Jon: Many of you may or may not be familiar with myself, Jonathan Magnuson. I’m a member of The Destiny Council, and have been producing content for a year or so now. A few things about myself:
- I tend to play off meta decks.
- I tend to favor combo / unique strategy oriented decks.
- I love trying to get people to accept that an off meta deck is actually good.
Luke: My name is Luke Magnuson, and I’m Jonathan’s brother. Though I wasn’t heavily involved in the game during Awakenings, I started to playtest with Jon and the rest of The Destiny Council guys starting in the Spirit of Rebellion meta. A few things about myself:
- I like to play a variety of decks. You’ll rarely see me play the same deck for weeks on end, and I usually have at least 5-6 decks made at a given time.
- I love having hand control in my aggro decks. I always try to fit in a Probe/CQA/FILP wherever I can.
- I’ve played against Thrawlzin an awful lot in the past month, so it feels like none of my decks have any removal. (Jon: LOL sorry…)
Luke: I’m going to be honest, I did not get as much testing in beforehand with this deck as I would have liked; it was more of a last minute decision. Going into the week, one of the primary decks I had been playing was Boba/Phasma, and I really enjoy Boba Fett as a character – he is very consistent with the 3 damage sides, and has a really high upside with his . Having seen some of the Boba/Sister lists floating around swdestinydb.com, I decided to try it out, not really knowing what to expect. It played pretty well, but what really got me considering it for the regional was the damage spikes. In a practice game against Jon’s Thrawn/Talzin, I managed to do 11 damage turn one, gunning down Talzin and forcing Jon to scoop. I did the same thing to Will’s Sabine/Ezra a few days later, killing Sabine turn one. These damage spikes were what got me seriously considering the deck, but its the decks ability to do everything well that really makes it work. It not only has a high damage output and good removal suite, it also has great options for hand and resource control. Let me highlight the things the deck does well, and how this impacts its match-ups against the current meta decks:
- Damage spikes: this deck can really spike damage hard. If you play an Ancient Lightsaber turn one, your max output is 14 damage. If you manage to play a Maul’s Lightsaber early this is even higher. 10+ damage in a single turn is fairly common with this deck, and 7-8 is easy to achieve unless your opponent messes with your turn. This deck takes much better advantage of Boba’s than Boba/Phasma does, often hitting it for 3-4 damage.
- Hand control: between the ID9 Seeker Droid die, Friends in Low Places, and Close Quarters Assault, this deck has a lot of options to hit the opponent’s hand. This helps with the damage spikes, limiting your opponent’s ability to remove your dice. It’s also crucial in limiting your opponent’s turn, especially for decks like OTK that rely on events to have that massive turn.
- Resource control: all 5 of the starting dice have sides. Many people are hesitant to resolve those sides, wanting to reroll into damage; but this is a mistake, especially with the seeker droid die. Keeping your opponent off resources helps limit their ability to remove your own dice, as well as limiting their capacity to use impactful offensive events (such as Boundless Ambition and Leadership).
- Control suite: this deck has what I would consider to be an ideal control suite. Between Force Illusion, Feel Your Anger, and Overconfidence, it has access to multiple sets of 1 cost removal that can hit multiple dice. It also has access to a large suite of effective 0 cost removal, which is an important part of having an efficient resource curve.
OTK: I hadn’t tested this matchup before the regional, but after the regional, I feel that the matchup favors Boba/Sister. I went 4-0 against the deck, and I believe I only lost a character in one of the matchups. There are a few reasons why this is the case:
- The early game damage spikes are difficult for OTK to handle; I was often either able to kill Seventh Sister early or put them so much on the defensive that they had difficulty building up an effective board state.
- Between the hand control and resource control, I was able to make it very difficult for them to pull off the combo plays. In many of my matchups, my opponent was unable to ready Seventh Sister a single time.
