Written by Matthew Williams
There seems to be a line among Star Wars fans that divides them. Say the word “Midichlorians” and you’ll see the group line up in avid defense or extreme bashing of the prequel trilogy. I line up on the bashing side and I find it hard to find redeeming qualities about the films themselves, although I do appreciate the overall story arc. It’s EXTREMELY difficult for me to consider playing prequel characters because I’m just not a fan of them at all.
With that said, it speaks volumes that the two Legacies cards I am most excited about are the Battle Droid and Jar Jar Binks. I’m still working on my game plan for my Jar Jar mill deck but the Battle Droid deck has been a blast to work on so far. Coming in at only six points, you can field five Battle Droids out of the gate, which can lead to some tricky math for your opponent. Often times you can force an opponent to overkill a lowly droid with modifier dice, saving you crucial health points that would have otherwise been lost.
I’ve been working on this deck since I first saw the card spoiled in December and I’m happy with where it’s at. I want to share my current build of the deck, the thought process behind it, and some of the weaknesses that I want to work on as I continue to playtest it. Right now I have a lot of 1 ofs in the deck, as I want to see their usefulness. This is going to need to be whittled down to more 2 ofs to ensure consistency in games.
The deck so far:
Characters (30 points, 5 dice):
Battle Droids x5
Supports (10 cards, 6 dice):
Ground Battalion x2
LR1K Sonic Cannon x2
Separatist Landing Craft x2
Events (20 cards):
Crash Landing x2
Dug In x2
Imperial Backing x2
Locked and Loaded
Ruthless Tactics x2
Sound the Alarm
Strength in Numbers x2
The Best Defense x2
This deck is going to need some tuning. Some cards definitely need to have two in the deck and there are only four grey cards in the deck. That’s likely going to be a problem in a mono-red deck in the Kylo – Tormented One meta that is likely to appear. Additionally, I honestly couldn’t find an upgrade worth even one resource. The power of this deck is not in the individual characters as much as it is in spreading the overall damage around.
My primary game plan is simple. Put out tons of indirect damage via the Battle Droids and Ground Battalion and then finish them off with big blasts from the Sonic Cannon. I considered a few battlefields but decided on Docking Bay because it allows me to replay Separatist Landing Craft for 1 and Bubble Shield for free. As both of those get discarded when they’ve actually done their job, getting them back is crucial, and getting them back for cheap is even better. This deck won’t claim much but I can see claiming early just to get these back, depending on the game state.
My goal is to have Ground Battalion or Sonic Cannon out on turn one, with help from Imperial Backing. I hard mulligan for an Imperial Backing and either big support. Other than that, I want to see some control, like Crash Landing or Outnumber, but not at the expense of my big two starting cards.
I feel indirect damage (ID) is going to change the game more than most people realize. Palpatine – Galactic Emperor’s two extra damage is hard to deal with and puts the opposing player on edge as they have to strategize how best to damage their own characters. With five Battle Droids rolling in ID 50% of the time, that’s an average of 4.2 ID each turn from the characters. Adding in additional ID with Strength in Numbers and Ground Battalion, you can get an opponent piloting a two character deck to make some tough decisions very quickly. I like Locked and Loaded’s ability to get more ID on the board but I’m not 100% certain it’ll earn it’s spot in the deck.
The LR1K Sonic Cannon is the executioner of this deck. After an opponent has methodically spread out the ID to keep their full complement of characters alive, the Sonic Cannon can deal as much as nine damage in one shot to a character, with the aid of Ruthless Tactics, or as much as six damage to all of the opponent’s characters with the aid of Salvo. This direct damage will be enough to finish off most characters and you don’t even have to pay the resource sides since you have five low utility characters sitting there waiting to be tapped.
Supports: Aftermath, Drudge Work and Tech Team
Tech Team is essentially the same as It Binds All Things in this deck and that card has put in work for R2P2. Drudge Work is a great early game support to have as you can spare one character’s activation to set up more efficiently. I’m not sure if Aftermath is worth it yet. It’s a nice idea to get resources for losing a character but I’m considering going to two Drudge Work or Tech Team for consistency.
Events: Imperial Backing
This really is a stellar card for this deck. It costs two resources but allows you to play Ground Battalion and Sonic Cannon for free. Getting these two out early is a game changer.
