Last week, ARH released a new Holocron. As is tradition here at echobase, we thought we’d share some of our impulse decks using newly balanced characters. And so, without further ado, we present no fewer than 10, brand new, previously illegal decks.
I’ve been a fan of wide red decks for a long time, so when I saw that Commander Pyre and FN-2199 were getting a negative balance, I thought there had to be something out there using both of them:
Thanks to the plot, ePyre is 12 points, FN is 8, the Snowtrooper is 6 and the plot completes our 30 point lineup. This is neither quite a full Relentless Advance deck, nor a full FN deck, but attacks with both. Getting a 3-drop upgrade on FN makes him a definite target (Sonic Detonators is the most powerful, but Electrohammer is on-tap 50/50 mitigation), while elite Pyre keeps pinging the opponent. The Snowtrooper meanwhile provides a meat shield for The Best Defense….
I’ve got 7 cards for moving the battlefield around (501st, Pyre’s Blaster, Seizing Territory and Taking Charge), plus the battlefield itself, meaning 8+ damage on the plot by the end game is a realistic proposition. It’s a fun deck with a decent amount of staying power.
My favourite interaction is pulling Pyre’s Blaster with FN.
For my next deck, I really wanted to use one of the balanced Inquisitors. I was tempted by eSecond Sister/ePalpatine, not least of all because Harness the Force makes Second‘s special incredibly strong (an easy way to net 2 resources or deal 4 damage). But I’m not really a Palpatine player. So instead, I went with eNinth Sister/eTenth Brother:
A fairly typical blue ability suite, leaning heavily towards those with strong specials, with 6 ramp cards (Forbidden Lore, It Binds All Things and Palpatine’s Lightsaber). It’s sad you don’t get the draw with Forbidden Lore, but I think it’s still worth the include.
My favourite play of the deck is Force Connection, to autofocus either character, since they perfectly share symbols (melee, melee, discard, resource, special, –).
For my first impulse build I’ve gone for the ultimate intimidation approach by lining up two of Star Wars’ most aggressive characters side by side:
Darth Vader – Driven by Anger is quite frankly way too good for 19 squad points. He boasts one of the most powerful Power Actions in the game to date. His best partner is probably Savage Oppress with the plot Rule of Two, but I’ve decided to splash yellow in the build with the ever aggressive Trandoshan Hunter.
Nothing too fancy to the build: we’ve got access to two of Rogue’s best events in Headstrong & Desperate Measures, 1 for 1 mitigation in Fury, Fluid Riposte and Forsaken. Acute Awareness is the flex spot here, but with villain blue on the rise and coming to the fore in this late Redemption meta, Niman Mastery‘s are omnipresent, and with that comes soft mitigation in dice turning. They blank your die with Niman; you play Acute Awareness to turn your die back to where you need it to be (echo7: plus, if you’re playing IRL/OTS, you get an excuse to play our echobase Acute Awareness promo).
Give these guys a go and you’ll either have the game done in 10 minutes, or be dead in 10 minutes. Games with Vader are fast.
Next up we’re checking out frat boy wookiee Burryaga Agaburry (what a name). We’re having some fun with this one: we’re looking to send either Ani or Burry to the Dagobah System to learn a few lessons in gaining extra character dice and resetting:
I’ve played a few matchups with Burryaga now and his Power Action really is quite decent. It seems counterintuitive to remove a die showing damage but it can be quite clutch in a few sticky situations.
Outside of attempting to get one of your geezers to Dagobah this is not a bad aggro blue line up. If we get rid of the gimmicky Dagobah include and prioritize on a more refined upgrade suite, I think there could be something here with this line-up.
Finally, I’ve been challenged to do something with Second Sister. I’ve decided to pair her with Hondo for a five die start, plus this allows us to run The Ultimate Heist plot:
I’ve not included any of the pirate disrupt tricks to speed up the process of flipping the plot; if it happens, it happens. We’ve got a pretty flexible die to target with Second Sister’s special in the Pirate Loyalist die; if we’re against a Ranged deck we can flip the PL die to the ranged side and resolve for 4, or if we’re against a melee based deck we can flip to the sticks for 4.
