How many shields can Yaddle generate in a day? Will Allya lead a witch resurgence? Are Dooku and Asajj really neutral? Why is Cassian afraid of Linus Mosk? And is it possible we’ve been underestimating Bib Fortuna all along?!?
Two weeks ago, players from around the globe gathered to answer these questions and to celebrate the release of Resurgence in a day-long tournament. As always, the matchups were extra diverse as Destiny-eers experimented with the new goodies from the ARH team.
Today, we catch up with Djclero who took down the coveted title and a snazzy, professionally-printed Resurgence set from Kingwood Hobbies. For more on DJ and his approach to deck-building, check out a previous Mos Eisley Gazette profile HERE.
Reviewing the Field
Hosted by LandoWonka, 40 players set off to pilot their decks (lists HERE) through 6 rounds of Swiss.
The most popular pairing? Yaddle – Valiant Master and “Old Man” Luke Skywalker – Reluctant Instructor appeared 4 times and claimed 2 spots in the quarterfinals. Palpatine – Master of Manipulation also made his presence known, pairing 3 times with Darth Vader – Driven by Revenge and once each with Son, Dooku, and a Zannah/ThugDroid recipe to trigger Watch Your Career with Great Interest.
Newly-neutral friends Count Dooku and Asajj Ventress were also popular and spent the day leaning mostly towards the light side: Dooku with Aayla, Armorer and Ezra in addition to Palpatine, while Asajj paired with Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker – One with the Force, while dipping her toe back into the complicated profession with Bossk.
Obi-Wan Kenobi – fresh off a balance update that neutralized his most frequent pairings with Aayla, Old Man Luke, and Daughter – appeared only once although XeroHour still took him and Asajj into the top cut with a 5-1 performance.
How about the Andor All-Stars? There was no sign of those pesky deck-manipulating ISB agents, but Linus Mosk – Pre-Mor Enforcement was everywhere, pairing with Gar Saxon, Crosshair, a pair of Death Watch Mandalorians, Pre Viszla himself, and a trooper bonanza with Commander Pyre and an Incinerator Trooper.
The heroes – likely preparing for a prison break or a big heist – largely stayed underground, with solo appearances from Cassian Andor – Alliance Loyalist (with Hera Syndulla – Seasoned Captain and Anakin Skywalker – Podracing Prodigy), Bix Caleen – Ferrix Mechanic (with Plo Koon and Rebel Smuggler), and Luthen Rael – Axis (with Cikatro Vizago). Keep an eye out for Maarva Andor, Mon Mothma, and Karis Nemik in future adventures!
After 6 rounds, 11 players had earned 4 or more wins. With Darth Cluny and Bastmaster dropping for other commitments, the top cut bracket was set!
In one quarterfinal, Norman’s Yaddle/Luke won the shield bonanza against XeroHour in 2 games while Malacious Mawloc, Allya, and Talzin bewitched Moordotz’s Palpatine/Vader.
On the other side of the bracket, Gameslayer managed to sacrifice Palpatine at just the right moment to trigger “Watch Your Career” for Zannah, upsetting Rando Mando whose performance in Swiss had taken Yaddle and the Lars family to the top seed. Rando Mando’s observation: “I destroyed Norman, Norman destroyed Gameslayer, Gameslayer destroyed me.”
Rounding out the top 4? Djclero, who advanced when Stevdav dropped (after an initial win) rather than facing a 3rd and 4th consecutive matchup with DJ’s scoundrels.
Hard-fought semifinal matches saw Djclero survive Mawloc’s life-draining “Witch Don’t Kill My Vibe” curses, while Norman successfully avoided a Sith deluge in his showdown with Gameslayer before going down to DJ’s pile of scoundrels in the finals.
Let’s hand it over to DJ to share more on his path to the championship…
Djclero’s Prep & Deck-Tech
We know you’re away from home this summer and that you’ve also led playtesting for Resurgence. How do you think this affected (or not!) your approach for the tournament?
It probably affected me less than you would think. My internet at home in Italy is just as bad as my 4G here in the Greek countryside and I had the godly luck of being on full holiday for the week leading up to the tournament so I played like there was no tomorrow.
As far as playtesting is concerned, it’s true that I had played the cards more than most other players, but they change a lot during that period and I only play the decks that I’m *supposed* to play, whereas now I can play the decks that I actually enjoy playing. Very often these aren’t the same by a long shot!
Release parties are always special since everyone is experimenting with all of our new cards. Which characters did you expect to see? What was the most surprising pairing you saw?
I expected Palpatine because he has incredible flexibility. He is my favorite character of the set and he enables an astounding number of strategies. I also expected to see Yaddle because I realized playing vs Rando Mando in the week before the tournament that she was above curve for her points, and I expected to see a lot of Wrecker/Hunter, because it’s a relatively easy but great thematic deck. The pairing that surprised me the most was technically a trio from Rogue Five: it was Plo Koon, Bix, Rebel Smuggler and a bazillion vehicle Mods. The deck looked really fun and surprisingly strong, it was one of those decks that made me go ‘Oh I wish I built that’.
Which deck did you play? Why? What does this deck want to do?
I played single die Cornelius Evazan, single die Imperial Navy Squad Leader, elite Bib Fortuna and Underworld. I was torn between playing some sort of Palpatine rainbow deck and something with Bib, but I decided to give him a go since no one was giving him any attention and he has always been one of my favorite characters in the movies: a cringe, rather useless majordomo.
