Ever since I won my worlds seat when Worlds was invite-only, I have been toying with the idea of running Vos at an event. The L8Night gaming boiz pushed Vos as a ridiculous deck a ways back, and though my memory may be failing I think they picked up a list that ABG Drew had brought to their stream one day and never stopped poking at it.
The earliest I told anyone this was way back in November, though I did exclude the LVO. I always feel a lot of weight on me for my tournament performance just because I am part of a team and while noone would fault me for essentially fucking around during a prime, I feel like I am “throwing” if I don’t take one of the best decks available to a major event. LVO was different though, because before the tournament even started I was a winner.
My wife, who has nothing but endless patience for the time (and money) I spend travelling to play this game wasn’t able to get time off work to attend something so close. She was going to have friends over for board games while I was gone so when she woke up for work early on Thursday morning I was handed a honey-do list to clean up the apartment. After spending the morning packing, cleaning a lot of things, and just generally panicking because I still hadn’t locked in a deck I finally make my delayed flight and land in Vegas. When I arrive, my notifications were blown up because of the delay and everyone is waiting on me to go get food.
Okay, time to haul ass and get to the Airbnb. Link up with Gandork in the Uber line, settle in for a grip of Vegas traffic, and talk shop along the way. I get to the Airbnb, and spend ten minutes or so chatting with everyone who is there just generally catching up and still bitching and moaning about deck selection. After a while I am prompted to check out the hot tub and pool, and when I walk into the back yard I see Samantha lounging in a lawn chair like she owned the place!
Come to find out, she had been plotting the surprise for weeks and everyone but me knew she was going to be there. I married a tricky bitch, but what an amazing surprise! This thrilled me to no end. Sam and I love gambling, love travelling, and most of the time even love eachother.
But we keep talking about my deck choice once I had calmed down enough to continue, and Sam says “just play that stupid deck you keep wanting to play”. Elrathion then chimes in with words to the effect of “if you do well with Palpatine, no-one is going to care. If you take Vos you’ll either get made fun of, or become a legend”.
Well. I get made fun of on the daily anyway, I’m now on vacation with my favorite person in the World, and I have team blessing. It’s Vos time baby.
Why Pryce over Motti?
Not the easiest question to answer, and truthfully I may have ended up on the wrong side. The removal ability versus the die pumping or special chaining versus the utility of discard and having a chainable focus, and an extra HP vice being able to get an extra damage whenever a char die is removed is a lot to balance out. If you call me wrong for taking Pryce then I wouldn’t fault you. Ultimately though it came down to two things for me.
First, the paid side on Motti is a huge pain in the ass round 1, and if you don’t resolve it once your opponent has any dice in their pool then they know for a fact you either have Hard Bargain or Delve in hand. Either way, they’re firing hand hate across the bow and if it’s delve you’ll never get to resolve a resource side.
Secondly, Pryce has a damage side. Ideally I’m resolving her specials but having three sides of the die I don’t hate in a vacuum comes up better than Motti’s two.
This is going to be very abbreviated with a couple exceptions. The games weren’t boring, my opponents were far from dull, it’s just that there’s only so many times I’m willing to say “and then I discarded a card to reroll my Vos dice”.
R1: Satine R2 3PO LTP – W
Critical play here was getting six damage from a Pryce-Resolved Darksaber die, killing R2 while carrying an unresolved Chewies Blaster. He didn’t have mitigation in hand but he did have a shield die to resolve which would have prevented it. A slight benefit you may encounter is people not knowing off the top of their head the threats represented with cards like Pryce, Darksaber, Ground Battallion, or Starviper given that they were all either never meta to begin with or have fallen out of the meta almost entirely.
R2: Chopper/R2/3PO – L
Opponent had control of the game from minute one, and Easily Picked my Vos dice in both R1 and R2. I could have played around it in R2 by opting to just resolve Vos focus instead of rerolling but after losing the dice R1 I was in a hole I needed to dig my way out of and just one special wasn’t going to cut it.
