Even though the new Rules Reference update doesn’t go into effect until the day after this tournament, we decided to go ahead and implement it anyway. The changes affected a lot of the top-tier villain teams the most, so it’d be interesting to see what players showed up with.
I fancied having another go at a vehicle deck, so earlier in the week I’d put together a Hera/Maz/Rookie deck. This combination has been ‘known’ since Empire at War was released, but has only seen fringe play at larger events, probably due to the extremely aggressive meta that existed pre-update. With these recent changes, I felt relatively sure that I’d get at least a couple of rounds completed before my team was blown away.
Sound the Alarm has got me out of a lot of tight spots in the past, so that was first on the list. Pinned Down seems good when you’ve got a million vehicles in play at any given time. Negotiate is nice when you’ve got five character dice like this deck has. Loth-Cat and Mouse isn’t great, but it’s a good last resort.
Finally, I included Strategic Planning because it means that I can squeeze more out of my vehicles, but it can also be used to exhaust an opponent’s support if needed (although this use of it is not likely to be the main one). I think it’s much better than Reckless Reentry, even if it is a bit slower.
Round One vs Gareth (eMon Mothma/Hired Gun/Hired Gun)
As it turned out, my opponent’s deck contained a very similar array of cards. One difference was Rally Aid, which I got into play round one, and thanks to grabbing a couple of resources from my character rolls, managed to get a U-Wing into play the same round! Needless to say, having a U-Wing that early in the game is great against a three-character team.
Round Two vs Mike (eQui-Gon Jinn/eKanan Jarrus)
Qui-Gon and Kanan was a good pairing before the rules change, and is definitely stronger after it. The combo of Fearless and Luke’s Protection is pretty grim, with Qui-Gon pinging you for damage repeatedly.
Things got off to a bad start, with Rookie Pilot getting hit for a combination of three damage and two Synchronicity in the first round. Sorry Rookie! However, while the Rookie was getting shredded, I was dumping Y-Wings and a Millenium Falcon into play. This allowed me to start piling damage on his characters, with Qui-Gon being defeated on the following round. After that, it didn’t take much longer to down Kanan. WIN
Round Three vs Mat (eGrand Inquisitor/Count Dooku)
I’m not sure that I’ve ever played a game with as many rounds as we played in this game. To say it was a grind would be an understatement! The grind was initiated by me having eight shields out on my characters during the first round; not having my battlefield chosen and then rolling a special on U-Wing.
My opponent rolled Grand Inquisitor out as early as reasonably possible each round, and often rolled a special, meaning that if any of my characters rolled out a blank, they would get punished.
The thing about my deck is that the longer the game goes on, the more vehicles I will have in play. Eventually, there were too many for my opponent to fend off, and once the Grand Inquisitor went down, it didn’t take long for Count Dooku to follow (he had been taking damage from Y-Wings all game). WIN
Round Four vs Andy (ePalpatine)
With some nice new toys in Empire at War (Indomitable and Endurance), Palpatine is a force to be reckoned with again. Luckily for me, I managed to get two Y-Wings and a T-47 Airspeeder into play by the end of the second round (thanks, Rally Aid!), piling on the pressure. Y-Wings are pretty good anyway, but when your opponent only has one target for what is basically indirect damage, it soon takes its toll. WIN
Standings After Swiss
I’d managed to finish first after the swiss portion of the tournament, but we were cutting to a top eight, so it wasn’t over yet (we cut to top eight for two reasons; we had plenty of time, and it meant that all of the players on a 3-1 record made the cut and we didn’t have to eliminate one of them due to tiebreakers).
As you can see from the table above, it was 9-7 in favour of villains (much more even than usual), and 5/8 of the top eight were heroes, with Qui-Gon teams having a particularly strong showing.
Obviously, this is too small a sample size to derive any information about the wider meta, but it was nice to see that our local players had embraced the opportunity to try out some new teams post-update.
Top Eight vs Mat (eGrand Inquisitor/Count Dooku)
We meet again! This time I managed to win the roll for the battlefield, and went with my one rather than Obi-Wan’s Hut. My opponent managed to deal a lot more damage this game, killing Rookie Pilot and Maz Kanata relatively quickly.
Hera Syndulla was fully shielded at this point, and I had at least four vehicles in play. Try as he might, he just couldn’t do any significant damage to Hera. Meanwhile, my vehicles were laying down the damage. Much closer this time, but I just managed the win! WIN
|Tim (eHera/eMaz/Rookie)||defeated||Mat (eGrandInq/Dooku)|
|Andy (ePalpatine)||defeated||Jack (ePalpatine)|
|Mike (eQui-Gon/eKanan)||defeated||Joe (eSnap/eEzra/Maz)|
|Loki (eQui-Gon/eRey1)||defeated||Gabriel (eQui-Gon/eKanan)|
The 1st-4th seeds all defeated the 5th-8th seeds. That left three hero teams and one villain team going into the top four.
Top Four vs Loki (eQui-Gon/eRey1)
Another Qui-Gon deck! I knew how quickly these can hurl out damage (whilst taking little in return), so I tried to get as many vehicles into play and doing damage as quickly as possible (to keep the shields off).
I took a lot of early damage, but then had one good round where I managed to deal over seven damage to Qui-Gon in one go. That left Rey on his own against Hera and a Rookie (and loads of ships). Things didn’t go well for Rey. WIN
|Tim (eHera/eMaz/Rookie)||defeated||Loki (eQui-Gon/eRey1)|
|Andy (ePalpatine)||defeated||Mike (eQui-Gon/eKanan)|
So, the 1st and 2nd seeds defeated the 3rd and 4th. Also, two more hero teams eliminated!
Final vs Andy (ePalpatine)
This time, I managed to win the roll for battlefield and decided to go with mine rather than let my opponent have access to the healing of Otoh Gunga. However, I soon regretted not taking the extra shields, as Palpatine came out swinging.
I got off to a slow start, and after two rounds had only got five damage on him. Meanwhile, my characters were loaded with damage, thanks to a couple of Deflect and a Force Throw. On the round that I felt confident I could push Palpatine close to dead, he rolled out nearly maximum damage and a Force Throw special. Not having any mitigation cards in hand at the time, I was defeated! LOSS
Congrats to Andy on a tournament well played (and for getting his revenge on me for beating him in the swiss!).
I really enjoyed using this team! It has a lot going on, and the shenanigans with Rally Aid are great too. Rally Aid was possibly my MVP, as it really helped me get vehicles into play a lot quicker.
Speaking of vehicles, Y-Wing was amazing. U-Wing was also excellent. Ghost and Millenium Falcon were good, and the T-47 Airspeeder also put in some work. The Z-95 Headhunter and Quadjumper were useful, but I wasn’t blown away by them.
Lead By Example was very handy, usually going on the Rookie Pilot. Overall, the deck worked very well, and I probably wouldn’t change anything just at the moment.
I hope you enjoyed the report.