Chewie, We’re Home – Convergence Preview

Since Star Wars: Destiny released, I have heard players talking about how awesome it would be to have a viable deck featuring Han and Chewbacca. In the words of Han Solo, “Chewie, we’re home.”

Chewbacca Card Fan

I considered pairing the newest version of Chewbacca, The Beast, with the most recent version of Leia Organa. This would let me play a deck I could call Beauty and the Beast and it would let me play the 2-point plot Profiteering that we are revealing on this weeks episode of The Covenant Cast. From the moment I saw The Beast though, I knew I’d be pairing him with an elite version of Han Solo.

It only took me one game playing Han Solo, Independent Hotshot, in my Shades deck to understand just how good he is. He doesn’t seem wildly impressive at first, but you would be hard pressed to find another character as consistent at dealing damage and gaining resources.


Han Solo + Chewbacca – The Beast

You can see my current Han / Chewie deck below, which I will be playing (while revealing the other previews) on the stream (YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch) Monday, February 11th at 4pm CST.

Battlefield: Theed Royal Palace

Elite Han Solo, Independent Hotshot
Elite Chewbacca, The Beast

Upgrades: 7
x2  Hidden Blaster
x1  Darksaber
x2  Energy Pike
x2  Vibrocutlass

Support: 6
x2  Escape Craft
x2  Millenium Falcon
x2  N-1 Starfighter

Events: 17
x1  Daring Gambit
x2  Defensive Racing
x2  Drop In
x1  Hasty Exit
x2  Easy Pickings
x2  Entangle
x1  In The Crosshairs
x2  Indifferent
x1  Quickdraw
x2  Well Connected
x1  We’re Home

Deck Overview:

This deck is pure, unadulterated theme… and it actually has a shot at working! The deck is great at generating resources and Guardian on a 13-health Chewbacca will make it tough for your opponent to defeat either characters early. The extra time will let you get one of a few key elements established as you head into the end game to pull off a few very powerful smuggler tricks!

The Opening: Early in a game, this deck is all about resources. If possible, pick your battlefield and re-roll with Han until you can resolve for resources. You are looking for Escape Craft and Well Connected in your opening hand. You either need to stack up resources or get a few dice in play early, so you can continue stacking up resources. Your are aiming to ramp fast enough to get a few powerful upgrades in play or the Millenium Falcon!

Finishing Moves: The deck includes a handful of sneaky smuggler tricks that can put games away! Quickdraw (assuming you have a Hidden Blaster) and Drop In allow you to activate a character and immediately resolve their dice (how thematic, right?). This is particularly powerful whenever one of your characters is about to be defeated or when you can defeat a character before they get to resolve their dice. We’re Home and Daring Gambit can turn a game upside down when played at the right time!

If you didn’t catch our Q&A with Jeremy Zwirn, the lead designer of Star Wars: Destiny, check it out. He talks a bit about the future of iconic character pairings like Han + Chewie!

If you’re half as excited about Convergence as I am and want to guarantee you get every card with a Convergence Saga Set (like me), I recommend doing so soon. You can see the shipping estimate in the title above, which currently reads ‘within one week’. We recently ran out of ‘on release’ sets and expect to run out of the ‘within one week’ sets in the next week or two!

If you prefer booster boxes, check out our Destiny Booster Box Subscriptions. It works like an automatic pre-order system, where you sign up (for free) to automatically receive booster boxes as new sets are released. You don’t get charged until a week or two before release, and if you are in the U.S. boxes tend to show up on release.


Convergence Palpatine Post Rotation

While I loved the raw power of the original Palpatine in Star Wars: Destiny, running a single character always felt a little too risky for me. Whenever I saw the upcoming Palpatine from Convergence though, I was excited that his elite version was only 18 points!

Palpatine card fan

My first thought, as it often is, was that he could be paired with Anakin by including one of two -1 plots, Bitter Rivalry or Solidarity. Bitter Rivalry, a -1 point plot that lets your opponent draw a card and deal 2 damage at the start of the game, is the kind of card I have to have a really good reason for using. So I started with Solidarity. As I started building the deck, it became obvious how much of an issue this restriction would be using a single color and planning for rotation (meaning I wasn’t including any cards from sets 1 through 3).

In the post-rotation card pool, there are a very few Force abilities. I realized pretty quickly that the recently spoiled Soresu upgrades were some of the best blue abilities available, so it wasn’t long before I started also considering Lightsaber Mastery. Lightsaber Mastery is a 2-point plot that lets you bring two ‘move’ events to the game, outside of your deck. You can take an action to play one of them from the plot, giving you consistent access to them.

Palpatine + Anakin + Lightsaber Mastery

What eventually came out was the insanity that is the deck below. I will be playing the deck on stream (YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch) Monday, February 18th at 4pm CST!

Battlefield: Theed Royal Palace

Plot: Lightsaber Mastery

Palpatine, Unlimited Power
Elite Anakin, Conflicted Apprentice

Upgrades: 17
x1  Dagger of Mortis
x2  Force Jump
x2  Force Storm
x1  Force Wave
x2  Heirloom Lightsaber
x1  Malice
x2  Palpatine’s Lightsaber
x2  Soresu Mastery
x2  Soresu Training
x2  Torment

Events: 13
x2  Clash
x2  Conflicted
x2  Deflecting Slash
x2  Doubt
x2  Hidden Motive
x1  I Am Your Father
x2  Mislead

Deck Overview: The goal of the deck is to keep Palpatine alive as long as possible and make as much use of his Power Action to roll in Force abilities for free each round as possible. This is particularly potent with Force Storm and Force Wave, although being able to roll in Soresu Mastery after you play it with Soresu Training is a neat trick. This necessarily makes the deck upgrade heavy though, which is at least partially helped by having two move events accessible throughout the game thanks to Lightsaber Mastery.

Note, this deck requires decently complex sequencing (the order you take your actions). I don’t necessarily recommend this version of the deck for newer players.

Opening Moves: The best opening for the deck assumes you have your battlefield, so you can either play a single 3-cost upgrade or a 1-cost and 2-cost upgrade on Palpatine. Next to that, opening with Soresu Training into Soresu Mastery is also a pretty solid start, since you can roll in Soresu Mastery with Palpatine’s Power Action. Both of these scenarios can easily not happen though, so most likely play is going to require you to activate Anakin first and use a re-roll or two to get a resource to play one of your upgrades.

Finishing Moves: If you were wondering why I decided on Elite Anakin and not Palpatine, it is all about targeting. The deck wants to play upgrades on Palpatine, so if he were Elite he would be the obvious target. As it is built, the idea is to make use of Palpatine for as long as you can and have as many redeploy upgrades on him as you can by the time he is defeated. This leaves Anakin in the end game, who is a solid closer as long as he has a few upgrades.