R3: Iden/Beckett – L
One of the best ways to beat Vos with any deck is to constantly reroll for maximum damage. There are many reasons why a lot of decks wouldn’t do that, but that is almost the entire point of Iden/Beckett to begin with. He did what he was supposed to do, I did what I was supposed to do, I got my shit pushed in with Vos dead in R2. It would have happened sooner, but I did actually draw 3 out of 4 of my defensive cards.
R4: Greedo/Grievous/Sentinal/Commando – W
Basically this is the villain version of Ewoks, but without the need to be weird with money to avoid Glider Attacks and Rigged Detonations. Opponent had very few ways to interact with Vos specials, so I got off to a running start and never stopped.
R5: Kylo/Rey – W
With counterintel and hard bargain in my opening hand, I chose Bendu’s as the battlefield knowing that I could either pull Adapt out of his hand if he went to resolve shields immediately, and delay rolling out Vos until I was out of forsaken range. Indirect was my friend and Pryce got her first killing blow of the tournament after slamming a million.
R6: Obi/R2 – W
I thought I was going to lose this, not having dealt any damage until Round 3. I was getting a Siege Cannon charged up though, and pulling a grip of cash from Darksaber and Grand Moff I just needed an opportunity. I hard-casted Mega, blew my Cannon Load into Obi and resolved some indirect to put R2 at deaths door. A counterintel the next round cleared the way by removing one of two mitigation cards and I sealed the deal.
R7: Chopper/Engineer/Engineer/AR – L
I got destroyed here, no two ways about it. I had no methodology to interact with Shadowcaster, and the wide availability of focus plus three bodies to spread indirect left him with one very healthy engineer at the end of the game even under fire from a really stacked board state on my end.
Top 32: Chirpa/Hoth Trooper/3x Ewok/Preemptive Strike – 2-0 W
Not the easiest match by a long shot. But no die mitigation in my deck is a blessing in disguise because I’m nothing but gas. Riot Shields and Armor Platings were bombs in their own right. He never got a valuable Strength in Numbers off in either game, and Vos dodged a Laser Tripwire while holding a Darksaber. While that isn’t super lucky (75% to avoid) getting the perfect amount of damage to kill Chirpa before he can Chain Lightning himself plus Vos was.
Top 16: 4-Lom/Sentinal/Grievous – 2-0 W
Game 1 went my way with some good Dryden stuff going on, but Game 2 was looking hairy because he got a Fist down on the field with Focus to help. The luckiest moment of the tournament for me came here when I activated Vos holding Darksaber and Admiral, and rolled 1 short of maximum damage. This one-shotted Grievous and put the Messenger in mop-up range where even rolling shields on his Fist wouldn’t save him.
Top 8: Kylo/Rey – 2-1 W
I didn’t get permission from my opponents to use their names for the article, which was a mistake on my part but I’m going to name Derrick here to clear some air. You can find the VOD of this match on twitch and there were some comments both in chat, by the commentators, and to me after the match that they felt Derrick was being rude or disrespectful during the match.
This is 100% untrue. I play Derrick very very often. We share tournaments because we’re relatively close geographically, he is one of the best players in Arizona, and he is always game to play matches on TTS. We are extremely comfortable playing against eachother, I don’t mind him doing pretty much anything in-game because I know there isn’t any ill-intent.
Game one was all me, game two was all him, game three there were a couple mistakes on both sides that just happened to work out in my favor more than his. I didn’t need to take an Ataru Strike to the dome, and he could have used his Rey PA more judiciously. Two planetary bombardments are a tough hill to climb, and I was able to pull it out with a hard-bargained Admiral reset on Pryce to find lethal.
Top 4: Chopper/R2/3PO – 0-2 L
I’ll also name Henry here to congratulate him again for his outstanding performance all day. He 100% deserved to win the tournament, and he played with laser-focus throughout the entire top cut. No mistakes from that man, well done to him and the rest of the Cloud City Rollers for their runs. The entire team is always a pleasure to be around, and I always look forward to seeing them at major tournaments plus the Portland Regional.
