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Allies Of Necessity Kit Review

I don’t like reviewing spoilers before I can take a look at an entire set in it’s entirety, but I am still human and get super excited by new cards. While we all eagerly await a full Convergence spoiler list I figure I can split the difference and talk about the new draft kit.

I… kinda hate draft. Just not a fan of it in Destiny, but I can totally understand why some people are. A big portion of my distaste for it was its previously binary nature. I always felt that if you weren’t going for a weird mill deck, the card to pick out of any given pile was obvious to the point of being boring. I’m holding out hope that some of the things in the new draft kit change my views on that, but this will primarily be a review of the set as it applies to competitive Standard play. Let’s begin.

I like this guy. Right off the top of my head he’s the new obvious partner for Kylo Ren, and performs better on paper than both Anakin Skywalker and Arihanda Pryce. And since Holocron is out of the picture I’d wager he’s better than even Snoke as a partner, Bitter Rivalry notwithstanding.

The value of the power action cannot be overstated here. Even aside from the biggest damage dice at the time of release, a huge portion of AWK Darth Vader’s power came from the fact that he reduced opponent options every round. Dooku does the same, but doesn’t require a tempo advantage to make use of it.

Nine HP is on the low side, but I doubt any non-rainbow deck can really afford to allow Kylo to keep taking activation triggers against them, meaning Dooku gets you to the late game hopefully with a couple redeploy weapons. No paid sides and a nice focus rounds this guy out in a pretty sweet package.

Competitively Viable? Unfortunately, probably not. 9HP without Force Illusion is a hard sell against Shadowcaster and Vader dice, and his non-elite cost pushes him two points above the line.

Crossguard by another name… But different. It’s really cool to see some very simple things that we’ve seen previously remixed into something totally distinct from what has come before. Damage from hand is always nice, and this certainly passes the “Is it as good as Shoto?” test. While the damage doesn’t proc off of Kylo, expect to see two of these with every ATG Vader, Legacies Dooku, and possibly even Legacies Palpatine.

But the real backbreaker here is using it on Draft-Dooku himself with the power action, ripping 40% of an opponents hand prior to even rolling out. It is also nice to see the double discard sides here, giving people drafting mill a solid include where they didn’t have one before aside from BWG.

Competitively Viable? Absolutely. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Ancient Saber, but villains like what they get here far more than Treasured Lightsaber… Though perhaps not quite as much as Grappling Boa at the same cost.

This is everything you want in a core draft kit, I’ll say that. What this is going to come down to is deck space, pure and simple. It’s good, but I can’t help but feel like it will be card numbers 31/32 in many decks that otherwise would love it simply because it shreds your tempo.

Competitively Viable? Yes, for decks that don’t need to roll first. The Trooper subtype most likely opens up additional room to maneuver as well, and the 2-cost side is neither here nor there when evaluating the card. That three ranged side is quite nice, especially for Snoke decks that want roughly the same effectiveness as a Hand Cannon without tying it down to a character, with solid upside when you’re flush with cards and/or cash.

Okay I don’t even know if this is worthwhile even in a dedicated mill draft deck. It’s not unreasonable to assume you can get three cards out of this plot, but two points is a very hefty price tag.

Competitively Viable? Absolutely not. I just can’t see this ever being a better option than Taking Ground to prevent Theed, or Stolen Intel to smooth out your first round. Especially now that Force Speeds and Force Illusions are gone.

Every set has filler cards, here’s one. Take Cover plus Jedi tribal enabling. Sure. It’s never going to be the worst thing in the world to get an HP for free but this puppy reads “Discard this card to reroll any number of your dice” to me.

Competitively Viable? Lol.

A pilot AND a Trooper. Value. He’s every bit as playable as Dooku in draft, and the power action is actually really good insofar as there are playable red cards. Never turn down free damage right?

Competitively Viable? No. Vehicle decks want Wedge and gun decks want Rex at this cost, and both Rose and Cody come in under Fenn’s point value, leaving this guy strictly in your draft box. Even if Hero troopers become a big deal, Clone Trooper carries the banner at a three-point discount.

