Today’s article is a joint one. We’ve both been thinking about building eTrandoshan-eTrandoshan-Imperial Death Trooper, so decided to present both our decklists, as they ended up being a bit different. Text in italics was added after we shared decklists.
There was a time when 5 dice villain overwhelmed the opponent with a fast flood of aggressive character and upgrade dice before you knew what hit you. Since Way of the Force, three-wide villain decks have moved increasingly towards ramping up to playing big supports with the help of Snoke, Wat, Jabba and Watto.
Covert Missions however brings us non-unique elite villains which look poised to revive a more aggressive 5 dice villain, most notably these two:
They both have 3 ranged sides, they’re both 11 points elite, and they both have huge Power Actions.
The lineup which makes the most sense with these two is double elite Trandoshan and a single Death Trooper (IDT).
Assuming you can get a downgrade down round 1, and don’t get mitigated, how much damage are you going to deal? Here’s a suggested strategy to use those Power Actions (PA) to maximum effect:
- Make a single re-roll on anything not showing damage.
- If you don’t see damage on the IDT and you don’t have a 2 ranged side showing on your Trandoshan dice, flip at least one Trando die to a 2 ranged side to PA the IDT die to the +2.
- If you have the resources, flip to the 3 ranged pay sides on the remaining Trando dice; if you don’t, the 2 ranged sides.
With this strategy, using character dice alone, you can expect to deal 11+ damage 68% of the time and cannot do less than 7.
Obviously not getting mitigated is a big conditional, but Face the Enemy and Probe can make this much more consistent.
Without the Power Actions, your average damage output is 7, with a 38% chance of doing less than this. For this reason, you really need to play a downgrade round one, to meet the spot requirement of the Trandoshan.
Here are the odds on drawing at least one downgrade with a hard mulligan (discarding your entire hand if you don’t get any), based on how many downgrades you have in your deck:
We feel happy with 85% (failing one time in 6.7), but not with 77% (failing one time in 4.3).
Mark and I have been discussing the non-elites and our favorite line ups. We both settled on the same character line up, however our decks took on a slightly different approach:
My approach to the deck was to run a light weapon suite. The Trandoshan bounty hunters only have 8 health which can easily be spiked at the beginning of a round, certain decks may have the capability to put one down round 1 if you’re caught shy of mitigation.
Like Ewoks, the power level of this deck will be at it’s highest rounds 1 + 2 (I’m anticipating loosing a Trandoshan by round 2), hence my inclusion of the redeploy A-300 Blaster & the incredible Handheld L-S1 Cannon to further the game plan, rather than fall off of the proverbial damage cliff as the game goes along.
Strangely 14 of my 18 events are the same as Mark’s. Does this mean we think alike or does this mean that when running red and yellow villains there is a ‘go to’ card suite?
For mitigation and hand control from cards like The Best Defense…, Probe, Face the Enemy, Doubt & A Sinister Peace, it would appear so. Why did we decide on these? With the paysides on the Trandoshan we both expect to be running light on spare resources for mitigation, hence the include of these key 0 cost events. Each card has also been a meta staple since its inception.
I chose Training Room as my battlefield – the potential to re roll all five of your character dice instead of loosing a card seemed like good value to me. I feel that unless this deck takes off within the meta, not many opponents will reap the reward of re-rolling non-unique character dice.
My version of the deck includes 17 zero cost cards. When deck building on the excellent swdestinydb.com I do always look at the resource curve of the deck I have just created. What I’m looking for is a decent descending line from top left to bottom right. With this deck: achieved.
Here’s my suggestion for a double Trando/IDT deck:
The differences from Oli’s deck to mine were:
-1 Training Room
-1 Boba Fett’s Wrist Laser
-2 A-300 Blaster
-2 Focused Fire
+1 Nightsister Lair
+1 Separatist Embargo
+2 Act of Cruelty
+2 Desperate Measures
I’m only considering bounties for my downgrades, as they’re immune to Protective Shield, and are generally excellent value, though Hampered and Cruel Methods are tempting. I ended up settling on the exact same downgrades as Oli.
I’ve only put in 2 offensive upgrades (LS-1‘s are just so good), so I’m leaning heavily on my character dice, with the help of Pulverize and Act of Cruelty for extra damage and Probe and Face the Enemy for control. Oli’s choice of Focused Fire is probably a more efficient choice than Pulverize.
The reliance on character dice means the damage potential falls off a cliff when a Trandoshan dies, in contrast to ramp decks that play upgrades and supports.
Oli has included 5 upgrades, but my feeling was that consistently spending resources for an upgrade and losing the chance to resolve those pay sides was too big a price to pay, a risk he’s mitigated with Truces. I think it’s a tricky call.
As my Trandoshans only have 8HP I’ve stacked the deck with mitigation which is cheap (Doubt and A Sinister Peace) and designed to let the trooper take the heat (The Best Defense… and Crash Landing). Riot Shields can also protect the Trandoshans, or to soak up 3 damage from Crash Landing or Best Defense on the trooper.
I’m running a single Separatist Embargo for the Order 66 match-up or other annoying mitigation like Easy Pickings, and it’s handy tech against decks that rely on a couple of key cards, like Bacta Therapy (Palp3) or Kanan’s Lightsaber.
I chose Nightsister Lair to help with the ramp. My downgrades either cost 0 or net me a resource the turn it’s played, so this gives me a third resource each round while I hold the battlefield:
Finally, I’ve got 2 Desperate Measures. Because I felt I had to. If supports are on the out though, Oli might be right in cutting this.
This character lineup is highly aggressive, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it proves to be very popular, though it’s drop in damage output when you lose a Trandoshan may prove to be enough to prevent it from becoming top tier.
Even if you don’t run it yourself, it’s one to watch out for as it can be tough to play against given it’s huge round 1 damage output.
Since publishing this article, we discovered that David “Vika” Broberg won the Artificery TTS league with 2Trandoshan/IDT. His build was slightly different from ours, but remarkably similar, leaning heavily on character dice and aiming to start the game with an immense output of damage.
Comparing his build to mine (echo7), he dropped any offensive upgrades, and included 2 Fickle Mercenaries and 2 Conscript Squads. He ran double Shadowed, double Wanted & double DOA, plus a little more mitigation (Risky Move and Electroshock) making room by dropping the tech (Embargo, Rendezvous, Pulverize and Act of Cruelty). Finally, he ran Dangerous Maneuver instead of Crash Landing.
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