Star Wars TCG Qualifiers: Conroe, Texas
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.)
We continue our look at winning decks with the Conroe, Texas Qualifier, won by Michael Kelly of Team Force Infinity. Michael also provided the following commentary on the strategy behind his team's decks.
Conroe, Texas Qualifier
Light Side (Chewy Re-Animator: Team FI Build Version 12): As you can see, we went through 11 versions of this deck until we got to a build we were comfortable with. When I say “we,” I refer to Team Force Infinity—this is a tight knit circle of guys who either play together locally or talk everyday via the NET. The groundwork for this deck was actually laid out by Jared Tomlinson (4th place finisher at the Conroe, Texas Qualifier.) Pre-Rogues and Scoundrels, our team noticed that if Light Side had some really strong droids then this could be a solid deck type, and we slid the idea back into the archive. Then R&S came, and —bang!— out it came. It didn't take us long to put this deck together, and before long it was ready to go.
We knew that it was going to have to face some strong competition on the Dark Side, so we tested it against every type of deck we could think of—decks that were strong contenders for Dark Side Qualifier decks. We are all from Orlando, with the exception of Nicholas "Mastershake" Basey who is from Lafayette, LA. So we had to take into consideration that the decks we play against in Orlando might not be the same as we would see in Texas. You know what they say: "Don't Mess with Texas!"
We playtested against everything in order to see how the deck would stack up. Rebel Surrender was reborn with The Empire Strikes Back (this was the same type of deck which knocked me out of the "Last Chance Qualifier" at GenCon last year). If this deck couldn't beat Rebel Surrender, I wouldn't touch it. Tuskens, Imperials, Pilot Super Swarm, even Creatures—nothing could even come close to beating it. We knew this was our deck!
Are we making any changes to this deck before Worlds? Yes, alas, Chewy has run its gauntlet and is now retired. The key to being successful at card games is being able to adapt and change as new ideas spawn.
Dark Side (For the Bus): We had also put together the Ugnaught deck very similar to the one which got the card banned. Ours, however, used Ugnaught to recycle and put out 4 Homing Missiles each round. With that card banned just 5 days before, we were left without a Dark Side deck. Instead of working on a Dark Side deck, we elected to try to put together a version of the Chewy deck which we could play successfully at a starting build of 23; credit for this idea should be given to Joe Pieloch (3rd place finisher at Conroe.) He had been suggesting that we test the Chewy deck at below 25 build for over a week.
See, our plan was to play the Ugnaught deck, and then once your opponent got a taste of that, we would be playing Light Side at 30 build all day. Well, after a 16-hour drive from Orlando to Conroe with stops for only food, gas and to pick up Nick, we were in Conroe sitting in the Holiday Inn…with a great Light Side and NO Dark Side deck. Then Nick started to envision a deck. Somewhere between check-in and the cheeseburgers we had for dinner, the Dark Side deck came together. I named the deck "For the Bus" in tribute for the hours put into the Ugnaught deck by Team Bus. The point of this deck was basically Force denial. We ran the "Besbin Trio", Capture Obi-Wan, and some slightly overcosted combos (Countermeasures and Mara Jade (B)) This deck was about 25% successful when we played the Chewy deck at 25 build, but that percentage jumped up to 50% when the Re-Animator played at 24.
We locked in our choice for Dark Side and caught a few short hours of sleep.
Michael "Skymiles" Kelly
Next week: The winning deck from Brooklyn, New York.