Written by Danny McKnight aka Poem from L8 Night Gaming
PowerSpray is a deck I’m excited to tell you all about. It features an unlikely combination of single dice characters (Tobias Beckett, Ciena Ree and Nightsister) with the Armored Reinforcement plot.
PowerSpray is an incredibly fun deck to pilot, however, keep in mind that this version of the deck will only be legal in the Infinite Format upon the release of the new Convergence Set and the rotation of the Awakenings block! You can always swap in some less than optimal substitutes after rotation, such as Luce and the Executioner, but the jury is out on whether the deck will function without it’s linchpin, Ciena Ree and the utility of the Nightsister.
About a month ago, I took eSnoke/Ciena/Bala to the Central Valley Regional in Fresno, CA. Rainbow Snoke is a deck I had been running off and on for quite some time and won a Store Championship with back in the Way of the Force meta. I had previous success with a different version of Rainbow Snoke in the Las Vegas Regional, placing 2nd with Ciena Resets (eSnoke/Ciena/Bazine/Double). After a poor showing in Fresno (4-3 in swiss), I reflected on my losses and began theory crafting a new and exciting deck featuring Beckett/Ciena/Nightsister/Armored (PowerSpray).
My 3 losses in Fresno each taught me a lesson that I applied to the creation of this unlikely team of single dice misfits.
My first loss in Fresno was to eYoda/eLeia2/Taking mill in which I got locked out of with 6 or 7 dice in the pool in one of the rounds. My solutions to try to prevent that in the new deck are Nightsister, Senate Chamber and Count Dooku’s Sailer. The free rerolls from Nightsister pings represent an ability to overcome a Beguile or Force Jump that blanks away or removes the base damage sides on your range dice. Senate Chamber is incredibly good since it can interact with you or your opponent’s dice, giving it the flexibility to act as soft mitigation as well as preventing lockouts of your dice. Without Snoke for focus, we count on the Senate Chamber or Dooku Sailer to provide that focus for us. These supports are purchases that pay dividends throughout the game.
My second loss in Fresno was to eVader3/Greedo when my opponent pulled off a Friends In High Places into a free Rise Again. As a result of this interaction, I decided that I needed a ton of mitigation that can harass dice, hence the dropping of Force Illusion (also not good against mill) and the inclusion of 14 mitigation cards, including 6 zero cost, 4 one cost and 4 two cost. I’m now favored in the Vader matchup and only lost one match to Vader in the NorCal Regional.
My third loss in Fresno was to eHan/Qi’Ra/No Allegiance. Imagine my surprise when I didn’t draw a ship or Vader’s Fist on turn 1 but worked hard to amass a pile of resources (7 total), going into turn 2, only to have my opponent Drop In, Fair Trade me to take my 7 dollars, which he then used to buy 2 more guns in the round and wipe the floor with me. The deck building philosophy that I now embody is: get it, spend it. My Beckett/Ciena/Nightsister/Armored deck does just that. There is no need to amass resources in the deck. As soon as money is acquired it is put into use very quickly, thereby eliminating the blowout Fair Trade play. Although Fair Trade is a niche play and will soon be rotating out of the Standard format, get it then spend it is still a good philosophy to follow because the sooner you put your resources to use, the more of a return on the investment they provide.
About the Deck
Although Ciena is the powerhouse of the deck, really the archetype that this deck centers around is in the interaction between Tobias Beckett, Armored Reinforcement and Firespray-31. Beckett’s Power Action gives you the ability to play a Firespray on your 2nd action of every game. Even after Ciena gets rotated, this powerful interaction will still exist in Standard play!
The ability to play a Firespray with Armored Reinforcement allows for a solid mitigation package and creates less ship clog in the deck. The mulligan for mods is also better than in Rainbow Snoke because you don’t have to dump your Triple Laser Turret to keep digging for a Firespray. The way I would compare these decks is that Rainbow Snoke has a higher ceiling but a lower floor than the PowerSpray deck. The amount of ramp you can create in Rainbow Snoke is quite absurd, however, the consistency of the Beckett/Firespray/Armored interaction lends itself to a consistent damage output that puts pressure on your opponents each and every game.
Tournament Report – NorCal Regional
Swiss (7 Rounds)
Round 1: eVader3/Greedo
Turn 1 I Nightsisister pinged 4 times to get a 2 or 3 range on Beckett after my opponent claimed to try to kill Greedo. He didn’t realize I was a maniac and dead set on killing that little green guy! I finally got there and was relieved when he pitched Price of Failure from his hand after the round when redrawing for round 2; my persistence paid off.