Woah. Incredibly versatile no matter how you look at it. Almost always better than your pick of Recon, Emulate, or Targeting Computer. Don’t get distracted by Trooper/Sith/Jedi typing, and pay more attention to the things that say Upgrade – Weapon.

Competitively Viable? Really difficult to say without peering into the future, but red decks of any stripe are always looking to either press an advantage or dig themselves out of a hole, so until proven otherwise I think the sheer utility of this earns at least one slot in most red decks.

Hmm. I do love drawing cards, but support-based decks usually run right up to the 30 point mark to get more health.

Competitively Viable? No. The second a character can come in at the usefulness level L3 currently has but for two points cheaper is the second vehicle decks upgrade their third character from Gungan Warrior to Rebel Engineer. And even then, I’d rather just shave one additional point and take Armored Reinforcement.

This guy. This guy is so awkward. Paid sides on char dice are my bane, and if you want me to spend a third of my points on an 8HP character, naming it Maz Kanata is a better way to convince me. On the villain side of things, Val and Mando Commando strike me as better choices. This guy is really nice on ambush events though. Take Flight and In The Crosshairs are the only two things thus far that meet the standard though.

Competitively Viable? Nope. Better options by far for both hero and villain, and re-rolling is nowhere near as good as removing or focusing.

Dooku got you down? Shadow that guy, make him pay. Fenn? Low rent version of BT-1 now. I can see why this card was made, and it makes yellow a pretty attractive color to be in.

Competitively Viable? Ask me later. If there’s downgrade synergy to be had then I love anything free (not to mention making Snoke’s PA cost two HP). In a vacuum though, I don’t think this one card makes the cut.

How many downgrades are going to get printed? Again, two points is a huge barrier to entry.

Competitively Viable? Even with downgrade synergy, this seems like a stretch. Mando Commandos don’t get played currently, and they have direct damage every round pegged to an easier condition.

Now this is a beat-stick and a half. For the cost of resolving Force Storm ONCE, this die gets resolved THREE times. Sure it doesn’t ramp itself, but does it need to? It has it’s issues, and opponents can disrupt you out of resolvability, but that doesn’t spook me any.

The format-warping thing it does is require all Yellow decks to run 2x Vandalize, which was already probably a decent idea anyway but is now an unavoidable fact. The effectiveness of this card probably makes every deck want to run yellow just to run it AND vandalize to be honest.

Competitively Viable? I think so, absolutely. Even if all you do is look at it just as a two-cost weapon with redeploy that shreds your tempo I think you still end up pretty pleased with the flexibility it provides. And at it’s absolute worst where it gets immediately vandalized, it disrupts, discards, and removes an opposing char die and acts as a psuedo shield generator for whatever else you had going on. It’s no Vader’s Fist, but it can do a REALLY good imitation of one for a fraction of the cost.

Ah, so this is why all the plots cost 2. 6+11+11+2=30. It is nice that you can get an even 30 points out of just the kit, even if two of those points are somewhat feel-bad expenditures. Tribal enabler all around and no paid sides, I like it more than Jawa.

Competitively Viable? Well, it’s not red so Gungan still probably keeps his seat in Hero decks. Anyone who was running Vader/Jawa is now rolling this creepy looking thing out though, with a slight, but measurable efficiency increase.

Tribal stuff! None of these modes is very good, though, and to turn any one of them on with just the shapeshifter you need to see the future. Draft filler.

Competitively Viable? God I hope we don’t sink this low.

Flank is Flank is Flank. It’s good!

Competitively Viable? Yup. Was before, is now. And it’s a good sign to me that it seems like one money for one die with a reasonably easy to meet and easy to anticipate condition will be a perennial card. Happy to see the lifespan on Flank extended by yet another year.

It’s the name on the box! They said it and we all clapped! Two extra points is a LOT of extra points, and it’s pretty easy to see why the drawback and conditions are so major. For what really comes down to rolling back every Balance of the Force to date, it would have to be hard to prevent people from going nuts. It also opens up a few more options in draft where the loss of starting resources isn’t quite the backbreaker it is in Standard.