This match was also on stream, which you can see here. Henry knew that he didn’t actually need to have any weapons to win, and was perfectly fine just using whatever he could PA from Chopper to add some additional juice. So game 1 was a foregone conclusion when I counterintelled into a hand full of removal.
I definitely fucked up in Game 2 by playing a Darksaber on Vos who was as good as dead on board instead of just dropping it on Pryce and proceeding with good reroll opportunity to find three damage to secure a Chopper kill. I’m somewhat doubtful of my chances to win that individual game regardless but it is a better than even chance that saying so is just a way to protect my ego from my own mistakes.
How to Play Vos
Okay, the entire weekend I was saying that the deck was all luck and that I’m basically making no decisions. This isn’t a lie necessarily, but it’s definitely not the full truth.
You need to make your own luck. Disrupt sides from Bombardment and Megablaster, discard sides from Pryce and Darksaber, the ability on Ground Battallion, the Grand Moff power action, knowing when a Hard Bargain is a bad idea, knowing when resolving a Vos special is a bad idea, all of those decisions and courses of action play a major role.
If you counterintel into a hand with two removal, have no hard bargain, and need to do good things this round then you need to make your own luck by giving yourself the maximum opportunity for things to go right. Go find a discard side. Try to get some disrupt on your Megablaster. Force their mitigation with a target too good to turn down with Planetary.
Making your own luck is a sequence of things that is extremely difficult to get across via text because of how context and situation dependent it can be. You need to focus on what matters. Sometimes that’s damage, sometimes that’s finding the opportunity to deal damage via hard bargain or delve. Sometimes that’s just living through another round.
Part of making your own luck is the Mulligan. Keep Counterintel, Armor Plating, Riot Shield, and Hard Bargain. Everything else goes back, except Delve if and only if you are already keeping at least two other cards. Reason there is because you don’t want to hit a situation where you Vos Special for Delve and your best play is to deal Pryce a damage just to drop some shielding on Vos.
How To Play Against Vos
Reroll for maximum damage. It’s either a 23 or 22 HP deck. Treat it like such. You’re the aggressor here.
Disrupt in R1/R2 if Hard Bargain was played. Keeping them without Riot Shield or Armor Plating money keeps them at that 23/22HP level. Reduce the number of paid sides they can resolve.
The earlier in the game it is, the more you should be focused on removing Vos dice at any opportunity.
If Vos has a 4-cost upgrade, and also two money, you need to disrupt immediately or kill Vos immediately to prevent Admiral shenanigans.
Don’t bother with DM unless it’s Megablasters.
Changes To Make
Easy enough section. I really hated having two Darksabers. The bad side of varience reared it’s ugly head twice during the tournament, one time during my top 32 match where I would go for a Vos special and flip up a Darksaber while I already had on on board. Don’t be like me. Replace that fucker with a Handcannon. You may be tempted to switch it over to Vibrocutlass but I don’t like the Cutlass because your cash is already at a massive premium with all the paid sides and no reliable income generation in a meta rife with resolvable disrupt. It’s free on Vos, but its not always going to be on Vos. Especially if it’s done off of a Vos special prior to Pryce rollout. Taking the Handcannon also gives you something to do with two money in situations where you don’t have Hard Bargain round 1. Highly recommended.
Major events always make me hate the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. Way too many great people I see far less often than I’d like, and this event was compounded by being is Las fucking Vegas which is one of my favorite and most fun cities on the planet.
Thank you’s are due in no particular order:
Katy/Samantha for manning the event booth
Nick Nelson for judging and running the tournament
My team for being maximally supportive and helping Sam surprise me
Cloud City Rollers, Golden Dice Podcast, L8Night Gaming, Entourage Gaming, Dice of
Failure for being awesome in ways too innumerable to detail.
Destiny Council for running the stream
Hyperloops for their excitement, and well wishes both during and after the event
Dryden Vos for being ridiculous
Matt Holland for being available to the players, and coming through with the Covert Missions product
Every Destiny player who took their valuable time and money to come to Vegas and make the Grand Championship a real treat.