One unfortunate interaction was when I had a bunch of dice in the pool and a value of 6 total showing on my dice with Friends in High Places in my hand. Instead of discarding to reroll I rolled in my Dooku Sailer and drew the Vader’s Fist! Bummer. When I finally played Friends in High Places on my next action, I got a free Senate Chamber, which was a nice consolation prize! The focus on Senate Chamber and Dooku Sailer got me there. When the game ended, I had a full health Tobias, a dead Ciena and a half health Nightsister.
Round 2: eYoda/eLeia2/Taking
This match was against the eventual tournament winner Steven Johnston and was a preview of the eventual finals matchup. I controlled this match from start to finish since Steven had to dig until turn 3 to find his Emp Grenade. In the finals he changed his mulligan strategy and did a 5 card mulligan game 1 and a 4 card mulligan game two to find his Emp Grenade; more on that later.
In this match I got off a strong Entangle of the Leia dice on turn 2. In addition to not drawing his EMP Grenade, Steven also didn’t draw a Force Speed, which allowed me to control his Leia dice.
I got my Firespray loaded with 3 mods by turn 2 and got off a reset to kill Leia. Yoda wasn’t able to finish turn 3 and I won the game with 6 or 7 cards left in my deck. Nightsister was excellent in the matchup as I used her to get to max damage to kill Leia.
Round 3: eHan3/eQi’Ra/No Allegiance
My opponent played 2 Double Crosses throughout the game, which didn’t seem to return a whole lot of value to him. I got my Firespray loaded up early. A key play was when my opponent claimed prematurely and I Senate Chamber Power Actioned to the 2 focus on the Senate Chamber die to focus to max damage on my remaining dice in the pool into a Friends in High Places into a free Vader’s Fist. Good Game!
Round 4: eVader3/Greedo
This match was against Corwin Sanchez from the Roll On Podcast and was one of the wildest games of Star Wars Destiny I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
Turn 1 Corwin pulled off a Fear and Dead Men on a 4 melee for a total of 12 damage on my 3 characters. Thankfully he was low on resources for mitigation and I was able to Friends in High Places into a Dooku Sailer, which I then used to draw a Vader’s Fist upon activation of the Sailer. I then Nightsister pinged the Dooku Sailer die once and got it to the 2 resources, which gave me the 5 money I needed to buy Vader’s Fist. I then used my Nightsister liberally and dished out enough damage to kill Greedo and put some damage into Vader.
I had a tremendous board state of a Firespray, Dooku Sailer and a Vader’s Fist heading into turn 2. Corwin played a strong Force Strike to kill Ciena before I could get off her Power Action, thankfully I had Dorsal Turret in hand that I was able to play on the Dooku Sailer to ramp out the damage that I needed to kill Vader on turn 2. I finished with just a few hp left on Beckett after I Nightsister pinged her to death to get lethal damage on Vader.
This match was on our L8 Night Gaming stream, so definitely go check it out. Apologies for the poor quality on the stream, we were going to do the stream in high def but the friend who had high def camera decided to play in a Super Smash Brothers tournament instead, lol.
Round 5: eDooku2/eMother
I used Firespray with a Triple Laser Turret and some Nightsister pings to surprise my opponent after he claimed to kill Talzin on turn 1. I got off a Friends in High Places turn 1 and whiffed. I did at least get a free Flank on a Dooku die still in the pool on the Friends in High. Although eDooku2/eMother has given me trouble in the past, I had this game in hand with the loss of Talzin so early.
Round 6: eVader3/Greedo
This match was against my good friend Matt Dokos; the Vader master. He’s been running Vader decks since Awakenings and boy is he a talented player. Matt eventually went 7-0 in swiss, showing off his prowess with the Sith Lord. This game was “over” on turn 1 when I Arc Caster rerolled his 3 melee damage into a 4 for 1 melee damage on his Vader die and he played Truce into Fear and Dead Men. I couldn’t pull off any of the magic to overcome the onslaught like I did in Game 4 against Corwin and Matt took it down with a few hp left on Vader.
Round 7: eVader3/Greedo
Game 7 was against my good friend John Hagen who I eventually faced in the top 4. John played an amazing match and made some great plays. He had a nice Bait and Switch into an 8 damage surprise kill on Beckett but ultimately it wasn’t enough. I was fortunate to find a Senate Chamber early and use it to full effect, getting max damage on my dice. I won with 1 hp left on my Nightsister and a dead Beckett and Ciena. Whew, what a great game.
