Jawas might not look like much on their own, but together they represent a huge number of hit points to chew through, and come with some very handy tech to be played with their ability.
The combination of Jawa Junk Dealer, Utinni! and Pyke Syndicate Mine presents the opportunity to aggressively mill the opponent, and that’s just what Ryan Glossop did to take him to the runner-up spot in the 6 April TTS UK tournament.
Here’s Ryan to explain how he came to play Jawas and how it all went:
The release of Covert Missions presented a long list of decks that me and my brother wanted to test in the hopes that some of our jank would stick into a semi-alright deck, but in between the testing we’d want to come up with something themed, fun, and not necessarily competitive just to have some casual fun.
When the Jawa Junk Dealer and Uttini! Were first spoiled, we knew there would be a funny, completely un-serious mill deck waiting to be played just to blow off some steam. Then it hit the table and we realised that this was actually a good deck! After some urging from Jonny whose shop was the host of the tournament, I decided to bring this just to see how far we could take a ‘fun deck’.
We considered adding yellow initially just to have cards like Cocky and Déjà Vu which could help us speed up the milling process but ultimately decided against it because we thought losing 7 health and 2 Jawas was not worth it since we’d rather have Utinni! be at max strength for as long as possible. We also felt there were enough passable grey cards to not have to worry about the inclusion of another colour.
Game 1: eKragan ePyre
The nature of the Jawas needing to activate and thus be exhausted to play all of your cheap grey cards for free would ultimately mean that our resources were ripe for stealing with Kragan’s ability. With the massive 37 hp that needs to be chewed through on top of the huge amount of mitigation in the deck, games essentially last at least 4 rounds, probably 5-6, which meant a lot of extra resources for my opponent. Eventually they were able to advance their board state so much that I couldn’t mill them in time thanks to the second Utinni! being at the bottom of the deck. (0-1)
Game 2: Chopper Droids
This was a frightening match-up due to the sheer amount of disruption the deck can cause. Fortunately, the opening hand was just about as good as it could get (Utinni!, Bespin Wing Guard, 2 mitigation and a Merchant Freighter) followed by Standoff and T-16 Skyhopper in round 2 which proved too much for them to get through, even though I was very close to actually winning by damage with Sonic Detonators. (1-1)
Game 3: eDooku2 eTalzin
This game played similarly to the last one and they were mitigated until they were milled (fun fact, in games 2 and 3, the second Utinni! was also on the bottom of the deck, making it 3 times in a row). (2-1)
Game 4: eTrandoshan x2 IDT
This match was a slow burner on both sides. My opening hand had 3 pieces of mitigation and no cards to make them mill. The nature of the Trandoshan deck really helped in this regard since the deck doesn’t generally play many additional dice, and this meant my opponent was pitching to reroll to try and get value out of the dice which weren’t being immediately removed after auto-focusing. Tactical Mastery and Focused Fire were the main sources of damage that they pulled off, but after milling both copies of Rendezvous with Utinni! and pulling off a clutch Dodge to stop a game-winning god roll, the game was finished just before time. (3-1)
Game 5: eChopper Kanan Kashyyyk Valorous Tribe
This is a good matchup for a diceless deck since the main damage potential comes from Kanan with his Lightsaber. This would have been the deck I brought instead if I wasn’t playing Jawas so I knew the deck well. As such, I didn’t roll in the Jawa Scavenger once during the entire match, and this meant that Kanan couldn’t auto-focus to high damage with ambush, but could instead only slightly improve the result on Chopper’s or the Kashyyyk Warrior’s dice. They couldn’t get through all of the mitigation and with that the game was over. (4-1)
Game 6: eKragan ePyre
Learning from the mistakes of the first game, I decided to mulligan for the cards which would allow me to spend my resources before Kragan could steal them: Bespin Wing Guard and T-16. As such the only resources he was able to steal the whole game were from Truce, which significantly impacted his ability to build a board state. Between Utinni!, Bespin Wing Guard and Wretched Hive, they lost all but 2 of their dice cards, and with what they had there was no way they could get through the mitigation. (5-1)
Top 4: eJabba Wat Sentinel (2-0)
I felt good about this matchup since it was a support deck, and all I had to do was mill a lot of good dice cards to stand a good chance of winning. In game 1 I opened with double Utinni! and hit both Megablaster Troopers and a Vader’s Fist, leaving them with just Entourage and Fickle Mercenaries as their sources of damage for most of the game.
Game 2 was a bit harder. Although I opened with an Utinni! again and again hit a Megablaster, an even more problematic support came down: The “Duchess” which is capable of doing 12 damage a round and 24 damage on the round it is played with Wat Tambor’s Power Action. Essentially, I had to divert all of the mitigation to removing it and hoping it rolled a ranged side so I could remove it with the Systems Gauge on the Skyhopper [echo7: this really is a very nice bit of consistent removal for a Jawa deck]. Most of the remaining dice would either only do indirect damage (TIE Bomber) which the Jawas are fine taking or could reliably be removed/blocked with the remaining mitigation.
Final: Chopper Droids (0-2)
My opponent was clearly very experienced with the deck and knew exactly the best way to counter mill with it: disrupting and discarding with Salvaged Arm on Chopper. This meant that I would have to choose between taking a card with Bespin Wing Guard or save the money to attempt to remove damage with Systems Gauge on the off chance they weren’t going to activate with ambush. I decided to go with the discard and remove what I could with the mitigation in hand, but it wasn’t enough, and I only got through half his deck in game 1.
In game 2 I had my battlefield which really sped up the milling, but the game played pretty much the same way and although I got close to victory, I wasn’t fast enough to get the last two cards from his hand.
Final thoughts on the deck
Overall the deck performed well above what we were expecting it to and is definitely worth testing against. Aside from the main milling cards, T-16 Skyhopper/Systems Gauge and Sonic Detonators were standout cards for continuous mitigation and a good source of discard/alternate win condition respectively.
Sandcrawler is one of the weaker cards in the deck but it did have its moments of constantly pumping out shields, so it does have some merit (though the special is useless in our opinion). Free Fall and Made to Suffer were often dead cards as well due to the unlikely conditions required for them to be useful, and additional copies of Block/Dodge or Dive/Defend could also be considered to replace them.
Thank you to Ryan for his thoughts on this curious and frustrating deck.
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