Star Wars TCG Australian Championship
(or) Fear the Jawa Sandcrawler
Despite holding solid positions in the Australian Top 10, the Queenslanders could not make it across the border, making the first Australian National Championships an all-New South Wales battle.
In a stand against Falcon's Needs and Kessel System, all players agreed to enforce the banned and restricted list early. It was just as Joey Leake predicted in I Want My HPC—a complete swing to the Light Side with bids of 24-25 build being common. A fantastic range of decks, from Discard/Swarm to Tuskens, was on display, but the deck of choice at the moment—Chewey Reanimator—was never seen.
Using Jawa Sandcrawler, IG-2000 (A) and Zutton (A) engines, the old school Reanimator decks that were so powerful pre-Rogues and Scoundrels utterly controlled the tournament. For those not familiar with this deck, it uses stacked Millennium Falcons, Luke's X-wings and Obi-Wan’s Starfighters to control Space; the aforementioned engines to draw into Han's Promise; and a ridiculous amount of build points generated by Princess Leia (G) and Corellian Corvettes to drop Mad Obi (Obi-Wan Kenobi (I)), Yoda (D) and/or Mace Windu (A) on the first turn.
Using this deck, the Dark Alliance of Dark Lord Lindsay Heming and his young apprentice Ryan Dare crushed their way into the top 4 playoff for AUS$1000, joining myself playing a variation of this deck, and Michael Kidd playing a brutal Dark Side Tusken build. For Kidd and myself, our paths to the top were not as easy as the Dark Alliance's, both of us having to play a must-win match in the last round. We had met earlier in the tournament when a Jawa Sandcrawler vs. Jawa Sandcrawler slugfest in extra time resulted in a 1:1 draw. Whilst Kidd won his way into the top 4 in convincing fashion, it was again left to my trusty Sandcrawler to roll through a barrage of Battle tricks and discarding snowspeeders to pound the last point of damage onto a badly damaged Trade Federation Control Core.
Tricks for Tricks: Game 1
Heming and Dare used Change in Destiny and Disrupting Strike to great effect, stopping the tricks that had controlled the tournament so far: Human Shield, Hanging Around, Vendetta and Pilot's Dodge. Dare absolutely crushed me in the semi-finals, and Heming made short work of Kidd—making the final a battle for supremacy between the young apprentice and his Dark Lord.
With a bid of 4 build for Light Side (that is, 26 build; in Sydney, we've gotten into the habit of bidding in this fashion—i.e., bidding 4 points—to make things easier for new players, as they know whatever figure they bid, that is the amount of build points they lose), Dare came out in game 1 with the perfect set-up: Luke's X-wing (B) and a stacked Millennium Falcon (B) held Space along with a Corellian Corvette for first turn extra build. Meanwhile, a Jawa Sandcrawler engine sat defiantly in Ground, and Obi-Wan Kenobi (I) was hard-cast into the Character arena.
Heming avoided Space, instead deploying a Death Star Turbolaser Tower in Ground and moving Darth Vader (I), Probot, and an IT-0 Interrogator Droid against Mad Obi in the Character arena. With 11 build to go, Heming risked everything and placed it all on Death Star (A)!
Dark Lord Heming needed to complete this battle station early, but it never happened—Dare grinning as the build roll came up with a single point. Using the Sandcrawler engine to discard Yoda (D) and Mace Windu (A), the young apprentice took the battle to the Dark Lord by Han's Promising Mace Windu into play.
When the Death Star finally made it into play next turn, it faced a stacked Luke’s X-wing (B), stacked Millennium Falcon, and IG-2000. The attack commenced and the critical hitting IG-2000 went insane, delivering 10 damage! Heming never came back.
1:0 against the current Australian No. 1.
Game 2 was all about Hoth Battle Plains. Bidding 5 for Light Side (that is, 25), Heming held Space with a stacked Falcon and Coruscant Freighter AA-9 (A) against a lone TIE Fighter DS-73-5. However, he relinquished Ground with an Unmodified Snowspeeder looking vulnerable against 2x Death Star Turbolaser Towers, Bespin Cloud Car Squad and Cloud City Wing Guard. That left his Shaak-ti (B) and a Jedi Youngling to face 2x Kouhun and Darth Vader (C) in the Character Arena.
Dare utterly dominated the game. Using Hoth Battle Plains with the Turbolaser Towers, Ryan took out the Falcon and the Freighter, whilst his Nexu locked down Heming’s tricks and helped Darth Vader to win against Shaak-ti.
A multitude of battle tricks later, Heming's lone Jedi Youngling was left on the table. Dare smiled at Heming, then offered his hand and the words: “I concede…” Heming gasped in relief. The Australian Nationals was not a GenCon Qualifier, but through consistently winning during the event, the Dark Lord could qualify on ranking—unless he lost to Dare.
Ryan Dare had made his point, however, as he had utterly dominated both games. Lindsay Heming may be the official Australian National Champ, but the apprentice has come of age…
The Dark Lord Lindsay Heming
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