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Since Tacster and I ran the same exact deck (again), and he did better with it by breaching the Top 16 I’m going to have him give the reasoning behind why he went with this weird-looking decklist. As for me, I’m both the biggest Nick Obee fan in the world and intimidated by his Viking nature. Both traits make him a hard man to argue with, but in general he and I are almost always on the same page when it comes to Destiny anyway.
The base shell of this deck is very similar to that of the traditional Aayla/Rose/Ezra vehicle deck. The ramp cards are the same with the addition of Aftermath to make up for less money from character dice overall. The consistency cards are the same (C-3PO and R2-D2). The vehicle package itself is different in that does not have access to the Modified HWK in the same way and thus has to either use the Z-95 Headhunter or fit in other 3 cost vehicles. This is where we opted for an ETA-2 Interceptor and Resistance Bomber. The events package is pretty much entirely removal outside of Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder. And the differences from Aayla/Rose/Ezra vehicles really comes to running the 2 Flanks and an Entangle at the expense of trying to fit in Vandalize.
Overall the take with this deck was that it was built to outlast the early burst from some of the more popular decks and be able to stabilize in most games even if you don’t draw your ramp cards early enough, which was sometimes a real issue with the Aayla/Rose/Ezra variant. You do lose some consistency especially with your base damage potential which is why it plays a lot clunkier than other decks. The only vehicle you really want to play for sure round 1 is the T-47 Airspeeder, and otherwise you want to prioritize ramp and consistency cards. Getting tech team, rally aid and C-3PO out round 1 feels awesome in this deck. The only matchups were were really worried about were ones where multiple Force Wave resolutions per round were a possibility, and three-wide mill having the health necessary to grant them an extra round to close the game. In a meta we saw reverting back to primarily two character decks, going wide felt like the best option to handle any bumps in the road.
Fate works in mysterious ways sometimes. My first match was against what I felt to be the strongest deck in the format. I feared this matchup more than any other because of how downright brutal it can be in the hands of the right player, and anyone playing OTK post-errata at the World Championship was almost guaranteed to be the right player. I opened up the match by rolling Ezra out on a resource, which he responded to with a Lightsaber Pull for Ancient. Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder came out of my hand on the next action, but instead of snatching the Ancient out of hand I got the bonus of snagging a Maul’s instead. Board development continued on both sides, but the Temple Guard was doing God’s work by guardianing every 1-side in sight which contributed to keeping everyone alive until I could get an Aftermath on the field. The critical decision which won me the game was using 3PO on an Airspeeder die as discard to get rid of a Leadership and Best Defense, though an opportune Easy Pickings on two ID-9 dice certainly helped the following turn.
There was a minor disagreement during the final turn of this match, where my opponent mis-read two Fang Fighter dice and an Airspeeder die as all showing 2-Ranged, whereas one of the Fangs was actually showing 3-Ranged. A small argument went back and forth, resulting in me prompting him to make a Judge call. This was a pretty unfortunate start to the day from my point of view. There was a sizable crowd around our match at this point which was both a blessing and a curse. On one hand I knew no matter how the judge call went, the crowd would be able to provide an accurate report of that board state after the fact, and I had auto-win at this point due to a Y-Wing on the field, another Y-Wing in hand, and 3PO waiting to make the magic happen even if both Fang Fighter dice were blank (my opponent was out of free removal, and had zero resources or dice in the pool). But on the other hand I really didn’t want a whole group of people to see me capitulate even a non-impactful point. If the crowd weren’t there I probably would have just blanked the die in question to avoid the needless confrontation.
Fate again I suppose. After ragging on Sugi in front of everyone at the happy hour the night previous, I think I kinda deserved this mill matchup. I still don’t believe the matchup between any given Vehicle deck and any on-meta mill deck is as bad as other people make it out to be, but it certainly isn’t an easy win. I am both blessed and cursed by a San Diego regular who is extremely dedicated to mill, so I end up being well practiced against mill whether I want to be or not. As an aside, that player was also at worlds with his off-meta mill deck and ended up making day two with Reiikan/Wookiee Warrior/Aayla.
But anyway. I say on-meta isn’t so bad because the current 3-wide and Yoda/Reiikan varieties of mill primarily attack the deck which can be planned for and worked around. Unfortunately for me, Sugi’s deck is actually a villain mill deck in disguise in that it was much more focused on hitting my hand every turn. Turn 1 Scruffy took a Fang Fighter, Turn 2 Scruffy took a Y-Wing, Turn 3 Scruffy (on the back of Rebel) took the other Fang Fighter, and the Turn 4 Scruffy (another Rebel) snatched my ETA. When you only run 8 vehicles, losing four of them hurts pretty bad. I ended up being three damage short in the second to last turn with one card left in hand (while he had C-3PO out) so I had a choice. Discard my last card to try and gather up three damage from an Airspeeder, Temple Guard, and Rookiee Pilot (with ranged already showing on my Hired Gun) or to take it to the next turn and run the risk of his second Hyperspace Jump. I opted to try for the extra turn which was the right decision since those dice only had ~18% chance of getting there while he still had 17 cards left in his deck, but he had the Jump and took the win.
