What Would You Do? – Learn From My Mistake

This is a scenario from a recent regional match. In this game, I made a bad play that resulted in my DS deck’s only loss of the 5-round tournament. I’ll give the scenario up to the decision point here, and after everyone has had some time to discuss the right play I’ll come back with […]

Profile photo of Matthew By Matthew On May 04, 2013 Posted In Star Wars LCG

This is a scenario from a recent regional match. In this game, I made a bad play that resulted in my DS deck’s only loss of the 5-round tournament. I’ll give the scenario up to the decision point here, and after everyone has had some time to discuss the right play I’ll come back with what I did, what I should have done instead, and why. This match takes place before the release of Search for Skywalker

Your Sith control deck has finally stabilized the board and started to go on the offensive. You’ve destroyed 2 objectives now and have the dial up to 8. Unfortunately, your opponent has managed to take out 2 of your objectives as well. On the board, your resources are all used up, Vader and the Emperor are exhausted after attacking, and a lone Rancor sits ready to defend. You know that if you can survive through your opponent’s turn, you’ll win the game. Your weakest objective has 4 damage capacity remaining. Life looks good.

Across the board, your opponent is playing a pure Jedi deck, running A Journey to Dagobah and Jedi Training instead of the more typical Questionable Contacts and Message from Beyond. He has no units in play at the start of his turn, but has plenty of resources available.

After uneventful Balance, Refresh, and Draw phases, your opponent starts their Deploy phase by playing a Twi’Lek Loyalist.

You glance back through your hand. Sure enough, a Force Choke is sitting there, waiting to be used. Do you:
A) Force Choke the Loyalist immediately
B) Wait and see what else your opponent plays

I choose the wrong option that game, but after thinking back through things I’m confident that there is a correct solution (not the play that will always win the game, but still the play that should be made).

EDIT: For the number crunchers who need to know for calculating the odds, you’ve seen and destroyed 1 Loyalist and 1 Guardian already.

  1. I would probably wait and see but I tend to try to use force chokes and lightnings outside of the deployment phase anyway

    It would also depend on if and how many counter strokes I had seen my opponent use and/or discard and C3PO’s

      1. Sorry, I forgot to add another card i’d be on the look out for- lightsaber deflection and counter stroke plus deflection or C3PO plus deflection would be an annoying counter, but anyway, given the info above I would wait

      2. That makes more sense. C-3PO and Deflection would be a problem. Counter Stroke and Deflection would also be a problem, but would make this unwinnable, wait or not.

  2. What objectives did he have out? And how many resources us “plenty”? How much focus is on Vader and the Emperor? How much damage is on the Rancor? Who has the force?

    From what information you have given, without knowing what he has available left to him, now is the only time you can guarantee killing the Loyalist with your choke. Two damage will get past a Lightsaber Deflection and Counterstroke. If his next action is do deploy a Guardian, he can keep the Loyalist alive by sacking the Guardian. But, that’s a lot of resources to use to keep the Loyalist alive. What’s in your hand to throw towards an edge battle?

    You have to look out for enough tactics to lock down Vader and Palpatine (or a Jedi Mind Trick), or a Luke or Yoda with Trust Your Feelings, Yoda with a Lightsaber with a living Loyalist will also be able to get the four damage, assuming they win the edge. If he goes the Yoda route, he’d also need a Guardian to keep Yoda and the Loyalist alive to get through the objective and character damage. That seems pretty far fetched, so I’d say you need to worry most about a Luke and Trust Your Feelings. Which the Force Choke plus the Rancor will be able to take care of.

    So I guess my answer would be to hold on the the Choke and see what else is coming.

    1. I unfortunately do not remember exactly which objectives he had out or exactly how many resources. For the purposes of this, let’s assume enough resources to play out his hand. We’ll also make the “goal” to be surviving the turn. To answer your other questions though: Rancor is undamaged and the force is with the dark side.

      Counter Stroke plus Deflection is enough to overcome the choke and Vader as it would cancel the choke and redirect the damage from Vader. For that reason, it shouldn’t be a consideration for this scenario, though it would be a possibility that could lose the game for us. That would bring us to a discussion of why I had attacked with the Emperor in the first place, which has an answer that I’ll discuss in the “answer” but is outside the scope of the problem at hand.

