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Deck Starters: The Lockdown



Back in the early days of the Star Wars Trading Card Game, my group played in what we referred to as a limited environment. In other words, we built decks only from the prequel sets (such as Attack of the Clones or Sith Rising) or the classic trilogy sets (such as A New Hope or Battle of Yavin) and played those against each other. This way, we never had Darth Maul battling Chewbacca.

At the time, I was fond of playing a Dark Side Lockdown deck, which contained cards that would tap (lock down) the Light Side units. Depending on which arena I thought I had a better chance of winning, I'd either lock down the Space arena or the Character arena.

Character Lockdown

One of my favorite cards for these decks was the Krayt Dragon. Back in those days, the deployment of a Krayt Dragon would strike fear in the hearts of most Light Side players (at least in our group.) They would then tend to concede the Ground arena and focus their build on either the Space or Character arenas.

Once I saw they bailed out of Ground, I would deploy my Imperial Detention Blocks. Granted, the Detention Blocks only worked on non-Jedi characters, but in the limited format that we were playing, the only Light Side Jedi you had to contend with were Obi-Wan and a fairly weak Luke Skywalker. This was a nice way to trap those non-Jedi characters that now had no way to escape. I would tap their strongest or fastest characters and then systematically take them out.

When locking down the Character arena, you could enlist a few assistants. Lending a helping hand (or tentacle) is the Dianoga (A). Though it's restricted to tapping units with 4 power or less, it's not deterred by Jedi status. If a non-stacked Obi-Wan (G) (who was very prevalent in those days because of his Intercept ability) just happened to be in the arena, the Dianoga would wrap him up while your other characters hammered away. Since it doesn't have to wait its turn, it can activate its ability anytime during battle.

The other helper in the Character arena is Lieutenant Shann Childsen (A). Like the Imperial Detention Block where he works, he, too, affects only non-Jedi characters. Since he has to wait to use his ability when he would attack, you'll want to make sure he has the chance to do that by using the Detention Block on the faster characters.

Space Lockdown

Now let's look at the lockdown of the Space arena. Here's where it gets a little more expensive in that build points are always involved to get those units tapped. One of the things I always hated seeing was a stacked Millennium Falcon or Luke's X-Wing holding the arena on its own. Capture the Falcon comes in pretty handy during those situations. It doesn't care what your power is, how fast you are, or if you're Light or Neutral. It taps whatever you want.

Remember plunking down the Krayt Dragon in Ground and watching the Light Side run away? Instead of deploying those Detention Blocks, we will want to deploy the Death Star Hangar Bay. It only taps units with power 5 or less, so you'll use it to take out faster, but less powerful ships. It also costs 7 build, which is pretty steep, but at 7 health, it'll stick around for a while, too.

The New Lockdowns

Now let's jump ahead to Return of the Jedi. Not only do we have new ways to lock down some characters, we can also do a little damage while we're at it.

First, Trap Door! not only taps an untapped character, but does 3 damage to it. The downside is that the damage can either be prevented or deflected.

Next comes the hungry Sarlacc (A), demanding to be fed. Like Trap Door!, it'll tap an untapped character but keep it tapped while placing 2 damage counters on it per turn. No need to worry about that deflection here. While the Sarlacc (A) is tapped, the Character unit that you decided to lock down won't untap.

Of course, you can fill out your lockdown deck with other cards, and hopefully I've given you some ideas for cards you haven't tried in a long time (if at all). I've always found it frustrating when an opponent taps my units so that I can't attack him. Now, here's your chance to turn the tables.

Stay tuned for more deck spice ideas. Until next time, this is Rogue 9 standing by . . .

About the Author

Tim Bresnan is a long time Star Wars fan and player of the Star Wars Trading Card Game. Located in the heart of the Midwest, Tim sees his role as teacher and recruiter for the card game. On any given day of the work week, you'll find him spending his lunch time playing a game of Star Wars TCG with coworkers and fellow Star Wars enthusiasts. Tim is a self-proclaimed noncompetitive player and enjoys creating themed decks that are just fun to play. Check out his other Star Wars TCG articles:

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Deck Starters: Lars

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