The Unplayables

Unplayable might be a bit harsh here, underplayed is probably more accurate but less attention grabbing :slight_smile: Sparked by a Discord conversation about Dulf Zug I thought it might be cool to start this thread. The idea is to talk about those dudes that you like and want to include in decks or even build around, but for various reasons often end up getting cut from the final list or the idea left abandoned because it’s too hard to make work. Dudes that used to feature heavily but have since been surpassed by newer options are also welcome to be discussed here.

I’m going to start with Richard Slavin. Slavin was a morally flexible archaeologist hired by The Fourth Ring to retrieve a number of powerful artefacts from Gomorra’s past for an unknown client (revealed post-AEG era to have been Jonah Essex). I liked the idea of an evil Indiana Jones type and a deck built around Mystical artefacts. Teaming Slavin and his assistant, Valeria Batten, seemed like the foundation of a decent starting posse. Unfortunately the Mystical keyword never really developed a coherent theme, and the Fearmonger Mystical Gadget subtheme also took forever to get going. On top of that, Slavin’s ability was very conditional and proved far too difficult to use to any worthwhile effect, essentially leaving him as a blank one stud/one influence dude who felt a bit overpriced. With plenty of other good starting posse options quickly becoming available to the Fearmongers, Slavin eventually got shelved in favour of cheaper, more useful dudes. He never really achieved anything of note when I did play him. He has occasionally served as deck filler since then, but now rarely gets a look-in. Avie Cline, Henry Moran and Max Baine xp are all ahead of him when I’m looking at Fearmonger decks on tens.


I’ve tried really hard to make a Fabulous Mr. Miss (6S 4R/FM) deck work.
And somehow Clown Carriage never really got off the ground for me either.


I’m a big fan of Dave Montreal…but I’ve never gotten him to work in a LD deck (or any other for that matter). I both love his character and his trait…but the cost was always too much to get him into play consistently, and too many things make his trait just not as powerful as I want it to be.

Dr. Arden Gillman is another one. I like the idea of his ability…but I’ve never felt like it was able to be pulled off.


I’ve really wanted Richard Slavin to work as well. Mainly because he reminds me so much of @BeastEG



I always wanted Jonah Essex to be more usable. Never could get him to work in a deck


It’s true!

Allie xp1: She rarely can make back her upkeep, prevents you from having original Allie, and is booted at home from completing her job at best.

Benny McGill: Way to low a value to play in deck, even for low value huckster. No influence and draw. I could never fit him into starting crew

Tallulah “Lula” Morgan: Sure she’s only 4 for 3 influence, but the value and upkeep keep her out of my decks. Her ability only works if you have taken a 2 upkeep or better deed which your opponent might not have in play. Playing her with The Place just doesn’t wow me enough.

Erin Knight: Just too expensive. The GR can be far better spent elsewhere for LD.

Howard Aswell: Only playable in a deck running little to no deeds, starting Memorial Ranch, and grabbing an improvement. I’ve tried it, and having to few diamonds kills a deck.

Dr. Emanuel Ashbel: Too low value for most gadgeting. Preventing an acing doesn’t do enough to help board state, and can fail the pull. Upkeep 2 on a non shooter.

Slade Lighbody: Higher cost and lower value than many of your other better hucksters.

Michael “The Badger” Dodge: Kung fu dude who’s ability doesn’t go as well when you pull a club. Alright with a nunchucks, but his value keeps him out of many of my builds.

The Fabulous Mister Miss: Never found him/her worth playing.

James Ghetty: Too expensive to use as a Scientist. Ability restricted to too few cards. Much stronger and faster combos available.

Abuelita Espinoza: Just too conditional a trait and upkeep even for her 3 inf. Competes on 8 value with Steven and some other dudes.

Caitlin McCue: Over costed for her stats. Inconsequential trait.

Clyde Owens: He’s good, but very very expensive.

Harold Aimslee: Way to expensive to show up in even my deck that was regularly drowning in GR.


