By David Hogg
he upcoming expansion for Doomtown, Welcome to Deadwood, contains a suite of dudes designed to shake up starting gangs as each faction gains access to a new Grifter dude. This week we’re going to look at the Grifters from the Anarchist and First Peoples factions.
Yasmin Tian is the self-appointed guardian angel of Deadwood’s Chinatown, protecting the inhabitants from criminals and industrialists looking to exploit them. In-game, she provides great versatility. As a three-cost dude without upkeep, one bullet and influence, she’s a good value body to fill out a starting gang. On top of that, she also has the Blessed and Kung Fu keywords. Both are rated zero. While she’s unlikely to be the star player of your deck, she presents a solid, well-priced backup option when building around those keywords. Being of low value, she will have a hard time mixing the high pulls required to cast Miracles with the low pulls she needs to succeed at Kung Fu Techniques. As such, she is most likely to see use supporting one or the other. That said it’s not impossible to mix the two. For example, the Raking Dragons Technique can be used to lower an opposing dude’s value, and the Miracle Retribution uses a target dude’s value as its difficulty. Thus you could use one to set up the other. Taking advantage of cards like Nunchucks and Tlaloc’s Furies to raise her Kung Fu or Blessed rating also opens up the possibilities. Her Grift is a straightforward and simple ability, allowing you to clear an unwanted card from your opening play hand and replace it. If you have a hand full of good options, but can’t play them all early on, then using her alongside House of Many Faiths will let you replace a card and then add it back to your deck with the outfit’s ability.
Here is the Blessed deck pilot by Jordan Pridgen that reached the finals of the online Ranger event. The deck aims to take advantage of the extra options provided by Walk the Path and Amazing Grace to outmaneuver its opponents, while House of Many Faiths and the Joker’s Smile work together to retrieve and place Jokers back in the deck to bolster shootout hands. Try it replacing Asakichi Cooke with Yasmin TIan and drop Doris Powell to start Willa Mae MacGowan over Stevie Lyndon. For some additional updates, you can also try dropping the 3, King value cards to add a second General Store, a second Twilight is Upon Us, and a Ranger’s Bible.
This Kung Fu deck starts Yasmin and uses its Kung Fu dudes to fight for control of town square. From there it builds up control points by playing deeds and hiring Allie Hensman. Starting Companhurst’s and using the Drunken Masters outfit ability helps Yasmin succeed at Techniques even when she pulls one of the Coachwhips. With a couple more deeds in play, even the sixes will allow success. Try it starting Yasmin instead of Hiram.
Sifting Squirrel is a young Sioux Nations shaman who regularly converses with the Spirits, trying to glean information about goings-on in Deadwood from their chatter. Similar to Yasmin, Squirrel also costs three sans upkeep, and provides one influence, making him a viable addition to your starting gang. He differs, however, by having zero bullets. He has the Shaman keyword, increasing the number of cheap Shaman dudes with influence available to First Peoples skill decks. While only skill rating zero, he can boost this via cards such as by St. Anthony’s Chapel or Fire of Nanahbozho. Both cards happen to play well with the faction’s defensive strengths. As several of their outfits make use of Spirits in some way, having access to another cheap Shaman with influence to fight alongside Mazatl further opens up their starting gang options. At the same time, his Grifter ability also offers support to Kung Fu decks. Squirrel’s Grift is similar to Yasmin’s. Instead of discarding first, however, you draw first, giving you more options to choose from when deciding what to discard. If you discard a Spirit or Technique you get to draw an additional card, giving you a larger play hand for the crucial first turn. Tao Technique cards can be played from the discard pile through Combos, and if you are using the Office of Ancestral Affairs, you may be able to put a Totem Spirit into play from your discard pile. The card you discard to trigger the ability may not necessarily stay discarded for long.
Here is an example Shaman deck that starts Squirrel. The deck aims to build up control points on its deeds with the aid of the Office of Ancestral Affairs, and features a mix of Spirits and Totems to help defend those deeds. Try it replacing Butch Deuces with Sifting Squirrel.
Welcome to Deadwood is currently available for preorder from your FLGS or Pine Box Entertainment here.