The response that the Faltering Allegiances Release Party received really blew me away. A 100-person tournament was a dream come true and I really wanted to have a strong showing. There wasn’t enough time to test everything, so I did a lot of theorizing and was glad that my theories held up. I’m happy that I was able to build a strong deck that included a new and lesser talked-about character along with an older character who had yet to shine.
With Faltering Allegiances being released only two days before the tournament, I was mostly expecting to see known commodities. This meant worrying about facing Trandoshans, Greez Droids (Greez having been spoiled ahead of time), Closing In decks, Jyn/Cassian (spoiled significantly ahead of time and a new fun mechanic to try out) and Saw (also spoiled ahead of time). I wanted to be able to win against these decks.
The decks I initially considered using were Trandoshans and Greez Droids.
At this point, I should say that everything after this is simply theory-crafting. I did not test any of these match ups, except a quick game against myself between Vader/Taron and Trando’s, to confirm what I already strongly suspected, that Taron is a Reylo-style beast vs Trando’s.
The value Greez Droids can provide is off the charts. The problem is that they can be derailed by losing a character very early, like to Trandos round one. If a Trando player has Probe in hand round one, it’s almost a certainty. On the plus side, they should be good into Saw. Just remove his two dice before putting your own dice in the pool (risking a Fighting Pit PA) and carry on your merry way.
Jyn was a wild card for Greez (and Trandos), in that you could get unlucky and have your removal cards Detected round one and watch your opponent just roll well and kill a Droid (or Trando) round one, which is disastrous. Closing In shouldn’t be a huge problem, since Greez prints money. There are also those rare times where you reveal a three instead of a one with Greez and are suddenly in big trouble.
For Trando’s, I liked their chances vs Greez Droids and of being able to kill a droid round 1, but again I hated the idea of a Jyn/Cassian deck hitting two removal cards round 1 and killing a Trando. This is more likely to happen to Trandos than Greez because you only have 4 cards in hand round 1 after windmill-slamming your bounty on the table before it gets detected. Also, Unshackle was creeping into decks due to the prevalence of Trandos and Closing In decks, which could suddenly make any winning match up a losing one. Matches vs Closing In decks could go either way, but I liked my chances with Trandos. Saw was worrisome, because the Fighting Pit can kill a fragile Trando if you can’t remove both of his dice, which can happen more often than other match ups since he’s immune to electroshock. Like Greez revealing a three (but much more common) there are some games where you don’t find a bounty with your hard mulligan and are suddenly in a world of trouble.
Fear of losing a character in round one lead me to looking at Taron. His PA to blank two dice (it’s only one die, but I misread him at this stage) seemed very good in these removal-less situations against Jyn, and to counteract the focusing of Greez as well. It’s also a life saving ability into Trandos, and lights-out when double blanking Saw.
Taron’s ability to deal 2 damage on activation is amazing into both Greez and Trando’s fragile characters (once again I didn’t read his card well and didn’t realize he had a shield side of his own to sometimes turn off this ability). Having played Trando’s more than likely anyone else in the world, I know what they lose to, and it’s Reylo-type decks. Built in mitigation (Rey PA/Taron PA) plus non-stop non-interactive damage (Kylo PA/Taron Activation/Polarity/Unending Hate/Force Affinity) equals sad, dead Trandos.
When looking for a partner for Taron, the pickings were slim. There was no one at 16 that I considered, so the next choice was 15 points with a plot. United is very good and We Stand is technically better than nothing, though I didn’t use it a single time, so pilot Vader looked solid. United, along with the ability to have two masteries in play, gave me confidence that Vader would be a good partner for Taron. That was enough to decide it was worth spending the time to build the deck and give it a quick test before the tournament that was starting in about 12 hours.
I built the deck and played a single game on TTS. Vader/Taron felt strong, but I was facing a deck that the owner described as new jank (he wasn’t wrong) so I wasn’t sure how much stock to put into this game. The match did teach me that Taron had a shield side on his die, which gave me some pause on my assessment of the decks chances vs Trando’s and Greez.
I went to bed and decided to tweak the deck on my phone. This was when I realized that Taron could only blank 1 die with his PA. I changed my two Unshackles to Breaking Bonds, since it’s often a better version, and cut the single copy of Treason I’d played. I couldn’t find any removal I liked to take its place, so added another pay off card in Sith Lord and went to sleep.
In the morning I played against myself with Trando’s and beat them, alleviating some concern about the shield side ruining that match up, and giving me confidence that I could also get a quick kill on a Droid.
I’ve always gone very ramp heavy in my mono-blue builds, so the six ramp cards were a slam dunk (Forbidden Lore, Merchant Freighter and It Binds All Things). Pay off cards were needed for the ramp, so Death Field joined Shien (a card that never requires justification) as a two of. Niman was an auto-include, as was Sith Teachings. Palpatine’s lightsaber is great value when you are playing abilities, so it went in as well.
