Deck recommendations

Hey folks,

Can any of you please give me their thoughts on my abomination deck? :slight_smile:

Mystic Horde · DoomtownDB


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Cheers, dropped some thoughts over on dtdb. :slight_smile:

@Neramoor has had some fine Mason Adler decks he might be able to share.

I do but for various reasons I haven’t put them into DTDB yet.

I think its really hard to start Mason with a 2 GR legend. indeed I think its hard to start Mason and not make the deck about him. If you want a big stud off the bat I would look for someone a bit cheaper. I just made Mason and Stone work but its tough. Stone at least rewards going in hard while Raven has the potential to cause you problems against hi bullet starting posses or law dogs starting Hattie (always a problem for Mason)

I started Mason, Christine Perfect, caretaker, Black owl and Ambrose Douglas.

For Mason you want lots of options to become a stud incase your opponent hide his biggest dude from you. Grim Servant is great. bizarrely so is calling the cavalry even if you are not playing horses. It makes Mason a stud and block other awkward headlines.

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Thanks a lot for your feedback. I ended up dropping Mason in my starting lineup in tonight’s battle - instead bringing in Valeria, Lorena, Travis Moone (for the starting hand redraw, even though I almost never use it) and the Faceless One. That definitely seemed to work better, although I will play around a bit more with them. Plus, it spreads my dudes out a little - losing Mason in the first turn or two is quite devastating if he’s one of your starters.

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Oh, and no Raven either. :slight_smile:

Are you open to radical suggestions?

@jordan_caldwell Haha! I’m always open to radical suggestions. What did you have in mind? :smiley:


  1. Choose a Starting Impetus
  2. Determine your Essential Strategy
  3. Decide on a Skill Floor
  4. Commit to a Structure
  5. Make Choices that support your Essential Strategy

Decide how badly you want to start Mason Adler! If you start Mason, you are severely limiting yourself to card choices all the way, as the deck will have to compensate for his great cost and protect that major investment. This isn’t necessarily bad, but every choice will revolve around that. If you are okay not starting him, and instead building up to eventually playing him, your options blow wide open.

Most decks are Basic Shooters. Just because it’s called “basic” does not mean it’s not fun. I’d say easily 90% of my decks are this. Basic Shooters primarily play Goods/Spells and Deeds, then when they draw sufficient support Actions, head into Townsquare or opposing deeds and initiate (or accept) callouts. These decks will typically run a splash of Spot Removal cards (like Kidnappin’) in case they encounter a reluctant opponent, to move the game along. Other strategies include Control, Rush, and Slide, for comparison. If you decide to start Mason, you are probably building a Rush deck.

Do you want to make skill (Mad Science) pulls? If so, determine the lowest value you will be willing to build into your structure, as well as an acceptable margin for error. An example is that many spell decks will include only cards that succeed all their pulls, plus maybe 2-3 cards that are powerful cards (ex. Soul Blast) but would fail the decks pulls.

Now that you know your possible values, choose a Structure. I can recommend 3-Value Full House Structure because it’s reliable and forgiving. Again, just because it’s “basic” doesn’t mean it’s not fun - 90% of my decks are also this. Other options include 2-Value Full House (“Skittles”), Straight Flush, Dead Man’s Hand, and No Structure.

Now that you have set your parameters, eliminate cards that slow down or work against your Essential Strategy, and replace them with cards that advance it. Decide how “tight” or “loose” you want your Structure to be to best support your Essential Strategy. Make sure you hit all the various benchmarks such as Viable Starting Posse, Cheatin’ Resolutions, Card Cycle, and other considerations.

Let me know if you’d like to continue?


@jordan_caldwell Great deck-building advice there! Thank you very much! Yes, please do continue! :blush:

To continue you have to make some decisions first, then I can help with Step 5.

@jordan_caldwell Hmmm… okay, I’ll try to go through each in turn.

  1. Mason isn’t crucial to my strategy. Rather, I am really wanting to be in a position where nobody is really crucial to my strategy.

  2. As a continuation from #1, I see my main strategy as being basically recursion and attrition. I want to win by basically outnumbering the opponent, by having so many abominations that even if they suffer a few casualties, those deaths won’t be so detrimental, and I can always bring them back from the dead in a few turns anyway. With the outfit ability, I am hoping to be able to able to switch off one or two deeds of the opponent’s every turn, and then try for a mass push to take over others. As we always play with three players, I can’t quite do that, but I have managed to block a player from winning for 3 turns through the outfit and cunning positioning. Having cards that enable me to scatter the opposing posses would certainly be useful, so that I can have numerical superiority more easily. The deck is also meant to be primarily an abomination deck - I don’t want many non-abominations unless they ultimately work towards boosting the abominations. I also want a number of mystical goods.

  3. Skill pulls aren’t too necessary. At this stage I do have a handful of mad science-related cards, however they’re not essential to my deck strategy. So, I can get rid of them. Even if I get a few more hucksters or mad scientists, ultimately I’d rather have a chance of failure if it means having really useful cards when they work. I guess with the recursion element, I’m hoping that a failed pull won’t be too detrimental anyway.

  4. I think I’d prefer to have 2 values and a looser structure elsewhere. Obviously, high hands are ideal (I tend to get 4 of a kind fairly regularly with my kings anyway, although they are cheatin’), however as I said, I want to design it so that it can handle a few lost shootouts from time to time. I also want a loose structure so that I have more flexibility in the cards that I can choose, since my deck is designed around a particular strategy rather than reliable shootout victories.

