's Decimation Compound, saw him hamstrung on gadgets (drawing none) and me on the offensive, taking down POST-A-TRON and another scientist first, leaving him quite demoralized even to the point of renouncing mad science altogether, until I made a critical mistake which may have cost me the game: Not going after Maggie Harris. Instead, I went after a "juicier" target (perhaps a scientist with influence), collected my Stone Control Point, and proceeded to allow him to rebuild his Influence fetching Yagn's Mechanical Skeleton and drawing into Decimator Arrays to the point of being formidable, which he proved to me in our epic game-deciding shootout where he outshot me all 5 rounds. It was a supreme recovery on his part, and I think he should give himself the credit he deserves. 0-1.
Round 2, Paul's Looking Glass Shooter, had me running circles around José Morales for the 7 days we played, not once getting to actually use Mirror, Mirror on my dudes. I was able to stick to deck plan, and avoid all but the most advantageous fights. It helps this time that Pistol Whip was active against his dudes. On a key turn, day 3 I think, Nathan Shane went a' Hiding in the Shadows, and was able to fight the slucksters face-to-face. I tried twice to reclaim Circle M Ranch which my opponent diligently camped, but eventually gave up, and instead used all my tricks (like Ridden Down) to separate his hustlers from his enforcers, and eventually was able to win on the board. 1-1.
Round 3, Clem-slide out of 108 Drunken Masters, I was well within my comfort-zone because Jon Longstride saddled to a Mustang and strapped with Espuelas is a terrible thing to behold when you are trying to slide out. Having made the "hard read," I ran Whizzwang's "Slippery when Wet" article like textbook: camped on every deed, prioritizing highest production first, useful abilities second, kept Willa Mae MacGowan on Townsquare to stem any flow of dudes, and used my spot removal to whittle at his influence. This game was short - 4 days I think - and perhaps my opponents toughest match-up. We then proceeded to play a long side game against my Spirit Fortress deck "Raven's Ragnarok" where we we both in the 20's red and blue chips, but had to concede to get to the next round. 2-1.
Round 4, Andrew Davidson's Hustling Hucksters, almost card for card what I took to Gencon two years ago (so, I had the advantage of empathic pilotry), I contested deeds and lost to a Kidnappin' where he cheated like a bandit. Fair. Next few turns I didn't draw into my resolutions despite trying to, and in a key moment, the Professor made a Mugging of my best shooter and in-so-doing booted his LeMat Revolver, and lured me like a stuck pig into a trap where I tried with all my face muscles to muster a poker-bluff, trying to convey "yes, I did in fact draw into my Coachwhip! or Disarm," and getting called on it promptly, taking one casualty too many through Pedro to knock Irving Patterson off the table. Preventable, maybe, but I decided to go all-in before he once again doubled the number of dudes on his table. 2-2.
Round 5, Mark's 4th Ring Control, saw an early pair of Blood Curses which, despite being useful to close games, are incredibly punishing to my single-shooter on his pale horse. This game had little early fighting - we both built up for a few turns - me because I needed to play around the curses, him because he wanted to get his control combos going. I stood on his deeds for a few turns, but was repelled when Soul Blast hit the table, and remember looking at Old Man McDroste single-handedly guarding The Whateley Estate and thinking "that's a great idea" because I wouldn't return for the rest of the game. Jia Mein (Exp.1) hopped out of a tent, and I offered tribute to his/her Forced Quarantine, all in a gambit to draw him into using his resources for that shootout and then immediately pick another, which I did, but smacked the rails on two rounds of legal and natural hand rank 9 and 10. At this point, time being being under the 10-minute warning, I conceded, knowing my deck would be totally unable to recover, and wanted to give my opponent the inevitable win without penalizing him for going to time. 2-3.
And that was my tourney.
I am still taking suggestions for this deck. Enjoy!