If you want to guarantee you get the new Palpatine along with the rest of the cards in Convergence, I recommend grabbing a Saga Set soon. You can see the shipping estimate in the title above, which currently reads ‘within one week’. We recently ran out of ‘on release’ sets and expect to run out of the ‘within one week’ sets in the next week or two!

If you prefer booster boxes, check out our Destiny Booster Box Subscriptions. It works like an automatic pre-order system, where you sign up (for free) to automatically receive booster boxes as new sets are released. You don’t get charged until a week or two before release, and if you are in the U.S. boxes tend to show up on release.

Exploring Enfys Nest – A Convergence Preview Deck List

Love or hate Solo the movie, it is hard to deny how cool the characters are! Val, Qi’ra, and Beckett arrived in Across the Galaxy and last week we previewed another character seemingly inspired by the movie, Chewbacca, The Beast. I was very excited to see one of my favorite characters from the movie, Enfys Nest, announced as a spoiler for the upcoming set, Convergence!

Enfys Nest Card Fan

When Enfys was first spoiled, a lot of players got caught up on her power action with ‘Scoundrel’ dice. I think her real significance comes by letting you break deck building rules and include two hero and two villain cards. This is obviously great for an all Neutral lineup (which I considered with Anakin and No Allegiance), but I was more interested in bringing a hero card to a villain deck or vice versa. As one of the most powerful cards in the game, I was immediately drawn to being able to play Vader’s Fist out of a hero deck!

Yoda + Enfys Nest

I will be playing this deck on stream (YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch) Monday, February 18th at 4pm CST! Note this deck is built with rotation in mind, meaning there are no cards from the first three sets.

Battlefield: Theed Royal Palace

Plot: Bitter Rivalry

Elite Enfys Nest, Fearsome Outlaw
Elite Yoda, Wizened Master

Upgrades: 9
x1  Dagger of Mortis
x1  Darksaber
x1  Ezra Bridger’s Lightsaber
x2  Force Wave
x2  Heirloom Lightsaber
x2  Treasured Lightsaber

Support: 2
x2  Vader’s Fist

Events: 19
x2  Conflicted
x2  Easy Pickings
x2  Entangle
x2  Hidden Motive
x2  Impulsive
x2  Indifferent
x1  Mislead
x2  Pacify
x2  Way of the Light
x2  Well Connected

Deck Overview: Given that Yoda can’t generate damage, he has often been paired with characters that can hit pretty hard. This included the original Chewbacca and most recently Zeb in the Trilogy format. This deck is a play on those previous Blue and Yellow hero decks, except this time we also get to include Vader’s Fist thanks to Enfys Nest. This deck has really incredible fundamentals, so it is a great deck for someone that is newer to the game of Destiny.

Opening Moves: The dream opening is either being on your battlefield or drawing Well Connected in your opening hand with Vader’s Fist. With a single special side on Yoda, you can generate two more resources and get Vader’s Fist on the table on turn one. Short of that, the deck is full of other great options. My favorites include playing a Treasured Lightsaber on Yoda. Next on the list of ideal starts is activating Yoda first to get resources with his Special so you can play a 3-cost upgrade on Enfys and have one resource left over for a control card.

Finishing Moves: The deck includes four control cards (Easy Pickings and Entangle) that require you to spot a yellow character, so you want to upgrade Yoda first to tempt your opponent to attack him. Enfys is a better closer thanks to her damage sides, but Yoda can be difficult to take down in the end game. He also makes your dice super consistent, which is particularly potent with Vader’s Fist. Since the deck plans on your opponent attacking whichever character you upgrade, it includes 5 redeploy upgrades.

If you want to guarantee you get Enfys Nest and the rest of the cards in Convergence, I recommend grabbing a Saga Set soon. You can see the shipping estimate in the title above, which currently reads ‘within one week’. We recently ran out of ‘on release’ sets and expect to run out of the ‘within one week’ sets in the next week or two!

If you prefer booster boxes, check out our Destiny Booster Box Subscriptions. It works like an automatic pre-order system, where you sign up (for free) to automatically receive booster boxes as new sets are released. You don’t get charged until a week or two before release, and if you are in the U.S. boxes tend to show up on release.

A New Vader – Across The Galaxy Decklist

Earlier today FFG spoiled a new version of Darth Vader (Terror to Behold) that is releasing in Across the Galaxy and I haven’t been this excited about Star Wars Destiny since the moment the game ‘clicked’ for me after Gen Con 2016! I am also reconsidering my decision to only get one Across the Galaxy Saga Set, considering Vader, his lightsaber, AND Vader’s Fist are all legendary…

As a huge fan of Darth Vader, I immediately headed to and started building decks. The first two are below. Both feature the new Vader and a First Order Stormtrooper, but one is a control variant and the other is more of an aggro deck. Being able to build two very different decks with the same characters is an upside of such a large card pool at this point.

You Must Learn Control

Elite Darth Vader (Across the Galaxy)
First Order Stormtrooper

Obi-Wan’s Hut

2 x Ancient Lightsaber
1 x Dagger of Mortis
2 x Force Illusion
1 x Heirloom Lightsaber
2 x Torment
2 x Darth Vader’s Lightsaber

2 x Become One
2 x Dug In
2 x Feel Your Anger
2 x Force Strike
1 x Frighten
1 x Indomitable
2 x Overconfidence
1 x Rise Again
2 x The Best Defense…
1 x The Price of Failure
1 x Fear and Dead Men
1 x Unyielding
2 x Witch Magick

The goal of this deck is to make it as difficult as possible for your opponent to kill Vader. Between Dug In, Force Illusion, Witch Magick, Unyielding, and Rise Again, your opponent should have an immensely difficult time with Vader. A notable trick is using Become One on a 3 or 4 melee side of Vader’s to resolve resources. This can help you ramp into upgrades or play cards like Rise Again when your opponent is not expecting it.

Once you have a few upgrades on Vader, don’t be afraid to nuke your Stormtrooper with The Price of Failure. This will enable your Indomitable if you haven’t already seen the card. It should also mean you are first to claim the battlefield, enabling Dug In as well.

Another finishing move is Unyielding, which can let you get past shields or Force Illusion. If you can stomach the risk, I also love the swagger of playing Overconfidence to re-roll a Vader die and an opponent’s die!

Give In To Your Anger

Elite Darth Vader (Across the Galaxy)
First Order Stormtrooper

Ewok Village

2 x Ancient Lightsaber
1 x Dagger of Mortis
2 x Force Illusion
2 x Vibroknife
1 x Darth Vader’s Lightsaber

2 x Boundless Ambition
2 x Enrage
2 x Feel Your Anger
2 x Force Strike
2 x Hidden Motive
2 x Lightsaber Pull
2 x Fear and Dead Men
2 x Overconfidence
2 x Respite
2 x The Best Defense…
2 x The Price of Failure

Where the control deck aimed to have Vader on the board as long as possible, this one wants to get ahead on the damage curve and never let up! The goal is to get a few upgrades on Vader and hit the Boundless Ambition + The Price of Failure combo. The key to winning with this deck is going to be timing The Price of Failure. A lot of times Price of Failure decks feel like you’re playing it too early, but the moment you can reasonably kill an important enemy character it is usually worth going for the kill.

