Well, (mostly) heartless! This is my list I took to the online Marshall 2020 tourney, where we went 5 rounds to the top 8 cut.
I was originally going to start Seth Bullock, and zero hearts, but starting Dr. JT Goodenough was just so much more exciting! Most of the time my opponents will let me have the Bio-Charged Neutralizer, as letting me have the Devil's Six Gun also gets me a stud (one less bullet), but a powerful on-board cheatin res, something they should fear when seeing Lacy O'Malley, and thereby bypassing one of Lacy's more profound downsides: not being able to keep cheatin res in your hand. No worries with this deck, though, as there are a rather silly (but necessary) number of cheatin res clubs!
So this boils down to me starting with the Bio-Charged +2 bullet stud, which usually goes onto Hattie DeLorre. This gives me a starting 3 stud in addition to the stay-at-home 2 stud Agent Provocateur, and also gives me a solid first-casualty. In most games, J.T. will be the first casualty, with Jake coming in second. Yes, it's nice to be able to eventually invent the 6-gun, but its not necessary. This makes it all the more painful to lose Hattie, but I think it's a worthwhile tradeoff. Another option would be to start Tommy Harden, for a guaranteed on-board cheatin' punishment, but only being a 1 stud left him better for the deck, I figured. Lots of good options with the starting posse in this deck.
Draw structure here is absolutely key. First, of course the main point of the deck is to get 2 or more Putting The Pieces Together, at which point you have a nearly endless rank 8, and occasionally a rank 11 when you hit the straight flush. In order to do that, we cannot cheat. Ever. Including lowball (thanks Henry Moran!). In order to lower these chances, while increasing chances for flushes and straight flushes, there are no values with 4 or more (PTPT doesn't count, as the moment you have one on the board, it's out of your draw structure). So not counting PTPT, we have 7 sets of 3, and 5 sets of 2 (maybe one more if you count PTPT), and everything else is a one-of. That's extremely low for cheating odds, yet relatively reliable for at least getting a flush.
-----------Stats nerd aside:
We did some math on the odds of cheating when you have 4 copies of a card (same suit/value) in your deck vs only having 3 copies. There are 11 unique combinations of cheating with 4 copies (6 pairs, 4 3-of-a-kinds, and 1 4-of-a-kind). There are 4 unique combinations with 3 copies (3 pairs, 1 3-of-a-kind). However the three and four of a kinds are obviously much more rare than a pair, so suffice to say if we do some very rough math, you increase your chances of cheating by twice as much when you go from 3 copies in your deck to 4.
Your typical 'super tight' 3x16 (16x16x16)deck has 12 different suit/value sets/combinations at 4 copies each (well, probably 11, if you start 5 dudes). Even a weak 2x16 (16x16) deck has 8 of those sets. A more average 15x15x10 deck has maybe 7-9 sets of 4, and several more sets of 2's and 3's. Even shekky_ducky's infamous Des Row flush/SF deck has 7 sets of 4, and a handful more of 3's and 2's.
This deck, ignoring PTPT (because this conversation only matters when at least 1 is on the board), has zero sets of 4, and only 7 sets of 3, with everything else being a set of 2's or 1-of's. We don't need any further math to see the odds of cheating with this deck are extremely low compared to any of the examples above. This makes sense why in all my games I never had a problem not-cheating in any shootouts, and only 2 times in all my games did Henry Moran fire off in lowball! Ok, maybe there's a bit of luck there too, but with those relatively low odds, Henry should be rather rare to fire off. Let's not get into those odds...
----------end stat nerd aside, and thank you to everyone who helped out in Discord to work out the math!
This deck also starts with a ton of cash, and its structure tends to win lowball a vast majority of the time, so we can afford to put out any deeds and dudes we see in hand, further strengthening the draw structure (and usually adding some stud power in the process). Some stud is definitely necessary to get a flush (unlike Shekkys deck), unless you've played onto the board most of the non-clubs, so that is one weakness of this structure. However, with the economy of this deck, and the cycling of Lacy, it makes for an easy time to put out multiple powerful studs.
Of course, PTPT is still my favorite card of all time, but when 108 Worldly Desires got banned, I always considered PTPT downgraded to never being capable of a "top tier" deck again. I believe that is still the case, although this list, and some lists from hehasmoments show it can still pack a punch if done right. And just because a list isn't "top tier" doesn't mean it can't win the occasional tournament!
Other cards to mention:
Seth Bullock was fantastic - this deck really doesn't have to worry about cheating, so he's a fantastic addition.
Vamoosin' - what a great new card! Two of my games saw a bunch of Yagn's Mechanical Skeleton and Pinto's in play, but in one of those games I had Xiong "Wendy" Cheng in play, and sometimes drew multiple Vamoosin's, so I was able to keep the occasional Pinto'd dude away at least. In some shootouts I didn't have enough GR to pay for the dude I really wanted to boot out, but it was almost never a dead card, as kicking out a 0 inf bullet catcher is still very awesome. Feels powerful, but balanced (with requiring wanted first, and the potential GR cost). Definitely one of the decks MVP cards.
