Rite of Profane Abstersion - a Showstopper review

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.


So that’s why the Tlaloc’s Furies needed to go to Nicodemus. I’m sure when the story gets back into gear again we’ll get some more explanation of what’s going on here. I love the art and the flavour text!

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This card also works very well with multiple hex build. Sanatorium finds it very easy to strategically reduce the bullet or value of key dudes to 0 with its ability, and cards like Blood Curse or Corporeal Twist can support this further. This means you can easily wipe the opponents annoying spellcaster, or even someone like Wendy to give you the advantage. It makes Valeria Batten cry.

This could also fit in Kung-Fu Zhu Bajie decks which find it really easy to reduce your bullets and value. It’s high value, but nothing a dude like Bai can’t handle.

It might also synergize with Holy Roller, but very lightly.

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Crafty me, automatically considering uses for this card to send my own dudes home booted out of a shootout. (provided they bring a spell or mystical good.)
Lillian Morgan can send herself and Irving home booted by booting a hex on her after using MCC home ability.
Lydia Bear-Hands, Enapay, or Professor Duncan can use Eagle Wardens home ability (the 2 or greater influence), then escape home, if they have a spirit spell or spirit steed.

Valeria Batten and Junior will most often have the required means of escape.


Awesomely cool card. As for functionality? Strikes me as quite costly. 1 GR, headline, and attachment boot/discard. All for a situational (yet powerful) effect. Maybe a 1x.

Design-wise, I like the shift toward Headline: powerful actions being restricted by sequence of play. It forces hard decisions and makes for sweat-inducing shootouts. Also adds spice to the lowball/highball see-saw, since the Winner always plays first (barring Pearly’s Palace).

However, it does make non-headline actions that much better. I think probably we’re reaching “end of arc syndrome” where (from a design perspective) it is hard to print new cards without breaking the environment. Design has done an admirable job so far, and I am not complaining, just thinking out loud.

A good example of this is the Calling the Cavalry thread. It’s obviously a great card. But it does compete with Faster on the Draw. Guaranteed three bullet swing – or situational hand rank modifier…?