These Clones are on Fire!
The Clone Fire Team really heats up the trusty ol' Clone deck
There are two great new cards in Jedi Guardians that finally inspired me to post a Clone deck. Naturally, I already had one that I played with occasionally, but it just didn't seem to have all that it needed to win consistently. The Clone Facility was a staple of the old Clone deck, but it just never did that much good for my deck. So I was very happy to see the Clone Fire Team and the Tipoca Training Ground. My idea for this deck is to make my Clones as fast as possible. If the best defense is a good offense, then speed is the best defense.
The Ground arena is where a Clone deck really shines. The units here are all very cost effective and there are (now) plenty of good Clones to choose from. The most important Ground Clone is the Clone Fire Team. The +10 Speed it gives other Clones will help them attack before the average Dark Side Droid. Deploy more than one and your Clones should be attacking first. The Clone that needs the speed boost the most is the Clone Trooper Legion. I guess it's hard to move quickly in such a rigid formation, as these guys only have a 30 speed while other units of this cost and size are all 40 speed.
But his 7 power will be your main weapon and his 7 health means he should be able to stand up to even the monstrous Trade Federation Control Core for at least 2 attacks. Backing up the Ground is the easily deployed Clone Platoon. At 40 speed this will often be the unit that attacks first for you in Ground, as the Fire Team doesn't give itself its own bonus. It's also just the right cost for a quick reinforcement.
However, for the ultimate in "backup," try the Tipoca Training Ground. It's the only unit (so far) with 2 Reserves abilities and both of them are a Clone deck's dream come true. Clones don't come with much in the way of protection, so the "prevent 2 damage" of the first ability will come in quite handy to keep Fire Teams and Clone Captains alive, so their bonuses aren't lost too quickly. The other Reserves ability gives one of your Clones Accuracy 1. The unit of choice for this ability is the huge Trooper Legion, as you should be able to get up around 4 or 5 hits with it.
The Character arena is where the best Clone booster is found. The Clone Officer is one of the few boosters that gives itself its own bonus. This is priority build unit of the arena and probably the entire deck as they are the heavy hitters in the Character arena. Actually, the Clone Captain can hit just as hard and has the ability to transfer damage it takes to another Clone in any arena. It works very well in conjunction with the Clone Trooper Legion with its 7 health. For quick reinforcement, the Clone Warrior 4/163 is very efficient and will last a while with several more tempting targets in the arena. These guys are extremely cheap to deploy when Lama Su (A) is in the arena and reduces the cost to deploy your Clones by 1 build point. For further Clone-boosting, Taun We (A) can speed them up a bit if the Fire Teams aren't enough. However, if your opponent is playing with Stormtroopers, don't bother building her as they get her bonus as well.
Finally, to protect all these boosters, Obi-Wan Kenobi (G) is very useful with his Intercept ability and his Evade ability will keep him alive versus small and mid-sized units.
Space is not a priority of the Clone deck as there aren't any Clones in Space. As soon as the Dark Side sees that you're playing Clones, they'll know that Character is the crucial arena, as they'll want to deny you all the boosters there. If they give short shrift to Space, you can move in with a few units that can get the job done. If they deploy a bunch of wimpy units, the new Republic Light Assault Cruiser is the way to go with its Shields 1. Its Accuracy 1 will ensure that it never (Ok, rarely) fails to take down a 2 health unit when it attacks. For larger units, like Star Destroyers, the Jedi Attack Formation is the unit for the job. It has good speed and I see the 4 power, Critical Hit 3 pay off again and again. For a quick reinforcement, the Jedi Starfighter 3R3 is a trusted standby, while the faster and Intercepting X-wing Red Three can keep one of the larger units alive when things really heat up in Space.
Since Clones don't have much in the way of defenses (no Shields or Evade), they'll need protecting with a host of Battle cards. Pilot's Dodge for Ground and Space, Hero's Dodge for the Character arena, and Jedi Knight's Survival for anywhere. However, this deck doesn't plan on needing them due to its incredible speed. To that end, the deck needs a way to boost the non-Clone units and Anakin's Inspiration is the best way to do it. The Space units especially will appreciate the boost so they don't feel too left out of the party.
Since the deck has outgrown the Clone Facility, it needs some way to draw more Clones and Wedding of Destiny is the cheapest and easiest way to do it. That one extra Force you get also comes in handy for a Hero's Dodge. Finally, since the Clone Captain will often times send some damage to the Clone Trooper Legion, a couple of Return to Spaceports are a great way to keep them safe and tidy.
Here's what the deck looks like all put together…
After seeing your initial hand, you should mulligan Return to Spaceport and Jedi Knight's Survival if you've drawn them. However, if you have 5 or more units in hand, you could keep your hand. The deck has a lot of mid-sized units, so chances are you won't be deploying more than about 6 units. A great opening setup would be: Clone Officer, Lama Su (A), Clone Warrior 4/163, Clone Trooper Legion, Clone Fire Team, & Republic Light Assault Cruiser. However, if you find the Tipoca Training Ground in your hand when you have just a few build points left during setup, it's a great idea to put your last few points on the Training Ground. That way you can finish building it during the first command phase and it can stay in the build zone untapped, ready to use its Reserves abilities. If you fully built it during setup and deployed it, then it taps when it retreats and you can't use the Reserves the first turn.
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