In the midst of a busy fall for in-person competition, top players from across the greater Toronto area gathered recently for the “Enter the Battleground” Renewed Prime.
Cohosts Liquidsnake, OldBenKenobi, and SpartacusN7 built on the success of the Prime they held earlier this year (read coverage HERE), generating an even larger turnout. Here’s LiquidSnake:
“I was very excited leading up to the event because we got a great response from the majority of our local community that they would be participating. We were able to divide and conquer more efficiently as we had learned a lot from our previous event and what it took to properly host a Prime Championship. SpartacusN7 was able to secure the venue and new local partner for ARH Destiny, while OldBenKenobi was able to secure several players and provide transportation so it was a very successful collaborative effort.”
Read on for full coverage of the event, through the eyes of 4 semifinalists…
Pre-Tournament Prep and Deck-Tech
Leading up to the event, what did you expect to see and how did that influence your ultimate deck choice? Which deck did you play and why?
DarthPaul12: This was my first competitive event since a Prime held in Ottawa in 2020. The ARH Standard was unfamiliar territory for me so I relied a lot on what was going on in the ARH League Season and started research. With LiquidSnake in the line-up I decided to review decks he has played in the past. I found Palp/Dooku and really liked the idea of chaining the specials of Dooku and his upgrades. The Rise Again potential is there and to use that to bring in a Force Sense or One with the Force would be cool.
OldBenKenobi: I hadn’t been playing consistently for a few months, but I’ve played a few decks with Bossk (Bossk/Fennic, Bossk/Soontir) and done well with them, so he was an early candidate – especially since I always try to play at least partial yellow in my decks. When I heard from LiquidSnake and Casero that Bossk/Asajj was doing well I decided to work with the cards in that deck along with some insights from previous builds. Bossk is a monster, and often the target, which made building a deck centered around trying to keep Asajj alive over Bossk (generally) seem like a good choice. I got to playtest a few times and ran up against LiquidSnake’s decks involving Vader/Palp, Dooku/Palp, and other blue cards, so I guess I expected to see a lot of blue and figured I’d be facing Palp alongside Emperor and Rise Again too.
LiquidSnake: I ultimately decided to play Luke/Yaddle as it still seems one of the best in the current meta and because I have felt very comfortable playing similar decks (Luke/Obi) in the past. I piloted that deck to a Prime victory in the past so I thought don’t fix what isn’t broken. Yaddle has been a great replacement partner for Old Man Luke and I wanted to play something I had plenty of reps with.
FlatheadJWC: The last time I played competitive Destiny was the Toronto event 6 months ago, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Two days before the event, I started going through the recent popular decklists on ARH DB. It seemed some likely decks would be Asajj/Bossk, Luke/Yaddle and Palpatine/Vader. I like playing support-based decks and I came across a Qi’ra/Dryden/Underworld deck created by echo3ofclubs that ended up serving as my base. Qi’ra and Underworld is a great resource engine to help build out the supports and with some of the card choices, even with bad rolls you can pull off some unexpected plays. I spent the night before the event printing, cutting the missing cards and gluing the sides onto the die.
What were the last cards to make the list? What was card 31 that you wish you could have included?
OldBenKenobi: I had a toss up between having 2 copies of Complicated Profession and Vile Machinations. In the end I took 2 CPs and 1 VM as while I like the dual purpose of VM, there are a ton of cards that reroll (i.e. Force Sense, Red Palp, Asajj’s PA), which made the 2nd part of VM less useful. In testing too I found I could always play my CPs so I included 2 of them.
LiquidSnake: The last card to make the list was a spice from Norman: Outwit. I saw he ran that card at Gen Con in the deck and I can see why it made the list even as a 1 of. Downgrades, Curses, and Bounties still play a key role in a lot of top decks so I decided to try it out. I also cut Battle Meditation for 1 copy of Yoda’s Teachings and 1 copy of Luke’s Teachings for more special chain options and additional card draw. Card 31 would have been Force Advantage as I play a lot of abilities and its a solid 0 cost removal option.
FlatheadJWC: I started building the list by adding every possible yellow/grey neutral/villian support available and started trimming them down until I could fit 30 cards. C-21 Highsinger was probably the last card to make the list. I had a couple card 31 which included Canto Bight Security, Hound’s Tooth, Hylobon Enforcers, Nikto Sand Riders and Ugly.
DarthPaul12: I’m glad I included 1 copy of Effective Intelligence so I could see into the future of a round and take advantage when I knew the other side had no mitigation. I’m also glad I added 2 x Enrage so I was not cash poor.