Top Cut (8 players)
I went into the top 8 as the 2nd seed and faced off against my friend Jefferson Jimenez. Jeff and I had a nice back and forth. In game 1, I Nightsister pinged his Tarkin resource side and he rolled resource again. After a Snoke Power Action for 3 resources, he played a Vader’s Fist and avoided pay sides to deal some devastating damage to my squad. Although I made it close at the end, it really wasn’t that close. GG.
Game 2 was a fresh start. After I took a few deep breaths and shook off the game 1 loss, I locked into my gameplan; disrupt his resources and prevent Fist from taking me out. On turn 1, I Senate Chamber focused to disrupt on Nightsister and Beckett special to get him to 1 resource then took his last dollar, giving me an additional dollar for taking his last dollar with the Beckett Special. Going into turn 2 I had 5 resources and I took a chance by dropping Fist down on my first action. With the help of Senate Chamber I focused to max and killed his Tarkin and wounded his Snoke. Vader’s Fist was the difference in both matches! What a great card.
Jefferson was the 2nd place finisher at the San Diego Regional and a recipient of a World’s seat for his finish, so he decided to concede our game 3 matchup. He also mentioned that he “scooped game 3 cause his wife is OP”, he said his wife was pissed “cause he went out for bread and didn’t come home”. LOL
The top 4 matches were recorded on the T3 Gaming Youtube channel. Although they weren’t streaming, they were recording with high-quality equipment for future publication. Check out their site for a look at these matches in detail.
There weren’t really any big bursty plays in our 2 matches. John did his best to wipe out my guys but couldn’t quite keep up. He got off a Fear and Dead Men for 3 damage to each in one of the matches, but it wasn’t enough for him to climb the mountain. He also got off a Force Strike to wipe out Ciena in a surprise play, but that drained him of his resources. My goal in our matches and in all of my Vader matches throughout the day was to prevent Friends in High from going off and to try to keep them off of resources. The 2 money sides are what I mitigated the most throughout the day.
John is an excellent player, and after seeing the Nighsister do work in our swiss matchup; killing Greedo on turn 1, he decided to target the Nightsister first. In my over 40 games with the deck, he was the first player to ever target the Nightsister first! I was as curious as he was to see what the loss of the Nightsister would do to the deck; we were basically watching an experiment in real time in both matches. Game 1 he wiped Nightsister out with a Force Strike, which surprised the heck out of me. Although I lost some efficiency without the Nightsister, Beckett and Ciena were a formidable combination that carried me to victory. John got off a nice early Rise Again into a Darksaber in game 2, but the damage kept coming and I took the two games fairly comfortably.
I lost these two matches pretty convincingly. Both games Steven drew his emp grenades on turn 1, forcing me to use cards, actions and resources to mitigate the die each round, which made me susceptible to Leia’s discard and Force Jumps; dice I would normally be able to mitigate.
Game 1 I likely misplayed by not fishing out my Firespray with AR. I’m not sure why I did that! Game 1 was a weird one with lots of missed triggers and misplays. It was a long day of Destiny and Steven and I were both wiped out.
Game 2 was a bit closer since we were on my battlefield and I didn’t have to mill as many cards from Occupied City. Although Steven drew his EMP early, I was able to climb the mountain to make it a somewhat close match. The game came down to one last reroll and fortunately I rolled max damage. However, Steven played a savage Beguile that he had been holding for several rounds to seal my fate. Well played Steven.
The difference in the Swiss vs. the Finals was easily the EMP Grenade. Drawing it early put tremendous stress on me to mitigate that die. My deck is like any deck in Star Wars Destiny; people can tech in cards to counter certain matchups. Steven was able to find ways in his deck to have the tech he needed, combined with a high level of play skill and experience with the deck, to take down the tournament. Nice work!
A new partnership
PowerSpray (Beckett/Ciena/Nightsister/Armored) is the result of a collaboration between myself and my fellow L8 Night Gaming teammates; Rufus, Platform and Solo. The deck represents what is possible when a group of people puts their heads together to create a new deck. I invite you all to check out our Youtube Channel where we will be doing Round Robin gameplay on Friday or Saturday nights with discussion and analysis. Come hang out with us! Do it!
2 thoughts on “NorCal Regional 2nd Place Tournament Report”
The detail you go into is very impressive . Wow Danny! Thanks for sharing!
The detail you go into is very impressive . Wow Danny! Thanks for sharing!