Profile photo of Matthew By Matthew On December 12, 2012 Posted In Star Wars LCG

Star Wars LCG Community Deck, Episode III

Profile photo of Matthew
December 12, 2012
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UPDATE: Episodes IV and V are now posted.  And now Episode VI as well.  And the final result.

Welcome back to our community deck building series.  For first-time visitors, you should start with Deck Building 101 and then read through the Episodes I and II.  We first decided that our (Light Side) deck was going to focus on control strategies.  Then, we discussed the characteristics of cards that would fit well with our goal (tactics, recursion, reducing the Death Star dial, card drawing, counters, etc).  Today, we’re ready for the fun part: looking through the cards and starting the actual deck construction!

Episode III: First Pass Through the Cards

I’ll go ahead and post my assessment of each objective set here.  Use the comments to point out all of the things I miss and point out sets that I should or should not have tossed.  Here we go:

A Hero’s Journey – Luke is a great card, being able to use Targeted Strike to take out any troublesome DS cards that are hiding away from the front lines committed to the force.  He can be committed himself if absolutely necessary, but his best use is usually going to be attacking and defending (and his second ability will let him do both).  Trust Your Feelings is going to be useful for winning the force battle by defending against DS tactics.  Twi’lek Loyalist gives us some tactics of our own, if we can win the edge battle, which the lightsaber can help us with in a pinch.  Also, the objective gives us 2 resources, though it only has 4 health.  This one’s a keeper.

A Journey to Dagobah – This one is a tough call.  I actually don’t like the Objective’s ability because it gives the DS a new target immediately (though it also gives you resources immediately…).  Another Twi’lek Loyalist, Double Strike, and Target of Opportunity are all useful cards for us.  Red 5 doesn’t fit at all with our strategy, but every control deck needs a closer, and Red 5 + Double Strike certainly would fit that bill.  I’m not quite ready to cut this yet, but it’s on a short leash.

Forgotten Heroes – What’s not to like here?  Obi-Wan is probably the best unit for this strategy.  He can commit to the force, he can distribute tactics (and when used on defense, he can handle both sometimes).  The event cards are both perfectly in line with what we want to do, and the objective itself gives us some card drawing.  This set will form the core of the deck.

In You Must Go – This set is a little mixed.  The objective itself isn’t our best as enhancements aren’t likely to be key.  Dagobah Training Grounds are decent, but not foundational.  Believer in the Old Ways isn’t really what we want.  However, Yoda, Counter-Stroke, and Shii-Cho Training are all excellent.  Another keeper, as even a non-ideal unit like the Believer can be important when you’re wanting to keep control of the board.

Jedi Training – 4 total copies of Jedi Mind Trick?  Don’t mind if I do.  Both the Objective and Ancient Monument can help free up units from the force struggle.  If not needed, Ancient Monument is also one of the better cards for edge battles.  It Binds All Things gives some recursion, and card advantage when you control the force.  Like Forgotten Heroes, this is likely the core of the deck.

Last Minute Rescue – A good defensive set.  Recursion from the Redemption and Return of the Jedi.  Redemption is also quite nice when needed to battle or struggle for the force.  The rest of the set either gives you some shielding or removes damage/ other tokens.  Keeper.

The Secret of Yavin 4 – The objective itself is conditionally useful.  However, the rest of the set is pretty much in line with what we’re looking for.  Twist of Fate is always fun if you can bluff your opponent into tossing their best edge battle cards while you hold back a trump like Yoda for the rebattle.  At this point, it’s looking like a Jedi deck will be the way to go, as all of the sets are at least somewhat useful for us, but we’ll let the rest of the sets have their say too.

Decoy at Dantooine – While False Lead and the objective itself decrease the Death Star dial, which is something we’d like to do, the condition for doing it is a little too restrictive – only triggering when an objective is destroyed.  A New Hope is interesting, but not enough to be worth the rest of the set.  We have our first cut.

Draw Their Fire – Another set with one card we really want in Ackbar.  We could also make good use of the Fleet Command Center.  The other 3 cards combo well together, but not really with our strategy.  I’m leaning towards saying we cut this one, but you all might disagree with me.

Fleeing the Empire – Some card drawing, plus the ability to shield a back-line unit from tactics in the objective itself.  Leia can be nice, plus another copy of Twist of Fate.  We can keep this for now.

Mission Briefing – Card drawing is always good.  Mothma is also good.  Not a huge fan of the Battlefield Engineers, but the Heavy Blaster Emplacement could give us some reach to close out a game if needed.  Certainly not a bad set, but I think we can do better, so I vote we cut it.