I was so excited to get the new Vader on the table, that we even proxied and played games with him yesterday! You can watch those games below and in one of them, I actually play Price of Failure on the very first turn! I play against Obi-Maz, Mother Talzin Commandos, and Solo Sabine, giving a good idea of how Vader might pair against a variety of decks.

From what we are hearing from distributors, the release date for Across the Galaxy is now set for November 8th. This means the window to sign up for a booster box subscription to get the best price and free shipping on Across the Galaxy booster boxes will be closing soon. We also have a very limited number of Across the Galaxy Saga Sets remaining, if you wanted to skip the randomness of booster boxes and guarantee you get Vader!

As exciting as the new version of Darth Vader is, I am even more excited about what this means for the future of Star Wars: Destiny.

The End of an Era

In an old interview with the original Destiny lead-designer, Lukas Litzsinger, he mentioned the first two sets were designed before the game was released. Since it takes months to print sets of any game, this was not surprising. If the second set was going to release anywhere near the first, it had to all but be at the printers by the time Awakenings released.

This also meant that the third set, Empire at War, was the first set designed after the game released. I once heard another designer say there were more games played on the day of release than in all of play-testing. With thousands of players playing, it turns out you learn quite a bit about the game after release.

Over the past twenty years, I have played every Star Wars tabletop game I could get my hands on. One thing I have noticed is how many of them make the first version of Vader a complete monster. Unfortunately, it is also very common for him to be over-costed.

Awakenings Darth Vader was no exception. He had the highest health in the game and his damage output was only matched by Luke Skywalker. He was so good, in fact, that he was featured in the deck that won the first World Championship. At the time, I remember wondering if maybe FFG had pulled off a miracle and appropriately costed Vader… Two or three sets later though, it became apparent that even they had fallen prey to over-costing.

Unfortunately, most of the early characters also feel over-costed. They either don’t have a good character pairing or aren’t bringing enough to the game to be playable. In turn, this makes other characters seem under-costed. Characters like Maz Kanata (Spirit of Rebellion), Yoda (Legacies), and Kylo 2 (2-Player Starter) keep a lot of the other characters off the table.

In retrospect, it seems like there was a general lack of understanding in regards to the cost of cards in Destiny. This extended to the events, supports, and upgrades in those early sets as well. A quick comparison of Feel Your Anger and Undermine makes this painfully obvious, with Undermine representing a reigned-in, balanced version of Feel Your Anger.

While the early cards are all either unplayable or so good they make the rest of your cards irrelevant, there is a silver-lining. As the Legacies cycle comes to a close with Across the Galaxy, cards like the new Darth Vader give me confidence that the designers have learned critical lessons from past failures and are actively applying them to their future card designs.

This can be seen in the design of the newest Vader compared to the Awakenings Vader. Investing 21 points for Elite Awakenings Vader was significant. If your opponent could control one or two of his dice on the first few turns, he didn’t create enough of an advantage on the rest of the turns to ever put you back in the game. A single Easy Pickings on the first or second turn removing both Vader dice was enough to lose you a game.

The new Vader doubles down on fixing this issue. The first (and most obvious) fix is his power action. Being able to take an action and roll all removed dice back into the pool means your opponent is going to have to spend multiple cards and resources if they want to control Vader. He doesn’t completely prevent your opponent from controlling him though, since back to back turns with control cards can remove his dice.

The second way they addressed the core issue with the original Vader is by giving him a third damage side. Awakenings Vader only had a one in nine chance of rolling two damage sides, while the new Vader has a one in four chance. As bad as Easy Pickings was, it could go even worse if you only roll one damage at a time and your opponent can play 0-cost cards like He Doesn’t Like You or Hidden Motive to mitigate his dice. While the new Vader loses his ability to discard an opponent’s card each round, he gains a critical 2-resource side.

A New Era

While it is easy to get wrapped up in the hype of this insane new Vader or the release of a new set, I am even more excited for set 7 to arrive and for the first three sets to rotate out of standard play. The card design in the Legacies cycle is much stronger than the first cycle, so I believe the improvement in gameplay after rotation is going to be significant.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to rotation? Are you excited about the new Vader? What would you change about my decks?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

“I’m Putting a Crew Together, You In?” – Across the Galaxy Spoilers

After what felt like an eternity, Fantasy Flight Games posted their first Destiny preview article in nearly three months last week! Shortly after, we received a few Across the Galaxy spoilers mostly featuring characters from the Solo movie, which we discuss in depth on The Covenant Cast today. You can see them below.

At first glance, the most important card of our Across the Galaxy spoilers seems to be Double Down. My initial thought was to include three copies of Sith Holocron and a powerful force ability. As I had more time to think about the card, I can’t help but think it will be a critical card for any combo deck (like the one turn kill Launch Bay deck) moving forward.

While I am certain there was a time in my life where I would have spent the past week trying to ‘break’ Double Down, I decided it would be more fun to showcase a few decks with Tobias Beckett. Of all of the characters from Solo, Beckett was one of my favorites (right behind Qi’ra). I decided to build two decks, the first being a thematic deck, pairing him with Han, and the second being a ‘serious’ deck (whatever that actually means) featuring Arihnda Pryce and Mother Talzin.

“Stick To The Plan” – Tobias Beckett

Battlefield: Emperor’s Throne Room

Elite Han Solo (Across the Galaxy)
Elite Tobias Beckett (Across the Galaxy)

2 x Blackmail
2 x Cunning
2 x Hidden Blaster
2 x LL-30 Blaster Pistol
2 x Mandalorian Vambraces
1 x X-8 Night Sniper
1 x Tobias Beckett’s Rifle

2 x Confiscation
2 x Doubt
2 x Entangle
2 x Friends in Low Places
2 x He Doesn’t Like You
2 x In The Crosshairs
2 x One-Quarter Portion
2 x Risky Move
2 x Truce

The deck is all about both characters ability to control resources. In your opening hand, the one card you are definitely looking for is Cunning. I recommend playing it on Han, so that it makes Beckett look like less of a target. From there, the options vary wildly.

With Beckett’s power action and special, the deck has the ability to ramp resources quickly. There are plenty of upgrades to take advantage if you do ramp and a few powerful control options too, like In The Crosshairs. The deck can also play a mean resource denial game, pairing Han’s and Beckett’s special with cards like Confiscation or Blackmail.

While it is less thematic, the consistency of Emperor’s Throne Room in this deck cannot be overstated. Unless your opponent has a deck that relies on special symbols, it almost forces them to take their battlefield. If you win the roll off or if they are brave enough to take your battlefield, being able to trigger either special at the end of the turn makes late turn resource gain not really an option for your opponent.