- Turns out Boba is very good against Maul’s lightsaber, and Maul’s lightsaber is a large part of why OTK is so powerful. Roll out an early Boba special and they risk getting hit for 3 or 4 if they roll out Sister with a Maul’s saber.
Sabine: this matchup I had tested a few times. While Sabine always has the potential to win a game if she’s rolling hot, this is a difficult match-up for her. Boba/Sister does too much damage early for Sabine to handle. Even if Sabine kills one of my characters early turn 2, finishing Sabine off is usually not difficult with the remaining character. It’s for this reason that aggro decks with 2 strong characters typically do well against Sabine – and Boba/Sister is a great example of that kind of deck. I went 1-0 against Sabine at the regional, and I believe Will went 3-0.
Hero Vehicles: vehicles has the makings of a deck that could give Boba/Sister trouble – it has a lot of health to withstand the damage spikes, and the high indirect damage output can be trouble for a deck with only 21 health. I did test this match up a little bit before the regional, and one card makes all the difference: Close Quarters Assault. If you manage to get off a CQA with 2-4 melee showing (which happens fairly regularly), you can really hinder a vehicle deck, which typically wants to use most of the cards in their hand every turn. Once you get that play off the match-up swings back in favor of Boba/Sister. I should also point out that Boba’s is particularly deadly against Resistance Bomber and Modified HWK-290. I didn’t face this deck at the regional (even though it was represented pretty well), but it was not one I was scared of.
Hero Mill: I’ll admit, I’ve only played this match-up once, but I was able to win that game (and it was against Brian, who won a regional with the deck). The key to this match-up is the combination of hand control and resource control. If you can knock a few of the important control cards out of their hand (such as Easy Pickings and Into the Garbage Shoot), and prevent them from getting enough resources to play their high cost events (such as Fall Back and Hyperspace Jump), the match-up becomes much easier to handle. This isn’t a gimme match-up by any means, but Boba/Sister has the tools to deal with it.
Jon: Leading up to the tournament I’d been messing around with Mother Talzin decks nearly all of Legacies. Her consistency coupled with the card Witch Magick really kept me hooked. Eventually I had the idea of pairing her with Thrawn. Talking to Brian, a fellow council member, he said something like “huh, it seems like if it’s good, it’s a deck that can’t lose.” Essentially the idea was that you can’t roll poorly, you can’t be surprised by your opponent, and you can restrict theeir game plan with Thrawn. So for the 3 weeks leading up to the Fargo regional I’d been actively testing Thrawlzin. It tested well enough for me to seriously consider it, and when I had to choose between a meta deck and a non meta deck, it was an easy decision for me.
I’m not going to go into quite as much depth on my deck as my brother to help keep this article’s length manageable, instead I’ll point you to the article I wrote. Feel free to check it out after reading this article to learn more about the deck. However, I will still highlight a few of the deck’s strengths:
- Hand Control/Knowledge: Thrawn is used to control your opponents … control cards. Do not try to control your opponent’s upgrades. This isn’t Thrawnkar, this is Thrawlzin. The best choice is to limit your opponent’s control options, with the goal that you will be able to resolve every die at max value. Everyone knows how good it is to play a Friends in Low Places and hit your opponent’s only control card, as you get a free turn to max your damage. That is what Thrawn is, a FILP machine. Beyond that, he can give you knowledge of your opponent’s potential choices throughout the round, and even if you can’t hit all the removal in his hand, you can play around what is left.
- Die Consistency: Talzin’s ability will hit every turn, as there are only odd cards in the deck. Beyond that, you can Talzin to a 2 on Thrawn. Reroll all your other dice, and fix the 2 that missed. If you need to, you can use one focus to get another Thrawn 2 and fix three dice. This means that on mid game turns when you hit your opponent’s only removal, you will max out your damage and most likely win.
- Protect the President: What on earth does that mean? Well essentially if you lose Talzin early you are in deep trouble. However, the deck is very good at protecting Talzin. Between cards like Force Illusion, Witch Magick, Rise Again, and The Best Defense you can often prevent your opponent from ever killing Talzin.