Mobilize the Squadrons – I love Rebel Assault for this deck, but the rest of the set is just not what we want.  As Yoda would say: Gone, this set is.

The Defense of Yavin 4 – This hurts, since Rebel Assault would be so useful… but this is clearly an aggro set with some vehicle synergy, so back to the binder with this set.

The Rebel Fleet – Home One would be nice to have as a closer, but nothing else here is really tempting.  No again.

Questionable Contacts – I actually like this for LS control.  Han is good for this deck, as is Crossfire and the Twi’lek Smuggler.  It stays for now, but most likely the lack of other Smuggler and Spies sets will doom this in the final cut.

Hit and Run – The objective effect isn’t what we want in the early game, but it will help us close out the game at the end.  Plus, the rest of the set gives us more fate cards.  A keeper.

Rumors at the Cantina – I’m really not a fan of this set.  I can only see it being used in a fun deck wanting to splash all 3 factions or something like that.  No thanks.

Tribal Support – It’s unfortunate that the tribal objective set is limited to once per deck.  This begs you to build an Ewok deck, but with only one of it you can’t even get started.  The Ewoks themselves are nice for this deck, but overall not worth the 2 cards.  Cut.

So there you have it, the rundown of the LS objective sets.  My initial thoughts cut it down to 10/18 sets, though I look forward to hearing what you think.  Remember, we’ll look for different synergies between the sets a little later.  This step is just to narrow down what we’re dealing with, so a set being kept now doesn’t mean it will be in the final product.

  1. For purposes of this deck, I rank the sets as follows:

    Strong includes:
    A Hero’s Journey
    Forgotten Heroes
    Jedi Training
    Last Minute Rescue
    Hit and Run

    Maybe include:
    A Journey to Dagobah (I’d like this one better if we were using an objective with a good control effect when it comes into play; since we’re not, it’s on the bubble)
    In You Must Go (it’d be nice to have Yoda as a closer, but Obi-Wan and Luke are better for the deck’s strategy)
    Fleeing the Empire (mainly for Leia’s ability, which can be game changing)
    Mission Briefing (card draw on the opponent’s turn is amazing; this one’s on the bubble)

    Probably cut:
    Decoy at Dantooine (the best thing about this set from the POV of this build is Fall Back!–to be used on Leia after focusing all of our units–but that’s not enough to make splashing it worthwhile, plus FTE includes a sacrifice unit card if we really need it)
    The Defense of Yavin 4
    The Rebel Fleet
    The Secret of Yavin 4 (if the Guardians were Force Users that would let us draw off of Forgotten Heroes, this would be great; since they’re Force Sensitive, it’s of only marginal utility)

    Definitely Cut:
    Tribal Support
    Mobilize the Squadrons (we’re clearly going Jedi here so this one is barred by its text)
    Draw Their Fire

    Conditional:
    Rumors at the Cantina (we probably need this to ensure we can play all of our cards if we splash a couple of Fleet objective sets and/or QC, otherwise we can leave it out)
    Questionable Contacts

    First draft of the build:
    A Hero’s Journey x2
    Forgotten Heroes x2
    Jedi Training x2
    Last Minute Rescue x1
    Hit and Run 1x
    Fleeing the Empire x1
    Rumors at the Cantina x1

    1. Looks like we mostly agree. I think Secret of Yavin 4 is a little more useful than you’re giving it credit as the combination of Protect Character and Shielding on the Guardians is quite powerful (they just put the shield token on themselves and then use the protect ability to redirect damage… even works against targeted strike attacks to our back line). Also, I don’t think we’d ever want to run Rumors. I’d rather find a way to get the right ratio of objective sets to be safe (6/4 is pretty good) if using a couple of Rebel sets or use S&S as our affiliation if we decide to keep QC (which we could potentially do assuming everyone else also agrees that Journey to Dagobah isn’t key). I should go work out a chart on the statistics for getting the resources you need with sets from multiple affiliations…

      1. That’s a good point, though I’m still not sold on JtD’s ability since it only triggers if it gets destroyed. If you run FtE x2 you’d be just as likely to find one of them without having to wait for the DS to cooperate. Don’t get me wrong, I love the JtD objective set, but because of the command deck cards it comes with more than the objective itself.

  2. For the most part I’m in agreement with your assessments above. I think the core of the deck should revolve around Forgotten Heroes and Jedi Training. Those are the two must includes for me. The rest are all more flexible.