      1. So with the Light Side losing the edge battle against the Rancor, that leaves needing some combination of Luke, Lightsaber, Red 5 and Target of Opportunity (and no Dark Side Twist of Fate). And some way to keep the big unit from getting creamed by the Rancor. And losing the edge battle, the Loyalist’s tactics isn’t going to be an issue.

        I still say wait. He could play a second Loyalist, plus Luke/Lightsaber/Doublestrike (or something similar). An attack with one Loyalist first will clear the way for the main attacker to get past the Rancor, and waiting to play after the second Loyalist is out will let Vader clear both.

  3. First off, I’m trying to figure out which sets he’s running. I’m guessing The Secret of Yavin 4, A Hero’s Journey, and In You Must Go, in addition to the 2 you mentioned. Next, I’m trying to guess the resources. Let’s assume two A Journey to Dagobah and all Jedi Training Grounds out. Then he could have an R2-D2 in his hand. That’s 11 resources. Highly unlikely, but that’s the upper limit. Hmm. That’s a lot. He could lay down anything he wanted.

    I don’t see how waiting could be a problem. He obviously has to deploy something after the Twi’lek Loyalist in order to get the blast damage he needs. He’s probably going to use the Loyalist to force you to defend or get focused anyway. When he selects it as a unit to attack with, you can take out the Twi’lek Loyalist with your Force Choke to let the Rancor fend off whatever Jedi he has coming up next.

    But I’m psyching myself out. I feel like waiting is the obvious choice because you want to maximize the damage by using Vader’s reaction and if you Choke now, you give up that extra damage, so I think you must have waited and it backfired. But I can’t figure out how it would backfire. Nope, I see it now. I don’t think this is solvable. Here’s why:

    He has a deck with 4 Twi’lek Loyalists and 4 Guardians of the Peace. Either one is likely to be in his hand. If he has another Twi’lek and a Guardian left in his hand, he plays the first Twi’lek. If you kill it, he plays the second one, followed by Red 5 and locks down your Rancor. If you don’t kill it, he plays a Guardian and then Red 5. You try to kill the Twi’lek and the Guardian takes the damage. Twi’lek goes in and focuses your Rancor (or gets killed by your rancor) and then Red 5 goes in and takes out the objective needing 4 more damage.

    So use it now or save it for later, either way you could still lose in more than one way.

    I’m excited to hear your final assessment.

    1. I am eagerly awaiting the final assessment too, too much of what I would do is based on what cards my opponent had already played out during the game and the possibilities of what he had left

      1. For the sake of the scenario, you’ve seen and destroyed 1 Loyalist and 1 Guardian already. I’ll go ahead an edit the post to include that.

  4. I’m wondering if you had already won your game as the light side player, and it was getting close to time for the second game so you wanted to be sure to advance the dial past where your opponent had gotten it.

    The reason I say this is that I’m assuming one or both of Vader and Palpatine are committed, and that they have two focus, although you didn’t specify (that I saw) when someone asked earlier. And if that’s the case, it can be pretty dangerous attacking with them before the objectives they destroy mean certain victory when you’re facing Jedi Training. Was Forgotten Heroes a set they were running, too? Because with some Jedi Mind Tricks and It Binds All Things out there, Palpatine and Vader could get buried.

    What it comes down to for me is you state your goal of surviving to the next turn makes it sound like you’re planning on attacking again, and getting a third objective to click the dial from 8 to 12 all in one turn. But I’m pretty sure (this comes from a friend of mine, it’s his strategy) that there are so many cards out there that COULD ruin your day that attacking with Vader and Palpatine was the wrong choice, not whatever you did with Force Choke and the Loyalist. If you HAVE to survive this turn, why not leave three defenders available?

    1. You raise some good questions there, which I will defer until tomorrow when I go over the scenario. Suffice it to say that there were several mistakes between the two players across the last two turns. This particular decision point just made for the best scenario cutoff because it was the last one and the closest call.

      I will give you that Jedi Mind Trick was not a concern when I attacked as 2 copies had already been played (on the DS’s first turn, at that) and nothing from Forgotten Heroes had been seen.