Competitively Viable? Thankfully it seems like the playtesters and FFG really didn’t want this to be playable. Or they just didn’t want to spend the time mathing out every other possible starting lineup. That being said, Vader/Talzin is now in the mix, and the first test point for this plot. Coming in hot on their heels though, is Dryden/Bib, who could very well not care about resource loss at all.

Draft games do tend to extend out for a lot of rounds, but do they go long enough to make this worth it? Even assuming you can play it round 1, the special needs to be resolved at least once before the die can even start to pull the weight of it’s cost.

Competitively Viable? Not even with an Aphra discount.

Eyyy, it’s expensive Vibroknife! With a ranged side? Is someone… Throwing swords? Fine in draft if for no other reason than because it has redeploy and it enables modified sides.

Competitively Viable? IDK, look at Dagger of Mortis and Heirloom Lightsaber and you tell me how it stacks up with Force Illusions gone.

I like that type-agnostic Tribal stuff extends to the battlefield, and takes a little more sting off maybe being forced to run the Changeling.

Competitively Viable? Ehh. If it’s worth taking at all it’s probably only going to go great with Troopers, since red is usually the color needing to reroll the most. Everyone else probably just sticks with what they have, and what they have is a whole lotta Theed at the moment.

This battlefield is so cool, and very very well designed. There is an incredible amount of strategic depth to be found in just this one card absent anything else in the game.

Competitively Viable? Whoever actually sat down and designed this card, I want you to know that you are appreciated and I see the work you did. I’m sorry I can never run the risk of playing this while Theed still exists.

Overall Thoughts on Drafting

Discard sides, tribal options, and a guaranteed three-char team with an… Acceptable plot all go a long way to make me more amenable to drafting. There is still a very high priority on drafting 8/9 Point characters out of the packs you open, but I don’t think it will doom you to the losers bracket if you don’t get one like it could with the previous sets.

I do think that Hired Muscle takes the spot of Fang Fighter in the “I must have this color or else” category, and I don’t like seeing one die towering above all others in usefulness. Red especially seems to be the color of last resort in this kit, lacking the super-synergy found with both Dooku cards.

The battlefields are far more interesting than the last ones we got, and are a subtly powerful way to influence how games will feel in practice while the events themselves are more suited for a dynamic experience.

Should I Buy This?

Absolutely, you should buy two. FFG has some shrewd business sense here, and the least controversial claim I can make is that Count Dooku’s Lightsaber and Hired Muscle are going to be cards you want two of. If that isn’t enough, I’d be willing to wager that Test Of Character is good enough across the board competitively.

Please don’t make me draft, I’ll be good I promise.
Agent Of Zion

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Heroes of the Republic

Characters

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Ardent Avenger and Satine Kryze: Hope of Mandalore

Obi-Wan and Satine are both seemingly excellent characters.

At first glance, Obi-Wan might seem slightly worse than his Legacies counterpart, but on closer inspection, I think he might be a little better. What he loses in HP and the free shield every turn, he more than makes up for with his Power Action, excellent die, and being one point cheaper opens him up to more combinations. They’re definitely pushing more character subtypes with this new set, and since Obi-Wan has the Jedi subtype, he’ll be able to synergize with all the Jedi cards in the set.

Satine is a beast of a budget character. For 10 points, you get both of her dice at 9 HP and the Leader subtype. Her die sides are also nothing to scoff at, at that price. A 2 Indirect, 2 Focus sides and a 2 for one resource are all solid sides. The fact that she has more than one two side is also a bonus for roll-off potential. 

Both of these characters I think will see a decent amount of play. Satine probably more so because of her low-cost Elite and the fact that she fills a great support slot that Maz did previously.

Plot

Force Flow

I’m not a huge fan of this plot. It might be fine in Trilogy play, but there are so many better options for 2 points in Standard that I don’t see it being a big factor. Double Down, Taking Ground, and Stolen Intel are all better at that cost. 

