Captain Phasma - Character Analysis


1. FLAVORS OF PHASMA!
Written By LUKE MAGNUSON

CAPTAIN PHASMA - STORMTROOPER COMMANDER is one of my favorite characters in the new set. Part of what I love about her is that she is a big who’s playable elite and non-elite, something we haven’t really seen before, and which allows for a larger variety of partners than we’ve seen for any previous bigs. Darth Vader, for example, has been more or less pigeonholed into one pairing: eVader/Greedo. And while he is fun to play, there’s not a ton of deck exploration available to him.PHASMAjpg
Captain Phasma, on the other hand, has viable pairings in every color, at both 1 and 2 dice. And while not all of these options will end up being competitive, I am confident that there will be multiple versions that see legitimate play. So in today’s article, I’m going to go through these potential pairings, explaining what each brings to the table. But before I do that, let me go over the various Phasma cores.

2. THE 'TROOPER' SQUAD CORE:

phasma1jpgThis trio of supports is a must include in Phasma decks. MEGABLASTER TROOPERS are, of course, the bread and butter of this trio, adding a lot of dice to the table (dice that synergize with Phasma). IMPERIAL OFFICER adds a lot of consistency to all those First Order Stormtrooper dice, and helps make sure that the Megablaster Trooper stays online throughout the game (spotting a Leader). And CONSCRIPT SQUAD is just a nice cheap damage die that synergizes with all the Trooper shenanigans going on.

3. THE REMOVAL CORE:

phasma2jpg
This suite of eight removal cards, A SINISTER PEACE, MEASURE FOR MEASURE, ROUT and RIOT SHIELD, is just about the perfect removal core. It includes two solid 0cost options, and two above the curve 1cost options. You probably want an additional 3-4 removal cards in each deck, but these serve as a great base to build off of, and should be included in every Phasma deck.

4. THE OFFENSIVE CORE:

phasma4jpg
LOGISTICS is a great ramp option in this deck, since you start with 5 dice that all have a resource side. And PROBE continues to be an incredible card, and gives you some outs against Mill or Mean Streets decks that might be trying to remove a bunch of dice. Both are MUST includes. It’s also worth mentioning how good THEED ROYAL PALACE is for these decks - most of the time you want those round 1 FOST dice to be resources anyway, and it really increases your odds of dropping a Megablaster Trooper round 1. By far the best battlefield for these decks.

5. SINGLE-DIE PHASMA:
The advantage of 1-die Phasma decks is that they are able to utilize the 5dice start, without putting all of your eggs in one basket. So having an elite support character makes these decks a little more resilient, but you lose the incredible synergy of Retribution.

6. MONORED: eWAT TAMBOR

Phasma Wat deck listjpg
Firmus Piett has been getting some air time recently - and his ability does work quite nicely with all the FOST dice (at least for resources… turning to 1 Ranged sides is pretty meh most of the time), but I think WAT TAMBOR is strictly better here. He adds extra Focus and Resource sides, contributing to both your ramp and to maximizing damage - both of which are important in Phasma decks. And Wat’s Power Action can just add so much value over the course of the game.phasma6jpg
Where this deck list will differ from others is the supports you add to take advantage of Wat’s Power Action. I’ve been trying ASSASSINS DROIDS, ARC-170s, and PLANETARY BOMBARDMENTS, and have been pretty happy with how the deck plays. The biggest downside to this version is the lack of an additional color, which limits some of your card choices (and makes it more difficult to capitalize on Wat’s Power Action). Still, of all the Phasma decks I think this version has the best balance of Aggro and Ramp capabilities.

7. BLUE: eMOTHER TALZIN

Phasma Talzin deck listjpg
MOTHER TALZIN is, of course, one of the best 12 cost characters in the game. This version of Phasma is a strictly aggro version - focusing to 2 Ranged damage sides and trying to do as much damage early as possible. It’s probably the most consistent Phasma deck at getting the early round 2 kill.phasma7jpg
The addition of WITCH MAGICK also helps to assure that Phasma stays alive into the later rounds. However, Talzin’s deck building restriction really messes with the Phasma core (as many of them are even costed), and deciding which of those cards to cut can be tricky. MEGABLASTER TROOPERS is a much tougher include in this version, which is a big reason why I’m not as high on it as some of the others. Still, you shouldn’t overlook this deck: It is highly consistent and can really pump out damage quickly.

