It’s been a lively fall for in-person Destiny, with 3 Renewed Prime events over the course of a 5 week period. In this week’s Gazette, the Mid-Rim Separatists take center stage, with semi-finalists Rando Mando, Leviathan, Zoe, and ThatWookieeSmell sharing highlights from their recent showdown in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (USA).
Getting to Know the Mid-Rim with Rando Mando
What should we know about the Wisconsin/Illinois scene in 2023?
We host a monthly event at Lake Geneva Games on a Sunday. We range from about 4 to 11 people. We are currently working on expanding to more people.
From a distance, it looks like family connections are part of what makes this local special. How do you think that impacts the vibe of your group?
Family is everything, you don’t mess with family! Honestly, it’s so cool to see the Stubby and the Wookiee families having the father son/daughter experience as they try to murder each other over plastic cards.
Organizing an event is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. What tips do you have for others working to re-ignite their local scene?
First step is to ask around since you might be surprised at how many people are semi-close to you. We are blessed to have the Wookiee family (6 people) and Stubby and co (2 people) at almost every event, which makes them feel big. After you know you have people’s interest (not necessarily a commitment), I found as many game stores through google maps as I could, then with the help of Wookiee and Stubby we managed to settle with Lake Geneva Games. The hardest parts of making a local are gathering people, interest, and then having them commit. That will make or break your local. So I am going to steal Norman’s quote here: “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.”
Getting to Know the Separatists
Tell us about your SW Destiny “Origin Story”? How and when did you enter the game?
Wookiee: We got into Destiny a couple years before Covid happened. I happened to run across an article about Star Wars Destiny on the internet sometime around 2017 or 2018. I can’t remember exactly who wrote the article but I have always loved Star Wars so when I read the article it piqued my interest. I do remember the article talking about the game being easy to learn but the mechanics allow it to have a lot of strategy and depth. With four boys in the house I thought Destiny would be a fun way to spend time together. At the time I was able to purchase some of the card packs from one of our local game shops. I also bought some collections that people were selling on ebay. For the first couple of years we played here at home. I didn’t even know there was a competitive scene in Destiny. Once Covid hit I happened to see a Dice Commando video talking about deck builds and competitive play. When I realized we could play online through TTS we really got sucked into the game. We have been playing regularly now ever since Star Wars Destiny became available through TTS.
Zoe: I started playing SW Destiny with my dad when Awakenings come out. My dad got me into Star Wars at a young age and told he about this Star Wars card game that sounded really cool and we have been playing ever since!
Rando: My brother got the Rey and Kylo starter kits back when it was first released and we played on and off. I didn’t get into it competitively until around late 2019 then I stopped playing after it was canceled. Then one day I randomly saw that there was a continuation committee, so I started messing around with the cards. I was playing an ARH game with The86 on TTS one day and he asked me to do a Jawas deck tech for On the Sensors. Little did I know or expect what would happen in the following days, weeks, and now over a year.
Your commitment to the Creed is impressive. When/why did you start wearing that helmet?
Rando Mando: My original plan wasn’t to keep wearing it, the days leading to Gen Con I was pretty sure I was going to do a face reveal after entering the Airbnb with it on. But when it was time to take it off, I said screw it what if I didn’t? So I didn’t.
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?
Leviathan: I expected it to be casual, so I decided to go with something fun that I knew how to play. I decided to play Dooku/Ezra. I’ve always liked Dooku, but I knew he was on the stronger side of things, so I put him with Ezra. My favorite affiliation is Blue Hero, so it felt natural to pair him with a hero.
Zoe: I played the Father, Son, Daughter deck since it is one of my favorite decks that I consistently play and for the fact that my dad has all of the spot glosses that I stole from him from a past St. Louis tournament. I expected to see a lot of the players I normally see, including Rando, who I knew was gonna end up winning the whole thing. I ended up choosing my Father, Son, Daughter deck which is a classic to me. That deck is one I normally play either at home or in a event setting.
Wookiee: Our monthly gathering at Lake Geneva Games is normally pretty casual. There are usually 8-10 people that show up. We will do a loose tourney, and each round for the most part everyone will play a different deck. Overall I expected there would be some well built decks and some tough games. Stubby always brings some well built decks that have some shenanigans. Stubby’s daughter Zoe is a big fan of the Son/Daughter so I knew I would be facing that deck, and it can roll out some damage! Rando Mando is one of the best players in the game so I knew he would bring something crazy (and he didn’t disappoint). We had a new player in SgtRafen come from Michigan, and I had no idea what he would bring.
