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Malifaux World Series Top16, my journey!


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Hello everybody!

Since Bayou is the subforum with the least activity, I though about sharing my journey through the Malifaux World Series Top 16 championship. The culmination of a whole year of online Malifaux tournament series, from which, the best 16 players go to a final championship in order to get the title of best online Malifaux player!

If you're not very aware of the Malifaux World Series, here are some links:

So, I decided to play Bayou, since it's my favourite faction and I don't think I can compete for podium, but I would try my best while having the most fun! I landed in Group B (https://www.bag-o-tools.com/live/#/live/2132) after the random draw. All the players in the top 16 are really strong and amongst the best of the world, so every opponent needs to be respected. So my opponents for the group stage are:

  • Radek: Really strong Bayou and Outcast player. I've played against him a couple of times, and we either destroys me or we get a quite even match. Current holder of the UK nationals (let's see for how long, he's defending the belt this weekend!)
  • Lukasz: IMHO one of the most underrated players. I've only faced him once, and he made me sweat like crazy in a Nexkids vs WorkerMei game where I managed to sneak a victory by a single point, only because he made an unlucky mistake.
  • Peter: I've never played him, but kiwis have a reputation, for a reason. I portrait Kiwiland as an island-dojo where Maniacal_Cackle is like the sensei from Kill Bill. Plus Neverborn and Guild have always been the 2 factions that I struggle the most against, specially as a Bayou player.

Here you can see my performance during the 7 events I've played during the year: https://vassal.malifaux-rankings.com/#/players/68

Round 1


I love the map, I think it has a bit of everything. It's also quite interesting about what can happen in the middle. I know Radek, and he loves early aggression and drawing cards. So I needed to adapt. My first instinct told me to play Brewmaster 2 in this map. He has a lot of denial and scoring potential for Guard the Stash and he's really good at "In Your Face" and "Secret Meetup", while being decent at "Breakthrough" and not terrible at Spread Them Out.

However, Brewie doesn't like shooting and he's size 2, so if Radek goes with her, I can just have half of my crew dead by turn 2 and the ones that are alive would be surrounded by glass markers and probably on fire. So I decided to play a safe bet and go with the all-terrain Mah Tucket. She would provide me with some tools to deal with Ophelia, like activation control, stealth models, stat 5 guns and some good Sz1 models.

He decided to go with Ophelia, but he actually wanted to play Mah Tucket himself, but he was scared of Brewmaster 🤣

My list was as follows:

  • Mah Tucket 1 + Little Lass
  • SS Miner
  • SS Miner
  • Trixiebelle
  • Big Brain Brin
  • Bushwhacker
  • Bushwhacker
  • Beau Fishbocker
  • 3ss

The reasoning was simple: Breakthrough and Load 'Em Up with Pit Traps. I was going to play it safe and try to score the points. Trixie would be there to deny points, get my models into position or get his out of position and debuf Ophelia. I didn't want to kill her, unless it was mandatory. BBB + Trixie should be able to keep her at 2 actions turns 2-5, which is almost the equivalent of losing 1 turn with her.

Beau was in my list because Tricksy needs healing. Everything is so papermade that if you want to have any models in the table to score points, you need to be able to heal them. Bo Peep would have been another possible option, but she's just a liability vs Ophelia and I needed big burst of healing to try to keep key models alive.

He decided to go for something spicy:

  • Ophelia 1 + Inferiority complex + 3 Young Lacroix
  • 3 Lacroix Riders
  • 1 Bayou Gator
  • Sammy
  • Bo Peep
  • Beau Fishbocker
  • 6ss

This list was awesome to face Mah 1 or even Mah 2. The 3 Riders, although their mostly useless unless you're playing them with Ophelia 2, they would perfectly fit Radek's playstyle: cheerleader effect while drawing cards. They were there to not allow me to take advantage of Arcane Reservoir in BBB, or I would be giving him a big card advantage. "Gato" the Gator is there because in another of our games, a single Gator was flipping on fire and deleted 2 of my models for a 2 points swing, including my master Som'er. Bo Peep is quite good in general to get Ophelia into position and Beau was there because he could remove pit traps, he's not affected by them and he can keep models alive.