Events: Crash Landing, Outnumber, Sound the Alarm, Doubt, The Best Defense
I’ve come to find that I generally view 8 removal cards as my ideal number. That may be too high or too low to some, but it is my target. Crash Landing works well with Bubble Shield, and the battlefield can bring Bubble Shield back for free. The Best Defense is just a solid red removal card, especially with expendable characters. Doubt and Sound the Alarm are both free but they come with risk. Outnumber is new and tailor made for this deck. It’s the same as Flank but it’s usability is easier since you don’t know if your Battle Droids will streak together activations making a needed Flank useless.
Supports: Ground Battalion and LR1K Sonic Cannon
Events: Ruthless Tactics, Salvo, Strength in Numbers and Sustained Fire
These cards can really help finish a game off. Salvo is great but only if there is a Sonic Cannon dice in play. Ruthless Tactics is just brutal when the 9 damage hit goes through. Ten cards is a tough ask for this part of the deck but I think it works.
Events: Recon, Locked and Loaded
Recon can double as a blanking effect on an opponent’s die in a crucial but I also like Locked and Loaded’s ability to help turn a Sonic Cannon to it’s 6 damage side. Two Locked and Loaded may be the better option but I’m still testing both of these.
Support: Bubble Shield, Separatist Landing Craft
Events: Dug In
The value of Bubble Shield is hard to say for certain as we don’t know what percentage of the meta will feature ID cards. However, using Crash Landing to push damage onto Bubble Shield seems like a viable option as well. Dug In is just a classic Red longevity card and is always worthy of consideration. Though this deck won’t claim much, Ground Battalion is a good safety net to get the battlefield over to your side of the table.
Separatist Landing Craft seems great on paper but it’s unreliable. I think I’m going to leave it for now but I won’t be surprised if I cut it, even though it seems to be tailor made for this deck.
Other Legacies Cards for Consideration
If the Separatist Landing Craft works out better on paper than in practice, this is where I am going to turn. It has the same resource cost and aids in getting more ID on the table for the opponent to spread around. Even if the Landing Craft works, which I am unsure about, I really want to find a slot for this card. There aren’t that many sources of ID that this deck can use and it would be unwise to dismiss one that isn’t a character upgrade.
Crush the Rebellion
This card is great. You get to remove a damage die and the turn it into ID, albeit half. This is basically the same as Deflect, except you can mitigate any damage die and you round up instead of down. However, the big detriment is the two resource cost. This deck is not a resource machine so using a whole turn’s resources to remove one die just isn’t going to cut it.
This would really be a meta call. It’s resource cost is two, leaving it in the suspect category as far as utility, and a lot of decks don’t leave lots of dice in the pool. I’d be hard pressed to say what an average return on this card would be. I am going to be keeping this card in mind as I playtest and seeing how much damage I could do at each juncture. It could be worth a slot in the deck. With Strength in Numbers costing two to deal max five ID, this may actually be a better call later in games as I can see situations where an opponent has more than five dice in the pool. I may switch it to a one of each but it may prove to be worth eliminating Strength in Numbers all together.
Battle Droids have 50% ID sides. The also have a nice little inherent ability to activate another Battle Droid whenever they roll ID. Chaining together 2-3 activations is not uncommon, usually stacking the pool with ID dice early. I have a sneaking suspicion that an early Command Bridge could really up your chances of rolling in all five Battle Droids as one action. I really want to find a slot for this but I’m not sure if it’s worth it, as it’s functionality decreases quickly as droids start falling apart.
This card has a lot going for it and it synergizes well with Ground Battalion. The downside to ID is that opponents gets to preplan how they would spread damage out that is showing on your dice. The ability to take a four ID and turn it into four ranged damage can allow you to unexpectedly zap a character they were planning on rolling out that turn. It’s a zero cost card too. It’s only downside is it doesn’t offer any extra damage or removal, so it’s going to have to fight for a spot in this crowded deck.
This one cost support can really earn its keep in this deck, as far as damage output is concerned. My problem is that I have to burn an action to resolve a single ID die, and there are already a lot of actions needed for this deck. With one damage often being the difference between killing a character or not, this may prove its worth in testing.
Realistically, Drudge Work and Tech Team are just better here. You have to drop a resource and then was an action to put a resource on it. It has to be there for three turns before it has any upside. It just isn’t worth it, even in a resource starved deck like this.
This deck checks a lot of boxes for me. It’s got a lot to do and each game can be different. It doesn’t contain any big dollar cards, which is huge for me as my big dollar cards almost always end up in my wife’s deck or son’s deck. I feel like it is an archetype that could compete in the meta I don’t know what tier it would be. I’d likely say Tier 2. At my locals, we generally agree to play fun decks for our Sunday tournaments and I think this will fit in nicely. I think one more set of ID cards may help push it into a Tier 1 deck, but that remains to be seen.