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The Moff: NOVA Top 8 Tournament Report

the moff

Let’s start with the most fun and unique part of the Moff: Hand control. This aspect has three parts, Thrawn, Grand Moff and Jedi Temple. Once you get Grand Moff down it allows you to either switch the battlefield or to use the claim ability on the battlefield that is being used. Coupled with Jedi Temple you are able to gain knowledge and about 90% of the time rip two events from the opponent’s hand which would have been used to either mitigate your resource production or re roll. Finally, Grand Moff takes the guessing game out of Thrawn’s ablity and you can remove whatever is remaining from your opponent’s hand leaving them with two cards for the rest of the round and you know exactly what they are, barring any shenanigans of course.
Another amazing part of the deck is the ability it has to get absurd amounts of resources. It’s not uncommon to be able to get up to 10 resources on round 1. The obvious and most effective interaction is Snoke’s power action on Thrawn’s 2R side, but Chance cubes are also extremely effective especially with all the focus in the deck.
Speaking of focus, the deck’s 5 main dice are sporting 6 focus sides. 1F 2F on both Thrawn and Snoke and a 2F 3F on Grand Moff. This allows the deck to be extremely consistent and lead to huge blow out swing turns where you can quite often put out 12-18 damage and with Grand Moff/Thrawn you don’t have to worry about mitigation and can take your time setting up the burst.

the moff

Card Choices

Grand Moff and Jedi Temple: The deck is built around this interaction and of course would not function the same without this. Your bread and butter. If you can get this going round 1 or early round 2 it is usually GG.
Ancient Lightsaber: This card was added instead of Fall Back which I had on my GenCon list. I lost to mill twice at GenCon due to lucky 2/5 chance to hit my Grand Moff in the opening hand. I wanted a little extra to deal with that matchup in case that happened again. It ended up winning me a match early in the Swiss. This card is on the fence however because in every other match-up 95% of the time it is a discard to re-roll.
Beguile and Mind Trick: These cards seem obvious to include, however I put them both at two. This could seem like a bit of overkill for most decks but with the amount of resource generation this deck has they both proved very useful. Mind Trick was especially useful due to the fact that your opponent only gets two re-rolls a round and will usually walk right into it.

A typical match

Mulligan: The mulligan is usually quite simple, you want Grand Moff and Chance Cubes vs all match-ups. Against aggro lists I usually keep a force illusion as well. Against a Snoke Bazine/Aphra which could be looking to discard 3 cards from my hand I will keep a hidden motive/Doubt to deal with the discard side. Against Mill keep ancient lightsaber as well.

Battlefield roll: About 80% of the time you will win the roll off. If you have Grand Moff in your hand you should probably take their battlefield to get some shields on Thrawn and just use the first power action to switch to Jedi Temple. Most of the time even without Grand Moff it is correct to take the shields but the situation will determine what is correct. You will most likely never claim and you may not see a Grand Moff until round 4 or 5 so plan accordingly.

Round 1: The first rollout with Thrawn requires some meta knowledge since you will have to guess what your opponent could be running. Also make sure to roll first then decide what to call. For instance if you roll 2 of the same symbol and number against a yellow hero list 1 is the best number to call to try and get rid of easy pickings. On round 1 you usually want to call a number that will hit mitigation because round 1 is all about resources and hopefully getting a Grand Moff down if you started with it. You will rarely do any damage round 1 and that’s OK resources are what matter here.

Round 2-3: Round 2-3 should be all about ramp and control. Turn one GM power action. Turn 2 roll Thrawn and take another card. Turn 3 – 10 play around any remaining removal (if there is any) and play some beefy vehicles, use focus to get what you want and hit them. Resources and mitigation are more important than damage here but you should be able to do a decent amount of chip damage.

Round 4-5: Now it’s time for the finishing burst. Continue controlling with GM and Thrawn, you should be far ahead of vehicle lists and have enough resources to mitigate aggro lists. This is the time to put all your dice towards a killing blow. Instead of using Thrawn for resources, use his dice to focus your vehicles and Snoke. I have been able to do 16-22 damage consistently by round 4 and if your opponent is still standing by the end of that round 5 should be an easy clean-up.

NOVA Tournament Report

Swiss

Match 1: Finn2/Maz – This was an unfortunate first pairing, it was against my wife. I let her know before the game though that I would not take it easy on her and she understood. I had Grand Moff round 1 and she couldn’t get any decent rolls to contest me. The match was over by the beginning of round 4 due to my opponent having a very low health pool. 1-0
Match 2: Yoda/Anakin/Cassian – I was very happy about this match. It was a rematch from GenCon against Shane from the Hyperloops. I was able to get the ancient lightsaber in my opening hand but I did not see Grand Moff until the beginning of round 5. This is one of the rare exceptions where playing a Grand Moff very late was the right call. His Battlefield was “” which isn’t too far off from Jedi Temple and allowed me to take care of his hyperspace jumps and see his hand for Thrawn. 2-0