His list had a lot of card draw and movement tricks to get Ophelia in the right place where she could just do the biggest amount of damage.

Riders would be bad against many other crews, but thanks to be Def 4, flinch and being unimpeded, they can hide in concealing and forcing me to hit them for 6 in a single shot from a Bushwhacker to kill them, which is not easy, specially with his crew's card draw.

I chose the bottom side to deploy since I was the attacker, and it seemed easier to sneak into his deployment zone if he was on the top side, plus the clouds in the middle will favour me a little bit more. I deployed everything in the centre, but a little bit to the right. He put the big chunk of his crew on the right side too and 2 Lacroix Riders and the Gator in the left.

Turn 1 was an intense chess game, where he was sculpting his hand while I was trying to get ready for a counterattack if Ophelia decided to come all "Leroooooy Jenkins!" into my crew. He decided to play it safe and just took 2 shots at Beau for 2-3 damage. I did manage to kill a Lacroix Rider with a Bushwhacker turn 1, but I got some retaliation from the other Rider in response.

I cheated to win initiative turn 2 and dived Ophelia with Mah (walk, pit trap, charge). It was that, or let Ophelia rain hell on my crew, because she had the position, a bunch of upgrades and focus. Things went well for me and landed the two attacks, throwing Ophelia into the pit trap. He played it cool and deleted one of my Bushwhackers in response. That was a really nice play by Radek, since that was already giving him activation control and I had to spend most of my cards to hit Ophelia, while he landed the attacks on my bushwhacker without having to cheat the attack of the damage.

Radek was afraid that he was going to lose his master, so I kept the pressure on Ophelia to force him to react. He played it cool, since other than Mah, I didn't have any real damage on my crew. Between the shielded and the soulstones, Ophelia survived all the attacks (2 from Mah, 2 from the SS miners, 1 from Trixie with Coordinated Attack that triggered another attack from Mah). I delayed Beau's activation in case I needed to heal someone, and that was my biggest mistake of the game. His Bo Peep crossed the whole map (walk, walk, charge) to go hit Ophelia and teleport her behind a cloud where I couldn't see her. Ophelia was a 3 Wounds left and Injured +4. Then his Beau healed her for 4.

I had invested my whole turn 2 to kill Ophelia, when that was not my plan neither should had been, because I knew that my only damage dealer was Mah herself.

Turn 3 I cheated with a mask to win the initiative and hoping to finish the job. Ophelia was a 7wounds and 2ss left, so it was hard, but no impossible. Just create the pit trap, hit Ophelia for min 3 and 1 damage and 1 Injured from the pit trap. The only problem was that my highest card in hand was a 9... I was too invested at that point and got tunnel vision. Win the initiative, used a SS to get a :ToS-Tome: for the Good for a Laugh trigger on the Pit Trap action and.... I flipped the RJ... Well, at least in the 2 cards I drew there was a 13 of masks. Went through my plan, threw Ophelia into the pit trap with that 13... And that's it. She takes like 2 damage after all the attacks. He activates Beau, heals her back to 9 or 11 (I don't recall exactly) and at that point the game is over for me.

He traps Mah Tucket so she cannot scamper and deletes her. I realize my mistake, I know the game is practically over for me, so I try to go on full deny mode. I keep him at 1 point until turn 5, but without Mah and with Ophelia alive + Sammy burying my Beau twice, my models just die one after another. Turn 5 he goes for a 3 point swing while denying me 2 possible points.

I should had stuck with my plan: Mah Tucket kills the models that score points with the Bushwhackers, SS miners score breakthrough and the strat, Beau, Trixie and BBB slow, stun and stagger Ophelia to keep her damage to the minimum. I saw her at 3 wounds left, and I lost focus. Radek stayed calm despite seeing his master at 3 wounds injured +4, and he played way better.

Final score:



Radek wins with 4 points (2 Strat, 1 Breakthrough, 1 In Your Face)

CapShinChan loses with 3 points (2 Strat, 1 Breakthrough, 0 Load 'Em Up [Pit Traps])


Round 2


  • Pre-game analysis:

The map has a couple of chokepoints and the stratategy is going to require a lot of mobility and interacts if I want to have a chance at scoring the 4 points from the strategy. I think that either Zipp or Zoraida would have been great in this pool, sadly I play neither of those :P That leaves me with one logical choice: Brewmaster The Moonshiner, possibly being able to switch to Brewie1 if needed.

