Star Wars TCG Qualifiers: Brooklyn, New York
The 2004 Star Wars TCG Championship Series Qualifiers are underway! Our congratulations to the winners of completed Qualifiers, and best of luck to all SW:TCG players still in competition. (See this listing for a complete schedule.)
On April 24th, David Hsu of Team Bus won the Brooklyn, New York Qualifier. Taking third place was Joseph Brescol, who shared these thoughts on his Light Side deck—and on facing down the runaway Bus.
My Light Side deck was originally centered on Bespin units. The deck started with all Bespin Character and Ground arenas, with the usual Light Side Space contingent. The focus was to get out as many Bespin units as possible, and then use Lando Calrissian (G) to clean house on the Dark Side. However, I soon realized that Lando’s weakness was based in his strength—the fewer Bespin units out there, the weaker he was.
About this time, Ugnaught was banned as well, so I lost 4 cheap Bespin units and had to rethink the strategy. That was when I analyzed Lando (G) and discovered that he’s classified as a Bespin Smuggler Diplomat. A little light bulb went off. Pairing Lando with Han and Leia (G) would make Lando untouchable. So I put a good dose of those Characters in the deck and left in the Bespin Ground units for the time being.
It was then that I realized that if the deck went off properly, the cheap Bespin Ground units could work as a shield for the other two arenas. When you see your opponent with about a million little units, all with Accuracy, you tend to shy away from that arena for awhile or bulk up. This was my strategy, using the Dark Side’s strength in Ground to my advantage. By forcing the Dark Side to spend more points on an arena that, by default, it should win, I was free to delay the inevitable defeat in Ground and focus on building up Character and Space as needed.
However, through playtesting I found that Bespin Ground units could also give you a quick win in Ground as well. I incorporated tech cards like Lars Homestead, C-3PO (C), and Princess Leia (G), to both gain build points and spend them wisely. Strange Lodgings was used to whisk damage away, and 2-1B Medical Droid (A) to heal Han/Leia when needed.
The best card combo I discovered was any Bespin Ground unit and Han's Attack, versus any big unit (such as Trade Federation Control Core). For example: Bespin Twin Pod Cloud Car versus Trade Federation Control Core. With Han’s Attack (granting defending unit’s build – attacking unit’s build), Bespin Twin-Pod Cloud Car becomes an 11-power unit with Accuracy. Han’s Attack only costs 2 Force, in a deck that doesn’t use Force that often—so use Han’s Attack twice, and kiss the Core goodbye.
I played in 4 rounds, used this deck 6 out of the 10 games, and it won 5 of those 6 games. It only lost once, and that was to my first encounter with Team Bus and their Holochamber/Mission Engine Deck.
When playtesting this deck, I threw everything but the kitchen sink at it. I went through my entire steno pad full of deck ideas, built them, and tested. I ran Tuskens, Rebel Surrender, Dark Jedi, Tanks, Creatures, Bounty Hunters, Discard Decks, and various mixes of all of them. Nothing I thought of could scratch 2 wins out of 10 against it.
The only deck I didn’t test against it was the Holochamber/Mission Engine Deck that Team Bus came up with. That one took me by surprise. I was very impressed with that. I saw some good Dark Side decks at the Qualifier, but the only one that beat my deck was David Hsu from Team Bus. His Holochamber/Mission Engine, and his Chewie Re-animator decks were awesome. I had a blast and I look forward to seeing him, and all the people that qualified, at the Championship in August.
The main thing I enjoy about going to Qualifier tournaments is the community of players. I do not leave a Qualifier with out making at least 1-2 more friends. The players are all above average in skill, and the deck constructions at the tournaments are always fun to examine. I have never come out of a tournament without new tech ideas. My wife always scowls at me when I return home, “Didn’t you just get done with playing with your cards? Why are you getting them out again? You don’t have another tournament for like a month!”
And now, a look at those decks that won Brooklyn:
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