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Heroic Effort Tournament Report – First Place

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The Tournament Structure

So just as background info for those who weren’t aware, the changes in deckbuilding rules for our hurricane Harvey tournament were as follows.

Villain gets 30 points for deckbuilding, but FN-2199 costs +3 both regular and elite.
Hero gets 33 points for deckbuilding, but (AWK) Poe, (AWK) Rey, and Maz all cost +3.

The individual Hero cost adjustments just made sense, allowing any current deck to be played “as-is” with three exceptions. We didn’t want to enable anything incredibly abusive that could arise from the two flagship support characters getting an additional +3 for their partners, but were also were very concerned about deck diversity. We didn’t want a stressful environment in a Charity Tournament, especially one where Poe/Maz would still be a strong candidate for Top Dog. With nothing but bragging rights on the line, we wanted to give people a creative outlet for Hero dominance without needing to concern themselves with the deck that has caused so much anguish since the release of SoR. It is unfortunate that both Poe/Rey and Snap/Maz/Rey got axed in the process, but we couldn’t find an elegant solution to still allow them.

With Poe/Maz out of the picture it was only fair to up the cost of FN-2199 as well. He has been proven to be even more powerful overall than any other Character, and again we didn’t want a huge portion of our donors to be playing mirror matches or taking what would look like the obvious deck choice for many.

The tournament proved to be a great success, raising over $150 for the Houston Food Bank generously donated by 24 players and many others who were unable to commit to the time-frame. That money will provide 450 meals for people in need. We said it all day yesterday, but a huge thank you is in order for everyone who donated time and money to make this happen. Thank you from all of us here at Artificery. You’re the heroes.

 

Deck Selection

As part of my on-going one man #HelpOurHeroes crusade I wanted to drive a point home that even if given a 10% increase to the points restriction on deck-building that Villains would still be quite competitive. It was my hope that by going 3-2 or having an outside shot at 4-1 I could write (read: whine) on the issue a bit and point out that outside of a couple problem-children Heroes are vastly overpowered by Villains in terms of character and card quality.

Welp. I ended up going 7-2 in games on the day across eight rounds capping off the tournament with a best-of-three finals against a previously undefeated opponent. I guess I proved my point but in all honesty I really wish it wasn’t done in quite so poignant a way. Granted, no deck was optimized and there was very little testing done by anyone prior to but still. You would think that with such a drastic increase in available power for heroes, and with the very high level of competitive players we gathered, that a hero deck would win. Especially since there were so few Villain decks fielded overall. I would think that anyway. Turns out I was wrong.

I was particularly drawn by the new Phasma option, and played around with concepts pairing her with Big Daddy Vader, Anakin, and others. I ultimately decided to take both Villains out of the Two-Player Game because with decent accuracy on Kylo’s ability he could match Anakin’s damage output without the downsides of self-harm or lack of resource sides.

Here’s what I ultimately decided on, and it’s pretty rough around the edges. I didn’t do any actual testing prior to the tournament and even a small number of practice games would have revealed the problem cards in the deck that ended up holding me back in a few situations. http://swdestinydb.com/deck/view/309994

 

Round 1 – Win

I can’t remember much about the match I played against jljfuego and his QGJ/NewRey deck.

Clash and Best Defense did their jobs against his dice, and he spent more actions than he could afford attempting to reroll for damage. When a mono-colored deck faces new Kylo, it starts the game racing against the clock. Dark Counsel gave me enough cards to throw away to get all the damage in the world, then incrementally upgraded to Crossguard Lightsaber and finally Riot Baton.

He did eventually bring Kylo low, but QJG was in dire straits with six damage applied. Phasma had inherited a Riot Baton and quickly got to work. All of his shield supplying cards and die sides came too late to do anything more than help him cling to life, and I emerged from this round with a false sense of confidence.

I paid for my hubris soon enough.

Round 2 – Win

Carnaster brought eChewie/HG/HG to the table, and I ended up having to deal more than 40 damage to squeak out a win.

I wanted to drop Chewie as quick as I could, under the theory that he would have to choose between paying for mitigation or paying for damage but when my first two damage ended up getting moved to a HG with Draw Attention, I opted to just kill the goons first. He did get a Falcon on the board in turn 2, but strategic use of The Best Defense kept it from overwhelming me.

Kylo’s ability only missed twice this game and although I can’t remember exactly how many rounds we went for, it was brutal for my opponent. Even with Hunker Downs making my damage resolution awkward the almost guarunteed damage against a mono-colored deck did great work.