“Do Not Improvise.” – Tobias Beckett

With a more competitive lens, I doubt Beckett’s optimal use is playing him as an elite character. At 11 points, and as much health, his power action is enough to make him a viable character at one die for the same reason that Rey + Aayla starting a game with three resources via Profitable Connection is so good.

Anytime I am looking to take advantage of a static ability or power action with a single die character, my first check is to see if I can play all three colors and have at least three characters. You could run an elite 19 point character, but two characters and three dice seems to be the least viable archetype in the game right now. You don’t get the benefit of multiple bodies on the table and you start with so few dice, it is too easy for your opponent to control you out of the early game.

As it happens, Beckett can be played alongside two of the best characters in the game and play all three colors. The first draft of deck is below.

Battlefield: Emperor’s Throne Room

Regular Tobias Beckett
Regular Arihnda Pryce
Regular Mother Talzin

2 x Force Illusion
2 x Force Throw
2 x Force Wave
1 x Mind Probe
2 x Sith Holocron
1 x Dagger of Mortis
2 x Z6 Riot Control Baton

2 x Command Shuttle

1 x Dark Ritual
2 x Feel Your Anger
2 x Flank
2 x In The Crosshairs
2 x Overconfidence
2 x One Quarter Portion
1 x Tactical Mastery
2 x The Best Defense…
2 x Witch Magic

As is the case with any deck, the one card you are definitely looking for in your opening hand is Sith Holocron. One of the issues with a Holocron deck is what happens if you don’t draw it in the early or even mid game. In this case, you have Beckett’s ability, Talzin’s die fixing, and Arihnda’s special to make sure you can get to three plus resources on the first turn. This means you guarantee you can play Command Shuttle or one of the three cost Force abilities on the first turn.

If you do draw Holocron, the only character you don’t want to upgrade is Talzin. I would likely upgrade Beckett first, putting a target on his head. Ending a game with Talzin or Pryce and a few good upgrades is hard for most decks to overcome. The deck also includes three upgrades with Redeploy, so you can take advantage, in the long term, of cheating out upgrades with Holocron.

One of the spicier cards in the deck is Command Shuttle. This makes me really want to end a game with Arihnda on the board, since between her die and a single Command Shuttle you are able to really dish out some consistent damage. Any time you can have damage showing without actually having it showing (her ability to turn a die to a side of your choice and resolve it), it makes the one on one end game a real pain for your opponent.

What’s your favorite Across the Galaxy spoilers so far? Would you change anything about either of my decks? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

While we don’t have a release date for Across the Galaxy, we can’t help but feel like it’s imminent. If you want to automatically receive your booster boxes for Across the Galaxy at the cheapest possible price with free shipping, now is the time to sign up for a booster box subscription. If you want to skip the boxes and guarantee you get everything with an Across the Galaxy Saga Set, be aware that we are almost sold out!

Is Snoke Overrated?

With the release of Way of the Force, Store Championship season in full swing, and the recent announcement of Across the Galaxy (Set 6), you would be hard pressed to find a more exciting time in the history of Star Wars: Destiny. While there are many great signs for the games overall health, like Store Championships happening every weekend, it is all a bit overwhelming to keep up with!

So, when I discovered the Edmond Unplugged Store Championship would be a Trilogies event, it quickly moved to the top of my list. I knew I would be spending a lot of my play time drafting Way of the Force to practice for the Covenant Masters Draft Qualifier this weekend, so the Trilogies restricted card pool made it easier to prepare. I also honestly just prefer the more fundamental style of play that Trilogies offers compared to Standard.

On my constant quest to prove to Eric Wainright that Anakin is actually awesome, I initially built an Anakin Skywalker, double Executioner deck. After a few games I knew I did not have the time to make it a competitive deck… or even something resembling one.

So, I pivoted to Kylo 2 / Anakin 2. I had tested the deck extensively ahead of the Adepticon Galactic Qualifier, so I felt like I could easily get it back into fighting shape. With the addition of cards like Dagger of Mortis and Undermine, I knew, at the very least, that the deck would not be worse!

After a few test games, I had a deck list I was pretty comfortable with that I knew would give me the chance to win a lot of my games. My final deck is below and on

Elite Kylo Ren – Tormented One
Elite Anakin Skywalker – Conflicted Apprentice

Battlefield: Sith Temple

2 x Crossguard Lightsaber
1 x Dagger of Mortis
2 x Dark Counsel
2 x Force Jump
1 x Force Wave
2 x Heirloom Lightsaber

2 x Clash
2 x Doubt
2 x Hidden Motive
1 x I Am Your Father
2 x Intimidate
1 x Lack of Faith
2 x Mislead
2 x The Force Is With Me
2 x Triple Threat
2 x Undermine
2 x Your Skills Are Complete

If you are like many of the players at the Edmond Unplugged Store Championship, you might be wondering why I didn’t play Snoke – and I admit that the temptation to get a powerful, new character on the board was almost too much to resist. I was also briefly tempted to switch out Anakin for Mother Talzin, but Steven helped talk me out of that! I ultimately decided to play Anakin because I believe he is a much stronger teammate for Kylo 2 than Snoke.

Before you start calling me a heretic, let me explain. If you have played Trilogies, you know resources are less abundant than in the Standard format. Snoke’s power action lets you spike your other character dice values. Given the format, the most powerful use of this ability is dramatically increasing your resource curve early. If you are unfamiliar with resource and damage curves, check out this chapter of Learning Destiny.

Unfortunately, Kylo only has a single resource side. He does have three damage sides, so that is a plus. If you roll a resource with Kylo on your first activation and your opponent isn’t wise enough to control it, Snoke’s power action can completely warp the game. The problem is what happens when you don’t. Smart players are going to focus on Kylo. Even if Snoke’s power action spikes your damage curve early, you have to deal damage to Kylo to do so. My main issue with Snoke is what happens when Kylo is defeated.

Snoke is awful in the end game. His power action is useless and he has a single, indirect damage side. His focus sides can help you get a lot of value out of your upgrades, but with a general lack of resources in the format you are less likely to have a stack of upgrades in play by the time Kylo is defeated. With minimal control your opponent can shut Snoke down.

You run a gambit by playing Snoke with Kylo. In the first two turns, you must spike either your damage or resource curves so high that by the time you only have Snoke in play you win anyway. If your opponent is able to control the right dice on those turns, your entire plan collapses. Meanwhile, characters like Anakin or Talzin add to the damage and resource curves consistently without risking a total collapse in the late game if your early turns don’t go so great.

While I still think Snoke is going to make waves with characters like Cad Bane (who also has the option of a discard side), I am starting to think that the community is overrating his power in general. Thematically he fits with Kylo perfectly and if you don’t mind a little (read “a lot of”) risk, I think it is a super fun pair to play.

As much as I love Dagger of Mortis, my favorite addition to the deck was Undermine. This let me include a mini blanks package, something that wasn’t really possible before Way of the Force. Cards like Force Jump and Triple Threat, as well as Your Skills Are Complete, provide nice synergy.

