January 15, 2016

[Deck Tech] Next Level Slide


I've top2ed a 16-player tournament in Warsaw, Poland on 28. November with the below Landslide deck. The deck has been influenced by a version piloted by kollatt, you can find his deck here: http://dtdb.co/en/decklist/1552/op-kit-4-event-banditslide-1st-place

The 108 Righteous Bandits (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)

Dude (17)
1x Abuelita Espinoza (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)
1x Androcles Brocklehurst (Base Set)
1x Asakichi Cooke* (The Light Shineth)
1x Benjamin Washington* (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)
1x Clementine Lepp (Base Set)
1x Daomei Wang (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)
1x Hamshanks* (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)
1x Hiram Capatch (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)
1x Jake Smiley* (Election Day Slaughter)
1x Natalya (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)
1x Nicodemus Whateley (Faith and Fear)
1x Old Man McDroste (Nightmare at Noon)
1x Olivia Jenks (Base Set)
1x Randall* (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)
1x T'ou Chi Chow (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)
1x Xiaodan Li* (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)
1x Yunxu Jiang (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)

Deed (21)
1x B & B Attorneys (Base Set)
1x Baird's Build and Loan (Double Dealin')
1x Blake Ranch (Base Set)
1x California Tax Office (Faith and Fear)
1x Carter's Bounties (Base Set)
1x Charlie's Place (Base Set)
1x Circle M Ranch (Base Set)
1x Cooke's Nightcap (The Light Shineth)
1x Flint's Amusements (Nightmare at Noon)
1x General Store (Base Set)
1x Gomorra Parish (Base Set)
1x Huntsmen's Society (No Turning Back)
1x Jackson's Strike (Base Set)
1x Morgan Mining Company (The Light Shineth)
1x Pat's Perch (Base Set)
1x Railroad Station (Base Set)
1x Shane & Graves Security (Frontier Justice)
1x St. Anthony's Chapel (Faith and Fear)
1x The R&D Ranch (New Town, New Rules)
1x The Whateley Estate (Faith and Fear)
1x Town Council (New Town, New Rules)

Goods (5)
4x Fancy New Hat (Frontier Justice)
1x The Evidence (Election Day Slaughter)

Action (9)
4x Buried Treasure (Nightmare at Noon)
4x One Good Turn… (Base Set)
1x Pistol Whip (Base Set)

52 cards with printed value (required 52)
Cards up to The Light Shineth

Deck built on http://dtdb.co.

I went 3-0 in the swiss portion of the event (beating Den of Thieves, Deso Row and Gadgetorium), then I ID-ed twice to advance to top4 as first seed. I then beat the same Deso Row again and split the finals against Control clowns (we didn't play as we're teammates, know the matchup inside out and there was really nothing on the line). I won't go into the details about my games, as I steamrolled through everything I played against in very short order without any danger whatsoever. Instead, I'll try to describe the deck in great detail below. Enjoy! :)

I'll start with a bold statement - most of the Landslide decks you can find on dtdb.co are misbuilt. Let me explain you why. When you ask pretty much anyone experienced with the game on how Landslide deck works, they'll start with the following general overview: they tell you that the deck is trying to lay out a lot of deeds that earn a lot of money, which in turn enables you to play even more deeds etc. Eventually there will be so many of those deeds, that your opponent will be unable to match the amount of CPs you've generated with their influence. While obviously true, this description misses the real essence on how exactly you want to achieve the basic goal. Because it is not as simple as it sounds.

Instead of focusing solely on the above strategy, let's redefine what the goal of the deck make it very simple.

**The goal**

Dump your hand every turn.

Yes, that's right. You need to build your deck in a way, that you are able to play out your 5-6 card hand every turn. Only then you'd be able to achieve the goal most writers write about. If you stumble and clog your hand with expensive and/or conditional cards, you'll give your opponent opportunity to seize control and win the game. With this simple goal in mind - let's discuss some individual card choices in the deck.