 

Round 3 – Loss

Assawarrior gave me both my second game against QJG/NewRey and my first loss.

A combination of three things caused my loss here. First is that I lost the BF roll, giving him a leg up by giving both of his Chars one shield bringing their abilities online from the start. Second is that the bulk of my removal was nowhere to be found, and my upgrades were awkward to use.

Both of those things wouldn’t have been insurmountable if not for my third, fatal flaw. I targeted New Rey instead of QGJ. Had I gone for QGJ, Rey’s Lightsaber in particular would have not prevented the maximum amount of damage it could and in the late game, shield sides would not have been interchangeable for damage sides. Although I did resolve seven damage round 1, only 2 total actually broke through shields.

Not a close game by any measure, Kylo died quickly and I ended up in an auto-loss situation when Phasma dropped the next turn as a memorial to bad decision making.

 

Round 4 – Loss

If there is an online tournament of any sort, Gameslayer989 and I are guaranteed to face each-other at some point. Luckily, he is one of my favorite people to play with/against and the games are always fun for me.

He brought NewPoe/Baze out for the party, and I knew I was in trouble. His vastly superior battlefield control and constant threat of It’s A Trap prevented me from utilizing Phasma effectively, especially with mixed damage types. This snowball effect never ended and kept my Dug In’s dead in my hand.

Rearm translated into a free DH-17, and Hit and Run right before I could kill Poe left Kylo on death’s doorstep. Since Phasma had already taken three from a Best Defense, my window of opportunity to kill Baze ended up being too small and I lost two damage short. While I don’t think I made any egregious errors in this game and did avoid the trap, forgoing one or two points of damage to gain tempo may have given me a better chance at success. Definitely an area of my own play to work on if I plan on playing mixed damage decks in the future.

 

Round 5 – Win

Moophisto was one of a very few number of Villain players, and he opted to try NewKylo/Grievous.

He led out with an early Praetorian Guard on Grievous, which made my target selection easy though not ideal. Ultimately I think it was for the best because by already targeting Grievious I decreased the effectiveness of his Best Defenses. I was also able to play a Crossguard Lightsaber in round 2 with confidence that it wouldn’t be stolen. As I Have Forseen proved it’s value here, allowing me to make the best decisions with Kylo’s ability against a two-color deck. His own Kylo did decent work with the ability, but missed twice in a row which gave me breathing room.

I think the ultimate thing that decided the game was resources. Since he played out Praetorian early, my first turn was spent getting maximum value out of my dice while he didn’t have a way to interact. Since he only had three char dice to start with, and more paid sides than me, that first turn put him on the back foot for the rest of the game and prevented even incremental buildup on Kylo before the droid general fell.

 

Round 6 – Win

Going into the top eight, I was the seventh seed and got paired against JT-Money who was playing Snap/HG/HG/HG.

Forty damage in round two was rough and I was in no way prepared to slog through the 45+ this team represented. Neither of us were prepared for the comedy of errors that were about to take place though.

I walked right in to a completely preventable Disarm play which got rid of my Riot Baton, could not guess right with Kylo to save my life, and had such poor tempo management not even the stream commentators could come up with a half reasonable explanation as to what I was doing.

I truely 100% in every way you look at it, deserved to lose this game. Unfortunately for JT-Money his dice thought he deserved the loss more. Although the decisions he made on which upgrades to keep and which to overwrite with others did set him up in a very awkward way with almost double the chances of rolling bad sides, I have never in my life seen so many blanks rolled so many times.

Ultimately we ended up in a position where I had a ~97% chance of winning through mill from my Vibroknife and two force speeds for focus to get there. After what must have been his 8th reroll in two rounds for no damage, he discarded his last card to make a hail mary with Overkill, HG, and DL-44. Blank/Blank/+3 was the result. It would have taken two 3 base-damage sides to finish me off due to my control cards in hand, but it was painful to see that happen and I commend JT for being able to keep a good sense of humor throughout.

 

Round 7 – Win

Everything lined up pretty well for me in the top 4 against GrandpaJakes QGJ/NewRey deck, and the lessons I learned in round three were still fresh in my memory.

I won the BF roll and took his Obi-Wan’s Hut, giving me both the 4HP swing in the beginning and a secondary source of damage prevention for Kylo. Starting the game with Rey and QGJ abilities turned off is pretty major as well.

Kylo’s ability paid off in spades this game, hitting first QGJ and then Rey for two damage like clockwork. As an added bonus, I was able to see a Deflect from his hand and structured my turn such that he wasn’t able to use it against me.

