Darth Vader – Victor Leader seems to be dividing the Destiny community on opinion as to whether or not he’s actually any good. This article delves into my exploration of The Victor Leader and putting him to the test in an online 24 person TTS tournament.
I knew I wanted to team Vader with a Red character. I’ve always had a personal preference for playing Red and Blue decks: Hero or Villain. Throughout the Legacies Meta I had great success with Poe2/Aayla/Profitable Connection and most recently in the current Prime season Maul/Phasma2/Retribution taking the latter pairing to the final of the UK’s biggest Prime to date.
The Motti build was pretty straight. Roll in Motti, hit the discard sides for the hand control and psuedo mitigation, AR for Merchant Freighter, use Vader’s Piloting ability, make money, play Fist or Megas. The deck felt OK yet underwhelming and I quickly moved on to trying Vader with Krennic.
Director Krennic – Order 66. I’m not going to get hung up and talk too much about this deck. You all know how oppressive an O66 deck can be. Add in a deck where both the characters have a double discard side and you have the epitome of Destiny depression. Your opponent occasionally resolves dice and they occasionally play cards. I played a few games with this and realized if I wanted to keep my friends I’ll put the Executes back in the binder. The deck was pretty good – it’s just not fun to play against or play. Worth mentioning: for a more aggressive line-up, Phasma Ruthless Tactician could be used instead of Krennic.
Remaining Red villain Character choice left me with either Kallus or Iden Versio…
Iden is a character that has seen play since the release of Across the Galaxy to most success with Tobias Beckett. She is just ever so slightly above curve compared to other 15pt characters solely for the fact that she has 12Hp compared to the average 11Hp [echo7: no modify or pay sides and a double focus look pretty good too]. Let’s not overlook her passive ability as well: droids are still very much top of the meta and do run action cheats such as Ewok Ambush and Instigate. Iden will shut off the additional action and give you the chance to interact with your opponent’s dice as long as you hold tempo and have her dice in the pool.
As a brief card analysis on Vader – his die sides are pretty decent. He effectively reads 2 discard, 1 shield, 1 resource, 2 damage, 2 damage, blank. The fact that the 2 damage is actually a special does toy with several mitigation cards that typically state ‘remove a die showing damage’. He chains with Niman specials and his double discard is arguably his most brutal side. I believe he also has more subtypes than any other printed blue villain character with Sith, Leader & Pilot.
Talking of character subtypes; I instantly decided that this deck is the perfect deck for Command and Conquer. It’s a card that jumped out to me when CM was spoilt, yet I didn’t instantly know with which character line-up it would find its home.
My favorite opening play with C&C: activate Vader, flip to the double discard and resolve. As a first action to rid 2 of my opponent’s mulliganed starting cards, it can be pretty clutch. You’re also potentially set to play Face The Enemy as your second action to completely wreck your opponent’s opening hand if you are lucky enough to pull both in your opener.
Got a Trandoshan or a pesky droid down to two health end of round one? Open round two with C&C, Flip to Vader’s special and get the surprise kill. Command and Conquer is so clutch, it’s a brilliant card in this deck.
I had initially toyed with the idea of running a ‘Title’ suite of Admiral, Sith Lord and Grand Moff but it just didn’t really work as expected. The draws were few and far between and neither character felt like it warranted an Admiral reset. So I eventually settled on the following as the far superior deck list:
There are a few obvious omissions which were all on the table but didn’t make my final list due to personal preference. Cards such as: Tactical Mastery, Probe, Forsaken, Conscript Squad, Beguile, Dodge & Fluid Riposte.
I decided on running Eject over a Forsaken as I found I couldn’t easily setup forsaken plays. Plus a 4 health swing with Vader for the sake of binning your Merchant Freighter seems like good value to me. Viper Probe Droid exceeded all expectation throughout testing and the tournament. This will become an auto-include for me moving forward when building villain red decks [echo7: I agree, this card is top-tier, especially as it doesn’t use up your action to trigger it. It can be a dead card late game though if Iden is the first target].
Face The Enemy and Counterintelligence to toy with your opponents hand & mitigation.
Merchant Freighter and Logistics for ramp to play your damage suite.
None of the above need any introduction; we are familiar with the power of each card in their own right. After testing a few games online I’d reached a decision to run the deck for the upcoming TTS Tournament ran by Mark Lockett and Rebel Base Gaming. I knew going into the Tournament that the deck was far from Tier 1, I just wanted to see how well it would do facing the inevitable Meta of Trandoshans, Droids, Spectres & Pirates.
During the tournament, in the games in which the Fist hit the table, a few of my opponent’s seemed to forget that with the Fist power action I could spot Vader in order to then turn the die to the side I was after (Remember: When spotting Vader and using the Fist PA you have to roll the die and you have to turn the die, so if you naturally roll the 3 ranged, you don’t get to keep it)
Onto the tournament itself and my match-ups;
Round 1 – Chopper Droids – WIN
Round 2 – Smuggler/C-3PO/R2-D2 – WIN
Round 3 – 2 x Trandoshan, Imperial Death trooper – LOSS. 3 damage in it…
Round 4 – Kragan Gorr/Pyre – LOSS
Round 5 – Kragan Gorr/IDT/Armoured Reinforcement – WIN
Round 6 – eChopper/Kanan/Kashyyk Warrior/Valorous Tribe – WIN
The tournament itself ran extremely smoothly. All ran through a discord, listings were posted and we were able to connect to individual chat rooms associated to the table we were on to talk through the games. One of us took it on to host and the other joined.
I had some pretty savage technical difficulties throughout the tournament: I struggled with lag in a few games, got disconnected from another. Overall though, the tournament was a great success.
After Swiss I finished 7th seed (4-2) behind: Droids, Trandoshans, villain rainbow vehicles, Jawa mill, Reylo & Kragan, top 4 all going 5-1. We published a tournament report already, and will be writing articles covering the top decks shortly.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the performance of the deck, especially given my Meta match-ups, and I believe this deck has potential going forward. It will never be top tier, but it can give even the best decks out there a run for their money. In closing, and kinda back to the point of the article, Vader – Victor Leader is a good solid character, and I’d recommend testing with him as he may just surprise you.
Maybe I’ll try him with Beckett…
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