In general, I like to play as much mitigation as possible, so any card that isn’t ramp, dice or mitigation had better be very good. Force Affinity was a slam dunk as it’s a free card draw (2 minus itself) and pings a damage, which is great into Droids and Trandos. Unending Hate is another card that was too much value to pass up. Dealing damage from hand is tough to do, and anything that does two direct is playable. Having the upside to deal three or even more is outstanding. When the opponent has no cards left to reroll, or wants to keep their last piece of removal, Unending Hate is straight up mitigation while also dealing damage. This is likely an include in any deck that can run it, and even better when you can blank a die with Taron first. The out of hand damage is also extremely relevant against Droids and Trando’s, so having bonus value against the top competition made it even better. Closing In is very oppressive to middle/middle and big/little decks, so two copies of Unshackle made the list (later changed to Breaking Bonds). Having bonus value vs Trando’s also helped its cause.
For mitigation/healing I went with anything that I could get my hands on. Forsaken and Eject were slam dunks as they’re amazing value. Fluid Riposte and Isolation also made the cut, as well as a single Treason (later replaced for Sith Lord) as I was getting desperate for any removal. Only having 8 pieces of mitigation was very low for me, but Sith Teachings is quite reliable with Taron, which gets us to 10 along with Taron’s PA every round as additional soft mitigation. Had there been another solid 1 cost mitigation card I likely would have gone with it over Sith Lord, but I was glad to have Sith Lord on Saturday, so I’m happy an alternative 1 cost mitigation card didn’t exist.
Editor’s note: If you want to see the full results from the tournament, including top cut brackets and decklists, click the link below: Full Faltering Allegiances Release Party results
Round 1 – Jason_SWGUY – eBail/eLor/Jawa Junk Dealer/Astrogation – W
This was a fairly easy match from my end as Jason’s deck was a work in progress and Taron’s activation ability is strong into mill.
Round 2 – Ben Blakey – Boba/Jango/Closing In – L
This was my only swiss loss. Ben won the roll off and chose Nightsister Lair. First action was to play a 0 cost bounty for a resource, second action was to play Slave I. I couldn’t really get much going in round 1 due to a pesky disrupt side after spending 1 to play Breaking Bonds on Closing In. The ping damage from Slave 1 did a lot to me. I was a bit rattled by his amazing start and forgot to use my PA on Taron and used it less optimally later in the round. I lost Taron but was able to kill Boba the next round…with Vader…who could have discarded Slave I, but chose not to for non-misplay reasons. I honestly did not know what either of my characters did when I built this deck. The game ended up being somewhat close, as Vader died to exact damage while Jango had only 2 health left, but that was only because Ben’s dice went cold when the game was already decided. Overall, a thorough beatdown complete with an impactful misplay, on stream no less.
Round 3 – Drel – eChewbacca/eTarrful/Valorous Tribe – W
Sadly, I don’t remember the specifics of this match too well but I seem to think it ended up being fairly one sided in my favour.
Round 4 – Lanza – eAhsoka/Kanan/Sifo-Dyas/United/We Stand – W
This match was also on stream and I was able to redeem myself. Everything went right for me while everything went wrong for Lanza, and I won convincingly.
Round 5 – DaveyDTD – eSaw/Chief Chirpa/Ewok/United/We Stand – W
This match was quite close until I used United on a Deathfield and Vader die that were removed with Flee The Scene and the dice came back as double specials. This allowed me to deal 10 damage and then claim the Fighting Pit away from Saw. I was then able to close the game out from this dominant position.
Round 6 – Clauber Alex – eBala/eBing/United – W
Another tight match. I was quite behind after round 1, but Bala and Bing’s dice went cold in round 2. He seemed to only roll one impactful side at a time when rerolling multiple dice, allowing me to deal with one die, then another die, etc, without getting much through. Once Bala went down Bing couldn’t do much on his own.
Top Cut Matches
Top 16 – Diogo Costas – eSaw/Chief Chirpa/Hoth Trooper – 2-1 W
These matches were streamed by Star Wars Destiny Brazil. Game one was a very odd match for a couple reasons. Firstly, because I won the roll off and was able to mess with Saw’s dice all game long with Salt Flats, instead of having to face Saw in the Fighting Pit. Secondly, because my opponent opened with double blanks on Saw, and then rerolled into double blanks on Saw. This was after rolling 3 blanks for the roll off. There was not much to be gleaned from game one due to the imbalance of luck.
Game two was on the Fighting Pit and was a very close match. I ultimately lost due to a fancy misplay. In the final round I was down to just Vader with one health vs Saw and Chirpa on low health. 13 cards were in the deck and I drew my 5, unfortunately not finding either of my Ejects with two Merchant Freighters on table. I decided to pilot the empty Freighter with Vader, to feign having Eject and perhaps cause a misplay. I rolled into lethal but Diogo played Glider Attack and I could only block two damage with my two starting resources. It’s possible that the second Merchant Freighter only had one resource on it as well, which would have made my mind game even more laughable. It was a long day and a misplay via getting too cute crept in.
