4-LOM/Grievous/Sentinel deck review

echo7:
Last month we asked NickTheBug if he’d write up his 4-LOM/Grevious/Sentinel deck, after he won the Entourage Weekly event with it. We did this just days before Transformations arrived, and between that and summer holidays I’ve only just had a chance to sit down and get his article up on the site. However, the timing couldn’t be better, as he just won the Entourage Weekly event with it again last night.

Back in the days when Spark of Hope was fresh and everyone was playing ReyLo or some iteration of hero droids, I wrote an article which stated that 4-LOM/Grievous/Sentinel was the best deck in the meta, based on its performance in Championships to date. Then Vika took the line-up to the runner-up spot in World’s and suddenly everyone was playing it.

Times have since changed. Delve and Vader’s Fist (plus Theed) got added to the restricted list, which took out one of the deck’s biggest tricks, then Covert Missions (finally) arrived, and the deck was mostly forgotten about.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not still very strong. Sure, Desperate Measures, Hidden Motive and Face The Enemy are on the restricted list, but it still packs 29 health, pretty good dice, and access to villain rainbow. Here’s NickTheBug to talk us through the deck.

Hello!
My name is NickTheBug, and I’m here today because I’ve been asked by the good people at echobase to write about e4-LOM/Grievous/Sentinel, a deck I believe to be one of the best in the game right now.  I was surprised to be asked about this, but I suppose I am a fitting person to speak on this deck, as I’ve been running it for the better part of a year.  I took it to a top 32 finish at World’s 2019, along with taking down 2 Regionals, placing in several Artificery Leagues, and, most recently, winning several Entourage Gaming Thursday tournaments.  Now enough about me, let’s talk about the deck.

Click the image to view this deck on swdestinydb

The Characters:

I think the best place to start when talking about the deck, is the characters.  Here, you’re playing 4-LOM elite at 15 points, Sentinel at 8 points, and General Grievous (Droid Armies Commander) at 9 points.  You’re allowed to do this, of course, because Grievous decreases the point costs of each of your droid characters by 1.  And this brings us to the first strength of the deck: you’re working with 32 points’ worth of characters.  You get to bring in the Sentinel, one of the strongest characters ever to be printed, at just 7 points.  You get to bring in 4-LOM, who has one of the most consistent dice in the game and an enormous 12 health, at 14 points (not to mention 4-LOM‘s ability can buy you rounds in the mill matchup).  On top of all that, you get a free re-roll on these dice with the Grievous power action.  All in all, the character pairing is what makes the deck tick.  You’ve got 29 health, rainbow, and incredible synergy all wrapped up in a neat 30 point package.

The General Idea:
When originally designing this deck, I wanted a way to reliably drop Vader’s Fist and Megablaster troopers.  With Delve and Theed on the restricted list, I turned to bounties (actually, I ran bounties at World’s, prior to the restriction of Delve, but that’s another story).  The bounties with Nightsister Lair give you that first round resource that we used to get from Theed, and they give you extra value when you kill a character.  Along with 4-LOM‘s ability to pull bounties back to hand, the snowball capabilities of the deck against low health characters like droids, Trandos, and especially Ewoks, is unmatched.

The List:

Aggro supports

2x Vader’s Fist:
This card is a no brainer.  Any deck that can make 5 resources, and this deck definitely can, wants to be running this card.  One of my favorite quotes after a game at World’s with this deck is: “I was ahead but Vader’s fist is a win con!”

2x Megablasters:
This card seems to get a lot less love than the Fist, but I personally like it more.  The resource sides on the Stormtrooper dice give it a lot more utility than the Fist, and the fact it can be played for 4 means we have a much higher chance to play it round 1.  Along with the Imperial Officer which we’ll talk about below, you’ll never lose that 3rd die.

2x Imperial Officer:
The MVP of the deck.  I’ve been told countless times that I should switch this card out for the Senate Chamber, but I would never do it.  The Imperial Officer may be my favorite card in the whole deck.  It can flip your Megablaster and Fist dice to any side, keeps your 3rd Megablaster die alive and can activate your Conscript Squad with it when Grievous goes down, and has a solid die with 2x 1 focus sides, a resource side, and a 2 damage side.  This is a great card.

