Written by Daaneskjold
Daaneskjold again, with another tournament report, this time from the Regional hosted at Gabi’s Olympic Cards & Comics, at Lacey, Washington.
DISCLAIMER. There has been a controversy regarding events caught on stream. This has been discussed in other channels, and will not be touched in here.
After finishing on the bubble (yet again) at the Vancouver Regional hosted last month, I was aiming for a better showing this time. Formal prep began the week before this, being able to test with my friends Krez and Lightor. I narrowed my shortlist to eYoda/Cassian/Anakin2, eCienna/eBeckett/Armored (played this in a local tournament, was able to escape with the victory undefeated) and eTarkin/eSnoke.
There were a few reasons why I decided to go with eTarkin/eSnoke the very last night before the event:
- I did not get enough reps with eYoda/Cassian/Anakin2, and I felt that every game I won was very, very close. As soon as they got one or two upgrades on the table the pressure started mounting.
- As much as I love eCienna/eBeckett/Armored, on my last practice session with Krez, we had a few games vs gauntlet level decks where I had the dream start (Firespray-31 with a couple mods on it, reactivation on round one), got considerably ahead on the first round and then ended up losing the game because a mixture of rolls and misplays. This made the deck fall out of favor in my mind.
- Tarkin has been one of my favorite characters in the game since he was released. I have played a bunch of different pairings in every tournament level, so I was comfortable with my level of practice. Specifically this pairing, I did play eTarkin/eSnoke in a few tournaments before using sticks as the big upgrades and back then it was lacking some oomph. What changed? Vader’s Fist, pretty much. Are you playing Blue Villain and have the capacity to get 5 resources turn 1? Go for it.
- The amount of damage you can produce is ridiculous. You have a very real possibility of going for 10 indirect damage per round just from the character dice, which is something to consider when facing the possibility of Mill. No reactivation, no combos, just pure raw power. That is insane and until (if) Vader’s Fist gets reworked, I feel this could be a continuous presence in the meta.
- That being said, the power of this in Standard will change a lot post Convergence, as a lot of the strongest 0 cost cards get phased out. So get your eTarkin/eSnoke fix while it lasts 🙂
On to the matches! Sorry for the lack of names and potential context inaccuracies. I did not take notes and this is just from my fuzzy brain.
Round 1: eDooku2/eMother
This game was against a relatively new player (6 months) from the south area. I always get concerned when I face a deck that can produce the same amount of damage on a consistent basis. My victory here was due to 2 things, getting lucky on the initial battlefield roll, meaning he did not get the free removal from his – and him not drawing any upgrades until round 3, when he played an Energy Bow on Talzin. At that point I was really ahead in damage, even though 2 max Witch Magick, and was able to start the day with a victory.
Round 2: eTarkin/eSnoke
Every big tournament when I drive with friends I end up playing them (lame) and this was no exception. Krez (thanks for everything man!) is a Galactic Qualifier & Store Championship Winner, a top tier player, and this was a really close mirror match that came down to a few little details. Round one he tossed a Force Illusion to keep a Vader’s Fist that was not able to play early enough (on comparison I blocked 8 damage with my 2 Force Illusions). Then late game he decided to resolve a 2 ranged damage side from a Handheld L-S1 Cannon instead of claiming the battlefield, giving me the initiative for the last round, when I rolled a fully loaded Snoke into what I needed to secure lethal. Considering I won by 5 health even through all that, I got really, really lucky.
Round 3: eHan3/eQi’ra/No Allegiance
This match was against another one of our local group players and it was a really close call. In one of the early rounds he tossed 2 Hyperspace Jumps to reroll and try to find damage as he had no resources and was falling behind, only to get a TON of resources from the 2nd reroll. This and a clutch Stifle to block the Never Tell Me the Odds play lead to me getting a tremendous advantage early game, but in one of the later rounds I got greedy and it almost cost me the game. Qi’ra was down, and he only had one non-damage die showing on his Han after resolving everything else. I had rolled an 8 damage Tarkin and Snoke, fully loaded with upgrades in and had some options at that point, but decided to play Vader’s Fist to make the most out of my rerolls. I rolled the Vader’s Fist die into the natural 3 damage side and then he played Double Cross to kill Tarkin before I had resolved any of his dice or his Power Action. It was very tough after that but I was able to escape with the victory.
LUNCH BREAK. Got some Wendy’s. Life was good.
Round 4: eRex/Maz/Clone
Another game against one of our local players. Stephanie was killing it with this deck up to this point, and I was worried because the big health pools are tough for the indirect damage. It was an off-meta choice, but again it shows the importance of playing something you are familiar and comfortable with. I also made the (huge) mistake of choosing my battlefield just to have Rex steal it from me and get all the free resources lol. I honestly thought this was going to lose me the game and it was pretty close until I was able to drop the Vader’s Fist and kill the Clone Trooper. After that the consistency of the deck went a bit down and her rolls were not as good, and I was able to get ahead and take the win.