Knowing that I play against Neverborn, I considered all the masters I play:

  • Mah Tucket, but I already played her, and I don't want to repeat and she has some really bad matchups into Neverborn.
  • Wong, the keyword requires too much setup to work properly, which means that I'm not pushing the markers and he can really struggle vs certain Neverborn masters.
  • Ophelia, her overloaded version could have enough shenanigans to kill stuff and push the markers, but I don't have that many games with her.
  • Ulix, he does have all the needed actions, but those thick bacon butts are going to be a problem. Plus if Zoraida or Pandora appear, I'll be in serious trouble.
  • Som'er, LMAO.

My opponent declares Zoraida. She was a very good pick for this pool and map. I was expecting her, Nekima or Marcus, and she's the worst matchup, because Moonshiner hates Obeys (specially on Fingers) and attacks that target Wp specifically (like Hex). For a second I considered bringing original Brewmaster, but he does nothing for his crew and has 0 mobility, so not a real option if I wanted to score points. I would bring Brewie 2 and just try to play a cagey game, waiting for opportunities.

Final lists where like this:

  • Let's Go to the Bar! Size: 50 - Pool: 4
  • The Brewmaster, Moonshiner
  • Apprentice Wesley
  • Popcorn Turner
  • Fingers Leong
  • Shojo
  • Whiskey Golem
  • Whiskey Gamin
  • Fermented River Monk + Twelve Cups of Coffee
  • New Zoraida Crew (Neverborn) Size: 50 - Pool: 6
  • Zoraida
  • Hinamatsu
  • Vasilisa
  • Gupps
  • Will o' the Wisp
  • Bayou Gator
  • Silurid
  • The First Mate


  • Game analysis and post-game thoughts

I was extremely happy when I saw he didn't bring any condition removal, at all! I was already thinking of ways to get rid of Serena Bowman, which would have been an amazing pick against Brewmaster, both 1&2. Also there wasn't the Eldritch Magic upgrade, which I have to be honest, is not a good upgrade, but it's a decent tech pick against Brewmaster and more specially in a Zoraida list, since you can give it to the bokor, who usually doesn't need to heal 3 times. Smack the Bokor with the totem to give him fast and a glowy token, then sacrifice the totem to draw a card and the Bokor heals from Final Veil, so 100% worth it.

On the dark side, I couldn't approach the game as I originally though, since the more I wait, the more Stitched Together will be on the table. His list had a lot of healing, but once he starts to spread out, it will become less efficient. So my approach would be to kill the most mobile models (Silurid and Gator, ideally First Mate too), while pushing the center.

Here is the game:



Brewmaster wins with 7 VP (3 Strat, 2 Assassinate, 2 Secret Meetup)

Zoraida loses with 4 VP (2 Strat, 2 Assassinate, 0 Sabotage)

Round 3


  • Pre-game analysis:

I really wanted to play my favourite master, Wong and I thought this was a great opportunity. Wong is quite good at Cover Operation thanks to the mobility of most of his crew (specially with Bo Peep, who after the huge nerf to the Bokors, she is the glue that keeps Wong1 competitive). Having Alphonse and Sammy to get people out of the markers and deny points is also great.

My opponent was playing Explorer's Society, and I was expecting Nexkids, who are pretty good at almost everything, which made Wong1 an even better choice, since I was attacker and could force my opponent to deploy most of his models together and force a bunch of simple duels early turn 1. Finally, my opponent decided to play Maxine, which was a terrible pairing for Wong, so I started to be extra scared.