I stuck seven damage on QJG in round 1. Rey did her best to stem the bleeding by playing out her Lightsaber, overwriting it with a different upgrade, then playing the second Rey’s Lightsaber for four shields. Ultimately it wasn’t enough since by that point I had a Riot Baton active with money in the bank. Even a minor misplay where I took unnessessary Inner Strength damage on Kylo didn’t significantly impact things.

 

Round 8 – Win

At the end of a very long tournament, I was facing off against ussgordoncaptain in a best of three for my second NewPoe/Baze matchup.

He had just come off a brutal mirror-match against GameSlayer989, and I believe the mental toll that took on him (and one other factor) led to my 2-0 victory.

Since he won the BF roll, he opted to take the shields in both games which allowed me to lead my turns with Phasma immune to It’s A Trap. Starting with the battlefield, and more importantly being able to keep the battlefield without sacrificing damage output ensured that Phasma’s dice were never an extreme liability.

Kylo never missed a beat with his ability against the mono-red menace, and I was able to get maximum value out of Dug In and Best Defense due to small hiccups in Gordon’s resource management.

At the end of the day though the most impactful thing was the one thing Gordon lacked: Hit and Run. Zero copies of the card were played in either game. He didn’t dig too far for it in game one, but in the second game he was pulling out all the stops to try and draw it into his hand and both copies were in the bottom 8 cards of his deck.

I believe my superior battlefield control would have still won me the game at that point by keeping all of his mitigation offline but the blowout potential didn’t even get a chance to appear.

 

Final Thoughts

1.) Great tournament, great opponents, great stream commentary, great time overall.

2.) Phasma’s Blaster has no place in this deck at all. Never played it once. Which makes sense because it’s not so significantly better than Riot Baton when she is the last one alive, and ideally she should be die first from Best Defense or poor opponent targeting.

3.) Vibroknife is pretty bad to have when you actually want to clear shields off of people. I don’t think I ever got more than two damage out of it in any game anyway, and was always happier to see Crossguard.

4.) It may just be my extremely conservative playstyle, but I always felt against the wall when it came to resources. Twice throughout the tournament every upgrade I had was dead in my hand because of the money I was spending on mitigation and Kylo’s paid side. In the final game, I won without playing a single upgrade. Logistics or Enrage would have been amazing to have.

5.) Clash was an awkward card to use. Requires tempo, but also sacrifices tempo which mixed damage decks naturally lack. When it can be used for both effects it is amazing, even without a 3-side to turn to.

Stay tuned for more upcoming tournaments by checking out the Artificery events page, and get hyped for the upcoming TTS League! Also feel free to drop by the Artificery Discord server to talk about whatever Destiny related stuff happens to be on your mind. If you enjoyed our guest streamer TheSug1, head on over to the Kights of Ren podcast to listen to more sweet sultry audio from him and others.

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It’s Not Wise To Upset Wookiees

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Do you love Destiny but hate RNG? Looking for a combo deck that will make your opponent feel helpless? Like confusing your opponent for three turns then winning the game? Maybe you just like showing off your Wookiee impressions to a captive audience. In any case, I have the deck for you.

Planetary Uprising has been a favorite card of mine for a long time now, and near the end of the SoR meta I built a pet deck which seeked to exploit it’s guaranteed damage. It got a few upgrades with Empire at War, and I’m pretty excited to try it out considering how it looks like the two decks it was weakest to are losing popularity while the decks it is strongest against are gaining popularity. For those of you who want the bottom line up front, here it is.

 

 

Why Make a Deck Centered Around Wookiees?

 

In a nutshell, it is probably the most exploitative deck in the game.

1.) It abuses the single game tournament format.
2.) Turns the shockingly low deck size into game-winning conditions.
3.) Takes advantage of the generous mulligan rule.
4.) Utilizes Second Chance recursion.
5.) Threatens guaranteed Poe specials.
6.) Has one of the highest HP pools in the game.
7.) Sets up no-win scenarios for your opponent.
8.) Forces your opponent to take certain actions.

Let’s take a look at the two game-winning suites of cards that are in play here, and how they interact with eachother.