Round 5: eRose/Biggs/Gun
This was against Dass from Artificery. As with all of their core members, he is a top tier player and beating them takes every single ounce of effort and luck. I was surprised by his lineup because I used that deck in a few tournaments and did not fair as well with it, but he piloted it masterfully. It was an interesting choice because the massive health pool meant trouble for me. I got ahead on the board state early via Tarkin discards and a good initial hand but closing the game was really tough. He managed to keep the Vader’s Fist under control and he used C-3PO to generate extra shields which meant that in last that round I had to roll into enough damage to chew through the shields and the 2 health that the Hired Gun had left or else I was gonna lose the next round. I was able to get it on my last reroll. After the game we talked about how he could have (most probably) won had he rolled in C-3P0 and used his effect to discard my hand and kill my rerolls instead of resolving the 3 indirect from his N-1 Starfighter. Again, got lucky enough to take the win.
Round 6: eYoda/eLando2/Double
My first game ever on stream! Starting on this one all my games were streamed and you can watch them on the Artificery Twitch channel. I had not realized the possibilities and the sheer power of this deck until this game. Jacob expertly piloted this and I am pretty sure I would have lost had he rolled any better on his Partnership plays. I think I was even able to Feel Your Anger a couple dice after one of them. Also, one more time I got ahead thanks to the Tarkin discards sides, and yet again, I almost threw it all away. I was aiming for a cute Anger play with his Shadowcaster die (I had other mitigation in my hand) and he just Planned Explosion my Tarkin into oblivion. Luckily Lando was almost dead at that point, so this did not end up as my worst mess up ever.
Round 7: eSnoke/eDJ
Plain and simple, Brenton just swept the floor with my deck this game. I thought I had a decent starting hand with a couple 0 cost upgrades, a Stifle and Beguile, but he rolled the discard side on DJ and I had to Beguile it that in order to keep my upgrades. I went a few turns without any power action, as I was just heavily oppressed by DJ, and conceded when he played Vader’s Fist and rolled into the natural damage sides on the 3 rolls. Excellently played on his side, his build has a lot of cards that I had not seen in tournaments until now. Besides he is a Kingdom Hearts fan so it was a good conversation.
This was good enough to secure a spot on the top 8. I was pretty surprised to preserve the top spot after my loss in the last round, and really happy overall because I had improved over my previous regional!
It is always interesting to play against a really young opponent, who is actually really good. Enzo was a perfect example of how varied the community is and why this is a great card game. I don’t remember a lot about this game except that I was able to win the battlefield roll off for the first game and start with a Handheld L-S1 Cannon in both matches, which helped me put a ton of pressure on him. One of my reasons for choosing this was a favorable matchup vs 2 wide mill and it finally paid off after not having seen a single mill deck (or Vader3) all day.
This was a really close match. The pairing is one of the bad matchups as eTarkin/eSnoke is pretty slow. I was able to see Zach play his previous round, a nail biter, and see the power of his deck. From the beginning I knew he was going to fully exploit Theed Royal Palace and that I just had to bide my time, pray he did not roll hot and try to secure a big swing turn with Probe or Stifle. Game one was really one-sided in damage, but I felt it could have gone my way with a couple of lucky breaks. I had enough resources and Vader’s Fist in my hand and Biggs is squishy enough that he can go down when the Fist lands. Sadly, I missed the Hyperspace Jump with Probe, revealed 2 Second Chances, he jumped and I was just blown off next round. The 2nd game I picked my battlefield. Not having to deal with a Millennium Falcon on turn one makes a lot of a difference. I was able to drop an early Vader’s Fist and just piggyback on it for the win. The third match was back and forth until the last round. I had a Stifle in play from the previous round and Zach played Hit and Run (got stifled), I rolled in Snoke, then he played Drop In but did not roll into any significant damage (ouch), here I just gambled it on him discarding to reroll into an amount of damage I could mitigate and then just play Probe on his last 2 cards to avoid the lost turn and being able to try to seal the game, and to my good luck that was exactly what happened. He rerolled into less than lethal and Probe discarded Indifferent and Hyperspace Jump, which gave me a free rest of the round to find lethal. One of the best matches I have played, against a class player.
Cody is a hell of a player, I don’t recall any tournament where he is not up there. Currently sort of the final boss of the area. He played the deck as it has to be played. In hindsight I should have played around some of the stuff with Force Speed but my sequencing for this series what far from optimal. On game one, even if our actions were similar (Power Actions used on both, similar board states) I was behind after a couple rounds. Both games Mind Trick destroyed my turns and Anger just was the final nail in the coffin. I tried to force one myself on game 2 but the rolls did not help. I dropped Vader’s Fist earlier in both games but still did not manage to win. It was a match against the kind of opponent where you have to play your best and I pretty much got schooled.
The list I used for this tournament was:
Characters (30 points, 4 dice):
Theed Royal Palace
Supports (3 Cards, 2 dice):
Vader’s Fist x2