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 SWDestinyDB.com!
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!