“Why you stuck–up, half–witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!“
EchoFives – Today’s offering for you to absorb is a deck write up by Erik Visse-Martindale who took this deck to a top 4 finish in the third UK TTS Lockdown Tournament. Great deck and superbly piloted. My favourite game of the day was this young Han/Leia pairing vs the old Han/Leia pairing.
Anyway over to Erik for the lowdown on his deck.
When the thematic pairing event was announced, I knew that I would be putting in a fair amount of time building creative decks. In general I don’t necessarily lean towards the powerful decks. I’ve never played droids, and last week in our locals on TTS, I played Vader’s Fist for the very first time. While my decks aren’t always thematic, they always revolve around something that I consider fun. This often involves going fairly far into using character abilities, so my decks do tend to be two-wide (it’s probably no surprise to anyone now that I love Reylo).
Having started playing Destiny around the time that Legacies was released, I never really had the chance to play many of the older characters. I do own much of Awakenings and Spirit of Rebellion after buying a friend’s collection who had stepped away from the game. But of course, back when those sets were in Standard, many of those characters were over-costed. How happy was I when rotation hit and the old characters got reduced. Sadly, there has never been much enthusiasm in my local communities for playing Infinite. Enter the most recent TTS event [echo7: the format for this event was standard decks, but the character lineup had to be 2-wide unique only and could be from any set]. So I was determined to play at least one character from the Awakenings block. That still leaves many cool options though and it definitely wasn’t easy to decide. Alternative choices that nearly made it were eMace (EaW) + Aayla + Lightsaber Mastery, eLuke (CM) + eLando (EaW), eBaze + eCassian, and eQuinlan Vos + eDooku (AoN) + Separatist Conspiracy. In the end I decided to go for a pairing that I had wanted to build the day that the Infinite cost reductions were announced: original Han and original Leia, and they didn’t disappoint!
On the day I faced several interesting decks: eMaul (SoH) + Talzin + Retribution, eThrawn (EaW) + eWullf, eOldHan + eOldLeia + Long Term Plan, e4LOM + eZuckuss + Any Means Necessary, and eAnakin + eAhsoka twice.
In the two mill matchups Leia‘s action was quite helpful to allow me to keep some cards. My only losses were against Anakin + Ahsoka (games 5&6 and further 2-1 in the semi-finals). I guess it’s no surprise that a pairing designed to be played together fares fairly well in this format, especially if it preys upon one of your strengths: Han’s shields. In the matchup against 4LOM and Zuckuss it was very clear what the power of my deck was: I believe that I did a total of 19 damage in the first two rounds. Sometimes you just have a bit of luck in this game.
** My deckbuilding
My approach to deckbuilding is very much along the following lines:
1. I have an idea for the characters
2. I think of a few cards that I definitely want to play
3. I go on swdestinydb.com and add all the cards that I think could be fun or good (notice the order of those two words!)
4. I scroll back up to find a deck of 50-odd cards
5. and then the endless card-cutting begins.
Those last few cards are always the hardest, and I think that I generally leave in a few cards that I really should be cutting, but they either entered in step 2, or they fall into the ‘fun’ category in step 3. Too often I think of the upper bound of plays that cards allow, rather than the average. For example, I’ve played Moving Rocks in my Reylo deck just because I wanted to kill an Ewok carrying Diplomatic Protection and then take all the shields. I have done that once (it was glorious), so thankfully I can now leave that card out of the decklist.
** More about card choices
I mention this because it explains some of my card choices in this deck as well. Token of Affection was a category 2 card which should definitely go! I’ve moved it over once to then immediately use it for an overwrite discount. While getting a free resource/shield/focus this way is nice, the hoops are a bit too high to justify its inclusion, even in a deck as heavily focused on Ambush as this one. The same holds for Strike Team. It was included because it has Ambush and it shows Leia in the art, so it fits the theme, but playing two isn’t the way to go (I’d probably still leave one in though for the reasons explained above. Also it’s easy to get the discount with Truce).
I was quite undecided on the supports in general, so I went one and one on the Fang Fighter and the Starviper. The Fang Fighter is the better choice here. With the Hidden Blaster, Han Solo’s Blaster, and Leia Organa’s Blaster (Handheld L-S1 Cannon) all having modifier sides, the extra base ranged sides are better than the flexibility of the specials that Starviper gives. Now that we’re on it, Han Solo’s Blaster is amazing in this deck! It has saved me several times with its removal, or with sniping a character. A nice trick, especially on later turns where your deck does not contain too many more cards, but does still contain a second copy of Han Solo’s Blaster, is to overwrite the one you already have in play, and then (hope to) draw your second copy for another overwrite. It being unique necessitates some work-around, but the on-play ability is so powerful that it becomes worth it.
I must also say that I was pleasantly surprised by the consistency that Leia offers. Many turns I have rolled her in first, have my opponent roll in a character, and then play Han Solo’s Blaster. That really gives for some nice fireworks, and Leia‘s base sides help a lot with the modifiers (extra bonus points if this includes an Attack Run on a Strike Team).
When playing against this deck, Han Solo should be your first target, even while he gains all these shields. For one thing, it shuts off a large part of this deck’s mitigation [echo7: yep, losing Easy Pickings and Electroshock would hurt a lot]. Why is red hero‘s mitigation so bad? On that note: Aggressive Negotiations is another mistake in this deck. That one should definitely be a second copy of In The Crosshairs, which shines in this format. I’d also play another Handheld L-S1 Cannon by the way.
** Closing words
Thanks first of all to Mark Lockett (EchoFives) for organizing these events, they are a blast! Also thanks for Atomic Comics & Games for supplying the store credit prizes, Az Johnston for adding some more great theme prizes, and to echobase.me for hosting this write-up.
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