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Tacster’s NA Championship Breakdown: The Quest for 4 Medals

Gen-Con, a five year tradition for my wife and I, is an experience I would recommend to anyone a fan of board, card, or role-playing games, and with that comes the second largest Destiny event of the year (we can call EU Championships a solid third largest). So many things to do at Gen-Con, I was relieved to have the tournament earlier in the week so that I could enjoy the later half the the con. Leading up to it though I had fairly limited practice with notable meta decks in way of the force.

I had been leaning towards Thrawn / Snoke vehicles deck for its consistency, control, and hand knowledge, but the possibilities of large amounts of aggressive decks lead me astray and fear got the best of me leading me back to the old familiar, Hero Vehicles. The list I played was not really any big innovation of my own but really the brainchild of Hexen and Agent of Zion from the Artificery team. Its not a flashy deck, it doesn’t have anything we haven’t really  seen in hero vehicles outside of 2 red characters and the new card First Aid (which was quite useful).

Little did I know, picking this deck was kind of the choice of a crazy person seeing as I was the only player in the top 32 for the event that dared play without Blue. I definitely did not have the repetitions with this deck in before the event but it plays so similar to things I’ve played the last year it was fine.

The real important thing here was my defending title of Medal Champion of Star Wars: Destiny. For those that don’t know, medals are awarded for placing in the top 16 at either World’s or Continental championship events. So far there have been 6 total, and only 4 in the U.S. Andrew, from the Destiny Council, and I were the only 2 people who made top 16 in worlds both years, but he was not playing at Gen Con last year, leaving me one medal ahead of the pack. So my biggest motivation here was making that top 16 yet again. And as I will describe in the match-ups below, I got to be the gatekeeper against Launch Bay OTK to make that dream come true. Making me the only player to get all four US medals, with several players now joining the 3 medal club (Andrew and Brian from Destiny Council, Joe and Mike from Hyperloops). Congrats to all y’all great players and looking forward to the fifth medal at worlds next year!

The Deck

Again not a whole lot to say about the deck specifically. There is one of 3 different 3 cost vehicles to diversify with the N-1 Starfighter helping in other vehicle matchups. First-aid was a great card to have as well. Rigged detonation was probably the only weird one and is definitely not necessary but it was OK and at least worth the try here while it did not actually meaningfully contribute to winning any of my games.

Match-Ups

Round 1:  eYoda / eCassian Mill

  • This was a very close game where I was hit with FILP (Friends in Low Places) or Scruff-Looking Nerf-Herder every round making it hard to keep my removal / good cheap supports. I ended up winning after I had no cards in hand or deck doing 2 damage overkill. While this mill is very fast, this is the kind I would prefer to face against since it only has 20 health baseline and allows me to bully them a lot more with indirect damage using Wedge’s 2/3 sides. I would say I actually have the advantage against that deck unless they get really strong Hyperspace jumps off.

Round 2: eFinn / eMaz  Profitable Connections

  • This was not a matchup I was terribly scared of because of my high health pool, and with the profitable connections instead of long term plan it could not scale up as well against me late game. He was unable to punch out very hard round 1 and while he was able to get hit and run both rounds 2 and 3 I was still able to close out the game round 3. He got a good amount of damage on Rose round 2 and rolled his hit and run into 11 damage to one shot Wedge round 3. The problem with playing a 19 HP deck and going all in with no resources is that the indirect damage stacks up fast.

Round 3: eKylo / eSnoke

  • Another matchup that was in my favor from the beginning. After throwing out a good bit of indirect early that he put toward snoke and a little more direct damage, I was able to secure that kill round 2 making the indirect damage all the more potent going forward. Controlling at least a few of the few damage capable dice he had each round was an easy victory that was also done by the end of round 3.

Round 4: eTalzin / 2x Mandalorian Supercommandos

  • This was my first loss of the day. The matchup overall can be quite dicey especially if I cannot save Rose through the end of round 2. The deck just has so much consistent damage and health gain / block its just very hard to get ahead on HP until the late game. If I had won the battlefield roll and not had to be on Rift Valley I think I would have been able to get ahead enough in ramp and not get that extra removal used against me that I could have pulled out the game. I do believe this version of the deck was not nearly as effective vs my deck as the one I played in the top 16 and that took 2nd place.

Round 5:  eSnoke / Piett / Rebel Traitor

  • This match I kind of feel bad for. I was able to ramp multiple vehicles round 1 while stopping him from using Snoke power action for more resources. Round 2 I killed his Rebel Traitor and pinned down both it and Pietts resource sides to again deny the Snoke power action. At this point I was so far ahead I never lost a character and slowly whittled down his large HP pool.

