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Having played this for a few weeks now on TTS against a bevvy of decks, I have slowly refined the build to be what I consider pretty stinkin' good. Not only am 17-2 with the deck, I am beating tier 1 decks consistently. My two losses were to emo kids (baby vader was dead with K2 on 2 life when I died) and Heat Of Battle Cad/Phasma ( again, Cad was the only survivor this time with 3 health).
The deck is extremely straightforward:
- You upgrade and/or roll out
- You want as much ranged as possible
- You mitigate incoming damage as best you can
- You claim so you can keep tempo and abuse things like High Ground and Dug in.
Leia is a 3 damage side character with a decent ability. She even has a focus result.
Kanan is a great support character with an extremely versatile ability that can vastly smooth out awkward rolls and allow for tempo advantage. Want to disrupt before you shoot their face off? No problem. Need a resource for that pesky 1 cost 2 damage result. Kanan's gotcha. If only you could focus one of your dice into more damage... This guy is good to have around. He may only have two damage sides, but one of them is ranged and the other hits for 2. Tag him in, coach.
(Please note there are zero specials on our characters, and only two upgrades total that tout specials. Remember: roll guns and shoot things.)
The upgrade suite is admittedly the weakest part of the deck. Still, it works. We have baby blaster and Holdout Blaster as solid options. Overkill is great option to close out the game. A280 Blaster Rifle is simply a cheap redeploy--sometimes you get shields, which is helpful. Rearm works with 6 of your upgrades, allowing for rerolls as needed and sparing you a much needed resource.
Force Illusion may at first seem strange, but the truth is we have low health. Decks that thrive on modifier sides get stymied by this card, which makes it a nice addition. Further, it can feed your Rearm at times--if you like silly interactions like that.
A lot of the events are mitigation or to provide tempo. Deflect is an old standby. It's one of three cards that gel with Kanan--the other two being Overconfidence and the sometimes insane Force Misdirection. Force Misdirection was a slow include for me, but, with time and testing, I see its value. There are many games where it is underwhelming, but when it shines, it shines bright. With only two dice, it can be tough, but in a game with dice, the stars can always align.
Our last mitigation option is High Ground. I swapped Defensive Position in for a time, but this card but serves the primary goal of the deck: chip away and stay alive. Dug in is the other reason you want to claim quickly, as it can and will extend your game. (Our battlefield is meant to allow us to pressure and claim reliably, while others are looking for specials and whatnot.)
Speaking of extending our game, Willpower is our third line of defense in the deck, reinforcing the damage doling. We need to kill one of their characters first, while making killing one of ours an annoying and tiresome task. The ability to bypass shields, especially on newly shielded foes is a definite plus.
Our last three cards are pure tempo and aggression. Hit and Run is nutty, esp with a 3 damage side character you intend to arm to the teeth. Roll out Leia, surmise your options, then act accordingly. It's very easy to use this card to push 4+ damage reliably, sniping an injured character before they can resolve a single die.
It's a Trap! is another high variance option, but similarly to the aforementioned Force Misdirection, this card can flatly win you games. It pairs well with Hit and Run, and punishes ranged opponents.
Our last card was one I was convinced would be a total letdown. I am man enough to admit, perhaps I was wrong. Fortuitous Strike is a reroll with a laser blast to the face in a deck with this many ranged results. It can easily finish a bleeding foe, at the very least providing you with a much needed reroll in the process.
This is a very good deck. When I threw it together, I considered that it was just me doing what I do: refusing to play whatever is the flavor of the day. However, with testing, it's proven to be efficient and lethal. No frills, no bells, no whistles. It just shoots people in the face.
If I were to comment on its weaknesses, I would start with the fact that we have a handful of cards that are only synergistic with one color of character. Alas, in a world full of new Kylo, mono-colored decks are no longer safe. I suppose all decks have this weakness to some degree. Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning.
Lastly, claiming is crucial to this deck. You want to be fast, which means you often have to make tough calls. Maybe they have two dice left and you know they are going to reroll. Assume you have an answer in hand. It might just be better to claim, ensuring that you can make up for the damage on the back of Dug in and/or punish with Hit and Run before they can even act.
I have certainly claimed with a couple of blanks out and cards in hand I would happily pitch, but I have won each and every one of those occasions simply by deciding the pace of the game.
A few other pointers for those of you that wanna give this a spin:
Don't be afraid to discard to reroll. An answer for later is usually better damage right now.
Don't get too greedy with Fortuitous Strike. If you have a +3 side showing on Overkill, keep it and roll the others. I almost always reroll Leia, as you are 50% to hit a gun and more likely to hit your 2 damage sides than otherwise.
Kanan's ability is very important. Being able to course correct with his non-damage sides can be useful. Being able to hit them for 2 melee right before you shoot them to death is awesome. Don't forget this opportunity. It is one of the very best tools in the deck.
- If they do manage to claim before you, get as much mileage out of it as possible. Upgrade away, overwriting as needed--this is the best time to play Overkill, esp over A280 Blaster Rifle or baby blaster. #rearm as needed.
Pitch cards to squeeze in rerolls to optimize every point of damage. As I stated above with my losses, they were very close. Dropping a Force Illusion after they claim is tempo you save yourself on the next turn. Willpower now rather than later. If you have Dug in, see tip #1.
There's not a lot of fancy stunts in this deck. Just get damage and kill them. This deck takes you back to basics and allows for skillful and meaningful decisions while being relatively easy to learn. Hope you all enjoy!!!