New Upgrades


Punch Dagger, Republic Jedi Armor, Mandalorian Jetpack, Grievance Striker


I really dig the Punch Dagger. It’s the 1-cost melee upgrade that we’ve been missing. DH-17 and (to a less extent) Hunting Rifle were solid 1-cost drops for ranged decks, but melee centric decks never really had that option. The fact that it has two base damage sides and a resource side make it an ideal round 1 play that lets you keep a resource for mitigation.

The Republic Jedi Armor seems pretty solid as a replacement for the rotating out Jedi Robes. It has some decent sides to keep your shields up, and extra Focus sides are never a bad thing. At the very least, it’s an early defense that can be turned into a weapon later through an overwrite. 

Mandalorian Jetpack is a weird card. It’s not necessarily a bad card, and with Vader around it could be outright deadly to him. I don’t know if it’s worth the two resources to play a card that might do almost nothing for you in a lot of games. The fact that it also doesn’t have a resource side hurts it I think. I’m very interested to see where this card ends up falling because I don’t hate it, but I also don’t know where I’d include it.  

Grievance Striker is another weird one. On the one hand, I really like the Redeploy since we are losing Holdout Blaster to rotation. On the other hand, it makes Obi-Wan really slow if you play it on him. Three base damage sides are solid, but it doesn’t synergize at all with Obi-Wan except to get that free damage for playing it. The only reason I could see this make its way into an Ob-Wan deck is if you really want to land his Power Action for 3 Indirect. Which doesn’t feel terrible, but it also doesn’t feel great. I get the thematic reason for it, but it feels slightly weird. 

New Events

Channel the Force, Calculated Risk, A Friend Lost, Upper Hand, Unshackle, Electromagnetic Pulse

Channel the Force is both a better and worse version of Beguile. It’s solid enough in the starter and in a deck that has both a Jedi and a Leader. The fact that you can alter your own dice with it is pretty cool too, but this seems like it will really shine in a Mace deck since he has both Jedi and Leader subtypes.

Calculated Risk is a cool card for several upcoming characters. Obi-Wan gives you a 2/3 chance to get that resource. With 2+ shields, Qui-Gon Jin: Defiant Jedi Master absolutely loves this card. It’s basically free money as long as you don’t hit that dreaded blank side. 

A Friend Lost is an interesting card. It requires you to be on your back foot for it to be the most useful. The problem is that I’d say most of the time, your opponent is going to be gunning for your bigger character, so this card feels way less effective when you’d want to use it. Not only that, but it requires at least a small amount of hand knowledge so that you can play around mitigation.

Upper Hand seems like it will find a decent place in a few decks. I can see it being a staple in Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon decks. Mace also has a pretty good die that is capable of meeting its play restriction. With so many specials out there, this seems like a solid 0-cost removal for Blue Hero. I do wonder if it falls into similar pits that Blue Hero falls in that it requires you to have dice out in order to really use mitigation. 

Unshackle is another weird one. I don’t know if it will find a place in most decks except for maybe Vader and Palpatine. Most of the downgrades that we’ve seen aren’t super devastating except for Target Acquired. Mind Extraction is the other big target for Unshackle, but even that isn’t that terrifying except on Palpatine.

Electromagnetic Pulse is great. 0-cost gray removal that gets rid of a vehicle or droid die seems fantastic. With the rise of Shadowcaster/Firespray decks and (I assume) the rise of more droid decks, this card seems like a great include. Of course, it’s definitely a meta call because if no one around you is playing droids or vehicles, and they don’t take off for some reason, this card obviously won’t see play. I suspect we’ll see plenty of both of those decks though.  

It’s also important to note that there was one card in hand that we were unable to make out. It was a 1-cost Blue event, but we don’t know much beyond that.

Supports

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Interceptor, Seeking the Truth

Obi-Wan’s Interceptor seems pretty solid in his deck, not so much in others. The ability to spot him to fix a blank is pretty solid, and the sides work well with his Power Action. This seems like it might be in a similar spot as the Grievance Striker in here though since it slows you down with all the different damage sides. Still, 3-cost for potentially four damage a turn is pretty nice. 

