Top Decks and what to test against?

This is a post to feel out the community. Every player has an opinion on what they think is the best and worst decks are in the meta. I want to hear from the players what they think the best decks out of each faction are and why? Then I want you to answer what the best counters are. Thank you.

OON or 4R control is extremely strong, between booting your opponents dudes, making them forget their best abilities, moving them around, and he hexslinging to alter shootout results, they can really take and hold control of the board.

Desolation Row is often extremely fast econ development, and has the raw shootout potential to keep pulling jobs and succeeding. A new deck is emerging though with Highbinder controlling the town square. With Allie and Sloans home, you can gain 2 control a turn. Huckster sloan is an archetype that exists in either of these two decks.

Law dogs are extremely strong at hunting down opponents. Between dudes , actions, and attire that start shootouts or jobs with wanted dudes that either can’t, or won’t be refused you will never be safe at home. That coupled with good shootout actions and cheatin punishment, your always fighting an uphill battle against them. These decks tend to be weaker against control though. The new deck type that is developing is blessed or gadget. These currently seem best when splashed in, rather than fully dedicated.

MCC his having problems currently. Gadgets and ranches seem stronger, but again, they are weak to control and dedicated shootout decks that run pistol whip, unprepared, sun in your eyes. Also weak to control that can boot your mad scientists and pull them away from home. D&D was very strong, but call out actions and dudes, or avie xp1/phantasm mean you can’t hide, and you will be at a severe disadvantage in shootouts. Still, if you can build fast enough, you can snowball your opponents. Scatter Slide with some control seems to be the only chance MCC currently has (in my opinion)

108 is currently best and surprisingly strong at kungfu with the zhu tao. The rabbit helps bring dudes back into the shootout if they get pistol whipped. They run strongly with low values, and can run very tight in the ace-4 range. I’ve currently seen very few decks running actions to engage your opponent at home. (Not to make this a personal plug for my own deck) I see another deck type to arise from 108 though, focusing not on kungfu, but with their mobility and ability to control your opponents locations, sudo scatter slide. I don’t feel like this deck quite has the cards it needs though.

Wardens are extremely strong with shaman spirit tokens. With so many token dudes in a fight you can often lose, but take no real casualties. They also have spirit trail, and dudes with mobility to go out of town. The only deck outside of focused shaman might be focusing extremely on cycling and aceing cards. If a cycling deck isn’t stopped, it won’t matter what your deck structure and bullet advantage is if they get to reveal and take your lumps phase, they will have the better hand because thats all thats left for them. I don’t see people considering this as the strongest deck, but it may have serious potential.


Thanks for posting your thoughts.

Going to bump this thread due to a related topic. When you start to build your deck and it’s built and you are prepping for a tourney.

What deck do you test against that are tier 1?

I test against 4th ring control, 4th ring abomination, Law Dogs Judge Harry Huntdown, Deedslide, Mad Science MCC, Sloane control point accelerator, and Mario Flush. Probably will add 108 Kung Fu, Bandit Slide and Warden Tokens Everywhere.

Second Question

After your deck is built do you test it extensively or just build and go play?

For me I draw close to 20 sample starting hands and then my average draw hand based on starters on Then I play at least 10 games with it then tweak it then do it all over again.

Build and go play, though not quite to the level of @Whizzwang :smile: . I might run through a game or two against one of my other decks (so nothing that’s top tier meta) just to see if the idea works.

As for top decks, it seems more people are realising the power of Blessed, especially Walk the Path. If they get some cool stuff out of The Light Shineth, I reckon they’ll explode in popularity.

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@Doomdog Which blessed are you talking about the Super Wendy or the one that uses a ton of melee? Just wondering I really haven’t tested against blessed yet due to lack of overall power. Except pick up games here and there on Octgn and normally it’s me with the blessed and the other with 4th ring.

I normally build with 4RC in mind, after that is theory for decks that can consistently start a shootout. Since there isn’t a local meta I usually just build and play. I should really get on octg one of these days.

I’m talking about Blessed that make the most of Walk the Path for extra mobility. It’s something I’ve been toying with for a while, and the winner and third place decks at the London Sheriff used it to great effect to force their opponent’s dudes to react and move out of position. It needs something alongside it, but you’re not short of options there!


I usually just build a deck 30 minutes before a tournament and play that!


What is this thing you call “testing”? I have about a dozen decks built across all outfits/factions. I just play whatever anyone else is NOT playing :stuck_out_tongue: I LOOOOOOOVE 4R, but since everyone and their kidnapped clown uncle plays 4R control, I tend to play a lot of MCC jank - e.g. Lily-bombs etc. :stuck_out_tongue:


Usually I have to many decks lying around to test them all. Some of them don’t get played at all because I come up with something else and change it completely.

As for top decks in our meta, 4th Ring as expected is very strong, also Morgan Landslide. Gadgets are also pretty effective because I feel like not enough people here run Unprepared so Force Fields are tougher to beat than they should be. Law Dogs are a bit underrepresented, so I tend to test more against them in order to prepare for bigger tournaments outside of our playgroup.

But the best thing to learn how to beat a certain deck type is to play it yourself extensively so you know what it is capable of and its weakness. This is something I do in almost every game, a valuable lesson I learned from playing fighting games.


Ill take a crack at it.

