Magical Hitmen - 2020 online Ranger Event

published Sep 08, 2020 | | |
Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet

Prodigy 625

Step 1: Run a targeted removal

Step 2: Repeat step 1 until someone wins

This deck runs a stupid number of potential targeted removal, at 9 with 4xKidnappin, 2x Curse of Failure, and 3x Antoine Peterson. The Desolation Row outfit is mostly for the amount of bounty you will build up, and somewhat rarely will you run the actual job on the home. The goal is to either hit your opponent early and often, overwhelming with aggro, or if you don't quite make it to that point, then force the fights when and where YOU dictate them.

When the plan works, it's pretty brutal. However, more often than not this deck cannot overcome it's biggest weakenss of economy: both a lack of income for the deck, and general lack of denial for your opponents deeds means that often they can build back lost dudes, while each dude this deck loses can be very painful and hard to replace. I knew that going into it, and tried to make up for it with some Pedros, and transient dudes in Wiles & Antoine, but often that's just not enough. I figured that would be the case, which was proven out in my games, but I'll be damned if every game wasn't a roller coaster of fun!

The last mention of card choice before I go into the Ranger games, is Mark of Pestilence. What an absolutely fantastic card in this deck! Whoever they oppose your job with will be booted, which I was hoping would regularly be at their own home, but either way it really shuts down their options post-kidnappin, and helps make up for this decks dudes always going home booted. Saved me from some Outgunned and Point Blank shenanigans, as well! Super fun card in a deck like this.

Ranger Event

Game 1 vs Harlath's Regulators

Overall neither of our decks fired off that well. While my early aggression lost him a couple dudes, his economy (day 1 +3 income out of town deed), plus the lack of my economy (lost lowball very regularly and didn't have deeds to make up for it), lead to an uphill battle for me. The dudes I killed he was able to replace with other influence studs, while any casualties I took later on were irreplaceable. Salt in my wounds in also failing both my Soul Blast pulls, each having a 2/3 chance to succeed, and also being unable to find targeted removal after the initial one (or 2) on day 1-2.

We had some good shootouts, but in the end his economy plus my bounty filling his coffers won out the game of attrition.

0-1

Game 2 bye : Not sure if my opponent dropped or if I was the random bye 1-1

Game 3 Max Way's Oddities + Hank

So much aggression! Overall I ran 2 curse of failures, and 3-4 kidnappins, and he ran at least 1 kidnappin! I killed many dudes, and he killed a bit of mine, but his abominations just kept coming back (no Ivor, just straight up economy and hiring dudes). My targeted jobs were able to put his dudes out of position, and my Mark of Pestilence was crucial a few times in stopping a point blank.

We both had fun counters to each others deck - Max with Magnum Rounds to stop my Hex Slingin' on 2 occasions, and me with Soul Blast to stop his low value abominations, and the aforementioned Mark of Pestilence. I think in the end my targeted removal forcing the terms of the shootouts was what helped me win the most, as he needed to spread out to cover my deeds, and the town square.

2-1

Game 4: Steve Wales with Fort 51 + Hellstromme

I built up for one turn, after getting a few hexes (including Mark of Pestilence). I had a curse of failure opening hand, but since he had Agent Provocateur at home, and I had zero cheatin res and zero hex slingin, figured I could wait 1 round before bringing the aggression. After getting nothing else helpful in hand, and him using Agent for a Byron Decker, I decided to strike day 2 since he had zero studs. The fight at his home ended with him losing 2 dudes and running (turns out he had an Outgunned, which is why he opposed, but wasn't able to use it due to my Mark of Pestilence).

Day 3, it looked like it was going to be game over for Steve, as I played Antoine to get back the kidnappin and run all in vs his Byron+Yagns (a 3 influence dude, who if died, would lose him the game only having 2 other influence vs my 3 or 4 control - or 5 control if he opposed the job). His zero total stud, for 3 rounds in a row, landed him many good cheatin hands, none of which I could punish, and after me losing 3 expendible dudes (antoine, willa, and Darragh) and him none, I had to run home. After the game Steve mentioned I could have simply run home after the first round and won the game with my CPs on dudes, but thinking back on it, I'm not sure if that was the case - I think we forgot to figure in Byrons +1 inf from his trait. Either way, I didn't even think about it much, I just assumed with his zero stud that I could easily win over 2-3 rounds. Even if he got 2/3 lucky hands I could still likely win it, as I only needed him to take 1 casualty, but it was not meant to be with my total lack of cheatin punishment!

The next day started with him finally getting a stud in the form of Bio-Charged Neutralizer, and he quickly ran Election Day Slaughter.

This was a very tough choice for me, as I yet again drew zero cheatin res, and zero hex slingin's (my only real hopes of winning vs a constant cheatin opponent). I did, however, have 2 deeds in my hand with a CP each that I could afford, 3 dudes on the table with a CP each, and Steve had a 1 CP deed I could take over. If I let the job through, I could have 2 CP from dudes, 2 from my deeds, and 1 from his, to sneak in a victory assuming he had no influence in hand. I assumed if he had a dude in hand he would have played it before running EDS, so I thought it was safe, but still risky.

Turns out I completely brain farted and opposed with a single Larry, forgetting that when the job was over I'd have to sacrifice another dude (who I originally planned to be Larry), so my CP total would be 1 short. A huge mistake on my part! I was left on the table with a single Barton, and while I was able to hire Emilia next round, it was over in short order as he got a 3 stud Eve Henry and ruined me in the town square (I had to fight, or he could simply take over a deed and win).

