Profile photo of Zach Bunn By Zach Bunn On December 16, 2013 Posted In Star Wars LCG

One With The Force: Short for a Stormtrooper

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December 16, 2013

Roughly ten days before worlds I built a strange deck that I nearly decided to run for worlds. Ultimately, I decided to go ahead and play the light side deck I had been playing for over a month (write up about that deck here). Since worlds though, I’ve been playing the ‘experimental’ deck. I thought my only regret from worlds was not running a second Falcon objective set in the deck I took to worlds… but man, now I have two regrets!

Not only do I have a whole lot more fun with this deck, it actually seems to be working much more consistently against the ‘good decks’ that I expected to see at worlds. I would think it was a fluke, but it’s been doing well against players I consider to be top level players.

The more I play the Star Wars LCG though, the more I’m learning to ‘unlearn what I have learned’ about card games. In particular, the way I value a card is drastically different in this game. If the structure of objective sets wasn’t enough, add in the fact that you can draw four or five cards just about every turn and card value is drastically different.

So, what does all of this have to do with this strange deck I built before worlds? Everything, of course!

The deck I built isn’t necessarily seeking a particular advantage, but has a lot of cards that play well with each other. I often have turns where I have to sit for a few minutes just to figure out what I want to do, primarily because there are so many ways to use the cards in my hand. This is very unlike my Jedi deck, where the right move is generally obvious. This makes using the deck a lot more fun and playing against it all the more maddening. When you do so much with so little, it can really catch your opponent off guard.

This deck is honestly the combination of several cards I’ve been looking at for quite some time. It all started with everyones favorite stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder, in the guise of a rebel card: Han Solo.

Aren’t You a Little Short for a Stormtrooper?

Searching through your deck for a card is, arguably, the most powerful effect in any card game. Well, maybe outside of a free resource that generates three resources instantly…

So, for the first time in the Star Wars LCG we get a search effect and it comes on a Rebel Han Solo with solid stats. Since you don’t need to win an edge battle, you can often force your opponent into a situation where if they block and win the edge battle, you get to search your deck for a card and they had to focus down a defender. Or, you can also just win the edge battle and clean up most defenders.

Of course, searching your deck is only as important as the cards you can go get, so when I first saw the Rebel Han Solo my brain immediately starting thinking of Rebel cards I could want to get on command. My list looked something like this:

– Rebel Assault (Defense of Yavin 4 or Mobilize the Squadron)
– Home One (The Rebel Fleet)
– Princess Leia (Fleeing the Empire)
– A New Hope (Decoy at Dantooine)

This list has two of my favorite cards that I rarely use: Princess Leia and A New Hope. This is when things began to really start working as far as the deck concept. I didn’t like the idea of basing the deck around Han alone, as I might never even see him.

However, if I also have Princess Leia. who becomes insanely better when you can control when she leaves play, now I have four characters I can draw into that all my leave play effects work well with. Add in Bright Hope that comes with the Rebel Han that removes a token of any type from itself when another friendly unit leaves play, and you have lots of reasons to have characters leaving play. This is not to mention Sith damage decks that find ways of removing lots of units just about every turn!

Where things really took off though, was the fact that these two objectives (Fleeing the Empire and Decoy at Dantooine) really solved my problem of consistently getting these characters to leave play through You’re My Only Hope, A New Hope, and Fall Back. Han’s objective, Evacuation Procedure, also packs a removal effect. So at this point, the core of the deck is:

2 x Evacuation Procedure
2 x Fleeing the Empire
1 x Decoy at Dantooine

Now, on to the junk.

Hunk of Junk

The rest of the deck really fell together after this. In any deck that has a decent number of characters in it, Asteroid Sanctuary has to be considered. The thought of attacking with the Falcon, triggering the ability to drop in Han, and then attacking with Han just seemed way too good to pass up. The Falcon also interacts fantastically with Bright Hope, forcing a leave play with the Falcon each turn can make Bright Hope do some serious work.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include at least a single Rebel Assault in a deck that let’s me search for Rebel cards, so Defense of Yavin 4 is at minimum a one of. Considering I’ve already got two Falcon and two Bright Hope in the deck, the objective itself has become a huge part of this deck. Playing the Millenium Falcon for 2 or 3 resources can just ruin your opponent. This also gives me two of each Y-Wing, Red 2, Rebel Assault, Hidden Outpost, and Astromech Droid Upgrade (wonderful with Bright Hope).