In testing Tacster and I found this match to be… Not easy, but very winnable. The big bad here is Force Wave, but our amount of mitigation allows us to cope with it long enough to get Yoda down. If there is a Force Wave and Cunning combination on their side of the board for more than one turn however, things take a nose-dive extremely quickly. My opponent here plays Destiny as a side-game alongside the now-defunct SW: LCG (which he made top 16 in!) which explains his misunderstanding of the C-3PO/Y-Wing interaction that dumped more damage than he was prepared to take in the critical turn. This and a lucky Lightbow mill from Force Illusion kept his Hondo naked save a Cunning, and at that point not even my own Y-Wing being used against me could get enough done.
This match was a total shitshow from start to finish. So on the ingame side of things, I had plenty of economy and an R2-D2 right off the rip, but couldn’t stick any damage until the end of round two where the stars aligned and I could match up Temple Guard’s 2-Melee with R2s single base damage side. Suffice to say, things were looking rough and my guys were barely hanging on. Leading in to Round 3, Boba had an Ancient, and a Vibroknife while the sister had the other Vibroknife and a Maul’s Saber. Round 3, things turned in my favor in a huge way however. Not only did I stick an Aftermath and some solid damage on the front end into Boba, prompting him to pop the Ancient heal but I got a very lucky resource roll and 6-Damage side from my Resistance Bomber post-claim.
Round 4… Well. Things went off the rails out of game in the other match at the same table, where CJ Kowalski had his run-in that I’m sure everyone has heard of by now. I’m not going to go into that specifically, but it totally broke both my and my opponents concentration for the rest of the game. We were prompting eachother on simple things like taking damage on shields and gaining resources for the start of the turn. In that round alone I had to be reminded of my Resistance Bomber counter, and I almost had to call a Judge on myself for resolving an R2D2 die for damage when R2 had been vandalized literally seconds before the fight broke out right next to us. Thankfully I realized the illegal play before the gamestate was touched by either of us. And even more thankfully, it wasn’t an R2-D2 special I was attempting to resolve, which I definitely would have drawn an extra card on leading to god knows what outcome.
The next round was a god-roll with a grip of vehicles that allowed me to kill off Seventh Sister outright, leaving his Boba with one HP left and a Vibrocutless against a full health Hired Gun on my end heading into the final round.
There is no excuse for sloppy play at the worlds stage, and I really want to apologize to my opponent publicly for my poor attention to detail in this match, you deserved a much more clean game than what you got out of me and I’m grateful for your patience.
This was a good match, and my opponent only made one mistake that I could identify here, but ultimately I’m not sure it would have made a difference either way due to how unlucky his rolls were going. Without beating him up after the fact too bad, he used a Cunning special on Hondo rather than a Poe’s Blaster and allowed me to pay my way out of an Ezra death. But as I said, his rolls were doing him no favors, and Hondo himself only did six damage total the entire game. Had he been able to draw into the Hyperspace Jumps or Retreats that I imagine were in his deck things may have turned out differently, but Planetary Uprising is all but useless against a 4-Wide team. The Temple Guard taking the heat from Poe dice he would have preferred to aim elsewhere pretty much sealed the deal.
This matchup was so incredibly in my favor, but both my opponent and I were just happy to know we were going to make day 2 so it was a much more friendly game than it would have been earlier in the day. Not much to tell here except that the super-high HP total he had to work against in conjunction with the Temple Guard neutering any Aurra dice that weren’t resolved with Fast Hands put the cap on my day with a final win.
No removal in my first two rounds, and sub-par rolls for all of my damage dice led me to believe I was going to start day 2 off with a loss. The first damage I was able to get across to the other side of the board significantly turned the tide though, when I was able to resolve 10 ranged into Obi the same round I finally got to use easy pickings on his dice. I did misplay by allowing a Vibroknife to be resolved as a discard side off the back of his Maz activation which snatched my C-3PO from hand, but my deck cut me a break and I drew the second one the following round. Things went my way from then on, and if I had to point to one match I played the entire weekend which justified the 4-wide list over the traditional Hero Vehicle lists this was it. The extra health and damage spread gave the time needed to recover from a bad start whereas a Rose/Aayla combo would almost certainly have fallen flat.
Welp. If I’m gonna be beat by a deck I felt like I had a decent matchup against, I am at least glad it was against Worlds Finalist Mads Utzon! I lost this one round one, but it took more than a few rounds after that to finally take me down. He took his battlefield and came out swinging with a Rey’s Lightsaber on Rey. At this point, I could have guardianed a 1-melee side, but I felt like it would have painted a target on my Temple Guards back, and he had a discard side showing as well so I opted to get my C-3PO down to avoid some bad luck.
Mistakes. Were. Made.
