The Star Wars TCG Qualifier season is upon us again—and the majority of deck discussion is based on winning tournaments and earning a spot in the championship at GenCon. But why not get back to the basics of this game? Now, don’t get me wrong. I love playing in tournaments, but I originally got into SW:TCG for the battles between good and evil, the genre, and the fun times to be had with friends. Friends don’t have tournaments so much as casual games. They play without consequences, with relaxed rules, and most importantly with unique decks. This is the ultimate playtest time. Find a new combo, a new theme, or a whole new style of play.
That’s what I plan to focus on in this article, the casual play aspect of SW:TCG, and will concentrate on one deck that I couldn’t take to a tournament. Well, I could take it, if I wanted to automatically lose my matches.
I’m speaking of my Bespin deck—a deck that includes the now infamous character, Ugnaught. (Pause for dramatic effect.) That’s right Ugnaught, Weapon of Mass Destruction, or Harmless Pig-Faced Guy. Who cares? He’s only a pawn in my master plan! Instead, this deck focuses on the “administrator of this facility.”
Namely, Lando Calrissian.
Read This First!
Before I get started, let me add the following disclaimer: If you use a deck in tournament play which contains a banned card, you will be subject to a game/match loss, dependant upon the level of tournament. (SW: TCG floor rules can be read here.) So please don’t forget to fix your decks before tournament time!
The Administrator of this Facility
Now that we’ve got that clear, let’s get back to the Tibanna gas mines. This Bespin deck focuses on Lando in the Character arena, and all his Bespin buddies in Ground and Character running support. The stats for Lando Calrissian (G) are variable: His health, power and speed are all *, where * is equal to the number of Bespin units in any arena (including Lando himself).
So how does this make Lando (G) as powerful as a Death Star?
Let me tell you a little something about Bespin units. They’re cheap! In set up, you should be more than able to get at least 7-10 Bespin units out every time. Just look at 'em: Bespin Patrol Cloud Car and Bespin Twin-Pod Cloud Car each cost 2 build points, Cloud City Wing Guard costs 3, and Bespin Cloud Car Squad costs 4. Ugnaughts cost 2 build points each, and Lobot (A) is 4 build. However, Lobot’s (B) version costs 6 build points to deploy, but you immediately get back 2 of those points to spend on another Bespin unit; this makes each version of Lobot only 4 net build points.
Not only is bringing out Bespin units easy, but don’t forget that every card in Lando’s stack still counts toward his stats. So by the beginning of the first turn, Lando (G) can easily have 100/10/10 stats.
OK, OK, I can hear you now: “Cheap units die quickly.” Fine, so they die, and Lando’s stats go down—but not for long. I included the Ugnaughts and Hatch a Clone to dig those dead units out of your discard pile and bring them back into contention. One combo is to try using Lando Calrissian (C) to sack the little Bespin Ground units for damage prevention. That’ll give you 2 build points every time you play it. After you’ve sacked the small Bespin guys, use Hatch a Clone to retrieve and then build them. It’s like they never left!
Speaking of Bespin Ground units (I can’t give these things enough praise!), they’re cheap, fast, and accurate. I’ll take that over expensive, slow, and massive any day. They all have Accuracy, so given a little power boost they become fast and accurate little tanks. For that needed boost, I chose to use Brutal Assault. True, there are other cards that give power ups, but I’m trying to stay neutral. And while the damage caused by Brutal Assault is extensive (at least when compared to Bespin units’ health), I have contingencies to bring those units back to life. Besides, who cares if your Twin-Pod Cloud Car takes 2 damage, if it knockouts whatever you’re attacking? Your car can’t get that last damage counter from a unit in the discard pile.
The Best Space Units Credits Can Buy
Now, what have I done with Space? So far this has been an all-neutral deck—and why stop now? I added a few bounty hunter ships, such as IG-2000 (A) and the Mist Hunter (A). These are some of the best-priced Space units in the game. I also included the neutral versions of Slave 1 and Millennium Falcon. That way, you’ll have all-around solid units, as well as the means to contest those Falcons and Slaves your opponent has in play.
The 4 build points you spend on IG-2000 (A) gets you a 30/4/4 unit with Critical Hit 2 and Armor, but that’s not all. You also have the option to give it +20 speed (ooh) or +2 power (ahh). Act now, because supplies are limited.
Mist Hunter (A) costs 5 build, and gets you a respectable 40/5/5 unit—one that’s comparable to that guy who hangs out with the schoolyard bullies. After the bully knocks you around, Mist Hunter comes in to really kick a guy when he’s down; the ship gets Accuracy 1 when attacking a damaged unit.
You see, decks don’t have to be just about winning tournaments. Create decks that are based on a theme, based on a set, based on your favorite units, that restricts the rarity used, or that can recreate a movie scene (such as in A New Hope, or Attack of the Clones). Try to convince your local group to compete in casual tournaments based on the theme of the week. Theme-based decks break the pattern of tournament-focused decks—plus, they're just good fun!
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