8. YELLOW: eWATTO
Phasma Watto deck listjpg
By now I’m sure you’re familiar with the resource generating machine that is WATTO. This is easily the fastest ramping version of any Captain Phasma deck and can get MEGABLASTER TROOPERS down round 1 easily.phasma8jpg
ENTOURAGE should probably also be included in this deck, and you can build a pretty hefty board state early. Being able to include VANDALIZE in a deck with so many character dice is also a huge boon, and can help counter some of the other powerful decks in the meta. The biggest downside to this version is the lack of Focuses.PHasma20jpg
Getting cards like Imperial Officer and Senate Chamber onto the board is critical, to ensure consistency for your otherwise inconsistent dice, in this version of the deck.

9. ePHASMA + RETRIBUTION:
PHasma9jpgI don’t feel like it needs a ton of explaining at this point, but Captain Phasma + Retribution is very synergistic. If you add a Megablaster Trooper to the mix, you can throw out an incredible 7 character dice - none of which can be removed without a penalty. And considering that none of the dice are super valuable by themselves, it feels really bad for your opponent to remove your dice. These versions are built to take advantage of this synergy.

10. RED: EXECUTIONER
Phasma Executioner deck listjpg
The most aggressive of all of these decks (and my favorite version so far)! This deck takes the Trooper synergy to the max. Besides being able to use your Trooper synergies (like Imperial Officer) on the Executioner to increase damage consistency, he also functionally gives you additional dice against wide decks, which can make a surprisingly big difference in some matchups.phasma10jpg
The Executioner also allows you to utilize THE BEST DEFENSE... to keep your elite Phasma alive late into the game, while INTENSE FIRE is a card I’ve loved in this deck, as it allows you to really push damage early and get maximum value out of your Executioner roll ins.

11. BLUE: SENTINEL MESSENGER
Phasma Sentinel deck listjpg
SENTINEL MESSENGER is just a great non-unique, and it’s a great fit next to Phasma - with Focus sides, Resources, and its own 2 Melee damage side. This version has the best removal suite, as it allows you to include HIDDEN MOTIVE and FORSAKEN for a whopping eight good 0cost removal options, which is amazing in combination with the Messenger's card draw ability!phasma11jpg
The cheap removal also opens up Vader’s Fist as a possibility, giving the deck another big power play. This version of ePhasma/Retribution has been getting the most air time around the Destiny community, and I can see why.

12. YELLOW: ENFYS NEST'S MARAUDER

Phasma Enfys Nest deck listjpg
It’s possible that the Rebel Traitor is a better include here, but I actually really like the Hero card options you can include with the Marauder. Both EASY PICKINGS and FIRST AID make a lot of sense as ways to keep Captain Phasma alive, and if you really want to get spicy you could include MOXIE for a second shot at Phasma’s Power Action every round!phasma12jpg
As with the Watto version, the ability to include Vandalize is huge, giving you an out against some of the incredibly powerful supports. The pay sides on the Marauder are rough though - you’ll want to focus to the +2 melee (resolving it together with a Trooper die using Phasma's ability) when you can to avoid paying for damage.

13. FIRST ORDER AND ADVANCED TRAINING?
ADVANCED TRAINING was clearly made with Captain Phasma in mind, and playing Phasma with First Order Stormtrooper + Advanced Training has been popular. It’s easy to see why people are drawn to this, as it allows you to resolve all of your blank trooper dice as 1 melee.phasma13jpg
However, I think this plot is a trap. The reality is that if you are resolving your trooper dice as 1 damage, these decks are just not very good, and Advanced Training encourages you to settle for 1 damage resolutions.

The best versions of Phasma decks, and the best players, will find ways to get the majority of their Trooper dice to 2 value sides. So while Advanced Training is good with Captain Phasma, I think it encourages bad play, and I find Retribution to be a much more valuable plot - and it allows you to use a better sidekick as well.

14. FINAL THOUGHTS:
phasma18jpgSo there you have it - the many flavors of Phasma. I’ve been enjoying switching between the different versions, trying to discover which I like the best. There’s a lot to try, and these decks are a lot of fun to play! I’ll be interested to see what happens as time goes on, which versions separate themselves as the superior decks, and which ones fall to the wayside.

HAPPY TESTING!

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