Hard West 2 Laughing Deer: Best Cards, Loadout & Tips

This guide discusses the best skills, loadout and playstyle for Laughing Deer in Hard West 2.

The sequel to 2015’s Hard West is finally here and features creative, fun tactical combat with a lively cast of characters. For a tactical action shooter, deep knowledge of characters is required in order to be victorious in battles. In today’s guide, we will be discussing all the best skills and tips for Laughing Deer in Hard West 2.

Related: Hard West 2 Review

Hard West 2 is developed by Ice Code Games and published by the Dutch Publishing company Good Shepherd Entertainment. Cowboys, outlaws, exorcists, and witches poured into a supernatural western setting filled with grotesque monsters and demons makes Hard Wests 2′ setting extremely compelling.

Aside from Laughing Deer, you can play as a grumpy old outlaw known as Old Man Bill, who is voiced by none other than Kevin Conroy. For those who are more into magic and stealth, Hard West 2 features an ominous witch called Flynn, too.

Key Highlights
  • Laughing Deer is an ex-Shadow Dance member who is in your original party. He is a brutal melee specialist who devastated enemies at close-range.
  • Laughing Deer’s default skills are Warrior and Horseback Riding.
  • His unlockable skills include Gather Pace, Second Wind, Wild Run I, II, & III, Natural Predator, Bullheaded, Shotgunner, Bloodless, Slayer, Vengeance Is Mine, and Witness Me.
  • Being a melee specialist, Deer should be upfront and close to the enemies with Axe, Knives, or Club primary weapons and Shotguns as his secondary.
  • Get Laughing Deer a Pair hand and focus on the Clubs suit to unlock his Wild Run skill quickly and give him extra movement distance, ensuring the best usage for his talents.

Who Is Laughing Deer In Hard West 2?

Natural born killer
Official promo image for Laughing Deer

Deer was a merciless natural-born killer hailing from the Great Plains. He used to serve under a secret organization known as Shadow Dance. After he got betrayed and exiled by Shadow Dance, he now lives his life as a mercenary for hire.

Laughing Deer is one of the original members of your party in Hard West 2. His brutal and furious nature makes him a great melee specialist who can chop down foes at close range with ease.

All Card Skills For Laughing Deer

A display of Laughing Deer’s skill window.

Various skills can be assigned to Laughing Deer through cards. Hard West 2 doesn’t follow the traditional way of leveling up your characters and unlocking different skills from them. You might be familiar with skill trees and crafting, but unlocking skills for characters in Hard West 2 is quite different from what you are used to.

In Hard West, you obtain different cards as a reward for completing different missions. By forming different poker hands with these cards, you unlock new skills and perks for your character. The skills can be both active and passive.

What types of skills you unlock depends upon how good your poker hand is. The ranking of skills here works the same as it does for the combination of poker hands.

So, completing different missions and making higher-ranking poker combinations with your cards will lead you to unlock better skills for Laughing Deer in Hard West 2. Now that you know how to unlock skills in Hard West 2 let’s discuss all the skills you can unlock for Laughing Deer.


  • Requirement: Default
  • Warrior allows you to deal +1 extra damage with your melee weapons.

Horseback Riding

  • Requirement: Default
  • A common skill for all Hard West 2 characters. Horseback Riding gives a movement bonus and resistance to getting burned/crippled. Furthermore, your chances of getting hit are reduced by 25% as well.

Gather Pace

  • Requirement: Loyalty – Ally
  • You receive a 5% increase in speed if you start your turn without cover.

Second Wind

  • Requirement Loyalty – Friend
  • Second Wind gives you a “Patching up” status if your health is below 25% at the start of your turn.

Wild Run

Special ability
Laughing Deer using his special ability during the mission “Flynn’s Vision”.
  • Requirement: Pair
  • Wild Run is Laughing Deer’s special ability in Hard West 2. Laughing, Deer runs towards his enemies and lunges at them to deal tremendous damage. The farther he travels, the higher his damage is.
  • The base damage dealt to your enemies by Wild Run is 4. The damage is further increased for every two spaces, and Laughing Deer covers to reach his enemies.

Natural Predator

  • Requirement: Two Pair
  • Natural Predator increases your bullseye chance b 1%. This effect lasts until the end of the mission.


  • Requirement: Three of a Kind
  • Bullheaded gives you resistance to Dazed and Drunk status.


  • Requirement: Straight
  • With this skill unlocked, your damage with the shotgun is increased by +1.

Wild Run II

  • Requirement: Flush 
  • Wild Run II is an upgraded version of Wild Run. Laughing Deer does a “Warcry” AoE, which inflicts Dazed status to all nearby enemies.


  • Requirement: Full House
  • Bloodless gives you resistance to bleeding, making it a great skill against enemies who inflict bleeding status.


  • Requirement: Four of a Kind
  • Slayer increases your bullseye chances with melee weapons by 5%.

Wild Run III

  • Requirement: Straight Flush
  • The final form of Wild Run. With Wild Run III unlocked, your base damage is increased to +5. Furthermore, all your nearby allies receive a Duelist status as well.

Vengeance is Mine

  • Requirement: Royal Flush
  • “Vengeance is Mine” is mine gives you a Bloodlust status if half of your allies are down at the start of your turn. 

Witness Me

  • Requirement: Five of a Kind
  • With “Witness Me” unlocked, Laughing Deer gains a +1 bullseye damage multiplier every time you kill someone while not hiding behind the cover.

Weapon Loadout For Laughing Deer In Hard West 2

As someone who is a master in close-quarter melee combat, Laughing Deer should be your front and center of melee attacks. Naturally, for a melee specialist, his main weapon of choice should be melee weapons like axes, knives, or clubs.

For his secondary weapons, you should assign a shotgun to Laughing Deer in Hard West 2. As most of Laughing Deer’s perks give him a huge advantage at close range, this makes the shotgun a great secondary weapon for him.

Tips For Laughing Deer

Close quarter combat.
Laughing Deer murdering his enemies during the mission “Fooling The Hangman.”

As always, the first thing you should do for any character in Hard West 2 is to unlock their main skills as soon as possible. For Laughing Deer, try to get your hands on a “Pair” poker hand in order to unlock Wild Run. Afterward, your focus should be on upgrading the “Wild Run” skill to its highest level, which can be done by having a “Flush” and “Straight Flush” hand in your deck.

For card suits, your choice for Laughing Deer should be “Clubs” since they provide extra movement distance for him. As far as character usage is concerned, Laughing Deer is simple and straightforward. Barge into the group of your enemies and chop their heads off.

Each melee attack costs one action point, which allows you to hit one enemy multiple times. Now for your main skill, “Wild Run,” your main strategy should be to start as far away from the enemy as you can. It allows Laughing Deer to hit enemies with more stabs, swings, and slashes.

If the enemy is too far away, use Flynn’s Shadow Swap to bring the enemy closer. There is one enemy type you should watch out for when using Laughing Deer in Hard West 2. The enemies we are talking about are Wendigos.

Wendigos have the ability to counter melee attacks, so your best course of action here is to keep Laughing Deer as far away from them as possible so he doesn’t take any necessary damage.

This concludes our character guide for Laughing Deer in Hard West 2. Let us know what you like about this menacing natural-born killer in the comments below.

Next: Hard West 2 Gin Carter

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Atik Younus

Atik is a Game Guides Writer at eXputer with plenty of experience under his belt. He has a knack for well-written stories and amazing combat mechanics. When not found going on adventures with Nathan Drake, he's usually found creating 3D artwork and writing code.

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