Written by Roland Christy
First off, I’d like to apologize in advance for any negative flashbacks to the “Rainbow Nines” meta where FN-2199 dominated and created one or two little bitty table flips. My very first big tournament experience saw my Darth Vader – Dark Apprentice and Captain Phasma – Ruthless Tactician deck succumb to not one, not two, not three, but four FN decks. The only reason I continued playing the game after that tournament, admittedly, was the Thrawn – Master Strategist I pulled in one of my consolation boosters.
Fast Forward six months and I am playing FN-2199 for the first time. You see, I really hate playing the big meta decks, and I think part of this has to do with facing the mirror match. That’s why I stubbornly refused to play FN back when he was in his Boundless Ambition prime. Now, however, it is harder to justify not playing him with Sabine Wren – Explosives Expert, Aayla Secura – Jedi General, Poe Dameron – More Than a Pilot, and all the other upstart heroes running around. Where villains used to be the power in these waters, heroes have taken over. And since my hero experience hasn’t been all that great, I’m going back to the Dark Side, especially with the introduction of a very special Nightsister.
Mother Talzin – Nightsister Matriarch is just the “support” a character like FN needs. Unlike Hondo Ohnaka – Respected Businessman, Talzin is able to close out games once our loyal Stormtrooper goes down. But before I get too far into my praise for this deck, let me show you the cards I chose to include.
Characters (27 points, 4 Dice):
eFN-2199 – Loyal Trooper
eMother Talzin – Nightsister Matriarch
Plots (3 points):
Supports (2 cards):
Imperial HQ x2
Consistency is Talzin’s game, and weapons are FN’s. Put those together, and your opponent will have a hard time keeping up with mitigation cards. Easy Pickings got you down and Unbreakable causing you fits? Rolling in a Rocket Launcher twice in a round will cure the Hero removal blues. And while Sabine/Ezra has a fast game of blasters, this deck is Sabine/Ezra’s big brother. I have given up trying to be cute and playing around obstacles. This deck lets me just blow right through the opposition.
With Profitable Connections, you are able to get your 3 resource weapons out turn one. And if you are lucky enough to have your battlefield, Port District gives each card you play that costs three or more the Ambush keyword. That’s where Mobilize comes in for a handy extra resource with Ambush. Take that, Truce! Imperial HQ is there for all of your dice that cost a resource (which Rocket Launcher will happily monopolize), but once you get through the first payment for a weapon, you will be replacing to keep your damage output going. This deck can struggle a little with resources, and I have had to cry a couple of times ending a round with a 4 Ranged for 1 sitting on the table, but when you play against all those fancy Yellow decks that play Maz’s Vault and Truce, you will find that resources will not be too much of an issue for you.
The mitigation cards I included all cost 1, and some require you to spot Mother Talzin to use. However, if your first two turns go the way they should, you will not be dealing with too many dice from your opponent. This deck goes by the philosophy that the best defense is a good offense. But the best “mitigation” card is by far Witch Magick, which is a guaranteed heal for 3 because I wanted a Talzin deck that had all-odd costed cards. I loved playing Kylo Ren – Tormented One with Mother Talzin, but too often I would got to heal and hit the Sith Holocron or No Mercy and not get the full value of Witch Magick. I have not regretted making the character change even a little bit.
Lightsaber Throw, Tactical Mastery, and Frighten are the damage-out-of-hand cards that can surprise your opponent and help you sneak out a kill. My favorite play is to get a weapon on FN with Ambush, play Tactical Mastery to activate Talzin, then turn that weapon die to a big number with her ability and immediately resolve it. You gotta be sneaky against that Yoda – Wizened Master who has a Force Throw showing a special. And even though the card has a picture of a lightsaber on it and lightsaber in the name… You don’t have to have a lightsaber to play Lightsaber Throw! Welcome to the world of collectible card games. Between the Z6 Riot Batons, Heirloom Lightsabers, and FN’s character dice, there are plenty of targets for Lightsaber Throw that make it a better choice in this deck than Force Strike, which only targets blue dice.
This deck is the most fun I’ve had in this Hero meta, and, quite possibly, in the entire game. It has shenanigans, but these can all be dealt with. FN’s ability is not nearly as oppressive as it used to be before the change to replacing upgrades. And it does have a relatively low health pool compared to many other two character decks (hence the need for Witch Magick to heal 3 reliably). But it has a carpe jugulum strategy that surprises your opponent and can melt a character in one to two rounds. FN is not beast mode anymore, but, played responsibly, he can still be a threat to many of the popular decks that are taking regionals in the current meta. Just don’t get his character dice mixed up with the Z6 Riot Baton dice!
That’s all I have for today! Have fun and remember: there’s always a bigger roll.