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 swdestinydb.com.

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

Battlefield: Sith Temple

Upgrades:
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

Events:
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!

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