The next most important addition was Lack of Faith. While it was basically blank against Gungans and Hero Vehicles, it single handedly turned the tide in my Top 4 games against Zeb / Yoda. It also proved useful earlier in the day against two Kylo Snoke decks. Removing both Kylo dice on an early turn slowed them down enough to basically end the game.

Steven and I talk pretty extensively about our experience at the Store Championship on this week’s episode of The Covenant Cast below. You can also check out his deck list on his blog!

If I could go back and do it all again, there are a few changes I would make to the deck:

1. Character dice manipulation – Six of my control cards manipulate character dice. While that is somewhat hard to avoid with a mono blue villain deck, some minor tweaks could have made my control more consistent. Against decks like Hero Vehicles or Gungans though, these cards become nearly unplayable. I would likely drop Triple Threat for other control cards, as it was consistently the card I never wanted to play.

2. Force Wave – I did not see Force Wave in either of my finals games against Steven’s Gungans and I am pretty sure you have to see it to win that match. This card is too critical for this deck to overcome wider decks not to include two copies.

3. Torment – I love this card more than I should and it still did not make it into my deck. After seeing it played, this card is incredible in Trilogies. Most opponents will want to focus down Kylo, so his 12 health makes this a near auto include. You will likely get to use it two or three times and if you can upgrade over it into a redeploy upgrade before he is defeated it brings immense value to the table.

If you are looking for a consistent and fun deck for Trilogies, I cannot recommend this one highly enough. While I look forward to revisiting this deck with these changes, I will be taking a reprieve from Trilogies to prepare for the Covenant Masters Qualifier on August 18th and the Covenant Tulsa Store Championship on August 19th.

For anyone not aware, we are running a killer promotion on our Destiny Box Subscription right now – $86.12/box, free shipping when you subscribe to two or more, and no money paid until a few weeks before Across the Galaxy releases. If you do not want your pre-order cash tied up until November and still guarantee the lowest priced boxes, this is truly the best option possible.

We also have Across the Galaxy Saga Sets up for pre-order. Check them out! I already have mine pre-ordered.

Until next time, keep playing!

The Gungans – Trilogies Store Championship, 1st Place

I’ll be honest, I could not be happier that this actually worked.

I wish I could say that playing Gungans was a genius meta call, that the idea stemmed from a recognition of four-character, support-focused decks slowing the game down enough to outlast the standard two-character Trilogies decks, that indirect damage in a two-character meta becomes exceedingly high value, that Red Hero has a suite of underrated tools perfectly suited to the current environment – but, and I hope this is encouraging, that had nothing to do with it.

I just wanted to play Gungans because I like them and I like weird decks, especially if they’re supposed to be bad.

The deck started as all thematic decks do – piled full of the most thematic cards. Does it say Gungan on it? It’s in! Boss Nass, Jar Jar, Gungan Warriors, Gungan Offensive, Dumb Luck, Boomas, etc. The only exception was the Gungan Catapult, a card that never made it into the pile in spite of my rose-colored glasses. Maybe in a Planned Explosion deck?

Characters are easy here. With only two sets in the format, you really need two colors. Jar Jar is the only yellow option, so he is in. Boss Nass is the damage engine, so he is in. That is 16 points. Grab a few Gungan Warriors to go to 28 points. Then you can either make Jar Jar unique or pick up a 2-cost Plot. In retrospect, Taking Ground would not be an awful call (more on that later) – but elite Jar Jar is the clear choice. Five Gungan dice powered by Boss Nass’ ability is why we are here.

From there you can really make a bad deck. I asked Zach, as I have done since I was about 13 years old, to take my pile of cards and try to make something out of them. First attempts proved that task to be as difficult as expected.

Cards like Dumb Luck and Gungan Offensive just did not have strong enough fundamentals to compete with the likes of Easy Pickings, Motivate, or Into the Garbage Chute. Games were long and the Gungans were incredibly annoying, but, as is actually quite appropriate, they just weren’t doing anything. Opponents simply muddled through slaughtering all of the Gungans and were disappointed that their decks couldn’t do it faster.

In a comment that summed up initial impressions, original testing partner Matt Phillips suggested one major change to the deck – all four starting characters.

But there was something happening, subtly, in the background. The removal was good – like, really good. Trading a Gungan Warrior or Boss Nass activation for 5-6 damage with Into the Garbage Chute absolutely crushed turns. Combined with cards like Blaze of Glory (aka Leroy Jenkins) and Easy Pickings on top of 28 health, the Gungans had plenty of time. We just had to figure out what to do with it.

That is when things really turned. Zach was convinced of the fundamental strength that a long game + Boss Nass provided, and so we started looking at the best option for long games: supports. After trying a few different suites, nothing could beat Crait Speeders and Boomas, the former providing a critical source of direct damage. Playing on that truth, the HWK-290 was added, and Bubble Shields with it (especially good with Crash Landing).

Electropole made the cut because it could be used so many times in a single turn. My record is 3 Electropole resolutions in a turn where the Gungans murdered themselves with Crash Landing and Blaze of Glory. On top of that, the 2-disrupt turned out to be a huge addition to the “slow the game down” strategy, and that side in particular may have been the MVP during the tournament.

Two more revelations happened throughout the testing process.

Diplomatic Protection was simply unreasonable in a 4-character deck. Jar Jar is on 5 damage, I play Diplomatic Protection, you choose between killing Jar Jar and giving me 6 shields. Unreal.

On a similarly unreasonable scale was discovering the true power of the Arena of Death battlefield. It was the only battlefield put in that original pile of cards, and with all of our focus on the characters and deck, we didn’t really think too much about it. That changed during a game in which a heavily injured Boss Nass was facing off against a heavily injured Anakin and Kylo. After trying to find an out for a long time, Zach and I simultaneously realized that I could claim for 3 indirect damage and then claim again as my first action next turn.

At the end of the game, I could do 6 indirect damage at any point. That filled us with pure, unadulterated glee.

After a few games that turned out exceedingly well for the Gungans, this is the final list that beat Zach’s Kylo / Anakin in the finals of the Edmond Unplugged Store Championship.

This decklist can also be found on!

Arena of Death, Nar Shaddaa (Way of the Force #156)

2x Jar Jar Binks, Clumsy Outcast (Legacies #47)
1x Boss Nass, Bombastic Ruler (Way of the Force #71)
2x Gungan Warrior (Way of the Force #72)

2x Diplomatic Protection (Legacies #123)
2x Electropole (Way of the Force #85)

2x Runaway Boomas (Legacies #51)
2x Modified HWK-290 (Legacies #70)
2x Bubble Shield (Legacies #145)
2x Resistance Crait Speeder (Way of the Force #83)

1x Logistics (Awakenings #142)
2x Easy Pickings (Legacies #117)
2x Into The Garbage Chute (Legacies #124)
2x Crackdown (Legacies #136)
2x Crash Landing (Legacies #137)
1x Vandalize (Legacies #156)
2x Well-Connected (Legacies #157)
2x Blaze of Glory (Way of the Force #75)
2x First Aid (Way of the Force #77)
2x Motivate (Way of the Force #79)

Having played through the tournament, I would drop Vandalize for a Target Intel. I’d also probably try to find a way to get a Flank or two in there, but it’s hard.

