After Convergence dropped, Entourage rapidly became a staple of top tier decks, dominating the meta in the days of pre-nerf Snoke and rainbow villain support decks.
Since Spark of Hope, and especially since Delve/Fist/Theed got put on the restricted list, it’s slowly fallen out of favour, making some very rare appearances. Last week however, an Entourage deck won in Toulouse, France, after taking the runner up spot in Angers the week before. Here’s the deck:
I asked Manu Ndo, the deck’s designer and pilot, if he’d be willing to do a write-up, and he agreed. So here it is:
“There is this moment when you discover a card for the first time and need to read it like 3 times to make sure you understood it well. Not because the text is not written in your mother tongue but because, dang, that card is powerful! Then you move your head up, think about combo and combo you could make with that card, you think, think, many ideas come to your mind, too many, where to start… You open swdestinydb.com and build, build like THIS is the deck, like this is gonna be something SPECIAL!
You know this feeling right? That’s how I felt when I discovered Entourage. The tutoring effect of the card allowing you to search in your deck for a scoundrel and the special that deals 1 damage per scoundrel got me.
I wanted to play it with double down, the more the merrier right? And to make money, Yoda1/Lando2 was one of my favorite combos. Plus, we have the Yoda special chaining and Lando is a scoundrel. I’ve tried and tried this deck but I’ve never been able to make it competitive. Not enough health, and when Entourage doesn’t show up, it’s a no game. Only the infinite format allowed me some results, thanks to Force Illusion, Force Speed or Second Chance, I managed a performance of 5-1 in Bologna GQ and 5-1 again in Paris GQ, June and July last year. At that point, I thought I could not go competitive by only focusing on Entourage [echo7: yourdestiny did a review of a Yoda1/Han3 deck back in April 2019 which doubles down on Entourage].
I remember the final of the European championship in Krakow, Poland last summer. I was sitting a couple of meters away from the table where Leddon (Tony Franco), one of our French community players was playing his Jabba support deck and about to win the tournament. I was looking at the table and that card was laying there, an Entourage. That was the highest competitive game I had experienced, and the card was there, on the table.
What I learned that day is that a powerful card such as Entourage, Megablaster or the Fist are game changers, but they are even stronger when the threat can come from somewhere else. A few months later, I was back to building around Entourage.
With Spark of Hope, we got Han4 and his blaster, a powerful and cheap combo (Han4 is 9/12). I thought I could improve this Yoda scoundrel deck by adding more health: eYoda is 13 points, Han one die is good enough, that makes a total of 22. Now do we have a scoundrel at 8? Hmmm, that Marauder could do the job, he brings health, has a cool ability, let’s try this.
In total, I mostly won when Entourage was out round one. I could say it’s a 70% win. And when not… it wasn’t that bad, thanks to the powerful upgrades. I sometimes won thanks to two Entourage specials with a value of 6, 7, even 8! But, I actually win as often with a combo of Chewbacca’s Blaser, Han’s Blaster, and the Pulse Cannon [echo7: the villain card brought by the Marauder. Note you cannot bring Vader’s Fist if you want to play Theed]. Also do not underestimate Hired Muscles and Fickle Mercenaries. So, yes, it is an Entourage deck, but you have other strong weapons that can lead you to win.
However, to improve my chances and probabilities, I ALWAYS mulligan my entire hand if no Entourage turn one. Sometimes it’s tricky I know, and when facing Ewoks, and having a Pacify in my hand (to use on my own dice) doubts were real… But I stuck to my plan, emptied my hand and went for that Entourage. By doing this, I most of the time, like 70% [echo7: it’s actually 48.6%] start with Entourage turn one. Yes, luck is also part of this game.
These statistics are from about 40 games, including 3 Primes: I won the first Prime (Toulouse, France, 19 players) and lost in final of the second one (Angers, France, 18 players). The third one? I totally failed! A few days ago with the same deck in Lyon, France for my last Prime, I went 2-3. 3 losses. One against Yoda/Leia, one very very close loss against Red Palp, by time, and a last one even closer against Ewoks, I was showing lethal on that last Ewoks… but you know, sh*t happens.
To sum up my 3 Primes and meta match-ups, I faced quite a lot of Reylo decks (including a final win in Toulouse and semi-final win in Angers) which is a pretty good match-up for me, especially with all my removal. I have been able to kill a fully shielded 14 HP Rey with 2 Entourage specials: nasty. I’m 1-1 against Yoda/Leia, 1-1 against Palp and 4-2 against Ewoks. I’m 1-3 against Chopper/Engineer (lost in Angers final) [echo7: check out our review of this deck with comments from the Angers champion here].
First, I wanted to have at least 2 scoundrels to be able to have an Entourage special putting pressure as soon as it lands on the table. I decided to go for Han Solo. I like his cost/health ratio. Not only is Han Solo’s Blaster good, his Power Action can help to create sneaky situations and I like that his 2 resource sides can be turned into a 2 ranged side when needed.
Enfys Nest’s Marauder, again, a good cost/health ratio. I like to be able to bring a surprise to the game thanks to the ability to add a villain card into my deck. The indirect while resolving a side showing a cost is cool, I always like extra damage. And a resource side that can give you 2 when playing Rendezvous is sweet.
Now we need balance, stability, focus and the blue color to add free removals. That’s when Yoda joins the party. No need to explain what he does and brings.
How it works:
Try to make as much money as possible to play Entourage. It’s that’s simple.
Well, of course the odds to have an Entourage round one every game is not high enough to consider this a consistent strategy. So we need strong/efficient weapon that can do the job when my Entourage doesn’t want to show up: Mr. Bones, Han Solo’s Blaster, Chewbacca’s Blaster Rifle and the Pulse Cannon can all do the job. So that’s why I’m playing it! Don’t forget we have focus thanks to Yoda!
A lot of removal, I know, a lot… That’s just how I like to play!
Don’t forget the additional action of the Theed Royal Palace – Naboo by spotting our neutral character.
Han Solo – Old Swindler‘s PA, it’s a great back up plan to turn a 2 resource side of an Entourage to a juicy special. Yummy!
I play Dismantle in case of a Separatist Embargo on Entourage. Upper Hand is great against Reylo [echo7: if you’ve got a Hired Muscle on the table, you can guarantee hitting the play requirements]. Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder to avoid Desperate Measures.
Definitely one of my favorite decks I got to play with since I’m in the game, and maybe that’s why it worked for me, fun first right?
Thanks for reading!”
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