Here is the deck I took to second place at the 2019 European Marshall!
This is a fairly standard Calling The Cavalry deck (boo, hiss), tweaked slightly to have 5 as a value (I think I might play off 3 otherwise for Sun in Yer Eyes and Shotgun?). However, given the presence of Virginia Ann Earp and Valeria Batten (Exp.1) in the environment, testing had demonstrated a need to have answers to these cards in the form of Pistol Whip. This proved effective in a warm-up game against the eventual winner and again in the final, where I aced Virginia but couldn't quite force home a victory. We also felt that Pistol Whip card, together with Point Blank could help give me the edge against other cavalry decks by thinning out their horses.
The deeds are a little thinner than I'd like normally, but I made this sacrifice to get the number of cheatin' punishment cards I'm comfortable with. Four actions and three goods was generally sufficient until I ran in to Phantom Fingers in the final, turning off my LeMat Revolver. The looser draw structure also hurt in the final - previously I was able to get away with it due to plentiful studs and bullets from home, LeMat Revolver and Calling The Cavalry.
In the final I risked what I knew would be a seven card hand thanks to an opposing Essence of Armitage and Phantom Fingers already turning off my LeMat. With a Point Blank in hand, the plan was to Ace Valeria Batten even if it cost me both horse sidekick. However, I only managed a cheatin' three of a kind and ran in to 4oak, plus a hex slingin' creating a six casualty gap. I might have recovered from a four casualty gap (Maggie Harris and two sidekicks might have been worth it to kill Valeria), but losing Jarret Blake's influence and board presence was too much. A bold gamble that my opponent fully punished, as over the coming two turns more deeds hit the table and I couldn't find any more influence.
This looser structure does mean I'm a little more short on control points and deeds than I'd normally like - it was several turns before I drew any in the semi-final and final, but Maggie Harris helps you play horses anyway and you can always run the job with just her and Irving Patterson to make money in desperate straits! I did this once in the semi-final. One potential solution would be to run Hunter Protections as it is on-value and works well with Morgan Regulators.
Consistently fetching the sidekick Cavalry Escort with Maggie gave me strong attrition even when I didn't have Calling the Cavalry. I wonder if we'll see more of Scattergun in tournament decks going forward? 9 has certainly received a much needed boost in recent sets.
Thanks to my opponents for the excellent games on Sunday and at Saturday's tricycle event (3x max of any suit and value instead of the normal 4x). It was great meeting a mix of old and new faces and the games were played in a fun spirit while remaining competitive, an ideal balance. In particular, congratulations to Mark Yellowlees for a well earned victory and to his help and the rest of the Edinburgh group for testing a variety of decks. Mark discussed a switch to starting Jon Longstride over Clementine Lepp for the extra value and bullets - this was useful several time during the event for Point Blank, getting more use out of Morgan Regulators or when facing Soul Blast. As ever, when my decks do well it is thanks to the broader group.
Comments/suggestions welcome as ever. I'd love to get this down from 7 off value cards to five or six, perhaps by adding another I'm Your Huckleberry and removing some off value cheatin' punishment? Or maybe I could use Inner Struggle as that efficiently removes itself from my draw structure? I also considered Hunter Protections (a good suggestion from @neramoor), as this works well with my faction Outfit and helps force games to an end state. However, all my wins came before time and my Swiss loss was at time (dramatic shootout where winner could have won the game, but then time was called several rounds in to it and we realised Mark would win if he just went home).
|Jul 03, 2019 Prodigy|
|Jul 03, 2019 Harlath|
|Jul 04, 2019 jordan caldwell|
|Jul 04, 2019 Harlath|