When preparing for a tourney in person there are five of us building decks, so there are a limited number of cards. I usually let the boys pick their decks first and try to come up with something with the remaining cards. Most events we can easily make copies of, but dice cards are more limited. Initially I had 2 decks I was testing out, Rako/Kallus and Big Rey. I was leaning towards using Rako Hardeen (Obi-Wan) as he is one of my favorite Destiny characters and will be rotating soon. When Darth Cluny changed the deck he wanted to use, I was able to play my favorite color and faction, Blue Villain. I settled on elite (Redemption) Vader, elite Palpatine and Path to Mastery. The ability for that deck to ramp is crazy and with the right card draw can get Ataru Mastery down round one. I spent the rest of the week leading up to the Prime running that deck against the boy’s decks they were bringing to get a good feel for how to play it.
Rando: I hadn’t really played much Destiny since Gen Con so I expected to see… decks being played. I just hoped they were going to be legal! I played Cultist/Maul/Partagaz/Crucial Intel because some people were saying Cluster Missiles weren’t a top tier combo deck but I felt that it was bonkers and totally unchecked. Most Cluster Missile combo decks utilized Armored Reinforcement to make the deck more consistent and were completely built on the gamble of Cluster Missiles. I wanted to maximize what Cluster Missiles could do the turn I played it to limit as much counter play as I could, while simultaneously digging through my deck for Infamy (my 2nd win con). Partagaz perfectly fit the bill allowing for 1s and 3s to focus on either money or damage and allowing me to see a 6th card every round. I knew I wanted to be a rainbow but without losing the consistency of my gameplan. Maul partnering up with the Cultist of the Sith Eternal was perfect, allowing me to run a great ramp setup without costing me cards, more chances to dig through my deck, and some un-mitigatable damage. Maul is perfect in the build, allowing me to either stall with a big hand or quickly start yeeting my cards to clusters and force my opponent to go down or suffer. He also allowed for some neat tricks with Intel Breach.
The blue/yellow nature of the partnership also meant I could splash in Fortress Vader allowing me the chance to use my ramp cards, play out my hand, toss a Black Market Connection then reset and do it again. The deck already seemed like a lot of value but Tusken Camp and Light Repeating Blaster were 2 cards that made the deck really pop. With LRB, Partagaz never misses a beat and it forces them to go after the Cultist early making my 2 character team a hefty 30 health and of course Tusken Camp basically curving out and allowing pretty greedy plays. Despite the fact that you’ll probably never see more than 3 dice out at a time for the deck it can do an insane amount of damage very quickly *cough cough Cluster Missiles cough* which is why I neglected to really run any removal. The 2 pieces I ended up going with (Best Defense and Trick) both allowed me to keep my gameplan moving at little to no cost. I still think the deck can be improved and there might even be a better Cluster Missile deck out there.
What were the last cards to make the list? What was card 31 that you wish you could have included?
Rando: Last card that made the list was Greed because I am a greedy player and not because I somehow only had a 28 card deck and needed something to yeet in there. Cards that were all 31s were Crash Landing (trigger for Maul, red card, and pseudo control) , tech for the counter (not telling), Truce (in place of Greed), and something I can’t remember because reading cards is hard.
Zoe: I made the switch last minute to add a second Rise Again by stealing one from another deck we brought. I felt the need to add a second one since I tend to have horrible luck and always draw it really early on in the game.
Wookiee: There are a few card changes I would make to the list, but mostly because they weren’t available to me and were in other decks. I split Force Sense with Leviathan, so we each had one. I ran two Imperial Rule and one Uncompromising along with the standard blue abilities. These were the final cards I settled on when I built the deck and would most likely add two Battle Meditation and the other Force Sense if they were available. Force Advantage was the 31st card but most likely I would swap that in for the 2 Battle Tactic in hindsight. Battle Tactic is a great card, but for whatever reason I didn’t use it and ended up discarding it most of the time. Having the 0 cost Force Advantage would have worked better as I was always looking for the 0 cost card to use with Palpatine’s power action to turn Vader’s die to the special.
