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I Have a Plan, Part 1: “Attack” – Playing Aggro in Star Wars Destiny

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Written by Roland Christy

In our little galaxy of Star Wars Destiny, decks are categorized by their win conditions. Aggro decks just deal damage as their win condition. Midrange decks also deal damage for the win, but they are try to focus on preventing damage and outlasting the opponent. Control decks don’t look to deal damage and work to completely regulate what the opponent is able to do. The win condition of putting all of an opponent’s cards in their discard pile is usually a Control win condition, for example. In this three part series, I’m going to look at each category and describe the best characters, upgrades, supports, and events for each one. (And since Avengers: Infinity War is coming out this month, these three articles will be Avengers themed!) Let’s Force-Jump in!

Of the three archetypes, aggro is my personal favorite. I operate by the principle that the best defense is a good offense. And when you’re playing in a large tournament, keeping your goals as simple as possible will help to combat the fatigue of playing six to twelve games of Destiny in a single day. Most of my games are over around the ten/fifteen minute mark, which allows me time to think about what went right or wrong during the match and what I can do to better prepare for the next one. I enjoy knowing the resolution of the game as quickly as possible, whether that’s a win or a loss. Does this mean I’m impatient and hot headed? Well, let’s just say there’s a reason that I really identify with Thor during his first movie.
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But enough about why I’m a fully committed aggro player! Let’s talk about some of the characters that support aggro style decks. As a rule of thumb, I never play a character that doesn’t have natural damage sides. Law and Order, Disarm, Vandalize, and Rend are cards that can get rid of your upgrades, and if you rely on upgrades/supports for your damage, and they get taken away, yousa in big doo doo dis time.

Palpatine – Galactic Emperor, Darth Vader – Dark Apprentice, and Kylo Ren – Tormented One are my favorite Dark Side characters that focus on damage. Aayla Secura – Jedi General, Qui-Gon Jinn – Ataru Master, and Zeb Orrelios – The Last Lasat are my preferred Hero aggro characters. These characters all have strong damage sides that pair well with modifiers and are still capable of significant damage even if you don’t draw the upgrades you need. Their abilities and specials are focused on damage and can give you an edge against removal cards that can only target ranged, melee, and indirect damage sides.Image result for duel of the fates

One drawback for these characters is that some of them require you to pay a resource to resolve a damage side. This means that aggro players have to be conscious about how much money they allocate to upgrades and events, as aggro decks can struggle to generate resources. If you are having issues with these characters, a Midrange deck that prevents damage and disrupts resources is a good answer to slowing them down.

Using upgrades that cost 2 rather than 3 or 4 resources is important for combatting the resource crunch that these decks struggle with. This is a general rule of course, as Yellow has access to money cards such as Truce and Well Connected that can allow you to play a turn one or turn two Maul’s Lightsaber (which is a lot of fun to do). If you’re playing Kylo Ren – Tormented One and Anakin Skywalker – Conflicted Apprentice, though, you will not have access to these lovely Yellow tricks. But Blue decks have access to the support It Binds All Things, which is a great card to get around the resource challenges.

I was going to talk about my favorite aggro upgrades, but I realized that that was kind of silly. How do you not aggressively blast someone or swing a lightsaber? But if we’re looking at the most efficient damage dealers, I’ve already mentioned Maul’s Lightsaber, but it is one of my favorite weapons as long as I’m not playing against Hero Blue. But that’s why we have cards like Intimidate and Frighten. Maul’s Lightsaber, Kylo Ren’s Lightsaber, and Heirloom Lightsaber are my favorite weapons because of their damage potential. And even though I just got done talking about how I prefer not to have too many 3 cost weapons in my aggro deck, they work solidly with Enrage and It Binds All Things to reduce their cost to 2 for a turn one or two drop. My favorite 2 cost weapons are Hidden Blaster, Ancient Lightsaber, and Shoto Lightsaber. While the Ancient Lightsaber and Shoto Lightsaber are staples in defensive decks, they have strong melee sides and can really increase your damage output. Shoto Lightsaber especially combos well with Maul’s Lightsaber, removing shields so that you can use Maul’s power action.

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Supports generally slow a deck down, and since I like to play fast decks that use the battlefield aggressively (such as the claim effects on Rebel War Room and Emperor’s Throne Room, for example), I usually don’t bother with them. The one support that goes in all of my Blue decks, however, is It Binds All Things (IBAT). As I mentioned earlier, IBAT helps to reduce the cost of the big lightsabers I enjoy playing. IBAT can’t be disrupted like your resources, so I usually mulligan hard for it so that I can play Force Illusion even if I have no resources. And if I’m playing Red, Imperial HQ is great for helping to pay for the resource sides on character dice. Playing both isn’t ideal, and IBAT is still better in my opinion, but for some characters (Darth Vader – Dark Apprentice and Cad Bane – Vicious Mercenary), Imperial HQ is a money saver if you can reliably hit their 3 damage for 1 resource sides.

The events I pick for my aggro decks serve two purposes. They help me deal more damage (with cards like Lightsaber Throw and No Mercy or just tossing for rerolls for character/upgrade damage) or prevent damage (with 0 cost cards like Hidden Motive or Doubt). That’s it. I don’t play cute tricks like Abandon All Hope or Draw Attention. I just want damage. Long live Synchronicity! But with the recent special-chaining environment, I’ve had to be less stingy with my removal options and actually pay 1 for my events. Feel Your Anger, Overconfidence, and Force Misdirection have become necessary for even dice that aren’t showing an immediate threat, simply because they can be changed by Bait and Switch or special chained or swiftly altered (that Alter + Swiftness combo really hurts when your opponent is playing Palpatine – Galactic Emperor).

Putting these strategies into decks is fairly easy, and aggro decks usually make themselves. “Hulk Smash” is the motto here, and my top five aggro decks are eKylo Ren – Tormented One/eAnakin Skywalker – Conflicted Apprentice, eAalya Secura – Jedi General/eZeb Orrelios – The Last Lasat, ePalpatine – Galactic Emperor (with no upgrades besides Resilient and Force Illusion), eQui-Gon Jinn – Ataru Master/eAnakin Skywalker – Conflicted Apprentice, and eFN-2187/eMother Talzin/Profitable Connections. These decks allow me to do damage at an impressive rate but are built so that, if I lose one character, the other character is able to carry on the fight (unless I’m playing Palpatine, of course).

Variety is the spice of life, and there are other decks to play besides aggro. There are players who prefer having more resources to do those cute tricks that always seem to backfire on me when I play them. Aggro is really a simple strategy that doesn’t require much thought, and there are better players than me who enjoy the challenge of playing Thrawn – Master Strategist to attack the meta. Creating intricate battle plans and improvising them on the fly is what makes this game a lot of fun for those players. As for me, it may not seem like it, but I do indeed have a plan. Attack.

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That’s all I have for now! Just don’t dare threaten Thor with such a puny roll!

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