 

 

The Wookiee Suite

 

      

One Planetary Uprising is an annoyance, two Planetary Uprisings is one of the most oppressive things in the game. With two of the Wookiee squads out, you will be representing EIGHT damage at any given point in time. Under the best circumstances, this will set up a total failure state for your opponent if they are in a position where they both cannot kill you and cannot heal or add enough shields to survive a claim-claim action from you. Even before you reach a winning position just one set of Wookiees on the field strongly incentivizes early claiming by your opponent, acting as a non-zero (though ultimately immeasurable) amount of mitigation. Meanwhile you will more than likely be productive with all the extra actions you can now take and set up future turns to be even more punishing.

Scavenge, Award Ceremony, Don’t Get Cocky, and Tactical Aptitude all help you get your Wookiees. DGC is definately the most risky of the bunch, and shouldn’t generally be used until your opponent has claimed. Tactical Aptitude is much stronger than it appears. Not only does it help you get your Wookiees early, but once you are in a decent position it cycles your now uneeded cards to the bottom of your deck in favor of setting up the Thermal combo or getting the right mitigation at the right time.

Appraise is a new card, and may not actually be worth the slot it takes up, but being able to get Planetary Uprising out on the field with both a one resource and one action discount certainly seems strong, and doesn’t leave you vulnerable to discard or disrupt in the meantime. If no better options present themselves it can always be used for C-3P0, Honor Guard, or as Tactical Aptitude fodder. It certainly CAN do great things, as with our character dice alone, you have a ~63% chance to naturally roll a resource thanks to the Hired Gun’s double money sides.

An aggressive mulligan will let you start the game with at least one copy of Wookiees ~56% of the time, with all the card draw it is easy to get both copies by turn three and set up the other suite at the same time. Most opponents simply won’t understand what you are doing for the first half of the game, and by the time they figure it out you’ll almost have it in the bag. Since best-of-three is unheard of in the vast majority of weekly Destiny tournaments a surprise factor can go the distance.

 

 

The Thermal Detonator Suite

 

    

I don’t think anyone needs an explanation as to why Thermal and Poe go together so well. If you have C-3P0 in play you can get a guaranteed Thermal resolution by either rolling the droid out then following up with a H&R, or even better by just playing Partnership and paying one resource for the same effect but denying your opponent the chance to control your C-3P0 die.

In the absence of pressing circumstances, it is almost always a good idea to open your turn by rolling the droid in. This will threaten the thermal even if you don’t actually have the combo pieces together at the time and give you a hint that they don’t have that type of removal, or cost them resources or cards without losing tempo. Forcing actions that your opponent would otherwise not like to do is an important part of what makes this deck tick.

All your card draw/filter helps put this together, and while you generally need one thermal to win the game getting two off will almost always put it in the bag for you. With partnership being interchangeable with H&R, there is nothing stopping you from getting a bit of Tempo when needed so there is no reason to keep H&R in hand waiting for the right moment.

In an absolute worse case scenario you can scrounge up enough money to play Thermal out fairly, then use C-3P0 to force it through. While I have won games doing that, it is never ideal.

 

 

How to Survive

 

    

Mitigate damage and heal as much as you can in your first few turns so long as you aren’t giving up opportunities to play Planetary Uprising or perform your Thermal combo. It will get the cards out of your hand for value and allow you to draw into your game-winning stuff. A low total amount of mitigation is made up for by nearly always being able to use the right tool for the situation at hand through our massive card draw.

As a secondary function, your three characters can naturally put out more damage than two Wookiee squads so long as you have money (hence the single Logistics) and any two characters can do more than one squad. If you can slow play your early turns through mitigation and combo setup, you can force your opponent to repeatedly pass back to you or risk getting blown out. In these situations make sure to roll Poe last, and resolve your HG dice one at a time. When repeat passing is going on you aren’t actually losing any tempo, and you can always just claim the BF out from under your opponent if your remaining actions aren’t likely to do more damage than your Wookiees.

Late game, you’re unlikely to roll out any characters at all. Much better to heal or play out Second Chance or Honor Guard, mitigate your opponents best dice, then claim. This part of the game takes some practice and skill to navigate, but the magic number to look for is eight. Eight HP remaining on your opponents chars puts them in a horrific spot, and puts you in complete control of the game.

Most of the time you’re hoping to be on your opponents battlefield because the four HP swing early game is a huge leg up for you, but if you happen to be on your own, Honor Guard shines through as a huge help.

Rend takes care of two of the decks largest weaknesses by being able to get rid of Force Speed and Salvage Stand, preventing claiming out from under you and keeping your resources secure. Nabbing a Holocron before it turns into an issue is always a great outlet as well. Friends in Low Places is our other silver bullet, mainly to grab a Force Strike, Boundless Ambitions, or even a Vader-enabling card like Leadership or Price of Failure.