Abuelita is one of the dudes I considered for my post. It looks like the early design for the 108/Anarchists was to have a bunch of good little dudes who couldn’t fight who supported/were protected by high upkeep studs. That didn’t seem to continue past their debut in IOUF though. Abuelita looks like she was meant to work with that theme, to give a mid-late game effectively zero upkeep influence bomb to be used aggressively. However, with players generally not playing high upkeep dudes until they have the economy to support them, and cheaper, more useful bodies with influence available, she’s never really felt necessary. I used to run one copy of her in my Dead Man’s Hand deck, and there were a couple of occasions when she was nice to have, but I often found myself wishing she were another Steven Wiles. She ultimately got replaced by the E Gui.

Caitlin is a weird card. The potential bonus production is almost certainly why she costs so much, but that high cost prevents her from seeing much play. I’ve toyed with the idea of adding her to my Law Dogs decks but the cost and the fact she’d also have upkeep out-of-faction always puts me off.

I think Mister Miss will be on a lot of peoples’ lists.

Most of the dudes mentioned so far are from quite early in the game’s life (particularly the Entrepreneur dudes). It’s fair to say that a lot of early dudes turned out to be too expensive, but things improved as time went on.


Mr. Miss was sadly always best in an Arsenal deck, Fourth Ring just seems to have better choices on value.


For me the guys who never make the cut are:

Harold Aimslee- He costs so much and still has 2 upkeep. Maybe if he invented the gadget, but still probably not.

Tallulah (the little one) - Her ability takes to much investment to give proper returns. (Her Exp made up for that though.)

Howard Atwell- Just an awful cost on his grift. Particularly in a job heavy meta, he just loses the game.

Elmore Rhine- Just no.


I think The Fab gets a bum rap . I don’t really play fear mongers so I haven’t messed around with them but I slapped together i deck I think would be good .The Fearsome Mister Miss · DoomtownDB


I’ll also add that Lillian Morgan as originally issued was fun to play as “Lily-Bomb” - use P-Marks, Phantasms, It’s Who You Know plus Hired Help etc. to manipulate the board and shootouts. But the P-Mark errata (only paralyze at the location, not adjacent) pretty much rendered Lily unplayable.

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Ivor Hawley. His xp version is just vastly superior, at either the same, or reduced cost.


Junior - Just too expensive for his ability

Original Jia Mein - But Jia Experienced more than makes up for it


Mister Miss might see some resurgence if the “hunting” theme gets some serious teeth. Or if someone mixed a little callout strategy with We’ve got Beef! or maybe Adler’s needle/grim servant o death? Just a few thoughts. :smiley:


Ebenezer Springfield - why do you have 0 influence??? Whhhyyyyyy?!?!


Harry Highbinder. One day I’ll get smart enough to build a deck around him, but so far I’ve binned around 20 efforts.


I love me some Junior. Play him all the time.
I think i’ve played him in every faction. Mostly FMs & LDs.

I used to love Rico too, but only used him for the Influence and to keep dudes I didn’t want to play 1st turn out of my opening hand.
At this point it’s hard to justify running a grifter out of Entrepreneurs over Henry Moran & Maggie.


Looking forward to Jonah Essex Exp in Hell’s Comin’ with Me as it is nice when a prominent story character has a frequently used or high impact card.

For some context, A lot of the underpowered dudes tend to be ones from the early expansions, where we hadn’t tweaked the cost-to-power ratio enough. A lot of “offensive” characters were also balanced around a legitimate fear that dude-killing abilities could easily make an unfun experience.

For example, Allie xp was balanced that she would be a valid starter in case you’re expecting a landslide, but not always the best choice if the opponent could fight against her. I playtested the hell out of her especially to make sure that she cannot dominate games as a starter but does provide a decent tactic against turtles.

Likewise for other early offensive dudes like Clive or Mr.Miss.

PS: Eventually I managed to get Shiny Things published which would theoretically combo well with Allie Xp. Anyone tried that?