Lacy O'Malley - I don't think this deck could function without Lacy. It cannot be overstated how awesome it is to have such massive card cycling, as I was always able to put out several dudes and deeds in every game I played. Being plagued with hand fulls of clubs in the early game (unless those are PTPTs and Fiddle Game's ) without any way to cycle more than 1 would be a death sentence for this deck.
True, sometimes I really regretted having to discard some cards, but I would always be rewarded with a new hand full of awesomeness, and it never really felt that bad. I would have liked to have Hired Guns as my ace of clubs spot, but I feel like Lacy is either just as good, or maybe even better in this situation. Overall, made the deck much more consistent, and was very fun to have nearly my whole deck cycle through my play hand each game.
My amateur assessment of Lacy: the odds of finding any individual card in your deck is like having 1-3 extra copies when Lacy is there. Similar to Hired Guns, where if I have 3 Hired Guns and 1 Allie Hensmen, it's basically like having 4 copies of Allie in my deck. Without Lacy, most decks on average can play at least one card per day, and discard another. Even if you can play 3 cards, that's still 1 card left over. With Lacy, you are discarding those 1-3 extra cards every round, giving you an extra 1-3 chances every single day to get that card you need. Even if my math doesn't add up (ha!) there, there's no denying you are much more likely to see a majority of your deck in your play hand unless its a short game.
I'll stop yappin', but long story short, I really do love the synergies that make up this deck, and I'm not sure if there's anything I'd change but this won't be the last time I play this deck for sure!
Online Marshall 2020 - 5 rounds of swiss!
Like a foolish person, I did not take notes, and I've already written enough, so here is the summary of what I remember. Opponents please correct my mistakes!
Round 1: Daniel/zenarchist w/ Spiritual Society
He got a bunch of sidekicks, partially with the help of Francisco Rosales, and I am helpless to stop it as I need at least a few turns to build up before leaving home. However, when I am ready on day 2-3, Hattie walks out to the TS to immediately be kidnapped. I think this was the fight that lost the game for zenarchist, as he was unable to keep a legal hand the first round, and I had a Comin' Up Roses to put me to rank 11 round 1. He stuck around for a couple more rounds (I think he was hoping I would eventually be forced to cheat, as I had Seth Bullock in the posse) and lost most (all?) sidekicks and a dude or two before going home. A couple days later I ran a Curse of Failure on his Yiska at his home, and that was the game. I don't remember if I had any PTPTs this game... I think either 0 or 1?
Round 2: Dan/Ledgerman w/ The Sanitorium
Feeling a bit too overconfident from the last game, I came out to fight waaaay too early this game! Ledgerman made the first shootout sting badly with a Pinned Down on my Bio-charged Hattie, and it took me some time to build back up after that. He was able to inflict a couple of casualties on me the first half of the game, but with my constantly winning lowball and building back up on dudes, and putting PTPTs out (2, I think), I was starting to put him in a position where he couldn't win shootouts any more as I was a minimum legal rank 8-11. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't able to push my late game advantage quickly enough as time was called, and he was ahead on tie breakers.
Round 3: Max Way w/ Den of Thieves
Bah, I remember this being a great game but not many of the details! I remember having a somewhat slow start, and being behind most of the game, including some early casualties. Then I remember thinking Max almost certainly had the game, but made the Circle M. my alamo, getting ready to go down guns ablazin', as his kidnappin came in to finish the job. I was able to get straight flushes each time he got 2 different legal 5 of a kinds (and with my 2 PTPTs, kept me a rank ahead at 11). That, and an eventual cheatin hand from him was punished by my Bottom Dealin' , landing him a rank 1 vs my rank 8! I think he realized that if he didn't get a constant 5-of-a-kind, cheatin or not, I would outlast him with my legal rank 8's and up. One thing I do remember vividly was my hand that round was 5 cheatin res, so he wasn't going to cheat through the pain on that one!
Round 4: Dave/Neramoor w/ Fort 51
We both grift with Dr. JT Goodenough, Dave landing a Hydro-Puncher and me a Devil's Six Gun, the first (and only?) time I am able to start with that. Obviously he would be able to punch my 6-gun down each round, so he wasn't worried about the cheatin res.
Things start out with Dave calling an early Bounty Hunter, and I'm able to easily fend it off when he cheats and I have a Comin' Up Roses in hand. Soon after, I play my own Bounty Hunter, and in what quickly becomes a tradition of failed government mercenaries, mine is easily fought off as well. I think Jake and my bounty hunter were the 2 casualties as I was down by 1 rank (bye bye Jake) plus an aced bounty hunter from his Point Blank.