Decks that you are likely to see in a competitive environment:

Weak Structure Hex Control
Tempo Control
Hex Aggro
Heavy Resolution Shootout Control “Pay to Win”

Soul Cage Recursion loose to win

Dudes and Deeds (Variants)
Super Mario (Gadget)
Hexes and Deeds

Quaterman town square control
Heavy Resolution Shootout Control “Pay to win”

Town Square Control (Variants)
Robbing Hexes
Tempo Hex Control
Super Mario (Club Flush)

Desolation Row:
Town Square Control (Variants)
Robbing Hexes

Strong Structure Loose to Win
Dudes and Deeds (Variants)
Kung Fu

Eagle Wardens:
Token based shootout control

Law Dogs:
Dirty Dogs
Judge Decks
Heavy Resolution “Kill em” Decks
Blessed Shootout Control

The Arsenal:
Blessed Shootout Control

Tier list of those decks: Note that this tier list is based on personal experience as well as general trends in various Metas during the Sheriff season. This is made for discussion purposes and is not meant as an attack on anyone personally. As it stands the higher it is in the tier list the more likely the deck will win if you have not tested against or at the least do not have a plan to deal with them. This list was made up to the faction box and can be changed accordingly once new cards are added to the pool.

S: Slightly or Largely above the point of balance. These decks are extreamely powerful to the point where, outside of the addition of new cards will remain dominate in the current cardpool.

1.(4r)Weak Structure Hex Control

A: These decks make up a majority of the Meta. Dictating the flavors of the month as well as decks that currently benefit heavily from the current cardpool due to their themes being more fully explored and supported.

1.(4r)Tempo Control
2.(4r)Hex Aggro
3.(4r) Heavy Resolution Shootout Control “Pay to Win”
4.(LD)Heavy Resolution “Kill em” Decks
5.(108) Strong Structure Loose to Win
6.(Oon) Soul Cage Recursion loose to win
7. (SL) Town Square Control (Variants)
8. (108) Dudes and Deeds (variants)

B: These decks are strong but are not always competitively viable. Generally these decks do not have the support from the current cardpool to be as consistent as the tiers above them, they can however be devastating in the hands of the right pilot.

1.(LD) Judge Decks
2.(DR) Town Square Control (Variants)
3.(LD)Dirty Dogs
4.(SL) 357’s
5.(EW) Token Based Shootout Control
6.(108) Kung Fu
7.(MG) Heavy Resolution Shootout Control “Pay to win”
8.(SL) Robbing Hexes
9.(DR) Robbing Hexes
10.(DR) Town Square Control (Variants)
11.(MCC) Hexes and Deeds

C: Typically these decks are centered around themes that are currently under-supported in the current card pool. They can still win games and possibly even tournaments but they have great difficulty against many of the higher ranked decks.
1.(LD)Blessed Shootout Control
2.(AR) Blessed Shootout Control
3.(MCC) Dudes and Deeds (Variants)
4.(MG) Quaterman Town Square Control
5. (MCC) Horses
6. (MCC) Super Mario (Gadget)
7. (SL) Super Mario (Club Flush)

Post thoughts:
Currently, as it stands the Fourth Ring Faction as a whole has the highest overall ranked decks, while Morgan Cattle Company has the lowest overall ranked decks. This is unsurprising seeing the current number of wins that each home and faction have respectfully. Due to the strength that hex decks in general posses we see a trend from other factions towards fast aggressive early game decks that focus on club combos or large amounts of early game control point generation in order to prevent hex decks from entering the mid to late game where they tend to snowball out of control. In addition many of the higher tier decks are non interactive, being capable of controlling the game by creating a “come get me” board state that forces an opponent to constantly move and make plays to keep up with the steady stream of control points and power cards these decks possess. In contrast the majority of the B and C decks are highly involved. Requiring players to interact with them (Typically in shootouts) often over and over again.
From that we can hypothesize that in order to test a deck to see if it has the potential to be competitively viable, the deck needs to have access to large amounts of influence on many different sources to prevent themselves from being overwhelmed by control card and control points. In addition a deck must have a consistently successful answer to decks that intend on producing a steady stream of shootouts.


very nice summary -
changes in meta - fewer ‘shotgun’ decks due to influx of high value dudes and support (huntsman’s etc.)
but I think Holster decks are viable - not sure where they fit in though.

Holster goes with sloane right now with jack o hara w/holster and shotgun on a low value deck. Go into shootout opponents has to cowboy up or run not risking a probable to aced dudes before hands are drawn.

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Amazing post! Very useful information.

Thank you.

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I would say that shotgun is still a fairly relevant card if only because 3’s still see quite a bit of play and the other options at that value tend to be based around traits. But as to shotguns usefulness overall i would agree that it has diminished. Most likely due to the popularity of bullet reduction cards over bullet increasing card (sun in your eyes over war paint). With most starting posses including at least 1-2 higher value dudes gone are the days where your entire starting posse couldn’t move because of one shotgun on the board.

Holster has always had a place in the game, but along with that has always had the same problems of being unique and expensive. That problem is most likely doubled, now that the number of costed clubs has gone up a lot of the decks that want to run the card have trouble saving up the money. In addition Soul Cage has proven to be quite the powerhouse, seeing play even outside of OoN or even 4th with many abominations being so cheap and having no influence its very easy to splash them. In all cases the biggest problem with any expensive good based deck is that there are quite a few popular ways of removing dudes cheaply and efficiently.

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Bumping this thread with discussion about spirit fortress and the new homes. Deputy and Sheriff events getting ready to start what decks are we expecting to shoot their way to the top and which ones will find themselves in a pinebox.

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So far the ‘strong archetypes’ are:

Slide (Dudes n Deeds etc.) out of MCC or 108
Control (4R base or Oddities, rarely MCC n Lillian)
Spirit Fortress (EW-Beyond the Veil)

When [REDACTED] drops in SB9, there will be another strong archetype as well.

I think DRow took folks by surprise, but I’m not seeing it as the top tier at the moment.

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Whew you feel that?

Feels like a wall of text on the wind.

Better prepare for it.