Last weekend, top players from across the UK (and Sweden!) gathered in Birmingham to compete for the UK Grand Championships. With the Resurgence set release just around the corner, the event represents both the last major competition of the Display of Power meta and a powerful demonstration of what makes in-person play so special.
The event itself, hosted at the annual UK Games Expo by the illustrious Echobase team, included 19 players (@DarkAngelAz generously stepped aside to run the event) and a bushel of gorgeous Kenobi-themed prizes. In the end, Chimaera’s trip down from Scotland paid off as he piloted Moff Gideon and Snoke to the championship.
To cover all the action, we’re delighted to have Gareth Parfitt (@gparfitt on Discord) providing a “touchline reporter” perspective based on some informal interviews he held throughout the event… welcome Gareth!
Getting to Know Chimaera
What is your SW Destiny “Origin Story?
I picked up my first lot of Destiny just as Spirit of the Rebellion hit the shelves. This was after a good friend introduced me to the game knowing how much love I had for the Star Wars universe. I was pretty skeptical initially as someone who had never played a collectible card game and instead exclusively played miniature games. Safe to say it didn’t take much to hook me.
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?
Casual! If there’s one thing I enjoyed about Star Wars Destiny was the endless combinations and varied approaches to victory each deck could take. Often resulting in the weird and wonderful deck creation, also known as “jank”. Anyone who watched my YouTube content as Chimaera back in the day will know exactly what I mean by this.
Looking back, what has been your favorite meta?
This very time and place! The last 2 sets have opened the door to so much deck creation that each and every event has been exciting to the last dice roll. That said, I do still have a soft spot for the Empire at War meta..
Tournament Recap with Gareth
Greetings Destiny fans! Although my results at the tournament fell short of my hopes, it was once again a fantastic event with fantastic people and a great turnout. We have obviously seen a decline in numbers since the last FFG UK Championships in 2019, but as a regular attendee of Destiny events in the UK over the years, it was great to see old friends making their first in-person ARH event and even welcome some new players to the scene.
My first chance to check in on the field was at lunch, where we had three players standing tall on 3-0: LandoWonka, Chimaera, and Zhil.
Lando Wonka was running a Gar Saxon/Doctor Aphra combo built around a constant barrage of ping damage that eventually became lethal to his opponents. Lando mentioned that some of his star cards were Imperial Justice, which could deal obscene indirect for just one resource, and R5-D4 that gave a strong card advantage, allowing him to get to all his events. Lando did concede that he had not faced a shield-heavy deck in the first 3 rounds, and that could very well see a change in fortunes.
Chimaera was playing Snoke/Gideon and mentioned he was expecting to face quite a bit of Jar’Kai and its associated weapons. The idea was for Gideon to ramp off those weapons into cards such as Uncompromising and Emperor, plus abilities that Snoke could use twice after over-writing for the discount. Snoke’s big focus sides also allowed him to generate resources for larger things since he could reliably reach Gideon’s 2 resource side. In the end, this is an expensive deck that has found a way to make things cheaper.
Zhil is a very methodical player, who like his idol Thrawn loves to have knowledge of his opponents. His Tarkin/Thrawn (EaW) deck very much suits Zhil’s playstyle and his plan of action was to first look at his opponent’s hand with Tarkin, then force them to play something before Thrawn could take it away. From here, he could play out his turn in the best possible way, knowing what surprises his opponent would have in store for him. Zhil is not a fan of the Mill game and whilst his goal was always to defeat his opponents characters, he appreciated that the deck was versatile enough to attack on two fronts, and had various cards to back up either strategy if necessary.
After lunch, two of our 3-0 half-time leaders made the top four, with LandoWonka going 6-0 through swiss and therefore receiving the top seed curse. In the semifinal, he squared off against Moordotz (4-2), who was playing a Phasma/Soontir deck that was originally created for a Maz’s Vault episode and aimed to make the most of 125-Z Treadspeeder Bike. In the other semifinal, Chimaera (5-1) advanced to a showdown with Gameslayer (4-2), who brought Boba/Soontir, Tydirium, and Xanadu Blood in hopes of anointing some new Emperors.
In the end, Moordotz overcame Lando 2-1 and Chimaera beat Gameslayer 2-0. In the finals, Chimaera capped his fantastic return to in-person events by defeating Moordotz 2-0 and becoming the first UK ARH Grand Champion.
Afterwards, I caught up with Moordotz, who acknowledged that he came into the event just aiming to enjoy six games of Destiny and some great company, so finishing as runner-up thoroughly surpassed what he was expecting. After winning the Laundromat Prime earlier this spring with a deck originally created by Gameslayer, he enjoyed taking a self-made deck and was keen to point out that he beat a mill deck with one card in deck, which was only there as he waited until his Armored Assault Tank was milled into the discard pile, before salvaging it with the Armored Reinforcement.