Seeking the Truth doesn’t seem awful, but it doesn’t seem great either. We’ve all been on the bad end of using a card to effect to re-roll an opponent’s die, and it ends up on the same side, or a better one for them. A leader-heavy deck could make decent use of this since it could give you two potential re-rolls if your first doesn’t go the way you want.

Battlefield

Deathwatch Hideout: Concordia

I believe we’ll see a decent amount of this battlefield because I think we’ll see a decent amount of Satine. The battlefield synergizes very well with her to give some much needed anti-mill tech. 

Returning Cards

Lightsaber, Draw Attention, Use the Force, Unpredictable, Truce, Dodge, Defensive Stance

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Vika’s Calgary Regional Winning Tournament Report

In the weeks leading up to the regional I was leaning towards playing Dooku/Talzin (I used them to win Season 8 of the Artificery league, which had decklists locked in a little over a month ago) and seeing Dooku/Talzin win two regionals the weekend prior to my event sealed the deal. The top three regional winning decks so far were Vader/Greedo, Yoda/Leia mill and Tarkin/Snoke, and I like Dooku/Talzin against all of them.

Match-Ups


Vader/Greedo – I feel like a favorite in this match up, though not a heavy one. Dooku’s ability is very good at keeping Vader off of Friends in High Places, and in my experience, I will win when Vader can’t play it (or if he whiffs when he does). Be patient with Dooku. If your opponent is showing damage on one Vader die, but not showing 7 total, don’t flip it. Just let him have it and make him play fair. If he starts rerolling, you know he’s looking for 7, and flip his highest die when he does get there.  When Vader wins the roll off, he will always take Theed, and when I win, I’ll always give him Theed. Do your best to take Theed from him going into round 2 and keep it the rest of the game. With Talzin having two shields Dooku becomes Vader’s target, and I much prefer racing to 15 damage while my opponent tries to get to 12, than trying to get to 17 while Vader only needs to get to 9. Beating Vader is the number one priority, so if you can’t do it, don’t even bother bringing the deck (I’m looking at you Tarkin/Snoke).


Leia/Yoda – Dooku/Talzin is very strong into mill as it combines the two things mill hates most, god rolls (through their abilities) and action cheating. Dooku/Talzin is especially strong vs. Leia/Yoda as you can burst Leia down fast, and you don’t care about cards being ripped from your hand, as you were never going to play more than two of them anyways and don’t need a lot of rerolls. Just play your upgrades and roll into great natural damage. At Odds is great vs. mill and The Power of the Force is a blow out card into them as well. Ancient Lightsabers don’t hurt here either.
Tarkin/Snoke – Give them Theed and just blast Tarkin down as fast as you can. With 2 Deflect and 2 At Odds, you aren’t overly scared of Fist since they have to pay for it, unlike with Vader. As with Leia/Yoda, you don’t care if Tarkin rips your hand away, you have plenty of consistency and it deals damage to your target while removing his own die and shutting off Snoke’s power action. When your opponent Snoke’s Tarkin’s double discard side, you know you’re going to win.


Snoke 3 Wide Decks – These might be the best decks out there, but without the results to back it up (only 2 regional wins), I wasn’t going to switch off of Dooku/Talzin because of them. This is Dooku/Talzin’s worst match up, particularly with Rebel Traitor (which I see as the stronger version) as you are never allowed to roll in Dooku off a Force Speed special. Playing on Rift Valley improves your odds against 3 wide Snoke a lot, which is why I chose that battlefield. You’re 65% to win the roll off vs. these decks, and with the amount of work that Rift Valley can put in against Snoke’s focus sides, I think it’s a must to run Rift Valley over Theed. I was hoping to never see this across the table from me.

Card Choices

Every even card must be explained, because they are costly to hit with Talzin’s ability and devastating when on Rift Valley.


Force Speed is your best card (with Energy Bow a close second) and allows you to cheat in your Dooku activation and flip his die to provide fast devastating damage. Force Speed allows you to use high value modified dice to great effect as well, like Maul’s Lightsaber and Vader’s Lightsaber, since you know you’ll have a base side to resolve them.


