Written by Gilbert Nevils
It’s been over a week since Worlds has wrapped up, and I’ve had some time to digest to my own thoughts on the event as a whole. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was gonna approach the write up per se, as personally I don’t think I’m the best or most technically sound player. I’m just as likely to finish 1-3 as I am to 4-0 an event. I was fortunate to play a pretty consistent game throughout Worlds with minimal errors, and this helped me finish as high as I did. Also I don’t regularly write anymore so please forgive any errors or rambling.
The first point I’d like to bring up in writing this article is understanding objectives. I think it’s a mistake to assume everyone attending worlds is the cut throat punishing player that will have one and only one goal in mind, this absolutely has a direct correlation to Fantasy Flight Games structure and overall approach to the events. Many of the conversations I had throughout the event were friendly light casual and frankly about anything other than Star Wars: Destiny. I was able to put faces to names I’ve seen online and make new friends in the community at large, and this at its core is more important to me than anything else.
Speaking about my deck choice and overall style, I almost always play off-meta decks and leading up to worlds I was having an incredibly difficult and frustrating time narrowing my choice to one two or even three choices. The Meta heading into worlds was incredibly diverse and exactly the type of problem a high level player wants to solve. Once again, I don’t consider myself an Elite player by any means, but under the right circumstances I was able to play above average and made choices going into Worlds that reduced my ability to make mistakes.
I hadn’t decided on my deck choice until the morning of my 1A swiss, and had another version pretty much memorized and built this list with a few differences in mind. I also considered some of the likely matchups from the statistics that I Rebel was able to produce, I could reasonably assume that eYoda/eHondo, and eRey2/eAayla were going to show up and be pretty well represented at worlds. Having a pretty good understanding and alot of practice against these matchups, I decided if I could just play these two matchups all day I would have a good shot at consistently winning. I was either incredibly lucky or somewhat right to assume that amount to show up at worlds because, on day one I played 2 eRey/eAayla decks and 1 eYoda/eHondo deck and on day 2 I played 3 eYoda/eHondo decks going a combined 4-1 against these matchups.
I had been playing Aurra Sing in the spirit meta with Jango Fett and really loved her ability. I always follow current decks and when I saw local player Bowie Sessions (Hey Spaulding) 6-0 at Adepticon, I was intrigued by the pairing. Once they made it clear they weren’t going to be sharing their list with the general public, I was completely ok with this as I generally followed my own style in building decks and teching them. My version of eAurra/eMother varies from some of the other decks in a few ways, I made sure to abuse Mother’s ability as often as possible meaning my deck needed as many odd costed cards as possible, but a completely odd costed deck wasn’t completely necessary either. There are some pretty strong even costed cards that I felt were must haves, specifically Holdout Blaster and LL-30, both having ambush keeping the deck incredibly fast, and also having my FAVORITE keyword redeploy. Anytime you can pay for a weapon early and use it the entire game without falling behind the resource curve is incredibly powerful. The other must have even costed card was Fast hands, this wasn’t in my original version but after testing with the card it proved to be extremely helpful in pushing unmitigatable damage early. So 6 even costed cards outta 30 means I hit on Mother’s ability 80 percent of the time. This left the remaining list with all odds. Backup muscle, an incredible card probably won me most of my games. The deck was meant to be aggressive, and unblockable damage is just that. I had put the Relby gun in the deck for 3 wide decks but it never hit the table once, this card could easily be replaced with a Crystal Ball, and On the Hunt was included for shield hate as well as dice control. The other cards in the deck were either control or damage prevention in Armor Plating/Force Illusion/Witch Magick-which always healed for at least 2 until my top 16 match against Mike Gemme, where I revealed 2 even costed cards. The control suite was different than most, I Personally hate having spot cards in multi colored decks and especially in one as fragile as BUNS AND GUNS, I would rather sacrifice overall power for consistency, and its the same reason I didn’t play Overconfidence, Isolation or Spell of Removal. I settled with 2 of each One-Quarter Portion, Mislead, Subdue, Feel Your Anger and High Ground.
Characters (30 points, 4 dice):
eAurra Sing – Deadly Shot
eMother Talzin – Nightsister Matriach
Supports (2 Cards):
Backup Muscle x2
I was matched up with a Hero Vehicles(eAayla/eRose/Ezra) piloted by Hunter Sherburne, who would eventually finish in the top 16 as well. This matchup is hard to win on paper and if I had told you that I killed Rose and Ezra both on turn 2 you would assume that I likely won. I didn’t. Against a deck that really plays the long game and usually wins on turn 4-5-6, I did everything I could to be as aggressive as possible, but the best way I can describe this game is that the pilots decided to jump out the cockpit and throw their wrenches at me. I think he only damaged me with one or two vehicle dice. Rose rolled double indirect one turn and Ezra rolled his single range while Aayla did 8 damage in the first two rounds. I lost the game but me and Hunter continued to check in together throughout swiss before both losing in the top 16.
I was paired against my first eRey2/eAayla. I started by doing 7 damage to Rey2 turn one and kept the pressure on often and early. I think this game was over round 3 at the lastest.
