A Winning Store Championship Report From Seattle Washington

Hi guys, Daane here bring you another tournament report. This time it is for the 1st Store Championship in the Seattle area. As you probably know , we are at the start of the season, and this one was held on Saturday, June 30th. It was poised to be the last tournament in the OLD Legacies meta.

It was interesting from a standpoint of thinking what is everyone going to play, given what we saw at the previous week GQ. Personally I was expecting Sabine to be present, and Kylo – Tormented One as well as an answer to that. So it made sense to me to play something that could be really aggressive, and at the same time, have at least 2 colors so I could try to play around Kylo. My answer to this was to play a well known deck, 5 Die villain(eMother/eBala/Trooper).

At this point I did not have my 2nd Bartering so I decided not to go with the cheap upgrades – Free For All build, opting to go for some guns instead. Building it proved quite the challenge, and after a bunch of testing online and an IRL session with Standard GQ Winner Alex Krezminski and one of the last year’s SC campions, Jeremy Fountaine (thanks guys), I ended with the following build:

The Decklist:

Characters (30 points, 5 dice):
eBala-Tik – Gang Leader
eMother Talzin – Nightsister Matriarch
First Order Stormtrooper

Ewok VIllage

Upgrades (10 cards, 8 dice):
DH-17 Blaster Pistol x2
Force Illusion x2
Hidden Blaster x2
Holdout Blaster x2
LL-30 Blaster Pistol x2

Supports (2 Cards):
Backup Muscle x2

Events (14 cards):
Bait and Switch x2
Feel your Anger x2
Flank x2
Friends in Low Places x2
He Doesn’t Like You x2
Hidden Motive
Tactical Mastery
The Best Defense
Witch Magick x2

A few notes about the build:

  • This has a lot of non-odds – 13 in total. This came to bite me in the rear a couple times, specially in the match I lost. Given that you get at least 1 gun and a 0 cost mitigation in your mulligan (which I always tried to aim for) – that should leave the numbers at 11 out of 25 – around 56% of chances to hit an odd and fix. Thinking about it, I will probably cut a Hidden Blaster (the 1 damage and lack of pay sides is awesome but the lack of redeploy hurts it) pumping those initial odds to 60%, and another Overconfidence.
  • Ewok Village, as we know, is a mostly neutral battlefield, and can give you an edge vs shield heavy decks. Also it won’t work against you if you decide to extend your turns and cede the claim to your opponent.
  • One of the hardest parts for this was to balance the out-of-hand damage with mitigation. The initial list of options I tested was: Bait & Switch, Frighten, Free for All, Quickdraw, All-In, Backup Muscle, and to a certain extent Tactical Mastery, they all went through a process of testing and elimination.
    • First one to make the build was Backup Muscle. 3 (delayed) unblockable damage for 1 resource? Hell yeah! One of my favorite villain cards by far. I shall include it in most of my Yellow villain builds before it goes out of format.
    • Next one was Bait and Switch. I have always loved the flexibility it gives you. Just get the resource if you need it, or go for the kill. Excellent card.
    • First card to be cut was All-In. In my testing, the conclusion I got was that your sides that rolled focus turn into a +2 damage for other sides – giving a 1 damage value per dice. Do you know what also gives you that? Free-for-all!
    • Now, since I was not running a ton of cheap upgrades, Free-For-All was also not ideal – so with all my heart’s pain since this is one of my favorite cards, I cut this to just 1.
    • Frighten is a great, great card – but given what I thought the meta was going to be, I was not going to be facing a lot of shields. Still this could prove really useful, so i decided to keep 1.
    • Tactical Mastery is extremely powerful – however, a lot of times I found that either my trooper was dead and I could not use it, or Talzin was dead and its effectiveness decreased. This meant it was getting cut to 1.
    • Quickdraw was awful all around in my testing with this particular deck. Needs you to have a weapon to combo into.  Sides on the character dice for this deck are not that hot, and I ended up getting just crap rolls most of the times. It is amazing in eBoba/Phasma2, but I felt I could do without it.
  • Choosing this came for the price of cutting some options on the mitigation and control side.
    • I could not figure out any space for Doubt, which I was fine with. I am not a big fan of it, seems like a last resource that sometimes does not work to your advantage.
    • Probe is really good, especially vs Sabine, but I again I could not figure out what to cut and in my opinion it pales vs Friends in Low Places. Knowing your opponents hand while getting rid of mitigation is INVALUABLE. One of the best cards in the game, period.
    • Single Overconfidence and The Best Defense… to avoid spot requirements.
    • No Mislead – it is a bit conditional and it does not have as good reach as the rest of the options. Most of the times dead vs Sabine. I like that it is odd but I am not a fan.