You’re pretty much playing fundamentals here, with resource generation to drop your supports and control cards to keep you safe. If you ever pull off a first turn First Aid on a 4-damage Boss Nass, you win.

Activate a Gungan, resolve it if it is good, move on if it is bad. Use Jar Jar at the right time. Hold onto a Gungan for Into the Garbage Chute or Blaze of Glory if needed. Do not forget Boss Nass’ Focus for your supports.

Their target must be Jar Jar. If he dies first turn, your game gets a lot worse. Do not let it happen! You need those Easy Pickings and Well-Connecteds.

Once your opponent has done everything and gets bored of saying “pass”, you can begin playing cards like Crackdown, Well-Connected, Motivate, and/or Logistics to build up to a surprise support or two. Roll those dice out, resolve them or fix them, and keep the assault going. Be sure to roll out your additional Booma die before re-rolling the pile for maximum value.

Toward the end of the game, watch for Arena of Death plays. Remember that you can do 6 indirect damage at any moment. Abuse that.

The event at Edmond Unplugged was just an incredible time. Mike is a great store owner and Ian, who often makes an appearance at our events in Tulsa, is about as great of a tournament host – and person – as you could ask for. Nothing but good vibes from everyone there, and excellent players.

And I have to give a huge shout out to my Gungan brother, Andrew, for not only playing a Gungan deck at the event, but also speaking in Gungan the entire time. Without you, there is no way I would have done so well.

For a full rundown of the deck and more information about how it plays, catch our podcast all about the event on iTunes or via YouTube below!

You can also find a rundown of Zach’s 2nd place deck on his Is Snoke Overrated? blog.

Worth noting, too, that our Destiny Box Subscription is insane right now, just in time for Across the Galaxy. Boxes are $86.12 each, with free shipping on two or more, and you do not pay anything until a few weeks before the next set releases. It’s available for a limited time and we only have a few spots left, so jump in now if you want to guarantee your boxes without having pre-order money locked up until November.

We also have Across the Galaxy Saga Sets (shipping on release) available on our store. A great option if you just want the entire set without any randomness!

If any questions about the deck, leave them here and I’ll respond. Thanks for reading!

Star Wars: Destiny Decklist – Elite Ahsoka + Elite Yoda

I am a huge fan of Ahsoka Tano, so I have been looking for a way to get her on the table since she was released. Over the weekend, I streamed a handful of games playing Elite Ahsoka and Elite Yoda at the monthly Covenant Tulsa Star Wars: Destiny tournament. The audio is a bit echo-y during the intro due to an issue with the streaming software. I fixed the issue a few minutes into the stream, as you will hear below.

A month or two ago, I was deep in testing for Worlds with the Tulsa meta. One night, my opponent rolled Yoda in and, seeing a special, chained their special sides into two resources. This let them play two 2-cost upgrades on their first turn! I immediately thought of how great Yoda could be with Ahsoka, and her ability to ready herself for a resource cost. Unfortunately, I did not have time to explore this pair at the time. Now that Worlds is over, I am extremely excited to play this deck!

The basic idea is simple. Get resources with Yoda early, play upgrades on Ahsoka, and then actually have the resources to pay for Ahsoka’s ability in the mid to late game. In general, you will activate Yoda first. If you only have one upgrade in your opening hand, I recommend activating Ahsoka and paying to ready her via her ability immediately after you activate Yoda. If you end up having to re-roll to get to a special on a Yoda die, also having Ahsoka’s dice in play to re-roll will increase your consistency. It will also give your opponent a distraction and other dice to control besides Yoda’s.

If you have two upgrades on Ahsoka going into the second turn, you are looking for more resources with Yoda. Assuming you can get two more resources, you can now activate Ahsoka with four dice and then pay the four resource cost to ready her via her ability. This results in a massive second turn for the deck.

As the game goes on, my favorite setup is double Shoto Lightsaber on Ahsoka. Since she can activate twice most turns, you will end up gaining (or removing from your opponent’s characters) four shields a turn. When you combine these shields with Yoda’s ability to generate shields and your control cards, a lot of decks struggle to defeat your characters.

As a final bit of advice, do not be afraid to resolve Ahsoka’s upgrade or character dice for resources early. If you can roll damage to remove a character you may want to re-roll for that, but often times getting money to use her ability on future turns and ensuring your dice are resolvable for your second activation each turn is strong enough.

The version of the deck I was playing on Saturday is below and on here.

Characters: Elite Ahsoka, Elite Yoda
Battlefield: Obi-Wan’s Hut

x2 Ancient Lightsaber
x2 Force Illusion
x2 Force Speed
x2 Heirloom Lightsaber
x1 Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Lightsaber
x2 Shoto Lightsaber

x1 R2-D2

x2 Close Quarters Assault
x2 Destiny
x2 Force Misdirection
x2 Guard
x2 Hidden Motive
x2 Lightsaber Pull
x1 Mind Trick
x1 My Ally Is The Force
x2 Overconfidence
x2 Trust Your Instincts

I plan to stream from Covenant Tulsa on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm (central). This Wednesday, I will be drafting Legacies on stream in preparation for the first Covenant Masters qualifier event on June 23rd!

Star Wars: Destiny – Drafting Legacies

Before the Rivals Starter released, we started drafting at Covenant Tulsa using a home brewed draft format created for Destiny Weekend. With the announcement of The Covenant Masters event series, there were several other Tulsans looking to practice drafting Legacies this past Wednesday at our local league night.

I decided to stream my entire draft (video below), including everything from opening packs and drafting cards to building a deck and playing games. If you are new to drafting Destiny, before reading the rest of this blog I recommend starting with our introductory guide to drafting.

The stream is a couple hours long, so I added time codes below for the most important moments of the stream.

2:40 – Drafting Begins
37:45 – Deck building begins
46:34 – Eric Wainright gives his thoughts on top 3 Legacies Draft cards
55:05 – Game 1 v. Donovan
1:46:01 – Game 2 v. Mark
2:18:00 – Game 3 v. Bryce

Drafting Legacies

This past week, we also posted a poll on Twitter and Facebook to let you determine one of my characters for the draft. Unsurprisingly, the Jawa was easily the most voted on character. Below is the deck I built after drafting on Wednesday.