Those pesky PL dice always need a little bit of help getting where they need to be, so between Second Sister and Niman Mastery we should be able to get just a bit more value from the dice (echo7: an include of Harness the Force might be able to get even more value from them: flipping to the Sister special, and using it to flip a Loyalist die. 1 resource, 2 dice showing blanks, and a card, for 3 resources or 4 damage).
Powerful upgrade package and strong removal.
I should first point out that I call Burryaga Agaburry – BA. It’s his initials and I love it when a plan comes together so I’ll be calling him BA from now on. I was looking at building a deck for BA as my next character to try and then the holocron hit and reduced him by a point. Very handy indeed. It allows the all Wookiee pairing of BA and Chewie:
The idea here is to protect BA with Chewie‘s Guardian and ability so we can get good value out of the BA ability of decreasing an event by 1 resource, trading a character dice showing damage. As we have this potential discount available we’ve gone for some big events that should be good but don’t get seen very often. The main one being Fling to stop an opponent’s character rolling in for a round. With a Fortitude on Chewie or even BA for that matter this could potentially be target any character in the game. Alter Fate (still sorry Lanza) is another card I love to play, taking all your opponents damage in one go can be huge.
We want to get BA into the pool to get the discount online as soon as we can which fits with holding back Chewbacca until he can Guardian damage away. Most of our upgrades are therefore blue character only to be played on BA first. The Force Heal and Run to Safety should allow both our characters to stick around on the table until we can win the game. I’m still experimenting with this but I think this deck could hold up well.
The next change I really like the look of is dropping Torra Dozza down to 10/13, a 2 point drop on her printed points. 10/13 is great for a 11 health character so I had to try something especially as I love the possibility of piloting an Outrider and resolving immediately. However, the Outrider is expensive so my thought was to try and get our vehicles cheaper with Amilyn Holdo. I went elite Holdo for the double chance of hitting the special but you could also make Torra elite if you fancy.
This leaves 8pts. I almost went with Kazuda Xiono at that price for a second pilot and access to Flanked by Wingman when I realised I had a pilot and a leader already; with a trooper I could play one of my favourite events: Command and Conquer. Now, the best trooper I could find for 8 is the Naboo Palace Guard who brings us Guardian and can keep the heat off our two leading ladies. Perfect:
You can see below we have an abundance of great vehicles for Torra to pilot from the Wookiee Fluttercraft (why not; we have a guardian character to heal) to her own ship Blue Ace, Outrider, and the Redemption. The aim is to have Torra pilot the Outrider and hopefully roll the special to play more ships from the bottom of our deck put there from the Outrider ability. From there we can overwhelm the opponent with our fleet.
Command and Conquer helps us get our ships into play through the Holdo Special. Roll in Holdo, play Command and Conquer, activate a pilot, Torra, spot a leader to turn a die, Holdo, turn to special and spot a Trooper, Guard, to resolve. Play a vehicle from hand with a discount of 2 and we are off (echo7: for bonus points, follow this up by triggering Torra‘s piloting, then her ability to resolve that vehicle’s die).
We have Cloud City to protect us against Desperate Measures and Bucket to help us either load up Blue Ace or Merchant Freighters or take a damage off the Fluttercraft for an additional chance to heal the Guard.
This is still very much in the theory/drawing board phase but looks a lot of fun to try. Event suite was really hard to piece together but I love the idea of Holdo putting the Redemption to Lightspeed to finish the game. Let’s face it, Ackbar would be proud of this fleet, especially as we even have Star Vipers to get rid of his X-Wings.
We have a guest deck here, courtesy of Jrak, featuring the freshly balanced Cal Kestis. I played against him On The Sensors earlier in the week, and asked him to share the deck with us here.
Mace is pretty much the perfect partner for Cal. Now his points are reduced, and you can play these two together, this deck is a force to be reckoned with.
Mace goes digging for the type of upgrade you’re missing, gives Cal a shield, and Cal uses those upgrades to eventually bump his own dice. You can even do some nice plays with bouncing Windu’s Saber.
