Originally published at: http://gomorragazette.com/2016/07/22/rite-of-profane-abstersion-a-showstopper-review/
by David Orange
Recent analysis of the top-tier decks from the Outlaw series and the EU Marshal event reviewed the top tier archetypes currently dominating Doomtown: Reloaded’s meta. So while others have called in the cavalry, the Gomorra Gazette has learned that Mayor Nic has conjured up a powerful remedy to Blockade decks. Most folks have encountered Slide decks out of Morgan or 108. A few have tried to bust the Fortress. Blockade, usually out of Eagle Wardens, apparently caught quite a few denizens by surprise.
Loosely defined, blockade decks attempt to bully or lock down the town square. Leapfrogging across the blockade (barring movement effects such as a Mustang or Shadow Walk) results in an isolated booted dude that ends up vulnerable to callouts. Likewise, the Warden player can safely reclaim control by moving influence over to that deed. Moving to the Town Square results in an immediate callout. Did I mention that the Wardens usually summon Ancestor Spirits as well as any number of methods of bringing in a Nature Spirit or two. Then there are sidekicks.
Even with plenty of backup, you end up losing a war of attrition. Why? Losing these token dudes and sidekicks cost the Wardens NOTHING in terms of maintaining game state. Even if they tie, you end up discarding a useful dude with influence, bullets, or abilities. Heck, even losing a shooutout round often comes after you have played some tech cards that you no longer have available for that round/turn.
Back to Nic and his blasphemous rite. Play this bad boy and token dudes and a whole bunch of weenies conveniently disappear. Besides reducing the stud/bullet counts, his also removes the expendable meat sops that power the Blockade attrition game. Yep, cast the Rite and force the smug Wardens to take REAL casualties while losing REAL influence for a change. This card also slows down the Desolation Row onslaught as they tend to start Ace value and/or 0 bullet weenies.
The value (especially with a skill 1 dude) makes most pulls. The 1 ghost rock cost to play and its value of eight of clubs value, however, make for some tough choices about including Rites in a deck. Gadget decks tend to run A Slight Modification. Rumors is always a strong option at 8s, and Law Dogs often run Bounty Hunters as yes, expendable bullies. Myself, I tend to run the strong cheatin’ tech of This’ll Hurt in the Morning. Booting a spell means that whatever you're facing off against warrants NOT using that spell this particular day. Discarding a spell is usually a tough call, especially when competing with other discard tech. Tattooed Man, however, just shrugs. I can see decks that run 8s making use of Rites as a very solid insurance policy against Blockade. Heck, even pull–based spell decks can afford to pack one or two of these as off-values. By the way, in case y’all were wondering, this is what Abstersion means.