If you play Darkest Dungeon, this guide provide a PVP Competitive Mark Party for The Butcher’s Circus that you might be interested, let’s check it out.
Back->Front we have Musketeer, Houndmaster, Bounty Hunter, and Shieldbreaker.
Musketeer: Aimed Shot, Buck Shot, Patch Up, & Ranging Shot.
Trinkets: The Finisher & Iron Sights (Prestige Level 46) Low Level Alternative: Minie Ball (PL 26)
Houndmaster: Hound’s Rush, Hound’s Harry, Target Whistle, & Lick Wounds
Trinkets: Monkey’s Paw & Training Whistle (PL64) LLA: Attack Whistle (PL12)
Bounty Hunter: Collect Bounty, Mark for Death, Come Hither, & Finish Him
Trinkets: The Finisher & Heartseeker(PL43) LLA: Jagged Chopper
$4.00 Shieldbreaker: Pierce, Puncture, Expose, Serpent’s Sway
Trinkets: Monkey’s Paw & Graceful Anklet(PL24)
Bounty Hunter & Houndmaster
So first let’s discuss the Houndmaster and Bounty Hunter together. At the start of a match, you’re going to have to assess which one you want to mark a target, and which one you want to deal damage. If Position 4 has a healer or dodge buffer that needs to be dealt with early or have their turn disrupted, the BH can make them Come Hither while marking them, allowing the HM to Hound’s Rush them for 115% more damage with the Training Whistle. For Pos 3 this gets a little tricky since if you have the BH pull them to Pos 1, the Musketeer won’t be able to snipe them, so you can either do the pull and let the Shieldbreaker fix it later or have the BH Mark them for Death. If the target is in Pos 2, or has high Protection, you’ll want the HM to mark them, apply his -30% Prot debuff and then have the BH Collect that Bounty for an extra 90% damage. Pos 1 can also be dealt with with these methods, but I usually find that position is filled by a damager I can dodge and deal with later. A Man-At-Arms is also a good target to melt as Bellow will only become a problem after multiple stacks are applied, and I’ve commonly seen the stress damage of losing their tankiest unit Round 2 cause the opponent to concede on the spot. Once you’ve settled on a target, latch on like your vicious bloodhound until they don’t get up anymore. Any turn they waste healing them back up is a turn where they failed to damage your units. Use HM’s Hound Rush to set them to zero and either have BH Finish Them with his +85% Deathblow Chance or the Musketeer fire an Aimed Shot for +55%DC. Be sure to account for the opponents’ movement skills when setting up one of your targets for the Musketeer to snipe later. The Bounty Hunter’s Come Hither can also consistently be used to claim a Pos 4 deathblow if your Musketeer has already gone. Between the BH and HM, the opponent will likely end up killing the BH first as he does not have as much dodge. You’ll be tempted to save him with the Musketeer, but only do so if there is no one for her to kill. Reducing their action economy by offering a trade will be better for your team in the long run especially since they might not even get off the Deathblow, while you’re almost guaranteed to do so. One last note on the Houndmaster before moving on. I’m running Hound’s Harry over Blackjack for incidental damage and potential multiple deathblows, though it might be better to run Blackjack for Stun potential to lock down frontline healers, especially if they move your Houndmaster forward. I haven’t tested this out due to personally not enjoying the Stun mechanic, but I would feel remiss in calling this a ‘guide’ if I didn’t cover the subject.
Next up we have the Shieldbreaker who is a great unit on her own. I fully expect her to get nerfed once they do some rebalancing but we can get into that later when we discuss Serpent’s Sway. All this to say, SB is a stand out unit. We use her for several utility purposes. Every move she makes will either push her forward or backward, so use this to your advantage in deciding which of your units your opponent can hit, especially for rescuing your Musketeer. She can Puncture a guarded unit if we need our BH or HM to hit/mark them, and she can also use Puncture to pull backlane problems to the front or push frontlane marks to the back (by pulling a different unit forward). Expose can uncover Stealthers in the first three rows, and also increase our allies’ crit chances. We use Pierce for raw damage when needed, especially if our HM’s Mark couldn’t quite shave off all their Protection. And Serpent’s Sway is her trump card. With her already high dodge rates, if a battle goes long, you can usually count on the SB being one of your last units which means she’ll get the Last Man Standing +10 dodge bonus. You can either use her SS shields to block huge damage moves you predict coming in, or once she gets to DD, you can use it to guarantee that she’ll stick around for an extra two hits, twice. Oh and it gives a free +15 dodge, because two free blocks apparently wasn’t enough. Shields don’t get used if she dodges the attack, so an SB can easily last several turns with 75 dodge before the DD blows even start adding up. And we’re not even applying dodge stacks like MAA and Antiquarian teams do…
Lastly, the Musketeer is the backbone of this strategy who does a little bit of everything. With her massive damage yields and crit chance, her Aimed Shot is great for setting nearly any marked target to zero. Thanks to the Iron Sights we can do this even if they’re being guarded, and we’ll want to use her last in turn order for that sweet damage and crit boost. Since she also serves as our healer, having the Musketeer go last works perfectly into deciding how best to use her turn, but of course don’t be afraid to use her earlier in a round if you need to. For instance in order to get a kill, which her Aimed Shot is also great for! You can use this move to secure a kill as with The Finisher trinket and the target being marked that is an extra 55% chance to dealing a deathblow with an extra 20% chance to hit that poor low HP soul. Ranging Shot will let us clear up Stealthed targets while also staving off our units’ afflictions with the board stress heal as well as an accuracy buff for dealing with dodgy teams. Patch Up can save one of our comrades from certain demise and combos well with the Houndmaster’s Lick Wounds as it will increase the amount of healing he receives both from activation and the later restoration triggers, though I prioritize scoring kills For the Economy whenever possible. And the obligatory Buckshot for recovering our position at the back of the line. The Musketeer is a backlaner, and while she does have 50% resistance to being moved, if their unit is built to pull her, she’s going to be moving up to Position 2. Luckily, combined with the Shieldbreaker’s mobility, you can easily get a Musketeer back to at least Pos 3 without wasting any turns. Also once you’re down a hero or two, don’t be afraid to use the Buckshot to try and get deathblows as you still have the Finisher!
Alternate Highwayman: Point Blank Shot, Pistol Shot, Vendetta, & Duelist’s Advance
Trinkets: Monkey’s Paw & Sturdy Buckle(PL64) LLA:Hunter’s Charm