On to the matches!

Round 1 vs eLuke2/ePoe2
My opponent this round is a really good player who has a lot of experience with this deck, and I think at this point our record in tournaments was 1-1. This was a back and forth game, decided by a blowout roll I had that allowed me to kill Poe on round 2.
WIN 1-0

Round 2 vs eBoba/ePhasma2
One of the regulars of this store, I had not had a chance to play against her in the past. It is always exciting to play against new people! I was worried early on since a really offensive pairing has an edge if they get to kill Bala-Tik early on, but I rolled well and she did not draw upgrades to do Quickdraw shenanigans.
WIN 2-0

Round 3 vs eRey/ePoe2
At a gathering post GQ Anthony and I, had discussed how we had not played each other in a really, really long time. Not since I beat his Hera vehicles deck on the ECCC Galactic Qualifier. Oh did he pay back this time.

Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did. He won the battlefield, getting access to Mos Eisley Spaceport, meaning he was going to have access to recurring action cheating with Rey. I was going to be always behind on the claim. My rolls first couple turns were cold and he had mitigation for whatever I rolled. He got a Force Speed and ambush upgrades every turn. For 4 of the 5 rounds of the game, Mother Talzin revealed only even cards from my deck. Also I made the mistake of going for Poe over Rey – which after the match and discussing with him, I might not have had enough damage to kill Rey anyways, but was an error nevertheless, since the whole deck is built around Rey’s action cheating.

I conceded when he chained 3 ambush upgrades on Rey before activating – with a focus on the Force Speed giving him all the chances to fix his roll and kill my remaining characters.
LOSS 2-1

Round 4 vs eSabine/eEzra
One of the most interesting matches of the day. Feeling mad at myself for facing an early lost in an event one more time, I had to regroup for this difficult matchup. My opponent came all the way from the south of the state, really determined to win. We played on the recent Trilogy GQ event, with me giving him his 2nd defeat after 3 useless rolls on his side (see my GQ report – this was the eYoda/eZeb match), and I know he wanted vengeance! It was time to put my meta theories and practice to the test.
I had played his matchup on TTS a bunch of times, and I knew that if I had decent rolls I could pump enough damage to burn through all his life recovery cards – and more importantly, force him to take difficult choices, mostly using resources to pay for mitigation instead of ramping.

I won the roll and decided to get my battlefield, since his deck was faster and that extra resource on Sabine spells trouble more often than not. First turn was really positive for me, being able to kill Ezra, mitigate heavy damage and get some chip damage and a resource from the Bala reactivation. Again, his rolls were very cold, and on that round 1 he was forced to discard a Running Interference to reroll trying to find some damage, and I was somehow lucky enough to discard one Hyperspace Jump and a Second Chance. He still generated got enough money from those botched rolls to pay for the 2nd Hyperspace Jump (and switch battlefields) and get the 2nd Second Chance equipped, and on the 3rd round he used the rest of his resources to get 2 DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistols and remove some of my damage but again did not roll into any free sides, and I was able to pop the second chance and early claim to put me in position to win the following round. If you read the ‘YOUR Destiny’ article about Sabine’s odds you know that, even with such a powerful effect, it is a numbers game and luckily, I was on the good end of the odds once again..
WIN 3-1

I got a bit early and was able to play a quick warm-up match with this opponent and I knew I was heavily favored by virtue of Bala Tik. However, this was a good player and his take on the vehicles deck is really powerful. And, while it was very one sided on our warm-up, this time it incredibly close. I felt really confident on round 3 after killing 3 out of his 4 characters and putting a bit of damage on the last Outer Rim Smuggler – and he answered back by killing Mother Talzin and Bala and putting some damage on the trooper with his vehicles – he was left at 3 hp! Since I got the claim I was able to roll in the trooper into what I think was the perfect sneaky roll – a blank, a resource and a +2, and he did not have an Entangle or other better mitigation which allowed me to Bait and Switch after he activated his Y-Wing for the win.
WIN 4-1

This was good for 3rd place after swiss and advancing to the Top 8.

