Aphra 66 – deck review

With Order 66 decks winning 5 Primes in the last 5 weekends, we thought it was worth looking more closely at one of these decks.

While eSnoke/eKallus/O66 has been the most popular of these decks since it first made an appearance at the Las Vegas Open, it has had mixed success: in 7 appearances in Top Cuts, it has won 3 Primes, been a runner-up once, and not got out of the first round of 3 Top Cuts.

We thought we’d focus on the curious Aphra version: Aphra/Phasma/Sentinel/Order66. This lineup first made an appearance at World’s in the hands of Mark Peterson, but hasn’t been seen in Top Cuts since, until Ben von Blon took down North Carolina with it last weekend.

Ben kindly agreed to write up his experiences with the deck, so here he is:

“This past Saturday I won the regional in Raleigh, North Carolina playing the deck below with Aphra, Sentinel Messenger, Phasma2, and Order 66. The day went better than I could have imagined as I didn’t drop a game.

Ben von Blon’s decklist from the Raleigh Prime. Click the image to view this deck on swdestinydb.

Character Pairing

The night before, as is quite usual for me, I changed my mind about what I wanted to play and decided to go with an Aphra deck. She has been one of my favorite characters to play in the game. I find the numerous triggers and lines of play engaging. 

Locally we had some people playing Kallus/Snoke/O66 recently after the run by Elrathion at LVO and it is quite oppressive. Previously, I struggled with Aphra’s removal package so I knew I wanted to combine the two ideas. With the remaining points, Phasma felt like a better value than Grevious, Wat, or any other red partner [echo7: I completely agree: she’s a bargain for 9 points]. She is also a strong closer mid to late game. 

Card Choices

Rainbow Aphra has some mandatory cards that filled over half the deck:

Murder bot (0-0-0 & BT-1) and removal/tech package for Rainbow Aphra

These next cards are also nearly auto-includes:

Megablaster, A Sinister Peace, No Good to Me Dead and some hand control

That left 5 spots to fill.
[echo7: 14 cards used, with 11 as doubles and Hidden Motive, Crash Landing and A Sinister Peace as singles.
I think Ben isn’t giving himself enough credit here by describing these as auto-includes. Sure, 0-0-0, BT-1 and Desperate Measures are, as well as a few others. But I think there’s quite a few cards in this list which others would consider flexing out]

I really like having Imperial Officer as a 1-of in case my leader is targeted first [echo7: for the extra Megablaster Trooper die, plus can focus Phasma].

I included 1 Execute Order 66 in the main deck. I felt 5 would be sufficient in the games I wanted to draw it, and I didn’t want 2 in games I didn’t want to draw it, such as Ewoks or 3+ wide lists with no elite characters. 

Scorched Earth was my anti-Palpatine card. 

Count Dooku’s Solar Sailer is one of my favorite cards for Aphra and I feel it is often overlooked in other Aphra decks. It synergizes with card draw. The blank is the only bad side for Aphra. 

Coruscant Police was my final include: it was a droid for Aphra and it offered situational removal. 

Strategy 

In the mulligan, I want the murder bots [echo7: the chance of getting at least one murder bot round 1 with a hard mulligan is 79%, ignoring any additional draw]. First round 0-0-0 feels golden. I would not keep an EO66 unless there is a specific character I want to guarantee I can control the first round – Rey or Vader would be two that would be necessary to control the first round. Other cards I would keep were Respite and Solar Sailer. These are great for the early resource and draw engine

Mulligan strategy

I lost all but one roll off on the day, but only fought on my opponent’s battlefield in the cut when they chose to take theirs in both second games. No one wanted to give me shields so I had another early piece of control with the power action, or a guaranteed resource on Phasma [echo7: using the Salt Flats]. Resources and possibly shields are all that matter early to allow you to build the overwhelming board state while still being able to afford EO66.

Regardless if you have an EO66 you want to make your opponent think you do as long as possible. Force them to activate one character at a time, resolve less than optimal die sides or reroll for less than maximum value. Hold your resources until you can get a third or force them to make less than optimal decisions before playing a droid.

Deciding on a character to control with EO66 is important. Against 3 wide, pick the elite character. Against 2 wide, pick the character most likely to cause problems or the one with lower health. Rarely would I want to change the character I play it against during the game. 

Changes to the Deck

I would remove Coruscant Police. Also, possibly Probe, but it feels like one of the few cards to help in the Ewok matchup. 

The top cards I would look at adding are Act of Cruelty and Lure. Both would be more effective at pressing the aggression of the deck.

Thank you to echobase for asking me to share my experience in this game I truly love and am sad to see come to an official end. I look forward to following the continuing committee and hopefully rolling more dice in the future. 

Thank you to the players in my local community,  especially our community leader, Ryan, for providing such an enjoyable gaming group.”

Ben von Blon


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