I was matched against eThrawn/eMother, and although I had tested with this deck I was 100 percent sure I wasn’t going to play this deck personally. The Deck in the right hands can be really oppressive and even more consistent. This was a close game throughout where I was able to kill Mother Talzin pretty early and lost my Aurra Sing to a Three Steps Ahead play with focus and a Z6 Riot Riot Baton and two Heirloom Lightsabers. The last round of this matchup I had a Talzin die showing one range and Holdout Blaster on shield and a Backup Muscle unexhausted with one damage left. My opponent had already claimed and had 4-5 resources. I wanted to end this game before the next round and had to pitch 4 cards to get my Holdout Blaster on the two range to kill Thrawn with 4 health remaining. He drew his next hand after the game was over and would have had Three Steps Ahead and would have likely won had I not killed him last round. I used Talzins ability on my opponent’s deck once in this game to change a Thrawn 2 focus to a blank, knowing I could reasonably assume my opponent’s deck was loaded with odds made this a easy choice.
I was paired against friend and local player Brian Lindberg from The Destiny Council playing eObi2/eMaz. I remember the least amount of details from this matchup as it was incredibly close the entire game and me starting with shields was likely the difference. It also didn’t hurt that Sing rolled double 2 range two rounds in a row, he immediately space jumped one of these rolls and although it prevented 6 damage it wasn’t the most tactical use of the card but preventing 6 damage is always good. I also killed Maz first action of round 2 with a Backup Muscle. I’ve heard mixed thoughts on the target of this matchup but with the consistency Maz provides I decided I would be better served killing her and grinding Obi-Wan.
This was my second time playing eRey2/2Aayla and this game started similar with an incredibly aggressive start doing probably 7 or 8 damage turn 1. I was pretty confident I had this game in the bag and at one point after Rey was defeated and Aayla was down to 1 health and I had a High Ground in hand, my opponent focused a R2-D2 (Legacies) die to melee and I had to remove it, I was convinced I was going to win with High Ground from hand. We started the next round and my opponent finally got off a good chunk of damage, and I begun to worry that I relaxed way too soon but eventually I got the final shot in with Talzin.
This was against my first eYoda/eHondo, and this game was never close. I had two Backup Muscles on the field turn 1 and killed Hondo early round 2. My opponent eventually did one damage to my Talzin. Side note this is the first time my Talzin missed on her focus ability and it happened twice in this matchup, where frankly I didn’t even need it.
Finished day 1 Swiss at 5-1
I played another local player in Zach Iniguez with eYoda/eHondo. As far as matchups go this matchup was ideal, but I know Zach is a great player. I came in overconfident and made my first mistake of the tournament, I walked into an Easy Pickings play with Tazlin focus and he effectively removed 5 damage from the board, I could have prevented this by resolving some dice earlier or focusing a Sing die to a 1 instead of a 2. He eventually got a Second Chance on Hondo and I was on the back foot and slightly tilted after my misplay earlier and had to face Yoda with a Force Wave and a Handcrafted Light Bow or two. I lost this matchup.
This matchup was against my round 6 opponent from day 1 and we weren’t sure if this was an error or not, we talked to OP and they told us this was possible. This game did not go anything like the first game. I did not kill Hondo nearly as fast and my opponent did more than one damage. Eventually the game was Yoda with Handcrafted Light Bow and 2 Force Speeds versus Talzin, but I constantly drew control card after control card in the final few rounds and while removing only the Handcrafted Light Bow die was all I needed to do to prevent damage in the final rounds eventually I got enough damage for the win.
Another eYoda/eHondo matchup. This game was incredibly close the entire way. I lost Sing to a Force Wave after killing Hondo turn 2 and the same Force Wave started chipping away at Talzin. It was a Hazy middle and Yoda was able to shield up pretty consistently and eventually I drew a Frighten and a Backup Muscle that got the final damage in. This opponent was an international player from Portugal and we had a increible game. After the game we talked briefly about how close it was and he ended up getting a Maul playmat finishing in the top 32 as well.
After Swiss I finished 7-2. I was incredibly proud of myself and knew I had an outside shot at getting top 16. I nervously waited by the Flight Control to be the first to see the results. I did it, number 16. I was extremely excited and equally nervous to play in the top cut.
In all 11 games I played, I can only think of two instances where a decision I made negatively impacted the outcome directly, and one being slightly controversial, in my top 16 match with Mike Gemme, which was as beautiful a game of Destiny as anyone could ask for, during which there was no point in this game where I felt confidently ahead or hopelessly behind. Game two against Mike was the exact opposite, I was mentally exhausted, “wasted” and slightly embarrassed by my misplay being streamed, and he rolled better this game and did “Sabine Things”, which until recently meant something completely different to me then it does now. I was number 1 on the Sabine grieving train, as the ability to resolve untouchable dice is just so incredibly powerful, and frankly an incredibly negative experience if you are on the receiving end. Something changed this perspective for me after watching Mike craftily survive every attempt to be as aggressive as possible. The difference between playing Sabine, and mastering a Sabine deck is in the survivability, given enough chances to activate eventually she’ll GOD roll.
ALL in ALL I had an incredible experience playing this year and while we still all could use a “cleaner cut” addressed by Eric Wainwright in a guest article on The Hyperloops, and possibly address some other issues facing the game as a whole overall, I’m hopeful and grateful to be apart of a huge and supportive community.