We then spoke about his semifinal victory over Lando, where he felt he benefited from the fact that they had met earlier in the day. In swiss, he targeted Aphra since he knew there were extra droids going into the deck but he later realized that Gar was more of the threat given all the red events and the fact that his indirect damage is unblockable. In the first game, Lando won the roll off and chose his own battlefield, giving Moordotz a head start with some shields that – when paired with Soontir’s ability – would ultimately absorb enough of Aphra’s pings to claim victory. Lando then took shields for game two and won quickly, moving on with a twelve damage round that included two Extermination Orders. Staying with the theme, Moordotz took the shields for the crucial final game and won out to go through to the championship match against Chimaera.
With the games behind us, the only thing left for us to do was to carry on our evening. Twelve of the twenty attendees made our way across the complex for dinner and tall tales, glad for the opportunity to spend a day playing this game we all love.
Deck-Tech & Strategy with Chimaera
In the weeks leading up to the tournament, how did you assess the meta? What pairings did you expect to see?
Jar’Kai has been my bogeyman. The card can be thrown into any blue deck and produce crazy results so was absolutely my main target for this event. Pairings were a little trickier to track due to the varied nature decks at the moment, a positive result from a very balanced meta at current.
Which deck did you play? Why? What does this deck want to do?
With Jar’Kai on my mind, I decided that I was going to create a Moff Gideon and Snoke deck.
Moff Gideon is a very powerful character in so many aspects. To begin with, he has the ability to open with a roll out and detect 2 and in turn steal weapons/vehicles for a small cost of indirect. This cuts Jar’Kai off at the source or steals a vehicle like an Armored Assault Tank and even provides some hand knowledge to play around
The override potential is crazy value on top of this since it hampers your opponent’s game plan while accelerating your own. Being able to override that stolen weapon with targets like Ataru Mastery or Uncompromising provides Snoke two opportunities to roll in with these powerful upgrades. Ataru provides shield efficiency and in turn acts as mitigation/damage, while Uncompromising packs a 2 resource side with each roll out and cripples your opponent’s hand option.
Experienced players may then try to play around this strategy by spending their resources to play weapons and vehicles turn 1 but as a result restrict their own ability to mitigate. This is where Gideon’s 1 and 2 resource sides become invaluable followed up by his 2 discard sides for further hand pressure.
Capping it off? Snoke can come back from death or even Rise Again into Emperorfor extreme value.
Ultimately the game plan is to obstruct your opponent in a variety of ways, restricting hand options, stealing weapons/vehicles, and all the while reaping the extreme value of the Snoke double roll in amplified by the plethora of focus sides available. 501st Assault Team and Armored Assault Tank provide fall-back win conditions.
What were the last cards to make the list? What was card 31 that you wish you could have included?
501st Assault Team was the final card to make it in. Played early with the accessible ramp this deck provides is a universal win condition by itself so I opted to make room for it. There were 2 other cards that I actually wanted to squeeze in, one being Blizzard and the other being Display of Power for a third Snoke roll.
What do you want to see in your opening hand?
Uncompromising and Ataru Mastery! Snoke’s roll in value with these 2 cards is crazy!
What are this deck’s best matchups? Which matchups are most challenging for this deck?
My best matchup includes any deck that likes its weapons and vehicles. Ability decks do provide a challenge but Gideon only hit 3 weapons total across the 10 games played at the tournament so it isn’t the end if your opponent isn’t running targets for Gideon. In the Swiss rounds, I won against Maul/Qira, Soontir/Boba, Rako/Kallus, Vader/Nute, and Soontir/Phasma, with my one loss coming against LandoWonka and Gar/Aphra.
Closing Words from Gareth & Chimaera
Gareth: As I sign off, I’d like to thank everyone who is keeping this game alive, starting with the ARH team, but also the playtesters, artists, and card designers. Without you I don’t get to have fun by playing cards or rolling dice online or in person. And thanks to those that stayed with the game (or found it after cancellation) since without you, there is no community and the game dwindles into obscurity
Chimaera: On a final note I just wanted to say how epic it was to see all the familiar faces of the Star Wars Destiny scene at the Grand Championship this weekend. Although it was fun to steal an Armored Assault Tank in game 2 (and have 3 on field at the same time!), the biggest highlight was reliving what was and still is to this day, one of the best gaming communities out there. I can’t thank the great people at Echobase and ARH enough for making this happen and for their continued efforts to keep Star Wars Destiny rolling on!
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