The choice of dudes is fairly straightforward - i.e. you need to play with everybody that costs 3-4 or less, have 1+ influence and no upkeep. All the remaining slots are covered with slightly less efficient dudes like 3-1-1 Natalya and a few role-players that I'll cover individually. It is important to note, that you don't really want to play guys like Max Baine, i.e. Costing 5+ with 2+ influence and upkeep to pay. They will just get Kidnapped and you don't want to invest your money in something with a big target on their forehead. Remember this simple premise - try to spend as little GR as you can for the cards you play.

Benjamin Washington and Xiaodan Li are cheap fodder for Election Day Slaughter and they are fine at wearing Fancy New Hats - remember you want to spread your influence to fight against spot removal.

Daomei Wang – the ability is surprisingly relevant as it is another way to go after opponent deeds without going through town square to force your opponent out of position. On the other hand, the 2 upkeep adds up, so he is on a shortlist to get replaced once new cards are released.

Randall – this is the most important dude in the deck - 6 card hand size is so, so good. it's essentially a free card you can play every turn which is huge.

Asakichi Cooke – the special is mostly relevant in that it allows you to cycle a card you can't afford to play in a given turn. The movement itself, while nice, is not really that important.

Natalya – the special is not relevant at all, so don't try to sculpt the game state around it - it's not worth it. It's also a mistake on my part to include her in the deck in the first place. She should have been a Philip Swinford instead, as the stats are virtually the same and Philip's ability is a bit more relevant.

Hamshanks – he's very good in that it soaks the first spot removal and gives Randall a turn of living. He's not the ultimate defense against Kidnappings, but would have been good enough even without the ability.

Hiram Capatch – his ability is barely relevant, don't spend too much time on thinking how to take over opponent's deeds with Benjamin and Xiaodan - it won't happen. There is one cool trick with Hiram though - if you have a Saloon next to your home, Clem has +1 influence in your upkeep, so your opponent will need another point of influence to deny you income there. Most people will miss the interaction the first time around, so there's a good chance they'll misplay and free up another deed of yours in the process. :)

Abuelita Espinoza – one of the worst dudes, I'd happily replace her with a 3-1-0 dude.

Nicodemus Whateley – every Landslide deck must play a copy. This is a 2-card combo with The Whateley Estate that gives you a chance to break a stalemate in the late game and win out of nowhere. I have explained the combo in the Deeds section in the description of The Whateley Estate for those of you, who are unfamiliar.

Old Man McDroste – another ridiculously good card that a lot of people don't appreciate. They should. He allows for some cool tricks in that he flat out destroys opponent's economy (take that - Blake Ranch!), punishes careless plays with his Rumors-like ability and is a difficult to remove control point.

T'ou Chi Chow – he's essentially 3 influence for 2-3 GR. The special is barely relevant at all, so don't waste time on thinking on how to use his ability efficiently. It's not really worth it. Also, I've noticed some people play 2. In my opinion this is wrong. I'd rather cut the single copy that add another one. You don't need to draw him to win the game.

Clementine Lepp – obvious inclusion, try to play a Saloon next to your home if possible to combo with Hiram, however if you didn't draw a Saloon early, never ever play one in 'the Whateley Estate spot' (more on that later). Just let it go.

Androcles Brocklehurst – take the money every turn, unless you intend to combo-kill with Nic, or you have 20+ money and a steady income of 10+ GR.

Jake Smiley, Olivia Jenks, Yunxu Jiang – best cost-efficiency ratio

Starting posse should be modified to:
Randall, Jake, Asakichi, Hiram, Clem in the following matchups:
1. You are certain your opponent does not have any spot removal.
2. The mirror.
3. There is an argument to start like this in a matchup against Control Clowns as well, but I'm not entirely sure which starting posse is better.


This is a very important part of the deck. You don't want to play anything that can't be cycled right away. Therefore there is no place for Flight of the Lepus and other conditional cards. With that in mind:

1x 5 Pistol Whip
4x 6 One Good Turn…
4x 10 Buried Treasure

Pistol Whip – this is a flexible slot. I chose Pistol Whip because it keeps people honest in that they need to play around it and send two people to Kidnap your guy. It is also fairly easy to cycle as you can just initiate a 1-1 shootout with one of your 1 GR guys and send someone home.