I tried a few different strategies trying to abuse his passive that draws cards when his die is removed. To cope with a lot of decks where most of the power was likely to come from a few dice (like Yaddle or various big, or Hunter/Wrecker), no other partner felt as reliable as good old Dr Evazan. Underworld seemed like a must to get consistent use of Bib’s die. The math directed the rest and while I initially built the deck with Tiaan Jerjerrod for extra card draw and extra ways to remove my own dice, the guns that the Navy Squad Leader provides in the end turned out to be sadly more efficient with what I was trying to do.
The deck doesn’t have a clear plan other than messing with the opponent’s plans thanks to Evazan, whilst Bib is drawing as many cards as possible in the hope of finding 2 Black Market Connections, Blackstall Station or burn. Of course, adaptation to the opponent is key, but it’s a relatively simple strategy when you think about it. I love any sort of blank synergy, and this is pretty close to that, since removing your own dice allows you to roll utter trash and still get away with it.
What were the last cards to make the list? What was card 31 that you wish you could have included?
The last addition was Infamy. It’s an insane card, and I felt like I would have regretted it if I had lost because I couldn’t find space for it. I have to say though, I’m not entirely convinced that 2 of them is a good ratio for this deck. I realized when I was playing that, even if it’s an aggro card, Infamy works best if you have a deck with supports, where you are not forced to activate characters in order to do something. That’s because activating characters to get dice in the pool makes it harder to set up and if you just pass, the opponent will realize what you are doing. Also, Infamy works best if your opponent is also playing something that brings lots of dice (i.e. supports, Jar’kai, etc) and against certain match-ups like Wrecker/Hunter it was nearly a dead card.
Cards that I would have loved to include were Promotion, Tian Jerjerrod, and the new Jango Fett’s Westar-34, which seems just perfect for this deck. For one reason or another though, at some point they had to go, and at the end of the day they will have other chances to shine.
What do you want to see in your opening hand?
Tusken Camp, Greed or Black Market Connection. Tusken Camps are still absolutely absurd and it’s even more true in this deck, which can play it turn 1 with Underworld and uses dice as a fodder for self-removal. Greed and Black Market Connection are valuable because the earlier you get ramp going the better.
Cards that are not awful in the starting hand are Black Stall Station, Standard Issue Blaster and, in some match-ups, Going Somewhere Solo? Black Stall Station it’s one of the main engines of the deck. If you play it turn 1 you’re off to a slightly slow start, but eventually you wanna see it, so it’s never a great idea to send it away. Standard Issue Blaster brings an extra die, and in the beginning that’s what the deck needs the most to start to get going. Going Somewhere Solo is a card that surprised me. Not only does it deal with specials, but it can remove resources and give an extra Greedo die to be sacrificed for the greater good (Evazan) in exchange. Against slightly greedier decks, even if it’s a slow opening move, removing a resource could be back-breaking.
Cards that you don’t want to see are Everybody Profits, Den of Thieves and Infamy. These are cards that, in my experience, are critical for stealing a win, so I would never ever pitch them to reroll. That said, you just don’t wanna see them on your first round because it means they will likely need to stay there until it’s their moment to shine.
What are this deck’s best matchups? Which matchups are most challenging for this deck?
This is pretty hard to answer even after a whole tournament. I think the worst matchups are actually mill and support decks; mill because this is a deck that nearly mills itself anyways, and supports because it slowly nullifies Evazan’s power by bringing a lot of dice to the table. Luckily for me, I didn’t face either. The best match-up is something like Black Krrsantan or another deck with low overall health and a few big strong dice.
Quarterfinal: Stevdav and Yaddle/OldManLuke
The true highlight is really how much of a gentleman Stevdav is. I had just beaten him in Swiss but he rolled over me pretty well in the first game of the quarterfinals, then decided to forfeit the other matches to spend some time with his family. I might have won the tournament, but he won at life.
Semfinal: Mawloc and Allya/Talzin/Retribution
First of all, a big shout out of how well Mawloc played his witches deck. In the first match Mawloc played me like a fiddle, reading my deck like an open book while I was still trying to figure out what was going on. In the second match-up, he created an interesting challenge by playing two Life Drains on my Imperial Navy Squad Leader, which basically shut down all my extra Tusken Raider dice and many of my character dice too. I was lucky enough to have two Supply Teams to work around that in gaining 6 money and finding an even symbol. I really like how Life Drain can force one to play in a very weird way.
Final: Norman and Yaddle/OldManLuke
It was getting very late in the night, and other than the final win, my memories here get a bit hazy. In game 2, Norman unleashed an Ataru Mastery-powered Yaddle very quickly which got out of control and he trampled over me before I could even realize it. In the last game, I tried to pester him much more (like I did in the first game) by trying to limit resources and prevent his board from getting out of control. In the end, that somehow won the day with a couple of pretty clutch rolls from the Light Repeating Blaster in the final fight between Yaddle and a loaded up gunner Bib Fortuna.
Favorite Moments from the Tournament
One of the biggest highlights for me was the moment in Round 2 when I realized I had to face Rando Mando. I had prepped with him over the course of the week, I hated his deck and I was pretty positive that it was unbeatable. When we joined the room, on the one hand I could feel the doom, on the other it was funny because the chances that the galaxy would actually match us up out of 40+ players was pretty slim. The prophecy turned out to be very real and I got demolished, but losing early in a tournament is not necessarily a bad thing since it gives you easier match-ups and in the end it was probably a blessing in disguise.
It’s more of a “pleasant constant” than a single moment, but LandoWonka’s hosting of the event was as great as always. His narration in the stream was very entertaining to watch and his presence gave the event a cozy-but-epic vibe.
Many thanks to Rando, Lando, the ARH team, and the entire community for all you do and for making this day so amazing!
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