So now the deck is shaping up and looks like this:

Affiliation: Smugglers and Spies

2 x Asteroid Sanctuary
2 x Defense of Yavin 4
2 x Fleeing the Empire
2 x Evacuation Procedure
1 x Decoy at Dantooine

With one objective slot left to get to ten objective, the final slot could easily go to any Smuggler or Rebel Objective. To be honest, this final slot is anything but decided at this point. There are several options here. On my consideration list is:

Renegade Squadron Mobilization – This objective seems too good for the deck to not include. For starters, the objective itself pairs with A New Hope amazingly. I’ve had games where I draw 4-5 cards off of playing A New Hope. It also features Renegade Squadron, which is a great card. It’s especially great with Princess Leia being captured so often in this deck and it likely that Defense of Yavin 4 is on the board. The other really amazing synergy here is Echo Caverns. A great card in it’s own right, when Evacuation Procedure is out it becomes insane. Being able to use it on you and your opponents turn is just sick.

Raise the Stakes – The objective and the Blockade Runner give the deck quite a bit of added punch. I could live without the Bothan Spy and the Smuggling Compartment, but an additional Cloud City Operative and Swindled are fantastic. The Swindled is a great option for getting Leia to leave play when you need her to and for triggering Bright Hope if necessary. Of course, bouncing a Royal Guard isn’t ever awful either!

Trust Me – I think any time I start Smugglers, this objective is on my list. The objective itself is great against Sith and Lando in a Falcon deck can bring the pain. It has a few cards you don’t want however, so it’s certainly not at the top of the list.

At the moment, I think there are just too many synergies not to use Renegade Squadron Mobilization in this deck. So, on to the deck list:

Affiliation: Smugglers and Spies

2 x Asteroid Sanctuary
2 x Defense of Yavin 4
2 x Fleeing the Empire
2 x Evacuation Procedure
1 x Decoy at Dantooine
1 x Renegade Squadron

The deck might not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts.

Cards Are Cards

While the list may not look like much, I dare you to try the deck a few times. I can literally have nothing on the board and generate an unimaginable amount of damage. You have to know the various options of the deck to really see it’s beauty, so I recommend trying it when you have time to take the game slow and consider your options. It’s really quite insane just how many options the deck presents each turn.

In the end, what I continue to learn about Star Wars is that the value of each card is drastically lower than in most other games. This has a lot to do with the draw mechanic, but also because so much more of this game happens outside of the stats that what is on a card. How you attack, with which units, and in which order makes all the difference. The player skill involved in using the tools at your disposal appropriately is immense. Even if a card doesn’t seem all that great at first, give it a try. It may not be tall enough to be a stormtrooper, but it might end up being quite a bit better than you think.

I’ve seen quite a bit of ‘conventional’ wisdom being developed in this game and I think Star Wars is way too young to be developing hard and fast rules for decks and what is viable. If you play this game, I implore you to not settle for conventional wisdom, to experiment with objectives people aren’t using, and to push the limits of what is possible in this game. Don’t believe the all powerful they. We’ve got several months until Store Championships and regionals roll around, so this is a fantastic time to give objectives a try that don’t look that great on paper.

Until next time, I’ll be seeing if I can’t find a way to make a viable Scum deck… As always, may the Force be with you.


    1. Thanks for registering and for the comment! Glad it hit home for you. I’d love to hear how it goes, so be sure to let me know what happens.

      A few general tips:

      1. You always want to pick Defense of Yavin 4 if possible in your opening objective draw

      2. If you don’t have Falcon in your opening hand, I recommend mulliganing unless the rest of the hand is just boss

      3. There’s nothing wrong with using Han to get Han, especially when the Falcon is on the board and you can drop him in again

      4. Using A New Hope on your opponents turn post deployment can be amazing, especially if they are setting up an Orbital Bombardment turn

      Good luck!

  1. Thanks for the tips. Wish you had brought it to World’s so I could have seen you play it – and re-inspired me then to continue tweaking the deck I had been working on.

    I had been trying to figure out an awesome way to use Rebel Han around World’s, and one that I was using a bunch was Alderaan’s Promise to go with it, namely so that I could surprise my opponent with a Tantive IV drop and get some objective damage in there they weren’t expecting. Not to mention Bail is awesome for resources, and the Alderaan Artist is great for Force struggles against a vehicle deck.

    I did also try it with Frozen Refuge, if you can get that, and Evac Procedure out and get it to proc just once to clear the 3 resources I feel like it can be totally worth it.

