Character Name: Elena Fuente.
Inspired by: No clear connection to any western character. The last name does echo the Fuentes brothers in The Return of Ringo, some outlaws who took over the town of Mimbres and took over the town's gold.
Life Points: 3.
Ability Type: Defensive.
Ability: "She can use any card as a Missed!" This may seem to indicate that she can also use cards from in play in front of her as Missed!, but the Dodge City rules clarify that "she can use any card in her hand as a Missed!" So she cannot use cards in play in front of her as Missed!.
Activation: Whenever she has the opportunity to use a Missed!.
Cards enhanced by Elena Fuente's ability: All cards except Missed! and Dodge.
Cards more powerful when played against Elena Fuente: Cat Balou, Panic!, Rag Time, Conestoga, Can Can, Brawl, Dynamite, and Duel.
Cards less effective when played against Elena Fuente: Attack cards (besides Indians! and Duel) and Volcanic.
Ideal roles: Sheriff, Renegade.
Characters that counter Elena Fuente well: Jesse Jones (can remove cards that can be played as Missed! from her hand), Slab the Killer (his BANG! take 2 Missed! to avoid; this is a lot of cards out of Elena's hand when she is a 3 lifepoint character),
Characters that Elena Fuente counters well: Belle Star (her defensive cards come from her hand, so that Star's ability is not very effective against her), Willy the Kid (as long as she has cards in her hand she can avoid Willy's BANG! spray), and Doc Holyday (she can avoid his 2 BANG! a turn).
2-player value: Excellent. Since there are no longer effective Beers, abilities allowing you to avoid shots are especially useful. Remember that Elena can still used the ineffective Beers as Missed!
General Strategy as Elena Fuente: While Elena Fuente is not bound to get eliminated in the first round, she shouldn't take many risks that get people's attention. Elena Fuente's goal should be to get cards in play in front of her, and depending on her role, aim for cards of more of an offensive or defensive type. So that Elena Fuente doesn't have to expend so many cards from her hand when shot, she should try to get an Iron Plate, Sombrero, Ten Gallon Hat, or Barrel out there, and more importantly distance modifiers like Mustang and Hideout. A long distance gun is also a good idea, for when Elena Fuente does starting pulling the trigger, hopefully she will select a target that is in her range, but she is not in his.
If Elena Fuente's role allows her to be conservative (Sheriff, Renegade), then she should try never to have less cards in her hand by the end of her turn than her card limit allows. That way Elena Fuente is ready for any onslaught that might come from some character's ability, or from a suddenly appearing Volcanic. Of the cards that Elena Fuente keeps in her hand, she should try to keep as many BANG! as possible. That way she is not only protected from normal enemy fire, but also the Indians! and Duels that other players are bound to play against her (as her ability only uses cards as Missed!, not BANG!). Elena Fuente will thus be prepared for these alternate attack strategies, and also be ready to shift to the offensive if a good opportunity arises. With duels, on the whole, Elena Fuente may wish to just take the hit instead of deplete cards that can be used as Missed! for future attacks.
While having a Beer in Elena Fuente's hand isn't a bad idea to recover health when she takes a hit, she should not try to save the Beer once she has lost a life point. Her opponents are bound to try to steal or discard cards from her hand, and it would be a shame for her to lose a Beer when Elena Fuente could have recovered the life point. Thus, last second beers are not recommended for Elena Fuente.
Dynamite is a terrifying risk for 3 life point Elena Fuente. She might want to steal or discard it to remove it from play whenever possible.
Playing against Elena Fuente: Elena Fuente is a very difficult opponent to kill. Fortunately, there are some actions you can take that will be to your advantage. First, while you will be unable to kill Elena Fuente in the first round, it isn't a bad idea to try to knock Elena Fuente out quickly before she has many cards in play in front of her that make it difficult for others to attack her (defensive green cards or distance modifiers). If it is a slow game or if people really want to wait for players to reveal their roles, then this will not work very well against Elena Fuente. In that case, you will want to monitor very carefully Elena Fuente's card limit. If she is playing smartly, Elena Fuente will rarely over extend herself during her turn so that she almost always has 3 cards (unless she is Sheriff) in her hand by the end of her turn. However, if there is an instance where she goes below 3, take advantage of it. Attack her at these moments. If you are on a team, then hopefully your team mates will also pay attention to when Elena Fuente's card limit goes down. They should attack then as well, so that you have good coordinated attacks that will not only make Elena Fuente lose life points, but also make her take some time to recover her cards.
You can best take advantage of low card limit moments for Elena Fuente in 2 ways. First, you can use other cards (and abilities) that will further diminish Elena Fuente's cards, such as using cards that can discard or steal cards from her hand (Cat Balou, Panic, Rag Time, Conestoga, Can Can, and Brawl). By doing so first, you will be much more likely of hitting her with your shots, and you may even gain more ammo to shoot her with (or a saved up Beer). Second, you can use cards that take off life points, but cannot be avoided by using Missed! Thus, Indians! are powerful against Elena Fuente, and Duels are also devastating for her. Elena Fuente needs BANG! to avoid these cards, and although she may have 1, it is unlikely that she can win a Duel against a 4 life point character playing a Duel on his turn, who is bound to have many more cards in his hand.
If this isn't working for you, you can always throw out a Dynamite. While it is always risky, Elena Fuente cannot use her Missed! to avoid the Dynamite blast. As a 3 life point character, the Dynamite also has a good chance of eliminating Elena Fuente too.