Round 6: eSnoke / Piett / Rebel Traitor

  • This was a very different story from the last game and was probably my favorite match the whole of Gen-Con. He was able to ramp out insanely well and I had very little to answer for it in the first 2 rounds. This saw me sitting across an arch-angel, pirate speeder tank, planetary bombardment, and fang fighter over the course of the game. This was also the game I finally got to use the naboo n-1 starfigher to destroy a pirate speeder tank showing 5 indirect with C-3P0’s action. He did not end up seeing it coming which helped a bit, and I baited out removal on it in a later round for fear I would kill his 2nd pirate speeder tank. The game cuminated in a huge rollout with arch-angel, planetary bombardment, and pirate speeder tank and he hit damage on all 3. I removed the bombardment die, and he resolve the other two putting me down to 1 HP on just wedge. I then ended up killing Piett to remove damage he rolled, removed snoke die with a Flank, and had no money left. I was sitting across from a fang fighter with a 2nd pinned down in hand and no money. I spend the next few actions discarding to reroll just C-3P0to get my hand smaller before he hit damage on fang. By the time he did I was able to rally aid for the 100% chance to cast Pinned down for free. From there it was just a matter of getting out my vehicles and finishing out the game surviving by 1 HP.

Round 7: eYoda / eCassian Aggro

  • Luckily I knew of the group of people playing this variant so I was not fooled into thinking it was a mill deck. I was able to put a decent enough amount of pressure early and was able to kill off Cassian round 3 after a scruffy looking nerf herder to get rid of a removal and see that no jump or second chance were on the way. After this it was an easy victory tearing through yoda who did not have much in the way of damage potential. I had lost rose at this point, but Wedge and the hired gun were quite healthy still. He was running cunning and at least lightbow for some special chain package. Was not sure if he had force wave but that could have turned the tide if he did.

Round 8: eYoda / Cassian / Anakin Mill (Reflex the 2018 NA Champion)

  • At this point I had already made day 2, so there was very little pressure this game and I knew my chances of winning were quite small. I probably made amisplay early by slamming down N-1 starfighter just to kill off his ankin podracer instead of playing my HWK. While I ramped fairly well, I still was not able to really get that close to finishing him off and it was an easy victory for him.

Top 32: Ezra / Jar Jar / Anakin / Gungan Launch Bay OTK

  • I was quite scared when I sat across from this. I had never really played much against the deck but luckily I was aware of how it worked even when we were not shown decklists (which is a first for an event like this in the top cut). The first game actually had my ideal start vs it. I had drawn C-3P0 and a modified HWK giving me access to a 4 side to use with the C-3P0 action for discard. Knowing most versions of this deck run 0 removal, I was able to use Wedge’s power action to turn the HWK to the 4 side every round and he was never able to get a cohesive combo off. The second game was a little scarier since I did not get C-3PO until round 3 and we had to play on fort anaxes which really messed with my rose dice when they rolled indirect. I was at least able to shield Wedge to get him to 14 HP as a protection from the salvo. Luckily enough the disrupt sides on all 4 of my character dice, Roses base discard side, and the discard side on the T-47 Airspeeder were enough to keep him barely out of full combo potential. Couple with the good amount removal my deck has, this matchup was actually quite easy for the deck because of how disruptive it could become when it needed to. I still really don’t like playing vs that deck since it forces me to play a completely different game that I was luckily a skilled enough pilot to handle. With this win I got my 4th top 16 medal!

Top 16: eTalzin / 2x Mandalorian Supercommandos (Jordan the 2018 NA Champ Runner-up)

  • Neither of my games in this best of 3 were very close. In the first game I  got wrecked hard by force rend played via holocron. He killed my rally aid round 1 and then my ARC round 2 leaving me with no vehicles on the board and rose dead. By the time he killed my hired gun the next round or two when I still only have one vehicle out I just conceeded and moved to game 2 since I had a total of 2 dice to my name and about 15 health to still chew through. The second game, if I had been able to survive until the end of the round which I died on there was a chance I could find lethal, but I did not have enough answers to the constant pinging of the supercommandos. The force rend and force wave in his deck really swing the matchup far in his favor in my opinion where were cards I did not see in the previous opponent playing the deck. He played great not making any notable mistakes and the constant damage was just too much to come back from.

Conclusion

I am still stunned after to fact to find that everyone else was running blue, but it makes sense with how strong the color is. While I have still yet to actually win a large event, I am still quite happy with my performance despite not bringing the best deck for the tournament. I want to congratulate everyone that made day 2 at this large event of 250ish players. My opponents were great and nothing but solid experiences. Lastly want to shout out to the Hyperloops for such a great performance at this event. They have done well at all tournaments we have run into each other at, but I think this to me was their biggest event and a great show of teamwork and practice paying off. Look forward to playing with you all again at Worlds next year and for those coming to NOVA in the coming weeks. Just know I intend to remain the King of the Medals!

 

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