    Luke is great at board control, so Hero’s Journey is a good include. It helps that it has several good support cards. Trust Your Feelings is great protection for whoever we have committed to the force. I also like In You Must Go. Yoda is fantastic for keeping the balance of the force, as well as providing potentially a lot of tactics, all for the cheap. I’d say that’s an include just for him, but Shi-Cho Training will also help keep the board clear, and Counter Stroke protects our units from things like Force Choke and Force Lightning.

    I like Last Minute Rescue for all the protection it provides. Removing objective damage goes indirectly towards slowing down the Death Star dial. Force Rejuvenation is great for keeping our units that are committed to the force ready, as well as being able to keep one of the bigger hitters both hitting again and far from death. I think if we go more heavily with this one, we can probably back off on Decoy at Dantoine, since healing our objectives has a similar effect to reversing the Death Star dial when one of our objectives is destroyed. Which is kind of too bad, because I like the flavor of Decoy.

    Both Fleeing the Empire and Questionable Contacts can do a lot for this deck. But I also think we can only go one route or the other. As long as we don’t need Journey to Dagobah (which I don’t think we do), we can use either the Rebels or Smugglers as our affiliation card. That way we can guarantee an associated resource for the one or two off objectives, and still have a majority of Jedi resources. On the Rebel side, I could see us using Draw Their Fire and Mission Briefing, so we could get more bang for our buck with the Rebels.

    But Questionable Contacts is a better overall control pod. Han is actually better than Luke at board control, between his ability (he shot first!) and his tactics icon. He’s not as good a defender, as he’ll usually be exhausted on the opponents turn, although with the token removal cards we have going, that might not be the case. His major drawback (besides the resource requirement) is his two health, and not being a Jedi, it’ll be hard to get him back. It’s also worth pointing out that the Twi-lek Smuggler has a black tactics icon. Those are pretty rare, especially for a cost of two.

    Right now I’m leaning more towards keeping deck mostly Jedi, and splashing in a pair of Smugglers with the Smugglers affiliation card. I think that’ll get us where we want to go with the least amount of chaff.

    1. I agree that in the end we’ll only splash S&S or Rebel. I think you’re probably right about how we’ll do it too, though if we find a second Rebel set that we like (Mission Briefing and Draw Their Fire are both possibilities even though I cut them) then we could pull off the 6/4 split which seems to be the sweet spot.

  3. Not as much action this episode. If it’s because it’s taking time to write up your comments (lots of cards to look through and things to think about), post a quick comment to let me know and I’ll hold off moving on. Otherwise, I’ll try to get the next episode posted tomorrow evening.

      1. I don’t think you’re in any danger of losing my interest. Even with cards in hand in about a week, I’m dying to see what new deck options come in the Hoth cycle. I’m eagerly awaiting my AT-AT and Snowtrooper deck. I really need to play this game….

      2. Good to hear. The Hoth section of the movies was never my favorite part, but the cards spoiled so far sure do look like they’re going to give us all sorts of options.

      3. Where as for me, the Hoth segment of the movies were my second favorite, following shortly after the epic duel at the end of Empire. They picked the right area to focus on for the first expansion set, at least for me.

    1. YES to these:

      — JEDI —
      A Hero’s Journey
      Forgotten Heroes
      In You Must Go
      Jedi Training
      Last Minute Rescue
      The Secret of Yavin 4

      — REBEL ALLIANCE —
      Draw Their Fire

      — SMUGGLERS AND SPIES —
      Questionable Contacts

      — NEUTRAL —
      (none)
      ———————————————————–

      NO to these:

      — JEDI —
      A Journey to Degobah

      — REBEL ALLIANCE —
      Decoy at Dantoine
      Fleeing the Empire
      Mission Briefing
      Mobilize the Squadrons
      The Defense of Yavin 4
      The Rebel Fleet

      — NEUTRAL —
      Hit and Run
      Rumors at the Cantina
      Tribal Support
      ———————————————————–

      There is so much control potential in Draw their Fire to give it up because of a possible resource mismatch, but the lack of other good Rebel Alliance pods makes me a little sad. When I look at the other Rebel Alliance pods to find something that can function to assist control (and help with the resource problem), I find the following pods “acceptable”:

      Decoy at Dantoine — This allows us to aggro and compel engagement (instead of a degree of mutual build-up). DS cannot accelerate the dial by replying with aggro of their own.

