Mos Eisley Gazette: “Fight the Empire” (St. Louis Renewed Prime)

With the new Resurgence set release coming up on June 13, we’re down to the final days of the Display of Power meta. In this issue of the Mos Eisley Gazette, we sit down with Norman and Stubby to hear about their exploits at last weekend’s “Fight the Empire” Renewed Prime. Next week, we’ll feature highlights from the UK Grand Championships, which kicks off on Saturday in Birmingham, UK.

Norman, Shawn, Kirk, Zoe, Stubby, Vontz, and NuteShunsRey

Getting to know Norman & Stubby

What is your SW Destiny “Origin Story?”

Norman: I have played Destiny since day 1 of release. My play partner Nate and I were avid Star Wars LCG players, considered among the top of those ranks, and we had a grand time learning Destiny together.

Stubby: I started playing at Awakenings with some local friends. They stopped playing back at Legacies and since then I have been playing almost exclusively with my oldest daughter Zoe until starting to play more competitively this past year.

Stubby & His Force Family

In today’s galaxy of TTS, kitchen tables, and local in-person play, “the meta” means lots of different things.  How do you define *your* meta?  

Norman: I suppose the closest thing to “my meta” is what we are doing on TTS. The monthly ARH League play is a great way to get a glimpse of a lot of different styles. I enjoy getting others’ takes on fun and unique play patterns to take advantage of. For example, my good friend and local STL player NuteShunsRey has been on a tear of deck construction recently and he’s given me a lot of ideas to toy around with.

Stubby: My meta currently includes ARH league games on TTS, my kitchen table games with Zoe and our monthly in-person sessions with the Mid-Rim Separatists in Upper Illinois and Wisconsin. Wherever I’m playing, the main focus of my meta is to have fun vs win at all costs.

Looking back, what has been your favorite meta?

Norman: For me it was the Seeking Answers meta, after we took care of the Big Rey problem. Granted, I’m rather biased since I took down GenCon with Rako/Kallus, came back a month later to crush the Mid-Cycle with Cara/Zeb/Strategic Discipline and then developed that silly infinite loop with RebelTraitor. Good times! I also hold the Unlikely Heroes meta in a special place since that was the last we heard of Jyn/Han.

Stubby: My favorite meta has to be the current one. Just so many fun and balanced options available right now. Feels like we are a very spoiled group!

Other than the results themselves, what was a favorite moment from the tournament?

Norman: Getting Trap-The-Blade’d twice in the same game by Josh (NuteShunsRey) was both infuriating and hilarious. 

Stubby: Overall the whole tournament was well run and extremely fun. St Louis is such a great city and our hosts were simply fantastic and friendly people. But the real highlight was being able to win the Father, Son and Daughter for my own daughter Zoe! That is her favorite deck to play and now she can play using gorgeous spot glosses!

Fight the Empire – Behind the Scenes with Norman

What should we know about the St. Louis scene in 2023?

It has been a difficult year for us in many respects since one of our main guys, Shawn, was badly hurt in an accident. But this Prime was particularly special because it marked his return to hanging out with us and slingin’ dice! Getting people together has been tricky of late but we’re committed to keeping it up. 

Vontz and NuteShunsRey – Pride of St. Louis

What should we know about the event itself?

Last year’s event was hosted at Miniature Market, but this year we had it at Game Nite farther south in St. Louis. Regulars know the venue well; we love the space and they were very gracious hosts. It was also great to have Kirk join to run the event; he has played that role for years here in St. Louis.

In addition to the Son/Daughter/Father prize cards from the Renewed Prime kit, Polyfly 3D-printed some amazing “lightbox” prizes. When you shine a bright light behind these, they send a “Fight the Empire” message from Marva’s hologram!

We originally expected a larger group and included multiple events over the weekend. In the end, it was a smaller event than last year since work and family conflicts prompted some late cancellations.

We played some casual games on Friday evening, competed for the Renewed Prime on Saturday and then adjourned for lunch at a truly awesome fried fish place down the road. Afterwards, we ran a draft event with a mix of Legacies, Convergence, and Spark of Hope packs. It was Stubby and Zoe’s first time drafting ever!

Organizing an event is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. What tips do you have for others considering hosting a Prime?

Your most important action is ensuring you have “buy in” from your local community first, because no matter what you’re serving them first. Do your best to solidify a date that makes sense for them and get commitments on their calendars. You need to coordinate that commitment data with available dates from whatever local game store or other venue you intend to use as well. Once that’s in place, the rest becomes much easier.

Tournament Deck-Tech and Strategy with Stubby

In the weeks leading up to the tournament, how did you assess the meta? What pairings did you expect to see?

My assessment of the meta was primarily based on what obvious character pairings worked synergistically.  I expected to see Aayla/Obi and Maul/Qi’ra since that’s what Zoe and I brought… and we were correct!

Which deck did you play?  Why?  What does this deck want to do?

I brought Maul/Qi’ra primarily because it has such good synergy but also because it was very well themed and I tend to be build based on theme when possible. Plus, I have a Maul and Qi’ra Spot Gloss and just had to play them both in person!

What were the last cards to make the list?  What was card 31 that you wish you could have included?

The last card to make the list was me swapping back and forth between a second Truce or a second Everybody Profits.  In the end I went with the second Everybody Profits which was the correct choice as it won me the final game.  I did sort of miss the Truce though and that would be my 31st card if I had one.  The ambush on Truce is what came in handy a few times coupled with the ambush on Vibroknuckle Duster.  Shedding cards quickly from my hand set up a more optimized Powe Action for Maul.

What do you want to see in your opening hand?

I ideally wanted to see Await the Dawn and First Light.

What are this deck’s best matchups?  Which matchups are most challenging for this deck?

My matchups that seemed more favorable were a mirror match against another Maul/Qi’ra deck.  Being able to use the opponent’s charm tokens for Charm Offensive was great and no matter how much damage one of our Mauls did with their PA it was guaranteed to be duplicated by the other so it was kind of a wash. My most challenging match was against Tarkin/Thrawn.

Which decks/players did you face in each round on your way to the championship?  When you saw who you’d be facing in the finals, what strategy did you think would lead to victory?

I lost in round 1 to Vontz and his Tarkin/Thrawn, but then won a Maul/Qi’ra mirror match and beat Aayla/Obi. Once I made top 2 and saw I’d be playing against Tarkin/Thrawn again, I honestly thought I was going to get taken out very quickly. All my jitters and worries simply vanished since I really didn’t think I stood a chance after the first game was so one-sided.  I think this really helped me in the end.  R-E-L-A-X

Vontz & Stubby Battling in the Finals

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