    I wish I had the rest of the deck in front of me – or that it was still in my memory, hopefully though maybe I have it saved as an OCTGN deck on my computer at home. I want to say I was probably running Obi-Wan with it, for the Tantive’s reaction, because then you could pull Obi, Han, Leia, Bail, Bright Hope, etc.

    The Dantooine addition though is brilliant. I am excited to try that.

    1. I always find the Alderaan’s Promise less impressive than it probably is. I’ve had it in a few 2 v 2 decks though.

      I tried the deck for a while with Draw Their Fire for the Command Center, but ultimately it just never really did what I hoped for. It generally almost did, but wasn’t ever quite offensive enough because of the timing.

      Dantooine is really the money maker in this deck. I initially had 2 copies, but there were just too many cards I would draw throughout the game that effectively did nothing for me. A few dead cards is acceptable.

      A few players have said there are going to try this out, so I’m excited to see if it clicks with other players or not. Would love to hear your results!

  2. I have been using a few variations on this deck for a little while now and I think it is tons of fun to play. Anytime I can get Bright Hope out, it is an absolute beast. I have been able to consistently get it to strike against atleast 2 objectives, AND ready again for defense if I need it.

    I would suggest Undercover Dealings. I think it shines here. It has 2 units with blast damage (something alteast my version of this deck is a little light on), albeit edge enabled, but you can always throw them at an objective and bounce them back to your hand if you lose the edge… and then ready bright hope again. And it also has the tactical retreat event to take units out of play to ready bright hope again as well.

    I have had Mission Briefing in for the heavy blaster emplacements. With battlefield engineers, leia’s ability, and evacuation procedure that thng fires ALL the time.

    I occassionally include a rumors at the cantina since it gives me two cheap units i can freely sacrifice to ready bright hope and also another means to rescue leia.

    I had forgotten about renegade squadrons ability, so I was using the mission commanders from Escape from Ord Mantell to rescue Leia. And also for the sniper simply because I love that card so, so much. The sniper combined with the blaster emplacement really wittles down the defenses.
    Ultimately though, I think Renegade Squadron would be a better choice….. and echo caverns is never a bad thing to have. It would certainly make Bright Hope more potent if you could add a blast damage onto it.

    1. Interesting suggestions! I think all three of your objective suggestions should probably be on the list of things I’m considering.

      Undercover Dealings could be a major boost to this deck to be honest. The fact that those guys are 1 cost is what makes them super reasonable in this deck. I also think the objectives ability would actually work, as I generally have less units than my opponent. 😀

      Mission briefing is a strong suggestion, but I just don’t think it brings enough heat to work. I think if you draw right, sure. I got decimated in the finals of our regionals in Tulsa after my opponent had two emplacements out and an engineer. It was insane. I’ve also seen that same deck draw so terribly because of not having all of the pieces.

      I think Escape from Ord Mantell is interesting, but like Mission briefing I don’t think it brings the heat enough on it’s own. It words well with other cards, but if you don’t have those cards most of that objective set is just meh.

      Thanks for the comment. Really excited to try out Undercover Dealings!

      1. Well, with mission briefing, I’ve found it quite uncommon that I don’t have enough of the pieces out to use it…and that’s all you really need. The engineers, Leia, AND evacuation procedure all work great with it. I don’t think you will see too many games where you won’t have something to allow the blaster emplacement to fire multiple times per turn. And hey, if you don’t get the blaster, you can get echo caverns instead. Both work amazing with any of the combos. I had a ‘dream’ setup tonight with a blaster emplacement, echo caverns, battlefield engineer, Leia, and evacuation procedure all out and it wrecked his board. I used echo caverns twice and fired 5 times with the same emplacement by the time my opponents turn rolled around. And heck, in theory it can be a lot more crazy than that if you had both blaster enhancements or both engineers in play. Granted that’s not going to happen often but that is overkill anyway.

        I’m interested in seeing how the falcon works in my deck, but I just have to find something to remove! Substituting Renegade squadron mobilization for ord mantel was a huge improvement though!!!

  3. The biggest problem with this deck is that it was Luke who was short for a stormtrooper :-)

    I will have to test this deck out though. On paper (to me at least) it looks like it could still have some trouble with consistency being effectively a combo deck. Han helps with that, but will it be enough? This is why judging a deck by just the list and not actually playing it is problematic. Now we just need to talk you into uploading a video demo of how you play it so that we don’t all go playing it wrong and write it off prematurely.

