Note: This post originally discussed my Faithful Hound using Hexes as a chew toy. As comments on this post (and a whole thread over on BGG) have noted, although they are both ♥ cards, Spells are not Goods, and the Faithful Hound cannot eat them. The text of this post has been corrected accordingly. The More You Know.
There are three kinds of animals in Gomorra, and if you know people (can’t trust ’em) and horses (run away at the slightest provocation), you know that the best kind of creature to have at your side is your good old sidekick, the dog.
But, Gomorra being what it is, the base set gave us only one example of these most loyal of creatures, that being Bluetick (2♥). Bluetick is not actually a bloodhound (he’s a coonhound, if I am not mistaken), but you can be excused for thinking that he is, because this best friend is pretty handy at sniffing out the Law Dogs’ favorite target, and he has received some play for that outfit.
But while Bluetick has the energy of youth, our second entry into the Gomorra Kennel Club (from the first Doomtown Reloaded Saddlebag – New Town, New Rules) might be more interested in laying on the porch with his latest chew toy:
On the downside, your Faithful Hound (4♥) will have to get up off that porch to go get a new chew toy. On the upside, it’s your opponent who provides the chew toys (although the Faithful Hound does appear to actually be a bloodhound, he might be getting a bit up there in years, so his nose is not what it once was, and he isn’t up to chasing down the chew toys all on his own). The Faithful Hound’s value of 4 puts it in a good slot. There’s only one other 4♥ (Whiskey Flask). B&B Attorneys is a solid Deed at 4♦. There are a stack of good actions at 4, including the almighty Coachwhip! (4♣). There are even 4♠ Dudes like Sanford Taylor and Prescott Utter who might find a home in your deck anyway.
But the ultimate value of the Faithful Hound will depend on the availability of chew toys. And here the Hound may run into difficulties, depending on how the meta develops. First, the Faithful Hound needs to live in a low-value deck. This isn’t really a problem, since a typical Sloane or Law Dog deck is living from A through 5 anyway (which can also fuel Legendary Holster (Q♥)). The second thing though is that your opponents need to be running higher value goods, and this might be more of a problem. You might run into the Legendary Holster or a Buffalo Rifle (J♥), but the same low-value structures that give your Sloane/Law Dogs low pulls will mean that the opponent’s Sloane/Law Dog deck probably doesn’t have many high-value Goods.
What about Landfall, the GenCon High Noon winner and the most well-known Morgan deck? The version that Brian Fox was running sported only two Goods in the whole deck. Yes, they were Mustang (5♥) and there’s a pretty good chance that the Faithful Hound will get to him if you get to use the Shootout action. But that’s still only two targets in the whole deck, and for Landfall the point of the Mustang is to run away before the shootout starts.
What the Faithful Hound really wants to face are (duh) decks with a lot of mid- or high-value Goods. On the bright side for the Hound, this means that pretty much any deck focused around Horses or Gadgets is going to provide him with a target rich environment. The Mustang is the lowest Horse, and a Gadget deck is strongly pushed into higher values by the values of its Goods and the need to have decent pulls to attach (and sometimes to use) those Goods. The problem with this is that these decks do not seem to be a strong presence in the environment (to the extent that there is an “environment” for a game that just came out). Morgan is doing Landfall more than Run ‘Em Down or anything with Mad Scientists. And while there are Mad Scientists available to other factions, I haven’t really seen Gadget decks out of anything other than Morgan yet. So right now the Hound’s ability might not be particularly attractive, with his presence in decks owing more to the low competition in hearts at a useful value. But the Hound’s playability could easily go up as the metagame develops.
Like Bluetick, the Faithful Hound will have to watch out, because the no-good humans who populate Gomorra have a tendency to shoot your dogs. Now, some opponents might say that it’s really your fault for choosing the dog as a casualty, but do not let them get away with that. I recommend pouring one out for your Faithful Hound after it jumps in front of that bullet for you (conveniently, if the Faithful Hound is in your deck, then your whiskey probably is not, so you’ll have an easy time getting to it), file a complaint with the GSPCA, and then using your Legendary Holster to shoot the son-of-a-gun.