- Beats: Obi-Maz, Hero Vehicles, Hero Mill, Kylo Talzin, etc.
- Meh: Boba Phasma, Boba Seventh, OTK
- Losses: Sabine Ezra
Round by Round
Luke – eQui-Gon/eYoda: The first couple rounds went pretty slow, with him mostly taking shields. Turn 3, with a Vibrocutlass and Ancient on the board, I was able to reroll into 14 damage, essentially ending the game at that point.
Jon – BrOTK: I feel foolish saying this but.. I hadn’t practiced against OTK at all… ooops. So I was depressed when I sat across from my round one opponent. Not only was he playing OTK but he was also one of my patrons (Steve Binkley). Anyway, after much stress the game came down to me playing Tactical Mastery into Snare, exhausting Seventh Sister. I guess I can beat OTK.. Yay!
Luke – eChewbacca/eYoda: The first round was a little scary, as my opponent hit me for 7 with Chewy specials on my Maul’s Saber. But I almost killed Chewy, doing 11 damage on turn one (Maul’s Saber round 1 will do that). He wasn’t able to kill Sister on round 2, and Maul’s Saber just pumped out too much for him to handle.
Jon – wait for it… BrOTK: Once again I found myself playing the incredibly scary deck that is OTK. I started with a terrible mulligan but on top of that I made a game losing decision… I took OTK’s battlefield. He was never able to untap Seventh Sister, but with a round 2 Maul’s Saber, he didn’t need to. Due to his Guardians, I ended up having to kill Nightsister and Ciena first. Eventually he won after a long and grueling game. I managed to get 7th down to 2 hp left, but he closed it out first.
Luke – eObi/Luke2: Round 2, immediately after he Concentrated both is Obi dice to 3, I double Bait and Switched to the tune of 11 damage, eliminating Obi and dealing some damage to Luke to boot. There wasn’t much he could do after that.
Jon – Obi Maz: Sitting down across from Obi/Maz I felt incredibly confident. And.. Yeah… It was a beating. I really didn’t have any problems, ended the game with both characters still alive and well.
Luke- eBoba/eSister: This was the mirror match with Will. I honestly don’t remember much about this game, but I got the advantage pretty quickly, and cruised to the victory from there.
Jon – Hero Vehicles (with Jar Jar over Ezra): I was pretty confident about this match-up too, and even more so after drawing Force Wave turn one. It dealt 11 damage in 2 die resolutions and the game wasn’t really close as a result.
Luke – BroTK: My first match-up against the infamous BroTK deck. Between FILP and disrupts, I was able to keep him off his combo pieces early (I don’t think he managed to ready Sister at all). The game grinded on a little bit, as with his battlefield I ended up killing Nightsister and Cienna first. But with him on the defensive the whole game, he wasn’t able to pull off the trademark damage spike of the OTK deck. I was eventually able to kill him with 7 health still remaining on my Sister.
Jon – uh… BrOTK again.. Played by Brian Lindberg… Yeah I was pretty scared being paired up into Brian. I wasn’t too confident about the OTK match-up at this point, and Brian’s an extremely solid player. However, I was able to get a clutch mid game play to finish off Sister and the game was won. I played Tactical Mastery, used Thrawn’s 2 to his other 2, switching to two 2[range] on Talzin’s dice and a +1[range] on Imperial Discipline for the 5 damage kill.
Luke – eBoba/eSister: Another mirror match. And oddly, I don’t remember much about this one either, except that I won it pretty handily.
Jon – Seriously WTH…. another BrOTK: Yeah, my fourth freaking OTK. I guess I shouldn’t be upset as I could have been playing Sabine or something. In any case, much like the other games, Thrawn kept OTK from comboing, and eventually a Three Steps Ahead play let me snipe Seventh Sister and the game was won. Crushing OTK’s like it’s nobody’s business.