Game three was back on Salt Flats which gave me a big advantage. I don’t remember the details of this game too much but I was glad to come away victorious.
Top 8 – Doughnaut – Bane/Imperial Death Trooper – W 2-0
These matches were also streamed by Star Wars Destiny Brazil. My starting characters were stronger than my opponents, so his path to victory was going to come from having a big Admiral reset, which didn’t end up happening either match…at least on Bane. You’ll want to check out the stream to see a glorious Admiral IDT! There was also a funny moment with Face The Enemy revealing a 9 card hand. United did great work against The Best Defense and these games went quite smoothly for me. I can see the potential in the deck though, provided that the Admirals and You Are In Command Now’s come in the right order.
Top 4 – Chris69 -eTrando/eTrando/Trando/Extremist Campaign – W 2-0
On some level, I was glad to face Trando’s since I considered them heavily when deciding my deck. On the other hand, Trando’s are very powerful and I was quite worried. Game one went according to plan, putting a Trando down to 2 health round 1, then dodging shields on Taron’s activation in round 2 to get the kill. Chris put up a strong fight and had me sweating a little, but the loss of a Trando so early ended up being too much of a deficit to overcome.
Game two was a nightmare for Chris. He opened by playing a Dead Or Alive on Taron, which I removed with Breaking Bonds. He played a second DOA (having to go into his pocket this time, since we were on Nightsister Lair) and I was able to play my second Breaking Bonds on it which I drew with Force Affinity. I think Chris spent his remaining resource on a removal card, because he was left with none. After two full rerolls he was showing only blanks, discards, disrupts (I had no money) and 3 for 1s. I believe 5 dice went unresolved this round. The game was over at that point, though I think we may have played another full round. Tough breaks for Chris in these two games.
Finals – Wiwwt – eAhsoka/Kanan/Sifo-Dyas/United/We Stand – W 2-0
I was not surprised to see Wiwwt at the final table, but I was a bit surprised to see this line up for the second time today. My early match against Lanza was a dream come true, so I was confident in my chances. Knowing that I didn’t have to face DM was nice, so I could freely go for a huge ramping start. My team is also strong at killing eight health characters quickly, so I liked the match up for me.
Game one I was able to get an early kill on Ahsoka through her two shields, and once it was only the two Jedi remaining I was in a dominant position, which carried me to the win.
In game two I was able to ramp like crazy on round one, playing three ramp cards I believe, which eventually lead to a massive board state. I saw Protect the Younglings from Sifo’s draw, and after some thought ended up targeting Ahsoka again after seeing it hit the discard pile. Wiwwt had a second copy in hand, so it took a while to put her down. In the end my massive amount of resources allowed Vader to close out the match with Shien and two Death Fields on him, despite losing a Shien and Palpatine’s Saber when Taron died.
I did not use United in either game (which at some point along the line was likely wrong) saving it for a big Jedi Mind Trick. I felt in control both matches, but had I been feeling a bit more pressured I may have used it to return a single die.
Overall, a good match vs a very strong opponent and a successful showing for the Sith and (Fallen) Jedi team!
Thoughts on the Deck
I think this deck is Tier 1 due to its flexibility. It has the ability to be extremely aggressive and take an eight health character off the board quickly, which is very important right now, and it also has the ability to play defensively and ramp very hard.
I absolutely love this deck, as it gives many decision points on lines to take. Do you use Taron’s PA to set up a Sith Teachings removal? Do you try to save it until the end of the round to make a blanking more impactful? Do you simply change a Shien special to two shields?
It also makes your opponent make tough decisions. Should they go after Vader when there’s a Merchant Freighter on table and risk getting hit with Eject? What if Vader has a Shien Mastery on him? What if there’s no Merchant Freighter yet? Forcing your opponent to answer these difficult questions can allow for misplays and other ways to gain edges that aren’t necessarily even there.
I’m very glad that pilot Vader finally has a partner. He has good dice, but with no ability (except for destroying vehicles of course, which will all know and would never forget) he wasn’t quite strong enough. His sub-types are finally coming through enough for him to be at top tables, and I’m very happy for that.
As far as the deck is concerned, I don’t think I’d change a single card. Breaking Bonds is a meta call, so it could come out if you don’t think you’ll use it.
I was thrilled that we were able to have over 100 people from across the globe playing Star Wars Destiny. In my mind, hitting that milestone was huge for the Destiny community. A massive thank you to everyone who ran the tournament, to everyone who streamed, to everyone who promoted it and to everyone who played, especially those who stayed with us far into the night in much different time zones. Specifically I’d like to thank Kroozin and Lanza,
for herding the cats running the tournament. Everything ran smoothly and completely exceeded my expectations. A big thank you as well to everyone who helped design Falter Allegiances, it has been well received!
I can’t wait for the next big online tournament and before too long (hopefully), a proper Worlds! Thanks for reading.
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