Ancient Lightsabers are amazing value, and I felt they were worth using despite being even. I think you could do without them as well though. 
No Mercy was included to give the deck some more reach to kill off a vital character faster, like Snoke in Snoke 3 wide decks, Tarkin in Tarkin/Snoke, etc. I only used it once over 11 games, so it probably wasn’t worth it. Despite being even it has some synergy with Talzin since you often only play 1 or 2 cards per turn anyways, so throwing your hand away is less costly.
Unyielding is the 3rd best card in the deck. For those who have not used Dooku/Talzin before, it is a 2x auto-include. Play some games with it and you’ll soon see why. It can easily win you games that are otherwise unwinnable. I forgot it in the Artificery league and missed it badly.

Rise Again is easy to get off with all the Theed’s running around, definitely want to include it. I think I played it 4/11 games. 

At Odds and Deflect are great vs. Vader’s Fist, so they’re easy 2x includes right now.

The Lightsabers – I wouldn’t use more than 1 copy of any of the 3 cost Lightsabers, as you can turn on Flames of the Past. It may be correct to use Fifth Brother’s Lightsaber over Vader’s Lightsaber as you really shouldn’t be using Vader’s Lightsaber’s action unless you’re swimming in money, in which case you’re probably better off trying to Rise Again, or play a couple more cards that round. Maul’s Lightsaber is a different story, as it can be worth the resource and the actions to roll it in and resolve it if you’re confident your opponent has no mitigation. In any case, you should look at these Lightsaber actions as costing 3 resources and the initiative next round, as they will often cause you to lose Theed when taking the time to do them. I never used either Lightsaber’s action/power action all tournament.

Opening Hand

You want to hit Force Speeds and Energy Bows (which have 4 sides you’re thrilled to see) and hopefully a consistent piece of mitigation. Keep any even cards you find, as you do not want them in your deck. I wouldn’t bother keeping Binds when you don’t hit an Energy Bow or Ancient Lightsaber to go with it. It’s debatable when you get it with a Force Illusion, but even then I’d likely throw them both back and dig for Force Speed and Energy Bow.

Swiss – 18 Players

Round 1 – Iden/Beckett

I rolled well and my opponent didn’t. I kept 2 deflects in my opening hand and was able to kill Iden round 2 before she resolved any dice (she rolled out poorly again that round). Iden and the baby blaster on her never showed a damage side this game. Rough game for my opponent. (1-0).

Round 2 – Thrawn/Snoke/Bitter

My opponent and I both throw back all 5 cards for the mulligan, and I draw into an atrociously bad hand. I win the roll off and give my opponent Weapons Factory Alpha (which is stronger than Theed, but more niche so less prevalent), hoping that I can burst Thrawn down with the 2 damage head start from Bitter and no shields to protect him. My opponent calls 1, sees that I have no mitigation, Energy Bows or Force Speeds among my 6 card hand and takes a Binds from me. After resolving both Thrawn dice for 2 resources (1 with a Snoke power action) he’s off to the races, playing a Fist and a Tie round 1. This game was over before the first action was ever taken. L (1-1).

Round 3 – Vader/Jawa/Retribution

I win the roll off and give Vader Theed. Round 2 starts with 2 damage on Dooku and Vader showing two 4 for 1 damage sides. I wanted to play ancient on Dooku, but decided that 8 to the face was a bit too much damage to take, despite not being enough for lethal. I flip one of Vaders dice and eat the other 4 damage. My opponent put 1 damage into Dooku from the Jawa, another from a Deflect and surprisingly (to me) flipped his blank to a 4 for 1 with Force Strike and killed Dooku while I had an unresolved Dooku die showing resource and a Rise Again on top of my deck. Talzin was able to finish Vader though, with Unyielding allowing her to resolve a 1 melee off an Ancient and her own 2 ranged side through 2 shields and an Illusion on Vader who had 3 health left. This was the first of many games that ended with an Unyielding play. W (2-1)

Round 4 – Yoda/Cassian/Anakin Mill

Dooku Talzin is strong into mill, and this game went absolutely perfectly for me. I won the roll off (81% favourite) and took Rift Valley. I played Binds, my opponent played Force Jump on Yoda, I played Energy Bow, and he rolled into a blank on Jump, and discard on both Yoda dice. I play my second Energy Bow and after some thought, he takes my hand with Yoda’s dice and I roll in solid damage with both Talzin and Dooku. Round 2 starts with me dropping Force Speed and killing Yoda before he can resolve his dice, while also getting a 1 cost ancient down. This game was over very quickly, and with the draws I had and Yoda and Force Jump never showing specials there was nothing my opponent could have done.  W (3-1).

