Pilot: Swarm Style
The premise of this deck is "swarm." However, I didn't want your normal, everyday swarm. I wanted something novel—something more on the edge of the game.
I knew that if I planned on swarming (with the Light Side, at least) it would be in the Ground and Space arenas. Not only does the Light Side have lower build units that are far more effective than those of the Dark Side, but it also has some amazing pilots, so I decided to increase this already large advantage.
The Ground Arena: Damage Prevention
The hard-to-hit factor was my biggest concern, whether providing this with Armor, damage prevention, or damage removal.
Two units immediately caught my attention: Yoda (E) and R2-D2 (E). With both units out, that's 3 damage I could prevent for free, every round. Next, I added Rebel Trenches, giving Armor to all Ground units. And when it came to choosing pilots, I picked the lowest build pilots with the best prevention. If they couldn't prevent damage, they simply weren't cut out for this deck.
Next, I needed a way to remove damage, so I added Rebel Hangar. It removes 2 damage each round from a Ground or Space unit, and since those were the two arenas in which I planned on fighting, the card was exactly what I was looking for.
The Ground Arena: Speedy Units
I wanted to be able to secure Ground and Space without spending too much build, so speeders were my obvious choice for Ground. They're cheap, fast, and extremely effective.
Luke's Snowspeeder (A), with low build, great stats, and its awesome ability (Pay 2 Force Evade 2) was a must. However, it does have the minor penalty of losing 4 Force whenever it hits the discard pile. But Wedge Antilles (B), with his ability to prevent 2 damage, added with this "Pay 2 Evade 2," kept Luke's Snowspeeder out of the discard pile on a consistent basis.
The next unit fit for Ground was Wedge's Snowspeeder (A). It's not so cheap, but what drew my attention was its ability to give your Ground units Accuracy 3 when attacking the unit Wedge's Snowspeeder damaged. With my Ground units faster than most of Dark Side's, and with at least 3 units in that arena, Wedge's Snowspeeder worked out perfectly. In fact, one combo I found has Sebulba (A) piloting Wedge's Snowspeeder. If attacked, you can deflect damage, giving your other units Accuracy 3 against this damaged unit—extremely helpful when faced with AT-AT Assault Group, Trade Federation Control Core, or the new Gungan Grand Army.
Anakin's Podracer (A) was practically made for a swarm deck. At 3 build, 80 speed, 2 power, 4 health, Lucky 1, and "Pay 1 Evade 1," it fits all prerequisites: it's cheap, quick, and tough to damage.
Still, I just wasn't drawing enough Ground units, and knowing that my Ground units thus far were unique, I needed a few non-unique units as well. Unmodified Snowspeeder, at only 3 build, had amazing stats. Plus, the addition of the Rebel Hangar almost nullified its Upkeep. After a quick search through The Phantom Menace set, I also chose Flash Speeder: cheap, damage effective, and with the bonus of Critical Hit 2.
The Space Arena: Dealin' Damage
With so many options, it took me awhile to figure out what I was going to do for Space. Eventually, I settled on starfighters because they were cheap, fast, and could deal damage—and thus fit in with the swarm theme.
Luke's X-wing... all I can say is "Wow!" With four different versions, it gave me a Space unit that I could focus on, something that could stack and enable me to draw more cards during setup. Next, the Inferno (A). 5 build might sound high for a 3 power, 3 health unit. But add in Lucky 2, and now you're talking. Not only does it consistently deal more damage, but it also negates damage against it, including crucial Critical Hits.
With Luke's X-wing and the Inferno (A) both unique, I had to find a cost-effective non-unique unit. This happened to be the Delta Six Jedi Starfighter. For 3 build, you get 50 speed, 3 power, and 3 health. Similar to Jedi Starfighter 3r3, it's already an efficient unit—but wait, you also get "Pay 1 Evade 1" and Critical Hit 1? This unit quickly went from good to amazing.
Battle and Mission
To me, Battle and Mission selection is key to any deck, as well as one of the toughest areas to decide. In the current metagame, Change in Destiny is a must. If you can't disrupt certain Dark Side battle cards—such as Rebel Surrender, Vendetta, Dark Sacrifice, Imperial Misdirection, or Down in Flames (which kills this particular deck, by the way)—it really puts a hurt on your plans.
Also, I noticed in playtesting that I consistently ran out of units to build, and so I had to include drawing cards. Adding Wedding of Destiny and Podrace filled the gap, and I now had units when I needed them, every game.
I also had trouble with Force Denial decks. It's not that my units use too much Force, but against Nexu and Darth Sidious (D), I would have to pay Force for the tap prevent abilities of Yoda (E) and R2-D2 (E), as well as all of my units' Evades. Add Carbon Freezing Chamber, and things start to get ugly. So I included Homing Missile, perfect for hunting Nexus, Admiral Firmus Piett (C), Nute Gunray (C), or Rune Haako (A).
The general strategy of this deck isn't overly complicated. Your main objective in setup is to deploy as many units as possible, giving you the best unit-to-unit advantage, as well as allowing you to go through more of your deck. The optimal setup has at least one Luke's X-wing in Space, with a pilot as well. Also, try to finish by putting build counters on Yoda (E) or R2-D2 (E), so that you can deploy them directly to your Reserves.
It's a solid deck. However, it's important that it fit your own style of play. Depending on your particular style, you might try modifying the deck with Disturbance in the Force, Obi-wan's Guidance, Luke's Garage, Han's Promise, or Dagobah System.
In closing, I'd like to give credit to teammate Jason Czapansky for many ideas that went into this deck. I hope you've enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Thoughts or comments? Visit the message board thread for this article here.
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