Leviathan: The last cards to make the list were One with the Force and Force Mirage. I wish I had included another Force Sense and got rid of Grow Beyond. That card caused me a lot of trouble because I wasn’t able to play my abilities on Dooku. Plus, he had to be alive to put it on Ezra. In the long run, the card wasn’t much help at all.
ARH Renewed Prime Recap
Can you share a highlight or two from Swiss?
Wookiee: My first game out of the gate against Stubby was a close one. I felt from the start I was a little behind and Stubby was rolling well, but there was a specific point where I was able to take the advantage and pull ahead. My only loss in swiss came against Zoe who was on the Son/Daughter/Father. That game my card draw was terrible, and Zoe was rolling hot fire! All game I was behind and was struggling to catch up. I think it was turn three she rolled into indirect damage on all the Son’s dice. I had Your Powers Are Weak and I needed it to go off to have a chance. Unfortunately it did not and I removed no dice with it. That sealed the game and Zoe was able to re-roll into a pile of indirect damage again.
Leviathan: Playing Zoe for a sad first match. For the first 3 rounds I had no mitigation, and knowing how The Son rolls, you probably have an idea of how my game went. Absolutely rolled off the face of the earth. It was great!
Rando: Unfortunately for my opponents there really wasn’t a “tough match up” or “key moments.” I basically was playing chess as they played checkers. My goal as always was to play a different game then my opponent and force my opponent to make suboptimal plays to try and play around all the tricks I could have up my sleeve. The craziest moment (for me not my opponent) was being able to play 4 Unique Perspectives by grabbing it back with Intel Breach.
Semi-Final One: Leviathan vs. Rando Mando
Rando: In top 4, I was against the deck I was able to completely demolish in swiss so I was fairly confident in my gameplan once again. There really wasn’t any change from swiss and although this game was much closer my deck was ultimately able to do it’s gameplan and it was over fairly quickly.
Leviathan: For the top cut match, I had to play Rando. Since I knew what he was playing, my strategy was to burn him down as fast as I could with the special chaining from Dooku and Dark Devastation. I lost because I made one fatal mistake: simply not resolving my dice fast enough. On many occasions I decided to take a different action than resolving the damage I had in the pool. In the course of the game, that’s probably what cost me the win.
Semi-Final Two: Zoe vs. ThatWookieeSmell
Wookiee: Going into the top cut, I had to face Zoe again for the first round. I had a much better card draw, and she wasn’t rolling hot fire like the first time we played. I was able to ramp and kill off The Son to secure the win.
Zoe: I didn’t really use much strategy since I beat Wookie earlier on in the tournament and felt to play as I did before. That sadly didn’t work too well since I ended up losing to him.
Finals: ThatWookieSmell vs. Rando Mando
Wookiee: I knew before the top cut even started that if I had to face Rando Mando it was going to be a massacre. I had no idea what was in his deck, but I knew it was a Cluster Missile/Tie Fighter Squadron deck, and with that broken combo its game over. His deck has very little mitigation and is a race to see who can put out the most damage first. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know this at the time. Our first game I had a pretty good start, but he drew into Infamy at exactly the right time and was able to swing the game with an epic 7 indirect play. The second game he got the Tie Fighter Squadron down with Cluster Missiles at the end of turn two and I was out of mitigation. That was game over and I conceded. I had been jokingly telling him all day that playing a Cluster Missile deck disqualifies him from the tournament. Little did I know that the Cluster Missiles was to be my fate!
Rando: For the finals, I knew my opponent was playing a very low health deck. Although we somehow dodged each other in swiss (which was weird) I figured all I had to do was avoid Ataru Mastery and Rise Again and I was pretty sure I was going to be set. The first game really wasn’t looking my way for a little bit as it seemed like my deck was fumbling and he got his Ataru round 1 and a double Vader special to set him up nicely round 2. His mistake though was allowing me to sit on 2 money with 1 character die out and roll in both of his characters allowing me to quickly strike a Infamy for 7 to win and in game 2 I got Cluster Missiles out early on and won the game instantly.
It was a really fun day to see everyone playing together and we loved the fact that SgtRafen came in from Michigan to join our regular crew. We’re already looking forward to our next meet up!
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