Match 3: Snoke/Thrawn – During this match I achieved something I only ever joked about: Two Grand Moffs at the same time. It was incredible and to make it even sweeter the turn I did it my opponent had 4 events in hand which were swiftly stripped away. He had no choice other than to pitch his last card to reroll a couple dice since my Thrawn would just pitch that as well. He was a good sport about it though and a really nice guy. 3-0

Match 4: Snoke/Aphra/Battle Droid – This match can be tough and I expected to see Aphra a decent amount but she came out in droves. Again my Grand Moff helped me keep my dice in play and their re-rolls to a minimum. However, with Aphra’s ability I couldn’t just roll everything out and focus, I had to take what I could get when there was unknowns in their hand. 4-0

Match 5: Luke3/Rey2 – This match was so so close and came down to a few health. I wasn’t able to get my Grand Moff this game so I had to switch gears. My opponent was rolling really hot all game and it came down to a final god roll at the end with his last reroll to seal his victory. 4-1

Match 6: Snoke/Kylo2 – Another very unfortunate matchup, I was against my teammate and friend Agent of Zion. I got quite lucky in the beginning calling 0 with Thrawn to grab his force speed out of his hand. He also got unlucky in missing on several 50/50 Kylo activations. I ended up beating him but no harm no foul because he placed Top 8 as well! Here’s a link to his decklist. {Link} 5-1

Match 7: Talzin/Mando/Mando – I was initially afraid of this deck because of its consistent damage that would be hard to mitigate and its ability to have 6-8 upgrades out with ease. However, this match ended up being somewhat of a blowout, my opponent had a tough time getting anything after Grand Moff hit the table and my mitigation proved to be very effective. I even got two big mind tricks off take care of 3-4 dice each. 6-1

Match 8: Aphra/Executioner/Executioner – I was very excited to see my opponent’s deck in action. He was 7-0 and the deck was getting all the buzz around the tournament. The match was at Table 1 which was the streaming table, you can watch the VOD here {Link}. I got my Grand Moff round one and got to work. But by the end of round 2 things didn’t look too good. I had tons of damage on my characters and the only damage dealt to my opponent came from his own cards. I also was forced to add a Battle Droid to my team from Separatist Landing Craft to absorb some of the indirect damage. Thankfully I was able to ramp and had tons of vehicles to play and I ended up doing 17 damage in one round killing Aphra and severely wounding both Executioners. I promptly cleaned them up on the next round. 7-1

Top Cut

Top 32: Snoke/Bazine/FOST – I had heard so much about this deck and that there were two different versions. This was the version not running FIHP. I did not start so hot and after 4 rounds in a row of FOST rolling a 2R side it was too much damage to handle and I lost the first game. Game 2 I was slightly tilted and was having flashbacks to GenCon where I was defeated in Top 32. Not wanting to have that happen again I became very serious. I thought about every little move but had to make them quickly because time was not on my side. I played well and learned from the last game what to do differently (and FOST didn’t god roll me every round). The second game ended very one sided and me moved into game 3. Game 3 was a very good game. My opponent made very good decisions and I don’t think he misplayed at all. Alas, the hand control and burst potential of my deck proved too strong and I took the match.

Top 16: Snoke/Bazine/FOST – A Rematch of the last match but this guy was running Delve and FIHP. I fortunately got Grand Moff in my starting hand and was able to keep him away from those big beaters he so desperately wanted to play. He was able to get an AT-ST but for better or worse it kept rolling special which slowed me down a bit but it did not do much to get damage on my characters. Game 2 was a bit closer, he was able to drop AT-ST and Planetary but when all your damage is in one or two dice my mitigation will win me the game.

Top 8: Snoke/Aphra/Battle Droid – I was very confident heading into the match and that lead to a quick and decisive game 1 victory for me AT-DP killed so many of his droids and he had no supports in play by round 4. However, I think that confidence may have turned to overconfidence and in a very close match probably decided by one or two actions I lost the second game, 0-0-0 is just too good in that deck and AT-DP was nowhere to be found. Game 3 was also very close, but it may have been decided in round 1. I had started with Grand Moff and chance cube in my opening hand, I rolled Thrawn and took his only removal. This is an amazing start and I figured I was golden. I roll in Snoke, Triple blanks. “That’s fine I have 2 cards to re-roll and 8 sides with focus. I re-rolled twice and no focus and only 1R side showing on chance cube. I sat there for a minute contemplating pitching the Grand Moff for another chance at doing something that round. Looking back that was probably the best move. However, I didn’t do that. I resolved that 1 resource and went to the next round. It was probably the worst round 1 I had all weekend. The game continued on however and I had the Grand Moff down. Rolls started looking up for me but my opponent rolled unbelievably well and even said to me “Wow, I haven’t rolled like this all weekend”. That will happen sometimes in destiny and there isn’t much you can do about it. I was still very happy about my performance and had a ton of fun.

Closing Thoughts

I learned a lot from NOVA and I really really love this deck. It will be fun to play it and watch it evolve through the coming months with the new set and more people learning about this combo. Hopefully Snoke doesn’t get balanced too soon so I can have more fun with this deck!

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