Well played by Steve, and it was a great game of coming back from way behind!

2-2

Game 5: LastWalter with Spiritual Society

I was glad to see no Mariel in the opposing starting posse, but he did have Enapay and Zachary, so 4 stud out of the gate would be a challenge. Either way, this would be possibly the most aggressive game (on both sides) I've ever played in.

Immediately first action I ran a Curse of Failure vs his Enapay, trying to both take out a stud, influence, and a shaman to deny any eventual turtles guards (funny side note, instead of casting Curse originally, I accidentally played a Richochet from my hand instead... whoops, wrong 9 of clubs!). After the initial tie, both of us losing one dude, he pulled nothing but legal 4 and 5oaKs the rest of the game. The first Curse WAS a failure, and right away he retaliated with Kidnappin of his own! Unable to deal with the legal rank 8's, I got down to just a Barton after he used a It's Not What You Know... against me (at that point I needed to cheat to win, I could not afford to tie). I figured he had no cheatin punishment left, and hoped he would continue fighting but he very wisely ran home. Only 1 CP on the board meant I was still in the game, if barely so.

The next day I hire a Silas Aims, and he immediately runs another Kidnappin vs Barton. Same story as before, with my cheatin hand being punished yet again (he drew another INWYK). Game supposedly over, with no dudes on my side, I hire a Steven Wiles, and for hilarity sake go for another kidnappin vs Enapay! Of course it goes just like the previous fights, and Wiles dies in a hail of bullets.

4 targeted removal within the first 2 days, each side running 2! I've never seen anything like that before - very fun (and fast) game!

2-3

I do enjoy this deck quite a bit, and I knew going into it that the general lack of shootout actions would be a detriment against the large number of very aggressive shootout decks that are often found in the online events. Being able to surprise an opponent and picking when and where the fight happens can be pretty huge, though. However against aggressive decks that have movement (like Harlaths horses), that advantage is gone and it's an uphill battle. I think the losses of this deck illustrate its weaknesses well, but I also think some bad luck played a role as well as mistakes on my part (which is often the case in this game!). There are other ways this deck could be tweaked, but overall I think this is the strongest and most fun version.

Either way this was a fun event and good luck to the top 8 folks currently battling it out!

8 comments
Sep 10, 2020 Harlath

Thanks for sharing the list, and our R1 game was indeed odd. Probably my best economic start of the event, lots of other games I had to wait for deeds. Bravo on bringing the aggro, great write-ups and that R5 was brief but spectacular.

Sep 15, 2020 Prodigy

Yes, maybe an odd game, but ours was fun! And I remembered that toward the end I did find a kidnappin, but what was originally a target of your lone Lillian Morgan (Exp.1) at my out of town deed, turned into her grabbing you a Calling The Cavalry, and swapping out for Jarrett Blake and another dude!

From my opposition of a 0 draw dude, to a couple of nasty studs backed by the cavalry - that was the nail in my coffin (and a good show of the power of horses + Jarrett).

Sep 15, 2020 Harlath

Cheers and good incident to highlight. Buckin' Billy Ballard is a frequent starter in lots of other horse decks and I think he's great. But Jarrett Blake is worth considering too - I think he doesn't look quite as strong as Billy on paper (cardboard?) but games tend to throw up situations where his ability really shines. But a bit harder to measure when building a deck.

Liked the praise for Mark of Pestilence and wondered if there's some way we could rework the starting posse here to address the economic issues you identify. :)

Sep 17, 2020 Findegil

I assume you considered and rejected including Elliot Smithson in your starting posse for a small economy/mobility boost?

Sep 17, 2020 Prodigy

Both good comments/points, yes.

But for this deck and it's purpose I don't think the starting gang is flexible at all. It really needs 2 starting studs in case one gets sun in their eyes during the inevitable day 1 kidnappin/curse job (day 2 at the latest, really).

The two main hucksters also are providing necessary influence and a stud, and they both need to be huckster 1 so they can succeed on Mark of Pestilence and Malison.

The only way I could see economy shifting the slightest, is to change away from 8's to something higher (probably Q's for blood curse, if you want to be a try hard!), and then swap out Larry "Sevens" Swift for Antheia Pansofia or Maria Kingsford. But I don't think the one GR saved is worth losing Sevens ability, which is just so great against a number of attachments, Legendary Holster being first on the list!

I think any way you try to fix the economy on this deck necessitates taking away from it's main purpose of "strike first, strike hard, no mercy".

A more reasonable person would probably take away a few of the kill jobs, tone down the starting upkeep in favor of a little better economy (and add some more deeds), and require a little build up time before striking. But in the process you become more resistant to casualties, and more consistent overall. As you can see, I was not going for "reasonable" in this event :)

Sep 17, 2020 jordan caldwell

But that would require them to be reasonable...

Sep 19, 2020 Thunderforge

What was the rationale for Desolation Row over Jonah's Alliance? It seems that the latter would be advantageous given the amount of hexes, not to mention the extra starting cash.

Sep 19, 2020 Prodigy

Des Row is the main win condition, without it the game would go much longer (and this deck is not built for the long game). Constantly invading their home, or simply doing any kidnappin job anywhere, quickly racks up the bounty on everyone.

Once you have 3-5 dudes worth a CP (and maybe one deed), it doesn't take too much removal of the opposing influence before you should in theory be able to win.