Military Camp is great for overwhelming opponents; you’re playing LOTS of upgrades (echo7: with a whopping 18 in the deck, you have a ~98% chance of pulling one of them with Mace, more if you hard mulligan for non-upgrades). Enjoy watching your opponent try and deal with 10 dice coming at them even in a meta of Headstrong, Force Reflexes, so on.
Our next guest deck comes from Erik, an echobase tournament regular and local of LandoWonka. I played against a deck of his featuring the now 12 point Bing (which he won in a very close game) so asked if he’d write it up here for us:
Whenever a villain Droid character is released, my first thought is “how can I combine this with Grievous?”, as was also the case with Bing when Faltering Allegiances came out. At the time I couldn’t really find a pairing that I liked, especially given that you’d really like another Detect character. Now with the single point reduction, that has become possible, even giving a 5-die start. It doesn’t hurt that Grievous himself has base indirect on his die, to pair with Bing’s modifier:
Before going into my card choices, I should admit that I have only played the deck for a single game, so everything I say is only really based on the thought process of building the deck – there will be many improvements to be found!
With Grievous on the team, I decided to go Droid supports and with already a fair amount of indirect damage, as well as Tech Team for money, plus Improvised Explosive seemed like a natural include.
One of the weaknesses of any deck with Bing is that your opponent can just discard the detected cards, so some action cheat can come in handy. Hence the Tactical Delays (also playable with Tech Team) and the battlefield. I’m not so convinced by the battlefield yet as I never claimed during the game I played with this. I guess that can be expected from a support heavy deck. Perhaps one could include Taking Charge to alleviate this a bit? The single copy of Deadlock is there for some LR-57 Combat Droid abuse, but that’s probably better for banter than for winning games. Two Selling Intels are meant to make the 3-cost Assassin Droids and LR-57 Combat Droids possible round 1. Alternatively, you could use Grievous‘ and the ISB Agent‘s focus sides to increase your chances of round 1 resource sides.
I haven’t mentioned the removal package as I don’t think it holds many surprises. I could see an argument for going down to a single Headstrong because of the spot yellow. If I would be facing this deck, I think I’d go for Bing first, even with the most health of the line-up. Some cards that I would like to include in this deck are the Modular Frame and the E-5 Blaster Carbine, as well as an obvious card that I forgot to include in Grievance Striker! Speaking of Grievous, one could go more-in with the Grievous starter deck cards and take Lair of General Grievous as the battlefield. I don’t think you’ll mind not claiming too much if that’s the active battlefield as your opponent probably will get very little value from it.
I couldn’t resist adding one more impulse build. This one isn’t really an holocron deck, but it is based on another change by ARH. Enter Jaro Tapal:
It was initially ruled that Jaro Tapal could not use his ‘before this character takes damage’ ability if that damage went on to be blocked (as no damage was taken). However, after a discussion with Jrak, I asked in the rules-questions channel of the ARH discord why this had to be. It seemed reasonable that if shields or effects like Riot Shield were before effects, that you could choose to trigger Jaro‘s ability first (in the same way you can trigger a Riot Shield, even if that character has enough shields to block all the damage).
An interesting discussion ensued, with help from Whoopsteroids, Leviticustard and Bastmaster. Eventually Gandork joined to say that although Jaro was never intended to be able to use his ability if all the damage was subsequently blocked, he was content that as worded, he can. Instead of opting for an errata, he has followed the Viper Probe Droid precedent of letting it stand:
I don’t think this is going to break the game, but it does make Jaro stronger, as you now don’t have to think very carefully about how you shield him up to capitalize on his action cheating.
I was testing Jaro Padmé before this ruling, so here it is:
I just love playing this deck. Jaro is the beefy guardian Padmé‘s always needed, and you get to run an epic event and upgrade package, with 4 redeploy lightsabers, Niman Mastery, Veteran of War, and Force Valor (which you can play on Padmé).
My favourite play of the deck is combining Heroic Protector with Jaro‘s ability, which can easily gun down a character with 5-6 health remaining (or two characters each with 2-3 health left) with no possibility of mitigation.
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