One Good Turn... and Buried Treasure – you must play 4 of each. Period. Any number less than 4 is a mistake. A lot of people have a tendency to cut some of these and include some bad cards like Make The Smart Choice or Rumors. Don't do it. With One Good Turn you always use it to gain 3 GR in Lowball. This turns on your Flint's Amusements and allows you to dump your hand with ease. This 3 GR is exactly what you need to play your game of emptying your hand. It has the advantage over Flight of the Lepus in that you can just cycle it for a card if your opponent doesn't cheat. Buried Treasure is so obviously overpowered that I can't understand why someone wouldn't want to play the whole set of 4 in a Landslide deck. It's basically 1 free GR without any downside as the card replaces itself. You also have a benefit of acing bad cards you don't want to draw like The Evidence in most matchups, Cooke's Nightcap or Blake Ranch.


This is a very important part of the deck, so it is highly important you understand why certain deeds are good for this type of strategy and why some are not. The key in what deeds to choose is cost efficiency. Your deeds will be taken over by your opponent. This is just the way it is. You can't deal with it. All their dudes with influence will camp at your best deeds and you have no way to contest your deeds back. Therefore, it is extremely important to spend as little GR on those deeds as possible. The last thing you want to be doing is to spend 4-5 GR on a deed only to have it taken over by your opponent the very same turn. This is the major mistake most people do while playing with Landslide. They play with bad deeds like Pony Express, Cattle Market, Union Casino etc. Don't do it. You'd always prefer to play two 2 GR deeds in place of one 4 GR deed. You need to spread your opponent dude's as much as possible and expensive deeds are counterproductive to that goal. In the ideal world - you'd play twenty 2-1-1 deeds, however there aren't that many available, so you need to make some concessions and play less optimal deeds as well. Here's the breakdown of the deeds you should be playing:

St. Anthony's Chapel
Carter's Bounties
Shane & Graves Security
Town Council
California Tax Office
B & B Attorneys
General Store
Railroad Station
Cooke's Nightcap

These are the all the 2 GR in-town deeds you can afford to play (sorted from best to worst). The worst (i.e. significantly worse than the other ones that are mostly redundant) are Railroad Station and Cooke's Nightcap.

The Station helps your opponent more than it helps you, but between Daomei, Asakichi and your home ability you have enough ways to mitigate this.

Cooke's Nightcap is always aced with Buried Treasure unless you already have Clementine Lepp on the board. She is perfect to protect your 3 income. Also, try to play the deed as late as you can, hopefully your opponent will spread out by the time you end up playing the Nightcap.

Flint's Amusements
Baird's Build and Loan
Huntsmen's Society
Gomorra Parish

These are the cards you would happily replace with more 2 GR deeds, but there are no more 2GR deeds to choose from, so you'd need to settle with the consolation prize. They are sorted from best to worst again.

Gomorra Parish – this helps your opponent more - it helps them cycle dead cards and even gives them money. However, you still play this as it might enable you to play that additional time once or twice.

Huntsmen's Society – the ability is irrelevant 99% of the time. Don't ever play it in 'the Whateley Estate spot'. Ever.

Baird's Build and Loan – this is a good opening play, but it will serve your opponent more than yourself, it's similar to Gomorra parish in that regard, however this 2 GR may propel your start so that you dump your hand more efficiently which is exactly what you want to be doing in the early

Flint's Amusements – this is the best of the bunch, both abilities are relevant and difficult to utilise by your opponent, also - it is a nice home for Clementine Lepp

Charlie's Place
Circle M Ranch
Morgan Mining Company

These three are the most cost efficient 3 GR deeds, so they obviously made the cut.

The R&D Ranch
Blake Ranch
Pat's Perch
Jackson's Strike

This is an assortment of the most cost efficient oot deeds.

With R&D Ranch, you pretty much always use the ability, unless you're about to win this or the next turn - then it's better to wait. Other than that, just go for it and claim your 2 GR.

Blake Ranch – I don't really like it too much and it's more of a necessary evil, than something you'd really want to play with. It's basically only good on turn 1. After turn 1 you pretty much need to ace it with Buried Treasure as you don't want to draw it in the mid- or late game.

