Decklist of the week

Magical Hitmen

Description by the author: Prodigy 599

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!

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