Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Character Guide: Lucky Duke

Character Name: Lucky Duke.

Inspired by: Lucky Luke, title character in a French comic series who reportedly could shoot faster than his shadow.

Life Points: 4.

Ability Type: Defensive.

Ability: Each time he is required to "draw!" he flips the top two cards from the deck, and chooses the result he prefers. Discard both cards afterwards.

Activation: Whenever Lucky Duke is required to "draw!" Namely when Lucky Duke has a Barrel in play and is attacked, or needs to "draw!" for Jail or Dynamite.

Cards enhanced by Lucky Duke's ability: Barrel, Dynamite.

Cards less powerful when played against Lucky Duke: Jail, Dynamite.

Ideal roles: Renegade, Sheriff (somewhat).

Characters who Lucky Duke can potentially counter well: Pedro Ramirez (has a better chance of avoiding the jail gauntlet), Slab the Killer (if Lucky Duke has a Barrel).

2-player value: It really depends if you can get a Barrel in front of you or get a Dynamite in play.

General Strategy as Lucky Duke: I will be honest--I hate Lucky Duke, at least in the original game (I think he is the worst character). Lucky Duke's ability is only useful on rare occasions, and will go turns without ever using it. There is also little you can do to control it, or make it more effective. Of course, don't forget to use Lucky Duke's ability when the time comes to "draw!" And we should appreciate that Lucky Duke's ability does make you virtually invulnerable to Dynamite and ups your chances to get out of Jail. Thus, it can be a good idea to play Dynamite if you don't think it is likely to blow up your team mate. It won't hurt you too bad. As a Sheriff, I recommend playing Dynamite nearly as often as you can. As Lucky Duke, it is almost imperative to get a Barrel. I recommend saving a Panic to yank one from an adjacent player if needs be, or even to have a back up. Being able to flip twice when shot is huge: just ask Jourdonnais when he has a Barrel. I even card count how many Cat Balous/Panics have been played before I lay my Barrel and consider how long it will likely stay in play. Since Lucky Duke's ability is very contingent on getting Barrels and Dynamites, I highly recommend playing it low before you get them. Vulture Sam is a similar character that does not want a target on his forehead at the beginning of the game. Don't draw attention to Lucky Duke, as you really need those cards to hold out and have some power.

Playing against Lucky Duke: The most important thing to deal with when Lucky Duke is in play is to control his use of the Barrel (Panic! or Cat Balou it as needs be) and to be aware of his virtual invulnerability to Dynamite. If Dynamite is in play, you may wish to Cat Balou it as well if you think there is only a good chance of it doing your team harm alone. If Lucky Duke is on a team and you don't particularly care which one is in Jail, don't play the Jail on Lucky Duke as he has a higher chance of getting out. Oh, and never remind Lucky Duke of his ability. It is to your advantage if he forgets.

Dodge City cards enhanced by Lucky Duke's ability: the extra Barrel, the extra Dynamite

Dodge City cards less powerful when played against Lucky Duke: the extra Jail, the extra Dynamite.

Dodge City Characters that Counter Lucky Duke Well: Belle Star (who makes Lucky Duke's Barrel useless when she attacks him), Pat Brennan (who can remove Lucky Duke's Barrel immediately when it comes into play).

General Strategy Adjustments: Unfortunately, Dodge City really doesn't make life any easier for Lucky Duke. Things generally stay the same for him, besides adding two characters--Belle Star and Pat Brennan--that can completely devastate him. Lucky Duke has another Barrel and Dynamite to tinker with, and he can try to augment his defense by getting some green defensive cards in play before going on the offensive.

General Strategy Against Adjustments: The strategy against Lucky Duke stays the same. There is another Dynamite in the mix, so watch out for that. You can use Rag Time, Can Can, Brawl, and the extra Cat Balou/Panic to steal or discard Barrels and Dynamite that Lucky Duke puts into play.

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  1. Again, really nice guide! =)

    I, too hate Lucky Duke, because he can't take advatange of hes ability in most of times.

    It's really all about the Barrel. But if you think about it, hes actually stricly better (with barrel, of course) than Jourdonnais with barrel. Duke can avoid things like buffalo rifle, punch, knife and so on than better Jourdonnais. Lucky Duke also has better change to get out from Jail, and people usually don't even target you with Jail because they know the fact.

    So maybe he's not that terrible, but you REALLY have to protect your barrel. Try to stay out of your neighbors range, so at least the barrel cannot be Paniced!

  2. His ability is activated only when he himself have to draw right?

    My mates were really nuts making him draw for every single player.

  3. Yes, the ability only activates when he "draws!" for himself.

  4. does this include when he use wells fargo??

  5. No! "Draw!" and draw are distinct actions. You only "draw!" in the playing cards with Dynamite and Barrel in the base game. Since the words are similar I understand the confusion. This is an issue that should be fixed in the next edition of BANG!.

  6. when you "draw" is it just from the deck when it's your turn?

  7. lucky duke is garbage and yet I see people taking him almost every time they have an option to