2x Conscript Squad:
This card is consistent damage at one cost.  This is a great first round one drop, perhaps the best first round one drop, as it’s doing at least one damage and often 2.

Aggro upgrades

2x Energy Bow:
This is another great one drop.  Any one drop with a resource on it is a card I like, and the Energy Bow also has 2 solid damage sides.  Additionally, it can be re-rolled for free with Grievous‘ power action when you re-roll your character dice.

2x Mandalorian Vambraces:
This card, just like the last one, I love because it’s a one drop with a resource side.  Additionally, it has 2 damage sides and no blanks.  It also represents the only discard side in the entire deck, and the cheapest disrupt side.  I generally resolve whatever side this die lands on.  Additionally, this card is great against mill as you can pull it back to your hand to buy you another round.  AND you can pull it back when you need an emergency reroll.

Mitigation/survival non-events

2x Viper Probe Droid:
This card is here because of the potential to remove a bunch of dice, even interrupting ambush activations.  This card also feels great to pull off of a Sentinel activation, because it’s free and then it can sit there until it’s needed. This card is somewhat in flux, I’ll frequently swap it out for 2 copies of The Best Defense….  The cards serve the same purpose, it really just depends on if you value resources or damage.

2x Modular Frame:
Another Absolute MVP of a card.  This is one of the major reasons to run this deck over something like Jabba/Wat/Sentinel or something similar, I think.  This card will always be an extra health, and an extra 3 health if you draw it early and play it right.  And it costs a whopping ZERO.  That’s some crazy value.

2x Riot Shield:
This card is just in here as an extra removal/mitigation card.  I like it in particular because it’s free as an overwrite over one of our one drop upgrades.  Since you’ll usually be playing it on the opponent’s target character, losing that upgrade doesn’t feel quite so bad.

Mitigation events

2x Forsaken:
I think this is fairly self explanatory.  Great removal card.  Extra fabulous off a Sentinel activation.

2x Automated Defense:
This is our single “pay one to remove a die” card in the deck.  It’s simply the least limiting in its class for the deck because you’ll almost always have a droid in play (I don’t think I’ve ever been unable to spot a droid, and I’ve played hundreds of games with this deck).

1x A Sinister Peace:
This card is great, it’s free and it removes the biggest baddest dice.  It’s a great pull off Sentinel as well.  It’s in here as a one of only because the deck re-rolls A LOT.  You’re frequently trying to pull max out of your dice and giving up cards left and right to do it.  This makes Sinister a tough sell as a two of.

Bounties/ramp

2x Dead Or Alive:
This is undoubtedly the best of the bounties available in the game, so if we’re playing bounties it’s got to be in here.  It’s worth noting that I’ll frequently drop this one on a non-target character to gain value from it for longer.  If you’re playing against an Admiral or reset deck, always drop this on the Admiral/reset character to get maximum value.

2x Wanted:
This is another no brainer for a bounty support deck.  This card gives us a dollar when played with Nightsister Lair, and then funds our Megas and Fists when we pop a character.

2x Death Mark:
This is infrequently thought of as a great bounty, but I love it in this deck.  You’re attempting to draw 4 big bombs, and play them as early as you can.  Extra draw from this card increases your consistency immensely.

1x No Good To Me Dead:
This card is a recent addition for me.  In general, I feel like this card runs counter to the bounties we’re running.  However, it has pulled out wins from the jaws of defeat single handedly.  Being able to drop a surprise Fist or Megas can be incredibly important and can swing seemingly unwinnable games.

The Mulligan:
Mulligans with this deck can be very strange.  You always want a bounty round one, so keep one if you see it.  But it can also be difficult to justify hard mulliganing for one, so sometimes you come up dry.  I also usually keep Modular Frame if I see it, because the earlier you get that card the more value it will provide.  You usually want to start with one removal card (preferably free) to stop round one resource shenanigans from the opponent.  I’ll always toss back Fist and usually toss back Megas in favor of 2-3 one drops round one to pop bounties.  If I have a near perfect hand, 1 bounty, Modular Frame, a removal card, and Megas. I’ll keep Megas and try to get it out round one rather than getting a potentially far worse hand.

