Although I made it to 2nd place, I honestly didn’t think this deck would get very far, but it is fun to play, and folks asked for a breakdown so here it goes...
Overall Strategy: This deck is all about spells and winning shootouts. It will almost always lose lowball, so using shadow walk to gain priority for shootout abilities is key. Most plays will center around Leon's ability. You want to control town square. Between soul blast/puppet (whichever isn’t aced from grifting) and Leon’s ability, you make it extremely difficult for the opponent to enter. Once you’ve got town square, play deeds for economy, get as many spells as you can, bring out your big guns (Jia, Kevin, Avie, Tattooed Man, Nico) for their bullets and influence, and wait until you’ve got the right actions in hand to win a big shootout (mostly Hex Slingin’ and It’s Not What You Know, with Unprepared being more situational). Use your home’s ability to get GR and to card cycle. Use Forced Quarantine if they’re hiding at home to kill what is typically their highest influence dude, then use a couple blood curses as noon actions (for the -1 influence) to finish them off.
• Funtime Freddy: If your starting hand includes either soul blast or puppet, don't grift. Otherwise, you generally want to grift, choosing those two cards. They will almost always ace soul blast, which means you will typically start with puppet. The other benefit of grifting is that you get 2 low values out of your deck for pulls.
• Valeria: Cheap no-upkeep huckster with influence, you'll generally want to put most of your spells on her early on, as leon will be used more for his ability, which means he’ll generally be booted.
• Leon: Core of your strategy. You want to use his ability very carefully either to prevent one of their dudes from being able to join a shootout, or trap one of their dudes in a location so you can pick them off.
• Ambrose: This deck suffers greatly from low influence, so his ability is key to staying in the game long enough to accumulate enough spells and actions to guarantee a shootout win. The discard can also help with card cycle.
• Christine: Her ability is useful for helping with Leon’s ability, soul blast, and forced quarantine, and a free move doesn’t hurt either.
Deeds: Nothing worth noting, I chose the deeds mostly for their value. Carter’s is great to have out, otherwise you’ll want to play whatever you can as fast as you can, because most of your dudes are super expensive, and this deck starts off very poor.
Dudes: In a typical game you’ll only get out one of your big guns because they’re so expensive, but each of them can be game breaking. You’ll want to prioritize Tyxarglenak to protect your hucksters, and he’s a relatively cheap 2 stud. If you’re lucky, you’ll get both versions of Avie which gives you a cheaper path to a really powerful dude. Her experienced version adds more options to your key strategy of lockdown with Leon.
Actions: It’s all about having a cheating resolution and a couple of hex slingin’s. This will generally guarantee a shootout win even if you don’t get lucky with pulls. Recruitment Drive and Forced Quarantine are both situational cards that can get you out of a jam.
• Spells are fun!
• Shoots like a champ. You are generally guaranteed at least a full house, even with a bad posse. Adding bullets simply helps to make it legal.
• Leon’s ability is powerful, and can help you take control of the map.
• Great card cycle (fourth ring home, Ambrose, Kevin)
• Poor economy, expensive dudes
• Takes a while to ramp up (playing deeds and spells)
• Low influence