The Whateley Estate

Essentially, this is to enable combo-kill with Nicodemus, you >always< play all your deeds on one side of the street and leave the room next to your home for the Estate. You then play Nicodemus >the very same turn< you bought the Estate (this is to prevent a situation where your opponent jumps to the Estate and has a dude ready for the next turn to call you out), move all your guys from home without booting and spawn control points like crazy. This additional win condition is especially important in a mirror match and against decks that have a lot of influence.

The Estate has some minor use as well in that you can bring back your aced cards if you had to ace some deeds with CP in the early game. Also - remember not to play the Estate too early and always play it on the turn you intend to combo-off with Nico, if the Estate doesn't win you the game right away - just discard it.


The Evidence – obligatory insurance against Fred Aims and Danny Wilde, don't worry - you'll eventually draw it if you need it, so one copy is enough.

Fancy New Hat – this should really be thought of as dudes 18-21, the hats serve exactly the same purpose i.e. they provide you with cheap influence. Quite often, they are flat out better than a dude as they are more cost efficient, in certain matchups (Sammy in Sloane and Puppet in 4R) the Hats should probably be discarded, but other than that, they're just great. Playing less than 4 is a mistake.

**Cards that were considered but are bad and should not be played**

Max Baine – too expensive, not worth to spend that much money only to see Max biting the dust the first time your opponent draws a Kidnappin'.

J.W Byrne – I'd rather have 1 certain point of influence than a conditional 2. There are games where you get hit by two spot removal cards turn 1 and you need to follow up with cheap influence turn 2 to stay in the game. Imagine you draw J.W Byrne and don't have a Hat... That would be a stupid way to lose the game.

Steven Wiles – you don't need cards that buy you a turn when you're behind. Steven was passable in Morgan versions of the deck, where you needed cards to cheat the game, so you could live another day. With the sheer power level of this deck, you don't need that kind of effect.

Flight of the Lepus – it doesn't cycle itself so it's worse than One Good Turn. And you don't want any cards that are conditional and are not trivial to cycle.

Rumors – a lot of people play these in their Landslide decks. This is incorrect. Don't try to squeeze those in, especially don't cut One Good Turn, Buried Treasure or Fancy New Hat for them. The key why Rumors is not a good part in the deck is the inevitability of the deck in the late game. What does 'inevitability' means? This is a term coined by Magic: the Gatehring players to describe a situation, when a deck will almost certainly win against another, given sufficient time to finish the game. This is true for Landslide deck against pretty much every deck in the current metagame. If you'll play long enough to finish the game, you'll win. Rumors may win you the game a turn earlier, but ultimately it does not matter at all, whether you'll win on turn 14, or turn 15. You'll still eventually win the game.

Takin' Ya With Me – generally speaking, this card is very good in Landslide decks. It allows to trade your guy for your opponent's influence which is always a good thing if played correctly. However, I only like the card if I start with at least 2-bullet dude that I can sacrifice at will (say hello, Travis Moone). With the starting dudes configuration this deck presents, sadly there is no room for Takin' Ya With Me in the deck. I wouldn't blame you though, if you tried a miser's copy in place of Pistol Whip.

Cooking Up Trouble, Too Much Attention and similar conditionally good cards – the space in the deck is tight, so you only need the essentials.

**Changes to the deck going forward**

With Dirty Deeds and Foul Play already on the shelves, I'll go with the following changes:

-1 Abuelita Espinoza
+1 Rico Rodegain – but don't start him

-1 Gomorra Parish
+1 Old Marge's Manor

-1 The Whateley Estate
+1 Maza Gang Hideout – with the recent change of Movement rules, Maza Gang Hideout can serve the same purpose as the Estate as going there will make opponent's dudes boot

-1 Natalya
+1 Phillip Swinford

I'm also considering the following changes, but have not tested them yet, so I can't tell whether they're really necessary.

-1 Daomei Wang
+1 Wendy's Teethkickers

-1 Morgan Minig Company/Huntsmen's Society
+1 Monte Bank


Playing the deck is rather simple. Dump your hand every turn (didn't I say that already?). Play all your deeds on one side of the street. Sequence them, so that you start with those with lower production or are out-of-town. This is to lure your opponents dudes into the worse deeds. Save the better ones till later plays. Also, try to spend your money as efficiently as possible, i.e. sequence the card so that you spend as much money every turn as you can. Also, generally speaking, prioritise playing deeds over dudes, unless you're forced to add influence to the board to not loose.

