Written by Matthew Williams
In my initial write up of my impressions of the first nine Way of the Force cards, I was less than impressed with Bo-Katan. She was definitely a character with interesting possibilities, but I initially dismissed her as overcosted. There are very few effective “Big/Little” decks and more deck lineups are focusing on middle/middle characters that are close to 15 points each.
When I was discussing my article with my go-to playtest partner, he said two words that made my metaphorically slap my head: Crime Lord. I’ve often dismissed Crime Lord due to the inconsistency of either being able to roll the special, or pay for the special. While you can often generate enough resources in a villain deck, focusing the Crime Lord die is often too slow, and it gets removed quickly. However, in hero, not only are there a number of helpful cards to get resources, there’s also the Wizened master himself, Yoda.
When he is done fending off the seagulls, Yoda is a resource generating machine in addition to being able to easily special chain into Crime Lord’s special. So I decided to try and write out a decklist that would sellout for Crime Lord. None of the other cards revealed from Way of the Force offer anything to this strategy, so this is a deck that you could easily try out now, and just proxy the Bo-Katan card and die.
Mandalorian Crime Lord
Characters (28 points, 3 dice):
Bo-Katan Kryze – Deathwatch Lieutenant
eYoda – Wizened Master
Plots (2 points):
Outer Rim Outpost
How it Works:
Live Long and Remove Their Dice
I’ve included the basic package of longevity here. Force Illusion and Second Chance will hopefully keep Bo alive long enough to send the bounty hunters after her prey. I considered Personal Shield but I think Yoda’s shield generation is enough, but it’s on my short list of things to playtest. The removal suite is a little thin, at only 8 plus the one Vandalize. I usually try for an automatic 10 removal cards, but this deck had a lot that needed to be included to get its strategy to work. Plus, Yellow hero gets some pretty nice cards for removal, so they can be used to effectively hold your opponent at bay. Running Interference fits in this general category as well.
This deck is going to take a turn or two to get moving, so sticking around is a good idea. Additional considerations here would be some zero cost removal, like a second Hidden Motive, as you will need as many resources as possible.
Money, Money, Money, Money! (Money!)
You need some money with this deck. Yoda can generate an extra two per round, but you’ll need more. Chance Cube, Maz’s Vault, Truce, and Well Connected all exist to get you paid. The chosen battlefield is also helpful, as you should be able to claim the first turn or two as you simply will be mitigating dice and building your war chest. You really need to have a resource count in your head, and pay attention to any disrupt sides the opponent has. They’re just as good of targets for removal as anything else.
Just Gotta Go Fast!
While you may end up slow playing your first or second turn, once you’re ready for action, you have to do it quickly. Your opponent will be dumping your Crime Lord die as often as possible. This is one of the reasons Cunnings are also on my playtest short list. However, in their place, I added Force Speed and Fast Hands. If you can get a Force Speed off with Yoda, you can finish resolving any Yoda specials (saving one), use your first additional action to roll in Bo (and possibly some Fast Hands action here) and use the second action to special chain into the Crime Lord special. I feel completely denying them the possibility of removing the Crime Lord die is better than giving yourself the Cunning dice.
In this same vein, I also include All In as a one of. I’ve been on the ugly side of this card one too many times, and it can win games in the right spot. You can do it without it, but it is a solid play for sure.
So, I think I may have been wrong. It’s too soon to tell if Bo will be a tournament staple, but I think this deck can be a lot of fun. I love alternate win conditions (if you couldn’t tell by my five part mill series). I know killing characters isn’t exactly an alternate win con, but doing it without doing any damage is a lot of fun. Give the deck a spin and see what you think. Who knows? We may end up with even more ways of making this deck work as the Way of the Force spoilers continue.