Round 5 – Snoke/Ciena/Bala

My dream of dodging Snoke 3 wide decks is over and I’ll have to beat one to make the cut to top 4. I win the roll off and take Rift Valley. I’m able to control both Ciena and Bala’s dice round 1 and keep my opponent from getting any resources and put some damage into Snoke. He claims aggressively and misses on Rift.

I learn round 2 that he was never intending to pay for anything straight up anyways, as he plays Delve to drop a Planetary Bombardment, then uses its die to play Friends in High Places into an AT-ST. I’m able to get Snoke to 9 damage and have a Deflect in hand and I’m praying that I can kill Snoke with the AT-ST die. I’m passing and he has every die in the pool except AT-ST and I’m worried he’s playing around Deflect, but he finally rolls in AT-ST and hits damage and I kill Snoke prior to any Snoke dice being resolved or his power action being used (I don’t think either of Bala or Ciena had naturally rolled resources).

In the next round, I kill Ciena and he sinks a lot of damage into both Dooku and Talzin off his monster supports. Going into the final round, he has Bala with 2 shields and I have Talzin who’s about 3 away from death and Dooku maybe 5 away. He has the battlefield and rolls in Planetary (which basically can’t get a kill) instead of AT-ST (maybe playing around Deflect, but most likely just a mistake) and hits 5 indirect. I roll in Talzin and show some damage and a force speed special. He resolves the 5 indirect killing no one and I use the Force Speed special to roll in and kill Bala with Unyielding for 8, getting past the 2 shields and resolving my mixed damage sides all at once. I’m confident that if my opponent had played a little tighter, I lose that game (at one point he missed the optional trigger on Arc Caster to activate and reroll a die when rerolling one of my dice would have been important). By round 5 we’re all making some suboptimal plays, which I certainly did too this tournament, so I’m happy to get the win and move on to the top cut. W (4-1).

I finish in 3rd with 1st going to a 5-0 Snoke Ciena Rebel Traitor. The Thrawn Snoke who beat me earlier finished 4-1, having only lost to 1st place, was in 2nd. A Vader/Greedo deck was in 4th, also at 4-1, and one unfortunate soul missed the cut at 4-1.

Semifinals – Thrawn Snoke Rematch

Game 1 – Again my opponent and I discard all 5 cards and hard mulligan. I hit an Energy Bow, but not the Force Speed I was hoping for. He wins the roll off and chooses Weapons Factory Alpha, which he steam rolled me on last time after I chose it, and I draw Force Speed off the top of my deck with Bitter. The impact of this can’t be overstated, as I get my best card and avoid hitting an even on top of my deck. He calls 1 and chooses to take Feel Your Anger after hitting a blank on Thrawn and I get to play the Bow and Force Speed on Talzin turn 1 and this time I was the one off to the races. He got down a Droid Hailfire Tank, but without endless money to drop a stream of Ties, it’s simply an overcosted die and would be no match for my two characters doing what they do best. I kill Thrawn round 2 before he can resolve his dice and it doesn’t take long to finish Snoke. 1-0.

Game 2 – My Opponent chooses Rift Valley this time and poetically Bitter moves me off an odd and onto an even. When you hit an even card on Rift Valley you’re probably going to lose as you get destroyed twice on that turn (Talzin and your claim both miss, unless you can use an Illusion to change the deck). I don’t remember too much of this game, as I pretty much knew I was done once that happened. I may have started with an Energy Bow, but definitely not Force Speed. 1-1. 