 

 

Other Options to Toy With

 

     

Loth Cat and Mouse requires us to give up a precious die, and be ahead on tempo when we need it, meaning it is only effective late game. So unless very slow decks with very few scary dice of their own see more play it will probably sit in the binder.

Dug In is the one I’m most likely going to put back in if my hunch about Vibroknives going out of style ends up being true. I think it will take the meta at least a little bit of time before realizing that Ancient Lightsaber and Shoto/Crossguard (faction depending) crowd Vibroknife out in most cases except for Rey decks, so until then we will make do.

Electroshock just doesn’t do enough for us in a deck this crowded, and Field Medic fulfills the same function by mitigating two. While Electroshock can snag a Palp die, a Special, or break modified sides, it can’t do anything against action chaining and cannot be pre or post loaded. The flexibility and reliability of Field Medic currently leads me to favor it, but I could just be flat-out wrong.

Aftermath and Chance Cube offer up possible alternatives to Appraise and Logistics to feed our resource needs. Aftermath is probably the better of the two, but generally speaking all of our opponents Characters will die at the same time rather than one by one which greatly reduces its utility even though we run three chars of our own. Chance Cube is certainly interesting, but with no focus sides, the gamble just isn’t worth it. And of course opposing Rends can destroy both of these cards and make us sad.

I’m most interested in playing around with The Day Is Ours. When used correctly, it is essentially paying two resources for eight damage. There is no better deal than that. The issue I anticipate is that the opponent is only likely to put us in that ideal situation after a blowout removal like Defensive Position, or an emergency Second Chance. Everything has to be going our way, with at least three resources available to us in a single turn late game with both Wookiees out and our opponent has to be within lethal range. That is a high bar to get over. It may still be worth running one of these though just to have the option if the opportunity presents itself, and I might be underestimating the value of two damage plus enabling Defensive Position.

 

 

Anticipated Matchups (Largely Speculation)

 

Poe/Maz: If the dynamic duo continue to see wide play, it will be a rough world for the Wookiees. In the context of this matchup they do the same thing we do, but faster. While that deck is vulnerable to character dice removal and spikes of damage removing a key component of their reliability, we aren’t. Unfortunately, we lack any decent tools to meaningfully interact on that level. I would imagine that the popularity of Poe/Maz will continue to diminish though, which will help.

Thrawn/Unkar: Auto-loss nearly 100% of the time. Sorry. With perfect game information and multiple ways to continually disrupt your hand, resources, and what little dice you have there is nearly no way to win this matchup. The same statement will likely apply to any other mill deck as well, though you can sneak a win here or there against the others. We don’t need to keep all of our cards to win, but we do need most of them.

Hero Blue: They have a lot of shields which helps them, but they generally have to lose tempo and/or decrease their own damage output to get them. Generally speaking, their reliance on a few high-value dice falls right into our removal suite capabilities and modified sides can make it more difficult to bust through your Second Chance than otherwise. With Rend to take care of Force Speed and many of their removal and damage out of hand options being irrelevant I would give us the edge here.

Hero Vehicle: 30HP is a lot to chew through even if a U-Wing or Falcon is being repeatedly used. Maz will give them a leg up early, but with almost no way to stop thermal combos which will hit for nine their HP pool is not nearly as large as it looks on paper. Any turn they attempt to make big plays puts them so far behind even us on tempo, you can almost always count on getting your Wookiee damage.

Villain Blue: While they will be able to force more damage through with their outstanding events, the (mostly) irrelevant nature of their removal and lack of shields plays to our advantage. EmoKids in particular is an easy matchup, and while the Magnaguard may give Vader hope I think we still hold the advantage with Defensive Position. Even Rise Again is completely beatable, in SoR I lost to Palpatines discard sides more often than I lost to his damage and even then I still won the majority of those games. Rend again does amazing work.

Sabine/Whoever: Their own Thermal recursion can be painful if it gets online, but they lack our card draw and require just as much set-up time and money to get it going. With her partner unlikely to be able to close out the game on his/her own, using the HGs to threaten damage will work wonders. If they pay for removal they delay their set-up, and if they don’t remove dice then they are looking at more available damage on board in the early turns then they can keep up with without luck. Rend will remove Fast Hands which will help, but probably not be as impactful as in other matchups. This match is likely an even money bet.