Characters: Anakin, Battle Droid, Jawa, Jedha Partisan
Battlefield: Dry Fields

1 x Vibrosword
1 x Crafted Lightsaber
1 x Verpine Sniper Rifle
1 x Kallus’ Bow Rifle
1 x T-21 Repeating Blaster

1 x Bespin Wing Guard
1 x BT-1
1 x Fang Fighter
1 x Mortar Team
2 x Suppression Field
1 x Yoda’s Hut

1 x Adapt
1 x Bamboozle
1 x Crush the Rebellion
1 x Emulate
1 x Equip
1 x Explosive Tactics
1 x Hidden Motive
1 x Into the Garbage Shoot
2 x Respite
1 x Rumors
1 x Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder
1 x Shelter
2 x Strength In Numbers
1 x Strength Through Weakness
1 x Sudden Impact
1 x Tinker

Knowing that I would be drafting Legacies, the Jawa actually changed my drafting strategy. I ended up drafting a Battle Droid and a Jedha Partisan, which allowed me to field four characters with all three colors. Had I not planned on taking the Jawa, I probably would not have been in a position to take advantage of the opportunity to do this. While this is a powerful set of starting characters, it came with a down side. I spent two of my draft picks on characters instead of upgrades or control cards.

I want to note a few cards that have surprisingly high value in draft. While not all of them were relevant on this particular stream, they are worth a second look if you have not spent much time drafting Legacies.

'Suppression Field' is often underestimated when drafting Legacies.

Draft is quite a bit scrappier than constructed, meaning that games take longer and you take damage where you can get it. Suppression Field can ultimately remove up to three dice in a single game. If you happen to draft Rose, this card is insane since she has the ability to remove damage from supports. While a Jawa is not quite a Rose, he also works well since you can remove a die or two and then cash the Suppression Field in for resources with his ability.

Yoda's Hut is another great card for drafting Legacies.

I cannot speak highly enough of Yoda’s Hut in draft. Even a single shield each round is good enough for this card to get played. Pair it with a character like Anakin who can reasonably give a character two shields and Yoda’s Hut gets insane.

When drafting Legacies with four characters, don't underestimate Respite.

Respite is one of those cards that I was immediately drawn to, even in constructed. Turning a character activation into an immediate resource and card is hardly ever bad. The pacing of constructed might limit how often this card gets played in that format, but in draft this card is amazing. Since I knew I was playing four characters early in the draft, I was looking for as many of this card as I could get my hands on.

You can join me on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm for the live stream or or in person at the first Covenant Masters qualifier event on June 23rd! Also, stay tuned to  Twitter and Facebook as there will most certainly be more polls to determine what I play next.

Initial Reactions to Way of the Force

I was at the Fantasy Flight Games GAMA panel earlier today when the fifth set of Star Wars: Destiny was announced. After squirming through the rest of the presentation live streaming from my phone, I finally got the chance to dive into their announcement – and oh my, what an announcement!

On my first skim through the article, I missed two really critical details. The first is that the set would “focus on the unique equipment, abilities, and tactics of many of the Saga’s most iconic characters”. The second seems even crazier, which is that “the set includes the most expensive support yet, a new way to bring back defeated characters, and a battlefield that comes with its own die.” It is easy to be hyperbolic about new sets, but this is definitely setting a high bar for insanity.

Before I get to it, I should mention (as demanded by our marketing team) that we just launched Way of the Force Saga Sets and have a limited quantity available for pre-order that are shipping on release!

And if you need more information on buying strategies for this set, check out our newly published Star Wars: Destiny Buyers Guide. Now, to the cards…

My initial reaction to the announcement was pure, unfettered excitement! After the Two-Player Game, Balance of the Force list, Rivals, and Legacies, it definitely seemed that community momentum was building. If the online reaction is any sign, Way of the Force seems to have capitalized on that growing sense of enthusiasm (barring the Q3 release, but I digress).

More importantly, Way of the Force is building on the foundations that the Two-Player Game and Legacies created, all while showing a better understanding of the underlying system that makes Destiny so fun.

As an example, check out the newly announced General Grievous!

A quick look at General Grievous makes it obvious that a new understanding exists in terms of character point values. Compared to the original Darth Vader, the new Grievous costs one less point, has a stronger die (generally), and has an ability that allows for the inclusion of the best weapons available. Of course, there is also that Power Action. Power creep is always a concern, so is this Grievous just straight up better than Vader?

While I highly value the ability on the Awakenings Vader for discard builds, I find it hard to argue that this Grievous is a better value. This might be frustrating or disappointing if you are a Vader loyalist like me, but the truth is that Awakenings Vader (and a slew of other over-costed early characters) have been slowly disappearing from the meta for some time. I am still crossing my fingers that the Balance of the Force list will bring Vader back into the fold, but in the meantime, this Grievous offers a glimpse of the powerful and thematic designs that we should expect to see for future versions of iconic characters.

The next Vader is going to be worth the wait.

Speaking of iconic characters… this Luke is GREAT, and not just because he looks amazing. The card is bleeding theme, especially because he can be played elite with Rey from the Two-Player Game.

Just think about how this ability really works. Luke is safe from damage-specific control cards, like Crush the Rebellion, but he gives up Hero staples like Guard. At the same time, he fits right in with all of the shield support in Legacies, like Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Lightsaber. That ability, too, is just too thematic, and pushes Luke away from the lightsabers and toward the Force.

This Luke will be a consistent and efficient choice for Hero decks, and there are many ways to build him. On the list of characters that deserve to look incredible and be a major part of this game, Luke is near the top – and I am happy to see a version of him that packs the efficiency necessary for tournament play.

Now we need to talk about Built to Last.

Built to Last - Destiny

This new plot costs a record high of 4-points and is the first color-specific plot that we have seen. This plot opens up deckbuilding in a way that is supremely interesting, making players consider entirely new archetypes before characters are even chosen. This is the first plot that would ever convince me to take a “less-than-30” team.

Padawans bring in a 3-cost unique upgrade for an effective cost of 1, and that is only the beginning of how meaningful this plot could become. The real question is – what other game altering, color-specific plots are in this set?

The rest of the cards showcase the development of one of my favorite additions in the Two-Player Game. When I first thumbed through the starter, I was immediately drawn to Rey’s Lightsaber. The idea that cards were not exclusive to certain characters, but better with them, just felt right. Along with Poe’s Blaster, these cards simultaneously encouraged theme and added an element that allows designers to make more unique and interesting card interactions.

For the first time, we have seen events that play with this character-improved mechanic, and this signals that we will see more of these kinds of cards in the future. Might we some day see an R2-D2 character who is better when running Luke or Rey? Or maybe a plot that costs -2 points if played with Darth Vader? Every option is now wide open.

If this was not already enough to get amped about, the yellow cards also explore two concepts previously seen. The first is getting the ability to move upgrades from one of your opponent’s characters to another. Remember that when an upgrade is moved, the die associated with it moves back to its card. Paired with the ability to move expensive upgrades to characters that are nearly defeated is going to be quite powerful (if not overly conditional!).

Bo-Katan Kryze also has the ability to include Villain upgrades in a hero deck, which is similar to Awakenings Finn – a character often panned as way too expensive for the pleasure. But now with neutral characters like Anakin Skywalker who have abilities that vary based on Hero or Villain cards in your deck, these crossover options become more interesting – as long as the differences between Heroes and Villains do not become overly muddled and indistinct.