Final lists where like this:

  • Fuck It, Explosions! Size: 50 - Pool: 4
    • Leader: Wong Two Gremlins in a Ghillie Suit
    • Totem(s): Olivia Bernard
    • Sammy LaCroix
    • Alphonse LeBlanc
    • Bo Peep
    • Burt Jebsen
    • Gautraeux Bokor
    • Swine Cursed
  • 🦑🚀🤖🩺🔧🐟🇳🇿💰🛡️Size: 50 - Pool: 7
    • Leader: Maxine Agassiz, Monomaniacal
    • Totem(s): Orville Agassiz
    • Calypso Mk II
    • Dr. Beebe
    • Machinist
    • Beau Fishbocker
    • Harata Ngaatoro + Flush with Cash
    • Intrepid Emissary


  • Game analysis and post-game thoughts

I saw that list and I was terrified! That list had everything to counter me. Maxine could easily kill Wong, low model count to minimize my shockwave effectivity, a bunch of healing and tough models that wouldn't have to worry about the damage from the shockwaves. Also Calypso and those Mass of Tentacles, which is an amazing trigger to kill squishy models (like Wizz-Bangs).

As a curiosity, I decided to bring Burt because I just wanted to play him. Big Trouble in Little China is one of my favourite movies and I just wanted to get a game with Burt before getting eliminated. Ruleswise, he's a bad 8ss model and has very little to offer against Maxime, but at least could go claim a marker in a corner by himself and come back pretty fast. The ideal pick would have been another Swine Cursed and same one more SS.

Since I was attacker, I forced my opponent to deploy in the bottom left corner, which didn't give him much space to avoid my shockwaves in turns 1&2. Although he decided to go completely on the right side of the "silo" to have more space to spread later on.

Thankfully for me, my opponent forgot many times two of the most important abilities of the Emissary during turn 2, when I dropped a bunch of shockwaves in the middle of his crew: The shielded and the healing when passing one of the simple duels generated by enemy models. To the point that I felt bad and had to remind him those abilities, which I usually do during casual games and even during regular competitive events (in his defence, we started playing at his 05:00am during a weekday).

I used Alphonse, loaded up with glowy to block his advance, trying to make it as difficult as possible for him to reach Wong and my more squishy models. I got an insane amount of luck when he tried to teleport Alphonse with Maxine's shockwave, and I passed the simple Wp 14 duel on a :-flip . On top of that, he flipped the BJ on damage against Alphonse twice (turn 2 and turn 3). Bebypso was a pain to deal with, it came into the middle of my frontline and started to do an insane amount of damage. Due to Alphonse blocking the rest of his crew, he couldn't reach my models that were on low life, so I could heal then a bit with the Bokor. I got really lucky with some top-deck flips of the Swine-Cursed, who got exactly the suits he needed to kill Calypso (Onslaught and irreducible).

Turn 4, he cheated initiative because he had the Emissary at 1 Wound, in the middle of a bunch of my models where he could had gained activation control by killing 1-2 of them easily (since they already had some damage on them). However, I had launched a scheme marker into space the previous turn, and when I dropped it, the emissary failed the simple duel and my opponent just had used the only card that could had saved the Emissary to cheat initiative. This was the key moment that allowed me to win the game.



Wong 1: 7 (4 Strat, 1 Sabotage, 2 Vendetta)
Maxine2: 5 (2 Strat, 2 Sabotage, 1 Vendetta)



Edited by ShinChan
Added Round 3
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2 hours ago, grundil said:

Thanks for your feedback. I have a question : which neverborn match up do you find really bad for Mah ?

Pandora 2 is really annoying. Almost everything in the Tricksy keyword relies on triggers to do things, so all the easy access to stunned is really tought.

Nekima 1 (and probably 2) can delete your models pretty easily thanks to their superior mobility. Although I haven't tried with Mah2 and Rockhopper shutting down Black Blood and Blade Rush damage.

Marcus, can easily avoid the traps, more mobile than Tricksy and Stealth/Armor on demand.

Dreamer can be tricky, but just forces you to adapt your list.

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10 hours ago, Zifnab said:

Thanks for Round 3. I also love Wong, he was the 1st Master I considered when getting into Malifaux. My friend got Maxine as his. Ppl say he's trash but he has a special place in my heart. 

Wong is not trash, specially not Wong 1. But he's quite complicate to play well, has really big counters and you can have pretty bad turns when nothing wants to happen. Despite all of that, I would definitely say that he's in the middle of the pack for masters, maybe slightly below just because most of his keyword is terrible.

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