I wasn't able to use Vamoosin' to the extent I wanted this game, either due to his Yagn's Mechanical Skeleton or to not having enough ghost rock to kick out his "Thunder Boy" Nabbe, but it did get some use. More importantly, my suite of bullet reduction was his downfall as I'd Hattie DeLorre one of his 4 studs, Faster on the Draw another 4 stud, then Nightmare at Noon to give him zero studs. That last shootout resulted in too many casualties for him (also with help from a PTPT or two on my side), and that was game.
Round 5: LastWalter w/ Morgan Regulators
Oh no, gadgets! I feared Force Field, and in the process I completely forgot about another huge threat in Calling The Cavalry! I also completely forgot to grift, but he is kind enough to allow me to do it after its already noon!
The first shootout would remind me that I need to build up before taking the fight to him, as his Calling The Cavalry forces me back back. He quickly builds up a ton of horses, as very quickly every dude either has a Yagns (3 total I think) or a Pinto. I'm able to build up 2-3 PTPTs plus some studs, including Xiong "Wendy" Cheng. So in combination of Wendy + Vamoosin' I'm able to occasionally kick a dude out, but overall this was the game where Vamoosin' was the most worthless (and I kept drawing them in hand!).
It's not too long before my 2-3 PTPTs enable me to control the board, and it creates a tough situation where LastWalter has to either risk a shootout that probably won't end well, or wait and hope I cheat in lowball. When it becomes evident I won't be cheating in lowball, his decisions become harder. Eventually he puts out a Jackson's Strike, and knowing he will likely kidnap whoever I put there, I send out my main meat shield Dr. JT Goodenough. As suspected, he pounces with a kidnappin', and perhaps foolishly (or brashly) I defend. I have a The Stakes Just Rose in hand, and also a Carter's Bounties, so I'm pretty confident I can win the shootout. I realize that my 3 PTPTs at this point will only gaurantee a rank 9, to his first round rank 11 with CtC, but I'm willing to ace JT, especially because he would have died to the uncontensted kidnappin anyway, so there is nearly no risk here for me, plus I get to run out another CtC of his. I think that's what happened, as JT gets aced and I stay, but he realizes he cannot stick around past the first round, and heads home.
It's starting to get closer to time being called, and while I am controlling the town he is starting to put out some more deeds and spread me out, and my tie-breaking lead is only a point or two, so things are pretty tense. In what looks like the last day of the game as time approaches, I have a Judge Harry Somerset (Exp.1) in my hand, ready to end the game with guns ablazin. I have Thunder Boy sitting on one of his deeds adjacent to his home, and I make the calculated risk of being willing to sacrifice him so that I can run out a CtC that may be in his hand, and then I'm nearly guaranteed to win the Judges job immediately following. That's exactly what happens, as Thunder Boy is Cavalried to death, and the Judge follows up with a job that ends up with my bullet reduction taking away all of his studs, and without any CtC left in hand, he is down by 7 ranks (after I reduce him to zero studs) and all but one of his dudes is gunned down.
I think most of the game I had total control of the town, but the tie-breaker situation was always pretty close, so it was a very long and tense game, where one mistake could have made things go either way.
I always planned to drop from the top 8 if I made it, so I forfeit at this point since the winner is guaranteed to make the cut. Well played by LastWalter, as he really did make the best decisions, even if there was often a lack of good options.
This was the one game I recorded, click here to see the whole thing
Overall very pleased with the deck - I went into this from the beginning intending to drop from the top 8 if I made it, so this would not have been the deck I would have chosen if I was in full "try hard" mode, but pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. And of course, any deck with a ton of clubs is always fun to play, especially with Lacy cycling through to see so many of them!
|Mar 23, 2021 DoomDog|
Mar 23, 2021
I hope so too!
There is some legitimate concern about having to discard your cheatin' res, but 2 counter points: What if you don't start the game with any? Are you dead in the water until you find one? Whether yours are clubs or hearts, Lacy will help find them faster than anything else. If its a club you find, you can use that to push control of town, or whatever your agenda is that day. And even if you don't find any right away, the opponent will always be guessing, allowing for plenty of bluffing opportunities.
Perhaps more importantly, though, is how Lacy helps push through a bad start. Being handicapped by a bad starting hand is enough to ruin an entire game. Some grifters decrease the odds of that, but they can only do so much. Lacy is like a nuclear bomb to that problem (with some potentially annoying -but balaced - fallout for you, included)!
If you have easy access to Ambrose Douglas, Asakichi Cooke, or dudes like that in your starting posse, perhaps Lacy is overkill, but if you can't start the game being able to discard at least 2 cards a turn, bare minimum, you run the risk of a potential lethally clogged hand.
Good to see another Lacy deck! He was dismissed by a lot of people initially but hopefully this will prompt more folks to try him out. He's actually far more helpful than he first looks.