If you end up with some cards after you've spent your money – always use Asakichi Cooke to discard a card and discard another card during Sundown. There are few exceptions like when you need to keep Whatheley Estate + Nico to combo kill, but other than that, just try to draw 6 new cards every turn. This is because you want to cycle through the deck as fast as you can and draw as many One Good Turns and Buried Treasures as early as possible to propel your economy. It's always correct to discard a deed, even if you could play it the next turn.

Stay with your guys at home. Don't be too cocky, you'll lose every shootout and you'll get called out every time you contest against an unbooted dude. It's a waste of time to check if your opponent calls you out. He will. If your opponent taps out to move into one of your deeds, then obviously you can claim the deed back. If something goes wrong, you'll still have the ability to return home with the Outfit ability. If you already used your home, try to avoid being trapped by Steven Wiles or other cheap dude that can snipe your booted dude outside of your home.
If the town square is clear, or using Asakichi/Outfit ability you can draw opponent's dude out of position by trying to contest their deeds. Again, play around incoming dudes and don't force it. You'd rather have your guys safe at home than have them killed while trying to deny opponent's income. It's also generally correct to contest your own deeds back, rather than stifle opponent's economy, if given a choice.

If your opponent plays a Kidnappin', Election Day Slaughter or pretty much anything else that kills your dude, just let it go. Never oppose, unless they go alone and you have Pistol Whip to thwart their effort. This is especially important against effects that discard your dudes. If they get discarded, there is a chance, you'll draw them later and play again.

Learn to play fast. This is especially important if your opponent suffers from analysis-paralysis syndrome. Play your deeds, play your dudes, discard a card, pass the turn. Rinse, repeat. Most of the time, it's not worth it to ponder and waste precious minutes to do the chess moves unless they directly win the game. Don't overthink it, don't try to be too clever. If you play with a reasonable pace, you'll finish the game in well less than an hour.


Any midrange/shootout deck that does not have any spot removal

It's is nearly impossible to lose against this kind of deck. Win ratio – close to 100%

Any midrange/shootout deck that packs ~4 spot removal effects

As above. Win ratio – close to 100%. If you think you can splash 4 Kidnappings off-value to have a chance against a Slide opponent, don't be fooled. You have exactly zero chance unless you draw all 4 of them in your first two hands.

Any midrange/shootout deck that packs ~8 spot removal effects

This matchup is very high variance. Turns 1-4 are very important. If you get hit by two Kidnappings turn 1 and another turn 2, it is very close and depends on your draw. If you have a cheap dude or two to stay in the game, there's a good chance to recover. If you stumble, you'll probably loose. From my testing, I'll say such good opening draws don't happen that often for the aggro player and your good draws are more likely than theirs. It's important to play very cautiously and prioritise dudes over deeds if you fall behind early in the game. If you stay in the game in a reasonable shape until day 5, you'll probably win the game. My current record is surviving and winning the game through 11 spot removal spells (a mix of Election Day Slaughter and Kidnappin'). Overall, I would rare the matchup as 60% favourable.

The mirror

It all depends on the build. Against standard builds without Nico and more expensive deeds, you're definitely favoured, but not by much as it is relatively easy to stall out long enough that the game goes to time. Again, I'll rate the matchup as 60% favourable with a caveat that it's hard to finish in time and nearly impossible to finish in time without comboing off with Nic-Estate.

Control Clowns

The matchup varies greatly depending on the build. Against builds similar to Gozik's (http://dtdb.co/en/decklist/1507/the-most-consistent-deck-1st-moscow-5-0-), you are a heavy underdog. The relevant cards in the 4R deck are:
Blood Curse
0 upkeep and a lot of influence

Against a deck that has all of the above in multiples, I'll rate the matchup as nearly unwinnable. 10% unfavourable.

The more upkeep your opponent pays, the better. If they start with an expensive guys like Leon and don't have Puppet in their deck, your percentages go up significantly. To around 50-60%. I rate the matchup as even to slightly favourable.

If Clowns are more shootout oriented with stuff like Unprepared, Hex Slinging and such, you shore up another couple points to 6 make the matchup 70% favourable.

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