The Way of the Force

As it sits, I am currently amped about Way of the Force! Star Wars: Destiny was already in a healthy place and this announcement is another positive addition to the game, with new options to explore that are not derivative or gimmicky. I love it when designers use the space that they already have available to blast open new aspects of a game.

What do you think of what we have seen so far? Let me know in the comments below!


Legacies Update – Boxes and Sets Shipping Now!

Legacies is here – and with it a swirl of information. This is what you need to know.

Booster Boxes – We have a limited quantity of Legacies Booster Boxes immediately available for $99. Every order placed with us ships out in less than 24 hours (excluding weekends) and generally arrives within 2-3 business days to the continental US. If you missed out on a subscription in time for Legacies, or are facing shipping delays from other retailers, these boxes are the best way to start diving into the set as soon as possible!

Subscriptions – All Booster Box Subscriptions have been shipped!

We have also lowered the price of Booster Box subscriptions to $99/box, and have automatically applied this price reduction to every current Booster Box Subscription. Thank you for the support over these past few sets!

If you would like to automatically receive Booster Boxes from future sets, guaranteed, within a day or two of release, at the lower $99 price, without ever having to worry – now is the time to lock it in! Slots are limited!

Saga Sets – The first batch of Saga Sets shipped today, and, at our current production rate, every set will be shipped by Jan. 22nd – a little over one week after release. We are thrilled to see continued improvement on our Saga Set delivery timelines, and will continue working around the clock to get everyone their sets.

If you would like to be notified whenever Saga Sets for the next Destiny set are up for sale, join our Star Wars: Destiny newsletter.

Massive thank you to everyone who trusts us to deliver on their Destiny needs. We just started filming our Learning Destiny series today, and it looks to be our best one yet. Expect to see those blogs and videos in the next few weeks, and with them, hopefully, an influx of new players. Meantime, enjoy Legacies!

I Will Finish What You Started

While I am often talking about how upgrades are overvalued in Star Wars Destiny (read this blog if you’re unfamiliar), I am fond of testing my own assumptions. This can be difficult, but in most cases ends up meaning I am forced to build decks that go against my own thinking. This led to the creation of one of the first decks I built after Spirit of Rebellion was released, one centered around Darth Vader, two First Order Stormtroopers, and the concept of getting as much value as possible out of upgrades.

I had this sneaking suspicion that the blank manipulation cards in Spirit of Rebellion, like Anger and Force Lightning, were being underrated. I also was interested in both Training and Cargo Hold. Training could give me a second Stormtrooper die to fuel my blank cards and if I triggered Cargo Hold with Training in play, Darth Vader could become elite. After testing, the deck started coming into it’s own. It was a stark contrast to most of the decks I had been playing, especially in comparison to the Vader + Guard deck I won the Covenant Tulsa Store Championship with not long after.

One night after a few test games against my brother Tim, I laid out my deck to take a long look at the deck. As I pondered changes that could be made, I had an unfortunate insight. The deck would plainly be better if I swapped Darth Vader for Elite Count Dooku. I find Dooku to be thematically out of place in the deck and quite simply, boring. I was must less interested in the deck, so I decided to put it away and move on to something else.

A few weeks later, the day before a couple friends and I were set to travel to one of the last Dallas Store Championships, I was growing tired of my current decks and needed something fresh. I decided to pull out my Vader Trooper deck, naively hoping to make tweaks that would get it to a place where I was comfortable playing it at the Store Championship.

It may seem peculiar, but when I first put the deck away I was winning most of my games with it. Knowing it could be better by swapping to Dooku was the lethal blow that made me lose interest. I decided that even with sub-optimal characters, the deck would be more fun to use than my others and I could probably win most of my games anyway.

As I sat there re-examining the deck though, I started to wonder if maybe I had not have taken my idea of switching characters far enough. Instead of just considering the switch to Dooku, I began to consider all the possible character combinations the deck could use. Was there maybe a set of characters even better than a switch to Count Dooku?

“You Need a Teacher.” – Kylo Ren

Within minutes, I was at the table with enough time for about two games. The characters I decided to test were Elite Kylo Ren, FN-2199, and First Order Stormtrooper. This effectively meant I had upgraded a First Order Stormtrooper to 9’s (arguably the most powerful character in the game) and Darth Vader into Elite Kylo Ren. This was even more thematic than Vader and two troopers and as it turned out, quite a bit better.

Early the next morning with two whole games of testing under my belt, I made a few last minute changes to the deck on our drive down to Texas. Among the most important changes, I added a second copy of Price of Failure and Boundless Ambition. The final deck list I took to the event is below.

Elite Kylo Ren
First Order Stormtrooper

Battlefield: Rebel War Room

2 x F-11D Rifle
1 x Force Illusion
2 x Force Lightning
2 x Force Throw
2 x Holdout Blaster
2 x Sith Holocron
2 x Vibroknife
2 x Z6 Riot Control Baton

1 x Drudge Work

2 x Anger
2 x Boundless Ambition
2 x Doubt
2 x Enrage
2 x Manipulate
2 x The Best Defense…
2 x The Price of Failure

Early on, the deck plays similar to any 9’s deck. You play weapons on 9’s and squeak out as much value as you can. By the mid to late game, your opponent’s will start to see a big difference! Instead of a relatively weak Unkar remaining once 9’s is defeated, you have a threatening Knight of Ren.

Again, the deck centers around one key concept, getting as much value out of it’s upgrades as possible. You get a lot of added value from redeploy, but even more fuel is added to the fire with Price of Failure and The Best Defense. Stacking upgrades on 9’s serves to mark him as your opponents primary target. As he gets closer and closer to defeat, playing Price Of Failure or The Best Defense on 9’s to force an early redeploy and either ready Kylo or remove two enemy dice can win games. Because the deck nearly forces your opponent to attack 9’s first, this all but guarantees that your Stormtrooper will also be available for Price of Failure and The Best Defense. These are both the kind of cards that can be dead at certain points in games, so knowing they should be playable makes them a lot better.

The deck has a lot of turns that can surprisly just end games, so keep your eyes peeled! Even when it doesn’t hit those game ending turns, the deck tends to be ahead in the late game. I end either blowing an opponent out or ending in a one on one situation with Kylo.

At the Store Championship, there were 33 players and I ended up going 5-0 in Swiss! I was paired against my brother Tim in the Top 4, who was playing a nasty version of 9’s + Unkar. He hit both his Thermal Detonators on the first two turns, which was too much for my deck to handle! You can read his report about his deck and this event on his blog.

All in all, I was very happy with this deck. Not only was it supremely fun and fresh, it was a very strong deck that can win when an opponent least expects it. If you are getting a bit tired of your current decks and looking for a way to freshen things up before Empire at War, I strongly recommend switching up your characters and seeing what happens!