Luke – eSabine/eEzra: This was probably my closest matchup of the day. She was able to kill my Sister early turn 2, and I believe she got off a Hyperspace Jump that turn as well, leaving all my Boba damage on the table. But I was able to kill Sabine shortly after that, and even though she got relatively close to killing Boba with Ezra, I felt in control of the game from that point on.
Jon – Zeb Kanan: I was pretty confident about the match-up. While the deck certainly has access to blow-out removal like Easy Pickings and Force Misdirection, Thrawn can hit them, and Talzin can play around them with her auto-focus. The game came down to a crucial turn in which Talzin started with 7 damage on her. I was able to Tactical Mastery and kill the 1 hp Kanan. My opponent dropped an upgrade on Zeb and I played Snare. I rolled out Thrawn, took 4 resources, and then played Rise Again, leaving the turn with 2 damage on Talzin and an extra upgrade. 6-1 and second in swiss, beaten out by my 7-0 brother.
- Game 1 – I killed his Sister early turn 2 with a Bait-and-Switch for 5 damage. He tried valiantly to fight back with just Nightsister and Cienna, but it was my game at that point.
- Game 2 – I was able to keep him on the defensive the whole game, and he had a hard time getting anything going (you know it’s not a great game for BroTK when they have to Rise Again a Force Illusion to try to stay alive). Another relatively comfortable victory.
Jon – Zeb Kanan:
Yup, I got paired into my final swiss opponent. I could tell that he was pretty depressed about being paired into my deck again.
- Game 1 – I got the shields and pretty much steam rolled him, losing neither character.
- Game 2 – He got shields this time and I struggled to deal damage. I can’t remember much of the specifics, but I believe he had multiple control cards in his early hands, and I wasn’t drawing the upgrades I needed. Eventually I lost but the game was relatively close.
- Game 3 – With the shields on my side again this was pretty much a repeat of game 1, he never stood a chance.
Luke – BroTK:
- Game 1 – I must have been getting really tired at this point in the day, because I don’t remember much of this one. I won pretty handily though. After game 1, my opponent conceded – it was getting to be a long day, and he didn’t like his chances of winning the next two games.
Jon – Boba Seventh Sister (played by Will Klein, another Council Member):
- Well, Fantasy Flight put me in an awkward position. They’d just sent out the World’s lottery results the day before, and I’d gotten in while Will hadn’t. Thus we played a token game that I “won”, we didn’t really play seriously, but I conceded the best of three to Will, not wanting to take a chance at a World’s seat away from either him or my brother, who had also lost the lottery.
Final (Luke) – eBoba/eSister:
- Game 1 – Using a Well Connected, I was able to get out an early Heirloom Lightsaber on Sister. Will decided to go for Boba because of this (not necessary the wrong choice), and I was able to get a Maul’s Saber on Sister a couple turns later. This, combined with the fact that I pushed out more damage early, allowed me to close the game fairly comfortably.
- Game 2 – With an early FILP on round 1, I was able to see that he had a Maul’s Saber ready to hit the board turn 2. Knowing this, I used Lightsaber Pull to grab a Shoto Lightsaber at the end of round 1 (Boba already having an Ancient). The Shoto shield ended up preventing him from using Maul’s Saber’s power action round 2. This, combined with the fact that he rerolled into garbage a couple times in a row that turn, while I rerolled into high damage (enough to kill his Sister), swung the game heavily in my favor.
- The team for putting all 4 in the top 5 at a major tournament.
- Ancient Lightsaber. I managed to start most of my games with an Ancient (Lightsaber Pull helps, but still), and this thing rolled +3’s like a champ. Jedi Boba is the best Boba.
- Nadia for grabbing lunch for the team. Crucial assist in a tournament with no break.
- Paradox Comics N’ Cards for having fantastic prize support.
- #villainsforthewin Top 4, and really the tournament as a whole was dominated by villain decks
- Why does it have to snow after every regional?