      Fleeing the Empire — This is similar, but it hinges on drawing into our invincible princess. Attack with everything else and leave her to defend so that she gets captured, then suddenly we have our defenses back after she gets caught. Rescue her and repeat.

      The same goes for Questionable Contacts. It has great cards for what we want to do, but we immediately have to look at resource mismatch as a possible problem.

      Here we have to turn to Rumors at the Cantina for the moment. I actually like it a lot if want to try the tri-fecta deck — but it’s going to be really hit and miss by my estimation, so I say sorry Mr Solo.
      ———————————————————–

      I say we go with 7 Jedi pods and 5 Rebel pods. This avoids resource match issues without dropping some pretty strong cards, and I think we can use the reply-denial rebel pods as a wall against retaliation. Less defense needed means more pressure for DS to just defend, which hopefully they cannot win.

      The only alternative that I see would be to go 12 Jedi pods, using x2 Forgotten Heroes as a draw engine (which we are likely doing anyway… so that’s actually a bit moot).

      1. Granted this will come up in the last step, but because you mentioned it: any particular reason that you want to go with 12 objective sets instead of the minimum of 10?

      2. I was under the impression decks were 60 cards (5×12) and 12 objectives, but I could be persuaded back to reality.

        In that case I advocate we drop Fleeing the Empire from being looked at — and instead we look at x2 Decoy at Dantoine and x2 The Secret of Yavin 4 before proceeding, which go -REALLY- well together to shut off DS aggro and let us play a relaxed Force-oriented game.

        I begin to see battling for the Force as a possible dead end. There is a lot of control, but not enough punch in the tactics machine to suit me. If we go Jedi I think we have lots of options there, but…

        What about something like this?

        x2 Draw Their Fire
        x2 Decoy at Dantoine
        x2 Secret of Yavin 4
        x2 Questionable Contacts
        x2 Rumors at the Cantina

        Ideally we would want Decoy at Dantoine, Secret of Yavin 4, and Questionable Contacts as our starting point. We are looking to draw into Admiral Ackbar and Haan Solo, then make good use of what they can do.

        To a degree we can still battle for the force with the 4 Guardian of Peace cards, and they do a great job of protecting Haan Solo while he steals the show.

      3. Persuading back to reality I can manage, check pg 28 of the rule book/rules pdf: at least 10 objective sets to make a deck.

        I’m personally very hesitant to run a 3-affiliation deck. Rumors just strikes me as too inefficient for competitive play – you’re either needing 2 cards to play one (ie using Rebel Sympathizer to ignore a resource match) or the objective itself is out and the resource cards become fairly useless. I could likewise be persuaded otherwise eventually, but my gut instinct is that it wouldn’t be worth it. On the other hand, all 3 affiliations certainly offer at least one thing that we like, so we can keep considering sets from all 3 for now.

        Is there anything in particular you really like about Decoy at Dantooine? The Death Star dial manipulation doesn’t seem to do much for us as we would only come up on no movement at best and slightly mitigate the damage beyond the first objective. I’d love decreasing the dial in other ways though…

      4. Actually, Guardians of the Peace are pretty terrible at controlling the balance of the force, with their one force icon. And considering that only three characters at most can be committed to the force, the best they can do is a value of three. Why do you say battling for the force is a dead end?

      5. Defensively I’m looking at this as a “best case scenario” as far as our set-up — Decoy at Dantoine and Secret of Yavin 4, with just about anything else as the third (but preferably Questionable Contacts).

        The DS must target Secret of Yavin 4, so they get no dial movement there. Then they must target Decoy at Dantoine if they want any dial movement. Both are a bit tough to destroy. Add to that the following defenses…

        x2 Correlian Engineer
        x2 False Lead

        If we go the Jedi route with this instead of going for Haan, we can grab Last Minute Rescue to get:

        x2 Correlian Engineer
        x2 Emergency Repair

        It’s just an avenue to explore.

        You asked me the specific question of what cards I like in the Decoy at Dantoine pod (I assume you mean aside from the objective itself and False Lead).

        I like Wookie Navigator because he can push hard — he almost must be stopped from attacking, and he hits pretty hard. He’s a bit expensive but I think that’s OK.

        I like the free dude. Rebel Trooper is about to die, but he accelerates our hand and replays very well after we play A New Hope. An unopposed squishy is an objective damage, and I think we can get him there.

        I like A New Hope! Bounce the board to manageable size, kill off what they didn’t bounce, then relax for a turn since they really cannot get at you at all. Kill off what they replay.

        Fall Back is EXCELLENT with Admiral Ackbar.

