Malifaux – I've been playing this list for a few months now and have found it to be very consistent and quite a b1t of fun to play. For competitive Malifaux the sweet spot seems to 35 Soul Stone games, this gives just enough time to get in at least 4-5 turns (for slow players, experienced players will get the full 6-7) in an hour and a half or so. There is also a trend to using the shared strategies and having them be predetermined by the event organizer. Thankfully, most events retain the ability to change your list each round which is far to important an aspect of the game to abandon.
The list I've been playing is as follows:
2 – Rotten Belles
1 – Crooked Man
2 – Necropunks
(7) Stones in Pool
Your game plan remains basically the same regardless of the strategy you pull. Deploy the Necropunks as far forward as possible, when they activate move twice and cast leap. Depending on the table set up this should put them about 21" from your board edge. If they can't lock a model into melee, they should be positioned as a juicy target. (Note: avoid anything that has a "sacrifice" ability, it prevents slow to die and ruins the plan) Ideally your opponent will have to spend a minimum of 2 AP to kill the Necropunk. With your Slow to Die action you summon Killjoy. Who should be right in the middle of your opponents crew. The odds are he will die, but in the process he should be able to kill one model and put a serious hurt on another. You should get a minimum of 2 turns forcing your opponent to deal with the rampaging beast in their backfield.
Every model in this list has Slow to Die, you should only summon Killjoy on your own turn if it is the end of turn 3 and your opponent hasn't killed anything yet.
The rest of the list is about board control. The Crooked Man should be moving toward objectives and casting Shafted as many times as he is able. The Belles should be used to screen Seamus and protect him from getting engaged in melee. Each turn the Belles should be moving and only casting Lure to set up a shot for Seamus or Distract to limit the AP of threats.
The Other Stuff
If I'm playing this list competitively I'll ALWAYS take Bodyguard and Hold-Out as my schemes. The reason being these are the easiest to accomplish and if things aren't going your way it's easy to run Seamus back towards his deployment zone to protect it. As long as you're able to prevent your opponent from getting their strategy or denying their schemes you'll at least tie.
Seamus is pretty terrible in melee and should avoid it at all costs. I've found that his (3) AP are best spent maneuvering around to protect himself and/or take a shot when he can. Most of the time taking a shot results in a corpse which you should then attempt to cast Arise My Sweet on. His other spells are tempting but situational at best. It's far more important to keep him safe so that .50 cal can do it's job.
As I said I've been playing this same list for a few months against a variety of opponents, and even when they know EXACTLY what you're going to do they will still react similarly to your plays. If they don't deal with the Necropunks they'll tie up a model and slowly grind it away until it becomes necessary to sacrifice and summon Killjoy. The Shafted Markers the Crooked Man can pump out will dictate where your opponent will move as the 2/54 chance of losing a model is a pretty scary proposition.