Ever since A New Hope came out (the card set, not the movie), I've been toying with the idea of making a Jawa deck. Alas, that never came to fruition because they never had enough punch to deal with the big Light Side threats. Then came the 2004 Qualifier in Charlotte where the Jawas simply owned everyone to take first place. That showed me how to make Jawas truly effective, and each new set seems to make the little guys more and more powerful. So here is the newest wave of Jawas of Doom!
The basic strategy of this deck is to get out as many Jawas during setup as possible. But save Het Nkik (A) until the end so you can partially build him; otherwise, he'll be tapped on the first turn since you generally won't have any cards in your discard pile. Make sure you deal the killing blows with your Jawas so that you get the Bounty from them each turn. Then it's just a matter of getting what you need with your Tatooine Sandcrawlers to tighten up your weak points. A strategic use of Trap Door! will keep your opponent guessing the entire game and cause him to be a little more cautious in play.
Let's start with the Character arena, since this is where the strategy comes together in the deck. First off, we have Het Nkik (A) the heart and soul of the spawning potential of this deck. By giving all your Jawas the bounty of being able to put a droid into any arena tapped, you can get out plenty of droids in a very short period of time. The +1 Power bonus to all Jawas makes him just that much better.
Speaking of power, the Jawa Leader is the star for the boost all your little guys need to overpower their opposition. With four Jawa Leaders and Het Nkik out, you can give every single one of your Jawas a +5 power bonus.
What good is power, though, if you can't attack first? That's where RIC-920 comes in. With the +20 speed for all Tatooine units, you'll almost always be attacking first with your mean hooded guys if you can get a RIC or two out.
These days, the main Light Side unit is the GH-7 Medical Droid, which can heal anything but a killing blow. But here comes the droid killer -- also known as the Jawa Scavenger. His ability to put any droid he damages back on the top of your opponent's deck is amazing, because it does two things. First, it makes him pay the build cost for the unit again in order to deploy it again. Second, it keeps him from top decking "the card he needs to win."
The last four units to round out the Character arena are your single attack units, because they have the power to take out many of the current Light Side units. Also, Darth Vader (R) is a beast -- unpreventable damage coupled with Hidden Cost make him one of the best offensive characters at the Dark Side's disposal.
Ground is where most of your bounties will come from because with the power and speed bonus, your units should be able to pick off the smaller Light Side units before they can even attack.
The Jawa Squad is a marvelous unit because of its Accuracy 1, which comes in really handy against Anakin's Podracer (A) or any other Light Side Ground units with Lucky. The Tatooine Sandcrawler is the best deck-thinning unit you could ask for, as it allows you to search your deck for either a Jawa or Droid card and put it into your hand. With this ability you can get exactly what you need when you need it, turn after turn after turn.
The last unit in the Ground arena is the newest Dark Side star, the Patrol Mode Vulture Droid. This card is just fantastic. For only 7 build, you get a 20/8/8 with Accuracy 1 and Shields 1 -- talk about efficient. And just think: If one of your Jawa's bounties ability activates, that baby will be coming out for free.
The Space arena is probably the hardest arena to pick units for in this deck, seeing as how you have to decide whether you want to run the arena with a swarm theme or a Hidden Cost theme. You have two obvious choices: the Droid Starfighter DFS-1VR and Droid Missiles. Both have become Dark Side mainstays in recent times, and since they're both Droids they fit the deck's theme very well.
In my version of this deck, I chose a swarm theme by adding in the Trade Federation Droid Bomber and TIE Interceptor. The TIE Interceptor, while not a Droid, is another insanely efficient unit that can help in any deck. At 60/3/2 with Critical Hit 1 and Intercept, it can act as a first strike unit to soften up targets for the Droid Missiles and DFS-1VR, and then switch to a defensive role and absorb the attacks of your opponent to keep your units alive.
This is where the hard choice comes in: Do you run Trade Federation Droid Bombers (or any other Droid Space unit), or do you run Endor Imperial Fleet? Both have advantages and disadvantages, so it comes down to your own play style. In my version, I went with the Trade Federation Droid Bomber for three main reasons. First, it's pretty fast; at 60 speed, it will attack before many of your opponent's units and help the TIE Interceptor soften them up. Second, it's a Droid, so you can get it out of your deck with the Tatooine Sandcrawler and it can be deployed with the Jawa's bounty. Third, it's a little more versatile than Endor Imperial Fleet; having Bombard 2 allows it to support your ground arena as well as space.
Battle and Mission
Now it's time for the dirty tricks this deck packs with its Battle and Mission cards. The Mission card Jawa Supply Trip lets you take a Droid card from your hand and place one build on it for each Jawa you have in any arena. Because there are 19 Jawa units you could possibly have in play at any time, that can turn into a lot of build, and since Jawa Supply Trip only costs one build, it will always benefit you.
Next up is the heart and soul of the dirty trick department for this deck: Trap Door!. Let me tell you, this card is sweet -- for only 4 Force, you get to do 3 damage to any unit and tap it. This can put a huge damper on the GH-7 Medical Droid and a few other Light Side Character units that require taps to activate certain abilities. This allows you to do just the right amount of damage to kill a unit in one attack, thus keeping GH-7 Medical Droids from healing all your damage away.
Foil is one of the coolest new cards from Revenge of the Sith. Before Foil, there was no way to stop Mission cards from wreaking havoc on your plans, mainly in the form of Homing Missiles and Surprise Attack. However, with Foil, this has all changed. It doesn't guarantee your safety from such cards, but it goes a long way to help lessen their effects.
Lando's Trickery is in here to keep Trap Door! or Foil from being disrupted, although it could be replaced with Dismiss for the added option of Disrupting an activated ability.
My last tip is to make sure that you're always thinking at least two to three turns ahead in any game, and "May the cards be with you" (unless you're playing me, of course)!
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