Does Hit and Runing 5 dice at a minimum into your pool, getting a reroll on some of them, slamming damage then go off to the next round sound good? It does to me too, which is why I took Hexen’s initial concept list, made a few changes over on swdestinydb.com and ran as fast as I could to claim all the credit. Here’s the list on front street.
Step 1: Get a Third Resource
If you win the battlefield roll, always pick your own Theed Royal Palace and use it as your first action of the game. With an average roll-off of between at least 4 (70%) and 5 (45%), your odds aren’t the absolute best but at least in this initial meta you’re competitive against pretty much all the non-Vader decks.
The importance of the third resource also guides your mulligan decisions. Pitch everything that isn’t Truce in search of it. In the worst case scenario where you both lose the roll-off and don’t get Truce, get Han in the pool to try and leverage his double resource sides.
Step 2: Determine how your First Round needs to go.
The flowchart is a tad complicated, but messing it up has the potential to either cripple your options in future rounds or reduce your combat effectiveness needlessly.
How fast is your opponent likely to be is the critical question. Control of the Battlefield, no matter whose you start on is of utmost importance to keeping Defensive Position and Hyperspace Jump profitable for you, and to make Retreat a true bad choice for your opponent. Your first round is your slowest round especially if you have to find a third resource the hard way, so if it looks like your opponent is going to be comparable in speed then plan on using your H&R this early if you have it. Also don’t go crazy on the rerolls, and be mindful of how likely your opponent is to claim at any given point. A good tactic I use to get just a bit more time is to forgo any random damage dice hanging out (Han’s/Biggs 2-side primarily). Two resources off the Falcon Die and BF control are better for your long term plans than two or three damage.
If your opponent is certainly not faster than you, hanging on to your Hit and Run effects is better to snipe some lethal damage off later on. In the meantime, actually roll Han out prior to Biggs/Falcon. If you can bait your opponent into using removal on him that at least reduces their remaining options for the round as a form of soft mitigation by preventing massive ramp or maximum rerolls. This also gives you maximum protection against blowout removal like Into the Garbage Chute, Entangle, or Easy Pickings.
Force Speed, number of chars, good rolls, mismatched die sides, activatable supports, and the like are all signposts that help you plan your first round correctly. The important thing is you end the round with battlefield control. It’s exceedingly unlikely that you’ll be in a position to mitigate opposing damage save Hasty Exit, but that’s ok so long as Biggs doesn’t die. If you end up with shields via BF roll-off or the Falcon die put them on Biggs because he is the target.
Step 3: Get your Millennium Falcon
This is the weirdest/most awkward thing about the deck, in that you absolutely do not want your key card in your opening hand. If you do, you essentially have two options. You either discard to reroll 0 dice, or you get Han out there and reroll him with the Falcon in search of more damage.
4.) Execute your Plan
For round 1, follow what you planned. For future rounds, Hyperspace Jump and Retreat are your get out of jail free cards if you preface the escape route with a Hit and Run effect. Otherwise, Aerial Advantage and Defensive Position and Negotiate help stem the bleeding. Slide Maz’s Vault in wherever you can, a bit of supplemental income helps get the Falcon up to a four-die status.
Obviously, at some point the goal is going to be to kill a character or win the game in an unrespondable way.
Swiftness is a 1-card swiss army knife. It forces Drop In to do what you want it to, turns the Arc Caster into most of a Hit and Run, makes Aerial Advantage a Never Tell Me the Odds on the offense, and ensures you keep battlefield control after playing any of your removal.
Daring Gambit is the most experimental of everything in the list, but my initial thoughts are pretty positive. Sometimes the mismatch between direct and indirect damage types, not to mention Han’s special make things really awkward. Turning one of those yellow dice into what it shows +X is almost perfect for securing a kill or overwhelming indirect damage. It does need more testing, and is somewhat reliant on having at least one Arc die plus Han’s in your pool, so if you don’t like it replace it with the second Dorsal Turret
Dorsal Turret Can eke you out a bit of extra damage against someone slow, but don’t bet on it.
Arc Caster Puts the pressure on for sure, but keep in mind you don’t get Biggs’ reroll effect when you use it to activate the Falcon, and it can only reroll dice in your pool prior to proccing the Falcon ability. It’s not always the best decision to just use it’s ability, but when you need it its there.
It’s still too early in the meta to draw hard and fast conclusions of viability or anything more than a rough feeling of how this stacks up against the field but I do have enough games for a very general statement of effect. Three character lists are the most difficult due to sheer health pool, and the faster a deck is the less damage you will be able to do each round. The most obvious baseline for testing is the new Darth Vader, which feels pretty dependent on how swiftly you draw your Hyperspace Jumps and how effectively you can time your Retreats. You don’t have very many ways to stop a Rise Again, and the list feels too tight to put Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder in over anything unless everyone in your local meta is in love with the Sith Lord. It’s very winnable, especially if you can fire off one of those Negotiate‘s early.
7.) Playing Against
Methods to interact with this deck are few and far between. Cards like Suppressive Fire Stifle and Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder certainly help but aren’t guaranteed solutions to the unrespondable damage.
Your best opportunity is round 1. Maximize you damage however you can, and focus Biggs down to turn off Hit and Run and reduce the effectiveness of Aerial Advantage. This will also put a very large resource pressure on the Flyboys to get Second Chance down.
In the absence of better options, disrupting the decks resources is effective as is discarding cards, so long as you don’t hamstring yourself with what you can do for the rest of the round.
Vehicle destruction in the form of N-1 Starfighter, AT-ST, Vandalize, Sabotage, Surgical Strike, and Sebulba Always Wins will ensure your win almost 100% if their effects can be pulled off in the first few rounds but that is no easy task. Surgical Strike and AT-ST seem the most viable to me.
I find it somewhat amusing that the first decklist I put out in a while is using a three-point plot. Three points is a price that I had previously identified as totally unusable in the vast majority of cases, but this isn’t the only deck I’ve seen put Armored Reinforcement to good use, so I guess I’ll be just inserting this here foot in my mouth right quick.
This decks is fun, effective enough here at the outset of the new meta, and doesn’t require a massive amount of cards to run with so I highly recommend it for those of you who don’t really know where to start.
Remember boys, no points for second place.
-Agent Of Zion
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