Villain Ranged (three/four chars): A large amount of low-impact dice hurts our removal and their own removal can combat the thermal combo until we draw Partnership but they lack speed and get hit for massive amounts of thermal damage. With how reliant they are on continuous rerolls or fixing their dice through other actions, we have as good of a matchup as we can hope for.

FN decks: A surprisingly good matchup as long as you know when to utilize Friends in Low Places. If you can snag one of their boundless ambitions their ability to wipe the floor with you on a massive turn is greatly diminished, and it will be pretty easy to snipe one of the low HP chars with an HG in the 3-char variants. In two char variants which looks likely to include the new Kylo, our removal keeps everything together just long enough to make them make a choice on who to kill from Wookiee damage.

 

 

In Conclusion

 

It’s not Tier 1 and it has a couple of horrible matchups. But for all of that, it is extremely fun and can brutally tear apart unoptimized decks or unwary opponents. It is also incredibly strange to see among all the decks out there running around and rewards skilled players with a taste for bluffing, mind games, and wise claiming decisions.

Should the rumors of a Poe nerf become reality, this deck is pretty likely to be dead on arrival but I think it would be a shame if a deck this unique would disappear due to an over-reaction to the “Poe/Maz problem”. Doubly so since Poe/Maz seems to have largely taken a back-seat to FN in the meta, a trend which is likely to continue through EaW with all the new deck possibilities.

Get out there, have fun, and as always keep an eye on the Artificery events page for upcoming tournaments and leagues. Alternatively, come trash talk this pile of mismatched cards on the Artificery Discord! 

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Kylos, Phasmas and Poes, oh my! Two-Player Game Review

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Thirty-seven new cards and four re-imagined characters have hit the streets very close to Empire at War’s release date. The question is, are they worth it?

If you look at it under a certain light, this just makes EaW an oversized set assuming none of the new cards are…. Reprints? Or would the EaW printing be a reprint? Who knows. All I know is that many of these cards are good enough for competitive play, and the new deck possibilities will tide us all over for a couple of weeks. Let’s jump in.

Author Note: My scanner decided not to work this evening so many of the card images are not the highest quality. As properly scanned images become available, they will be replaced.

Flagship Cards: The Reason You Should Buy This Set

 

 

Hey there Kylo! Three damage sides, plus a direct damage ability that also gives hand information? Sign me up. He comes in at the same elite cost as Anakin, but has one additional HP, no pesky ranged side to get deflected, and most importantly has a resource side. This does of course come at the price of raw rolled damage.

His ability will be very rewarding to players who do their meta homework, assuming that rainbow lists don’t continue to dominate the top tables.

I’ll go out on a pretty sturdy limb and say that this guy is better in general than Anakin, although there is (currently) no competitively viable mono-blue deck you can put him in. Pairing him with eFN is definitely worth exploring however, and a Kylo rolling out with a Riot Baton is a Kylo who is going to get some work done.

 

Wow. If FN wasn’t already pushing the boundaries of what you can get out of 13 points, Phasma surely is. If you only want one die, you still get more HP than you put in with points. With one less HP than before, and no guardian to back her up she is much more vulnerable now but with action cheats everywhere it might not be a major loss.

Her focus sides carry over from the previous iteration, but the oftentimes awkward discard side has been traded up for a very thematic executioner style special. No randomness or hard to meet conditions on the special either, just cold-blooded and efficient brutality, just what I like to see dressed in Imperial Red.

Possible decks are almost endless in variation, but ePhasma/Bala seems like a great starting place, and allows enough points for a Nightsister, Enforcer, or Stormtrooper with room to spare. And if that doesn’t suit your fancy, nine points is a perfect fit for our good friend Darth Vader.

 

The only direct comparison we have for Droid Commandos is Slave 1, which has a higher top end. What the Commandos give decks that would run Slave 1 is immunity from Rocket Launchers and whatever other vehicle disruption will be available, an oppressive discard side, and a wholly adequate way to put out some damage on 3/4 char lists.

That being said there is no resource side to Bait and Switch from, and these Droids gain no benefit from your own vehicle affecting cards or effects.

My gut tells me that this will see play in dedicated support lists so long as three and four character decklists remain popular, but will get replaced by Slave 1 in a heartbeat should the meta shift.

 

I promised myself I would keep the #HelpOurHeroes talk to a minimum this article, but Phasma’s Blaster is making it really really difficult. Poor A180 is all I’m going to say.

This card completely obsoletes the IQA-11 in Villain though. Villain ranged decks will be packing two of these for the foreseeable future for sure, and  FN players around the world are foaming at the mouth to get this card in a sleeve.

