Written by Sarah Evans
The Road to Cheltenham
eHan3/eQi’ra/No Allegiance was one of the very first decks I put together when Across the Galaxy landed. Although my first love is Blue Hero I also have a soft spot for some ambushing shenanigans. Q’ira’s ability to cherry pick the best Hero and Villain events in the game is awesome, and who can resist the temptation of playing Bait and Switch on a Qi’ra die!
Even though I enjoyed the deck I didn’t think it was strong enough to be my Regionals deck. I then went on to try a number of different decks – you name it I probably considered it. Then my head got turned by eQui-Gon2/eAayla/Bitter. Running out of time before my first Regional I went with the shield-generating beast. Oh boy does he like to roll shields. He also has two damage sides (I double checked they were still there on numerous occasions). If you can get Qui-Gon beefed up he’s insanely strong, but with the hard-hitting meta we’re in, I felt by the time I got him there it was too late. After two regionals running him (going 3-3 in Poole, then 2-4 at Woking) I decided to hang up Qui-Gon’s Jedi robes.
Crunch time. I had one week until my next regional in London. I was very tempted to go eTarkin/eSnoke which was winning Regionals, but I decided it was too much of a ‘thinky’ deck when I’d only have one week with it.
So I landed back on eHan3/eQi’ra/No Allegiance. It had made a few top cuts by this point indicating it had legs. I tweaked my original deck taking out the more Sabine type plays (Never Tell Me the Odds and Infamous) and took it to the London regionals with a 3-3 result. With a couple of close games, I felt if I’d had more reps with it I could have had a better day.
With no more Regionals on the calendar, I was disappointed I’d never challenged for a top cut spot to get that sweet Vader mat. There was one more regional we could potentially go to in Cheltenham. After some umming and arring, we made a late decision to have one more crack at it.
I tweaked the deck slightly from what I took to London. Taking out some of the eVader3 hate (which you’ll see was quite ironic). There wasn’t a great deal of Vader at London, and my thinking was people were moving onto other things (ha!)
Darksaber took a spot as I felt the ramp on my previous upgrade package wasn’t there. This deck can make a lot of money with nothing to spend on it. I wasn’t thrilled about the mixed damage sides it would give the deck, but there aren’t a lot of choices when limited to Neutral upgrades. I wasn’t overly sold on the Black Sun Blaster Pistol to include a second copy.
Impulsive might sound like a questionable choice, but it’s a card I’ve always loved. The original thinking was it would be nuts on the Darksaber 3 focus side, but generally it would help me to keep the tempo and keep them off of the Theed Royal Palace battlefield, which I wasn’t doing well enough in London. Plus it’s another two Hero cards to work with Han’s special.
Swiss (7 Rounds)
Round 1: eVader3/Greedo
I was matched against a good player who had beaten me at the first regionals in Poole, going on to take second place.
I killed Greedo early, rolling out exactly lethal after he had taken two indirect from a Han special. I usually focus on Vader in this matchup but at that stage it felt right to take the Price of Failure play off the table. I’d previously resolved some discard sides hitting Darth Vader’s Saber so Vader wasn’t looking too menacing.
My other notable play was a Friends in Low to see he had both Rise Again and Vader’s Fist. It would have then been tempting to then play the Scruffy Looking Nerf-Herder I had in hand, but as he was sat on only two or three resources I chose to be patient. Going into the next round he ditched the Rise Again, so my first action was to Scruffy the Vader’s Fist.
He didn’t have enough in the tank and I closed it out.
Again another opponent I had lost to at the Poole regional. This was a very close game. We ended up going to time. I won on damage.
Round 3: eVader3/Greedo
I don’t remember too much about this match other than it was extremely close and an Armed to the Teeth play was the finishing blow.
Round 4: eTarkin/eSnoke
Paired against the Manchester regional winner. I fully expected to be up against his winning eVader3/Greedo deck, but he must have had some insider knowledge as he brought the anti-Vader deck.