      6. Battling for the Force isn’t a full dead end, but I worry about the direction of the deck at the point where winning it means maybe losing objectives and not being able to attack.

        And the first thing that gets hit on DS by our tactics would be the force users — so it would be our 1-3 vs their whopping zero, and we could still hold it that way. They might get a couple of turns accelerating the dial until we got those cards killed off.

  4. Wow! Tough choices! I feel there are so many directions we can take this deck.

    But I think going with Jedi seems like the best move. They have most of the abilities we want.

    Last Minute Rescue: This objective is first on my list. From our discussions, it seems like we will primarily rely on stronger individual units, rather than many smaller ones. Therefore, I think we need to keep them around as much as possible. Redemption will mitigate the loss of a unique unit by bringing it back to our hand so we can play it again. Corellian Engineer gives us shielding, Force Rejunenation heals those uniques, Emergency Repair heals our objectives, and Return of the Jedi brings back any lost Jedi. It also allows us to use Obi-Wan or Luke in edge battles and bring them into play for cheaper than their printed cost.

    In You Must Go: I really feel like Yoda is a must for this deck. If we can get him committed to the Force on the sidelines, it will go a long way toward helping us keep the Force with us. Dagobah Training Grounds is important since we have so many high-cost characters we wish to play. Counter-stroke is key to keeping us from getting hammered by cards like Superlaser Blast and Sith Force powers.

    Jedi Training: The big draw for me here is Ancient Monument so we can keep the balance of the Force with the light side. It Binds All Things is great for getting cards back into hand, especially cards we want to use in edge battles that we also wish to play later. Jedi Mind Trick is essential to our plan of locking down the opponent.

    Forgotten Heroes: Obi-Wan Kenobi’s tactics icons will come in handy, as will more copies of Jedi Mind Trick, Heat of Battle, and the shield tokens from Our Most Desperate Hour.

    A Hero’s Journey: I’m seriously considering cutting this set. Luke is nice, and so is the Jedi Lightsaber and Trust Your Feelings. But my biggest reason for including it is to accelerate our resources. It also really adds to the synergy of the other Jedi cards.

    Questionable Contacts: I really didn’t want to mix affiliations, but I think this set will do a lot for us. The black-backed tactics icons are awesome, as is Han’s ability. My biggest concern for Han is that he’s frigile with 2 damage capacity, but I think he’ll be alright.

    With that in mind, here is my tentative build:

    Affiliation: Smugglers and Spies
    2x Last Minute Rescue
    2x Jedi Training
    2x In You Must Go
    1x Questionable Contacts
    2x Forgotten Heroes
    1x A Hero’s Journey

    We only have 6 Smugglers and Spies cards in the command deck, so I think having the S&S affiliation covers most of those cards. Although I’d like two of those sets, I don’t want to encounter a situation where we have only one Jedi objective, two S&S objectives, and the S&S affiliation, while holding a hand full of Jedi cards. Including only one copy of Questionable Contacts will make sure we can pay for the Jedi cards we want. With only 9 objective sets, A Hero’s Journey ended up making the cut with one copy that brings us up to 10.

    I seriously considered going above 10 objective sets because our stall tactics may make our deck run low, but I believe our recursion will be enough to keep us from decking out.

    1. Running more than 10 objective sets… that’s an interesting option. Hurts deck consistency but could give us the extra turn needed to deck the DS if it came to that. In general, I don’t think decking will be a huge issue in the game as the built-in clock will likely end it first unless the DS really does nothing to advance the dial. Also, I’m not sure I’d be so worried about running QC x2. At least at the beginning of the game we’d never end up with both of them out (if we drew them both, we’d pick the 2nd one to go back). Sure, we could get unlucky if the DS destroyed an objective and we flipped our 2nd copy, but at some point in deck building you have to play the odds and that’s fairly unlikely. I’m still tempted to go with a pure Jedi deck, but it would be cool to be able to work in the S&S affiliation in a deck actually being built to be competitive :-)

      1. Yes, after putting this deck together, I started wondering about when decking-out your opponent will be a viable strategy, especially giving the Death Star clock, as you mentioned. It looks like the Sith are the most likely affiliation to play that game because they already have the Cruel Interrogations objective set that focuses on discarding opponents’ cards.

  5. Looks like we have a couple of different thoughts here. I’ll try to get the next post up tomorrow morning unless there’s a bunch of discussion still going on then. I have a draft done, it just needs to be updated to reflect the final results of this discussion.

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