With single serving Redeploy if you bring the gun’s namesake along for the ride and an always suspect resource side, this gun is absolutely bonkers.

 

Paetorian Guard is interesting for sure, and gives a weird look at what Mikashi Training in villain red can do.

Considering that it is an ability, FN decks are disinterested in it almost entirely. It does upgrade nicely into a Riot Baton however, meaning that should a cheap melee partner for General Grievous ever become available this card could gain some traction.

Until then, this one is sitting in the binder… Except for the decklist at the end of the article.

 

 


It’s a very weird spot to be in when you’re the same cost as a vibroknife, fulfill the same “I hate shields” function of a vibroknife, but are not clearly better or worse than vibroknife. That’s the signature of some very elegant card design, and this has me quite excited to experiment.

Obviously in Kylo Ren decks, getting “free” damage out of hand will be the tipping point in making the call to include this alongside or even in replacement of the neutral gray format staple, but that isn’t the only thing worth considering.

No Mercy loves having this in hand, but Armor Plating and Force Illusion are still online when this is played. And from another perspective the more consistent damage sides are difficult to weigh against the often-used control functions of Mikashi Training.

 

This may be a holdover feeling from my MTG days, but this feels like a misprint to me. Direct die manipulation seems to be something much more fitting in Blue, especially when there is no weighted condition behind it like battlefield control or color conditions by spotting chars or specific dice. Recon, pictured below looks much more fitting overall but isn’t quite as playable

That being said, it can force damage through on otherwise unreliable ranged dice or even function as a slower third and fourth copy of Force Strike so it will probably see some limited play even if Imperial Discipline is likely to be more valuable overall.

At some point, someone somewhere is going to flip a table after a hero player plays Swiftness into I Have You Now, into It’s a Trap. It isn’t a very reliable combo, but it will sure as hell be unexpected.

 


Welp. This is what fifteen points in Hero will get you, even when you can’t be played with Awakenings Rey or abused with elite Maz “Focus to Special” Kanata. With no good partner to pair with her at one or two dice, I don’t expect to see much play out of her.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit too unfair. Her die is clearly better now than before, and that ability is worth considering building a deck around. The extra health is a good cherry on top, and if you need action cheating force speed is still widely available.

I would love to see a death by a thousand cuts type of deck where Willpower, an upcoming upgrade, cheap and easy shields, Synchronicity, and the new version of Rey all combine to just bleed your opponent to death. eQGJ is the obvious (though impossible) pairing for that, but maybe eKanan can get the job done.

 


I’m trying to find something great about new Poe, I really am.

What I do like is the introduction of a mixed die side. Shield and Focus on one die resolution is cool to have, especially when you look for a limitation of modifying your opponents dice and find that it doesn’t exist.

At his point costs, the only remotely viable use I can think of with him at the moment is putting him together with two Rookie Pilots. With wingman to maintain BF control for Dug in and Defensive Position usage and some hard hitting It’s a Trap plays, the deck could win some games. Sadly the combo is too unreliable to be taken seriously.

 

I really like the theme of giving iconic characters an upgrade specific to them. Very flavorful overall.

Poe’s blaster fits in the same slot as Overkill currently. Even if it can be disarmed, it doesn’t get auto-removed with doubt.

The continued lack of Hero red redeploy hurts it but it isn’t a bad weapon by any measure, merely mediocre most of the time moving into slightly above average range when played on Poe himself.

 

 

YES. This card times two, every blue melee deck from now until the end of time.

Strictly better than Lightsaber, 99% of the time better than Luke’s Lightsaber, two GOOD base sides, a shield side to enable Synchronicity, “free” defenses for anyone, and the equivalent of turn 1 Jedi Robes at any time for Rey herself. And if you’re rich, another die that can My Ally for six damage.

It may not be quite as good as Riot Baton in a vacuum, but the synergy between this and everything else Hero does in blue is unmistakable.

 


No redeploy, special only works on a Char under fire, max of one damage per turn, and it costs 2? Bad right?

Pretty dang good in fact. Those two shields and repeatable willpower effect go a long long way to discourage your opponent from trying to kill the Char you play it out on, or if they remain resolute in their targeting it at least makes it pretty difficult. As long as the timing is correct when playing it out, it punishes your opponent no matter what course of action they take.

The subtle effect giving your opponent an incentive to resolve shields they otherwise would have re-rolled is not to be overlooked either.

 


Hero red needed removal.