ARH Prime Recap
After 4 rounds of Swiss, the field had narrowed to a top cut of 4, with OldBenKenobi running the table and FlatheadJWC, LiquidSnake, and DarthPaul12 edging out SpartacusN7 in the battle of the 3-1s. For a round-by-round recap from FlatheadJWC’s perspective, you can check out his terrific summary HERE
Semfinal: LiquidSnake vs. FlatheadJWC
LiquidSnake: I played FlatheadJWC in the last prime championship during the Swiss rounds and knew I was in for a ride. He’s a fantastic player and even during the FFG era I recall him winning multiple weekly events, draft nights, and making top cuts. I know his play style is to typically play support heavy decks that ramp quickly and hit you with a lot of dice. When I saw Qi’ra/Dryden I knew my first target had to be Qi’ra as she is extremely powerful if unchecked. This semi finals was a slug fest and took quite a bit of time to complete. I was able to pull off quite a few special chains with Yaddle to seal the deal but the most memorable moment was game 2 when FlatheadJWC pulled off an Infamy for 6 indirect which led to his victory and forced a 3rd game.
FlatheadJWC: I played LiquidSnake in the last Toronto event when he was playing Luke/Obi-Wan. This time he was playing Luke/Yaddle, so I was expecting lots of blue upgrades such as Ataru Mastery, moving abilities and shields. My strategy was to focus on taking out Yaddle first, hopefully preventing the special die chaining early and preventing Luke from moving his abilities. With all the upgrades in LiquidSnake’s deck, Infamy was one of the MVPs for this match up. I was able to pull off 6 indirect damage in game 2 and 3 plus the additional indirect from Black Stall Station. I was hoping Dauntless and Projectile Rifle would do more work to get through the shields but they didn’t really come up in the three games.
Semfinal: OldBenKenobi vs. DarthPaul12
OldBenKenobi: I had played DarthPaul in the Swiss rounds and that was perhaps the closest game in my 4-0 Swiss record, so when we were matched I knew I had to be playing my best game. I knew I had to target Palpatine first, as his reroll PA really messes with Bossk’s dice. I also had to look out for Rise Again, so used discards and Hunt and Eliminate as much as possible to stop them from being played. During the first game both he and I had bad card draws, but my dice were hot, rolling out both Bossk die as 3 melee to start. I dropped Palp fast which made the game end pretty quickly. The second game was considerably closer – like our Swiss round – but in the end I got my Den of Thieves and some good dice mitigation so was able to take it down. A very good opponent to play for sure!
DarthPaul12: I had played OldBen in the Swiss Rounds and we were neck and neck till his last roll…so, I knew I could get close. I thought it important to get Rise Again first go, as well as Force Concealment but sadly this did not work. In the earlier Swiss round, I targeted Bossk to start with but in the Semis I switched to Asajj. I’m not sure if this made a huge difference because quite frankly Dooku was done and out for the the count, a useless Jedi/Spy who could not roll a Special to save his life! Even with the loss, it was a great day and so much fun to play again.
Finals: LiquidSnake vs. OldBenKenobi
OldBenKenobi: I play LiquidSnake more than anyone else in Toronto, so I knew he was a really good player that rarely makes mistakes and has a lot of strategy. He also playtested with me the night before so we both knew each others’ cards and strategies. He knew to target Asajj first which worked out for him both times, and while I took him down in the Swiss round as he didn’t draw well (nor did I, but I rolled well), this time I drew badly both games and couldn’t drop either character. It was a little bit disappointing to have such luck, and in such contrast to the 4-0 streak in Swiss, but I guess it was the will of the force on that fateful day…
LiquidSnake: It was no shock to see OldBenKenobi in the finals again. I have seen him in this situation multiple times on TTS and IRL. He’s a very strong player that rarely makes mistakes. He’s patient and tries to make the most of each move. In our finals it was really lopsided in terms of card draw. My opening rounds were perfect, having ramp cards like Force Mirage and Ataru Mastery both times while he failed to draw a downgrade that would maximize Asajj’s PA or Hunt & Eliminate. I figured if I could take out Asajj, Bossk would be easier to control with his double blank-sided dice. Normally I would target Bossk in most match ups, but I felt her PA for unblockable damage as well as having more consistent dice would be more of an issue in the long run. In the end Luke/Yaddle were the last ones standing thanks to some critical special rolls.
Thanks so much to everyone for joining us at this event and we look forward to bringing the Toronto community together again soon!
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