The Strategy:
Here’s the basic idea:
Drop a bounty on your opponent’s lowest health character, gaining a resource off Nightsister Lair.  Drop 2 or 3 1 drop upgrades or supports (there are 6 in the deck) using the Sentinel’s ability as a 6th card in your hand (I usually won’t Sentinel unless I have at least 1 resource to play a potential one drop).  Use your beefy character dice as well as the one drops you’ve played (we’ve picked especially high power ones for the deck to help get characters down quickly) to get the opponent’s lowest health character down as soon as possible.  Then you can reap the rewards of your bounties by easily dropping a Fist or Megablasters, and you have plenty of rerolls thanks to 4-LOM‘s ability.

It seems straightforward, but it can be quite difficult to know when to ramp and when to attack.  I think, in general, neither would be a mistake round one.  I always take available resources in round one unless I think I can kill a character that round.  In later rounds, it is far more important to get characters down, gain bounty value, and close out the game.

Another common issue is knowing when to spend cards and resources on removal and when to spend them on additional damage or rerolls.  My initial philosophy for the deck was that with supports this big you don’t care when a character dies.  And this is true to an extent, but more and more I’ve been seeing the high upside to 4-LOM dice, Grievous power actions, and Sentinel abilities.  Thus, I’ve added more removal into the deck and I do devote many more resources to removal than I have in the past.  This makes my build a bit slower than many 4-LOMs, but since I become Thanos levels of inevitable when I drop a Fist and Megas, I can usually afford to play the long game.

The Matchups:
This deck has great match-ups into most of the meta.  In general, if you can think up a deck, 4-LOM has a good match-up into it.  Because of this, I’m going to list only the exceptions, that is the most difficult match-ups below.

Palpatine:
Palpatine isn’t a good matchup for any Bounty deck.  Unfortunately, the strategy of “target the lowest health character” works far worse in this matchup.  Right now, Palpatine isn’t too much of a threat.  If we see him return, however, I suggest adding in a copy of Mind Extraction (it costs only 1 with our battlefield) or leaning heavily on No Good To Me Dead (If you can’t pop bounties, it gets you the money you need to start your snowball).

Fast AOE (Area Of Effect i.e. dealing damage to multiple characters at the same time):
This is a broad category, because I don’t think there are any particularly prevalent decks that fill it, but they do particularly well against 4-LOM.  This includes decks like: IG-88/Dengar, Maul (SoH), and Vader/Fear And Dead Men.  Because we are 3 wide, these decks can put in a ton of damage early and we can quickly find ourselves behind.  Playing around the AOE by removing dice or disrupting resources is one strategy.  Another is to double down on your early damage, forgo ramp, and attempt to match their damage output.  This obviously puts us in a weird spot as it wasn’t what our deck was made to do, but with our dice we have the potential to put the hurt on.

4-LOM:
Somehow, the most difficult match-up for the deck is the mirror.  I find this to be the most frustrating 4-LOM game and also one of the most frustrating mirrors.  Unfortunately, the way 4-LOM now operates, the person who wins this game is frequently the player who draws their bombs and pops their bounties first, and is able to snowball before the other player.  Of course, player skill plays a factor, but this match mostly comes down to a coin flip in my experience, and that is definitely not how I want to enter a match.

The Conclusion:
So that’s about it for my writeup on this deck.  In general, I think 4-LOM is fabulous against the meta, as it has been in metas past, and is one of the most well rounded and versatile decks in the history of the game.  I hope this article has helped some who are looking into playing the deck.  I don’t know that my build or strategy is perfect, in fact I’m sure they aren’t, but I have quite a lot of experience with this one, so hopefully some of you gleaned something useful.  If you have questions or would like to contact me you can message me on discord @NickTheBug.

Thanks! 🙂

-NickTheBug; Mandalorian HQ/Disney Junior


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