Hero red now has removal. This is an automatic two-of in every hero red deck, and could make taking Docking Bay as your BF worthwhile entirely on it’s own. With Planetary Uprising and Honor Guard sitting on the table and Docking Bay as the BF, almost nothing your opponent does is going to feel great for them. Color me excited.

With the only condition that Honor Guard needs to be on the table before your action this is certainly one of the top cards in the starter box, and is tied with Isolation as the most powerful removal effect in the entire game.

 


To be completely honest with you, I have no idea exactly how good this card is. It is entirely impossible to get a sense for it without actually using it in the field.

I will say that it punishes your opponent equally for their very good, and very bad rolls. The hard part is the in between situations where there is one blank and one good die, when your opponent will of course make the choice that is good for them.

Of course removing even a blank Vader die is extremely useful, and while this backfires much less often than Overconfidence does, it also has an upper limit on how effective it can be. I’m certainly going to play with the card until it proves that it doesn’t deserve a spot in my decks.

 

The more powerful and flavorful of the two new battlefields, I can see very little reason to bring Echo Base out of storage.

Assuming that blue decks continue to include two vibroknives in their lists, it is also one of very few battlefields that when brought to the table can almost never be incredibly effective when used against you.

Battlefield balance is tricky to achieve, and this slots in as an effective tool just looking for the right deck to be used in.

 

 

Conditionally Interesting Stuff

 

 


In a format that is skewing more melee Clash can do some seriously decent work for you.

While it isn’t quite as versitale as I Have You Now, this functions as the Hero stand in for Force Strike, with upside if sticks are showing on the table across from you.

I won’t go so far as to say this will be a staple in melee decks and it depends heavily on your local meta, but this is just one more way to demonstrate why blue is the undisputed king of control cards

 


Hunker down in blue with it’s own pros and cons.

It slows down decks which typically try to maintain a tempo advantage, but gives them repeatable sustain that’s lacking in the mono-blue decks.

It hurts your draw potential, but doesn’t go away with melee damage and can be whisked away with Maz’s Castle.

Jury is still out on the card, but the foreman just told me that if Take Cover doesn’t get played now, Luke’s Protection doesn’t mean much.

 


Weird art, weird effect, weird card.

This enterprising Ewok occupies a small space in between Unpredictable, Scramble, and Disturbance in the Force.

I wouldn’t be necessarily surprised if it saw play because it is a cool panic button. That being said, with how many powerful specials are widely played and the fact that this can actually make things worse for you, I don’t think it ever makes the cut in any but the most questionable deck.

 


The first completely unconditional die removal card, and it is villain grey.

I’m having trouble picturing a villain deck where this is a better option than what is currently available as removal.

Even in mono-red decks where this seems to fit best, Cannon Fodder and The Best Defense are widely used alongside Flank. Perhaps if there is a two-character mono-red deck to be found this will be included but if not then it will probably collect dust.

 

 

 

Taking Up Space in Your Binder: “Meh” Options, Baddies, and Reprints

 

 

  

 

Every CCG needs “bad” cards and Destiny is no exception. They give us a baseline for effect costs, a challenge for enterprising deckbuilders, and a way to introduce certain concepts in a starter deck.

Some of the new cards pictured here may be decent in the future, but I’m not willing to bet on any of them in particular.

There was definitely a missed opportunity in naming Do Or Do Not, it should have been “Self-Doubt”

 

Bonus Section! Two Decklists to Take for a Spin

 

They probably aren’t Tier 1, but they both give a new experience for the seasoned Destiny player. Give them a try, come talk about the new starters on the Artificery Discord server, and check out our upcoming events!

 

eVader/Phasma
Phasma is Vader’s bodyguard here. If she does some damage that’s great, but using The Best Defense to wipe your opponents turn only to be followed up with a Leadership play will be brutal. Getting Praetorian Guard on her early leading into a Riot Baton just before death gives Vader a major damage boost while allowing you the space to stockpile resources for Rise Again. Maz’s Castle helps dig for anything you need.
eQJG/Rey
Although the character point limitations (#HelpOurHeroes) preclude us from playing four dice, the amount of defensive capability is nearly unmatched. Normally that would be a non-starter but with eight ways to negate vibroknife those shields get put to good use while utilizing synchronicity and riposte along the way. Making judicious use of all your pinging, you need less raw power to secure a win. Obi-Wan’s Hut  will help keep QGJ alive and Rey’s ability online, but most of the time you probably want to take your opponents battlefield.

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