Game 3 – We’re back on Weapons Factory Alpha and I think I hit a Force Speed in my opening hand, if not I got it to round 2. For the 4th time in 4 games, my opponent hard mulligans (pretty sure it was 4/4, could have been 3/4).

I have a very strong board state going into round 3 with Talzin having two Force Speeds and an Energy Bow on her and Dooku with an Ancient Lightsaber and Thrawn very low on health. I expect to kill Thrawn easily, but my opponent mitigated me like a champion keeping me off Force Speed specials and damage using Overconfidence, Hidden Motive and Beguile prior to Dooku finally rolling out fair. I eventually kill Thrawn and put a couple of damage into Snoke. By the end of the round, both Dooku and Talzin are getting low on health and my opponent had a solid board state.

The next round I roll out well with Talzin and hit some damage and two Force Speed specials. I take my time and resolve what damage I can then drop a Vader’s Lightsaber while eating some damage from a Fist. I then take 4 actions with Force Speed specials and activate Dooku needing to get to 7 damage with two rerolls and a Dooku flip, but no resources making his 3 for 1 side dead. I hit a +3 on Vader’s Lightsaber and a focus on Dooku and that was all I needed to put 8 into Snoke. W 2-1

Finals – Snoke/Ciena/Rebel Traitor


As stated before, Snoke 3 wide decks are my worst match up, but the Rebel Traitor version can be an absolute nightmare.

My outs against 3 wide snoke tend to include starting on Rift and being able to steal a Snoke focus late and force my opponent to hit damage naturally and to burst Snoke down fast prior to them getting an amazing board state set up. With Snoke, dead Cienas trick becomes expensive and a bit inefficient as you no longer have Snoke’s consistency and ability to print money. Going for Ciena first is all kinds of wrong, even if they drop a Fire Spray.

Game 1 – My opponent won the roll off and chose Theed. He activated Ciena and rolled a resource. With Feel Your Anger as my only mitigation that could stop him from ramping, I decided to take a chance on Talzin’s activation and was able to blank Ciena’s die with Talzin’s ability, and turn on Feel Your Anger. Rebel Traitor activated next and unfortunately for me also rolled a resource, so there was no stopping the ramp. He dropped a Fist and it did what it does best, and followed up with a round 2 Fire Spray with TLT and proceeded to steam roll me, getting off a round 2 or 3 Rebel Traitor into Mind Trick play for good measure. Though it took a few more rounds to finish, this one was decided quickly with his vastly superior board state. 0-1.

Game 2 – I’m on my home turf of Rift Valley and I luckily didn’t hit any devastating evens this game. I think I started with two Force Speeds as well. Once again I believe my opponent was able to Snoke a resource round 1 to ramp, but had to play a Hover Tank and was obviously far behind where he was the prior game with a round 1 Vader’s Fist. I was able to remove Snoke’s focus sides with Rift Valley this game and build up my own board state and before too long (round 3 I think) I was able to kill Snoke, then work my way through Ciena and Rebel Traitor while getting consistent value from Rift Valley. 1-1

Game 3 – We’re back on Theed and like in the previous game my opponent is able to ramp but is forced to play Hover Tank as his round 1 vehicle. I believe I started with a force speed and an energy bow and am off to the races. I was able to kill Snoke in round 2 I think and establish a stronger and faster board state than my opponent who was also rolling a ton of blanks of this game. I took this game and won the regional!
Not to over simplify things, but in game 1 my opponent started with a Fist, and games 2 and 3, he hit neither Fist nor Fire Spray round 1 and was forced to start with Hover Tank, which against 2 wide decks is a destitute man’s Fist/Fire Spray. He’s 80% to start with a Fist or Fire Spray with a hard mulligan and I was lucky that he missed them 2 of the 3 games.

Conclusion

To wrap things up, this was a very fun regional with very friendly people. The tournament was well organized and supported by the store (The Sentry Box) and although we only had 18 people, I feel it was a strong tournament, with all the decks in the cut being top tier decks piloted by strong players. Thanks for reading!

David ‘Vika’ Broberg