I hope that all makes sense?

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As a slight aside, @jordan_caldwell you should write a deck building article aimed at new players, you’re good at explaining the process.



Cool. You can run him “on value” or “off value” (Ks) as you like. Maybe put a way to “tutor” him into play. I call dudes like this Clean-Up Hitters (to use a baseball analogy) because your starting posse’s job is to load the bases, then let Adler step up (if needed) to hit that homerun. Freedom!

I am hearing Basic Shooter. Cool. And see that you have already leapt to the next question: “What tricks can I use to come out on top of Shootouts?” to which you answer Recursion and Swarm. Why don’t you name 2-3 cards that you’d like to use . The obvious choice is Soul Cage here (which, in step 4, probably means choosing Qs). What else?

As you don’t seem too keen on skills, as you guess, so I recommend you get rid of them. That blows the next step wide open.

Two-Value Full House structure (aka “Skittles”)! Ok. I think Qs (because Soul Cage, also awesome Fearmonger dudes) should be your first value. Look back at step 2. Did you choose any Action cards that you want to use? If so, and if that Action card is worthy of running 4 copies, that might be your second value.

I recommend running as close to 16x16 as possible (that’s four of each suit of your two values, Qs and the other one). The rest of your cards should ideally be ones that “leave” the deck: Goods, Deeds, Dudes, and Actions that ace themselves. This will allow you to win early lowball (loose structure) but have your structure “tighten” over time. Most of these will probably be cost-effective Dudes (Abominations) per your description.

Final consideration: Skittles Structure is powerful yet fragile because of all the “loose” cards (not in your structure). The main solution that shores up this weakness is developing and maintaining high stud and high draw for shootouts. This allows you to draw a mass of cards, discard through the non-structure cards, and redraw into your Full House, Four of a Kind, and Five of a Kind. You can achieve this by choosing effects that increase bullets, negate/remove bullet penalties, move dudes into shootouts, or, by simply piling down on a key location and always fighting with all your dudes (ex. Townsquare).

@davido4015 had an Oddities of Nature deck that camped Townsquare then used Rope and Ride to bring his enemies to him. I have always thought that was a cool dirty trick.

Once we have step 1-4, I can help again with step 5 (arguably the hardest step, because you more often than not have to cut cards you “just like” because they hold your Essential Strategy back. This is always my struggle…)


@Doomdog Thanks! I prefer case-by-case. I met a Rob at Gencon '19 and we talked doing a video but that fell through - so that’s a tentative maybe?..


@jordan_caldwell Thanks a lot for that. I’ll reply properly tonight. Regarding skills, I was looking at some of the recursion and movement hexes (like #raising hell and #gateway) and an definitely thinking of taking some of those. Initially I overlooked hexes, as my outlaw gang is a huckster deck, but the ones that work on abominations would be immensely useful. Especially with cards like #Tattooed Man and #Whateley House, that allows me to access my Boot Hill for non-dudes.

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I also used Run 'em Down → Rope n Ride.
It’s expected out of Morgan/Entreupeneurs, but not FM/Oddities.

I tend to run ‘loose structures’ - e.g. 3 values at 12-14 each with more off value. But I also like Abom Recursion - so I tend to bring 'em back early n often. Note, I’m not anywhere near the player that Jordan Caldwell is - but I do like to have fun w/ my decks.
But that general concept:

Run 'em down at home and then drag 'em to TS where the clowns n creatures put on a show :smiley:
Hilarity ensues.
But that has too many moving parts to be truly competitive


Yeah it’s less “Rope and Ride” and more “Free Ticket to the Freakshow!” lol.


@jordan_caldwell They just wanted everyone to enjoy the show!

Raisin’ Hell (Raising Hell · DoomtownDB) has a difficulty of 8, which means your Skill Floor is 8, which means any “Huckster 0” could make the pull with a base structure of Qs/8s (or Ks/Qs).

Then you could run 4x Gateway (Gateway · DoomtownDB), as well as get 4x This’ll Hurt in the Mornin’ (This'll Hurt in the Mornin' · DoomtownDB), plus Dudes and Deeds on 8 (some solid choices here).

Also, as your eventual goal will be to bring in Mason Adler (Mason Adler · DoomtownDB), maybe a splash of Kings? Because Kings have some great cards, like Election Day Slaughter (Election Day Slaughter · DoomtownDB) and Point Blank (Point Blank · DoomtownDB).

Either way, best to start thinking too how you’re going to pay for all this. Depending on your future selections, be prepared to switch Fearmonger homes if one ends up synergizing with your selections better.

(But that’s getting to step 5)…

@jordan_caldwell Just going through the cards again now. Kinda starting afresh, without looking at my old deck, so I don’t just try and get all the same cards.

Honestly, Mason is really awesome, although I don’t know if I’d say that bringing him out would be my goal. Kinda depends on how things develop. He’s not an abomination, so likely he’ll be harder to call forth than my main dudes, who can be summoned. But yeah, I’m thinking probably K/Q, K/8 or maybe K/J. But yeah, cost. That is definitely an issue. Not all of the summoning cards reduce the cost of the dudes, so I really need a high income, or at least cards that get me lots of money (or ones that reduce summoning cost - kinda like Ivor Hawley exp or Soul Cage).

I’m thinking Fetch may be pretty useful too, for grabbing cards from my draw hands.

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@jordan_caldwell Not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I seem to have found myself going back to my original K/8 thinking. Haha! Probably going to have 12 of each, but then 16 dudes. Although, that’s still undecided.