Round 5: eVader3/Greedo
Back to eVader3/Greedo! By this point the terror to behold was all over the top tables. My opponent didn’t get the rolls early on and I pulled too far ahead. I think I Armed to the Teeth to take out Vader, leaving me with no upgrades, but I felt it was worth it.
Round 6: eVader3/Greedo
Playing for a guaranteed top 8 spot I felt it was going ok for me until round 3 or 4. I claimed and with one card in hand he played Price of Failure, nut rolled killing Han and putting a significant amount into Q’ira. Ouch!
The next round had what I considered my ‘play of the century’.
10 damage in total, needing 3 resources to pay for it. I had one resource with the power action on Theed still to use. Vader was 10 damage away with a shield, so I needed 11.
Vader then rolls out and has more than enough to finish me. I thought that was it. I needed an extra action to get the resource from the Holdout Blaster, and I’d still be one damage shy due to the shield.
Then I saw the play. I played Impulsive to resolve the Holdout Blaster’s resource, overwrote it with a Hidden Blaster to remove the shield, power actioned Theed to get my 3rd resource than did the 10 damage to kill Vader to win the game! (JGG’s note: Damn!)
My opponent was awesome here, he could have easily gotten salty with a play like that but applauded it instead. The Destiny community is great!
Round 7: eTarkin/eSnoke
Ultimately I think this was a good matchup for me. He was doing a fair amount of indirect but wasn’t quick enough to shut me down. I pumped out too much direct damage taking out Tarkin first, leaving Snoke with not enough damage output options.
Paired with my Round 7 opponent. Both games went a similar way to our Swiss game. I took a lot of resources early in one of the games utilizing Qi’ra’s +2 sides to take 5 resources. I followed that up by playing 2x Hidden Blasters on Han to make him a beast for the next round.
David was such a laugh to play against, up there with the most enjoyable games I’ve had at a tournament.
First game my opponent struggled to hit any damage in the initial rounds, pitching a lot to re-roll with no reward. I pulled ahead quickly, and that was pretty much that.
Second game I felt started pretty evenly. I had Vader on a good amount of damage, but then a double Rise Again, one from a Friends in High ruined me.
Third game I think was when my Hyperspace Jumps were clutch. If I remember correctly I had a Take Flight followed by a Bait and Switch play to do a good amount of damage. He then rolled out and I jumped. I think this third game ended fairly tightly, with me coming out on top.
All three games were pretty nuts. Swinging back and forth.
The first game he was ahead and I pulled it back to win. Game two I looked the more likely to win but it swung in his favor to take it to 1-1. In both of these games Qi’ra was dead round two.
Game three was as tight as they come.
Vader and Han were down. Qi’ra was two away from death when I Armed to the Teeth to deliver the finishing blow to Greedo. He rolls Greedo back in due to his ability with a 2/6 shot of hitting one of the 2 damage sides to steal the win for the tournament. Everyone who was respectfully watching at a distance rushed forward to see what the Greedo die landed on. It hit the 1 damage side! What a nail-biting finish!
What a day! I’d finished top 4 in a few events over the last year of playing Star Wars: Destiny competitively but I’d never won anything, so this is quite special. Going 7-0 in Swiss was quite frankly unbelievable and beating so many Vaders, a match-up I didn’t feel hugely confident about from playtesting was incredible.
Some well-timed Friends in Low Places plays did me proud and Armed to the Teeth was the finisher in three games. Impulsive did more than earn its place after that round 6 match, it also tipped the percentage of my deck more towards hero meaning I rarely missed out on getting a resource out of a Han special.
A shout out to my local playgroup in Croydon – love you guys. And a big thank you to my better half Tom Taylor, who finished in agonizing 9th place. He put up with my indecisiveness on picking a deck, and never grumbled when I asked if we could play just one more game.
A huge thank you to Proud Lion Gaming for running an excellent event. It was the most popular Regional in the UK to date this season with 44 players. Hands down the best Regionals I had attended (and I’m not saying that because I won it). They were very generous raffling extra prizes such as boosters, promos, tokens, storage boxes and ran the event like clockwork with a smile.