    1. Ha! The title wasn’t really referring to Han, as much as it was referring to cards that might not seem ‘great’ in a vacuum.

      I thought it wouldn’t work too, as it needs multiple pieces to do much. However, what I found out after using it is that there are so many pieces that interact with each other you really can’t find yourself in a situation where you can’t make something good happen.

      My biggest struggle with the deck at the moment is that if I do draw Falcon on turn 1 I often end up with very few units on the board throughout the game. Depending on how it goes, I play Falcon and attack. I drop in a character. I attack, commit, or just wait for defense depending. The dark side decks in these parts have done well to have answers to clear that single unit. So the next turn is rinse and repeat.

      If I draw into resources the problem gets solved because quickly I can play much more than the Falcon on a turn. However, if I don’t the deck can really struggle if it loses an edge battle or two while attacking with the Falcon.

      Interested to see how it works for you.

  4. Who’s scruffy looking?

    I built a Renegade Squadron/Leia deck a few months ago (before Evac Procedure was released) that was a lot of fun to play when it worked–and.. decidedly lackluster when it didn’t. I’ll definitely try this one out.

    To Kenny’s point, Battlefield Engineers + Echo Caverns are absurdly good together. I had both of those objectives in the deck and the first time I got those two out together against the guy who won our Regional, I just about blew his mind.

    1. I also had a Leia/Han deck that I ran for a long time. It was a lot of fun, and when it was running on all cylinders, it crushed. Unfortunately it was a little inconsistent, so I veered off of it for Worlds.

      I’m now trying out another Leia/Han deck, using hoodie Han instead of the true smuggler. I’ve been surprised by some of the tricks I’ve been able to pull off. It has a lot of the same characteristics of Zach’s deck, but instead of going the Falcon route, I’ve been messing around with Jedi Luke and the weapons objective set.

  5. I would love to work in home one to this deck, but love the synergy of everything you’ve listed so far (including renegade squadron). With Han’s search mechanic, would it be diluting the deck too much to just run an 11 objective deck and add on a rebel fleet?

    1. Definitely an option to go to 11, but not my overall preference. I think up to 12 is possible in certain decks, but I can’t help but feel the consistency of what this deck currently does would go down quite a bit by including that objective. Worth trying though, I suppose.

      1. I don’t tend to have problems doing damage. Not really sure how to answer your question without seeming smug, but my units tend to do the damage. And of course, Rebel Assault.

  6. Before Worlds I built a similar deck but my used Home One instead of the Falcon, and in turn only used one Rebel Han set, but used two Renegade Squardron. I like Home One with Leia if I can get Home One to strike multiple times in the same engagement it’s pretty awesome. I have to try your version out sometime though!

  7. I too have registered to comment on this post. I have used a very similar deck with great success. I have yet to draw the Falcon and still managed to win all but one game I played with this deck.

    1. While I love this deck, it ultimately came down to reading the environment and consistency. In horrible games, the vehicles get me 1-2 objectives. In horrible games with this deck, often times I don’t even get to destroy a single objective.

      This deck is fun, and it’s something I’ll keep revisiting. However, I think with the current prominence of Sith Control, it’s not as consistent as I’d like it to be.

  8. Now that Forward Reconnaissance is out, have you considered revisiting this deck? I think the potential synergy between Jan Ors, Hoodie Han, and maybe Admiral Ackbar is pretty incredible.

    I’ve been thinking about this recently:

    Forward Reconnaissance x2
    Evacuation Procedure x2
    Draw Their Fire x2
    Fleeing the Empire x2
    Decoy At Dantooine x1
    The Rebel Fleet x1

    Although, reading this, now I want to play around with Asteroid Sanctuary and Renegade Squadron Mobilization. What do you think?

    1. Of course! I keep several decks built and adjust as new cards are released. This is one of my favorite decks to keep updated! I think the Jan Ors objective makes this amazingly better. 😀

      1. Cool! Did you hang on to the synergies with the Falcon or did you end up going mono Rebel Alliance? I could see wanting to keep Defense of Yavin 4 x2, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for the Smugglers sets.

      2. Ultimately I dropped the Falcon! Once Jan Ors came out, the synergies with Leia and Ackbar are just absurd. It really is becoming a Jan deck… With Leia.

        At the moment Wookie Life Debt is my splash, with protect and objective damage being super important. Without Falcon, Defense of Yavin 4 was also lost. I’ll probably do a blog about it soon.

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