Covert Missions has landed and it has brought with it Pirates: Kragan Gorr and Synara San (plus Hondo is now a Pirate). Kragan and Synara are costed to go together, but Synara feels a bit weak.
Kragan on the other hand, has a potentially broken ability, if you can pull it off consistently:
The ability to steal a resource represents a 2 resource swing. Stealing has previously proven to be very powerful, with Beckett and Ezra featuring in top tier decks. But in both their cases, they had to roll out, risk being mitigated, and had to use a die to steal.
Kragan’s stealing on the other hand is built in, which feels pretty busted. His dice sides aren’t too bad either plus he’s a leader which can come in handy. On the downside, he’s only got 11 health. If it weren’t for his ability, Kragan would be overcosted (though not by much). For that reason, if you’re playing Kragan you need to be able to steal from the opponent pretty much every round.
In order to consistently steal resources, you need: good mitigation; you need your opponent to have resources to steal; and you need to be able to durdle until the time is right. With all that in mind, this is what I’ve been playing on TTS:
The combo of Kragan plus his Pirate Ship feels incredibly strong, and that’s why I’ve built the deck around it.
If your opponent has just one side showing damage after activating a character, you can activate the Pirate Ship, remove the die, activate Kragan, steal a resource.
Kragan plus Armored Reinforcement left 11 points. The Imperial Death Trooper felt like the natural fit: he gives access to red which means hand control, strong supports, mitigation and dice consistency.
The mitigation is a little non-standard, but designed to fit with Kragan’s ability.
Viper Probe Droid is the best mitigation in the deck for Kragan. Once this and Pirate Ship hit the table, even if your opponent rolls double damage sides after activating, you can remove them both, activate Kragan and steal a resource as your next action. Remember that re-rolling triggers this support too, unlike the similar Suppressive Fire.
Free-Fall is strong in a deck with mitigation on a stick in the form of the Pirate Ship, and can help you trigger Kragan’s ability on an unsuspecting opponent thanks to ambush.
A Sinister Peace, Measure for Measure and The Best Defense… I think go without explanation. Doubt is strong with Kragan as it gets a die showing damage off the table, one way or the other. Finally, I’ve got a couple of Riot Shields for pseudo-mitigation.
Making sure your opponent has resources to steal
Truce is an auto-include here, as if you can steal after playing it, it’s 2 free resources.
I’ve included Paid Off as a 2-of, as in testing it’s felt strong. The ability to resolve an opponent’s die against them can easily represent a 4-6 damage swing, but typically a 4 resource swing for it hasn’t been worth it. If however you can steal one of them back as your next action, it becomes viable.
You have to be confident that your opponent won’t go and spend the resources as soon as you give them away. For this reason, you’ve got to play this in a round after playing Face The Enemy or Counterintelligence.
Damage and Durdling
I’ve got Fickle Mercenaries, Conscript Squad and Megablaster Troopers as the main source of damage outside of character dice (and the Pirate Ship).
These are not only powerful supports for their cost, but they are excellent for durdling and means you can hold off activating Kragan until the time is right.
I’m tempted to include an Imperial Officer as well, for auto-focusing of the IDT/Megablaster dice and to keep Megablaster/Counterintelligence turned on if Kragan dies.
Counterintelligence and Face The Enemy are incredibly strong for hand control and knowledge. The combination of the two allows you to play your game as you like and gives you an excellent idea of what your opponent is planning.
I’ve included an additional Pirate Ship in case the first gets trashed, but there’s certainly no harm in having both on the table. I’ve got a Merchant Freighter for ramp and durdling.
Theed seemed like the obvious battlefield choice, as it means you can get to 3 resources Round 1 with ease, making the AR/Pirate Ship play a little easier.
I’ve enjoyed playing this deck, and if you get Pirate Ship out early it can be pretty oppressive. It suffers from low health, but the mitigation and stealing can go a long way to leveling the balance. If you include the Riot Shields and Pirate Ships, half the deck is mitigation of one sort of the other.
If you’re planning on playing Kragan in a tournament, regardless of your build, I’d thoroughly recommend putting lots of practice in. Getting the timing right is critical, and I’ve made plenty of misplays in my matches with this deck and it’s previous iterations. Making sure you get the sequencing right is the difference between a strong and oppressive deck, and one that’s flaky.
I certainly haven’t nailed the perfect build or play strategy yet, and I have some serious concerns about the Trandoshan matchup, but I’m confident someone out there will take down a major tournament with Kragan soon.
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