Know what that card does? That card lets you pull a very mediocre Rey rollout back and turn it into an Heirloom Lightsaber on Aayla, pairing nicely with a side of Force Speed. I get a few damage in on Aayla, planning for a long game, but the Force Illusion immediately following put a stop to my plans. I don’t think I had a snowballs chance on Tatooine of winning the match from that point on, but all of my removal being on the bottom of the deck certainly didn’t help and I really just felt like I was wasting Mads’ time for the duration of the match. He made the smart decision of burning down my Temple Guard, and ensured not a single point of damage went to waste with the help of Rey’s ability. My characters ended up getting taken apart by a Danish Army Knife and in case there was any doubt at all, the entire Your Destiny Podcast team is extremely gracious in victory, leaving me with some very cool tokens as a consolation. Congrats to all of them, and especially Mads for their strong showing this year!
My only duplicate match of the tournament, and when I say there was nothing at all I could do to prevent the loss I took on stream, I really think I am telling the truth. I ended up losing from mill, but neither my deck or my dice were cooperating, and I had to spend two resources with no ramp usable on a much-too-early Entangle as my only option to prevent his own ramp from getting out of control. When I played Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder targeting events, this was the hand I found staring back at me and is the precise moment I knew I had probably lost the match.
When you stare down a hand like this and also note that your opponent has a discard side showing at the time, no matter what you choose you’re still boned. I took the Jump as the least-bad option, justifying it by considering that he would have to play it this round or meet an additional condition in the future to lock me out and not get to play it whenever was convenient, but if you think this was incorrect let me know your reasoning.
At this point, I needed a drastic change in my luck so I ran out a normally ill-advised Y-Wing in the face of one Cunning under the thought process that taking one additional damage but getting to choose where all of it was distributed was better than taking three direct damage that I couldn’t afford to keep paying off. A second Rebel putting the previously discarded second Cunning into play had me on the ropes even worse than before.
All in all though, that match was won entirely on the back of my opponents skill, and someone with less experience with Yoda/Hondo could have given me an opening to exploit but the man across from me played it perfectly so credit where credit is due. The entire Brazilian contingent at Worlds was super hyped for their guy, and their solidarity with each-other throughout the weekend can really be taken as a model for any regional playerbase or meta travelling to a tournament. Full of energy and fun to be around, you couldn’t help but let some of their positivity rub off on you. Hats off to them for sure, and I’m more upset that my opponent mathematically couldn’t make the top 16 even after having an undefeated day 2 than I am about losing this one game.
General thoughts, and answers to a few questions I’ve been brushing off since Sunday.
I certainly co-sign all of Pearl Yeti’s musings in his article here, Worlds 2018 was a massive improvement over 2017 but there is still a lot of room to get better still in the future.
The player meetup was an absolute blast, and if there is one reason to go to Worlds for Destiny even if you think you can’t win the tournament then that is your justification. Actually scratch that, the community throughout all five days I was there is the reason, the meetup was just a part of that overall experience. This game wouldn’t be a fraction of the fun it is without the friends, friendly rivalries, and player interaction. If you’re on the fence for next year, just pull the trigger and go.
Looking back and given the opportunity, would I change my deck to any other? No, I don’t think so. 4-Wide Vehicles with a Temple Guard may not have been the best deck at Worlds but it was the best deck for me at Worlds. Only my round 9 match is one I could reasonably think that could have been significantly different if I took something else, but there were three other matches I won by being able to leverage my deck health in my favor to balance out some poor rolls and draws. If I had comparable rolls/draws with any number of other decks, they would have just flat out lost in my opinion.
How would 4-Wide have stacked up against the Hyperloops three-wide deck? Probably would have lost. One thing Tacster and I were good at in this meta as a whole was seeing and evaluating vehicles as fully “redeployable” weapons and working that advantage to the fullest. Our blind spot was in not flipping the evaluation around. As far as winning the game is concerned, DH-17 is functionally the same as an Airspeeder, and not requiring C-3PO and Tech Team opens four slots up for mitigation options which equal out the on-paper HP differential. I don’t want to take away from their own thoughts on the deck, and there are more nuances and interactions at play than just that, but on the whole I consider them to be roughly equivalent as far as strength is concerned, with very different good and bad matchups.
Are you disappointed in your performance? Yes and no. Everyone but Edwin Chen is at least slightly disappointed, the only difference is the degree. Of course I would have liked to make cut and battle my way to the final table, but I can only play the games assigned to me and I don’t think any player in my shoes with my deck could have made any decisions that would have won the games I lost. At the same time, it is difficult to identify your own mistakes, so if any opponents or spectators think differently I sincerely want you to tell me because it will only make me a better player. I did double my wins from last year and make day 2, so I don’t think I have to hang my head in shame for coming in 34th. Worlds is… Well. Worlds. The best of the best were there in abundance, and looking back I’m pretty happy to just be counted.
I’ve got a couple ideas for articles to fill the gap between now and when the spoilers for WoTF start coming out in abundance, but for now I’ll just close out the Legacies meta by saying good game and well played to each and every one of my opponents, and that it was a privilege in every sense of the word to spend four days playing Destiny with and around the single greatest gaming community I have ever been a part of. It blows my mind to even have fans/supporters, much more so when some of them are the people I fan-boy out over and support myself.
-Agent Of Zion