Got paired against Jeremy. We had gone 1-1 using these decks in our mid-week practice session, so this was bound to be interesting. I got really lucky in this particular match, rolling fire to hit for 6+ every turn and off Palpatine on round 3 in a very quick match. He did manage to kill my First Order Stormtrooper on round 2, negating me a Tactical Mastery play later on which we got corrected by a judge – need to stop forgetting the spot requirement. He did not roll particularly well and drew even worse, and I had all mitigation needed for this plus an early illusion in MotherTalzin to put it out of his reach.
WIN 5 – 1

SEMIFINALS vs eRey2/eAayla
Another opponent that was new to me. The deck however, was not, and I knew what this stick collection was capable of. I got some chip damage on Rey round 1, and round 2 I pulled the BS roll of the day, getting a natural 2 on the First Order Stormtrooper as my opening play for the round which he then played Hidden Motive to turn it into a blank, and then I used Tactical Mastery to pull my BS roll of the day, getting 1 resource Two 2 ranged damage sides on Mother Talzin, a 2 ranged damage on the Holdout Blaster, and an odd reveal to flip my First Order Stormtrooper to a 2 Ranged Damage, bursting through a 3 shielded Rey to put me way ahead. A 3 dice feel your anger next round sealed the win for me.
WIN 6-1

FINALS vs eKylo2/eAnakin 
The final was against one of the best players in the area, another one that I had not beat in a tournament yet. Former Galactic Qualifier champion, really smart player, and excellent person. By far the best matches of the day, and the last match was probably the most hard fought and rewarding match I have played so far.

I made a couple big mistakes here. First, I decided to go for Anakin first. Yes, I got to kill him on round 2 but this compounded with another big mistake. I decided to put a Force Illusion on Bala Tick which allowed my opponent to kill Mother Talzin. I felt pretty confident because I had a mostly fresh Bala with 2 upgrades and Illusion and a fresh First Order Stormtrooper vs Kylo with some damage. Oh boy was I wrong – even though he landed Kylo’s effect just 1 time (which I think I could have avoided by pitching a useless Frighten to reroll before activating) his solid rolls got the best of me. After this I made a point to throw everything to Kylo from now on, and try to protect Mother Talzin at all costs.

LOSS 6-2

Selected his battlefield and put some shields on Mother Talzin. He got an early kill on Bala Tik but I was able to off his Kylo even with Force Illusion thanks to Backup Muscle. He got a couple bad useless rolls on Anakin and I was able to keep Mother Talzin alive long enough to get the win.

WIN 7-2

This was it, the last match of the day. He gave me my battlefield this time. It was a really similar start to last game – he got an early kill on Bala Tik and I was able to follow with a kill on Kylo on round 2, leaving Mother Talzin with 2 guns and the First Order Stormtrooper vs Anakin with Heirloom Lightsaber and Shoto Lightsaber.

I was feeling good about my odds at this point since, however, this took a turn for the worse when he was able to hit me with Feel your Anger for 2 in one turn, and then follow it up with a Decisive Blow on Mother Talzin removing 5 OF MY DICE.
This was brutal and at this point I really thought I was going to lose, but I was able to hold on with the little mitigation I had, and some sequencing that resulted in him preferring to use his last damage side (Anakin Special) on the First Order Stormtrooper (putting him at 5 remaining health) instead of defeating Mother Talzin (2 remaining health) and giving me a chance to roll the First Order Stormtrooper with 3 redeploy upgrades, and allowing me to claim and remove his shields with Ewok Village.

Next round I rolled pretty poorly and just chipped some damage with 2 Backup Muscles and the First Order Stormtrooper, and he got the claim. The follow turn he rolled in to 3 blanks which I proceeded to remove with the 2nd 3 wide Feel your Anger of the day, leaving him with a blank Anakin die. He tried to reroll a couple times to get damage, and I had Tactical Mastery which resulted in a pretty mediocre roll, but allowed me to chip more and pass more Backup Muscle damage to Anakin, and I had to early claim since he had early claim to put some pressure next turn, which I did.

I activated Talzin to a pretty bad roll – and revealed another even from my deck, being able to fix nothing. At this point I was just expecting him to not remove any of my dice since this could have put me in a really, really bad position, since I had no AOE (Area of Effect) mitigation or any damage from hand besides a Free-For-All that I had saved until this moment, where it was exact lethal. He opted for activating Anakin, and he got quite the roll, showing a special and 6 damage on melee sides, enough to finish the game.
He did forget to get his shield from Shoto Lightsaber, however I had what I needed at this point, with Frighten to remove the potential shield(s), and Free-For-All for the remaining 5 health that Anakin had left, to give me the game, and the tournament.
WIN 8-2

After one hell of a match, I was able to finally win an official tournament, which makes me really happy. However, I am still on my way to get the consistency I want as a player, and I am aware of the fact that this is a relaxed tournament, and I still have to achieve my goals at Regional/Galactic Qualifier levels and beyond. This was definitely a step in the right direction. With a new expansion looming, a new meta developing during the thick of the tournament season, and a lot of the good players that did not attend today gunning for the other tournaments, there is a long way for me to go, but it sounds like a blast!

Thanks for reading, until the next time!

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