For the final Epitaph event I decided I'd play another Fourth Ring archetype I'd never tried before - Abominations. I didn't really know where to begin with an Abominations deck, but thanks to dtdb I was able to find successful lists by the likes of mplain, csonti and madscience to refer to that helped me understand how the archetype functioned. I wasn't convinced that the deck would do very well in the current meta, and it definitely had problems but I was able to achieve a respectable 3-1 record. The only problem was that all three wins were at time so I didn't end up placing as highly up the rankings as that record would suggest.
Ivor Hawley (Exp.1) is the key to the deck, and that's why there are four copies of him. With the ability to resurrect your Abominations from Boot Hill, as long as you can draw the pestilential ringmaster often enough you'll never be short of disposable clowns to bother your opponents with. If he's currently in play and you draw another copy he can be safely discarded in order to be played again and bring more dudes back from the dead. If enough Abominations are in play to make him free to field, you could even discard him during upkeep simply to save money and cycle a card. Buried Treasure also proved to be very useful. Using it to ace the off-value Abominations from the discard pile trims and tightens your deck, makes Ivor cheaper and gives him some monsters to summon to his side. Soul Cage is another good card for bringing your off-value dudes into play. Just be wary of using it during lowball, as you will need to then pay any upkeep costs of the dude you just brought in to play which might prove tricky early in the game. Pagliaccio and The Brute are good lowball targets for the Soul Cage because of this.
Getting the Paggies out quickly is important. The deck lacks Shootout action cards so their bullet reducing Ability is required to lower your opponent's chances of a good hand. Blood Curse and Essence of Armitage also help in that regard. They also all work to set up Point Blank, ensuring an aced dude for your opponent even if they win the round and forcing difficult decisions in the case of a tie. You can even grab The Blighted off a Point Blank acing or Jael's Guile discard to then take the casualty in a tied shootout or one-rank loss. This gives you great staying power in shootouts, which is necessary as you'll really need to hold the town square to ensure a healthy amount of influence, at least until the big guns turn up.
The lack of printed influence is definitely a problem for Abominations. If you don't see attire like Fancy New Hat early on, you'll have a hard time contesting deeds and be forced into town square camping. This means your opponent will often have a couple of turns to build up before needing to fight you. It also makes Jobs a risky proposition. You need a strong presence in the town square, so doing something that sends your dudes home booted afterwards is not always ideal. That said, I think it would be beneficial to have a Kidnappin' or two for the mid-late game to pick off influence or force dudes out of position to defend an attack on a key dude. I found that without them it was hard to close games against decks that didn't want to fight or could manoeuvre past the town square.
On the topics of influence and Jobs, I was also thinking about multiple copies of Meet The New Boss for this deck, but they didn't make the final cut as I couldn't decide what to swap for them. Borrowing Hamshanks and Natalya from the 108 Righteous Bandits could be worthwhile. Both are Abominations with printed influence and they are a lot cheaper than the Fourth Ring in-faction options. I don't think I ever actually got The Harvester or The Ghostly Gun in to play all day. Natalya's trait should help cover her extra upkeep costs.
I think the reasons the deck struggled to win before time were that I didn't really see many deeds appearing in my play hand and my two win condition cards - Allie Hensman and Epidemic Laboratory - either showed up at the wrong time or not at all in most games. You want Allie mid to late game at a point you have enough Abominations and/or Hats that the loss of influence from Karl Odett's trait doesn't cause you problems. The Lab is less game state specific, I just didn't see it in most games. Between Karl, Ivor and monsters with hats I was able to claim CP from opposing deeds but often couldn't find the last CP I needed to win. Perhaps swapping one or two Buried Treasures for Recruitment Drive would solve this problem? (Just be careful, it's a Job!)
Game 1 vs Kirsty's 108 Righteous Blessed
Kirsty got off to a quick start with a couple of deeds while I went into the town square en masse. My being light on ghost rock meant that Karl Odett set up home in her California Tax Office. An attempt to push my Abominations out of town square backfired causing some influence loss, however I couldn't find another deed to secure the win or successfully land a Blood Curse thanks to Amazing Grace. Between the home, Asakichi Cooke, Amazing Grace and Walk the Path I wasn't able to catch the bandits in a fight. As time was called and influence and control totals were compared I was ahead by one point so got the timed win.
Game 2 vs Dave's 108 Drunken Rabbit Fu
I didn't see much Kung Fu from Dave's dudes, I can only assume he got unlucky and all his Taos went into the discard pile so he couldn't even start a combo going. Dave got a couple of deeds into play early and Bai Yang Chen made a beeline for my home, but next turn after I'd done some building up he refused my callout and went home. This gave me a bit more freedom to move out into town. A behatted Tyxarglenak got good use out of Dave's Joker's Smile, making 2 ghost rock in lowball, cycling a Joker from my hand and putting both my jokers back in my deck. A lot of back and forth fighting took place and I managed to get rid of some of Dave's influence but again I wasn't able to find that last control point before time, though when it was called I had a convincing lead.
Game 3 vs Andy's deedless Sloane Gang
This was a fun game. Andy had played a similar deck at the Euro Championships and I'd missed playing against it then, so it was cool to finally see it in action and it's a very unique deck. Andy had established in the pre-game trash talk that we wouldn't be fighting over town square because it was already his, and he moved Barton in there turn one to demonstate this. Luckily I'd drawn a strong opening hand, with Blood Curse, Soul Cage and Point Blank. Barton was joined by Allie and Tyx went out to greet them. In the following shootout Barton got Blood Cursed then Point Blanked, and Allie discarded as a casualty, effectively blunting Andy's offence. I thought I'd finally get a good shot at a win before time. Then I drew a hand of two jokers, The Tattooed Man, The Harvester and The Ghostly Gun. Over the next few turns while I slowly got rid of the cards I couldn't play Andy's money-making machine got going and he hired some more dudes. Repeated assaults on town square couldn't dislodge me but kept him in cards thanks to disposable dudes with Currency Presses. By the time my Epidemic Laboratory turned up it was getting close to time and too late to secure the win before the clock ran down.
Game 4 vs Jason's Protection Racket
Finally, a game that finished before time! Alas, not one in my favour. This was a fairly quick game that involved several bloody shootouts. Ivor replenished my losses and helped me keep the pressure on the Sloaners. However after a successful Kidnappin' on an isolated Karl the Fancy Hats of my two dudes booted at home weren't enough to keep going against Jason's three control points.
Comedy moments: The Blighted
"Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy Tyx some friends."
"I'm going to use the General Store. It's full of zombies."
|Aug 07, 2017 Harlath|
|Aug 07, 2017 VinceTurner|
|Aug 07, 2017 DoomDog|
|Aug 07, 2017 VinceTurner|
|Aug 08, 2017 LordManHammer|